Federal Register Vol. 82, No.200,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 200 (October 18, 2017)

Page Range48389-48607
FR Document

82_FR_200
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 48607 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Significant Narcotics Traffickers Centered in ColombiaPDF
82 FR 48529 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 48507 - Extension of Comment Period on Draft Documents Related to the Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur OxidesPDF
82 FR 48498 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 48487 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 48498 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Request To Transfer a Segal Education Award Amount, Accept/Decline Award Transfer Form, Request To Revoke Transfer of Education Award Form, and Rescind Acceptance of Award Transfer FormPDF
82 FR 48419 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJPDF
82 FR 48563 - Bureau of Consular Affairs; Registration for the Diversity Immigrant (DV-2019) Visa ProgramPDF
82 FR 48508 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
82 FR 48509 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
82 FR 48510 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
82 FR 48511 - Information Collections Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
82 FR 48591 - Notice of OFAC Sanctions ActionsPDF
82 FR 48514 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 48497 - Consumer Advisory Board MeetingPDF
82 FR 48424 - Federal Student Aid Programs (Institutional Eligibility); Foreign Institutions Affected by Natural DisastersPDF
82 FR 48515 - Center for Devices and Radiological Health: Experiential Learning ProgramPDF
82 FR 48541 - International Product Change-Global Plus 1EPDF
82 FR 48513 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
82 FR 48476 - Announcement of Loan Refinancing Procedures, and Deadlines for the Refinancing of Federal Financing Bank Loans Pilot Program (Refinancing Program)PDF
82 FR 48541 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 48513 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 48496 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Substantive Submissions Made During the Prosecution of the Trademark ApplicationPDF
82 FR 48491 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Patent Examiner Employment Application”PDF
82 FR 48489 - Representative and Address ProvisionsPDF
82 FR 48492 - Admission To Practice and Roster of Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents Admitted To Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)PDF
82 FR 48394 - Comparability Determination for the European Union: Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap ParticipantsPDF
82 FR 48526 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Authorizing Grazing UsePDF
82 FR 48530 - Senior Executive Service; Appointment of Members to the Performance Review BoardPDF
82 FR 48476 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; 30-Day Federal Register Notice; National Agricultural Statistics ServicePDF
82 FR 48460 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
82 FR 48530 - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management; Public Availability of Department of Labor FY 2016 Service Contract InventoryPDF
82 FR 48533 - Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 48532 - Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation; Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 48496 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
82 FR 48485 - Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustee Implementation Group Final 2017 Restoration Plan and Finding of No Significant ImpactPDF
82 FR 48499 - Defense Health Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 48591 - Proposed Collection of Information: Disclaimer and Consent With Respect to United States Savings Bonds/NotesPDF
82 FR 48591 - Proposed Collection of Information: Special Form of Assignment for U.S. Registered SecuritiesPDF
82 FR 48481 - Foreign-Trade Zone 280-Ada and Canyon Counties, Idaho; Application for Subzone Expansion; Orgill, Inc.; Post Falls, IdahoPDF
82 FR 48481 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 123-Denver, Colorado; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Lockheed Martin Corporation Space Systems Company; (Satellites and Other Space Craft); Littleton, ColoradoPDF
82 FR 48483 - Stainless Steel Bar From India: Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review and Intent To Reinstate Certain Companies in the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
82 FR 48482 - Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper ReviewsPDF
82 FR 48485 - Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Deferral of Preliminary Determination of the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation-Correction NoticePDF
82 FR 48540 - Submission for Review: Alternative Annuity Election, RI 20-80PDF
82 FR 48417 - Special Local Regulation; Clinch River, Oak Ridge, TNPDF
82 FR 48422 - Safety Zone; Ohio River, Cincinnati, OHPDF
82 FR 48594 - Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards ActPDF
82 FR 48420 - Safety Zone; Cumberland River, Nashville, TNPDF
82 FR 48413 - Medical Devices; Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices; Classification of the Organophosphate Test SystemPDF
82 FR 48603 - Unfair Practices and Undue Preferences in Violation of the Packers and Stockyards ActPDF
82 FR 48542 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 48541 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 48542 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 48531 - Construction Standards on Posting Emergency Telephone Numbers and Floor Load Limits; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
82 FR 48571 - Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee; Charter RenewalPDF
82 FR 48523 - Quarterly IRS Interest Rates Used in Calculating Interest on Overdue Accounts and Refunds on Customs DutiesPDF
82 FR 48415 - Certifications and Exemptions Under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972PDF
82 FR 48499 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; Visible Welding, LLCPDF
82 FR 48482 - Information Systems; Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 48521 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 48521 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 48523 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 48520 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 48523 - National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 48519 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 48522 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 48525 - U.S. Endangered Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit ApplicationPDF
82 FR 48488 - Marine Mammals; File No. 21315PDF
82 FR 48529 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Existing Collection in Use Without and OMB Number FBI Hazardous Devices School ApplicationPDF
82 FR 48574 - Pipeline Safety: Information Collection Activities, Revision to Gas Distribution Annual ReportPDF
82 FR 48527 - Tapered Roller Bearings From China; Notice of Commission Determination To Conduct a Full Five-Year ReviewPDF
82 FR 48516 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Medical Devices; Device TrackingPDF
82 FR 48533 - International Space Station National Laboratory Advisory Committee; Charter RenewalPDF
82 FR 48513 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10445-Putnam State Bank, Palatka, FloridaPDF
82 FR 48487 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Vessel and Gear Identification RequirementsPDF
82 FR 48389 - Special Conditions: TTF Aerospace Inc., Boeing Model 767-300F Series Airplane; Installation of Main-Deck Crew-Rest CompartmentPDF
82 FR 48534 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 48545 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 48554 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Exchange's Transaction Fees at Rule 7030 That Apply to Use of the Nasdaq Testing FacilityPDF
82 FR 48552 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use on the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
82 FR 48560 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Provide Interpretation With Respect to the Meaning, Administration, or Enforcement of Rule 14.11, Other Securities, and Rule 14.12, Failure To Meet Listing StandardsPDF
82 FR 48542 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 723 and Rule 1614PDF
82 FR 48550 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Creation of an Electronic-Only Order TypePDF
82 FR 48556 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Decrease the Qualification Criteria of a Credit Tier and Make Related ChangesPDF
82 FR 48502 - Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization; Texas Gas Transmission, LLCPDF
82 FR 48501 - Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests; New York Power AuthorityPDF
82 FR 48504 - Notice of Amended Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments; Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 48506 - Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process; Pacific Gas & Electric CompanyPDF
82 FR 48500 - Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments; Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 48502 - Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference; Colonial Pipeline CompanyPDF
82 FR 48503 - Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization; CXA La Paloma, LLCPDF
82 FR 48503 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 48506 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
82 FR 48505 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 48394 - Special Conditions: Bombardier Inc. Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Airplanes; Airplane Electronic-System Security Protection From Unauthorized Internal AccessPDF
82 FR 48528 - Certain L-Tryptophan, L-Tryptophan Products, and Their Methods of Production; Commission Determination to Review a Final Initial Determination Finding No Section 337 Violation; Schedule for Filing Written Submissions on the Issues Under Review and on Remedy, the Public Interest, and BondingPDF
82 FR 48527 - Stainless Steel Bar From Brazil, India, Japan, and Spain; Notice of Commission Determination To Conduct Full Five-Year ReviewsPDF
82 FR 48562 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of WisconsinPDF
82 FR 48562 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of IdahoPDF
82 FR 48515 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP), Annual Progress and Services Review (APSR), and Annual Budget Expenses Request and Estimated Expenditures (CFS-101)PDF
82 FR 48545 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Certain Rules To Add New Optional Functionality to Orders With a Minimum Quantity InstructionPDF
82 FR 48557 - Steadfast Alcentra Global Credit Fund and Steadfast Investment Adviser, LLCPDF
82 FR 48572 - Volvo Trucks North America, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
82 FR 48573 - Hyundai Motor America, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
82 FR 48535 - Agreement State Program Policy Statement; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 48575 - Notice of Order Soliciting Community ProposalsPDF
82 FR 48448 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Redesignation of the Chicago and Granite City Areas to Attainment of the 2008 Lead StandardPDF
82 FR 48475 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Redesignation of the Chicago and Granite City Areas to Attainment of the 2008 Lead StandardPDF
82 FR 48435 - Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
82 FR 48473 - Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
82 FR 48480 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
82 FR 48425 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Minnesota; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
82 FR 48472 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Minnesota; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
82 FR 48431 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
82 FR 48473 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
82 FR 48442 - Air Plan Approval; Ohio; Redesignation of the Fulton County Area to Attainment of the 2008 Lead StandardPDF
82 FR 48474 - Air Plan Approval; Ohio; Redesignation of the Fulton County Area to Attainment of the 2008 Lead StandardPDF
82 FR 48487 - Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings; CancellationPDF
82 FR 48539 - Information Collection: Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization FacilitiesPDF
82 FR 48469 - Removal of Rules Governing Trademark InterferencesPDF
82 FR 48439 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide StandardPDF
82 FR 48472 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide StandardPDF
82 FR 48459 - WRC-12 Implementation Report and Order; CorrectionsPDF
82 FR 48463 - Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)PDF

Issue

82 200 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Fast Track Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Customer Satisfaction Surveys, 48476 2017-22613
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Mortgage Servicing Rules Under Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), 48463-48469 2017-21907 NOTICES Meetings: Consumer Advisory Board, 48497-48498 2017-22629 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 48514-48515 2017-22630 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Child and Family Services Plan, Annual Progress and Services Review, and Annual Budget Expenses Request and Estimated Expenditures, 48515 2017-22519 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ, 48419-48420 2017-22639 Safety Zones: Cumberland River, Nashville, TN, 48420-48422 2017-22592 Ohio River, Cincinnati, OH, 48422-48424 2017-22594 Special Local Regulations: Clinch River, Oak Ridge, TN, 48417-48419 2017-22595 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Development Administration

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Comparability Determination for European Union: Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants, 48394-48413 2017-22616 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 48496-48497 2017-22608 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 48498 2017-22661 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request To Transfer Segal Education Award Amount, Accept/Decline Award Transfer Form, etc., 48498-48499 2017-22640 Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

NOTICES Meetings: Defense Health Board, 48499 2017-22606
Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance; Petitions, 48480 2017-22507 Education Department Education Department RULES Federal Student Aid Programs (Institutional Eligibility): Foreign Institutions Affected by Natural Disasters, 48424-48425 2017-22628 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: District of Columbia; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide Standard, 48439-48442 2017-22253 Illinois; Redesignation of Chicago and Granite City Areas to Attainment of 2008 Lead Standard, 48448-48459 2017-22512 Illinois; Regional Haze Progress Report, 48431-48435 2017-22502 Michigan; Regional Haze Progress Report, 48435-48439 2017-22510 Minnesota; Regional Haze Progress Report, 48425-48431 2017-22505 Ohio; Redesignation of Fulton County Area to Attainment of 2008 Lead Standard, 48442-48448 2017-22495 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: District of Columbia; Interstate Transport Requirements for 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide Standard, 48472 2017-22252 Illinois; Redesignation of Chicago and Granite City Areas to Attainment of 2008 Lead Standard, 48475 2017-22511 Illinois; Regional Haze Progress Report, 48473-48474 2017-22500 Michigan; Regional Haze Progress Report, 48473 2017-22508 Minnesota; Regional Haze Progress Report, 48472-48473 2017-22504 Ohio; Redesignation of Fulton County Area to Attainment of 2008 Lead Standard, 48474-48475 2017-22494 NOTICES Draft Documents Related to Review of Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Oxides, 48507-48508 2017-22678 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Special Conditions: Bombardier Inc. Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Airplanes; Airplane Electronic-System Security Protection From Unauthorized Internal Access; Correction, 48394 2017-22525 TTF Aerospace Inc., Boeing Model 767-300F Series Airplane; Installation of Main-Deck Crew-Rest Compartment, 48389-48394 2017-22544 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: FBI Hazardous Devices School Application, 48529-48530 2017-22554 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES WRC-12 Implementation Report and Order; Corrections, 48459-48460 2017-22063 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 48508-48513 2017-22632 2017-22633 2017-22634 2017-22636 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: Putnam State Bank, Palatka, FL, 48513 2017-22548 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: New York Power Authority, 48501-48502 2017-22534 Pacific Gas and Electric Co., 48506 2017-22532 Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, CA, 48500-48501, 48504-48505 2017-22531 2017-22533 Combined Filings, 48503, 48505-48507 2017-22526 2017-22527 2017-22528 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: CXA La Paloma, LLC, 48503-48504 2017-22529 Meetings: Colonial Pipeline Co.; Technical Conference, 48502 2017-22530 Requests Under Blanket Authorizations: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC, 48502-48503 2017-22535 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 48513 2017-22624 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Charter Renewals: Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, 48571-48572 2017-22581 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 48513-48514 2017-22621 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Disclaimer and Consent with Respect to United States Savings Bonds/Notes, 48591 2017-22605 Special Form of Assignment for U.S. Registered Securities, 48591 2017-22604 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications, 48525-48526 2017-22566 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices: Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices; Classification of Organophosphate Test System, 48413-48415 2017-22590 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Medical Devices; Device Tracking, 48516-48519 2017-22550 Center for Devices and Radiological Health: Experiential Learning Program, 48515-48516 2017-22626 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 48591-48592 2017-22631 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Lockheed Martin Corp. Space Systems Co., Foreign-Trade Zone 123, Denver, CO, 48481-48482 2017-22602 Subzone Expansions; Applications: Orgill, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 280, Ada and Canyon Counties, ID, 48481 2017-22603 Grain Inspection Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration RULES Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of Packers and Stockyards Act, 48594-48602 2017-22593 PROPOSED RULES Unfair Practices and Undue Preferences in Violation of Packers and Stockyards Act, 48603-48604 2017-22588 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee, 48482 2017-22575 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat From the People's Republic of China, 48482-48483 2017-22600 Stainless Steel Bar From India, 48483-48485 2017-22601 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China; Correction, 48485 2017-22599 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain L-Tryptophan, L-Tryptophan Products, and Their Methods of Production, 48528-48529 2017-22524 Stainless Steel Bar From Brazil, India, Japan, and Spain, 48527-48528 2017-22522 Tapered Roller Bearings From China, 48527 2017-22551 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 48529 2017-22690 Justice Department Justice Department See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

NOTICES Fiscal Year 2016 Service Contract Inventory, 48530-48531 2017-22611 Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Members, 48530 2017-22614
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Authorizing Grazing Use, 48526-48527 2017-22615 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Charter Renewals: International Space Station National Laboratory Advisory Committee, 48533-48534 2017-22549 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 48534-48535 2017-22543 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Decisions of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Hyundai Motor America, 48573-48574 2017-22515 Volvo Trucks North America, 48572-48573 2017-22516 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 48519-48520, 48522-48523 2017-22568 2017-22569 National Eye Institute, 48523 2017-22570 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 48520, 48523 2017-22571 2017-22572 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 48521-48522 2017-22573 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 48521 2017-22574 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Exchange of Flatfish in Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 48460-48462 2017-22612 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Southeast Region Vessel and Gear Identification Requirements, 48487-48488 2017-22547 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustee Implementation Group Final 2017 Restoration Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact, 48485-48486 2017-22607 Meetings: Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Cancellation, 48487 2017-22467 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 48487 2017-22642 Permit Applications: Marine Mammals; File No. 21315, 48488-48489 2017-22565 Navy Navy Department RULES Certifications and Exemptions Under International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 48415-48417 2017-22577 NOTICES Exclusive Patent Licenses; Proposals: Visible Welding, LLC, 48499-48500 2017-22576 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities, 48539-48540 2017-22447 Agreement State Program Policy Statement; Correction, 48535-48539 2017-22514 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Construction Standards on Posting Emergency Telephone Numbers and Floor Load Limits, 48531-48532 2017-22582 Patent Patent and Trademark Office PROPOSED RULES Removal of Rules Governing Trademark Interferences, 48469-48472 2017-22394 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Admission To Practice and Roster of Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents Admitted To Practice Before United States Patent and Trademark Office, 48492-48496 2017-22617 Patent Examiner Employment Application, 48491-48492 2017-22619 Representative and Address Provisions, 48489-48491 2017-22618 Substantive Submissions Made During Prosecution of Trademark Application, 48496 2017-22620 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Alternative Annuity Election, 48540-48541 2017-22597 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Revision to Gas Distribution Annual Report, 48574-48575 2017-22552 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 48541 2017-22622 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES International Product Changes: Global Plus 1E, 48541 2017-22625 Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 48542 2017-22586 2017-22587 Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service Agreement, 48541-48542 2017-22585 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 48542 2017-22583 2017-22584 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Colombia; Continuation of National Emergency With Respect to Narcotics Traffickers (Notice of October 16, 2017), 48605-48607 2017-22765 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Announcement of Loan Refinancing Procedures, and Deadlines for Refinancing of Federal Financing Bank Loans Pilot Program, 48476-48480 2017-22623 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 48545 2017-22542 Applications: Steadfast Alcentra Global Credit Fund and Steadfast Investment Adviser, LLC, 48557-48560 2017-22517 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 48552-48553, 48560-48562 2017-22539 2017-22540 Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc., 48545-48550 2017-22518 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 48550-48552 2017-22537 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 48542-48545 2017-22538 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 48556-48557 2017-22536 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 48554-48556 2017-22541 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Idaho; Public Assistance Only, 48562-48563 2017-22520 Wisconsin; Public Assistance Only, 48562 2017-22521 State Department State Department NOTICES Registration for Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, 48563-48571 2017-22638 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

NOTICES Orders Soliciting Community Proposals, 48575-48590 2017-22513
Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Quarterly IRS Interest Rates Used in Calculating Interest on Overdue Accounts and Refunds on Customs Duties, 48523-48525 2017-22579 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 48532-48533 2017-22609 2017-22610 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Agriculture Department, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, 48594-48604 2017-22593 2017-22588 Part III Presidential Documents, 48605-48607 2017-22765 Reader Aids

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

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82 200 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0965; Special Conditions No. 25-702-SC] Special Conditions: TTF Aerospace Inc., Boeing Model 767-300F Series Airplane; Installation of Main-Deck Crew-Rest Compartment AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 767-300F series airplane. This airplane, as modified by TTF Aerospace Inc., will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design feature is a crew-rest compartment located in a Class E cargo compartment on the main deck of the airplane. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

This action is effective on TTF Aerospace Inc. on October 18, 2017. Send your comments by December 4, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0965 using any of the following methods:

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

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

Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Shelden, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Section, AIR-675, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2785; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The substance of these special conditions, as applied to the installation of crew-rest modules in the upper and lower lobes of the airplane, has been published in the Federal Register for public comment in several prior instances. In the past decade, comments were received in 2013 and 2014, but did not affect the substance of these special conditions. Also, in 2015, the FAA approved an exemption for a crew-rest module in a configuration very similar to this proposal. That exemption received no public comment. Therefore, the FAA finds it unnecessary to delay the effective date and that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

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

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

Background

On September 28, 2016, TTF Aerospace Inc. applied for a supplemental type certificate for the installation of a crew-rest compartment on the main deck of Boeing Model 767-300F series airplanes. The Boeing Model 767-300F series airplane is a transport-category, wide-body freighter airplane with a maximum takeoff weight of approximately 412,000 lbs.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, TTF Aerospace Inc. must show that the Boeing Model 767-300F series airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate No. A1NM or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 767-300F series airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

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

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Boeing Model 767-300F series airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

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

Novel or Unusual Design Feature

The Boeing Model 767-300F series airplane, as modified by TTF Aerospace Inc., will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

A crew-rest compartment installed in a Class E cargo compartment on the airplane main deck.

Discussion

The crew-rest compartment will be located in what is currently the Class E main-deck cargo compartment of Boeing Model 767-300F series airplanes. It will be designed as a one-piece, self-contained unit for installation in the forward portion of the cargo compartment. The crew-rest compartment will be attached to the existing cargo-restraint system, and will interface with the left-hand wall of the cargo compartment with a seal that will surround the door that currently provides passage to and from the cargo compartment. Crew-rest compartment occupancy will be limited to a maximum of four occupants.

The crew-rest compartment will contain approved seats or berths, able to withstand the maximum flight loads when occupied, for each occupant permitted in the crew-rest compartment, and it will only be occupied in flight, i.e., not during taxi, takeoff or landing. A smoke-detection system, manual firefighting system, oxygen supply, and occupant amenities will be provided in the crew-rest compartment. The door will provide passage to and from the crew-rest compartment.

The FAA considers crew-rest compartment smoke- or fire-detection and fire-suppression systems (including airflow management features, which prevent hazardous quantities of smoke or fire-extinguishing agent from entering any other compartment occupied by crewmembers or passengers) complex in terms of paragraph 6d of Advisory Circular (AC) 25.1309-1A, “System Design and Analysis.” In addition, the FAA considers failure of the crew-rest compartment fire-protection system (i.e., smoke- or fire-detection and fire-suppression systems), in conjunction with a crew-rest compartment fire, to be a catastrophic event. Based on the “Depth of Analysis Flowchart” shown in Figure 2 of AC 25.1309-1A, the depth of analysis should include both qualitative and quantitative assessments (reference paragraphs 8d, 9, and 10 of AC 25.1309-1A). In addition, it should be noted that flammable fluids, and other dangerous cargo are prohibited from the crew-rest compartment.

The requirements in these special conditions are intended to enable crewmembers quick entry to the crew-rest compartment to locate a fire source, and also inherently place limits on the size of the crew-rest area, as well as the amount of baggage that may be stored inside the crew-rest compartment. Baggage in the crew-rest compartment must be limited to the stowage of crew personal luggage, and the compartment must not be used for the stowage of cargo or supernumerary baggage. The design of a system that includes cargo or supernumerary baggage would require additional requirements to ensure safe operation.

The addition of galley equipment, or a kitchenette incorporating a heat source (e.g., cook tops, microwaves, coffee pots, etc.) other than a conventional lavatory or kitchenette water heater, within the crew-rest compartment, would also require additional special conditions, and is prohibited until such conditions are approved. A water heater is acceptable without the need for additional special conditions.

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

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Boeing Model 767-300F series airplane. Should TTF Aerospace Inc. apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on Type Certificate No. A1NM to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

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

The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 767-300F series airplanes modified by TTF Aerospace Inc. Special conditions 1a, 2b, 2c, and the operating procedures, warnings, alarms and alerts listed below must be added to the limitations section of the airplane flight manual.

(1) Occupancy of the crew-rest compartment is limited to the total number of installed sleeping berths and seats in the compartment. Each occupant permitted in the crew-rest compartment must be provided an approved seat or berth able to withstand the maximum flight loads when occupied. The maximum occupancy is four in the crew-rest compartment, accounting for two sleeping berths and two seats.

(a) An appropriate placard must be displayed in a conspicuous place at each entrance to the crew-rest compartment to indicate:

(i) The maximum number of occupants allowed;

(ii) That occupancy is restricted to crewmembers who are trained in evacuation procedures for the crew-rest compartment;

(iii) That occupancy is prohibited during taxi, takeoff, and landing;

(iv) That smoking is prohibited in the crew-rest compartment;

(v) That hazardous quantities of flammable fluids, or other dangerous cargo are prohibited from the crew-rest compartment;

(vi) That stowage in the crew-rest compartment must be limited to emergency equipment, airplane-supplied equipment (e.g., bedding), and crew personal luggage; cargo and supernumerary baggage is not allowed.

(b) At least one ashtray must be located conspicuously on or near the entry side of any entrance to the crew-rest compartment.

(c) If access to the remainder of the Class E cargo compartment is required from the crew-rest compartment, doors must be designed to be easily opened from both within and outside of the crew-rest compartment. If a locking mechanism is installed, it must be capable of being unlocked from the outside without the aid of special tools. The lock must not prevent opening from the inside of the compartment at any time.

(d) For all doors installed in the evacuation routes, they must be designed such that they do not allow anyone to be trapped inside the crew-rest compartment. If a locking mechanism is installed on an evacuation-route door, it must be capable of being unlocked from the outside without the aid of special tools. The lock must not prevent opening the door from the inside of the crew-rest compartment at any time.

(2) An emergency-evacuation route must be available for occupants of the crew-rest compartment to rapidly evacuate to the flight deck/supernumerary area. The crew-rest compartment access must be able to be closed from the flight deck/supernumerary area after evacuation. In addition—

(a) The route must be designed to minimize the possibility of blockage that might result from fire, mechanical or structural failure, or persons standing on top of or against the escape route. The use of evacuation routes must not be dependent on any powered device. If an evacuation route has low headroom, provisions must be made to prevent or protect crew-rest compartment occupants from head injury.

(b) Emergency-evacuation procedures, including the emergency evacuation of an incapacitated occupant from the crew-rest compartment, must be established. All of these procedures must be transmitted to the operators for incorporation into their training programs and appropriate operational manuals.

(c) The airplane flight manual, or other suitable means, must include a limitation requiring that crewmembers be trained in the use of evacuation routes.

(3) A means must be provided for the evacuation of an incapacitated person (representative of a 95th percentile male) from the crew-rest compartment to the supernumerary compartment. The evacuation must be demonstrated for all evacuation routes.

(4) The following signs and placards must be provided in the crew-rest compartment:

(a) At least one exit sign, located near each exit, meeting the requirements of § 25.812(b)(1)(i) at Amendment 25-58, except that a sign with reduced background area of no less than 5.3 square inches (excluding the letters) may be utilized, provided that it is installed such that the material surrounding the exit sign is light in color (e.g., white, cream, light beige). If the material surrounding the exit sign is not light in color, a sign with a minimum of a one-inch wide background border around the letters would also be acceptable;

(b) An appropriate placard located near each exit defining the location and the operating instructions for each evacuation route;

(c) Placards must be readable from a distance of 30 inches under emergency lighting conditions; and

(d) The exit handles and evacuation-path operating-instruction placards must be illuminated to at least 160 micro lamberts under emergency lighting conditions.

(5) In the event of failure of the airplane's main power system, or of the normal crew-rest compartment lighting system, emergency illumination must automatically be provided for the crew-rest compartment. In addition—

(a) This emergency illumination must be independent of the main lighting system.

(b) The sources of general cabin illumination may be common to both the emergency and the main lighting systems if the power supply to the emergency lighting system is independent of the power supply to the main lighting system.

(c) The illumination level must be sufficient for the occupants of the crew-rest compartment to evacuate to the flight deck/supernumerary area by means of each evacuation route.

(d) The illumination level must be sufficient, with the privacy curtains in the closed position, for each occupant of the crew-rest compartment to locate an oxygen mask.

(6) A means must be provided for two-way voice communications between crewmembers on the flight deck and occupants of the crew-rest compartment.

(7) A means must be provided for manual activation of an aural emergency-alarm system, audible during normal and emergency conditions, to enable occupants on the flight deck to alert occupants of the crew-rest compartment of an emergency situation. Use of a public address or crew interphone system is acceptable, provided an adequate means of differentiating between normal and emergency communications is incorporated. The system must maintain power in-flight for at least ten minutes after the shutdown or failure of all engines and auxiliary power units (APUs), or the disconnection or failure of all power sources dependent on their continued operation of the engines and APUs.

(8) A readily detectable means must be provided, for seated or standing occupants of the crew-rest compartment, that indicates when seatbelts should be fastened. In the absence of seats, at least one means must be provided to accommodate anticipated turbulence (e.g., sufficient handholds). Seatbelt-type restraints must be provided for berths, and must be compatible with occupant sleeping attitude during cruise conditions. A placard must be located on each berth, and require that seatbelts be fastened when occupied. If compliance with any of the other requirements of these special conditions is predicated on a berth occupant's specific head location, a placard must identify the head location.

(9) In lieu of the requirements specified in § 25.1439(a) at Amendment 25-38, that pertain to isolated compartments, and to provide a level of safety equivalent to that which is provided to occupants of a small, isolated galley, the following equipment must be provided in the crew-rest compartment:

(a) At least one approved hand-held fire extinguisher, appropriate for the kinds of fires likely to occur;

(b) Two protective-breathing equipment (PBE) devices, approved to Technical Standard Order C116A or equivalent, suitable for firefighting, or one PBE for each hand-held fire extinguisher, whichever is greater; and

(c) One flashlight.

Note:

Additional PBEs and fire extinguishers in specific locations, beyond the minimum numbers prescribed in special condition no. 9, may be required as a result of any egress analysis accomplished to satisfy special condition 2(a).

(10) A smoke- or fire-detection system (or systems) must be provided that monitors each occupiable area within the crew-rest compartment, including those areas partitioned by curtains. Flight tests must be conducted to show compliance with this requirement. Each system (or systems) must provide:

(a) A visual indication to the flight deck within one minute after the start of a fire;

(b) An aural warning in the crew-rest compartment; and

(c) A warning in the main supernumerary area. This warning must be readily detectable by a supernumerary.

(11) The crew-rest compartment must be designed such that fires within the compartment can be controlled without a crewmember having to enter the compartment, or the design of the access provisions must allow crewmembers equipped for firefighting to have unrestricted access to the compartment. The time for a crewmember on the main deck to react to the fire alarm, to don the firefighting equipment, and to gain access must not exceed the time for the compartment to become smoke-filled, making it difficult to locate the fire source.

(12) A means must be provided to exclude hazardous quantities of smoke or extinguishing agent, originating in the crew-rest compartment, from entering any other occupiable compartment. A means must also be provided to exclude hazardous quantities of smoke or extinguishing agent originating in the Class E cargo compartment from entering the crew-rest compartment. This means must include the time periods during the evacuation of the crew-rest compartment and, if applicable, when accessing the crew-rest compartment to manually fight a fire. Smoke entering any other compartment occupied by crewmembers or supernumeraries, when the access to the crew-rest compartment is opened during an emergency evacuation, must dissipate within five minutes after the access to the crew-rest compartment is closed. Hazardous quantities of smoke may not enter any other compartment occupied by supernumeraries or crewmembers during subsequent access to manually fight a fire in the crew-rest compartment (the amount of smoke entrained by a firefighter exiting the crew-rest compartment through the access is not considered hazardous). During the 1-minute smoke detection time, penetration of a small quantity of smoke from the crew-rest compartment, into an occupied area, is acceptable. Flight tests must be conducted to show compliance with this requirement. If a built-in fire-extinguishing system is used in lieu of manual firefighting, then the fire-extinguishing system must be designed so that no hazardous quantities of extinguishing agent will enter other compartments occupied by supernumeraries or crewmembers. The system must have adequate capacity to suppress any fire occurring in the crew-rest compartment, considering the fire threat, volume of the compartment, and the ventilation rate.

(13) In lieu of providing a supplemental oxygen system in accordance with § 25.1447(c)(1), a portable oxygen unit, meeting the requirements of special condition no. 14, must be immediately available for occupants of each seat and berth in the crew-rest compartment. An aural and visual warning must be provided to warn the occupants of the crew-rest compartment to don oxygen masks in the event of decompression. The warning must activate before the cabin pressure altitude exceeds 15,000 feet. The aural warning must sound continuously for a minimum of five minutes or until a reset push-button in the crew-rest compartment is pressed for reset. Procedures for decompression events must be established for crew-rest compartment occupants. These procedures must be transmitted to the operator for incorporation into their training programs and appropriate operational manuals.

(14) The portable oxygen unit must meet the performance requirements of either § 25.1443(a) or § 25.1443(b), or the equipment must be shown to protect the occupant from hypoxia at an activity level required to return to his or her seat following a rapid decompression to 25,000 feet cabin altitude. In addition, the portable oxygen equipment must:

(a) Meet § 25.1439(b)(1), (2), and (4), and

(b) be designed to prevent any inward leakage to the inside of the mask, and

(c) prevent any outward leakage causing significant increase in the oxygen content of the local atmosphere, and

(d) be sized adequately for continuous and uninterrupted use during worst-case flight duration following decompression, or must be of sufficient duration to allow the occupant to return to their seat, where additional oxygen is readily accessible for the remainder of the decompression event.

(15) If the airplane contains a destination area, such as a crewmember changing area, a portable oxygen unit, meeting the requirements of special condition no. 14, must be readily available for each occupant who may reasonably be expected to be in the destination area.

(a) An aural and visual warning must be provided to alert the occupants of the crew-rest compartment to don oxygen masks in the event of decompression or fire in the Class E cargo compartment, or in cases in which a decompression and subsequent climb are required. The warning must activate before the cabin pressure altitude exceeds 15,000 feet. The aural warning must sound continuously for a minimum of five minutes or until a reset push button in the crew-rest compartment is pressed for reset.

(b) Procedures for decompression events must be established for crew-rest compartment occupants. These procedures must be transmitted to the operator for incorporation into their training programs and appropriate operational manuals. These procedures must be transmitted to the operator for incorporation into their training programs and appropriate operational manuals. In addition, a decompression panel must be incorporated into the crew-rest compartment construction.

(16) The following requirements apply to crew-rest compartments that are divided into sections by the installation of curtains or partitions:

(a) To accommodate sleeping occupants, an aural alert must be available that can be heard in each section of the crew-rest compartment. A visual indicator that occupants must don an oxygen mask is required in each section where seats or berths are installed. A minimum of one portable oxygen unit, meeting the requirements of special condition no. 14, is required for each seat or berth.

(b) A placard is required, adjacent each curtain that visually divides or separates, for privacy purposes, the crew-rest compartment into sections. The placard must require that the curtains remain open when the sections they create are unoccupied.

(c) For each crew-rest compartment section created by the installation of a curtain, the following requirements must be met with the curtain open or closed:

(i) Emergency illumination (special condition no. 5);

(ii) Emergency alarm system (special condition no. 7);

(iii) Fasten-seatbelt signal, or return-to-seat signal, as applicable (special condition no. 8); and

(iv) A smoke- or fire-detection system (special condition no. 10).

(d) Compartments visually divided, to the extent that evacuation could be affected, must have exit signs that direct occupants to the primary exit. The exit signs must be provided in each separate section of the crew-rest compartment, and must meet the requirements of § 25.812(b)(1)(i) at Amendment 25-58. An exit sign with reduced background area, as described in special condition no. 4(a), may be used to meet this requirement.

(e) For sections within a crew-rest compartment that are created by the installation of a partition with a door separating the sections, the following requirements must be met with the door open or closed:

(i) It must be shown that any door between the sections has been designed to preclude anyone from being trapped inside the compartment. Removal of an incapacitated occupant from within this area must be considered. A secondary evacuation route from a small room, such as a changing area or lavatory designed for only one occupant for short duration, is not required. However, removal of an incapacitated occupant from within this area must be considered.

(ii) Each section must contain exit signs that meet the requirements of § 25.812(b)(1)(i) at Amendment 25-58, directing occupants to the primary exit. An exit sign with reduced background area, as described in special condition no. 4(a), may be used to meet this requirement.

(iii) Special condition nos. 5 (emergency illumination), 7 (emergency alarm system), 8 (fasten-seatbelt signal, or return-to-seat signal, as applicable), and 10 (smoke- or fire-detection system) must be met with the door open or closed.

(iv) Special condition nos. 6 (two-way voice communication) and 9 (emergency firefighting and protective equipment) must be met independently for each separate section, except for lavatories or other small areas that are not intended to be occupied for extended duration.

(17) Where a waste-disposal receptacle is installed, it must be equipped with a built-in fire extinguisher designed to discharge automatically upon occurrence of a fire in the receptacle.

(18) Materials, including finishes or decorative surfaces applied to the materials, must comply with the flammability requirements of § 25.853 as amended by Amendment 25-116 or later. Seat cushions and mattresses must comply with the flammability requirements of § 25.853(c) as amended by Amendment 25-116 or later, and the test requirements of part 25, appendix F, part II, or other equivalent methods.

(19) When a crew-rest compartment is installed or enclosed as a removable module in part of a cargo compartment, or is located directly adjacent to a cargo compartment without an intervening cargo compartment wall, the following applies:

(a) Any wall of the module (container) forming part of the boundary of the reduced cargo compartment, subject to direct flame impingement from a fire in the cargo compartment and including any interface item between the module (container) and the airplane structure or systems, must meet the applicable requirements of § 25.855 at Amendment 25-60.

(b) Means must be provided so that the fire-protection level of the cargo compartment meets the applicable requirements of § 25.855 at Amendment 25-60, § 25.857 at Amendment 25-60, and § 25.858 at Amendment 25-54 when the module (container) is not installed.

(c) Use of an emergency-evacuation route must not require occupants of the crew-rest compartment to enter the cargo compartment as a means by which to return to the flight deck/supernumerary area.

(d) The aural warning in special condition no. 7 must sound in the crew-rest compartment in the event of a fire in the cargo compartment.

(20) All enclosed stowage compartments within the crew-rest compartment that are not limited to stowage of emergency equipment or airplane-supplied equipment (e.g., bedding) must meet the design criteria provided in the table below. As indicated in the table, these special conditions do not address enclosed stowage compartments greater than 200 ft3 in interior volume. The in-flight accessibility of very large, enclosed stowage compartments, and the subsequent impact on crewmembers' ability to effectively reach any part of the compartment with the contents of a hand-held fire extinguisher, requires additional fire-protection considerations similar to those required for inaccessible compartments such as Class C cargo compartments.

Stowage Compartment Interior Volumes Fire protection features Less than 25 ft3 25 ft3 to 57 ft3 57 ft3 to 200 ft3 Materials of Construction 1 Yes Yes Yes. Detectors 2 No Yes Yes Liner 3 No No Yes. Locating Device 4 No Yes Yes. 1Compliant Materials of Construction: The material used in constructing each enclosed stowage compartment must at least be fire resistant and must meet the flammability standards established for interior components (i.e., 14 CFR part 25 Appendix F, Parts I, IV, and V) per the requirements of § 25.853. For compartments less than 25 ft.3 in interior volume, the design must ensure the ability to contain a fire likely to occur within the compartment under normal use. 2Smoke or Fire Detectors: Enclosed stowage compartments equal to or exceeding 25 ft3 in interior volume must be provided with a smoke- or fire-detection system to ensure that a fire can be detected within a one-minute detection time. Flight tests must be conducted to show compliance with this requirement. Each system (or systems) must provide: (a) A visual indication in the flight deck within one minute after the start of a fire; (b) An aural warning in the crew-rest compartment; and (c) A warning in the supernumerary seating area. 3Liner: If it can be shown that the material used to construct the stowage compartment meets the flammability requirements of a liner for a Class B cargo compartment, then no liner would be required for enclosed stowage compartments equal to or greater than 25 ft3 in interior volume but less than 57 ft3 in interior volume. For all enclosed stowage compartments equal to or greater than 57 ft3 in interior volume but less than or equal to 200 ft3, a liner must be provided that meets the requirements of § 25.855 at Amendment 25-60 for a Class B cargo compartment. 4Fire-Location Detector: Crew-rest compartments that contain enclosed stowage compartments exceeding 25 ft3 interior volume and which are located away from one central location, such as the entry to the crew-rest compartment or a common area within the crew-rest compartment, would require additional fire-protection features or related devices to assist a firefighter in determining the location of a fire. Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 12, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-22544 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-6359; Special Conditions No. 25-633-SC] Special Conditions: Bombardier Inc. Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Airplanes; Airplane Electronic-System Security Protection From Unauthorized Internal Access AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; correction.

SUMMARY:

This document corrects an error that appeared in Docket No. FAA-2015-6359, Special Conditions No. 25-633-SC, which was published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2016. The error is an incorrect word in the title of the final special conditions document.

DATES:

The effective date of this correction is October 18, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Varun Khanna, FAA, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface, AIR-671, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1298; facsimile 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On August 22, 2016, the Federal Register published a document designated as Docket No. FAA-2015-6359, Final Special Conditions No. 25-633-SC (81 FR 56474). The document issued special conditions pertaining to system security to protect against unauthorized access to digital systems architecture composed of several connected data networks that will have the capability to allow connectivity of the passenger-service computer systems to the airplane critical systems and data networks. As published, the document contained an error in the title of the special conditions document, stating “Authorized” where “Unauthorized” is correct.

Correction

In the final special conditions document (FR Doc. 2016-19994), published on August 22, 2016 (81 FR 56474), make the following correction.

On page 56474, first column, the special conditions title is corrected to read:

Special Conditions: Bombardier Inc. Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Airplanes; Airplane Electronic-System Security Protection from Unauthorized Internal Access

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 12, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-22525 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Chapter I Comparability Determination for the European Union: Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants AGENCY:

Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION:

Notification of determination.

SUMMARY:

The following is the analysis and determination of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission”) regarding a request by the European Commission (“EC”) that the Commission determine that laws and regulations applicable in the European Union (“EU”) provide a sufficient basis for an affirmative finding of comparability with respect to margin requirements for uncleared swaps applicable to certain swap dealers (“SDs”) and major swap participants (“MSPs”) registered with the Commission. As discussed in detail herein, the Commission has found the margin requirements for uncleared swaps under the laws and regulations of the EU comparable in outcome to those under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and Commission regulations.

DATES:

This determination was made and issued by the Commission on October 13, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Matthew Kulkin, Director, 202-418-5213, [email protected], or Katherine S. Driscoll, Associate Chief Counsel, 202-418-5544, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction

Pursuant to section 4s(e) of the CEA,1 the Commission is required to promulgate margin requirements for uncleared swaps applicable to each SD and MSP for which there is no Prudential Regulator (collectively, “Covered Swap Entities” or “CSEs”).2 The Commission published final margin requirements for such CSEs in January 2016 (the “Final Margin Rule”).3

1 7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.

2See 7 U.S.C. 6s(e)(1)(B). SDs and MSPs for which there is a Prudential Regulator must meet the margin requirements for uncleared swaps established by the applicable Prudential Regulator. 7 U.S.C. 6s(e)(1)(A). See also 7 U.S.C. 1a(39) (defining the term “Prudential Regulator” to include: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Farm Credit Administration; and the Federal Housing Finance Agency). The Prudential Regulators published final margin requirements in November 2015. See Margin and Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities, 80 FR 74840 (Nov. 30, 2015) (“Prudential Regulators' Final Margin Rule”).

3See Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants, 81 FR 636 (Jan. 6, 2016). The Final Margin Rule, which became effective April 1, 2016, is codified in part 23 of the Commission's regulations. See §§ 23.150—23.159 and 23.161. The Commission's regulations are found in Chapter I of Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 17 CFR parts 1 through 199.

Subsequently, on May 31, 2016, the Commission published in the Federal Register its final rule with respect to the cross-border application of the Commission's margin requirements for uncleared swaps applicable to CSEs (hereinafter, the “Cross-Border Margin Rule”).4 The Cross-Border Margin Rule sets out the circumstances under which a CSE is allowed to satisfy the requirements under the Final Margin Rule by complying with comparable foreign margin requirements (“substituted compliance”); offers certain CSEs a limited exclusion from the Commission's margin requirements; and outlines a framework for assessing whether a foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements are comparable in outcome to the Final Margin Rule (“comparability determinations”). The Commission promulgated the Cross-Border Margin Rule after close consultation with the Prudential Regulators and in light of comments from and discussions with market participants and foreign regulators.5

4See Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants—Cross-Border Application of the Margin Requirements, 81 FR 34818 (May 31, 2016). The Cross-Border Margin Rule, which became effective August 1, 2016, is codified in part 23 of the Commission's regulations. See § 23.160.

5 In 2014, in conjunction with re-proposing its margin requirements, the Commission requested comment on three alternative approaches to the cross-border application of its margin requirements: (i) A transaction-level approach consistent with the Commission's guidance on the cross-border application of the CEA's swap provisions, see Interpretive Guidance and Policy Statement Regarding Compliance with Certain Swap Regulations, 78 FR 45292 (July 26, 2013) (the “Guidance”); (ii) an approach consistent with the Prudential Regulators' proposed cross-border framework for margin, see Margin and Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities, 79 FR 57348 (Sept. 24, 2014); and (iii) an entity-level approach that would apply margin rules on a firm-wide basis (without any exclusion for swaps with non-U.S. counterparties). See Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants, 79 FR 59898 (Oct. 3, 2014). Following a review of comments received in response to this release, the Commission's Global Markets Advisory Committee (“GMAC”) hosted a public panel discussion on the cross-border application of margin requirements. See GMAC Meeting (May 14, 2015), transcript and webcast available at http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/Events/opaevent_gmac051415.

On November 22, 2016, the EC (the “applicant”) submitted a request that the Commission determine that laws and regulations applicable in the EU provide a sufficient basis for an affirmative finding of comparability with respect to the Final Margin Rule.6 The Commission's analysis and comparability determination for the EU regarding the Final Margin Rule is detailed below.

6 The Commission understands that competent authorities in the individual EU Member States have direct supervisory authority over CSEs in their respective Member State with respect to the EU margin requirements (as defined below) and are responsible for administering those margin requirements. Nevertheless, given that the EU comprises the Member States and the EU margin requirements are directly applicable in the Member States, the Commission recognizes the EC as the relevant foreign regulatory authority for purposes of § 23.160(c)(1)(ii).

II. Cross-Border Margin Rule A. Regulatory Objective of Margin Requirements

The regulatory objective of the Final Margin Rule is to further the congressional mandate to ensure the safety and soundness of CSEs in order to offset the greater risk to CSEs and the financial system arising from the use of swaps that are not cleared.7 As the Commission has previously stated, the primary function of margin is to protect a CSE from counterparty default, allowing it to absorb losses and continue to meet its obligations using collateral provided by the defaulting counterparty. While the requirement to post margin protects the counterparty in the event of the CSE's default, it also functions as a risk management tool, limiting the amount of leverage a CSE can utilize by requiring that it have adequate eligible collateral to enter into an uncleared swap. In this way, margin serves as a first line of defense not only in protecting the CSE but in containing the amount of risk in the financial system as a whole, reducing the potential for contagion arising from uncleared swaps.8

7See 7 U.S.C. 6s(e)(3)(A).

8See Final Margin Rule, 81 FR 689.

However, the global nature of the swap market, coupled with the interconnectedness of market participants, also necessitate that the Commission recognize the supervisory interests of foreign regulatory authorities and consider the impact of its choices on market efficiency and competition, which the Commission believes are vital to a well-functioning global swap market.9 Foreign jurisdictions are at various stages of implementing margin reforms. To the extent that other jurisdictions adopt requirements with different coverage or timelines, the Commission's margin requirements may lead to competitive burdens for U.S. entities and deter non-U.S. persons from transacting with U.S. CSEs and their affiliates overseas.

9 In determining the extent to which the Dodd-Frank swap provisions apply to activities overseas, the Commission strives to protect U.S. interests, as determined by Congress in Title VII, and minimize conflicts with the laws of other jurisdictions, consistent with principles of international comity. See Guidance, 78 FR 45300-45301 (referencing the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States).

B. Substituted Compliance

To address these concerns, the Cross-Border Margin Rule provides that, subject to certain findings and conditions, a CSE is permitted to satisfy the requirements of the Final Margin Rule by complying with the margin requirements in the relevant foreign jurisdiction. This substituted compliance regime is intended to address the concerns discussed above without compromising the congressional mandate to protect the safety and soundness of CSEs and the stability of the U.S. financial system. Substituted compliance helps preserve the benefits of an integrated, global swap market by reducing the degree to which market participants will be subject to multiple sets of regulations. Further, substituted compliance builds on international efforts to develop a global margin framework.10

10 In October 2011, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (“BCBS”) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”), in consultation with the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems and the Committee on Global Financial Systems, formed a Working Group on Margining Requirements to develop international standards for margin requirements for uncleared swaps. Representatives of 26 regulatory authorities participated, including the Commission. In September 2013, the Working Group on Margin Requirements published a final report articulating eight key principles for non-cleared derivatives margin rules. These principles represent the minimum standards approved by BCBS and IOSCO and their recommendations to the regulatory authorities in member jurisdictions. See BCBS/IOSCO, Margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives (updated March 2015) (“BCBS/IOSCO Framework”), available at http://www.bis.org/bcbs/publ/d317.pdf.

Pursuant to the Cross-Border Margin Rule, any CSE that is eligible for substituted compliance under § 23.160 11 and any foreign regulatory authority that has direct supervisory authority over one or more CSEs and that is responsible for administering the relevant foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements may apply to the Commission for a comparability determination.12

11See § 23.160(c)(1)(i).

12See § 23.160(c)(1)(ii).

The Cross-Border Margin Rule requires that applicants for a comparability determination provide copies of the relevant foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements 13 and descriptions of their objectives,14 how they differ from the BCBS/IOSCO Framework,15 and how they address the elements of the Commission's margin requirements.16 The applicant must identify the specific legal and regulatory provisions of the foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements that correspond to each element and, if necessary, whether the relevant foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements do not address a particular element.17

13See § 23.160(c)(2)(v).

14See § 23.160(c)(2)(i).

15See § 23.160(c)(2)(iii). See also § 23.160(a)(3) (defining “international standards” as based on the BCBS-ISOCO Framework).

16See 17 CFR 23.160(c)(2)(ii) (identifying 12 particular elements of the Commission's margin requirements). Section 23.160(c)(2)(ii) largely tracks the elements of the BCBS/IOSCO Framework but breaks them down into their components as appropriate to ensure ease of application.

17See id.

C. Standard of Review for Comparability Determinations

The Cross-Border Margin Rule identifies certain key factors that the Commission will consider in making a comparability determination. Specifically, the Commission will consider the scope and objectives of the relevant foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements; 18 whether the relevant foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements achieve comparable outcomes to the Commission's corresponding margin requirements; 19 and the ability of the relevant regulatory authority or authorities to supervise and enforce compliance with the relevant foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements.20

18See § 23.160(c)(3)(i).

19See § 23.160(c)(3)(ii). As discussed above, the Commission's Final Margin Rule is based on the BCBS/IOSCO Framework; therefore, the Commission expects that the relevant foreign margin requirements would conform to such Framework at minimum in order to be deemed comparable to the Commission's corresponding margin requirements.

20See § 23.160(c)(3)(iii). See also § 23.160(c)(3)(iv) (indicating the Commission would also consider any other relevant facts and circumstances).

This process reflects an outcomes-based approach to assessing the comparability of a foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements. Instead of demanding strict uniformity with the Commission's margin requirements, the Commission evaluates the objectives and outcomes of the foreign margin requirements in light of foreign regulator(s)' supervisory and enforcement authority. Recognizing that jurisdictions may adopt different approaches to achieving the same outcome, the Commission will focus on whether the foreign jurisdiction's margin requirements are comparable to the Commission's in purpose and effect, not whether they are comparable in every aspect or contain identical elements.

In keeping with the Commission's commitment to international coordination on margin requirements for uncleared derivatives, the Commission believes that the standards it has established are fully consistent with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework.21 Accordingly, where relevant to the Commission's comparability analysis, the BCBS/IOSCO Framework is discussed to explain certain internationally agreed upon concepts.

21 The Final Margin Rule was modified substantially from its proposed form to further align the Commission's margin requirements with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework and, as a result, the potential for conflict with foreign margin requirements should be reduced. For example, the Final Margin Rule raised the material swaps exposure level from $3 billion to the BCBS/IOSCO standard of $8 billion, which reduces the number of entities that must collect and post initial margin. See Final Margin Rule, 81 FR at 644. In addition, the definition of uncleared swap was amended to not include swaps cleared by derivatives clearing organizations that are not registered with the Commission but pursuant to Commission orders are permitted to clear for U.S. persons. See id. at 638. The Commission notes, however, that the BCBS/IOSCO Framework leaves certain elements open to interpretation (e.g., the definition of “derivative”) and expressly invites regulators to build on certain principles as appropriate. See, e.g., Element 4 (eligible collateral) (national regulators should “develop their own list of eligible collateral assets based on the key principle, taking into account the conditions of their own markets”); Element 5 (initial margin) (the degree to which margin should be protected would be affected by “the local bankruptcy regime, and would vary across jurisdictions”); Element 6 (transactions with affiliates) (“Transactions between a firm and its affiliates should be subject to appropriate regulation in a manner consistent with each jurisdiction's legal and regulatory framework.”).

The Cross-Border Margin Rule provided a detailed discussion regarding the facts and circumstances under which substituted compliance for the requirements under the Final Margin Rule would be available and such discussion is not repeated here. CSEs seeking to rely on substituted compliance based on the comparability determinations contained herein are responsible for determining whether substituted compliance is available under the Cross-Border Margin Rule with respect to the CSE's particular status and circumstances.

D. Conditions to Comparability Determinations

The Cross-Border Margin Rule provides that the Commission may impose terms and conditions it deems appropriate in issuing a comparability determination.22 Specific terms and conditions with respect to margin requirements are discussed in the Commission's determinations detailed below.

22See 17 CFR 23.160(c)(5).

As a general condition to all determinations, however, the Commission requires notification of any material changes to information submitted to the Commission by the applicant in support of a comparability finding, including, but not limited to, changes in the relevant foreign jurisdiction's supervisory or regulatory regime. The Commission also expects that the relevant foreign regulator will enter into, or will have entered into, an appropriate memorandum of understanding or similar arrangement with the Commission in connection with a comparability determination.23

23 Under Commission regulations 23.203 and 23.606, CSEs must maintain all records required by the CEA and the Commission's regulations in accordance with Commission regulation 1.31 and keep them open for inspection by representatives of the Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, or any applicable prudential regulator. See 17 CFR 23.203, 23.606. The Commission further expects that prompt access to books and records and the ability to inspect and examine a non-U.S. CSE will be a condition to any comparability determination.

Finally, the Commission will generally rely on an applicant's description of the laws and regulations of the foreign jurisdiction in making its comparability determination. The Commission considers an application to be a representation by the applicant that the laws and regulations submitted are finalized,24 that the description of such laws and regulations is accurate and complete, and that, unless otherwise noted, the scope of such laws and regulations encompasses the swaps activities 25 of CSEs 26 in the relevant jurisdictions.27 Further, the Commission requires that an applicant would notify the Commission of any material changes to information submitted in support of a comparability determination (including, but not limited to, changes in the relevant supervisory or regulatory regime) as, depending on the nature of the change, the Commission's comparability determination may no longer be valid.28

24 The Commission notes that finalized rules of the foreign jurisdiction must be in full force and effect before a CSE may rely on this comparability determination for purposes of substituted compliance.

25 “Swaps activities” is defined in Commission regulation 23.600(a)(7) to mean, “with respect to a registrant, such registrant's activities related to swaps and any product used to hedge such swaps, including, but not limited to, futures, options, other swaps or security-based swaps, debt or equity securities, foreign currency, physical commodities, and other derivatives.” The Commission's regulations under 17 CFR part 23 are limited in scope to the swaps activities of CSEs.

26 No CSE that is not legally required to comply with a law or regulation determined to be comparable may voluntarily comply with such law or regulation in lieu of compliance with the CEA and the relevant Commission regulation. Each CSE that seeks to rely on a comparability determination is responsible for determining whether it is subject to the laws and regulations found comparable.

27 The Commission has provided the relevant foreign regulator(s) with opportunities to review and correct the applicant's description of such laws and regulations on which the Commission will base its comparability determination. The Commission relies on the accuracy and completeness of such review and any corrections received in making its comparability determinations. A comparability determination based on an inaccurate description of foreign laws and regulations may not be valid.

28 78 FR 45345.

III. Margin Requirements for Swaps Activities in the EU

As represented to the Commission by the applicant, margin requirements for swap activities in the EU are governed by the Regulatory Technical Standards for Risk-Mitigation Techniques for OTC Derivative Contracts Not Cleared by a Central Counterparty (“RTS”).29 The RTS supplement the requirements of EMIR with a more detailed direction with respect to margin requirements 30 and are directly applicable in all countries that are members of the EU (each country a “Member State”). Article 12 of EMIR further gives Member States the authority to “lay down the rules on penalties” that apply to infringements of the RTS and to take all measures necessary to ensure that those rules are implemented.31

29 Regulation No. 2016/2251 of October 4, 2016 Supplementing Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 4, 2012 on OTC Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories with Regard to Regulatory Technical Standards for Risk-Mitigation Techniques for OTC Derivative Contracts Not Cleared by a Central Counterparty (as corrected by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/323 of January 20, 2017). Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council of July 4, 2012 is more commonly known as the European Market Infrastructure Regulation or “EMIR.”

30 Together, EMIR and RTS are referred to herein as the “EU margin rules,” “the EU's margin regime,” “EU margin requirements” or the “laws of the EU.”

31See RTS, Article 40 and EMIR, Article 12(1).

IV. Comparability Analysis

The following section describes the regulatory objectives of the Commission's requirements with respect to margin for uncleared swaps imposed by the CEA and the Final Margin Rule and a description of such requirements. Immediately following a description of the requirement(s) of the Final Margin Rule for which a comparability determination was requested by the applicant, the Commission provides a description of the foreign jurisdiction's comparable laws, regulations, or rules. The Commission then provides a discussion of the comparability of, or differences between, the Final Margin Rule and the foreign jurisdiction's laws, regulations, or rules.

A. Objectives of Margin Requirements 1. Commission Statement of Regulatory Objectives

The regulatory objectives of the Final Margin Rule are to ensure the safety and soundness of CSEs in order to offset the greater risk to CSEs and the financial system arising from the use of swaps that are not cleared. The primary function of margin is to protect a CSE from counterparty default, allowing it to absorb losses and continue to meet its obligations using collateral provided by the defaulting counterparty. While the requirement to post margin protects the counterparty in the event of the CSE's default, it also functions as a risk management tool, limiting the amount of leverage a CSE can incur by requiring that it have adequate eligible collateral to enter into an uncleared swap. In this way, margin serves as a first line of defense, not only in protecting the CSE, but in containing the amount of risk in the financial system as a whole, reducing the potential for contagion arising from uncleared swaps.32

32See Cross-Border Margin Rule, 81 FR 34819.

2. EC Statement of Regulatory Objectives

The applicant states that, in the absence of clearing of OTC derivatives by a CCP, it is essential that counterparties apply robust risk-mitigation techniques to their bilateral relationships to reduce counterparty credit risk and to mitigate the potential systemic risk that could arise. Article 11 of EMIR prescribes risk-mitigation techniques for OTC derivative contracts not cleared by a CCP. The RTS supplement EMIR with regard to regulatory technical standards for risk-mitigation techniques for OTC derivative contracts not cleared by a CCP and take into account the Basel Committee-IOSCO margin framework for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives and the Basel Committee guidelines for managing settlement risk in foreign exchange transactions.33

33See RTS, Explanatory Memorandum at 3.

B. Products Subject to Margin Requirements

The Commission's Final Margin Rule applies only to uncleared swaps. Swaps are defined in section 1a(47) of the CEA 34 and Commission regulations.35 “Uncleared swap” is defined for purposes of the Final Margin Rule in Commission regulation § 23.151 to mean a swap that is not cleared by a registered derivatives clearing organization, or by a clearing organization that the Commission has exempted from registration by rule or order pursuant to section 5b(h) of the Act.36

34 7 U.S.C. 1a(47).

35See, e.g., § 1.3(xxx), 17 CFR 1.3(xxx).

36 17 CFR 23.151.

The EU's margin rules apply to OTC derivatives not cleared by a CCP (“non-centrally cleared OTC derivative”).37 “Derivative” for purposes of the EU margin rules is defined in Article 2(5) of EMIR as a financial instrument as set out in points (4) to (10) of Section C of Annex I to MIFID 38 as implemented by Articles 38 and 39 of EU Regulation No. 1287/2006.39 Initial margin need not be collected for physically-settled foreign exchange forwards, physically-settled foreign exchange swaps, or cross-currency swaps.40 Regarding covered bonds for hedging purposes, no variation margin needs to be posted by a covered bond issuer or covered pool but must be collected from a counterparty in cash and returned to a counterparty when due, and no initial margin required.41

37See EMIR, Article 11(1) and RTS, Recital (1). CCP is defined in Article 2(1) of EMIR to mean “a legal person that interposes itself between the counterparties to the contracts traded on one or more financial markets, becoming the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer.”

38 Under MiFID, such financial instruments are: (4) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts relating to securities, currencies, interest rates or yields, or other derivatives instruments, financial indices or financial measures which may be settled physically or in cash; (5) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts relating to commodities that must be settled in cash or may be settled in cash at the option of one of the parties (otherwise than by reason of a default or other termination event); (6) Options, futures, swaps, and any other derivative contract relating to commodities that can be physically settled provided that they are traded on a regulated market and/or an MTF; (7) Options, futures, swaps, forwards and any other derivative contracts relating to commodities, that can be physically settled not otherwise mentioned in C.6 and not being for commercial purposes, which have the characteristics of other derivative financial instruments, having regard to whether, inter alia, they are cleared and settled through recognised clearing houses or are subject to regular margin calls; (8) Derivative instruments for the transfer of credit risk; (9) Financial contracts for differences; (10) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts relating to climatic variables, freight rates, emission allowances or inflation rates or other official economic statistics that must be settled in cash or may be settled in cash at the option of one of the parties (otherwise than by reason of a default or other termination event), as well as any other derivative contracts relating to assets, rights, obligations, indices and measures not otherwise mentioned in this Section, which have the characteristics of other derivative financial instruments, having regard to whether, inter alia, they are traded on a regulated market or an MTF, are cleared and settled through recognised clearing houses or are subject to regular margin calls. See MiFID, Annex I, Section C(4)-(10).

39 Article 38 of EU Regulation No. 1287/2006 further defines the financial instruments described in Point (7) of Section C of Annex I to MiFID to generally be physically-settled FX forwards and swaps. Article 39 of EU Regulation No. 1287/2006 further refines the definition of financial instruments described in Point (10) of Section C of Annex I to MiFID to generally be exchanges of principal of currency swaps.

40See RTS, Article 27.

41See RTS, Article 30.

An OTC derivative is a derivative which is not executed on a regulated market or on a third-country market considered as equivalent to a regulated market.42 While it is beyond the scope of this comparability determination to definitively map any differences between the definitions of “swap” and “uncleared swap” under the CEA and Commission regulations and the EU's definitions of “OTC derivative” and “non-centrally cleared OTC derivative,” the Commission believes that such definitions largely cover the same products and instruments.

42See EMIR, Article 2(7).

However, because the definitions are not identical, the Commission recognizes the possibility that a CSE may enter into a transaction that is an uncleared swap as defined in the CEA and Commission regulations, but that is not a non-centrally cleared OTC derivative as defined under the laws of the EU. In such cases, the Final Margin Rule would apply to the transaction but the EU's margin rules would not apply and thus, substituted compliance would not be available. The CSE could not choose to comply with the EU's margin rules in place of the Final Margin Rule.

Likewise, if a transaction is a non-centrally cleared OTC derivative as defined under the laws of the EU but not an uncleared swap subject to the Final Margin Rule, a CSE could not choose to comply with the Final Margin Rule pursuant to this determination, unless the EU determines that it will permit the EU entity to follow the Commission's margin requirements. CSEs are solely responsible for determining whether a particular transaction is both an uncleared swap and a non-centrally cleared OTC derivative before relying on substituted compliance under the comparability determinations set forth below.

C. Entities Subject to Margin Requirements

As stated previously, the Commission's Final Margin Rule and Cross-Border Margin Rule apply only to CSEs, i.e., SDs and MSPs registered with the Commission for which there is not a Prudential Regulator.43 Thus, only such CSEs may rely on the determinations herein for substituted compliance, while CSEs for which there is a Prudential Regulator must look to the determinations of the Prudential Regulators.

43See 7 U.S.C. 6s(e)(1)(B). SDs and MSPs for which there is a Prudential Regulator must meet the margin requirements for uncleared swaps established by the applicable Prudential Regulator. 7 U.S.C. 6s(e)(1)(A). See also 7 U.S.C. 1a(39) (defining the term “Prudential Regulator” to include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Farm Credit Administration; and the Federal Housing Finance Agency). The Prudential Regulators published final margin requirements in November 2015. See Prudential Regulators' Final Margin Rule, 80 FR 74840 (Nov. 30, 2015).

CSEs are not required to collectand/or post margin with every uncleared swap counterparty. Under the Final Margin Rule, the initial margin obligations of CSEs apply only to uncleared swaps with counterparties that meet the definition of “covered counterparty” in § 23.151.44 Such definition provides that a “covered counterparty” is a counterparty that is a financial end user 45 with material swaps exposure 46 or a swap entity 47 that enters into a swap with a CSE. The variation margin obligations of CSEs under the Final Margin Rule apply more broadly. Such obligations apply to counterparties that are swap entities and all financial end users, regardless of their level of material swaps exposure.48

44See § 23.152.

45See definition of “Financial end user” in § 23.150.

46See § 23.150, which states that “material swaps exposure” for an entity means that the entity and its margin affiliates have an average daily aggregate notional amount of uncleared swaps, uncleared security-based swaps, foreign exchange forwards, and foreign exchange swaps with all counterparties for June, July and August of the previous calendar year that exceeds $8 billion, where such amount is calculated only for business days. That provision further states that an entity shall count the average daily aggregate notional amount of an uncleared swap, an uncleared security-based swap, a foreign exchange forward, or a foreign exchange swap between the entity and a margin affiliate only one time. For purposes of this calculation, an entity shall not count a swap that is exempt pursuant to § 23.150(b) or a security-based swap that qualifies for an exemption under section 3C(g)(10) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c-3(g)(4)) and implementing regulations or that satisfies the criteria in section 3C(g)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78-c3(g)(4)) and implementing regulations.

47 “Swap entity” is defined in § 23.150 as a person that is registered with the Commission as a swap dealer or major swap participant pursuant to the Act.

48See § 23.153.

As represented by the applicant, the EU's margin rules apply to all financial counterparties, which include investment firms, credit institutions, insurance companies, and alternative investment funds that are authorized or registered in accordance with various EU directives (“FC”).49 CCPs not authorized as credit institutions are outside the scope of Article 11 of EMIR and CCPs authorized as credit institutions are exempt from the RTS.50 The EU's margin rules also apply to non-financial counterparties (any EU entity other than an FC or a CCP 51) (“NFC”) that are above a certain clearing threshold (“NFC+”).52 Under the EU rules, no margin is required for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives with NFCs that fall below the clearing threshold (“NFC-”) or non-EU entities that would be NFC-s if established in the EU.53 However, under the EU margin rules, counterparties must take into account the different risk profiles of NFC-s when entering into non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives with such counterparties and determine whether or not the level of counterparty credit risk posed by those NFC-s needs to be mitigated through the exchange of collateral.54 Like the Final Margin Rule, the EU margin rules include a threshold under which initial margin requirements will not apply, while the variation margin requirements apply more broadly.55

49See EMIR, Article 11 (Risk-Mitigation Techniques for OTC Derivative Contracts Not Cleared by a CCP). While the definition of “financial counterparty” under EMIR includes credit institutions authorized in accordance with Directive 2006/48/EU, CCPs that are authorized as credit institutions are exempted from the EU's margin rules. See RTS, Article 23. As explained in the RTS, since CCPs might be authorized as a credit institution according to Union legislation, it is necessary to excluded non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contracts that CCPs enter into during a default management process from the requirements of this Regulation since those contracts are already subject to the provisions of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 153/2013 and therefore they are not subject to the provisions of these Regulations.

50See RTS, Article 23.

51See EMIR, Article 2(9).

52See EMIR, Article 11(3) (“[NFCs] . . . shall have risk-management procedures that require the timely, accurate and appropriately segregated exchange of collateral with respect to OTC derivative contracts that are entered into on or after the clearing threshold is exceeded.”). The clearing threshold values are measured by asset class as follows:

(a) EUR 1 billion in gross notional value for OTC credit derivative contracts;

(b) EUR 1 billion in gross notional value for OTC equity derivative contracts;

(c) EUR 3 billion in gross notional value for OTC interest rate derivative contracts;

(d) EUR 3 billion in gross notional value for OTC foreign exchange derivative contracts;

(e) EUR 3 billion in gross notional value for OTC commodity derivative contracts and other OTC derivative contracts not provided for under points (a) to (d).

See Article 11 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 149/2013 of December 19, 2012 Supplementing EMIR with Regard to Regulatory Technical Standards on Indirect Clearing Arrangements, the Clearing Obligation, the Public Register, Access to a Trading Venue, Non-Financial Counterparties, and Risk Mitigation Techniques for Uncleared OTC Derivatives (pursuant to Article 10(4)(b) of EMIR).

53See RTS, Article 24.

54See RTS, Recital (2).

55See RTS, Article 28, stating: Counterparties may provide in their risk management procedures that initial margins are not collected for all new OTC derivative contracts entered into within a calendar year where one of the two counterparties has an aggregate month-end average notional amount of non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives for the months March, April and May of the preceding year of below EUR 8 billion. The aggregate month-end average notional amount referred to in the first subparagraph shall be calculated at the counterparty level or at the group level where the counterparty belongs to a group.

Given the definitional differences and differences in activity thresholds with respect to the scope of application of the Final Margin Rule and the EU's margin requirements, the Commission notes the possibility that the Final Margin Rule and the EU's margin rules may not apply to every uncleared swap that a CSE may enter into with a EU counterparty. For example, it appears possible that a financial end user with “material swaps exposure” would meet the definition of “covered counterparty” under the Final Margin Rule (and thus the initial and variation margin requirements) while at the same time fall under the EU's clearing threshold (an NFC-) and not be subject the EU margin requirements. It may also be possible that the Final Margin Rule's definition of “financial end user” could capture an entity that is an NFC under the EU's margin regime.

With these differences in scope in mind, the Commission reiterates that no CSE may rely on substituted compliance unless it and its transaction are subject to both the Final Margin Rule and the EU's margin rules; a CSE may not voluntarily comply with the EU's margin rules where such law does not otherwise apply. Likewise, a CSE that is not seeking to rely on substituted compliance should understand that the EU's margin rules may apply to its counterparty irrespective of the CSE's decision to comply with the Final Margin Rule.

D. Treatment of Inter-Affiliate Derivative Transactions

The BCBS/IOSCO Framework recognizes that the treatment of inter-affiliate derivative transactions will vary between jurisdictions. Thus, the BCBS/IOSCO Framework does not set standards with respect to the treatment of inter-affiliate transactions. Rather, it recommends that regulators in each jurisdiction review their own legal frameworks and market conditions and put in place margin requirements applicable to inter-affiliate transactions as appropriate.56

56See BCBS/IOSCO Framework, Element 6: Treatment of transactions with affiliates.

1. Commission Requirements for Treatment of Inter-Affiliate Transactions

The Commission determined through its Final Margin Rule to provide rules for swaps between “margin affiliates.” In defining “margin affiliate,” those rules provide that a company is a margin affiliate of another company if: (1) Either company consolidates the other on a financial statement prepared in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the International Financial Reporting Standards, or other similar standards; (2) both companies are consolidated with a third company on a financial statement prepared in accordance with such principles or standards; or (3) for a company that is not subject to such principles or standards, if consolidation as described in (1) or (2) would have occurred if such principles or standards had applied.57

57 § 23.151.

With respect to swaps between margin affiliates, the Final Margin Rule, with one exception explained below, provides that a CSE is not required to collect initial margin 58 from a margin affiliate provided that the CSE meets the following conditions: (i) The swaps are subject to a centralized risk management program that is reasonably designed to monitor and to manage the risks associated with the inter-affiliate swaps; and (ii) the CSE exchanges variation margin with the margin affiliate.59

58 “Initial margin” is margin exchanged to protect against a potential future exposure and is defined in § 23.151 to mean the collateral, as calculated in accordance with § 23.154 that is collected or posted in connection with one or more uncleared swaps.

59See § 23.159(a).

In an exception to the foregoing general rule, the Final Margin Rule does require CSEs to collect initial margin from non-U.S. affiliates that are financial end users that are not subject to initial margin collection requirements on their own outward-facing swaps with financial end users that are not comparable in outcome to the Final Margin Rule.60 This provision is an important anti-evasion measure. It is designed to prevent the potential use of affiliates to avoid collecting initial margin from third parties. For example, suppose that an unregistered non-U.S. affiliate of a CSE enters into a swap with a financial end user and does not collect initial margin. Suppose further that the affiliate then enters into a swap with the CSE. Effectively, the risk of the swap with the third party would have been passed to the CSE without any initial margin. The rule would require this affiliate to post initial margin with the CSE in such cases. The rule would further require that the CSE collect initial margin even if the affiliate routed the trade through one or more other affiliates.61

60See § 23.159(c).

61See id.

The Commission has stated that its inter-affiliate initial margin requirement is consistent with its goal of harmonizing its margin rules as much as possible with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework. Such Framework, for example, states that the exchange of initial and variation margin by affiliated parties “is not customary” and that initial margin in particular “would likely create additional liquidity demands.” 62 With an understanding that many authorities, such as those in Europe and Japan, are not expected to require initial margin for inter-affiliate swaps, the Commission recognized that requiring the posting and collection of initial margin for inter-affiliate swaps generally would be likely to put CSEs at a competitive disadvantage to firms in other jurisdictions.

62See BCBS/IOSCO Framework, Element 6: Treatment of transactions with affiliates.

The Final Margin Rule however, does require CSEs to exchange variation margin with affiliates that are SDs, MSPs, or financial end users (as is also required under the Prudential Regulators' rules).63 The Commission stated that marking open positions to market each day and requiring the posting or collection of variation margin reduces the risks of inter-affiliate swaps.

63See § 23.159(b); see also Prudential Regulators' Final Margin Rule, 80 FR 74909.

2. Requirement for Treatment of Inter-Affiliate Derivatives Under the Laws of the EU

Under Article 11 of EMIR, the EU's margin requirements generally apply to intragroup transactions as defined in Article 3 of EMIR. Such “intragroup transactions” are defined differently for intragroup transactions in relation to an FC (“FC Intragroup Transactions”) 64 and intragroup transactions in relation to an NFC (“NFC Intragroup Transactions” and, together with FC Intragroup Transactions, “Intragroup Transactions”).65 What the EU defines as Intragroup Transactions is generally in keeping with the Commission's definition of “margin affiliate” for purposes of the Final Margin Rule, discussed above.

64 Article 3(2) of EMIR defines an “intragroup transaction” for an FC to be:

(a) An OTC derivative contract entered into with another counterparty which is part of the same group, provided that the following conditions are met:

(i) The financial counterparty is established in the Union or, if it is established in a third country, the Commission has adopted an implementing act under Article 13(2) in respect of that third country;

(ii) the other counterparty is a financial counterparty, a financial holding company, a financial institution or an ancillary services undertaking subject to appropriate prudential requirements;

(iii) both counterparties are included in the same consolidation on a full basis; and

(iv) both counterparties are subject to appropriate centralised risk evaluation, measurement and control procedures;

(b) an OTC derivative contract entered into with another counterparty where both counterparties are part of the same institutional protection scheme, referred to in Article 80(8) of Directive 2006/48/EC, provided that the condition set out in point (a)(ii) of this paragraph is met;

(c) an OTC derivative contract entered into between credit institutions affiliated to the same central body or between such credit institution and the central body, as referred to in Article 3(1) of Directive 2006/48/EC; or

(d) an OTC derivative contract entered into with a non-financial counterparty which is part of the same group provided that both counterparties are included in the same consolidation on a full basis and they are subject to an appropriate centralised risk evaluation, measurement and control procedures and that counterparty is established in the Union or in a third-country jurisdiction for which the Commission has adopted an implementing act as referred to in Article 13(2) in respect of that third country.

65 Article 3(1) of EMIR defines an “intragroup transaction” for an NFC to be:

[A]n OTC derivative contract entered into with another counterparty which is part of the same group provided that both counterparties are included in the same consolidation on a full basis and they are subject to an appropriate centralised risk evaluation, measurement and control procedures and that counterparty is established in the Union or, if it is established in a third country, the Commission has adopted an implementing act under Article 13(2) in respect of that third country.

For Intragroup Transactions between counterparties established in the same Member State, no margin requirements will apply, but only as long as there is no legal impediment to the prompt transfer of own funds or repayment of liabilities between counterparties.66 A legal impediment to the prompt transfer of own funds and repayment of liabilities shall be deemed to exist where there are actual or foreseen restrictions of a legal nature.67

66See EMIR, Article 11(5); see also RTS, Article 33 (Applicable Criteria for the Legal Impediment to the Prompt Transfer of Own Funds and Repayment of Liabilities).

67See RTS, Article 33. Such restrictions include:

(a) Currency and exchange controls;

(b) a regulatory, administrative, legal or contractual framework that prevents mutual financial support or significantly affects the transfer of funds within the group;

(c) any of the conditions on the early intervention, recovery and resolution as referred to in Directive 2014/59/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) are met, as a result of which the competent authority foresees an impediment to the prompt transfer of own funds or repayment of liabilities;

(d) the existence of minority interests that limit decision-making power within entities that form the group;

(e) the nature of the legal structure of the counterparty, as defined in its statutes, instruments of incorporation and internal rules.

See RTS, Article 33(a)-(e).

For Intragroup Transactions between counterparties established in different Member States, the EU margin rules generally provide, depending on the nature and location of the counterparties, that such Intragroup Transactions may be excluded from the EU margin requirements but only if, in addition to there being no current or legal impediment to the prompt transfer of own funds or repayment of liabilities between the counterparties, the counterparties (i) have risk management procedures that are sound, robust, and consistent with the level of complexity of the derivative transaction, and (ii) in keeping with the procedures established under the RTS,68 the counterparties have notified the relevant competent authority 69 or authorities of the intention to use the exemption and the authority or authorities have reached a positive decision to allow the exemption.70 The counterparties to an exempted Intragroup Transaction must publicly disclose information about the exemption.71

68See RTS, Article 32.

69See EMIR, Article 2(13) for the definition of “competent authority” for purposes of the RTS.

70See EMIR, Article 11(6) to (10).

71See EMIR, Article 11(11).

Where one of the two counterparties in the group is domiciled in a third-country for which an equivalence determination under Article 13(2) of EMIR has not yet been provided, the group has to exchange variation and appropriately segregated initial margins for all the Intragroup Transactions with the subsidiaries in those third-countries.72 However, the requirements are delayed for three years in these cases.73 This is to allow enough time for completion of the process to produce the equivalence determinations, while not requiring an inefficient allocation of resources to the groups with subsidiaries domiciled in third-countries.74 Where an equivalence decision has been made, counterparties may then apply for an exemption pursuant to the timing and process established under EMIR and the RTS.75

72See RTS, Recital (40).

73See RTS, Articles 36 and 37.

74See RTS, Recital (40).

75See RTS, Articles 36 and 37.

3. Commission Determination

Having compared the outcomes of the EU's margin requirements applicable to Intragroup Transactions to the outcomes of the Commission's corresponding margin requirements applicable to inter-affiliate swaps, the Commission finds that the treatment of inter-affiliate transactions under the Final Margin Rule and under the EU's margin requirements are comparable in outcome.

A CSE entering into a transaction with a consolidated affiliate under the Final Margin Rule would be required to exchange variation margin in accordance with §§ 23.151 through 23.161, and in certain circumstances, collect initial margin in accordance with § 23.159(c). The Commission continues to deem this provision an important anti-evasion measure, designed to prevent the potential use of affiliates to avoid collecting initial margin from third parties.76 In adopting its Final Margin Rule, the Commission recognized that, in absence of proper anti-evasion measures, a CSE could import risk from another jurisdiction, one with potentially less stringent margin protections, through inter-affiliate trades.77 In analyzing the EU's margin rules, the Commission specifically notes that the EU margin rules will apply to inter-affiliate trades involving an affiliate that is established in a third-country (non-EU) jurisdiction, unless specifically excluded. Any exclusion from the EU margin rules is subject to an application process, which would require a finding that the relevant non-EU jurisdiction's margin requirements are equivalent. This comparability requirement provides protection to the consolidated entity, as the consolidated entity would not be able to import risk from third country jurisdictions that are not equivalent, without posting and collecting initial margin and exchanging variation margin. Therefore, the Commission believes that the EU's review process for finding comparability in third-country jurisdictions addresses the Commission's anti-evasion concerns relating to inter-affiliate transactions.

76See Final Margin Rule, 81 FR 674.

77See id.

In addition, where a CSE and its inter-affiliate counterparty are subject to the Commission's margin requirements and the EU's margin requirements, all of the EU's margin requirements would apply, including the requirement to exchange variation margin, absent meeting the specific conditions detailed above. Other than where the two counterparties are established in the same Member State, those specific conditions involve a process of applying to the relevant Member State competent authority(ies) 78 and receiving a positive determination from either or both competent authorities 79 or upon notification to the relevant Member State competent authority(ies) and agreement of those competent authorities.80 All exemptions are also predicated on the absence of any current or foreseen practical or legal impediment to the prompt transfer of own funds or repayment of liabilities between the counterparties 81 and on the existence of adequately sound and robust risk management practices that are consistent with the level of complexity of the derivatives transaction.82

78 RTS, Recital (37) states:

When a counterparty notifies the relevant competent authority regarding its intention to take advantage of the exemption of intragroup transactions, in order for the competent authority to decide whether the conditions for the exemption are met, the counterparty should provide a complete file including all relevant information necessary for the competent authority to complete its assessment.

79See EMIR, Article 11(6), (8), and (10).

80See EMIR, Article 11(7) and (9).

81See EMIR, Article 11(6)-(10). In addition, RTS, Recital (39) states:

In order for the exemption for intragroup transactions to be applicable, it must be certain that no legislative, regulatory, administrative or other mandatory provisions of applicable law could legally prevent the intragroup counterparties from meeting their obligations to transfer monies or repay liabilities or securities under the terms of the intragroup transactions. Similarly, there should be no operational or business practices of the intragroup counterparties or the group that could result in funds not being available to meet payment obligations as they fall due on a day-to-day basis, or in prompt electronic transfer of funds not being possible.

82 RTS, Recital (38) states:

For a group to be deemed to have adequately sound and robust risk management procedures, a number of conditions have to be met. The group should ensure a regular monitoring of the intragroup exposures, and the timely settlement of the obligations resulting from the intragroup OTC derivative contracts should be guaranteed based on the monitoring and liquidity tools at group level that are consistent with the complexity of the intragroup transactions.

E. Methodologies for Calculating the Amounts of Initial and Variation Margin

As an overview, the methodologies for calculating initial and variation margin as agreed under the BCBS/IOSCO Framework state that the margin collected from a counterparty should (i) be consistent across entities covered by the requirements and reflect the potential future exposure (initial margin) and current exposure (variation margin) associated with the particular portfolio of non-centrally cleared derivatives, and (ii) ensure that all counterparty risk exposures are covered fully with a high degree of confidence.

With respect to the calculation of initial margin, as a minimum the BCBS/IOSCO Framework generally provides that:

• Initial margin requirements will not apply to counterparties that have less than EUR 8 billion of gross notional in outstanding derivatives.

• Initial margin may be subject to a EUR 50 million threshold applicable to a consolidated group of affiliated counterparties.

• All margin transfers between parties may be subject to a de-minimis minimum transfer amount not to exceed EUR 500,000.

• The potential future exposure of a non-centrally cleared derivative should reflect an extreme but plausible estimate of an increase in the value of the instrument that is consistent with a one-tailed 99% confidence interval over a 10-day horizon, based on historical data that incorporates a period of significant financial stress.

• The required amount of initial margin may be calculated by reference to either (i) a quantitative portfolio margin model or (ii) a standardized margin schedule.

• When initial margin is calculated by reference to an initial margin model, the period of financial stress used for calibration should be identified and applied separately for each broad asset class for which portfolio margining is allowed.

• Models may be either internally developed or sourced from the counterparties or third-party vendors but in all such cases, models must be approved by the appropriate supervisory authority.

• Quantitative initial margin models must be subject to an internal governance process that continuously assesses the value of the model's risk assessments, tests the model's assessments against realized data and experience, and validates the applicability of the model to the derivatives for which it is being used.

• An initial margin model may consider all of the derivatives that are approved for model use that are subject to a single legally enforceable netting agreement.

• Initial margin models may account for diversification, hedging, and risk offsets within well-defined asset classes such as currency/rates, equity, credit, or commodities, but not across such asset classes and provided these instruments are covered by the same legally enforceable netting agreement and are approved by the relevant supervisory authority.

• The total initial margin requirement for a portfolio consisting of multiple asset classes would be the sum of the initial margin amounts calculated for each asset class separately.

• Derivatives for which a firm faces zero counterparty risk require no initial margin to be collected and may be excluded from the initial margin calculation.

• Where a standardized initial margin schedule is appropriate, it should be computed by multiplying the gross notional size of a derivative by the standardized margin rates provided under the BCBS/IOSCO Framework and adjusting such amount by the ratio of the net current replacement cost to gross current replacement cost (NGR) pertaining to all derivatives in a legally enforceable netting set. The BCBS/IOSCO Framework provides the following standardized margin rates: 83

83See BCBS/IOSCO Framework.

Asset class Initial margin
  • requirement
  • (% of notional
  • exposure)
  • Credit: 0-2 year duration 2 2-5 year duration 5 5+ year duration 10 Commodity 15 Equity 15 Foreign exchange 6 Interest rate: 0-2 year duration 1 2-5 year duration 2 5+ year duration 4 Other 15

    • For a regulated entity that is already using a schedule-based margin to satisfy requirements under its required capital regime, the appropriate supervisory authority may permit the use of the same schedule for initial margin purposes, provided that it is at least as conservative.

    • The choice between model- and schedule-based initial margin calculations should be made consistently over time for all transactions within the same well defined asset class.

    • Initial margin should be collected at the outset of a transaction, and collected thereafter on a routine and consistent basis upon changes in measured potential future exposure, such as when trades are added to or subtracted from the portfolio.

    • In the event that a margin dispute arises, both parties should make all necessary and appropriate efforts, including timely initiation of dispute resolution protocols, to resolve the dispute and exchange the required amount of initial margin in a timely fashion.

    With respect to the calculation of variation margin, as a minimum the BCBS/IOSCO Framework generally provides that:

    • The full amount necessary to fully collateralize the mark-to-market exposure of the non-centrally cleared derivatives must be exchanged.

    • Variation margin should be calculated and exchanged for derivatives subject to a single, legally enforceable netting agreement with sufficient frequency (e.g., daily).

    • In the event that a margin dispute arises, both parties should make all necessary and appropriate efforts, including timely initiation of dispute resolution protocols, to resolve the dispute and exchange the required amount of variation margin in a timely fashion.

    1. Commission Requirement for Calculation of Initial Margin

    In keeping with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework described above, with respect to the calculation of initial margin, the Commission's Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • Initial margin is intended to address potential future exposure, i.e., in the event of a counterparty default, initial margin protects the non-defaulting party from the loss that may result from a swap or portfolio of swaps, during the period of time needed to close out the swap(s).84

    84See Final Margin Rule, 81 FR 683.

    • Potential future exposure is to be an estimate of the one-tailed 99% confidence interval for an increase in the value of the uncleared swap or netting portfolio of uncleared swaps due to an instantaneous price shock that is equivalent to a movement in all material underlying risk factors, including prices, rates, and spreads, over a holding period equal to the shorter of 10 business days or the maturity of the swap or netting portfolio.85

    85See § 23.154(b)(2)(i).

    • The required amount of initial margin may be calculated by reference to either (i) a risk-based margin model or (ii) a table-based method.86

    86See § 23.154(a)(1)(i) and (ii).

    • All data used to calibrate the initial margin model shall incorporate a period of significant financial stress for each broad asset class that is appropriate to the uncleared swaps to which the initial margin model is applied.87

    87See § 23.154(b)(2)(ii).

    • CSEs shall obtain the written approval of the Commission or a registered futures association to use a model to calculate the initial margin required.88

    88See § 23.154(b)(1)(i).

    • An initial margin model may calculate initial margin for a netting portfolio of uncleared swaps covered by the same eligible master netting agreement.89

    89See § 23.154(b)(2)(v).

    • An initial margin model may reflect offsetting exposures, diversification, and other hedging benefits for uncleared swaps that are governed by the same eligible master netting agreement by incorporating empirical correlations within the following broad risk categories, provided the CSE validates and demonstrates the reasonableness of its process for modeling and measuring hedging benefits: Commodity, credit, equity, and foreign exchange or interest rate.90

    90See id.

    • Empirical correlations under an eligible master netting agreement may be recognized by the model within each broad risk category, but not across broad risk categories.91

    91See id.

    • If the initial margin model does not explicitly reflect offsetting exposures, diversification, and hedging benefits between subsets of uncleared swaps within a broad risk category, the CSE shall calculate an amount of initial margin separately for each subset of uncleared swaps for which such relationships are explicitly recognized by the model and the sum of the initial margin amounts calculated for each subset of uncleared swaps within a broad risk category will be used to determine the aggregate initial margin due from the counterparty for the portfolio of uncleared swaps within the broad risk category.92

    92See § 23.154(b)(2)(vi).

    • Where a risk-based model is not used, initial margin must be computed by multiplying the gross notional size of a derivative by the standardized margin rates provided under § 23.154(c)(i) 93 and adjusting such amount by the ratio of the net current replacement cost to gross current replacement cost (NGR) pertaining to all derivatives under the same eligible master netting agreement.94

    93 The standardized margin rates provided in § 23.154(c)(i) are, in all material respects, the same as those provided under the BCBS/IOSCO Framework. See supra note 83 and table in accompanying text.

    94See § 23.154(c).

    • A CSE shall not be deemed to have violated its obligation to collect or post initial margin if, inter alia, it makes timely initiation of dispute resolution mechanisms, including pursuant to § 23.504(b)(4).95

    95See § 23.152(d)(2)(i).

    2. Commission Requirements for Calculation of Variation Margin

    In keeping with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework described above, with respect to the calculation of variation margin, the Commission's Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • Each business day, a CSE must calculate variation margin amounts for itself and for each counterparty that is an SD, MSP, or financial end user. Such variation margin amounts must be equal to the cumulative mark-to-market change in value to the CSE of each uncleared swap, adjusted for any variation margin previously collected or posted with respect to that uncleared swap.96

    96See § 23.155(a).

    • Variation margin must be calculated using methods, procedures, rules, and inputs that to the maximum extent practicable rely on recently-executed transactions, valuations provided by independent third parties, or other objective criteria.97

    97See id.

    • CSEs may comply with variation margin requirements on an aggregate basis with respect to uncleared swaps that are governed by the same eligible master netting agreement.98

    98See § 23.153(d)(1).

    • A CSE shall not be deemed to have violated its obligation to collect or post variation margin if, inter alia, it makes timely initiation of dispute resolution mechanisms, including pursuant to § 23.504(b)(4).99

    99See § 23.153(e)(2)(i).

    3. EU Requirements for Calculation of Initial Margin

    In keeping with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, with respect to the calculation of initial margin, the EU's margin requirements generally provide:

    • Initial margin protects counterparties against potential losses which could stem from movements in the market value of the derivatives position occurring between the last exchange of variation margin before the default of a counterparty and the time that the OTC derivatives are replaced or the corresponding risk is hedged.100 It is the collateral collected by a counterparty to cover its current and potential future exposure in the interval between the last collection of margin and the liquidation of positions or hedging of market risk following a default of the other counterparty.101

    100See RTS, Recital (3).

    101See RTS, Article 1.

    • The assumed variations in the value of the non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contracts within the netting set for the calculation of initial margins using an initial margin model shall be based on a one-tailed 99% confidence interval over a margin period of risk (“MPOR”) of at least 10 days.102

    102See RTS, Article 15(1).

    • Counterparties shall calculate the amount of initial margin to be collected using either a standardized approach or an initial margin model or both.103

    103See RTS, Article 11(1).

    • Parameters used in initial margin models shall be calibrated, at least annually, based on historical data from a time period with a minimum duration of three years and a maximum duration of five years.

    • The data used for calibrating the parameters of initial margin models shall include the most recent continuous period from the date on which the calibration is performed and at least 25% of those data shall be representative of a period of significant financial stress (stressed data).104

    104See RTS, Article 16(1) and (2).

    • Where a counterparty uses an initial margin model, that model may be developed by any of, or both, counterparties or by a third party agent.

    • Where a counterparty uses an initial margin model developed by a third party agent, the counterparty shall remain responsible for ensuring that that model complies with the EU's margin rules.105

    105See RTS, Article 14.

    • Initial margin models shall only include non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contracts within the same netting set.106

    106See RTS, Article 17(1) and (2).

    • Initial margin models may provide for diversification, hedging and risk offsets arising from the risks of the contracts within the same netting set, provided that the diversification, hedging or risk offset is only carried out within the same underlying asset class as referred to in these requirements.

    • Diversification, hedging, and risk offsets may only be carried out within the following underlying asset classes: (a) Interest rates, currency and inflation; (b) equity; (c) credit; (d) commodities and gold; (e) other.107

    107See RTS, Article 17(1) and (2).

    • In the event of a dispute over the amount of initial margin due, counterparties shall provide at least the part of the initial margin amount that is not being disputed within the same business day of the calculation date determined in accordance with Article 9(3).108

    108See RTS, Article 13(3).

    4. EU Requirements for Calculation of Variation Margin

    In keeping with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, with respect to the calculation of variation margin, the EU's margin requirements generally provide:

    • FCs and NFC+s shall mark-to-market on a daily basis the value of outstanding contracts. Where market conditions prevent marking-to-market, reliable and prudent marking-to-model shall be used.109

    109See EMIR, Article 11(2); RTS, Article 9.

    • The amount of variation margin to be collected by a counterparty shall be the aggregation of the values calculated for purposes of variation margin of all contracts in the netting set, minus the value of all variation margin previously collected, minus the net value of each contract in the netting set at the point of entry into the contract, and plus the value of all variation margin previously posted.110

    110See EMIR, Article 11(2); RTS, Article 10.

    • In the event of a dispute over the amount of variation margin due, counterparties shall provide at least the part of the variation margin amount that is not being disputed.111

    111See RTS, Article 12(3).

    5. Commission Determination

    Based on the foregoing and the representations of the applicant, the Commission has determined that the amounts of initial and variation margin calculated under the methodologies required under the EU's margin rules would be similar to those calculated under the methodologies required under the Final Margin Rule. Specifically, under the Final Margin Rule and the EU's margin rules:

    • The definitions of initial and variation margin are similar, including the description of potential future exposure agreed under the BCBS/IOSCO Framework;

    • Margin models and/or a standardized margin schedule may be used to calculate initial margin;

    • Criteria for historical data to be used in initial margin models is similar;

    • Eligibility for netting is similar;

    • Correlations may be recognized within broad risk categories, but not across such risk categories;

    • The required method of calculating initial margin using standardized margin rates is essentially identical; and

    • The proscribed standardized margin rates are essentially identical.

    Accordingly, the Commission finds that the methodologies for calculating the amounts of initial and variation margin for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives under the laws of the EU are comparable in outcome to those of the Final Margin Rule.

    F. Process and Standards for Approving Margin Models

    Pursuant to the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, initial margin models may be either internally developed or sourced from counterparties or third-party vendors but in all such cases, models must be approved by the appropriate supervisory authority.112

    112See BCBS/IOSCO Framework Requirement 3.3.

    1. Commission Requirement for Margin Model Approval

    In keeping with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, the Final Margin Rule generally requires:

    • CSEs shall obtain the written approval of the Commission or a registered futures association to use a model to calculate the initial margin required.113

    113See § 23.154(b)(1)(i).

    • The Commission or a registered futures association will approve models that demonstrate satisfaction of all of the requirements for an initial margin model set forth above in Section IV(E)(1), in addition to the requirements for annual review; 114 control, oversight, and validation mechanisms; 115 documentation; 116 and escalation procedures.117

    114See § 23.154(b)(4), discussed further below.

    115See § 23.154(b)(5), discussed further below.

    116See § 23.154(b)(6), discussed further below.

    117See § 23.154(b)(7), discussed further below.

    • CSEs must notify the Commission and the registered futures association in writing 60 days prior to extending the use of an initial margin model to an additional product type; making any change to the model that would result in a material change in the CSE's assessment of initial margin requirements; or making any material change to modeling assumptions.

    • The Commission or the registered futures association may rescind its approval, or may impose additional conditions or requirements if the Commission or the registered futures association determines, in its discretion, that a model no longer complies with the requirements for an initial margin model summarized above in Section IV(E)(1).

    2. EU Requirement for Approval of Margin Models

    The EU's margin rules generally require:

    • Upon request, counterparties using a non-standardized initial margin model shall provide the competent authorities with any documentation relating to the risk management procedures relating to such model at any time.118

    118See RTS, Article 2(6).

    3. Commission Determination

    Based on the foregoing and the representations of the applicant, the Commission has determined that the EU margin rules' requirement that an FC/NFC+ make documentation supporting an initial model available to a competent authority at any time is comparable in outcome to, the regulatory approval requirements of the Final Margin Rule. While the Commission recognizes that keeping documents open to regulatory review is not the same as requiring specific pre-approval from a regulator, the EC has represented that competent authorities within the Member States responsible for supervising FCs and, where applicable NFC+s, as part of their ongoing prudential regulation and supervision will enforce applicable legislation and control whether the models adopted by these entities comply with the requirements under the EU margin rules. Furthermore, Article 12 of EMIR grants the competent authorities in each Member State the authority to impose fines in case of infringement of the rules promulgated under EMIR, such as the RTS.119 Such infringement could include an FC's or NFC+'s violations of the provisions under Section 4 of the RTS that establish the general requirements for initial margin models.120

    119See RTS, Article 40.

    120 The applicant noted that, in a November 23, 2016 report to the European Parliament and the Council on areas where further action is necessary to ensure that the objectives of EMIR are fulfilled “in a more appropriate, efficient and effective manner,” on the issue of margin model approval, the EC stated:

    [W]ith respect to non-cleared transactions, some respondents, notably financial institutions, noted the absence of a clear mandate for initial margin models to be endorsed by authorities, which could lead to uncertainty among market participants as to whether their calculations are considered by authorities to be fully compliant with regulations. A mandate for initial margin models to be endorsed by authorities could promote certainty for market participants and authorities alike.

    See November 23, 2016 Report from the EC to the European Parliament and the Council under Article 85(1) of EMIR on OTC Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories, section 4.1.2 (emphasis included), at http://ec.europa.eu/finance/financial-markets/docs/derivatives/161123-report_en.pdf.

    G. Timing and Manner for Collection or Payment of Initial and Variation Margin 1. Commission Requirement for Timing and Manner for Collection or Payment of Initial and Variation Margin

    With respect to the timing and manner for collection or posting of initial margin, the Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • Where a CSE is required to collect initial margin, it must be collected on or before the business day after execution of an uncleared swap, and thereafter the CSE must continue to hold initial margin in an amount equal to or greater than the required initial margin amount as re-calculated each business day until such uncleared swap is terminated or expires.

    • Where a CSE is required to post initial margin, it must be posted on or before the business day after execution of an uncleared swap, and thereafter the CSE must continue to post initial margin in an amount equal to or greater than the required initial margin amount as re-calculated each business day until such uncleared swap is terminated or expires.

    • Required initial margin amounts must be posted and collected by CSEs on a gross basis (i.e., amounts to be posted may not be set-off against amounts to be collected from the same counterparty).

    With respect to the timing and manner for collection or posting of variation margin, the Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • Where a CSE is required to collect variation margin, it must be collected on or before the business day after execution of an uncleared swap, and thereafter the CSE must continue to collect the required variation margin amount, if any, each business day as re-calculated each business day until such uncleared swap is terminated or expires.121

    121See § 23.153(a).

    • Where a CSE is required to post variation margin, it must be posted on or before the business day after execution of an uncleared swap, and thereafter the CSE must continue to post the required variation margin amount, if any, each business day as re-calculated each business day until such uncleared swap is terminated or expires.122

    122See § 23.153(b).

    With respect to both initial and variation margin, a CSE shall not be deemed to have violated its obligation to collect or post margin if, inter alia, it makes timely initiation of dispute resolution mechanisms, including pursuant to § 23.504(b)(4).123

    123See § 23.153(e)(2)(i).

    2. EU Requirements for Timing and Manner for Collection of Initial and Variation Margin

    With respect to the timing and manner for collection or posting of initial margin, the EU's margin rules generally provide that:

    • Counterparties shall calculate initial margin no later than the business day following one of these events: (a) Where a new non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contract is executed or added to the netting set; (b) where an existing non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contract expires or is removed from the netting set; (c) where an existing non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contract triggers a payment or a delivery other than the posting and collecting of margins; (d) where the initial margin is calculated in accordance with the standardized approach and an existing contract is reclassified in terms of the asset category referred to by the RTS as a result of reduced time to maturity; (e) where no calculation has been performed in the preceding 10 business days.124

    124See RTS, Article 9(2).

    • The posting counterparty shall provide the initial margin within the same business day of the calculation date.125

    125See RTS, Article 13(2).

    • Where two counterparties are located in the same time-zone, the calculation shall be based on the netting set of the previous business day.126

    126See RTS, Article 9(3)(a).

    • Where two counterparties are not located in the same time-zone, the calculation shall be based on the transactions in the netting set which are entered into before 16:00 hours of the previous business day of the time-zone where it is first 16:00 hours.127

    127See RTS, Article 9(3)(b).

    • In the event of a dispute over the amount of initial margin due, counterparties shall provide at least the part of the initial margin amount that is not being disputed within the same business day of the calculation date.128

    128See RTS, Article 13(3).

    With respect to the timing and manner for collection or posting of variation margin, the EU's margin rules generally provide that:

    • Counterparties shall calculate variation margin at least on a daily basis.129

    129See RTS, Article 9(1).

    • The posting counterparty shall provide the variation margin as follows: (a) Within the same business day of the calculation date; (b) where certain conditions are met,130 within two business days of the calculation date.131

    130 The provision of variation margin within two business of the calculation date may only be applied to the following: (a) Netting sets comprising derivative contracts not subject to initial margin requirements in accordance with this Regulation, where the posting counterparty has provided, at or before the calculation date of the variation margin, an advance amount of eligible collateral calculated in the same manner as that applicable to initial margins in accordance with Article 15, for which the collecting counterparty has used a margin period of risk (MPOR) at least equal to the number of days in between and including the calculation date and the collection date; (b) netting sets comprising contracts subject to initial margin requirements in accordance with this Regulation, where the initial margin has been adjusted in one of the following ways: (i) By increasing the MPOR referred to in Article 15(2) by the number of days in between, and including, the calculation date determined in accordance with Article 9(3) and the collection date determined in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article; (ii) by increasing the initial margin calculated in accordance with the standardised approach referred to in Article 11 using an appropriate methodology taking into account a MPOR that is increased by the number of days in between, and including, the calculation date determined in accordance with Article 9(3) and the collection date determined in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article. For the purposes of point (a), in case no mechanism for segregation is in place between the two counterparties, those counterparties may offset the amounts to be provided.

    131See RTS, Article 12(1).

    • In the event of a dispute over the amount of variation margin due, counterparties shall provide at least the part of the variation margin amount that is not being disputed.132

    132See RTS, Article 12(3).

    3. Commission Determination

    Having compared the EU's margin requirements applicable to the timing and manner of collection and payment of initial and variation margin to the Commission's corresponding margin requirements, the Commission finds that the EU's margin requirements are, despite apparent differences in certain respects, comparable in outcome.

    Under the Final Margin Rule, where initial margin is required, a CSE must calculate the amount of initial margin each business day. The EU's margin rules only require initial margin to be calculated after certain events, including the addition or removal of a non-centrally cleared OTC derivative from the netting set or at least within 10 days after the last initial margin calculation. While this is different from the Final Margin Rule's requirement that the amount of initial margin be calculated each business day, the EC has explained that the more sophisticated counterparties subject to the EU margin rules actively operate in non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives to the point where the RTS requirement to recalculate whenever there is a change to the netting set will in practice require these types of counterparties to recalculate daily. Because of this, the EC views the 10-day allowance under Article 9(2)(e) of the RTS as a backstop only and one that is likely to be exercised only in the case of a static portfolio. The Commission believes that as a result of these entities still exchanging variation margin, and thereby eliminating current exposure, this difference will be mitigated.

    With respect to the timing of collecting/posting margin, the Final Margin Rule requires CSEs to collect/post any required margin amount within one business day of calculation which, under the Final Margin Rule, must occur daily. In contrast, the EU's margin rules allow for a variation margin posting date within two business days of the calculation date (T+2) when certain conditions are met.133 As explained in the Recitals to the RTS, additional time for posting of variation margin is allowed only where compensated by an adjustment to initial margin by an adequate recalculation of MPOR.134 Where initial margin is required, an adequate recalculation of MPOR under the RTS would occur by increasing the MPOR by the number of days in between, and including, the calculation and collection dates or by increasing the initial margin calculated with the standardized approach taking into account a MPOR increased by the number of days in between, and including, the calculation and collection dates.135 Where no initial margin requirements apply, additional time is permitted for posting of variation margin if the posting counterparty has provided, at or before the variation margin calculation date, an advance amount of eligible collateral calculated in the same manner as required for initial margin with an MPOR at least equal to the number of days in between, and including, the calculation and collection dates.136

    133See RTS, Article 12(2).

    134See RTS, Recital (20).

    135See RTS, Article 12(2)(b).

    136See RTS, Recital (20) and Article 12(2)(a).

    While the RTS conditions to a delay in the exchange of variation margin do not make the EU's rule in this area the same as the Final Margin Rule, they do serve to mitigate the potential risks, as described above, by increasing the initial margin's MPOR by the corresponding number of days associated with a delay in the exchange of variation margin. Furthermore, although the EU's allowance for a delay of up to 10 days to recalculate initial margin is not the same as the Final Margin Rule's daily recalculation requirement, as detailed above, the EC has represented that, in practice, it expects the most sophisticated counterparties subject to the EU margin rules to recalculate initial margin on a daily basis. Thus, the Commission finds that the requirements of the EU margin rules with respect to the timing and manner for collection or payment of initial and variation margin are comparable in outcome to the Final Margin Rule.

    H. Margin Threshold Levels or Amounts

    The BCBS/IOSCO Framework provides that initial margin could be subject to a threshold not to exceed EUR 50 million. The threshold is applied at the level of the consolidated group to which the threshold is being extended and is based on all non-centrally cleared derivatives between the two consolidated groups.

    Similarly, to alleviate operational burdens associated with the transfer of small amounts of margin, the BCBS/IOSCO Framework provides that all margin transfers between parties may be subject to a de-minimis minimum transfer amount not to exceed EUR 500,000.

    1. Commission Requirement for Margin Threshold Levels or Amounts

    In keeping with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, with respect to margin threshold levels or amounts the Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • CSEs may agree with their counterparties that initial margin may be subject to a threshold of no more than $50 million applicable to a consolidated group of affiliated counterparties.137

    137See § 23.154(a)(3) and definition of “initial margin threshold” in § 23.151.

    • CSEs are not required to collect or to post initial or variation margin with a counterparty until the combined amount of initial margin and variation margin to be collected or posted is greater than $500,000 (i.e., a minimum transfer amount).138

    138See § 23.152(b)(3).

    2. EU Requirement for Margin Threshold Levels or Amounts

    In keeping with the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, with respect to margin threshold levels or amounts, the EU's margin requirements generally provide that:

    • Counterparties may provide in their risk management procedures that initial margin collected is reduced by an amount up to EUR 50 million where neither counterparty belongs to any group or the counterparties are part of different groups; or EUR 10 million where both counterparties belong to the same group.139

    139See RTS, Article 29(1).

    • Counterparties may provide in their risk management procedures that no collateral is collected from a counterparty where the amount due from the last collection of collateral is equal to or lower than the amount agreed by the counterparties. The minimum transfer amount shall not exceed EUR 500,000 or the equivalent amount in another currency.140

    140See RTS, Article 25(1).

    3. Commission Determination

    Based on the foregoing and the representations of the applicant, the Commission has determined that the EU requirements for margin threshold levels or amounts, in the case of FCs and NFC+s, are comparable in outcome to those required by the Final Margin Rule, in the case of CSEs.

    The Commission notes that at current exchange rates, EUR 50 million is approximately $59 million, while EUR 500,000 is approximately $588,000. Although these amounts are greater than those permitted by the Final Margin Rule, the Commission recognizes that exchange rates will fluctuate over time and thus the Commission finds that such requirements under the laws of the EU are comparable in outcome to those of the Final Margin Rule.

    I. Risk Management Controls for the Calculation of Initial and Variation Margin 1. Commission Requirement for Risk Management Controls for the Calculation of Initial and Variation Margin

    With respect to risk management controls for the calculation of initial margin, the Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • CSEs are required to have a risk management unit pursuant to § 23.600(c)(4). Such risk management unit must include a risk control unit tasked with validation of a CSE's initial margin model prior to implementation and on an ongoing basis, including an evaluation of the conceptual soundness of the initial margin model, an ongoing monitoring process that includes verification of processes and benchmarking by comparing the CSE's initial margin model outputs (estimation of initial margin) with relevant alternative internal and external data sources or estimation techniques, and an outcomes analysis process that includes back testing the model.141

    141See § 23.154(b)(5).

    • In accordance with § 23.600(e)(2), CSEs must have an internal audit function independent of the business trading unit and the risk management unit that at least annually assesses the effectiveness of the controls supporting the initial margin model measurement systems, including the activities of the business trading units and risk control unit, compliance with policies and procedures, and calculation of the CSE's initial margin requirements under this part.142

    142See § 23.154(b)(5)(iv).

    • At least annually, such internal audit function shall report its findings to the CSE's governing body, senior management, and chief compliance officer.143

    143See § 23.154(b)(5)(iv).

    With respect to risk management controls for the calculation of variation margin, the Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • CSEs must maintain documentation setting forth the variation methodology with sufficient specificity to allow a counterparty, the Commission, a registered futures association, and any applicable prudential regulator to calculate a reasonable approximation of the margin requirement independently.

    • CSEs must evaluate the reliability of its data sources at least annually, and make adjustments, as appropriate.

    • CSEs, upon request of the Commission or a registered futures association, must provide further data or analysis concerning the variation methodology or a data source, including: (a) The manner in which the methodology meets the requirements of the Final Margin Rule; (b) a description of the mechanics of the methodology; (c) the conceptual basis of the methodology; (d) the empirical support for the methodology; and (e) the empirical support for the assessment of the data sources.

    2. EU Requirement for Risk Management Controls for the Calculation of Initial and Variation Margin

    With respect to risk management controls for the calculation of initial margin, the EU's margin requirements generally provide that:

    • Counterparties shall establish an internal governance process to assess the appropriateness of the initial margin model on a continuous basis, including all of the following: (a) An initial validation of the model by suitably qualified persons who are independent from the persons developing the model; (b) a follow up validation whenever a significant change is made to the initial margin model and at least annually; and (c) a regular audit process to assess the following: (i) The integrity and reliability of the data sources; (ii) the management information system used to run the model; (iii) the accuracy and completeness of data used; (iv) the accuracy and appropriateness of volatility and correlation assumptions.144

    144See RTS, Article 1.

    • The documentation of the risk management procedures relating to the initial margin model shall meet all of the following conditions: (a) It shall allow a knowledgeable third-party to understand the design and operational detail of the initial margin model; (b) it shall contain the key assumptions and the limitations of the initial margin model; (c) it shall define the circumstances under which the assumptions of the initial margin model are no longer valid.145

    145See RTS, Article 18(2).

    • Counterparties shall document all changes to the initial margin model. That documentation shall also detail the results of the validations carried out after those changes.146

    146See RTS, Article 18(3).

    3. Commission Determination

    Based on the foregoing and the representations of the applicant, the Commission has determined that the EU requirements applicable to FCs and NFC+s pertaining to risk management controls for the calculation of initial and variation margin are substantially the same as the corresponding requirements under the Final Margin Rule. Specifically, the Commission finds that under both the EU's requirements and the Final Margin Rule, a CSE is required to establish a unit that is tasked with comprehensively managing the entity's use of an initial margin model, including establishing controls and testing procedures. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the EU's requirements pertaining to risk management controls over the use of initial margin models are comparable in outcome to the controls required by the Final Margin Rule.

    J. Eligible Collateral for Initial and Variation Margin

    As explained in the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, to ensure that counterparties can liquidate assets held as initial and variation margin in a reasonable amount of time to generate proceeds that could sufficiently protect collecting entities from losses on non-centrally cleared derivatives in the event of a counterparty default, assets collected as collateral for initial and variation margin purposes should be highly liquid and should, after accounting for an appropriate haircut, be able to hold their value in a time of financial stress. Such a set of eligible collateral should take into account that assets which are liquid in normal market conditions may rapidly become illiquid in times of financial stress. In addition to having good liquidity, eligible collateral should not be exposed to excessive credit, market and FX risk (including through differences between the currency of the collateral asset and the currency of settlement). To the extent that the value of the collateral is exposed to these risks, appropriately risk-sensitive haircuts should be applied. More importantly, the value of the collateral should not exhibit a significant correlation with the creditworthiness of the counterparty or the value of the underlying non-centrally cleared derivatives portfolio in such a way that would undermine the effectiveness of the protection offered by the margin collected. Accordingly, securities issued by the counterparty or its related entities should not be accepted as collateral. Accepted collateral should also be reasonably diversified.

    1. Commission Requirement for Eligible Collateral for Initial and Variation Margin

    With respect to eligible collateral that may be collected or posted to satisfy an initial margin obligation, the Final Margin Rule generally provides that CSEs may collect or post: 147

    147See § 23.156(a)(1).

    • Cash denominated in a major currency, being United States Dollar (USD); Canadian Dollar (CAD); Euro (EUR); United Kingdom Pound (GBP); Japanese Yen (JPY); Swiss Franc (CHF); New Zealand Dollar (NZD); Australian Dollar (AUD); Swedish Kronor (SEK); Danish Kroner (DKK); Norwegian Krone (NOK); any other currency designated by the Commission; or any currency of settlement for a particular uncleared swap.

    • A security that is issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, the U.S. Department of Treasury.

    • A security that is issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a U.S. government agency (other than the U.S. Department of Treasury) whose obligations are fully guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

    • A security that is issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the European Central Bank or a sovereign entity that is assigned no higher than a 20 percent risk weight under the capital rules applicable to SDs subject to regulation by a prudential regulator.

    • A publicly-traded debt security issued by, or an asset-backed security fully guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise that is operating with capital support or another form of direct financial assistance received from the U.S. government that enables the repayments of the U.S. Government-sponsored enterprise's eligible securities.

    • A security that is issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, or a multilateral development bank as defined in § 23.151.

    • Other publicly-traded debt that has been deemed acceptable as initial margin by a prudential regulator as defined in § 23.151.

    • A publicly-traded common equity security that is included in the Standard & Poor's Composite 1500 Index (or any other similar index of liquid and readily marketable equity securities as determined by the Commission) or an index that a CSE's supervisor in a foreign jurisdiction recognizes for purposes of including publicly traded common equity as initial margin under applicable regulatory policy, if held in that foreign jurisdiction.

    • Securities in the form of redeemable securities in a pooled investment fund representing the security-holder's proportional interest in the fund's net assets and that are issued and redeemed only on the basis of the market value of the fund's net assets prepared each business day after the security-holder makes its investment commitment or redemption request to the fund, if the fund's investments are limited to securities that are issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and immediately-available cash funds denominated in U.S. dollars; or securities denominated in a common currency and issued by, or fully guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest by, the European Central Bank or a sovereign entity that is assigned no higher than a 20% risk weight under the capital rules applicable to SDs subject to regulation by a Prudential Regulator, and immediately-available cash funds denominated in the same currency; and assets of the fund may not be transferred through securities lending, securities borrowing, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, or other means that involve the fund having rights to acquire the same or similar assets from the transferee.

    • Gold.

    • A CSE may not collect or post as initial margin any asset that is a security issued by: The CSE or a margin affiliate of the CSE (in the case of posting) or the counterparty or any margin affiliate of the counterparty (in the case of collection); a bank holding company, a savings and loan holding company, a U.S. intermediate holding company established or designated for purposes of compliance with 12 CFR 252.153, a foreign bank, a depository institution, a market intermediary, a company that would be any of the foregoing if it were organized under the laws of the United States or any State, or a margin affiliate of any of the foregoing institutions; or a nonbank financial institution supervised by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under Title I of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (12 U.S.C. 5323).148

    148See § 23.156(a)(2).

    • The value of any eligible collateral collected or posted to satisfy initial margin requirements must be reduced by the following haircuts: an 8% discount for initial margin collateral denominated in a currency that is not the currency of settlement for the uncleared swap, except for eligible types of collateral denominated in a single termination currency designated as payable to the non-posting counterparty as part of an eligible master netting agreement; and the discounts set forth in the following table: 149

    149See § 23.156(a)(3).

    Standardized Haircut Schedule Cash in same currency as swap obligation 0.0 Eligible government and related debt (e.g., central bank, multilateral development bank, GSE securities identified in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section): Residual maturity less than one-year 0.5 Eligible government and related debt (e.g., central bank, multilateral development bank, GSE securities identified in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section): Residual maturity between one and five years 2.0 Eligible government and related debt (e.g., central bank, multilateral development bank, GSE securities identified in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section): Residual maturity greater than five years 4.0 Eligible corporate debt (including eligible GSE debt securities not identified in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section): Residual maturity less than one-year 1.0 Eligible corporate debt (including eligible GSE debt securities not identified in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section): Residual maturity between one and five years 4.0 Eligible corporate debt (including eligible GSE debt securities not identified in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section): Residual maturity greater than five years 8.0 Equities included in S&P 500 or related index 15.0 Equities included in S&P 1500 Composite or related index but not S&P 500 or related index 25.0 Gold 15.0

    With respect to eligible collateral that may be collected or posted to satisfy a variation margin obligation, the Final Margin Rule generally provides that CSEs may collect or post: 150

    150See § 23.156(b)(1).

    • With respect to uncleared swaps with an SD or MSP, only immediately available cash funds that are denominated in: U.S. dollars, another major currency (as defined in § 23.151), or the currency of settlement of the uncleared swap.

    • With respect to any other uncleared swaps for which a CSE is required to collect or post variation margin, any asset that is eligible to be posted or collected as initial margin, as described above.

    • The value of any eligible collateral collected or posted to satisfy variation margin requirements must be reduced by the same haircuts applicable to initial margin described above.151

    151See § 23.156(b)(2).

    Finally, CSEs must monitor the value and eligibility of collateral collected and posted: 152

    152See § 23.156(c).

    • CSEs must monitor the market value and eligibility of all collateral collected and posted, and, to the extent that the market value of such collateral has declined, the CSE must promptly collect or post such additional eligible collateral as is necessary to maintain compliance with the margin requirements of §§ 23.150 through 23.161.

    • To the extent that collateral is no longer eligible, CSEs must promptly collect or post sufficient eligible replacement collateral to comply with the margin requirements of §§ 23.150 through 23.161.

    2. EU Requirement for Eligible Collateral for Initial and Variation Margin

    With respect to eligible collateral that may be collected to satisfy an initial or variation margin obligation, the EU's margin requirements generally provide that counterparties may collect: 153

    153See RTS, Article 4.

    • Cash in the form of money credited to an account in any currency, or similar claims for the repayment of money, such as money market deposits.

    • Gold.

    • Debt securities issued by Member States' central governments or central banks.

    • Debt securities issued by Member States' regional governments or local authorities whose exposures are treated as exposures to the central government of that Member State in accordance with Article 115(2) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.

    • Debt securities issued by Member States' public sector entities whose exposures are treated as exposures to the central government, regional government or local authority of that Member State in accordance with Article 116(4) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.

    • Debt securities issued by multilateral development banks listed in Article 117(2) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.

    • Debt securities issued by the international organizations listed in Article 118 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.

    • Debt securities issued by third countries' governments or central banks.

    • Where the assets are not issued by the posting counterparty, not issued by entities that are part of the same group as the posting counterparty, or not otherwise subject to any wrong way risk, a counterparty may collect:

    Debt securities issued by Member States' regional governments or local authorities whose exposures are not treated as exposures to the central government of that Member State;

    Debt securities issued by Member States' public sector entities whose exposures are treated as exposures to the central government, regional government, or local authority of that Member State;

    Debt securities issued by third countries' regional governments or local authorities whose exposures are treated as exposures to the central government, regional government, or local authority of that third country;

    Debt securities issued by third countries' regional governments or local authorities whose exposures are not treated as exposures to the central government, regional government, or local authority of that third country;

    Debt securities issued by credit institutions or investment firms including bonds referred to in Article 52(4) of Directive 2009/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;

    Corporate bonds;

    The most senior tranche of a securitization, as defined in Article 4(61) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, that is not a re-securitization as defined in Article 4(63) of that Regulation;

    Convertible bonds provided that they can be converted only into equities which are included in an index specified pursuant to point (a) of Article 197 (8) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;

    Equities included in an index specified pursuant to point (a) of Article 197(8) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;

    A counterparty may only use units or shares in undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities (UCITS) as eligible collateral where all the following conditions are met: (a) The units or shares have a daily public price quote; (b) the UCITS are limited to investing in assets that are eligible in accordance with Article 4(1); (c) the UCITS meet the criteria laid down in Article 132(3) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013. For the purposes of point (b), UCITS may use derivative instruments to hedge the risks arising from the assets in which they invest. In addition, where a UCITS invests in shares or units of other UCITS, these conditions shall also apply to those UCITS.154

    154See RTS, Article 5(1).

    Where a UCITS or any of its underlying UCITS do not only invest in assets that are eligible collateral under the RTS, only the value of the unit or share of the UCITS that represents investment in eligible assets may be used as eligible collateral.155

    155See RTS, Article 5(2).

    Where non-eligible assets of a UCITS can have a negative value, the value of the unit or share of the UCITS that may be used as eligible collateral shall be determined by deducting the maximum negative value of the non-eligible assets from the value of eligible assets.156

    156See RTS, Article 5(3).

    • Counterparties must assess the credit quality of certain asset classes.157

    157See RTS, Article 6.

    • Counterparties shall adjust the value of collected collateral in accordance with either a methodology prescribed by the RTS 158 or a methodology using their own volatility estimates.159

    158See RTS, Annex III.

    159See RTS, Article 21.

    • There are certain concentration limits for collateral collected as initial margin.160

    160See RTS, Article 8.

    If a counterparty chooses to not use its own volatility estimates, the value of any eligible collateral collected or posted to satisfy initial margin requirements must be reduced by the following haircuts: 161

    161See RTS, Annex II.

    Cash in same currency as swap obligation 0.0 Debt securities issued by entities describe in Article 4(1)(c) to (e) and (h) to (k): Residual maturity less than one-year 0.5 Debt securities issued by entities describe in Article 4(1)(c) to (e) and (h) to (k): Residual maturity between one and five years 2.0 Debt securities issued by entities describe in Article 4(1)(c) to (e) and (h) to (k): Residual maturity greater than five years 4.0 Debt securities issued by entities describe in Article 4(1)(f), (g) and (l) to (n): Residual maturity less than one-year 1.0 Debt securities issued by entities describe in Article 4(1)(f), (g) and (l) to (n): Residual maturity between one and five years 4.0 Debt securities issued by entities describe in Article 4(1)(f), (g) and (l) to (n): Residual maturity greater than five years 8.0 Securitization positions meeting the criteria in Article 4(1)(o): Residual maturity of less than one year 2.0 Securitization positions meeting the criteria in Article 4(1)(o): Residual maturity between one and five years 8.0 Securitization positions meeting the criteria in Article 4(1)(o): Residual maturity of more than five years 16.0 Equities included in main indices, bonds convertible to equities in main indices, and gold 15.0

    In addition to the foregoing, under the EU's margin requirements, for the purpose of exchanging initial margin, all cash and non-cash collateral posted in a currency other than the currency in which the payments in case of early termination or default have to be made in accordance with the single derivative contract, the relevant exchange of collateral agreement or the relevant credit support annex (“termination currency”). Each of the counterparties may choose a different termination currency. Where the agreement does not identify a termination currency, the haircut shall apply to the market value of all the assets posted as collateral.162

    162See RTS, Annex II, Table 3.

    3. Commission Determination

    Based on the foregoing and the representations of the applicant, the Commission finds that the EU's requirements pertaining to assets eligible for posting or collecting by FCs and NFC+s as collateral for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives, while different than the Final Margin Rule in some respects, are comparable in outcome to the Final Margin Rule.

    For example, under the EU margin regime, cash in the form of a claim for the repayment of money, such as money market deposits, is eligible collateral while under the Final Margin Rule it is not. However, although the EU margin regime and Final Margin Rule take different approaches on this point, the Commission did recognize the need for flexibility provided to counterparties by money market funds when it allowed for the use of redeemable securities in a pooled investment fund that holds only securities that are issued by, or unconditionally guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and cash funds denominated in U.S. dollars.163

    163See Final Margin Rule, 81 FR 636, 665.

    The EU's requirements are also different with respect to the eligible collateral for variation margin for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives between FC/NFC+s that are CSEs and FC/NFC+s that are SDs and MSPs (including other CSEs). For uncleared swaps with an SD or MSP, the Final Margin Rule only permits variation margin to be posted or collected as immediately available cash funds that are denominated in U.S. dollars, another major currency (as defined in § 23.151), or the currency of settlement of the uncleared swap, while the EU's margin requirements would permit any form of eligible collateral (as described above). The Commission did state in the Final Margin Rule, however, that requiring variation margin to be posted or collected as immediately available cash funds is “consistent with regulatory and industry initiatives to improve standardization and efficiency in the OTC swaps market.” 164 Thus, in outcome, an SD or MSP that is also subject to the EU margin rules likely would, in the normal course of business, be exchanging variation margin in immediately available cash funds.

    164See id. at 668.

    Other differences concern corporate bonds, the most senior tranche of a securitization, and convertible bonds that can be converted only into equities listed on specific indexes, all of which are allowed under the EU margin rules but not under the Final Margin Rule. However, the EU margin rules do address the inherent risk posed by these assets by including additional safeguards when using these types of collateral. Regarding corporate bonds and convertible bonds, a counterparty subject to the EU margin rules must assess the credit quality of the assets using a specified internal rating or a credit quality assessment issued by a recognized External Credit Assessment Institution (“ECAI”).165 Regarding the most senior tranche of a securitization, a counterparty must use an ECAI's credit quality assessment to assess the tranche's credit quality.166

    165See RTS, Article 6(1).

    166See RTS, Article 6(2).

    The EU's margin rules on eligible collateral also differ from the Final Margin Rule in ways that make the EU rules more stringent than the Final Margin Rule. For example, the EU margin rules require a larger haircut than the Final Margin Rule on government, central bank, and corporate debt where a credit quality assessment, as required under Article of the RTS, indicates low credit quality for such debt.167 In addition, the EU's margin rules impose concentration limits for initial margin.168

    167See RTS, Articles 6 and 7.

    168See RTS, Article 8.

    While not identical, the Commission finds that the forms of eligible collateral for initial and variation margin under the laws of the EU provide protections that are comparable in outcome, as explained above, to the forms of eligible collateral mandated by the Final Margin Rule. Specifically, the Commission finds that the EU's margin regime ensures that assets collected as collateral for initial and variation margin purposes are highly liquid and able to hold their value in a time of financial stress. Because under the EU's margin regime a non-defaulting party would be able to liquidate assets held as initial and variation margin in a reasonable amount of time to generate proceeds that could sufficiently protect collecting entities from losses on uncleared swaps in the event of a counterparty default, the Commission finds the EU's margin regime with respect to the forms of eligible collateral for initial and variation margin for uncleared swaps is comparable in outcome to the Final Margin Rule.

    K. Requirements for Custodial Arrangements, Segregation, and Rehypothecation

    As explained in the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, the exchange of initial margin on a net basis may be insufficient to protect two market participants with large gross derivatives exposures to each other in the case of one firm's failure. Thus, the gross initial margin between such firms should be exchanged.169

    169See BCBS/IOSCO Framework, Key principle 5.

    Further, initial margin collected should be held in such a way as to ensure that (i) the margin collected is immediately available to the collecting party in the event of the counterparty's default, and (ii) the collected margin must be subject to arrangements that protect the posting party to the extent possible under applicable law in the event that the collecting party enters bankruptcy.170

    170See id.

    1. Commission Requirement for Custodial Arrangements, Segregation, and Rehypothecation

    In keeping with the principles set forth in the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, with respect to custodial arrangements, segregation, and rehypothecation, the Final Margin Rule generally requires that:

    • All assets posted by or collected by CSEs as initial margin must be held by one or more custodians that are not the CSE, the counterparty, or margin affiliates of the CSE or the counterparty.171

    171See § 23.157(a) and (b).

    • CSEs must enter into an agreement with each custodian holding initial margin collateral that:

    Prohibits the custodian from rehypothecating, repledging, reusing, or otherwise transferring (through securities lending, securities borrowing, repurchase agreement, reverse repurchase agreement or other means) the collateral held by the custodian;

    May permit the custodian to hold cash collateral in a general deposit account with the custodian if the funds in the account are used to purchase an asset that qualifies as eligible collateral (other than equities, investment vehicle securities, or gold), such asset is held in compliance with § 23.157, and such purchase takes place within a time period reasonably necessary to consummate such purchase after the cash collateral is posted as initial margin; and

    Is a legal, valid, binding, and enforceable agreement under the laws of all relevant jurisdictions including in the event of bankruptcy, insolvency, or a similar proceeding.172

    172See § 23.157(c)(1) and (2).

    • A posting party may substitute any form of eligible collateral for posted collateral held as initial margin.173

    173See § 23.157(c)(3).

    • A posting party may direct reinvestment of posted collateral held as initial margin in any form of eligible collateral.174

    174See id.

    • Collateral that is collected or posted as variation margin is not required to be held by a third party custodian and is not subject to restrictions on rehypothecation, repledging, or reuse.175

    175See Final Margin Rule, 81 FR at 672.

    2. EU Requirement for Custodial Arrangements, Segregation, and Rehypothecation

    In keeping with the principles set forth in the BCBS/IOSCO Framework, with respect to custodial arrangements, segregation, and rehypothecation, the EU's margin rules generally require that:

    • Cash collected as initial margin must be maintained in cash accounts at central banks or credit institutions which fulfill all of the following conditions: (i) They are authorized in accordance with Directive 2013/36/EU or are authorized in a third country whose supervisory and regulatory arrangements have been found to be equivalent in accordance with Article 142(2) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013; and (ii) they are neither the posting nor the collecting counterparties, nor part of the same group as either of the counterparties.176

    176See RTS, Article 19(1)(e).

    • Any collateral posted as initial or variation margin may be substituted by alternative collateral where all of the following conditions are met: (a) The substitution is made in accordance with the terms of the collateral agreement between the counterparties; (b) the alternative collateral is eligible under the RTS; (c) the value of the alternative collateral is sufficient to meet all margin requirements after applying any relevant haircut.177

    177See RTS, Article 19(2).

    • Initial margin shall be protected from the default or insolvency of the collecting counterparty by segregating it in either or both of the following ways: (a) On the books and records of a third party-holder or custodian; (b) via other legally binding arrangements.178

    178See RTS, Article 19(3).

    • Counterparties shall ensure that non-cash collateral exchanged as initial margin is segregated as follows: (a) Where collateral is held by the collecting counterparty on a proprietary basis, it shall be segregated from the rest of the proprietary assets of the collecting counterparty; (b) where collateral is held by the posting counterparty on a non-proprietary basis, it shall be segregated from the rest of the proprietary assets of the posting counterparty; (c) where collateral is held on the books and records of a custodian or other third party holder, it shall be segregated from the proprietary assets of that third-party holder or custodian.179

    179See RTS, Article 19(5).

    • The collecting counterparty shall not rehypothecate, repledge nor otherwise reuse the collateral collected as initial margin.180

    180See RTS, Article 20(1).

    • A third party holder may use the initial margin received in cash for reinvestment purposes.181

    181See RTS, Article 20(2).

    3. Commission Determination

    The Commission notes that in one respect, the EU's margin requirements with respect to custodial arrangements are less stringent than those of the Final Margin Rule. Under the Final Margin Rule, all assets posted by or collected by CSEs as initial margin must be held by one or more custodians that are not the CSE, the counterparty, or margin affiliates of the CSE or the counterparty.182 The EU's margin rules do not prohibit an FC or NFC+ from using an affiliated entity as custodian to hold initial margin other than cash collected from counterparties.

    182See § 23.157(a) and (b).

    However, the EC has highlighted in its application that Article 19(3) of the RTS, which governs how initial margin must be held, leads with the requirement that “initial margin shall be protected from the default or insolvency of the collecting counterparty.” As the applicant further represented, the EC and the European Supervisory Authorities favor the use of third-party holders or custodians for non-cash collateral but recognize through Article 19(3)(b) of the RTS that the legal framework in the EU and, in particular, the Financial Collateral Directive,183 allows Member States to authorize other specific legally binding arrangements with equivalent finality and protection. An example, according to the applicant, would be a third-country trust bank that, while not necessarily recognized as a custodian in the EU or individual Member State, may offer equivalent collateral protection, both legally and operationally.

    183See http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02002L0047-20140702&from=EN.

    To further encourage the use of arrangements that protect initial margin from the default or insolvency of a counterparty, FCs and NFC+s subject to the EU margin regime must get legal certainty (either by way of an internal and independent opinion or via an external independent third party) as to whether the segregation requirements have been met.184 In addition, the RTS require counterparties to provide documentation to their competent authority upon request supporting that the segregation arrangements in all relevant jurisdictions meet these requirements. The RTS also require counterparties subject to the EU margin regime to have procedures that ensure ongoing compliance with these requirements, particularly to show that initial margin is freely transferable to the posting counterparty in a timely manner in case of default of the collecting counterparty.185

    184See RTS, Article 19(6).

    185See RTS, Article 19(1)(g).

    Accordingly, despite the differences in required custodial arrangements, the Commission has determined that the EU's margin requirements applicable to FCs and NFC+s pertaining to custodial arrangements, segregation, and rehypothecation are comparable in outcome to the corresponding requirements under the Final Margin Rule. Specifically, the Commission finds that under both the EU's requirements and the Final Margin Rule, a CSE/FC/NFC+ is required to segregate the initial margin posted by its counterparties under terms that ensure initial margin is protected from the default or insolvency of the collecting counterparty and freely transferable to the posting counterparty in a timely manner in case of any such default. Both regimes also prohibit the rehypothecation of initial margin. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the EU's requirements pertaining to custodial arrangements, segregation, and rehypothecation are comparable in outcome to those required by the Final Margin Rule.

    L. Requirements for Margin Documentation 1. Commission Requirement for Margin Documentation

    With respect to requirements for documentation of margin arrangements, the Final Margin Rule generally provides that:

    • CSEs must execute documentation with each counterparty that provides the CSE with the contractual right and obligation to exchange initial margin and variation margin in such amounts, in such form, and under such circumstances as are required by the Final Margin Rule.186

    186See § 23.158(a).

    • The margin documentation must specify the methods, procedures, rules, inputs, and data sources to be used for determining the value of uncleared swaps for purposes of calculating variation margin; describe the methods, procedures, rules, inputs, and data sources to be used to calculate initial margin for uncleared swaps entered into between the CSE and the counterparty; and specify the procedures by which any disputes concerning the valuation of uncleared swaps, or the valuation of assets collected or posted as initial margin or variation margin may be resolved.187

    187See § 23.158(b).

    2. EU Requirement for Margin Documentation

    With respect to requirements for documentation of margin arrangements, the EU's margin rules generally provide that the terms of all necessary agreements to be entered into by counterparties, at the latest, at the moment in which a non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contract is concluded. Such documentation shall include the terms of the netting agreement and the terms of the exchange of collateral agreement, and (a) any payment obligations arising between counterparties; (b) the conditions for netting payment obligations; (c) events of default or other termination events of the non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contracts; (d) all calculation methods used in relation to payment obligations; (e) the conditions for netting payment obligations upon termination, (f) the transfer of rights and obligations upon termination; (g) the governing law of the transactions of the non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contracts.188

    188See RTS, Article 2(g).

    3. Commission Determination

    Based on the foregoing and the representations of the applicant, the Commission has determined that the EU's margin requirements pertaining to margin documentation are substantially the same as the margin documentation requirements under the Final Margin Rule. Specifically, the Commission finds that under both the EU's requirements and the Final Margin Rule, a CSE/FC/NFC+ is required to enter into documentation with each OTC derivative/swap counterparty that sets forth the method for calculating and transferring initial and variation margin. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the EU's requirements pertaining to margin documentation are comparable in outcome to those required by the Final Margin Rule.

    M. Cross-Border Application of the Margin Regime 1. Cross-Border Application of the Final Margin Rule

    The general cross-border application of the Final Margin Rule, as set forth in the Cross-Border Margin Rule, is discussed in detail in Section II above. However, §§ 23.160(d) and (e) of the Cross-Border Margin Rule also provide certain alternative requirements for uncleared swaps subject to the laws of a jurisdiction that does not reliably recognize close-out netting under a master netting agreement governing a swap trading relationship, or that has inherent limitations on the ability of a CSE to post initial margin in compliance with the custodial arrangement requirements 189 of the Final Margin Rule.190

    189See § 23.157 and Section IV(K) above.

    190See § 23.160(d) and (e). Paragraph (d) of the rule addresses requirements for non-netting jurisdictions, and paragraph (e) addresses jurisdictions where compliance with custodial arrangement requirements is unavailable.

    Section 23.160(d) generally provides that where a jurisdiction does not reliably recognize close-out netting, the CSE must treat the uncleared swaps covered by a master netting agreement on a gross basis with respect to collecting initial and variation margin, but may treat such swaps on a net basis with respect to posting initial and variation margin.191

    191See id.

    Section 23.160(e) generally provides that where certain CSEs are required to transact with certain counterparties in uncleared swaps through an establishment in a jurisdiction where, due to inherent limitations in legal or operational infrastructure, it is impracticable to require posted initial margin to be held by an independent custodian pursuant to § 23.157, the CSE is required to collect initial margin in cash (as described in § 23.156(a)(1)(i)) and post and collect variation margin in cash, but is not required to post initial margin. In addition, the CSE is not required to hold the initial margin collected with an unaffiliated custodian.192 Finally, the CSE may only enter into such affected transactions up to 5% of its total uncleared swap notional outstanding in each broad category of swaps described in § 23.154(b)(2)(v).

    192See §§ 23.160(e) and 23.157(b).

    2. Cross-Border Application of EU's Margin Regime

    With respect to cross-border transactions, the EU's margin requirements generally provide that the EC may, in order to avoid duplicative and conflicting requirements in respect of derivatives transactions, adopt implementing acts declaring that the legal, supervisory, and enforcement arrangements of a non-EU country are equivalent to the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives in Article 11 or EMIR.193 An implementing act determining equivalence shall imply that counterparties entering into a transaction within the scope of EMIR will be deemed to have fulfilled their requirements where at least one of the counterparties is established in the third country in respect of which the implementing act has been adopted, and with respect to the requirements to which the implementing act applies.194

    193See EMIR, Article 13(2).

    194See EMIR, Article 13(3).

    With respect to non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives subject to the laws of a jurisdiction where legal enforceability of netting agreements or collateral protection cannot be ensured, the EU's margin regime provides that:

    • Where counterparties enter into a netting or an exchange of collateral agreement, they shall perform an independent legal review of the enforceability of those agreements. The review may be conducted by an internal independent unit or by an independent third party.195

    195See RTS, Article 2(3).

    • Counterparties shall perform an independent legal review in order to verify that the segregation arrangement meets the requirements of the RTS. The review may be conducted by an internal independent unit or by an independent third party.196

    196See RTS, Article 19(6).

    • Counterparties established in the EU may provide in their risk management procedures that variation and initial margins are not required to be posted for non-centrally cleared OTC derivative contracts concluded with counterparties established in a third-country for which any of the following apply: (a) The legal review referred to in Article 2(3) of the RTS confirms that the netting agreement and, where used, the exchange of collateral agreement cannot be legally enforced with certainty at all times; (b) the legal review referred to in Article 19(6) of the RTS confirms that the segregation requirements of the RTS cannot be met. For the purposes of subparagraph (a), counterparties established in the EU shall collect margin on a gross basis.197

    197See RTS, Article 31(1).

    • Counterparties established in the EU may provide in their risk management procedures that variation and initial margins are not required to be posted or collected for contracts concluded with counterparties established in a third-country where all of the following conditions apply: (a) The legal review referred to in Article 2(3) of the RTS confirms that the netting agreement and, where used, the exchange of collateral agreement cannot be legally enforced with certainty at all times and, where applicable, the legal review referred to in Article 19(6) of the RTS confirms that the segregation requirements of the RTS cannot be met; (b) the legal reviews confirm that collecting collateral in accordance with this RTS is not possible, even on a gross basis; and (c) the OTC derivatives in a counterparty's portfolio from counterparties in non-netting jurisdictions is below 2.5%.198

    198See RTS, Article 31(2) and (3).

    3. Commission Determination

    Based on the foregoing and the representations of the applicant, the Commission finds that the EU's margin regime with respect to its cross-border application is comparable in outcome to that of the Final Margin Rule as set forth in the Cross-Border Margin Rule.

    First, the Commission recognizes that the EU's margin regime permits substituted compliance to substantially the same extent as the Cross-Border Margin Rule. For example, where a CSE finds itself subject to both the Final Margin Rule and the EU's margin regime, it may be possible under an EC equivalence determination that such CSE's compliance with the Final Margin Rule will have fulfilled the corresponding obligation under the EU's margin regime.

    Second, with respect to transactions subject to the laws of a non-netting jurisdiction or a jurisdiction where collateral protection cannot be ensured, the EU's margin regime requires that margin be collected on a gross basis and, where that is not possible, that the FC/NFC+ limit their dealings in such jurisdiction to 2.5% of the OTC derivatives in the FC/NFC+'s portfolio. While this framework for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives transacted with counterparties in these types of jurisdictions is not identical to the Final Margin Rule on this subject, the Commission recognizes that the conditions requiring that margin be collected on a gross basis or, where that is not possible, such transactions be subject to a conservative limit, will serve to mitigate the potential risks associated with these types of transactions. The RTS also provides that “these treatments would be considered sufficiently prudent, because there are also other risk-mitigation techniques as an alternative to margins.” 199 Moreover, before a counterparty may even consider collecting margin on a gross basis or be permitted to transact with counterparties in a non-netting jurisdiction up to any level, the EU margin rules obligate counterparties to conduct a legal review on the enforceability of netting agreements in the third-country jurisdiction and to obtain a negative independent legal review.200

    199See RTS, Recital (18).

    200See RTS, Article 31(2).

    The Commission also notes that a CSE, including a CSE that would be operating under a substituted compliance determination, is required to have a risk management program pursuant § 23.600, and thus the Commission has the authority to inquire as to the adequacy of the risk management covering uncleared swaps in non-netting jurisdictions.

    Having considered the similarities and differences described above, the Commission finds that: (1) The availability of reciprocity of substituted compliance available from the EU makes the EU margin regime comparable in outcome in this respect to that of the Final Margin Rule and the Cross-Border Margin Rule; and (2) the conditions that would allow an FC/NFC+ to engage in up to 2.5% of its OTC derivatives portfolio in jurisdictions that do not recognize non-netting agreements or where collateral protection cannot be ensured, including that a counterparty must obtain a negative independent legal opinion about the enforceability of netting agreements before even considering trading with counterparties in non-netting jurisdictions, plus other risk-mitigation techniques that FC/NFC+s must have, make the EU margin regime comparable in outcome in this respect to that of the Final Margin Rule and the Cross-Border Margin Rule. Accordingly, the Commission finds the cross-border aspects of the EU's margin regime comparable in outcome to those of the Commission.

    N. Supervision and Enforcement

    The Commission has a long history of regulatory cooperation with the Member State competent authorities, including cooperation in the regulation of registrants of the Commission that are also FCs.201 These competent authorities, as noted above, are responsible for supervising FCs as part of their ongoing prudential regulation and supervision of such FCs, will enforce the RTS, which are directly applicable in the Member States, and will take all measures necessary to ensure that those rules are implemented. Thus, the Commission finds that the EC, through the competent authorities, has the necessary powers to supervise, investigate, and discipline entities for compliance with its margin requirements and recognizes the relevant competent authorities' ongoing efforts to detect and deter violations of, and ensure compliance with, the margin requirements applicable in the EU.

    201 To facilitate this cooperation, the Commission has concluded memoranda of understanding with many of the competent authorities. See the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov/International/MemorandaofUnderstanding/index.htm.

    V. Conclusion

    As detailed above, the Commission has noted several differences between the Final Margin Rule and the EU margin rules. However, having considered the scope and objectives of the margin requirements for uncleared swaps under the laws of the EU,202 whether such margin requirements achieve comparable outcomes to the Commission's corresponding margin requirements,203 and the ability of the Member State competent authorities to supervise and enforce compliance with the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives under the laws of the EU,204 the Commission has determined that the EU margin rules are comparable in outcome to the Final Margin Rule.

    202See § 23.160(c)(3)(i).

    203See § 23.160(c)(3)(ii). As discussed above, the Commission's Final Margin Rule is based on the BCBS/IOSCO Framework; therefore, the Commission expects that the relevant foreign margin requirements would conform to such Framework at minimum in order to be deemed comparable in outcome to the Commission's corresponding margin requirements.

    204See § 23.160(c)(3)(iii). See also § 23.160(c)(3)(iv) (indicating the Commission would also consider any other relevant facts and circumstances).

    As noted above, the Final Margin Rule's regulatory objective is to ensure the safety and soundness of CSEs in order to offset the greater risk to CSEs and the financial system arising from the use of swaps that are not cleared. The EU margin rules require counterparties to apply robust risk-mitigation techniques to their bilateral relationships to reduce counterparty credit risk and to mitigate the potential systemic risk that could arise. Moreover, the EU margin rules achieve comparable outcomes to the Final Margin Rule in the following specific areas: The products and entities subject to the EU's margin requirements; the treatment of inter-affiliate derivative transactions; the methodologies for calculating the amounts of initial and variation margin; the process and standards for approving models for calculating initial and variation margin models; the timing and manner in which initial and variation margin must be collected and/or paid; any threshold levels or amounts; risk management controls for the calculation of initial and variation margin; eligible collateral for initial and variation margin; the requirements of custodial arrangements, including segregation of margin and rehypothecation; margin documentation requirements; and the cross-border application of the EU's margin regime. Finally, based on the long history of regulatory cooperation between the Commission and Member State competent authorities with supervisory and enforcement authority under the RTS, the Commission finds that the EC, through the competent authorities, has the necessary powers to supervise, investigate, and discipline entities for compliance with its margin requirements, and recognizes the relevant authorities' ongoing efforts to detect and deter violations of, and ensure compliance with, the margin requirements applicable in the EU.

    Accordingly, a CSE that is subject to both the Final Margin Rule and the EU's margin rules with respect to an uncleared swap that is also a non-centrally cleared OTC derivative may rely on substituted compliance for all aspects of the Final Margin Rule and the Cross-Border Margin Rule. Any such CSE that, in accordance with this comparability determination, complies with the EU margin rules, would be deemed to be in compliance with the Final Margin Rule but would remain subject to the Commission's examination and enforcement authority.205

    205See § 23.160(c)(4).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2017, by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Appendix to Comparability Determination for the European Union: Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants—Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Giancarlo and Commissioners Quintenz and Behnam voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

    [FR Doc. 2017-22616 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 862 [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-5160] Medical Devices; Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices; Classification of the Organophosphate Test System AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is classifying the organophosphate test system into class II (special controls). The special controls that apply to the device type are identified in this order and will be part of the codified language for the organophosphate test system's classification. We are taking this action because we have determined that classifying the device into class II (special controls) will provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of the device. We believe this action will also enhance patients' access to beneficial innovative devices, in part by reducing regulatory burdens.

    DATES:

    This order is effective October 18, 2017. The classification was applicable on August 8, 2013.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Tjoe, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4550, Silver Spring, MD, 20993-0002, 301-796-5866.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Upon request, FDA has classified the organophosphate test system as class II (special controls), which we have determined will provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. In addition, we believe this action will enhance patients' access to beneficial innovation, in part by reducing regulatory burdens by placing the device into a lower device class than the automatic class III assignment.

    The automatic assignment of class III occurs by operation of law and without any action by FDA, regardless of the level of risk posed by the new device. Any device that was not in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976, is automatically classified as, and remains within, class III and requires premarket approval unless and until FDA takes an action to classify or reclassify the device (see 21 U.S.C. 360c(f)(1)). We refer to these devices as “postamendments devices” because they were not in commercial distribution prior to the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976, which amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act).

    FDA may take a variety of actions in appropriate circumstances to classify or reclassify a device into class I or II. We may issue an order finding a new device to be substantially equivalent under section 513(i) of the FD&C Act to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval (see 21 U.S.C. 360c(i)). We determine whether a new device is substantially equivalent to a predicate by means of the procedures for premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k) and 21 CFR part 807.

    FDA may also classify a device through “De Novo” classification, a common name for the process authorized under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. Section 207 of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 established the first procedure for De Novo classification (Pub. L. 105-115). Section 607 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act modified the De Novo application process by adding a second procedure (Pub. L. 112-144). A device sponsor may utilize either procedure for De Novo classification.

    Under the first procedure, the person submits a 510(k) for a device that has not previously been classified. After receiving an order from FDA classifying the device into class III under section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act, the person then requests a classification under section 513(f)(2).

    Under the second procedure, rather than first submitting a 510(k) and then a request for classification, if the person determines that there is no legally marketed device upon which to base a determination of substantial equivalence, that person requests a classification under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act.

    Under either procedure for De Novo classification, FDA is required to classify the device by written order within 120 days. The classification will be according to the criteria under section 513(a)(1) of the FD&C Act. Although the device was automatically within class III, the De Novo classification is considered to be the initial classification of the device.

    We believe this De Novo classification will enhance patients' access to beneficial innovation, in part by reducing regulatory burdens. When FDA classifies a device into class I or II via the De Novo process, the device can serve as a predicate for future devices of that type, including for 510(k)s (see 21 U.S.C. 360c(f)(2)(B)(i)). As a result, other device sponsors do not have to submit a De Novo request or premarket approval (PMA) application in order to market a substantially equivalent device (see 21 U.S.C. 360c(i), defining “substantial equivalence”).

    Instead, sponsors can use the less burdensome 510(k) process, when necessary, to market their device.

    II. De Novo Classification

    For this device, FDA issued an order on May 2, 2013, finding the Quantitation of Organophosphate Metabolites in Urine by LC/MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (the two “MS” next to each other denote “tandem”)) not substantially equivalent to a predicate not subject to PMA. Thus, the device remained in class III in accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act when we issued the order.

    On May 31, 2013, Elizabeth Hamelin, on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Laboratory Sciences/National Center for Environmental Health, submitted a request for classification of the Quantitation of Organophosphate Metabolites in Urine by LC/MS/MS. FDA reviewed the request in order to classify the device under the criteria for classification set forth in section 513(a)(1) of the FD&C Act.

    We classify devices into class II if general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, but there is sufficient information to establish special controls that, in combination with the general controls, provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use (see 21 U.S.C. 360c(a)(1)(B)). After review of the information submitted in the request, we determined that the device can be classified into class II with the establishment of special controls. FDA has determined that these special controls, in addition to general controls, will provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device.

    Therefore, on August 8, 2013, FDA issued an order to the requestor classifying the device into class II. FDA is codifying the classification of the device by adding 21 CFR 862.3652. We have named the generic type of device organophosphate test system, and it is identified as a device intended to measure organophosphate metabolites quantitatively in human urine from individuals who have signs and symptoms consistent with cholinesterase poisoning. The data obtained by this device is intended to aid in the confirmation and investigation of organophosphate exposure.

    FDA has identified the following risks to health associated specifically with this type of device and the measures required to mitigate these risks in table 1.

    Table 1—Organophosphate Test System Risks and Mitigation Measures Identified risks Mitigation measures False Positive (1) The distribution of these devices is limited to laboratories with experienced personnel who are trained to measure and evaluate organophosphate exposure and guide public health response.
  • (2) Analytical testing must demonstrate the device has appropriate performance characteristics, including adequate precision and accuracy across the measuring range and near medical decision points.
  • False Negative (1) The distribution of these devices is limited to laboratories with experienced personnel who are trained to measure and evaluate organophosphate exposure and guide public health response.
  • (2) Analytical testing must demonstrate the device has appropriate performance characteristics, including adequate precision and accuracy across the measuring range and near medical decision points.
  • Public Health Risk from Incorrect Test Results (1) The distribution of these devices is limited to laboratories with experienced personnel who are trained to measure and evaluate organophosphate exposure and guide public health response.
  • (2) Analytical testing must demonstrate the device has appropriate performance characteristics, including adequate precision and accuracy across the measuring range and near medical decision points.
  • FDA has determined that special controls, in combination with the general controls, address these risks to health and provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. In order for a device to fall within this classification, and thus avoid automatic classification in class III, it would have to comply with the special controls named in this final order. The necessary special controls appear in the regulation codified by this order. This device is subject to premarket notification requirements under section 510(k).

    III. Analysis of Environmental Impact

    The Agency has determined under 21 CFR 25.34(b) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final order establishes special controls that refer to previously approved collections of information found in other FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 862

    Medical devices.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 862 is amended as follows:

    PART 862—CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for part 862 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 351, 360, 360c, 360e, 360j, 360l, 371.

    2. Add § 862.3652 to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 862.3652 Organophosphate test system.

    (a) Identification. An organophosphate test system is a device intended to measure organophosphate metabolites quantitatively in human urine from individuals who have signs and symptoms consistent with cholinesterase poisoning. The data obtained by this device is intended to aid in the confirmation and investigation of organophosphate exposure.

    (b) Classification. Class II (special controls). The special controls for this device are:

    (1) The distribution of these devices is limited to laboratories with experienced personnel who are trained to measure and evaluate organophosphate exposure and guide public health response.

    (2) Analytical testing must demonstrate the device has appropriate performance characteristics, including adequate precision and accuracy across the measuring range and near medical decision points.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22590 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy 32 CFR Part 706 Certifications and Exemptions Under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy (DoN) is amending its certifications and exemptions under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended (72 COLREGS), to reflect that the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (DAJAG)(Admiralty and Maritime Law) has determined that USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001) is a vessel of the Navy which, due to its special construction and purpose, cannot fully comply with certain provisions of the 72 COLREGS without interfering with its special function as a naval ship. The intended effect of this rule is to warn mariners in waters where 72 COLREGS apply.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective October 18, 2017 and is applicable beginning October 3, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lieutenant Commander Kyle Fralick, (Admiralty and Maritime Law), Office of the Judge Advocate General, Department of the Navy, 1322 Patterson Ave. SE., Suite 3000, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066, telephone 202-685-5040.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the authority granted in 33 U.S.C. 1605, the DoN amends 32 CFR part 706.

    This amendment provides notice that the DAJAG (Admiralty and Maritime Law), under authority delegated by the Secretary of the Navy, has certified that USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001) is a vessel of the Navy which, due to its special construction and purpose, cannot fully comply with the following specific provisions of 72 COLREGS without interfering with its special function as a naval ship: Annex I paragraph 2(a)(i), pertaining to the location of the forward masthead light at a height not less than 6 meters above the hull; Annex I, paragraph 2(g) pertaining to the placement of sidelights above the hull of the vessel; Rule 30(a)(i) and Annex I, paragraph 2(k) pertaining to the vertical separation between anchor lights, and the location of the forward anchor light at a height of not less than 6 meters above the hull; Annex I, paragraph 3(a), pertaining to the horizontal separation between the forward and after masthead lights; Annex I, paragraph 2(i)(iii), pertaining to the vertical spacing of task lights; and Annex I, paragraph 3(c), pertaining to the task lights placed at a horizontal distance of not less than 2 meters from the fore and aft centerline of the vessel. The DAJAG (Admiralty and Maritime Law) has also certified that the lights involved are located in closest possible compliance with the applicable 72 COLREGS requirements.

    Moreover, it has been determined, in accordance with 32 CFR parts 296 and 701, that publication of this amendment for public comment prior to adoption is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on technical findings that the placement of lights on this vessel in a manner differently from that prescribed herein will adversely affect the vessel's ability to perform its military functions.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 706

    Marine safety, Navigation (water), Vessels.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the DoN amends part 706 of title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 706—CERTIFICATIONS AND EXEMPTIONS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA, 1972 1. The authority citation for part 706 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1605.

    2. Section 706.2 is amended by: a. In Table One, adding in alphanumerical order by vessel number, an entry for USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001); b. In Table Three, adding in alphanumerical order by vessel number, an entry for USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001); c. In Table Four, under paragraph 15, adding in alphanumerical order by vessel number, an entry for USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001); d. In Table Four, under paragraph 19, adding in alphanumerical order by vessel number, an entry for USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001); e. In Table Four, under paragraph 22 adding, in alphanumerical order by vessel number, an entry for USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001); and f. In Table Five, adding, in alphanumerical order by vessel number, an entry for USS MICHAEL MONSOOR (DDG 1001).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 706.2 Certifications of the Secretary of the Navy under Executive Order 11964 and 33 U.S.C. 1605. Table One Vessel Number Distance in meters of forward
  • masthead light below minimum
  • required height § 2(a)(i)Annex 1
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS MICHAEL MONSOOR DDG 2.33 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Table Three Vessel Number Masthead
  • lights arc of
  • visibility;
  • rule 21(a)
  • Side lights
  • arc of
  • visibility;
  • rule 21(b)
  • Stern light
  • arc of
  • visibility;
  • rule 21(c)
  • Side lights
  • distance
  • inboard
  • of ship's sides
  • in meters 3(b)
  • annex 1
  • Stern light,
  • distance
  • forward of
  • stern
  • in meters;
  • rule 21(c)
  • Forward
  • anchor light,
  • height above
  • hull in meters;
  • 2(K) annex 1
  • Anchor lights
  • relationship of
  • aft light to
  • forward light
  • in meters
  • 2(K) annex 1
  • USS MICHAEL MONSOOR DDG 1001 5.3 2.99 below. *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    15. * * *

    Table Four Vessel Number Horizontal distance from the fore
  • and aft centerline of the vessel in the
  • athwartship direction
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS MICHAEL MONSOOR DDG 1001 FWD Lower: 10.33 meters.
  • FWD Middle: 10.31 meters.
  • FWD Upper: 10.30 meters.
  • AFT Lower: 11.05 meters.
  • AFT Middle: 11.05 meters.
  • AFT Upper: 11.05 meters.
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 On DDG 1000, the ship does not have a traditional mast. To achieve the effect of a “single, all-around light,” multiple sets of task lights are embedded into each of the four faces of the ship's superstructure. Except when viewing the ship from dead ahead, dead astern or broadside, two deckhouse surfaces are visible; consequently, two sets of task lights are visible simultaneously. Because the deckhouse surfaces are sloped, unless the lights are viewed dead-on, the three task lights do not present as being in a vertical line.

    19. * * *

    Vessel Number Distance in meters of sidelights above maximum allowed height USS MICHAEL MONSOOR DDG 1001 2.23 PORT.
  • 2.52 STBD.
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    22. * * *

    Vessel Number Vertical Separation of the task light array is not equally spaced, the separation between the middle and lower task light exceed the separation between the upper and middle light by *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS MICHAEL MONSOOR DDG 1001 FWD: 0.01 meter.
  • AFT: 0.00 meter.
  • PORT: 0.17 meter.
  • STBD: 0.24 meter.
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Table Five Vessel Number Masthead
  • lights not
  • over all
  • other lights and
  • obstructions;
  • annex I,
  • sec. 2(f)
  • Forward
  • masthead
  • light not in
  • forward
  • quarter
  • of ship;
  • annex I,
  • sec. 3(a)
  • After
  • masthead
  • light less
  • than 1/2 ship's
  • length aft of
  • forward
  • masthead light;
  • annex I,
  • sec.3(a)
  • Percentage
  • horizontal
  • separation
  • attained
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS MICHAEL MONSOOR DDG 1001 X X X 77.2 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Approved: October 3, 2017. A.S. Janin, Captain, JAGC, U.S. Navy, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate, General (Admiralty and Maritime Law). Dated: October 10, 2017. A.M. Nichols, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy,Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22577 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0858] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Clinch River, Oak Ridge, TN AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a special local regulation for all navigable waters of the Clinch River from mile marker (MM) 49.5 to MM 54.0. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on these navigable waters near Oak Ridge, TN during the Secret City Head Race. Entry into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated area is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. on October 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0858 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call Petty Officer Vera Max, Marine Safety Detachment Nashville, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 615-736-5421, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. We must establish the special local regulation by October 21, 2017 and lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because immediate action is needed to protect the persons and property from the dangers associated with the race.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233. The Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the Secret City Head Race from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. on October 21, 2017 will be a safety concern for all navigable waters on the Clinch River extending from mile marker (MM) 49.5 to MM 54.0. The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of life and vessels on these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled event.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a special local regulation from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. on October 21, 2017 for all navigable waters on the Clinch River from MM 49.5 to MM 54.0. The duration of the regulated area is intended to ensure the safety of life and vessels on these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled event. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the special local regulation. Vessel traffic will be able to safely navigate through the affected area before and after the scheduled event. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the regulated area and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the area.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the establishment of a special local regulation lasting twelve hours on one day extending less than five miles of the Clinch River from MM 49.5 to MM 54.0. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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

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

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

    33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. Add § 100.35T08-0858 to read as follows:
    § 100.35T08-0858 Special Local Regulation; Clinch River, Oak Ridge, TN.

    (a) Location. All navigable waters of the Clinch River between mile marker (MM) 49.5 and MM 54.0, Oak Ridge, TN.

    (b) Effective period. This section will be enforced from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. on October 21, 2017.

    (c) Special local regulations. (1) Entry into this area is prohibited unless authorized by Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons or vessels desiring entry into or passage through the area must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley may be contacted on VHF Channel 13 or 16 or by telephone at 1-800-253-7465.

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

    Dated: October 10, 2017. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22595 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0257] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ. This deviation will test the remote operation capability of the drawbridge to determine whether the bridge can be safely operated from a remote location. This deviation will allow the bridge to be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ, instead of being operated by an on-site bridge tender.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 8 a.m. on October 21, 2017 through 7:59 a.m. on April 19, 2018.

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 15, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0257 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this test deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpb); telephone (757) 398-6222, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    On April 12, 2017, we published a notice in the Federal Register entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” announcing a temporary deviation from the regulations, with request for comments (see 82 FR 17562). The purpose of the deviation was to test the newly installed remote operational capabilities of the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ, owned and operated by Conrail Shared Assets. The installation of the remote capabilities did not change the operational schedule of the bridge.1

    1 A full description of the remote operational system is outlined in the aforementioned publication, which can be found at http://regulations.gov. (see ADDRESSES for more information).

    During the initial test deviation performed from 8 a.m. on April 24, 2017, through 7:59 a.m. on October 21, 2017, the bridge owner identified deficiencies in the remote operation center procedures, bridge to vessel communications, and equipment redundancy. Comments concerning these deficiencies were submitted to the docket and provided to the Coast Guard and bridge owner by representatives from the Mariners' Advisory Committee for the Bay and River Delaware.

    During the initial test deviation, we also published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register, entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” (see 82 FR 29800). In the NPRM, we stated that we are proposing to modify the operating regulation that governs the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ. This proposed regulation would allow the bridge to be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ, instead of being operated by an on-site bridge tender. In the NPRM, we also stated we would not change the operating schedule of the bridge. The comment period for the notice and NPRM closed on August 18, 2017, and we received a total of fourteen comments. The Coast Guard will adjudicate all comments at the completion of this test.

    The bridge owner implemented policies and provided training to address the procedural and communications deficiencies and implemented backup systems to mitigate potential equipment and systems failures. These changes were not fully evaluated during the test deviation ending October 21, 2017. Therefore, the Coast Guard has decided to issue a second test deviation to complete the evaluation of the changes incorporated into the remote operation system.

    This test deviation will commence at 8 a.m. on October 21, 2017, and conclude at 7:59 a.m. on April 19, 2018. During the test deviation, a bridge tender will be stationed on-site at the bridge and will be able to immediately take local control of the bridge, as required.

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

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

    II. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

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

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22639 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0817] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Cumberland River, Nashville, TN AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for all navigable waters of the Cumberland River extending from mile marker (MM) 190.7 to MM 191.1. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on these navigable waters near Nashville, TN, during the Light the Night Walk fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Sector Ohio Valley or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8:15 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on October 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0817 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Petty Officer Jonathan Braddy, MSD Nashville, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 615-736-5421, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. We must establish this safety zone by October 20, 2017 because of the safety issues involved and there is insufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying this rule would be contrary to public interest in ensuring the safety of spectators and vessels during the event because immediate action is necessary to prevent possible loss of life and property. Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNM) and sharing information with the waterway users will update mariners of the restrictions, requirements, and enforcement times during this temporary situation.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port, Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks display from 8:15 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on October 20, 2017 will be a safety concern for all navigable waters of the Cumberland River extending from mile marker (MM) 190.7 to MM 191.1. The purpose of this rule is to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters in the temporary safety zone before, during, and after the Light the Night Walk Fireworks Display.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone from 8:15 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on October 20, 2017. The temporary safety zone will cover all navigable waters of the Cumberland River extending from MM 190.7 to MM 191.1. The duration of the temporary safety zone is intended to ensure the safety of life and vessels on these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled fireworks display. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the temporary safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Entry requests will be considered and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The COTP may be contacted by telephone at 1-800-253-7475 or can be reached by VHF-FM channel 16. Public notifications will be made to the local maritime community prior to the event through the Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the temporary safety zone. The temporary safety zone will only be in effect for fifteen minutes and covers an area of the waterway stretching less than one mile. Mariners may request authorization from the COTP or a designated representative to transit the temporary safety zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

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

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T08-0817 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0817 Safety zone; Cumberland River, Nashville, TN.

    (a) Location. The following area is a temporary safety zone area: All navigable waters of the Cumberland River between mile marker (MM) 190.7 and MM 191.1, Nashville, TN.

    (b) Effective period. This temporary safety zone will be enforced from 8:15 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on October 20, 2017.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative. Persons or vessels desiring to enter into or pass through the zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF-FM radio channel 16 or telephone at 1-800-253-7465

    (2) Persons and vessels permitted to enter this safety zone must transit at the slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (d) Informational broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the temporary safety zone as well as any changes in the planned schedule.

    Dated: October 10, 2017. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22592 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0913] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Ohio River, Cincinnati, OH AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for all navigable waters of the Ohio River extending from mile marker (MM) 469.5 to MM 470.1. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on the navigable waters near Cincinnati, OH, during the Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 7:45 p.m. through 8:45 p.m. on October 19, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0913 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Petty Officer Joshua Herriott, Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 502-779-5343, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of life during the Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics display. It is impracticable to publish an NPRM because the Coast Guard must establish this safety zone by October 19, 2017 and we lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying this rule would be contrary to public interest in ensuring the safety of spectators and vessels during the event because immediate action is necessary to prevent possible loss of life and property. Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNM) and sharing information with the waterway users will update mariners of the restrictions, requirements and enforcement times during this temporary situation.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks display from 7:45 p.m. through 8:45 p.m. on October 19, 2017 will be a safety concern for all navigable waters of the Ohio River extending from mile marker (MM) 469.5 to MM 470.1. The purpose of this rule is to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters in the temporary safety zone before, during, and after the Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics Display.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone from 7:45 p.m. through 8:45 p.m. on October 19, 2017. The temporary safety zone will cover all waters of the Ohio River extending from MM 469.5 to MM 470.1. The duration of the temporary safety zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled fireworks display. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the temporary safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    Requests to enter the safety zone will be considered and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The COTP may be contacted by telephone at 1-800-253-7475 or can be reached by VHF-FM channel 16. Public notifications will be made to the local maritime community prior to the event through the Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the temporary safety zone. The temporary safety zone will only be in effect for one hour and covers an area of the waterway extending less than one mile. The Coast Guard expects minimum adverse impact to mariners from the temporary safety zone activation as the event has been advertised to the public. Also, mariners may request authorization from the COTP or a designated representative to transit the temporary safety zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves special local regulated area that would prohibit entry for one hour and covers an area of the waterway extending less than one mile on the Ohio River. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine Safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security Measures, Waterways.

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T08-0913 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0913 Safety zone; Ohio River, Cincinnati, OH.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Ohio River between mile marker (MM) 469.5 and MM 470.1 in Cincinnati, OH.

    (b) Effective period. This temporary safety zone will be enforced from 7:45 p.m. through 8:45 p.m. on October 19, 2017.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative. Persons or vessels desiring to enter into or pass through the zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF-FM radio channel 16 or phone at 1-800-253-7465.

    (2) Persons and vessels permitted to deviate from this safety zone regulation and enter the restricted area must transit at the slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (d) Informational broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the temporary safety zone as well as any changes in the planned schedule.

    Dated: October 10, 2017. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22594 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Part 600 Federal Student Aid Programs (Institutional Eligibility); Foreign Institutions Affected by Natural Disasters AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Identification of inapplicable regulatory provisions.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary is identifying as temporarily inapplicable certain regulatory provisions determining whether an educational institution qualifies in whole or in part as an eligible institution of higher education under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), to provide relief to foreign institutions affected by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

    DATES:

    The regulatory provisions identified in this document are inapplicable from October 18, 2017, through the earlier of June 30, 2019, or the date that an affected foreign institution can resume operation in its home country.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 6C111, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 203-9155 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The regulations at 34 CFR 600.51(c) state, “A foreign institution must comply with all requirements for eligible and participating institutions except when made inapplicable by the HEA or when the Secretary, through publication in the Federal Register, identifies specific provisions as inapplicable to foreign institutions.” Under this authority, the Secretary is identifying as inapplicable the regulatory provisions listed below from 34 CFR part 600, which determine whether an educational institution qualifies in whole or in part as an eligible institution of higher education under the HEA, and may apply to participate in programs authorized by the HEA.

    We are taking this action to provide relief to foreign institutions affected by Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Maria. This action allows a foreign institution that can no longer operate in its home country due to the effects of Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Maria to temporarily operate in another country, contingent upon the foreign institution receiving approval from the Secretary for the relocation after providing:

    • The plan and timeline for the temporary relocation, including details of the program offerings and an agreement with any institution at which the affected institution will temporarily relocate;

    • Approval of the plan and timeline for the temporary relocation from the foreign institution's accrediting body, including an agreement by that accrediting body to visit and monitor operations at the temporary location;

    • Documentation from the government of the country where the temporary campus will be located that the foreign institution will be allowed to operate the temporary location for the period of time specified in the timeline; and

    • Any additional information the Secretary requires for approval.

    The Secretary reserves the right to revoke through written notice her approval of a foreign institution for relocation upon evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse.

    The Secretary is identifying as inapplicable the following regulations:

    1. 34 CFR 600.52, definition of a “foreign institution,” paragraph (1)(i), requiring that a foreign institution not be located in a State;

    2. 34 CFR 600.52, definition of a “foreign institution,” paragraph (1)(ii), requiring that, with the exception of the clinical training portion of a foreign medical, veterinary, or nursing program, a foreign institution (1) have no U.S. locations; (2) have no written arrangements, within the meaning of § 668.5, with institutions or organizations located in the United States for students enrolling at the foreign institution to take courses from institutions located in the United States; and (3) does not permit students to enroll in any course offered by the foreign institution in the United States, including research, work, internship, externship, or special studies within the United States, except that independent research done by an individual student in the United States for not more than one academic year is permitted if it is conducted during the dissertation phase of a doctoral program under the guidance of faculty, and the research can only be performed in a facility in the United States;

    3. 34 CFR 600.52, definition of a “foreign institution,” paragraph (1)(iii), requiring a foreign institution to be legally authorized by the education ministry, council, or equivalent agency of the country in which the institution is located to provide an educational program beyond the secondary education level;

    4. 34 CFR 600.52, definition of a “foreign institution,” paragraph (1)(iv), requiring a foreign institution to award degrees, certificates, or other recognized educational credentials in accordance with § 600.54(e) that are officially recognized by the country in which the institution is located;

    5. 34 CFR 600.52, definition of a “foreign institution,” paragraph (2), requiring that, if an educational enterprise enrolls students both within a State and outside a State, and the number of students who would be eligible to receive title IV, HEA program funds attending locations outside a State is at least twice the number of students enrolled within a State, the locations outside a State must apply to participate as one or more foreign institutions and must meet all requirements of the definition of a “foreign institution,” and the other requirements applicable to foreign institutions;

    6. 34 CFR 600.54(d)(1), requiring the additional locations of a foreign institution to separately meet the definition of a “foreign institution” in 34 CFR 600.52 if the additional location is located outside of the country in which the main campus is located, except as provided for the clinical training portion of a program of a foreign graduate medical school, veterinary school, or nursing school;

    7. 34 CFR 600.55(a)(2)(iii), requiring that, as part of its clinical training, a foreign graduate medical school does not offer more than two electives consisting of no more than eight weeks per student at a site located in a foreign country other than the country in which the main campus is located or in the United States, unless that location is included in the accreditation of a medical program accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA);

    8. 34 CFR 600.55(b)(1)(i), requiring that a foreign graduate medical school be approved by an accrediting body that is legally authorized to evaluate the quality of graduate medical school educational programs and facilities in the country where the school is located; and

    9. 34 CFR 600.55(h), requiring that a foreign graduate medical program offered to U.S. students:

    • Must be located in the country in which the main campus of the school is located, except for the clinical training portion of the program, and must be in a country whose medical school accrediting standards are comparable to U.S. standards as determined by the NCFMEA, except for exempt clinical training sites in 34 CFR 600.55(h)(3)(ii), or clinical sites located in the United States.

    • Unless a clinical training site is an exempt clinical training site under 34 CFR 600.55(h)(3)(ii), for students to be eligible to receive Direct Loan funds at any part of the clinical training portion of the program located in a foreign country other than the country where the main campus of the foreign graduate medical school is located or in the United States: (i) The school's medical accrediting agency must have conducted an on-site evaluation and approved the clinical training site, and (ii) the clinical instruction must be offered in conjunction with programs offered to students enrolled in accredited schools located in that approved foreign country.

    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 all 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.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1082, 1088.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Kathleen A. Smith, Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22628 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0034; FRL-9969-59-Region 5] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Minnesota; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a regional haze progress report under the Clean Air Act as a revision to the Minnesota State Implementation Plan (SIP). Minnesota has satisfied the progress report requirements of the Regional Haze Rule. The progress report examines Minnesota's progress in implementing its regional haze plan during the first half of the first implementation period. Minnesota has met the requirements for submitting a periodic report describing its progress toward reasonable progress goals (RPGs) established for regional haze. Minnesota also provided a determination of the adequacy of its plan in addressing regional haze with its negative declaration submitted with the progress report. Because the state addresses the applicable requirements, EPA is approving the progress report and adequacy determination for the first implementation period for regional haze as a revision to the Minnesota SIP.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 18, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse comments by November 17, 2017. If adverse comments are received, EPA 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-R05-OAR-2015-0034 at https://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Rau, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6524, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Background II. Requirements for Regional Haze Progress Report SIPs and Adequacy Determinations III. What is EPA's analysis? IV. What action is EPA taking? V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    States are required to submit a progress report every five years that evaluates progress towards the RPGs for each mandatory Class I Federal area 1 (Class I area). Specifically, the progress report evaluates progress toward the RPGs for each mandatory Class I Federal area within the state and in each mandatory Class I Federal area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from with the state. 40 CFR 51.308(g). States are also required to submit, at the same time as the progress report, a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze SIP under 40 CFR 51.308(h). The first progress report SIP is due five years after submittal of the initial regional haze SIP.

    1 Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), a Class I Federal area is one in which visibility is protected more stringently than under the national ambient air quality standards. Class I federal area include national parks, wilderness areas, monuments, and other areas of special national and cultural significance.

    Minnesota submitted its regional haze plan to EPA on December 30, 2009, with a supplement submitted on May 8, 2012. Correspondingly, Minnesota submitted its five-year progress report and its determination of adequacy on December 30, 2014. EPA is approving Minnesota's progress report on the basis that it satisfies the applicable requirements of 40 CFR 51.308.

    Two Class I areas are located in Minnesota, the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area (Boundary Waters) and the Voyageurs National Park (Voyageurs). Further, Minnesota emissions contribute to visibility impairment at a Class I area located out of state, the Isle Royale National Park (Isle Royale) in Michigan.

    II. Requirements for Regional Haze Progress Report SIPs and Adequacy Determinations

    States must periodically submit a regional haze progress report that addresses the elements found in 40 CFR 51.308(g). States are required by 40 CFR 51.308(h) to submit, at the same time as the progress report SIP, a determination of the adequacy of their existing regional haze SIP and to take one of four possible actions listed in the rule based on information in the progress report.

    III. What is EPA's analysis? A. Regional Haze Progress Report SIP

    The following sections discuss the information provided in Minnesota's progress report. Each section describes Minnesota's progress report SIP submission and provides EPA's analysis and proposed determination as to whether the submission meets the applicable requirements of 40 CFR 51.308.

    1. Status of Implementation of All Measures Included in the Regional Haze SIP

    In general, the Regional Haze Rule features two strategies for reducing visibility-impairing pollutants: Implementing best available retrofit technology (BART) and the long-term strategy (LTS). In Minnesota, BART applies to electric generating units (EGUs) and taconite facilities.

    a. BART for EGUs

    The Minnesota progress report described the implementation of regional haze controls at EGUs. Minnesota's 2009 Regional Haze SIP included source-specific BART determinations for subject EGUs. Minnesota had intended to rely on the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) EGU emissions cap and trade program, finalized on May 12, 2005 (70 FR 25162), which had been determined by EPA as “better than BART.” However, CAIR was remanded (without vacatur) by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C.) Circuit in December 2008, North Carolina v. EPA, 550 F.3d 1176, 1178 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Therefore, Minnesota's 2009 Regional Haze SIP relied on the source-specific BART determinations performed by the state.

    EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), effective October 7, 2011 (76 FR 48208). Implementation of CSAPR was scheduled to begin on January 1, 2012, when CSAPR would have superseded the CAIR program. However, numerous parties filed petitions for review of CSAPR, and at the end of 2011, the D.C. Circuit issued an order staying CSAPR pending resolution of the petitions and directing EPA to continue to administer CAIR. EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, D.C. Cir. No. 11-1302 (December 30, 2011).

    In December 2011, EPA proposed a rule to approve CSAPR as an alternative to determining source-by-source specific BART for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions from power plants. 76 FR 82219 (December 30, 2011). EPA finalized the rule on June 7, 2012. 77 FR 33642. Minnesota modified its EGU BART strategy, replacing source-specific BART determinations at subject facilities with participation in CSAPR. On January 5, 2012, Minnesota requested to use CSAPR participation to satisfy BART for its EGUs, which EPA approved on June 12, 2012 (77 FR 34801). EPA considers CSAPR to satisfy the BART requirements for Minnesota EGUs for SO2 and NOX.

    On August 21, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated CSAPR, keeping CAIR in effect while EPA developed a replacement rule. EPA appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld CSAPR in a final decision issued on April 29, 2014.2 On October 23, 2014, the Court of Appeals granted EPA's motion to lift the stay of CSAPR and to toll CSAPR's compliance deadlines by three years. On November 21, 2014, EPA issued a rule that aligns the dates in the CSAPR rule text with the revised court-ordered schedule, including the implementation of Phase I in 2015. 79 FR 71663.

    2EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014).

    Minnesota used CSAPR to satisfy BART for its subject EGUs. The EGUs in Minnesota, including both units subject to BART and units not subject to BART, have reduced SO2 and NOX emissions even with the delay in implementing CSAPR. In the progress report, Minnesota shows that 2013 state-wide SO2 emissions from EGUs were 24,366 tons. That is below the CSAPR budget of 41,981 tons and a 76 percent decrease from 2002 emissions. Minnesota also shows that 2013 state-wide NOX emissions were 24,855 tons from EGUs. That is below the 29,572 tons CSAPR budget and a 71 percent decrease from 2002 emissions.

    b. BART for Taconite Facilities

    The Minnesota progress report described the implementation of regional haze controls at taconite facilities. Minnesota's 2009 Regional Haze SIP included source-specific BART determinations for subject taconite facilities. On February 6, 2013, EPA finalized a Federal Implementation Plan rule (FIP) with BART determinations and enforceable limits for Minnesota's subject taconite facilities for control of SO2 and NOX emissions. 78 FR 8706.

    Compliance deadlines in the FIP ranged from a few months (for most SO2 limits) to five years from the SIP's effective date of March 8, 2013. The affected facilities, however, as well as the state of Michigan, filed petitions for reconsideration and review of the FIP rule. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of the rule on June 14, 2013. As of the date of Minnesota's progress report, December 30, 2014, the stay remained in effect while the parties sought to resolve the litigation.3 Subsequently, the stay was lifted on November 15, 2016.

    3 EPA subsequently reached a settlement agreement with Cliffs Natural Resources, Arcelor Mittal, and the state of Michigan regarding issues raised in their petitions for review and reconsideration. Notice of the settlement was published in the Federal Register on January 30, 2015 (80 FR 5111), and the settlement agreement was fully executed on April 9, 2015.

    EPA granted partial reconsideration of the 2013 Taconite FIP based on new information raised in the petitions for reconsideration. EPA finalized a revision to the taconite BART FIP on April 12, 2016 (81 FR 21672). EPA revised the SO2 and NOX emission limitations for some of the taconite facilities based on new information that was not available when the FIP was originally promulgated.

    However, Cliffs, Arcelor Mittal, and US Steel filed petitions for reconsideration and review against the April 12, 2016 revised FIP on or about June 13, 2016. This matter is also pending before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The FIP provided BART limits for taconite furnaces. The delays in implementing the taconite FIP extended beyond the period Minnesota assessed in its progress report. In light of the stay of the FIP during the reporting period, Minnesota did not include any expected visibility improvements that will arise from the implementation of the FIP in its progress report analysis. Minnesota will evaluate visibility benefits from the taconite FIP in future regional haze plans and progress reports.

    c. Long Term Strategy

    In its progress report, Minnesota described its Northeast Minnesota Plan, which is part of the LTS in its regional haze plan. The Northeast Minnesota Plan applies to sources in a six-county (Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and Saint Louis counties) area in northeastern Minnesota that emit at least 100 tons per year of either NOX, SO2, or both. The Northeast Minnesota Plan sets two targets from the base case for reductions in combined NOX and SO2 emissions.

    d. “On-the-Books” Modeled Controls

    In its progress report, Minnesota noted the additional emission reductions expected from several Federal programs. Minnesota considered the emission reductions from the Tier 2 Gasoline, Heavy-duty Highway Diesel, Non-road Diesel, and a variety of Maximum Achievable Control Technology programs in its regional haze plan. Minnesota did not rely on additional emissions controls from other states in its regional haze strategy. Additional emission reductions from the evaluated programs and from other states will not delay visibility improvement and may accelerate the improvement.

    EPA concludes that Minnesota has adequately addressed the status of control measures in its regional haze SIP. Minnesota describes the implementation status of measures from its regional haze SIP including the status of control measures to meet BART, reasonable progress requirements, and the status of measures from on-the-book controls.

    2. Summary of Emission Reductions Achieved in Minnesota Through Implementation of Measures

    Minnesota provided its EGUs emissions of SO2 and NOX for 2002, 2009, and 2013, along with its CSAPR budgets. As discussed in III.A.1.a. of this rule, emissions of the relevant pollutants have sharply declined from 2002 to 2013, and are all below the CSAPR budgets.

    EPA expects further SO2 and NOX emission reductions from EGUs and the taconite facilities as CSAPR and the taconite FIP are implemented. Minnesota should account for these future emission reductions in its plan for the 2018-2028 implementation period. Minnesota will reassess its RPGs and the adequacy of its regional haze SIP when preparing its second regional haze SIP to cover the 2018-2028 implementation period. That assessment will include its reliance upon CSAPR for emission reductions from EGUs, implementation of controls on its taconite facilities, and any other applicable emission controls.

    Table 1—Northeast Minnesota Plan Target
  • (tons NOX and SO2)
  • Emissions
  • (tons NOX and SO2)
  • 2002 (Base) 95,826 95,826 2012 76,661 (20 percent reduction) 52,691 2018 67,078 (30 percent reduction) 1 66,982 1 Projection of 2018 combined emissions that adds permitted new sources, modifications, and potential new sources to the existing area sources.

    The Northeast Minnesota Plan sets a 20 percent reduction target for 2012 and a 30 percent reduction target for 2018 of combined NOX and SO2 emissions from the 2002 base. Minnesota reported that the 2012 combined emissions from the Northeast Minnesota Plan sources meet the 2012 goal. Thus, Minnesota has made adequate progress to date in achieving emission reductions.

    Although the progress report is an evaluation of the progress achieved, there are some new sources permitted in the Northeast Minnesota Plan area. Minnesota made a projection of 2018 combined emissions that adds permitted new sources, modifications, and potential new sources to the existing area sources that is less than the 2018 Northeast Minnesota Plan goal.

    EPA finds that the summary of emission reductions achieved from control strategy implementation meets the applicable requirements.

    3. Assessment of Visibility Conditions and Changes for Each Mandatory Class I Federal Area in the State Table 2—Visibility Progress at Class I Areas Area 2002
  • (dv)
  • 2013
  • (dv)
  • 2018
  • (dv)
  • Boundary Waters: Worst 19.9 18.9 18.6 Best 6.4 4.8 6.4 Voyageurs: Worst 19.5 18.2 18.9 Best 7.1 5.3 7.1

    Minnesota reported the 2013 visibility conditions for the 20 percent most impaired days (worst) and the 20 percent least impaired days (best) at Boundary Waters and Voyageurs. Those values indicate progress from the 2002 baseline toward the 2018 RPGs.

    EPA finds that Minnesota properly reported the current visibility conditions for the most impaired and least impaired days, the difference between current conditions and baseline conditions for the most impaired and least impaired days, and the change in visibility for the most impaired and least impaired days over the past five years. Minnesota's visibility progress is on track as improvement has been shown for the 20 percent least impaired days and is on track for the 20 percent most impaired days at both Class I Federal areas, Boundary Waters and Voyageurs.

    4. Analysis Tracking Emissions Changes of Visibility-Impairing Pollutants

    Minnesota provided its 2002 base emissions and projected 2018 emissions in its regional haze plan submitted in 2009. The progress report gives 2011 annual emissions for SO2, NOX, ammonia (NH3), and volatile organic compounds (VOC). These emissions can be compared to the 2002 base and 2018 projected emissions to evaluate progress.

    Table 3—Emissions Progress SO2
  • (tons)
  • NOX
  • (tons)
  • NH3
  • (tons)
  • VOC
  • (tons)
  • 2002 Emissions 163,000 487,000 185,000 361,000 2011 Emissions 62,100 299,000 197,000 273,000 2018 Goal 108,000 288,000 253,000 279,000

    Minnesota reports 2011 total SO2 emissions of 62,100 tons, lower than the 2018 goal of 108,000 tons. Minnesota noted that SO2 emissions have been steadily declining. Point sources comprise most of the SO2 emissions, and several projects at coal-burning EGUs have driven the decline in SO2 emissions.

    Minnesota NOX emissions have declined to 299,000 tons in 2011, nearing the 2018 goal of 288,000. For NOX emissions, mobile sources are the main sector, and, as such, implementation of mobile source programs is expected to continue to decrease NOX emissions in Minnesota. Potential emission reductions from EGUs and taconite facilities, once implemented, will provide some further assistance. Minnesota appears to be on track to meet its 2018 RPG for NOX emissions given the reductions already achieved and further reductions expected because of the controls being implemented.

    Minnesota projected its NH3 emissions to increase 37 percent from 2002 to 2018, while by 2011 NH3 emissions increased by 6.5 percent. Minnesota noted in its report that so far NH3 emissions are increasing at a lower rate than predicted, but there still is some uncertainly regarding the emissions growth rate. Non-point source, agricultural livestock manure management in particular, are the main sector for NH3 emissions in Minnesota.

    Minnesota projects VOC emissions to decrease 23 percent from 2002 to 279,000 tons in 2018. Minnesota reports 273,000 tons of VOC emissions in 2011. Emissions are gradually decreasing from implementation of a variety of programs. The state's anthropogenic VOC emissions are mainly from mobile and non-point sources.

    Minnesota noted that direct fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions have a minimal impact on visibility in Boundary Waters and Voyageurs. EPA examined the PM2.5 emissions inventories and found a downward trend in emissions.

    Minnesota appears to be on-track for reaching the 2018 emission projections in its regional haze plan. EPA finds that Minnesota's analysis tracking emissions progress for the current five-year period has satisfied the applicable requirements.

    5. Assessment of Any Significant Changes in Anthropogenic Emissions

    Minnesota provided an assessment of its SO2, NOX, and NH3 emissions changes and of the five contributing states (Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, and Wisconsin).

    Minnesota reported 2011 emissions, which show a 61 percent SO2 reduction from the 2002 base year, a 38 percent NOX reduction, and a 6.5 percent increase in NH3 emissions.

    Iowa emissions (as indicated in its progress report) show a 37,400 ton SO2 reduction from 2002 to 2008, along with a 68,100 ton NOX reduction. Minnesota reviewed the public comment draft of the Missouri progress report. Missouri reported a 147,000 ton reduction in SO2 emissions and a 53,200 ton reduction in NOX emissions from 2005 to 2011. North Dakota provided emission information that shows a 67,000 ton, or 38 percent, SO2 reduction and a 51,000 ton or 22 percent NOX reduction from 2002 to 2011. Illinois and Wisconsin had not compiled emission data in time for Minnesota to evaluate for the report.

    Minnesota also included emissions data from EPA's Clean Air Markets Division that show reductions in both SO2 and NOX emissions for each of the six states from 2005 to 2013. Collectively for the six states, SO2 emissions declined 645,000 tons or 57 percent decrease, and there was a 293,000 ton or 53 percent decrease in NOX emissions.

    EPA finds that Minnesota properly assessed available information for any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions over the past five years to determine whether these changes have impeded progress in improving visibility. The five contributing states are in various stages in assessing emissions for progress reports making Minnesota's assessment of contributing states' emissions inconsistent state to state. The visibility data available to Minnesota indicates that visibility improvement is on track. Supplementing the data from other states, EPA's Clean Air Markets Division data show that significant, wide-spread SO2 and NOX emission declines have already occurred. Thus, there is no evidence that progress in Minnesota is being impeded by emissions from other states.

    6. Assessment of Whether the SIP Elements and Strategies Are Sufficient To Meet RPGs

    Minnesota has implemented, or expects to implement by 2018, all controls from its approved regional haze plan. The state noted in the progress report that its emissions are on track for the 2018 goals, including reductions that are ahead of pace for the key visibility impairing pollutants, SO2 and NOX. Minnesota expects that the implementation of CSAPR and other Federal programs will address the reasonable progress obligations of the contributing states.

    Minnesota emissions contribute to visibility impairment at Isle Royale. Emission reductions from Minnesota sources that help visibility improvement at Boundary Waters and Voyageurs also support visibility improvement at Isle Royale. Minnesota has achieved greater SO2 emission reductions than predicted in both its own and Michigan's regional haze plans.

    EPA finds that Minnesota has provided an assessment of the current strategy to determine if it is sufficient to meet reasonable progress goals at all Class I Federal areas impacted by Minnesota emissions. The available information indicates that Minnesota is implementing its controls. The visibility progress at both Boundary Waters and Voyageurs is on track and thus suggests Minnesota's current strategy is sufficient to meet its reasonable progress goals.

    7. Visibility Monitoring Strategy Review

    Minnesota states in its progress report that Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) sites operate at the Class I Federal areas, Boundary Waters and Voyageurs, which are in northeastern Minnesota. There are also two IMPROVE protocol sites in southern Minnesota operating near Blue Mounds State Park and Great River Bluffs State Park. Minnesota will continue to operate the IMPROVE network monitors based on Federal funding. If future reductions to the IMPROVE network occur, the state has a contingency plan to use the PM2.5 monitoring network. In addition, Minnesota commits to meeting the reporting requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(d)(4)(iv) for its Class I Federal areas.

    EPA finds that Minnesota has adequately reviewed its visibility monitoring strategy, and concurs that it appears sufficient. No modifications to the monitoring strategy are needed at this time.

    B. Determination of the Adequacy of Existing Implementation Plan

    The determination of adequacy for the regional haze plan is required to be submitted at the same time as the progress report. The rule at 40 CFR 51.308(h) requires the state to select from four actions based on the state's evaluation of its regional haze plan.

    Minnesota determined that its regional haze plan, including the 2012 supplement as approved into the Minnesota SIP, is adequate to meet the Regional Haze Rule requirements and expects to achieve the RPGs at Boundary Waters, Voyageurs, and Isle Royale. Thus, Minnesota submitted a negative declaration that further substantive revision of its regional haze plan is not needed at this time.

    EPA finds that the current Minnesota regional haze plan is adequate to achieve its established goals. The reported information indicates that Minnesota is on track to meet its visibility improvement and emission reduction goals.

    C. Public Participation and Federal Land Manager Consultation

    Minnesota published a public notice in the July 28, 2014, State Register. Minnesota offered a public meeting upon request. No one requested a public meeting. The state provided a public comment period of July 28, 2014, to August 27 2014, and received eight comment letters on its action. The comment letters, along with Minnesota's responses, are included in the progress report in Appendix F.

    Minnesota consulted with Federal Land Managers (FLMs) on June 10, 2014. It provided a draft of the progress report to FLMs on June 20, 2014. The FLM comments, along with Minnesota's responses, are included in the progress report in Appendix F. Minnesota made revisions to the progress report based on FLM comments.

    EPA finds that Minnesota has addressed the applicable public participation requirements in 40 CFR 51.308(i).

    IV. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving the regional haze progress report that Minnesota submitted on December 30, 2014, as a revision to the Minnesota SIP. EPA finds that Minnesota has satisfied the progress report requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g). EPA also finds that Minnesota has met the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(h) for a determination of the adequacy of its regional haze plan with its negative declaration.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective December 18, 2017 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by November 17, 2017. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. Relevant public comments will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective December 18, 2017.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, 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).

    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 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    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.

    2. In § 52.1220, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding an entry for “Regional Haze Progress Report” immediately following the entry “Regional Haze Plan” to read as follows:
    § 52.1220 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Minnesota Nonregulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or nonattainment area
  • State submittal date/effective
  • date
  • EPA approved date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Regional Haze Progress Report statewide 12/30/2014 10/18/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-22505 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0082; FRL-9969-64-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the regional haze progress report under the Clean Air Act (CAA) as a revision to the Illinois State Implementation Plan (SIP). Illinois has satisfied the progress report requirements of the Regional Haze Rule. Illinois has also met the requirements for a determination of the adequacy of its regional haze plan with its negative declaration submitted with the progress report.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 18, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse comments by November 17, 2017. If adverse comments are received, EPA 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-R05-OAR-2017-0082 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Charles Hatten, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategy Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6031, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Background II. EPA's Analysis of Illinois's Regional Haze Progress Report and Adequacy Determination III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    States are required to submit a progress report every five years that evaluates progress towards the Reasonable Progress Goals (RPGs) for each mandatory Class I Federal area 1 (Class I area) within the state and in each Class I area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. See 40 CFR 51.308(g). States are also required to submit, at the same time as the progress report, a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze SIP. See 40 CFR 51.308(h). The first progress report must be submitted in the form of a SIP revision and is due five years after the submittal of the initial regional haze SIP. On June 24, 2011, Illinois submitted its first regional haze SIP in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308. EPA approved Illinois' regional haze plan into its SIP on July 6, 2012, 77 FR 39943.

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

    On February 1, 2017, Illinois submitted a SIP revision consisting of a report on the progress made in the first implementation period towards the RPGs for Class I areas outside of Illinois (progress report). Illinois does not have any Class I areas within its borders. This progress report included a determination that Illinois' existing regional haze SIP requires no substantive revision to achieve the established regional haze visibility improvement and emissions reduction goals for 2018. EPA is approving Illinois' progress report on the basis that it satisfies the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308.

    II. EPA's Analysis of Illinois's Regional Haze Progress Report and Adequacy Determination

    On February 1, 2017, Illinois EPA submitted the progress report as a revision to its regional haze SIP to address progress made in the first planning period towards RPGs for Class I areas that are affected by emissions from Illinois' sources. The progress report included a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze SIP.

    Illinois has no Class I areas within its borders. In the initial SIP, the following Class I areas are identified as sites that may be affected by emissions from within Illinois: Sipsey Wilderness Area (Alabama), Caney Creek Wilderness Area and Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area (Arkansas), Great Gulf Wilderness Area (New Hampshire), Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area (Minnesota), Brigantine Wilderness Area (New Jersey), Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, and Tennessee), Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky), Acadia National Park and Moosehorn Wilderness Area (Maine), Isle Royale National Park and Seney Wilderness Area (Michigan), Hercules-Glades Wilderness Area and Mingo Wilderness Area (Missouri), Lye Brook Wilderness (Vermont), James River Face Wilderness and Shenandoah National Park (Virginia), and Dolly Sods/Otter Creek Wilderness (West Virginia).

    In developing the Long Term Strategy (LTS), the original Illinois regional haze SIP determined that “on-the-books” controls, together with best available retrofit technology (BART) controls, would constitute the measures necessary to address Illinois' contribution to visibility impairment in the Class I areas at which emissions from Illinois contribute. This was supported by modeling assessments from the Midwest Regional Planning Organization (MRPO) and in consultation with other states and Regional Planning Organizations.

    A. Regional Haze Progress Report SIP Elements

    The following sections discuss the information provided by Illinois in the progress report. Each section describes Illinois' applicable progress report submission along with EPA's analysis and proposed determination as to whether the submission met the applicable requirements of 40 CFR 51.308.

    1. Status of Implementation of All Measures Included in the Regional Haze SIP

    Illinois provided the status of implementation of all control measures as required by 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1). Illinois identified control measures regulated explicitly for the purposes of the regional haze program, as well as additional control measures that were expected to take effect within the first planning period. The regional haze controls implemented by Illinois include both BART and a LTS.

    In its original regional haze SIP, Illinois relied primarily on three control strategies for meeting its regional haze requirements to ensure reasonable progress: 2 (1) Federal consent decrees for two petroleum refineries; (2) source-specific limits for three power plants that were included in Federally enforceable permits; and, (3) emission reductions from the vast majority of state's electric generating unit (EGU) fleet resulting from the Multi-Pollutant Standard (MPS) and the Combined Pollutant Standard (CPS) regulatory requirements found in Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code (35 IAC), Mercury Rule, Part 225, Subpart B—Control of Mercury Emissions from Coal-Fired Electric Generating Units (Part 225). These elements of Illinois' SIP satisfied the requirements for BART in 40 CFR 51.308(e). All three control strategies have been implemented or are being implemented on the schedules approved in the SIP.

    2 Illinois did not rely upon the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) or the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) for its regional haze SIP, and thus, has avoided the issues that presented themselves in other states due to their reliance on CAIR and CSAPR.

    In addition to these control measures being implemented, in Section 1.2 of the report Illinois identified a list of “on-the-books” control measures used in the MRPO's modeling for Illinois' SIP that the state expected to implement between 2002 and 2018. These “on-the-books” control measures are being implemented as planned or in a manner at least as stringent as anticipated at the time of the original haze plan submittal. More detailed information regarding the implementation dates of the various control measures can be found in Appendix A of the report.

    Illinois did not rely on additional emissions controls from other states in its regional haze strategy. In Section 1.3 of the report, Illinois noted the following additional control measures not considered in Illinois' regional haze SIP which are expected to contribute to further reduction of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions before 2018: Compliance with the 2010 SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standard, and the Federal Tier 3 Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standard Program (2014).

    The report noted that in 2015 Illinois adopted regulations that set statewide fuel sulfur standards for stationary sources at 1000 parts per million (ppm) for residual oil and 15 ppm for distillate fuel oil. These regulatory requirements were to be implemented by January 1, 2017.

    EPA concludes that Illinois has adequately addressed the status of control measures in its regional haze SIP as required by 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1).

    2. Summary of Emissions Reductions Achieved in the State Through Implementation of Measures

    In its progress report, Illinois provided a summary of emission reductions achieved through implementation of control strategies described in the above paragraph as required by 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1).

    Illinois' reliance upon the MPS and CPS from 35 IAC 225, the source-specific limits incorporated into Federally enforceable permits for three power plants, and requirements contained in Federal consent decrees for two petroleum refineries have resulted in significant emission reductions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and SO2. In Section 2.0 of the progress report, Illinois provided emissions data from the base year 2002 for the regional haze rule, projections of emissions for 2015 and 2018, and actual emissions data from EPA's Air Markets Program Data. These data indicate that greater reductions of NOX and SO2 emissions have occurred in 2015 at regulated sources than were anticipated for the entire first implementation period ending in 2018.

    The additional emission reductions reported in Section 2.0 were based on other factors such as the shutting down or conversion of coal-fired EGUs to combustion of other fuels, and control measures related to Federal requirements such as, Maximum Achievable Control Technology and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The report shows that emission reduction of visibility-impairing pollutants in Illinois have been greater than anticipated at the time of its regional haze plan submittal.

    EPA finds the summary of emission reductions achieved from control strategy implementation adequately addresses the applicable provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(g)(2).

    3. Assessment of Visibility Conditions and Changes for Each Mandatory Class I Federal Area in the State

    Illinois does not have any Class I areas within its boundaries, and as the applicable provisions pertain only to states containing Class I areas, no further discussion is necessary. EPA concludes that Illinois has adequately addressed the applicable provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(g).

    4. Analysis Tracking Emissions Changes of Visibility-Impairing Pollutants

    In its progress report, Illinois provided an analysis tracking the emissions progress over the past five years, as required by 40 CFR 51.308(g)(4). Illinois based its report on the most recent updated emissions inventory to account for emission changes during the applicable five-year period. The analysis includes emissions of SO2, NOX, ammonia (NH3), volatile organic compound (VOC), and direct emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) for the years 2010 to 2014 (the most recent year for which Illinois has a full quality-assured inventory). In order to provide a five-year analysis with data from years with full quality-assured inventories, Illinois EPA has interpolated 2010 inventory data from its 2008 and 2011 inventories.

    Table 1 below contains Illinois inventory data aggregated by source type for each visibility-impairing pollutant. This data shows significant reductions in Illinois emissions of SO2 (40% reduction) and NOX (15% reduction) while showing slight increases or decreases in emissions of PM2.5 (0.15% increase), VOC (0.5% increase), and NH3 (4% reduction).

    Table 1—Illinois Emissions by Source Type Source type SO2 (tpy) 2010 2014 NOX (tpy) 2010 2014 PM2.5 (tpy) 2010 2014 VOC (tpy) 2010 2014 NH3 (tpy) 2010 2014 Point Source 311,447 182,200 151,017 99,753 10,929 14,261 45,598 42,345 1,622 1,901 Area Source 5,733 5,688 45,150 58,012 119,001 118,411 166,221 172,831 69,916 68,177 On-Road Mobile 1,037 1,040 187,348 174,774 5,290 5,286 70,721 73,769 6,048 3,868 Off-Road Mobile 1,994 2,576 144,695 116,965 9,596 7,074 77,368 72,795 96 109 Animal Husbandry 0 0 0 0 45,826 44,442 Total 320,232 191,504 528,211 449,504 144,816 145,032 359,909 361,740 123,507 118,496

    An additional table in the report shows the significant reductions in SO2 and NOX emissions were driven primarily by reductions from the EGU sector. Illinois anticipates that this trend will continue in 2015 and beyond, due to further increases in the stringency of the state regulations and additional coal-fired EGUs in Illinois being retired or converted to natural gas combustion.

    Emissions of VOC and PM2.5 appear to have increased slightly over the five-year period. However, Illinois EPA analysis indicates that this apparent increase is due mainly to changes in inventory methodologies. While VOC emissions in Illinois decreased for many subcategories in the inventory summary, these reductions are overwhelmed by the significant increase in the “Petroleum and Related Industries” subcategory. With respect to calculating the proportion of PM2.5 in source emissions, Illinois determined that the apparent increase in PM2.5 emissions is from the EGU sector, while overall PM emissions, fuel usage, and emissions of other pollutants for the EGU sector showed significant reductions.

    Overall emissions of visibility-impairing pollutants in Illinois have declined over the five-year period between 2010 and 2014. Again, the regional haze SIP for Illinois control strategies focused primarily on reductions of SO2 and NOX.

    EPA finds that the analysis tracking the emissions progress over the past five years adequately addresses the applicable provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(g).

    5. Assessment of Changes Impeding Visibility Progress

    The Regional Haze Rule at 40 CFR 51.308(g)(5) requires an assessment of any significant changes in emissions over the past five years that have impeded progress in improving visibility.

    In the progress report, Illinois has not identified any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within Illinois that have occurred over the last five years that would limit or impede progress in improving visibility. Illinois reports that there have been no significant unexpected increases in emissions in the past five years. Likewise, Illinois reports that there have been no projected decreases in pollutant emissions from the regional haze SIP that have not been realized. Data detailed in Sections 2.0 and 4.0 of Illinois' progress report show Illinois achieving emission reductions of SO2 and NOX beyond the projected emission reductions in the original regional haze SIP.

    Because Illinois does not contain any Federal Class I areas, Illinois is not required to assess whether emission increases outside the state are causing a Class I area within the state to be adversely affected. Thus, EPA concludes that Illinois has adequately addressed the applicable provisions of 40 CFR 50.308.

    6. Assessment of Current Strategy

    In its progress report, Illinois submits that the elements and strategies outlined in its original regional haze SIP are sufficient to enable Illinois and states where Illinois contributes to visibility impairments to meet all established RPGs. To support this conclusion, Illinois has implemented, or will implement by 2018, all controls from its regional haze plan. In the progress report, Illinois states that good progress has been made in reducing in visibility-impairing pollutants in the last five years. The state noted that it is on track to meet its 2018 goals for emission reductions before the end of 2018 for key pollutants, SO2 and NOX. Section 2.0 of the progress report, provides actual emissions data showing significant emissions reductions in visibility impairing pollutants in 2015 that have already exceeded the projected emission reductions in the Illinois by 2018.

    EPA agrees that Illinois' assessment of strategies outlined in its regional haze SIP has adequately addressed the applicable provisions of 40 CFR 50.308.

    7. Review of the State's Visibility Monitoring Strategy

    Illinois's progress report indicates that there are no Class I areas within its borders. EPA concludes that because Illinois does not have any Class I areas within its borders and therefore is not required to address the applicable provisions related to review of the state's visibility monitoring strategy, the state has adequately addressed the applicable provisions of 40 CFR 51.308.

    B. Determination of Adequacy of the Existing Regional Haze Plan

    The rule at 40 CFR 51.308(h) requires a determination of adequacy for the regional haze plan to be submitted at the same time as the progress report. The rule requires the state to select from four options based on the information given in the progress report. Illinois submitted a negative declaration that further substantive revisions to its regional haze plan are not needed at this time. Illinois determined that its regional haze plan is adequate to meet the regional haze rule requirements and expects Class I areas affected by Illinois to achieve the reasonable progress goals. The nearest Class I area outside the state of Illinois is either in southwestern Missouri or northern Michigan. See 77 FR 3966, 3967 (January 12, 2012). Illinois reports that it is on track to meet the visibility improvement and emission reduction goals. EPA agrees that the current Illinois regional haze plan is adequate to achieve these goals.

    C. Public Participation and Federal Land Manager (FLM) Consultation

    On June 23, 2016, Illinois provided an opportunity for FLMs to review the revision to Illinois' SIP reporting on progress made during the first implementation period toward RPGs for Class I areas outside the state that are affected by emissions from Illinois' sources. This was 60 days in advance of the public hearing.

    Illinois' progress report includes the FLMs comments received and responses to those comments in Appendix A in the progress report.

    Illinois also published notification for a public hearing and solicitation for comments in the Illinois Register on October 7, 2016, with the public comment period commencing on that day and ending on November 6, 2016. Illinois received no request for a public hearing. Illinois received one public comment during the public comment period. The state provided a response to the comment, regarding the Illinois regional haze report.

    EPA finds that Illinois has addressed the applicable requirements in § 51.308(i) regarding FLM consultation.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving the regional haze progress report submitted on February 1, 2017, as a revision to the Illinois SIP. Illinois has satisfied the progress report requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g). EPA also finds that Illinois has met the 40 CFR 51.308(h) requirements for a determination of the adequacy of its regional haze plan with its negative declaration also submitted on February 1, 2017.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective December 18, 2017 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by November 17, 2017. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective December 18, 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, 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).

    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 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    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.

    2. In § 52.720, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding an entry for “Regional Haze Progress Report” immediately following the entry for “Regional haze plan” to read as follows:
    § 52.720 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Illinois Nonregulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Provisions Name of SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State submittal date EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Regional Haze Progress Report Statewide 02/01/17 10/18/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-22502 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0058; FRL-9969-61-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the Michigan regional haze progress report under the Clean Air Act (CAA) as a revision to the Michigan State Implementation Plan (SIP). Michigan has satisfied the progress report requirements of the Regional Haze Rule. Michigan has also met the requirements for a determination of the adequacy of its regional haze plan with its negative declaration submitted with the progress report.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 18, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse comments by November 17, 2017. If relevant adverse comments are received, EPA 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-R05-OAR-2016-0058 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gilberto Alvarez, Environmental Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6143, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Background II. Requirements for the Regional Haze Progress Reports and Adequacy of Determinations III. What is EPA's analysis? IV. What action is EPA taking? V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    States are required to submit a progress report every five years that evaluates progress towards the Reasonable Progress Goals (RPGs) for each mandatory Class I Federal area within the State and in each mandatory Class I Federal area outside the State which may be affected by emissions from within the State. See 40 CFR 51.308(g). States are also required to submit, at the same time as the progress report, a determination of the adequacy of their existing regional haze SIP. See 40 CFR 51.308(h). The first progress report is due five years after the submittal of the initial regional haze SIP.

    Michigan submitted its regional haze plan on November 5, 2010. EPA approved Michigan's regional haze plan into its SIP on December 3, 2012, 77 FR 71533.

    In order to satisfy the requirements for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) for certain taconite ore processing facilities in Minnesota and Michigan, EPA promulgated a Federal Implementation Plan (taconite FIP) on February 6, 2013, 78 FR 8706. In Michigan, the taconite facility impacted by this FIP is the Tilden Mining Company. The taconite FIP was stayed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 14, 2013. EPA subsequently reached a settlement agreement with Cliffs Natural Resources and Arcelor Mittal that was fully executed on April 9, 2015. On April 12, 2016, EPA published a final rule that modifies the taconite FIP with the settlement agreement conditions, 81 FR 21672.

    Michigan submitted its five-year progress report on January 12, 2016. The State submitted its determination of adequacy with the progress report.

    There are two Class I areas in Michigan, Isle Royale National Park (Isle Royale) located on Lake Superior and Seney National Wildlife Refuge (Seney) located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

    The emission reductions from several Federal programs contribute to visibility improvement in Michigan. In its regional haze plan, Michigan considered the emission reductions from the Tier 2 Gasoline, Heavy-duty Highway Diesel, Non-road Diesel, and a variety of Maximum Achievable Control Technology programs. Michigan elected to use the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to satisfy BART for its power plant units.

    II. Requirements for the Regional Haze Progress Reports and Adequacy of Determinations

    Under 40 CFR 51.308(g), states must periodically submit a regional haze progress report every five years that address the seven elements found in 40 CFR 51.308(g).

    Under 40 CFR 51.308(h), states are required to submit, at the same time as the progress report, a determination of the adequacy of their existing regional haze SIP and to take one of four possible listed actions based on information in the progress report.

    III. What is EPA's analysis?

    The Regional Haze Rule provides the required elements for five-year progress reports at 40 CFR 51.308(g). EPA finds that Michigan satisfied the 40 CFR 51.308(g) requirements with its progress report. EPA finds that, with its negative declaration, Michigan also satisfied the requirements for the determination of adequacy provided in 40 CFR 51.308(h).

    The following sections discuss the information provided by Michigan in the progress report submission, along with EPA's analysis and determination of whether the submission met the applicable requirements of 51.308.

    1. Status of Implementation of All Measures Included in the Regional Haze SIP

    In its progress report, Michigan summarizes the status of the emissions reduction measures that were included in its 2010 regional haze SIP. Specifically, the report addresses the status of the on-the-books emissions reduction measures. The measures include applicable Federal programs including: Clean Air Interstate Rule—or CAIR; CSAPR; Tier II for on-highway mobile sources; heavy-duty diesel standards; low sulfur fuel standards; and Federal control programs for non-road mobile sources. Michigan used CSAPR to satisfy BART for its subject electric generating units (EGUs). Even with the delay in implementing CSAPR, the EGUs in Michigan subject to BART have reduced sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions. In the progress report, Michigan compares 2013 state-wide SO2 and NOX emissions from EGUs to 2009 emissions. In this period, SO2 emissions decreased from 310,000 tons to 230,109 tons, or by 26 percent. NOX emissions decreased from 144,440 tons to 122,653 tons, or by 15 percent.

    Michigan also expects reductions of about 1,400 tons NOX per year, and 300 tons SO2 per year, from the implementation of the taconite FIP.

    In its regional haze plan, Michigan noted the additional emission reductions expected from several Federal programs. Michigan considered the reductions from: Tier 2 Gasoline; Heavy-duty Highway Diesel; Non-road Diesel; and a variety of Maximum Achievable Control Technology programs. Michigan did not rely on additional emissions controls from other states in its regional haze strategy. The additional emission reductions from the programs and other states will not delay visibility improvement and may well accelerate the improvement.

    Regarding the status of BART and reasonable progress control requirements for sources in the State, Michigan's progress report provides a summary of the five non-EGU sources identified in the 2010 Regional Haze SIP as subject to BART. These sources include the LaFarge Midwest Alpena Plant, Escanaba Paper Company, St. Marys Cement, Smurfit Stone Container Corporation and Tilden Mining Company. Three of the five BART sources are required to apply additional or more stringent controls beyond those required in the Michigan BART determinations due to USEPA disapprovals of the State BART determinations and issuance of additional FIPs.

    EPA finds the implementation of Michigan's control measures adequate. EPA also expects SO2 and NOX emission reductions from the taconite facilities—most specifically, from the Tilden Mining Company in Michigan. However, given the implementation schedule in the taconite FIP, most of the resulting emission reductions will occur in the 2018-2028 implementation period.

    EPA finds the summary of emission reductions achieved from control strategy implementation adequate.

    2. Summary of Emissions Reductions Achieved in the State Through Implementation of Measures

    In its regional haze SIP and progress report, Michigan focuses its assessment on NOX and SO2 emissions from EGUs as a result of the implementation of CAIR and CSAPR, as well as emissions from non-EGUs. In the progress report, Michigan listed emission reductions in terms of projected impacts on the two affected Class I areas—Isle Royale and Seney. Emissions reductions were presented based on the top ten in-state point sources impacting these two areas.

    For the Isle Royale area, emission reduction for the top ten impacting point sources combined was 48,000 tons for SO2 and 8,400 tons for NOX. For the Seney area, emission reduction for the top 10 impacting point sources combined was 16,000 tons for SO2 and 2,700 tons for NOX.

    EPA concludes that Michigan has adequately addressed the applicable requirements of 40 CFR 51.308. Michigan provides estimates of reductions of NOX and SO2 from EGUs and non-EGUs that have occurred since Michigan submitted its regional haze SIP. Given the large NOX and SO2 reductions that have actually occurred, further analysis of emissions from other sources or other pollutants was unnecessary in this first implementation period.

    3. Assessment of Visibility Conditions and Changes for Each Mandatory Class I Federal Area in the State

    Michigan reports that visibility conditions at Isle Royale National Park have improved to 18.9 deciviews (dv) in 2013 from its 2000-2004 baseline of 21.59 dv for the 20 percent most impaired days. The State also reports that visibility conditions at Seney have improved to 20.6 dv in 2013, from its 2000-2004 baseline of 24.37 dv for the 20 percent most impaired days. The 2018 reasonable progress goal is 20.86 dv for Isle Royale and 23.58 dv for Seney. For the 20 percent least impaired days at Isle Royale, visibility has improved 2.7 dv in 2013, from the 2000-2004 baseline. At Seney, visibility has improved 3.8 dv in 2013, from the 2000-2004 baseline.

    Michigan provided annual and five-year rolling averages for the impaired and least impaired days at both Isle Royale and Seney from 2000 to 2014.

    EPA finds that Michigan properly reported the current visibility conditions for the most impaired and least impaired days, the difference between current conditions and baseline conditions for the most impaired and least impaired days, and the change in visibility for the most impaired and least impaired days over the past five years. Michigan's visibility progress is on track as improvement has been shown for the 20 percent least impaired days and is on pace for the 20 percent most impaired days at both affected Class I areas.

    4. Analysis Tracking Emissions Changes of Visibility-Impairing Pollutants

    In its regional haze plan submitted in 2010, Michigan provided its 2005 base emissions and projected 2018 emissions. In the 2010 plan, Michigan compared the base data from 2005 with a 2009 emissions inventory constructed by the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium. The progress report gives current annual emissions for ammonia (NH3), NOX, SO2, coarse particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and reactive organic gases (ROG). These figures can be compared to the base and 2018 projected emissions. The emissions inventories from the 2005, 2009 and 2018 datasets include all point, nonpoint, on-road, non-road, marine-aircraft-rail (MAR), and other sources.

    For SO2, Michigan reports 2005 base emissions of 439,145 tons, 2009 emissions of 303,159 tons, and projects 314,328 tons in 2018, which would be a 28 percent reduction from the 2005 base year. Michigan noted that SO2 emissions have been steadily declining. Point sources comprise 93 percent of SO2 emissions, so several projects at coal-burning EGUs have driven the decline in SO2 emissions.

    For NOX, Michigan reports 2005 base emissions of 586,482 tons, 2009 emissions of 447,176 tons, and projects 309,549 tons in 2018, which would be a 47 percent decrease from the 2005 base year. For NOX emissions, mobile sources are the main contributing sector, and, as such, implementation of mobile source programs will continue to decrease NOX emissions in Michigan with expected reductions from EGUs and taconite facilities providing some assistance.

    For PM10, Michigan reports a 2005 base of 98,181 tons, 2009 emissions of 105,301 tons, and projects 98,753 tons in 2018, which is an increase of less than 1% from the 2005 base year. For PM2.5, Michigan reports a 2005 base of 85,839 tons, 2009 emissions of 96,720, and projects 90,485 tons in 2018, which is an increase of 5.3% from the 2005 base year. In the 2010 Regional Haze SIP, Michigan predicted these particulate matter increases, but it was deemed insignificant relative to the visibility improvements from the large reductions of NOX and SO2 emissions over those same time periods. NOX and SO2 emissions reductions have a much greater impact on visibility improvement.

    Table 1 below shows the emissions reductions from 2005-2009 versus projected 2018 emission reductions from the 2010 Michigan regional haze SIP submission.

    Table 1—Emission Reductions: 2005 to 2009 vs Projected 2018 Reductions [tpy] NH3 NOX SO2 PM10 PM2.5 ROG 2005 to 2018 expected reduction −78,156 276,933 124,817 −572 −4,646 177,622 2005 to 2009 reduction −5,880 139,306 135,986 −7,120 −10,881 78,872 % of reductions achieved N/A 50% 28% N/A N/A 30%

    For NH3, Michigan reports a 2005 base of 67,489 tons, 2009 emissions of 73,369 tons, and projects 78,156 tons in 2018, which is an increase of 15.8% from the 2005 base year. Non-point source, agricultural livestock manure management in particular, are the main sector for NH3 emissions in Michigan.

    For ROG emissions, Michigan reports a 2005 base of 564,643 tons, 2009 emissions of 485,771 tons, and projects 396,921 tons in 2018, which is a decrease of 30% from the 20005 base year. Michigan's anthropogenic ROG emissions are mainly from mobile and non-point sources. These emissions are gradually decreasing from implementation of a variety of programs.

    EPA finds that Michigan has satisfied the requirement of an analysis tracking emissions progress for the current five-year period. Michigan appears to be on track for reaching its 2018 emission projections.

    5. Assessment of Any Significant Changes in Anthropogenic Emissions

    Michigan provided an assessment of SO2, NOX, and NH3 emissions changes in-state and for the three states (Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin) that contribute to visibility impairment at Class I areas in Michigan.

    Michigan reported 2009 emissions, which show a 28 percent SO2 reduction from the 2005 base year, a 50 percent NOX reduction, and an eight percent increase in NH3 emissions.

    Michigan also included emissions data from EPA's Clean Air Markets Division (CAMD) that show reductions in both SO2 and NOX emissions for each of the three contributing states from 2009 to 2013. For the Isle Royale Class I area, it is evident that the emission reduction for the top ten impacting point sources combined was largest for SO2 with a reduction of almost 48,000 tons over the 2009-13 period. A reduction of NOx for these 10 sources combined was determined at approximately 8,400 tons. These reductions account for more than one-third of statewide point source NOX emissions reductions and over one-half of statewide point source SO2 reductions for the 2009-2013 period. The source with by far the largest combined NOX and SO2 reductions was the DTE Monroe Power Plant with combined NOX/SO2 reductions of 47,000 tons.

    EPA finds that Michigan properly assessed available information for significant changes in emissions over the past five years that have impeded progress in improving visibility. The three contributing states are still in various stages in assessing emissions for progress reports. Minnesota's progress report was submitted in December, 2014. Progress reports for Illinois and Wisconsin had not yet been submitted as of the date of Michigan's submittal. Thus, Michigan had not completed the assessment of contributing states' emissions. Still, Michigan gathered the information it could, and the visibility data indicates visibility improvement is on-track. Supplementing the available data, EPA's CAMD data show significant, widespread SO2 and NOX emission declines have already occurred. There is no evidence that progress is being impeded.

    6. Assessment of Whether the SIP Elements and Strategies Are Sufficient To Enable Michigan, or Other States, Meet RPGs

    Michigan has implemented, or expects to implement by 2018, all controls from its approved regional haze plan. Michigan noted in the progress report that its emissions are on track for the 2018 goals, including reductions that are ahead of pace for the key visibility-impairing pollutants, SO2 and NOX. Michigan expects that the implementation of CSAPR and other Federal programs will address the reasonable progress obligations of the contributing states.

    Emission reductions from Michigan sources that help visibility improvement at Isle Royale and Seney support visibility improvement. Michigan has achieved greater SO2 emission reductions than predicted in its regional haze plan.

    EPA finds that Michigan has provided an assessment of the current strategy, demonstrating that it is sufficient to meet reasonable progress goals at all Class I areas impacted by Michigan emissions. Michigan is implementing its controls. The visibility progress at both Isle Royale and Seney is on track and suggests that Michigan's current strategy is sufficient to meet its reasonable progress goals.

    7. Review of the State's Visibility Monitoring Strategy

    Michigan stated in its progress report that Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) sites operate at both Class I areas, Isle Royale and Seney. Michigan will continue to operate the IMPROVE network monitors, based on Federal funding. The State has a contingency plan to use the PM2.5 monitoring network if needed due to future reductions to the IMPROVE network. Michigan commits to meeting the reporting requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(d)(4)(iv) for its Class I areas.

    EPA finds that Michigan has met the visibility monitoring strategy review requirements.

    40 CFR 51.308(h) Determination of the Adequacy of Existing Implementation Plan

    The determination of adequacy for the regional haze plan is required to be submitted at same time as the progress report. The rule requires the State to select from four options based on the information given in the progress report.

    Michigan submitted a negative declaration indicating that further substantive revision of its regional haze plan is not needed at this time. Michigan determined that its regional haze plan is adequate to meet the Regional Haze Rule requirements and expects to achieve the reasonable progress goals at Isle Royale and Seney.

    EPA finds that the current Michigan regional haze plan is adequate to achieve its established goals. Michigan is on track to meet the visibility improvement and emission reduction goals.

    Public Participation and Federal Land Manager Consultation

    Michigan provided an opportunity for the public and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) to review Michigan's progress report by November 18, 2015. Michigan's progress report includes in Appendix B, the FLM's comments and Michigan's response to those comments. Appendix C includes the public comments and Michigan's response to those comments.

    Michigan also published notification for a public hearing and solicitation for full public comment concerning the draft five-year progress report in widely distributed county publications. No public hearing was requested.

    EPA finds that Michigan has addressed the applicable requirements in 51.308(i) regarding FLM consultation.

    IV. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving the regional haze progress report submitted on January 12, 2016, as a revision to the Michigan SIP. We find that Michigan has satisfied the progress report requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g). We find that Michigan has also met the 40 CFR 51.308(h) requirements for a determination of the adequacy of its regional haze plan with its negative declaration also submitted on January 12, 2016.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the State plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective December 18, 2017 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by November 17, 2017. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. Public comments will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective December 18, 2017.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, 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).

    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 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    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.

    2. In § 52.1170, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “Regional Haze Progress Report” to follow the entry titled “Regional Haze Plan” to read as follows:
    § 52.1170 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Michigan Nonregulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Regional Haze Progress Report Statewide 1/12/2016 10/18/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-22510 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0701; FRL-9969-51-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the District of Columbia (the District). This revision pertains to the infrastructure requirement for interstate transport of pollution with respect to the 2010 1-hour sulfur dioxide (SO2) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). EPA is approving this revision in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on December 18, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by November 17, 2017. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0701 at https://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Schulingkamp, (215) 814-2021, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 17, 2014, the District of Columbia (the District) through the District Department of Energy and the Environment (DDOEE) submitted a SIP revision addressing the infrastructure requirements under section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    I. Background

    On June 2, 2010, the EPA strengthened the SO2 primary standards, establishing a new 1-hour primary standard at the level of 75 parts per billion (ppb), based on the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations (hereafter “the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS”). At the same time, the EPA also revoked the previous 24-hour and annual primary SO2 standards. See 75 FR 35520 (June 22, 2010). See 40 CFR 50.11. The previous SO2 air quality standards were set in 1971, including a 24-hour average primary standard at 140 ppb and an annual average primary standard at 30 ppb. See 36 FR 8186 (April 30, 1971).

    SO2 is one of a group of highly reactive gases known as “oxides of sulfur.” Nationally, the largest sources of SO2 emissions are fossil fuel combustion at power plants and other industrial facilities. Smaller sources of SO2 emissions include industrial processes such as extracting metal from ore, and the burning of high sulfur containing fuels by locomotives, large ships, and non-road equipment. SO2 is linked with a number of adverse effects on the respiratory system.

    The CAA requires states to submit, within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, SIPs meeting the applicable elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2).1 Several of these applicable elements are delineated within section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the CAA. Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) generally requires SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit in-state emissions activities from having certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of air pollution. There are four prongs within section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the CAA; section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) contains prongs 1 and 2, while section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) includes prongs 3 and 4. According to the CAA's good neighbor provision located within section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), a state's SIP must contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that “contribute significantly to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance by, any other state with respect to any such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard.” Under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA, EPA gives independent significance to the matter of nonattainment (prong 1) and to that of maintenance (prong 2).

    1 SIP revisions that are intended to meet the requirements of section 110(a) of the CAA are often referred to as infrastructure SIPs and the elements under 110(a) are referred to as infrastructure requirements.

    II. Summary of SIP Revisions and EPA Analysis

    On July 17, 2014, the District, through DDOEE, submitted a revision to its SIP to satisfy the infrastructure requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, including section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). On April 13, 2015 (80 FR 19538), the EPA approved the District's infrastructure SIP submittal for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for all applicable elements of section 110(a)(2) with the exception of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).2 This rulemaking action is addressing the portions of the District's infrastructure submittal for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS that pertain to transport requirements.3

    2 In the April 13, 2015 action, the EPA also approved the District's infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 ozone and 2010 NO2 NAAQS, with the exception of the transport elements in 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).

    3 For the EPA's explanation of its ability to act on discrete elements of section 110(a)(2), see 80 FR 2865 (Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Approval of Air Pollution Emergency Episode Plan (January 21, 2015)).

    The portion of the District's July 17, 2014 SIP submittal addressing interstate transport (for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)) includes an emissions inventory and air quality data that concludes that the District does not have sources that can contribute with respect to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance in, any other state. The submittal also included currently available air quality monitoring data which alleged that SO2 levels continue to be well below the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS in the District and in any areas surrounding or bordering the District. EPA has reviewed current monitoring data for SO2 and finds monitor data within the District, and in areas surrounding the District, continue to show no nonattainment issues with regards to the SO2 NAAQS.

    Additionally, the District described in its submittal several existing SIP-approved measures and other federally enforceable source-specific measures, including measures pursuant to permitting requirements under the CAA, that apply to SO2 sources within the District. The District alleges with these measures, SO2 emissions within the District are minimal. The EPA finds that the District's existing SIP provisions, as identified in the July 17, 2014 SIP submittal, are adequate to prevent the District's emission sources from significantly contributing to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance in another state with respect to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. In light of these measures, the EPA does not expect SO2 emissions in the District to increase significantly, and therefore does not expect monitors in the District and nearby states to have difficulty continuing to attain or maintain attainment of the NAAQS. A detailed summary of EPA's review and rationale for approval of this SIP revision as meeting CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS may be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD) for this rulemaking action, which is available online at www.regulations.gov, Docket number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0701.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving the portions of the District's July 17, 2014 SIP revision addressing interstate transport for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS as these portions meet the requirements in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on December 18, 2017 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 17, 2017. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking action. This action, addressing the District's interstate transport for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, 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, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart J—District of Columbia 2. In § 52.470, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding a second entry for “Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS” before the entry for “Emergency Air Pollution Plan” to read as follows:
    § 52.470 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    Name of non-regulatory
  • SIP revision
  • Applicable
  • geographic
  • area
  • State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Additional explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS District-wide District-wide 07/18/14 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the infrastructure element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), or the good neighbor provision, for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-22253 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0256; FRL-9969-67-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Ohio; Redesignation of the Fulton County Area to Attainment of the 2008 Lead Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the State of Ohio's request to revise the designation of, or “redesignate,” the Fulton County nonattainment area (Fulton County) to attainment of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS or standard) for lead. EPA is also approving the maintenance plan and related elements of the redesignation. EPA is approving reasonably available control measure (RACM)/reasonably available control technology (RACT) measures and a comprehensive emissions inventory as meeting the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. EPA is taking these actions in accordance with the CAA and EPA's implementation regulations regarding the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 18, 2017, unless EPA receives relevant adverse comments by November 17, 2017. If adverse comments are received, EPA 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-R05-OAR-2017-0256 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Rau, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6524, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Why is EPA concerned about lead? II. What is the background for these actions? III. What are the criteria for redesignation to attainment? IV. What is EPA's analysis of Ohio's request? V. What action is EPA taking? VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Why is EPA concerned about lead?

    Lead is a metal found naturally in the environment and present in some manufactured products. However, lead has serious public health effects and depending on the level of exposure can adversely affect the nervous system, kidney function, immune system, reproductive and developmental systems and the cardiovascular system. Infants and young children are especially sensitive to even low levels of lead, which may contribute to behavioral problems, learning deficits and lowered intelligence quotient. The major sources of lead for air emissions have historically been from fuels used in on-road motor vehicles (such as cars and trucks) and industrial sources. As a result of EPA's regulatory efforts to remove lead from on-road motor vehicle gasoline, emissions of lead from the transportation sector declined by 95 percent between 1980 and 1999, and levels of lead in the air decreased by 94 percent between 1980 and 1999.

    II. What is the background for these actions?

    On November 12, 2008 (73 FR 66964), EPA established the 2008 primary and secondary lead NAAQS at 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) based on a maximum arithmetic three-month mean concentration for a three-year period. 40 CFR 50.16.

    On November 22, 2010 (75 FR 71033), EPA published its initial air quality designations and classifications for the 2008 lead NAAQS based upon air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2007-2009. These designations became effective on December 31, 2010. A portion of Fulton County was designated as nonattainment for lead, specifically portions of Swan Creek and York Townships. 40 CFR 81.336.

    On April 27, 2017, Ohio requested EPA to designate the applicable Fulton County area as attainment of the lead NAAQS. Ohio documented that its request meets the redesignation criteria of CAA section 107.

    Ohio used the emissions inventory to find that there were no area, mobile, or nonroad sources of lead emissions that contributed to nonattainment. The Bunting Bearings LLC facility (Bunting) in the village of Delta is the only point source of lead emissions in the nonattainment area. Bunting manufactures continuous cast products in copper alloys, typically bronze, that contain lead. The lead component of the alloys is important as it allows for machining the bronze.

    III. What are the criteria for redesignation to attainment?

    The requirements for redesignating an area from nonattainment to attainment are found in CAA section 107(d)(3)(E). There are five criteria for redesignating an area. First, the Administrator must determine that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS based on current air quality data. Second, the Administrator must have fully approved the applicable SIP for the area under CAA section 110(k). The third criterion is for the Administrator to determine that the air quality improvement is the result of permanent and enforceable emission reductions. Fourth, the Administrator must have fully approved a maintenance plan meeting the CAA section 175A requirements. The fifth criterion is that the state has met all of the applicable requirements of CAA section 110 and part D.

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of Ohio's request? A. Attainment Determination and Redesignation 1. The Area Has Attained the 2008 Lead NAAQS (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(i))

    On May 26, 2015, EPA determined that Fulton County has attained the 2008 lead NAAQS. 80 FR 29964. EPA made its clean data determination based upon complete, quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2012-2014 period. The Fulton County area attained the 2008 lead NAAQS, with a design value of 0.09 µg/m3 for 2012-2014, well below the 0.15 µg/m3 standard.

    EPA has reviewed the current monitoring data for Fulton County, Ohio. The latest available monitoring data continue to show attainment of the 2008 lead NAAAQS. The 2014-2016 design value for the County is 0.12 µg/m3.

    2. The Area Has Met All Applicable Requirements Under Section 110 and Part D and Has a Fully Approved SIP Under Section 110(k) (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) and (v))

    EPA has determined that Ohio has met all currently applicable SIP requirements for purposes of redesignation for the Fulton County area under section 110 of the CAA (general SIP requirements). In addition, with the exceptions of the RACM/RACT requirements under section 172(c)(1) and the emissions inventory under section 172(c)(3), all applicable requirements of the Ohio SIP for purposes of redesignation have either been approved or have been suspended, by either a clean data determination or determination of attainment. EPA is also approving Ohio's 2013 emissions inventory as meeting the section 172(c)(3) comprehensive emissions inventory requirement as well as approving the RACM provisions as meeting the section 172(c)(1) requirement. Thus, we are determining that Ohio's submission meets all SIP requirements currently applicable for purposes of redesignation under part D of title I of the CAA, in accordance with sections 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) and 107(d)(3)(E)(v).

    In making these determinations, EPA has ascertained which SIP requirements are applicable for purposes of redesignation, and concluded that the Ohio SIP includes measures meeting those requirements and that they are fully approved under section 110(k) of the CAA. Further discussion of EPA's review of Ohio's submittal regarding these criteria follows.

    a. Ohio Has Met All Applicable Requirements for Purposes of Redesignation of the Fulton County Area Under Section 110 and Part D of the CAA i. Section 110 General SIP Requirements

    Section 110(a) of title I of the CAA contains the general requirements for a SIP. Section 110(a)(2) provides that the implementation plan submitted by a state must have been adopted by the state after reasonable public notice and hearing, and, among other things, must: (1) Include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means or techniques necessary to meet the requirements of the CAA; (2) provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to monitor ambient air quality; (3) provide for implementation of a source permit program to regulate the modification and construction of any stationary source within the areas covered by the plan; (4) include provisions for the implementation of part C, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and part D, New Source Review (NSR) permit programs; (5) include criteria for stationary source emission control measures, monitoring, and reporting; (6) include provisions for air quality modeling; and (7) provide for public and local agency participation in planning and emission control rule development. Section 110(a)(2)(D) of the CAA requires that SIPs contain measures to prevent sources in a state from significantly contributing to air quality problems in another state.

    EPA interprets the “applicable” requirements for an area's redesignation to be those requirements linked with a particular area's nonattainment designation. Therefore, EPA believes that the section 110 elements described above that are not connected with nonattainment plan submissions and not linked with an area's attainment status, such as the “infrastructure SIP” elements of section 110(a)(2), are not applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation. A state remains subject to these requirements after an area is redesignated to attainment, and thus EPA does not interpret such requirements to be relevant applicable requirements to evaluate in a redesignation. For example, the requirement to submit state plans addressing interstate transport obligations under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) continue to apply to a state regardless of the designation of any one particular area in the state, and thus are not applicable requirements to be evaluated in the redesignation context.

    EPA has applied this interpretation consistently in many redesignations over a period of decades. See e.g., 81 FR 44210 (July 7, 2016) (final redesignation for the Sullivan County, Tennessee area); 79 FR 43655 (July 28, 2014) (final redesignation for Bellefontaine, Ohio lead nonattainment area); 61 FR 53174-53176 (October 10, 1996) and 62 FR 24826 (May 7, 1997) (proposed and final redesignation for Reading, Pennsylvania ozone nonattainment area); 61 FR 20458 (May 7, 1996) (final redesignation for Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, Ohio ozone nonattainment area); and 60 FR 62748 (December 7, 1995) (final redesignation of Tampa, Florida ozone nonattainment area). See also 65 FR 37879, 37890 (June 19, 2000) (discussing this issue in final redesignation of Cincinnati, Ohio 1-hour ozone nonattainment area); 66 FR 50399 (October 19, 2001) (final redesignation of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1-hour ozone nonattainment area).

    EPA has reviewed the Ohio SIP and has determined that it meets the general SIP requirements under section 110 of the CAA to the extent the requirements are applicable for purposes of redesignation. EPA has previously approved provisions of Ohio's SIP addressing section 110 requirements, including provisions addressing lead, at 40 CFR 52.1870.

    On October 12, 2011, and supplemented on June 7, 2013, Ohio submitted its infrastructure SIP elements for the 2008 lead NAAQS as required by CAA section 110(a)(2). EPA approved Ohio's infrastructure SIP requirements for the 2008 lead NAAQS on October 6, 2014. 79 FR 60075. The requirements of section 110(a)(2) are statewide requirements that are not linked to the lead nonattainment status of the Fulton County area or Ohio's redesignation request.

    ii. Part D Requirements

    EPA has determined that upon approval of the base year emissions inventories and RACM provisions discussed in this rulemaking, the Ohio SIP will meet the applicable SIP requirements for the Fulton County area applicable for purposes of redesignation under part D of the CAA. Subpart 1 of part D sets forth the basic nonattainment requirements applicable to all nonattainment areas.

    (1) Section 172 Requirements

    Section 172(c) sets out general nonattainment plan requirements. A thorough discussion of these requirements can be found in the General Preamble for Implementation of Title I (57 FR 13498, April 16, 1992) (“General Preamble”). EPA's longstanding interpretation of the nonattainment planning requirements of section 172 is that once an area is attaining the NAAQS, those requirements are not “applicable” for purposes of CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) and therefore need not be approved into the SIP before EPA can redesignate the area. In the General Preamble, EPA set forth its interpretation of applicable requirements for purposes of evaluating redesignation requests when an area is attaining a standard. 57 FR 13564. EPA noted that the requirements for reasonable further progress (RFP) and other measures designed to provide for an area's attainment do not apply in evaluating redesignation requests because those nonattainment planning requirements “have no meaning” for an area that has already attained the standard. Id. This interpretation was also set forth in the September 4, 1992, Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment: Policy Memorandum (Calcagni Memorandum).

    EPA's understanding of section 172 also forms the basis of its Clean Data Policy. Under the Clean Data Policy, EPA promulgates a determination of attainment, published in the Federal Register and subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking, and this determination formally suspends a state's obligation to submit most of the attainment planning requirements that would otherwise apply, including an attainment demonstration and planning SIPs to provide for RFP, RACM, and contingency measures under section 172(c)(9). The Clean Data Policy has been codified in regulations regarding the implementation of the ozone and fine particulate matter NAAQS. 70 FR 71612 (November 29, 2005) and 72 FR 20586 (April 25, 2007). The Clean Data Policy has also been specifically applied in a number of lead nonattainment areas where EPA has determined that the area is attaining the lead NAAQS. 79 FR 46212 (August 7, 2014) (proposed determination of attainment of Lyons, Pennsylvania lead nonattainment area); 80 FR 51127 (determination of attainment of Eagan, Minnesota lead nonattainment area). EPA finalized a Clean Data Determination under this policy for the Fulton County lead nonattainment area on May 26, 2015. 80 FR 29964.

    EPA's long-standing interpretation regarding the applicability of section 172(c) attainment planning requirements for an area that is attaining a NAAQS applies in this redesignation of the Fulton County lead nonattainment area as well, except for the applicability of the requirement to implement all reasonably available control measures under section 172(c)(1). On July 14, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (6th Circuit) ruled that to meet the requirement of section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii), states are required to submit plans addressing RACM/RACT under section 172(c)(1) and EPA is required to approve those plans prior to redesignating the area, regardless of whether the area is attaining the standard. Sierra Club v. EPA, 793 F.3d 656 (6th Cir. 2015). As Ohio is within the jurisdiction of the 6th Circuit, EPA is acting in accordance with the Sierra Club decision by approving RACM provisions in parallel with this redesignation action.1

    1 Although the approach being implemented here is inconsistent with the Agency's longstanding national policy, such deviation is required in order to act in accordance with an applicable Circuit Court decision. Consistent with 40 CFR 56.5(b), the Region does not need to seek concurrence from EPA Headquarters for such deviation in these circumstances. 81 FR 51102 (August 3, 2016).

    Section 172(c)(1) requires the plans for all nonattainment areas to provide for the implementation of all RACM as expeditiously as practicable and to provide for attainment of the primary NAAQS. Under this requirement, a state must consider all available control measures, including reductions that area available from adopting RACT on existing sources, for a nonattainment area and adopt and implement such measures as are reasonably available in the area as components of the area's attainment demonstration. EPA is today approving Ohio's RACM submission. Therefore, Ohio has met its requirements under CAA sections 172(c)(1) and 107(d)(3)(E)(v).

    The remaining section 172(c) “attainment planning” requirements are not applicable for purposes of evaluating Ohio's redesignation request. Specifically, the RFP requirement under section 172(c)(2), which is defined as progress that must be made toward attainment, the requirement to submit section 172(c)(9) contingency measures, which are measures to be taken if the area fails to make reasonable further progress to attainment, and the section 172(c)(6) requirement that the SIP contain control measures necessary to provide for attainment of the standard, are not applicable requirements that Ohio must meet here because the Fulton County area has monitored attainment of the 2008 lead NAAQS. As noted, EPA issued a determination of attainment (or clean data determination) for the Fulton County area in May 2015, which formally suspended the obligation to submit any of the attainment planning SIPs. 80 FR 29964 (May 26, 2015).

    Section 172(c)(3) requires submission and approval of a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of actual emissions. Ohio submitted 2008 and 2013 emission inventories with its redesignation request. The 2013 inventory can be used as the most accurate and current inventory. As discussed in section III.B., EPA is approving the 2013 base year inventory as meeting the section 172(c)(3) emissions inventory requirement for the Fulton County area.

    Section 172(c)(4) requires the identification and quantification of allowable emissions for major new and modified stationary sources in an area, and section 172(c)(5) requires source permits for the construction and operation of new and modified major stationary sources anywhere in the nonattainment area. EPA approved Ohio's current NSR program January 10, 2003. 68 FR 1366. In addition, the state's maintenance plan does not rely on nonattainment NSR, therefore having a fully approved NSR program is not an applicable requirement, but, nonetheless, EPA has approved the state's program.2

    2 A detailed rationale for this view is described in a memorandum from Mary Nichols, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, dated October 14, 1994, entitled, “Part D New Source Review Requirements for Areas Requesting Redesignation to Attainment.”

    Section 172(c)(6) requires the SIP to contain control measures necessary to provide for attainment of the standard. No additional measures are needed to provide for attainment because attainment has been reached.

    Section 172(c)(7) requires the SIP to meet the applicable provisions of section 110(a)(2). EPA has determined that the Ohio SIP meets the section 110(a)(2) applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation.

    (2) Section 176 Conformity Requirements

    CAA section 176(c) requires states to establish criteria and procedures to ensure that Federally-supported or funded activities, including highway and transit projects, conform to the air quality planning goals in the applicable SIPs. The requirement to determine conformity applies to transportation plans, programs and projects developed, funded or approved under title 23 of the U.S. Code and the Federal Transit Act (transportation conformity) as well as to all other Federally-supported or funded projects (general conformity). Considering the elimination of lead additives in gasoline, transportation conformity does not apply to the lead NAAQS. 73 FR 66964, 67043 n.120. EPA approved Ohio's general conformity SIP on March 11, 1996. 61 FR 9646.

    b. Ohio Has a Fully Approved Applicable SIP Under Section 110(k) of the CAA

    Upon final approval of Ohio's comprehensive 2013 emissions inventories and approval of RACM for the Fulton County lead area, EPA will have fully approved the Ohio SIP for the Fulton County area under section 110(k) of the CAA for all requirements applicable for purposes of redesignation, in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii). EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in approving a redesignation request (See page 3 of the September 4, 1992, Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment: Policy Memorandum (Calcagni memorandum)); Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance v. Browner, 144 F.3d 984, 989-990 (6th Cir. 1998); Wall v. EPA, 265 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2001)). EPA also relies on measures approved in conjunction with a redesignation action. See 68 FR 25413 (May 12, 2003) (approving I/M program for St. Louis) and 68 FR 25413, 25426 (May 12, 2003). Ohio has adopted and submitted, and EPA has fully approved, required SIP provisions addressing the 2008 lead standards. Of the CAA requirements applicable to this redesignation request only two remain applicable, the emissions inventory requirement of section 172(c)(3) and the RACM requirement of section 172(c)(1).

    EPA is approving Ohio's 2013 emissions inventories for the Fulton County area as meeting the requirement of section 172(c)(3) of the CAA, and approving RACM provisions meeting the requirement of 172(c)(1). No SIP provisions are currently disapproved, conditionally approved, or partially approved in the Fulton County area under section 110(k) in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii).

    3. The Improvement in Air Quality Is Due to Permanent and Enforceable Reductions in Emissions Resulting From Implementation of the SIPs and Applicable Federal Air Pollution Control Regulations and Other Permanent and Enforceable Reductions (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii))

    To support the revision of an area's designation from nonattainment to attainment, CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii) requires EPA to determine that the air quality improvement in the area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions. Permanent and enforceable emission reductions result from the implementation of the SIP and applicable Federal air pollution control regulations and other permanent and enforceable emission reductions.

    Bunting is the lone source of lead emissions in the Fulton County nonattainment area. Ohio implemented a preventative maintenance plan (PMP) for Bunting. The PMP specifies the required inspections to be performed, requires continuous operation of a fabric filter bag leak detection system, and specifies the correct actions Bunting is to take following an inspection suggesting a leak or an alarm of the leak detection system. The PMP was implemented to correct control equipment malfunctions and poor housekeeping that caused additional lead emissions from the Bunting facility. Ohio incorporated the PMP requirements into the Air Pollution Permits-to-install and operate P0121822, P0120836, and P0121942 issued to Bunting on February 28, 2017. Those permits are permanent and Federally enforceable.

    4. Ohio Has a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan Pursuant to Section 175A of the CAA (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(iv))

    In conjunction with its request to redesignate the Fulton County nonattainment area to attainment, Ohio requested a SIP revision to provide for maintenance of the 2008 lead NAAQS in the area through 2030.

    a. What is required in a maintenance plan?

    The required elements of a maintenance plan for areas seeking redesignation from nonattainment to attainment are contained in section 175A of the CAA. Section 175A requires a state seeking redesignation to attainment to submit a SIP revision to provide for the maintenance of the NAAQS in the area “for at least 10 years after the redesignation”. EPA has interpreted this as a showing of maintenance “for a period of ten years following redesignation”. Calcagni memorandum at 9. Eight years after redesignation, the state must submit a revised maintenance plan which demonstrates that attainment will continue to be maintained for the subsequent 10 years.

    To address the possibility of future NAAQS violations, the maintenance plan must contain contingency measures with a schedule for implementation as EPA deems necessary to assure prompt correction of any future lead violations.

    The Calcagni memorandum provides additional guidance on the content of a maintenance plan. The memorandum states that a maintenance plan should address the following items: The attainment emissions inventory, a maintenance demonstration showing maintenance for the 10 years of the maintenance period, a commitment to maintain the existing monitoring network, factors and procedures to be used for verification of continued attainment of the NAAQS, and a contingency plan to prevent or correct future violations of the NAAQS.

    Ohio's maintenance plan shows that the Fulton County area's emissions will remain below the attainment year levels through 2030.

    b. Attainment Inventory

    Ohio provided lead emissions inventories for the nonattainment year (2008), the attainment year (2013), an interim year (2021), and a future year (2030). The lead emissions in tons per year (TPY) for Fulton County, Ohio are listed in Table 1.

    Table 1—Fulton County, Ohio Lead Emissions 2008 0.0050 TPY nonattainment year. 2013 0.0035 TPY attainment year. 2021 0.00315 TPY future year (interim). 2030 0.00284 TPY future year (maintenance). c. Demonstration of Maintenance

    Ohio included a section 175(A) maintenance plan in its submission. In the plan, Ohio has provided both an emissions inventory and air dispersion modeling of the emission limits resulting from the PMP to demonstrate that the area is expected to maintain the standard into the future. Where the emissions inventory method of showing maintenance is used, its purpose is to show that emissions during the maintenance period will not increase over the attainment year inventory. Calcagni memorandum at 9-10. A maintenance demonstration need not be based on modeling. See Wall v. EPA, 265 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2001), Sierra Club v. EPA, 375 F. 3d 537 (7th Cir. 2004). See also 66 FR 53094, 53099-53100 (October 19, 2001), 68 FR 25413, 25430-25432 (May 12, 2003).

    The plan demonstrates maintenance of the 2008 lead standard through 2030 by showing that current and future emissions of lead in the area remain at or below attainment year emission levels. In addition, the area can show modeled attainment of the NAAQS. The emissions inventory comparison showing the decline in emissions between 2013 and 2030 indicates maintenance. The modeling Ohio conducted also supports the conclusion that the Fulton County area will maintain attainment into the future.

    A summary of the air dispersion modeling for Bunting was included in Ohio's submission. The modeling evaluated the PMP measures including the emission limits from Air Pollution Permits-to-install and operate P0108083, P0121822, P0120836, and P0121942. Ohio used the American Meteorology Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model, known as AERMOD. That analysis yielded a maximum impact of 0.12 µg/m3, which is below the 2008 lead NAAQS of 0.15 µg/m3. This modeling analysis is valid for the Fulton County redesignation because the Bunting control measures are responsible for the emission reductions that brought the area into attainment.

    Ohio's maintenance plan submission shows that the Fulton County area's lead emissions will remain below the attainment year inventories through 2030. See Table 1. The reductions in lead emissions in the Fulton County area result from the permanent and enforceable control measures for Bunting, the lone lead source in the area. Monitoring data show that the Fulton County area ambient lead concentrations have remained below the NAAQS since the PMP was applied to Bunting. Because of the control measures implemented, it is reasonable to expect the emissions to remain at a level that meets the standard. Thus, it is reasonable to expect the Fulton County area will continue to attain the 2008 lead NAAQS through 2030. EPA has determined that Ohio's submission demonstrates that the area will continue to maintain the 2008 lead NAAQS at least through 2030. In addition, the air dispersion modeling indicates that with the permitted emission limitation implemented the Fulton County area ambient lead concentration will be below the 2008 lead NAAQS. Based on the showing, in accordance with section 175A, that the Ohio's maintenance plan provides for maintenance for at least 10 years after redesignation, EPA is approving the redesignation request and maintenance plans.

    d. Monitoring Network

    Ohio has committed to monitor ambient lead levels in the Fulton County area during the maintenance period to confirm continued maintenance of the 2008 lead NAAQS, and to continue to operate an adequate monitoring network. EPA has determined that the Fulton County, Ohio area lead monitoring network is adequate to confirm maintenance.

    e. Verification of Continued Attainment

    Ohio will also continue to enter its air monitoring data into the Air Quality System in accordance with Federal guidelines. It will also submit periodic emissions inventories to EPA as required by the Federal Consolidated Emissions Reporting Rule. 67 FR 39602, June 10, 2002. Both actions will help to verify continued attainment of the NAAQS in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    f. Contingency Plan

    The contingency plan provisions are designed to promptly correct or prevent a violation of the NAAQS that might occur after redesignation of an area to attainment. CAA section 175A requires that the maintenance plan include such contingency measures. The maintenance plan should identify the contingency measures to be adopted, a schedule and procedure for adoption and implementation of the contingency measures, and a time limit for action by the state. The state should also identify specific indicators to be used to determine when the contingency measures need to be adopted and implemented. The maintenance plan must include a requirement that the state will implement all pollution control measures that were contained in the SIP before redesignation of the area to attainment. Section 175A(d) of the CAA.

    Ohio's contingency plan defines a warning level and action level response. The warning level response will trigger when a lead monitor three-month rolling average exceeds 0.135 µg/m3 in the maintenance area. If a warning level response is triggered, Ohio will conduct a study to determine whether the lead values indicate a trend toward exceeding the standard and what control measure would be necessary to reverse the trend within 12 months of the conclusion of the calendar year. The action level response will be prompted by the determination of the warning level study that a reverse of the trend is needed, or by the three-month rolling average exceeding 0.143 µg/m3. The action level response will require Ohio to work with the entity found to be responsible for the ambient concentration to evaluate and implement the needed control measures to bring the area into attainment within 18 months of the conclusion of the calendar year that triggered the response.

    Should the 2008 lead NAAQS be violated during the maintenance period, Ohio will implement one or more contingency measures. The contingency measures will be considered based on the cause of the elevated lead levels. Potential measures include improvements to existing control devices, the addition of a secondary control device, and improvements to housekeeping and maintenance.

    EPA has determined that Ohio's maintenance plan adequately addresses the five basic components of a maintenance plan: Attainment inventory, maintenance demonstration, monitoring network, verification of continued attainment, and a contingency plan.

    As required by section 175A(b) of the CAA, Ohio commits to submit to the EPA an updated lead maintenance plan eight years after redesignation of the Fulton County area to cover an additional ten-year period beyond the initial ten-year maintenance period.

    For the reasons set forth above, EPA is approving Ohio's 2008 lead maintenance plan for the Fulton County area as meeting the requirements of CAA section 175A.

    B. Comprehensive Emissions Inventory

    Section 172(c)(3) of the CAA requires areas to submit a comprehensive, accurate, and current emissions inventory. Ohio provided such an inventory in its submission.

    Ohio identified Bunting as the lone source of lead emissions in the Fulton County nonattainment area. Thus, the emissions from Bunting represent the emissions of the Fulton County area. In 2013, the lead emissions were 0.0035 TPY. See Table 1.

    EPA approves the lead emissions inventories submitted by Ohio in April 2017 as fully meeting the comprehensive inventory requirement of section 172(c)(3) of the CAA for the Fulton County area for the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    C. RACM Requirements

    Based on the 6th Circuit decision discussed above, EPA requires areas in the jurisdiction of the 6th Circuit to have approved RACM/RACT provisions in order to be redesignated. Ohio performed a RACM analysis for Bunting. EPA is approving the existing controls and maintenance provisions for Bunting as fulfilling this requirement. Bunting has combined limits in Federally enforceable permits for the units controlled by each of its three baghouses. Baghouse A has a combined limit of 0.150 pound lead per hour (lb/hr) for the exhaust of units P006 to P011, P013, P020 to P025, P029 to P032, P035, and P036. Baghouse B has a combined limit of 0.150 lb/hr for units P014 to P019 and P028. Baghouse C has a combined limit of 0.075 lb/hr for unit P005. The current controls and PMP have brought the area into attainment and constitute RACM, which meets the requirement of CAA section 172(c)(1).

    V. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA has determined that the Fulton County area is attaining the 2008 lead NAAQS and that the area has met the requirements for redesignation under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA. EPA is thus approving the request from Ohio to change the legal designation of the Fulton County area from nonattainment to attainment for the 2008 lead standard. EPA is approving Ohio's maintenance plan for the Fulton County area as a revision to the Ohio SIP because we have determined that the plan meets the requirements of section 175A of the CAA. EPA is approving the emission controls in Air Pollution Permits-to-install and operate P0108083, P0121822, P0120836, and P0121942 as meeting the RACM/RACT requirements of CAA section 172(c)(1). EPA is approving the 2013 emissions inventory as meeting the comprehensive emissions inventory requirements of section 172(c)(3) of the CAA. EPA is taking these actions in accordance with the CAA and EPA's implementation regulations regarding the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective December 18, 2017 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by November 17, 2017. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. Public comments will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective December 18, 2017.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, 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).

    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 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 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Designations and classifications, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are 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.

    2. In § 52.1870 the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding a new entry for “Lead (2008)” under sub-heading “Summary of Criteria Pollutant Maintenance Plan” to read as follows:
    § 52.1870 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Ohio Nonregulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Provisions Title Applicable geographical or non-attainment area State date EPA approval Comments *         *         *         *         *         *         * Lead (2008) Delta (partial Fulton County) 4/27/2017 10/18/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Includes approval of the 2013 lead base year emissions inventory and Preventative Maintenance Plan as RACM for the Bunting Bearing LLC Delta facility. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    3. Section 52.1893 is amended by adding new paragraphs (f), (g) and (h) to read as follows:
    § 52.1893 Control strategy: Lead (Pb).

    (f) Ohio's 2013 lead emissions inventory for the Fulton County area, submitted on April 27, 2017, to meet the emission inventory requirements of section 172(c)(3) of the Clean Air Act for the Fulton County area.

    (g) Approval—The 2008 lead maintenance plan for the Fulton County, Ohio nonattainment area, submitted on April 27, 2017.

    (h) Existing controls and maintenance provisions in the Air Pollution Permits-to-install and operate P0108083, P0121822, P0120836, and P0121942 for the Bunting Bearing LLC Delta facility including the preventative maintenance plan as fulfilling the RACM/RACT 172(c)(1) requirement. Permits P0120836, P0121822, and P0121942, all issued February 28, 2017, require a combined limit of 0.150 pounds lead per hour for the exhaust of units P006 to P011, P013, P020 to P025, P029 to P032, P035, and P036. Permit P0108083, issued October 29, 2012, requires a combined limit of 0.150 pounds lead per hour for units P014 to P019 and P028 and a combined limit of 0.075 lb/hr for unit P005.

    PART 81—DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 4. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    5. Section 81.336 is amended by revising the entry for Delta, OH in the table entitled “Ohio—2008 Lead NAAQS” to read as follows:
    § 81.336 Ohio. Ohio—2008 Lead NAAQS Designated area Designation for the 2008 NAAQS a Date 1 Type *         *         *         *         *         *         * Delta, OH: Fulton County (part) 10/18/2017 Attainment. The portions of Fulton County that are bounded by: sections 12 and 13 of York Township and sections 7 and 18 of Swan Creek Township *         *         *         *         *         *         * a Includes Indian Country located in each county or area, except as otherwise specified. 1 December 31, 2011, unless otherwise noted.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22495 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0593; FRL-9969-69-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Redesignation of the Chicago and Granite City Areas to Attainment of the 2008 Lead Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's (Illinois EPA's) request to redesignate the Chicago and Granite City nonattainment areas (hereafter also referred to as the “areas”) to attainment for the 2008 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS or standards) for lead, also identified as Pb. EPA is also approving, as revisions to the Illinois state implementation plan (SIP): The state's plan for maintaining the 2008 lead NAAQS in the areas for a period of ten years following these redesignations; the emissions inventories for the areas; and rules applying emission limits and other control requirements to lead sources in the areas. EPA is taking these actions in accordance with applicable regulations and guidance that address implementation of the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 18, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse comments by November 17, 2017. If adverse comments are received, EPA 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-R05-OAR-2016-0593 at https://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-4489, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. What actions is EPA taking? II. What is the background for these actions? III. What are the criteria for redesignation to attainment? IV. What is EPA's analysis of the state's request? V. What are the effects of EPA's actions? VI. Incorporation by Reference VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What actions is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving Illinois' request to redesignate the Chicago and Granite City areas from nonattainment to attainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and taking several related actions. These actions include approval of, as revisions to the Illinois SIP, Illinois': Lead maintenance plan for the areas under section 175A; 2012 lead emission inventories under section 172(c)(3); and rules applying emission limits and other control requirements to lead sources in the Chicago and Granite City areas.

    EPA's analysis for taking these actions is discussed in Section IV below.

    II. What is the background for these actions?

    Lead is a metal found naturally in the environment as well as in manufactured products. Lead may have serious public health effects depending on the level of exposure. Lead can adversely affect the nervous system, kidney function, immune system, reproductive system, and cardiovascular system. Infants and young children are especially sensitive to even low levels of lead, which may contribute to behavioral problems, learning deficits, and lowered IQ. The major sources of lead for air emissions have historically been from fuels used in on-road motor vehicles (such as cars and trucks) and industrial sources. As a result of EPA's regulatory efforts to remove lead from on-road motor vehicle gasoline, emissions of lead from the transportation sector dramatically declined by 95 percent between 1980 and 1999, and levels of lead in the air decreased by 94 percent between 1980 and 1999.

    Today, the highest levels of lead in the air are usually found near lead smelters. The major sources of lead emissions to the air today are ore and metals processing and piston-engine aircraft operating on leaded aviation gasoline.

    On November 12, 2008 (73 FR 66964), EPA established the 2008 primary and secondary lead NAAQS at 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) based on a maximum arithmetic 3-month mean concentration for a 3-year period. See 40 CFR 50.16.

    On November 22, 2010 (75 FR 71033), EPA published its initial air quality designations and classifications for the 2008 lead NAAQS based upon air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2007-2009. These designations became effective on December 31, 2010. In this initial round, the Granite City area was designated nonattainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS. On November 22, 2011 (76 FR 72097), EPA published a second and final round of designations for the 2008 lead NAAQS based upon air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2008-2010. These designations became effective on December 31, 2011. In this second round, the Chicago area was designated nonattainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS. See 40 CFR 81.314.

    On January 9, 2014, Illinois EPA submitted to EPA an attainment demonstration for the 2008 lead NAAQS. This submission included a request to incorporate into the Illinois SIP new rules at Title 35 Illinois Administrative Code (Ill. Adm. Code) Part 226. On June 17, 2014, Illinois EPA supplemented this submission with additional information regarding the state rulemaking process.

    On September 22, 2016, Illinois EPA requested that the Granite City and Chicago lead nonattainment areas be redesignated to attainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS and submitted the maintenance plan for the areas as a proposed revision to the Illinois SIP. In this September 22, 2016, submission, Illinois EPA withdrew most parts of the previous two submissions, but did not withdraw the request that EPA approve, as a revision to the Illinois SIP, the requirements at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 to limit lead emissions in the areas. Illinois similarly did not withdraw certain attachments and support documents, such as emissions inventories and modeling data, that are relevant to this request. On February 16, 2017, Illinois EPA clarified certain details regarding the maintenance plan components of its September 22, 2016 submission.

    III. What are the criteria for redesignation to attainment?

    The CAA sets forth the requirements for redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment. Specifically, section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA allows for redesignation provided that: (1) The Administrator determines that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS based on current air quality data; (2) the Administrator has fully approved an applicable SIP for the area under section 110(k) of the CAA; (3) the Administrator determines that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions resulting from implementation of the applicable SIP, Federal air pollution control regulations, or other permanent and enforceable emission reductions; (4) the Administrator has fully approved a maintenance plan for the area meeting the requirements of section 175A of the CAA; and (5) the state containing the area has met all requirements applicable to the area for purposes of redesignation under section 110 and the requirements for nonattainment areas under part D of the CAA.

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of the state's request?

    The bases for EPA's actions follow.

    A. The Areas Have Attained the 2008 Lead NAAQS (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(i))

    In accordance with section 179(c) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7509(c), EPA is determining that the Chicago and Granite City areas have attained the 2008 lead NAAQS. This determination is based upon complete, quality-assured, and certified ambient air monitoring data that show the areas have monitored attainment of the lead NAAQS.

    Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR 50.16, the 2008 primary and secondary lead standards are met when the maximum arithmetic 3-month mean concentration for a 3-year period, as determined in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, appendix R, is less than or equal to 0.15 μg/m3 at all relevant monitoring sites in the subject area. EPA refers to this maximum rolling three-month average over a three-year period as the “design value.”

    40 CFR part 58, appendix A outlines the quality assurance requirements necessary for providing “sufficient information to assess the quality of the monitoring data.” 40 CFR part 58, appendix D provides network design criteria requirements which describe “specific requirements for the number and location of . . . [monitoring] sites for specific pollutants . . .”. Within appendix D, Section 4.5 states that “[a]t a minimum, there must be one source-oriented SLAMS (State and Local Air Monitoring Station) site located to measure the maximum Pb concentration in ambient air resulting from each non-airport Pb source which emits 0.50 or more tons per year. . . .

    EPA has reviewed the ambient air monitoring data for the Chicago and Granite City areas in accordance with the provisions of 40 CFR part 50, appendix R, and 40 CFR part 58, appendix A and appendix D. All data considered are complete, quality-assured, certified, and recorded in EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) database.

    1. Chicago Area Air Quality

    As defined at 40 CFR 81.314, the Chicago area is comprised of the portions of Cook County that are bounded by Damen Avenue on the west, Roosevelt Road on the north, the Dan Ryan Expressway on the east, and the Stevenson Expressway on the south. According to analysis conducted by Illinois EPA in 2011, the H. Kramer & Co. (H. Kramer) facility was capable of causing exceedances of the NAAQS in the absence of any other sources in the area.1 As described in Illinois EPA's September 22, 2016 submission, after the 2012 shutdown of the Fisk Electric Generating Station, H. Kramer became the only source of lead emissions in the Chicago area. H. Kramer manufactures brass and bronze ingots, and a portion of the facility is devoted to producing metal alloys that often contain lead as a minor constituent.

    1See the technical support document “Region 5 Final Ionia County, Chicago, Illinois Lead Technical Support Document (TSD)” [sic] attached to EPA's air quality designations published November 22, 2011 (76 FR 72097).

    After Illinois EPA identified H. Kramer as capable of causing exceedances of the NAAQS in the Chicago area, Illinois adopted rules that limit emissions from the H. Kramer facility, and require additional control measures. As discussed in detail below, in this action EPA is approving a request from Illinois EPA to incorporate these rules into the Illinois SIP. Since H. Kramer implemented the controls required by these rules, monitored values of lead in the area have been below the health-based standard.

    The Cook County Department of Environmental Control in conjunction with Illinois EPA operates two Federal reference method (FRM) source-oriented SLAMS monitors at 1241 W 19th Street in Chicago, Illinois, which are used to determine whether the Chicago area has attained the 2008 lead NAAQS. In the AQS database, this monitoring site is denoted with site ID 17-031-0110 and the two monitors are denoted with parameter occurrence code (POC) #1 and POC #9. In a rulemaking on August 24, 2015 (80 FR 51127), EPA determined that the Chicago area was attaining the 2008 lead NAAQS, with a design value of 0.05 μg/m3 for the three-year period of 2012-2014. EPA is affirming that determination today with monitoring data from the most recent three-year period of 2014-2016 based on data from the SLAMS monitors identified above.

    2 In Tables 1 through 4, the three-month rolling average for the first two periods in 2014, November through January and December through February, includes monitoring data from November and December of 2013.

    Table 1—2014-2016 Three-Month Rolling Averages for the 17-031-0110 #1 Monitor, in Units of μg/m 3 Location AQS ID 3-month period 2014 2015 2016 1241 W 19th St., Chicago, IL 17-031-0110 #1 Nov-Jan 2 0.01 0.03 0.01 Dec-Feb 0.01 0.01 0.01 Jan-Mar 0.02 0.01 0.01 Feb-Apr 0.02 0.02 0.01 Mar-May 0.02 0.02 0.01 Apr-Jun 0.02 0.02 0.01 May-July 0.02 0.01 0.01 Jun-Aug 0.02 0.01 0.01 July-Sept 0.02 0.01 0.01 Aug-Oct 0.02 0.01 0.01 Sept-Nov 0.04 0.01 0.01 Oct-Dec 0.03 0.01 0.01 Table 2—2014-2016 Three-Month Rolling Averages for the 17-031-0110 #9 Monitor, in Units of μg/m 3 Location AQS ID 3-month period 2014 2015 2016 1241 W 19th St., Chicago, IL 17-031-0110 #9 Nov-Jan 0.01 0.01 0.01 Dec-Feb 0.01 0.01 0.01 Jan-Mar 0.02 0.01 0.01 Feb-Apr 0.02 0.02 0.01 Mar-May 0.02 0.02 0.01 Apr-Jun 0.02 0.02 0.01 May-July 0.02 0.01 0.01 Jun-Aug 0.02 0.01 0.01 July-Sept 0.03 0.01 0.01 Aug-Oct 0.02 0.01 0.01 Sept-Nov 0.02 0.01 0.01 Oct-Dec 0.02 0.01 0.01

    The data shown in Tables 1 and 2 are complete, quality-assured, and certified and show 0.04 μg/m3 as the highest three-month rolling average, well below the standard of 0.15 μg/m3. The September 22, 2016, submittal from Illinois EPA requested redesignation to attainment based on data from the three-year period of 2013-2015, which showed that the Chicago area was meeting the 2008 lead NAAQS with a design value of 0.04 μg/m3. In this action, EPA is redesignating the Chicago area based on more recent monitoring data for the three-year period of 2014-2016, which also has a design value of 0.04 μg/m3.

    EPA's review of this data indicates that the Chicago area has attained and should continue to attain the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    2. Granite City Area Air Quality

    As defined at 40 CFR 81.314, the Granite City area is comprised of the portions of Madison County that are bounded by Granite City Township and Venice Township. According to initial analysis conducted by Illinois EPA in 2010, the Mayco Industries LLC (Mayco) facility was one of several sources with lead emissions in the Granite City nonattainment area.3 As described in its September 22, 2016, submission, Illinois EPA conducted further analysis and determined that Mayco was the most significant source of lead emissions in the Granite City area, and was capable of causing exceedances of the NAAQS in the absence of any other sources in the area. Mayco is a secondary lead production facility and a fabricator of several lead-containing products. Mayco manufactures lead shot for ammunition, lead-containing products for naval applications, and lead wool used to create flexible materials for radiation protection.

    3See the technical support document “Region 5—Final Granite City, Illinois Technical Support Document For 1st Round of Lead Designations” attached to EPA's air quality designations published November 22, 2010 (75 FR 71033).

    After Illinois EPA identified Mayco as the primary contributor to the exceedance of the NAAQS in the Granite City area, Illinois adopted rules that limit emissions from the Mayco facility, and require additional control measures. As discussed in detail below, in this action EPA is approving a request from Illinois EPA to incorporate these rules into the Illinois SIP. Since Mayco implemented the controls required by these rules, monitored values of lead in the area have been below the health-based standard.

    Illinois EPA operates two FRM source-oriented SLAMS monitors at 15th Street and Madison Avenue in Granite City, Illinois, which are used to determine whether the Granite City area has attained the 2008 lead NAAQS. In the AQS database, this monitoring site is denoted with site ID 17-119-0010 and the two monitors are denoted with POC #1 and POC #9.

    Table 3—2014-2016 Three-Month Rolling Averages for the 17-119-0010 #1 Monitor, in Units of μg/m 3 Location AQS ID 3-month period 2014 2015 2016 15th St. and Madison Ave., Granite City, IL 17-119-0010 #1 Nov-Jan 0.04 0.02 0.01 Dec-Feb 0.04 0.02 0.01 Jan-Mar 0.03 0.02 0.01 Feb-Apr 0.01 0.01 0.02 Mar-May 0.02 0.02 0.02 Apr-Jun 0.01 0.02 0.02 May-July 0.01 0.01 0.02 Jun-Aug 0.01 0.01 0.01 July-Sept 0.01 0.01 0.01 Aug-Oct 0.01 0.02 0.01 Sept-Nov 0.02 0.02 0.02 Oct-Dec 0.01 0.01 0.02 Table 4—2014-2016 Three-Month Rolling Averages for the 17-119-0010 #9 Monitor, in Units of μg/m 3 Location AQS ID 3-month period 2014 2015 2016 15th St. and Madison Ave., Granite City, IL 17-119-0010 #9 Nov-Jan 0.04 0.01 0.01 Dec-Feb 0.03 0.01 0.01 Jan-Mar 0.03 0.02 0.01 Feb-Apr 0.01 0.02 0.01 Mar-May 0.02 0.02 0.01 Apr-Jun 0.01 0.02 0.01 May-July 0.01 0.02 0.01 Jun-Aug 0.01 0.01 0.01 July-Sept 0.01 0.01 0.01 Aug-Oct 0.01 0.02 0.01 Sept-Nov 0.02 0.02 0.01 Oct-Dec 0.01 0.02 0.02

    The data shown in Tables 3 and 4 are complete, quality-assured, and certified and show 0.04 μg/m3 as the highest three-month rolling average, well below the standard of 0.15 μg/m3. The September 22, 2016, submittal from Illinois EPA requested redesignation to attainment based on data for the three-year period of 2013-2015, which showed that the Granite City area was meeting the 2008 lead NAAQS with a design value of 0.06 μg/m3. In this action, EPA is redesignating the Granite City area based on the more recent monitoring data for the three-year period of 2014-2016, which has a lower design value of 0.04 μg/m3.

    EPA's review of this data indicates that the Granite City area has attained and should continue to attain the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    B. EPA Has Fully Approved the Applicable SIP for the Areas Under Section 110(k) and the Areas Have Met All Applicable Requirements Under Section 110 and Part D (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) and (v))

    With the exception of the emissions inventory requirement under section 172(c)(3), EPA has approved all applicable requirements of the Illinois SIP for the areas under Section 110(k) (EPA action on plan submissions), in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii). As discussed below, EPA is approving Illinois' 2012 emissions inventory as meeting the section 172(c)(3) comprehensive emissions inventory requirement as part of this action.

    Additionally, the Illinois SIP meets all currently applicable SIP requirements for purposes of redesignation of the Chicago and Granite City areas under section 110 of the CAA (general SIP requirements), and Illinois' submittal meets all SIP requirements applicable under part D of the CAA (plan requirements for nonattainment areas in general), in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(v).

    1. Illinois Has Met All Applicable Requirements for Purposes of Redesignation of the Chicago and Granite City Areas Under Section 110 and Part D of the CAA a. Section 110 General SIP Requirements

    Section 110(a) of title I of the CAA contains the general requirements for a SIP. Section 110(a)(2) provides that the implementation plan submitted by a state must have been adopted by the state after reasonable public notice and hearing, and, among other things, must: Include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means or techniques necessary to meet the requirements of the CAA; provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to monitor ambient air quality; provide for implementation of a source permit program to regulate the modification and construction of any stationary source within the areas covered by the plan; include provisions for the implementation of part C, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and part D, New Source Review (NSR) permit programs; include criteria for stationary source emission control measures, monitoring, and reporting; include provisions for air quality modeling; and provide for public and local agency participation in planning and emission control rule development. EPA has historically referred to SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions.

    Additionally, section 110(a)(2)(D) of the CAA requires that SIPs contain measures to prevent sources in a state from significantly contributing to air quality problems in another state. EPA has historically referred to SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D) as “transport SIP” submissions.

    EPA interprets the “applicable” requirements for an area's designation to be those requirements linked with a particular area's nonattainment designation. Therefore, the section 110 elements described above that are not connected with nonattainment plan submissions and not linked with an area's attainment status, such as the infrastructure SIP elements of section 110(a)(2) and transport SIP submittal requirements under section 110(a)(2)(D), are not applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation. This is because a state remains subject to these requirements after an area is redesignated to attainment, and therefore these requirements are not relevant in evaluating a redesignation request.

    EPA has applied this interpretation consistently in many redesignations for decades. See 81 FR 44210 (July 7, 2016) (final redesignation for the Sullivan County, Tennessee area); 79 FR 43655 (July 28, 2014) (final redesignation for Bellefontaine, Ohio lead nonattainment area); 61 FR 53174-53176 (October 10, 1996) and 62 FR 24826 (May 7, 1997) (proposed and final redesignation for Reading, Pennsylvania ozone nonattainment area); 61 FR 20458 (May 7, 1996) (final redesignation for Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, Ohio ozone nonattainment area); and 60 FR 62748 (December 7, 1995) (final redesignation of Tampa, Florida ozone nonattainment area). See also 65 FR 37879, 37890 (June 19, 2000) (discussing this issue in final redesignation of Cincinnati, Ohio 1-hour ozone nonattainment area); 66 FR 53094 (October 19, 2001) (final redesignation of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1-hour ozone nonattainment area).

    We have reviewed the Illinois SIP and determined that it meets the general SIP requirements under section 110 of the CAA to the extent those requirements are applicable for purposes of redesignation. EPA has previously approved provisions of Illinois' SIP addressing section 110 requirements (including provisions addressing lead) at 40 CFR 52.745.

    b. Part D Requirements

    Upon approval of Illinois' 2012 emissions inventory for each area, the Illinois SIP will meet the nonattainment area requirements for the Chicago and Granite City areas for purposes of redesignation under part D of the CAA, including the requirements under sections 172 and 176, which are discussed further below.

    (i) Section 172 Nonattainment Plan Requirements

    For purposes of evaluating this redesignation request, the applicable SIP requirements of section 172 are contained in sections 172(c)(1) through (9), which address requirements for nonattainment areas. A thorough discussion of the requirements contained in section 172 can be found in the General Preamble for Implementation of Title I (57 FR 13498, April 16, 1992).

    Section 172(c)(1) requires nonattainment plans to provide for the implementation of all reasonably available control measures (RACM) as expeditiously as practicable and to provide for attainment of the primary NAAQS. EPA interprets this requirement to impose a duty on all states to consider all available control measures for all nonattainment areas and to adopt and implement such measures as are reasonably available for implementation in each area as components of the area's attainment demonstration. Because the Chicago and Granite City areas have attained the 2008 lead NAAQS, Illinois does not need to address additional measures to provide for attainment, and the requirements under section 172(c)(1) are no longer considered to be applicable so long as the area continues to attain the standard until redesignation. (40 CFR 51.918).

    Section 172(c)(2) provides that nonattainment plans must require reasonable further progress (RFP), which is defined as progress that must be made toward attainment. This requirement is not relevant for purposes of the Chicago and Granite City redesignations because the areas have monitored attainment of the 2008 lead NAAQS. (General Preamble, 57 FR 13564). See also 40 CFR 51.918. The requirement to submit contingency measures under section 172(c)(9) is similarly not applicable for purposes of redesignation. Id.

    Section 172(c)(3) requires submission and approval of a comprehensive, accurate and current inventory of actual emissions. In their redesignation request, Illinois submitted inventories of actual lead emissions in 2012 for each source in the Chicago and Granite City areas that may have contributed to an exceedance of the NAAQS. At 40 CFR 51.117, EPA provides a threshold at which lead emissions must be included in an inventory; as shown in Illinois' submittal, no other source in either area emits at or above the threshold level of 0.5 or more tons of lead per year. EPA is approving the 2012 inventories, summarized in Table 5 below, as meeting the section 172(c)(3) emissions inventory requirement for the Chicago and Granite City areas.

    Table 5—Actual Emissions Inventories for the Chicago and Granite City Areas in 2012 Lead
  • emissions
  • (lbs/year)
  • H. Kramer facility in Chicago area 200 Mayco facility in Granite City area 903

    Section 172(c)(4) requires nonattainment plans to identify and quantify allowable emissions for major new and modified stationary sources in an area, and section 172(c)(5) requires source permits for the construction and operation of new and modified major stationary sources anywhere in the nonattainment area. EPA approved Illinois' current NSR program as meeting the requirements of section 172(c)(4) and 172(c)(5) on May 13, 2003 (68 FR 25504).

    Section 172(c)(6) requires nonattainment plans to include enforceable emission limitations, and such other control measures, means or techniques as may be necessary or appropriate to provide for attainment of the standard. Because the areas have reached attainment has been reached, no additional measures are needed to provide for attainment.

    Section 172(c)(7) requires nonattainment plans to meet the applicable provisions of section 110(a)(2). As discussed above, the Illinois SIP meets the applicable provisions of section 110(a)(2) for purposes of redesignation.

    Section 172(c)(8) allows for equivalent modeling, emission inventory, and planning procedures in certain circumstances upon application by the State, which is not applicable to this action.

    (ii) Section 176 Conformity Requirements

    Section 176(c) of the CAA requires states to establish criteria and procedures to ensure that Federally-supported or funded activities, including highway and transit projects, conform to the air quality planning goals in the applicable SIPs. The requirement to determine conformity applies to transportation plans, programs and projects developed, funded or approved under title 23 of the U.S. Code and the Federal Transit Act (transportation conformity) as well as to all other Federally-supported or funded projects (general conformity). In light of the elimination of lead additives in gasoline, transportation conformity does not apply to the lead NAAQS. See 73 FR 66964, 67043 n.120. In addition, EPA approved Illinois' general conformity SIP on December 23, 1997 (62 FR 6700).

    2. Illinois Has a Fully Approved Applicable SIP Under Section 110(k) of the CAA

    Upon final approval of Illinois' comprehensive 2012 emissions inventories, EPA will have fully approved the Illinois SIP for the Chicago and Granite City areas under section 110(k) of the CAA for all requirements applicable to the attainment status of the areas. EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in approving a redesignation request (See page 3 of the September 4, 1992, Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment: Policy Memorandum4 (Calcagni memorandum)); Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance v. Browner, 144 F.3d 984, 989-990 (6th Cir. 1998); Wall v. EPA, 265 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2001)) plus any additional measures EPA may approve in conjunction with a redesignation action. See 68 FR 25413, 25426 (May 12, 2003). Since the passage of the CAA of 1970, Illinois has adopted and submitted, and EPA has fully approved, provisions addressing various required SIP elements under lead standards.

    4https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/procedures-processing-requests-redesignate-areas-attainment.

    Under section 172, states with nonattainment areas must submit plans providing for timely attainment and meeting a variety of other requirements. EPA made a final determination of attainment for the Chicago area (also known as a clean data determination) on August 24, 2015 (80 FR 51127). Pursuant to 40 CFR 51.1004(c), EPA's determination that the area has attained the 2008 lead standard suspended the requirement to submit certain planning SIPs related to attainment, including attainment demonstration requirements, the RACM requirements of 172(c)(3), the RFP and attainment demonstration requirements of sections 172(c)(2) and (6) and 182(b)(1) of the CAA, and the requirement for contingency measures under section 172(c)(9) of the CAA. As discussed above, since EPA's final determination of attainment in 2015, the Chicago area has continued to attain the standard and should remain in attainment. Because in today's rulemaking we are determining that the Granite City area has also attained the standard, EPA is suspending those same requirements under section 172 and 182(b)(1) of the CAA for the Granite City area.

    As a result, the only remaining requirement under section 172 to be evaluated is the emissions inventory required under section 172(c)(3). In this action, EPA is approving Illinois' 2012 emissions inventories for the Chicago and Granite City areas as meeting the requirement of section 172(c)(3) of the CAA. No Chicago area or Granite City area SIP provisions regarding lead under Section 172 of the CAA are currently disapproved, conditionally approved, or partially approved.

    C. The Improvement in Air Quality Is Due to Permanent and Enforceable Reductions in Emissions Resulting From Implementation of the SIP and Applicable Federal Air Pollution Control Regulations and Other Permanent and Enforceable Reductions (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii))

    As part of this action, EPA is approving Illinois EPA's request to modify the Illinois SIP to include the requirements at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226. As discussed below, the rules at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 place new control requirements and emission limits on lead sources in the Chicago and Granite City areas, and are more stringent than the previous SIP-approved rules. Inclusion of these rules into the SIP means that these requirements are permanent and enforceable.

    In developing the proposed SIP revisions, Illinois EPA assessed the practices and processes at the H. Kramer and Mayco facilities that contributed to exceedances of the NAAQS in the Chicago area and Granite City area, respectively. Illinois determined that emissions from the stacks at each facility were not appropriately limited, and that certain parts of the Mayco manufacturing process were not controlled at all. Illinois also determined that fugitive emissions from each facility were a significant factor in the exceedances of the NAAQS, and were caused by a lack of proper enclosure under negative pressure, as well as insufficient housekeeping and cleaning procedures. Illinois structured its new rule to address the specific deficiencies at the H. Kramer and Mayco facilities that contributed to the exceedances of the lead NAAQS.

    35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226, titled “Standards and Limitations for Certain Sources of Lead”, which became effective at the state level on April 21, 2014, applies to nonferrous metal production facilities in the Chicago and Granite City areas. In practice, the rule applies to the H. Kramer and Mayco facilities, which are the only two nonferrous metal production facilities in the areas. The rule provides lead emission standards and requires specific emission controls based on the equipment and manufacturing processes that are used at each facility; requires affected sources to operate under specified state or federal permitting programs; requires that owners or operators of lead emission units install, maintain, and operate monitoring equipment; sets requirements for recording and submitting monitoring data; requires that subject owners or operators operate pressure differential and leak detection systems at all times; requires total enclosure of specified lead emission units when the unit is operating or housekeeping activities are being performed; provides options for measurement of all natural draft openings and the total surface area of the total enclosure; requires inward flow of air through all natural draft openings; requires monthly inspections; requires the owner or operator of a lead emission unit to operate a fugitive dust operating program, and specifies areas, activities, and events subject to this program; provides specific emissions testing requirements; includes specific recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including a requirement to submit semiannual reports to Illinois EPA; and states that records must be maintained for at least five years.

    In its September 22, 2016, submission, Illinois EPA showed that the implementation of the requirements of 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 has resulted in a substantial decrease in emissions from the H. Kramer and Mayco facilities. As part of its analysis of these areas, Illinois EPA determined emissions prior to the April 21, 2014, effective date of 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 at each facility based on stack testing. For 2012, the H. Kramer facility reported 200 lbs of emissions, and the Mayco facility reported 903 lbs of emissions. Illinois then conducted modeling to calculate allowable emissions from each facility under 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 for 2014 and future years. Illinois determined that H. Kramer should emit no more than 99.9889 lbs/year, and Mayco should emit no more than 418.2620 lbs/year. This modeling is discussed in detail below. As shown in Table 6, Illinois' modeling shows that the emissions reductions correlate with a decrease in monitored ambient lead levels.

    Table 6—Emissions Reductions and Improvements in Air Quality for the Nonattainment and Attainment Periods 2012 Actual lead emissions
  • (lbs/year)
  • Nonattainment design value
  • (μg/m3) 5
  • 2014
  • Allowable lead emissions
  • (lbs/year)
  • 2014-2016
  • Attainment
  • design value
  • (μg/m3)
  • H. Kramer facility in Chicago area 200 0.24 99.9889 0.04 Mayco facility in Granite City area 903 0.28 418.2620 0.04

    Based on the information provided in its submission, Illinois has demonstrated that the observed air quality improvements in the Chicago and Granite City areas are due to the requirements at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226. Relative to emissions in 2012, Illinois' analysis shows that these requirements result in emission reductions of at least 50% from both H. Kramer in the Chicago area and Mayco in the Granite City area. Furthermore, Illinois believes these emission reduction estimates are conservative because the reductions were calculated based on allowable emissions under the rule, and actual emissions are likely to be lower.6

    5 The Chicago area was designated nonattainment using the design value for the 2008-2010 period, and the Granite City area was designated nonattainment using the design value for the 2007-2009 period.

    6 For a source's actual emissions to be equivalent to its allowable emissions, the source would need to operate every emission unit at maximum capacity continuously throughout the year.

    D. Illinois Has a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan Pursuant to Section 175A of the CAA (Section 107(d)(3)(E)(iv))

    In conjunction with Illinois' request to redesignate the Chicago and Granite City nonattainment areas to attainment status, Illinois has submitted, as a SIP revision, a plan to provide for maintenance of the 2008 lead NAAQS in the areas through 2030. EPA has reviewed the maintenance plan and finds that it meets the requirements of section 175A of the CAA as explained further below.

    Section 175A of the CAA sets forth the required elements of a maintenance plan for areas seeking redesignation from nonattainment to attainment. Under section 175A, the plan must demonstrate continued attainment of the applicable NAAQS for at least ten years after EPA approves a redesignation to attainment. Eight years after redesignation, the state must submit a revised maintenance plan which demonstrates that attainment will continue to be maintained for ten years following the initial ten-year maintenance period. To address the possibility of future NAAQS violations, the maintenance plan must contain contingency measures with a schedule for implementation as EPA deems necessary to assure prompt correction of any future NAAQS violations.

    EPA's September 4, 1992, Calcagni memorandum provides additional guidance on the content of a maintenance plan. The memorandum states that a maintenance plan should address the following items: The attainment emissions inventory, a maintenance demonstration showing maintenance for the ten years of the maintenance period, a commitment to maintain the existing monitoring network, factors and procedures to be used for verification of continued attainment of the NAAQS, and a contingency plan to prevent or correct future violations of the NAAQS.

    Section 175A requires a state seeking redesignation to attainment to submit a SIP revision to provide for the maintenance of the NAAQS in the area “for at least 10 years after the redesignation.” EPA has interpreted this as a showing of maintenance “for a period of ten years following redesignation.” Calcagni memorandum at 9. Where the modeling method of showing maintenance is used, a state must show that “the future mix of sources and emission rates will not cause a violation of the NAAQS.” Id. Modeling should “contain a summary of the air quality concentrations expected to result from application of the control strategy” and “identify and describe the dispersion model or other air quality model used to project ambient concentrations.” Id.

    1. Attainment Inventory

    Illinois developed emissions inventories for lead for 2014, one of the years in the period during which the Chicago and Granite City areas monitored attainment of the 2008 lead standard. Illinois EPA calculated this inventory for the H. Kramer and Mayco facilities based on allowable emissions considering the emission limits and control requirements under 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226, and requested that the resulting emissions totals be used to satisfy the maintenance plan requirements of section 175A. This approach is consistent with the modeling that Illinois conducted to show that future emissions of lead will not cause a violation of the NAAQS.

    These allowable emissions levels for the 2014 attainment year, summarized in Table 7 below, satisfy the pertinent maintenance plan requirements of section 175A.

    Table 7—Allowable Emissions Inventories for the Chicago and Granite City Areas in the 2014 Attainment Year Lead
  • emissions
  • (lbs/year)
  • H. Kramer facility in Chicago area 99.9889 Mayco facility in Granite City area 418.2620
    2. Demonstration of Maintenance

    Illinois' plan demonstrates maintenance of the 2008 lead standard through 2030 by showing modeled attainment of the standard for projected future emissions, even at the highest levels of emissions allowed by the new rules at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226, which are discussed in detail above.

    As clarified by Illinois EPA on February 16, 2017, the Illinois maintenance plan demonstrates how the projected level of emissions from affected sources is sufficient to permanently maintain the lead NAAQS. The maintenance plan relies on a January 9, 2014, submission of emissions inventories and modeling data, as well as a June 17, 2014, submission requesting that EPA add 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 into the Illinois SIP. Illinois EPA modeling shows that these rules, once approved as part of the SIP, should permanently limit emissions to a level at which the 2008 lead NAAQS is maintained for ten years and beyond in the Chicago and Granite City areas.

    Illinois EPA conducted this modeling for both areas using EPA's dispersion model, AERMOD, as required at 40 CFR part 51, appendix W. Model output was processed using EPA's LEADPOST software. In undertaking this modeling, Illinois followed relevant EPA guidance, and appropriately considered meteorology, terrain, and stack height.

    Based on monitoring data and estimated emissions from nearby sources, the modeling assumes a background lead concentration of 0.02 μg/m3 for both the Chicago and Granite City areas. This assumption is conservative because the most recent monitoring data for the Chicago and Granite City areas show total ambient lead concentrations near this value. The modeling then applies the new rules at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 to the affected sources in each area, and calculates maximum allowable emissions from these sources. Adding the background concentration to the maximum allowable emissions, Illinois EPA's modeling shows that the maximum three-month rolling average of lead is 0.128253 μg/m3 for the Chicago area and 0.128333 μg/m3 for the Granite City area, which are within the 2008 lead NAAQS standard of 0.15 μg/m3. Because this would be the maximum level of lead emissions allowed under permanent and enforceable SIP-approved rules, Illinois EPA has shown an ability to maintain the NAAQS for ten years and beyond.

    3. Monitoring Network

    Illinois currently operates lead monitors in the Chicago and Granite City area. Illinois' maintenance plan includes a commitment to continue to operate its EPA-approved monitoring network as necessary to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the NAAQS.

    4. Verification of Continued Attainment

    Illinois remains obligated to continue to quality-assure monitoring data and enter all data into AQS in accordance with Federal guidelines. Illinois has committed to using these data, supplemented with additional information as necessary, to assure that the area continues to attain the standard. Illinois will also continue to develop and submit periodic emission inventories as required by the Federal Consolidated Emissions Reporting Rule (67 FR 39602, June 10, 2002) to track future levels of emissions. Both of these actions will help to verify continued attainment in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    5. Contingency Plan

    The contingency plan provisions are designed to promptly correct or prevent a violation of the NAAQS that might occur after redesignation of an area to attainment. Section 175A of the CAA requires that a maintenance plan include such contingency measures as EPA deems necessary to assure that the state will promptly correct a violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation. The maintenance plan should identify the contingency measures to be adopted, a schedule and procedure for adoption and implementation of the contingency measures, and a time limit for action by the state. The state should also identify specific indicators to be used to determine when the contingency measures need to be adopted and implemented. The maintenance plan must include a requirement that the state will implement all pollution control measures that were contained in the SIP before redesignation of the area to attainment. See section 175A(d) of the CAA.

    Illinois' contingency plan is triggered when there is a violation of the lead NAAQS occurring after redesignation to attainment. Within six months of certification of monitoring data showing an exceedance of the NAAQS, Illinois will complete a comprehensive study to determine the cause or causes of the violation, and the control measure or measures necessary to mitigate the problem. This study will consider the number, location, and severity of the violations; the weather patterns contributing to high concentrations of lead; contributing emissions sources; emissions trends, including timeliness of implementation of scheduled control measures; current and recently-identified control technologies; and air quality contributions from outside the maintenance area.

    If the study shows that additional controls of sources within the area is appropriate, the Illinois contingency plan is to incrementally lower emission limits and implement associated measures at the unit or units that are shown to be the cause or causes of the NAAQS violation. The selection of measures will be based upon several factors, including emissions reduction potential, timing of implementation, and social considerations. Illinois EPA will solicit input from interested and affected parties prior to selecting the appropriate measures. The process will include publication for notices, an opportunity for public hearing, and other actions required by Illinois law.

    Illinois' contingency measures, as well as the commitment to implement SIP requirements as necessary, satisfy the pertinent requirements of section 175A(d).

    As required by section 175A(b) of the CAA, Illinois committed to submit to EPA an updated lead maintenance plan eight years after redesignation of the Chicago and Granite City areas to cover an additional ten-year period beyond the initial ten-year maintenance period.

    For the reasons set forth above, EPA is approving, as a SIP revision, Illinois' 2008 lead NAAQS maintenance plan for the Chicago and Granite City areas because the plan meets the requirements of CAA section 175A.

    V. What are the effects of EPA's actions?

    Approval of this redesignation request changes the official designation of the Chicago, Illinois and Granite City, Illinois areas for the 2008 lead NAAQS, found at 40 CFR part 81, from nonattainment to attainment. This action also approves, as revisions to the Illinois SIP, the rules at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226, the maintenance plan for the 2008 lead standard in the Chicago and Granite City areas, and Illinois' 2012 emissions inventories for the Chicago and Granite City areas pursuant to section 172(c)(3) of the CAA.

    As discussed above, section 172(c)(3) of the CAA requires areas to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory including all lead sources in the nonattainment area. EPA is approving the Illinois 2012 emissions inventories outlined in Table 5 for the Chicago and Granite City areas as fulfilling this requirement.

    In its September 22, 2016, submission, Illinois EPA requested that EPA approve 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 226 as a revision to the Illinois SIP as control measures to maintain attainment in the Chicago and Granite City areas. As discussed above, these rules control emissions from lead sources, specifically at the H. Kramer and Mayco facilities, and inclusion of these rules into the SIP makes these measures permanent and enforceable. In today's action, EPA is approving Illinois' request to modify the SIP to include these rules.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective December 18, 2017 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by November 17, 2017. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective December 18, 2017.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Illinois Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov, and/or at the EPA Region 5 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

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the accompanying approval of a maintenance plan under section 107(d)(3)(E) are actions that affect the status of a geographical area and do not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those imposed by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of itself create any new requirements, but rather results in the applicability of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, 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), because redesignation is an action that affects the status of a geographical area and does not impose any new regulatory requirements on tribes, impact any existing sources of air pollution on tribal lands, nor impair the maintenance of ozone national ambient air quality standards in tribal lands.

    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 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 81

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

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are 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.

    2. In § 52.720 the tables in paragraph (c) and (e) are amended: i. In paragraph (c) under the subheading “Subchapter c: Emission Standards and Limitations for Stationary Sources” by adding entries in numerical order under a new subheading “Part 226: Standards And Limitations For Certain Sources Of Lead”; ii. in paragraph (e) under the subheading “Attainment and Maintenance Plans” by adding new entries in alphabetical order for “Lead (2008) attainment and maintenance plan” and “Lead (2008)—Clean Data Determination”; and iii. in paragraph (e) under the subheading “Emission Inventories” by adding a new entry in alphabetical order for “Emission inventory -2012 (2008 Lead)”.

    The additions read as follows:

    § 52.720 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Illinois Regulations And Statutes Illinois citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter C: Emission Standards and Limitations for Stationary Sources *         *         *         *         *         *         * Part 226: Standards and Limitations for Certain Sources of Lead 226.100 Severability 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.105 Scope and Organization 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.110 Abbreviations and Acronyms 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.115 Definitions 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.120 Incorporations by Reference 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.125 Applicability 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.130 Compliance Date 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.140 Lead Emission Standards 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.150 Operational Monitoring for Control Device 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.155 Total Enclosure 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.160 Operational Measurement for Total Enclosure 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.165 Inspection 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.170 Lead Fugitive Dust Operating Program 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.175 Emissions Testing 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] 226.185 Recordkeeping and Reporting 4/21/2014 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Illinois Nonregulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Provisions Name of SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Attainment and Maintenance Plans *         *         *         *         *         *         * Lead (2008) attainment and maintenance plan Chicago and Granite City areas 9/22/2016 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Lead (2008)—Clean Data Determination Granite City area N/A 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Emission Inventories *         *         *         *         *         *         * Emission inventory—2012 (2008 Lead) Chicago and Granite City areas 9/22/2016 10/18/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    PART 81—DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 3. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    4. Section 81.314 is amended by revising the table entitled “Illinois—2008 Lead NAAQS” to read as follows:
    § 81.314 Illinois. Illinois—2008 Lead NAAQS Designated area Designation for the 2008 NAAQS a Date 1 Type Chicago, IL: Cook County (part) 10/18/2017 Attainment. Area bounded by Damen Ave. on the west, Roosevelt Rd. on the north, the Dan Ryan Expressway on the east, and the Stevenson Expressway on the south. Granite City, IL: Madison County (part) 10/18/2017 Attainment. Area is bounded by Granite City Township and Venice Township. Rest of State Unclassifiable/Attainment. a Includes Indian Country located in each county or area, except as otherwise specified. 1 December 31, 2011, unless otherwise noted.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22512 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 2, 80, and 90 [ET Docket No. 15-99; FCC 17-33] WRC-12 Implementation Report and Order; Corrections AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission published final rules in the Report and Order, FCC 17-33 that amended the Commission rules. Due to inaccurate amendatory instructions, the effective date of the amendments to §§ 2.106, 80.203(p) and 80.357(b)(1) was not correctly specified in the final regulations, and the revisions to § 90.103(b) could not be incorporated in the final regulations. This document corrects the amendatory instructions and the final regulations.

    DATES:

    Effective October 18, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Mooring, Office of Engineering and Technology, (202) 418-2450, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A summary of the Commission's Report and Order, ET Docket No. 15-99, FCC 17-33, adopted March 27, 2017, and released March 29, 2017, was published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2017 (82 FR 27178). This document specifies an applicability date of July 14, 2017 for the amendments to 47 CFR 2.106 NG8, 80.203(p), and 80.357(b)(1) in FCC 17-33, and corrects the amendatory instructions so the revisions to 47 CFR 90.103(b) in FCC 17-33 can be incorporated in the final regulations.

    List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 2

    Radio, Telecommunications.

    47 CFR Parts 80 and 90

    Radio, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, 47 CFR parts 2, 80, and 90 are corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

    PART 2—FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise noted.

    2. In §  2.106, revise footnote NG8 in the list of Non-Federal Government (NG) Footnotes to read as follows:

    Non-Federal Government (NG) Footnotes

    NG8 In the band 472-479 kHz, non-Federal stations in the maritime mobile service that were licensed or applied for prior to July 14, 2017 may continue to operate on a primary basis, subject to periodic license renewals.

    PART 80—STATIONS IN THE MARITIME SERVICES 3. The authority citation for part 80 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 4, 303, 307(e), 309, and 332, 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 307(e), 309, and 332, unless otherwise noted. Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-1068, 1081-1105, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609; 3 UST 3450, 3 UST 4726, 12 UST 2377.

    4. In §  80.203, revise paragraph (p) to read as follows:
    § 80.203 Authorization of transmitters for licensing.

    (p) Applicable July 14, 2017, the Commission no longer accepts applications for certification of non-AIS VHF radios that include channels 75 and 76.

    5. In §  80.357, revise footnote 1 to the table in paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 80.357 Working frequencies for Morse code and data transmission.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    1 All frequencies in this table are shown in kilohertz. The use of frequencies in the 472-479 kHz band is restricted to public coast stations that were licensed on or before July 14, 2017.

    PART 90—PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES 6. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows: 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.

    7. In § 90.103, amend the table in paragraph (b) as follows: a. Add entries for the 4438 to 4488 kHz and 5250 to 5275 kHz bands to the Kilohertz portion of the table in numerical order; and b. Add entries for the 13.45 to 13.55 MHz, 16.10 to 16.20 MHz, 24.45 to 24.65 MHz, 26.20 to 26.42 MHz, 41.015 to 41.665 MHz, and 43.35 to 44.00 MHz bands to the Megahertz portion of the table in numerical order, and revise the entry for the 420 to 450 MHz band to read as follows:
    § 90.103 Radiolocation Service.

    (b) * * *

    Radiolocation Service Frequency Table Frequency or band Class of station(s) Limitation Kilohertz *         *         *         *         *         *         * 4438 to 4488 Radiolocation land 3 5250 to 5275 ......do 3 Megahertz 13.45 to 13.55 ......do 3 16.10 to 16.20 ......do 3 24.45 to 24.65 ......do 3 26.20 to 26.42 ......do 3 41.015 to 41.665 ......do 3 43.35 to 44.00 ......do 3 420 to 450 Radiolocation land or mobile 21 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22063 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF762 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is exchanging unused flathead sole and rock sole Community Development Quota (CDQ) for yellowfin sole CDQ acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2017 total allowable catch of yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area to be harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective October 18, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The 2017 flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole CDQ reserves specified in the BSAI are 1,463 metric tons (mt), 5,490 mt, and 16,117 mt as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) and revised by flatfish exchange (82 FR 46422, October 5, 2017). The 2017 flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole CDQ ABC reserves are 5,843 mt, 11,106 mt and 11,789 mt as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) and revised by flatfish exchange (82 FR 46422, October 5, 2017).

    The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation has requested that NMFS exchange 175 mt of flathead sole CDQ reserves and 180 mt of rock sole CDQ reserves for 355 mt of yellowfin sole CDQ ABC reserves under § 679.31(d). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.31(d), NMFS exchanges 175 mt of flathead sole CDQ reserves and 180 mt of rock sole CDQ reserves for 355 mt of yellowfin sole CDQ ABC reserves in the BSAI. This action also decreases and increases the TACs and CDQ ABC reserves by the corresponding amounts. Tables 11 and 13 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017), and revised by flatfish exchange (82 FR 46422, October 5, 2017), are further revised as follows:

    Table 11—Final 2017 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAS), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector Pacific ocean perch Eastern
  • Aleutian
  • District
  • Central
  • Aleutian
  • District
  • Western
  • Aleutian
  • District
  • Flathead sole BSAI Rock sole BSAI Yellowfin
  • sole
  • BSAI
    TAC 7,900 7,000 9,000 14,236 47,370 153,994 CDQ 845 749 963 1,288 5,310 16,472 ICA 100 60 10 4,000 5,000 4,500 BSAI trawl limited access 695 619 161 0 0 18,151 Amendment 80 6,259 5,572 7,866 8,949 37,060 114,871 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative 3,319 2,954 4,171 918 9,168 45,638 Alaska Seafood Cooperative 2,940 2,617 3,695 8,031 27,893 69,233 Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.
    Table 13—Final 2017 and 2018 ABC Surplus, Community Development Quota (CDQ) ABC Reserves, and Amendment 80 ABC Reserves in the BSAI for Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 2017
  • Flathead sole
  • 2017
  • Rock sole
  • 2017
  • Yellowfin sole
  • 2018
  • Flathead sole
  • 2018
  • Rock sole
  • 2018
  • Yellowfin sole
  • ABC 68,278 155,100 260,800 66,164 143,100 250,800 TAC 14,236 47,370 153,994 14,500 47,100 154,000 ABC surplus 54,042 107,730 106,806 51,664 96,000 96,800 ABC reserve 54,042 107,730 106,806 51,664 96,000 96,800 CDQ ABC reserve 6,018 11,286 11,434 5,528 10,272 10,358 Amendment 80 ABC reserve 48,024 96,444 95,372 46,136 85,728 86,442 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative for 2017 1 4,926 23,857 37,891 n/a n/a n/a Alaska Seafood Cooperative for 2017 1 43,098 72,587 57,481 n/a n/a n/a 1 The 2018 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2017.
    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the flatfish exchange by the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation in the BSAI. Since these fisheries are currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of October 10, 2017.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22612 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 200 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Proposed Rules BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1026 [Docket No. CFPB-2017-0030] RIN 3170-AA75 Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule with request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing amendments to certain Regulation Z mortgage servicing rules issued in 2016 relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case. The Bureau requests public comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2017-0030 or RIN 3170-AA75, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2017-0030 or RIN 3170-AA75 in the subject line of the email.

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

    Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552.

    Instructions: All submissions should include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning 202-435-7275.

    All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included. Comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joel L. Singerman, Counsel; or William R. Corbett or Laura A. Johnson, Senior Counsels, Office of Regulations, at 202-435-7700 or https://reginquiries.consumerfinance.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Summary of the Proposed Rule

    On August 4, 2016, the Bureau issued the Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule) amending certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules.1 The Bureau has learned, through its outreach in support of industry's implementation of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, that certain technical aspects of the rule relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case may create unintended challenges in implementation. To alleviate any unintended challenges, the Bureau is proposing to address the timing provisions in this proposed rule.2

    1 81 FR 72160 (Oct. 19, 2016).

    2 The Bureau is addressing in a separate interim final rule another disclosure timing provision of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule that would otherwise become effective October 19, 2017.

    Among other things, the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule addresses Regulation Z's periodic statement and coupon book requirements when a person is a debtor in bankruptcy.3 It includes a single-billing-cycle exemption from the requirement to provide a periodic statement or coupon book in certain circumstances after one of several specific triggering events occurs resulting in a servicer needing to transition to or from providing bankruptcy-specific disclosures. The single-billing-cycle exemption applies only if the payment due date for that billing cycle is no more than 14 days after the triggering event. The 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule also includes specific timing requirements for servicers to provide the next modified or unmodified statement or coupon book after the single-billing-cycle exemption has applied.

    3 The provisions of Regulation Z discussed herein were amended by the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule but are not effective until April 19, 2018. To simplify review of this document and differentiate between those amendments and this proposed rule, this document generally refers to the 2016 amendments as though they already are in effect.

    Based on feedback received regarding implementation of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau understands that certain aspects of the single-billing-cycle exemption and timing requirements may be more complex and operationally challenging than the Bureau realized, and that the relevant provisions may be subject to different interpretations, as discussed more below. The Bureau is therefore proposing several revisions to § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and (C) and their official interpretations to replace the single-billing-cycle exemption with a single-statement exemption. The Bureau is proposing to revise § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and its related commentary to provide a single-statement exemption for the next periodic statement or coupon book that a servicer would otherwise have to provide, regardless of when in the billing cycle the triggering event occurs. The Bureau is also proposing to add new comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 through -3 to clarify the operation of the proposed single-statement exemption. The Bureau is proposing to remove § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and its related commentary as no longer necessary in light of the changes to § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and its related commentary.

    The Bureau believes that these proposed changes would provide a clearer and more straightforward standard than the timing requirement adopted in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, offering greater certainty for implementation and compliance, without unnecessarily disadvantaging consumers. The Bureau seeks public comment on these proposed changes.

    II. Background A. 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule and Implementation Support

    In August 2016, the Bureau issued the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, which amends certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules in Regulations X and Z.4 Most of these rules become effective on October 19, 2017, except that the provisions relating to bankruptcy periodic statements and successors in interest become effective on April 19, 2018. The Bureau has worked to support implementation by providing an updated compliance guide, other implementation aids, a technical corrections final rule,5 policy guidance regarding early compliance,6 and informal guidance in response to regulatory inquiries. Information regarding the Bureau's implementation support initiative and available implementation resources can be found on the Bureau's regulatory implementation Web site at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/implementation-guidance/mortserv/. Based on its ongoing outreach, the Bureau believes that industry has made substantial implementation progress regarding the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. However, the Bureau believes that a limited disclosure timing provision under Regulation Z from the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule may pose unintended implementation challenges as discussed herein.

    4 81 FR 72160 (Oct. 19, 2016). The amendments cover nine major topics and focus primarily on clarifying, revising, or amending provisions regarding force-placed insurance notices, policies and procedures, early intervention, and loss mitigation requirements under Regulation X's servicing provisions; and prompt crediting and periodic statement requirements under Regulation Z's servicing provisions. The amendments also address proper compliance regarding certain servicing requirements when a person is a potential or confirmed successor in interest, is a debtor in bankruptcy, or sends a cease communication request under the FDCPA.

    5 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Correction, 82 FR 30947 (July 5, 2017).

    6 Policy Guidance on Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding Early Compliance With the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), 82 FR 29713 (June 30, 2017).

    B. Purpose and Scope of Proposal

    As a result of feedback and questions received from servicers, the Bureau has decided to propose amendments to Regulation Z provisions relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books under Regulation Z in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case. The Bureau believes the proposal provides clearer and more straightforward standards than the timing requirements adopted in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, offering greater certainty for implementation and compliance, without unnecessarily disadvantaging consumers.

    The Bureau does not intend to revisit major policy decisions in this rulemaking or distract from industry's implementation efforts, which the Bureau believes have been moving forward. The Bureau continues to facilitate industry's implementation progress, including by responding to informal guidance inquiries and publishing additional implementation materials, as appropriate.

    III. Legal Authority

    The Bureau is proposing this rule pursuant to its authority under TILA and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act),7 including the authorities discussed below. In general, the provisions this proposed rule would amend were previously adopted by the Bureau in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. In doing so, the Bureau relied on one or more of the authorities discussed below, as well as other authority. The Bureau is issuing this proposed rule in reliance on the same authority and for the same reasons relied on in adopting the relevant provisions of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, as discussed in detail in the Legal Authority and Section-by-Section Analysis parts of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

    7 Public Law 111-203, 1245 Stat. 11376 (2010).

    A. TILA

    Section 105(a) of TILA, 15 U.S.C. 1604(a), authorizes the Bureau to prescribe regulations to carry out the purposes of TILA. Under section 105(a), such regulations may contain such additional requirements, classifications, differentiations, or other provisions, and may provide for such adjustments and exceptions for all or any class of transactions, as in the judgment of the Bureau are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of TILA, to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance therewith. Under section 102(a), 15 U.S.C. 1601(a), the purposes of TILA are “to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumers will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available and avoid the uninformed use of credit” and to protect consumers against inaccurate and unfair credit billing practices. For the reasons discussed in this proposal, the Bureau is proposing to adopt amendments to Regulation Z to carry out TILA's purposes and such additional requirements, adjustments, and exceptions as, in the Bureau's judgment, are necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of TILA, prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance therewith.

    Section 105(f) of TILA, 15 U.S.C. 1604(f), authorizes the Bureau to exempt from all or part of TILA any class of transactions if the Bureau determines that TILA coverage does not provide a meaningful benefit to consumers in the form of useful information or protection. For the reasons discussed in this document, the Bureau is proposing amendments relating to exemptions for certain transactions from the requirements of TILA pursuant to its authority under section 105(f) of TILA.

    This proposed rule also includes amendments to the official Bureau commentary in Regulation Z. Good faith compliance with the interpretations would afford protection from liability under section 130(f) of TILA.

    B. The Dodd-Frank Act

    Section 1022(b)(1) of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1), authorizes the Bureau to prescribe rules “as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof.” TILA and title X of the Dodd-Frank Act are Federal consumer financial laws.

    Section 1032(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5532(a), provides that the Bureau “may prescribe rules to ensure that the features of any consumer financial product or service, both initially and over the term of the product or service, are fully, accurately, and effectively disclosed to consumers in a manner that permits consumers to understand the costs, benefits, and risks associated with the product or service, in light of the facts and circumstances.” The authority granted to the Bureau in section 1032(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act is broad and empowers the Bureau to prescribe rules regarding the disclosure of the “features” of consumer financial products and services generally. Accordingly, the Bureau may prescribe rules containing disclosure requirements even if other Federal consumer financial laws do not specifically require disclosure of such features.

    Section 1032(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5532(c), provides that, in prescribing rules pursuant to section 1032 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Bureau “shall consider available evidence about consumer awareness, understanding of, and responses to disclosures or communications about the risks, costs, and benefits of consumer financial products or services.” Accordingly, in proposing to amend provisions authorized under section 1032(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Bureau has considered available studies, reports, and other evidence about consumer awareness, understanding of, and responses to disclosures or communications about the risks, costs, and benefits of consumer financial products or services.

    IV. Proposed Effective Date

    Regulation Z § 1026.41(e)(5), as amended by the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, becomes effective April 19, 2018. The Bureau is not proposing to extend the effective date of that provision, as finalized in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, because if the Bureau were to issue a final rule based on this proposal (after considering comments), it expects to do so sufficiently before the April 19, 2018, effective date to enable servicers to meet that date.

    Thus, the Bureau is proposing an effective date of April 19, 2018, for the proposed revisions to § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv). The Bureau believes that the proposed revisions should not require substantial reprogramming of systems and notes that the Regulation Z bankruptcy-specific periodic statement requirements otherwise become effective April 19, 2018. The Bureau invites comment on the proposed effective date.

    V. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 1026.41 Periodic Statements for Residential Mortgage Loans 41(e) Exemptions 41(e)(5) Certain Consumers in Bankruptcy 41(e)(5)(iv) Timing of Compliance Following Transition

    The Bureau is proposing to revise § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) and related commentary, and to remove § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and related commentary. Section 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) sets forth a single-billing-cycle exemption from the requirement to provide a periodic statement or coupon book in certain circumstances after one of several specific triggering events occurs resulting in a servicer needing to transition to or from providing bankruptcy-specific disclosures. The single-billing-cycle exemption applies only if the payment due date for that billing cycle is no more than 14 days after the triggering event. The Bureau is proposing to revise § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) to instead provide a single-statement exemption for the next periodic statement or coupon book that a servicer would otherwise have to provide, regardless of when in the billing cycle the triggering event occurs. Section 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) establishes timing requirements for resuming compliance after the single-billing-cycle exemption. The Bureau is proposing to remove § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and its related commentary because proposed revisions to comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 would clarify the timing of the single-statement exemption and when a servicer must resume compliance. The Bureau is also proposing to add new comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-2 and -3 to clarify how the proposed single-statement exemption would operate in specific circumstances. Proposed comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-2 is similar in content to comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(C)-3.

    Under existing § 1026.41(a)(2), a servicer generally must provide a consumer, for each billing cycle, a periodic statement meeting certain requirements. Existing § 1026.41(e)(5) provides a blanket exemption from § 1026.41 for a mortgage loan while a consumer is a debtor in bankruptcy under title 11 of the United States Code. The 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, however, generally limits this exemption to only certain consumers in bankruptcy.8 When a consumer either is a debtor in bankruptcy under title 11 of the United States Code or has discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727, 1141, 1228, or 1328, so long as an exemption under § 1026.41(e) does not otherwise apply, the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule requires a servicer to provide a periodic statement or coupon book with certain bankruptcy-specific modifications. In this circumstance, a servicer must transition from providing unmodified periodic statements or coupon books to providing periodic statements or coupon books with bankruptcy modifications. Similarly, when a consumer exits bankruptcy, a servicer generally must transition back to providing unmodified periodic statements or coupon books.

    8 Section 1026.41(e)(5)(i) states that a servicer is generally exempt from the requirements of § 1026.41 with regard to a mortgage loan if (A) any consumer on the mortgage loan is a debtor in bankruptcy under title 11 of the United States Code or has discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727, 1141, 1228, or 1328; and (B) with regard to any consumer on the mortgage loan: (1) The consumer requests in writing that the servicer cease providing a periodic statement or coupon book; (2) the consumer's bankruptcy plan provides that the consumer will surrender the dwelling securing the mortgage loan, provides for the avoidance of the lien securing the mortgage loan, or otherwise does not provide for, as applicable, the payment of pre-bankruptcy arrearage or the maintenance of payments due under the mortgage loan; (3) a court enters an order in the bankruptcy case providing for the avoidance of the lien securing the mortgage loan, lifting the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 362 with regard to the dwelling securing the mortgage loan, or requiring the servicer to cease providing a periodic statement or coupon book; or (4) the consumer files with the court overseeing the bankruptcy case a statement of intention pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 521(a) identifying an intent to surrender the dwelling securing the mortgage loan and a consumer has not made any partial or periodic payment on the mortgage loan after the commencement of the consumer's bankruptcy case.

    During the rulemaking process leading up to the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau learned that, after a consumer files for or exits bankruptcy, servicers sometimes need time to transition their systems to reflect the change in bankruptcy status. Industry representatives suggested that the rule should afford a servicer enough time to transition to providing modified statements after a consumer's bankruptcy filing.9 The Bureau therefore finalized a single-billing-cycle exemption in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.10 Section 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) provides that a servicer is exempt from the requirements of § 1026.41 with respect to a single billing cycle when the payment due date for that billing cycle is no more than 14 days after the date on which one of the three triggering events listed under § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs: (1) A mortgage loan becomes subject to the requirement to provide a modified periodic statement; (2) a mortgage loan ceases to be subject to the requirement to provide a modified periodic statement; or (3) the servicer ceases to qualify for an exemption pursuant to § 1026.41(e)(5)(i). Section 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) sets forth the timeframe within which a servicer must provide the next periodic statement after an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs.11

    9See 81 FR 72160, 72325 (Oct. 19, 2016).

    10See generally id. at 72324-26.

    11 Section 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) provides that, when one of the triggering events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs, a servicer must provide the next modified or unmodified periodic statement by delivering it or placing it in the mail within a reasonably prompt time after the first payment due date, or the end of any courtesy period for the payment's corresponding billing cycle, that is more than 14 days after the date on which the applicable event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs.

    In the preamble to the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau stated its belief that the exemption and timing set forth in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv) provide an appropriate transition period for a servicer while also not unnecessarily disadvantaging consumers. However, since issuing the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau has received questions indicating that the single-billing-cycle exemption may be more complex and operationally challenging than the Bureau realized, and that the provisions setting forth the exemption and transition timing requirements may be subject to different interpretations.

    The Bureau believes that addressing these concerns is appropriate. To provide a clearer standard and simplify compliance for servicers without unnecessarily disadvantaging consumers, the Bureau is proposing to revise § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) to provide a single-statement exemption. As proposed, § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) provides that, as of the date on which one of the events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs, a servicer is exempt from the requirements of § 1026.41 with respect to the next periodic statement or coupon book that would otherwise be required but thereafter must provide modified or unmodified periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41.

    The Bureau also proposes to revise comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 to clarify a servicer's obligations under proposed § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B). Proposed comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1 explains that the exemption applies with respect to a single periodic statement or coupon book following an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) and provides two examples illustrating the timing. Both examples assume that a mortgage loan has a monthly billing cycle, each payment due date is on the first day of the month following its respective billing cycle, and each payment due date has a 15-day courtesy period.

    Proposed comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1.i explains that, if an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 6, before the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer has not yet provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a November 1 payment due date, the servicer is exempt from providing a periodic statement or coupon book for that billing cycle. The comment further states that the servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after November 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the November 1 payment due date.

    Proposed comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1.ii provides an example for when a servicer already timely provided a periodic statement or coupon book for a billing cycle in which an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs. It provides that, if an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 20, after the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer timely provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a November 1 payment due date, the servicer is not required to correct the periodic statement or coupon book already provided and is exempt from providing the next periodic statement or coupon book, which is the one that would otherwise be required for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date. The servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a January 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after December 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the December 1 payment due date.

    Because proposed comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-1.i and -1.ii describe when a servicer must provide periodic statements or coupon books following the exemption, § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and related commentary would be unnecessary. Thus, the Bureau is proposing to remove § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(C) and related commentary.

    The Bureau is also proposing to add new comments 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-2 and -3 to clarify how the proposed exemption would operate in additional specific circumstances. Proposed comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-2 is similar in content to comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(C)-3. Proposed comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-2 states that, if a servicer provides a coupon book instead of a periodic statement under § 1026.41(e)(3), § 1026.41 requires the servicer to provide a new coupon book after one of the events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs only to the extent the servicer has not previously provided the consumer with a coupon book that covers the upcoming billing cycle. Proposed comment 41(e)(5)(iv)(B)-3 clarifies that the single-statement exemption in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) might apply more than once over the life of a loan. For example, assume the exemption applies beginning on April 14 because the consumer files for bankruptcy on that date and the bankruptcy plan provides that the consumer will surrender the dwelling, such that the mortgage loan becomes subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f). If the consumer later exits bankruptcy on November 2 and has not discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727, 1141, 1228, or 1328, such that the mortgage loan ceases to be subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f), the single-statement exemption would apply again beginning on November 2.

    The Bureau believes that the single-statement exemption in proposed § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) would provide a more straightforward standard than the single-billing-cycle exemption adopted in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. The Bureau also believes that the proposed exemption would still provide servicers enough time to transition their systems but not so long that it unnecessarily disadvantages consumers. Finally, the proposed exemption should provide servicers relief in more circumstances than the exemption adopted under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. Under this proposal, there would always be a single-statement exemption when servicers transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements or coupon books following one of the events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A). Under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, servicers would not necessarily have the benefit of the single-billing-cycle exemption because of its requirement that the payment due date fall no more than 14 days after the applicable triggering event.

    The Bureau solicits comment on the proposed changes, including whether they would pose operational challenges in implementation or execution.

    VI. Dodd-Frank Act Section 1022(b) Analysis

    In developing this proposed rule, the Bureau has considered the potential benefits, costs, and impacts as required by section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Specifically, section 1022(b)(2) calls for the Bureau to consider the potential benefits and costs of a regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of consumer access to consumer financial products or services, the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the impact on consumers in rural areas. In addition, 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(2)(B) directs the Bureau to consult, before and during the rulemaking, with appropriate prudential regulators or other Federal agencies, regarding consistency with the objectives those agencies administer. The Bureau consulted, or offered to consult with, the prudential regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the HUD Office of Inspector General, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, including regarding consistency with any prudential, market, or systemic objectives administered by these agencies.

    The Bureau previously considered the benefits, costs, and impacts of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule's major provisions.12 The baseline 13 for this discussion is the mortgage servicing market as it would exist “but for” this proposed rule; that is, the Bureau considers the benefits, costs, and impacts of this proposed rule on consumers and covered persons relative to the baseline established by the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

    12 81 FR 72160, 72351 (Oct. 19, 2016).

    13 The Bureau has discretion in any rulemaking to choose an appropriate scope of analysis with respect to potential benefits, costs, and impacts and an appropriate baseline.

    In considering the relevant potential benefits, costs, and impacts of this proposed rule, the Bureau has used feedback received to date and has applied its knowledge and expertise concerning consumer financial markets. The discussion below of these potential costs, benefits, and impacts is qualitative, reflecting both the specialized nature of the proposed amendments and the fact that the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, which establishes the baseline for the Bureau's analysis, is not yet in effect. The Bureau requests comment on this discussion generally as well as the submission of data or other information that could inform the Bureau's consideration of the potential benefits, costs, and impacts of this proposed rule.

    The proposed rule generally would decrease burden incurred by industry participants by clarifying the timing requirements for certain disclosures required under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. As is described in more detail below, the Bureau does not believe that these changes would have a significant enough impact on consumers or covered persons to affect consumer access to consumer financial products and services.

    Timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case. A mortgage servicer generally must provide a consumer, for each billing cycle, a periodic statement or coupon book meeting certain requirements. Under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, servicers generally must provide a modified periodic statement or coupon book to certain consumers who are debtors in bankruptcy or who have discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan. The Bureau is proposing to amend § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv) to provide that, when a servicer must transition to sending either modified periodic statements or to sending unmodified periodic statements, the servicer is exempt from the requirements of § 1026.41 with respect to the next periodic statement or coupon book that would otherwise be required but thereafter must provide modified or unmodified periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41. This single-statement exemption would replace the single-billing-cycle exemption in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

    The Bureau expects that these proposed changes would reduce the cost to servicers of providing periodic statements. The Bureau understands that implementing the single-billing-cycle exemption provided under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Rule may prove more complex and operationally challenging for servicers than the Bureau realized and believes that a single-statement exemption would be clearer and operationally easier to implement. In addition, the single-billing-cycle exemption would apply only when the payment due date falls no more than 14 days after the event that triggers the transition to or from modified periodic statements, whereas the proposed single-statement exemption would apply to these transitions regardless of when during the billing cycle the triggering event occurs. The Bureau believes that servicers would benefit from the more straightforward proposed standard and from the additional time afforded for some transitions.

    The proposal could delay the transition to or from modified periodic statements for some consumers. This could disadvantage some consumers who could receive certain disclosures later than they might otherwise under the single-billing-cycle exemption. However, the delay would generally be at most one billing cycle, and servicers generally are required to provide consumers the information in periodic statements on request. Thus, the Bureau does not expect that the overall effect on consumers will be significant.

    Potential specific impacts of the proposed rule. The Bureau believes that a large fraction of depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets that are engaged in servicing mortgage loans qualify as “small servicers” for purposes of the mortgage servicing rules because they service 5,000 or fewer loans, all of which they or an affiliate own or originated. Small servicers are not subject to Regulation Z § 1026.41, and so would not be affected by the amendments in this proposed rule.

    With respect to servicers that are not small servicers as defined in § 1026.41(e)(4), the Bureau believes that the consideration of benefits and costs of covered persons presented above provides a largely accurate analysis of the impacts of the final rule on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets that are engaged in servicing mortgage loans.

    The Bureau has no reason to believe that the additional timing flexibility offered to covered persons by this proposed rule would differentially impact consumers in rural areas. The Bureau requests comment regarding the impact of the proposed provisions on consumers in rural areas and how those impacts may differ from those experienced by consumers generally.

    VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act,14 as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996,15 (RFA) requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and small not-for-profit organizations.16 The RFA defines a “small business” as a business that meets the size standard developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) pursuant to the Small Business Act.17

    14 Public Law 96-354, 94 Stat. 1164 (1980).

    15 Public Law 104-21, section 241, 110 Stat. 847, 864-65 (1996).

    16 5 U.S.C. 601 through 612. The term “`small organization' means any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field, unless an agency establishes [an alternative definition under notice and comment].” 5 U.S.C. 601(4). The term “`small governmental jurisdiction' means governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand, unless an agency establishes [an alternative definition after notice and comment].” 5 U.S.C. 601(5).

    17 5 U.S.C. 601(3). The Bureau may establish an alternative definition after consulting with the SBA and providing an opportunity for public comment. Id.

    The RFA generally requires an agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) of any rule subject to notice-and- comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.18 The Bureau also is subject to certain additional procedures under the RFA involving the convening of a panel to consult with small entity representatives prior to proposing a rule for which an IRFA is required.19

    18 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    19 5 U.S.C. 609.

    As discussed above, the proposed rule would amend certain Regulation Z mortgage servicing rules issued in 2016 relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books under Regulation Z in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case.

    When it issued the proposed rule that was finalized as the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau concluded that those provisions would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and that an IRFA was therefore not required.20 That conclusion remained unchanged for the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.21

    20 79 FR 74176, 74279 (Dec. 15, 2014).

    21 81 FR 72160, 72364 (Oct. 19, 2016).

    Similarly, the Bureau concludes that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and therefore an IRFA is not required. As discussed above, the Bureau believes that the proposed changes would not create a significant economic impact on any covered persons, including small entities. In addition, the proposed amendments would not affect servicers that are “small servicers” for purposes of the mortgage servicing rules. Small servicers are exempt from the requirements that the proposed rule would amend, and the Bureau believes that a large fraction of small entities that are engaged in servicing mortgage loans qualify as small servicers because they service 5,000 or fewer loans, all of which they or an affiliate own or originated. Therefore, an IRFA is not required for this proposal.

    Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this proposal, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Bureau requests comment on the analysis above and requests any relevant data.

    VIII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA),22 Federal agencies are generally required to seek Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. The collections of information related to the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule have been reviewed and approved by OMB previously in accordance with the PRA and assigned OMB Control Numbers 3170-0016 (Regulation X) and 3170-0015 (Regulation Z). Under the PRA, the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless the information collection displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

    22 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    The Bureau has determined that this proposed rule would provide firms with additional flexibility and clarity with respect to what must be disclosed under the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule; therefore, it would have only minimal impact on the industry-wide aggregate PRA burden relative to the baseline. The Bureau welcomes comments on this determination or any other aspects of this proposal for purposes of the PRA. Comments should be submitted to the Bureau as instructed in the ADDRESSES part of this document and to the attention of the Paperwork Reduction Act Officer. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1026

    Advertising, Appraisal, Appraiser, Banking, Banks, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes to amend 12 CFR part 1026 as follows:

    PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 1. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

    Subpart E—Special Rules for Certain Home Mortgage Transactions 2. Amend § 1026.41 by: a. Revising paragraph (e)(5)(iv)(B); and b. Removing paragraph (e)(5)(iv)(C).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 1026.41 Periodic statements for residential mortgage loans.

    (e) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (B) Single-statement exemption. As of the date on which one of the events listed in paragraph (e)(5)(iv)(A) of this section occurs, a servicer is exempt from the requirements of this section with respect to the next periodic statement or coupon book that would otherwise be required but thereafter must provide modified or unmodified periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of this section.

    3. Amend Supplement I to Part 1026 as follows: a. Under Section 1026.41—Periodic Statements for Residential Mortgage Loans: i. 41(e)(5)(iv)(B) Transitional single-billing-cycle exemption is revised; and ii. 41(e)(5)(iv)(C) Timing of first modified or unmodified statement or coupon book after transition, is removed.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Section 1026.41—Periodic Statements for Residential Mortgage Loans

    41(e)(5)(iv)(B) Single-statement exemption.

    1. Timing. The exemption in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) applies with respect to a single periodic statement or coupon book following an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A). For example, assume that a mortgage loan has a monthly billing cycle, each payment due date is on the first day of the month following its respective billing cycle, and each payment due date has a 15-day courtesy period. In this scenario:

    i. If an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 6, before the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer has not yet provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a November 1 payment due date, the servicer is exempt from providing a periodic statement or coupon book for that billing cycle. The servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after November 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the November 1 payment due date. See § 1026.41(b).

    ii. If an event listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs on October 20, after the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the October 1 payment due date, and the servicer timely provided a periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with the November 1 payment due date, the servicer is not required to correct the periodic statement or coupon book already provided and is exempt from providing the next periodic statement or coupon book, which is the one that would otherwise be required for the billing cycle with a December 1 payment due date. The servicer is required thereafter to resume providing periodic statements or coupon books that comply with the requirements of § 1026.41 by providing a modified or unmodified periodic statement or coupon book for the billing cycle with a January 1 payment due date within a reasonably prompt time after December 1 or the end of the 15-day courtesy period provided for the December 1 payment due date. See § 1026.41(b).

    2. Duplicate coupon books not required. If a servicer provides a coupon book instead of a periodic statement under § 1026.41(e)(3), § 1026.41 requires the servicer to provide a new coupon book after one of the events listed in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A) occurs only to the extent the servicer has not previously provided the consumer with a coupon book that covers the upcoming billing cycle.

    3. Subsequent triggering events. The single-statement exemption in § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(B) might apply more than once over the life of a loan. For example, assume the exemption applies beginning on April 14 because the consumer files for bankruptcy on that date and the bankruptcy plan provides that the consumer will surrender the dwelling, such that the mortgage loan becomes subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f). See § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A)(1). If the consumer later exits bankruptcy on November 2 and has not discharged personal liability for the mortgage loan pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727, 1141, 1228, or 1328, such that the mortgage loan ceases to be subject to the requirements of § 1026.41(f), the single-statement exemption would apply again beginning on November 2. See § 1026.41(e)(5)(iv)(A)(2).

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21907 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 2 [Docket No. PTO-T-2017-0032] RIN 0651-AD23 Removal of Rules Governing Trademark Interferences AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    Consistent with Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” and Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) proposes to amend the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases to remove the rules governing trademark interferences. This proposed rule implements the USPTO's work to identify and propose regulations for removal, modification, and streamlining because they are outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, or unduly burdensome on the agency or the private sector. The revisions proposed herein would put into effect the work the USPTO has done, in part through its participation in the Regulatory Reform Task Force (Task Force) established by the Department of Commerce (Department or Commerce) pursuant to Executive Order 13777, to review and identify regulations that are candidates for removal.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on the changes set forth in this proposed rulemaking should be sent by electronic mail message to [email protected] Written comments also may be submitted by mail to the Commissioner for Trademarks, P.O. Box 1451, Alexandria, VA 22313-1451, attention Catherine Cain; by hand delivery to the Trademark Assistance Center, Concourse Level, James Madison Building-East Wing, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, attention Catherine Cain. Comments concerning ideas to improve, revise, and streamline other USPTO regulations, not discussed in this proposed rulemaking, should be submitted to [email protected]

    Comments may also be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site for additional instructions on providing comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

    Although comments may be submitted by postal mail, the Office prefers to receive comments by electronic mail message over the Internet because the Office may easily share such comments with the public. Electronic comments are preferred to be submitted in plain text, but also may be submitted in ADOBE® portable document format or MICROSOFT WORD® format. Comments not submitted electronically should be submitted on paper in a format that facilitates convenient digital scanning into ADOBE® portable document format.

    The comments will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks, Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Comments also will be available for viewing via the Office's Internet Web site (http://www.uspto.gov) and at http://www.regulations.gov. Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine Cain, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (571) 272-8946.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In accordance with Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” the Department established a Task Force, comprising, among others, agency officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the USPTO, and charged with evaluating existing regulations and identifying those that should be repealed, replaced, or modified because they are outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, or unduly burdensome to both government and private-sector operations.

    To support its regulatory reform efforts on the Task Force, the USPTO assembled a Working Group on Regulatory Reform (Working Group), consisting of subject-matter experts from each of the business units that implement the USPTO's regulations, to consider, review, and recommend ways that the regulations could be improved, revised, and streamlined. In considering the revisions, the USPTO, through its Working Group, incorporated into its analyses all presidential directives relating to regulatory reform, but primarily focused on Executive Order 13771, “Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The Working Group reviewed existing regulations, both discretionary and required by statute or judicial order. The USPTO also solicited comments from stakeholders through a Web page established to provide information on the USPTO's regulatory reform efforts and through the Department's Federal Register Notice titled “Impact of Federal Regulations on Domestic Manufacturing” (82 FR 12786, Mar. 7, 2017), which addressed the impact of regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturing. These efforts led to the development of candidate regulations for removal based on the USPTO's assessment that these regulations were not needed and/or that elimination could improve the USPTO's body of regulations. This rule proposes to remove trademark-related regulations. Other proposals to remove regulations on other subject areas may be published separately.

    II. Regulations Proposed for Removal

    This proposed rule revises the regulations concerning trademark interferences codified at 37 CFR 2.91-2.93, 2.96, and 2.98. A trademark interference is a proceeding in which the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Board) determines which, if any, of the owners of conflicting applications (or of one or more applications and one or more conflicting registrations) is entitled to registration. 15 U.S.C. 1066. A trademark interference can be declared only upon petition to the Director of the USPTO (Director). However, the Director will grant such a petition only if the petitioner can show extraordinary circumstances that would result in a party being unduly prejudiced in the absence of an interference. 37 CFR 2.91(a). The availability of an opposition or cancellation proceeding to determine rights to registration ordinarily precludes the possibility of such undue prejudice to a party. Id. Thus, a petitioner must show that there is some extraordinary circumstance that would make the remedy of opposition or cancellation inadequate or prejudicial to the party's rights.

    Trademark interferences have generally been limited to situations where a party would otherwise be required to engage in successive or a series of opposition or cancellation proceedings involving substantially the same issues. Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure § 1507. Where searchable, USPTO reviewed its paper and electronic records of petitions and found that since 1983, the USPTO has received an average of approximately 1 such petition a year, and almost all of them have been denied except for three petitions that were granted in 1985 (32 years ago). The USPTO has been unable to identify a situation since that time in which the Director has granted a petition to declare a trademark interference. Given the extremely low rate of filing over this long period of time, and because parties would still retain an avenue for seeking a declaration of interference if the trademark interference regulations are removed, the USPTO considers them unnecessary.

    The trademark interference regulations proposed in this rule for removal achieve the objective of making the USPTO regulations more effective and more streamlined, while enabling the USPTO to fulfill its mission goals. The USPTO's analysis shows that while the removal of these regulations is not expected to substantially reduce the burden on the impacted community, they are nonetheless being eliminated because they are “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective” regulations that are encompassed by the directives in Executive Order 13777.

    Section 16 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1066, states that the Director may declare an interference “[u]pon petition showing extraordinary circumstances.” Although eliminating §§ 2.91-2.93, 2.96, and 2.98 removes the regulations regarding the requirements for declaring a trademark interference, the statutory authority will remain. On the rare occasion that the Office receives a request that the Director declare a trademark interference, it is currently submitted as a petition under 37 CFR 2.146, a more general regulation on petitions. In the unlikely event that a need for an interference arose, it would still be possible for a party to seek institution of a trademark interference by petitioning the Director under 37 CFR 2.146(a)(4), whereby a petitioner may seek relief in any case not specifically defined and provided for by Part 2 of Title 37. Thus, if the trademark interference regulations are removed, parties would still retain an avenue for seeking a declaration of interference.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rules Changes

    The USPTO proposes to remove and reserve §§ 2.91-2.93, 2.96, and 2.98.

    Rulemaking Considerations

    A. Administrative Procedure Act: The changes in this proposed rulemaking involve rules of agency practice and procedure, and/or interpretive rules. See Perez v. Mortg. Bankers Ass'n, 135 S. Ct. 1199, 1204 (2015) (Interpretive rules “advise the public of the agency's construction of the statutes and rules which it administers.” (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)); Nat'l Org. of Veterans' Advocates v. Sec'y of Veterans Affairs, 260 F.3d 1365, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (Rule that clarifies interpretation of a statute is interpretive.); Bachow Commc'ns Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683, 690 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (Rules governing an application process are procedural under the Administrative Procedure Act.); Inova Alexandria Hosp. v. Shalala, 244 F.3d 342, 350 (4th Cir. 2001) (Rules for handling appeals were procedural where they did not change the substantive standard for reviewing claims.).

    Accordingly, prior notice and opportunity for public comment for the changes in this proposed rulemaking are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) or (c), or any other law. See Perez, 135 S. Ct. at 1206 (Notice-and-comment procedures are required neither when an agency “issue[s] an initial interpretive rule” nor “when it amends or repeals that interpretive rule.”); Cooper Techs. Co. v. Dudas, 536 F.3d 1330, 1336-37 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (stating that 5 U.S.C. 553, and thus 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(B), does not require notice and comment rulemaking for “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice” (quoting 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A))). The Office, however, is publishing these proposed changes for comment as it seeks the benefit of the public's views on the Office's proposed implementation of the proposed rule changes.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act: For the reasons set forth herein, the Senior Counsel for Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Office of General Law, of the USPTO has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that changes proposed in this notice will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    This proposed rule would remove the regulations addressing trademark interferences codified at 37 CFR 2.91-2.93, 2.96, and 2.98. In trademark interferences, the Board determines which, if any, of the owners of conflicting applications (or of one or more applications and one or more conflicting registrations) is entitled to registration. 15 U.S.C. 1066. Where searchable, USPTO reviewed its paper and electronic records of petitions and found that since 1983, USPTO has received an average of approximately 1 such petition a year, and almost all of them have been denied except for three petitions that were granted in 1985 (32 years ago). Because these regulations have rarely been invoked in the last 32 years, the USPTO considers these regulations unnecessary and has determined to remove them. Removing the trademark interference regulations proposed in this rule achieves the objective of making the USPTO regulations more effective and more streamlined, while enabling the USPTO to fulfill its mission goals. The removal of these regulations is not expected to substantively impact parties as, in the unlikely event that a need for a trademark interference arose, a party would be able to institute an interference by petitioning the Director under 37 CFR 2.146(a)(4). For these reasons, this rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): This rulemaking has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    D. Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review): The Office has complied with Executive Order 13563. Specifically, the Office has, to the extent feasible and applicable: (1) Made a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs of the rule; (2) tailored the rule to impose the least burden on society consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; (3) selected a regulatory approach that maximizes net benefits; (4) specified performance objectives; (5) identified and assessed available alternatives; (6) involved the public in an open exchange of information and perspectives among experts in relevant disciplines, affected stakeholders in the private sector and the public as a whole, and provided on-line access to the rulemaking docket; (7) attempted to promote coordination, simplification, and harmonization across government agencies and identified goals designed to promote innovation; (8) considered approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public; and (9) ensured the objectivity of scientific and technological information and processes.

    E. Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs): This proposed rule is expected to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action.

    F. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This rulemaking does not contain policies with federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment under Executive Order 13132 (Aug. 4, 1999).

    G. Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation): This rulemaking will not: (1) Have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; (2) impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments; or (3) preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal summary impact statement is not required under Executive Order 13175 (Nov. 6, 2000).

    H. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects): This rulemaking is not a significant energy action under Executive Order 13211 because this rulemaking is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required under Executive Order 13211 (May 18, 2001).

    I. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform): This rulemaking meets applicable standards to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden as set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 (Feb. 5, 1996).

    J. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children): This rulemaking does not concern an environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children under Executive Order 13045 (Apr. 21, 1997).

    K. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property): This rulemaking will not affect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630 (Mar. 15, 1988).

    L. Congressional Review Act: Under the Congressional Review Act provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), prior to issuing any final rule, the USPTO will submit a report containing the final rule and other required information to the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office. The changes in this notice are not expected to result in an annual effect on the economy of 100 million dollars or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets. Therefore, this notice is not expected to result in a “major rule” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    M. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995: The changes set forth in this notice do not involve a Federal intergovernmental mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, or a Federal private sector mandate that will result in the expenditure by the private sector of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. See 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.

    N. National Environmental Policy Act: This rulemaking will not have any effect on the quality of the environment and is thus categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. See 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.

    O. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act: The requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) are not applicable because this rulemaking does not contain provisions that involve the use of technical standards.

    P. Paperwork Reduction Act: This rulemaking involves information collection requirements which are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The collection of information involved in this rule has been reviewed and previously approved by OMB under control number 0651-0054.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is 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 currently valid OMB control number.

    List of Subjects for 37 CFR Part 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Trademarks.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble and under the authority contained in 15 U.S.C. 1123 and 35 U.S.C. 2, as amended, the Office proposes to amend part 2 of title 37 as follows:

    PART 2—RULES OF PRACTICE IN TRADEMARK CASES 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 1123 and 35 U.S.C. 2 unless otherwise noted.

    2. Remove and reserve § 2.91.
    § 2.91 [Reserved]
    3. Remove and reserve § 2.92.
    § 2.92 [Reserved]
    4 . Remove and reserve § 2.93.
    § 2.93 [Reserved]
    5. Remove and reserve § 2.96.
    § 2.96 [Reserved]
    6. Remove and reserve § 2.98.
    § 2.98 [Reserved]
    Dated: October 10, 2017. Joseph D. Matal, Associate Solicitor, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22394 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0701; FRL-9969-50-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the state implementation plan revision submitted by the District of Columbia. This revision pertains to the infrastructure requirement for interstate transport pollution with respect to the 2010 1-hour sulfur dioxide national ambient air quality standards. In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the District's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A more detailed description of the state submittal and EPA's evaluation is included in a technical support document (TSD) prepared in support of this rulemaking action. A copy of the TSD is available, upon request, from the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document or is also available electronically within the Docket for this rulemaking action. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0701 at https://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov. follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Schulingkamp, (215) 814-2021, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, regarding the District's interstate transport requirements for sulfur dioxide, that is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication as well as the TSD that accompanies this rulemaking action at www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22252 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0034; FRL-9969-58-Region 5] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Minnesota; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a regional haze progress report as a revision to the Minnesota State Implementation Plan. The progress report examines Minnesota's progress in implementing its regional haze plan during the first half of the first implementation period. Minnesota has met the requirements for submitting a periodic report describing its progress toward reasonable progress goals established for regional haze. It also provided a determination of the adequacy of its plan in addressing regional haze with its negative declaration submitted with the progress report.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0034 at https://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Rau, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6524, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22504 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0058; FRL-9969-60-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the regional haze progress report under the Clean Air Act as a revision to the Michigan State Implementation Plan (SIP). Michigan has satisfied the progress report requirements of the Regional Haze Rule. Michigan has also met the requirements for a determination of the adequacy of its regional haze plan with its negative declaration submitted with the progress report.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0058 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gilberto Alvarez, Environmental Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6143, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22508 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0082; FRL-9969-63-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the regional haze progress report under the Clean Air Act as a revision to the Illinois state implementation plan (SIP). Illinois has satisfied the progress report requirements of the Regional Haze Rule. Illinois has also met the requirements for a determination of the adequacy of its regional haze plan with its negative declaration submitted with the progress report.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0082 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Charles Hatten, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6031, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the Illinois SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule.

    EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule, and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22500 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0256; FRL-9969-66-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Ohio; Redesignation of the Fulton County Area to Attainment of the 2008 Lead Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the State of Ohio's request to revise the designation of the Fulton County nonattainment area to attainment of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for lead. EPA is also proposing to approve the maintenance plan and related elements of the redesignation. Finally, EPA is proposing to approve reasonably available control measure/reasonably available control technology measures and a comprehensive emissions inventory as meeting the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. EPA is taking these actions in accordance with the CAA and EPA's implementation regulations regarding the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2017-0256 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Rau, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6524, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and public comments will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22494 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0593; FRL-9969-68-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Redesignation of the Chicago and Granite City Areas to Attainment of the 2008 Lead Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's (Illinois EPA's) request to redesignate the Chicago and Granite City nonattainment areas (hereafter also referred to as the “areas”) to attainment for the 2008 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for lead, also identified as Pb. EPA is also proposing to approve, as revisions to the Illinois state implementation plan (SIP): The state's plan for maintaining the 2008 lead NAAQS in the areas for a period of ten years following these redesignations; the emissions inventories for the areas; and rules applying emission limits and other control requirements to lead sources in the areas. EPA is proposing these actions in accordance with applicable regulations and guidance that address implementation of the 2008 lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0593 at https://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-4489, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22511 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    82 200 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; 30-Day Federal Register Notice; National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Fast Track Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 0535—New.

    Summary of Collection: Executive Order 12862 directs Federal agencies to provide service to the public that matches or exceeds the best service available in the private sector. Improving National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) programs requires ongoing assessment of service delivery, by which we mean systematic review of the operation of a program, the quality, usability, and ease of accessing our surveys and public information compared to a set of explicit or implicit standards, as a means of contributing to the continuous improvement of the program.

    Need and Use of the Information: The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between NASS and its customers and stakeholders. It will allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

    Description of Respondents: Farms; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit Institutions and State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 120,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 8,375.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22613 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Announcement of Loan Refinancing Procedures, and Deadlines for the Refinancing of Federal Financing Bank Loans Pilot Program (Refinancing Program) AGENCY:

    Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service (RUS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of solicitation for letters of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting Letters of Intent and opening a window for a pilot program to refinance a loan, or any part thereof, consisting of one or more whole but not partial advance(s), made under a loan by the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) and guaranteed by RUS. RUS is announcing the process for the Refinancing of Federal Financing Bank Loans Pilot Program (Refinancing Program) made to RUS Electric Program borrowers operating as an electric utility (Eligible entity). This notice describes the eligibility requirements, the process and deadlines, and the criteria that will be used by RUS to assess refinancing requests from Eligible entities with outstanding FFB debt. The Refinancing Program will refinance a higher interest rate loan or a portion thereof i.e., one or more advance under a FFB loan at the interest rate available as of the date of the advance of the new FFB loan used to refinance the outstanding FFB loan. A new FFB loan will be advanced to prepay the FFB loan. A maximum amount for refinancing per Eligible entity is also being announced. The new FFB loan will be made for the amount identified solely by FFB and RUS to prepay the outstanding FFB loan together with the required prepayment premium, if applicable. In order to maximize the Refinancing Program and the benefits to electric consumers, the Eligible entity will have the option of paying the prepayment premium or rolling the amount into the new FFB loan. The Refinancing Program is made available under Section 749 of the Public Law 115-31, Consolidated Appropriations, Act 2017 (section 749).

    DATES:

    To be considered for this program, borrowers must submit their documentation no later than the dates set forth herein. Failure to comply with the following deadlines will prevent RUS from considering the borrower for the Refinancing Program.

    Step 1: To be considered for the Refinancing Program an Eligible entity must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), as provided herein, in an electronic Portable Document Format (PDF) by electronic mail (email) to [email protected]usda.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. (EST) on November 17, 2017. Late or incomplete Letters of Intent will not be considered by RUS for this Refunding Program. No exceptions will be made.

    Step 2: RUS will evaluate all LOI's received by the deadline identified above. If the dollar amount for all eligible requests is less than the total dollar amount authorized by Congress for this pilot program requests will be processed in the order in which they were received. If the amount requested exceeds the total amount authorized by Congress, RUS will prioritize all requests, in the manner stated below.

    Step 3: An Eligible entity will be notified of its acceptance by means of an Invitation to proceed. Only, after a borrower is notified of its acceptance for the Refinancing Program, will an estimate of the amount due, including the prepayment premium, if any, be provided. An Eligible entity will have seven (7) business days to notify RUS of its intent to proceed to refinance and whether the prepayment premium, if any, will be paid, in full, or rolled into the new FFB loan. If RUS has not been notified of such intent to proceed, within the time limit, the request will be denied. See below for the additional steps necessary to document and complete the refinancing.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of this NOSA and other information on the Refinancing Program may be obtained by:

    (1) Contacting Jonathan Claffey at (202) 692-0093, to request a copy of this Notice.

    (2) Sending an electronic mail (email) to [email protected]. The email must be identified as Refinancing Program Notice of Solicitation for Applications in the subject field.

    (3) The Letter of intent must be submitted by the Eligible entity in an electronic PDF (PDF) not to exceed 10 Megabytes (10 MB) by electronic mail (email) to [email protected] before the deadline set forth herein. No paper letters of intent will be accepted.

    (4) RUS may request additional information from an Eligible entity, if necessary.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan Claffey, Office of the Assistant Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1560 Room 5165-S, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 720-9545; Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service (RUS), USDA.

    Funding Opportunity Title: Refinancing Pilot Program (Refinancing Program).

    Announcement Type: Requests for Letter of intent.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: Not applicable.

    Dates: Submit the Letter of intent on or before November 17, 2017.

    Administrative Procedure Act Statement

    This Notice of Solicitation for Letters of Intent (NOSA) is being issued without advance rulemaking or public comment. The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, as amended (5 U.S.C. 553) (APA), has several exemptions to rulemaking requirements. Among them is an exception for a matter relating to “loans, grants, benefits, or contracts.” Furthermore, the 30 day effective date policy is accepted for “good cause.”

    USDA has determined, consistent with the APA that making these funds available under this NOSA for the Refinancing Program is in the public interest since the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2017, (Pub. L. 115-31) appropriated a budget authority of $600,000,000 on the condition that refinancing involved will benefit the ratepayers of the Eligible entity. As such, the timely submission and processing of all requests and documents is necessary in order to maximize the savings and benefit rural ratepayers. Delays in processing requests would most likely have the effect of decreasing the potential savings resulting from such refinancing of outstanding debt. In order to do this, the Agency decided to move forward with developing procedures for the Refinancing Program within a NOSA instead of rulemaking in order to meet the statutory mandate to implement this new program. The Agency intends to test this new program this year with available funds under this NOSA and will revisit it if permanent authority for the program is granted

    Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements

    There are no new information collection or recordkeeping requirements. All information collection and recordkeeping requirements are contained in previously approved paperwork packages covering various Electric Program regulations.

    Definitions

    For the purpose of the Refinancing Program, the following terms have the following meanings:

    Administrator means the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, an agency under the Rural Development mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture.

    Advance means amounts advanced by FFB from time to time pursuant to a Future Advance Promissory Note payable to FFB and guaranteed by RUS made under a FFB loan.

    Conditional commitment letter means the notification issued by the Administrator to an Eligible entity advising it of the estimated terms, conditions and amount of the new FFB loan.

    Eligible entity means a RUS Electric Program borrower operating as an electric utility with an unpaid and outstanding FFB loan.

    FFB means the Federal Financing Bank.

    FFB loan means all or one or more, whole Advance made under a loan or loans made by FFB and guaranteed by RUS.

    Invitation to proceed means the written notification issued by RUS to the Eligible entity that the Letter of Intent was reviewed and accepted and inviting the Eligible entity to advance to the next steps in the process in the Refinancing Program.

    Letter of Intent means a signed letter issued by an Eligible entity notifying RUS of its intent to refinance a FFB loan containing the information required by RUS.

    Additional Items in Supplementary Information A. Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Submission Information E. Agency Review of Letter of Intent and Process for Proceeding F. Federal Awarding Agency Contact G. Other Information A. Program Description

    This is a pilot program authorized under section 749 of the Public Law 115-31, Consolidated Appropriations Act 2017 (section 749). Pursuant to section 749, RUS announces this pilot program which authorizes no more than $600 million in funds from loans made by the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) that are guaranteed under section 306 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (the Act) to be used for refinancing debt pursuant to section 306C of the Act, including any associated prepayment penalties and prepayment or refinance premium.

    Eligible entities must demonstrate that the refinancing of the FFB loan will benefit its rate payers. No waiver of any prepayment premium will be granted; however, an Eligible entity may include the prepayment premium in the new FFB loan amount used for refinancing (the remaining principal balance outstanding plus interest and any prepayment premium). The amount of the new FFB loan will be the estimated amount necessary for such purpose. Any amount not required to pay in full to refinance the unpaid and outstanding FFB loan will be rescinded by RUS and not available for Advance without any further action required by the Eligible entity. As such, time is of the essence in documenting and advancing the new FFB loan.

    Refinancing of a FFB loan under the Refinancing Program is not subject to section (c)(4) of section 306C of the Act (7 U.S.C. 936C(c)(4), which prohibits refinancing a FFB loan with a maturity date that exceeds the years remaining on the FFB loan before refinancing. Under the Refinancing Program, an Eligible entity will be allowed to a select a maturity (not to exceed the final maturity date) for the Advance made under the new FFB note and select a new final maturity date not to exceed thirty-five (35) years. This additional flexibility and new final maturity date will further financially benefit the Eligible entity and its ratepayers. RUS will evaluate the requested FFB loan final maturity date to ensure that RUS continues to be adequately secured and that the new FFB loan will be repaid in the time agreed upon. In order to maximize the Refinancing Program, an Eligible entity will have the option of paying the prepayment premium, if any, on the due date or rolling the prepayment premium into the amount of the new FFB loan.

    B. Federal Award Information

    Type of Award: Loan.

    Fiscal Year 2017 Funds: Not more than $600 million.

    Authority:

    The Refinancing Program is a pilot program to be carried out by the Rural Utilities Service pursuant to Section 749 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2017, Public Law 115-31, May 5, 2017.

    C. Eligibility Information

    Eligible entity, as defined above.

    D. Submission Information 1. Letter of Intent

    Interested parties must send an email to the contact listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this Notice to obtain an electronic sample of the Letter of intent. The sample Letter of intent can also be found online using the following web address: http://www.rd.usda.gov/Refinancing/.

    2. Content of Letter of Intent

    An Eligible entity must submit the required information in its Letter of Intent (LOI). FFB loan refinancing will be processed in a multi-step process as described herein. An Eligible entity must submit all the information identified in the Letter of Intent “Request for Refinancing of FFB Loan” available online at the following web address: http://www.rd.usda.gov/Refinancing/.

    a. Letter of Intent. The following information (information is available on borrower's quarterly Statement of Account and Transactions (bill)) must be included in the LOI (as noted above incomplete LOI's will not be considered) so please review for completeness of information:

    i. FFB loan identification of each Future Advance Promissory Note payable to FFB (for example, “R8”) and the Note Designation (ex 00000000423, 00000000000425), including the following:

    (A) Identify the FFB Advance identifier (account number ex. H0015, H0045) of each Advance that will be refinanced;

    (B) Specify whether one or more Advance will be refinanced (partial advances will not be considered);

    (C) Identify the date of each Advance that will be refinanced;

    (D) Identify the interest rate of each Advance;

    (E) Specify the amount outstanding for each Advance that will be refinanced on latest quarterly bill;

    (F) List all Advances in order of their refinancing priority (due to cap identified below) (all FFB loans intended to be refinanced should be prioritized and listed in case additional funds are available for this Refinancing Program); and

    (G) A contact name, number and email.

    ii. Short narrative demonstrating how the refinancing of the FFB loan will benefit its rate payers including, but not limited, to estimated savings to ratepayers, increased investment in energy efficiency or plant modernization, other factors resulting from savings associated with the refinancing, etc.

    iii. Requested final maturity date for the new FFB loan. The requested final maturity date must be for a period not to exceed thirty-five years. An Eligible entity must submit a certification stating that the remaining useful life of its electric system is equal to or exceeds the new requested final maturity date and, that the requested final maturity date does not exceed the term of its wholesale power contract with its members or with its generation and transmission supplier. If the remaining useful life of its electric system or the wholesale power contract term is less than the final maturity date requested, the final maturity date will be modified for a shorter period.

    b. After evaluating the request and the information specified below, RUS will send an Invitation to proceed identifying the FFB loan that will be refinanced and describing the next steps in the process. Additionally, RUS together with FFB will provide an estimate of the maximum principal amount of the new FFB loan needed to refinance the selected FFB loan and the estimated amount of the prepayment premium, if any. An Eligible entity will make its regularly scheduled quarterly payment on the FFB loan. The initial estimate will be for the first business day after the end of the quarter. However, an Eligible entity may select another date in the quarter that is not the last day of the quarter to refinance its FFB loan. If a day other than the first day is chosen, all accrued interest, applicable fees and premium are due and payable on or before the refinancing day. RUS and FFB retain the right to move the refinancing date to another business day in the quarter if there are too many to process on any one day.

    c. An Eligible entity will have seven business days to confirm, in writing, (including email) its intent to proceed with the refinancing, whether it will pay the prepayment premium, in full, on the refinancing date or roll the amount into the new FFB loan and a final prioritization of only the previously RUS accepted and identified FFB loan, up to the cap amount.

    d. Upon receipt of the confirmation of the intent to proceed, an Eligible entity will receive a Conditional commitment letter that must be executed and the terms, conditions, if any, and the amount of the FFB loan accepted by the Eligible entity. The Eligible entity will then receive an FFB note and RUS Reimbursement note to execute. If necessary, authentication by its indenture trustee will be required. A supplemental indenture or other security instrument and related documents may be required to secure the FFB note and RUS Reimbursement note.

    e. An Eligible entity must return the executed FFB note and RUS Reimbursement note together with its Advance Request, attached as Annex A to the FFB note, and any other required loan documents in a timely manner, as set forth in Section E. 3. d. The Advance Request, specifying the chosen options, should be marked “REFINANCING.”

    3. Compliance With Other Federal Statutes

    No additional compliance verification is necessary.

    4. Funding Restriction

    See below.

    5. Submission Requirements

    The refinancing process consists of several steps.

    a. To be considered for the Refinancing Program for this fiscal year, a Borrower must submit its mandatory Letter of intent, that complies with the requirements in section D (2) of this Notice, in a PDF file, not to exceed 10 MB in size, by electronic mail (email) to [email protected] no later than 11:59 p.m. (EST) on November 17, 2017.

    b. By submitting the Letter of intent, the Eligible entity indicates to RUS that it intends to participate in the Refinancing Program, as described above and as identified in the LOI. RUS by extending an Invitation to proceed to an Eligible entity in the queue, a LOI does not obligate the Eligible entity to proceed. However, Eligible entities will only have seven business days to notify RUS whether it will proceed, as described above.

    c. The borrower must execute and return new FFB note and any other required documents.

    E. Agency Review of Letter of Intent and Process for Proceeding 1. Letter of Intent

    RUS will consider complete Letters of Intent as they are received. Letters of intent will be reviewed by RUS for completeness.

    2. Processing of Requests, Prioritization, and Maximum Refinancing Amount

    (a) Processing Requests and Prioritization. RUS will evaluate all LOI's received by the deadline identified above. If the dollar amount for all eligible requests is less than the total dollar amount authorized by Congress for this Refinancing Program, requests will be processed in the order in which they were received. If the amount requested exceeds the total amount authorized by Congress, RUS will prioritize all requests based on the following criteria:

    (i) First, by the highest cumulative weighted average interest rate on the FFB loan to be refinanced; and

    (ii) Second, by the order in which the request was received.

    (b) Maximum amount to any one Eligible entity. An Eligible entity may request any dollar amount and number of FFB loans for refinancing and are encouraged to do so. However, in order to ensure the widest practical use of the appropriated funds and that the greatest number of ratepayers are benefited, each Eligible entity will be limited to $100 million of refinancing. As such, an Eligible entity in its LOI should additionally list, in order, its priority for the requested refinancing. RUS, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to reduce an Eligible entity's maximum amount to $75 million if the total amount requested by all Eligible entities exceeds the authorized amount by 50 percent or more to maximize the use of the funds and benefit more Eligible entities and electric consumers/ratepayers. Due to the nature of potential changes in interest rates, time is of the essence in processing and documenting requests under the Refinancing Program, including returning to RUS the new FFB note, Reimbursement note and all other required documents.

    If, after considering all eligible requests Refinancing Program funds remain available or otherwise become available, RUS will consider requests greater than $100 million based on the order in which the LOI was received up to an additional $100 million for each Eligible entity.

    If additional funds are authorized for the Refinancing Program or for refinancing of FFB debt pursuant to section 306C of the Act, RUS reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to consider the requests received pursuant to this NOSA or to issue a new notice.

    3. Process

    a. After evaluating the request and the information specified below, RUS will send an Invitation to proceed identifying the Advance accepted for refinancing and describing the next steps in the process. Additionally, RUS together with FFB will provide an initial estimate of the amount of the new FFB loan needed to refinance the selected Advance and the estimated amount of the prepayment premium, if any. An Eligible entity will make its regularly scheduled quarterly payment in the full amount. The estimate will be for the first business day after the end of the quarter. However, an Eligible entity may select another date in the quarter that is not the last day of the quarter to refinance its Advance. RUS and FFB retain the right to move the refinancing date to another business day in the quarter if RUS and FFB determine that there are too many to process on any one day.

    b. An Eligible entity will have seven business days to confirm, in writing, (including email) its intent to proceed with the refinancing, whether it will pay the prepayment premium, in full, on the refinancing date or roll the amount into the new FFB loan, and a final prioritization of an Advance after reviewing the prepayment premium, if any, up to the cap amount. An Eligible entity will not be allowed to add or substitute an Advance based on the estimate. However, an Advance can be deleted from the final refinancing prior to receipt by the Eligible entity of the new FFB note. The final total amount necessary to refinance the FFB loan will be provided by RUS two business days before the scheduled refinancing date.

    c. Upon receipt of the confirmation of the intent to proceed, an Eligible entity will receive a Conditional commitment letter that must be executed and accepted. After that, a new FFB note and RUS Reimbursement note will be sent for execution. If necessary, both notes will need to be authenticated by the Eligible Entity's indenture trustee. A supplemental indenture or other security instrument any related documents may be required to secure the FFB note and RUS Reimbursement note. If the prepayment premiums will be financed, the maximum principal amount of the FFB note will be rounded up two percent to be sufficient to prepay the amount in full. RUS reserves the right to change the rounding amount from two percent, if it determines that two percent is insufficient to accomplish the refinancing due to interest rate volatility. If the maximum principal amount of the executed FFB note is insufficient to cover all amounts due, according to the final amount provided two days in advance of the refinancing date, the Eligible entity is required to pay the deficient amount in full on or before the refinancing date.

    d. An Eligible entity must return the executed FFB note and RUS Reimbursement note together with its Advance Request and any other required documents in a timely manner. FFB will require five days to purchase the FFB note after RUS has reviewed and processed the FFB note. The Advance Request, specifying the options chosen, by the Eligible entity, should be marked “REFINANCING.” An Eligible entity will have the option of submitting no more than two Advance Requests (for ex. one for a short term maturity and one long term maturity or one for a long term maturity date not to exceed the final maturity date). If two are submitted they must be submitted simultaneously, dated the same date, same Advance request date, and together the amount cannot exceed the maximum principal amount of the FFB note. No funds will be advanced directly to the Eligible entity but will be advanced to prepay the FFB loan, as agreed upon. As such, if all documents have not been returned to RUS by the 15th day of the third month of the quarter, the refinancing date will be moved to the first day of the next quarter.

    F. Federal Awarding Agency Contact

    Jonathan Claffey, Office of the Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1510, Room 5136-S, Washington, DC 20250-1510; Telephone: (202) 720-0736; Email: [email protected].

    G. Other Information USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

    To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    a. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410;

    b. Facsimile: (202) 690-7442; or

    c. Email: [email protected]

    d. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22623 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    List of Petitions Received by EDA for Certification of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [10/1/2017 through 10/9/2017] Firm name Firm address Date

  • accepted for
  • investigation
  • Product(s) Copper John Corporation 173 State Street, Auburn, NY 13021 10/3/2017 The firm manufactures bow sights and release aids for the archery market. Superior Fabrication Company, LLC 17499 South Dolan Street, Kincheloe, MI 49788 10/4/2017 The firm manufactures heavy duty steel components and assemblies, such as masts for forklift trucks and components for medical imaging equipment. Diamond Brand Gear Company 145 Cane Creek Industrial Park Road, Suite 100, Fletcher, NC 28732 10/5/2017 The firm manufactures cut and sewn camping and military gear.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice. These petitions are received pursuant to section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Irette Patterson, Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22507 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-161-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone 280—Ada and Canyon Counties, Idaho; Application for Subzone Expansion; Orgill, Inc.; Post Falls, Idaho

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Southwest Idaho Manufacturers' Alliance, grantee of FTZ 280, requesting expanded subzone status for the facility of Orgill, Inc. (Orgill), located in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on October 13, 2017.

    Subzone 280B currently consists of: Site 1 (31.13 acres)—1881 West Seltice, Way, Post Falls, Idaho. The applicant is now requesting authority to expand the subzone to include: proposed Site 2 (1.22 acres)—500 West Dalton Avenue, Coeur d'Alene. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time. The expanded subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 280.

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Christopher Kemp of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is November 27, 2017. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to December 12, 2017.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Christopher Kemp at [email protected] or (202) 482-0862.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Camille R. Evans, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22603 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-63-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 123—Denver, Colorado; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Lockheed Martin Corporation Space Systems Company; (Satellites and Other Space Craft); Littleton, Colorado

    Lockheed Martin Corporation Space Systems Company (Lockheed Martin), submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Littleton, Colorado. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on October 4, 2017.

    A separate application for subzone designation for the Lockheed Martin facility under FTZ 123 is being processed (see docket S-151-2017).

    The facility will be used to produce satellites and other spacecraft for space-based use. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Lockheed Martin from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Lockheed Martin would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Satellites and other craft for space-based use and subsystems for satellites and other space craft (duty free). Lockheed Martin would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: 80% hydrogen/20% argon gas; dinitrogen tetroxide (oxidizer); high purity hydrazine; plastic composite test panels; carbon composite panels; mechanically joined cylindrical sandwich panels, composite ogive sandwich panels; optical solar reflectors; protective cover glasses for gallium-arsenide solar cells; liquid apogee rocket engines; dual mode liquid apogee rocket engines; communication receivers; base station transceivers; Ku-band receivers; controllers for low noise amplifier block converter; Ka-band phased loop lock dual band low noise amplifier and block converter; transceivers; optical filters-fiber bragg grating; microwave power module band stop filters, Ku-band; signal converters; multiplexers (mux's) includes diplexers; signal filters; input filter assemblies; redundant low noise amplifiers; downconverters; beacon transmitters; Ka-band beacons; Ka-band input filter assemblies; communication receivers; command receivers; antennas; antenna reflectors; antenna assemblies; antenna mast electro-mechanical assemblies; power supply boards; radio frequency switches; post down converter filter assemblies; output switch matrix; Ka-band combiners; dual couplers; electrical switches; electrical connectors; connector savers; electrical switching modules; microchip programmers; wave guides (coaxial); circuit breaker assemblies; bulkhead receptacles; electrical switches (coaxial); radio frequency switch assembly/gen iv test racks; traveling wave tubes (TWT); gallium-arsenide solar cells; optical solar reflectors; quadrant detectors; surface acoustic wave filters; field programmable gate arrays; hybrid integrated circuits; mass simulators; master local oscillators; traveling wave tube amplifiers; transmit receive integrated assembly amplifiers; linearized traveling wave tube amplifiers; coaxial combiners; payload separation rings; reaction wheels; star tracker optical heads; star tracker electronics units; earth sensors; baffles for star tracker; thermocouples; radio frequency recording and playback systems; power injector assemblies, and pressure switches (duty rates range from duty-free to 6.5%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is November 27, 2017.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Christopher Wedderburn at [email protected] or (202) 482-1963.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Camille R. Evans, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22602 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Information Systems; Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed Meeting

    The Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee (ISTAC) will meet on November 1 and 2, 2017, 9:00 a.m., in the Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues NW., Washington, DC. The Committee advises the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration on technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to information systems equipment and technology.

    Wednesday, November 1 Open Session: 1. Welcome and Introductions 2. Working Group Reports 3. Old Business 4. Industry Presentations: Quantum Computing 5. New business Thursday, November 2 Closed Session: 6. Discussion of matters determined to be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2 §§ 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3).

    The open session will be accessible via teleconference to 20 participants on a first come, first serve basis. To join the conference, submit inquiries to Ms. Yvette Springer at

    [email protected], no later than October 25, 2017.

    A limited number of seats will be available for the public session. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the Committee. The public may submit written statements at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate distribution of public presentation materials to Committee members, the Committee suggests that public presentation materials or comments be forwarded before the meeting to Ms. Springer.

    The Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the delegate of the General Counsel, formally determined on February 27, 2017, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. app. 2 § (l0)(d)), that the portion of the meeting concerning trade secrets and commercial or financial information deemed privileged or confidential as described in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4) and the portion of the meeting concerning matters the disclosure of which would be likely to frustrate significantly implementation of an agency action as described in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) shall be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2 §§ 10(a)(1) and l0(a)(3). The remaining portions of the meeting will be open to the public.

    For more information, call Yvette Springer at (202)482-2813.

    Yvette Springer, Committee Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22575 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-848] Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 18, 2017.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on requests, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is initiating new shipper reviews (NSR) of the antidumping duty order on freshwater crawfish tail meat from the People's Republic of China (PRC) with respect to Anhui Luan Hongyuan Foodstuffs Co., Ltd. (Anhui Luan) and Kunshan Xinrui Trading Co., Ltd. (Kunshan Xinrui). We have determined that these requests meet the statutory and regulatory requirements for initiation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dmitry Vladimirov, 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) 482-0665.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The antidumping duty Order on freshwater crawfish tail meat from the PRC published in the Federal Register on September 15, 1997.1 Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department received timely and properly filed requests for a NSR of the Order from Anhui Luan and Kunshan Xinrui during the anniversary month of the antidumping duty Order. 2 In its request, Anhui Luan certified that it is both the producer and exporter of the subject merchandise upon which the request was based.3 In its request, Kunshan Xinrui certified that it is the exporter and Leping Yongle Food Co., Ltd. (Leping Yongle), is the producer of the subject merchandise upon which the request was based.4

    1See Notice of Amendment to Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat from the People's Republic of China, 62 FR 48218 (September 15, 1997) (Order).

    2See Letter from Anhui Luan, “Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat from the People's Republic of China Request for New-Shipper Review,” dated September 15, 2017 (Anhui Luan's NSR Request), and Letter from Kunshan Xinrui, “Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat from People's Republic of China: Request for New Shipper Review,” dated September 19, 2017 (Kunshan Xinrui's NSR Request).

    3See Anhui Luan's NSR Request at Attachment 1.

    4See Kunshan Xinrui's NSR Request at Exhibit 1.

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(i), Anhui Luan certified that it did not export subject merchandise to the United States during the period of investigation (POI).5 Similarly, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(ii)(A) and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(ii)(B), Kunshan Xinrui and Leping Yongle each certified, respectively, that they did not export subject merchandise to the United States during the POI.6 In addition, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(II) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(A), Anhui Luan, Kunshan Xinrui, and Leping Yongle each certified, respectively, that, since the initiation of the investigation, they have never been affiliated with any exporter or producer who exported subject merchandise to the United States during the POI, including those respondents not individually examined during the POI.7 As required by 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(B), Anhui Luan and Kunshan Xinrui also certified, respectively, that their export activities were not controlled by the government of the PRC.8

    5See Anhui Luan's NSR Request at Attachment 1.

    6See Kunshan Xinrui's NSR Request at Exhibit 1.

    7See Anhui Luan's NSR Request at Attachment 1; Kunshan Xinrui's NSR Request at Exhibit 1.

    8Id.

    In addition to the certifications described above, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iv), Anhui Luan and Kunshan Xinrui each submitted respective documentation establishing the following: (1) The date on which it first shipped subject merchandise for export to the United States; (2) the volume of its first shipment and subsequent shipments; and (3) the date of its first sale to an unaffiliated customer in the United States.9

    9See Anhui Luan's NSR Request at Attachment 2; Kunshan Xinrui's NSR Request at Exhibit 2.

    Period of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(i)(A), the period of review (POR) for a NSR initiated in the month immediately following the anniversary month will be the twelve-month period immediately preceding the anniversary month. Therefore, the POR for these NSRs is September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017.

    Initiation of New Shipper Reviews

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b), we find that the requests from Anhui Luan and Kunshan Xinrui meet the threshold requirements for initiation of (1) a NSR for shipments of freshwater crawfish tail meat from the PRC produced and exported during the POR by Anhui Luan,10 and (2) a NSR for shipments of freshwater crawfish tail meat from the PRC produced by Leping Yongle and exported during the POR by Kunshan Xinrui.11

    10See the Memorandum, “Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat from the People's Republic of China: Initiation Checklist for Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review of Anhui Luan Hongyuan Foodstuffs Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    11See the Memorandum, “Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat from the People's Republic of China: Initiation Checklist for Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review of Kunshan Xinrui Trading Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 12 amended section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act, including provisions which apply to these NSRs. Specifically, the TFTEA amended the Act so that, as of February 24, 2016, the Department no longer instructs U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to allow an importer the option of posting a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit during the pendency of a NSR.

    12 The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, H.R. 644, Public Law 114-125 (February 24, 2016) (TFTEA).

    Unless extended, the Department intends to issue the preliminary results of these NSRs no later than 180 days from the date of initiation and final results of the reviews no later than 90 days after the date the preliminary results are issued.13

    13See section 751(a)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act.

    It is the Department's usual practice, in cases involving non-market economy countries, to require that a company seeking to establish eligibility for an antidumping duty rate separate from the country-wide rate provide evidence of de jure and de facto absence of government control over the company's export activities. Accordingly, we will issue questionnaires to Anhui Luan and Kunshan Xinrui which will include a section requesting information concerning each company's eligibility for a separate rate. We will rescind the NSR of Anhui Luan or Kunshan Xinrui if we determine that either company has not demonstrated that it is eligible for a separate rate.

    Because Anhui Luan certified that it produced and exported subject merchandise, the sale of which is the basis for its request for a NSR, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation of all entries of subject merchandise produced and exported by Anhui Luan. Similarly, because Kunshan Xinrui certified that Leping Yongle produced subject merchandise that Kunshan Xinrui exported, the sale of which is the basis for its request for a NSR, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation of all entries of subject merchandise produced by Leping Yongle and exported by Kunshan Xinrui.

    To assist in its analysis of the bona fide nature of Anhui Luan's and Kunshan Xinrui's respective sales, upon initiation of these NSRs, the Department will require Anhui Luan and Kunshan Xinrui, respectively, to submit on an ongoing basis complete transaction information concerning any sales of subject merchandise to the United States that were made subsequent to the POR.

    Interested parties requiring access to proprietary information in the NSRs should submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 and 351.306.

    This initiation and notice are published in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214 and 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: October 12, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22600 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-810] Stainless Steel Bar From India: Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review and Intent To Reinstate Certain Companies in the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting a changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel bar (SS Bar) from India to determine whether Venus Wire Industries Pvt. Ltd. and its affiliates Precision Metals, Sieves Manufacturers (India) Pvt. Ltd., and Hindustan Inox Ltd. (collectively, Venus Group), or Viraj Profiles Ltd. (Viraj) have resumed dumping SS Bar and whether the antidumping order should be reinstated for SS Bar from India produced and/or exported by the Venus Group and produced and/or exported by Viraj. The period of review is July 1, 2015, through June 31, 2016.

    We preliminarily determine that the Venus Group and Viraj (collectively, the respondents) have sold SS Bar at less than normal value (NV) and that SS Bar produced and/or exported by the respondents should be reinstated in the antidumping order on SS Bar from India. We will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of SS Bar produced and/or exported by the respondents and entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 18, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Schauer, 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) 482-0410.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is SS bar. The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 7222.10.00, 7222.11.00, 7222.19.00, 7222.20.00, 7222.30.00. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.1

    1 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see Memorandum titled, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review of Stainless Steel Bar from India,” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Basis for Reinstatement

    In requesting revocation, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.222(b)(2)(i)(B), the respondents agreed to immediate reinstatement of the order, so long as any exporter or producer is subject to the order, if the Secretary concludes that subsequent to the revocation, certain respondents sold SS Bar at less than NV.2 Under 19 CFR 351.222(b)(2)(i)(B) as long as any exporter or producer is subject to an antidumping duty order which remains in force, an entity previously granted a revocation may be reinstated under that order if it is established that the entity has resumed the dumping of subject merchandise.

    2See Stainless Steel Bar from India; Final Results, Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review in Part, and Determination To Revoke in Part, 69 FR 55409, 55411 (September 14, 2004) (Viraj Revocation) and Stainless Steel Bar from India: Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Revocation of the Order, in Part, 76 FR 56401, 56403 (September 13, 2011) (Venus Revocation).

    In this case, because other exporters in India remain subject to the SS Bar order, the order remains in effect, and the respondents may be reinstated in the order. The Department conditionally revoked the order with respect to respondents based in part upon their agreement to immediate reinstatement in the antidumping duty order if the Department were to find that the companies resumed dumping of SS Bar from India.3

    3Id.

    As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, we have examined the respondents' responses and have preliminarily found that the respondents' dumping margin for the review period is greater than de minimis, on the basis of adverse facts available. Accordingly, we preliminarily intend to reinstate the respondents in the antidumping duty order on SS Bar from India.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this changed circumstances review in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.216(d). 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 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 found 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 the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for the period June 1, 2015, through May 31, 2016:

    4 Viraj Alloys, Ltd., Viraj Forgings, Ltd., and Viraj Impoexpo, Ltd., are collectively now known as Viraj Profiles Limited. In July 2006, Viraj Forgings Ltd. merged with Viraj Alloys Ltd.; in April 2007, Viraj Alloys and Viraj Impoexpo Ltd. merged into Viraj Profiles Ltd.

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Venus Wire Industries Pvt. Ltd. and its affiliates Precision Metals, Sieves Manufacturers (India) Pvt. Ltd., and Hindustan Inox Ltd 30.92 Viraj Profiles Ltd 4 30.92
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Normally, the Department discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with the preliminary results of changed circumstances review within five days after public announcement of the preliminary results of changed circumstances review in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Because the Department preliminarily applied AFA to each of the respondents in this changed circumstances review, in accordance with section 776 of the Act, there are no calculations to disclose.

    As explained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, we intend to send a final supplemental questionnaire to the Venus Group after these preliminary results of review. We will disclose the schedule for submitting briefs and requesting a hearing to all interested parties at a later date.

    Reinstatement and Suspension of Liquidation

    Because we have preliminarily established that SS Bar from India produced and/or exported by the respondents is being sold at less than NV, the respondents are hereby preliminarily reinstated in the antidumping duty order. We will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation of all entries of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by the respondents, entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Furthermore, a cash deposit requirement of 30.92 percent will be in effect for all shipments of the subject merchandise produced and/or exported by either the Venus Group or Viraj, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of this notice. This requirement shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping 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 the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results of review in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b) of the Department's regulations.

    Dated: October 12, 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. Collapsing V. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences a. The Venus Group b. Viraj VI. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2017-22601 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-053] Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Deferral of Preliminary Determination of the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation—Correction Notice AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 18, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Erin Kearney at (202) 482-0167, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On October 12, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published a notice of the deferral of the preliminary determination in the less-than-fair-value investigation of aluminum foil from the People's Republic of China (PRC).1 In the Deferral Notice, the Department inadvertently published an incorrect date of the deferred preliminary determination.2

    1See Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Deferral of Preliminary Determination of the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 82 FR 47481 (October 12, 2017) (Deferral Notice).

    2Id.

    Correction

    The Department expects to issue the preliminary determination no later than November 30, 2017.

    Dated: October 12, 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. 2017-22599 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE201 Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustee Implementation Group Final 2017 Restoration Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and a Consent Decree with BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP), entered in: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Texas Trustee Implementation Group (Texas TIG) have prepared the Final 2017 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; and Oysters (Final RP/EA). The Final RP/EA describes and, in conjunction with the associated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), selects 13 preferred alternatives considered by the Texas TIG to restore natural resources and ecological services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Texas TIG evaluated alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment regulations, and evaluated the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The selected projects are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The Federal Trustees of the Texas TIG have determined that implementation of the Final RP/EA is not a major Federal Action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the context of NEPA. They have concluded a FONSI is appropriate, and, therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the approval and availability of the Final RP/EA and FONSI.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: You may download the Final RP/EA and FONSI at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Final RP/EA and FONSI (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). In addition, you may view the document at any of the public facilities listed at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—Jamie Schubert, [email protected], 409-621-1248;

    • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department—Don Pitts, [email protected], 512-389-8754.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

    On April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, which was being used to drill a well for BP in the Macondo prospect (Mississippi Canyon 252-MC252), exploded, caught fire, and subsequently sank in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in an unprecedented volume of oil and other discharges from the rig and from the wellhead on the seabed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest maritime oil spill in United States history, discharging millions of barrels of oil over a period of 87 days. In addition, well over one million gallons of dispersants were applied to the waters of the spill area in an attempt to disperse the spilled oil. An undetermined amount of natural gas also was released to the environment as a result of the spill.

    The Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustees (DWH Trustees) conducted the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant to OPA, Federal and State agencies act as trustees on behalf of the public to assess natural resource injuries and losses and to determine the actions required to compensate the public for those injuries and losses. OPA further instructs the designated trustees to develop and implement a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent of the injured natural resources under their trusteeship, including the loss of use and services from those resources from the time of injury until the time of restoration to baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the spill had not occurred) is complete.

    The DWH Trustees are:

    • U.S. Department of the Interior, as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture;

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;

    • State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Department of Natural Resources;

    • State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;

    • State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;

    • State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and

    • For the State of Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

    Upon completion of the NRDA, the DWH Trustees reached and finalized a settlement of their natural resource damages claims with BP in a Consent Decree approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in the Texas Restoration Area are now chosen and managed by the Texas TIG. The Texas TIG is comprised of the following DWH Trustees:

    • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department;

    • Texas General Land Office;

    • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality;

    • U.S. Department of the Interior, as represented by National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture; and

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the PDARP/PEIS. Information on the Restoration Types considered in the Final RP/EA, as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas were evaluated, can be viewed in the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan) and in the Overview of the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan).

    Background

    On July 6, 2016, the Texas TIG posted a public notice at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov requesting new or revised proposals by August 31, 2016, regarding natural resource restoration in the Texas Restoration Area for the 2016-2017 planning years. The notice stated that the Texas TIG is prioritizing restoration planning efforts on Restoration Types that were not addressed previously by Early Restoration: (1) Restore and conserve wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats; (2) restore water quality through nutrient reduction (nonpoint source); and (3) replenish and protect oysters.

    A Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustee Implementation Group Draft 2017 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; and Oysters (Draft RP/EA) was published in the Federal Register on May 18, with a correction published on June 1, 2017. The Draft RP/EA proposed 13 restoration project alternatives consistent with the Restoration Types selected in the PDARP/PEIS. The Texas TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment regulations, and evaluated the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The Texas TIG provided the public with 33 days to review and provide comment on the Draft RP/EA. During the public review period, which ended on June 19, 2017, the Texas TIG held two public meetings in Corpus Christi (June 7, 2017) and La Marque (June 8, 2017). The Texas TIG considered the public comments received, which informed the Texas TIG's analyses and selection of the restoration projects in the Final RP/EA. A summary of the public comments received and the Trustees' responses to those comments are addressed in Chapter 7 of the Final RP/EA.

    Overview of the Final RP/EA

    The Final RP/EA is being released in accordance with OPA, the OPA NRDA regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    In the Final RP/EA, the Texas TIG selects as its preferred alternatives for the following Restoration Types: (1) Wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats; and (2) oysters. For the water quality (nonpoint source) Restoration Type, the Texas TIG has determined additional restoration planning is necessary, and does not propose or select any restoration projects in this RP/EA.

    For wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats, the Final RP/EA selects the following preferred project alternatives:

    • Bird Island Cove Habitat Restoration Engineering,

    • Essex Bayou Habitat Restoration Engineering,

    • Dredged Material Planning for Wetland Restoration,

    • McFaddin Beach and Dune Restoration,

    • Bessie Heights Wetland Restoration,

    • Pierce Marsh Wetland Restoration,

    • Indian Point Shoreline Erosion Protection,

    • Bahia Grande Hydrologic Restoration,

    • Follets Island Habitat Acquisition,

    • Mid-Coast Habitat Acquisition,

    • Bahia Grande Coastal Corridor Habitat Acquisition, and

    • Laguna Atascosa Habitat Acquisition.

    For oysters, the Final RP/EA selects Oyster Restoration Engineering as the preferred project alternative.

    The Texas TIG has examined the injuries assessed by the DWH Trustees and evaluated restoration alternatives to address the injuries. In the Final RP/EA, the Texas TIG presents to the public its plan for providing partial compensation to the public for injured natural resources and ecological services in the Texas Restoration Area. The selected projects are intended to continue the process of restoring natural resources and ecological services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The total estimated cost of the selected projects is $45,761,000. Additional restoration planning for the Texas Restoration Area will continue.

    Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Final RP/EA and FONSI can be viewed electronically at http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord.

    Authority:

    The authority for this action is OPA (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and the OPA NRDA regulations at 15 CFR part 990.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Christopher Meaney, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22607 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF711 Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings; Cancellation AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting cancellation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee is cancelling the 5-day meeting that was to be held from October 30, 2017 to November 3, 2017 due to the devastation of the island from the hurricanes.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Miguel A. Rolón, Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918-1903, telephone: (787) 766-5926.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting was published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47190). The meeting will be rescheduled at a later date and announced in the Federal Register.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22467 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF769 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish (MSB) Committee will hold a public meeting to review and develop comments regarding options being considered to modify the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan, which could impact the MSB fisheries.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Monday, November 6, 2017, from 9 a.m. to noon.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/msb-com-nov-2017/. Call-in information is provided upon logging onto the webinar.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D. Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255. The Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org will also have details on the proposed agenda and any briefing materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The New England Fishery Management Council is considering changes to Atlantic Herring management measures that could impact MSB fishing. The MSB Committee will receive an update on the options under consideration, and if appropriate develop comments for the New England Fishery Management Council to consider.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically listed 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 Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22642 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Vessel and Gear Identification Requirements AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), 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 by December 18, 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 Adam Bailey, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Region manages the U.S. fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic regions under various fishery management plans (FMPs). The regional fishery management councils prepared the FMPs pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The regulations implementing the FMPs are located at 50 CFR part 622.

    The recordkeeping and reporting requirements at 50 CFR part 622 form the basis for this collection of information. The NMFS Southeast Region requires that all permitted fishing vessels must mark their vessel with the official identification number or some form of identification. A vessel's official number, under most regulations, is required to be displayed on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull, and weather deck. In addition, certain fisheries are required to display their assigned color code. The official number and color code identify each vessel and should be visible at distance from the sea and in the air. These markings provide law enforcement personnel with a means to monitor fishing, at-sea processing, and other related activities, to ascertain whether the vessel's observed activities are in accordance with those authorized for that vessel. The identifying official number is used by NMFS, the United States Coast Guard, and other marine agencies in issuing violations, prosecutions, and other enforcement actions. Vessels that are authorized for particular fisheries are readily identified, gear violations are more readily prosecuted, and this allows for more cost-effective enforcement.

    In addition to vessel marking, requirements that fishing gear be marked are essential to facilitate enforcement. The ability to link fishing gear to the vessel owner is crucial to enforcement of regulations issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The marking of fishing gear is also valuable in actions concerning damage, loss, and civil proceedings. The requirements imposed in the Southeast Region are for coral aquacultured live rock; golden crab traps; mackerel gillnet floats; spiny lobster traps; black sea bass pots; and buoy gear.

    II. Method of Collection

    Markings, such as numbers, are placed directly on the vessels and gear.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0358.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,825.

    Estimated Time per Response: Vessel marking: 45 minutes. Gear marking: aquacultured live rocks, 10 seconds each; golden crab traps, 2 minutes each; spiny lobster traps, 7 minutes each; sea bass pots, 16 minutes each; and mackerel gillnets, and buoy gear, 20 minutes each.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 50,687.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $670,901 in recordkeeping and reporting 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 12, 2017. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22547 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF746 Marine Mammals; File No. 21315 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Lori Quakenbush, Responsible Party) P.O. Box 25526, Juneau, AK 99802, has applied in due form for a permit to collect, receive, import, and export marine mammal parts for scientific research.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 21315 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. 21315 in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Lierheimer or Jennifer Skidmore, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226), and the Fur Seal Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.).

    The objectives of the proposed research are to obtain information on population status and distribution, stock structure, age distribution, mortality rates, productivity, feeding habits, and health that would be used for conservation and management purposes. The applicant proposes to collect, receive, import, and export biological samples from up to 500 cetaceans and 1,000 pinnipeds (excluding walrus) annually from legal, foreign and domestic subsistence-hunts; scientists in academic, Federal, and state institutions involved in legally authorized marine mammal research; dead beach-cast species; and incidental commercial fisheries bycatch. Import/export activities would occur world-wide. No live animal takes are being requested under this permit. The requested duration of the permit is five years.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22565 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Representative and Address Provisions ACTION:

    Proposed collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), invites comment on a proposed extension of an existing information collection: 0651-0035 (Representative and Address Provisions).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0035 comment” in the subject line of the message.

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Raul Tamayo, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-7728; or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This information collection includes the information necessary to submit a request to grant or revoke power of attorney for an application, patent, or reexamination proceeding, and for a registered practitioner to withdraw as attorney or agent of record. This collection also includes the information necessary to change the correspondence address for an application, patent, or reexamination proceeding, to request a Customer Number and manage the correspondence address and list of practitioners associated with a Customer Number, and to designate or change the correspondence address or fee address for one or more patents or applications by using a Customer Number.

    Under 35 U.S.C. 2 and 37 CFR 1.31-1.32, power of attorney may be granted to one or more joint inventors or a person who is registered to practice before the USPTO to act in an application or a patent. In particular, for an application filed before September 16, 2012, or for a patent which issued from an application filed before September 16, 2012, power of attorney may be granted by the applicant for patent (as set forth in 37 CFR 1.41(b) (pre-AIA)) or the assignee of the entire interest of the applicant. For an application filed on or after September 16, 2012, or for a patent which issued from an application filed on or after September 16, 2012, power of attorney may be granted by the applicant for patent (as set forth in 37 CFR 1.42) or the patent owner.

    The rules of practice (37 CFR 1.33) also provide for a correspondence address and daytime telephone number to be supplied for receiving notices, official letters, and other communications from the USPTO. For an application filed before September 16, 2012, the address and number may be supplied by a practitioner of record, all of the applicants, or an assignee. In addition, a practitioner not of record may supply the address and number for an application filed before September 16, 2012, if the practitioner is named in the transmittal papers accompanying the original application and if an oath or declaration by any of the inventors has yet to be filed. For an application filed on or after September 16, 2012, the address and number may be supplied by a practitioner of record or the applicant. A practitioner not of record who acts in a representative capacity may supply the address and number for an application filed on or after September 16, 2012, if the practitioner is named in the application transmittal papers and if any power of attorney has yet to be appointed.

    37 CFR 1.36 provides for the revocation of a power of attorney at any stage in the proceedings of a case. 37 CFR 1.36 also provides a path by which a registered patent attorney or patent agent who has been given a power of attorney may withdraw as attorney or agent of record.

    The USPTO's Customer Number practice permits applicants, patent owners, assignees, and practitioners of record, or the representatives of record for a number of applications or patents, to change the correspondence address of a patent application or patent with one change request instead of filing separate requests for each patent or application. Customers may request a Customer Number from the USPTO and associate this Customer Number with a correspondence list or a list of registered practitioners. Any changes to the address or practitioner information associated with a Customer Number will be applied to all patents and applications associated with said Customer Number.

    The Customer Number practice is optional, in that changes of correspondence address or power of attorney may be filed separately for each patent or application without using a Customer Number. However, a Customer Number associated with the correspondence address for a patent application is required in order to access private information about the application using the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system, which is available through the USPTO Web site. The PAIR system gives authorized individuals secure online access to application status information, but only for patent applications that are linked to a Customer Number. Customer Numbers may be associated with U.S. patent applications as well as international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications. The use of a Customer Number also is required in order to grant power of attorney to more than ten practitioners or to establish a separate “fee address” for maintenance fee purposes that is different from the correspondence address for a patent or application.

    Customers may use a Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet to designate or change the correspondence address or fee address for a list of patents or applications by associating them with a Customer Number. The Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet may not be used to change the power of attorney for patents or applications. Customers may download a Microsoft Excel template with instructions from the USPTO Web site to assist them in preparing the spreadsheet in the proper format.

    II. Method of Collection

    By mail, facsimile, hand delivery, or electronically to the USPTO.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0035.

    Form Numbers: PTO/AIA/80, PTO/AIA/81, PTO/AIA/81B, PTO/AIA/82A, PTO/AIA/82B, PTO/AIA/122, PTO/AIA/123, PTO/SB/80, PTO/SB/81, PTO/SB/81A, PTO/SB/81B, PTO/SB/81C, PTO/SB/83, PTO/SB/84, PTO/SB/124, PTO/SB/124, and PTO-2248.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profits; and not-for-profits institutions.

    Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 501,905 responses per year. Estimates for numbers of responses are based on previous respondent numbers and the anticipated participation trends over the next three years.

    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that the response time for activities related to Representative Address Provisions will take the public between 0.05 hours (3 minutes) to 1.5 hours (90 minutes) to complete (See Table 1). This includes the time to gather the necessary information, create the document, and submit the completed request to the USPTO. The USPTO calculates that, on balance, it takes the same amount of time to do this, regardless of whether the public is submitting the information in paper form or electronically.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 28,479.25 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $4,369,751.25. The USPTO expects that Requests for Withdrawal as Attorney or Agent and the two petitions in this collection will be prepared by attorneys, while the other items in this collection will be prepared by paraprofessionals. The professional hourly rate for attorneys is $438 and the professional hourly rate for paraprofessionals is $145. These rates are established by estimates in the 2017 Report on the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Using this hourly rate, the USPTO estimates that the total respondent cost burden for this collection is $4,369,751.25 per year.

    IC No. Items Estimated
  • time for response
  • (hours)
  • Estimated
  • annual
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • annual burden
  • Rate
  • ($)
  • Estimated
  • hourly cost
  • (a) (b) (c) = (a) × (b) (d) (e) = (c) × (d) 1 Power of Attorney to Prosecute Applications Before the USPTO 0.05 (3 minutes) 4,000 200.00 145.00 $29,000.00 2 Power of Attorney or Revocation of Power of Attorney with a New Power of Attorney and Change of Correspondence 0.05 (3 minutes) 350,000 17,500.00 145.00 2,537,500.00 3 Patent—Power of Attorney or Revocation of Power of Attorney with a New Power of Attorney and Change of Correspondence Address 0.05 (3 minutes) 300 15.00 145.00 2,175.00 4 Reexamination—Patent Owner Power of Attorney or Revocation of Power of Attorney with a New Power of Attorney and Change of Correspondence Address 0.05 (3 minutes) 100 5.00 145.00 725.00 5 Reexamination—Third Party Requester Power of Attorney or Revocation of Power of Attorney with a New Power of Attorney and Change of Correspondence Address 0.05 (3 minutes) 70 3.50 145.00 507.50 6 Request for Withdrawal as Attorney or Agent and Change of Correspondence Address 0.20 (12 minutes) 4,000 800.00 438.00 350,400.00 7 Authorization to Act in a Representative Capacity 0.05 (3 minutes) 750 37.50 145.00 5,437.50 8 Petition Under 37 CFR 1.36(a) to Revoke Power of Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants 1.00 (60 minutes) 10 10.00 438.00 4,380.00 9 Petition to Waive 37 CFR 1.32(b)(4) and Grant Power of Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants 1.00 (60 minutes) 10 10.00 438.00 4,380.00 10 Change of Correspondence Address for Application or Patent 0.05 (3 minutes) 130,000 6,500.00 145.00 942,500.00 11 Patent Owner Change of Correspondence Address—Reexamination Proceeding 0.05 (3 minutes) 25 1.25 145.00 18.25 12 Third Party Requester Change of Correspondence Address—Reexamination Proceeding 0.05 (3 minutes) 40 2.00 145.00 290.00 13 Request for Customer Number Data Change 0.20 (12 minutes) 1,600 320.00 145.00 46,400.00 14 Request for Customer Number 0.20 (12 minutes) 8,500 1,700.00 145.00 246,500.00 15 Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet 1.50 (90 minutes) 600 900.00 145.00 130,500.00 16 Request to Update a PCT Application with a Customer Number 0.25 (15 minutes) 1,900 475.00 145.00 68,875.00 Totals 501,905 28,479.25 4,369,751.25

    Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $13,950.74. There are no capital start-up, maintenance, or recordkeeping costs associated with this information collection. However, this collection does have annual (non-hour) cost burden in the form of filing fees and postage costs.

    Filing Fees

    The two petitions in this collection have associated filing fees under 37 CFR 1.17(f), resulting in $8,000 in filing fees.

    IC No. Item Estimated
  • annual
  • responses
  • Filing fee
  • ($)
  • Total non-hour cost burden
    (a) (b) (c) = (a) × (b) 8 Petitions Under 37 CFR 1.36(a) to Revoke Power of Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants 10 400.00 $4,000.00 9 Petitions to Waive 37 CFR 1.32(b)(4) and Grant Power of Attorney by Fewer than All the Applicants 10 400.00 4,000.00 Total 20 8,000.00
    Postage Costs

    Although the USPTO prefers that the items in this collection be submitted electronically, responses may be submitted by mail through the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPTO estimates that 2% of the 501,305 items will be submitted in the mail and that all 600 of the customer number upload spreadsheets will be submitted by mail. The existing first-class postage costs are $0.49 per submission. In addition, the customer number uploaded spreadsheets are submitted to the USPTO by mail, with a postage rate of $1.73 per submission.

    There is a total of $5,950.74 in postage costs associated with this collection.

    Item Responses Postage cost Total postage
  • costs
  • Non-electronic Responses 10,026 0.49 4,912.74 Customer Number Upload Spreadsheets 600 1.73 1,038.00 Totals 10,626 5,950.74

    Therefore, the USPTO estimates that the total annual (non-hour) cost burden for this collection, in the forms of filing fees ($8,000) and postage costs ($5,950.74), is $13,950.74 per year.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments submitted in response to this to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection. They also will become a matter of public record.

    Comments are required 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 costs) 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, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCTO, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22618 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Patent Examiner Employment Application”

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 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: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: Patent Examiner Employment Application.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0042.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 10,660 responses per year.

    Average Hours per Response: The USPTO estimates that the response time for the employment application will take the public approximately 30 minutes (0.50 hours) to complete. This includes the time to gather the necessary information, create the document, and submit the completed request to the USPTO.

    Burden Hours: 5,330 hours.

    Cost Burden: $0.00. There are no filing fees or start-up, maintenance, record keeping, or postage costs associated with this information collection.

    Needs and Uses: The use of automated application submissions provides a user-friendly electronic candidate inventory that allows management to review potential applications in real time. An applicant seeking a patent examiner position supplies information to the USPTO that assists Human Resource Specialists and hiring managers and demonstrates whether or not the applicant possess the basic qualifications for the position for which they are applying.

    Affected Public: Individuals.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected]

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information can be obtained by:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-00## copy request” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records Management Division Director, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before November 17, 2017 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Marcie Lovett, Records Management Division Director, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22619 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Admission To Practice and Roster of Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents Admitted To Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ACTION:

    Proposed collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on a proposed information collection proposed extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0012 comment” in the subject line of the message.

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Dahlia George, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-4097; or by email to [email protected] with “0651-0012 comment” in the subject line. Additional information about this collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under “Information Collection Review.”

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This collection of information is required by 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(D), which permits the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to establish regulations governing the recognition and conduct of agents, attorneys or other persons representing applicants or other parties before the USPTO. This statute also permits the USPTO to require information from applicants that shows that they are of good moral character and reputation and have the necessary qualifications to assist applicants with the patent process and to represent them before the USPTO.

    The USPTO administers the statute through 37 CFR 1.21, 10.14 and 11.5 through 11.12. These rules address the requirements to apply for the examination for registration and to demonstrate eligibility to be a registered attorney or agent before the USPTO, including the fee requirements. The Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) collects information to determine the qualifications of individuals entitled to represent applicants before the USPTO in the preparation and prosecution of applications for a patent. The OED also collects information to administer and maintain the roster of attorneys and agents registered to practice before the USPTO. Information concerning registered attorneys and agents is published by the OED in a public roster that can be accessed through the USPTO Web site. The information in this collection is used by the USPTO to review applications for the examination for registration and to determine whether an applicant may be added to, or an existing practitioner may remain on, the Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents.

    II. Method of Collection

    Individuals desiring to participate in the Register of Patent Attorneys may submit material in electronic form or by mail following guidance provided by the Office of Enrollment and Discipline.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0012.

    IC Instruments and Forms: PTO-158, PTO-158A, PTO-158T, PTO-107A, PTO-107R, PTO-107S, PTO-275, PTO-1209, PTO-2126, PTO-2149 and PTO-2150.

    Type of Review: Extension of a Previously Existing Information Collection.

    Affected Public: Individuals.

    Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 18,458. Estimates for numbers of annual responses are based on the previously received number of responses and the anticipated participation trends over the next three years.

    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the public approximately 1 minute (0.01 hours) to 40 hours to complete this information, depending upon the application (see Table 1 below). This includes the time to gather the necessary information, prepare the forms, and submit the items to the USPTO.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 18,559.39 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Respondent (Hourly) Cost Burden: $8,090,661.34. The USPTO expects that attorneys will complete the items in this collection. The professional hourly rate for attorneys is $438. The rate is established by estimates in the 2017 Report for the Economic Survey of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Using this hourly rate, the USPTO estimates that the total respondent cost burden for this collection is $8,090,661.34 per year.

    Table 1—Respondent Costs IC No. Item Hours Responses (yr) Burden
  • (hrs/yr)
  • Rate
  • ($/hr)
  • Estimated
  • respondent cost
  • (a) (b) (c) = (a) × (b) (d) (e) = (c) × (d) 1 Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (includes both the computerized exam and the USPTO-administered exam) Form PTO-158 0.50 2,611 1,305.50 $438 $571,809.00 1 Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (former examiners; examination waived) Form PTO-158 0.50 19 9.50 438 4,161.00 2 Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.6(c) by a Foreign Resident (examination waived) Form PTO-158A 0.50 10 5.00 438 2,190.00 3 Application for Reciprocal Recognition to Practice in Trademark Matters Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.14(c) by a Foreign Attorney or Agent (examination waived) Form PTO-158T 0.50 3 1.50 438 657.00 4 Mandatory Survey—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents PTO-107S 0.50 5,000 2,500 438 1,095,000.00 5 Registration Examination to Become a Registered Practitioner 7.00 1,982 13,874 438 6,076,812.00 6 Undertaking under 37 CFR 11.10(b) PTO/275 0.33 159 53 438 23,214.00 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (individuals passing the registration exam) PTO-107A 0.17 916 152.67 438 68,868.00 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (foreign applicants) PTO-107A 0.17 100 16.67 438 7,300.00 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (former examiners seeking registration) PTO-107R 0.17 100 16.67 438 7,300.00 8 Oath or Affirmation PTO-1209 0.08 1,116 93 438 40,734.00 9a Reinstatement to the Register PTO-107A, PTO-107R 0.01 53 0.88 438 386.90 9b Written request for reconsideration and further review of disapproval notice of application 1.50 30 45 438 19,710.00 9c Petition to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline under 11.2(c) 0.75 20 15 438 6,570.00 10 Cover pages used for submitting correspondence to OED (for documents submitted with applications, requests for reconsideration, and petitions) 0.05 6,300 315 438 137,970.00 11 Reasonable Accommodation PTO 158R 4.0 39 156 438 68,328.00 Totals 18,458 18,559.39 8,090,661.34

    Estimated Total Annual (Non-hour) Respondent Cost Burden: Estimated Total Annual Non-hour Respondent Cost Burden: $1,546,909.00. There are no capital start-up or maintenance costs associated with this information collection. There are, however, non-hour costs due to recordkeeping requirements, filing fees, and postage costs.

    The General Requirements Bulletin recommends that “applicants should make and keep a copy of every document submitted to the office in connection with an application for registration.” The USPTO estimates that it will take an applicant approximately 5 minutes (0.08 hours) to print and retain a copy of the submissions and that approximately 5,176 responses will be made per year, for a total of 413 hours. Using the professional rate of $438 per hour for intellectual property attorneys, the USPTO estimates that the record keeping cost associated with this copy requirement will be $181,752 per year.

    An additional cost comes from the requirement for an Oath statement for each member of the patent bar; an item which requires the services of a notary public. The average fee for having a document notarized is $6. The USPTO estimates that it will receive 1,116 responses to this information collection per year as a result of this notary requirement, for a total cost of $6,696.00 per year, for a total recordkeeping cost of $195,620.00.

    Table 2—Recordkeeping Costs IC No. Item Hours Responses (yr) Burden
  • (hrs/yr)
  • Rate
  • ($/hr)
  • Estimated
  • respondent cost
  • (a) (b) (c) = (a) × (b) (d) (e) = (c) × (d) 1 Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (includes both the computerized exam and the USPTO-administered exam) Form PTO-158 0.08 2,630 219.17 $438.00 $95,995.00 2 Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.6(c) by a Foreign Resident (examination waived) Form PTO-158A 0.08 10 0.83 438.00 365.00 3 Application for Reciprocal Recognition to Practice in Trademark Matters Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.14(c) by a Foreign Attorney or Agent (examination waived) Form PTO-158T 0.08 3 0.25 438.00 109.50 6 Undertaking under 37 CFR 11.10(b) PTO/275 0.08 159 13.25 438.00 5,803.50 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (individuals passing the registration exam) PTO-107A 0.08 1,116 93.00 438.00 40,734.00 8 Oath or Affirmation PTO-1209 0.08 1,116 93.00 438.00 40,734.00 8 Oath or Affirmation Cost of Notary Public 1,116 6 Cost of notary public 6,696.00 9a Reinstatement to the Register PTO-107A, PTO-107R 0.08 53 4.42 438.00 1,934.50 9b Written request for reconsideration and further review of disapproval notice of application 0.08 30 2.50 438.00 1,095.00 9c Petition to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline under 11.2(c) 0.08 20 1.67 438.00 730.00 11 Reasonable Accommodation PTO 158R 0.08 39 3.25 438.00 1,423.50 Totals 6,292 431.33 195,620.00

    There are also filing fees associated with this collection. The application fees for registration to practice before the USPTO vary depending on whether the applicant is a current applicant, a former examiner, or a foreign resident, or seeking reinstatement to the Register to become active upon leaving the USPTO. The fee for administration of the computerized examination to become a registered patent practitioner also varies depending on how the examination is administered. The total annual non-hour cost burden associated with filing fees is $776,920.00.

    Table 3—Filing Fees IC No. Item Responses (yr) Filing Fee
  • ($)
  • Total non-hour cost burden ($/hr)
    (a) (b) (c)=(a) × (b) 1 Non-Refundable Application Fee for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (includes both the computerized exam and the USPTO-administered exam) 2,611 $40.00 $104,400.00 1 Application Fee for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as applicable when used for registration fees only (former examiners; examination waived) 19 40.00 760.00 2 Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.6(c) by a Foreign Resident (examination waived) Form PTO-158A 10 40.00 400.00 3 Application Fee for Reciprocal Recognition to Practice in Trademark Matters Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.14(c) by a Foreign Attorney/Agent (examination waived) 3 40.00 120.00 5 Registration examination fee for administration of computerized examination to become a registered patent practitioner administered by the USPTO (USPTO-administered exam) 20 450.00 9,000.00 5 Registration examination fee for administration of computerized examination to become a registered patent practitioner administered by a commercial entity (computer exam) 2,382 200.00 476,400.00 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (individuals passing the registration exam) PTO-107A 916 100.00 91,600.00 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (foreign applicants) PTO-107A 100 100.00 10,000.00 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (former examiners seeking registration) PTO-107R 100 100.00 10,000.00 9a Reinstatement to the Register PTO-107A, PTO-107R 53 100.00 5,300.00 9b Written request for reconsideration and further review of disapproval notice of application 30 130.00 3,900.00 9c Petition to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline under 11.2(c) 20 130.00 2,600.00 9d Petition for reinstatement after disciplinary removal under 37 CFR 11.60 4 1,600.00 6,400.00 9f Non-Refundable Application Fee for Enrollment and/or Reinstatement to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office under 37 CFR 1.21(a)(10) (those who must prove fitness to practice) 35 1,600.00 56,000.00 Totals 6,303 776,920.00

    Postage costs are also associated with this collection. Estimates for postage range from $0.49 to $1.73 per mailed submission, depending upon the item sent. The postage costs estimated at $2,260.53 for this collection and are outlined in the table below.

    Table 4—Postage Costs IC No. Item Responses Postage fee ($) Total non-hour cost burden (a) (b) (a) × (b) = c 1 Non-Refundable Application Fee for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (includes both the computerized exam and the USPTO-administered exam) 2,611 $0.61 $1,592.71 1 Application Fee for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as applicable when used for registration fees only (former examiners; examination waived) 19 0.61 11.59 2 Application for Registration to Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.6(c) by a Foreign Resident (examination waived) Form PTO-158A 10 0.49 4.90 3 Application Fee for Reciprocal Recognition to Practice in Trademark Matters Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Under 37 CFR 11.14(c) by a Foreign Attorney/Agent (examination waived) 3 0.61 1.83 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (individuals passing the registration exam) PTO-107A 916 0.49 448.84 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (foreign applicants) PTO-107A 100 0.49 49.00 7 Data Sheet—Register of Patent Attorneys and Agents (former examiners seeking registration) PTO-107A 100 0.49 49.00 9a Reinstatement to the Register PTO-107A, PTO-107R 53 0.49 25.97 9b Written request for reconsideration and further review of disapproval notice of application 30 0.61 18.30 9c Petition to the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline under 11.2(c) 20 1.73 34.60 11 Reasonable Accommodation PTO 158R 39 0.61 23.79 Totals 3,901 2,260.53

    Therefore, the USPTO estimates that the total annual (non-hour) cost burden for this collection, in the form of filing fees and postage is $779,180.53 per year.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    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, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCTO United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22617 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Substantive Submissions Made During the Prosecution of the Trademark Application

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) 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: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: Substantive Submissions Made During the Prosecution of the Trademark Application.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0054.

    Form Number(s):

    • PTO 1553 • PTO 1581 • PTO 2194 • PTO 2195 • PTO 2200 • PTO 2202

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Number of Annual Respondents: 374,972 responses.

    Average Hours per Response: The USPTO expects that it will take the public approximately 10 to 35 minutes (0.17 to 0.58 hours) to gather the necessary information, create the document, and submit the completed request, depending upon the type of request and the method of submission (electronic or paper).

    Burden Hours: 101,400.37 hours annually.

    Cost Burden: $42,650,873.51.

    Needs and Uses: This collection of information is required by the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq., which provides for the Federal registration of trademarks, service marks, collective trademarks and service marks, collective membership marks, and certification marks. Individuals and businesses that use or intend to use such marks in commerce may file an application to register their marks with the USPTO. Such individuals and businesses may also submit various communications to the USPTO, including providing additional information needed to process a request to delete a particular filing basis from an application or to divide an application identifying multiple goods and/or services into two or more separate applications. Applicants may seek a six-month extension of time to file a statement that the mark is in use in commerce or submit a petition to revive an application that abandoned for failure to submit a timely response to an Office action or a timely statement of use or extension request. In some circumstances, an applicant may expressly abandon an application by filing a written request for withdrawal of the application. The rules implementing the Trademark Act are set forth in 37 CFR part 2. The forms in this collection are available in electronic format through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

    The information in this collection is a matter of public record and is used by the public for a variety of private business purposes related to establishing and enforcing trademark rights. The information is available at USPTO facilities and can also be accessed at the USPTO Web site.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits; not-for-profit institutions; individuals.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected].

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information can be obtained by:

    Email: [email protected]. Include “0651-0054 copy request” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before November 17, 2017 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Marcie Lovett, Records and Information Governance Division Director, OCTO, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22620 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in OMB within 30 days of this notice's publication by either of the following methods. Please identify the comments by “OMB Control No. 3038-0059.”

    By email addressed to: [email protected]; or

    By mail addressed to: the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

    A copy of all comments submitted to OIRA should be sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) by either of the following methods. The copies should refer to “OMB Control No. 3038-0059.”

    By submission through the Commission's Web site: http://comments.cftc.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site;

    By mail addressed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; or

    By hand delivery/courier to: The address listed above for submission by mail.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed herein may be obtained by visiting http://RegInfo.gov.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1 The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the ICR will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    1 17 CFR 145.9.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Steinberg, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, phone: 202-418-5102, fax: 202-418-5527, email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0059.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Part 41 Relating to Security Futures Products (OMB Control No. 3038-0059). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Section 4d(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), 7 U.S.C. 6d(c), requires the CFTC to consult with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and issue such rules, regulations, or orders as are necessary to avoid duplicative or conflicting regulations applicable to firms that are fully registered with the SEC as brokers or dealers and the CFTC as futures commission merchants involving provisions of the CEA that pertain to the treatment of customer funds. The CFTC, jointly with the SEC, issued regulations requiring such dually-registered firms to make choices as to how its customers' transactions in security futures products will be treated, either as securities transactions held in a securities account or as futures transactions held in a futures account. How an account is treated is important in the unlikely event of the insolvency of the firm. Only securities accounts receive insurance protection under provisions of the Securities Investor Protection Act. By contrast, only futures accounts are subject to the protections provided by the segregation requirements of the CEA.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the CFTC's regulations were published on December 30, 1981. See 46 FR 63035 (Dec. 30, 1981). The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on August 4, 2017 (82 FR 36384). The Commission did not receive any comments specifically addressing the 60-Day Notice.

    Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to average 1.57 hours per response. These estimates include the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: 44.

    Estimated number of responses: 943.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,482 hours.

    Frequency of collection: On occasion.

    There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22608 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION Consumer Advisory Board Meeting AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), this notice sets forth the announcement of a public meeting of the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB or Board) of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB or Bureau). The notice also describes the functions of the Board.

    DATES:

    The meeting date is Thursday, November 2, 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. eastern standard time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting location is the Hilton Tampa Downtown, 211 North Tampa Street, Tampa, FL 33602.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Crystal Dully, Outreach and Engagement Associate, 202-435-9588, [email protected], Consumer Advisory Board and Councils Office, External Affairs, 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Section 3 of the Charter of the Consumer Advisory Board states that:

    The purpose of the Board is outlined in section 1014(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, which states that the Board shall “advise and consult with the Bureau in the exercise of its functions under the Federal consumer financial laws” and “provide information on emerging practices in the consumer financial products or services industry, including regional trends, concerns, and other relevant information.” To carry out the Board's purpose, the scope of its activities shall include providing information, analysis, and recommendations to the Bureau. The Board will generally serve as a vehicle for market intelligence and expertise for the Bureau. Its objectives will include identifying and assessing the impact on consumers and other market participants of new, emerging, and changing products, practices, or services.

    II. Agenda

    The Consumer Advisory Board will discuss Know Before You Owe: Reverse Mortgages, financial well-being, trends and themes, and payday, vehicle title, and certain high-cost installment loans.

    Written comments will be accepted from interested members of the public and should be sent to [email protected], a minimum of seven (7) days in advance of the meeting. The comments will be provided to the CAB members for consideration. There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the meeting. Persons who need a reasonable accommodation to participate should contact [email protected], 202-435-9EEO, 1-855-233-0362, or 202-435-9742 (TTY) at least ten business days prior to the meeting or event to request assistance. The request must identify the date, time, location, and title of the meeting or event, the nature of the assistance requested, and contact information for the requester. CFPB will strive to provide, but cannot guarantee that accommodation will be provided for late requests.

    Individuals who wish to attend the Consumer Advisory Board meeting must RSVP to [email protected] by noon, November 1, 2017. Members of the public must RSVP by the due date and must include “CAB” in the subject line of the RSVP.

    III. Availability

    The Board's agenda will be made available to the public on October 18, 2017, via www.consumerfinance.gov. Individuals should express in their RSVP if they require a paper copy of the agenda.

    A recording and transcript of this meeting will be available after the meeting on the CFPB's Web site www.consumerfinance.gov.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Leandra English, Chief of Staff, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22629 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting Notice TIME AND DATE:

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    PLACE:

    Hearing Room 420, Bethesda Towers, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD.

    STATUS:

    Commission Meeting—Open to the Public.

    MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Decisional Matter: Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Plan.

    A live webcast of the Meeting can be viewed at https://www.cpsc.gov/live.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Rockelle Hammond, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, (301) 504-7923.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Alberta E. Mills, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22661 Filed 10-16-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Request To Transfer a Segal Education Award Amount, Accept/Decline Award Transfer Form, Request To Revoke Transfer of Education Award Form, and Rescind Acceptance of Award Transfer Form AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

    Currently, CNCS is soliciting comments concerning its proposed renewal of the Award Transfer forms: Request to Transfer a Segal Education Award Amount, Accept/Decline Award Transfer Form, Request to Revoke Transfer of Education Award Form, and Rescind Acceptance of Award Transfer Form. These forms enable AmeriCorps members and recipients to meet the legal requirements of the award transfer process. Copies of the information collection requests can be obtained by contacting the office listed in the Addresses section of this Notice.

    Copies of this information collection request, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Nahid Jarrett, at 202-606-6753 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    DATES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, by November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of the National Service Trust, Attn: Ms. Nahid Jarrett, Trust Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) Electronically through www.regulations.gov.

    (2) By mail sent to: Corporation for National and Community Service, National Service Trust, Attention: Nahid Jarrett, 250 E. St. SW., Washington, DC 20525.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Current Action

    CNCS seeks to renew the current information. Except to add the categories of stepchild and step grandchild to the list of qualified recipients of the award transfer, only slight formatting and editing changes have been made.

    The information collection will otherwise be used in the same manner as the existing application. CNCS also seeks to continue using the current forms until the revised forms are approved by OMB. The current information collection is due to expire on September 30, 2017.

    Description: AmeriCorps members may offer to transfer all or part of their qualified education awards to certain family members. Provision is made to accept the transfer or not, to rescind acceptance or revoke the transfer. These processes are implemented electronically where possible but paper forms are available if necessary.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: Request to Transfer a Segal Education Award Amount, Accept/Decline Award Transfer Form, Request to Revoke Transfer of Education Award Form, and Rescind Acceptance of Award Transfer Form.

    OMB Number: 3045-0136.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: AmeriCorps members with eligible education awards and qualified recipients.

    Total Respondents: 1420.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Average Time per Response: Averages 5 minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 118.33.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Maggie Taylor-Coates, Director of the Office of the National Service Trust.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22640 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Health Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The DoD is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Defense Health Board will take place.

    DATES:

    Open to the public on Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Open to the public on Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Board Room, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Portsmouth, Virginia 23708 (Pre-meeting screening for installation access and registration required; see guidance in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, “Meeting Accessibility”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    CAPT Juliann Althoff, Medical Corps, US Navy, (703) 681-6653 (Voice), (703) 681-9539 (Facsimile), [email protected] (Email). Mailing address is 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, Virginia 22042. Web site: http://www.health.mil/dhb. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting agenda can be found on the Web site.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.140 and 102-3.150.

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: A copy of the agenda or any updates to the agenda for the November 2, 2017 meeting, will be available at the Defense Health Board's (DHB) Web site, https://health.mil/dhb. Any other materials presented in the meeting may be obtained at the meeting.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The DoD is publishing this notice to announce a Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the DHB. The DHB provides independent advice and recommendations to maximize the safety and quality of, as well as access to, health care for DoD health care beneficiaries. The purpose of the meeting is to receive information briefings on current issues related to military medicine.

    Agenda: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165 and subject to availability of space, the meeting is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on November 2, 2017. The DHB anticipates receiving overview briefings on Navy Medicine East, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, the Tidewater enhanced Multi-Service Market, Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Fleet Health Services, McDonald Army Health Center, the 633rd Medical Group, and Air Combat Command. Any changes to the agenda can be found at the link provided in this SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    Meeting Accessibility: Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis. All members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting must register by emailing their name, rank/title, and organization/company to [email protected] or by contacting Ms. Camille Gaviola at (703) 681-6686 or [email protected] no later than 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, 2017. Additional details will be required from all members of the public not having installation access. Special Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact Ms. Camille Gaviola at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Written Statements: Any member of the public wishing to provide comments to the DHB may do so in accordance with section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140, and the procedures described in this notice. Written statements may be submitted to the DHB Designated Federal Officer (DFO), CAPT Juliann Althoff, at [email protected] and should be no longer than two type-written pages and include the issue, a short discussion, and a recommended course of action. Supporting documentation may also be included, to establish the appropriate historical context and to provide any necessary background information. If the written statement is not received at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting, the DFO may choose to postpone consideration of the statement until the next open meeting. The DFO will review all timely submissions with the DHB President and ensure that they are provided to members of the DHB before the meeting that is subject to this notice. After reviewing the written comments, the President and the DFO may choose to invite the submitter to orally present their issue during an open portion of this meeting or at a future meeting. The DFO, in consultation with the DHB President, may allot time for members of the public to present their issues for review and discussion by the DHB.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22606 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; Visible Welding, LLC AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy; DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant a revocable, nonassignable, exclusive license in the United States to Visible Welding LLC, to practice the Government owned invention described in U.S. Patent No. 9,307,156: LONGWAVE INFRARED IMAGING OF A HIGH TEMPERATURE HIGH INTENSITY LIGHT SOURCE.

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license has fifteen (15) days from the date of this notice to file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Code 00L, 9500 MacArthur Boulevard, West Bethesda, MD 20817-5700.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Teter Ph.D., Director, Technology Transfer Office, Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Code 00T, 9500 MacArthur Boulevard, West Bethesda, MD 20817-5700, telephone 301 227-4299.

    (Authority: 35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404) Dated: October 12, 2017. A.M. Nichols, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22576 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14581-002] Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments; Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, California

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Original Major License.

    b. Project No.: 14581-002.

    c. Date Filed: October 11, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, California.

    e. Name of Project: La Grange Hydropower Project.

    f. Location: The La Grange Project is located on the Tuolumne River in Stanislaus and Tuolumne Counties, California. Portions of the project occupy public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contacts: Steve Boyd, Turlock Irrigation District, 333 East Canal Drive, Turlock, California 95381-0949, (209) 883-8300; and Anna Brathwaite, Modesto Irrigation District, P.O. Box 4060, Modesto, CA 95352, (209) 526-7384.

    i. FERC Contact: Jim Hastreiter at (503) 552-2760 or [email protected]

    j. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    k. The Project Description:

    La Grange Dam and Spillway

    The primary project feature is La Grange dam, a 310-foot-long, 131-foot-high, masonry arch dam. The un-gated spillway crest of the dam is at elevation 296.5 feet mean sea level (msl). A slide gate in the face of La Grange dam can discharge about 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) to the Tuolumne River.

    La Grange Reservoir

    La Grange reservoir extends upstream for approximately 11,352.5 feet at a normal water surface elevation of 296.46 feet msl. The surface of the reservoir at the normal surface elevation is over 58 acres and the storage capacity is over 500 acre-feet.

    Intakes, Tunnels, Forebay, Canal Headgates, Powerhouse Intake

    The Modesto Irrigation District (MID) headworks, canal, and sluice gates are part of MID's retired irrigation canal facilities that currently discharge flow from the reservoir into the Tuolumne River on the right bank about 400 feet downstream of La Grange dam.

    The Turlock Irrigation District (TID) intake and tunnel is located on the left bank of the La Grange dam and spillway just upstream of the dam and consists of two separate structures. One structure contains two 8-foot by 11-foot, 10-inch-high control gates driven by electric motor hoists. The second structure is located to the left of the first structure and contains a single 8-foot by 12-foot control gate. Water diverted at the intake control gates is conveyed to a 600-foot-long tunnel leading to the 110-foot-long concrete forebay for the TID non-project Upper Main Canal. Water delivered to TID's irrigation system is regulated at the non-project canal headworks, consisting of six 5-foot-wide by 8-foot-tall slide gates.

    Water delivered to the powerhouse is diverted at the west side of the canal through three 7.5-foot-wide by 14-foot-tall concrete intake bays protected by a trashrack structure. Manually operated steel gates are used to regulate the discharge of water through two intakes one leading to a 235-foot long, 5-foot-diameter penstock and the other leading to a 212-foot-long, 7-foot-diameter penstock. Immediately upstream and adjacent to the penstock intakes are two automated 5-foot-high by 4-foot-wide sluice gates that discharge water over a steep rock outcrop to the tailrace channel just upstream of the powerhouse.

    Powerhouse

    The 72-foot by 29-foot concrete powerhouse is located approximately 0.2 miles downstream of La Grange dam on the left bank of the Tuolumne River. The powerhouse contains two Francis turbine-generator units with a maximum capacity of 4.9 megawatts. One turbine unit has a rated output of 1,650 horsepower (hp) at 140 cfs and 115 feet of net head and the other with a rated output of 4,950 hp at 440 cfs and 115 feet of net head. The powerhouse produces an average annual generation of 19,638 megawatt-hours.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Procedural Schedule:

    The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Notice of Acceptance/Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis October 2017. Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions, and fishway prescriptions December 2017. Commission issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) July 2018. Comments on Draft EIS September 2018. Modified Terms and Conditions November 2018. Commission Issues Final EIS February 2019.

    o. Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22531 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2685-029] Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests; New York Power Authority

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New Major License.

    b. Project No.: 2685-029.

    c. Date filed: April 27, 2017.

    d. Applicant: New York Power Authority (NYPA).

    e. Name of Project: Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project (Blenheim-Gilboa Project).

    f. Location: The existing project is located on Schoharie Creek, in the Towns of Blenheim and Gilboa in Schoharie County, New York. The project does not affect federal lands.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Robert Daly, Licensing Manager, New York Power Authority, 123 Main Street, White Plains, New York 10601. Telephone: (914) 681-6564, Email: [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Andy Bernick, Telephone (202) 502-8660, and email [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing motions to intervene and protests: 60 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2685-029.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application has been accepted for filing, but is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The existing Blenheim-Gilboa Project consists of the following: (1) A 2.25-mile-long, 30-foot-wide earth and rock fill embankment dike with a maximum height of 110 feet, constructed at Brown Mountain and forming the 399-acre Upper Reservoir (operating at the maximum and extreme minimum elevations of 2,003 feet and 1,955 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 [NGVD 29], respectively) with 15,085 acre-feet of usable storage and dead storage of 3,706 acre-feet below elevation 1,955 feet NGVD 29; (2) a 655-foot-long emergency spillway with a 25-foot-wide asphaltic concrete crest at elevation 2,005 feet NGVD 29 and a capacity of 10,200 cubic feet per second (cfs); (3) an intake system that includes: (i) a 125-foot-wide hexagonal-shaped intake cover with trash racks with a clear spacing of 5.25 inches; (ii) a 1,042-foot-long, 28-foot-diameter, concrete-lined vertical shaft in the bottom of the Upper Reservoir; (iii) a 906-foot-long horizontal, concrete-lined rock tunnel; and (iv) a 460-foot-long concrete-lined manifold that distributes flow to four 12-foot-diameter steel-lined penstocks, each with a maximum length of about 1,960 feet, to four pump-turbines located at the powerhouse; (4) a 526-foot-long, 172-foot-wide, and 132-foot-high multi-level powerhouse located along the east bank of the Lower Reservoir at the base of Brown Mountain, containing four reversible pump turbines that each produce approximately 290 megawatts (MW) in generation mode, and have a total maximum discharge of 12,800 cfs during generation and 10,200 cfs during pumping; (5) a bottom trash rack with a clear spacing of 5.625 inches, and four upper trash racks with a clear spacing of 5.25 inches; (6) an 1,800-foot-long central core, rock-filled lower dam with a maximum height of 100 feet that impounds Schoharie Creek to form the 413-acre Lower Reservoir (operating at the maximum and minimum elevations of 900 feet and 860 feet NGVD 29, respectively) with 12,422 acre-feet of usable storage and dead storage of 3,745 acre-feet below 860 feet NGVD 29; (7) three 38-foot-wide by 45.5-foot-high Taintor gates at the left end of the lower dam; (8) a 425-foot-long, 134-foot-wide concrete spillway structure with a crest elevation of 855 feet NGVD 29; (9) a 238-foot-long, 68.5-foot-deep concrete stilling basin; (10) a low level outlet with four discharge valves of 4, 6, 8, and 10 inches for release of 5 to 25 cfs, and two 36-inch-diameter Howell-Bunger valves to release a combined flow of 25 to 700 cfs; (11) a switchyard on the eastern bank of Schoharie Creek adjacent to the powerhouse; and (12) appurtenant facilities.

    During operation, the Blenheim-Gilboa Project's pump-turbines may be turned on or off several times throughout the day, but the project typically generates electricity during the day when consumer demand is high and other power resources are more expensive. Pumping usually occurs at night and on weekends when there is excess electricity in the system available for use. According to a July 30, 1975, settlement agreement, NYPA releases a minimum flow of 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) during low-flow periods when 1,500 acre-feet of water is in storage, and 7 cfs when less than 1,500 acre-feet is in storage. For the period 2007 through 2016, the project's average annual generation was about 374,854 megawatt-hours (MWh) and average annual energy consumption from pumping was about 540,217 MWh.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room, or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Anyone may submit a protest or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, and .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any protests or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    All filings must: (1) Bear in all capital letters the title PROTEST or MOTION TO INTERVENE; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application.

    o. Procedural Schedule: The application will be processed according to the following revised Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Filing of motions to intervene and protests December 11, 2017. Issuance of Ready for Environmental Analysis notice January 4, 2018. Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions, and preliminary fishway prescriptions March 5, 2018. Reply comments due April 19, 2018. Commission Issues Draft EA September 1, 2018. Comments on Draft EA October 1, 2018. Modified terms and conditions due November 30, 2018. Commission issues Final EA February 28, 2019. Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22534 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IS17-522-000] Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference; Colonial Pipeline Company

    On September 29, 2017, a notice was issued stating that a technical conference will be held to address the effect of the tariff changes proposed by Colonial Pipeline Company in its June 23, 2017 filing in this docket. The technical conference will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., in a room to be designated at the offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    For interested persons who cannot attend the technical conference, a call-in number has been established. Dial in from your phone:

    From within local Wash, DC area 202-502-6888 From outside Local Wash, DC area 1-877-857-1347 Meeting ID: 0255 Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22530 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-1-000] Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization; Texas Gas Transmission, LLC

    Take notice that on October 3, 2017, Texas Gas Transmission, LLC. (Texas Gas), 9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 2800, Houston, Texas 77046, filed a prior notice application pursuant to sections 157.205, 157.216(b) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and Texas Gas's blanket certificate issued in Docket No. CP82-407-000. Texas Gas requests to abandon certain natural gas pipeline assets and ancillary auxiliary facilities and appurtenances located in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, all as more fully set forth in the request, which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The proposed application is referred to as the CBD/DST Pipeline Abandonment Project Application. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Specifically, Texas Gas proposes to (i) abandon in place approximately 4.4 miles and abandon by removal 2.4 miles of 8-inch pipeline designated as the Calliou Bay—Dog Lake (CBD) Pipeline, (ii) abandon in place approximately 10.1 miles and abandon by removal 1.7 miles of 10-inch pipeline designated as the Deep Saline—Peltex (DST) Pipeline, and (iii) abandon by removal two platforms including associated boat landings, tube turns, including risers, meter facilities, associated piping, and other auxiliary appurtenances.

    Any questions regarding this application should be directed to Kathy D. Fort, Manager, Certificates and Tariffs, 9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 2800, Houston, Texas 77046 or phone (713) 479-8033.

    Any person or the Commission's staff may, within 60 days after issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention and pursuant to Section 157.205 of the regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205), a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for filing a protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the allowed time for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding, or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenter will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22535 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Number: PR18-1-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: COH SOC effective 9-28-2017; Filing Type: 980.

    Filed Date: 10/10/17.

    Accession Number: 201710105248.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/17.

    Docket Number: PR18-2-000.

    Applicants: Acacia Natural Gas, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b)(2)+(g): Acacia Natural Gas Petition for Rate Approval to be effective 11/1/2017; Filing Type: 1310.

    Filed Date: 10/10/17.

    Accession Number: 201710105329.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/17.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-27-000.

    Applicants: Empire Pipeline, Inc.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: GT&C 18 and Other Minor Changes to be effective 11/9/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/10/17.

    Accession Number: 20171010-5290.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/23/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 11, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22528 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-53-000] Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization; CXA La Paloma, LLC

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding CXA La Paloma, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is November 1, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22529 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2299-082] Notice of Amended Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments; Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, California

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New Major License.

    b. Project No.: 2299-082.

    c. Date Filed: October 11, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, California.

    e. Name of Project: Don Pedro Hydropower Project.

    f. Location: The Don Pedro Project is located on the Tuolumne River in Tuolumne County, California. Portions of the project occupy public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 79 (a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contacts: Steve Boyd, Turlock Irrigation District, 333 East Canal Drive, Turlock, California 95381-0949, (209) 883-8300; and Anna Brathwaite, Modesto Irrigation District, P.O. Box 4060, Modesto, CA 95352, (209) 526-7384.

    i. FERC Contact: Jim Hastreiter at (503) 552-2760 or [email protected]

    j. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    k. The Project Description:

    Don Pedro Dam and Reservoir

    The primary project feature is Don Pedro Dam, a 1,900-foot-long and 580-foot-high zoned earth and rockfill structure. The top of the dam is at elevation 855 feet mean sea level (msl).

    Don Pedro Reservoir extends upstream for approximately 24 miles at the normal maximum water surface elevation of 830 feet (msl). The surface area of the reservoir at the 830-foot elevation is approximately 12,960 acres and the gross storage capacity is 2,030,000 acre-feet.

    Don Pedro Spillway

    Don Pedro Spillway is divided into two sections, one gated and one ungated, located immediately adjacent to one another in a saddle area west of the main dam. The gated spillway section is 135-feet-long, with a permanent crest elevation of 800 feet, and includes three radial gates each 45 feet wide by 30 feet high. The ungated spillway is an ogee section 995 feet long with a crest elevation of 830 feet msl and a top of abutment elevation of 855 feet msl. The spillway capacity at a reservoir water level of 850 feet msl is 472,500 cubic feet per second (cfs). Flow releases over the ungated ogee-crest section of the spillway have occurred only once since project construction, in early January 1997. Flows at the spillway are released to Gasburg Creek, which in turn flows into Twin Gulch, and then back into the Tuolumne River approximately 1.5 miles downstream of the main dam.

    Outlet Works

    The project facilities include a set of outlet works located at the left (east) abutment of the main dam. The outlet works consist of three individual gate housings, each containing two 4-feet-by-5-feet slide gates. The outlet works are situated in a 3,500-foot-long concrete lined tunnel that originally served as the water diversion tunnel during project construction. The inlet to the tunnel has an invert elevation of 342 feet msl and the outlet, which is located approximately 400 feet downstream of the powerhouse, has an invert of 310 feet. At a reservoir water surface elevation of 830 feet msl, the total hydraulic capacity of the outlet works is 7,500 cfs.

    Power Intake and Tunnel

    Flows are delivered from the reservoir to the powerhouse via a 2,960-foot-long power tunnel located in the left (east) abutment of the main dam. The tunnel transitions from an 18-foot 6-inch concrete-lined section to a 16-foot steel-lined section. Emergency closure can be provided by a 21-foot-high by 12-foot-wide fixed-wheel gate that is operated from a chamber at the top of the gate shaft. Flows from the power tunnel are delivered to the four-unit powerhouse and a hollow-jet control valve in the powerhouse.

    Powerhouse

    Located immediately downstream of the main dam, the Don Pedro powerhouse contains four turbine-generator units and a 72-inch hollow jet valve. The reinforced-concrete powerhouse is 171 feet long, 110 feet high and 148 feet wide. It houses four Francis turbine generator units with a nameplate capacity of 168 megawatts (MW) and a maximum output at optimum conditions of approximately 203 MW. Combined hydraulic capacity of the four units under maximum head is approximately 5,500 cfs.

    The powerhouse also contains a 72-inch hollow jet valve located in the east end of the powerhouse with a centerline elevation at discharge of 299 feet msl. The hydraulic capacity of the hollow jet valve is 3,000 cfs. While turbine Units 1 through 3 discharge directly to the river channel, Unit 4 discharges to the outlet works tunnel approximately 250 feet upstream of the tunnel outlet. Water to Unit 4 is delivered through a bifurcation from the hollow jet valve pipe. With Unit 4 in operation, the hollow-jet valve capacity is reduced from 3,000 cfs to 800 cfs. The powerhouse tailwater during turbine operation varies from a low elevation of about 298 feet msl to a high elevation of about 303 feet msl under normal operating conditions. The tailwater elevation at the outlet works tunnel is approximately 300 feet msl.

    Switchyard

    The project switchyard is located atop the powerhouse at elevation 340 feet msl. The switchyard provides power delivery and electrical protection to the Districts' transmission systems. The switchyard includes isolated phase buses, circuit breakers, and four transformers that raise the 13.8 kilovolt (kV) generator voltage to 69 kV transmission voltage.

    Gasburg Creek Dike

    Don Pedro dam spillway discharges into Gasburg Creek. Gasburg Creek dike is located near the downstream end of the spillway, and directs flows from Gasburg Creek into Twin Gulch where spillway discharges join the Tuolumne River approximately 1.5 miles downstream of the Don Pedro powerhouse. Gasburg Creek dike consists of an impervious earth and rockfill dam approximately 75 feet in height, with a slide-gate controlled 18-inch-diameter conduit. The top of Gasburg Creek dike is at elevation 725 feet msl.

    Dikes A, B, and C

    The project includes three small embankments—Dikes A, B, and C—constructed in low saddles on the reservoir rim with top elevations of 855 feet msl. Dike A is located between the main dam and spillway. Dikes B and C are located east of the main dam.

    Recreation Facilities

    The project has three developed recreation areas, Fleming Meadows, Blue Oaks, and Moccasin Point. Primitive and semi-primitive lakeshore camping occurs on much of the rest of its shores. The project provides both floating and shoreline restrooms in addition to those at the developed recreation areas. Facilities also include hazard marking, regulatory buoy lines, and other open water-based features including houseboat marinas and a marked water-ski slalom course.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Procedural Schedule: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Notice of Acceptance/Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis October 2017. Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions, and fishway prescriptions December 2017. Commission issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) July 2018. Comments on Draft EIS September 2018. Modified Terms and Conditions November 2018. Commission Issues Final EIS February 2019.

    o. Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22533 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC17-186-000.

    Applicants: American Transmission Company LLC.

    Description: Amendment to Application (Exhibit N) for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of American Transmission Company LLC.

    Filed Date: 10/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171011-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-4-000.

    Applicants: Cleco Power LLC, Attala Transmission LLC, Perryville Energy Partners, L.L.C., Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Mississippi, Inc.

    Description: Joint Application for Section 203 Approval of Cleco Power LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 10/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171011-5205.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-5-000.

    Applicants: RE Tranquillity LLC, RE Garland LLC, RE Garland A LLC, RE Mustang LLC, RE Mustang 3 LLC, RE Mustang 4 LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers, Confidential Treatment, Expedited Action and Shortened Comment Period of RE Tranquillity LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 10/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171011-5206.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1069-005; ER12-2381-002; ER10-1484-016.

    Applicants: MP2 Energy LLC, MP2 Energy NE LLC, Shell Energy North America (US), L.P.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of MP2 Energy LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 10/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171011-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF17-1529-000.

    Applicants: DOM Solar Lessor I, LP.

    Description: Refund Report of DOM Solar Lessor I, LP [CMEEC—Bozrah].

    Filed Date: 10/10/17.

    Accession Number: 20171010-5401.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22526 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 1061-098] Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process; Pacific Gas & Electric Company

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application and Request to Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: 1061-098.

    c. Date Filed: August 22, 2017.

    d. Submitted By: Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

    e. Name of Project: Phoenix Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the South Fork Stanislaus River and in the Tuolumne River Basin, in Tuolumne County, California. The project occupies public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 of the Commission's regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Debbie Powell, Sr. Director Power Generation, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, P.O. Box 770000, MCN11D-1138m, San Francisco, CA 94177; (415) 973-8400; email—[email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Jim Hastreiter at (503) 552-2760; or email at [email protected]

    j. Pacific Gas & Electric Company filed its request to use the Traditional Licensing Process on August 22, 2017. Pacific Gas & Electric Company provided public notice of its request on August 22, 2017. In a letter dated October 23, 2017, the Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing approved Pacific Gas & Electric Company's request to use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA Fisheries under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402; and NOAA Fisheries under section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.920. We are also initiating consultation with the California State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historical Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. With this notice, we are designating Pacific Gas & Electric Company as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and consultation pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    m. Pacific Gas & Electric Company filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule) with the Commission, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    n. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov), using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    o. The licensee states its unequivocal intent to submit an application for a new license for Project No. 1061-098. Pursuant to 18 CFR 16.8, 16.9, and 16.10 each application for a new license and any competing license applications must be filed with the Commission at least 24 months prior to the expiration of the existing license. All applications for license for this project must be filed by August 31, 2020.

    p. Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22532 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-3-000.

    Applicants: La Paloma Generating Company, LLC, CXA La Paloma, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Request for Waivers, and Request for Expedited Action of La Paloma Generating Company, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 10/10/17.

    Accession Number: 20171010-5368.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER18-22-001.

    Applicants: PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: PPL submits amendment to the Att. H-8G revisions filed in Docket No. ER18-22 to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5091.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-53-000.

    Applicants: CXA La Paloma, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Market Based Rate Application to be effective 10/11/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/10/17.

    Accession Number: 20171010-5314.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/31/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-59-000.

    Applicants: Raven Power Marketing LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation to be effective 10/13/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5061.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-60-000.

    Applicants: Sapphire Power Marketing LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation to be effective 10/13/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5062.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-61-000.

    Applicants: Portland General Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Att K Revision Filing to be effective 12/12/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5063.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-62-000.

    Applicants: MATL LLP.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Removal of Interconnection-wide Transmission Planning Process to be effective 12/12/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-63-000.

    Applicants: Idaho Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Attachment K-2017 NTTG Updates to be effective 12/12/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5074.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-64-000.

    Applicants: Northern Indiana Public Service Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: NIPSCO submits Interconnection Agreement SA No. 4247 to be effective 7/19/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5075.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-65-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Wholesale Market Participation Agreement No. 4812; Queue W4-036 to be effective 9/26/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-66-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: OATT Revised Attachment K ? Eliminate I/C Wide Planning Process to be effective 12/12/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5100.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-67-000.

    Applicants: Portland General Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: NTTG Revised Funding Agreement to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES18-3-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Application under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act for Authorization to Issue Securities of PacifiCorp.

    Filed Date: 10/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171012-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/2/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22527 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0566; FRL-9969-74-OAR] Extension of Comment Period on Draft Documents Related to the Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Oxides AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a 30-day extension of the comment period on two draft documents titled, Risk and Exposure Assessment for the Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Oxides, External Review Draft (draft REA) and Policy Assessment for the Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Oxides, External Review Draft (draft PA). The EPA is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days to provide stakeholders and the public with additional time to review these documents and to prepare meaningful comments. The original comment period was to end on October 18, 2017. The extended comment period will now close on November 17, 2017.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the document published in the Federal Register on September 19, 2017 (82 FR 43756) is extended. Comments must be received on or before November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0566, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, Cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. The draft REA and draft PA are available via the Internet at https://www.epa.gov/naaqs/sulfur-dioxide-so2-primary-air-quality-standards.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Nicole Hagan, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (Mail Code C504-06), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-3153; fax number: (919) 541-5315; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for the EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through http://regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 2.

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

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

    • Follow directions. The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a CFR part or section number.

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

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

    • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

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

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Information Specific to the Documents

    Two sections of the Clean Air Act (CAA) govern the establishment and revision of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Section 108 (42 U.S.C. 7408) directs the Administrator to identify and list certain air pollutants and then to issue air quality criteria for those pollutants. The Administrator is to list those air pollutants that in his “judgment, cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare”; “the presence of which in the ambient air results from numerous or diverse mobile or stationary sources”; and “for which . . . [the Administrator] plans to issue air quality criteria . . .” (42 U.S.C. 7408(a)(1)(A)-(C)). Air quality criteria are intended to “accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of all identifiable effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in the ambient air . . .” (42 U.S.C. 7408(a)(2)). Under section 109 (42 U.S.C. 7409), the EPA establishes primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS for pollutants for which air quality criteria are issued. Section 109(d) requires periodic review and, if appropriate, revision of existing air quality criteria. The revised air quality criteria reflect advances in scientific knowledge on the effects of the pollutant on public health or welfare. The EPA is also required to periodically review and revise the NAAQS, if appropriate, based on the revised criteria. Section 109(d)(2) requires that an independent scientific review committee “shall complete a review of the criteria . . . and the national primary and secondary ambient air quality standards . . . and shall recommend to the Administrator any new . . . standards and revisions of the existing criteria and standards as may be appropriate . . . .” Since the early 1980s, this independent review function has been performed by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC).

    Presently, the EPA is reviewing the air quality criteria and primary NAAQS for sulfur oxides.1 The EPA's overall plan for this review is presented in the Integrated Review Plan for the Primary NAAQS for Sulfur Dioxide (IRP). The EPA is currently working to finalize the Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides—Health Criteria (ISA), the second draft of which was reviewed by the CASAC at a public meeting in March 2017 (82 FR 11449). The Risk and Exposure Assessment Planning Document for the Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Sulfur Oxides (REA Planning Document) was also reviewed by the CASAC at this meeting (82 FR 11449). The draft REA and draft PA, which build on information presented in these documents, were the subject of review by the CASAC at a public meeting on September 18-19, 2017 (82 FR 37213). The EPA will consider comments received from the CASAC and the public in preparing revisions to these documents. The draft REA and PA documents, and other documents in this review, referenced above, are available on the EPA's Technology Transfer Network Web site at https://www.epa.gov/naaqs/sulfur-dioxide-so2-primary-air-quality-standards.

    1 The indicator for the current standard is sulfur dioxide.

    The notice of availability for the draft REA and draft PA was originally published on September 19, 2017, with the public comment period closing on October 18, 2017 (82 FR 43756). We received a request from a member of the public to extend the comment period by 30 days. After considering this request, we are extending the comment period and, as described above, it will now close on November 17, 2017.

    Dated: October 11, 2017. Stephen Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22678 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0812] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before November 17, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0812.

    Title: Regulatory Fee True-Up, Waiver or Exemption.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection. Respondents: Business or other for-profit and Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 19,674 respondents and 19,774 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 hours-1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: Annual, on occasion and one-time reporting requirements; recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 158 and 47 U.S.C. 159, Sections 4(i), 4(j) 8, 9, and 303(r) of the Communications Act, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 10,016 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No Cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Licensees or regulatees concerned about disclosure of sensitive information in any submissions to the Commission may request confidential treatment pursuant to 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after this 60-day comment period in order to obtain the full three-year clearance from them.

    This information collection consolidates and revises the currently approved information collection requirements under OMB Control Numbers 3060-0655 and 3060-1064 into 3060-0812.

    The Commission provides broadcast licensees and commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) licensees with a “true-up” opportunity to update or otherwise correct their assessed fee amounts well before the actual due date for payment of regulatory fees. Providing a “true-up” opportunity is necessary because the data sources that are used to generate the fee assessments are subject to change at time of transfer or assignment of the license. The “true-up” is also an opportunity for regulatees to correct inaccuracies.

    Per 47 CFR 1.1119 and 1.1166, the FCC may, upon a properly submitted written request, waive or defer collection of an application fee or waive, reduce, or defer payment of a regulatory fee in a specific instance for good cause shown where such action would promote the public interest. When submitting the request, no specific form is required.

    FCC requires that when licensees or regulates request exemption from regulatory fees based on their non-profit status, they must file a one-time documentation sufficient to establish their non-profit status. The documentation may take the form of an IRS Determination Letter, a state charter indicating non-profit status, proof of church affiliation indicating tax exempt status, etc.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22636 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0512] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before December 18, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0512.

    Title: ARMIS Annual Summary Report.

    Form Number: FCC Report 43-01.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 93 respondents; 93 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 219 and 220 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 744 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Ordinarily questions of a sensitive nature are not involved in the ARMIS Report 43-01. The Commission contends that areas in which detailed information is required are fully subject to regulation and the issue of data being regarded as sensitive will arise in special circumstances only. In such circumstances, respondents may request materials or information submitted to the Commission be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Needs and Uses: The information contained in FCC Report 43-01 helps the Commission fulfill its regulatory responsibilities regarding pole attachment rates. The Commission has granted all carriers forbearance from ARMIS 43-01 with the exception that carriers are still required to file pole attachment cost data. These data are required to allow the Commission to fulfill its responsibilities under Section 224 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22634 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1030] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before December 18, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the PRA of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the FCC invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1030.

    Title: Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; state, local, or tribal government; Federal Government and not for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 254 respondents; 7,798 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 to 5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual, semi-annual, one time, and on occasion reporting requirements, recordkeeping requirement, third-party disclosure requirements, and every ten years reporting requirements.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 201, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, and 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 6003, 6004, and 6401 of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 201, 301, 302(a), 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, 333, 1403, 1404, and 1451.

    Total Annual Burden: 14,358 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $767,785.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) to obtain the full three-year clearance. The Commission has not changed the reporting, recordkeeping and/or third-party disclosure requirements. We are adjusting estimates of the currently approved information collection to more accurately reflect our current estimates by decreasing some estimates and adding estimates for previously reported, periodic collections that will be active during the three-year approval period.

    The currently approved information collections under Control No. 3060-1030 relate to three groups of Advanced Wireless Service (“AWS”) spectrum, commonly referred to as AWS-1, AWS-3, and AWS-4. The FCC's policies and rules apply to application, licensing, operating and technical rules for this spectrum. The respondents are AWS licensees, incumbent Fixed Microwave Service (FS) and Broadband Radio Service (BRS) licensees that relocate out of the AWS bands, and AWS Clearinghouses that keep track of cost sharing obligations. AWS licensees also have coordination requirements with certain Federal Government incumbents.

    The information collection requirements are used by incumbent licensees and new entrants to negotiate relocation agreements and to coordinate operations to avoid interference. The information also will be used by the clearinghouses to maintain a national database, determine reimbursement obligations of entrants pursuant to the Commission's rules, and notify such entrants of their reimbursement obligations. Additionally, the information will be used to facilitate dispute resolution and for FCC oversight of the clearinghouses and the cost-sharing plan.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22633 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-XXXX and 3060-0761] Information Collections Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before November 17, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

    Title: Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology, CG Docket No. 16-145 and GN Docket No. 15-178.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: New collection.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 967 respondents; 5,557 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.2 hours (12 minutes) to 60 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual, ongoing, one-time, and semiannual reporting requirements; recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefit. The statutory authority can be found at sections 4(i), 225, 255, 301, 303(r), 316, 403, 715, and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and section 106 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 225, 255, 301, 303(r), 316, 403, 615c, 616, 617; Public Law 111-260, 106, 124 Stat. 2751, 2763 (2010).

    Total Annual Burden: 127,360 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: This information collection does not affect individuals or households; therefore, the Privacy Act is not impacted.

    Needs and Uses: TTY technology provides the primary means for people with disabilities to send and receive text communications over the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Changes to communications networks, particularly ongoing technology transitions from circuit switched to IP-based networks and from copper to wireless and fiber infrastructure, have affected the quality and utility of TTY technology, prompting discussions on transitioning to an alternative advanced communications technology for text communications. Accordingly, on December 16, 2016, the Commission released Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology, Report and Order, document FCC 16-169, 82 FR 7699, January 23, 2017, amending its rules that govern the obligations of wireless service providers and manufacturers to support TTY technology to permit such providers and manufacturers to provide support for real-time text (RTT) over wireless IP-based networks to facilitate an effective and seamless transition to RTT in lieu of continuing to support TTY technology.

    In document FCC 16-169, the Commission adopted measures requiring the following:

    (a) Each wireless provider and manufacturer that voluntarily transitions from TTY technology to RTT over wireless IP-based networks and services is encouraged to develop consumer and education efforts that include (1) the development and dissemination of educational materials that contain information pertinent to the nature, purpose, and timelines of the RTT transition; (2) Internet postings, in an accessible format, of information about the TTY to RTT transition on the Web sites of covered entities; (3) the creation of a telephone hotline and an online interactive and accessible service that can answer consumer questions about RTT; and (4) appropriate training of staff to effectively respond to consumer questions. All consumer outreach and education should be provided in accessible formats including, but not limited to, large print, Braille, videos in American Sign Language and that are captioned and video described, emails to consumers who have opted to receive notices in this manner, and printed materials. Service providers and manufacturers are also encouraged to coordinate with consumer, public safety, and industry stakeholders to develop and distribute education and outreach materials. The information will inform consumers of alternative accessible technology available to replace TTY technology that may no longer be available to the consumer through their provider or on their device.

    (b) Each wireless provider that requested or will request and receives a waiver of the requirement to support TTY technology over wireless IP-based networks and services must apprise their customers, through effective and accessible channels of communication, that (1) until TTY is sunset, TTY technology will not be supported for calls to 911 services over IP-based wireless services, and (2) there are alternative PSTN-based and IP-based accessibility solutions for people with disabilities to reach 911 services. These notices must be developed in coordination with PSAPs and national consumer organizations, and include a listing of text-based alternatives to 911, including, but not limited to, TTY capability over the PSTN, various forms of PSTN-based and IP-based TRS, and text-to-911 (where available). The notices will inform consumers on the loss of the use of TTY for completing 911 calls over the provider's network and alert them to alternatives service for which TTY may be used.

    (c) Once every six months, each wireless provider that requests and receives a waiver of the requirement to support TTY technology must file a report with the Commission and inform its customers regarding its progress toward and the status of the availability of new IP-based accessibility solutions. Such reports must include (1) information on the interoperability of the provider's selected accessibility solution with the technologies deployed or to be deployed by other carriers and service providers, (2) the backward compatibility of such solution with TTYs, (3) a showing of the provider's efforts to ensure delivery of 911 calls to the appropriate PSAP, (4) a description of any obstacles incurred towards achieving interoperability and steps taken to overcome such obstacles, and (5) an estimated timetable for the deployment of accessibility solutions. The information will inform consumers of the progress towards the availability of alternative accessible means to replace TTY, and the Commission will be able to evaluate the reports to determine if any changes to the waivers are warranted or of any impediments to progress that it may be in a position to resolve.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0761.

    Title: Section 79.1, Closed Captioning of Video Programming, CG Docket No. 05-231.

    Form No.: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Individuals or households; and Not-for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 59,995 respondents; 512,831 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 (15 minutes) to 60 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual reporting requirements; Third party disclosure requirement; Recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this obligation is found at section 713 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 613, and implemented at 47 CFR 79.1.

    Total Annual Burden: 702,562 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $35,638,596.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Confidentiality is an issue to the extent that individuals and households provide personally identifiable information, which is covered under the FCC's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-1, “Informal Complaints, Inquiries, and Requests for Dispute Assistance.” As required by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Commission also published a SORN, FCC/CGB-1 “Informal Complaints, Inquiries, and Requests for Dispute Assistance” in the Federal Register on August 15, 2014, published at 79 FR 48152, which became effective on September 24, 2014.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission seeks to extend existing information collection requirements in its closed captioning rules (47 CFR 79.1), which require that, with some exceptions, all new video programming, and 75 percent of “pre-rule” programming, be closed captioned. The existing collections include petitions by video programming providers, producers, and owners for exemptions from the closed captioning rules, responses by commenters, and replies; complaints by viewers alleging violations of the closed captioning rules, responses by video programming distributors (VPDs) and video programmers, recordkeeping in support of complaint responses, and compliance ladder obligations in the event of a pattern or trend of violations; records of monitoring and maintenance activities; caption quality best practices procedures; making video programming distributor contact information available to viewers in phone directories, on the Commission's Web site and the Web sites of video programming distributors (if they have them), and in billing statements (to the extent video programming distributors issue them); and video programmers filing contact information and compliance certifications with the Commission.

    On February 19, 2016, the Commission adopted the Closed Captioning Quality Second Report and Order, published at 81 FR 57473, August 23, 2016, amending its rules to allocate the responsibilities of VPDs and video programmers with respect to the provision and quality of closed captioning. The Commission took the following actions, among others:

    (a) Required video programmers to file certifications with the Commission that (1) the video programmer (i) is in compliance with the rules requiring the inclusion of closed captions, and (ii) either is in compliance with the captioning quality standards or has adopted and is following related Best Practices; or (2) is exempt from the captioning obligation and specifies the exemption claimed.

    (b) Revised the procedures for receiving, serving, and addressing television closed captioning complaints in accordance with a burden-shifting compliance model.

    (c) Established a compliance ladder for the Commission's television closed captioning quality requirements.

    (d) Required VPDs to use the Commission's web form when providing contact information to the VPD registry.

    (e) Required video programmers to register their contact information with the Commission for the receipt and handling of written closed captioning complaints.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22632 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10445—Putnam State Bank, Palatka, Florida

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver for Putnam State Bank, Palatka, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of Putnam State Bank on June 15, 2012. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22548 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreement Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreement under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreement to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. A copy of the agreement is available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 011383-048.

    Title: Venezuelan Discussion Agreement.

    Parties: Hamburg-Süd; King Ocean Services Limited, Inc.; and Seaboard Marine Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Conner; 1200 19th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes Seafreight Line, Ltd. as a party to the Agreement.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. JoAnne D. O'Bryant, Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22624 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than November 3, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Kathryn Haney, Director of Applications) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. SSX2, LLC, Tallahassee, Florida; to be added to the Smith family control group, which controls Capital City Bank Group, Inc., and its subsidiary, Capital City Bank, both of Tallahassee, Florida.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, October 13, 2017. Michele Taylor Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22621 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10054 and CMS-10106] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number___, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10054 New Technology Payments for APCs Under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System CMS-10106 Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Reinstatement without change of a previously approved collection; Title of Information Collection: New Technology Payments for APCs Under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System; Use: CMS needs to keep pace with emerging new technologies and make them accessible to Medicare beneficiaries in a timely manner. It is necessary that we continue to collect appropriate information from interested parties such as hospitals, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and others that bring to our attention specific services that they wish us to evaluate for New Technology APC payment. We are making no changes to the information that we collect. The information that we seek to continue to collect is necessary to determine whether certain new services are eligible for payment in New Technology APCs, to determine appropriate coding and to set an appropriate 4 payment rate for the new technology service. The intent of these provisions is to ensure timely beneficiary access to new and appropriate technologies Form Number: CMS-10054 (OMB control number: 0938-0860); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Private Sector; Business or Other for-profits; Number of Respondents: 10; Total Annual Responses: 10; Total Annual Hours: 160. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Joshua McFeeters at 410-786-9732).

    2. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information; Use: Unless permitted or required by law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule (§ 164.508) prohibits Medicare (a HIPAA covered entity) from disclosing an individual's protected health information without a valid authorization. In order to be valid, an authorization must include specified core elements and statements. Medicare will make available to Medicare beneficiaries a standard, valid authorization to enable beneficiaries to request the disclosure of their protected health information. This standard authorization will simplify the process of requesting information disclosure for beneficiaries and minimize the response time for Medicare. Form CMS-10106, the Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information, will be used by Medicare beneficiaries to authorize Medicare to disclose their protected health information to a third party. Form Number: CMS-10106 (OMB control number: 0938-0930); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Individuals or Households; Number of Respondents: 2,200,000; Total Annual Responses: 2,200,000; Total Annual Hours: 550,000. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Sam Jenkins at 410-786-3261.)

    Dated: October 13, 2017. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22630 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families [OMB No.: 0970-0426] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP), Annual Progress and Services Review (APSR), and Annual Budget Expenses Request and Estimated Expenditures (CFS-101)

    Description: Under title IV-B, subparts 1 and 2, of the Social Security Act (the Act), States, Territories, and Tribes are required to submit a Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP). The CFSP lays the groundwork for a system of coordinated, integrated, and culturally relevant family services for the subsequent five years (45 CFR 1357.15(a)(1)). The CFSP outlines initiatives and activities the State, Territory, and Tribes will carry out in administering programs and services to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families, including, as applicable, those activities conducted under the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (Section 477 of the Act) and the State grant authorized by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. By June 30 of each year, States, Territories, and Tribes are also required to submit an Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) and a financial report called the CFS-101. The APSR is a yearly report that discusses progress made by a State, Territory or Tribe in accomplishing the goals and objectives cited in its CFSP (45 CFR 1357.16(a)). The APSR contains new and updated information about service needs and organizational capacities throughout the five-year plan period. The CFS-101 has three parts. Part I is an annual budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. Part II includes a summary of planned expenditures by program area for the upcoming fiscal year, the estimated number of individuals or families to be served, and the geographical service area. Part III includes actual expenditures by program area, numbers of families and individuals served by program area, and the geographic areas served for the last complete fiscal year.

    Respondents: States, Territories, and Tribes must complete the CFSP, APSR, and CFS-101. States and Territories must also report data annually on caseworker visits with children in foster care. Tribes are exempted from the caseworker visits reporting requirement of the CFSP/APSR. There are approximately 189 Tribal entities that currently receive IV-B funding. There are 53 States (including Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) that must complete the CFSP, APSR, and CFS-101. There are a total of 242 possible respondents.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    APSR 242 1 80 19,360 CFSP 48.4 1 120.25 5,820.10 CFS-101, Parts I, II, and III 242 1 5 1,210 Caseworker Visits 53 1 99.33 5,264.49

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 31,654.59.

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20201, Attn: Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Mary Jones, ACF/OPRE Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22519 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-1003] Center for Devices and Radiological Health: Experiential Learning Program AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH or Center) is announcing the 2018 Experiential Learning Program (ELP). This training is intended to provide CDRH and other FDA staff with an opportunity to understand laboratory practices, quality system management, patient perspective/input, and challenges that impact the medical device development life cycle. The purpose of this document is to invite medical device industry, academia, and health care facilities, and others to participate in this formal training program for CDRH and other FDA staff, or to contact CDRH for more information regarding the ELP.

    DATES:

    Submit electronic proposals for participation in the ELP within the dates provided at the ELP Web site at: https://www.fda.gov/scienceresearch/sciencecareeropportunities/ucm380676.htm.

    ADDRESSES:

    For access to the docket to read background documents, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christian Hussong, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 5261, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-2246, [email protected] or ELP Management, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    CDRH is responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medical devices marketed in the United States. Additionally, CDRH assures patients and providers have timely and continued access to high-quality, safe, and effective medical devices. Since CDRH has identified Partnering with Patients and Promoting a Culture of Quality and Organizational Excellence as strategic priorities, for the 2018 ELP, our goal is to specifically understand the perspective of our stakeholders and understand implementation of these topics within their institutions. The Center encourages applicants to consider including opportunities to discuss patient perspective and incorporating quality system design and management in their proposals as they contribute to the success of the device development life cycle.

    CDRH is committed to advancing regulatory science, providing industry with predictable, consistent, transparent, and efficient regulatory pathways, and helping to ensure consumer confidence in medical devices marketed in the United States and throughout the world. The ELP is intended to provide CDRH and other FDA staff with an opportunity to understand the laboratory and manufacturing practices, quality system management, patient perspective/input, and other challenges and how they impact the medical device development life cycle. ELP is a collaborative effort to enhance communication with our stakeholders to facilitate medical device reviews. The Center is committed to understanding current industry practices, innovative technologies, regulatory impacts and needs, and how patient perspective and quality systems management advances the development and evaluation of medical devices, and to monitor the performance of marketed devices.

    These formal training visits are not intended for FDA to inspect, assess, judge, or perform a regulatory function (e.g., compliance inspection), but rather, they are an opportunity to provide CDRH and other FDA staff a better understanding of the products they review, how they are developed, the voice of the patient, challenges related to quality systems development and management in the product life cycle, and how medical devices fit into the larger health care system. CDRH is formally requesting participation from industry, academia, and clinical facilities, medical device incubators and accelerators, health technology assessment groups, and those that have previously participated in the ELP or other FDA site visit programs.

    Additional information regarding the CDRH ELP, including the table of areas of interest, submission dates, a sample request, and an example of the site visit agenda, is available on CDRH's Web site at: https://www.fda.gov/scienceresearch/sciencecareeropportunities/ucm380676.htm.

    II. CDRH ELP A. Areas of Interest

    In the ELP training program, groups of CDRH and other FDA staff will observe operations in the areas of research, device development, in making coverage decisions and assessments, incorporating patient information and reimbursement, manufacturing, and health care facilities. The areas of interest for visits include various topics identified by managers at CDRH and other areas within FDA. These areas of interest are listed on the ELP Web site and are intended to be updated quarterly.

    To submit a proposal addressing one of the Center's training needs, visit the link for the table of areas of interest at: https://www.fda.gov/ScienceResearch/ScienceCareerOpportunities/UCM380676.htm. Once you have determined an area of interest to address in your ELP proposal, follow the instructions in section III to complete the site visit request template and agenda provided at: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/ScienceResearch/ScienceCareerOpportunities/UCM392988.pdf and at: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/ScienceResearch/ScienceCareerOpportunities/UCM487190.pdf.

    Submit all proposals at [email protected] within the dates provided at the ELP Web site at: https://www.fda.gov/scienceresearch/sciencecareeropportunities/ucm380676.htm.

    B. Site Selection

    CDRH and FDA will be responsible for its own staff travel expenses associated with the site visits. CDRH and FDA will not provide funds to support the training provided by the site to the ELP. Selection of potential facilities will be based on CDRH and FDA's priorities for staff training and resources available to fund this program. In addition to logistical and other resource factors, all sites must have a successful compliance record with FDA or another Agency with which FDA has a memorandum of understanding (if applicable). If a site visit involves a visit to a separate physical location of another firm under contract with the site, that firm must agree to participate in the ELP and must also have a satisfactory compliance history, and must be listed in the proposal along with a Facility Establishment Identifier number, if applicable.

    III. Request To Participate

    Information regarding the CDRH ELP, including a sample request and an example of a site visit agenda, and submission dates is available on CDRH's Web site at: https://www.fda.gov/scienceresearch/sciencecareeropportunities/ucm380676.htm. Proposals to participate should be submitted to [email protected], within the dates provided, at the ELP Web site at https://www.fda.gov/scienceresearch/sciencecareeropportunities/ucm380676.htm.

    Dated: October 13, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-22626 Filed 10-17-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-5569] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Medical Devices; Device Tracking AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on information collection requirements for the tracking of medical devices.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before December 18, 2017. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of December 18, 2017. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2017-N-5569 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Medical Devices; Device Tracking.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Sanford, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A63, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-8867, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Medical Devices; Device Tracking—21 CFR Part 821 OMB Control Number 0910-0442—Extension

    Section 211 of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (FDAMA) (Pub. L. 105-115) became effective on February 19, 1998. FDAMA amended the previous medical device tracking provisions under section 519(e)(1) and (2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360i(e)(1) and (2)) that were added by the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990 (SMDA) (Pub. L. 101-629). Unlike the tracking provisions under SMDA, which required tracking of any medical device meeting certain criteria, FDAMA allows FDA discretion in applying tracking provisions to medical devices meeting certain criteria and provides that tracking requirements for medical devices can be imposed only after FDA issues an order. In the Federal Register of February 8, 2002 (67 FR 5943), FDA issued a final rule that conformed existing tracking regulations to changes in tracking provisions effected by FDAMA under part 821 (21 CFR part 821).

    Section 519(e)(1) of the FD&C Act, as amended by FDAMA, provides that FDA may require by order that a manufacturer adopt a method for tracking a class II or III medical device, if the device meets one of the three following criteria: (1) The failure of the device would be reasonably likely to have serious adverse health consequences, (2) the device is intended to be implanted in the human body for more than 1 year (referred to as a “tracked implant”), or (3) the device is life-sustaining or life-supporting (referred to as a “tracked l/s-l/s device”) and is used outside a device user facility.

    Tracked device information is collected to facilitate identifying the current location of medical devices and patients possessing those devices, to the extent that patients permit the collection of identifying information. Manufacturers and FDA (where necessary) use the data to: (1) Expedite the recall of distributed medical devices that are dangerous or defective and (2) facilitate the timely notification of patients or licensed practitioners of the risks associated with the medical device.

    In addition, the regulations include provisions for: (1) Exemptions and variances; (2) system and content requirements for tracking; (3) obligations of persons other than device manufacturers, e.g., distributors; (4) records and inspection requirements; (5) confidentiality; and (6) record retention requirements.

    Respondents for this collection of information are medical device manufacturers, importers, and distributors of tracked implants or tracked l/s-l/s devices used outside a device user facility. Distributors include m