Federal Register Vol. 82, No.210,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 210 (November 1, 2017)

Page Range50491-50797
FR Document

82_FR_210
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 50580 - Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Texas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation PlanPDF
82 FR 50523 - Procedures To Adjust Customs COBRA User Fees To Reflect InflationPDF
82 FR 50659 - COBRA Fees To Be Adjusted for Inflation in Fiscal Year 2018 CBP Dec. 17-17PDF
82 FR 50578 - Safety Zone; Illinois River, Beardstown, ILPDF
82 FR 50649 - FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel; Notice of Public Meeting for the Clarification of Charge Questions on Alternate High-Throughput Screens To Determine Endocrine DisruptionPDF
82 FR 50652 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Minority HealthPDF
82 FR 50653 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 50654 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 50653 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 50613 - Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC) Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 50638 - Meeting of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of VisitorsPDF
82 FR 50626 - Notice of Localization and Tracking System Testing ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 50611 - Black Hills National Forest Advisory BoardPDF
82 FR 50580 - Report Prepared Pursuant to Executive Order 13783-Promoting Energy Independence and Economic GrowthPDF
82 FR 50666 - Notice of Intent To Amend Land Use Plans Regarding Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Prepare Associated Environmental Impact Statements or Environmental Assessments; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 50609 - Newspapers for Publication of Legal Notices in the Eastern RegionPDF
82 FR 50666 - 2017 Second National Call for Nominations for Resource Advisory Councils and Other BLM Land Management Advisory CommitteesPDF
82 FR 50650 - Notice of Issuance of Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS) 53, Budget and Accrual ReconciliationPDF
82 FR 50662 - Louisiana; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 50661 - Georgia; Amendment No. 6 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 50678 - Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From China and Taiwan; DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 50728 - Department of State Performance Review Board MembersPDF
82 FR 50667 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, OKPDF
82 FR 50675 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Human Remains Repository, Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WYPDF
82 FR 50727 - Review of the Designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization of Haqqani Network (and Other Aliases)PDF
82 FR 50728 - Review of the Designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization of Islamic Jihad Union (and Other Aliases)PDF
82 FR 50728 - Review of the Designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization of Jaish-e-Mohammed (and Other Aliases)PDF
82 FR 50678 - Certain Network Devices, Related Software and Components Thereof (II) Institution of Modification ProceedingPDF
82 FR 50650 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
82 FR 50733 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiple IRS Information Collection RequestsPDF
82 FR 50647 - EnPowered; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 50647 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
82 FR 50641 - DV Trading, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 50642 - Alabama Power Company; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective DatePDF
82 FR 50642 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 50643 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 50648 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 50648 - Lackawanna Energy Center LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 50642 - Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
82 FR 50644 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 50663 - Revision of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: TSA Pre✓® Application ProgramPDF
82 FR 50665 - New Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Military Severely Injured Joint Support Operations Center (MSIJSOC) and Travel Protocol Office (TPO) ProgramsPDF
82 FR 50654 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
82 FR 50640 - DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory PanelPDF
82 FR 50728 - Ohio River Partners Shareholders LLC-Exemption for Intra-Corporate Family Transaction-Ohio River Partners LLCPDF
82 FR 50729 - Union Pacific Railroad Company-Abandonment and Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Cerro Gordo County, IowaPDF
82 FR 50493 - Supplemental Standards of Ethical ConductPDF
82 FR 50612 - Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) ReviewsPDF
82 FR 50641 - Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Financing ProgramsPDF
82 FR 50620 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
82 FR 50614 - Forged Steel Fittings From the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 50623 - Forged Steel Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
82 FR 50696 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 50730 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for a New Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 50651 - World War One Centennial Commission; Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory MeetingPDF
82 FR 50730 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for Extension of Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 50652 - Notice of intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) Modernization and Expansion ProjectPDF
82 FR 50622 - Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 50638 - National Assessment Governing Board Quarterly Board MeetingPDF
82 FR 50731 - Request for Comments on the Renewal of a Previously Approved Information Collection: Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Training Provider CertificationPDF
82 FR 50628 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington StatePDF
82 FR 50656 - Modification and Clarification of the National Customs Automation Program Tests Regarding Post-Summary Corrections and Periodic Monthly StatementsPDF
82 FR 50577 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Alligator River, Columbia, NCPDF
82 FR 50691 - Notice of Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 50689 - Standard on the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout); Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
82 FR 50530 - Medical Devices; Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of the BCR-ABL Quantitation TestPDF
82 FR 50735 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 50692 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 50697 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Reflect in the Exchange's Governing Documents, Rulebook and Fees Schedules, a Non-Substantive Corporate Branding Change, Including Changes to the Company's Name, the Intermediate's Name, and the Exchange's NamePDF
82 FR 50711 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Reflect in the Exchange's Governing Documents, Rulebook and Fees Schedules, a Non-Substantive Corporate Branding Change, Including Changes to the Company's Name, the Intermediate's Name, and the Exchange's NamePDF
82 FR 50716 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Reflect in the Exchange's Governing Documents, Rulebook and Fee Schedule, a Non-Substantive Corporate Branding Change, Including Changes to the Company's Name, the Intermediate's Name, and the Exchange's NamePDF
82 FR 50703 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Concerning Liquidity for Same Day SettlementPDF
82 FR 50707 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Related to The Options Clearing Corporation's Default Management PolicyPDF
82 FR 50714 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Remove References To Surrender Feature for Auto-Match Submissions in the Price Improvement AuctionPDF
82 FR 50725 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BYX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Reflect in the Exchange's Governing Documents, Rulebook and Fee Schedule, a Non-Substantive Corporate Branding Change, Including Changes to the Company's Name, the Intermediate's Name, and the Exchange's NamePDF
82 FR 50705 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Update Rule 21.1 To Adopt a New Time in Force Applicable to the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
82 FR 50719 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Related to The Options Clearing Corporation's Counterparty Credit Risk Management PolicyPDF
82 FR 50680 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 50598 - DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.; Withdrawal of Food Additive Petition (Animal Use)PDF
82 FR 50612 - Materials Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Open MeetingPDF
82 FR 50679 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 50645 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725U); Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 50517 - Final Report: Review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Agency Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic GrowthPDF
82 FR 50646 - RH energytrans, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
82 FR 50662 - California; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 50735 - Office of the General Counsel; Appointment of Members of the Legal Division to the Performance Review Board, Internal Revenue ServicePDF
82 FR 50661 - California; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 50733 - Office of the General Counsel; Appointment of Members of the Legal Division to the Performance Review Board, Internal Revenue ServicePDF
82 FR 50661 - South Carolina; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 50731 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 5305A-SEPPDF
82 FR 50732 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Information Reporting by Applicable Large Employers on Health Insurance Coverage Offered Under Employer-Sponsored PlansPDF
82 FR 50491 - Availability of Final Report on Regulatory Review Under Executive Order 13783PDF
82 FR 50511 - Clarifications to the Export Administration Regulations for the Use of License ExceptionsPDF
82 FR 50606 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum (Hidden Lake Bluecurls) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened PlantsPDF
82 FR 50640 - State Educational Agency and Local Educational Agency-School Data Collection and Reporting Under ESEA, Title I, Part A; ED-2017-ICCD-0130; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 50608 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 50575 - Special Local Regulation; Atlantic Ocean, Ft. Lauderdale, FLPDF
82 FR 50695 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 50689 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection in Use Without an OMB Control Number, CJIS Name Check Form (1-791)PDF
82 FR 50532 - Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic EnergyPDF
82 FR 50500 - Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Design Roll Maneuver for Electronic Flight ControlsPDF
82 FR 50496 - Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Interaction of Systems and StructuresPDF
82 FR 50581 - Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Folding WingtipsPDF
82 FR 50502 - Special Conditions: Embraer, S.A., Model ERJ 190-300 Airplane; Dive-Speed Definition With High-Speed-Protection SystemPDF
82 FR 50609 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 50700 - The Relative Value Fund et al.PDF
82 FR 50502 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Lemoore NAS, CAPDF
82 FR 50505 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Prineville, ORPDF
82 FR 50509 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Bend, ORPDF
82 FR 50738 - Medicare Program; End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals With Acute Kidney Injury, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive ProgramPDF
82 FR 50686 - Steel Wire Garment Hangers From Taiwan and Vietnam; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
82 FR 50683 - Honey From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
82 FR 50681 - Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells and Modules From China; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
82 FR 50503 - Amendment of Class E Airspace, for Stevens Point, WIPDF
82 FR 50583 - Normal and Transport Category Rotorcraft CertificationPDF
82 FR 50508 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Deblois, MEPDF
82 FR 50506 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Fort Knox, KY, and Louisville, KYPDF
82 FR 50596 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Greenville, NCPDF
82 FR 50593 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Berlin, NHPDF
82 FR 50504 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Scottsboro, ALPDF
82 FR 50510 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Oskaloosa, IAPDF
82 FR 50594 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Hanford, CAPDF
82 FR 50598 - Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2017PDF

Issue

82 210 Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50608-50609 2017-23696 2017-23707 2017-23709
Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Program: End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals with Acute Kidney Injury, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program, 50738-50797 2017-23671 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Alligator River, Columbia, NC, 50577 2017-23745 Safety Zones: Illinois River, Beardstown, IL, 50578-50580 2017-23820 Special Local Regulations: Atlantic Ocean, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 50575-50577 2017-23708 Commerce Commerce Department See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: School Data Collection and Reporting; Correction, 50640 2017-23710 Meetings: National Assessment Governing Board Quarterly Board, 50638-50640 2017-23751 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Final Report on Regulatory Review under Executive Order 13783, 50491-50493 2017-23713 NOTICES Meetings: DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, 50640-50641 2017-23767
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Financing Programs, 50641 2017-23762 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Texas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan, 50580 C1--2017--21947 NOTICES Meetings: Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Scientific Advisory Panel, 50649-50650 2017-23817 Federal Accounting Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board NOTICES Federal Financial Accounting Standards: Budget and Accrual Reconciliation, 50650 2017-23801 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace: Fort Knox and Louisville, KY, 50506-50508 2017-23254 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Bend, OR, 50509-50510 2017-23673 Lemoore NAS, CA, 50502-50503 2017-23675 Oskaloosa, IA, 50510-50511 2017-23247 Prineville, OR, 50505-50506 2017-23674 Scottsboro, AL, 50504-50505 2017-23248 Stevens Point, WI, 50503-50504 2017-23434 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Deblois, ME, 50508-50509 2017-23255 Special Conditions: Embraer, S.A., Model ERJ 190-300 Airplane; Dive-Speed Definition with High-Speed-Protection System; Correction, 50502 2017-23697 The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Design Roll Maneuver for Electronic Flight Controls, 50500-50502 2017-23701 The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Interaction of Systems and Structures, 50496-50500 2017-23699 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace: Berlin, NH, 50593-50594 2017-23250 Greenville, NC, 50596-50597 2017-23252 Hanford, CA, 50594-50596 2017-23244 Normal and Transport Category Rotorcraft Certification, 50583-50593 2017-23360 Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Folding Wingtips, 50581-50583 2017-23698 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50689 2017-23704 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2017, 50598-50606 2017-23215 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Emergency Declarations: California; Amendment No. 1, 50661 2017-23718 Major Disaster Declarations: Georgia; Amendment No. 6, 50661 2017-23799 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: California, 50662-50663 2017-23720 Louisiana, 50662 2017-23800 South Carolina, 50661-50662 2017-23716 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Agency Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, 50517-50523 2017-23722 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50645-50646 2017-23723 Applications: RH energytrans, LLC, 50646-50647 2017-23721 Combined Filings, 50642-50645, 50647-50648 2017-23772 2017-23775 2017-23776 2017-23777 2017-23778 2017-23781 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: DV Trading, LLC, 50641-50642 2017-23780 EnPowered, 50647 2017-23782 Lackawanna Energy Center, LLC, 50648-50649 2017-23774 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: IGS ORIX Solar I, LLC, IGS Solar I, LLC, IGS ORIX Solar I, LLC, IGS Solar I, LLC, 50642-50643 2017-23773 Refund Effective Dates: Alabama Power Co., 50642 2017-23779 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50730-50731 2017-23755 2017-23757 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 50650-50651 2017-23784 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Removing Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum (Hidden Lake Bluecurls) from Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants, 50606-50607 2017-23711 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices: Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of BCR-ABL Quantitation Test, 50530-50532 2017-23742 PROPOSED RULES Food Additive Petitions: DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.; Withdrawal, 50598 2017-23728 2017-23729 Forest Forest Service RULES Report Prepared Pursuant to Executive Order 13783—Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, 50580 2017-23805 NOTICES Meetings: Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board, 50611-50612 2017-23806 Newspapers for Publication of Legal Notices in Eastern Region, 50609-50611 2017-23803 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Modernization and Expansion Project, 50652 2017-23754 Meetings: World War One Centennial Commission, 50651 2017-23756 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Minority Health, 50652-50653 2017-23816
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Export Administration Regulations for Use of License Exceptions; Clarifications, 50511-50517 2017-23712 NOTICES Meetings: Materials Technical Advisory Committee, 50612 2017-23727 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

RULES Final Report: Review of Department of Interior Actions that Potentially Burden Domestic Energy, 50532-50575 2017-23702
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50731-50732 2017-23715 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Information Reporting by Applicable Large Employers on Health Insurance Coverage Offered under Employer-Sponsored Plans, 50732-50733 2017-23714 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, 50623-50626 2017-23759 Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 50620-50622 2017-23761 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand, 50622 2017-23753 Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews, 50612-50613 2017-23763 Investigations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan, 50614-50619 2017-23760 Meetings: Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee, 50613-50614 2017-23811 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Batteries and Electrochemical Devices Containing Composite Separators, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same, 50679-50680 2017-23725 Certain Road Construction Machines and Components Thereof, 50680-50681 2017-23730 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Network Devices, Related Software and Components Thereof (II), 50678 2017-23785 Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents from China and Taiwan, 50678-50679 2017-23797 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells and Modules from China, 50681-50683 2017-23654 Honey from China, 50683-50686 2017-23655 Steel Wire Garment Hangers from Taiwan and Vietnam; Institution of Five-Year Reviews, 50686-50689 2017-23656 Justice Department Justice Department See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation, 50666 2017-23804 Requests for Nominations: Resource Advisory Councils and other Land Management Advisory Committees, 50666-50667 2017-23802 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Training Provider Certification, 50731 2017-23750 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50691-50692 2017-23744 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Localization and Tracking System Testing Consortium, 50626-50628 2017-23807 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 50653-50654 2017-23813 National Cancer Institute, 50654 2017-23814 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 50653 2017-23815 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: US 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington State, 50628-50638 2017-23748 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Human Remains Repository, Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, 50675-50677 2017-23793 Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, OK, 50667-50675 2017-23794 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50692-50695 2017-23740 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, 50638 2017-23809 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Standard on Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), 50689-50691 2017-23743 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission RULES Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct, 50493-50496 2017-23764 NOTICES New Postal Products, 50695-50697 2017-23758 2017-23705 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Relative Value Fund, et al., 50700-50703 2017-23695 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BYX Exchange, Inc., 50725-50727 2017-23733 Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 50711-50714 2017-23738 Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc., 50716-50719 2017-23737 Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 50697-50700 2017-23739 Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 50705-50707 2017-23732 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 50714-50716 2017-23734 Options Clearing Corp., 50703-50705, 50707-50711, 50719-50725 2017-23731 2017-23735 2017-23736 State Department State Department NOTICES Designations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Haqqani Network, 50727-50728 2017-23792 Islamic Jihad Union, 50728 2017-23791 Jaish-e-Mohammed, 50728 2017-23790 Performance Review Board Members, 50728 2017-23796 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES List of Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities that Meet Minimum Standards to Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 50654-50655 2017-23768 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment and Discontinuance of Service Exemptions: Union Pacific Railroad Co., Cerro Gordo County, IA, 50729 2017-23765 Intra-Corporate Family Transaction Exemptions: Ohio River Partners Shareholders, LLC and Ohio River Partners, LLC, 50728-50729 2017-23766 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Maritime Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Military Severely Injured Joint Support Operations Center and Travel Protocol Office Programs, 50665 2017-23769 TSA Pre-Check Application Program, 50663-50665 2017-23770 Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

RULES Procedures to Adjust Customs COBRA User Fees to Reflect Inflation, 50523-50530 2017-23878 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 50733-50735 2017-23783 Member Appointments: Legal Division to Performance Review Board, 50733, 50735 2017-23717 2017-23719
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Procedures to Adjust Customs COBRA User Fees to Reflect Inflation, 50523-50530 2017-23878 NOTICES COBRA Fees to be Adjusted for Inflation in Fiscal Year 2018, 50659-50660 2017-23876 National Customs Automation Program Tests: Post-Summary Corrections and Periodic Monthly Statements; Modification and Clarification, 50656-50659 2017-23747 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, 50735 2017-23741 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 50738-50797 2017-23671 Reader Aids

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

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

82 210 Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 2 CFR Chapter IX 5 CFR Chapter XXIII 10 CFR Chapters II, III and X 41 CFR Chapter 109 48 CFR Chapter 9 Availability of Final Report on Regulatory Review Under Executive Order 13783 AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Notification of final report on regulatory review.

SUMMARY:

Through this document, the Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of its report issued under Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth”.

DATES:

The Secretary signed the final report on October 24, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the report are available for public inspection at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Public inspection can be conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. This report is being published in its entirety and can also be accessed online at https://www.energy.gov/downloads/final-report-regulatory-review-under-executive-order-13783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Daniel Cohen, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Telephone: (202) 586-5000. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of its report issued under Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth”. The report provides the recommendations of DOE's Regulatory Reform Task Force to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic energy resources, and is published as an appendix to this document and available at https://www.energy.gov/downloads/final-report-regulatory-review-under-executive-order-13783.

Issued in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2017. Shena A. Kennerly, Acting Director, Office of the Executive Secretariat, Department of Energy. Appendix Department of Energy Final Report on Regulatory Review Under Executive Order 13783

On March 28, 2017, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 13783, entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” Among other things, EO 13783 requires the heads of agencies to review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, “agency actions”) that potentially burden 1 the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. Such review does not include agency actions that are mandated by law, necessary for the public interest, and consistent with the policy set forth elsewhere in that order.

1 Executive Order 13783 defined burden for purposes of the review of existing regulations to mean to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources.

On May 18, 2017, I submitted to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the Department of Energy's (DOE) plan to review its agency actions under EO 13783. The plan was also sent to the Vice President, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). In the plan, I stated that DOE's Regulatory Reform Task Force (Task Force) would conduct the review of agency actions subject to review under EO 13783.

On May 30, 2017, DOE published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI), seeking input and other assistance from entities significantly affected by regulations of the DOE, including State, local, and tribal governments, small businesses, consumers, non-governmental organizations, and manufacturers and their trade associations.2

2 82 FR 24582 (May 30, 2017).

DOE's goal in publishing the RFI was to “create a systematic method for identifying those existing DOE rules that are obsolete, unnecessary, unjustified, or simply no longer make sense.” DOE decided to solicit views on: (a) How DOE could best conduct its analysis of existing agency actions, and (b) insights on specific rules or Department-imposed obligations that should be altered or eliminated.

The comment period on the RFI closed on July 14, 2017. DOE received 132 separate public comments from decision-makers, stakeholders, and the public on rules promulgated by DOE and the burdens some of those rules have imposed. The Task Force has evaluated these comments to achieve meaningful regulatory reform in a manner consistent with our commitment to public participation in the rulemaking process.

DOE sought views on the specific rules or Department-imposed obligations that should be altered or eliminated, because knowledge about the full effects of a rule is widely dispersed in society, and members of the public are likely to have useful information and perspectives on the benefits and burdens of existing requirements and how regulatory obligations may be updated, streamlined, revised, or repealed to better achieve regulatory objectives, while minimizing regulatory burdens, consistent with applicable law. Interested parties may also be well-positioned to identify those rules that are most in need of reform, and, thus, assist the Department in prioritizing and properly tailoring its review process.

Beyond the RFI, the Task Force reviewed DOE Directives, Orders, Manuals, and Policies designed to ensure the effective management and operation of the National Laboratories, which contribute to American economic growth and energy security. Also, with the help of the Office of Management and staff for the Under Secretary of Energy, we reviewed DOE's Directives, Orders, Manuals, and Policies specifically for burdens on domestic energy production.

In addition to the work conducted to comply with EO 13783, DOE will continue to review all agency actions to assure that DOE does not burden domestic energy production. For example, as discussed below, we will review agency actions concerning fossil fuel consumption in Federal buildings, impact of building codes, and nuclear export licensing. DOE is committed to reducing regulatory burdens on the American people to unleash domestic energy production and promote job creation and economic growth.

Recommendations To Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Domestic Energy Resources

Based on a review of the comments received in response to the RFI, coupled with the work of the Task Force to identify both internal and external agency actions that inhibit domestic energy development and use, DOE's Task Force offers the following recommendations:

(1) Streamline Natural Gas Exports;

(2) Review National Laboratory Policies;

(3) Review National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations; and

(4) Review the DOE Appliance Standards Program.

DOE Task Force Recommendations (1) Streamline Natural Gas Exports

Several commenters encouraged DOE to expedite exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

On September 1, 2017, DOE announced a proposed rule to provide faster approval of small-scale natural gas exports, including LNG. This measure will expedite the review and approval of applications to export small amounts of natural gas in the emerging small-scale LNG export market. Under the Natural Gas Act, DOE has jurisdiction over imports and exports of natural gas. For applications to export natural gas to countries without a qualifying free trade agreement (non-free trade agreement countries), DOE must conduct a public interest review before authorizing an export. This proposed rule provides that DOE, upon receipt of any complete application to export natural gas (including LNG) to non-free trade agreement countries, will grant the application if the application meets two criteria: The application proposes to export no more than 0.14 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), and the proposed export qualifies for a categorical exclusion under DOE's NEPA regulations.

For applications meeting these criteria, the exports are considered “small-scale natural gas exports” and are deemed in the public interest under the Natural Gas Act. Exports of natural gas to free trade agreement countries are already deemed in the public interest under the Act.

The Task Force will also consider whether future rulemakings can allow for expedited processing of larger-scale exports of natural gas as consistent with applicable law and DOE's statutory authority.

(2) Review National Laboratory Policies

DOE manages several National Laboratories that support the Department's energy, science, and nuclear non-proliferation missions. As part of our review, the Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of operations and procedures at the National Labs. The National Labs conduct research and development of innovative technologies that have the potential to enable future energy production. The Task Force identified several areas for reform that would permit the National Laboratories to operate more efficiently, focusing more time and resources on their mission-critical work: Conducting early-stage research and development of innovative energy technologies that advance American economic growth and energy security.

(3) Review DOE's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations and Implementation

DOE received comments on the RFI concerning streamlining and simplifying the agency's external regulations (10 CFR 1021) and internal operations to improve effectiveness and efficiency of NEPA document approval processes. The Task Force is comprehensively reviewing NEPA and offers several specific recommendations to reform DOE's NEPA processes to optimize and ensure compliance with existing statutes, CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508), and EO.

Specific NEPA recommendations include:

• Reform the NEPA process for permitting and export applications, including LNG and infrastructure.

• Review existing NEPA policies to assess whether DOE should grant more categorical exclusions. Further, enable DOE's adoption of categorical exclusions already approved by other Federal agencies, and foster interagency collaboration, such as working with the Bureau of Land Management to consider categorical exclusions for geothermal energy on Federal lands.

• Remove language in DOE Regulations (10 CFR 1021) that is not consistent with overarching CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508).

(4) Review DOE Appliance Standards Program

Pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), DOE implements minimum energy conservation standards and separate test procedures for more than 60 categories of appliances. DOE's energy conservation standards apply to this EO because they impact U.S. energy consumption, the vast majority of which comes from oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear resources.

Below is a summary of the various public comments and proposals that DOE has received and is considering:

Review the Process Rule. Many commenters have asked DOE to follow and review the 1996 Process Rule (10 CFR Appendix A to Subpart C). The Process Rule describes the procedures, interpretations, and policies that guide DOE in establishing new or revised energy-efficiency standards for consumer products. Given our commitment to transparency and regulatory certainty, DOE will consider issuing a RFI to gather additional feedback from stakeholders on how to amend or improve the Process Rule.

Reduce the Burden of Serial Rule-making. Many stakeholders, including manufacturers and small businesses, regard as overly burdensome and unnecessary the statutory requirement to reconsider standards at least once every six years.

○ Commenters offered similar feedback in response to the Department of Commerce's RFI pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum on Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing.

○ Commenters of both DOE's and Commerce's RFI suggest extending the time period between consideration of standards to give regulated industries more time to comply. This would require statutory changes, which are outside the scope of EO 13783.

However, DOE will consider other agency actions to reduce regulatory burdens on American families and businesses. As stated below, such reforms would give DOE more time to determine, before considering amending standards for a product, whether costs were accurately estimated and expected energy savings were realized.

The current 6-year review process may not provide adequate time for such a retrospective analysis, which is critical to determine whether energy conservation standards are working as intended and the underlying assumptions are sound.

○ In lieu of statutory changes to the 6-year review period, DOE should consider “no amended standards” determinations when supported by data and when small energy savings require significant upfront cost to achieve.

○ Consider voluntary, non-regulatory, and market-based alternatives to standards-setting. For example, when appropriate and consistent with the law, consider using established industry test procedures as the DOE test procedures.

○ Consider establishing a baseline for energy savings that qualify as not significant and thus not economically justified.

○ Refrain from enacting standards through a direct final rule because of the economic burden it may impose on households and the lack of consumer voice in the rulemaking process.

Improve Cost-Benefit Analysis. EPCA requires DOE to promulgate rules that are economically justified, but this definition is subject to interpretation. Setting clear definitions that evaluate the comprehensive range of costs and benefits is crucial to ensure that DOE's conservation standards save energy while minimizing economic burdens. Some topics for consideration include:

○ Establish internal DOE standards for how to regulate when large portions of the public would bear net costs (costs exceed benefits). Adopting a standard for determining a level at which the net cost is too large would preserve resources and mitigate burdens on consumers.

○ Conduct a retrospective review of previous standards to assess the validity of DOE's analysis before it is used in new rules. This would give DOE enough time to collect information on consumer preferences and behavior, including surveys of consumers.

Reconsider standards and test procedures for particular products. Commenters identified numerous standards and test procedures for reconsideration, citing excessive regulatory burdens. DOE is evaluating these comments, examples of which include:

○ Review standards for natural gas products to consider whether the standards are inconsistent with the intent of EO 13783 to minimize regulatory burdens on domestic energy resources.

○ Reconsider, or refrain from establishing, certain standards, including commercial packaged boilers, commercial and industrial fans and blowers, the refrigerated beverage vending machine standards rule published in 2016; the commercial refrigeration equipment standards rule published in 2014; the residential furnace fan rule published in 2014; and the residential water heaters standards published in 2010. Other commenters recommend maintaining many of these standards.

○ Repeal or reconsider several test procedures, including for compressors, residential central air conditioners and heat pumps, and consumer and commercial water heaters. Other commenters recommend maintaining current test procedures.

• Follow the requirements of EO 13783 when analyzing climate impacts. EO 13783 withdraws certain documents concerning the development of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) and requires agencies to follow the requirements of OMB Circular A-4 in climate analyses. DOE will follow these requirements in our regulations. Also, some commenters encouraged DOE not to use SCC to calculate the climate impacts of regulations.

In addition to the recommendations listed above, DOE is committed to enhancing engagement with stakeholders in an open and transparent process. Building on the listening session held on October 2, 2017, DOE is preparing to send a letter to each of the Department's Federal Advisory Committees requesting them to include regulatory reform on the agenda for their next meeting. DOE will also consider holding additional listening sessions on a semi-regular basis to gather feedback and hold the Department accountable to the public.

Furthermore, DOE will continue to consider other areas where it may be possible to relieve burdens on domestic energy production. For example, DOE will consider, consistent with Federal law, possible flexibility for regulations relating to fossil fuel consumption in Federal buildings, buildings codes, nuclear export licensing, and DOE's proposed nuclear damage contingent cost allocation rule. In short, we will remain committed to reducing burdens on all kinds of domestic energy production.

Section 2(d) of EO 13783

These recommendations comprise DOE's final report, which will be submitted to the Vice President, the OMB Director, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, as required by section 2(d) of EO 13783.

If implemented, these recommendations would alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency actions that burden domestic energy development, production, and use.

October 24, 2017

Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy
[FR Doc. 2017-23713 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 5 CFR Part 5601 [Docket No. RM2017-4; Order No. 4177] Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct AGENCY:

Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Commission is issuing a set of rules that amend existing rules related to supplemental standards of ethical conduct for Postal Regulatory Commission employees. The rules revise the existing rules in order to better conform to Office of Government Ethics standards and accurately reflect the Commission's regulatory role under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.

DATES:

Effective December 1, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Comments IV. Commission Analysis V. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

On May 24, 2017, the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise its supplemental standards of ethical conduct, 5 CFR part 5601.1 On the same day, the Commission also issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the ethics rules applicable to Commission employees, 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000.2

1 82 FR 23758 (May 24, 2017). The Commission posted this document on its Web site on May 19, 2017. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission, May 19, 2017 (Order No. 3906).

2 82 FR 23766 (May 24, 2017). The Commission posted this document on its Web site on May 19, 2017. Order No. 3907, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Ethics Rules, May 19, 2017.

Executive branch employees are subject to multiple federal ethics laws, regulations issued by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), and executive orders. The supplemental standards of ethical conduct at issue in this Order are additional restrictions applicable only to Commission employees. These supplemental standards of ethical conduct concern prohibited financial interests, prohibited outside employment, disqualification when seeking non-federal employment, and prior approval to engage in outside employment. For the reasons discussed below, the Commission adopts the proposed rules without alteration. OGE concurs with the Commission's proposed revisions to 5 CFR part 5601.

II. Background

In 1991, Executive Order 12674, as amended by Executive Order 12731, authorized OGE to establish a single, comprehensive, and clear set of executive branch standards of ethical conduct.3 On August 7, 1992, OGE published a final rule titled Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (OGE Standards).4 The OGE Standards, codified at 5 CFR part 2635, became effective February 3, 1993, and established uniform standards of ethical conduct applicable to all executive branch personnel. On August 12, 1993, the Postal Rate Commission collaborated with OGE to publish existing 5 CFR part 5601 as an interim rule. 58 FR 42839 (Aug. 12, 1993).

3See Executive Order No. 12674, 54 FR 15159 (Apr. 12, 1989); Executive Order No. 12731, 55 FR 42547 (Oct. 17, 1990).

4See 57 FR 35006-35067, as corrected at 57 FR 48557 (Oct. 27, 1992), 57 FR 52583 (Nov. 4, 1992), and 60 FR 66857-66858 (Dec. 27, 1995).

In 2006, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), Public Law 109-435, 120 Stat. 3198 (2006) changed the agency's name from the Postal Rate Commission to the Postal Regulatory Commission and made several changes to the Commission's regulatory role. Order No. 3906 at 2-3. The supplemental standards of ethical conduct, existing 5 CFR part 5601, have never been amended or finalized since their 1993 adoption and remain attributed to the Postal Rate Commission. The PAEA's changes to the Commission's responsibilities drive the need to modernize the Commission's supplemental standards of ethical conduct. Moreover, experience has informed the Commission's view regarding linguistic and organizational revisions to clarify the supplemental standards of ethical conduct.

III. Comments

The Commission received two sets of comments pertaining to the proposed revisions to the supplemental standards of ethical conduct and the Commission's ethics rules.

Sum Comments. The Commission received the following comment through the www.federalregister.gov Web site: “Any deletion of ethical conduct would not be in the best interest of the American people due to transparency.” 5

5 Comment Received from Beth Sum, June 19, 2017 (Sum Comments). For transparency, this comment was posted to the Commission's Web site and associated with this docket.

PR Comments. The Public Representative supports the proposed revisions.6 He deems it “critical that the Commission's ethics rules accurately reflect its role as a regulator and are reflective of the agency's procedures.” PR Comments at 2. He concludes that the proposed revisions serve the public interest, reinforce public perception of the Commission's integrity, and increase accessibility and transparency. Id. He states that the proposed revisions “ensure that financial holdings and outside employment do not result in the appearance of or in actual conflicts of interest.” Id. at 3. He observes that the proposed deletions are primarily editorial revisions made to delete duplicative and outdated sections. Id. He notes that the proposed deletions will not limit the ethical obligations of Commission employees. Id.

6 Public Representative Comments on Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Ethics Rules and Amendments to Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Postal Regulatory Commission, June 26, 2017 (PR Comments). The Public Representative also filed a motion for late acceptance of his comments. Motion of Public Representative for Late Acceptance of Comments, June 26, 2017 (Motion). The Motion is granted.

IV. Commission Analysis

Neither commenter suggested changes to the proposed rules. The Public Representative supports the proposed rules. Id. at 2-3. In response to the concern expressed in the Sum Comments, the Commission reiterates its commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards. As executive branch employees, Commission employees remain subject to several statutes governing conflicts of interests (see, e.g., 18 U.S.C. 201-219); the standards of ethical conduct appearing in Executive Order 12674, as amended by Executive Order 12731; and regulations promulgated by OGE relating to several issues including financial disclosure, the standards of ethical conduct, and post-employment conflicts of interest (see, e.g., 5 CFR parts 2634, 2635, and 2641). Commission employees are also subject to the Commission's ethics rules, 39 CFR subpart A of part 3000, which are also being revised to reflect the Commission's modern regulatory role under the PAEA and to remove duplicative and outdated provisions.7 The regulations at issue in this Order, the supplemental standards of ethical conduct applicable to Commission employees only, concern restrictions imposed upon Commission employees in addition to these laws and standards. The proposed revisions remain consistent with these laws and do not abrogate their application in any way. Streamlining the Commission's supplemental standards of ethical conduct supports OGE's mission to establish a single, comprehensive, and clear set of executive branch standards of ethical conduct in accordance with Executive Order 12731. The proposed revisions will not lead to any reduction in the ethical obligations of Commission employees. Ultimately, the proposed revisions will enhance the Commission's adherence to ethical conduct by more accurately reflecting the Commission's modern regulatory role under the PAEA.

7 Order No. 4178, Order Amending Ethics Rules, October 25, 2017.

The proposed rules clarify the bounds of ethical conduct in several ways, including linguistic and organizational revisions to delete duplicative and outdated language as well as to improve the specificity of the provisions. For instance, the definition of “affected persons” used in existing § 5601.101(b) is being incorporated into proposed § 5601.102. Existing § 5601.101(b)'s non-exhaustive list of categories of prohibited financial interest are being restructured to form specific categories upon which the Commission will develop a prohibited securities list (PSL) applicable to Commission staff (and their spouses and dependent children). Based on years of experience with the existing rules, the Commission believes that developing the PSL will assist employees to identify financial holdings that may pose (or appear to pose) a financial conflict of interest. Having the PSL available to employees as a reference before purchasing securities will improve transparency and adherence to ethical standards. The six categories underlying the PSL properly reflect the Commission's modern regulatory role under the PAEA and are consistent with the laws prohibiting actual or apparent financial conflicts of interests. See Order No. 3906 at 7-12.

The proposed revisions also improve the procedures related to the supplemental standards of ethical conduct. Proposed §§ 5601.101 and 5601.102 define additional terms and provide specific procedures related to exceptions, newly prohibited securities, new employees, acquisition of prohibited securities without specific intent, divestiture, and waiver. Proposed §§ 5601.103 and 5601.104 improve the procedures concerning employees that are seeking employment or prior approval for outside employment to better ensure any disqualification is prompt and appropriate. Therefore, the proposed revisions improve transparency and the ability of Commission employees to adhere to the highest ethical standards.

For these reasons and those reasons detailed in Order No. 3906, the Commission adopts the proposed rules without changes.

V. Ordering Paragraphs

It is ordered:

1. Part 5601 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as set forth below the signatures of this Order effective 30 days after the date of publication of this Order in the Federal Register.

2. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this Order in the Federal Register.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 5601

Conflicts of interests.

By the Commission.

Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary.

By the Office of Government Ethics.

David J. Apol, Acting Director and General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics.
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission amends chapter XLVI of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations by revising part 5601 to read as follows: PART 5601—SUPPLEMENTAL STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION Sec. 5601.101 General. 5601.102 Prohibited financial interests. 5601.103 Notice of disqualification when seeking employment. 5601.104 Prohibited outside employment. 5601.105 Prior approval for outside employment. Authority:

5 U.S.C. 7301; 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); 39 U.S.C. 503; E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306; 5 CFR 2635.105, 2635.403(a), 2635.802(a), 2635.803.

§ 5601.101 General.

(a) Purpose. In accordance with § 2635.105 of this title, the regulations in this part apply to employees, including Commissioners, of the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) and supplement the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch contained in part 2635 of this title. In addition, the executive branch financial disclosure regulations contained in part 2634 of this title, additional regulations on responsibilities and conduct at part 735 of this title, and Commission-specific provisions contained in 39 CFR part 3000 apply to Commission employees.

(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this part:

(1) The term securities includes an interest in debt or equity instruments. The term includes, without limitation, secured and unsecured bonds, debentures, notes, securitized assets, and commercial paper, as well as all types of preferred and common stock. The term encompasses both current and contingent ownership interests, including any beneficial or legal interest derived from a trust. It extends to any right to acquire or dispose of any long or short position in such securities and includes, without limitation, interests convertible into such securities, as well as options, rights, warrants, puts, calls, and straddles with respect thereto.

(2) The term parent means a company that possesses, directly or indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of an entity identified in § 5601.102 (b)(1)(i) through (v).

(3) The term person means an individual, corporation and subsidiaries it controls, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other organization or institution, including any officer, employee, or agent of such person or entity. For purposes of this part, a corporation will be deemed to control a subsidiary if it owns 50 percent or more of the subsidiary's voting securities. The term is all-inclusive and applies to commercial ventures and nonprofit organizations as well as to foreign, State, and local governments, including the Government of the District of Columbia. It does not include any agency or other entity of the Federal Government or any officer or employee thereof when acting in his official capacity on behalf of that agency or entity.

(4) The term entity means person.

(5) The term DAEO means the Designated Agency Ethics Official, or his delegate under § 2638.601 of this title.

(6) The term employment means any form of non-Federal employment or business relationship involving the provision of personal services by the employee. It includes but is not limited to personal services as an officer, director, employee, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, general partner or trustee. Employment does not include participation in the activities of a nonprofit charitable, religious, professional, social, fraternal, educational, recreational, public service or civic organization unless such activities involve the practice of a profession within the meaning of § 2636.305(b)(1) of this title, including the giving of professional advice, or are for compensation, other than reimbursement of expenses.

(7) The term publicly held corporation means any corporation issuing any class of common equity securities required to be registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

(8) The term dependent child means when used with respect to any reporting individual, any individual who is a son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter and who:

(i) Is unmarried, under age 21, and living in the household of the reporting individual; or

(ii) Is a dependent of the reporting individual within the meaning of section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. 152.

§ 5601.102 Prohibited financial interests.

(a) General prohibition. No employee, and no spouse or dependent child of an employee, shall acquire or hold any securities issued by an entity on the prohibited securities list described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Prohibited securities list. At least once a year, the Commission will publish and distribute to employees a list of entities whose securities an employee or the spouse or dependent child of an employee may not own.

(1) The list shall include:

(i) An entity participating in a proceeding before the Commission in the last 4 years, e.g., complainants, appellants, intervenors, and entities filing comments on the record in Commission proceedings;

(ii) A party to a proceeding to which the Commission is a party, e.g., appellate proceedings, administrative proceedings, or civil actions;

(iii) An entity primarily engaged in the business of delivering packages, merchandise, or written communications, i.e., an entity whose primary business competes with the Postal Service;

(iv) An entity providing services or products to the Postal Service that can be expected to produce annual revenue:

(A) to a publicly held corporation exceeding $1,000,000, and if the entity reports its gross revenue publicly, exceeding 10 percent of its annual gross revenue; or

(B) to any other entity exceeding $100,000, and if the entity reports its gross revenue publicly, exceeding 5 percent of the entity's annual gross revenue;

(v) Any other entities not listed above for which a Commission employee holding a security may raise an actual or apparent loss of impartiality affecting the integrity of the Commission's programs and operations, e.g., entities primarily engaged in the business of publishing or distributing publications such as periodicals or sending advertising, promotional, or other material on behalf of itself or another entity through the mails; and

(vi) The parent corporation of any subsidiary described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (v) of this section.

(2) The list shall not include an entity whose use of the mail is merely an incidental or minor factor in the general conduct of its business.

(c) Exception. Nothing in this section prohibits an employee, or the spouse or dependent child of an employee, from acquiring or holding an interest in a publicly traded or publicly available mutual fund or other collective investment fund, or in a widely held pension or mutual fund, provided that the fund's prospectus or practice does not indicate the stated objective of concentrating its investments in entities identified in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (vi) of this section.

(d) Newly prohibited securities or new employees. Within 30 days after the Commission disseminates the prohibited securities list to an employee, an employee who owns, or whose spouse or dependent child owns, prohibited securities shall report that ownership to the DAEO. The employee's report must be in writing and include the name of the prohibited security and the date of acquisition. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, the employee, or the spouse or dependent child of the employee, shall divest prohibited securities within 90 days after dissemination of the prohibited securities list.

(e) Securities acquired without specific intent. Within 30 days after an employee, or the spouse or dependent child of an employee, acquires securities of an entity on the prohibited securities list as a result of marriage, inheritance, gift or otherwise without specific intent to acquire the securities, the employee shall report the acquisition to the DAEO. The employee's report must be in writing and include the name of the prohibited security, the date of acquisition, and the method of acquisition. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, an employee, or the spouse or dependent child of an employee, shall divest prohibited securities within 90 days after the date of acquisition.

(f) Divestiture—(1) Procedure for accomplishing divestiture. To alleviate an actual or apparent conflict of interest, an employee divesting prohibited securities shall obtain written confirmation from the DAEO that divesture has been accomplished. A request for such confirmation shall be submitted in writing with sufficient proof to enable the DAEO to confirm that the employee has divested the prohibited security. The employee shall continue to be recused until the date of the DAEO's written confirmation that divesture has been accomplished.

(2) Extension of period to divest. Upon a showing of undue hardship, the DAEO may extend the 90 day period for divestiture specified in paragraphs (e) through (f) of this section.

(3) Disqualification pending divestiture. Pending divestiture of prohibited securities, an employee must disqualify himself or herself, in accordance with § 2635.402 of this title, from participation in particular matters which, as a result of continued ownership of the prohibited securities, would affect the financial interests of the employee, or those of the spouse or dependent child of the employee.

(g) Waivers. The DAEO may grant a written waiver from this section based on a determination that the waiver is not inconsistent with part 2635 of this title or otherwise prohibited by law and that, under the particular circumstances, application of the prohibition is not necessary to avoid the appearance of an employee's misuse of position or loss of impartiality, or to otherwise ensure confidence in the impartiality and objectivity with which the Commission's programs are administered, or in the case of a special Government employee, divestiture would result in substantial financial hardship. A waiver under this paragraph must be in writing and may impose conditions, such as requiring execution of a written disqualification.

§ 5601.103 Notice of disqualification when seeking employment.

(a) An employee who has been assigned to or is supervising work on a particular matter that affects the financial interests of a prospective employer and who is required, in accordance with § 2635.604(a) of this title, to disqualify himself or herself from participation in that matter shall provide written notice of disqualification to the DAEO within 3 business days. The DAEO shall inform the employee's supervisor that the employee is disqualified from the matter. Public filers must comply with the notification requirement set forth in § 2635.607 of this title even when not required to disqualify from participation in a particular matter. Employees who file a notification statement in compliance with § 2635.607 of this title are not required to file a separate notice under this section.

(b) An employee may withdraw written notice under paragraph (a) of this section upon determining that disqualification from participation in the matter is no longer required. A withdrawal of disqualification shall be in writing and shall be provided to the DAEO. The DAEO shall inform the employee's supervisor that the employee is no longer disqualified from the matter.

§ 5601.104 Prohibited outside employment.

An employee shall not engage in outside employment, either on a paid or unpaid basis, with or for an entity on the prohibited securities list described in § 5601.102(b)(1)(i) through (vi).

§ 5601.105 Prior approval for outside employment.

(a) Prior approval for outside employment. An employee who wishes to engage in outside employment, either on a paid or unpaid basis, shall obtain the prior written approval of the DAEO. A request for such approval shall be submitted in writing with sufficient description of the employment to enable the DAEO to give approval based on an informed determination that the outside employment is not expected to involve conduct prohibited by statute or Federal regulation, including paragraph (a) of this section and part 2635 of this title. The DAEO shall provide a copy of any written approvals for outside employment to the employee's supervisor.

(b) Scope of approval. An employee must submit a new request for approval upon either a significant change in the nature or scope of the outside employment or a change in the employee's Commission position or assigned responsibilities.

[FR Doc. 2017-23764 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0717; Special Conditions No. 25-704-SC] Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Interaction of Systems and Structures AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for The Boeing Company (Boeing) Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. These airplanes will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. These design features include systems that, directly or as a result of failure or malfunction, affect airplane structural performance. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. 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 Boeing on November 1, 2017. We must receive your comments by December 18, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0717 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, between 9 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:

Mark Freisthler, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1119; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public-comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore 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 April 19, 2017 (for the Model 777-8 airplane), and May 12, 2015 (for the 777-9 airplane), Boeing applied for an amendment to Type Certificate (TC) No. T00001SE to include the new Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. These airplanes are derivatives of the Model 777-300ER airplane currently approved under TC No. T00001SE. The Model 777-9 airplane is a stretched-fuselage, large, twin-engine airplane with seating for 408 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 775,000 pounds.

The Model 777-8 airplane, a shortened-body derivative of the Model 777-9 airplane, is a large, twin-engine airplane with seating for 359 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 775,000 pounds.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Boeing must show that the Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in TC No. T00001SE, 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 Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes 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 type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design features, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified 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 Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes 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 Features

The Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features:

These Boeing airplanes have full-time, digital, electronic flight-control systems (EFCS) affecting the pitch, yaw, and roll axes of the airplanes. In addition, the airplanes are equipped with on-ground load-alleviation systems to reduce braking loads. The current regulations are inadequate for considering the effects of these systems and their effects upon structural performance. These special conditions define the criteria to be used in the assessment of the effects of these systems on structures.

The general approach of accounting for the effect of system failures on structural performance would be extended to include any partial or complete system failure, alone or in combination with other partial or complete system failures, as would affect structural performance.

Discussion

Active flight-control systems are capable of providing automatic responses to external inputs from sources other than pilots. These systems have been expanded in function, effectiveness, and reliability such that fly-by-wire flight controls, without a manual backup system in the event of system failures, are becoming standard equipment on larger transport-category airplanes. As a result of these advancements in flight-control technology, the current safety standards contained in part 25 do not provide an adequate basis to address an acceptable level of safety for airplanes equipped with these advanced systems. Instead, certification of these systems has been achieved by issuance of special conditions under the provisions of § 21.16.

For example, stability-augmentation systems (SAS), and to a lesser extent load-alleviation systems (LAS), have been used on transport-category airplanes for many years. Past approvals of these systems were based on both special conditions and individual findings of equivalent level of safety with existing rules.

Although autopilots are also considered active control systems, typically their control authority has been limited such that the consequences of system failures could be readily counteracted by the pilot. Now, autopilot functions are integrated into the primary flight controls and are given sufficient control authority to maneuver the airplane to its structural design limits. This advanced technology, with its expanded authority, requires a new approach to account for the interaction of control systems and structures.

The usual deterministic approach to defining the loads envelope contained in part 25 does not fully account for system effectiveness and system reliability. These automatic systems may be inoperative or may operate in a degraded mode with less than full system authority. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the structural factors of safety and operating margins such that the joint probability of structural failures, due to application of loads during system malfunctions, is not greater than that found in airplanes equipped with earlier-technology control systems. To achieve this objective, it is necessary to define the failure conditions, with their associated frequency of occurrence, to determine the structural factors of safety and operating margins that will ensure an acceptable level of safety.

Earlier automatic control systems usually provided two states: Either fully functioning, or a total loss of function. Flightcrew readily detected these conditions. The new, active, flight-control systems have failure modes that allow the system to function in the degraded mode without full authority. This degraded mode is not readily detectable by the flightcrew. Therefore, monitoring systems are required on these new systems to provide an annunciation of a condition of degraded system capability.

In these special conditions, and in the current standards and regulations, the term “any” requires the applicant to address all items covered by the term, rather than addressing only a portion of the items.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to Boeing Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only a certain novel or unusual design feature on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

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 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes.

Interaction of Systems and Structures

For airplanes equipped with systems that affect structural performance, either directly or as a result of a failure or malfunction, the influence of these systems and their failure conditions must be taken into account when showing compliance with the requirements of part 25, subparts C and D.

For airplanes equipped with flight-control systems, autopilots, stability-augmentation systems, load-alleviation systems, fuel-management systems, and other systems that either directly, or as a result of failure or malfunction, affect structural performance, the following criteria must be used for showing compliance. If these special conditions are used for other systems, it may be necessary to adapt the criteria to the specific system.

1. The criteria defined herein only address the direct structural consequences of the system responses and performance. They cannot be considered in isolation, but should be included in the overall safety evaluation of the airplane. These criteria may, in some instances, duplicate standards already established for this evaluation. These criteria are only applicable to structure the failure of which could prevent continued safe flight and landing. Specific criteria that define acceptable limits on handling characteristics or stability requirements, when operating in the system-degraded or inoperative mode, are not provided in these special conditions.

2. Depending upon the specific characteristics of the airplane, additional studies that go beyond the criteria provided in these special conditions may be required to demonstrate the airplane's capability to meet other realistic conditions, such as alternative gust or maneuver descriptions for an airplane equipped with a load-alleviation system.

3. The following definitions are applicable to these special conditions.

a. Structural performance: Capability of the airplane to meet the structural requirements of part 25.

b. Flight limitations: Limitations that can be applied to the airplane flight conditions following an in-flight occurrence, and that are included in the airplane flight manual (e.g., speed limitations, avoidance of severe weather conditions, etc.).

c. Operational limitations: Limitations, including flight limitations, that can be applied to the airplane operating conditions before dispatch (e.g., fuel, payload and master minimum-equipment list limitations).

d. Probabilistic terms: Terms such as probable, improbable, and extremely improbable, as used in these special conditions, are the same as those used in § 25.1309.

e. Failure condition: This term is the same as that used in § 25.1309. However, these special conditions apply only to system-failure conditions that affect the structural performance of the airplane (e.g., system-failure conditions that induce loads, change the response of the airplane to inputs such as gusts or pilot actions, or lower flutter margins).

Effects of Systems on Structures

1. General. The following criteria will be used in determining the influence of a system and its failure conditions on the airplane structure.

2. System fully operative. With the system fully operative, the following apply:

a. Limit loads must be derived in all normal operating configurations of the system from all the limit conditions specified in part 25, subpart C (or defined by special conditions or findings of equivalent level of safety in lieu of those specified in subpart C), taking into account any special behavior of such a system or associated functions, or any effect on the structural performance of the airplane that may occur up to the limit loads. In particular, any significant nonlinearity (rate of displacement of control surface, thresholds, or any other system nonlinearities) must be accounted for in a realistic or conservative way when deriving limit loads from limit conditions.

b. The airplane must meet the strength requirements of part 25 (static strength, residual strength), using the specified factors to derive ultimate loads from the limit loads defined above. The effect of nonlinearities must be investigated beyond limit conditions to ensure that the behavior of the system presents no anomaly compared to the behavior below limit conditions. However, conditions beyond limit conditions need not be considered when it can be shown that the airplane has design features that will not allow it to exceed those limit conditions.

c. The airplane must meet the aeroelastic stability requirements of § 25.629.

3. System in the failure condition. For any system-failure condition not shown to be extremely improbable, the following apply:

a. At the time of occurrence. Starting from 1g level flight conditions, a realistic scenario, including pilot corrective actions, must be established to determine the loads occurring at the time of failure and immediately after the failure.

i. For static-strength substantiation, these loads, multiplied by an appropriate factor of safety that is related to the probability of occurrence of the failure, are ultimate loads to be considered for design. The factor of safety is defined in Figure 1, below.

ER01NO17.000

ii. For residual-strength substantiation, the airplane must be able to withstand two thirds of the ultimate loads defined in special condition 3.a.i. For pressurized cabins, these loads must be combined with the normal operating differential pressure.

iii. Freedom from aeroelastic instability must be shown up to the speeds defined in § 25.629(b)(2). For failure conditions that result in speeds beyond VC/MC, freedom from aeroelastic instability must be shown to increased speeds, so that the margins intended by § 25.629(b)(2) are maintained.

iv. Failures of the system that result in forced structural vibrations (oscillatory failures) must not produce loads that could result in detrimental deformation of primary structure.

b. For the continuation of the flight. For the airplane in the system-failed state, and considering any appropriate reconfiguration and flight limitations, the following apply:

i. The loads derived from the following conditions (or defined by special conditions or findings of equivalent level of safety in lieu of the following conditions) at speeds up to VC/MC (or the speed limitation prescribed for the remainder of the flight) must be determined:

1. the limit symmetrical maneuvering conditions specified in §§ 25.331 and 25.345.

2. the limit gust and turbulence conditions specified in §§ 25.341 and 25.345.

3. the limit rolling conditions specified in § 25.349, and the limit unsymmetrical conditions specified in §§ 25.367, and 25.427(b) and (c).

4. the limit yaw-maneuvering conditions specified in § 25.351.

5. the limit ground-loading conditions specified in §§ 25.473, 25.491, 25.493(d), and 25.503.

ii. For static-strength substantiation, each part of the structure must be able to withstand the loads in special condition 3.b.i., multiplied by a factor of safety depending on the probability of being in this failure state.

The factor of safety is defined in Figure 2, below.

ER01NO17.001 Qj = (Tj)(Pj) Where: Tj = Average time spent in failure mode j (in hours) Pj = Probability of occurrence of failure mode j (per hour) Note:

If Pj is greater than 10−3 per flight hour, then a 1.5 factor of safety must be applied to all limit load conditions specified in part 25, subpart C.

iii. For residual-strength substantiation, the airplane must be able to withstand two-thirds of the ultimate loads defined in paragraph 3.b.ii. of these special conditions. For pressurized cabins, these loads must be combined with the normal operating differential pressure.

iv. If the loads induced by the failure condition have a significant effect on fatigue or damage tolerance, then their effects must be taken into account.

v. Freedom from aeroelastic instability must be shown up to a speed determined from Figure 3, below. Flutter clearance speeds V′ and V″ may be based on the speed limitation specified for the remainder of the flight using the margins defined by § 25.629(b).

ER01NO17.002 V′ = Clearance speed as defined by § 25.629(b)(2). V″ = Clearance speed as defined by § 25.629(b)(1). Qj = (Tj)(Pj) Where: Tj = Average time spent in failure mode j (in hours) Pj = Probability of occurrence of failure mode j (per hour) Note:

If Pj is greater than 10−3 per flight hour, then the flutter clearance speed must not be less than V″.

vi. Freedom from aeroelastic instability must also be shown up to V′ in Figure 3, above, for any probable system-failure condition, combined with any damage required or selected for investigation by § 25.571(b).

c. Consideration of certain failure conditions may be required by other sections of part 25 regardless of calculated system reliability. Where analysis shows the probability of these failure conditions to be less than 10−9 per flight hour, criteria other than those specified in this paragraph may be used for structural substantiation to show continued safe flight and landing.

4. Failure indications. For system-failure detection and indication, the following apply:

a. The system must be checked for failure conditions, not extremely improbable, that degrade the structural capability below the level required by part 25, or that significantly reduce the reliability of the remaining system. As far as reasonably practicable, the flightcrew must be made aware of these failures before flight. Certain elements of the control system, such as mechanical and hydraulic components, may use special periodic inspections, and electronic components may use daily checks, in lieu of detection and indication systems, to achieve the objective of this requirement. These certification-maintenance requirements must be limited to components that are not readily detectable by normal detection-and-indication systems, and where service history shows that inspections will provide an adequate level of safety.

b. The existence of any failure condition, not extremely improbable, during flight, that could significantly affect the structural capability of the airplane, and for which the associated reduction in airworthiness can be minimized by suitable flight limitations, must be signaled to the flightcrew. For example, failure conditions that result in a factor of safety between the airplane strength and the loads of part 25, subpart C below 1.25, or flutter margins below V″, must be signaled to the crew during flight.

5. Dispatch with known failure conditions. If the airplane is to be dispatched in a known system-failure condition that affects structural performance, or that affects the reliability of the remaining system to maintain structural performance, then the provisions of these special conditions must be met, including the provisions of special condition 2 for the dispatched condition, and special condition 3 for subsequent failures.

a. Expected operational limitations may be taken into account in establishing Pj as the probability of failure occurrence for determining the safety margin in Figure 1.

b. Flight limitations and expected operational limitations may be taken into account in establishing Qj as the combined probability of being in the dispatched failure condition, and the subsequent failure condition, for the safety margins in Figures 2 and 3.

c. These limitations must be such that the probability of being in this combined failure state, and then subsequently encountering limit load conditions, is extremely improbable. No reduction in these safety margins is allowed if the subsequent system-failure rate is greater than 10−3 per flight hour.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 23, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-23699 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0718; Special Conditions No. 25-705-SC] Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Design Roll Maneuver for Electronic Flight Controls AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for The Boeing Company (Boeing) Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. These airplanes 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 an electronic flight-control system (EFCS) that provides control of the airplane through pilot inputs to the flight computer. 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 Boeing on November 1, 2017. We must receive your comments by December 18, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0718 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, between 9 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:

Mark Freisthler, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, AIR-675, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1119; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public-comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA finds it is unnecessary to delay the effective date and finds that good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above. 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 April 19, 2017 (for the Model 777-8 airplane), and May 12, 2015 (for the 777-9 airplane), Boeing applied for an amendment to Type Certificate (TC) No. T00001SE to include the new Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. These airplanes are derivatives of the Model 777-300ER airplane currently approved under TC No. T00001SE. The Model 777-9 is a stretched-fuselage, large, twin-engine airplane with seating for 408 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 775,000 pounds.

The Model 777-8, a shortened-body derivative of the 777-9, is a large, twin-engine airplane with seating for 359 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 775,000 pounds.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Boeing must show that the Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in TC No. T00001SE, 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 Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes 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 type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design features, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified 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 Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes 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 Features

The Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

An electronic flight-control system that provides control of the airplane through pilot inputs to the flight computer. Current part 25 airworthiness regulations account for control laws where aileron deflection is proportional to control-stick deflection. The regulations do not address nonlinearities, such as situations where output does not change in the same proportion as input, or other effects on aileron actuation that may be caused by electronic flight controls.

Discussion

These special conditions differ from current regulatory requirements in that they require that the roll maneuver results from defined movements of the cockpit roll control, as opposed to defined aileron deflections. These special conditions also require an additional load condition at design maneuvering speed (VA), in which the cockpit roll control is returned to neutral following the initial roll input.

These special conditions differ from similar special conditions previously issued on this topic. These special conditions are limited to the roll axis only, whereas other special conditions also included pitch and yaw axes. Special conditions are not required for the pitch or yaw axes, because § 25.331 at Amendment 25-141, and § 25.351 at Amendment 25-91, take into account the effects of an electronic flight-control system.

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 Boeing Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating 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 series of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

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 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes.

In lieu of compliance to 14 CFR 25.349(a), the Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes must comply with the following:

The following conditions, speeds, and cockpit roll control motions (except as the motions may be limited by pilot effort) must be considered in combination with an airplane load factor of zero, and of two-thirds of the positive maneuvering factor used in design. In determining the resulting control-surface deflections, the torsional flexibility of the wing must be considered in accordance with § 25.301(b).

1. Conditions corresponding to steady rolling velocities must be investigated. In addition, conditions corresponding to maximum angular acceleration must be investigated for airplanes with engines or other weight concentrations outboard of the fuselage. For the angular acceleration conditions, zero rolling velocity may be assumed in the absence of a rational time history investigation of the maneuver.

2. At VA, sudden movement of the cockpit roll control up to the limit is assumed. The position of the cockpit roll control must be maintained until a steady roll rate is achieved and then must be returned suddenly to the neutral position.

3. At VC, the cockpit roll control must be moved suddenly and maintained so as to achieve a roll rate not less than that obtained in condition 2, above.

4. At VD, the cockpit roll control must be moved suddenly and maintained so as to achieve a roll rate not less than one third of that obtained in condition 2, above.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 25, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-23701 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9403; Special Conditions No. 25-643-SC] Special Conditions: Embraer, S.A., Model ERJ 190-300 Airplane; Dive-Speed Definition With High-Speed-Protection System AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; correction.

SUMMARY:

This document corrects an error that appeared in Docket No. FAA-2016-9403, Special Conditions No. 25-643-SC, which was published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2017 (82 FR 14117). The error is an incorrect citation of a section in a cited advisory circular.

DATES:

The effective date of this correction is November 1, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Greg Schneider, 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 425-227-2116; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On March 17, 2017, the Federal Register published a document designated as Docket No. FAA-2016-9403, Final Special Conditions No. 25-643-SC (82 FR 14117). The document issued special conditions pertaining to dive-speed definition with a high-speed-protection system. As published, the document contained an error in a citation to an advisory circular section.

Correction

In the final special conditions document (FR Doc. 2017-05329), published on March 17, 2017 (82 FR 14117), make the following correction.

On page 14119, second column, correct the last sentence in special condition no. 2 to read:

The upset maneuvers described in Advisory Circular 25-7C, “Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes,” Chapter 2, section 8, paragraph 32, sub-paragraphs c(3)(a) and (c), may be used to comply with this requirement.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 25, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-23697 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0219; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-5] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Lemoore NAS, CA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule, technical amendment, correction.

SUMMARY:

This action corrects a final rule, technical amendment published in Federal Register on September 21, 2017, that removes the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status information contained in the legal description of Class E airspace designated as an extension at Lemoore NAS (Reeves Field), Lemoore, CA. The airspace description contained the following wording in error: “. . . within a 5.2-mile radius of Lemoore NAS (Reeves Field), and . . . .” This wording is removed. This action does not affect the charted boundaries or operating requirements of the airspace.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, November 1, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert LaPlante, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4566.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

The FAA published a final rule, technical amendment in the Federal Register (82 FR 44060, September 21, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2017-0219, amending Class E Airspace designated as an extension, and removing the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status at Lemoore NAS, Lemoore, CA. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found the legal description was incorrect and is now corrected to eliminate “within a 5.2-mile radius of Lemoore NAS (Reeves Field), and” from the description.

Correction to Final Rule

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, in the Federal Register of September 21, 2017 (82 FR 44060) FR Doc. 2017-20043, Amendment of Class E Airspace; Lemoore NAS (Reeves Field), CA is corrected as follows:

§ 71.1 [Corrected] Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area.
On page 44061, column 2, lines 26-28, the words “That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 5.2-mile radius of Lemoore NAS (Reeves Field), and” are corrected to read “That airspace extending upward from the surface within 1.8 miles each side”.
Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 25, 2017. B.G. Chew, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2017-23675 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0143; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-5] Amendment of Class E Airspace, for Stevens Point, WI AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Stevens Point Municipal Airport, Stevens Point, WI. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Stevens Point co-located VHF omnidirectional range tactical air navigation system (VORTAC) and cancellation of the VOR approaches. This action enhances the safety and management of standard instrument approach procedures for instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, February 1, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Walter Tweedy, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5900.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class E to support standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

History

The FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (82 FR 32151, July 12, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2017-0143 to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Stevens Point Municipal Airport, Stevens Point, WI. The Stevens Point VORTAC has been out of service since 2012 due to extreme fluctuations and out-of-tolerance structure. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile (from a 6.5-mile) radius of Stevens Point Municipal Airport, Stevens Point, WI. The segments that extended 1.8 miles each side of the Stevens Point VORTAC extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 7 miles northeast, east, and southwest of the VORTAC, would be removed due to the decommissioning of the VORTAC and cancellation of the VOR approaches.

This action enhances the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5.a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL WI E5 Stevens Point, WI [Amended] Stevens Point Municipal Airport, WI (Lat. 44°32′43″ N., long. 89°31′49″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Stevens Point Municipal Airport. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas on October 20, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2017-23434 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0557; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-15] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Scottsboro, AL AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace at Scottsboro, AL, by updating the heliport name to Highland Medical Center Heliport, (formerly Jackson County Hospital), and updating the geographic coordinates of the heliport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, February 1, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20591; telephone: 1-800-647-8927, or (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class E airspace at Highland Medical Center Heliport, Scottsboro, AL, by bringing the airport name and coordinates in line with the FAA's aeronautical database.

History

On August 16, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 38856) Docket No. FAA-2017-0557, a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Highland Medical Center Heliport, Scottsboro, AL. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6-mile radius of Highland Medical Center Heliport, Scottsboro, AL, by recognizing the heliport's name change, (formerly Jackson County Hospital), and adjusting the geographic coordinates of the heliport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120, E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO AL E5 Scottsboro, AL [Amended] Scottsboro Municipal—Word Field Airport, AL (Lat. 34°41′19″ N., long. 86°00′21″ W.) Highland Medical Center Heliport, Points in Space Coordinates (Lat. 34°39′45″ N., long. 86°02′48″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Scottsboro Municipal—Word Field Airport, and within 4 miles each side of the 037° bearing from Scottsboro Municipal—Word Field Airport extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 10.9 miles northeast of the airport, and within 4 miles each side of the 218° bearing from Scottsboro Municipal—Word Field Airport extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 11 miles southwest of the airport; and that airspace within a 6-mile radius of the points in space (lat. 34°39'45” N., long. 86°02'48” W.) serving Highland Medical Center Heliport. Issued in College Park, Georgia, on October 18, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2017-23248 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0616; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-26] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Prineville, OR AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and removes Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface, at Prineville Airport, Prineville, OR, to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC February 1, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet and removes Class E airspace upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at Prineville Airport, Prineville, OR, to support IFR operations under standard instrument approach procedures.

History

On July 5, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 31033) Docket FAA-2017-0616 a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface and remove Class E airspace upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at Prineville Airport, Prineville, OR. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Prineville Airport, Prineville, OR. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is modified to within an 8-mile radius (from a 6.9-mile radius) of Prineville airport, with a 4.2-mile (from 10 miles) wide segment extending to 11.4 miles (from 12.3 miles) west of the airport. Additionally, the Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface designated to Prineville Airport would be removed since this airspace area duplicates the larger Bend Class E en route airspace area. This airspace redesign is necessary for the safety and management of aircraft operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM OR E5 Prineville, OR [Amended] Prineville Airport, OR (Lat. 44°17′16″ N., long. 120°54′19″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8-mile radius of Prineville Airport, and within 2.1 miles each side of a 288° bearing extending from the airport to 11.4 miles west of the airport.
Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 25, 2017. B.G. Chew, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2017-23674 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9499; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASO-19] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Fort Knox, KY, and Louisville, KY AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D airspace by removing the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status at Godman Army Airfield (AAF) Fort Knox, KY; and Bowman Field Airport, Louisville, KY. This action also updates and corrects the geographic coordinates of these airports, and Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field (formerly Louisville Standiford Field) in the associated Class D and E airspace descriptions. This action enhances the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, February 1, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on-line at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (800) 647-8927, or (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, GA 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class D and E airspace in the Fort Knox, KY, and Louisville, KY areas, to support IFR operations at these airports.

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (82 FR 24269, May 26, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2016-9499 proposing to remove NOTAM part-time information from Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D airspace at Godman Army Airfield, Fort Knox, KY, and Bowman Field Airport, Louisville, KY. Also, the NPRM proposed to update the geographic coordinates of these airports, and Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found that some of the geographic coordinates were incorrect and makes the correction in this rule. Also, this action recognizes the name change of Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field, (formerly Louisville Standiford Field).

Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraphs 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 removes the NOTAM part-time status of the Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D surface area at Godman Army Airfield (AAF) Fort Knox, KY; and Bowman Field Airport, Louisville, KY.

Also, the geographic coordinates are amended and corrected at these airports and Louisville International-Standiford Field Airport, KY, in Class D airspace, Class E surface airspace, Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D surface area, and Class E airspace areas extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database. Also, the name change of Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field, (formerly Louisville Standiford Field) is recognized.

These changes are necessary for continued safety and management of IFR operations at these airports.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120, E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. ASO KY D Fort Knox, KY [Amended] Godman AAF, KY (Lat. 37°54′26″ N., long. 85°58′18″ W.) That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,300 feet MSL within a 3.9-mile radius of Godman AAF. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific days and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective days and times will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement (previously called Airport/Facility Directory). ASO KY D Louisville Bowman Field, KY [Amended] Bowman Field Airport, KY (Lat. 38°13′41″ N., long. 85°39′49″ W.) That airspace extending upward from the surface to but not including 2,200 feet MSL within a 3.9-mile radius of Bowman Field Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement (previously called Airport/Facility Directory). Paragraph 6002 Class E Surface Area Airspace. ASO KY E2 Fort Knox, KY [Amended] Godman AAF, KY (Lat. 37°54′26″ N., long. 85°58′18″ W.) Within a 3.9-mile radius of Godman AAF. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement (previously called Airport/Facility Directory). ASO KY E2 Louisville Bowman Field, KY [Amended] Bowman Field Airport, KY (Lat. 38°13′41″ N., long. 85°39′49″ W.) Within a 3.9-mile radius of Bowman Field Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement (previously called Airport/Facility Directory). Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Designated as an Extension to a Class D Surface Area. ASO KY E4 Fort Knox, KY [Amended] Godman AAF, KY (Lat. 37°54′26″ N., long. 85°58′18″ W.) Godman NDB (Lat. 37°57′31″ N., long. 85°58′36″ W.) That airspace extending upward from the surface within 2.4 miles each side of the 354° bearing from Godman NDB, extending from the 3.9-mile radius of Godman AAF to 7 miles north of the NDB. ASO KY E4 Louisville Bowman Field, KY [Amended] Bowman Field Airport, KY (Lat. 38°13′41″ N., long. 85°39′49″ W.) Bowman VOR/DME (Lat. 38°13′49″ N., long. 85°39′53″ W.) That airspace extending upward from the surface within 2.4 miles each side of the Bowman VOR/DME 067° radial, extending from the 3.9-mile radius of Bowman Field Airport to 7 miles east of the Bowman VOR/DME. Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO KY E5 Fort Knox, KY [Amended] Godman AAF, KY (Lat. 37°54′26″ N., long. 85°58′18″ W.) Godman NDB (Lat. 37°57′31″ N., long. 85°58′36″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Godman AAF and within 2.4 miles each side of the 354° bearing from Godman NDB, extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 7 miles north of the NDB. ASO KY E5 Louisville, KY [Amended] Louisville International-Standiford Field Airport, KY (Lat. 38°10′27″ N., long. 85°44′11″ W.) Bowman Field Airport, KY (Lat. 38°13′41″ N., long. 85°39′49″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 10-mile radius of Louisville International-Standiford Field and within 2.4 miles each side of the ILS localizer east course, extending from the 10-mile radius to 7 miles east of the LOM and within a 10-mile radius of Bowman Field Airport. Issued in College Park, Georgia, on October 18, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operation Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2017-23254 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2891; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANE-1] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Deblois, ME AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface in Deblois, ME, to accommodate new area navigation (RNAV) global positioning system (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures (SIAPs) serving Deblois Flight Strip. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, February 1, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it establishes Class E airspace at Deblois Flight Strip, Deblois, ME, to ensure the efficient use of airspace within the National Airspace System.

History

The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM in the Federal Register (82 FR 39065, August 16, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2015-2891 to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Deblois Flight Strip, Deblois, ME, providing the controlled airspace required to support the new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005, of FAA Order 7400.11B dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Deblois Flight Strip, Deblois, ME, providing the controlled airspace required to support the new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraph 6005, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANE ME E5 Deblois Flight Strip, Deblois, ME [New] Deblois Flight Strip, ME (Lat. 44°43′35″ N., long. 67°59′27″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Deblois Flight Strip, and within 1-mile either side of a 135° bearing from the airport, extending from the 7-mile radius to 10.5 miles southeast of the airport. Issued in College Park, Georgia, on October 18, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2017-23255 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0391; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-13] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Bend, OR AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward From 700 feet above the surface at Bend Municipal Airport, Bend, OR to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, February 1, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html. FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Bend Municipal Airport, Bend, OR, to support IFR operations under standard instrument approach procedures.

History

On July 5, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 31030) Docket FAA-2017-0391 a notice of proposed rulemaking to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Bend Municipal Airport, Bend, OR. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Bend Municipal Airport, Bend, OR. The airspace remains within the 4.3-mile radius of Bend Municipal Airport, with the segments extending northwest and south of the airport enlarged to 7 miles wide (from 5.2 miles) extending to 8.5 miles northwest (from 6.5 miles), and 5.8 miles wide (from 2.9 miles) extending to 8.8 miles south of the airport (from 9.3 miles south of the airport). This airspace redesign is necessary for the safety and management of aircraft operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM OR E5 Bend, OR [Amended] Bend Municipal Airport, OR (Lat. 44°05′40″ N., long. 121°12′01″ W.)

That airspace upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 4.3-mile radius of Bend Municipal Airport, and within the area bounded by a line starting at the point where a 300° bearing from the airport intersects the 4.3-mile radius from the airport to lat. 44°11′07″ N., long. 121°20′35″ W., to lat. 44°15′41″ N., long. 121°12′11″ W., to the point where a 054° bearing from the airport intersects the 4.3-mile radius from the airport, thence counter clockwise along the airport 4.3-mile radius to the point of beginning, and within 3.1 miles west and 2.8 miles east of the 167° bearing from the airport extending to 8.8 miles south of the airport.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 25, 2017. B.G. Chew, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2017-23673 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0296; Airspace Docket No. 17-ACE-7] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Oskaloosa, IA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

This action corrects a final rule published in the Federal Register of August 28, 2017 that modifies E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Oskaloosa Municipal Airport, Oskaloosa, IA, to accommodate new standard instrument approach procedures for instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. The FAA identified that the reference to the Ottumwa, IA Class E airspace was not removed from the legal description as it should have been.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, December 7, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Walter Tweedy, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX, 76177; telephone (817) 222-5900.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

The FAA published a final rule in the Federal Register (82 FR 40692, August 28, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2017-0296; corrected (82 FR 47098, October 11, 2017), Docket No. FAA-2017-0315, modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Oskaloosa Municipal Airport, Oskaloosa, IA.

Subsequent to publication, The FAA found that reference to the Ottumwa, IA Class E airspace was inadvertently left in the airspace description. This action removes the wording from the legal description.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 2, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Correction to Final Rule

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, in the Federal Register of August 3, 2017 (82 FR 40692) FR Doc. 2017-18107, Amendment of Class E Airspace; Oskaloosa, IA, is corrected as follows:

§ 71.1 [Amended]
ACE IA E5 Oskaloosa, IA [Corrected] On page 40694 column 1, on lines 11 and 12, remove the following text: “excluding that airspace within the Ottumwa, IA Class E airspace area.” Issued in Fort Worth, Texas on October 17, 2017. Christopher L. Southerland, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2017-23247 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 740 [Docket No. 160303181-6181-01] RIN 0694-AG80 Clarifications to the Export Administration Regulations for the Use of License Exceptions AGENCY:

Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule makes clarifications to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to provide guidance based on existing agency understanding and practice on the use of two license exceptions. Specifically, this final rule makes three clarifications to License Exception Governments, International Organizations, International Inspections under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the International Space Station (GOV) and adds five notes, along with making other minor clarifications, to License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA). These revisions respond to questions BIS has received about the use of these two EAR license exceptions and provide the general public answers to frequently asked questions based on existing agency interpretive practice. Therefore, the clarifications in this final rule do not change the EAR requirements for the use of the license exceptions but are intended to assist exporters new to the EAR.

DATES:

This rule is effective November 1, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Timothy Mooney, Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, Phone: (202) 482-2440, Fax: (202) 482-3355, Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

This final rule revises part 740 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by clarifying two license exceptions based on existing agency understanding and practice. To provide the general public with guidance on using these license exceptions, this final rule makes three clarifications to License Exception Governments, International Organizations, International Inspections under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the International Space Station (GOV) and adds five notes, along with making other minor clarifications, to License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA). These changes are described below under sections: (A) Clarifications for License Exception GOV and (B) Clarifications for License Exception STA.

With these revisions, BIS is not changing the EAR requirements for the use of these license exceptions. Instead, the agency seeks to provide sufficient guidance within the EAR to answer questions the agency frequently receives from the public as to the application of the two license exceptions. These clarifications should be particularly helpful to exporters who are new to the EAR, including exporters of items that have recently moved to the EAR from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as a result of the United States Munitions List to the Commerce Control List review process.

(A) Clarifications for License Exception GOV

This final rule revises License Exception GOV, § 740.11, to make three clarifications. Specifically, this final rule revises paragraph (b)(2)(ii); adds a new note to paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C); and adds a new note to paragraph (c)(1). These clarifications do not change the applicability or any other requirements of License Exception GOV and are limited to providing guidance on how BIS interprets these paragraphs of License Exception GOV in response to questions from the public.

Paragraph (b)(2)(ii). The final rule revises paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of License Exception GOV to add two sentences to clarify the applicability of the term `contractor support personnel,' which is defined in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of License Exception GOV. BIS has received questions regarding the locations where `contractor support personnel' must work and the level of U.S. Government supervision needed for personnel to be considered `contractor support personnel.' The first sentence that this final rule adds to paragraph (b)(2)(ii) clarifies that `contractor support personnel' is limited to those individuals who are providing such support within a U.S. Government owned or operated facility or under the direct supervision of a U.S. government employee. This final rule adds a parenthetical phrase to clarify that a U.S. government employee is an individual directly employed by the U.S. Government.

As an example of persons directly employed who would meet the `contractor support personnel' definition, BIS provides the following: A U.S. Government agency plans to conduct a study of soy bean cultivation in Malaysia and the U.S. Government agency team will include three `contractor support personnel' providing scientific support to the U.S. Government agency's study. These three `contractor support personnel' will work at the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia to process and analyze agricultural field data being gathered by U.S. Government personnel as part of a study. These individuals meet the definition of contractor support personnel in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) because they will be working within a U.S. Government-owned and operated facility (a U.S embassy) and providing a form of support (scientific support) that is identified in the term's definition.

For an example of persons not directly employed who would be outside the scope of the `contractor support personnel' definition, BIS provides the following: A U.S. Government agency is evaluating the possibility of providing a grant to a company in Kenya that seeks financing for building three windmills. To evaluate the feasibility of providing a grant, this U.S. Government agency has entered into a contract with a U.S. company that provides feasibility analysis for windmill locations. To conduct the feasibility analysis study, the contractor will need to have certain items exported to it in Kenya. Under this example, the contractor, including personnel of the contractor, would not constitute `contractor support personnel' because it does not meet the definition of `contractor support personnel.' Although it is providing scientific analysis for this U.S. Government agency under a contract, the analysis is not being conducted at a U.S. Government facility or being conducted under the direct supervision of an individual directly employed by the U.S. Government agency.

The second sentence this final rule adds to paragraph (b)(2)(ii) clarifies that private security contractors are not `contractor support personnel' for purposes of paragraph (b)(2)(ii). This new sentence clarifies that although in certain cases private security contractors may work within a U.S. Government owned or operated facility, such contractors do not provide administrative, managerial, scientific or technical support under contract to the U.S. Government, as required under the definition of `contractor support personnel.'

Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C). Paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C) of License Exception GOV authorizes the temporary export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) of an item in support of any foreign assistance or sales program authorized by law and subject to the control of the President by other means, when the criteria specified in this paragraph are met. This final rule adds a new note to paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C) of License Exception GOV to clarify how BIS interprets the meaning of the term `temporary' for purposes of this paragraph. The new note clarifies that within the context of the authorization available in paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C), `temporary' means that within no more than four years from the date of an item's initial export, reexport, or transfer (in-country), it must be returned to the exporter, reexporter or transferor or its disposition otherwise authorized (e.g., pursuant to a license or another license exception) in accordance with the EAR. As a conforming change to this new note to paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C), this final rule revises the introductory text of paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C) to add single quotes around the term `temporary.'

Note 1 to paragraph (c)(1). Paragraph (c) of License Exception GOV authorizes certain exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to agencies of cooperating governments or agencies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Paragraph (c)(1) defines `Agency of a cooperating government' for purposes of this paragraph of License Exception GOV. This final rule adds a new note to paragraph (c)(1) of License Exception GOV to clarify that civil intergovernmental organizations in which the membership is limited to national governments that are `cooperating governments' are also considered `cooperating governments' for purposes of paragraph (c)(1). The new note provides an example of a civil intergovernmental organization, the European Space Agency (ESA), which BIS has determined to fall within the scope of the definition of `cooperating governments.' ESA (and other civil intergovernmental organizations) are considered `cooperating governments' because their membership is limited to `cooperating governments'—meaning that if an export was made directly to any of organization's national government members, License Exception GOV would be available. On this basis, BIS does not exclude exports, reexports and transfers (in-country) made to ESA (and any other civil intergovernmental organization whose members are `cooperating governments') from License Exception GOV. The purpose of this paragraph (c)(1) is to clarify that the fact that two or more `cooperating governments' are working together does not change the policy rationale for why the United States Government intends to authorize such exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country). However, this final rule adds a second sentence to the note to paragraph (c)(1) to clarify that if the membership of the civil intergovernmental organization involves any national governments or other organizations that are not `cooperating governments,' such civil intergovernmental organizations are not considered cooperating governments for purposes of paragraph (c)(1), and a third sentence to provide three illustrative examples of civil intergovernmental organizations that are excluded based on this criteria. This third sentence also clarifies that this exclusion applies even when some or all of the `cooperating governments' are members of the civil intergovernmental organization. This final rule provides the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the United Nations, and the World Bank as three examples of civil intergovernmental organizations that include members that are `cooperating governments' along with members that are not `cooperating governments,' with the inclusion of the latter group meaning that these civil intergovernmental organizations are not within the scope of paragraph (c)(1).

(B) Clarifications for License Exception STA

This final rule revises License Exception STA, § 740.20, to add five new clarification notes, along with making other minor clarifications. Specifically, this final rule adds the following notes to License Exception STA: Note 1 to paragraph (a) for applicability of transfers (in-country) under STA; Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) for staying within the scope of the original authorization; Note 1 to paragraph (d)(2) for multiple consignees on a single prior consignee statement and minor clarifications to the text of paragraph (d)(2); and Note 2 to paragraph (d)(2) for exclusion for government consignees from prior consignee statement; and Note 1 to paragraph (d)(3) for exclusion for intangible exports, reexports or transfers (in-country). These new notes, along with the other minor clarifications, do not change the applicability or any other requirements of License Exception STA and simply provide guidance on how BIS interprets these provisions of License Exception STA. These new notes are consistent with the agency's responses to questions at numerous outreach events and in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) available on the agency's Web site.

Note 1 to paragraph (a) for applicability of transfers (in-country) under STA. This final rule adds a new note to paragraph (a) to License Exception STA. This new note provides guidance on when License Exception STA may be used to authorize transfers (in-country) in response to questions from the public about its applicability. The purpose of this note to paragraph (a) is to explain why transfers (in-country) are included in License Exception STA and describe how this term is applied in the context of this license exception. Under the EAR, outside of prohibited end uses and end users and “knowing” violations, the transactions where most transferors will need an EAR authorization is when the original export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) was authorized under a BIS license and the consignee will make a transfer (in-country) that goes outside the scope of the license. License Exception STA would be available to authorize such transfers (in-country), provided all the applicable requirements of License Exception STA were met, such as obtaining a prior consignee statement from the consignee in-country. If the transfer (in-country) did not require an authorization, such as for exports received under License Exception STA, an authorization is not required for subsequent transfers (in-country), provided no prohibited end uses, end-users or “knowing” violations were involved in the transfer (in-country). These nuances on the application of transfers (in-country) are sometimes not well understood because some people incorrectly assume that the way to determine license requirements for exports and reexports is the same way to determine license requirements for transfers (in-country). The note to paragraph (a) also specifies that when a transfer (in-country) is not being made under STA, then the STA requirements do not apply. The note to paragraph (a) includes a parenthetical phrase with a reference to see the note to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of License Exception STA for requirements specific to staying within the scope of the original License Exception STA authorization, which is described in more detail below.

Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3). This final rule adds a new Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) to License Exception STA. This new note to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) clarifies that for “600 series” items authorized under License Exception STA, the items must be provided to an eligible ultimate end user, such as a Country Group A:5 military, to stay in compliance with the original authorization. The new note refers to this concept as `completing the chain,' which means that regardless of how many times the “600 series” item is transferred (in-country) or whether the “600 series” item is incorporated into higher level assemblies or other items or not, the “600 series” item must ultimately be provided to an eligible ultimate end user or be otherwise authorized under the EAR. Lastly, the new note to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) clarifies that because the other items eligible for authorization under License Exception STA (i.e., 9x515 and other non-600 series ECCNs) do not include the “600 series” requirements specific to ultimate end user, the `completing the chain' concept does not apply to 9x515 and other non-600 series Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) authorized under License Exception STA. However, the original export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) must be completed within the terms and conditions of the original License Exception STA authorization. As noted above, this clarification is specific to existing EAR requirements; the new note to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) does not change any License Exception STA requirements but rather provides guidance on how these existing EAR requirements are applied in the context of License Exception STA, in particular as it relates to the “600 series.”

Adding greater specificity to paragraph (d)(1). This final rule revises paragraph (d)(1) (Requirement to furnish Export Control Classification Number) of License Exception STA to remove the undefined terms “shipment” in four places and “shipped” in two places and add in their place the defined terms “export” in paragraph (d)(1)(i) and “reexport or transfer (in-country)” in paragraph (d)(1)(ii). In the context of paragraph (d)(1), the requirement to furnish the ECCN is intended to apply to all exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) under License Exception STA, and is consistent with how the agency has interpreted this paragraph. This final rule clarifies the intent of this paragraph (d)(1) by removing the undefined term “shipment” and adding in its place defined terms that provide greater specificity on the intended scope of this paragraph (d)(1). This final rule makes similar clarifications as described below to paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3) to improve the clarity of these paragraphs.

Paragraph (d)(2) for multiple consignees on a single prior consignee statement. This final rule revises paragraph (d)(2) (Prior Consignee Statement) of License Exception STA to make four clarifications to paragraph (d)(2): Adding greater specificity to the introductory text as it relates to the undefined term “shipment;” adding two new notes to paragraph (d)(2); clarifying the term `description” in paragraph (d)(2)(i); and making certain terms plural in the text. Because of past issues with the incorporation of revisions to paragraph (d)(2), in particular some of the undesignated text included in that paragraph, in this final rule BIS is revising the entire paragraph to ensure the intended revisions are incorporated correctly. The clarifications to paragraph (d)(2) are described in the next four paragraphs.

Similar to the changes described above for paragraph (d)(1), this final rule revises the introductory text of paragraph (d)(2) to remove the undefined term “shipment” in one place and the undefined term “shipping” in another, and add in their place the defined terms “exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country).” This final rule does not remove the undefined term “shipment” in the two additional instances where the term is used in the introductory text of paragraph (d)(2), which specifies the requirement to maintain a log or other record. This is because the requirement to maintain a log or other record is not intended to apply to intangible (i.e., electronic or in an otherwise intangible form) exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country). BIS adds a sentence clarifying this for purposes of License Exception STA in this final rule. BIS has based this existing agency practice and interpretation on the use of the term “shipment” when referring to a log or other record to mean that the original intent of this License Exception STA requirement was not to apply the requirement to intangible exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country). Because of the frequency at which intangible exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) often occur, it would have been impractical to impose a log or other record requirement for such exports, reexports or transfers (in-country). For example, for a technical work team located at a U.S. parent company that is collaborating with a technical work team in the United Kingdom (a Country Group A:5 Country), there may be dozens or hundreds of intangible exports that occur during a teleconference or telephone call that are authorized under License Exception STA. Although the party making the intangible export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) and the party receiving the technology or software are responsible for complying with the other requirements of License Exception STA, which are suitable for keeping an intangible export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) within the scope of License Exception STA, the party making the intangible export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) is not burdened with trying to keep a log or other record, the requirement for which was appropriate and intended for a tangible shipment but was not intended for intangible exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country). The changes included in this rule will make this interpretation clearer to the public. This new sentence also specifies that an exporter, reexporter, or transferor is required, prior to making any export, reexport or transfer (in-country), including those that are intangible, to ensure that a prior consignee statement has been obtained pursuant to the requirements of paragraph (d)(2). This final rule also adds a parenthetical phrase to include a cross reference to Note 1 to paragraph (d)(3), which provides additional guidance on intangible exports, reexports and transfers (in-country) under License Exception STA. BIS also has posted on the BIS Web site best practices for managing intangible exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) under the EAR. BIS encourages any party involved in intangible exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to review this guidance.

This final rule adds a new Note 1 to paragraph (d)(2) to clarify an existing BIS policy that allows for multiple consignees to be listed on a single prior consignee statement, provided certain requirements are met. This new Note 1 to paragraph (d)(2) addresses scenarios when multiple consignees who form a network engaged in a production process (or other type of collaborative activity, such as joint development) will be receiving items under License Exception STA. In such cases, it is existing BIS policy to allow the use of a single consignee statement identifying multiple consignees, provided all the applicable requirements of License Exception STA are met, including those specified in paragraph (d)(2).

This final rule revises paragraph (d)(2)(i) by adding the term “GENERAL” before the term “DESCRIPTION” and adding the parenthetical phrase, “aircraft parts and components classified under ECCN 9A610,” to provide an example of the level of specificity that BIS intends for the description on the prior consignee statement. BIS has received questions from the public asking whether the term “description” used in paragraph (d)(2)(i) is intended to mean that the prior consignee must include the make and model number of each part or component that the consignee would receive under License Exception STA. The term “DESCRIPTION,” as used in paragraph (d)(2)(i), does not require that level of specificity, as clarified by the changes in this final rule.

Lastly, specific to the clarifications to paragraph (d)(2), this final rule adds an “(s)” to the end of the term “CONSIGNEE” in the introductory text of paragraph (d)(2) and adds an “(S)” to the end of the terms “TITLE,” “NAME,” and “PERSON” in the undesignated text at the end of paragraph (d)(2)(viii). These changes, along with the new Note 1 to paragraph (d)(2), make explicit that it is permissible to list multiple consignees on a single consignee statement.

Note 2 to paragraph (d)(2) for exclusion for government consignees from prior consignee statement. This final rule adds Note 2 to paragraph (d)(2) to exclude Country Group A:5 and A:6 government consignees from the requirement to sign or provide a prior consignee statement to an exporter, reexporter, or transferor under License Exception STA. In particular, for “600 series” items authorized under License Exception STA for Country Group A:5 governments, requiring government end users to provide a prior consignee statement makes little sense, given that the goal of License Exception STA is to get these “600 series” items to Country Group A:5 governments for their ultimate end use (one of the three permissible ultimate end uses for “600 series” items authorized under License Exception STA). In addition, this existing interpretation of agency practice takes into account that under the other likely license exception under which such governments may receive items, License Exception GOV, such a signature on a prior consignee statement is not required. This is an existing interpretation of agency practice that BIS is making explicit in the regulatory text. BIS has provided similar guidance to the public, including to Country Group A:5 and A:6 governments.

Note 1 to paragraph (d)(3) for exclusion for intangible exports, reexports or transfers (in-country). This final rule adds a new Note 1 to paragraph (d)(3) to specify that intangible exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) made under License Exception STA are not subject to the notification requirements of paragraph (d)(3). The new note to paragraph (d)(3) also specifies that the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) and (d)(2) still apply, including to intangible exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) made under License Exception STA. The specification in the new note to paragraph (d)(3) is consistent with the requirement discussed above for the new Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) that any export, reexport or transfer (in-country) made under STA must stay within the scope of the authorization. As noted above in the explanation of the changes to paragraph (d)(2), BIS has posted on the BIS Web site best practices for managing intangible exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) under the EAR. BIS encourages any party involved in intangible exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to review this guidance.

Export Administration Act of 1979

Although the Export Administration Act of 1979 expired on August 20, 2001, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013), and as extended by the Notice of August 15, 2017, 82 FR 39005 (August 16, 2017), has continued the Export Administration Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222, as amended by Executive Order 13637.

Rulemaking Requirements

1. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to nor be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This regulation involves collections previously approved by OMB under control number 0694-0088, Simplified Network Application Processing System, which includes, among other things, license applications and carries a burden estimate of 43.8 minutes for a manual or electronic submission. Total burden hours associated with the PRA and OMB control number 0694-0088 are not expected to increase as a result of this rule. You may send comments regarding the collection of information associated with this rule, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet K. Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285.

3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined under E.O. 13132.

4. The Department finds that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act requiring prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because they are either unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. BIS is making the changes to its regulations described above to provide guidance on existing interpretations of current EAR provisions, and thus prior notice and the opportunity for public comment is contrary to the public interest. The guidance included in this final rule has been provided to many members of the public in the past (e.g., those persons that have attended BIS outreach events, asked these types of application questions to BIS by phone, email or in writing, or read certain FAQs posted on the BIS Web site dealing with these EAR provisions). Importantly, this is also the same guidance that would be provided to any other member of the public that asked the same questions to BIS dealing these EAR provisions. BIS's purpose with publishing this final rule is not to change the application of these provisions but to more efficiently communicate the existing agency guidance and interpretation of these provisions by clarifying the regulations. This will benefit members of the public because they will be able to more easily understand and apply these provisions, which are consistent with past agency guidance and interpretations provided to other members of the public. BIS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This rule does not change the requirements or obligations of persons under the EAR, so a 30-day delay in effectiveness is not needed. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for these amendments by 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable.

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 740

Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, part 740 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) is amended as follows:

PART 740—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 740 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 15, 2017, 82 FR 39005 (August 16, 2017).

2. Section 740.11 is amended: a. By revising paragraph (b)(2)(ii); b. By revising the introductory text of paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C); c. By adding Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C); and d. By adding Note 1 to paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:
§ 740.11 Governments, International Organizations, International Inspections under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the International Space Station (GOV).

(b) * * *

(2) * * *

(ii) Exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) made by or consigned to a department or agency of the U.S. Government. This paragraph authorizes exports, reexports, and transfers of items when made by or consigned to a department or agency of the U.S. Government solely for its official use or for carrying out any U.S. Government program with foreign governments or international organizations that is authorized by law and subject to control by the President by other means. This paragraph does not authorize a department or agency of the U.S. Government to make any export, reexport, or transfer that is otherwise prohibited by other administrative provisions or by statute. Contractor support personnel of a department or agency of the U.S. Government are eligible for this authorization when in the performance of their duties pursuant to the applicable contract or other official duties. `Contractor support personnel' for the purpose of this provision means those persons who provide administrative, managerial, scientific or technical support under contract to a U.S. Government department or agency (e.g., contractor employees of Federally Funded Research Facilities or Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance contractors). The term `contractor support personnel' for purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(ii) is limited to those individuals who are providing such support within a U.S. Government owned or operated facility or under the direct supervision of a U.S. government employee (i.e., an individual directly employed by the U.S. Government). Private security contractors are not `contractor support personnel' for purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(ii) because although they may work within a U.S. Government owned or operated facility, such contractors do not provide administrative, managerial, scientific or technical support under contract to the U.S. Government. This authorization is not available when a department or agency of the U.S. Government acts as a transmittal agent on behalf of a non-U.S. Government person, either as a convenience or in satisfaction of security requirements.

(iii) * * *

(C) This paragraph authorizes the `temporary' export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) of an item in support of any foreign assistance or sales program authorized by law and subject to the control of the President by other means, when:

Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C):

`Temporary,' for purposes of paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C) of this section, means that four years from the date of an item's initial export, reexport, or transfer (in-country), it must be returned to the exporter, reexporter, or transferor or its disposition otherwise authorized (e.g., pursuant to a license or another license exception) in accordance with the EAR.

(c) * * *

(1) * * *

Note 1 to paragraph (c)(1):

Civil intergovernmental organizations (such as the European Space Agency (ESA)) where the membership is limited to national governments that are `cooperating governments' are also considered `cooperating governments' for purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section. If the membership of the civil intergovernmental organization includes any national governments or other organizations that are not `cooperating governments,' such civil intergovernmental organizations are not considered `cooperating governments' for purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section. For example, civil intergovernmental organizations such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the United Nations, and the World Bank do not fall within paragraph (c)(1) of this section because their membership includes governments that are not `cooperating governments.'

3. Section 740.20 is amended: a. By adding Note 1 to paragraph (a); b. By adding Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) at the end of paragraph (b)(3); c. By revising paragraphs (d)(1)(i) and (d)(1)(ii); d. By revising paragraph (d)(2); and e. By adding Note 1 to paragraph (d)(3) to read as follows:
§ 740.20 License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA).

(a) * * *

Note 1 to paragraph (a):

License Exception STA authorizes transfers (in-country) but is only needed to authorize a transfer (in-country) when an EAR authorization is required. If a transfer (in-country) is not being made under STA, the requirements specified in this section do not apply (see Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section for requirements specific to staying within the scope of the original License Exception STA authorization and the concept of `completing the chain' for purposes of “600 series” items originally authorized under License Exception STA).

(b) * * *

(3) * * *

Note 1 to paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3):

Any export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) originally authorized under License Exception STA must stay within the scope of the original authorization. For example, for “600 series” items authorized under License Exception STA, such items must be provided to an eligible ultimate end user, such as a Country Group A:5 military, to stay in compliance with the original authorization. This requirement for the “600 series” is referred to as `completing the chain,' meaning regardless of how many times the “600 series” item is transferred (in-country) or whether the “600 series” item is incorporated into higher level assemblies or other items, the “600 series” item must ultimately be provided to an eligible ultimate end user, or be otherwise authorized under the EAR. This applies regardless of whether the “600 series” item has been incorporated into a foreign-made item that may no longer be “subject to the EAR.” Because the other items eligible for authorization under License Exception STA (9x515 and other non-600 series ECCNs) do not include the “600 series” requirements specific to ultimate end user, this `completing the chain' concept does not apply to 9x515 and other non-600 series ECCNs authorized under License Exception STA. However, the original export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) made under License Exception STA for 9x515 and other non-600 series ECCNs still must comply with the original authorization—meaning the terms and conditions of License Exception STA.

(d) Conditions—(1) Requirement to furnish Export Control Classification Number. (i) The exporter must furnish to the consignee the ECCN of each item to be exported pursuant to this section. Once furnished to a particular consignee, the ECCN that applies to any item need not be refurnished to that consignee at the time the same exporter makes an additional export of the same item, if the information remains accurate at the time of the additional export.

(ii) A reexporter or transferor must furnish to subsequent consignees the ECCN, provided by the exporter or a prior reexporter or transferor, of each item to be reexported or transferred (in-country) pursuant to this section. Once furnished to a particular consignee, the ECCN that applies to any item need not be refurnished to that consignee at the time the same reexporter or transferor makes an additional reexport or transfer (in-country) of the same item, if the information remains accurate at the time of the additional reexport or transfer (in-country).

(2) Prior Consignee Statement. The requirements in this paragraph (d)(2) apply to each party using License Exception STA to export, reexport, or transfer (in-country), including reexporters and transferors of items previously received under License Exception STA. The exporter, reexporter, or transferor must obtain the following statement in writing from its consignee(s) prior to exporting, reexporting, or transferring (in-country) the item and must retain the statement in accordance with part 762 of the EAR. One statement may be used for multiple exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) of the same items between the same parties so long as the party names, the description(s) of the item(s) and the ECCNs are correct. The exporter, reexporter, or transferor must maintain a log or other record (such as documents created in the ordinary course of business) that identifies each shipment made pursuant to this section and the specific consignee statement that is associated with each shipment. For purposes of this paragraph (d)(2), a log or other record is not required for intangible (i.e., electronic or in an otherwise intangible form) exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) made under License Exception STA, but an exporter, reexporter, or transferor is required, prior to making any export, reexport, or transfer (in-country), to ensure that a prior consignee statement has been obtained pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph (d)(2). (See Note 1 to paragraph (d)(3) of this section for additional guidance on intangible exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country), including best practices). Paragraphs (d)(2)(i) through (vi) of this section are required for all transactions. In addition, paragraph (d)(2)(vii) is required for all transactions in “600 series” items and paragraph (viii) of this section is required for transactions in “600 series” items if the consignee is not the government of a country listed in Country Group A:5 (See supplement no. 1 to part 740 of the EAR). Paragraph (d)(2)(viii) is also required for transactions including 9x515 items.

[INSERT NAME(S) OF CONSIGNEE(S)]:

(i) Is aware that [INSERT GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND APPLICABLE ECCN(S) OF ITEMS TO BE SHIPPED (e.g., aircraft parts and components classified under ECCN 9A610)] will be shipped pursuant to License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) in § 740.20 of the United States Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR 740.20);

(ii) Has been informed of the ECCN(s) noted above by [INSERT NAME OF EXPORTER, REEXPORTER OR TRANSFEROR];

(iii) Understands that items shipped pursuant to License Exception STA may not subsequently be reexported pursuant to paragraphs (a) or (b) of License Exception APR (15 CFR 740.16(a) or (b));

(iv) Agrees to obtain a prior consignee statement when using License Exception STA for any reexport or transfer (in-country) of items previously received under License Exception STA;

(v) Agrees not to export, reexport, or transfer these items to any destination, use or user prohibited by the United States' Export Administration Regulations;

(vi) Agrees to provide copies of this document and all other export, reexport, or transfer records (i.e., the documents described in 15 CFR part 762) relevant to the items referenced in this statement to the U.S. Government as set forth in 15 CFR 762.7;

(vii) Understands that License Exception STA may be used to export, reexport, and transfer (in-country) “600 series” items to persons, whether non-governmental or governmental, only if they are in and, for natural persons, nationals of a country listed in Country Group A:5 (See supplement no. 1 to part 740 of the EAR) or the United States and if:

(A) The ultimate end user for such items is the armed forces, police, paramilitary, law enforcement, customs, correctional, fire, or a search and rescue agency of a government of one of the countries listed in Country Group A:5 or the United States Government;

(B) For the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of an item in one of the countries listed in Country Group A:5 or the United States that will be for one, or more, of the following purposes:

(1) Ultimately to be used by any such government agencies in one of the countries listed in Country Group A:5 or the United States Government; or

(2) Sent to a person in the United States and not for subsequent export under § 740.9(b)(1) (License Exception TMP for items moving in transit through the United States); or

(C) The United States Government has otherwise authorized the ultimate end use, the license or other authorization is in effect, and the consignee verifies in writing that such authorization exists and has provided the license or other approval identifier to the exporter, reexporter or transferor (as applicable).

(viii) Agrees to permit a U.S. Government end-use check with respect to the items.

[INSERT NAME(S) AND TITLE(S) OF PERSON(S) SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, AND DATE(S) DOCUMENT IS SIGNED].

Note 1 to paragraph (d)(2):

When multiple consignees who form a network engaged in a production process (or other type of collaborative activity, such as joint development) will be receiving items under License Exception STA, a single prior consignee statement for multiple consignees may be used for any item eligible for export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) under License Exception STA, provided all of the applicable requirements of License Exception STA are met, including those specified in paragraph (d)(2).

Note 2 to paragraph (d)(2):

Country Group A:5 and A:6 government consignees are not required to sign or provide a prior consignee statement.

(3) * * *

Note 1 to paragraph (d)(3):

While the exporter, reexporter, and transferor must furnish the applicable ECCN and obtain a consignee statement prior to export, reexport or transfer (in-country) made under License Exception STA in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section, intangible (i.e., electronic or in an otherwise intangible form) exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) made under License Exception STA are not subject to the notification requirements of paragraph (d)(3) of this section. However, any export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) made under STA must stay within the scope of the original authorization.

Dated: October 26, 2017. Richard E. Ashooh, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
[FR Doc. 2017-23712 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Chapter I Final Report: Review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Agency Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION:

Availability of Final Report.

SUMMARY:

This Final Report on the Review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Agency Actions is provided pursuant to Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.

DATES:

November 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Report available through http://www.ferc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nicholas Tackett, Office of Energy Projects, Branch Chief, Division of Hydropower Licensing, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, 202-502-6783 Karin L. Larson, Office of General Counsel, Energy Projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, 202-502-8236 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION Final Report Review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Agency Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth I. Executive Summary

On March 28, 2017, the President signed Executive Order 13783, titled Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (Executive Order).1 Pursuant to section 2(c) of the Executive Order, on May 12, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC, or the Commission) submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) its plan (Plan) for reviewing its existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency action (agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. On July 26, 2017, pursuant to section 2(d) of the Executive Order, the head of the Commission submitted a draft final report detailing the review undertaken and the results of the review. Given the Commission's status as an independent regulatory agency, this final report is being submitted on a voluntary basis.2

1 Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, 82 Fed. Reg. 16093 (Mar. 28, 2017).

2 The Commission is a multi-member, independent regulatory agency that must follow applicable federal laws to change its rules, regulations and orders. Because the Commission must ultimately decide what action, if any, to take in response to the Executive Order, this report is a Commission staff analysis of the issues identified for review in the Executive Order and does not specifically recommend actions nor indicate the timing of any potential action.

Of the agency actions reviewed, this final report identifies nine agency actions that potentially materially burden the development or use of domestic energy resources as contemplated by the Executive Order and clarified by OMB's May 8, 2017 Guidance Memo.3 In addition, these identified agency actions may be addressed in conjunction with the Commission's ongoing efforts pursuant to Executive Order 13777.

3 Memo from Dominic J. Mancini, Acting Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to Regulatory Reform Officers and Regulatory Policy Officers at Executive Departments and Agencies regarding Guidance for Section 2 of Executive Order 13783, titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”

II. Background

Section 2 of the Executive Order requires the heads of federal agencies to immediately “review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. Such review shall not include agency actions that are mandated by law, necessary for the public interest, and consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.”

On May 8, 2017, OMB issued a Guidance Memo providing additional information regarding compliance with the Executive Order, in particular section 2. The Guidance Memo noted that the Executive Order does not apply to independent agencies as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), but encouraged independent regulatory agencies, especially those that directly regulate the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, to provide the plan and report that are called for in section 2 of the Executive Order. The Guidance Memo further encourages agencies to coordinate their compliance with Section 2 of Executive Order 13783 with their compliance with Executive Order 13777, which directs agencies to establish Regulatory Reform Task Forces to evaluate existing regulations generally and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement and modification, consistent with applicable law.

In the Plan, the Commission explained that it intended to review agency actions it has taken pursuant to legislative authority under: (1) the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717, et seq.; (2) the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 791a, et seq.; (3) the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 App. U.S.C. 1 et seq.; (4) the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), 16 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., and (5) other statutes for which the Commission's actions on LNG, natural gas pipeline, and hydropower projects often require compliance, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Clean Water Act.

III. Commission Review of Agency Actions Pursuant to Section 2 A. Scope of Review

Domestic Energy Sources: Section 2 of the Executive Order states that the review should place particular attention on oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. In addition, section 1 of the Executive Order and the Guidance Memo list renewable sources, including flowing water, as domestic energy sources. Therefore, this final report considers agency actions that potentially affect not only oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources, but also hydropower and other renewable generation resources.

Potentially Material Burdens: Section 2(b) of the Executive Order states that “burden” means “to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources.” Based on the Executive Order's definition of “burden,” as informed by the Guidance Memo which highlights agency actions that “materially” affect domestic energy production, this final report considers an agency action “material” if it could: (1) directly affect the development or use of domestic energy resources; or (2) have a primary indirect effect on the development or use of domestic energy resources.4 Given the Commission's limited jurisdiction, none of the Commission's agency actions would materially affect the design and/or location of drilling or mining of energy production resources.

4 The Guidance Memo indicates that agencies should review actions that both directly and indirectly affect domestic energy sources. This final report uses the term “primary indirect effect” to define the scope of indirect effects that will be considered for review. A primary indirect effect is an effect that is only one step removed from a direct effect. In other words, a primary indirect effect occurs when an agency action affects a factor that, in turn, affects a domestic energy source.

Agency Actions: This final report considers the following types of binding Commission agency actions in existence as of March 28, 2017 (i.e., the date of issuance of Executive Order 13783): codified regulations published by the Commission (i.e., 18 CFR); final rules; public policy statements and guidance documents; and case-specific orders and opinions that establish policies that are broadly applied and not otherwise codified by the Commission.5

5 This report does not consider the issue of grants to third parties to perform agency actions because the Commission does not issue such grants. Commission staff's analysis included consideration of information collections, including those subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, to the extent that such collections are within the scope of the agency actions reviewed under the Executive Order.

B. Methodology

This final report identifies and classifies the potentially relevant agency actions based on: (1) the type of action undertaken; (2) the energy source potentially affected by that action; and (3) whether the potential effects of the action are direct or indirect.

This final report focuses on agency actions in four jurisdictional areas: (1) hydropower licensing; (2) LNG facility, and natural gas pipeline and storage facility siting; (3) centralized electric capacity market policies in PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM), ISO New England, Inc. (ISO-NE), and New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO); and (4) electric generator interconnection policies.

Commission actions in these four jurisdictional areas have the greatest potential to materially burden domestic energy resources as contemplated under the Executive Order. In particular, the Commission's hydropower licensing program has the potential to directly affect the design, location, and development of hydropower resources. In addition, the Commission's jurisdiction over the siting of LNG terminals and natural gas pipelines may affect the delivery to market of natural gas, and have a primary indirect effect on the use of that domestically produced energy resource.

Agency actions related to electric capacity market policies and generator interconnection policies may have a primary indirect effect on the development, retention, or retirement of domestic energy resources. As the Commission has recently recognized in its ongoing efforts concerning the interplay of wholesale electric markets and state policy, the centralized electric capacity markets in PJM, ISO-NE, and NYISO are intended to ensure long-term resource adequacy by sending accurate price signals for investment in electric capacity resources, when and where needed. By signaling the value of capacity, including the potential need for new generation resources, these markets serve a function in those regions that would otherwise typically be performed through integrated resource planning, often before a state public service commission. As a result, Commission actions related to electric capacity market policies could have a primary indirect effect on the development and use of generation resources.

Finally, agency actions involving generator interconnection policies could have a primary indirect effect on the development of domestic energy resources. For example, a wind or solar generator at utility scale typically must interconnect to the transmission grid in order to deliver the electricity produced by those domestic energy resources to the wholesale purchaser. If Commission policies or actions lead to a delay in interconnection or otherwise affect the generator's ability to interconnect, then the project developer may not develop that energy resource, which would impact the development or use of domestic energy resources.

This final report does not review agency actions involving oil and natural gas pipeline rates; electric energy and ancillary service rates and market policies; 6 electric transmission rates, including return on equity issues; demand response resources; mergers; enforcement; reliability; backstop transmission siting authority; and the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act. Commission action in these areas may indirectly impact the design, location, development, or use of domestic energy resources, but would not have a primary indirect effect, as discussed above.

6 Commission actions on energy and ancillary service market rules are less directly related to the development and use of domestic energy resources than Commission actions on centralized capacity market rules. While energy and ancillary service markets have an effect on the economic viability and day-to-day use of generation resources, the market rules established by the Commission are intended to ensure recovery of variable costs (e.g., fuel costs) for marginal units, rather than to be the primary source of fixed cost recovery for new generation resources. That is, in regions that do not have capacity markets, there is an additional mechanism to address fixed cost recovery typically administered by the relevant state regulatory commission, in the case of investor-owned public utilities, or the management of public power utilities.

Pursuant to the Guidance Memo's recommendation, this effort with respect to Executive Order 13783, to the extent appropriate, was coordinated with the Commission's Regulatory Reform Task Force created pursuant to Executive Order 13777.7

7 As with Executive Order 13783, independent regulatory agencies like the Commission are not subject to Executive Order 13777, but are encouraged to comply.

This final report discusses those agency actions that rose to the level of a potential material burden as contemplated by the Executive Order and clarified by the Guidance Memo. For hydropower licensing and the LNG and natural gas transportation facilities siting programs, the Executive Order review process revealed potentially burdensome agency actions related to regulations promulgated by the Commission. For electric capacity markets and generator interconnection, the Executive Order review process revealed potentially burdensome agency actions related to Commission rulemaking orders and case-specific orders, which typically did not result in the promulgation of regulations. This final report identifies steps the Commission may consider, to the extent permitted by law, to alleviate or eliminate the aspects of the agency actions that may burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources.

C. Discussion 1. Hydropower Licensing

Under Part I of the FPA, the Commission has the exclusive authority to issue licenses, small capacity exemptions (up to 10 megawatts (MW)), and conduit exemptions for non-federal hydropower projects. The Commission currently regulates over 1,600 licensed or exempted hydroelectric projects, representing about 56,000 MW of authorized installed capacity, which is more than half of all developed hydropower in the United States.

The Commission is responsible for coordinating and managing the processing of hydropower project license and exemption applications, as well as applications for preliminary permits (under which permittees study proposed projects). This includes determining the effects of constructing, operating, and maintaining hydropower projects on environmental resources, and the need for the project's power. Pursuant to the FPA, issues considered during the review of license applications include power production; fish, wildlife, recreation, and other environmental issues; flood control; irrigation; and other water uses. Various statutory requirements also give other agencies a significant role in project development, and several state and federal agencies have mandatory authorities that limit the Commission's control of the cost and time required for licensing.

Following the issuance of a license or exemption, the Commission oversees compliance with the terms and conditions of the license/exemption for the duration of the license. This includes processing the filing of plans, reports, and license amendments. Additionally, the Commission must determine if it has jurisdiction over proposed or unlicensed operating projects; determine and assess headwater benefit charges; approve transfers of licensed projects; resolve complaints alleging noncompliance with license and exemption conditions; and act on applications for license surrenders.

The Commission also is responsible for ensuring that the water-retaining features of hydropower projects are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained using current engineering standards and federal guidelines for dam safety. Commission staff inspects projects to investigate potential dam safety problems and, every five years, a Commission-approved independent consulting engineer must inspect and evaluate projects with dams higher than 32.8 feet or with a total storage capacity of more than 2,000 acre-feet. The Commission also requires licensees to prepare emergency action plans and conducts training sessions on how to develop and test these plans.

The vast majority of agency actions relating to the Commission's hydropower program do not present a material burden to hydropower resources. Specifically, most agency actions: (1) are necessary to administer the Commission's hydropower program and process hydropower license applications in an orderly manner; and/or (2) do not negatively affect the development of hydropower resources. As outlined below, however, this final report identifies three areas where potential material burdens may exist: licensing processes; exemption processes; and determinations on deficient applications.

a. Licensing Processes i. ILP Default Regulation

The Commission's regulations include three hydropower licensing processes for applicants: the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP), the Traditional Licensing Process (TLP), and the Alternative Licensing Process (ALP). The Commission's regulations assign the ILP as the default process for all license requests, and an applicant must specifically request and justify the use of either the TLP or ALP. Assigning the ILP as the default process could be materially burdensome due to: (1) the time and costs associated with obtaining the Commission's approval to use the TLP or ALP; and (2) in the event the Commission denies the request to use the TLP/ALP, there may be additional time and costs associated with the ILP, due to the structured nature of the process. The level of burden caused by the ILP default regulation is largely project-specific, and may be negligible/non-existent for complex proceedings that could benefit from a more structured process such as the ILP. However, any material burden could be alleviated by making the ILP optional, and removing the requirement to seek Commission authorization to use the TLP and ALP (see 18 CFR 4.30, 5.1, 5.3, 5.8, 16.1).

ii. Pre-Filing Application Requirement

In the final stages of the Commission's pre-filing process for hydropower projects, the Commission's regulations require a potential applicant to submit a draft license application or preliminary licensing proposal before submitting a final license application (18 CFR 4.38(c)(4) and 5.16, respectively). The Commission's regulations include minimum filing requirements for these documents (e.g., study results, analyses, and environmental measures), and a stakeholder review process. The requirement to file the draft application and preliminary licensing proposal may be materially burdensome in terms of the cost and delay associated with the preparation of the documents and the stakeholder review process. To eliminate material burdens, the Commission could consider revising its regulations to make this aspect of the pre-filing process optional for license applicants.

iii. Pre-Filing Schedule

The ILP contains comment and filing deadlines throughout the pre- and post-filing application process to ensure a structured approach to hydropower licensing. The ILP, however, may be materially burdensome in terms of the schedule established for the pre-filing process (3-3.5 years total). To alleviate this burden, the Commission could consider certain comment and filing deadline reductions to allow for an overall time savings of three months: (1) reduce the time that an applicant has to file a proposed study plan, and the Commission has to issue a second scoping document, from 45 days to 30 days after receiving comments (18 CFR 5.10 and 5.11); (2) reduce the time for entities to file comments on the proposed study plan, from 90 days to 60 days (18 CFR 5.12); (3) reduce the time an applicant has to file a revised study plan, from 30 days to 15 days (18 CFR 5.13); and (4) reduce the time for filing comments on an applicant's preliminary licensing proposal, from 90 days to 60 days (18 CFR 5.16).

iv. License Term Policy

Section 6 of the FPA provides that hydropower licenses shall be issued for a term not to exceed 50 years. There is no minimum license term for original licenses (16 U.S.C. 799). Section 15(e) of the FPA provides that any new license for an existing project (i.e., relicense) shall be for a term that the Commission determines to be in the public interest, but not less than 30 years or more than 50 years (16 U.S.C. 808(e)). Current Commission policy is to set a 30-year license term where there is little or no authorized redevelopment, new construction, or environmental mitigation and enhancement; a 40-year license term for a license involving a moderate amount of these activities; and a 50-year license term where there is an extensive amount of such activity.8 On November 17, 2016, the Commission issued a notice of inquiry in FERC Docket No. RM17-4-000 inviting comments on what changes, if any, should be made to the license term policy. The license terms provide operational certainty and govern the frequency of the license renewal process, which influences the overall cost of development. In turn, shorter license terms could burden development by increasing the cost of development. The Commission currently is considering comments on the license term policy, which it could use to further evaluate the need for any future changes to the license term policy.

8See City of Danville, Virginia, 58 FERC ¶ 61,318 (1992); and Consumers Power Co., 68 FERC ¶ 61,077, (1994).

v. Minimum Filing Requirements

The Commission's regulations contain minimum filing requirements depending on the size of a project, and whether construction or modification of a dam is needed for project operation. Part 4 of the Commission's regulations includes three subparts corresponding to these factors: (1) Subpart E—Application for License for Major Unconstructed Project and Major Modified Project (18 CFR 4.40); (2) Subpart F—Application for License for Major Project—Existing Dam (18 CFR 4.50); and (3) Subpart G—Application for License for Minor Water Power Projects and Major Water Power Projects 5 MW or Less (18 CFR 4.60). Subparts E and F apply to projects greater than 5 MW, and include more onerous filing requirements than Subpart G, which applies to projects less than or equal to 5 MW. The 5 MW threshold is based on section 405 of PURPA, which mandated a simplified and expeditious licensing procedure for small hydroelectric power projects with an installed capacity of 5 MW or less (see 46 FR 55,944 at 55,947 (1981); 16 U.S.C. § 2705). The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 has since amended PURPA by increasing the size of a small hydroelectric power project from 5 to 10 MW. Therefore, the 5 MW threshold in 18 CFR 4.40, 4.50, and 4.60 is materially burdensome to projects between 5 and 10 MW, in terms of the cost and time associated with the more onerous filing requirements of Subparts E and F. To eliminate the material burden, the Commission could consider revising its regulations to increase the threshold from 5 MW.

b. Exemption Processes i. Increased Capacity Requirement

To qualify for a license exemption under section 405 of PURPA, an applicant must propose to install/increase the total capacity of a project to not more than 10 MW (18 CFR 4.30(b)(31), 4.31(c), and 4.103(a)). The regulatory requirement to add new capacity at the project is not specifically required by section 405 of PURPA, and it materially burdens existing licensees that would otherwise be eligible to seek an exemption at the end of the existing license term. To eliminate this burden, the Commission could consider revising the regulations to remove the requirement to install or increase the capacity of the facility to qualify for an exemption.

ii. Small Hydropower Conversion Restrictions

In the event that the Commission rejects an exemption application, the Commission's regulations do not explicitly provide an applicant with the ability to convert a small hydropower exemption application to a license application (18 CFR 4.105). The Commission's Handbook for Hydroelectric Project Licensing and 5 MW Exemptions from Licensing, issued April 2004, explicitly states at section 6.3.2:

If the exemption application is dismissed, the process is terminated. There is no opportunity to convert the exemption application to an application for license.9

9See www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/gen-info/handbooks/licensing_handbook.pdf.

In comparison, the Commission has established a process for converting a small conduit exemption application to a license application (18 CFR 4.93). The process for small conduits allows the applicant to submit additional information necessary to conform the conduit exemption application to the relevant regulations for a license application, and then be accepted for filing as of the date the exemption application was accepted for filing. The inability of an applicant of a small hydropower exemption to convert its application to a license application is materially burdensome because the applicant must initiate an entirely new license process after its exemption is rejected, thereby causing delay to the development of the resource. To eliminate this burden, the Commission could consider amending its regulations to explicitly provide the small hydropower exemption applicant with the ability to convert its exemption application to a license application if the exemption application is rejected.

c. Prohibition on Refiling Subsequent License Applications

Pursuant to the authority provided in section 10(i) of the FPA (16 U.S.C. 803), the Commission routinely waives certain sections of Part I of the FPA when it issues a minor license. As relevant, the Commission routinely waives section 15 of the FPA, which governs the Commission's procedures for issuing a new license to an existing licensee (i.e., a relicense) (16 U.S.C. and 808). Yet, the Commission's regulations require the licensee to file an application for relicense at least 24 months before the expiration of the existing license (18 CFR 16.20(c)). Moreover, if the Commission rejects the application, it cannot be refiled (18 CFR 16.9(b)(4)). Rejecting a relicense application, and not providing the applicant with the opportunity to refile, is materially burdensome to the use of hydropower resources. To eliminate this burden, the Commission could consider revising its regulations at 18 CFR 16.20 to provide the applicant with the option of resubmitting the application if the deficiencies are corrected.

2. LNG Facility and Natural Gas Pipeline and Storage Facility Siting

Under section 7 of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717f, the Commission authorizes the construction, operation, or abandonment of interstate natural gas pipeline and storage projects, as well as certain types of LNG facilities (e.g., LNG plants engaged in the storage of interstate natural gas volumes). Similarly, under section 3 of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(e)(1), the Commission authorizes the siting, construction and operation of LNG terminals through which the commodity passes for export or import. As part of these responsibilities, the Commission conducts both a non-environmental and an environmental review of the proposed facilities. The non-environmental review focuses on the engineering design, rate, and tariff considerations. The Commission carries out the environmental review with the cooperation of numerous federal, state, and local agencies, and with the input of other interested parties. Under the NGA, the Commission also is the lead federal agency for coordinating all applicable federal authorizations (e.g., required permits under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Coastal Zone Management Act, among others) and preparing environmental analyses required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for all interstate natural gas infrastructure and LNG import/export proposals.

There are several distinct phases to the review process for interstate natural gas and LNG facilities under the Commission's jurisdiction: pre-filing review (if applicable); application review; and post-authorization compliance. During the pre-filing review, Commission staff begins work on the environmental review and engages with stakeholders with the goal of resolving issues before the filing of an application. Throughout the pre-filing process, Commission staff meets with stakeholders, visits the project site, and confers with federal, state, and local agencies.

Once a project sponsor files an application with the Commission under NGA section 3 for LNG import/export terminals or under NGA section 7 for interstate pipeline and storage facilities, Commission staff analyzes both environmental and non-environmental aspects for a proposed project, including for LNG terminals safety and engineering. An Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement typically is issued for public comment, and ultimately, the Commission will issue an order on an application after considering both environmental and non-environmental issues.

During the post-authorization compliance period, Commission staff monitors the project sponsor's compliance with the conditions directed by the Commission. Ultimately, Commission approval is required before the facility can begin operation and provide service.

Pursuant to Executive Order 13783, the review encompassed the Commission's regulations, guidance documents, and policies related to the certification of interstate natural gas transportation facilities, authorization of LNG import and export facilities, authorization of certain transportation by interstate and intrastate pipelines, and environmental review under NEPA.

The majority of agency actions relating to the siting and construction of interstate natural gas transportation and LNG facilities do not materially burden the transportation or delivery of domestically produced natural gas. Specifically, most of the Commission's actions: (1) Are necessary for the Commission to review and process NGA section 3 and 7 project applications; and/or (2) do not negatively affect the siting or construction of natural gas pipeline and storage facilities or LNG import/export facilities in a manner that has a direct or primary indirect effect on the development or use of domestic energy production.

However, the Commission's regulations require a prospective applicant for authorization under section 3 of the NGA to site and construct LNG terminals and related jurisdictional natural gas facilities to engage in the Commission's pre-filing process. (18 CFR 157.21(a)). The Commission's pre-filing regulations require applicants to use the pre-filing process for a minimum of 180 days before the filing of an application for any project that is required to engage in pre-filing. (18 CFR 157.21(a)(2)(1) and 153.6(c)). While, in general, the pre-filing process is designed to expedite the processing of applications, the mandatory imposition of the pre-filing process on LNG terminals and related pipeline projects for at least 180 days before an application can be filed may be materially burdensome for some projects in terms of the potential delay and costs associated with the process. Although the 180 day pre-filing process is required by statute for LNG terminals, 15 U.S.C. 717b-1(a), the statute did not mandate that the Commission also require “related jurisdictional natural gas facilities” to engage in pre-filing. However, related jurisdictional natural gas pipeline facilities need to be evaluated concurrent with a proposed LNG terminal to avoid segmentation under the National Environmental Policy Act. Further, the pre-filing process allows stakeholders to become involved in the overall Project at an early stage, and applicants can benefit from stakeholder's early identification and resolution of issues that may overlap with the LNG terminal. Without using the pre-filing process for related jurisdictional natural gas facilities, delays could occur during the application review, when issues are first identified and need resolution. Thus, although this regulation may result in delays or additional costs to the applicant early on in a project's development, its overall result is a more timely application review by considering all issues regarding a project concurrently. As such, there is no need for the Commission to consider any revision to this regulation.

3. Centralized Electric Capacity Market Policies

Three of the Regional Transmission Operator/Independent System Operator (RTO/ISO) markets in the eastern U.S. have adopted centralized capacity markets to help address resource adequacy concerns.10 In particular, PJM, ISO-NE, and NYISO have implemented centralized capacity markets that were designed, in part, to ensure long-term resource adequacy by sending accurate price signals for investment in capacity resources, when and where needed.11 As a result, agency actions related to capacity market policies could have a primary indirect effect on the development and use of generation resources, including renewables, natural gas, and nuclear facilities.12

10 The Commission has defined resource adequacy as “the availability of an adequate supply of generation or demand responsive resources to support safe and reliable operation of the grid.” Cal. Indep. Sys. Operator Corp., 122 FERC ¶ 61,017, at P 3 (2008).

11 “Capacity is not actual electricity. It is a commitment to produce electricity or forgo consumption of electricity when required.” Advanced Energy Mgmt. All. v. FERC, No. 16-1234, 2017 WL 2636455, at *1 (D.C. Cir. Jun. 20, 2017); see Conn. Dep't of Pub. Util. Control v. FERC, 569 F.3d 477, 482 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (explaining that capacity “amounts to a kind of call option that electricity transmitters purchase from parties—generally, generators—who can either produce more or consumer less when required”).

12 It is important to note that the Commission has not required RTOs/ISOs to implement centralized capacity markets; rather, the determination to include such markets has been a voluntary decision by the stakeholders in each particular RTO/ISO. However, once an RTO/ISO decides to implement such a capacity market, the Commission must ensure that the tariff provisions establishing the capacity market rules are just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.

The centralized capacity markets require load-serving entities to secure, either through self-supply 13 or participation in the capacity auction, sufficient resources to meet their capacity obligation at a future time. All three centralized capacity markets allow participation by any resource that is technically qualified to provide the capacity product being procured and each market generally models locational constraints. Each conducts a capacity auction where eligible offers to sell capacity are compared to the demand for capacity resources, which is established through an administratively-determined demand curve. Generally speaking, the market clears based on the intersection between the supply and demand curves. All cleared resources receive the market clearing price for capacity regardless of resource type.

13 While the specific rules vary by RTO/ISO, load-serving entities can own or construct resources or contract bilaterally for capacity from resources owned by other entities.

The Commission has issued multiple agency actions (i.e., Commission orders addressing the capacity market designs of the relevant organized markets) that govern the rules and design of the centralized capacity markets. Agency actions related to electric capacity markets were reviewed to determine if they impose a material burden on the development and use of domestic energy resources. In general, agency actions regarding centralized electricity capacity market design do not impose a material burden on the development and use of domestic energy resources because they generally seek to ensure adequate resources, and thereby facilitate the development of domestic energy resources, rather than create material burdens to the development and use of these resources. However, this final report discusses Commission actions regarding one aspect of centralized electricity capacity markets, buyer-side market power mitigation rules, due to the potentially material burdens Commission actions may have on the development of domestic energy resources.

All three eastern RTOs/ISOs use some form of a minimum offer price rule (MOPR) as approved by Commission order. MOPRs as currently designed establish offer floors for certain new resources to protect against subsidized new entry that has the potential to artificially suppress capacity market prices. New resources that trigger this rule are required to submit offers into the capacity market auction at or above the floor. If the resource's mitigated offer price is too high to clear in the market, then the resource would not receive a capacity obligation and the associated market payments. Depending on the terms of any out-of-market contracts, the resource also may not be eligible to receive out-of-market payments if it does not clear in the capacity market auction. Without such compensation, the developer may conclude it is not economic to develop the resource. In this way, Commission actions on the MOPR arguably impose a burden on certain new resources.

However, Commission actions on the MOPR do not rise to the level of a material burden, as the term is defined in the Executive Order and Guidance Memo. While application of the MOPR to a generator's bid may conceivably result in the developer deciding not to develop its generation resource, an individual generation developer's decision not to develop as a result of being subject to a MOPR would not in and of itself materially affect the use or development of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, or other domestic energy resources in the U.S. Therefore, Commission actions on MOPRs do not negatively affect the development and use of domestic energy resources by the electricity sector, despite the potential burden on those individual resources that are mitigated. Furthermore, from the perspective of other resources in the market, the MOPR can help preserve the integrity of the market price signals and revenue streams, thereby facilitating development and retention of other resources that might use domestic energy resources.

4. Generator Interconnection Policies

Electric generators use domestic energy resources to produce electricity. Electric generators at utility scale must interconnect to the transmission system to deliver the electricity they produce to customers and receive benefits from the wholesale electric markets. The interconnection process is designed to ensure a new resource can safely and reliably deliver its output to end-users and to assign the costs to the party causing the costs of any system upgrades required to maintain safety and reliability. If a generator is not able to interconnect to the transmission system, or if it is too difficult or expensive to do so, the developer may decide not to pursue investment in the electric generation resource. Therefore, the ability of an electric generator to interconnect to a transmission system could affect the development or use of domestic energy resources.

The Commission has issued multiple agency actions that govern and facilitate the interconnection of electric generators to public utility transmission systems. They include:

Order No. 2003: In Order No. 2003, the Commission created standard large generator interconnection procedures and adopted a standard large generator interconnection agreement for the interconnection of electric generators larger than 20 MW, regardless of resource type.14

14Standardization of Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 2003, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,146 (2003), order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,160, order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,171 (2004), order on reh'g, Order No. 2003-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,190 (2005), aff'd sub nom. Nat'l Ass'n of Regulatory Util. Comm'rs v. FERC, 475 F.3d 1277 (D.C. Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 552 U.S. 1230 (2008).

Order No. 2006: In Order No. 2006, the Commission created standard small generator interconnection procedures and a standard small generator interconnection agreement for the interconnection of electric generators no larger than 20 MW.15

15Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 2006, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,180, order on reh'g, Order No. 2006-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,196 (2005), order granting clarification, Order No. 2006-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,221 (2006).

Order No. 661: In Order No. 661, the Commission required public utilities to add standard procedures and technical requirements for the interconnection of large wind generation resources to their standard large generator interconnection procedures and large generator interconnection agreements in their open access transmission tariffs.16

16Interconnection for Wind Energy, Order No. 661, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,186, order on reh'g, Order No. 661-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,198 (2005).

Order No. 827: In Order No. 827, the Commission revised the interconnection agreements for both large and small non-synchronous generators to eliminate exemptions for wind generators from providing reactive power.17

17Reactive Power Requirements for Non-Synchronous Generators, Order No. 827, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,385, order on reh'g, 157 FERC ¶ 61,003 (2016).

Order No. 828: In Order No. 828, the Commission modified the small generator interconnection agreement as set forth in Order Nos. 2006 and 792 to require newly interconnecting small generating facilities to ride through abnormal frequency and voltage events and not disconnect during such events.18

18Requirements for Frequency and Voltage Ride Through Capability of Small Generating Facilities, Order No. 828, 156 FERC ¶ 61,062 (2016).

Order No. 792: In Order No. 792, the Commission revised the standard small generator interconnection procedures and standard small generator interconnection agreement for the interconnection of electric generators no larger than 20 MW.19

19Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 792, 145 FERC ¶ 61,159 (2013), clarifying, Order No. 792-A, 146 FERC ¶ 61,214 (2014).

None of these orders materially burden the development or use of domestic energy resources. The Commission's generator interconnection orders establish an orderly, uniform process for all types of generators to interconnect to the grid safely and reliably, facilitating their development by providing them with the means to deliver the electricity they produce to the purchaser. As such, these requirements will not unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources and therefore they will not materially burden the production or use of domestic energy resources.

Dated: October 25, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017-23722 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 19 CFR Parts 24 and 111 [USCBP-2017-0025; CBP Dec. 17-16] RIN 1515-AE25 Procedures To Adjust Customs COBRA User Fees To Reflect Inflation AGENCY:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document adopts as a final rule, with changes, the amendments proposed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations to reflect that customs user fees and limitations established by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) will be adjusted for inflation in accordance with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).

DATES:

Effective November 1, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bruce Ingalls, Director—Revenue Division, 317-298-1107, [email protected]; or Tina Ghiladi, Director—Fee Strategy, Communications, and Integration, 202-344-3722, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On December 4, 2015, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act, Pub. L. 114-94) was signed into law. Section 32201 of the FAST Act amends section 13031 of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 (19 U.S.C. 58c) by requiring certain customs COBRA user fees and corresponding limitations to be adjusted by the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) to reflect certain increases in inflation. The specific fees and corresponding limitations to be adjusted for inflation are set forth in Appendix A and Appendix B of part 24 in this final rule and include the commercial vessel arrival fees, commercial truck arrival fees, railroad car arrival fees, private vessel arrival fees, private aircraft arrival fees, commercial aircraft and vessel passenger arrival fees, dutiable mail fees, customs broker permit user fees, barges and other bulk carriers arrival fees, and merchandise processing fees as well as the corresponding limitations. (19 U.S.C. 58c(a) and (b)). Further, the FAST Act includes a particular measure of inflation for these purposes and special rules when considering adjustments.

According to the FAST Act, the customs COBRA user fees and limitations were to be adjusted on April 1, 2016, and at the beginning of each fiscal year to reflect the percent increase (if any) in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the preceding 12-month period compared to the CPI for fiscal year 2014. The statute permits the Secretary to ignore any CPI increase of less than one (1) percent from the time of the previous adjustment. As a result, if the increase in the CPI since the previous adjustment is less than one (1) percent, the Secretary has discretion to determine whether the fees should be adjusted.

On June 15, 2016, CBP published a notice in the Customs Bulletin announcing the April 2016 determination that no adjustment to the customs COBRA user fees and limitations was necessary based on the FAST Act provision as the increase of the CPI was less than one (1) percent. (Customs Bulletin, Vol. 50, No. 24, p. 13). CBP published a second notice in the Customs Bulletin on December 7, 2016, announcing that, based on a less than one (1) percent increase in inflation, no adjustment was necessary for fiscal year 2017. (Customs Bulletin Vol. 50, No. 49, p. 4).

Proposed Rule

On July 17, 2017, CBP published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (82 FR 32661) proposing to amend title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR) to set forth the methodology for determining the required adjustments. The FAST Act specifies that the customs COBRA user fees and corresponding limitations should be adjusted to reflect the percentage of the increase (if any) in the average of the CPI for the preceding 12-month period compared to the CPI for fiscal year 2014. CBP determined that the 12-month period for comparison will be June through May. This timeframe was proposed to allow for sufficient notice to the public of any adjustments prior to any changes becoming effective for each fiscal year.

The FAST Act further requires the Secretary to round the amount of any increase in the CPI to the nearest dollar. The rounding requirement applies to the difference in the CPI from the comparison year to the current year when determining whether an adjustment is necessary. As written, the rounding requirement does not apply to the fee amount resulting from any adjustment. As noted above, if the difference in the CPI since the last adjustment is less than one (1) percent, the Secretary may elect not to adjust the fees and limitations. The statute requires CBP to use the Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers, U.S. All items, 1982-84 (CPI-U) which can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site: www.bls.gov/cpi/. The proposed rule provided that CBP's Office of Finance will determine annually whether an adjustment to the fees and limitations is necessary and a notice specifying the amount of the fees and limitations will be published in the Federal Register for each fiscal year at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the new fees and limitations.

Technical Corrections

In addition, CBP proposed technical updates to paragraph (g) of 19 CFR 24.22 to reflect the elimination of the user fee exemption for passengers arriving from Canada, Mexico or one of the adjacent islands pursuant to the United States—Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act. (Colombia TPA, Pub. L. 112-42, October 21, 2011). Section 601 of the Colombia TPA amended 19 U.S.C. 58c(b)(1)(A)(i) to limit the fee exemption exclusively to passengers whose journey originated in a territory or possession of the United States, or originated in the United States and was limited to the territories and possessions of the United States. (19 U.S.C. 58c(b)(1)(A)(i)). Since the law became effective on November 5, 2011,CBP has been collecting only the non-exempt user fees. In accordance with the statute, CBP is removing the exemption for passengers arriving from Canada, Mexico, or one of the adjacent islands, from the regulations found in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(i)(A), (g)(1)(i)(B), (g)(1)(ii), (g)(1)(iii), (g)(2)(i), the chart in paragraph (g)(2)(iv), and the collection procedures in paragraphs (g)(4)(ii)(A), (g)(4)(ii)(B), (g)(4)(ii)(C), (g)(4)(iii)(A), (g)(4)(iii)(B), and (g)(4)(iii)(C). (19 CFR 24.22(g)). CBP is also removing the definition of “adjacent islands” from paragraph (g)(1)(iii) as references to adjacent islands have been removed from paragraph (g). (19 CFR 24.22(g)). Additionally, CBP is amending paragraph (g)(2)(iii) to clarify that journeys between ports in the United States are not subject to the fee. (19 CFR 24.22(g)(2)(iii)).

Upon further review, CBP determined that certain technical corrections that were proposed needed further clarification.

Specifically, CBP has determined that paragraph (g)(1)(i) needs to be revised to more clearly identify when a fee is charged based on the arrival of a passenger aboard a commercial vessel or aircraft from one of the territories or possessions of the United States. Paragraph (g)(1)(i) is re-organized for clarity to provide for the three exceptions to the general rule stated in paragraph (g)(1)(i).

In paragraph (g)(1)(ii), CBP has determined that its proposed wording was incorrect. Instead, CBP is retaining current paragraph (g)(1)(ii) with revisions to remove the references to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands and adding the phrase that the fee amount is subject to adjustment by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section.

Further, the user fee chart in paragraph (g)(2) is intended as a tool to assist readers understand the application of the fee structure laid out in 19 U.S.C. 58c and 19 CFR 24.22(g)(1). The chart as proposed in the NPRM contained two errors and did not accurately reflect the existing statutory and regulatory rules. The chart is being amended to reflect “No fee” for aircraft arriving from a specified location regardless of where the journey originates. Additionally, the chart found in paragraph (g)(2) is corrected as the fees for vessels arriving from a specified location with a journey either originating in a place other than a specified location or the United States, or originating in the United States including travel to at least one place other than a Specified Location, were mistakenly changed from $1.93 to $5.50. These two fees will remain at $1.93 but will include the amendments adding the reference to paragraph (k).

In paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(A), the words “in and arrives” are no longer being removed because they are necessary to prevent charging for passengers whose journey may not have originated from a territory or possession of the United States but who are arriving from a territory or possession. Paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) is amended for greater clarity and accuracy by replacing the phrase at the end of the proposed text, “outside the United States” with “other than the territories and possessions of the United States.” This also makes the language consistent with that found in the following paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(C). Paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(C) is also amended for clarity by replacing the proposed phrase “outside the United States, unless that passenger's journey originated” with “other than one of the territories or possessions of the United States, is processed by CBP, and the journey does not originate.”

In paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A), the word “from” after the words “the customs territory of the United States” is retained and the proposed new phrase “that originated in” will not be included. This retains the existing regulatory text while removing the references to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands. Similar changes are made to paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(B), so that the existing regulatory text is retained and only the references to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands are removed.

In paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(C), CBP will not adopt the proposed new text reading, “a place outside the United States and that passenger's journey originated in” and will instead retain the existing regulatory text while removing the references to Canada and Mexico or adjacent islands.

Finally, in the chart found in new Appendix A to Part 24, the description of the Commercial Vessel Passenger Arrival Fee is amended by removing the references to Canada and Mexico or adjacent islands from the parenthetical.

The notice of proposed rulemaking requested public comments. The public comment period closed on August 16, 2017, and five comments were received.

Discussion of Comments

Five comments were received in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking.

Comment: Two commenters requested additional notice time beyond the 30 days proposed stating that 30 days notice would be insufficient to make the necessary internal operational adjustments.

CBP Response: In response to the commenters' concern over the amount of time necessary to operationally prepare for adjusted fees, CBP will increase the notice time from 30 days to 60 days in the final rule.

Comment: One commenter questioned a step in CBP's methodology for calculating the inflation adjustment, specifically, that the agency proposed to round the difference between the CPI for the current year and the CPI for the comparison year. The commenter disagrees with CBP's methodology because 19 U.S.C. 58c(l)(2)(A) directs the Secretary to “round the amount of any increase in the Consumer Price Index to the nearest dollar[.]” According to the commenter, CBP's methodology is incorrect because the CPI is not expressed in dollars. As a result, the commenter concludes that Congress must have intended for the actual fee and limitation amounts to be rounded to the nearest dollar instead.

CBP Response: CBP disagrees. Congress makes its intent known through the statutory text and here expressly instructed the Secretary to round the amount of any increase in the Consumer Price Index to the nearest dollar. See 19 U.S.C. 58c(l)(2)(A). Moreover, the statute clearly states that the Secretary may ignore any such increase of less than 1 percent. See 19 U.S.C. 58c(l)(2)(B). “Such increase” plainly refers to the increase in the CPI referenced in the sentence above. There is nothing in the statute that explicitly states that Congress intended for the actual fee and limitation amounts to be rounded. More broadly, throughout the statute, the terms “fees and limitations” and “CPI” are used in different locations, which ordinarily means that they are to be given distinct meanings and are not interchangeable terms.

In addition, the overarching intent of this statutory provision was to keep the COBRA fee and limitation amounts consistent with inflation. Rounding the fees and limitations to the nearest whole dollar amount would in some cases result in fee and limitation amounts that would far exceed the pace of inflation.

Lastly, while CBP acknowledges that the CPI is typically expressed as an index number rather than a dollar amount, as the CPI measures changes in prices, it is closely related to dollars and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has published materials explaining how to interpret the CPI in dollars. See, e.g., United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, CPI Publication, Indexes, available at https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf (last visited August 18, 2017) (explaining that, in the case of an increase in the CPI from 100 to 233.596, “[o]ne interpretation of this is that a representative set of consumer items that cost $100 in 1982-84 would have cost $233.60 in July 2013.”); United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index—July 2017, Technical Note, available at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cpi_08112017.pdf (last visited August 18, 2017) (explaining that an increase in the CPI from 100 to 107 “can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107”).

Therefore, consistent with basic tenets of statutory interpretation, CBP's reading as articulated in the NPRM gives meaning to the plain language of the text. As Congress chose not to direct CBP to round the fees, but rather to round the CPI, and since the CPI is closely related to dollars, CBP believes that this interpretation is the best way to give meaning to the text as written. There is no need to render irrelevant Congress's explicit direction to round the difference in the CPI and to express such a difference in dollars, as urged by the commenter.

Finally, while CBP believes that the language of the FAST Act pertaining to rounding does not apply to the fee amounts, CBP has determined that it has separate authority to adjust the fee amount in the unique situation of the commercial truck fee for efficient processing purposes for both the public and the agency. The statute requires only that the fee and limitation amounts be adjusted “to reflect” the percentage change in inflation. The ordinary meaning of the word reflect is to “[e]mbody or represent (something) in a faithful or appropriate way.” See Reflect, Oxford Dictionaries, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/reflect (Last visited October 2, 2017). Unlike nearly all of the other instances where COBRA user fees are collected, the commercial truck fee is regularly paid in cash at an inspection booth. Cash collection at the port of entry is a manual, burdensome, and time-consuming process. Making change in pennies, given the enormous amount of cash user fee payments made daily at the land border primary inspection booth, would dramatically slow down the clearance of vehicles and increase fuel costs and carbon emissions as a result of idling in long lines. Accordingly, CBP has determined that this fee set forth in paragraph (c) of § 24.22 will be adjusted to the nearest lower nickel ($0.05). (19 CFR 24.22(c)). Commercial truck fees adjusted to the nearest lower nickel therefore still appropriately reflect the change in inflation as required by the statute but also alleviate the hardship of making change in pennies at the primary inspection booth and allow for faster processing and clearance of commercial trucks.

Comment: One commenter noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) may revise the CPI-U figures periodically. As such, stating a definite figure in the CBP regulations may result in an incorrect calculation if the CPI-U for FY14 is subsequently adjusted. The commenter suggested replacing the numeric figure with a reference to the arithmetic average of the CPI-U for FY14.

CBP Response: CBP agrees and will make the suggested change to paragraph (k)(2)(ii) of § 24.22 in the final rule. (19 CFR 24.22(k)).

Comment: Two commenters requested that CBP reconsider the index used to measure the change in inflation. Both suggested that CBP use the “All items less food and energy” index as opposed to the CPI-U. The basis for their suggestion is that food and energy prices are relatively volatile and that the index excluding them represents the “core” or “underlying” rate of inflation and better reflects the costs of business administration activities.

CBP Response: CBP agrees that the commenters' suggested measure of inflation would lead to less volatility in fee amounts. However, the statutory language specifically requires that we use the CPI-U, so we are not able to revise the methodology according to the commenters' suggestion.

Comment: Two commenters viewed the proposal as an opportunity to correct what they view as the double assessment of processing fees when express consignment carrier and centralized hub facilities are used. Both acknowledged that the language at issue found in § 24.23(b)(4)(i) of the CBP Regulations (19 CFR 24.23) is only revised to reflect the addition of the reference to new paragraph (k); however, they argue that assessing the $1 express consignment carrier and centralized hub facilities fee adjusted by inflation for formal entries amounts to double assessment of the merchandise processing fee. They state that if a formal entry is presented to CBP, the $1 express consignment carrier and centralized hub facilities fee should not be assessed as the importer will pay the appropriate MPF with the entry summary as required and that paying the $1 express consignment carrier and centralized hub facilities fee and the ad valorem MPF assesses the same fee twice on a single entry.

CBP Response: The fee set forth in paragraph 24.23(b)(4)(i) of section 24 is required by statute. (19 U.S.C. 58c(b)(9)(A)(ii)). Any changes to the fees themselves are beyond the scope of this rulemaking.

Conclusion

Based on the comments received and further review of the proposed technical corrections, CBP has decided to adopt as final the proposed amendments published in the Federal Register (82 FR 32661) on July 17, 2017, with the following three changes as well as the changes to the proposed technical changes discussed above. Specifically, in the introductory paragraphs to §§ 24.22 and 24.23 (19 CFR 24.22 and 24.23) and in paragraph (k)(1) of § 24.22 (19 CFR 24.22(k)(1)), CBP extended the timeframe for publishing notice specifying the amount of the fees and limitations from at least 30 days prior to the effective date to at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the new fees and limitations. Second, in paragraph (k)(2)(ii) of § 24.22, CBP removed the figure 236.009, stated to be the arithmethic average of the CPI-U for FY 2014 and replaced it with an instruction to calculate the arithmethic average of the CPI-U for FY 2014. Finally, in paragraph (c)(1) of § 24.22, CBP inserted language to adjust the fee for commercial trucks down to the nearest lower $0.05 in order to minimize the burden of making change in the primary inspection booth at the port of entry.

Announcement of Adjusted Fees

In accordance with this final rule, CBP is also publishing a separate notice in the Federal Register announcing the customs COBRA user fees and limitations as adjusted for fiscal year 2018.

Inapplicability of Delayed Effective Date

Section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) generally provides that a rule may not take effect earlier than thirty (30) days after it is published in the Federal Register. One of the exceptions from this general rule is when there is good cause to make the rule effective sooner. As this rule provides that CBP will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register providing 60 days-notice before inflation adjustments to the fees required by the FAST Act are imposed, there is a self-contained delayed effective date within the rule. Accordingly, CBP finds good cause in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delayed effective date requirement for the rule.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

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 (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This final rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed this rule. This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

This rule will affect a combination of individuals and businesses. While most of the businesses that pay the customs COBRA user fees are large corporations, the rule affects all businesses that pay these fees, so this rule will affect a substantial number of small entities. However, the impact will be small and in line with inflation; for example, with the current inflation since the base year, the commercial truck fee will increase by 15 cents. Therefore, CBP certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3507) an agency may not conduct, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. This rule does not involve any collection of information.

Signing Authority

This regulation is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 0.1(a)(1) pertaining to the Secretary of the Treasury's authority (or that of his delegate) to approve regulations related to certain customs revenue functions.

List of Subjects 19 CFR Part 24

Accounting, Claims, Customs duties and inspection, Harbors, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Taxes.

19 CFR Part 111

Administrative practice and procedure, Brokers, Customs duties and inspection, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements

Amendments to the CBP Regulations

For the reasons stated above, parts 24 and 111 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR parts 24 and 111) are amended as set forth below.

PART 24—CUSTOMS FINANCIAL AND ACCOUNTING PROCEDURE 1. The general authority citation for part 24 continues to read as follows, the specific authority citation for § 24.22 is added, and the specific authority citation for § 24.23 is revised to read as follows Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 58a-58c, 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), 1505, 1520, 1624; 26 U.S.C. 4461, 4462; 31 U.S.C. 3717, 9701; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (6 U.S.C. 1 et seq.).

Section 24.22 also issued under Sec. 892, Pub. L. 108-357, 118 Stat. 1418 (19 U.S.C. 58c); Sec. 32201, Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312 (19 U.S.C. 58c).

Section 24.23 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 3332; Sec. 892, Pub. L. 108-357, 118 Stat. 1418 (19 U.S.C. 58c); Sec. 32201, Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312 (19 U.S.C. 58c).

2. In § 24.22: a. Add introductory introductory text; b. Paragraph (b)(1)(i) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “amount of $437”; c. Paragraph (b)(1)(ii) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “total of $5,955 in fees”; d. Paragraph (b)(2)(i) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “fee of $110”; e. Paragraph (b)(2)(ii) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “$1,500 in fees”; f. Paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) are revised; g. Paragraph (c)(3) is amended by adding the words “of the $100 CBP fee, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section, and the APHIS/AQI fee set forth in 7 CFR 354.3” between the words “Prepayment” and “must be made” in the second sentence; h. Paragraph (d)(1) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “fee of $8.25”; i. Paragraph (d)(2) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “prepayment of $100”; and j. Paragraph (d)(3) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “fee of $100”; k. Paragraph (e)(1) is amended by adding the words, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “sum of $27.50; and l. Paragraph (e)(2) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section” to the end of the first sentence after the word “section”; m. Paragraph (f) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section” after the words “amount of $5.50”; n. Paragraph (g)(1)(i) through (iii) are revised; o. Paragraph (g)(2)(i) is amended by removing the text “Canada, Mexico, any” between the words “means” and “territories”, and removing the text “, and any adjacent islands” after the words “United States”; p. Paragraph (g)(2)(iii) is amended by adding the words “and/or the United States” after the words “Specified Location”; q. The table in paragraph (g)(2)(iv) is revised; r. Paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(A) is amended by removing the words “Canada, Mexico,” between the words “other than” and “one of the territories, and removing the words “, or an adjacent island” from the end of the sentence; s. Paragraphs (g)(4)(ii)(B) and (C) are revised; t. Paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(A) is amended by removing the words “Canada, Mexico,” between the words “United States” and “one of the territories”, and removing the comma and the words “or an adjacent island” from the end of the paragraph; u. Paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(B) is amended by removing the words “Canada, Mexico,” between the words “from” and “one”, and removing the comma and the words “or an adjacent island” following the words “United States” at the end of the sentence; v. Paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(C) is revised; w. Paragraph (g)(5)(v) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section,” after the words “vessel passenger fee” in each place that they appear; x. Paragraph (h) is revised; y. Paragraph (i)(7) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section” after the words “commercial aircraft passengers”; z. Paragraph (i)(8) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of this section” after the words “commercial vessel passengers”; and aa. Paragraph (k) is added.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 24.22 Fees for certain services.

This section sets forth the terms and conditions for when the fees and corresponding limitations for certain services are required. The specific customs user fee amounts and corresponding limitations that appear in this section are not the actual fees or limitations but represent the base year amounts that are subject to adjustment each fiscal year in accordance with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) using Fiscal Year 2014 as the base year for comparison. (See Appendix A to part 24 for a table setting forth the fees and limitations subject to adjustment along with the corresponding statutory authority, the regulatory citation, the name of the fee or limitation, and the Fiscal Year 2014 base amount which reflects the statutory amounts that were adjusted by the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-357).) The methodology for adjusting the fees and limitations to reflect the percentage, if any, of the increase in the average of the Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers, U.S. All items, 1982-84 (CPI-U) for the preceding 12-month period (June through May) compared to the Consumer Price Index for fiscal year 2014 is set forth in paragraph (k) of this section. CBP will determine annually whether an adjustment to the fees and limitations is necessary and a notice specifying the amount of the fees and limitations will be published in the Federal Register annually for each fiscal year at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the new fees and limitations. The fees and the limitations will also be maintained for the public's convenience on the CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov. If a customs user has pre-paid or met the calendar year limit prior to the effective date of the new fees and limitations, no additional fees will be required for that calendar year. If the customs user has not pre-paid or met the calendar year limit prior to the effective date of the new fees and limitations, the customs user will be subject to the adjusted limitation or prepayment amount.

(c) Fees for arrival of a commercial truck—(1) Fees. The fees for the arrival of a commercial truck consist of two separate fees. A CBP fee of $5.50, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section, but if the adjusted amount is not evenly divided by 0.05 (e.g., $5.74) then adjusted down to the next lower $0.05 (e.g., $5.70), and an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (APHIS/AQI) fee set forth in 7 CFR 354.3 for the services provided that CBP collects on behalf of APHIS. Upon arrival at a CBP port of entry, the driver or other person in charge of a commercial truck must tender the fees to CBP unless they have been prepaid as provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. The fees will not apply to any commercial truck which, at the time of arrival, is being transported by any vessel other than a ferry. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “commercial truck” means any self-propelled vehicle, including an empty vehicle or a truck cab without a trailer, which is designed and used for the transportation of commercial merchandise or for the transportation of non-commercial merchandise on a for-hire basis.

(2) CBP fee limitation. No CBP fee will be collected under paragraph (c)(1) of this section for the arrival of a commercial truck during any calendar year once a prepayment of $100, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section, has been made and a transponder has been affixed to the vehicle windshield as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(g) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) Subject to paragraphs (g)(1)(ii) and (g)(3) of this section, a fee of $5.50, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section, must be collected and remitted to CBP for services provided in connection with the arrival of each passenger aboard a commercial vessel or commercial aircraft from a place outside the United States except:

(A) When the journey of the arriving passenger originates in a territory or possession of the United States;

(B) When the journey of the arriving passenger originates in the United States and was limited to the territories and possessions of the United States; or

(C) When arriving from one of the territories or possessions of the United States.

(ii) Subject to paragraph (g)(3) of this section, a fee of $1.93, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section, must be collected and remitted to CBP for services provided in connection with the arrival of each passenger aboard a commercial vessel from a territory or possession of the United States, regardless of whether the journey of the arriving passenger originates in a place outside the United States or in the United States.

(iii) For the purposes of this paragraph (g), the term “territories and possessions of the United States” includes American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(2) * * *

(iv) * * *

Place where
  • journey originates
  • (see (g)(1)(iv))
  • Fee status for arrival from SL Vessel Aircraft Fee status for arrival from other than SL Vessel Aircraft
    SL $1.93, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section No fee No fee No fee Other than SL or U.S. $1.93, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section No fee $5.50, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section $5.50, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section U.S. $1.93, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section No fee N/A N/A U.S. $1.93, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section No fee $5.50, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section $5.50, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section

    (4) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) When a return ticket or travel document is issued (or a receipt or other document that indicates an infant traveling without a return ticket or travel document is issued) in connection with a journey which originates in the United States, includes a stop in a place other than one of the territories and possessions of the United States and the return arrival to the United States is from a place other than the territories and possessions of the United States; and

    (C) When a passenger on a journey through the United States to a foreign destination arrives in the customs territory of the United States from a place other than one of the territories or possessions of the United States, is processed by CBP, and the journey does not originate in the territories and possessions of the United States.

    (iii) * * *

    (C) When a passenger on a journey through the United States to a foreign destination arrives in the customs territory of the United States from one of the territories and possessions of the United States and is processed by CBP.

    (h) Annual customs broker permit user fee. Customs brokers are subject to an annual user fee of $138, as adjusted by the terms of paragraph (k) of this section, for each district permit and for a national permit held by an individual, partnership, association, or corporation. The annual user fee for each district permit must be submitted to the port through which the broker was granted the permit. The annual user fee for a national permit must be submitted to the port through which the broker's license is delivered.

    (k) Adjustment for inflation of Customs Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) user fees—(1) Fee amounts. CBP will determine annually whether an adjustment to the fees and limitations is necessary and a notice specifying the amount of the fees and limitations, as adjusted, will be published in the Federal Register annually for each fiscal year at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the new fees and limitations. The fee and limitation amounts will also be maintained for the public's convenience on the CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov.

    (2) Methodology for annual adjustments of fees and limitation amounts for inflation. CBP will determine the adjustments, if any, by making the following calculations:

    (i) Calculate the arithmetic average of the Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers, U.S. All items, 1982-84 = 100 (CPI-U) for the current year based on the most recent June-May period. This figure is referred to as (A).

    (ii) Calculate the arithmetic average of the CPI-U for FY 2014. This figure is referred to as (B).

    (iii) State the arithmetic average of CPI-U for the comparison year which will be either (B) if the fees have never been adjusted in accordance with this paragraph (k), or the arithmetic average of the CPI-U for the last year in which fees were adjusted in accordance with this paragraph (k) as set forth in the Federal Register notice that last adjusted the fee. This figure is referred to as (C).

    (iv) Calculate the difference between the arithmetic averages of the CPI-U of the comparison year (C) and the current year (A). This difference is referred to as (D). (D) = (A)−(C).

    (v) Round the difference (D) to the nearest whole number. This figure is referred to as (E).

    (vi) Calculate the percentage change in the arithmetic averages of the CPI-U of the comparison year (C) and the current year (A) which is referred to as (F). (F) = ((E) ÷ (C)) × 100%.

    (vii) If (F) is one percent or more, proceed to the next step (viii). If (F) is less than one percent, no adjustment will be made.

    (viii) Calculate the difference in the arithmetic average of the CPI-U between the current year (the most recent June through May period) and the base year (FY 2014). This difference is referred to as (G). (G) = (A)−(B).

    (ix) Calculate the percentage change in the CPI-U from the base year to the current year. This figure is referred to as (H). (H) = ((G) ÷ (B)) × 100%.

    (x) Increase the fees and limitations that are subject to the rules of this paragraph by (H), calculating fees and limitations to the second decimal.

    3. In § 24.23: a. Add introductory text; b. Paragraph (b)(1)(i)(A) is amended by adding the words, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of § 24.22(k) of this part,” after the words “$1.00 per individual air waybill or bill of lading fee”; c. Paragraph (b)(1)(i)(B) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of § 24.22(k) of this part,” after the amounts “$485” and “$25”; d. Paragraph (b)(1)(ii) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of § 24.22(k) of this part,” after the words “surcharge of $3”; e. Paragraph (b)(2)(i) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of § 24.22(k) of this part,” after the amount “$2”; f. Paragraph (b)(2)(ii) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of § 24.22(k) of this part,” after the amount “$6”; g. Paragraph (b)(2)(iii) is amended by adding the words “, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of § 24.22(k) of this part,” after the amount “$9”; and h. Paragraph (b)(4) is revised.

    The addition and revision read as follows:

    § 24.23 Fees for processing merchandise.

    This section sets forth the terms and conditions for when the fees for processing merchandise are required. The specific merchandise processing fee amounts and corresponding limitations that appear in this section are not the actual fees or limitations, but represent the base year amounts that are subject to adjustment each fiscal year in accordance with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) using Fiscal Year 2014 as the base year for comparison. (See Appendix B to part 24 for a table setting forth the fees and limitations subject to adjustment along with the corresponding statutory authority, the regulatory citation, the name of the fee or limitation, and the Fiscal Year 2014 base amount which reflects the statutory amounts that were adjusted by the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-357).) The methodology for adjusting the fees and limitations to reflect the percentage, if any, of the increase in the average of the Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers, U.S. All items, 1982-84 (CPI-U) for the preceding 12-month period (June through May) compared to the Consumer Price Index for fiscal year 2014 is set forth in § 24.22(k) of this part. CBP will determine annually whether an adjustment to the fees and limitations is necessary and a notice specifying the amount of the fees and limitations will be published in the Federal Register annually for each fiscal year at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the new fees and limitations. The fees and the limitations will also be maintained for the public's convenience on the CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov.

    (b) * * *

    (4) Express consignment carrier and centralized hub facilities—(i) General. Each carrier or operator using an express consignment carrier facility or a centralized hub facility must pay to CBP a fee in the amount of $1.00, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of paragraph (k) of § 24.22 of this chapter, per individual air waybill or individual bill of lading for the processing of airway bills for shipments arriving in the United States. In addition, if merchandise is formally entered and valued at $2,500 or less, the importer of record must pay to CBP the ad valorem fee specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, if applicable. An individual air waybill or individual bill of lading is the individual document issued by the carrier or operator for transporting and/or tracking an individual item, letter, package, envelope, record, document, or shipment. An individual air waybill is not a consolidation of several air waybills, and is not a master bill or other consolidated document. An individual air waybill or bill of lading is a bill representing an individual shipment that has its own unique bill number and tracking number, where the shipment is assigned to a single ultimate consignee, and no lower bill unit exists. Payment must be made to CBP on a quarterly basis and must cover the individual fees for all subject transactions that occurred during a calendar quarter.

    (ii) Maximum and minimum fees. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (b)(1)(i)(A) and (b)(4) of this section relating to the express consignment carrier facility or centralized hub facility fee, the fee per individual air waybill or bill of lading charged under paragraph (b)(1)(i)(A) of this section must not exceed $1, as adjusted in accordance with the terms of § 24.22(k) of this part, and must not be less than $0.35, as adjusted by § 24.22(k) of this part.

    (iii) Quarterly payments. The following additional requirements and conditions apply to each quarterly payment made under this section:

    (A) The quarterly payment must conform to the requirements of § 24.1 of this part, must be submitted electronically via Fedwire or pay.gov, or mailed to Customs and Border Protection, Revenue Division/Attention: Reimbursables, 6650 Telecom Drive, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46278, and must be received by CBP no later than the last day of the month that follows the close of the calendar quarter to which the payment relates.

    (B) The following information must be included with the quarterly payment:

    (1) The identity of the calendar quarter to which the payment relates;

    (2) The identity of the facility for which the payment is made and the port code that applies to that location and, if the payment covers multiple facilities, the identity of each facility and its port code and the portion of the payment that pertains to each port code; and

    (3) The total number of individual air waybills and individual bills of lading covered by the payment, and a breakdown of that total for each facility covered by the payment according to the number covered by formal entry procedures, the number covered by informal entry procedures specified in §§ 128.24(e) and 143.23(j) of this chapter, and the number covered by other informal entry procedures.

    (C) Overpayments or underpayments may be accounted for by an explanation in, and adjustment of, the next due quarterly payment to CBP. In the case of an overpayment or underpayment that is not accounted for by an adjustment of the next due quarterly payment to CBP, the following procedures apply:

    (1) In the case of an overpayment, the carrier or operator may request a refund by writing to Customs and Border Protection, Revenue Division/Attention: Reimbursables, 6650 Telecom Drive, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46278. The refund request must specify the grounds for the refund and must be received by CBP within one year of the date the fee for which the refund is sought was paid to CBP; and

    (2) In the case of an underpayment, interest will accrue on the amount not paid from the date payment was initially due to the date that payment to CBP is made.

    (D) The underpayment or failure of a carrier or operator using an express consignment carrier facility or a centralized hub facility to pay all applicable fees owed to CBP pursuant to paragraph (b)(4) of this section may result in the assessment of penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1592, liquidated damages, and any other action authorized by law.

    4. Add appendices A and B to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 24—Customs COBRA User Fees and Limitations in 19 CFR 24.22 19 U.S.C. 58c 19 CFR 24.22 Customs COBRA user
  • fee/limitation
  • FY14 Base fee/limitation (subject to adjustment in accordance with the FAST Act)
    (a)(1) (b)(1)(i) Fee: Commercial Vessel Arrival Fee $437 (b)(5)(A) (b)(1)(ii) Limitation: Calendar Year Maximum for Commercial Vessel Arrival Fees 5,955 (a)(8) (b)(2)(i) Fee: Barges and Other Bulk Carriers Arrival Fee 110 (b)(6) (b)(2)(ii) Limitation: Calendar Year Maximum for Barges and Other Bulk Carriers Arrival Fees 1,500 (a)(2) (c)(1) Fee: Commercial Truck Arrival Fee 5.50 (b)(2) (c)(2) and (3) Limitation: Commercial Truck Calendar Year Prepayment Fee 100 (a)(3) (d)(1) Fee: Railroad Car Arrival Fee 8.25 (b)(3) (d)(2) and (3) Limitation: Railroad Car Calendar Year Prepayment Fee 100 (a)(4) (e)(1) and (2) Fee and Limitation: Private Vessel or Private Aircraft First Arrival/Calendar Year Prepayment Fee 27.50 (a)(6) (f) Fee: Dutiable Mail Fee 5.50 (a)(5)(A) (g)(1)(i) Fee: Commercial Vessel or Commercial Aircraft Passenger Arrival Fee 5.50 (a)(5)(B) (g)(1)(ii) Fee: Commercial Vessel Passenger Arrival Fee (from one of the territories and possessions of the United States) 1.93 (a)(7) (h) Fee: Customs Broker Permit User Fee 138
    Appendix B to Part 24—Customs COBRA User Fees and Limitations in 19 CFR 24.23 19 U.S.C. 58c 19 CFR 24.23 Customs COBRA user
  • fee/limitation
  • FY14 Base fee/limitation (subject to adjustment in accordance with the FAST Act)
    (b)(9)(A) (ii) (b)(1)(i)(A) Fee: Express Consignment Carrier/Centralized Hub Facility Fee, Per Individual Waybill/Bill of Lading Fee $1 (b)(9)(B)(i) (b)(1)(i)(B)(2) Limitation: Minimum Express Consignment Carrier/Centralized Hub Facility Fee 0.35 (b)(9)(B)(i) (b)(1)(i)(B)(2) Limitation: Maximum Express Consignment Carrier/Centralized Hub Facility Fee 1 (a)(9)(B)(i);
  • (b)(8)(A)(i)
  • (b)(1)(i)(B)(1) Limitation: Minimum Merchandise Processing Fee 25
    (a)(9)(B)(i);
  • (b)(8)(A)(i)
  • (b)(1)(i)(B)(1) Limitation: Maximum Merchandise Processing Fee 485
    (b)(8)(A)(ii) (b)(1)(ii) Fee: Surcharge for Manual Entry or Release 3 (a)(10)(C)(i) (b)(2)(i) Fee: Informal Entry or Release; Automated and Not Prepared by CBP Personnel 2 (a)(10)(C)(ii) (b)(2)(ii) Fee: Informal Entry or Release; Manual and Not Prepared by CBP Personnel 6 (a)(10)(C)(iii) (b)(2)(iii) Fee: Informal Entry or Release; Automated or Manual; Prepared by CBP Personnel 9 (b)(9)(A)(ii) (b)(4) Fee: Express Consignment Carrier/Centralized Hub Facility Fee, Per Individual Waybill/Bill of Lading Fee 1
    PART 111—CUSTOMS BROKERS 5. The general authority citation for part 111 and the specific authority citation for § 111.96 continue to read as follows: Authority:

    19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), 1624, 1641.

    Section 111.96 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 58c, 31 U.S.C. 9701.

    § 111.19 [Amended]
    6. In § 111.19(c): a. Remove the phrase “100 and 138” in the first sentence; and b. Remove the amounts “100” and “138” in each place that they appear.
    § 111.96 [Amended]
    7. In § 111.96(c): a. In the first sentence, remove the words “of 138” and add in their place the words “specified in § 24.22(h) of this chapter”; and b. Remove the figure “138” in each place that it appears. Ronald D. Vitiello, Acting Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Approved: October 30, 2017. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23878 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 866 [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-5995] Medical Devices; Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of the BCR-ABL Quantitation Test AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is classifying the BCR-ABL quantitation test 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 BCR-ABL quantitation test'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 November 1, 2017. The classification was applicable on July 22, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ryan Lubert, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4545, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-6357, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Upon request, FDA has classified the BCR-ABL quantitation test 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 (21 U.S.C. 360c(i)) to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval. 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 and part 807 (21 U.S.C. 360(k) and 21 CFR part 807, respectively).

    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 placed 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 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

    On January 19, 2016, Asuragen, Inc., submitted a request for De Novo classification of the QuantideX qPCR BCR-ABL IS Kit. 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 July 22, 2016, 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 866.6060. We have named the generic type of device BCR-ABL quantitation test, and it is identified as a reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) test for the quantitation of BCR-ABL1 expressed on the International Scale (IS) and control transcripts in total RNA from whole blood of diagnosed t(9;22) positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients during monitoring of treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This test is not intended for the diagnosis of CML.

    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—BCR-ABL Quantitation Test Risks and Mitigation Measures Identified risks Mitigation measures/21 CFR section False negative results Special Controls (1) and (2) (21 CFR 866.6060(b)(1) and (2)). False positive results Special Controls (1) and (2) (21 CFR 866.6060(b)(1) and (2)). Lack of traceability of results Special Control (3) (21 CFR 866.6060(b)(3)).

    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) of the FD&C Act.

    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 the guidance document “De Novo Classification Process (Evaluation of Automatic Class III Designation)” have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0844; the collections of information in part 814, subparts A through E, regarding premarket approval, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0231; the collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120; and the collections of information in 21 CFR parts 801 and 809, regarding labeling have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 866

    Biologics, Laboratories, 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 866 is amended as follows:

    PART 866—IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for part 866 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    2. Add § 866.6060 to subpart G to read as follows:
    § 866.6060 BCR-ABL quantitation test.

    (a) Identification. A BCR-ABL quantitation test is identified as a reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) test for the quantitation of BCR-ABL1 expressed on the International Scale (IS) and control transcripts in total RNA from whole blood of diagnosed t(9;22) positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients during monitoring of treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This test is not intended for the diagnosis of CML.

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

    (1) Premarket notification submissions must include the following information:

    (i) The indication for use must indicate the variant(s) for which the assay was designed and validated, for example BCR-ABL e13a2 and/or e14a2.

    (ii) A detailed description of all components in the test, including the following:

    (A) A detailed description of the test components, all required reagents, instrumentation and equipment, including illustrations or photographs of non-standard equipment or methods;

    (B) Detailed documentation of the device software including, but not limited to, standalone software applications and hardware-based devices that incorporate software;

    (C) Methodology and protocols for control procedures for the assay to allow reporting on the International Scale;

    (D) A description of the result outputs, analytical sensitivity of the assay, and the range of values that will be reported; and

    (E) A description of appropriate internal and external controls that are recommended or provided. The description must identify those control elements that are incorporated into the testing procedure.

    (iii) Information that demonstrates the performance characteristics of the test, including:

    (A) For indications for use based on a threshold established in a predicate device of this generic type, device performance data from either a method comparison study to the predicate device or through a clinical study demonstrating clinical validity using well-characterized prospectively or retrospectively obtained clinical specimens, as appropriate, representative of the intended use population;

    (B) For indications for use based on a threshold not established in a predicate device of this generic type, device performance data from a clinical study demonstrating clinical validity using well-characterized prospectively or retrospectively obtained clinical specimens, as appropriate, representative of the intended use population;

    (C) Device reproducibility data generated, using a minimum of three sites, of which at least two sites must be external sites, with two operators at each site. Each site must conduct a minimum of three runs per operator over non-consecutive days evaluating a minimum of five different BCR-ABL concentrations that span and are well distributed over the measuring range and include MR3 (0.1 percent IS). Results shall be reported as the standard deviation and percentage coefficient of variation for each level tested. Prespecified acceptance criteria must be provided and followed;

    (D) Device precision data using clinical samples to evaluate the within-lot, between-lot, within-run, between run, and total variation;

    (E) Device linearity data using a dilution panel created from clinical samples;

    (F) Device analytic sensitivity data, including limit of blank, limit of detection, and limit of quantification;

    (G) Device specificity data, including interference and cross-contamination; and

    (H) Device stability data, including real-time stability of samples under various storage times, temperatures, and freeze-thaw conditions.

    (iv) Identification of risk mitigation elements used by your device, including a detailed description of all additional procedures, methods, and practices incorporated into the instructions for use that mitigate risks associated with testing using your device.

    (2) Your 21 CFR 809.10 compliant labeling must include the following:

    (i) The intended use in your 21 CFR 809.10(a)(2) and (b)(2) complaint labeling must include an indication for use statement that reads “This test is not intended for the diagnosis of CML”; and

    (ii) A detailed description of the performance studies conducted to comply with paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section and a summary of the results.

    (3) Your device output must include results on the International Scale (IS) and your assay must include multipoint calibration controls traceable to a relevant international reference panel (e.g., the World Health Organization International Genetic Reference Panel for quantitation of BCR-ABL mRNA).

    Dated: October 26, 2017. Lauren Silvis, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23742 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 25 CFR Chapters I through III and V through VII 30 CFR Chapters II, IV, V, VII, and XII 36 CFR Chapter I 43 CFR Subtitles A and B 50 CFR Chapters I and IV [178D0102DM, DS6CS00000, DLSN00000.000000, DX.6CS25] Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Availability of Final Report.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Interior (Interior or the Department) is announcing the availability of and publishing in its entirety the Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions that Potentially Burden Domestic Energy prepared pursuant to Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”

    DATES:

    November 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The report is available online at: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/interior_energy_actions_report_final.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Lawyer, 202-208-5257, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” 82 FR 16093 (March 31, 2017), declared a national policy of promoting clean and safe development of domestic energy resources, while avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily limit energy production, constrain economic growth, or hinder job creation. The Executive Order directed the heads of agencies to undertake an immediate review of all agency actions (including regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and other similar agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, giving particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. The Executive Order instructed agencies not to include agency actions that are required by law, necessary for the public interest, or consistent with the policy set forth in the Order. The Executive Order directed agencies to submit reports describing the actions identified through their reviews and providing specific recommendations that could alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency actions that burden domestic energy production to the Vice President, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

    The Department of the Interior has aggressively pursued a comprehensive review of Interior's energy activities. Interior is publishing the Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions that Potentially Burden Domestic Energy (October 24, 2017) prepared pursuant to Executive Order 13783 in its entirety in this Notice. Interior also is making the Final Report available on its Web site at: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/interior_energy_actions_report_final.pdf. Please note that while the format of the Final Report in this Notice may vary slightly from the version available on the website due to Federal Register style guidelines, the substance of both versions is the same.

    David L. Bernhardt, Deputy Secretary. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy October 24, 2017 I. PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT II. INTERIOR'S ROLE IN DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION, DEVELOPMENT, AND USE III. IMMEDIATE ACTION—SECRETARIAL ORDERS IV. RESULTS OF INTERIOR'S REVIEW OF POTENTIALLY ENERGY-BURDENING ACTIONS A. Bureau of Land Management B. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management C. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement D. Office of Natural Resources Revenue E. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement F. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service G. Bureau of Reclamation H. Bureau of Indian Affairs I. Integrated Activity Plan for Oil & Gas in the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska J. Mitigation K. Climate Change V. OUTREACH SUMMARY VI. CONCLUSION VII. ATTACHMENTS Secretarial Orders and Secretary's Memorandum Report of the Secretary of the Interior Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy I. Purpose of this Report

    “Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. Achieving American energy dominance begins with recognizing that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves. For too long America has been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. The Department is committed to an America-first energy strategy that lowers costs for hardworking Americans and maximizes the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.”

    Secretary Zinke, May 1, 2017, Secretarial Order 3351 Strengthening the Department of the Interior's Energy Portfolio

    This final report describes the Department of the Interior's (Interior or Department) progress in implementing Executive Order (EO) 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, dated March 28, 2017. EO13783 requires the head of each agency to carry out a review of all agency actions that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. See EO13783, section 2(a). On May 8, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance to agencies on the contents of a draft report. See OMB Guidance M-17-24 (May 8, 2017). The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) has aggressively pursued a comprehensive review of Interior's energy activities and this final report details the results of this review.

    II. Interior's Role in Domestic Energy Production, Development, and Use

    Interior is the steward and manager of America's natural resources, including oil, gas, coal, hydropower, and renewable energy resources. Interior manages lands, subsurface rights, and offshore areas that produce approximately 19 percent of the Nation's energy. Energy development on public lands increases domestic energy production, provides alternatives to overseas energy resources, creates jobs, and enhances the Nation's energy security. The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects an average of over $10 billion annual revenue from onshore and offshore energy production, one of the Federal Government's largest sources of non-tax revenue.

    Nine of Interior's bureaus have energy programs and responsibilities:

    • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers onshore energy and subsurface minerals on certain public lands.

    • The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) works with states and tribes to oversee environmentally sound coal mining operations;

    • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) oversees offshore oil, gas, and wind development.

    • The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is the lead Federal agency charged with improving safety and ensuring environmental protection related to the offshore energy industry, primarily oil and natural gas, on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

    • The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, generating over 40 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year;

    • The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) oversees leasing of tribal and Indian land for energy development.

    • The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects revenue from energy production and development.

    • The United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducts research and assessments on the location, quantity, and quality of energy resources, including the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Park Service (NPS), while not directly involved in the production or development of energy as part of their missions, may have Federal or non-Federal oil and gas or mineral inholdings. These agencies also manage lands and trails through which important energy-related infrastructure may pass in order to bring affordable energy to American families throughout our country. These agencies therefore have the ability to reduce potential burdens on domestic energy production, development, or transmission.

    III. Immediate Action—Secretarial Orders

    When the United States is a leader in developing its energy resources, it is less dependent on other nations, leading to a stronger America. Interior is committed to an America-First energy strategy that fosters domestic energy production in order to keep energy prices low for American families, businesses, and manufacturers. Every drop of oil, Mcf of natural gas or MW of offshore wind energy produced here in the U.S. benefits the American workers employed in those operations and also frees us from dependence on foreign energy resources. Beyond enhancing America's energy security, low cost energy benefits the American consumer and enhances American manufacturing competitiveness, making American businesses more competitive globally. Secretary Zinke recognizes that development of energy resources on public lands increases the Nation's domestic energy supply, provides alternatives to overseas energy resources, generates revenue, creates jobs, and enhances national security. Eliminating harmful regulations and unnecessary policies will require a sustained and focused effort. That said, the Department will strike the appropriate balance in order to make use of our Nation's domestic resource wealth while also ensuring careful attention to safe and environmentally responsible operations both onshore and offshore, and promoting conservation stewardship.

    Secretary Zinke has issued seven Secretarial Orders to improve domestic onshore and offshore energy production that further these principles. To ensure energy policies receive the highest level attention across Interior, the Secretary established the Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy position to coordinate the energy policy of Interior, including, but not limited to, promoting responsible development of energy on public lands managed and administered by Interior, developing strategies to eliminate or minimize regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy, and promoting efficient and effective processing of energy-related authorizations, permits, regulations, and agreements. See Secretarial Order 3351, “Strengthening the Department of the Interior's Energy Portfolio” (May 1, 2017). Establishing this position that reports directly to the Secretary assures that developing America's energy resources in a responsible way to create jobs and enhance the energy security of the United States will remain a central priority. The remaining six Secretarial orders are:

    • Secretarial Order 3348—Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium;

    • Secretarial Order 3349—American Energy Independence;

    • Secretarial Order 3350—America-First Offshore Energy Strategy;

    • Secretarial Order 3352—National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska;

    • Secretarial Order 3353—Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States; and

    • Secretarial Order 3354—Supporting and Improving the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program and Federal Solid Mineral Leasing Program.

    These Orders direct Interior bureaus and offices to take immediate and specific actions to identify and alleviate or eliminate burdens on domestic energy development. Within this framework, bureaus have identified actions and, in some cases, already made progress in alleviating or eliminating the energy burdens.

    A. Secretary Order 3348—Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium

    One of Secretary Zinke's first acts was to sign Secretarial Order 3348, “Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium” (March 29, 2017), which removed the moratorium on the Federal coal leasing program by revoking a prior Secretarial Order (Secretarial Order 3338, “Discretionary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to Modernize the Federal Coal Program”). Secretarial Order 3348 promotes American energy security, job creation, and proper conservation stewardship. It directs BLM to process coal lease applications and modifications expeditiously and directs Interior bureaus and offices to make appropriate changes to policy and guidance documents to further President Donald Trump's policy of promoting American energy independence and economic growth. (See further discussion below at IV.x and E.)

    In addition to lifting the coal moratorium, Secretary Zinke took other actions to advance American energy independence. In announcing these actions he said, “Today I signed a series of directives to put America on track to achieve the President's vision for energy independence and bringing jobs back to communities across the country.” These directives foster responsible development of coal, oil, gas, and renewable energy on Federal and tribal lands and initiate review of agency actions directed by EO13783.

    B. Secretarial Order 3349—American Energy Independence

    The most overarching Secretarial Order reducing burdens on energy development is Secretarial Order 3349, “American Energy Independence” (March 29, 2017), which directed bureaus to examine specific actions impacting oil and gas development, and any other actions affecting other energy development. It revoked Secretarial Order 3330, “Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior,” and directed bureaus and offices to review all actions taken pursuant to that Order for possible reconsideration, modification, or rescission. It also directed each bureau and office to review actions taken regarding rescinded Executive Orders related to climate change. Further, it directed the review of the following specific actions impacting energy development:

    • BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule (RIN 1004-AE26) (see discussion below under IV.A.i.);

    • BLM Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation Rule (RIN 1004-AE14) (see discussion below under IV.A.ii);

    • NPS Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights Rule (RIN 1024-AD78); and

    • FWS National Wildlife Refuge System; Management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights (RIN 1018-AX36) (see discussion below under IV.F.).

    C. Secretarial Order 3350—America-First Offshore Energy Strategy

    This Order enhances opportunities for energy exploration, leasing, conservation stewardship, and development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), thereby providing jobs, energy security, and revenue for the American people by reinitiating the five-year planning process. Among other actions, it directed the review of the following regulatory actions that impact offshore energy development:

    • BOEM Notice to Lessees (NTL) No. 2016-N01 entitled, “Notice to Lessees and Operators of Federal Oil and Gas, and Sulfur Leases, and Holders of Pipeline Right-of-Way and Right-of-Use and Easement Grants in the Outer Continental Shelf”;

    • BOEM Offshore Air Quality Control, Reporting, and Compliance Rule (RIN 1010-AD82);

    • BSEE Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control (RIN 1014-AA11); and

    • BOEM and BSEE Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf—Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf Rule (RIN 1082-AA00).

    D. Secretarial Order 3352—National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska

    This Order provides for clean and safe development of oil and gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, recognizing that prudent development of these resources is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security. (See discussion below at IV.J.)

    E. Secretarial Order 3353—Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation With Western States

    Sage-grouse protections can affect energy development because these activities often share the same land across the 11 western states and 67 million acres of Federal land that are affected by sage grouse habitat. This Order establishes a Sage-Grouse Review Team that includes representatives from the BLM, FWS, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to review the 2015 Sage-Grouse Plans and associated policies, giving appropriate weight to the value of energy and other development on public lands within BLM's overall multiple-use mission and to be consistent with the policy set forth in Secretarial Order 3349, “American Energy Independence.” (See discussion below at IV.A.vii.)

    F. Secretarial Order 3354—Supporting and Improving the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program and Federal Solid Mineral Leasing Program

    This Order intends to ensure that quarterly oil and gas lease sales are consistently held and to identify ways to promote the exploration and development of Federal onshore oil and gas and solid mineral resources, including improving quarterly lease sales, enhancing the Federal onshore solid mineral leasing program, and improving the permitting processes. See discussion below at IV.A.

    Details of progress in accordance with the aforementioned Executive and Secretarial Orders are described below, as well as relevant proposed actions that are currently under review. Prior to reaching a final determination regarding any proposed action, Interior may be required to comply with the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act or other laws and regulations, and will weigh the results of such procedures accordingly in its decisionmaking process.

    IV. Results of Interior's Review of Potentially Energy-Burdening Actions A. Bureau of Land Management

    The Bureau of Land Management administers more land than any other Federal agency, consisting of more than 245 million surface acres and 700 million acres of subsurface mineral development. In response to EO13783 and Secretarial Orders 3348, 3349, and 3354, BLM is revising and reforming its leasing processes, improving the Coal Management Program, and delaying, revising, or rescinding burdensome regulations and policies to improve domestic energy production and support jobs.

    Below is a list of specific actions BLM is undertaking to reduce burdens on the production of energy on BLM managed resources.

    i. Review of the Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

    Executive Order 13783 required Interior to review the final rule entitled, “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands,” 80 FR 16128 (Mar. 26, 2015). Secretarial Order 3349 directed BLM to undertake that review. On July 25, 2017, BLM published a proposed rule to rescind the 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule because the compliance costs of the existing 2015 rule are not justified (82 FR 34464). All 32 states with Federal oil and gas leases and some tribes currently have laws or regulations that address hydraulic fracturing operations. Thus, rescinding the rule has the potential to reduce regulatory burdens by enabling oil and gas operations to occur under one set of regulations within each state or tribal lands, rather than two. Rescinding this rule may result in additional interest in oil and gas development on public lands, especially under higher commodity prices.

    Interior has identified this proposed rescission as a deregulatory action under EO13771. ii. Temporarily Suspend or Postpone Certain Requirements and Review to Rescind or Revise the Venting and Flaring Rule

    Executive Order 13783 required Interior to review the final rule entitled, “Oil and Gas; Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation,” 81 FR 83008 (Nov. 18, 2016), also known as the “Venting and Flaring” rule. Secretarial Order 3349 ordered BLM to review the rule and report to the Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management on whether the rule is fully consistent with the policy expressed in EO13783.

    The BLM conducted an initial review of the rule and found that it was inconsistent with the policy stated in EO13783 that “it is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.” The BLM recognizes that the 2016 final rule poses a substantial burden on industry, particularly those requirements that are set to become effective on January 17, 2018. The BLM issued a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2017, seeking comment on temporarily suspending or delaying certain requirements until January 17, 2019, to reduce the regulatory burden on the energy industry. This will provide industry additional time to plan for and engineer responsive infrastructure modifications that will comply with the regulation.

    If finalized, the revised regulation will provide significant additional phase-in time to oil and gas operators.

    The BLM intends to work with industry to develop metrics, including key timelines or benchmarks, and the reduction of flaring from Federal and Indian lands over time.

    Following up on its initial review, BLM has reviewed the 2016 final rule in accordance with the policies set forth in EO13783. The BLM is currently drafting a proposed rule that would eliminate overlap with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Air Act authorities while also clarifying regulatory provisions related to the beneficial use of gas on Federal and Indian lands.

    The BLM has identified the delay of effective date rulemaking as a deregulatory action under EO13771. iii. Revise Oil and Gas; Onshore Orders Nos. 3, 4 and 5

    The burdens placed on industry through these 3 new regulations are being reviewed as directed under EO13783. These 3 rulemakings, which were promulgated and issued concurrently, updated and replaced BLM's Onshore Orders for site security, oil measurement, and gas measurement regulations, respectively, that had been in place since 1989. They are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 43 CFR parts 3173, 3174, and 3175. External and internal oversight reviews prompted these rulemakings and found that many of BLM's production measurement and accountability policies were outdated and inconsistently applied. The new rules also address some of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concerns for high risk with regard to Interior's production accountability. These 3 regulations impose new cost burdens on operators as a result of oil and gas facility infrastructure changes. The cost estimates for each individual rule are as follows:

    • Order 3, Site Security: $31.2 million in one-time costs, plus an $11.7 million increase in annual operating costs;

    • Order 4, Oil Measurement: $3.3 million in one-time costs, plus a $4.6 million increase in annual operating costs; and

    • Order 5, Gas Measurement: $23.3 million one-time cost, plus $12.1 million increase in annual operating costs.

    The new regulations also provide a process for approving new technology that meets defined performance goals. Some provisions of the rule may have added regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.

    The BLM is currently assessing the rules to determine 1) if additional revisions are needed beyond the already-implemented phase-in period for certain provisions, 2) the ability for industry to introduce new technologies through a defined process, rather than through an exception request, and 3) the built-in waivers or variances. The BLM expects to complete its assessment of possible changes to alleviate burdens that may have added to constraints on energy production, economic growth and job creation by the end of the fourth quarter of FY 2017.

    The new regulations have built in necessary waivers or variances. The BLM's establishment of a phase-in period for the new site security and production measurement regulations is an interim measure. The BLM will measure success over the phase-in period in terms of the production measurements, royalties paid, a reduction in under-reporting of production, and greater site security for production facilities.

    iv. Revise and Replace Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2010-117, “Oil and Gas Leasing Reform—Land Use Planning and Lease Parcel Reviews”

    This policy will be replaced with revised guidance for the purpose of establishing greater efficiencies in the oil and gas leasing process. Policy Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2010-117 established a process for leasing oil and gas resources on Federal lands. The BLM intended the IM to reduce the backlog of unissued leases. However, the IM has resulted in longer time frames in analyzing and responding to protests and appeals, as well as longer lead times for BLM to clear and make available parcels for oil and gas lease sales. It has also resulted in increased workload and staffing needs to conduct additional upfront environmental analysis.

    The BLM has undertaken an effort to revise and reform its leasing policy and to streamline the leasing process from beginning (i.e. receipt of an Expression of Interest) to end (competitively offering the nominated acreage in a lease sale). Under existing policies and procedures, the process can take up to 16 months (and sometimes longer) from the time lands are nominated to the time a lease sale occurs. The BLM is examining ways to significantly reduce this time by as much as 8-10 months. The BLM plans to complete revisions to the leasing process in the first quarter of FY 2018.

    A shorter period from nomination to sale will reduce the number of nominated acres awaiting competitive sale at any given time and will increase industry certainty regarding the acreage it holds. As a result, industry will be able to plan for and execute exploration and production strategies earlier, and respond more effectively to changing market conditions.

    Reducing the average time from acreage nomination to lease sale will be BLM's measure of success. The BLM does not control what acreage industry nominates because market conditions can fluctuate dramatically; therefore, total nominated acreage awaiting sale is not likely to be a measure of success.

    Until the policy revisions are completed, BLM is setting quarterly lease sale acreage targets to address the acreage currently nominated. The BLM is also identifying ways to augment staff support for potential sales in those offices with the greatest numbers of acres nominated.

    v. Rescind Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2013-101, “Oil and Gas Leasing Reform—Master Leasing Plans (MLPs)”

    This policy announced the incorporation of Master Leasing Plans (MLPs) in the oil and gas leasing process, further explained in Chapter V of the BLM Handbook H-1624-1, entitled “Planning for Fluid Mineral Resources.” The IM establishes a process for integrating an MLP into the land use planning process. The BLM has extended this IM several times while the BLM completes the public scoping and analysis for MLPs. An unintended consequence of this policy has been that many areas open to oil and gas leasing have been deferred from leasing while they await the completion of the MLP process.

    The BLM has undertaken an effort to revise the leasing reform and MLP policy and to re-establish the BLM Resource Management Plans (RMPs) as the source of lands available for fluid minerals leasing. The BLM is currently evaluating existing MLP efforts with the goal of ending this approach. The BLM expects to rescind this IM and complete the revision of the above BLM Handbook, as well as any other relevant BLM handbooks, in the first quarter of FY 2018.

    Because this change will re-establish the RMP as the source of land allocation decisions for fluid minerals, it will result in more streamlined National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and a shorter timeframe for acreage nominations to make it to a competitive lease sale. Since extra time and NEPA analysis adds to uncertainty for industry and use of taxpayer dollars by the Department, removing these process-related steps has the effect of decreasing uncertainty.

    The primary measure of success in removing regulatory burden from the rescission of the MLP policy will be in the elimination of related nominated acreage sale deferral pending completion of MLP NEPA. While there will continue to be acreage sale deferrals for various reasons, completion of MLP NEPA will no longer be one of them. The time frames will be shorter.

    vi. Revise Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2013-177, “National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance for Oil and Gas Lease Reinstatement Petitions”

    This IM directs all BLM oil and gas leasing Field Offices to: 1) ensure RMP conformance; 2) evaluate the adequacy of existing NEPA analysis and documentation; and 3) complete any necessary new or supplemental NEPA analysis and documentation before approving a Class I or Class II oil and gas lease reinstatement petition. This IM has resulted in additional analysis and review time that often involves another surface management agency and, in some instances, has led to adding new lease stipulations prior to lease reinstatement.

    Lease reinstatements were previously considered a ministerial matter, entailing a commensurate level of review and process to complete. However, IM 2013-177 changed that in significant ways, resulting in additional NEPA review and significantly greater timeframes for completing the reinstatement. Rescinding or modifying this policy will greatly reduce decisionmaking timeframes on lease reinstatement requests. The BLM expects to complete review of this policy in the first quarter of FY 2018 and promptly finalize by the second quarter.

    The BLM expects that changes to this policy will refocus the emphasis back to existing NEPA analysis and information, which will significantly shorten the time it takes to consider and process a lease reinstatement request. The policy changes will provide greater certainty and reduced expense for energy development companies and result in production occurring sooner.

    The BLM will measure the reduction in burden in terms of the average time it takes to consider a complete lease reinstatement request.

    Similar to MLPs, in the interim, BLM must identify and evaluate the status of each current lease reinstatement request in order to determine whether and how to expedite review and processing. There are no other interim measures, waivers or variances that are relevant to the process.

    vii. Revise Policy, Oil and Gas: IM 2016-140, “Implementation of Greater Sage-grouse Resource Management Plan Revisions or Amendments—Oil & Gas Leasing and Development Sequential Prioritization”

    Policy IM 2016-140 is being reviewed for the purpose of enhancing consistency and certainty for oil and gas development in areas of sage-grouse habitat as directed by EO13783. This IM provides guidance on prioritizing implementation decisions for BLM oil and gas leasing and development, to be consistent with Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments for the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin Greater Sage-grouse Regions and nine Approved Resource Management Plans in the Rocky Mountain Greater Sage-grouse Region (collectively referred to as the Greater Sage-grouse Plans). The IM applies to activities in the areas covered by both the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin Regions Records of Decision, issued by BLM in September 2015, and also contains reporting requirements for communication between BLM State Offices and the Washington Office (WO). The IM may have added administrative burdens since it requires additional analysis and staff time to screen parcels and weigh potential impacts to the Greater Sage-grouse before the parcels are offered for leasing. It also requires additional analysis and staff time to process drilling permit approvals near Greater Sage-grouse areas.

    The BLM's effort to avoid listing of the sage-grouse as an endangered species has affected many programs and a large area geographically. With new technologies and capabilities, such as long-reach horizontal boreholes in the oil and gas industry, the impacts are not as significant as once perceived. Likewise, the administrative burden is better understood and is likely less than once thought. Efforts are underway to better understand these conditions and define ways in which energy production and sage-grouse protection may continue to co-exist. Greater consistency and predictability will provide greater stability for industry. The BLM is currently assessing the policy to determine what revisions are needed and expects to complete this review in the fourth quarter of FY 2017.

    When the BLM completes this effort, industry will have greater certainty in leasing, exploration and production activities due to availability of acreage for oil and gas development and a defined process and timeframe for consideration of Greater Sage-grouse impacts.

    The BLM will measure success by assessing changes in industry's interest in nominating acreage for competitive sale and developing existing leases in areas affected by the Greater Sage-grouse amendments to RMPs. As industry increases its understanding and gains confidence in the consistency and predictability of BLM actions relative to Greater Sage-grouse, then acreage nominations, permit requests, and development should stabilize and be tied to market forces rather than tied to BLM Greater Sage-grouse decisions.

    The BLM has been processing acreage nominations in Greater Sage-grouse areas and making them available for competitive sale. In addition, existing leases are being developed. This is evidence, in the interim, that both BLM and industry are developing innovative ways to adapt energy development in light of Greater Sage-grouse protections.

    viii. Review of General Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Policies and Plans

    In September 2015, the BLM incorporated Greater Sage-grouse (GRSG) conservation measures into its land use plans within the range of the GRSG. In September 2016, the BLM issued a number of IMs to help guide the implementation of the GRSG plans. These GRSG plans and policies will affect where, when, and how energy and minerals are developed within the range of the GRSG.

    Pursuant to Secretarial Order 3353, “Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States,” an Interior Sage-Grouse Review Team (Review Team) is working with the State-Federal Sage-Grouse Task Force to identify opportunities for greater collaboration, to better align Federal and State plans for the GRSG, to support local economies and jobs, and consider new and innovative ways to conserve GRSG in the long-term. Pursuant to the Secretarial Order, in August 2017, the Review Team submitted a report to the Secretary summarizing their review and providing recommendations regarding next steps.

    The Review Team's report identified a number of potential actions to enhance the coordination and integration of state and Federal GRSG conservation efforts.

    Success will be measured and evaluated in terms of improved working relationships among local, state, tribal, and Federal units of Government and in terms of improved partner and stakeholder understanding of effective GRSG conservation measures and of the science underlying them.

    The BLM anticipates that some of the actions outlined in the Review Team's report to the Secretary could be implemented in the near future through changes in policy (through issuance of IMs, for example), technical assistance, or training. Other actions may require amending the land use plans. On October 11, 2017, the Department of the Interior, through BLM, initiated a public scoping process for RMP amendment(s) with associated NEPA documents. The comments may be submitted until November 27, 2017. Depending on the scope and significance, such amendments could take upwards of 9 months to 3 years to complete.

    ix. Improve Land Use Planning and NEPA Act Policies and Procedures:

    The BLM's land use planning regulations and policies are outlined in 43 CFR subparts 1601 and 1610, Resource Management Planning; BLM Manual Section 1601; and BLM Handbook 1601-1. The BLM's policies for complying with NEPA are outlined in BLM Handbook 1790-1 and the Interior NEPA implementing regulations are at 43 CFR part 46. Taken together, these regulations, manuals, and handbooks establish the policies and procedures BLM follows when conducting land use planning and NEPA compliance, including specific actions related to energy and mineral development.

    Pursuant to the Secretarial Memorandum of March 27, 2017, entitled “Improving the Bureau of Land Management's Planning and National Environmental Policy Act Processes,” the BLM is identifying potential actions it could take to streamline its planning and NEPA review procedures. As part of this identification process, BLM is working with state and local elected officials and groups, including the Western Governors' Association and the National Association of Counties, to engage and gather input. The BLM also has invited tribes and the public to provide input on how the Agency can make its planning and NEPA review procedures timelier, less costly, and more responsive to local needs. Pursuant to the Secretarial Memorandum, in September 2017, BLM will submit a report to the Secretary outlining recommended actions.

    Once implemented, the actions recommended in the report should reduce the time and/or cost of complying with BLM's statutory direction to conduct land use planning under section 202 of FLPMA and complying with NEPA when evaluating proposed actions. These recommendations also should lead to more-standardized analyses in BLM's NEPA reviews at the land use plan and project level.

    The reduction in burden will be measured and evaluated in terms of processing times and/or costs of authorizing energy development.

    Some of the actions outlined in BLM's report to the Secretary will be actions that BLM will be able to implement in the near future, such as improvements to business processes, or updates to internal manuals or handbooks. Other actions would require changes in statute or regulation (such as new Categorical Exclusions), may depend on other agencies to act, or may require front-end investments in data or information technology.

    x. Review Coal-Related Policies and Actions

    On March 29, 2017, Secretary Zinke issued Secretarial Order 3348 to lift the Federal coal moratorium imposed by previous Secretarial Order 3338. This Order conformed to the directive in EO13783 requiring the Secretary to lift the moratorium and commence Federal coal leasing activities consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.

    The BLM is working to process coal lease applications and modifications “expeditiously” in accordance with regulations and guidance that existed before Secretarial Order 3338. The BLM also ceased activities associated with preparation of the Federal Coal Program Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).

    Consistent with EO13783 and Secretarial Order 3348, the BLM is reviewing its policies, with the intent to update or rescind them.

    xi. Other Recommendations for Alleviating or Eliminating Actions That Could Directly or Indirectly Burden Energy Exploration or Production • Review Land Use Designations

    The BLM land use planning process ensures that public lands are managed in accordance with the intent of Congress as stated in FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. The BLM's Resource Management Plans (RMPs) are the basis for every on-the-ground action the BLM undertakes, which includes determinations on lands suitable for future energy leasing and permitting opportunities. The BLM uses land use designations as a part of the land use planning process to guide the management of certain geographic areas towards particular objectives, values or uses.

    While some land use designations are made by Congressional, Secretarial, or Presidential action (and therefore require specific land management principles), the BLM has used broad discretion in establishing other formal and less-formal land use designations to set additional management criteria for public lands. In some cases, these criteria may conflict with other multiple use objectives for the land—such as energy development—and therefore have the potential to burden domestic energy development on public lands by reducing access to leasable acreage.

    At the time of this report, BLM identified over 60 different land use designations used in RMPs, many of which may lead to additional restrictions on the use of the land. One example is the Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) designation, which is authorized by Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The Eastern Interior RMP, finalized on January 3, 2017, designated over 2 million acres of ACEC—much of which was recommended for closure to mineral entry and mineral leasing in order to best meet the objectives of the ACEC. The chart included below provides a visual reference for the increased use of this land use designation especially in more recent RMPs.

    ER01NO17.009

    The BLM will further evaluate the need for these numerous land use designations as a part of the ongoing review of their planning process. The BLM will also work with state, local, and tribal partners to incorporate efficiencies and update policies on the use of land use designations that may burden or hinder energy development on Federal lands.

    • Review Use of Leasing Stipulations and Conditions of Approval

    Aside from providing for leasing with standard lease terms in the land use planning process, BLM may apply lease stipulations to a specific unit at the planning stage. Stipulations set additional criteria to which an operator must adhere once the acreage is leased. Stipulations include no surface occupancy restrictions (NSO), which close acreage to surface-disturbing activities, timing restrictions (TL), which close acreage to surface-disturbing activities during certain timeframes, and other controlled surface use (CSU) restrictions, which include more specific restrictions such as sound and visual impacts or construction requirements. In some cases, these stipulations may have an impact on the attractiveness of the lease sale parcel in the bidding process.

    The BLM may also assign Conditions of Approval (COA) at the permitting stage when an operator first applies for an Application for Permit to Drill (APD). Once an APD is filed, the BLM will send an onsite inspection team to determine the best location for the well, road, and facilities; identify site-specific concerns and potential environmental impacts associated with the proposal and potential options for mitigating these impacts, including COAs. Site-specific concerns include, but are not limited to: Well spacing; riparian and wetland areas; visual resource management such as painting infrastructure specific colors; and cultural and wildlife survey needs to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

    Lease stipulations and additional conditions of approval added at the permitting stage burden energy development on public lands by adding additional development costs; increasing the complexity of the drilling operations; and extending project timeframes. The 2008 Energy Policy and Conservation Act Phase III study found that of the 128 Federal land use plans surveyed for inventory, approximately 3,125 individual stipulations and 157 types of COAs were being used.1 The BLM does not have updated figures at the time of this report.

    1https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/EPCA_III_Inventory_Onshore_Federal_Oil_Gas.pdf; p. 42, 109.

    • Review Protest Regulations and Policy

    Current BLM regulations allow any party to file a protest on a BLM decision, such as a protest on a land use plan or on a subsequent decision to include a parcel in an oil and gas lease sale. This process provides multiple opportunities to protest every step of the process of offering public lands for oil and gas leasing. To date, many state offices, such as CO, MT, NM, UT, and WY are receiving protests on every oil and gas parcel offered through the Notice of Competitive Lease Sale process.

    In the past, protests were parcel-specific on issues unique to the parcel in question. In recent years, the reasons for protesting every parcel in the sale are broad-based and non-parcel specific, such as general concerns on climate change or hydraulic fracturing. In FY 2016, 72 percent of parcels offered for lease were protested. By comparison, in FY 2012, only 17 percent of parcels received protests. The number of parcels offered on the original sale notice decreased from 2,247 in FY 2012 to 820 in FY 2016.

    If a protest is still pending on the day of sale, the parcel can still be offered during the sale but the protest must be resolved prior to the lease being issued and the protest may diminish interest in bidding. This in turn can delay payment of the State's share of the bonus bids—which occurred most recently in the State of New Mexico. In September 2016, BLM hosted a record-setting lease sale generating $145 million in revenue, of which $80 million was owed to the state Mineral Leasing Act revenue sharing provision. As a result of the number of protested parcels and the length of time it took to resolve all protests, the payment to the State of New Mexico was delayed approximately 250 days.

    This uptick in the protest process and the inability to reach conclusive resolutions in a timely manner is a burden on oil and natural gas development on public lands. A regulatory change may be necessary to limit redundant protests that hinder orderly development. Alternatively, the BLM is investigating the value in creating regional leasing teams that could build sufficient capacity to offer parcels during the BLM's quarterly lease sales.

    xii. Revise Energy-Related Collections of Information Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    The BLM anticipates revising energy-related collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act (e.g., Approval of Operations (1004-0213) and Application for Permit to Drill (1014-0025)) to reduce administrative burden on energy development and use through simplification of forms and associated instructions/guidance and ceasing collection of information that is unnecessary or lacks practical utility.

    B. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

    The BOEM is responsible for managing development of the Nation's offshore energy and mineral resources through offshore leasing, resource evaluation, review, and administration of oil and gas exploration and development plans, renewable energy development, economic analysis, NEPA analysis, and environmental studies. The BOEM promotes energy security, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-informed management of offshore conventional and renewable energy and mineral resources. The BOEM carries out these responsibilities while ensuring the receipt of fair market value for U.S. taxpayers on OCS leases, and balancing the energy demands and mineral needs of the Nation with the protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments.

    Since the publication of EO13771 on January 30, 2017, BOEM has been reviewing all aspects of its programs to identify regulations and guidance documents that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.

    Below are specific actions BOEM is undertaking to reduce burdens on the production of energy offshore in the America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, as delineated in EO13795 and S.O. 3350:

    i. Air Quality Rule

    The BOEM has been re-examining the provisions of the air quality proposed rule published on April 5, 2016 (81 FR 19718), which would provide the first substantive updates to the regulation since 1980. The proposed rule addressed air quality measurement, evaluation, and control with respect to oil, gas, and sulphur operations on the OCS of the United States in the central and western Gulf of Mexico and the area offshore the North Slope Borough in Alaska. Interior is currently reviewing recommendations on how to proceed, including promulgating final rules for certain necessary provisions and issuing a new proposed rule that may withdraw certain provisions and seek additional input on others.

    ii. Financial Assurance for Decommissioning

    Notice to Lessees No. 2016-N01, for which implementation has been suspended, would make substantial changes to BOEM's requirements for companies to provide financial assurance to meet decommissioning obligations. The BOEM has been undertaking a thorough review of the NTL, including gathering stakeholder input.

    iii. Arctic Rule

    On July 15, 2016, BOEM and the BSEE promulgated a final rule, “Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf—Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf” (81 FR 46478). Interior is reviewing the requirements for exploratory drilling conducted from mobile drilling units within the Arctic OCS (Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas). Interior is considering full rescission or revision of this rule, including associated information collection requirements. Review of this rule is expected to allow greater utilization of the Arctic drilling season.

    iv. Oil and Gas Leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf

    Secretary Zinke directed development of a new 5-year OCS oil and gas leasing program to spur safe and responsible energy development offshore. On July 3, 2017, BOEM published a request for information and comments on the preparation of a new 5-year National OCS Leasing Program for 2019-2024 (82 FR 30886). Upon its completion, the new program will replace the 2017-2022 program.

    Secretarial Order 3350 directly implements EO13795, and also advances Interior's implementation of EO13783 by providing for the reevaluation of actions that impact exploration, leasing, and development of our OCS energy resources. This Secretarial Order enhances opportunities for energy exploration, leasing, and development on the OCS by establishing regulatory certainty for OCS activities. In accordance with this Secretarial Order, Interior is reviewing potential regulatory changes to reduce burden on offshore energy production, development, and use.

    In addition, on July 13, Secretary Zinke offered 75.9 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development. The region-wide lease sale conducted on August 16, 2017, was the first offshore sale under the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022. Under this program, 10 region-wide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf, where resource potential and industry interest are high, and oil and gas infrastructure is well established. Two Gulf lease sales will be held each year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.

    v. Seismic Permitting

    Currently BOEM is one of two Federal agencies required to take separate regulatory actions in order to permit geological and geophysical surveying on the OCS. These seismic surveys, which are conducted by applicants, enable BOEM to make informed business decisions regarding oil and gas reserves, engineering decisions regarding the construction of renewable energy projects, and informed estimates regarding the composition and volume of marine mineral resources. This information is also used to ensure the proper use and conservation of OCS energy resources and the receipt of fair market value for the leasing of public lands.

    The ongoing delay in reaching decisions on Federal authorization of seismic surveys is a burden that hinders domestic energy development by preventing industry from being able to better determine the size and location of potential energy resources below the seafloor. The BOEM experts believe that these surveys can be authorized with appropriate mitigation measures consistent with the protection required by applicable Federal laws, primarily the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). While BOEM is responsible for ultimately issuing a permit to allow these activities to move forward, no seismic surveying can be done without MMPA authorization by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). For this reason, the issuance of certain seismic permits by BOEM has been held up in a years-long process awaiting NMFS authorization. BOEM and NMFS are currently working on ways to streamline review, as directed in EO 13795, Sec. 3(c).

    The Department believes that some improvements can be made through simple program initiatives, such as NMFS assigning dedicated staff to the permits or allowing BOEM to determine MMPA compliance for the purposes of BOEM-related activities in accordance with EO 13807. Finding a genuinely effective solution may warrant statutory changes as well as reorganizing departmental responsibilities within the Executive Branch in order to streamline opportunities to increase efficiency.

    vi. Revise Energy-Related Collections of Information Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    The BOEM is reviewing four energy-related information collections, two of which are related to the Arctic Rule, and two of which collect information that is no longer needed.

    C. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

    The BSEE ensures the safe and responsible exploration, development, and production of America's offshore energy resources through regulatory oversight and enforcement. The BSEE is focused on fostering secure and reliable energy production for America's future through a program of efficient permitting, appropriate regulations, compliance monitoring and enforcement, technical assessments, inspections, and incident investigations. As a steward of the Nation's OCS oil, gas, and mineral resources, the Bureau protects Federal royalty interests by ensuring that oil and gas production methods maximize recovery from underground reservoirs.

    The BSEE continues the efforts begun earlier this calendar year to review and seek stakeholder input on opportunities to reduce burden on the regulated community while maintaining necessary safety and environmental protections. Specifically, the BSEE is focusing its review on 2 final rules, published in 2016, regarding safety and environmental protection for oil and gas exploration, development and production activities on the OCS. The first is the Well Control and Blowout Preventer (BOP) Rule (81 FR 25888); the second is the Arctic Exploratory Drilling Rule (the Arctic Rule) (81 FR 46478), which was issued jointly by BSEE and BOEM. Both rules (as described below) revised older regulations and added some new requirements that potentially burden development of domestic offshore oil and gas production. The BSEE continues to identify specific issues in both final rules that, if revised or eliminated through a future rulemaking process, could alleviate those burdens without reducing the safety or environmental protections of the rules. The BSEE is beginning the process of drafting timelines and developing stakeholder engagement strategies for potential revision to both sets of regulations. These rules fit into the category of “Other Actions that Potentially Burden Development or Use of Energy.” The BSEE has also identified policies that should be re-examined. Those are:

    • review decommissioning infrastructure removal requirements and timelines for infrastructure;

    • clarify Civil Penalties Guidance; and

    • review current policies associated with taking enforcement actions against contractors.

    The BSEE already completed publication of a final rule revising requirements of 30 CFR 250.180 to extend the period of time before a lease expires due to cessation of operations from 180 days to 1 year, thus allowing operators greater flexibility to plan exploration activities.2 The BSEE also improved its civil penalty program through the creation of a Civil Penalty Enforcement Specialist in each district in the Gulf of Mexico Region to serve as a liaison with District and Headquarters throughout a civil penalty case, providing clarity and consistency among civil penalty cases.

    2See, “Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf—Lease Continuation Through Operations,” 82 FR 26741 (June 9, 2017).

    The BSEE is also reviewing the Production Safety Systems Rule (30 CFR part 250, subpart H), based on Department guidance received between April and May of 2017. If areas for revision are identified, the BSEE would tier it behind the Well Control Rule (WCR) and the Arctic Rule in terms of potential burden reduction.

    Below are the specific details of BSEE's review to identify additional regulations and policies that potentially burden development or use of energy.

    i. Revise Well Control and BOP Rule (WCR)

    The WCR was issued on April 29, 2016, and consolidated new equipment and operational requirements for well control, including drilling, completion, workover, and decommissioning operations. The rule also incorporated or updated references to numerous industry standards and established new requirements reflecting advances in areas such as well design and control, casing and cementing, real-time monitoring (RTM), subsea containment of leaks and discharges, and blowout preventer requirements. In addition, the final rule adopted several reforms recommended by several bodies that investigated the Deepwater Horizon incident.

    The BSEE is considering several revisions to its regulations. Among those considerations is a rulemaking to revise the following aspects of the new well control regulations, including but not limited to:

    • revising the requirements for sufficient accumulator capacity and remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) capability to both open and close reams on subsea BOPs (i.e., to only require capability to close the rams);

    • revising the requirement to shut in platforms when a lift boat approaches within 500 feet;

    • extending the 14-day interval between pressure testing of BOP systems to 21 days in some situations;

    • clarifying that the requirement for weekly testing of two BOP control stations means testing one station (not both stations) per week;

    • simplifying testing pressures for verification of ram closure; and

    • revising or deleting the requirement to submit test results to BSEE District Managers within 72 hours.

    These changes are expected to strike the appropriate balance in order to maintain important safety and environmental protections while also ensuring development may continue.

    The BSEE initiated review of potential regulatory changes to this rule in July 2017. The interim step before issuing a proposed rule to revise existing regulations is to seek input on potential areas of reform from the stakeholders. The BSEE is in the process of determining the most effective way to engage stakeholders to provide meaningful and constructive input on regulatory reform efforts related to well control. As a result of stakeholder outreach, the above list of potential reforms may be increased.

    ii. Revise Arctic Rule

    The Arctic Rule was published on July 15, 2016 (81 FR 46478), and revised existing regulations and added new prescriptive and performance-based requirements for exploratory drilling conducted from mobile drilling units and related operations on the OCS within the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas (Arctic OCS). After conducting its review to eliminate burdens and increase economic opportunities, BSEE is considering a several revisions to the rule, including but not limited to:

    • modifying requirement to capture water-based muds and cuttings;

    • eliminating the requirement for a cap and flow system and containment dome that are capable of being located at the well site within 7 days of loss of well control;

    • eliminating the reference to the expected return of sea ice from the requirement to be able to drill a relief well within 45 days of loss of well control; and

    • eliminating the reference to equivalent technology from the mudline cellar requirement.

    The BOEM has also identified an opportunity to reduce burden on operators. A joint rulemaking would likely be undertaken again.

    Among the potential benefits of the items listed above is the possibility of allowing greater flexibility for operators to continue drilling into hydrocarbon zones later into the Arctic drilling season. Current leasing strategies in the Arctic constrain future exploratory activities to which this rule would apply.

    Success will result in a reduction in burdens associated with exploration of the Nation's Arctic oil and gas reserves while also providing appropriate safety and environmental protection tailored to this unique environment.

    Prior to proposing a rulemaking to make the changes above, BSEE and BOEM plan to undertake stakeholder engagement activities. As a result of stakeholder engagement, the list of potential areas for proposed reform may change or grow. This process will enhance our ability to engage the public and stakeholders, as well as ensure our ability to engage in a robust consultation with tribes and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporations. Stakeholder engagement will have the added benefit of allowing BSEE and BOEM to receive input on how the agencies calculate the primary lease term in order to provide a more tailored approach to the limited drilling windows in the Arctic.

    iii. Decommissioning Infrastructure Removal Requirements

    The BSEE will re-examine the NTL 2010-G05, “Decommissioning Guidance for Wells and Platforms,” to determine whether additional flexibility should be provided to better account for facility and well numbers and size, as well as timing consideration that can arise in the case of financial distress or bankruptcy of companies. Any changes to the NTL will not have an impact on companies' underlying decommissioning obligations, but could provide more flexibility to allow for cash-flow management and ultimately increase assurance that decommissioning obligations can be fulfilled without government expense.

    iv. Lease Continuation Through Operations

    This action was completed on June 9, 2017, when final rule 1014-AA35, “Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Lease Continuation Through Operations,” was published in the Federal Register (82 FR 26741). Section 121 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 mandated that BSEE revise the requirements of 30 CFR 250.180 relating to maintaining a lease beyond its primary term through continuous operations. The final rule changed all of the references to the period of time before which a lease expires due to cessation of operations from “180 days” and “180th day” to a “year” and from “180-day period” to a “1-year period.” The rule has become effective and is allowing operators greater flexibility to plan exploration activities.

    v. Contractor Incidents of Noncompliance

    The BSEE currently has a policy that calls for issuing notices of noncompliance (INCs) to contractors as well as operators in certain instances. The BSEE will examine whether this policy is achieving the desired deterrence value or whether an alternative compliance incentive should be considered and the policy revised. There are currently several ongoing court actions that could result in adjustments to this policy. The BSEE will consider all of this information while examining the policy.

    vi. Civil Penalties

    Since 2013, the BSEE civil penalty program has continued to improve its processes and programs. For example, in 2016, each of the Districts in the Gulf of Mexico Region (GOMR) created the position of Civil Penalty Enforcement Specialist to assist with the review of all INCs to determine which INCs are appropriate for civil penalty assessment, and to act as a liaison with the District and Headquarters (HQ) throughout a civil penalty case. This effort has greatly assisted in proving clarity and consistency to the development of civil penalty cases.

    vii. Energy-Related Information Collections under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    The BSEE has approximately 25 information collections associated with our regulations and guidance that must be renewed every 3 years on a rolling basis. The renewal process involves an analysis of whether each information collection continues to be necessary and if whether it requires modification. Through this process, BSEE continuously reviews our forms and the information we collect and reduces the collection burden wherever appropriate. Additionally, there may be further burden reduction associated with potential revisions to the Well Control and Arctic rules once final determinations have been made with respect to specific action on those regulations.

    D. Office of Natural Resources Revenue

    The ONRR is responsible for ensuring revenue from Federal and Indian mineral leases is effectively, efficiently, and accurately collected, accounted for, analyzed, audited, and disbursed to recipients. The ONRR collects an average of over $10 billion annual revenue from onshore and offshore energy production, one of the Federal government's largest sources of non-tax revenue.

    i. Royalty Policy Committee

    In an effort to ensure the public continues to receive the full value of natural resources produced on Federal lands, Secretary Zinke signed a charter establishing a Royalty Policy Committee (RPC) to provide regular advice to the Secretary on the fair market value of and collection of revenues from Federal and Indian mineral and energy leases, including renewable energy sources. The RPC may also advise on the potential impacts of proposed policies and regulations related to revenue collection from such development, including whether a need exists for regulatory reform. The group consists of 28 local, tribal, state, and other stakeholders and will serve in an advisory nature. The Secretary's Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy chairs the RPC. The first meeting will be held on October 4, 2017.

    ii. 2017 Valuation Rule

    On April 4, 2017, ONRR published a proposed rule that would rescind the 2017 Valuation Rule. The ONRR, after considering public feedback, recognized that implementing the 2017 Valuation Rule would be contrary to the rule's stated purpose of offering greater simplicity, certainty, clarity, and consistency in product valuation. The ONRR determined that the 2017 Valuation Rule unnecessarily burdened the development of Federal and Indian coal beyond what was necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law. ONRR therefore repealed the rule in its entirety and reinstated the valuation regulations in effect prior that rule. (82 FR 36934, August 7, 2017).

    E. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

    The OSMRE ensures, through a nationwide regulatory program, that coal mining is conducted in a manner that protects communities and the environment during mining, restores the land to beneficial use following mining, and mitigates the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned mine lands. The OSMRE's statutory role is to promote and assist its partner states and tribes in establishing a stable regulatory environment for coal mining. The proposed level of regulatory grant funding provides for the efficient and effective operations of programs at a level consistent with the anticipated obligations of State and tribal regulatory programs to account for the Nation's demand for coal mine permitting and production.

    On February 16, 2017, President Trump signed a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to annul the Stream Protection Rule (SPR) (81 FR 93066, December 20, 2016). This rule imposed substantial burdens on the coal industry and threatened jobs in communities dependent on coal. As described below, OSMRE has drafted a Federal Register document to conform the Code of Federal Regulations to the legislation and return the regulations to their previous status and anticipates publication on or about September 30, 2017. In the interim, OSMRE has ensured that the SPR is not being implemented in any way and that regulation is occurring under the pre-existing regulatory system.

    The OSMRE is reviewing additional actions to reduce burdens on coal development, including, for example, reviewing the state program amendment process to reduce the time it takes to formally amend an approved Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) regulatory program.

    In compiling the following list of actions for review, OSMRE considered direct and indirect impacts to the coal industry, as well as impacts to the states with primary responsibility for regulating coal mining activities, pursuant to the SMCRA.

    Recommendations for Alleviating or Eliminating Burdensome Actions i. Disapproval of the Stream Protection Rule

    The SPR was published on December 20, 2016, and became effective on January 19, 2017. In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, Congress passed, and the President signed, a resolution of disapproval of the SPR on February 16, 2017, as Public Law 115-5. No provisions of the SPR have been enforced since passage of the resolution. In addition, OSMRE will formally document the CRA nullification of the SPR by publishing in the Federal Register a document that replaces the SPR text with the regulations that were in place prior to January 19, 2017. This will result in the removal of any amendments, deletions, or other modifications associated with the nullified rule, and the reversion to the text of all regulations in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the SPR.

    The OSMRE estimates the elimination of this rule will save industry approximately $82 million annually, and will reduce the amount of time states and OSMRE are expending in the processing of permit applications and monitoring performance during the life of the operation.

    Interior has identified the CRA nullification and subsequent action by OSMRE to conform the CFR to the Congressional action as a deregulatory action under EO 13771. ii. Work with Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) to Revisit and Revise Ten-Day Notices and Independent Inspections—Directives INE-24, INE-35, REG-8

    Under revisions to OSMRE Directive REG-8, which establishes policies, procedures and responsibilities for conducting oversight of state and tribal regulatory programs, OSMRE conducts 10 percent of all routine oversight inspections with 24 hours' notice to the state regulatory authority. If the state inspector is unavailable to accompany the OSMRE inspector, OSMRE will conduct the inspection alone. These and other oversight inspections sometimes result in the issuance of Ten-Day Notices (TDNs) to the state regulatory authority under Inspection and Enforcement (INE)-35. In addition, INE-24, issued on May 26, 1987, requires OSMRE to issue a TDN to state regulatory authorities upon receipt of a citizen's complaint.

    Between 2011 and 2016, 882 TDNs were issued to state regulatory programs. On an annual basis, the majority (39 or 74 percent) of those resulted from citizen's complaints. In addition, an evaluation of data during 2013 found that the number of TDNs issued when the state inspector does not participate was determined to be 6.4 percent of the total oversight inspections, versus 1.5 percent when the state inspector accompanied the OSMRE inspector. State regulatory authorities, particularly in the Appalachian Region, have expressed concern that the number of hours required to prepare TDN responses can be significant.

    In an effort to address these concerns, a joint OSMRE and State/Tribal Work Group assessed various topics, including the use of TDNs and independent inspections. In a report issued on July 30, 2014, the Work Group made six specific recommendations for the TDN process and four recommendations regarding the independent inspection process. Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) member states have requested OSMRE revisit these recommendations, and others, in an effort to implement the recommendations. In addition, OSMRE will revisit and revise, as needed, the specific policy directives governing the use of TDNs and independent inspections in cooperation with the IMCC to reduce the amount of time states and OSMRE are expending to process TDNs.

    The review will commence this calendar year, following specific timelines and benchmarks to be established jointly with IMCC.

    iii. Work with IMCC to Revise or Rescind OSMRE Memorandum and Directive INE-35—TDNs and Permit Defects

    On November 15, 2010, the OSMRE Director issued a memorandum directing OSMRE staff to apply the TDN process and Federal enforcement to permitting issues under approved regulatory programs. In support of this memorandum, on January 31, 2011, the Director reissued Directive INE-35, regarding policy and procedures for the issuance of TDNs. This directive requires the issuance of a TDN whenever a permit issued by the state regulatory authority (RA) contains a “permit defect,” which the directive defines as meaning “a type of violation consisting of any procedural or substantive deficiency in a permit-related action taken by the RA (including permit issuance, permit revision, permit renewal, or transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights).” The directive further states that OSMRE will not review pending permitting decisions and will not issue a TDN for an alleged violation involving a possible permit defect where the RA has not taken the relevant permitting action (e.g., permit issuance, permit revision, permit renewal, or transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights).

    Since the issuance of this policy and associated directive, concerns have been raised by some states and industry stakeholders regarding the potential impact on mining operations where the RA has issued a permit, revision, or renewal, and the operator has commenced activities based upon RA approval. The OSMRE in cooperation with the IMCC will revisit the policy and directive and revise or rescind, as appropriate to provide more certainty to the industry in the state RA permitting process.

    The review will commence this calendar year; specific timelines and benchmarks will be established jointly with IMCC.

    iv. Revise Processing State Program Amendments—Directive STP-1

    Directive STP-1, issued in October 2008, establishes policy and procedures for review and processing of amendments to state regulatory programs. Most changes in state law or regulations that impact an approved SMCRA regulatory program require submission of a formal program amendment to OSMRE for approval. Such changes to primacy programs cannot be implemented until a final amendment is approved by OSMRE. In addition, written concurrence must be received from the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to those aspects of a state/tribal program amendment which relates to air or water quality standards promulgated under the authority of the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act prior to OSMRE approval. In accordance with 30 CFR 732.17(h)(13), OSMRE must complete a final action on program amendments within 7 months of receipt. Often, due to the complexities of the process and other issues, including influences outside of OSMRE, it is difficult for OSMRE to meet the required processing times.

    The result is that state regulatory authorities are occasionally unable to move forward in a timely manner with needed program amendments.

    Based upon the results of an internal control review (ICR) and work with the state/tribal work group, OSMRE is developing new training guides and opportunities for states and revising Directive STP-1 to improve the state program amendment process. The OSMRE will also review the process with the Office of the Solicitor to evaluate opportunities for process improvement. In addition, the recent approval by OMB of the information collection requirements of 30 CFR part 732 was conditioned upon OSMRE developing new guidance and supporting documents for states to use when preparing amendments to approved programs. The OSMRE intends for these actions to reduce its processing time for state program amendments.

    The revision of Directive STP-1 and development of training guides is anticipated to be completed this calendar year. OSMRE will track processing times once the revised directive and training have been implemented, and compare results to previous years. The OMB approval of new guidance for Part 732 is required by July 31, 2020.

    v. Revise or Rescind OSMRE Policy Advisory and Proposed Rulemaking: Self-Bonding

    On August 5, 2016, the OSMRE Director issued a policy advisory on self-bonding. The advisory was in direct response to three of the largest coal mine operators in the nation filing for Chapter 11 protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code between 2015 and 2016. Those companies held approximately $2.5 billion of unsecured or non-collateralized self-bonds that various states with federally-approved SMCRA regulatory programs previously accepted to guarantee reclamation of land disturbed by coal mining. The advisory stated that “the bankruptcy filings confirm the existence of significant issues about the future financial abilities of coal companies and how they will meet future reclamation obligations.” While recognizing the action of certain state programs to address self-bonding issues, the advisory went on to say that “each regulatory authority should exercise its discretion and not accept new or additional self-bonds for any permit until coal production and consumption market conditions reach equilibrium, events which are not likely to occur until at least 2021.” Since the issuance of this advisory, all three companies of concern have completed their plans for Chapter 11 reorganization, and either have or are expected to replace all self-bonds with other forms of financial guarantees.

    In addition to the issuance of the policy advisory on self-bonding, OSMRE accepted a petition for rulemaking submitted March 3, 2016, by WildEarth Guardians. The petition requested that OSMRE revise its self-bonding regulations to ensure that companies with a history of insolvency, and their subsidiary companies, not be allowed to self-bond coal mining operations.

    Limiting the use of self-bonds, as indicated in the policy advisory or potentially through a rulemaking, could impact a company's ability to continue mining. In addition, there will likely be an increased demand and potential negative impact on the availability of third party surety bonding.

    On January 17, 2017, the GAO announced that it will conduct an audit of financial assurances for reclaiming coal mines (Job Code 101326) that will focus on the role of OSMRE in implementing and overseeing the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act's requirements related to financial assurances.

    In view of the current status of the self-bonding bankruptcies and recent executive orders concerning rulemakings, OSMRE will reconsider the scope of the policy advisory and revise or rescind, as appropriate. In addition, OSMRE will revisit the need for and scope of any potential rulemaking in response to the previously accepted petition. Furthermore, OSMRE will carefully consider the report and recommendations of the pending GAO audit of financial assurances currently underway. The OSMRE will solicit public input prior to finalizing any decision on the need for further rulemaking.

    The OSMRE will continue to monitor the status of self-bonding issues in state programs in cooperation with the IMCC and other stakeholders (sureties, industry, and environmental groups).

    vi. Revise or Rescind OSMRE Enforcement Memorandum—Relationship between the Clean Water Act (CWA) and SMCRA

    On July 27, 2016, the OSMRE Director issued a policy memo to staff providing direction on the enforcement of the existing regulations related to violations of the CWA caused by SMCRA-permitted operations and related issues, such as responses to self-reported violations of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) limits and OSMRE responses to Notices of Intent (NOI) to sue alleging CWA violations at SMCRA-permitted operations. The policy memo specifically required an NOI to be processed as a citizen complaint, which requires OSMRE to issue a TDN to the state RA upon receipt of the NOI. In addition, the memo stated that a violation of water quality standards is also a violation of SMCRA regulations.

    State regulatory authorities, as well as industry, have raised issues with this guidance document expressing concern with overlap and potential conflicts between section 702(a)(3) 3 of SMCRA and the CWA. In addition, state RAs have raised concerns about new TDNs and related enforcement actions that have been issued in response to this policy guidance. The relationship between the CWA and SMCRA and the role of the state RAs in ensuring compliance in accordance with their approved SMCRA regulatory programs have been longstanding issues. Resolution will bring certainty to the state regulatory programs as well as for the industry.

    3 Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding, amending, modifying, or repealing the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-47), or any of the following Acts or with any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, including, but not limited to—(3) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (79 Stat. 903), as amended (33 U.S.C. 1151-1175), the State laws enacted pursuant thereto, or other Federal laws relating to preservation of water quality.

    The OSMRE will revisit the policy issues and concerns in cooperation with the IMCC and will revise or rescind the memorandum, as appropriate. Review of the policy with IMCC member states will commence this calendar year; the revised or rescinded policy should be complete by the end of this calendar year. The OSMRE will consider seeking public input prior to finalizing the policy.

    vii. Revise Policy on Reclamation Fee for Coal Mine Waste (Uram Memo) and Propose Rule for Additional Incentives

    On July 22, 1994, then-Director Robert Uram issued a memorandum outlining the conditions under which OSMRE would waive the assessment of reclamation fees on the removal of refuse or coal waste material for use as a waste fuel in a cogeneration facility. Recently, the Pennsylvania regulatory authority (PADEP) requested that OSMRE update this policy as outlined below to incentivize reclamation efforts on sites with coal refuse reprocessing activities.

    The PADEP believes that the reclamation fees deter operators from reclamation efforts on sites with coal refuse reprocessing activities. Coal refuse sites located within the Anthracite Coal Region are unable or have ceased the removal of coal refuse to be used as waste fuel at co-generation facilities. This is partly or totally due to the assessment of reclamation fees on coal refuse used as waste fuel. In addition, PADEP recommended that OSMRE consider waste derived from filter presses at existing coal preparation plants to be a “no value” 4 product, which would encourage its use as a waste fuel rather than requiring it to be disposed in a coal refuse pile.

    4 No value determinations are based upon the criteria established in the 1994 Uram Memorandum.

    The OSMRE will revisit the 1994 Uram Memo, with the goal of providing an incentive for use of coal refuse as a coal waste fuel. In addition, OSMRE will revisit the remining incentives provided by the 2006 amendments to SMCRA at section 415, some of which apply specifically to removal or reprocessing of abandoned coal mine waste. Additional incentives pursuant to Section 415 will require promulgation of rules, and, therefore, input from the public will be solicited.

    Providing additional incentives to industry to promote remining of coal refuse and other abandoned mine sites will provide for additional reclamation of abandoned mines that would not otherwise be accomplished through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program. Specific benchmarks for measuring success, such as acres of additional reclamation performed, will be developed consistent with the implementation of the incentives.

    viii. Energy-Related Information Collections under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    The OSMRE reviewed the current industry costs associated with the Paperwork Reduction Act and did not find any information collections that “potentially burden 5 the development or utilization of domestically produced energy resources” in accordance EO13783. It should be noted that there will be no industry costs associated with information collection based on the Stream Protection Rule, due to the Congressional Review Act nullification of that final rule.

    5 Burden “means to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources” (Presidential Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017).

    F. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    The FWS is reviewing its final rule, “Management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights,” 81 FR 79948 (Nov. 14, 2016) to determine whether revision would be appropriate to reduce burden on energy.

    Additionally, below is a list of burdens and opportunities to fulfill the intent of the Executive Order:

    i. Streamline Rights-of-way (ROW) for pipelines and electricity transmission

    The approval process for new ROW access can be overly restrictive and excessively lengthy. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as amended, requires all uses, including rights-of-way, of National Wildlife Refuges to be compatible with the mission of the System. The FWS will work with stakeholders in a more timely fashion to determine if proposed ROW uses are compatible. Additionally, FWS will revise its ROW regulation to streamline the current ROW granting process to significantly decrease the time to obtain ROW approval from the current 3-12 month time frame.

    ii. Review Incidental Take Regulations for oil and gas activities in the Southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)

    The MMPA prohibits take (i.e., harass, hunt, capture, or kill) of marine mammals (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) unless authorized by the Secretary. Existing measures in the MMPA incidental take regulations require: 1) maintaining a minimum spacing of 15 miles between all active seismic source vessels and/or drill rigs during exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea; 2) no more than two simultaneous seismic operations and three offshore exploratory drilling operations authorized in the Chukchi Sea region at any time; 3) time restrictions for transit through the Chukchi Sea; 4) time and vessel restrictions in the Hanna Shoal Walrus Use Area; 5) location of polar bear dens and 1-mile buffer; 6) maximum distance around Pacific walruses and polar bears on ice and groups of Pacific walruses in water; 7) sound producing mitigation zones & shut-down/ramp up procedures; 8) marine mammal observers and monitoring requirements; and 9) excessive reporting requirements.

    The FWS has the opportunity to review the Chukchi Sea incidental take regulation which expires in 2018, and the regulation for the southern Beaufort Sea expires in 2021. They may either be allowed to expire or be revised and reissued.

    iii. Modernize Guidance and regulations governing interagency consultation pursuant to Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act requires Federal agencies, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce (delegated to the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, respectively), to ensure that any action authorized, funded or carried out by the agency is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. However, the time and expense associated with satisfying the interagency consultation requirements are unnecessarily burdensome.

    The FWS has discretion to create efficiencies and streamlining in the consultation process through targeted revision to regulations and/or guidance and is reviewing opportunities for further process improvements.

    iv. Build Upon the Efforts of the Western Governors' Association and Others to Improve the Application of the Endangered Species Act, Reduce Unnecessary Burdens on the Energy Industry, and Facilitate Conservation Stewardship

    A number of groups, most prominently the Western Governors' Association, have worked to evaluate and develop recommendations to improve the application of the ESA. For example, the Western Governors' Association developed the Western Governors' Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative (Initiative), which conducts broad-based stakeholder discussions focused on issues such as identifying means of incentivizing voluntary conservation, elevating the role of states in species conservation, and improving the efficacy of the ESA. Interior intends to build on these efforts to improve the application of the ESA in a manner that ensures conservation stewardship, while reducing unneeded burdens on the public, including the energy industry.

    v. Re-Evaluate Whether the MBTA Imposes Incidental Take Liability and Clarify Regulatory Authorities.

    Federal Courts of Appeals have split on whether the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) imposes criminal liability on companies and individuals for the inadvertent death of migratory birds resulting from industrial activities. Three circuits—the fifth, eighth, and ninth—have held that it does not, limiting taking liability to deliberate acts done directly and intentionally to migratory birds. Two circuits—the second and tenth—have held that it does. On January 10, 2017, the Office of the Solicitor issued an opinion regarding the issue, which was subsequently suspended pending further review of the opinion and the underlying regulations and decisions. This review is currently ongoing, and may serve as the basis for the development of new internal guidance or regulations that provide clarity to this longstanding issue.

    vi. Evaluate the Merits of a General Permit for Incidental Take Under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

    The FWS intends to evaluate the merits of a general permit for incidental take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Action Act (BGEPA). When the bald eagle was delisted under the ESA, FWS issued a rule establishing a permit program for incidental take under BGEPA. On December 16, 2016, FWS adopted a final rule intended to address some of industry's concerns regarding the BGEPA incidental take permit process (81 FR 91494). One measure strongly supported by industry, a general permit for activities that constitute a low risk of taking eagles, was not considered as part of this rulemaking process, though FWS did accept comments on the subject for consideration in a future rulemaking. The FWS is reviewing these comments to determine whether additional regulatory changes would be appropriate to reduce the burden on industry.

    G. Bureau of Reclamation

    The BOR is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, operating 53 hydroelectric power facilities, comprising 14,730 megawatts of capacity. Each year, BOR generates over 40 million megawatt-hours of electricity (the equivalent demand of approximately 3.5 million US homes),6 producing over one billion dollars in Federal revenue. In addition to our authorities to develop, operate, and maintain Federal hydropower facilities, BOR is also authorized to permit the use of our non-powered assets to non-Federal entities for the purposes of hydropower development via a lease of power privilege (LOPP).

    6 See, https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=97&t=3

    The BOR is committed to facilitating the development of non-Federal hydropower at our existing Federal assets. Acting on this commitment, BOR has undertaken a number of activities, including:

    i. Completion of two publically available resource assessments.

    Assessments identify technical hydropower potential at existing BOR facilities, irrespective of financial viability.

    ii. Collaboration with stakeholder groups to improve the LOPP process and LOPP Directive and Standard (D&S) policy guidance document.

    A BOR LOPP is a contractual right given to a non-Federal entity to use a BOR asset (e.g. dam or conduit) for electric power generation consistent with BOR project purposes.

    The BOR has conducted LOPP outreach with stakeholder groups and hydropower industry associations; and made resources and staff available via a LOPP website: https://www.usbr.gov/power/LOPP/index.html. The BOR has also partnered with sister agencies (United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy) under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Hydropower to, in part, encourage and streamline non-Federal development on Federal infrastructure.

    Through these activities, BOR has made resources available to developers and peeled back the barriers that may burden non-Federal hydropower development—while continuing to protect the Federal assets that our customers, operating partners, and stakeholders have depended on for over a century. The response BOR has received from these groups (including the development community) in this effort has been overwhelmingly positive. LOPP projects provide a source of reliable, domestic, and sustainable generation—that supports rural economies and the underlying Federal water resource project.

    H. Bureau of Indian Affairs

    The BIA provides services to nearly 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in 567 federally recognized tribes in the 48 contiguous States and Alaska. The BIA's natural resource programs assist tribes in the management, development, and protection of Indian trust land and natural resources on 56 million surface acres and 59 million subsurface mineral estates. These programs enable tribal trust landowners to optimize sustainable stewardship and use of resources, providing benefits such as revenue, jobs and the protection of cultural, spiritual, and traditional resources. Income from energy production is the largest source of revenue generated from trust lands, with royalty income of $534 million in 2016.

    Indian Energy Actions i. Clarify “Inherently Federal Functions for Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs)

    Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) are authorized under Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. A TERA is a means by which a tribe could be authorized to review, approve, and manage business agreements, leases, and rights-of-way pertaining to energy development on Indian trust lands, absent approval of each individual transaction by the Secretary. Interior promulgated TERA regulations in 2008 at 25 CFR part 224. The TERAs offer the opportunity to promote development of domestically produced energy resources on Indian land; however, 12 years after the passage of the Act and 9 years after the issuance of TERA regulations, not one tribe has sought Interior's approval for a TERA. One theory asserted by at least one tribe as to the failure of this legislation is the Act does not address precisely how much Federal oversight would disappear for tribes operating under TERAs. Specifically, Interior had not defined the term “inherently Federal functions” that Interior will retain following approval of a TERA. This term appears in Interior's regulations at 25 CFR 224.52(c) and 224.53(e)(2), but not in the Act. Without some assurance as to the benefits (in terms of less Federal oversight) a tribe would receive through clarification of “inherently Federal functions,” tribes have no incentive to undergo the intensive process of applying for a TERA. Clarification of this phrase would also address Recommendation 5 of GAO-15-502, Indian Energy Development: Poor Management by BIA Has Hindered Energy Development on Indian Lands (June 2015). The recommendation directed Interior to “provide additional energy development-specific guidance on provisions of TERA regulations that tribes have identified to Interior as unclear.”

    The BIA has been working closely with the Office of the Solicitor to develop guidance on how Interior will interpret the term “inherently Federal functions.” It is expected that by providing this certainty as to the scope of Federal oversight, tribes will better be able to justify the process of applying for a TERA. The BIA expects to have the guidance finalized and available on its website by October 2017.

    The BIA anticipates that the benefits of this action will be to promote the use of TERAs, which will both save tribes the time and resources necessary to seek and obtain Interior approval of each transaction related to energy development on Indian land, and will help ease Interior's workload by eliminating the need for Departmental review of each individual transaction.

    The reduction in burden will be measured by the number of tribes that choose to obtain TERAs. Once each tribe obtains a TERA, Interior will work with the tribe to estimate savings in terms of time and resources.

    I. Integrated Activity Plan for Oil & Gas in the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska

    Noting that the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska (NPR-A) is the largest block of federally managed land in the United States and offers economically recoverable oil and natural gas, the Secretary issued an order focusing on management of this area in a manner that appropriately balances promoting development and protecting surface resources. See Secretarial Order 3352, “National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska” (May 31, 2017). Currently, 11 million acres (or 48 percent) of the total 22.8 million acres in the NPR-A are closed to leasing under the current Integrated Activity Plan (IAP). The Secretarial Order requires review and revision of the IAP for management of the area and, within the existing plan, maximizing the tracts offered during the next lease sale.

    J. Mitigation

    Implemented properly, mitigation can be a beneficial tool for advancing the Administration's goals of American energy independence and security, while ensuring public resources are managed for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.

    Interior seeks to establish consistent, effective and transparent mitigation principles and standards across all its Agencies. Interior and its bureaus and offices intends to develop consistent terminology, reduce redundancies, and simplify frameworks so that the Federal mitigation programs and stepped down programs are more predictable and consistent. Some mitigation is facilitated by goodwill and some is through our regulatory paradigm.

    BLM i. Review and Revise Mitigation Manual Section (MS-1794) and Handbook (H-1794-1) Related to Mitigation, Which Provide Direction on the Use of Mitigation, Including Compensatory Mitigation, To Support the BLM's Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Mandates.

    The Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook provide direction on the use of mitigation, including compensatory mitigation, to support BLM's multiple use and sustained yield mandates. The BLM is reviewing whether the 2016 Manual and Handbook replaced several IMs (IM Numbers 2005-069, 2008-204, and 2013-142) issued by BLM for the same purpose.

    The BLM is considering revisions to the Manual and Handbook to provide greater predictability (internally and externally), ease conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations times.

    Measuring success would be largely quantitative. The BLM would continue to track impacts from land use authorizations and would also track the type and amount of compensatory mitigation implemented and its effectiveness, preferably in a centralized database.

    The BLM is drafting an IM that provides interim direction regarding new and ongoing mitigation practices while the Manual and Handbook are being reviewed and revised. Use of the existing Manual and Handbook would continue, as modified and limited by this IM, until they are superseded.

    ii. Review of Manual 6220—National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and Similar Designations (07/13/2012) To Assure That It Conforms to BLM's Revised Mitigation Guidance.

    Manual 6220 provides guidance for managing BLM National Conservation Lands designated by Congress or the President as National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and similar designations (NM/NCA) in order to comply with the designating Acts of Congress and Presidential Proclamations, FLPMA, and the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 7202). Manual 6220 requires that when processing a new ROW application, BLM will determine, to the greatest extent possible, through the NEPA process, the consistency of the ROW with the Monument or NCA's objects and values; consider routing or siting the ROW outside of the Monument or NCA; and consider mitigation of the impacts from the ROW. Land use plans must identify management actions, allowable uses, restrictions, management actions regarding any valid existing rights, and mitigation measures to ensure that the objects and values are protected. The manual requires that a land use plan for a Monument or NCA should consider closing the area to mineral leasing, mineral material sales, and vegetative sales, subject to valid existing rights, where that component's designating authority does not already do so.

    A review of Manual 6220 to identify where clarity could be provided for mitigation, notification standards, and compatible uses, may potentially reduce or eliminate burdens. The BLM will review Manual 6220 following the proposed revisions to BLM Mitigation Manual Section (MS-1794) and Handbook (H-1794-1) to ensure that Manual 6220 conforms to the BLM's revised mitigation guidance.

    Addressing any potential issues, along with providing consistency with BLM Mitigation Manual is expected to provide greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations times.

    Success will be measured in BLM meeting legal obligations under the designating Act or Proclamation for each unit and the allowance of compatible multiple uses, consistent with applicable provisions in the designating Act or Proclamation.

    iii. Other Reviews of BLM Manual Provisions

    Secretarial Order 3349 also revoked a prior order regarding mitigation and directed bureaus to examine all existing policies and other documents related to mitigation and climate change. (See Secretarial Order 3330 “Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior.”) Actions Interior is taking to implement this direction include:

    • BLM Manual 6400—Wild and Scenic Rivers, Policy and Program Direction for Identification, Evaluation, Planning, and Management (07/13/2012)

    Manual 6400 provides guidance for managing eligible and suitable wild and scenic rivers and designated wild and scenic rivers in order to fulfill requirements found in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA). Subject to valid existing rights, the Manual states that minerals in any Federal lands that constitute the bed or bank or are situated within 1/4 mile of the bank of any river listed under section 5(a) are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining laws, for the time periods specified in section 7(b) of the WSRA. The Manual allows new leases, licenses, and permits under mineral leasing laws be made, but requires that consideration be given to applying conditions necessary to protect the values of the river corridor. For wild river segments, the Manual requires that new contracts for the disposal of saleable mineral material, or the extension or renewal of existing contracts, should be avoided to the greatest extent possible to protect river values.

    Manual 6400 will be reviewed following the proposed revisions to BLM Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook to ensure that it conforms to BLM revised mitigation guidance. Although the requirements for minerals and mineral withdrawals are legally mandated under the mining and mineral leasing laws in sections 9(a) and 15(2) of the WSRA, Manual 6400 will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify discretionary decision-space.

    Ensuring consistency with the BLM Mitigation Manual will foster greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations times.

    Success will be measured in terms of complying with the WSRA and identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses.

    • BLM Manual 6280—Management of National Scenic and Historic Trails and Trails under Study or Recommended as Suitable for Congressional Designation (09/14/2012)

    Manual 6280 provides guidance for managing trails under study, trails recommended as suitable, and congressionally designated National Scenic and Historic Trails to fulfill the requirements of the National Trails System Act (NTSA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Manual 6280 identifies mitigation as one way to address substantial interference with the natural and purposes for which a National Trail is designated.

    Manual 6280 will be reviewed following the proposed revisions to the BLM Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook to ensure it conforms to the BLM revised mitigation guidance. Although many of the requirements are legally mandated under the National Trails System Act, Manual 6280 will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify any discretionary decision-space to reduce or eliminate burdens.

    Addressing any potential issues, along with providing consistency with the BLM Mitigation Manual is expected to provide greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations time.

    Success will be measured in terms of complying with the NTSA and identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses.

    FWS iv. Compensatory Mitigation for Impacts to Migratory Bird Habitat

    The FWS has the authority to recommend, but not require, mitigation for impacts to migratory bird habitat under several Federal authorities. Pursuant to a Memoranda of Understanding with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), implementing EO13186 (January 10, 2001), FWS evaluates the impacts of FERC-licensed interstate pipelines to migratory bird habitat.

    The FWS is developing Service-wide guidance to ensure the bureau is consistent, fair and objective, appropriately characterizes the voluntary nature of compensatory mitigation for impacts to migratory bird habitat, and demonstrates a reasonable nexus between anticipated impacts and recommended mitigation. The FWS anticipates it will take 3 months to finalize the guidance.

    Guidance will result in timely and practicable licensing decisions, while providing for the conservation of migratory Birds of Conservation Concern.

    Success will be measured by timely issuance of licenses that contain appropriate recommendations that do not impose burdensome costs to developers.

    The FWS Regional and Field Offices will provide informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to educate and remind staff of policy.

    v. Mitigation Actions—Regulations and Policy Governing Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs)

    The CCAAs are developed to encourage voluntary conservation efforts to benefit species that are candidates for listing by providing the regulatory assurance that take associated with implementing an approved candidate conservation agreement will be permitted under section 10(a)(1)(A) for the Endangered Species Act if the species is ultimately listed, and that no additional mitigation requirements will be imposed.

    Recent revisions to the CCAA regulations and policy and the adoption of “net conservation benefit” as an issuance standard has been perceived by some to impose an unnecessary, ambiguous, and burdensome standard that will discourage voluntary conservation. There are also concerns with the preamble language that suggested that CCAAs may not be appropriate vehicles for permitting take of listed species resulting from oil and gas development activities.

    The FWS will solicit public review and comment on the need and basis for a revision of the CCAA regulation and associated policy for the purpose of evaluating whether it should maintain or revise the current regulation and policy or reinstate the former ones. The FWS anticipates that it will take 3 months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comments. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the regulation and policy.

    The anticipated benefits will be ensuring the CCAA standard is clear and encourages stakeholder participation in voluntary conservation of candidate and other at-risk species.

    Success will be measured by FWS providing timely assistance to developers if they seek a CCAA.

    The FWS Headquarters will provide Regional and Field Offices with informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the regulation and policy review.

    vi. Mitigation Actions—FWS Mitigation Policy

    In 2016, FWS finalized revisions to its 1981 Mitigation Policy, which guides FWS recommendations on mitigating the adverse impacts of land and water development on fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.

    Some stakeholders believe the revised policy's mitigation planning goal exceeds statutory authority.

    The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of evaluating the policy. The FWS anticipates that it will take 3 months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comment on the policy. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the policy.

    The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats.

    Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process.

    The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the policy review.

    vii. FWS ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy

    In 2016, FWS finalized its ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy (CMP), which steps down and implements the 2016 revised the FWS Mitigation Policy (including the mitigation planning goal). The CMP was established to improve consistency and effectiveness in the use of compensatory mitigation. Its primary intent is to provide FWS staff with direction and guidance in the planning and implementation of compensatory mitigation.

    Some stakeholders believe the mitigation planning goal exceeds statutory authority.

    The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of evaluating whether it should modify the policy. Additional legal review will be undertaken after comments are reviewed. The FWS anticipates that it will take three months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comment on the policy. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the policy.

    The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats.

    Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process.

    The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the policy review.

    viii. Interim Guidance on Implementing the Final ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy

    This document provides interim guidance for implementing the Service's CMP. The guidance provides operational detail on the establishment, use, and operation of compensatory mitigation projects and programs as tools for offsetting adverse impacts to endangered and threatened species, species proposed as endangered or threatened, and designated and proposed critical habitat under the ESA.

    Within 6 months of completing revisions to the ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy (CMP) (or deciding revisions to the CMP are not necessary), FWS will revise the interim implementation guidance (to be consistent with the revised CMP) and make it available for public review and comment in the Federal Register for 60 days. Within 6 months of close of the comment period, FWS will publish the final implementation guidance in the Federal Register (Note: we anticipate that the implementation guidance may need to be reviewed under the Paperwork Reduction Act, which may affect the timeline).

    The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats.

    Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process.

    The FWS Headquarters will issue a memorandum to Regional and Field staff reiterating the limited applicability of the CMP's mitigation planning goal and that decisions related to compensatory mitigation must comply with the ESA and its implementing regulations.

    K. Climate Change

    Interior is reviewing bureau reports of the work conducted to identify requirements relevant to climate that can potentially burden the development or uses of domestically produced energy resources. Most of the bureaus found no existing requirements in place. A couple of bureaus have non-regulatory documents (i.e., handbook, memo, manual, guidance, etc.) that inwardly focus on their units and workforce management activities. Interior is reviewing these to better understand their connection to other management, operations and guidance documents.

    BLM

    The BLM rescinded its Permanent Instruction Memorandum (PIM) 2017-003 (Jan. 12, 2017).

    This Permanent IM transmitted the CEQ guidance on consideration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in NEPA reviews, and provided general guidelines for calculating reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect GHG emissions of proposed actions.

    As the CEQ guidance was withdrawn pursuant to section 3 of EO13783, the BLM Permanent IM was rescinded. In the future, BLM will consider issuing new guidance to its offices on approaches for calculating reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect GHG emissions of proposed and related actions.

    Any new IM would provide guidance on consideration of GHG emissions and the effects of climate change in NEPA reviews. The BLM is also developing a unified Air Resources Toolkit that can be used across all organizational levels to consistently calculate, as needed and appropriate, relevant air emissions for a variety of BLM resource management functions. Once available, this toolkit will expedite analysis of reasonably foreseeable GHG emissions associated with energy and mineral development.

    V. Outreach Summary

    To ensure that Interior is considering the input of all viewpoints affected by the identified actions to reduce the burden on domestic energy, Interior has been, and will continue to, seek from outside entities through various means of public outreach including, but not limited to, working closely with affected stakeholders. In accordance with Administrative Procedure Act requirements, the Department is seeking public input on each proposal to revise or rescind individual energy-related regulatory requirements. The Department is also considering input it receives as part of its regulatory reform efforts through www.regulations.gov when such input relates to energy-related regulations.

    The Department's outreach efforts encompass state, local, and tribal governments, as well as stakeholders such as the Western Governors' Association, Interstate Mining Compact Commission, and natural resource and outdoorsmen groups. To comply with tribal consultation requirements, Interior will host a separate consultation with official representatives of tribal governments on matters that substantially affect tribes, in accordance with the Department's policy on consultation with tribal governments.

    VI. Conclusion

    Interior is aggressively working to put America on track to achieve the President's vision for energy dominance and bring jobs back to communities across the country. Working with state, local and tribal communities, as well as other stakeholders, Secretary Zinke is instituting sweeping reforms to unleash America's energy opportunities.

    VII. Attachments

    Secretarial Orders and Secretary's Memorandum

    BILLING CODE 4334-63-P ER01NO17.010 ER01NO17.011 ER01NO17.012 ER01NO17.013 ER01NO17.014 ER01NO17.015 ER01NO17.016 ER01NO17.017 ER01NO17.018 ER01NO17.019 ER01NO17.020 ER01NO17.021 ER01NO17.022 ER01NO17.023 ER01NO17.024 ER01NO17.025 ER01NO17.026 ER01NO17.027 ER01NO17.028 ER01NO17.029 ER01NO17.030 ER01NO17.031 ER01NO17.032 ER01NO17.033 ER01NO17.034
    [FR Doc. 2017-23702 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-C
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0552] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Atlantic Ocean, Ft. Lauderdale, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a recurring special local regulation for navigable waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of Fort Lauderdale, FL for the Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas. The Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas race course is located east of South Beach Park and North of the Port Everglades inlet. Approximately 100 high-speed personal watercraft will be participating in the event. The special local regulation is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards during the race event. All vessels and persons in the regulated area must follow the direction of Coast Guard personnel, law enforcement, and race officials.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0552 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Mara J. Brown, Sector Miami Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (305) 535-4317, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On June 7, 2017, the company Powerboat P1-USA, LLC notified the Coast Guard that it will be conducting the Ft. Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas race annually. This event will occur yearly on one weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) in November. The race course will be located directly east of South Beach Park in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The special local regulation is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment. On September 6, 2017, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Special Local Regulation; Atlantic Ocean, Ft. Lauderdale, FL” (82 FR 42050). Therein we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this race During the comment period that ended October 6, 2017, we received five comments.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with this event which will take place this year on November 17, 2017.

    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 Miami (COTP) has determined that that potential hazards associated with the high speeds of the participants during the races would be a safety concern for anyone who would enter the race area. The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters within the established race area, marked with buoys.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received five comments on our NPRM published September 6, 2017. All comments were in favor of this regulation. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

    This rule establishes a special local regulation for this event occuring annually on one weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) in November, with the precise date of the event each year to be published in a notice of enforcement in the Federal Register. The special local regulation covers all navigable waters within the established race area, marked with buoys, approximately one mile north of the Port Everglades inlet. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters during the Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas race event. Only those vessels participating in the event may enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area, and all vessels and persons in the regulated area must follow the direction of Coast Guard personnel, law enforcement, and race officials.

    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, and time-of-year of the special local regulation. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this regulated area, which will impact a small designated area of the Atlantic Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, FL, directly adjacent to the shore, for three days.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a special local regulation lasting three days that will impact a small area in the vicinity of the Port Everglades Inlet. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 201 of the Commandant Instructions. 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 § 100.723 to read as follows:
    § 100.723 Special Local Regulation; Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas; Fort Lauderdale, FL.

    (a) Location. The following regulated area is established as a special local regulation. All navigable waters contained within an imaginary line connecting the following points: beginning at Point 1 in position 26°6′21″ N., 080°5′51″ W.; thence west to Point 2 in position 26°6′21″ N., 080°6′13″ W.; thence north to Point 3 in position 26°6′57″ N., 080°6′13″ W.; thence east to Point 4 in position 26°6′57″ N., 080°5′52″ W., thence back to origin at point 1. All coordinates are North American Datum 1983.

    (b) Definition. The following definitions apply to this section:

    (1) The term “designated representative” means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, State, and Local officers designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Miami in the enforcement of the regulated areas.

    (2) The term “Patrol Commander” means a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the Coast Guard who has been designated by the respective Coast Guard Sector Commander to enforce these regulations.

    (3) The term “spectators” means all persons and vessels not registered with the event sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels.

    (c) Regulations. (1) All non-participant persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Miami or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, remain within or transit in excess of wake speed within any of the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port Miami by telephone at (305) 535-8701, or a designated representative via VHF-FM radio on channel 16 to request authorization. If authorization is granted, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Miami or a designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard will use all appropriate means to notify the public in advance of an event of the enforcement of the regulations in this section to include publishing a Notice of Enforcement in the Federal Register and through the local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    (d) Enforcement date. This section will be enforced annually on a weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in the month of November.

    Dated: October 23, 2017. J.H.D. Solomon, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Miami.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23708 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0967] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Alligator River, Columbia, NC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the US 64/Alligator River Bridge which carries US 64 over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW), Alligator River, mile 84.2, near Columbia, NC. The deviation is necessary to facilitate bridge maintenance. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    The deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on November 6, 2017, through 7 p.m. on November 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2017-0967 is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Michael Thorogood, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6557, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The North Carolina Department of Transportation, owner and operator of the US 64/Alligator River Bridge that carries US 64 over the AICW, Alligator River, mile 84.2, at near Columbia, NC, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating schedule to facilitate application of an epoxy overlay for the drawbridge's entire bridge deck. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 14 feet above mean high water in the closed position and unlimited feet above mean high water in the open position.

    The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.5. Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will be in the closed-to-navigation position from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; on Monday, November 6, 2017, through Saturday, November 11, 2017, and Monday, November 13, 2017, through Friday, November 17, 2017.

    The AICW, Alligator River is used by a variety of vessels including, small commercial vessels, tug and barge traffic, and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with waterway users in publishing this temporary deviation.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at any time. The bridge will open on signal during closure period, if at least 2 hours notice is given. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternative route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local Notice and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: October 27, 2017. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23745 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0932] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Illinois River, Beardstown, IL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for all navigable waters on the Illinois River between mile marker (MM) 83.0 and MM 87.0. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life and property on all navigable waters near Beardstown, IL while construction work is completed on new power lines extending across the river. During the period of enforcement, entry into the safety zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River (COTP) or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 6 a.m. on November 1, 2017, through 6 p.m. on December 15, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0932 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Commander Sean Peterson, Chief of Prevention, Sector Upper Mississippi River, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 314-269-2332, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard 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.

    The contractor for Ameren Electric Company, The L.E. Meyers Co., notified the Coast Guard on September 25, 2017 that the work would begin November 1, 2017 at 6 a.m. between Illinois River mile marker (MM) 83.0 and MM 87.0, which will cause safety concerns to vessels and obstruct the navigational channel. The contractor will be using helicopters in the placement of steel structures to support new power lines and to stretch the new power lines across the river. Due to the risks associated with power line work crossing the navigational channel, a safety zone is needed. We must establish this temporary safety zone by November 1, 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 the rule is contrary to the public interest because immediate action is necessary to prevent possible loss of life and property from the hazards associated with the overhead power line work.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with overhead power line construction presents a safety concern for all navigable waters of the Illinois River between MM 83.0 and MM 87.0. 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 overhead power line work.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone each day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning on November 1, 2017 and ending on December 15, 2017, or until conditions allow for safe navigation, whichever occurs earlier. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters between MM 83.0 and MM 87.0 on the Illinois River in Beardstown, IL. The safety zone is intended to ensure the safety of life and vessels on these navigable waters during overhead power line work. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Exact times of the closures and any changes to the planned schedule will be communicated to mariners using Broadcast and Local 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 safety zone. This temporary final rule establishes a temporary safety zone impacting a four mile area on the Illinois River for a limited time period of twelve hours on forty-five separate days. Additionally, from November 1, 2017 to November 11, 2017 the safety zone will be enforced for only five days while steel structures are being flown over the river and put in place to support the new power lines. During the dates from November 12, 2017 to December 15, 2017 new power lines will be stretched across the river. During the enforcement period, vessels are prohibited from entering into or remaining within the safety zone unless specifically authorized by the COTP or other designated representative. The contractor performing the work will communicate to the COTP when work is not being performed and allow for affected vessel traffic to pass through the area.

    Additionally, notice of the safety zone or any changes in the planned schedule will be made via Broadcast and Local Notice to Mariners. Entry into this safety zone may be requested from the COTP or other designated representative and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding these rules. 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 an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a temporary safety zone lasting twelve hours on thirty-nine separate days that will prohibit entry from MM 83.0 to MM 87.0 on the Illinois River from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. 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, and 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.T08-0932 to read as follows:
    § 165.08-0932 Safety Zone; Illinois River, Beardstown, IL.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Illinois River between mile marker (MM) 83.0 and MM 87.0, Beardstown, IL.

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

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

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

    (d) Effective period. This rule will be effective from 6 a.m. on November 1, 2017 through 6 p.m. on December 15, 2017. It will be enforced daily from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m.

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

    Dated: October 27, 2017. Scott A. Stoermer, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23820 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service 36 CFR Chapter II Report Prepared Pursuant to Executive Order 13783—Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notification of final report.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (Forest Service) has prepared its final report pursuant to Section 2 of Executive Order 13783—Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (E.O. 13783). Section 2 of E.O. 13783 mandates an immediate review of all Federal agency actions that potentially unduly burden the safe, efficient development of domestic energy resources, and requires heads of Federal agencies to review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially unduly burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. E.O. 13783 also requires Federal agencies to make recommendations that could alleviate or eliminate aspects of their actions that unduly burden domestic energy production.

    DATES:

    November 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The report is available on the Forest Service's Web site at https://www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/energy.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherri Thompson at 303-275-5147 or by mail at 1617 Cole Boulevard, Building 7, Lakewood, CO 80401.

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of E.O. 13783 is to eliminate unnecessary Federal procedures that obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources. On National Forest System lands, the USDA and the Forest Service play an important role in assuring that activities associated with Federal and private energy mineral resources, renewable energy projects, and energy-related transmission and distribution facilities are conducted in a manner that minimizes adverse effects on Federal surface resources while avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.

    Pursuant to Section 2 of E.O. 13783, the Forest Service reviewed more than 70 agency actions, including regulations, policies, guidance, orders, agreements with partner agencies, and programmatic analyses at the Washington Office and field levels of the agency to assess whether they unduly burden clean and safe domestic energy development. As a result of that review, the Forest Service recommends revising or rescinding parts of 15 agency actions to alleviate or eliminate undue burdens on the prudent development or use of domestic energy sources. Consistent with E.O. 13783, it is in the national interest to promote the clean and safe development of America's vast energy resources. Adopting these recommendations would result in the revision of parts of three regulations, five policies, four agreements with other agencies, one programmatic analysis, and one order and rescinding part of one policy. The Forest Service's recommendations are principally associated with streamlining agency procedures or clarifying agency policy to facilitate more efficient processing of energy proposals by the agency alone or in coordination with its partners.

    Dated: October 25, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23805 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 97 [EPA-R06-OAR-2016-0611; FRL-9969-07-Region 6] Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Texas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan Correction

    In rule document 2017-21947, appearing on pages 48324-48380 in the issue of Tuesday, October 17, 2017, make the following correction:

    On page 48370, in the first column, in the sixteenth line from the top, “97.404(b)(1)”, should read “97.904(b)(1)”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2017-21947 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1300-00-D
    82 210 Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0636; Notice No. 25-17-02-SC] Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Folding Wingtips AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed special conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes special conditions for Boeing Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. These airplanes 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 folding wingtips. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed 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:

    Send your comments on or before December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0636 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, between 9 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:

    Ian Won, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Section, AIR-675, Policy and Innovation Division, Transport Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2145; facsimile 425-227-1360.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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 April 19, 2017 (for the Model 777-8 airplane), and May 12, 2015 (for the 777-9 airplane), Boeing applied for an amendment to Type Certificate (TC) No. T00001SE to include the new Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. These airplanes are constructed with new carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) wings with folding wingtips.

    The Model 777-9 airplane, a derivative of the Model 777-300ER airplane currently approved under TC No. T00001SE, is a stretched-fuselage, large, twin-engine airplane with seating for 408 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 775,000 pounds.

    The Model 777-8 airplane, a shortened-body derivative of the Model 777-9 airplane, is a large, twin-engine airplane with seating for 359 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 775,000 pounds.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Boeing must show that the Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in TC No. T00001SE, 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 Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes 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 type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified 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 Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes 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 Features

    The Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: CFRP wings with folding wingtips.

    Boeing proposes to incorporate this on-ground wingtip-fold capability to reduce the wingspan from 235 to 212 feet when folded. These folding wingtips, when extended into the flight-deployed position, provide improved aerodynamic performance and efficiency, and comply with Code E 1 gate compatibility when folded during ground operations.

    1 A Code E gate is designed to accommodate aircraft wingspans between 170.6 ft. (52m) and 213.3 ft. (65m), and outer main-gear wheel spans between 29.5 ft. (9m) and 45.9 ft. (14m). Boeing 777 airplanes are in this gate-code category.

    Discussion

    Boeing proposes adding folding wingtips to their Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplane wings to improve aerodynamic performance and efficiency when the wingtips are extended into the flight-deployed position, while maintaining Code E gate compatibility when folded during ground operations. This wing-folding feature will be operable on the ground only. Boeing has no plan to carry fuel in the folding sections of the wings.

    Boeing has determined that a catastrophic event could occur if the 777-8 and 777-9 airplane wingtips are not properly positioned and secured for takeoff and during flight. In service, numerous takeoff operations with improper airplane configurations have occurred due to failures of the takeoff warning systems, or inadvertent crew actions. For these proposed special conditions, a parallel is drawn between taking off with gust locks engaged and taking off with the wingtips folded, as either condition could result in a catastrophic event. Consequently, the FAA has determined that the level of safety in protecting a misconfigured airplane from takeoff with wingtips folded should be the same as taking off with the gust locks engaged. Therefore, condition 2 of these proposed special conditions has the same intent as § 25.679(a)(2). Per § 25.1309, the applicant must show that such an event is extremely improbable, must not result from a single failure, and that appropriate alerting must be provided for the crew to manage unsafe system-operating conditions. In addition, the applicant must ensure that the wingtips are properly secured during ground operations to protect ground personnel against bodily injury.

    Factors to be considered when showing compliance to these proposed special conditions include, but are not limited to:

    • With wingtips in the folded position, the conventional airplane-wingtip-position lights may have reduced visibility due to the upward position of the wingtips, possibly impacting ground-operation safety. Light placement may require special consideration to retain the current ground-operation safety, and mitigate any adverse impact this light position may have on pilot visibility during night-lighting conditions.

    • Due to upward wingtip positioning on the ground, significant loads may be imposed by wind gusts combined with taxi speed during the transition from the unfolded to the folded position.

    • The FAA issued Policy Statement No. PS-ANM-25-12, “Certification of Structural Elements in Flight Control Systems,” to address structural elements in systems that act as both structure and as part of a system. This policy provides additional guidance on the appropriate application of the fatigue and damage-tolerance requirements of § 25.571, and the system-safety requirements of §§ 25.671 and 25.1309.

    These proposed 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 Boeing Model 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only a certain novel or unusual design feature on one model series of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.

    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 Proposed 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 777-8 and 777-9 airplanes.

    Note:

    The term “latch” refers to the mechanism that allows the wingtip to carry flight loads in the down (flight-deployed) position. The term “lock” refers to the mechanism that prevents disconnection of the latch when the wing tip is down.

    1. More than one means must be available to alert the flightcrew that the wingtips are not properly positioned and secured prior to takeoff. Each of these means must be unique in their wingtip-monitoring function. When meeting this condition, the applicant must add a function to the takeoff warning system, as required by § 25.703(a)(1) and (2), to warn of an unlocked or improperly positioned wingtip, including indication to the flightcrew when a wingtip is in the folded position during taxi.

    2. In addition to a takeoff warning in accordance with § 25.703, a means must be provided to prevent airplane takeoff if a wingtip is not properly positioned and secured for flight.

    3. The applicant must consider the effects of folding-wingtip freeplay when evaluating compliance to the design load requirements of 14 CFR subpart C, and the aeroelastic stability (including flutter, divergence, control reversal, and any undue loss of stability and control as a result of structural deformation) requirements of § 25.629. Thus, the effects of normal wear, and other long-term durability conditions (such as corrosion) of the folding-wingtip operating mechanism on freeplay, and its impact on loads and aeroelastic stability, must be considered. Where freeplay limitations are required to ensure aeroelastic stability, acceptable freeplay limits and freeplay check procedures must be established. If lubrication is required to control excessive wear, lubrication intervals must be established. These procedures and limitations must be documented in accordance with § 25.1529. The freeplay-check and mechanism-lubrication intervals, if required, must be documented as a certification maintenance requirement (CMR). Guidance for CMRs can be found in Advisory Circular 25-19A, “Certification Maintenance Requirements.” The effects of freeplay on wing-joint torsional and bending stiffness, as well as wing frequencies, must be evaluated when showing compliance to loads and aeroelastic stability requirements. Also, the effects of freeplay on fatigue and damage tolerance must be considered when showing compliance with § 25.571.

    4. The folding wingtips and their operating mechanism must be designed for 65 knot, horizontal, ground-gust conditions in any direction as specified in § 25.415(a). Relevant design conditions must be defined using combinations of steady wind and taxi speeds determined by rational analysis utilizing airport wind data. The folding wingtip is not a control surface as specified in § 25.415(b)(c). Therefore, in lieu of the equation provided in § 25.415(b), the hinge moment may be calculated from rational wind-tunnel data. The 1.25 factor specified in § 25.415(d) need not be applied to the portion of the system that is isolated in flight and is not critical for safe flight and landing. The folding-wingtip system must be designed for the conditions specified in § 25.415(e), (f), and (g). Runway roughness, as specified in § 25.491, must be evaluated separately up to the maximum relevant airplane ground speeds. All of the above conditions must be applied to the folding wingtips in the extended (flight-deployed), folded, and transient positions.

    5. The airplane must demonstrate acceptable handling qualities during rollout in a crosswind environment, as wingtips transition from the flight-deployed to folded position, as well as during the unlikely event of asymmetric wingtip folding.

    6. The wingtip-fold operating mechanism must have stops that positively limit the range of motion of the wingtips. Each stop must be designed to the requirements of § 25.675.

    7. The wingtip hinge structure must be designed for inertia loads acting parallel to the hinge line. In the absence of more rational data, the inertia loads may be assumed to be equal to KW as referenced in § 25.393. Hinge design must meet the requirements of § 25.657.

    8. In lieu of § 25.1385(b): The forward position lights must be installed such that they consist of a red and a green light spaced laterally as far apart as practicable, and installed forward on the airplane, so that, with the airplane in the normal flying position and with the wingtips in the folded position for ground operations, the red light is on the left side and the green light is on the right side at approximately the level of the wingtips in the takeoff configuration. Each light must be approved and must meet the requirements of § 25.1385(a) and (d). The lights must not impair the vision of the flightcrew when the wingtips are in the folded and transient positions.

    9. The applicant must include design features that ensure the wingtips are properly secured during ground operations, to protect ground personnel from bodily injury as well as to prevent damage to the airframe, ground structure, and ground support equipment.

    10. The wingtips must have means to safeguard against unlocking from the extended, flight-deployed position in flight, as a result of failures, including the failure of any single structural element. All sources of airplane power that could initiate unlocking of the wingtips must be automatically isolated from the wingtip-fold operating system (including the latching and locking system) prior to flight, and it must not be possible to restore power to the system during flight. The wingtip latching and locking mechanisms must be designed so that, under all airplane flight-load conditions, no force or torque can unlatch or unlock the mechanisms. The latching system must include a means to secure the latches in the latched position, independent of the locking system. It must not be possible to position the lock in the locked position if the latches and the latching mechanisms are not in the latched position, and it must not be possible to unlatch the latches with the locks in the locked position.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 25, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23698 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 27 and 29 [Docket No.: FAA-2017-0990] RIN 2120-AK80 Normal and Transport Category Rotorcraft Certification AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA proposes to amend the certification standards of normal and transport category helicopters. The proposed changes are necessary to address modern designs currently used in the rotorcraft industry and would reduce the burden on applicants for certification of new rotorcraft designs. The proposed changes would reduce or eliminate the need for certain special conditions currently required to obtain certification of modern rotorcraft. The proposed changes would also incorporate the requirements of equivalent level of safety findings that the FAA has imposed as conditions for approving certain design features.

    DATES:

    Send comments on or before January 30, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0990 using any of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions concerning this action, contact Sandra Shelley, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Sections 44701 and 44704. Under section 44701, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing minimum standards required in the interest of safety for the design and performance of aircraft. Under section 44704, the Administrator issues type certificates for aircraft, aircraft engines, propellers, and specified appliances when the Administrator finds the product is properly designed and manufactured, performs properly, and meets the regulations and minimum standards prescribed under section 44701(a). This rulemaking is within the scope of these authorities because it would promote safety by updating the existing minimum prescribed standards used during the type certification process.

    I. Overview of Proposed Rule

    The FAA proposes to revise regulations in title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 27 (Airworthiness Standards: Normal Category Rotorcraft) and part 29 (Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Rotorcraft) related to the certification of rotorcraft. The proposed changes are necessary due to the extensive application of advancing technologies to rotorcraft. Existing airworthiness standards are inadequate because they do not address increasing design complexity. To address these advances, the FAA currently issues reoccurring special conditions, equivalent level of safety findings (ELOS), and means of compliance (MOC) issue papers. This proposed rule would address these problem areas by updating those standards that cause unnecessary burdens in cost and time to both the FAA and the rotorcraft industry. Compliance with these proposed regulatory changes would continue to be shown by the same testing, analysis, and inspections as in the current certification process and there would be a reduced burden through clarification of the safety requirements for the installed systems.

    II. Background A. Statement of the Problem

    The FAA is proposing to update parts 27 and 29 because the regulations were originally published in 1964 and revisions to the airworthiness standards have not kept pace with advances in technology for rotorcraft. The FAA addresses the changes to technology by issuing reoccurring special conditions, ELOS findings, and MOC issue papers. Special conditions are prescribed under 14 CFR 21.16 when the FAA finds the applicable airworthiness standards do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards because of a novel or unusual design feature. The FAA issues ELOS findings under § 21.21(b)(1) where a design does not literally comply with the airworthiness standards, but compensating factors exist that provide an equivalent level of safety. MOC issue papers document compliance methodologies that fall outside existing guidance and policies. These three processes are necessary to address new design features for which airworthiness standards are lacking, literal compliance with a rule cannot be achieved, or alternative methods of compliance are proposed. In some cases, advancements in technology have rendered the regulations obsolete.

    These special conditions, ELOS findings, and MOC issue papers impact FAA resources and applicants' schedules for obtaining FAA approval of their products. By updating the affected standards, many special conditions, ELOS findings, and MOC issue papers would be unnecessary, thus reducing the burden on both the FAA and industry. We also propose to update a few of these rules to correct typographical errors.

    Sections 27.1329 and 29.1329 do not adequately address the latest technology in flight control automation. These standards adequately addressed the functionality of autopilots for many years until recently with the development of more sophisticated functions, especially in normal category helicopters. The rotorcraft autopilot systems of previous years controlled only altitude, attitude, and heading. The more advanced autopilot systems also control airspeed, vertical speed, and hover. The current rule is inconsistent with FAA-accepted industry standards and practices. The current rule does not adequately cover the growing changes in the marketplace toward increased automation in the primary flight controls.

    Sections 27.1335 and 29.1335 were originally written to address a particular flight control concept called “flight director systems;” however, the term itself has long been considered a standard part of a modern autopilot covered under §§ 27.1329 and 29.1329. In addition, the text we propose to remove from §§ 27.1335 and 29.1335 has been added to the proposed §§ 27.1329 and 29.1329 rules. The impact to industry would be minimal since the current material associated with these rules in Advisory Circular (AC) 27-1B, Certification of Normal Category Rotorcraft, and AC 29-2C, Certification of Transport Category Rotorcraft,1 already recognizes industry standards and practices.

    1http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/.

    In appendix B to parts 27 and 29, the reference to Amendment 29-14 in section VIII needs to be removed. By citing the amendment within the rule, appendix B requires updating every time a relevant part 27 or part 29 rule is changed.

    B. National Transportation Safety Board Recommendations

    As a result of incidents involving lithium-ion batteries installed on aircraft, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued Safety Recommendations A-14-032 through 036 to the FAA on May 22, 2014.2 The NTSB recommended the FAA develop abuse tests to simulate failures observed in the incidents investigated and to address findings in recent research (A-14-032), perform these tests on new aircraft for certain installations (A-14-033), develop guidance on acceptable methods to induce thermal runaway that reliably simulates battery failures (A-14-034), review methods of compliance used to certificate in-service lithium-ion battery aircraft installations to ensure that they adequately protect against adverse effects of a cell thermal runaway (A-14-035), and develop policy to establish a panel of technical experts to advise on compliance and best practices for safely installing new technology (A-14-036). This proposed rule would incorporate these NTSB recommendations as they relate to rotorcraft into §§ 27.1353 and 29.1353.

    2http://www.ntsb.gov/.

    III. Discussion of the Proposal A. AC 27-1B and AC 29-2C Guidance

    AC 27-1B and AC 29-2C provide information on methods of compliance with 14 CFR parts 27 and 29, which contain the airworthiness standards for normal and transport category rotorcraft. These ACs include methods of compliance in the areas of basic design, ground tests, and flight tests. With these proposed rules, the FAA is also proposing related changes to these ACs.

    B. Powerplant Instruments (§§ 27.1305 and 29.1305)

    Sections 27.1305 and 29.1305 prescribe the specific required powerplant instruments for rotorcraft. The current rules specify separate indicators for many of these instruments, including engine manifold pressure and engine revolutions per minute (r.p.m.) for reciprocating engines, or gas producer speed, gas temperature, and torque for turbine engines.

    Traditionally, pilots determine the powerplant performance conditions by monitoring individual gauges: Gas temperature, gas producer speed, and torque. Sections 27.1305 and 29.1305 establish the required powerplant instruments, and §§ 27.1321 and 29.1321 require that these instruments be easily visible to the pilot. These instruments measure the performance output of the engines and they collectively allow the pilot to continuously monitor the condition and health of the engines.

    Many rotorcraft manufacturers have started to incorporate a synthesized power indicator (SPI) that provides a single indicator of engine performance. This single value displayed to the pilot is generally presented as a percentage of the nearest engine limit. The continuously displayed SPI presents the calculated value to the flight crew on the primary flight displays along with a caption indicating the nearest engine limiting parameter that is being used for the SPI displayed calculation. Acceptable designs allow the pilot to monitor engine performance and trends. Technologies such as an SPI, which combine multiple indicators into one, cannot meet the requirements of the current rules. By allowing means other than dedicated indicators, the proposed changes would permit designs incorporating an SPI or similar concepts. The FAA proposes to revise §§ 27.1305(e), (k), (n), and (o) and 29.1305(a)(5), (11), and (12) to allow other means of powerplant indication for these instruments. Section 27.1305(k) would continue to require a tachometer to indicate main rotor speed, but would also require a separate means to indicate the r.p.m. of each engine. The FAA also proposes to modify § 27.1305(o) by replacing “turboshaft” with “turbine” to be consistent with similar wording used throughout parts 27 and 29.

    For part 29, the FAA proposes to add § 29.1305(b)(4) to permit manipulating the powerplant instruments to simulate one engine inoperative (OEI) conditions without damaging the engines. Section 29.1305 requires unbiased engine instrument indications to remain available to assure operation within safe limits. Several helicopter designs include, for Category A 3 training purposes (OEI Training Mode), a feature to represent a simulated engine failure by reducing power of all engines symmetrically. This simulated OEI condition is shown on the engine instruments by biasing the engine power, gas temperature, and gas producer and free power turbine tachometers on the primary flight display. To avoid confusion, the proposed § 29.1305(b)(4) would require additional annunciations to differentiate the simulated OEI condition from that of an actual engine failure.

    3 In 14 CFR 1.1, Category A, with respect to transport category rotorcraft, means multiengine rotorcraft designed with engine and system isolation features specified in Part 29 and utilizing scheduled takeoff and landing operations under a critical engine failure concept which assures adequate designated surface area and adequate performance capability for continued safe flight in the event of engine failure.

    The proposed changes to § 29.1305 would permit designs incorporating an OEI Training Mode. The FAA is not proposing changes to § 27.1305 because 14 CFR part 27 Category A rotorcraft are approved under appendix C to part 27, which requires compliance with § 29.1305.

    C. Rotorcraft Equipment, Systems, and Installations (§§ 27.1309, 29.1309, and Appendix C to Part 27)

    Sections 27.1309 and 29.1309 apply generally to all systems on the aircraft that do not otherwise have specific language to analyze the safety aspects of a system. The proposed changes to § 27.1309 would address advances in technology and increases in performance of normal category rotorcraft that were not envisioned when this rule was originally promulgated. Manufacturers installed complex and highly integrated systems in part 27 rotorcraft certificated for instrument flight rules (IFR) under appendix B and Category A operations under appendix C. At that time, the FAA did not envision complex and highly integrated systems would be installed in non-IFR and non-Category A normal category rotorcraft because industry was not employing this advanced technology or the technology did not exist. The analysis methods used to identify and determine the effects of system failures required in § 27.1309 are not adequate for today's complex and highly integrated systems. The use of this advanced technology resulted in an exponential increase in the number of ways rotorcraft systems can fail and a decrease in the discernibility of such failures. To ensure the reliability of the rotorcraft system is not compromised when utilizing complex and highly integrated technology, the FAA is proposing a more structured repeatable failure analysis.

    The proposed change would also eliminate the distinction between single-engine and multi-engine rotorcraft. Section 27.1309 currently requires applicants to assess the effects of failures that may be introduced by installed systems and equipment, and distinguishes that the methods for assessing these failures may be different between single and multi-engine rotorcraft. This distinction was envisioned because multi-engine rotorcraft employed complex systems or systems with more severe failure effects. This distinction is now irrelevant since current analysis tools for technologies and associated failure effects do not consider number of engines as required input.

    The proposed rule would clarify the requirement to perform a proper failure analysis and also recognize that the severity of failures can vary. Since the current rule was promulgated, the number of failure condition categories has varied. Current industry standards and practices recognize five failure condition categories: Catastrophic, Hazardous, Major, Minor, and No-Safety Effect. The proposed rule recognizes the maximum and minimum failure effects without prescribing the number of failure effect severity categories. This proposed change would also accommodate future changes in industry failure analysis techniques and reflect current certification practices. Additionally, it would eliminate the need to issue recurring special conditions and remove the additional time and cost to industry.

    The changes proposed for §§ 27.1309 and 29.1309 would make the sections consistent. These changes would remove the necessity to reference § 29.1309 in appendix C of part 27. Although a specific reference to § 27.1309 would not be added, appendix C of part 27 already requires compliance with all of part 27 for Category A certification. These proposed changes would not eliminate the requirement to reassess compliance with § 27.1309 for applicants who request Category A operations. The FAA proposes to change appendix C to delete the reference to § 29.1309.

    The FAA proposes to update § 29.1309 to be consistent with industry standards and practices for conducting failure analysis. These proposed changes are intended to allow flexibility in the types of assessments applicants may provide for showing compliance.

    Section 29.1309 currently requires applicants to assess the effects of failures resulting from installed systems and equipment. The current rule also identifies differences in the depth of assessing failures between Category A and Category B 4 rotorcraft. Complex and highly integrated systems were typically installed in part 29 rotorcraft certificated for Category A operations. Like the distinction between single-engine and multi-engine rotorcraft discussed previously, this distinction was made because the FAA did not envision that complex and highly integrated systems would be installed in rotorcraft certificated for Category B operations. This distinction is now irrelevant since current analysis tools for technologies and associated failure effects do not differ between Category A and Category B. The FAA proposes to add an introductory paragraph and revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to clarify that all equipment, systems, and installations on the rotorcraft must be analyzed and to remove the distinction between Category A and B. Although the effects of the failures may be different, the method for conducting the failure analysis is the same regardless of the operations evaluated.

    4 In 14 CFR 1.1, Category B, with respect to transport category rotorcraft, means single-engine or multiengine rotorcraft which do not fully meet all Category A standards. Category B rotorcraft have no guaranteed stay-up ability in the event of engine failure and unscheduled landing is assumed.

    The term “warning” in § 29.1309(c) and (d) has been interpreted as requiring a red level alert, when the intent was to notify the crew of all required annunciations. Therefore, the FAA proposes to modify paragraphs (c) and (d) by removing the terms “warning” and “probability” and replacing them with “annunciation” and “effect” respectively, and adding “misleading data” as a standard failure mode.

    The FAA also proposes removing the requirements of § 29.1309(e) and (f) dealing specifically with electrical systems as they are covered by §§ 29.1351, 29.1353, 29.1355, and 29.1357.

    D. Automatic Flight Guidance and Control Systems (§§ 27.1329, 27.1335, 29.1329, and 29.1335)

    The FAA proposes to standardize terminology and combine the requirements for automatic pilot and flight director systems into one rule. Sections 27.1329 and 29.1329 address automatic pilot systems while §§ 27.1335 and 29.1335 address flight director systems. At the time these rules were promulgated, the functionality of designs prompted a separate rule for each system. Since then, systems for automatic control of flight have evolved. Modern designs include both automatic pilot and flight director systems and are now referred to as automatic flight guidance and control systems. Having these systems in separate rules that use different terminology has resulted in some confusion. The proposed changes would remove §§ 27.1335 and 29.1335 and incorporate the requirements into §§ 27.1329 and 29.1329. The FAA also proposes to use the term “automatic flight guidance and control systems” to address both automatic pilot and flight director systems, as well as the components.

    E. Instrument Systems (§ 29.1333 and Appendix B to Parts 27 and 29)

    Currently, § 29.1333(a) requires isolating the pilot instrument system from any other operating systems. At the time the rule was promulgated, these systems were federated, and connecting these systems increased the likelihood that a fault in one system would cause a fault in the pilot instrument system. This physical independence between the pilot system and other operating systems prevented the pilot system's reliability from being compromised by other operating systems. With the adoption of microprocessor technology and the trend towards complex and highly integrated systems, the requirement for physical independence is no longer appropriate. The use of this technology resulted in an exponential increase in the number of ways rotorcraft systems can fail and a decrease in the discernibility of such failures. To ensure the reliability of the pilot system is not compromised when utilizing microprocessors or highly integrated systems, modern designs allow redundant systems in the rotorcraft to compare information. Rotorcraft cannot utilize current technology, and redundant systems cannot compare information, when the pilot instrument system is isolated.

    The FAA proposes to revise § 29.1333(a) and section VIII(b)(5)(i) of appendix B to parts 27 and 29 to make them applicable only to pneumatic systems. These proposed changes would allow for the use of modern technology to monitor and display highly integrated information regarding the rotorcraft that is currently not permitted. The FAA also proposes revising appendix B to parts 27 and 29 to remove the amendment level as previously discussed in section B of the preamble.

    F. Electrical Systems and Equipment (§ 29.1351) and Energy Storage Systems (§§ 27.1353 and 29.1353)

    The FAA proposes changing §§ 27.1353 and 29.1353 to provide a general regulation that is not directed at a particular battery or battery chemistry. The existing regulations were first written when backup electrical power was provided solely by a lead acid battery. The regulations were later amended to add requirements specific to the nickel-cadmium battery chemistry. Recently, batteries have been developed using various lithium chemistries. Lead acid, nickel-cadmium, and lithium batteries are all energy storage devices with different operational parameters and failure mechanisms. Rather than add specific lithium battery requirements, which would necessitate further amendments to address future energy storage chemistries, the FAA is proposing to generalize the regulation to accommodate any energy storage system. The proposed regulation would be less prescriptive than the existing regulation.

    The FAA's intent with this proposal is that the modified regulation would be directly applicable to both lead acid and nickel-cadmium batteries without imposing additional requirements. In addition, this generalized approach would allow the FAA to consider batteries, fuel cells, or any other energy storage device not yet developed. Certain attributes tied to a specific battery chemistry currently found in the regulation would be addressed in AC 27-1B and AC 29-2C. These proposed changes to §§ 27.1353 and 29.1353 are intended to reduce the burden on the FAA and the rotorcraft industry associated with issuing special conditions and the related issue papers.

    Section 29.1353, paragraphs (a) and (b) would be moved into § 29.1351 as paragraphs (e) and (f) respectively. These paragraphs are general requirements for all electrical systems and equipment installations. This change is proposed for consistency because those requirements are more appropriate in § 29.1351. This proposed change would standardize the requirements of §§ 27.1353 and 29.1353 and both section titles would be changed to “Energy storage systems” to properly reflect the new language.

    G. Instrument Markings (§§ 27.1545, 29.1545, 27.1549, and 29.1549)

    The FAA proposes to modify §§ 27.1545(b)(4), 27.1549(b), 29.1545(b)(4), and 29.1549(b) by eliminating the restriction of only using a “green arc” to indicate normal operating ranges. The existing rules require using a green arc for normal operating ranges on airspeed and powerplant instruments. Modern glass cockpits generally do not contain these green indicators. The philosophy utilized by modern cockpit designs is the “dark, quiet cockpit,” and only yellow or red is presented to indicate the aircraft is outside the normal or safe operating range. The absence of green arcs did not meet the requirement of the rule. Since the rule was promulgated, the FAA has determined that if all abnormal conditions are otherwise adequately indicated, green markings are unnecessary. These accepted design features include the pilot being able to easily interpret (by way of glancing at the instrument) whether a parameter is in a precautionary range (yellow) or beyond a limit (red). Almost every current rotorcraft design now incorporates a glass cockpit that requires an ELOS finding for the absence of green arcs. This proposal only affects the color utilized for the normal operating ranges and does not address graduation markings on an instrument.

    The FAA also proposes to remove the term “radial” from §§ 27.1545(b)(1), 27.1549(a), 29.1545(b)(1), and 29.1549(a). At the time these rules were promulgated, cockpit instruments were circular, and therefore the technically-correct term “radial line” was used. Technological advances have since produced linear-scale gauges rendering the term “radial” obsolete. The term “line” is intended to represent a radial for round instruments or a line for tape or other style instruments.

    The FAA further proposes to replace “arc” with “range” in §§ 27.1545(b)(3), 27.1545(b)(4), 27.1549(b), 27.1549(c), 27.1549(d), 29.1545(b)(3), 29.1545(b)(4), 29.1549(b), 29.1549(c), and 29.1549(d). When these regulations were created, cockpit instruments were circular. “Arc” is a term that only applies to round gauges and not to tape or other style instruments, which are in popular use today. The FAA intends “range” to be applied to round, tape, or other style instruments.

    Finally, the FAA proposes to move the requirement for indicating VNE (power-off) from § 27.1545(b)(2) to § 27.1545(b)(1)(iii) and modify it to encompass designs that incorporate a means other than a red cross-hatched line. The FAA has previously accepted designs that utilize a single red line for VNE (power-on) and VNE (power-off) when not concurrently displayed. Additionally, a red and white cross-hatched “barber pole” may not be the only acceptable method for distinguishing VNE (power-off) from VNE (power-on). The FAA also proposes to apply this change to § 29.1545.

    H. Control Markings (§§ 27.1555 and 29.1555)

    The FAA proposes to modify §§ 27.1555(c)(1) and 29.1555(c)(1) to permit more than one method to inform the pilot of the usable fuel system capacity. The existing rules require marking the usable fuel capacity at the fuel quantity indicator. Older, analog fuel gauges (many without numbers) used a placard to inform the pilot of the useful fuel quantity. With modern display systems, the location of the fuel quantity indicator, as well as the fact that the location may change, make it impractical to affix a placard next to the display. In addition, although useful fuel capacity is commonly included in the rotorcraft flight manual, the proposed alternate method would make this a requirement to address the lack of continuous display provided by a placard.

    I. Typographical and Standardizing Corrections (§§ 27.87, 27.903, 29.955, 29.977, 29.1019, 29.1517, and 29.1587)

    The FAA proposes to correct several typographical errors and to revise certain terminology differences between part 27 and part 29. First, the FAA proposes to revise the title of § 27.87 to coincide with the title of § 29.87, which is the equivalent transport category rotorcraft requirement. The title of § 29.87 was changed from “Limiting height-speed envelope” to “Height-velocity envelope” in order to “agree with the commonly used term.” However, the corresponding title to § 27.87 was not similarly changed at that time.

    The FAA also proposes to replace the term “height-speed” with the term “height-velocity” throughout §§ 27.1587, 29.1587, and 29.1517 to be consistent with the title nomenclature of §§ 27.87 and 29.87. These proposed changes are intended to reduce confusion between and within parts 27 and 29.

    The FAA also proposes to reformat § 27.903(d) so that it is consistent with the format of the § 29.903(e) engine restart capability requirement. When the § 27.903(d) restart capability requirements were adopted, the paragraph structure of the existing § 29.903(e) was not used even though the technical requirements were intended to be identical. The restart capability requirements of § 27.903(d) are not being changed in this proposal. These proposed changes are intended to reduce confusion between part 27 and part 29 by using a standard format for the same technical requirements.

    The FAA proposes to correct a typographical error in §§ 29.955 and 29.1019. When § 29.1305 was updated to add a requirement for an oil pressure indicator for pressure-lubricated gearboxes, the numbering sequence was changed when the additional requirement was inserted at paragraph (a)(6). The § 29.1305(a)(17) fuel filter contamination warning was moved to paragraph (a)(18), and the § 29.1305(a)(18) turbine engine filter contamination warning was moved to paragraph (a)(19). However, the reference to the fuel filter contamination warning in § 29.955(a)(7) and the turbine engine filter contamination warning in § 29.1019(a)(5) were not updated to account for the change in numbering sequence. This proposed change would correct the reference at §§ 29.955(a)(7) and 29.1019(a)(5).

    Finally, the FAA proposes to correct a typographical error in § 29.977. When § 29.977 was updated, it incorrectly carried over references to “airplanes” from an identical part 23 update. The proposed change would revise § 29.977 by removing the term “airplanes” and replacing it with the term “rotorcraft.”

    IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

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

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

    The FAA proposes to revise regulations in 14 CFR part 27 (Airworthiness Standards: Normal Category Rotorcraft) and part 29 (Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Rotorcraft) related to the certification of rotorcraft. The proposed changes are necessary due to advancing technologies, which address a lack of adequate airworthiness standards resulting from increasing design complexity. As a result, many regulatory sections are subject to reoccurring special conditions, ELOS, and MOC issue papers. This proposed rulemaking would address these problem areas by updating the rules that cause unnecessary burdens in cost and time to both the FAA and the rotorcraft industry. The compliance cost to industry of these proposed regulation changes would be minimal. The justification for minimal cost by regulation is identified in sections 1 through 9 below.

    1. Powerplant Instruments (§§ 27.1305 and 29.1305)

    Changes to this section would allow for other means of compliance for powerplant instrument indicators. Other means of compliance are voluntary and do not impose any new cost but could be cost relieving for those that choose to voluntarily comply. Additionally, for § 29.1305, the FAA would permit manipulating the powerplant instruments to simulate OEI conditions without damaging the engines. However, helicopters with OEI Training Mode would require additional indicators to differentiate the OEI condition from actual engine failure, but these indicators are already being installed in current rotorcraft. The FAA believes this proposed change would impose minimal new cost to industry, as these are current industry practice.

    2. Normal Category Rotorcraft Equipment, Systems, and Installations (§ 27.1309 and Appendix C to Part 27)

    The FAA clarifies the requirement to perform proper failure analysis that would adopt the current industry practice of five failure category conditions. Additionally, the FAA eliminates the distinction between single-engine and multi-engine rotorcraft as this distinction is irrelevant because current analysis tools for technologies and associated failure effects no longer consider the number of engines. As these are current industry practice, the FAA asserts that the cost associated with these changes is minimal.

    3. Transport Category Rotorcraft Equipment, Systems, and Installation (§ 29.1309)

    This section would be updated to be consistent with industry standards and practices for conducting failure analysis. The proposed rule would clarify the requirement to perform a proper failure analysis and also recognize that the severity of failures can vary. The FAA asserts that performing a proper failure analysis would be minimal cost as it would codify current industry practices. Additionally, this section would be changed to accommodate future changes in industry failure analysis techniques and reflects current certification practices. Moving to a performance based standard would reduce the need to issue recurring special conditions and potentially save manufactures that choose to use an alternative means of compliance. Thus, these proposed changes would impose minimal cost.

    4. Automatic Flight Guidance and Control Systems (§§ 27.1329, 27.1335, 29.1329, and 29.1335)

    The FAA proposes to standardize terminology and combine the requirements for automatic pilot and flight director systems into one rule. Modern designs include both automatic pilot and flight director systems and are now referred to as automatic flight guidance and control systems. Changes to this section would match current industry practices at a minimal cost.

    5. Instrument Systems (§ 29.1333 and Appendix B to Parts 27 and 29)

    The FAA proposed change would allow for the use of more modern integrated systems to monitor and display highly integrated information regarding the rotorcraft. This section would impose minimal cost as the updates reflect modern industry practices of integrating instrument systems.

    6. Electrical Systems and Equipment (§ 29.1351) and Energy Storage Systems (§§ 27.1353 and 29.1353)

    The FAA proposed changes are less prescriptive and performance-based to accommodate different energy storage systems. The modified regulation would be directly applicable to both lead acid and nickel-cadmium batteries without imposing additional requirements. The change would allow the FAA to keep up with changes in technology. Cost to the industry should be minimal as performance based requirements allow for minimal cost options to meet the current standard.

    7. Instrument Markings (§§ 27.1545, 29.1545, 27.1549, and 29.1549)

    The proposed rule would remove the restrictive requirement for some instrument markings to allow alternative means of compliance, i.e.—green arc, radial red line, etc. Allowing for another means of compliance is voluntary and would be either a minimal cost and possibly cost relieving for manufactures that elect to outfit the rotorcraft with different instrument markings.

    8. Control Markings (§§ 27.1555 and 29.1555)

    The proposed rule would permit more than one method to inform the pilot of the usable fuel system capacity. However, alternative method must address the lack of continuous display. Changes to this section allows for more than one means of compliance. Offering alternative means of compliance allows industry to meet the requirement with the least costly option that can be cost relieving or the existing method of compliance, but either method would be no more than minimal cost.

    9. Typographical and Standardizing Corrections (§§ 27.87, 27.903, 29.955, 29.977, 29.1019, 29.1517, and 29.1587)

    Costs for proposed changes to this section are minimal as these are strictly typographical or standardizing corrections.

    The FAA has, therefore, determined that this proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is not “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. The FAA requests comments with supporting justification about the FAA determination of minimal cost impact.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

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

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

    The FAA proposes to amend the certification standards of normal and transport category helicopters. The proposed changes reflect modern designs currently used in the rotorcraft industry and would reduce the burden on applicants for certification of new rotorcraft designs. The proposed changes would reduce or eliminate the need for certain special conditions currently required to obtain certification of modern rotorcraft. This proposed rule would merely revise and clarify FAA rulemaking procedures; the expected outcome will have only a minimal cost impact on any small entity affected by this rulemaking action.

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

    C. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this proposed rule and determined that the potential benefits are available to both domestic and international firms which would either have no affect or a positive effect on international trade.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $155 million in lieu of $100 million. This proposed rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there would be no new requirement for information collection associated with this proposed rule.

    F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to these proposed regulations.

    G. Environmental Analysis

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

    V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

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

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

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

    VI. Additional Information A. Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in light of the comments it receives.

    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Commenters should not file proprietary or confidential business information in the docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting information on a disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is proprietary or confidential.

    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under Department of Transportation procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

    B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

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

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

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

    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Commenters must identify the docket number of this rulemaking.

    All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in item (1) above.

    List of Subjects 14 CFR Part 27

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

    14 CFR Part 29

    Aircraft, Aviation safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

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

    PART 27—AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT 1. The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    2. Amend § 27.87 by revising the section heading and paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 27.87 Height-velocity envelope.

    (a) If there is any combination of height and forward speed (including hover) under which a safe landing cannot be made under the applicable power failure condition in paragraph (b) of this section, a limiting height-velocity envelope must be established (including all pertinent information) for that condition, throughout the ranges of—

    3. Amend § 27.903 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 27.903 Engines.

    (d) Restart capability. (1) A means to restart any engine in flight must be provided.

    (2) Except for the in-flight shutdown of all engines, engine restart capability must be demonstrated throughout a flight envelope for the rotorcraft.

    (3) Following the in-flight shutdown of all engines, in-flight engine restart capability must be provided.

    4. Amend § 27.1305 by revising paragraphs (e), (k) introductory text, (n), and (o) to read as follows:
    § 27.1305 Powerplant instruments.

    (e) A means to indicate manifold pressure for each altitude engine.

    (k) A means to indicate the r.p.m. of each engine and at least one tachometer, as applicable, for:

    (n) A means to indicate the gas temperature for each turbine engine.

    (o) A means to enable the pilot to determine the torque of each turbine engine, if a torque limitation is established for that engine under § 27.1521(e).

    5. Revise § 27.1309 to read as follows:
    § 27.1309 Equipment, systems, and installations.

    The equipment, systems, and installations whose functioning is required by this subchapter must be designed and installed to ensure that they perform their intended functions under any foreseeable operating condition. For any item of equipment or system whose failure has not been specifically addressed by another requirement in this chapter, the following requirements also apply:

    (a) The design of each item of equipment, system, and installation must be analyzed separately and in relation to other rotorcraft systems and installations to determine and identify any failure that would affect the capability of the rotorcraft or the ability of the crew to perform their duties in all operating conditions.

    (b) Each item of equipment, system, and installation must be designed and installed so that:

    (1) The occurrence of any catastrophic failure condition is extremely improbable;

    (2) The occurrence of any minor failure condition is no more than probable; and

    (3) For the occurrence of any other failure condition, the probability of the failure condition must be inversely proportional to its consequences.

    (c) A means to alert the crew in the event of a failure must be provided when an unsafe system operating condition exists to enable them to take corrective action. Systems, controls, and associated monitoring and crew alerting means must be designed to minimize crew errors that could create additional hazards.

    (d) Compliance with the requirements of this section must be shown by analysis and, where necessary, by ground, flight, or simulator tests. The analysis must account for:

    (1) Possible modes of failure, including malfunctions and misleading data and input from external sources;

    (2) The effect of multiple failures and latent failures;

    (3) The resulting effects on the rotorcraft and occupants, considering the stage of flight and operating conditions; and

    (4) The crew warning cues and the corrective action required.

    6. Amend § 27.1329 by revising the section heading, adding introductory text, and revising paragraphs (a), (d), and (e) to read as follows:
    § 27.1329 Automatic flight guidance and control system.

    For the purpose of this subpart, an automatic flight guidance and control system may consist of an autopilot, flight director, or a component that interacts with stability augmentation or trim.

    (a) Each automatic flight guidance and control system must be designed so that it:

    (1) Can be overpowered by the pilot to allow control of the rotorcraft;

    (2) Provides a means to disengage the system by the pilot to prevent it from interfering with the control of the rotorcraft; and

    (3) Provides a means to indicate to the flight crew its current mode of operation.

    Selector switch position is not acceptable as a means of indication.

    (d) The system must be designed so that, within the range of adjustment available to the pilot, it cannot produce hazardous loads on the rotorcraft, or create hazardous deviations in the flight path, under any flight condition appropriate to its use or in the event of a malfunction.

    (e) If the automatic flight guidance and control system integrates signals from auxiliary controls or furnishes signals for operation of other equipment, there must be a means to prevent improper operation.

    § 27.1335 [Removed]
    7. Remove § 27.1335. 8. Revise § 27.1353 to read as follows:
    § 27.1353 Energy storage systems.

    Energy storage systems must be designed and installed as follows:

    (a) Energy storage systems must provide automatic protective features for any conditions that could prevent continued safe flight and landing.

    (b) Energy storage systems must not emit any explosive or toxic gases, smoke, or fluids except through designed venting provisions and must not accumulate in hazardous quantities within the rotorcraft.

    (c) Corrosive fluids or gases that escape from the system must not damage surrounding structures, adjacent equipment, or systems necessary for continued safe flight and landing.

    (d) The maximum amount of heat that can be generated during any operation or under any failure condition of the energy storage system or its individual components must not result in any hazardous effect on rotorcraft structure, equipment, or systems necessary for continued safe flight and landing.

    (e) Energy storage system installations required for continued safe flight and landing of the rotorcraft must have monitoring features and a means to indicate to the pilot the status of all critical system parameters.

    9. Amend § 27.1545 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 27.1545 Airspeed indicator.

    (b) The following markings must be made:

    (1) A red line—

    (i) For rotorcraft other than helicopters, at VNE.

    (ii) For helicopters, at VNE (power-on).

    (iii) For helicopters, at VNE (power-off). If VNE (power-off) is less than VNE (power-on) and both are simultaneously displayed, the red line at VNE (power-off) must be clearly distinguishable from the red line at VNE (power-on).

    (2) [Reserved]

    (3) For the caution range, a yellow range.

    (4) For the normal operating range, a green or unmarked range.

    10. Amend § 27.1549 by revising paragraphs (a) through (d) to read as follows:
    § 27.1549 Powerplant instruments.

    (a) Each maximum and, if applicable, minimum safe operating limit must be marked with a red line;

    (b) Each normal operating range must be marked as a green or unmarked range;

    (c) Each takeoff and precautionary range must be marked with a yellow range or yellow line; and

    (d) Each engine or propeller range that is restricted because of excessive vibration stresses must be marked with red ranges or red lines.

    11. Amend § 27.1555 by revising paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:
    § 27.1555 Control markings.

    (c) * * *

    (1) For fuel systems having no selector controls, the usable fuel capacity of the system must be indicated at the fuel quantity indicator unless it is:

    (i) Provided by another system or equipment readily accessible to the pilot; and

    (ii) Contained in the limitations section of the rotorcraft flight manual.

    12. Amend § 27.1587 by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 27.1587 Performance information.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Enough information to determine the limiting height-velocity envelope.

    13. Amend appendix B to part 27 by revising paragraphs VIII introductory text and VIII(b)(5)(i) to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 27—Airworthiness Criteria for Helicopter Instrument Flight

    VIII. Equipment, systems, and installation. The basic equipment and installation must comply with §§ 29.1303, 29.1431, and 29.1433, with the following exceptions and additions:

    (b) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) For pneumatic systems, only the required flight instruments for the first pilot may be connected to that operating system;

    Appendix C to Part 27 [Amended] 14. In appendix C to part 27, amend paragraph C27.2 by removing the entry “29.1309(b)(2) (i) and (d)-Equipment, systems, and installations.” PART 29—AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT 15. The authority citation for part 29 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    16. Amend § 29.955 by revising paragraph (a)(7) to read as follows:
    § 29.955 Fuel flow.

    (a) * * *

    (7) The fuel filter required by § 29.997 is blocked to the degree necessary to simulate the accumulation of fuel contamination required to activate the indicator required by § 29.1305(a)(18).

    17. Amend § 29.977 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) to read as follows:
    § 29.977 Fuel tank outlet.

    (a) * * *

    (1) For reciprocating engine powered rotorcraft, have 8 to 16 meshes per inch; and

    (2) For turbine engine powered rotorcraft, prevent the passage of any object that could restrict fuel flow or damage any fuel system component.

    18. Amend § 29.1019 by revising paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:
    § 29.1019 Oil strainer or filter.

    (a) * * *

    (5) An oil strainer or filter that has no bypass, except one that is installed at an oil tank outlet, must have a means to connect it to the warning system required in § 29.1305(a)(19).

    19. Amend § 29.1305 by revising paragraphs (a)(5), (11), and (12) and adding (b)(4) to read as follows:
    § 29.1305 Powerplant instruments.

    (a) * * *

    (5) A means to indicate manifold pressure for each reciprocating engine of the altitude type;

    (11) A means to indicate the gas temperature for each turbine engine;

    (12) A means to indicate the gas producer speed for each turbine engine;

    (b) * * *

    (4) For each Category A rotorcraft for which OEI Training Mode is requested, a means must be provided to indicate to the pilot the simulation of an engine failure, the annunciation of that simulation, and a representation of the OEI power being provided.

    20. Revise § 29.1309 to read as follows:
    § 29.1309 Equipment, systems, and installations.

    The equipment, systems, and installations whose functioning is required by this subchapter must be designed and installed to ensure that they perform their intended functions under any foreseeable operating condition. For any item of equipment or system whose failure has not been specifically addressed by another requirement in this chapter, the following requirements also apply:

    (a) The design of each item of equipment, system, and installation must be analyzed separately and in relation to other rotorcraft systems and installations to determine and identify any failure that would affect the capability of the rotorcraft or the ability of the crew to perform their duties in all operating conditions.

    (b) Each item of equipment, system, and installation must be designed and installed so that:

    (1) The occurrence of any catastrophic failure condition is extremely improbable;

    (2) The occurrence of any minor failure condition is no more than probable; and

    (3) For the occurrence of any other failure condition, the probability of the failure condition must be inversely proportional to its consequences.

    (c) A means to alert the crew in the event of a failure must be provided when an unsafe system operating condition exists and to enable them to take corrective action. Systems, controls, and associated monitoring and crew alerting means must be designed to minimize crew errors that could create additional hazards.

    (d) Compliance with the requirements of this section must be shown by analysis and, where necessary, by ground, flight, or simulator tests. The analysis must account for:

    (1) Possible modes of failure, including malfunctions and misleading data and input from external sources;

    (2) The effect of multiple failures and latent failures;

    (3) The resulting effects on the rotorcraft and occupants, considering the stage of flight and operating conditions; and

    (4) The crew warning cues and the corrective action required.

    21. Amend § 29.1329 by revising the section heading, adding introductory text, and revising paragraphs (a), (d), and (e) to read as follows:
    § 29.1329 Automatic flight guidance and control system.

    For the purpose of this subpart, an automatic flight guidance and control system may consist of an autopilot, flight director, or a component that interacts with stability augmentation or trim.

    (a) Each automatic flight guidance and control system must be designed so that it:

    (1) Can be overpowered by the pilot to allow control of the rotorcraft;

    (2) Provides a means to disengage the system by the pilot to prevent it from interfering with the control of the rotorcraft; and

    (3) Provides a means to indicate to the flight crew its current mode of operation. Selector switch position is not acceptable as a means of indication.

    (d) The system must be designed so that, within the range of adjustment available to the pilot, it cannot produce hazardous loads on the rotorcraft, or create hazardous deviations in the flight path, under any flight condition appropriate to its use or in the event of a malfunction.

    (e) If the automatic flight guidance and control system integrates signals from auxiliary controls or furnishes signals for operation of other equipment, there must be a means to prevent improper operation.

    22. Amend § 29.1333 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 29.1333 Instrument systems.

    (a) For pneumatic systems, only the required flight instruments for the first pilot may be connected to that operating system.

    § 29.1335 [Removed]
    23. Remove § 29.1335. 24. Amend § 29.1351 by adding paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 29.1351 General.

    (e) Electrical equipment, controls, and wiring must be installed so that operation of any one unit or system of units will not adversely affect the simultaneous operation of any other electrical unit or system essential to safe operation.

    (f) Cables must be grouped, routed, and spaced so that damage to essential circuits will be minimized if there are faults in heavy current-carrying cables.

    25. Revise § 29.1353 to read as follows:
    § 29.1353 Energy storage systems.

    Energy storage systems must be designed and installed as follows:

    (a) Energy storage systems must provide automatic protective features for any conditions that could prevent continued safe flight and landing.

    (b) Energy storage systems must not emit any explosive or toxic gases, smoke, or fluids except through designed venting provisions and must not accumulate in hazardous quantities within the rotorcraft.

    (c) Corrosive fluids or gases that escape from the system must not damage surrounding structures, adjacent equipment, or systems necessary for continued safe flight and landing.

    (d) The maximum amount of heat that can be generated during any operation or under any failure condition of the energy storage system or its individual components must not result in any hazardous effect on rotorcraft structure, equipment, or systems necessary for continued safe flight and landing.

    (e) Energy storage system installations required for continued safe flight and landing of the rotorcraft must have monitoring features and a means to indicate to the pilot the status of all critical system parameters.

    26. Amend § 29.1517 by revising the section heading to read as follows:
    § 29.1517 Limiting height-velocity envelope.
    27. Amend § 29.1545 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 29.1545 Airspeed indicator.

    (b) The following markings must be made:

    (1) A red line:

    (i) For rotorcraft other than helicopters, at VNE.

    (ii) For helicopters, at a VNE (power-on).

    (iii) For helicopters, at VNE (power-off). If VNE (power-off) is less than VNE (power-on) and both are simultaneously displayed, the red line at VNE (power-off) must be clearly distinguishable from the red line at VNE (power-on).

    (2) [Reserved]

    (3) For the caution range, a yellow range.

    (4) For the normal operating range, a green or unmarked range.

    28. Amend § 29.1549 by revising paragraphs (a) through (d) to read as follows:
    § 29.1549 Powerplant instruments.

    (a) Each maximum and, if applicable, minimum safe operating limit must be marked with a red line;

    (b) Each normal operating range must be marked as a green or unmarked range;

    (c) Each takeoff and precautionary range must be marked with a yellow range or yellow line;

    (d) Each engine or propeller range that is restricted because of excessive vibration stresses must be marked with red ranges or red lines; and

    29. Amend § 29.1555 by revising paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:
    § 29.1555 Control markings.

    (c) * * *

    (1) For fuel systems having no selector controls, the usable fuel capacity of the system must be indicated at the fuel quantity indicator unless it is:

    (i) Provided by another system or equipment readily accessible to the pilot; and

    (ii) Contained in the limitations section of the rotorcraft flight manual.

    30. Amend § 29.1587 by revising paragraph (b)(6) to read as follows:
    § 29.1587 Performance information.

    (b) * * *

    (6) The height-velocity envelope except for rotorcraft incorporating this as an operating limitation;

    31. Amend appendix B to part 29 by revising paragraphs VIII introductory text and VIII(b)(5)(i) to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 29—Airworthiness Criteria for Helicopter Instrument Flight

    VIII. Equipment, systems, and installation. The basic equipment and installation must comply with §§ 29.1303, 29.1431, and 29.1433, with the following exceptions and additions:

    (b) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) For pneumatic systems, only the required flight instruments for the first pilot may be connected to that operating system;

    Issued under authority provided by (Consult AGC) 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), and 44703 in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2017. David W. Hempe, Deputy Executive Director for Regulatory Operations, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23360 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0848; Airspace Docket No. 13-ANE-2] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Berlin, NH AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E airspace at Berlin, NH, due to the addition of a localizer performance with vertical guidance function (LPV) instrument procedure to runway 18 being created for Berlin Regional Airport (formerly Berlin Municipal Airport). This action also would update the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database, and would enhance the safety and management of instrument flight rules operations (IFR) at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg. Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; Telephone: (202) 366-9826. You must identify the Docket No. FAA-2017-0848; Airspace Docket No. 13-ANE-2, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit and review received comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

    FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace at Berlin Regional Airport, Berlin, NH, to support IFR operations at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0848; Airspace Docket No. 13-ANE-2.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is considering an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface within a 10.5-mile radius of Berlin Regional Airport, Berlin, NH, due to the addition of LPV instrument procedures to runway 18. The Berlin VOR/DME navigation aid is no longer needed to define the airspace. Additionally, the geographic coordinates of the airport would be adjusted to coincide with the FAAs aeronautical database. Also, this action would update the airport name to Berlin Regional Airport.

    Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANE NH E5 Berlin, NH [Amended] Berlin Regional Airport, NH (Lat. 44°34′31″ N., long. 71°10′33″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 10.5-mile radius of Berlin Regional Airport,

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on October 18, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23250 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0856; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-10] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Hanford, CA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Hanford Municipal Airport, Hanford, CA, by enlarging the airspace to accommodate area navigation (RNAV) procedures at the airport, removing the Visalia VHF omnidirectional range/distance measuring equipment (VOR/DME) from the airspace description, and amending the geographic coordinates of the airport. This action also would remove Blair Airport from the airport description as the airport no longer exists. This action is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1(800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0856; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-10, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace at Hanford Municipal Airport, Hanford, CA, in support of IFR operations at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (Docket No. FAA-2017-0856; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-10) and be submitted in triplicate to DOT Docket Operations (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number).

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0856/Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-10.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received on or before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays, at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by enlarging the Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Hanford Municipal Airport, Hanford, CA to accommodate area navigation (RNAV) procedures at the airport. The Class E airspace area would be modified to within 1.8 miles southwest and 3.2 miles northeast of the 332° bearing from the airport extending to 6.2 miles northwest of the airport (from within a 2.6-mile radius), and within 1.8 miles southwest and 3.2 miles northeast (from within 1.5 miles each side) of the 152° bearing from the airport extending to 6.2 miles southeast of the airport (from 5 miles southeast), and within 1.3 miles each side of the 067° bearing from the airport (from 1.8 miles north and 2.3 miles south of the Visalia VOR/DME) extending to 7.7 miles northeast of the airport.

    Also, this action would remove the reference to the Visalia VOR/DME in the legal description as the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation; and would remove Blair Airport from the legal description as the airport no longer exists.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 2017 and effective September 15, 2017, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AWP CA E5 Hanford, CA [Amended] Hanford Municipal Airport, CA (Lat. 36°19′00″ N., long. 119°37′40″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within 1.8 miles southwest and 3.2 miles northeast of a 332° bearing from the Hanford Municipal Airport extending to 6.2 miles northwest of the airport, and within 1.8 miles southwest and 3.2 miles northeast of a 152° bearing from the airport extending to 6.2 miles southeast of the airport, and within 1.3 miles each side of a 067° bearing from the airport extending to 7.7 miles northeast of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 18, 2017. B.G. Chew, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23244 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0801; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-17] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Greenville, NC AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E surface airspace at Greenville, NC, by removing Pitt County Memorial Hospital Heliport from the Class E surface area airspace associated with Pitt-Greenville Airport. Helicopters departing from the heliport must now receive clearance. Consequently, the cut out from Class E surface airspace is no longer required. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also would update the geographic coordinates of the airport under Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth, to coincide with the FAAs aeronautical database.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg. Ground Floor, Rm W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; Telephone: 1-(800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify the Docket No. FAA-2017-0801; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-17, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit and review received comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

    FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace at Pitt-Greenville Airport, Greenville, NC to support IFR operation at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0801; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-17.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017. FAA Order 7400.11B is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11B lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is considering an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to amend Class E surface airspace within a 4.4-mile radius of Pitt-Greenville Airport, Greenville, NC. The Pitt County Memorial Hospital Heliport no longer requires the southwest area below 200 feet from the airport for departures from the heliport. This action is for continued safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. The geographic coordinates of the airport also would be adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraphs 6002 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11B, dated August 3, 201B, and effective September 15, 201B, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Surface Area Airspace. ASO NC E2 Greenville, NC [Amended] Pitt-Greenville Airport, NC (Lat. 35°38′09″ N., long. 77°23′03″ W.)

    Within a 4.4-mile radius of the Pitt-Greenville Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO NC E5 Greenville, NC [Amended] Pitt-Greenville Airport, NC (Lat. 35°38′09″ N., long. 77°23′03″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Pitt-Greenville Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on October 18, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23252 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 573 [Docket No. FDA-2013-F-1539] DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.; Withdrawal of Food Additive Petition (Animal Use) AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification; withdrawal of petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the withdrawal, without prejudice to a future filing, of a food additive petition (animal use) (FAP 2276) proposing that the food additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of ethoxyquin in vitamin D formulations, including 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, used in animal food.

    DATES:

    The food additive petition was withdrawn on September 13, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For access to the docket to read background documents or 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:

    Chelsea Trull, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-6729, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a notice published in the Federal Register of December 23, 2013 (78 FR 77384), we announced that we had filed a food additive petition (FAP 2276), submitted by DSM Nutritional Products, 45 Waterview Blvd., Parsippany, NJ 07054. The petition proposed to amend the food additive regulations in 21 CFR part 573 Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals to provide for the safe use of ethoxyquin as a chemical preservative in vitamin D formulations, including 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, used in animal food. DSM Nutritional Products, Inc., has now withdrawn the petition without prejudice to a future filing (21 CFR 571.7).

    Dated: October 26, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23728 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 573 [Docket No. FDA-2014-F-0295] DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.; Withdrawal of Food Additive Petition (Animal Use) AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification; withdrawal of petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the withdrawal, without prejudice to a future filing, of a food additive petition (FAP 2280) proposing that the food additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in feed for swine.

    DATES:

    The food additive petition was withdrawn on September 13, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For access to the docket to read background documents or 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:

    Chelsea Trull, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-6729, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a notice published in the Federal Register of March 25, 2014 (79 FR 16252), we announced that we had filed a food additive petition (FAP 2280), submitted by DSM Nutritional Products, 45 Waterview Blvd., Parsippany, NJ 07054. The petition proposed to amend the food additive regulations in 21 CFR part 573, Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals, to provide for the safe use of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in feed for swine. DSM Nutritional Products, Inc. has now withdrawn the petition without prejudice to a future filing (21 CFR 571.7).

    Dated: October 26, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23729 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 1 [MD Docket Nos. 17-134; FCC 17-111] Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2017 AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks further comment on the appropriate tiers for calculating terrestrial and satellite international bearer circuit fees, and the methodology by which cable television subscribers in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) are calculated.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before December 1, 2017 and reply comments are due on or before December 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by MD Docket No. 17-134, by any of the following methods listed in the Comment Filing Procedures section below.

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roland Helvajian, Office of Managing Director at (202) 418-0444.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM), FCC 17-111, MD Docket No. 17-134 adopted on September 1, 2017 and released on September 5, 2017. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Portals II, Washington, DC 20554, and may also be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, BCPI, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact BCPI, Inc. via their Web site, http://www.bcpi.com, or call 1-800-378-3160. This document is available in alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio record, and Braille). Persons with disabilities who need documents in these formats may contact the FCC by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    I. Procedural Matters A. Ex Parte Rules Permit-But-Disclose Proceeding

    1. This Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FY 2017 FNPRM) shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with § 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by § 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    B. Comment Filing Procedures

    2. Comments and Replies. Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.

    U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    3. Availability of Documents. Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. These documents will also be available free online, via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.

    4. Accessibility Information. To request information in accessible formats (computer diskettes, large print, audio recording, and Braille), send an email to [email protected] or call the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). This document can also be downloaded in Word and Portable Document Format (“PDF”) at: http://www.fcc.gov.

    C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    5. An initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) is contained in this summary. Comments to the IRFA must be identified as responses to the IRFA and filed by the deadlines for comments on the Notice. The Commission will send a copy of the Notice, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    D. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    6. This document does not contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    II. Introduction

    7. In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek further comment on the appropriate tiers for calculating terrestrial and satellite international bearer circuit fees raised in the FY 2016 NPRM and the FY 2017 NPRM and the methodology for calculating cable television subscribers in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) raised in the FY 2008 FNPRM. 1

    1FY 2008 FNPRM, 73 FR 50285, 50290 at paragraphs 27-28.

    A. International Bearer Circuits

    8. We seek further comment on this issue to have a more comprehensive record for adopting a new flat rate methodology for terrestrial and satellite IBCs and to revise the tiers for submarine cable systems. We also seek comment on the proposal to adopt a regulatory fee for all holders of section 214 international authorizations.

    9. In the Submarine Cable Order, the Commission adopted a tiered system using gigabits per second (Gbps) increments (instead of 64 kbps 2 ). The tiers adopted for submarine cable systems at that time were as follows: “large” systems, 20 Gbps or more, paying one payment unit each; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 10 Gbps but less than 20 Gbps, paying 50 percent of a payment unit; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 5 Gbps but less than 10 Gbps, paying 25 percent of a payment unit; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 2.5 Gbps but less than 5 Gbps, paying 12.5 percent of a payment unit; and systems with capacity below 2.5 Gbps paying 6.25 percent of a payment unit.3

    2 Sixty-four Kbps is the unit of measurement for voice grade circuits; submarine cable, terrestrial, and satellite international bearer circuits are now largely used for data.

    3Submarine Cable Order, 74 FR 22104, 22107 at paragraph 16 (May 12, 2009).

    10. We propose revising the tiers for submarine cable systems. We recognize that since we adopted the current tiers for submarine cable systems, the subsequent growth in the industry has moved all but two systems to the highest tier. We seek comment on whether we should revise the tiers. For example, we could adopt the following: Systems with capacity of 10,000 Gbps or more, paying 16 payment units each; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 5,000 Gbps but less than 10,000 Gbps, paying eight payment units; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 2,500 Gbps but less than 5,000 Gbps, paying four payment units; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 1,000 Gbps but less than 2,500 Gbps, paying two payment units; and systems with capacity below 1,000 Gbps paying one payment unit. We seek comment on this proposal.

    11. We also propose adopting, for terrestrial and satellite IBCs, the same five tiers used for submarine cable systems. Level 3 contends that two tiers would be sufficient for terrestrial and satellite IBCs to ensure that larger carriers pay a fair amount and to avoid being a barrier to entry for new providers.4 AT&T opposes a two-tiered approach, contending that the disparities between the volumes of circuits held by different operators may be too large to structure a reasonable and fair system.5 We seek comment on whether we should adopt the same tiers for common carrier and non-common carrier terrestrial and satellite IBCs. Commenters proposing different tiers, including fewer or greater numbers of tiers, should explain how their proposals would be more equitable.

    4 Level 3 June 29, 2017 ex parte at 1.

    5 AT&T Reply Comments at 3.

    12. In its comments, the Coalition suggested that the Commission should adopt a fee methodology based on flat fee from every holder of an international section 214 authorization.6 We seek further comment on this approach. Should a flat fee based on holding an international section 214 authorization replace only the terrestrial and satellite IBCs regulatory fees, with submarine cable IBCs continuing to be assessed on holding a cable landing license, or should it replace all IBC regulatory fees (i.e., terrestrial, satellite and submarine cable)? Would a flat fee on an international section 214 authorization reduce administrative burdens in collecting the IBC fee? The Coalition states that there are approximately 7,000 current international section 214 authorizations,7 but CTIA notes that many of those are held by companies that do not actually provide international service and many companies hold multiple authorizations.8 We seek comment on whether a fee should be applied to every holder of an international section 214 authorization regardless of the number of international section 214 authorizations held. Alternatively, should a set fee be applied to every international section 214 authorization? We also seek comment on whether there should be a different fee based on whether the international section 214 authorization is for resale only or for facilities-based services. We seek comment on whether a fee based on international section 214 authorizations should be calibrated based on size. For example, should there be one fee for resale, another up to a certain number of circuits, and a larger fee for any circuits above that amount? We seek comment on CITA's assertion that there are no additional, ongoing costs associated with international section 214 authorizations that are not already covered by the application fees.9 We seek comment on whether a fee applied to each section 214 authorization holder would capture most carriers that provide non-common carrier services or are there a number of carriers that provide only non-common carrier international services?

    6 Coalition Comments at 8-10.

    7 Coalition Comments at 9.

    8 CTIA Reply at 8.

    9 CTIA Reply at 9.

    B. Cable Television Services—Calculation of Number of Subscribers

    13. In the FY 2008 FNPRM, the Commission sought comment on the bulk rate calculation for determining the number of subscribers in a multiple dwelling unit or MDU.10 The methodology for calculating the number of cable subscribers has since been the following:

    10FY 2008 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 73 FR 50285, 50290 at paragraphs 27-28, August 26, 2008, (FY 2008 Further Notice).

    Cable television system operators should compute their number of basic subscribers as follows: Number of single family dwellings + number of individual households in multiple dwelling unit (apartments, condominiums, mobile home parks, etc.) paying at the basic subscriber rate + bulk rate customers + courtesy and free service. Note: Bulk-Rate Customers = Total annual bulk-rate charge divided by basic annual subscription rate for individual households. Operators may base their count on “a typical day in the last full week” of December [year], rather than on a count as of December 31, [year].11

    11 This is essentially the same methodology we sought comment on in the FY 2008 FNPRM.

    14. We recognize that the cable television industry has evolved significantly and the bulk rate calculation may not be reasonable or feasible today because of the many services offered today by cable providers. Specifically, with offerings of different packages and bundles, it may no longer be feasible to use a bulk rate calculation. Commenters should discuss if they use the bulk rate calculation or if they separately count each subscriber, even those living in MDUs.

    15. We seek comment on whether we should keep the bulk rate calculation, or alternatively, whether we should modify the methodology to more accurately calculate the numbers of subscribers in a MDU. We seek comment on whether we should eliminate the bulk rate calculation due to changes in today's cable market.

    III. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),12 the Commission prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM). Written comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadline for comments on this Further Notice. The Commission will send a copy of the Further Notice, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). 13 In addition, the FNPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.14

    12 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601-612 has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Public Law Number 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 847 (1996).

    13 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    14Id.

    A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Further Notice

    2. The FNPRM seeks comment regarding (1) adopting a new five-tiered flat rate methodology for assessing regulatory fees for terrestrial and satellite international bearer circuits (IBCs), revising the tiers for submarine cable systems, and adopting a new fee category for all holders of section 214 international authority and (2) revising the calculation for cable television “Bulk Rate Customers.”

    B. Legal Basis

    3. This action, including publication of proposed rules, is authorized under sections (4)(i) and (j), 9, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.15

    15 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and (j), 159, and 303(r).

    A. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    4. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules and policies, if adopted.16 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 17 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.18 A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.19

    16 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).

    17 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

    18 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small-business concern” in the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”

    19 15 U.S.C. 632.

    5. Small Entities. Our actions, over time, may affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive small entity size standards that could be directly affected by the proposals under consideration.20 As of 2009, small businesses represented 99.9 percent of the 27.5 million businesses in the United States, according to the SBA.21 In addition, a “small organization is generally any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field.22 In addition, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” 23 U.S. Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 90,056 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States.24 We estimate that, of this total, as many as 89,327 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” 25 Thus, we estimate that most local government jurisdictions are small.

    20See 5 U.S.C. 601(3) through (6).

    21See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions,” available at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/SB-FAQ-2016_WEB.pdf.

    22 5 U.S.C. 601(4).

    23 5 U.S.C. 601(5).

    24See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions,” available at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/SB-FAQ-2016_WEB.pdf.

    25 The 2011 U.S. Census Data for small governmental organizations are not presented based on the size of the population in each organization. As stated above, there were 90,056 local governmental organizations in 2011. As a basis for estimating how many of these 90,056 local governmental organizations were small, we note that there were a total of 729 cities and towns (incorporated places and civil divisions) with populations over 50,000. See http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table. If we subtract the 729 cities and towns that exceed the 50,000 population threshold, we conclude that approximately 789,237 are small.

    6. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau defines this industry as “establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” 26 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees.27 Census data for 2012 shows that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.28 Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small.

    26See http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    27See 13 CFR 120.201, NAICS code 517110.

    28http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pi=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    7. Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.29 According to census data from 2012, there were 3,117 establishments that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.30 The Commission estimates that most providers of local exchange service are small entities that may be affected by the rules proposed in the FNPRM.

    29 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    30http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pi=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    8. Incumbent LECs. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The closest applicable NAICS code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.31 According to census data from 2012, 3,117 firms operated in that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.32 According to Commission data, 1,307 carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers.33 Of this total of 1,307 incumbent local exchange service providers, an estimated 1,006 operated with 1,500 or fewer employees.34 Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by the rules proposed in this Further Notice.

    31 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    32http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5prodType=table.

    33See Trends in Telephone Service, Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division at Table 5.3 (Sept. 2010) (Trends in Telephone Service).

    34See id.

    9. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (Competitive LECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for these service providers. The appropriate NAICS code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.35 U.S. Census data for 2012 indicate that 3,117 firms operated during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.36 Based on this data, the Commission concludes that the majority of Competitive LECs, CAPs, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities. According to the Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services or competitive access provider services.37 Of these 1,442 carriers, an estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 17 carriers have reported that they are Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are estimated to have 1,500 or fewer employees.38 Also, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers.39 Of this total, 70 have 1,500 or fewer employees.40 Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small entities that may be affected by rules proposed in this FNPRM.

    35 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    36http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    37See Trends in Telephone Service, at Table 5.3.

    38Id.

    39Id.

    40Id.

    10. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition for Interexchange Carriers. The closest NAICS code category is Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined in paragraph 6 of this IRFA. The applicable size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.41 U.S. Census data for 2012 indicate that 3,117 firms operated during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.42 According to Commission data, 359 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of interexchange services.43 Of this total, an estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected by rules proposed in this FNPRM

    41 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    42http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    43See Trends in Telephone Service, at Table 5.3.

    11. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for prepaid calling card providers. The appropriate NAICS code category for prepaid calling card providers is Telecommunications Resellers. This industry comprises establishments engaged in purchasing access and network capacity from owners and operators of telecommunications networks and reselling wired and wireless telecommunications services (except satellite) to businesses and households. Establishments in this industry resell telecommunications; they do not operate transmission facilities and infrastructure. Mobile virtual networks operators (MVNOs) are included in this industry.44 Under the applicable SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.45 U.S. Census data for 2012 show that 1,341 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, 1,341 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.46 Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these prepaid calling card providers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 193 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of prepaid calling cards.47 All 193 carriers have 1,500 or fewer employees.48 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of prepaid calling card providers are small entities that may be affected by rules proposed in this FNPRM.

    44http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ssd/naics/naicsrch.

    45 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517911.

    46http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    47See Trends in Telephone Service, at Table 5.3.

    48Id.

    12. Local Resellers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.49 Census data for 2012 show that 1,341 firms provided resale services during that year. 50 Of that number, 1,341 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.51 Under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these local resellers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 213 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of local resale services.52 Of this total, an estimated 211 have 1,500 or fewer employees.53 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of local resellers are small entities that may be affected by rules proposed in this Further Notice.

    49 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517911.

    50http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    51http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    52See Trends in Telephone Service, at Table 5.3.

    53Id.

    13. Toll Resellers. The Commission has not developed a definition for Toll Resellers. The closest NAICS code Category is Telecommunications Resellers, and the SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers.54 Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.55 Census data for 2012 show that 1,341 firms provided resale services during that year.56 Of that number, 1,341 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.57 Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these resellers can be considered small entities. According to Commission data, 881 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of toll resale services.58 Of this total, an estimated 857 have 1,500 or fewer employees.59 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of toll resellers are small entities that may be affected by the rules proposed in the FNPRM.

    54 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517911.

    55Id.

    56http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    57Id.

    58Trends in Telephone Service, at Table 5.3.

    59Id.

    14. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to Other Toll Carriers. This category includes toll carriers that do not fall within the categories of interexchange carriers, operator service providers, prepaid calling card providers, satellite service carriers, or toll resellers. The closest applicable NAICS code category is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, as defined in paragraph 6 of this IRFA. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.60 Census data for 2012 shows that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year.61 Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.62 Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of Other Toll Carriers can be considered small. According to Commission data, 284 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll carriage.63 Of these, an estimated 279 have 1,500 or fewer employees.64 Consequently, the Commission estimates that most Other Toll Carriers are small entities that may be affected by the rules proposed in the FNPRM

    60 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    61http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    62Id.

    63Trends in Telephone Service, at Table 5.3.

    64Id.

    15. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services.65 The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this industry, Census Data for 2012 show that there were 967 firms that operated for the entire year.66 Of this total, 955 firms had fewer than 1,000 employees.67 Thus under this category and the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities. Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) services.68 Of this total, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees.69 Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small and may be affected by rules proposed in this FNPRM.

    65 NAICS code 517210. See http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ssd/naics/naiscsrch.

    66http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    67http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType;=table.

    68Trends in Telephone Service, at Table 5.3.

    69Id.

    16. Television Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public.” 70 These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has created the following small business size standard for Television Broadcasting firms: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts.71 The 2012 Economic Census reports that 751 television broadcasting firms operated during that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of less than $25 million per year. Based on that Census data we conclude that a majority of firms that operate television stations are small. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,383.72 In addition, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Advisory Services, LLC's Media Access Pro Television Database on March 28, 2012, about 950 of an estimated 1,300 commercial television stations (or approximately 73 percent) had revenues of $14 million or less.73 We therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities.

    70 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS code Economic Definitions, http://www.census.gov.cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    71 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 515120.

    72See FCC News Release, “Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2017,” April 11, 2017; https://;apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-344256A1.pdf.

    73 We recognize that BIA's estimate differs slightly from the FCC total given supra.

    17. In assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations 74 must be included. Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent.

    74 “[Business concerns] are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other or a third party or parties controls or has to power to control both.” 13 CFR 21.103(a)(1).

    18. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations to be 396.75 These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small entities.76 There are also 2,528 low power television stations, including Class A stations (LPTV).77 Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all LPTV licensees qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    75See FCC News Release, “Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2017,” April 11, 2017; https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-344256A1.pdf.

    76See generally 5 U.S.C. 601(4), (6).

    77See FCC News Release, “Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2017,” April 11, 2017; https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-344256A1.pdf.

    19. Radio Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources.” 78 The SBA has established a small business size standard for this category, which is: Such firms having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts.79 U.S. Census data for 2012 show that 2,849 radio station firms operated during that year.80 Of that number, 2,806 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million per year.81 According to Commission staff review of BIA Advisory Services, LLC's Media Access Pro Radio Database on March 28, 2012, about 10,759 (97%) of 11,102 commercial radio stations had revenues of $38.5 million or less. Therefore, the majority of such entities are small entities.

    78http://www.census.gov.cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    79 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 515112.

    80http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    81http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    20. In assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above size standard, business affiliations must be included.82 In addition, to be determined to be a “small business,” the entity may not be dominant in its field of operation.83 It is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, and our estimate of small businesses may therefore be over-inclusive.

    82 “Concerns and entities are affiliates of each other when one controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party or parties controls or has the power to control both. It does not matter whether control is exercised, so long as the power to control exists.” 13 CFR 121.103(a)(1) (an SBA regulation).

    83 13 CFR 121.102(b) (an SBA regulation).

    21. Cable Television and Other Subscription Programming. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically narrowcast in nature, e.g., limited format, such as news, sports, education, or youth-oriented. These establishments produce programming in their own facilities or acquire programming from external sources. The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to viewers.84 The SBA has established a size standard for this industry of $38.5 million or less. Census data for 2012 shows that there were 367 firms that operated that year.85 Of this total, 319 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million.86 Thus under this size standard, the majority of firms offering cable and other program distribution services can be considered small and may be affected by rules proposed in this FNPRM.

    84https://www.census.gov.cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    85http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    86http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US-51SSSZ5&prodType=Table.

    22. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide.87 Industry data indicate that there are currently 4,413 active cable systems in the United States.88 Of this total, all but ten cable operators nationwide are small under the 400,000-subscriber size standard.89 In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.90 Current Commission records show 4,413 cable systems nationwide.91 Of this total, 3,900 cable systems have less than 15,000 subscribers, and 700 systems have 15,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records.92 Thus, under this standard as well, the Commission estimates that most cable systems are small entities.

    87 47 CFR 76.901(e).

    88See Eighteenth Competition Report, 32 FCC Rcd at 584, para. 39 (citing the Commission's Cable Operations and Licensing Systems (COALS) database).

    89See https://www.snl.com/web/client?auth=inherit#industry/topCableMSOs (last visited July 18, 2017).

    90 47 CFR 76.901(c).

    91See footnote 2, supra.

    92 August 5, 2015 report from the Media Bureau based on its research in COALS. See www.fcc.gov/coals.

    23. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” 93 There are approximately 53 million cable video subscribers in the United States today.94 Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 524,037 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate.95 Based on available data, we find that all but nine incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard.96 The Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million.97 Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    93 47 CFR 76.901(f) and notes ff. 1, 2, and 3.

    94See NCTA Industry Data, Cable's Customer Base, available at https://www.ncta.com/industry-data (last visited July 6, 2017).

    95 47 CFR 76.901(f) and notes ff. 1, 2, and 3.

    96See https://www.snl.com/web/client?auth=inherit#industry/topCableMSOs (last visited July 18, 2017).

    97 The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local franchise authority's finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to 47 CFR 76.901(f) of the Commission's rules. See 47 CFR 76.901(f).

    24. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service. DBS Service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic dish antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS is now included in SBA's economic census category “Wired Telecommunications Carriers.” The Wired Telecommunications Carriers industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VOIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.98 The SBA determines that a wireline business is small if it has fewer than 1500 employees.99 Census data for 2012 indicate that 3,117 wireline companies were operational during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees.100 Based on that data, we conclude that the majority of wireline firms are small under the applicable standard. However, only two entities provide DBS service, AT&T and DISH Network. AT&T and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Accordingly, we conclude that DBS service is provided only by large firms.

    98http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    99 NAICs code 517110; 13 CFR 121.201.

    100http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices.jasf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid+ECN_2012_US.51SSSZ4&prodType=table.

    25. All Other Telecommunications. “All Other Telecommunications” is defined as follows: This U.S. industry is comprised of establishments that are primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing Internet services or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry.101 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for “All Other Telecommunications,” which consists of all such firms with gross annual receipts of $32.5 million or less.102 For this category, census data for 2012 show that there were 1,442 firms that operated for the entire year. Of these firms, a total of 1,400 had gross annual receipts of less than $25 million.103 Thus, a majority of “All Other Telecommunications” firms potentially affected by the proposals in the Notice can be considered small.

    101http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ssssd/naics/naicsrch.

    102 13 CFR 121.201; NAICs code 517919.

    103http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices.jasf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid+ECN_2012_US.51SSSZ4&prodType=table.

    26. RespOrgs. Responsible Organizations, or RespOrgs, are entities chosen by toll free subscribers to manage and administer the appropriate records in the toll-free Service Management System for the toll-free subscriber.104 Although RespOrgs are often wireline carriers, they can also include non-carrier entities. Therefore, in the definition herein of RespOrgs, two categories are presented, i.e., Carrier RespOrgs and Non-Carrier RespOrgs.

    104See 47 CFR 52.101(b).

    27. Carrier RespOrgs. Neither the Commission, the U.S. Census, nor the SBA have developed a definition for Carrier RespOrgs. Accordingly, the Commission believes that the closest NAICS code-based definitional categories for Carrier RespOrgs are Wired Telecommunications Carriers,105 and Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite).106

    105 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110.

    106Id.

    28. The U.S. Census Bureau defines Wired Telecommunications Carriers as establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.107 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees.108 Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 Wired Telecommunications Carrier firms that operated for that entire year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with less than 1,000 employees.109 Based on that data, we conclude that most Carrier RespOrgs that operated with wireline-based technology are small.

    107http://www.census,gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics.naicsrch.

    108 13 CFR 120,201, NAICS code 517110.

    109http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ4&prodType=table.

    29. The U.S. Census Bureau defines Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite) as establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services.110 The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.111 Census data for 2012 show that 967 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers operated in that year. Of that number, 955 operated with less than 1,000 employees.112 Based on that data, we conclude that the majority of Carrier RespOrgs that operated with wireless-based technology are small.

    110http://www.census,gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics.naicsrch.

    111 13 CFR 120.201, NAICS code 517120.

    112http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ4&prodType=table.

    30. Non-Carrier RespOrgs. Neither the Commission, the U.S. Census, nor the SBA have developed a definition of Non-Carrier RespOrgs. Accordingly, the Commission believes that the closest NAICS code-based definitional categories for Non-Carrier RespOrgs are “Other Services Related to Advertising” 113 and “Other Management Consulting Services.” 114

    113 13 CFR 120.201, NAICS code 541890.

    114 13 CFR 120.201, NAICS code 541618.

    31. The U.S. Census defines Other Services Related to Advertising as comprising establishments primarily engaged in providing advertising services (except advertising agency services, public relations agency services, media buying agency services, media representative services, display advertising services, direct mail advertising services, advertising material distribution services, and marketing consulting services).115 The SBA has established a size standard for this industry as annual receipts of $15 million dollars or less.116 Census data for 2012 show that 5,804 firms operated in this industry for the entire year. Of that number, 5,249 operated with annual receipts of less than $10 million.117 Based on that data we conclude that the majority of Non-Carrier RespOrgs who provide toll-free number (TFN)-related advertising services are small.

    115http://www.census,gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics.naicsrch.

    116 13 CFR 120.201, NAICS code 541890.

    117http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ4&prodType=table.

    32. The U.S. Census defines Other Management Consulting Services as establishments primarily engaged in providing management consulting services (except administrative and general management consulting; human resources consulting; marketing consulting; or process, physical distribution, and logistics consulting). Establishments providing telecommunications or utilities management consulting services are included in this industry.118 The SBA has established a size standard for this industry of $15 million dollars or less.119 Census data for 2012 show that 3,683 firms operated in this industry for that entire year. Of that number, 3,632 operated with less than $10 million in annual receipts.120 Based on this data, we conclude that a majority of non-carrier RespOrgs who provide TFN-related management consulting services are small.121

    118http://www.census,gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics.naicsrch.

    119 13 CFR 120.201, NAICS code 514618.

    120http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2012_US_51SSSZ4&prodType=table.

    121 The four NAICS code-based categories selected above to provide definitions for Carrier and Non-Carrier RespOrgs were selected because as a group they refer generically and comprehensively to all RespOrgs.

    33. In addition to the data contained in the four (see above) U.S. Census NAICS code categories that provide definitions of what services and functions the Carrier and Non-Carrier RespOrgs provide, Somos, the trade association that monitors RespOrg activities, compiled data showing that as of July 1, 2016, there were 23 RespOrgs operational in Canada and 436 RespOrgs operational in the United States, for a total of 459 RespOrgs currently registered with Somos.

    B. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements

    34. This FNPRM does not propose any changes to the Commission's current information collection, reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements.

    C. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    35. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its approach, which may include the following four alternatives, among others: (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.122

    122 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1) through (c)(4).

    36. The FNPRM seeks comment regarding: (1) Adopting a new five-tiered flat rate methodology for assessing regulatory fees for terrestrial and satellite international bearer circuits (IBCs), revising the current five-tiered methodology for submarine cable systems, and adopting a new fee category for all holders of section 214 international authority and (2) revising the calculation for cable television “Bulk Rate Customers.” The proposals to adopt a flat five-tier methodology for terrestrial and satellite IBCs might provide relief to smaller entities that would fall into the lowest tier. The proposal to revise the calculation for Bulk Rate Customers for cable television, in multiple dwelling units (MDUs), may affect small cable operators who provide service to MDUs. We are seeking comment on this issue so that we can improve the calculation of customers in MDUs.

    D. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

    37. None.

    IV. Ordering Clause

    38. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 159, this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted.

    Federal Communications Commission. Katura Jackson, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23215 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0127; FXES11130900000 167 FF09E42000] RIN 1018-BB39 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum (Hidden Lake Bluecurls) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce that we are reopening the comment period for the proposed rule to remove the plant Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum (Hidden Lake bluecurls) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants on the basis of recovery. We are reopening the comment period for this proposed rule for 30 days in order to publish a legal notice and to give all interested parties further opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparing the final delisting determination.

    DATES:

    The comment period on the proposed rule that published January 5, 2017 (82 FR 1297), is reopened. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comment submission: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R8-ES-2016-0127, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then click on the Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”.

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-deliver to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0127, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803. We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us.

    Document availability: A copy of the draft post-delisting monitoring plan referenced throughout the proposed rule can be viewed at http://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?sId=1285, at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0127, or at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office's Web site at http://www.fws.gov/Carlsbad/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    G. Mendel Stewart, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, CA 92008; telephone 760-431-9440; facsimile (fax) 760-431-5901. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 5, 2017, we published a proposed rule to remove the plant Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum (Hidden Lake bluecurls) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants on the basis of recovery (82 FR 1297). We sought information, data, and comments from the public regarding the proposal for 60 days, ending March 6, 2017. We are reopening the comment period on the proposed rule for an additional 30 days (see DATES). We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period. Please refer to the proposed rule for more information on our proposed action and the specific information we seek.

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. All comments and recommendations, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    If you mail or hand-deliver a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. To ensure that the electronic docket for this rulemaking is complete and all comments we receive are publicly available, we will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Authors

    The primary author of this document is the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office in Carlsbad, California, in coordination with the Pacific Southwest Regional Office in Sacramento, California.

    Authority

    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is the authority for this action.

    Dated: September 15, 2017. James W. Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23711 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    82 210 Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 26, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by December 1, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1776, Household Water Well System Grant Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0139.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is authorized by Section 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1926e) to administer and make grants to qualified private non-profit organizations which will use the funds to establish lending programs for household water wells.

    Need and use of the Information: The grant applicants will provide information to be collected as part of the application and grant process through certain documentation, certifications, and completed forms. Grant applicants must show that the project will provide technical and financial assistance to eligible individuals to remedy household well problems. The grant recipients will establish a revolving loan fund lending program to provide water well loans to individuals who own or will own private wells in rural areas. The individual loan recipients may use the funds to construct, refurbish, and service their household well systems for an existing home.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 7.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 770.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23707 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 26, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by December 1, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Forest Service

    Title: Southwestern Crown Collaborative Forest Management Social Monitoring.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The Forest Landscape Restoration Act (FLRA) of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 7303), which enables the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), requires monitoring “to assess the positive or negative ecological, social, and economic effects of projects implementing a selected proposal for not less than 15 years after project implementation commences.” The CFLRP program started in 2010 to encourage collaborative groups of neighboring landowners, state, local and tribal government representatives, businesses, interest groups, and nonprofit organizations, to work with the Forest Service (FS) to find common ground pertaining to geographically extensive forest restoration.

    Need and Use of the Information: Respondents will be given the option of completing an online version of the monitoring instrument or of completing a paper version. The collection of information will allow FS to meet its obligations under the CFLRP to monitor social impacts and to provide feedback to FS managers about activities, including the decisions making processes, conducted under the CFLRP. Without the collection of information, the FS will be unable to determine whether it is meeting the requirements of the Forest Landscape Restoration Act, nor if they are fully incorporating partner and public input into forest project, implementation, monitoring and/or planning processes as required by law.

    Description of Respondents: Residents within the Southwestern Crown CFLRP Landscape and Southwestern Crown Collaborative participants.

    Number of Respondents: 2,330.

    Frequency of Responses: One time.

    Total Burden Hours: 320.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23709 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 26, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are required regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by December 1, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Farm Service Agency

    Title: Certified Mediation Program (7 CFR part 785).

    OMB Control Number: 0560-0165.

    Summary of Collection: The USDA Agricultural Medication Program (AMP) is mandated by Subtitle A and B of Title V of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (Pub. L. 100-233), as amended. Under the program, USDA makes grants to state-designated entitles that provide mediation to agricultural producers, their lenders and others that are directly affected by the action of certain USDA agencies. In mediation, a trained impartial mediator helps participants review and discuss their conflicts, identify options to resolve disputes and agree on solutions. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is administering the program.

    Need and Use of the Information: FSA will collect information to determine whether the participants meet the eligibility requirements to be recipients of grant funds, and secondly, to determine if the grant is being administered as provided by the Act. Lack of adequate information to make these determinations could result in the improper administration and appropriation of Federal grant funds.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 40.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 500.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23696 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Newspapers for Publication of Legal Notices in the Eastern Region AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Forest Service administrative review procedures require agency officials to publish legal notices in newspapers of record for certain opportunities to comment and opportunities to file pre-decisional objections. Forest Service officials in the Eastern Region will publish those legal notices in the newspapers listed in this notice. The Eastern Region consists of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The public shall be advised through a Federal Register Notice, of the newspaper of record to be utilized for publishing legal notice of comment and objection opportunities required by those Parts and their associated procedures. This notice fulfills that requirement for the Eastern Region.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Tighe; Writer/Editor; 626 E. Wisconsin Avenue; Milwaukee, WI 53202. Phone: (414) 297-3439.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Responsible Officials in the Eastern Region will publish legal notice(s) regarding proposed land management plans as required under 36 CFR 219.16 and legal notice(s) regarding an opportunity to comment on proposed projects as required under 36 CFR 218.24 in the newspapers that are listed in this section by Forest Service administrative unit. Additionally, Responsible Officials in the Eastern Region will publish legal notice(s) of the opportunity to object to a proposed project under 36 CFR part 218 or to object to a land management plan developed, amended, or revised under 36 CFR part 219 in the legal notice section of the newspapers listed in this notice. Additional notice regarding an opportunity to comment or object under the above mentioned regulations may be provided in other newspapers not listed below at the sole discretion of the Responsible Official. Legal notice published in a newspaper of record of an opportunity to object is in addition to direct notice to those who have requested it and to those who have participated in planning for the project or land management plan proposal.

    The timeframe for comment on a proposed action shall be based on the date of publication of the legal notice of the proposed action in the newspaper of record. The timeframe for objection shall be based on the date of publication of the legal notice of the opportunity to object in the newspaper of record.

    The following newspapers will be used to provide legal notice.

    Eastern Region Regional Forester Decisions

    Affecting National Forest System lands in the Eastern Region, in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, published daily in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

    Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania Forest Supervisor Decisions Warren Times Observer, Warren, Warren County, Pennsylvania District Ranger Decisions Bradford District: Bradford Era, Bradford, McKean County, Pennsylvania Marienville District: The Kane Republican, Kane, McKean County, Pennsylvania Chequamegon/Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin Forest Supervisor Decisions The Northwoods River News, published Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays Rhinelander, Oneida County, Wisconsin District Ranger Decisions Eagle River/Florence District: The Northwoods River News, published Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, Rhinelander, Oneida County, Wisconsin Great Divide District: The Ashland Daily Press, published daily in Ashland, Ashland County, Wisconsin Medford/Park Falls District: The Star News, published weekly in Medford, Taylor County, Wisconsin Washburn District: The Ashland Daily Press, published daily in Ashland, Ashland County, Wisconsin Lakewood/Laona District: The Northwoods River News, published Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in Rhinelander, Oneida County, Wisconsin Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota Forest Supervisor Decisions Bemidji Pioneer, published daily in Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota District Ranger Decisions Blackduck District: The American, published weekly in Blackduck, Beltrami County, Minnesota Deer River District: The Western Itasca Review, published weekly in Deer River, Itasca County, Minnesota Walker District: The Pilot/Independent, published weekly in Walker, Cass County, Minnesota Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont Forest Supervisor Decisions The Rutland Herald, published Tuesday-Saturday in Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont District Ranger Decisions Manchester, Middlebury and Rochester Districts: The Rutland Herald, published Tuesday-Saturday in Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont Finger Lakes National Forest, New York Forest Supervisor Decisions: The Ithaca Journal, published daily in Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York District Ranger Decisions Hector District: The Ithaca Journal, published daily in Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan Forest Supervisor Decisions The Daily Press, published daily in Escanaba, Delta County, Michigan District Ranger Decisions Rapid River District: The Daily Press, published daily in Escanaba, Delta County, Michigan Manistique District: The Daily Press, published daily in Escanaba, Delta County, Michigan Munising District: The Mining Journal, published daily in Marquette, Marquette County, Michigan St. Ignace District: The Sault News, published daily in Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan Sault Ste. Marie District: The Sault News, published daily in Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan Hoosier National Forest, Indiana Forest Supervisor Decisions The Hoosier Times, published in Bloomington, Monroe County, and Bedford, Lawrence County, Indiana District Ranger Decisions Brownstown District: The Hoosier Times, published in Bloomington, Monroe County, and Bedford, Lawrence County, Indiana Tell City District: The Perry County News, published in Tell City, Perry County, Indiana Huron-Manistee National Forest, Michigan Forest Supervisor Decisions Cadillac News, published daily in Cadillac, Wexford County, Michigan District Ranger Decisions Baldwin-White Cloud Districts: Lake County Star, published weekly in Baldwin, Lake County, Michigan Cadillac-Manistee Districts: Manistee News Advocate, published daily in Manistee, Manistee County, Michigan Mio District: Oscoda County Herald, published weekly in Mio, Oscoda County, Michigan Huron Shores District: Oscoda Press, published weekly in Oscoda, Iosco County, Michigan Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri Forest Supervisor Decisions The Rolla Daily News, published Monday through Saturday in Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri District Ranger Decisions Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs District: Springfield News-Leader, published daily in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri Cedar Creek District: Fulton Sun, published daily in Fulton, Callaway County, Missouri Eleven Point District: Prospect News, published weekly (Wednesday) in Doniphan, Ripley County, Missouri Rolla District: Houston Herald, published weekly (Thursdays) in Houston, Texas County, Missouri Houston District: Houston Herald, published weekly (Thursdays) in Houston, Texas County, Missouri Poplar Bluff District: Daily American Republic, published daily in Poplar Bluff, Butler County, Missouri Potosi District: The Independent-Journal, published weekly (Thursday) in Potosi, Washington County, Missouri Fredericktown District: The Democrat-News, published weekly (Wednesday) in Fredericktown, Madison County, Missouri Salem District: The Salem News, published weekly (Tuesday) in Salem, Dent County, Missouri Midewin Tallgrass Prairie, Illinois Prairie Supervisor Decisions

    The Herald News, published daily in Joliet, Will County, Illinois

    Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia Forest Supervisor Decisions The Inter-Mountain, published daily in Elkins, Randolph County, West Virginia District Ranger Decisions Cheat-Potomac District: The Grant County Press, published weekly in Petersburg, Grant County, West Virginia Gauley District: The Nicholas Chronicle, published weekly in Summersville, Nicholas County, West Virginia Greenbrier District: The Pocahontas Times, published weekly in Marlinton, Pocahontas County, West Virginia Marlinton-White Sulphur District: The Pocahontas Times, published weekly in Marlinton, Pocahontas County, West Virginia Ottawa National Forest, Michigan Forest Supervisor Decisions The Ironwood Daily Globe, published in Ironwood, Gogebic County, Michigan; except, for those projects located solely within the Iron River District; The Reporter, published in Iron River, Iron County, Michigan District Ranger Decisions Bergland, Bessemer, Kenton, Ontonagon and Watersmeet Districts: The Ironwood Daily Globe, published in Ironwood, Gogebic County, Michigan Iron River District: The Reporter, published in Iron River, Iron County, Michigan Shawnee National Forest, Illinois Forest Supervisor Decisions Southern Illinoisan, published daily in Carbondale, Jackson County, Illinois District Ranger Decisions Hidden Springs and Mississippi Bluffs Districts: Southern Illinoisan, published daily in Carbondale, Jackson County, Illinois Superior National Forest, Minnesota Forest Supervisor Decisions Duluth News-Tribune, published daily in Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota District Ranger Decisions Gunflint District: Cook County News-Herald, published weekly in Grand Marais, Cook County, Minnesota Kawishiwi District: Ely Echo, published weekly in Ely, St. Louis County, Minnesota LaCroix District: Mesabi Daily News, published daily in Virginia, St. Louis County, Minnesota Laurentian District: Mesabi Daily News, published daily in Virginia, St. Louis County, Minnesota Tofte District: Duluth News-Tribune, published daily in Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota Wayne National Forest, Ohio Forest Supervisor Decisions Athens Messenger, published Tuesday-Saturday in Athens, Athens County, Ohio District Ranger Decisions Athens District-Athens Unit: Athens Messenger, published Tuesday-Saturday in Athens, Athens County, Ohio Athens District-Marietta Unit: Marietta Times, published daily in Marietta, Washington County, Ohio Ironton District: The Ironton Tribune, published daily in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire and Maine Forest Supervisor Decisions The New Hampshire Union Leader, published daily in Manchester, County of Hillsborough, New Hampshire. District Ranger Decisions: Androscoggin District: The New Hampshire Union Leader, published daily in Manchester, County of Hillsborough, New Hampshire; except, for those projects located solely within the State of Maine; the Lewiston Sun-Journal, published daily in Lewiston, County of Androscoggin, Maine Pemigewasset District: The New Hampshire Union Leader, published daily in Manchester, County of Hillsborough, New Hampshire Saco District: The New Hampshire Union Leader, published daily in Manchester, County of Hillsborough, New Hampshire; except, for those projects located solely within the State of Maine; the Lewiston Sun-Journal, published daily in Lewiston, County of Androscoggin, Maine Dated: October 17, 2017. Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23803 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Board is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, of 1972, the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, the National Forest Management Act of 1976, and the Federal Public Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Additional information concerning the Board, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Board's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/blackhills/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 1:00 p.m.

    All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Forest Service Center, 8221 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City, South Dakota.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Black Hills National Forest Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Jacobson, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 605-440-1409 or by email at [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to provide:

    (1) Information Topic: Forest Range Program;

    (2) Non-Motorized Trails Working Group Presentation;

    (3) Motor Vehicle Use Permit Fees;

    (4) Black Hills Resilient Landscape Project update; and

    (5) Over Snow Use.

    The meeting is open to the public. If time allows, the public may make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should submit a request in writing by November 6, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Board may file written statements with the Board's staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Scott Jacobson, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor's Office, 1019 North Fifth Street, Custer, South Dakota 57730; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 605-673-9208.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: October 18, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23806 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Materials Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Open Meeting

    The Materials Technical Advisory Committee will meet on November 16, 2017, 10:00 a.m., Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Constitution & Pennsylvania Avenues NW., Washington, DC. The Committee advises the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration with respect to technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to materials and related technology.

    Agenda Open Session 1. Introductions and opening remarks by senior management 2. Presentation by Gerard Horner and Anna Bruse on Automated Export System 3. Presentation by Rocco Casagrande on “Overview of Synthetic Biology ” 4. Open session report by regime representatives 5. Update on plans for 2018/Public Comments/New Business

    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 November 9, 2017.

    A limited number of seats will be available during the public session of the meeting. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the Committee. Written statements may be submitted at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate distribution of public presentation materials to Committee members, the materials should be forwarded prior to the meeting to Ms. Springer via email.

    For more information, call Yvette Springer at (202) 482-2813.

    Yvette Springer, Committee Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23727 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is automatically initiating the five-year reviews (Sunset Reviews) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) order(s) listed below. The International Trade Commission (the Commission) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Reviews which covers the same order(s).

    DATES:

    Applicable (November 1, 2017).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty order(s):

    DOC
  • case No.
  • ITC
  • case No.
  • Country Product Department contact
    A-570-863 731-TA-893 PRC Honey (3rd Review) Robert James (202) 482-0649. A-570-979 731-TA-1190 PRC Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. C-570-980 701-TA-481 PRC Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules (1st Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith (202) 482-5255. A-583-849 731-TA-1197 Taiwan Steel Wire Garment Hangers (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. A-552-812 731-TA-1198 Vietnam Steel Wire Garment Hangers (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. C-552-813 731-TA-487 Vietnam Steel Wire Garment Hangers (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312.

    With respect to the orders on Steel Garment Hangers from Vietnam, we have advanced the initiation date of these Sunset Reviews upon determining that initiation of the Sunset Reviews for all of the Steel Garment Hangers orders on the same date would promote administrative efficiency.

    Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/. All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in these segments.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department modified two regulations related to AD/CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301).4 Parties are advised to review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied. Parties are also advised to review the final rule concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD/CVD proceedings, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1309frn/2013-22853.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.5

    4See Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013).

    5See Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013).

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (APO) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.6

    6See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: October 16, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23763 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC) Public Meeting AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, DOC.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a meeting of the Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC).

    DATES:

    The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2017 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The deadline for members of the public to register or to submit written comments for dissemination prior to the meeting is 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, November 3, 2017. The deadline for members of the public to request auxiliary aids is 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Room 6057-59 at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Herbert Clark Hoover Building, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. The address to register, submit comments, or request auxiliary aids is: Ms. Amy Kreps, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, Room 28018, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 or email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Amy Kreps, Office of Energy & Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, Room 28018, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (Phone: 202-482-3835; Fax: 202-482-5665; email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will take place on November 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT. The general meeting is open to the public and time will be permitted for public comment from 3:00-3:30 p.m. EDT. Members of the public seeking to attend the meeting are required to register in advance. Those interested in attending must provide notification by Friday, November 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EDT, via the contact information provided above. This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to OEEI at (202) 482-3835 no less than one week prior to the meeting. Requests received after this date will be accepted, but it may not be possible to accommodate them.

    Written comments concerning ETTAC affairs are welcome any time before or after the meeting. To be considered during the meeting, written comments must be received by Friday, November 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EDT to ensure transmission to the members before the meeting. Minutes will be available within 30 days of this meeting.

    Topic To Be considered: The agenda for the November 14, 2017 meeting includes briefings from the U.S. interagency on ongoing NAFTA negotiations and ITA's Trade Promotion Programs. Also during the meeting, the three ETTAC subcommittees will discuss their top priorities for this charter period, with the goal of generating recommendations for the Secretary of Commerce. Topics under discussion include optimizing the U.S. Government's trade promotion programs, identifying market access barriers, pros and cons of existing trade agreements, and discussing procurement policy, including issues with financing mechanisms, localization requirements and non-tariff barriers. The ETTAC's subcommittees are: Trade Promotion and Export Market Development, Professional Services and Infrastructure Advancement, and Trade Policy and American Competitiveness.

    Background: The ETTAC is mandated by Section 2313(c) of the Export Enhancement Act of 1988, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 4728(c), to advise the Environmental Trade Working Group of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, through the Secretary of Commerce, on the development and administration of programs to expand U.S. exports of environmental technologies, goods, services, and products. The ETTAC was originally chartered in May of 1994. It was most recently re-chartered until August 2018.

    Dated: October 25, 2017. Man Cho, Deputy Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23811 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-067, A-475-839, and A-583-863] Forged Steel Fittings From the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 25, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Irene Gorelik at (202) 482-6905 or Robert Palmer at (202) 482-9068 (Taiwan), Katherine Johnson at (202) 482-4929 or Renato Barreda at (202) 482-0317 (the People's Republic of China (PRC)), and Denisa Ursu at (202) 482-2285 or Michael Bowen at (202) 482-0768 (Italy), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petitions

    On October 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (the Department) received antidumping duty (AD) Petitions concerning imports of forged steel fittings from the People's Republic of China (PRC), Italy, and Taiwan, filed in proper form, on behalf of Bonney Forge Corporation and United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW) (collectively, the petitioners).1 The AD Petitions were accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition concerning imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC. The petitioners are domestic producers of forged steel fittings and a certified union that represents workers who produce forged steel fittings.2

    1See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce re: “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan” (October 5, 2017) (the Petitions).

    2See Volume I of the Petitions at 2 and 4.

    On October 6 and 10, 2017, the Department requested supplemental information pertaining to certain areas of the Petitions.3 The petitioners filed responses to these supplemental questions on October 11, 2017.4 The Department also issued second supplemental questionnaires with regard to general issues in Volume I of the Petition and for issues specific to the PRC and Italy AD petitions.5 The petitioners filed their second supplemental response regarding the PRC and Italy AD petitions on October 17, 2017 and second supplemental response regarding general issues on October 18, 2017.6 Petitioners also filed a revised scope on October 19, 2017.7

    3See Letters from the Department to the petitioners re: “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Supplemental Questions,” “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from Taiwan: Supplemental Questions,”; Letter from the Department to the petitioners re: “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from Italy: Supplemental Questions,” dated October 10, 2017.

    4See Letters from the petitioners, re: “Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to Supplemental Questions—General Issues” (General Issues Supplement); “Forged Steel Fittings from Italy: Response to Supplemental Questions,” dated October 11, 2017 (Italy AD Supplemental Response); “Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Response to Supplemental Questions,” (PRC AD Supplemental Response); and “Forged Steel Fittings from Taiwan: Response to Supplemental Questions,” (Taiwan AD Supplemental Response), dated October 11, 2017.

    5See Letter to the petitioners, re: “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Supplemental Questions,” dated October 17, 2017; Letter to the petitioners, re: Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Second Supplement,” dated October 16, 2017; Letter from the Department to the petitioners re: “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from Italy: Second Supplemental Questionnaire,” dated October 16, 2017.

    6See Letter from the petitioners re: “Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Response to Second Supplemental Questions, dated October 17, 2017 (PRC AD Second Supplemental Response); Letter from the petitioners re: “Forged Steel Fittings from Italy: Response to Second Supplemental Question,” dated October 17, 2017; Letter from the petitioners to the Department, “Response to Second Supplemental Question on Industry Support and Cumulation,” dated October 18, 2017 (Second General Issues Supplement).

    7See Letter from the petitioners to the Department, “Forged Steel Fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan: Revised Scope,” dated October 19, 2017 (Revised Scope). See also the Appendix to this notice.

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioners allege that imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC, Italy, and Taiwan are being, or likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing forged steel fittings in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioners filed these Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioners are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C) and (D) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigations that the petitioners are requesting.8

    8See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions” section, below.

    Periods of Investigation

    Because the Petitions were filed on October 5, 2017, the period of investigation (POI) for Taiwan and Italy is October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017. Because the PRC is a non-market economy (NME) country, the POI for this investigation is April 1, 2017, through September 30, 2017.

    Scope of the Investigations

    The products covered by these investigations are forged steel fittings from the PRC, Italy, and Taiwan. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see the “Scope of the Investigations,” in the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigations

    During our review of the Petitions, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petitions would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.9

    9See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).10 The Department will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations. If scope comments include factual information,11 all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, the Department requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 24, 2017, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comments deadline.12

    10See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    11See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining “factual information”).

    12See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All scope comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).13 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    13See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014), for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    The Department will provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the appropriate physical characteristics of forged steel fittings to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant costs of production accurately as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe forged steel fittings, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaires, all product characteristics comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on November 14, 2017. Any rebuttal comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on November 24, 2017. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the records of the PRC, Italy and Taiwan less-than-fair-value investigations.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,14 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.15

    14See section 771(10) of the Act.

    15See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigations. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that forged steel fittings, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.16

    16 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China (PRC AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan (Attachment II); Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Forged Steel Fittings from Italy (Italy AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; and Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Forged Steel Fittings from Taiwan (Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II. These checklists are dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioners have standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in the Appendix of this notice.17 The petitioners provided their own production of the domestic like product in 2016 and compared this to the estimated total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.18 We relied on the data the petitioners provided for purposes of measuring industry support.19

    17 As noted above, the petitioners submitted a revised scope on October 19, 2017. See Revised Scope and the Appendix.

    18See Volume I of the Petitions, at 3-4 and Exhibit I-1; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1 and Exhibit I-15; and Second General Issues Supplement, at 1-2.

    19Id. For further discussion, see PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Italy AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petitions, supplements to the Petitions, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioners have established industry support.20 First, the Petitions established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).21 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.22 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petitions.23 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    20See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Italy AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    21See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Italy AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    22See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Italy AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    23Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioners filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C) and (D) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigations that they are requesting that the Department initiate.24

    24Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioners allege that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, the petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.25

    25See Volume I of the Petitions, at 10 and Exhibit I-4.

    The petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of imports from the subject countries; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; and a negative impact on the domestic industry's capacity utilization, employment, and profits.26 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.27

    26Id. at 10-23 and Exhibits I-4 and I-7 through I-13.

    27See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan (Attachment III); see also Italy AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; see also Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III.

    Allegations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegations of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate AD investigations of imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC, Italy, and Taiwan. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the country-specific initiation checklists.

    Export Price

    For the PRC and Taiwan, the petitioners based U.S. price on export price (EP) using an average unit value (AUV) of publicly available import data.28 For Italy, the petitioners based U.S. price on EP, which they calculated based on their own prices, reduced to meet the price obtained by a U.S. customer from an Italian producer.29 Where applicable, the petitioners made deductions from U.S. price for movement and other expenses, consistent with the terms of sale.30

    28See PRC Initiation Checklist and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    29See Italy AD Initiation Checklist.

    30See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, Italy AD Initiation Checklist and Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    Normal Value

    With respect to the PRC, the petitioners stated that the Department has found this country to be a NME country in prior administrative proceedings.31 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, the presumption of NME status remains in effect until revoked by the Department. The presumption of NME status for the PRC has not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, remains in effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, NV in the PRC is appropriately based on factors of production (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.32 In the course of this investigation, all parties, and the public, will have the opportunity to provide relevant information related to the granting of separate rates to individual exporters.

    31See Volume II of the Petitions at 1-2.

    32See PRC AD Initiation Checklist.

    The petitioners claim that Mexico is an appropriate surrogate country for the PRC, because it is a market economy country that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of the PRC, it is a significant producer of comparable merchandise, and public information from Mexico is available to value all material input factors.33 Based on the information provided by the petitioners, we determine that it is appropriate to use Mexico as a surrogate country for initiation purposes.34

    33See Volume II of the Petitions at 2 and Exhibits II-1 and II-2.

    34See PRC AD Initiation Checklist.

    Because information regarding the volume of inputs consumed by the PRC producers/exporters is not available, the petitioners relied on the production experience of a domestic producer of forged steel fittings in the United States as an estimate of PRC manufacturers' FOPs.35 The petitioners valued the estimated FOPs using surrogate values from Mexico.36 Additionally, for the surrogate values denominated in Mexican pesos, the petitioners converted peso prices into U.S. dollars using the average exchange rate obtained from the Department's Web site for April 2017, through June 2017,37 and from www.exchange-rates.org to obtain the U.S./Mexican exchange rates for the period July 2017 through September 2017.38

    35See Volume II of the Petitions at 4-6 and Exhibits II-7. See also PRC AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit II-18 and PRC AD Second Supplemental Response.

    36See Volume II of the Petitions at Exhibits II-8 through II-15. see also PRC AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit II-19 and PRC AD Second Supplemental Response.

    37See Volume II of the Petitions at Exhibit II-9.

    38 The petitioners noted that “the Department's exchange rate page {on the Department's Web site} only goes through June 2017. We have therefore used www.exchange-rates.org to obtain the U.S./Mexican exchange rates. . .” See PRC AD Supplemental Response at 2 and Exhibits II-19 through II-22.

    Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs no later than 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.

    For Italy, the petitioners based NV on a home market price quote obtained for ten selected forged steel fittings produced and sold in Italy within the proposed POI. The petitioners adjusted the price quotes for a distributor markup to obtain the ex-factory price.39

    39See Italy AD Initiation Checklist.

    For Taiwan, the petitioners provided an affidavit from a foreign market researcher with a home market sales offer for forged steel fittings produced in, and sold or offered for sale in Taiwan.40

    40See Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioners, there is reason to believe that imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC, Italy, and Taiwan are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV in accordance with sections 772 and 773 of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for forged steel fittings for each of the countries covered by this initiation are as follows: (1) PRC—142.72 percent; 41 (2) Italy—18.66 to 80.20 percent; 42 and (3) Taiwan—116.17 percent.43

    41See PRC AD Initiation Checklist.

    42See Italy AD Initiation Checklist.

    43See Taiwan AD Initiation Checklist.

    Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petitions, we find that the Petitions meet the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating AD investigations to determine whether imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC, Italy, and Taiwan are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD law were made.44 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.45 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to these AD investigations.46

    44See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law No. 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    45See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015).

    46Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioners named six companies in Italy and three companies in Taiwan, as producers/exporters of forged steel fittings.47 Following standard practice in AD investigations involving market economy countries, in the event the Department determines that the number of companies for any one market economy country is large, the Department intends to review U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of forged steel fittings during the respective POI under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States subheadings, and if it determines that it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, then the Department will select respondents based on that data. We intend to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of the announcement of the initiation of these investigations. Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    47See Volume I of the Petitions at Exhibit I-3.

    Interested parties may submit comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection by 5:00 p.m. ET seven calendar days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of these investigations. Interested parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five calendar days after the deadline for initial comments.

    Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date noted above. If respondent selection is necessary, within 20 days of publication of this notice, we intend to make our decisions regarding respondent selection based upon comments received from interested parties and our analysis of the record information.

    With respect to the PRC, the petitioners named 14 producers/exporters of forged steel fittings from the PRC.48 In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires to producers/exporters of merchandise subject to this investigation and, in the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large, base respondent selection on the responses received. For this investigation, the Department will request Q&V information from known exporters and producers identified with complete contact information in the Petitions. In addition, the Department will post the Q&V questionnaires along with filing instructions on Enforcement and Compliance's Web site at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.

    48See Volume I of the Petitions at Exhibit I-3.

    Producers/exporters of forged steel fittings from the PRC that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain a copy of the Q&V questionnaire from Enforcement & Compliance's Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by the relevant PRC exporters/producers no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on November 9, 2017. All Q&V responses must be filed electronically via ACCESS.

    Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.49 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in the PRC investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after publication of this initiation notice.50 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status only if they timely respond to all parts of the Department's AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. The Department requires that companies from the PRC submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by the respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status. Companies not filing a timely Q&V response will not receive separate-rate consideration.

    49See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 05.1).

    50 Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, consistent with 19 CFR 351.301(a), which states that “the Secretary may request any person to submit factual information at any time during a proceeding,” this deadline is now 30 days.

    Use of Combination Rates

    The Department will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:

    {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of “combination rates” because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.51

    51See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petitions

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petitions have been provided to the governments of the PRC, Italy, and Taiwan via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each exporter named in the Petitions, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC, Italy, and/or Taiwan, are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.52 A negative ITC determination for any country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country.53 Otherwise, these investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    52See section 733(a) of the Act.

    53Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). 19 CFR 351.301(b) requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 54 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.55 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    54See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    55See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these investigations.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.56 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives.57 Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g). The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    56See section 782(b) of the Act.

    57See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in these investigations should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 732(c)(2) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: October 25, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Investigations

    The merchandise covered by these investigations is carbon and alloy forged steel fittings, whether unfinished (commonly known as blanks or rough forgings) or finished. Such fittings are made in a variety of shapes including, but not limited to, elbows, tees, crosses, laterals, couplings, reducers, caps, plugs, bushings and unions. Forged steel fittings are covered regardless of end finish, whether threaded, socket-weld or other end connections.

    While these fittings are generally manufactured to specifications ASME B16.11, MSS SP-79, and MSS SP-83, ASTM A105, ASTM A350 and ASTM A182, the scope is not limited to fittings made to these specifications.

    The term forged is an industry term used to describe a class of products included in applicable standards, and does not reference an exclusive manufacturing process. Forged steel fittings are not manufactured from casting. Pursuant to the applicable standards, fittings may also be machined from bar stock or machined from seamless pipe and tube.

    All types of fittings are included in the scope regardless of nominal pipe size (which may or may not be expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure rating (usually, but not necessarily expressed in pounds of pressure, e.g., 2,000 or 2M; 3,000 or 3M; 6,000 or 6M; 9,000 or 9M), wall thickness, and whether or not heat treated.

    Excluded from this scope are all fittings entirely made of stainless steel. Also excluded are flanges, butt weld fittings, and nipples.

    Subject carbon and alloy forged steel fittings are normally entered under HTSUS 7307.99.1000, 7307.99.3000, 7307.99.5045, and 7307.99.5060. They also may be entered under HTSUS 7307.92.3010, 7307.92.3030, 7307.92.9000, and 7326.19.0010.

    The HTSUS subheadings and specifications are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-23760 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (the Department) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of a review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to a review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete a Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of a proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after November 2017, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    OPPORTUNITY TO REQUEST A REVIEW:

    Not later than the last day of November 2017,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in November for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping Duty Proceedings BRAZIL: Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe A-351-809 11/1/16-10/31/17 INDIA: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe A-533-867 5/10/16-10/31/17 INDONESIA: Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses A-560-823 11/1/16-10/31/17 Monosodium Glutamate A-560-826 11/1/16-10/31/17 MEXICO: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe A-201-805 11/1/16-10/31/17 Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube A-201-838 11/1/16-10/31/17 Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar A-201-844 11/1/16-10/31/17 REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe A-580-809 11/1/16-10/31/17 TAIWAN: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe A-583-814 11/1/16-10/31/17 Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-583-835 11/1/16-10/31/17 THAILAND: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-549-817 11/1/16-10/31/17 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon Steel A-570-849 11/1/16-10/31/17 Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-570-865 11/1/16-10/31/17 Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses A-570-958 11/1/16-10/31/17 Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof A-570-900 11/1/16-10/31/17 Fresh Garlic A-570-831 11/1/16-10/31/17 Lightweight Thermal Paper A-570-920 11/1/16-10/31/17 Monosodium Glutamate A-570-992 11/1/16-10/31/17 Paper Clips A-570-826 11/1/16-10/31/17 Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet) Film A-570-924 11/1/16-10/31/17 Pure Magnesium in Granular Form A-570-864 11/1/16-10/31/17 Refined Brown Aluminum Oxide A-570-882 11/1/16-10/31/17 Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe A-570-956 11/1/16-10/31/17 Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube A-570-964 11/1/16-10/31/17 UKRAINE: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-823-811 11/1/16-10/31/17 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet) Film A-520-803 11/1/16-10/31/17 Countervailing Duty Proceedings: INDIA: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe C-533-868 3/11/16-12/31/16 INDONESIA: Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses C-560-824 1/1/16-12/31/16 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses C-570-959 1/1/16-12/31/16 Chlorinated Isocyanurates C-570-991 1/1/16-12/31/16 Lightweight Thermal Paper C-570-921 1/1/16-12/31/16 Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe C-570-957 1/1/16-12/31/16 TURKEY: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar C-489-819 1/1/16-12/31/16 Suspension Agreements: UKRAINE: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon Steel A-823-808 11/1/16-10/31/17

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011), the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    The Department no longer considers the non-market economy (NME) entity as an exporter conditionally subject to an antidumping duty administrative reviews.3 Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.4 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity).

    3See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    4 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov.5 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    5See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of November 2017. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of November 2017, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: October 17, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director perfoming the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23761 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-423-813, A-301-803, A-549-833] Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Stolz at (202) 482-4474 (Belgium); Stephanie Moore at (202) 482-3692 (Colombia); and Joy Zhang at (202) 482-1168 (Thailand), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On June 22, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated less-than-fair- value (LTFV) investigations of imports of citric acid and certain citrate salts (citric acid) from Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand.1 Currently, the preliminary determinations are due no later than November 9, 2017.

    1See Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 82 FR 29828 (June 30, 2017).

    Section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires the Department to issue the preliminary determination in a LTFV investigation within 140 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation. However, section 733(c)(1)) of the Act permits the Department to postpone the preliminary determination until no later than 190 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation if: (A) The petitioner makes a timely request for a postponement; or (B) the Department concludes that the parties concerned are cooperating, that the investigation is extraordinarily complicated, and that additional time is necessary to make a preliminary determination. Under 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioner must submit a request for postponement 25 days or more before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination and must state the reasons for the request. The Department will grant the request unless it finds compelling reasons to deny the request. See 19 CFR 351.205(e).

    On October 11, 2017, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM); Cargill Incorporated (Cargill); and Tate & Lyle Ingredients America LLC (Tate & Lyle) (collectively, the petitioners) submitted timely requests pursuant to section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(e) to postpone the preliminary determinations in these LTFV investigations.2 The petitioners stated that they request postponement because the Department is still gathering data and questionnaire responses from the foreign producers in these investigations, and additional time is necessary for the Department and interested parties to fully and properly analyze all questionnaire responses.

    2See letters from the petitioners, “Antidumping Duty Investigations of Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Belgium, Colombia and Thailand: Petitioners' Request for Postponement of Preliminary Determinations,” dated October 11, 2017.

    For the reasons stated above and because there are no compelling reasons to deny the request, the Department, in accordance with section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determinations by 50 days (i.e., 190 days after the date on which these investigations were initiated). As a result, the Department will issue its preliminary determinations no later than December 29, 2017. In accordance with section 735(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determinations of these investigations will continue to be 75 days after the date of publication of the preliminary determinations, unless postponed at a later date.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 733(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: October 20, 2017. Carole Showers, Executive Director, Office of Policy performing the duties of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23753 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-068] Forged Steel Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Smith at (202) 482-1766 or Jaron Moore at (202) 482-3640, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petition

    On October 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (the Department) received a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition concerning imports of forged steel fittings from the People's Republic of China (the PRC), filed in proper form on behalf of Bonney Forge Corporation and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (collectively, the petitioners). The CVD Petition was accompanied by antidumping duty (AD) Petitions concerning imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC, Italy, and Taiwan.1 The petitioners consist of a domestic producer of forged steel fittings and a certified union that represents workers produce forged steel fittings.2

    1See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the petitioners re: “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan” (October 5, 2017) (the Petitions).

    2Id., Volume I of the Petitions, at 1 and Exhibit I-1.

    On October 6, 10, and 17, 2017, the Department requested supplemental information pertaining to certain areas of the Petition.3 The petitioners filed responses to these requests on October 11, 12 and 18, 2017, respectively.4 The petitioners filed revised scope language on October 19, 2017.5

    3See Letter to the petitioners from the Department, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Supplemental Questions” (October 6, 2017)(General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); Letter to the petitioners from the Department, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” (October 10, 2017) (PRC CVD Supplemental Questionnaire); and Letter to the petitioners from the Department, “Petitions for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” (October 17, 2017) (PRC CVD Second Supplemental Questionnaire).

    4See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the petitioners, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Response to Supplemental Questions” (October 12, 2017) (PRC CVD Supplement); see also Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the petitioners, “Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to Supplemental Questions—General Issues” (October 11, 2017) (General Issues Supplement); and Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the petitioners, “Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan: Response to Second Supplemental Question on Industry Support and Cumulation” (October 18, 2017) (Second General Issues Supplement).

    5See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the petitioners, “Forged Steel Fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan: Revised Scope” (October 19, 2017).

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioners allege that the Government of the PRC is providing countervailable subsidies, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the domestic industry producing forged steel fittings in the United States. Also, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(b), for those alleged programs on which we are initiating a CVD investigation, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioners are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C) and (D) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigation that the petitioners are requesting.6

    6See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on October 5, 2017, the period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is forged steel fittings from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7

    7See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).8 The Department will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with the interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,9 all such factual information should be limited to public information. To facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, the Department requests that all interested parties submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 24, 2017, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comments deadline.10

    8See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    9See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) (defining “factual information”).

    10See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All scope comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).11 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents exempted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    11See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011), see also Enforcement and Compliance: Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx, and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to sections 702(b)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the Government of the PRC of the receipt of the Petition, and provided them the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petition.12 These consultations were held via teleconference on October 20, 2017.13

    12See Letter to the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, “Countervailing Duty Petition on Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Invitation for Consultations to Discuss the Countervailing Duty Petition” (October 6, 2017).

    13 See Memorandum to the File, “Consultations with Officials from the Government of China Regarding the Countervailing Duty Petition Concerning Forged Steel Fittings” (October 20, 2017).

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,14 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.15

    14See section 771(10) of the Act.

    15See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of this investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that forged steel fittings, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.16

    16 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China (PRC CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan (Attachment II). The checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioners have standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix of this notice. The petitioners provided their own production of the domestic like product in 2016 and compared this to the total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.17 We relied on the data the petitioners provided for purposes of measuring industry support.18

    17See Volume I of the Petition, at 3-4 and Exhibit I-1; see also General Issues Supplement, at 1 and Exhibit I-15; and Second General Issues Supplement, at 1-2.

    18Id. For further discussion, see PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, the supplements to the Petition, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioners have established industry support.19 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).20 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.21 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.22 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    19See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    20See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    21See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    22Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in sections 771(9)(C) and (D) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that they are requesting the Department initiate.23

    23Id.

    Injury Test

    Because the PRC is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from the PRC materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioners allege that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.24

    24See Volume I of the Petition, at 10 and Exhibit I-4.

    The petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by a significant and increasing volume of imports from the subject country; reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; and a negative impact on the domestic industry's capacity utilization, employment, and profits.25 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.26

    25Id. at 10-23 and Exhibits I-4 and I-7 through I-13.

    26See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, Italy, and Taiwan.

    Initiation of CVD Investigation

    Based on the examination of the CVD Petition, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 702 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC benefit from countervailable subsidies conferred by the Government of the PRC. In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws were made.27 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.28 The amendments to sections 776 and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this CVD investigation.29

    27See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    28See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice). The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    29See Applicability Notice, 80 FR at 46794-95.

    Subsidy Allegations

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 23 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see the PRC CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioners named 14 companies as producers/exporters of forged steel fittings in the PRC.30 The Department intends to follow its standard practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy rates in this investigation. In the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, where appropriate, the Department intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC during the POI under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix.

    30See Volume I of the Petition at Exhibit I-3.

    On October 19, 2017, the Department released CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data and respondent selection must do so within three business days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of this CVD investigation.31 The Department will not accept rebuttal comments regarding the CBP data or respondent selection.

    31See Memorandum, “Forged Steel Fittings from the PRC: U.S. Customs Data for Respondent Selection” (October 19, 2017).

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date noted above. We intend to finalize our decisions regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the Government of the PRC via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of forged steel fittings from the PRC are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.32 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.33 Otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    32See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    33See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). 19 CFR 351.301(b) requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 34 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.35 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    34See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    35See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Parties should review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.36 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives.37 Investigations initiated on the basis of the petition filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g). The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    36See section 782(b) of the Act.

    37See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: October 25, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is carbon and alloy forged steel fittings, whether unfinished (commonly known as blanks or rough forgings) or finished. Such fittings are made in a variety of shapes including, but not limited to, elbows, tees, crosses, laterals, couplings, reducers, caps, plugs, bushings and unions. Forged steel fittings are covered regardless of end finish, whether threaded, socket-weld or other end connections.

    While these fittings are generally manufactured to specifications ASME B16.11, MSS SP-79, and MSS SP-83, ASTM A105, ASTM A350 and ASTM A182, the scope is not limited to fittings made to these specifications.

    The term forged is an industry term used to describe a class of products included in applicable standards, and does not reference an exclusive manufacturing process. Forged steel fittings are not manufactured from casting. Pursuant to the applicable standards, fittings may alsobe machined from bar stock or machined from seamless pipe and tube.

    All types of fittings are included in the scope regardless of nominal pipe size (which may or may not be expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure rating (usually, but not necessarily expressed in pounds of pressure, e.g., 2,000 or 2M; 3,000 or 3M; 6,000 or 6M; 9,000 or 9M), wall thickness, and whether or not heat treated.

    Excluded from this scope are all fittings entirely made of stainless steel. Also excluded are flanges, butt weld fittings, and nipples.

    Subject carbon and alloy forged steel fittings are normally entered under HTSUS 7307.99.1000, 7307.99.3000, 7307.99.5045, and 7307.99.5060. They also may be entered under HTSUS 7307.92.3010, 7307.92.3030, 7307.92.9000, and 7326.19.0010.

    The HTSUS subheadings and specifications are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-23759 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Notice of Localization and Tracking System Testing Consortium AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Research Consortium.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, is establishing the Localization and Tracking System (LTS) Testing Consortium and invites organizations to participate in this Consortium. Participants in this Consortium will have the opportunity to test their LTS leveraging a unique capability on the NIST Gaithersburg campus. The goals of the LTS Testing Consortium are to demonstrate and further develop standardized localization and tracking system testing procedures, and to assess current state of the art. The LTS Testing Consortium will not evaluate whether any individual system is commercially feasible. Participants in the Consortium will be required to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).

    DATES:

    Letters of interest for participation in this LTS Testing Consortium will be accepted until December 15, 2017. LTS testing is expected to occur in April or May 2018, with a pre-event workshop in February, however dates are subject to change.

    ADDRESSES:

    Letters of interest and requests for additional information can be directed to the NIST LTS Testing Consortium Manager, Nader Moayeri, of the Advanced Network Technologies Division of NIST's Information Technology Laboratory. Nader Moayeri's contact information are NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8920, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8920, USA, email: [email protected], and telephone: +1 301-975-3767.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information regarding the terms and conditions of NIST's CRADA, please contact Jeffrey DiVietro, CRADA and License Officer, NIST's Technology Partnerships Office, by mail to 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 2200, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-2200, by email to [email protected], or by telephone at +1 301-975-8779.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Consortium Objectives: ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31 1 has developed the international standard, ISO/IEC 18305, “Test and evaluation of localization and tracking systems” that addresses test methods with performance metrics and considers environmental factors and usage scenarios expected in the field. NIST's objectives under this LTS Testing Consortium are to plan and conduct Test and Evaluation (T&E) activities based on ISO/IEC 18305. Goals of the T&E activities include:

    1 International Organization of Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission/Joint Technical Committee 1/Subcommittee 31.

    1. Assessment of ISO/IEC 18305 to identify improvements that can be incorporated into the next version of the standard; and

    2. Assessment of LTS technologies using the standardized test methods of ISO/IEC 18305 for the dual purposes of comparing technologies to identify strengths and weaknesses of various technological approaches and solutions, and to make it possible for Consortium Members to use that information as a basis for further developing their LTS. The results from the LTS Testing Consortium will allow the validation of ISO/IEC 18305. The results will also allow setting minimum performance requirements for various applications of LTS technology and enable comparisons based on common test methods. Results from this research are expected to improve the performance of LTS technologies.

    Background Information: Indoor localization is the capability to determine/estimate the location of an entity to be localized or tracked (ELT), such as a person, a robot, or some other object equipped with an appropriate electronic device 2 in buildings and subterranean structures such as tunnels, caves, and underground mines. Tracking is the capability to estimate the location of such ELT on an ongoing basis and making the location information available to a tracking authority. Localization and tracking, whether indoors or outdoors, has applications in a wide range of domains including public safety, manufacturing, construction, health care, entertainment, social networking, building automation, and defense.

    2 It is also possible to have such capability using cameras installed in the environment. In that case, there is no need for the person, robot, or other object to be equipped with an electronic device. However, such imaging-based techniques are beyond the scope of the LTS Testing Consortium.

    Testing a LTS is complicated for several reasons:

    • There are many categories of LTS. Some rely on presence of electronic infrastructure in the environment (building/tunnel/cave/underground mine) to facilitate localization and tracking. Some systems require site-specific training and calibration before they can be used. Some systems need to have access to the floor plans of the building or need to know the global coordinates of its boundaries to operate. Therefore, one must be careful when comparing the performance of various systems to ensure the comparisons are fair.

    • A LTS often has RF components. RF propagation can vary considerably from one building to another depending on the construction material used in the building, its floor plans, and objects present in the building. Therefore, the LTS must be tested in a variety of buildings, including a high rise, because a LTS typically has more difficulty in estimating the floor where the ELT is located than in estimating its horizontal location.

    • Given that the inertial sensors present in ubiquitous smartphones and other devices used for localization suffer from “drift” that worsens over time, it is important to test the LTS using long test scenarios, complex paths, different modes of mobility (e.g., walking, running, sidestepping, walking backwards, and crawling) and speeds of movement. Therefore, the use of large buildings is a prerequisite for a well-designed testing procedure.

    Considering the complexities of indoor localization testing above, vendors may not have the opportunity to test their LTS in a thorough and comprehensive manner. Therefore, potential users may be unable to determine whether a given LTS meets their needs. These issues demonstrate the need for standardized testing procedures that can be used to test and compare localization and tracking systems.

    Test and Evaluation (T&E) Activities: NIST intends to hold a pre-event workshop for participants of the Consortium to prepare for the T&E activities. NIST anticipates the test event will take place over a period of two weeks (ten business days) about two months after the workshop. Each LTS will be tested over the course of 3-5 days during one of the two weeks. During the two-week T&E event, each LTS will be tested under NIST supervision by the participating company staff members according to the procedures of ISO/IEC 18305. Lessons learned from testing will be used to make modifications to the testing procedures and corresponding future revisions in ISO/IEC 18305. Going forward, NIST intends to use the same set of buildings so that future testing will indicate the industry's improvements in performance of indoor localization and tracking systems. Participation in this LTS Testing Consortium does not guarantee participation in future testing activities.

    Methodology: To the extent possible, NIST has chosen structures on its Gaithersburg, MD campus according to the guidelines specified in ISO/IEC 18305. NIST has instrumented the structures with one-inch diameter, circular floor markers. Locations of the floor markers have been surveyed by a professional surveying company using precision laser surveying equipment. In addition, the locations of ~200 Wi-Fi Access Points (APs) in these buildings have been surveyed and the Wi-Fi AP location information will be made available to Consortium Members solely for use in the Consortium and by each Consortium Member's LTS that will be tested at the T&E event. Multiple tracks, each consisting of a set of floor markers, will be used to test each LTS. By comparing the ground truth 3D coordinates of each floor marker with the estimate of the 3D location provided by the LTS under test, the estimation error can be computed and statistical analysis on the error done using the performance metrics specified in ISO/IEC 18305.

    Application Process: Interested parties should contact NIST using the information provided in the ADDRESSES section. NIST will then provide each interested party with a letter of interest template, which the party must complete and submit to NIST. Each party's letter of interest must include the following information:

    1. Whether the LTS to be tested is commercially available now or at an advanced productization stages so that it would be commercially available by the end of 2018.

    2. Market the indoor LTS is targeting.

    3. Given that large buildings will be used for testing, whether the number of units available to install in these buildings is sufficient for the system to go through a suite of tests, one building at a time. (As a point of information, the largest building to be used for testing covers 100,000 square feet of space.)

    4. The willingness and ability to send an adequate number of staff members to install and uninstall the indoor LTS in test buildings and operate the equipment to administer the tests under NIST supervision for a period of about 3 days. If for any reason a LTS runs into technical problems and cannot complete the tests in each building in the allotted time slot, NIST has designated the last two days of the week as “make-up days”, where tests that were not completed in their allotted time slots can be redone. NIST will not be responsible for shipping equipment to NIST and back to your company.

    5. Willingness to provide all data form T&E activities to the NIST Consortium Manager for purposes of this project.

    6. A statement regarding whether the LTS requires deployment of equipment inside/outside a building in order to be tested; please specify the types of equipment that need to be deployed and how many per every 10,000 square feet of space.

    7. If the LTS uses RF technology, please specify the frequency band(s) and power levels the LTS uses.

    8. Whether the installation, uninstallation, or operation of the LTS is likely to cause damage of any type to the buildings or furnishing during testing.

    Letters of interest may be submitted to the LTS Testing Consortium Manager electronically using the email address provided in the ADDRESSES section. Letters of interest must include the name of the organization and the name and contact information for an official representing the organization. Letters of interest must not include any confidential information. NIST will not treat any information provided in the letters of interest as confidential or proprietary. NIST will review the letters of interest from each organization received prior to the closing date provided in the DATES section. Eligibility will be determined based on the information provided by the organization in response to the above request for specific information. NIST will notify an applicant in writing of its eligibility to participate in the LTS Testing Consortium. To participate, the eligible applicant will be required to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NIST. Each participant's CRADA will have identical terms and conditions that are consistent with the requirements of Title 15, United States Code, Chapter 63, Section 3710a (Cooperative Research and Development Agreements). NIST does not guarantee participation or any other collaboration to any organization submitting a Letter of Interest.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3710a.

    Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23807 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF574 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge—Scour Repair in Washington State AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge—Scour Repair in Washington State.

    DATES:

    This authorization is valid from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shane Guan, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the application and supporting documents, as well as the issued IHA, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    The MMPA states that the term “take” means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    National Environmental Policy Act

    Issuance of an MMPA 101(a)(5)(D) authorization requires compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

    NMFS determined the issuance of the proposed IHA is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 (issuance of incidental harassment authorizations under section 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA for which no serious injury or mortality is anticipated) of the Companion Manual for NAO 216-6A and we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances listed in Chapter 4 of the Companion Manual for NAO 216-6A that would preclude this categorical exclusion.

    Summary of Request

    NMFS received a request from WSDOT for an IHA to take marine mammals incidental to U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge—Scour Repair in the State of Washington. WSDOT's request was for harassment only and NMFS concurs that serious injury or mortality is not expected to result from this activity. Therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    In November 2016, WSDOT submitted a request to NMFS requesting an IHA for the possible harassment of small numbers of marine mammal species incidental to U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington State, between July 16 to September 30, 2018. WSDOT subsequently updated its project scope and submitted a revised IHA application on July 5, 2017. NMFS determined the IHA application was complete on July 14, 2017. NMFS issued an IHA to WSDOT to take by Level B harassment of the following marine mammal species: Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina); California sea lion (Zalophus californianus); Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus); gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus); and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

    Description of Proposed Activity Overview

    WSDOT is proposing to repair an area of scour associated with Pier 14 of the U.S. 101 Chehalis River Bridge (Figures 1-3 and 1-4 in the IHA application). The bridge foundation at Pier 14 is “scour critical” due to the bridge foundation being unstable for calculated scour depths. The southwest quadrant of Pier 14 is undermined by scour void as much as 8 feet deep, and some of the untreated timber pilings have been directly exposed to river/estuary water since 2008. Marine borers may weaken enough pilings to require more extensive pier repair if this project is not built in the near future. In addition, the footing and seal are exposed at the other three quadrants of Pier 14.

    The purpose of the U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge Project is to make the bridge foundation stable for calculated scour depths, protect the foundation from further scour by removing debris, filling the scour void under Pier 14 with cementitious material (to protect the pilings from marine borers), and filling the scour hole and protecting the pier with scour resistant material.

    Dates and Duration

    Due to NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in-water work timing restrictions to protect ESA-listed salmonids, planned WSDOT in-water construction is limited each year to July 16 through February 15. For this project, in-water construction is planned to take place between July 16 to September 30, 2018. The total worst-case time for pile installation and removal is 50 hours over 12 days (Table 1).

    Specified Geographic Region

    The U.S. 101 Chehalis River Bridge is located in the City of Aberdeen, Grays Harbor County, Washington (Figure 1-1 in the IHA application). The bridge is located in Township 17 North, Range 9 West, Section 9, where the Chehalis River enters Grays Harbor. Land use in the Aberdeen area is a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, and open space and/or undeveloped lands (Figure 1-2 in the IHA application).

    Detailed Description of In-Water Pile Driving Associated With the U.S. 101 Chehalis River Bridge Repair Project

    The proposed project involves noise production that may affect marine mammals: Vibratory hammer driving and removal. Details of the pile driving and pile removal activities are provided in the Federal Register notice (82 FR 37426; August 10, 2017) for the proposed IHA and is summarized in Table 1 below.

    Table 1—Summary of In-Water Pile Driving and Removal Durations Method Pile type Pile size
  • (inch)
  • Pile No. Duration
  • (min)
  • per pile
  • Duration
  • (days)
  • Vibratory driving Steel H pile 12 6 30 1 Vibratory driving Sheet pile 44 30 5 Vibratory removal Steel H pile 12 6 30 1 Vibratory removal Sheet pile 44 30 5 Total 12
    Comments and Responses

    A notice of NMFS' proposal to issue an IHA was published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2017 (82 FR 37426). During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received a comment letter from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission). No other comments were received. Specific comments and responses are provided below.

    Comment 1: The Commission recommends that NMFS (1) determine whether action proponents would be required to implement delay or shut-down procedures for vibratory pile driving and removal and (2) include standard mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures consistently for all authorizations involving those actions.

    Response: As stated in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (82 FR 37426, August 10, 2017), WSDOT is required to implement delay and shutdown measures if a marine mammal is detected to approach the exclusion zone. The language is further clarified that after a shutdown measure, the construction cannot be resumed until the animal is seen leaving the exclusion zone, or 30 minutes have passed since the last sight of the animal within the zone. These measures are consistent with all authorizations involving in-water pile driving.

    Comment 2: The Commission states that the method NMFS used to estimate the numbers of takes during the proposed activities, which summed fractions of takes for each species across project days, does not account for and negates the intent of NMFS's 24-hour reset policy. The Commission states that it noted NMFS developed criteria associated with rounding and recommend that NMFS share these with the Commission.

    Response: While for certain projects NMFS has rounded to the whole number for daily takes, for projects like this one, when the objective of take estimation is to provide more accurate assessments of potential impacts to marine mammals for the entire project, rounding in the middle of a calculation would introduce large errors into the process. In addition, while NMFS uses a 24-hour reset for its take calculation to ensure that individual animals are not counted as a take more than once per day, that fact does not make the calculation and subsequent rounding of take across the entire activity period inherently incorrect. There is no need for daily (24-hour) rounding in this case because there is no daily limit of takes, as long as total authorized takes of marine mammal are not exceeded. NMFS is working on general guidance for take calculation and will share it with the Commission in the near future.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

    We have reviewed the applicants' species information—which summarizes available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, behavior and life history, and auditory capabilities of the potentially affected species—for accuracy and completeness and refer the reader to Sections 3 and 4 of the applications, as well as to NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/), instead of reprinting all of the information here. Additional general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's Web site (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/), or in the U.S. Navy's Marine Resource Assessments (MRA) for relevant operating areas. The MRAs are available online at: www.navfac.navy.mil/products_and_services/ev/products_and_services/marine_resources/marine_resource_assessments.html. Table 2 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in Chehalis Bridge project area and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2016). PBR, defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population, is considered in concert with known sources of ongoing anthropogenic mortality to assess the population-level effects of the anticipated mortality from a specific project (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats.

    Marine mammal abundance estimates presented in this document represent the total number of individuals that make up a given stock or the total number estimated within a particular study area. NMFS's stock abundance estimates for most species represent the total estimate of individuals within the geographic area, if known, that comprises that stock.

    Five species (with five managed stocks) are considered to have the potential to co-occur with the proposed construction activities. All values presented in Table 2 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2015 SARs (Carretta et al., 2016) and draft 2016 SARs (available online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/draft.htm).

    Table 2—Marine Mammals With Potential Presence Within the Proposed Project Area Common name Scientific name Stock ESA/MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock
  • abundance
  • (CV, Nmin,
  • most recent
  • abundance
  • survey) 2
  • PBR Annual M/SI 3
    Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Eschrichtiidae Gray whale Eschrichtius robustus Eastern North Pacific N 20,990 624 132 Family Phocoenidae (porpoises) Harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena Washington inland waters N 11,233 66 7.2 Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions) California sea lion Zalophus californianus U.S N 296,750 9,200 389 Steller sea lion Eumetopias jubatus Eastern U.S. N 71,562 2,498 108 Family Phocidae (earless seals) Harbor seal Phoca vitulina Washington northern inland waters N 4 11,036 1,641 43 1 Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 NMFS marine mammal stock assessment reports online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. 3 These values, found in NMFS's SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value or range. A CV associated with estimated mortality due to commercial fisheries is presented in some cases. 4 Harbor seal estimate is based on data that are 8 years old, but this is the best available information for use here.
    Potential Effects of Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity may impact marine mammals and their habitat. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination” section will consider the content of this section, the “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section, and the “Mitigation” section, to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of these activities on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and how those impacts on individuals are likely to impact marine mammal species or stocks.

    Potential impacts to marine mammals from the proposed US 101/Chehalis Bridge repair project are from noise generated during in-water pile driving and pile removal activities.

    Acoustic Effects

    Here, we first provide background information on marine mammal hearing before discussing the potential effects of the use of active acoustic sources on marine mammals.

    Marine Mammal Hearing—Hearing is the most important sensory modality for marine mammals underwater, and exposure to anthropogenic sound can have deleterious effects. To appropriately assess the potential effects of exposure to sound, it is necessary to understand the frequency ranges marine mammals are able to hear. Current data indicate that not all marine mammal species have equal hearing capabilities (e.g., Richardson et al., 1995; Wartzok and Ketten, 1999; Au and Hastings, 2008). To reflect this, Southall et al. (2007) recommended that marine mammals be divided into functional hearing groups based on directly measured or estimated hearing ranges on the basis of available behavioral response data, audiograms derived using auditory evoked potential techniques, anatomical modeling, and other data. Note that no direct measurements of hearing ability have been successfully completed for mysticetes (i.e., low-frequency cetaceans). Subsequently, NMFS (2016) described generalized hearing ranges for these marine mammal hearing groups. Generalized hearing ranges were chosen based on the approximately 65 decibel (dB) threshold from the normalized composite audiograms, with the exception for lower limits for low-frequency cetaceans where the lower bound was deemed to be biologically implausible and the lower bound from Southall et al. (2007) retained. The functional groups and the associated frequencies are indicated below (note that these frequency ranges correspond to the range for the composite group, with the entire range not necessarily reflecting the capabilities of every species within that group):

    Low-frequency cetaceans (mysticetes): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 7 Hertz (Hz) and 35 kilohertz (kHz), with best hearing estimated to be from 100 Hz to 8 kHz;

    Mid-frequency cetaceans (larger toothed whales, beaked whales, and most delphinids): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 150 Hz and 160 kHz, with best hearing from 10 to less than 100 kHz;

    High-frequency cetaceans (porpoises, river dolphins, and members of the genera Kogia and Cephalorhynchus; including two members of the genus Lagenorhynchus, on the basis of recent echolocation data and genetic data): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 275 Hz and 160 kHz.

    Pinnipeds in water; Phocidae (true seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 50 Hz to 86 kHz, with best hearing between 1-50 kHz;

    Pinnipeds in water; Otariidae (eared seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between 60 Hz and 39 kHz, with best hearing between 2-48 kHz.

    The pinniped functional hearing group was modified from Southall et al. (2007) on the basis of data indicating that phocid species have consistently demonstrated an extended frequency range of hearing compared to otariids, especially in the higher frequency range (Hemilä et al., 2006; Kastelein et al., 2009; Reichmuth and Holt, 2013).

    For more detail concerning these groups and associated frequency ranges, please see NMFS (2016) for a review of available information. Five marine mammal species (2 cetacean and 3 pinniped (2 otariid and 1 phocid) species) have the reasonable potential to co-occur with the proposed construction activities. Please refer to Table 2. Of the cetacean species that may be present, one species is classified as low-frequency cetaceans (i.e., gray whale), and one is classified as high-frequency cetaceans (i.e., harbor porpoise).

    The WSDOT's US 101 Chehalis River Bridge Project using in-water pile driving and pile removal could adversely affect marine mammal species and stocks by exposing them to elevated noise levels in the vicinity of the activity area.

    Exposure to high intensity sound for a sufficient duration may result in auditory effects such as a noise-induced threshold shift (TS)—an increase in the auditory threshold after exposure to noise (Finneran et al., 2005). Factors that influence the amount of threshold shift include the amplitude, duration, frequency content, temporal pattern, and energy distribution of noise exposure. The magnitude of hearing threshold shift normally decreases over time following cessation of the noise exposure. The amount of TS just after exposure is the initial TS. If the TS eventually returns to zero (i.e., the threshold returns to the pre-exposure value), it is a temporary threshold shift (TTS) (Southall et al., 2007).

    Threshold Shift (noise-induced loss of hearing)—When animals exhibit reduced hearing sensitivity (i.e., sounds must be louder for an animal to detect them) following exposure to an intense sound or sound for long duration, it is referred to as a noise-induced TS. An animal can experience TTS) or permanent threshold shift (PTS). TTS can last from minutes or hours to days (i.e., there is complete recovery), can occur in specific frequency ranges (i.e., an animal might only have a temporary loss of hearing sensitivity between the frequencies of 1 and 10 kHz), and can be of varying amounts (for example, an animal's hearing sensitivity might be reduced initially by only 6 dB or reduced by 30 dB). PTS is permanent, but some recovery is possible. PTS can also occur in a specific frequency range and amount as mentioned above for TTS.

    For marine mammals, published data are limited to the captive bottlenose dolphin, beluga, harbor porpoise, and Yangtze finless porpoise (Finneran et al., 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010a, 2010b; Finneran and Schlundt, 2010; Lucke et al., 2009; Mooney et al., 2009a, 2009b; Popov et al., 2011a, 2011b; Kastelein et al., 2012a; Schlundt et al., 2000; Nachtigall et al., 2003, 2004). For pinnipeds in water, data are limited to measurements of TTS in harbor seals, an elephant seal, and California sea lions (Kastak et al., 1999, 2005; Kastelein et al., 2012b).

    Lucke et al. (2009) found a TS of a harbor porpoise after exposing it to airgun noise with a received sound pressure level (SPL) at 200.2 dB (peak-to-peak) re: 1 micropascal (μPa), which corresponds to a sound exposure level of 164.5 dB re: 1 μPa2 s after integrating exposure. Because the airgun noise is a broadband impulse, one cannot directly determine the equivalent of root mean square (rms) SPL from the reported peak-to-peak SPLs. However, applying a conservative conversion factor of 16 dB for broadband signals from seismic surveys (McCauley, et al., 2000) to correct for the difference between peak-to-peak levels reported in Lucke et al. (2009) and rms SPLs, the rms SPL for TTS would be approximately 184 dB re: 1 μPa, and the received levels associated with PTS (Level A harassment) would be higher. Therefore, based on these studies, NMFS recognizes that TTS of harbor porpoises is lower than other cetacean species empirically tested (Finneran & Schlundt, 2010; Finneran et al., 2002; Kastelein and Jennings, 2012).

    Marine mammal hearing plays a critical role in communication with conspecifics, and interpretation of environmental cues for purposes such as predator avoidance and prey capture. Depending on the degree (elevation of threshold in dB), duration (i.e., recovery time), and frequency range of TTS, and the context in which it is experienced, TTS can have effects on marine mammals ranging from discountable to serious (similar to those discussed in auditory masking, below). For example, a marine mammal may be able to readily compensate for a brief, relatively small amount of TTS in a non-critical frequency range that occurs during a time where ambient noise is lower and there are not as many competing sounds present. Alternatively, a larger amount and longer duration of TTS sustained during time when communication is critical for successful mother/calf interactions could have more serious impacts. Also, depending on the degree and frequency range, the effects of PTS on an animal could range in severity, although it is considered generally more serious because it is a permanent condition. Of note, reduced hearing sensitivity as a simple function of aging has been observed in marine mammals, as well as humans and other taxa (Southall et al., 2007), so one can infer that strategies exist for coping with this condition to some degree, though likely not without cost.

    In addition, chronic exposure to excessive, though not high-intensity, noise could cause masking at particular frequencies for marine mammals, which utilize sound for vital biological functions (Clark et al., 2009). Acoustic masking is when other noises such as from human sources interfere with animal detection of acoustic signals such as communication calls, echolocation sounds, and environmental sounds important to marine mammals. Therefore, under certain circumstances, marine mammals whose acoustical sensors or environment are being severely masked could also be impaired from maximizing their performance fitness in survival and reproduction.

    Masking occurs at the frequency band that the animals utilize. Therefore, since noise generated from vibratory pile driving is mostly concentrated at low frequency ranges, it may have less effect on high frequency echolocation sounds by odontocetes (toothed whales). However, lower frequency man-made noises are more likely to affect detection of communication calls and other potentially important natural sounds such as surf and prey noise. It may also affect communication signals when they occur near the noise band and thus reduce the communication space of animals (e.g., Clark et al., 2009) and cause increased stress levels (e.g., Foote et al., 2004; Holt et al., 2009).

    Unlike TS, masking, which can occur over large temporal and spatial scales, can potentially affect the species at population, community, or even ecosystem levels, as well as individual levels. Masking affects both senders and receivers of the signals and could have long-term chronic effects on marine mammal species and populations. Recent science suggests that low frequency ambient sound levels have increased by as much as 20 dB (more than three times in terms of sound pressure level) in the world's ocean from pre-industrial periods, and most of these increases are from distant shipping (Hildebrand, 2009). For WSDOT's Chehalis Bridge repair activities, noises from vibratory pile driving and pile removal contribute to the elevated ambient noise levels in the project area, thus increasing potential for or severity of masking. Baseline ambient noise levels in the vicinity of project area are high due to ongoing shipping, construction and other activities in the Puget Sound.

    Finally, marine mammals' exposure to certain sounds could lead to behavioral disturbance (Richardson et al., 1995), such as: Changing durations of surfacing and dives, number of blows per surfacing, or moving direction and/or speed; reduced/increased vocal activities; changing/cessation of certain behavioral activities (such as socializing or feeding); visible startle response or aggressive behavior (such as tail/fluke slapping or jaw clapping); avoidance of areas where noise sources are located; and/or flight responses (e.g., pinnipeds flushing into water from haulouts or rookeries).

    The onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise depends on both external factors (characteristics of noise sources and their paths) and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography) and is also difficult to predict (Southall et al., 2007). Currently NMFS uses a received level of 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) to predict the onset of behavioral harassment from impulse noises (such as impact pile driving), and 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous noises (such as vibratory pile driving). For the WSDOT's US 101 Chehalis River Bridge Project, only the 120-dB level is considered for effects analysis because WSDOT plans to use vibratory pile driving and pile removal.

    The biological significance of many of these behavioral disturbances is difficult to predict, especially if the detected disturbances appear minor. However, the consequences of behavioral modification could be biologically significant if the change affects growth, survival, and/or reproduction, which depends on the severity, duration, and context of the effects.

    Potential Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    The primary potential impacts to marine mammal habitat are associated with elevated sound levels produced by vibratory pile removal and pile driving in the area. However, other potential impacts to the surrounding habitat from physical disturbance are also possible.

    With regard to fish as a prey source for cetaceans and pinnipeds, fish are known to hear and react to sounds and to use sound to communicate (Tavolga et al., 1981) and possibly avoid predators (Wilson and Dill, 2002). Experiments have shown that fish can sense both the strength and direction of sound (Hawkins, 1981). Primary factors determining whether a fish can sense a sound signal, and potentially react to it, are the frequency of the signal and the strength of the signal in relation to the natural background noise level.

    The level of sound at which a fish will react or alter its behavior is usually well above the detection level. Fish have been found to react to sounds when the sound level increased to about 20 dB above the detection level of 120 dB (Ona, 1988); however, the response threshold can depend on the time of year and the fish's physiological condition (Engas et al., 1993). In general, fish react more strongly to pulses of sound (such as noise from impact pile driving) rather than continuous signals (such as noise from vibratory pile driving) (Blaxter et al., 1981), and a quicker alarm response is elicited when the sound signal intensity rises rapidly compared to sound rising more slowly to the same level.

    During the coastal construction only a small fraction of the available habitat would be ensonified at any given time. Disturbance to fish species would be short-term and fish would return to their pre-disturbance behavior once the pile driving activity ceases. Thus, the proposed construction would have little, if any, impact on marine mammals' prey availability in the area where construction work is planned.

    Finally, the time of the proposed construction activity would avoid the spawning season of the ESA-listed salmonid species.

    Estimated Take

    This section provides an estimate of the number of incidental takes authorized through this IHA, which will inform both NMFS' consideration of whether the number of takes is “small” and the negligible impact determination.

    Harassment is the only type of take expected to result from these activities. Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    Authorized takes would be by Level B harassment only, in the form of disruption of behavioral patterns for individual marine mammals resulting from exposure to noise generated from vibratory pile driving and removal. Based on the nature of the activity and the anticipated effectiveness of the mitigation measures (i.e., shutdown measures—discussed in detail below in Mitigation section), Level A harassment is neither anticipated nor authorized.

    As described previously, no mortality is anticipated or authorized for this activity. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    Described in the most basic way, we estimate take by considering: (1) Acoustic thresholds above which NMFS believes the best available science indicates marine mammals will be behaviorally harassed or incur some degree of permanent hearing impairment; (2) the area or volume of water that will be ensonified above these levels in a day; (3) the density or occurrence of marine mammals within these ensonified areas; and, (4) and the number of days of activities. Below, we describe these components in more detail and present the take estimate.

    Acoustic Thresholds

    Using the best available science, NMFS has developed acoustic thresholds that identify the received level of underwater sound above which exposed marine mammals would be reasonably expected to be behaviorally harassed (equated to Level B harassment) or to incur PTS of some degree (equated to Level A harassment).

    Level B Harassment for non-explosive sources—Though significantly driven by received level, the onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise exposure is also informed to varying degrees by other factors related to the source (e.g., frequency, predictability, duty cycle), the environment (e.g., bathymetry), and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography, behavioral context) and can be difficult to predict (Southall et al., 2007, Ellison et al., 2011). Based on what the available science indicates and the practical need to use a threshold based on a factor that is both predictable and measurable for most activities, NMFS uses a generalized acoustic threshold based on received level to estimate the onset of behavioral harassment. NMFS predicts that marine mammals are likely to be behaviorally harassed in a manner we consider Level B harassment when exposed to underwater anthropogenic noise above received levels of 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous (e.g. vibratory pile-driving, drilling) and above 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for non-explosive impulsive (e.g., seismic airguns) or intermittent (e.g., scientific sonar) sources.

    Applicant's proposed activity includes the use of continuous (vibratory pile driving and removal) source, and therefore the 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) is applicable.

    Level A harassment for non-explosive sources—NMFS' Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Technical Guidance, 2016) identifies dual criteria to assess auditory injury (Level A harassment) to five different marine mammal groups (based on hearing sensitivity) as a result of exposure to noise from two different types of sources (impulsive or non-impulsive). Applicant's proposed activity includes the use non-impulsive (vibratory pile driving and pile removal) source.

    These thresholds were developed by compiling and synthesizing the best available science and soliciting input multiple times from both the public and peer reviewers to inform the final product, and are provided in the table below. The references, analysis, and methodology used in the development of the thresholds are described in NMFS 2016 Technical Guidance, which may be accessed at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm.

    Table 3—Current Acoustic Exposure Criteria for Non-Explosive Sound Underwater Hearing group PTS onset thresholds Impulsive Non-impulsive Behavioral thresholds Impulsive Non-impulsive Low-Frequency (LF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 219 dB,L E,LF,24h: 183 dB L E,LF,24h: 199 dB L rms,flat: 160 dB L rms,flat: 120 dB. Mid-Frequency (MF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 230 dB,L E,MF,24h: 185 dB L E,MF,24h: 198 dB High-Frequency (HF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 202 dB,L E,HF,24h: 155 dB L E,HF,24h: 173 dB Phocid Pinnipeds (PW) (Underwater) L pk,flat: 218 dB,L E,PW,24h: 185 dB L E,PW,24h: 201 dB Otariid Pinnipeds (OW) (Underwater) L pk,flat: 232 dB,L E,OW,24h: 203 dB L E,OW,24h: 219 dB * Dual metric acoustic thresholds for impulsive sounds: Use whichever results in the largest isopleth for calculating PTS onset. If a non-impulsive sound has the potential of exceeding the peak sound pressure level thresholds associated with impulsive sounds, these thresholds should also be considered. Note: Peak sound pressure (Lpk) has a reference value of 1 μPa, and cumulative sound exposure level (LE) has a reference value of 1μPa2s. In this Table, thresholds are abbreviated to reflect American National Standards Institute standards (ANSI 2013). However, peak sound pressure is defined by ANSI as incorporating frequency weighting, which is not the intent for this Technical Guidance. Hence, the subscript “flat” is being included to indicate peak sound pressure should be flat weighted or unweighted within the generalized hearing range. The subscript associated with cumulative sound exposure level thresholds indicates the designated marine mammal auditory weighting function (LF, MF, and HF cetaceans, and PW and OW pinnipeds) and that the recommended accumulation period is 24 hours. The cumulative sound exposure level thresholds could be exceeded in a multitude of ways (i.e., varying exposure levels and durations, duty cycle). When possible, it is valuable for action proponents to indicate the conditions under which these acoustic thresholds will be exceeded. Ensonified Area

    Here, we describe operational and environmental parameters of the activity that will feed into identifying the area ensonified above the acoustic thresholds.

    Source Levels

    The project includes vibratory pile driving and removal of steel H piles and sheet piles. The dimension of the H piles is unknown, but not is expected to be more than 12 inches (in).

    Source levels for the steel H pile vibratory driving are based on in-water measurements reported by CALTRANS (2015) of 12-in steel H pile, which are 150 dBrms and 165 dBpeak re 1 µPa at 10 meters (m). Source levels for the sheet pile are based on in-water measurements at the Elliot Bay Seawall Project (The Greenbush Group, 2015), which is 165 dBrms and 180 dBpeak re 1 µPa at 10 m. For vibratory pile removal, the source levels are conservatively estimated using the pile driving source levels as proxies.

    A summary of source levels from different pile driving and pile removal activities is provided in Table 4.

    Table 4—Summary of In-Water Pile Driving Source Levels [At 10 m from source] Method Pile type/size SEL
  • (dB re 1 µPa 2-s)
  • SPLrms
  • (dB re 1 µPa)
  • Vibratory driving/removal 12-in steel H pile 150 150 Vibratory driving/removal Sheet pile 165 165

    These source levels are used to compute the Level A injury zones and to estimate the Level B harassment zones. For Level A harassment zones, since the peak source levels for both pile driving are below the injury thresholds, cumulative SEL were used to do the calculations using the NMFS acoustic guidance (NMFS 2016).

    Estimating Injury Zones

    When NMFS Technical Guidance (2016) was published, in recognition of the fact that ensonified area/volume could be more technically challenging to predict because of the duration component in the new thresholds, we developed a User Spreadsheet that includes tools to help predict a simple isopleth that can be used in conjunction with marine mammal density or occurrence to help predict takes. We note that because of some of the assumptions included in the methods used for these tools, we anticipate that isopleths produced are typically going to be overestimates of some degree, which will result in some degree of overestimate of Level A take. However, these tools offer the best way to predict appropriate isopleths when more sophisticated 3D modeling methods are not available, and NMFS continues to develop ways to quantitatively refine these tools, and will qualitatively address the output where appropriate.

    For cumulative SEL (L E), distances to marine mammal injury thresholds were estimated using NMFS Optional User Spreadsheet based on the noise exposure guidance.

    Isopleths to Level B behavioral zones are based on rms SPL (SPLrms) that are specific for non-impulse (vibratory pile driving) sources. Distances to marine mammal behavior thresholds were calculated using practical spreading.

    A summary of the measured and modeled harassment zones is provided in Table 5.

    Table 5—Distances to Harassment Zones Pile type, size and pile driving method Injury zone (m) LF
  • cetacean
  • MF
  • cetacean
  • HF
  • cetacean
  • Phocid Otariid Behavior
  • zone
  • (m)
  • Vibratory driving & removal, sheet pile, 10 piles/day 36.9 3.3 54.6 22.4 1.6 10,000 Vibratory driving & removal, steel H pile, 6 piles/day 2.6 0.2 3.9 1.6 0.1 1,000
    Marine Mammal Occurrence

    In this section we provide the information about the presence, density, or group dynamics of marine mammals that will inform the take calculations.

    In most cases, marine mammal density data are from the U.S. Navy Marine Species Density Database (U.S. Navy 2015). Harbor seal density is based on a counts of harbor seals at 44 low-tide haul outs in Grays Harbor by Jeffries, et al. (2000), the estimated density of harbor seals in the US 101 Chehalis River Bridge project area is 29.4 animals per square kilometer (km2).

    The Navy Marine Species Density Database (U.S. Navy 2015) estimates the density of California sea lions in the waters offshore of Grays Harbor as 0.033 animals/km2. This estimate will be used as a surrogate for Grays Harbor.

    The Navy Marine Species Density Database (U.S. Navy 2015) estimates the density of Steller sea lions in the waters offshore of Grays Harbor as 0.0145 animals/km2. This estimate will be used as a surrogate for Grays Harbor.

    The Navy Marine Species Density Database (U.S. Navy 2015) estimates the density of harbor porpoises in the waters offshore of Grays Harbor as a range between 0.69 and 1.67 animals per square kilometer. According to Evenson, et al. (2016), the maximum harbor porpoise density in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (approximately 105 miles north of Grays Harbor) in 2014 was 0.768 animals/km2. The higher density estimate for waters offshore of Grays Harbor (1.67) will be used for this analysis.

    According to counts conducted by Calambokidis et al. (2012), 29 gray whales were observed over a 12-year period during the months of July through September (the proposed period of project activities). Based on this data, an average of 2.25 gray whales may be present in Grays Harbor/south Washington coast during the 3-month period.

    Take Calculation and Estimation

    Here we describe how the information provided above is brought together to produce a quantitative take estimate. For all marine mammal species except gray whale, estimated takes are calculated based on ensonified area for a specific pile driving activity multiplied by the marine mammal density in the action area, multiplied by the number of pile driving (or removal) days. Distances to and areas of different harassment zones are listed in Tables 5 and 6. Total days for sheet pile driving and removal are five days each, and the total day for steel H pile driving and removal is one day each.

    Table 6—Areas of Harassment Zones Pile type, size and pile driving method Injury zone (km2) LF
  • cetacean
  • MF
  • cetacean
  • HF
  • cetacean
  • Phocid Otariid Behavior zone (km2)
    Vibratory driving & removal, sheet pile, 10 piles/day 0.004 0.000 0.009 0.002 0.000 2.13 Vibratory driving & removal, steel H pile, 6 piles/day 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.67

    The results predicted that a total of 666 harbor seals, 1 California sea lion, 0 Steller sea lion, and 38 harbor porpoise could be exposure to received levels that would cause Level B harassment. However, owing to the prior observations that California sea lion and Steller sea lion's presence in the project area, we adjusted the take number of these species to 10.

    For gray whales, the Level B takes were estimate based on an average sighting of 2.25 whales in Grays Harbor/south Washington Coast during the months of July through September (Calambokidis et al., (2012) adjusted upwards to 3 animals.

    Due to the extreme small injury zones (maximum zone is 0.009 km2 for high-frequency cetacean), the calculation predicted no animals would be exposed to noise levels that could cause Level A harassment, and therefore no Level A take is authorized. A summary of estimated marine mammal Level B takes is listed in Table 7.

    Table 7—Estimated Numbers of Marine Mammals That May Be Exposed to Received Noise Levels That Cause Level B Harassment Species Density
  • (animals/km2)
  • Estimated
  • Level B take
  • Abundance Percentage
    Pacific harbor seal 29.4 666 11,036 6.03 California sea lion 0.033 10 296,750 0.00 Steller sea lion 0.0145 10 71,562 0.00 Gray whale NA 3 20,990 0.00 Harbor porpoise 1.67 38 11,233 0.34
    Mitigation

    In order to issue an IHA under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses (latter not applicable for this action). NMFS regulations require applicants for incidental take authorizations to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks and their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    In evaluating how mitigation may or may not be appropriate to ensure the least practicable adverse impact on species or stocks and their habitat, as well as subsistence uses where applicable, we carefully consider two primary factors:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure(s) is expected to reduce impacts to marine mammals, marine mammal species or stocks, and their habitat. This considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range). It further considers the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented (probability of accomplishing the mitigating result if implemented as planned) the likelihood of effective implementation (probability implemented as planned) and;

    (2) The practicability of the measures for applicant implementation, which may consider such things as cost, impact on operations, and, in the case of a military readiness activity, personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    Mitigation for Marine Mammals and Their Habitat 1. Time Restriction

    Work would occur only during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted. In addition, all in-water construction will be limited to the period between July 16, 2018, and September 30, 2018.

    2. Establishing and Monitoring Level A, Level B Harassment Zones, and Exclusion Zones

    Before the commencement of in-water construction activities, which include vibratory pile driving and pile removal, WSDOT shall establish Level A harassment zones where received underwater SELcum could cause PTS (see above).

    WSDOT shall also establish Level B harassment zones where received underwater SPLs are higher than 120 dBrms re 1 μPa for non-impulsive noise sources (vibratory pile driving and pile removal).

    WSDOT shall establish exclusion zones within which marine mammals could be taken by Level A harassment. For Level A harassment zones that is less than 10 m from the source, a minimum of 10 m distance should be established as an exclusion zone.

    A summary of exclusion zones is provided in Table 8.

    Table 8—Exclusion Zones for Various Pile Driving Activities and Marine Mammal Hearing Groups Pile type, size and pile driving method Exclusion zone (m) LF cetacean MF cetacean HF cetacean Phocid Otariid Vibratory driving and removal, sheet pile, 10 piles/day 37 10 55 22 10 Vibratory driving & removal, steel H pile, 6 piles/day 10 10 10 10 10

    NMFS-approved protected species observers (PSO) shall conduct an initial survey of the exclusion zones to ensure that no marine mammals are seen within the Level A zones before pile driving and pile removal of a pile segment begins. If marine mammals are found within the exclusion zone, pile driving of the segment would be delayed until they move out of the area. If a marine mammal is seen above water and then dives below, the contractor would wait 30 minutes. If no marine mammals are seen by the observer in that time it can be assumed that the animal has moved beyond the exclusion zone.

    If pile driving of a segment ceases for 30 minutes or more and a marine mammal is sighted within the designated exclusion zone prior to commencement of pile driving, the observer(s) must notify the pile driving operator (or other authorized individual) immediately and continue to monitor the exclusion zone. Operations may not resume until the marine mammal has exited the exclusion zone or 30 minutes have elapsed since the last sighting.

    3. Shutdown Measures

    WSDOT shall implement shutdown measures if a marine mammal is detected within an exclusion zone or is about to enter an exclusion zone listed in Table 8. In-water pile driving may not resume until the animal is seen leaving the exclusion zone, or 30 minutes have passed since the sighting of the animal within the exclusion zone.

    Further, WSDOT shall implement shutdown measures if the number of authorized takes for any particular species reaches the limit under the IHA (if issued) and if such marine mammals are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B harassment zone during in-water construction activities.

    Based on our evaluation of the required measures, NMFS has determined that the prescribed mitigation measures provide the means effecting the least practicable impact on the affected species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth, “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104 (a)(13) indicate that requests for authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area. Effective reporting is critical both to compliance as well as ensuring that the most value is obtained from the required monitoring.

    Monitoring and reporting requirements prescribed by NMFS should contribute to improved understanding of one or more of the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species or stocks in the area in which take is anticipated (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density);

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas);

    • Individual marine mammal responses (behavioral or physiological) to acoustic stressors (acute, chronic, or cumulative), other stressors, or cumulative impacts from multiple stressors;

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of individual marine mammals; or (2) populations, species, or stocks;

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat (e.g., marine mammal prey species, acoustic habitat, or other important physical components of marine mammal habitat); and

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    Monitoring Measures

    WSDOT shall employ NMFS-approved PSOs to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its U.S. 101/Chehalis Bridge Repair Project. The purposes of marine mammal monitoring are to implement mitigation measures and learn more about impacts to marine mammals from WSDOT's construction activities. The PSOs will observe and collect data on marine mammals in and around the project area for 30 minutes before, during, and for 30 minutes after all pile removal and pile installation work. NMFS-approved PSOs shall meet the following requirements:

    1. Independent observers (i.e., not construction personnel) are required;

    2. At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer;

    3. Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience;

    4. Where a team of three or more observers are required, one observer should be designated as lead observer or monitoring coordinator. The lead observer must have prior experience working as an observer; and

    5. NMFS will require submission and approval of observer CVs.

    Monitoring of marine mammals around the construction site shall be conducted using high-quality binoculars (e.g., Zeiss, 10 × 42 power). Due to the different sizes of ZOIs from different pile types, two different ZOIs and different monitoring protocols corresponding to a specific pile type will be established.

    • For vibratory pile driving and pile removal of sheet piles, a total of four land-based PSOs will monitor the exclusion zones and Level B harassment zone.

    • For vibratory pile driving and pile removal of H piles, a total of three land-based PSOs will monitor the exclusion zones and Level B harassment zone.

    Locations of the land-based PSOs and routes of monitoring vessels are shown in WSDOT's Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan, which is available online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm.

    To verify the required monitoring distance, the exclusion zones and ZOIs will be determined by using a range finder or hand-held global positioning system device.

    Reporting Measures

    WSDOT is required to submit a draft monitoring report within 90 days after completion of the construction work or the expiration of the IHA, whichever comes earlier. This report would detail the monitoring protocol, summarize the data recorded during monitoring, and estimate the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed. NMFS would have an opportunity to provide comments on the report, and if NMFS has comments, WSDOT would address the comments and submit a final report to NMFS within 30 days.

    In addition, NMFS would require WSDOT to notify NMFS' Office of Protected Resources and NMFS' West Coast Stranding Coordinator within 48 hours of sighting an injured or dead marine mammal in the construction site. WSDOT shall provide NMFS and the Stranding Network with the species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition, if the animal is dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video.

    In the event that WSDOT finds an injured or dead marine mammal that is not in the construction area, WSDOT would report the same information as listed above to NMFS as soon as operationally feasible.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination

    NMFS has defined negligible impact as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (50 CFR 216.103). A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through harassment, NMFS considers other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as effects on habitat, and the likely effectiveness of the mitigation. We also assess the number, intensity, and context of estimated takes by evaluating this information relative to population status. Consistent with the 1989 preamble for NMFS's implementing regulations (54 FR 40338; September 29, 1989), the impacts from other past and ongoing anthropogenic activities are incorporated into this analysis via their impacts on the environmental baseline (e.g., as reflected in the regulatory status of the species, population size and growth rate where known, ongoing sources of human-caused mortality, or ambient noise levels).

    To avoid repetition, this introductory discussion of our analyses applies to all the species listed in Table 7, given that the anticipated effects of WSDOT's Chehalis Bridge repair project activities involving pile driving and pile removal on marine mammals are expected to be relatively similar in nature. There is no information about the nature or severity of the impacts, or the size, status, or structure of any species or stock that would lead to a different analysis by species for this activity, or else species-specific factors would be identified and analyzed.

    For all marine mammal species, takes that are anticipated and authorized are expected to be limited to short-term Level B harassment (behavioral) because of the small scale (only a total of 100 piles to be installed and removed), lower source levels (small piles by vibratory pile driving and pile removal), and short durations (maximum five hours pile driving or pile removal per day). Marine mammals present in the vicinity of the action area and taken by Level B harassment would most likely show overt brief disturbance (startle reaction) and avoidance of the area from elevated noise levels during pile driving and pile removal. For these reasons, these behavioral impacts are not expected to affect marine mammals' growth, survival, and reproduction, especially considering the limited geographic area that would be affected in comparison to the much larger habitat for marine mammals in the Pacific Northwest.

    The project also is not expected to have significant adverse effects on affected marine mammals' habitat, as analyzed in detail in the “Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat” section. There is no ESA designated critical area in the vicinity of the Chehalis Bridge Project area. The project activities would not permanently modify existing marine mammal habitat. The activities may kill some fish and cause other fish to leave the area temporarily, thus impacting marine mammals' foraging opportunities in a limited portion of the foraging range; but, because of the short duration of the activities and the relatively small area of the habitat that may be affected, the impacts to marine mammal habitat are not expected to cause significant or long-term negative consequences. Therefore, given the consideration of potential impacts to marine mammal prey species and their physical environment, WSDOT's proposed construction activity at Chehalis Bridge would not adversely affect marine mammal habitat.

    In summary and as described above, the following factors primarily support our determination that the impacts resulting from this activity are not expected to adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival:

    • No injury, series injury, or mortality is anticipated or authorized;

    • All harassment is Level B harassment in the form of short-term behavioral modification; and

    • No areas of specific importance to affected species are impacted.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the prescribed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS finds that the total take from the proposed activity will have a negligible impact on all affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers

    As noted above, only small numbers of incidental take may be authorized under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for specified activities other than military readiness activities. The MMPA does not define small numbers and so, in practice, NMFS compares the number of individuals taken to the most appropriate estimation of abundance of the relevant species or stock in our determination of whether an authorization is limited to small numbers of marine mammals.

    The estimated takes are below seven percent of the population for all marine mammals (Table 7).

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the proposed activity (including the prescribed mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population size of the affected species or stocks.

    Unmitigable Adverse Impact Subsistence Analysis and Determination

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of the affected marine mammal stocks or species implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    No incidental take of ESA-listed species is authorized or expected to result from this activity. Therefore, NMFS has determined that formal consultation under section 7 of the ESA is not required for this action.

    Authorization

    As a result of these determinations, NMFS has issued an IHA to the Washington State Department of Transportation for the U.S. 101/Chehalis River Bridge—Scour Repair in Washington State, provided the previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated.

    Dated: October 26, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23748 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Meeting of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of partially closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors will meet to make such inquiry, as the Board shall deem necessary, into the state of morale and discipline, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, and academic methods of the Naval Academy.

    DATES:

    The open session of the meeting will be held on December 4, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. The executive session held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., will be the closed portion of the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. The meeting will be handicap accessible.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lieutenant Commander Lawrence Heyworth IV, USN, Executive Secretary to the Board of Visitors, Office of the Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21402-5000, 410-293-1503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice of meeting is provided per the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.). The executive session of the meeting from 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on December 4, 2017, will consist of discussions of new and pending administrative/minor disciplinary infractions and non-judicial punishments involving midshipmen attending the Naval Academy to include but not limited to, individual honor/conduct violations within the Brigade, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. For this reason, the executive session of this meeting will be closed to the public, as the discussion of such information cannot be adequately segregated from other topics, which precludes opening the executive session of this meeting to the public. Accordingly, the Department of the Navy/Assistant for Administration has determined in writing that the meeting shall be partially closed to the public because the discussions during the executive session from 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. will be concerned with matters protected under sections 552b(c) (5), (6), and (7) of title 5, United States Code.

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552b

    Dated: October 26, 2017. E.K. Baldini, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23809 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Assessment Governing Board Quarterly Board Meeting AGENCY:

    National Assessment Governing Board, U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of open and closed meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the agenda for the November 16-18, 2017 Quarterly Board Meeting of the National Assessment Governing Board (hereafter referred to as Governing Board). This notice provides information to members of the public who may be interested in attending the meeting or providing written comments related to the work of the Governing Board. Notice of this meeting is required under § 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

    DATES:

    The Quarterly Board Meeting will be held on the following dates:

    • November 16, 2017 from 11:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    • November 17, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    • November 18, 2017 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Washington Marriott Georgetown, 1221 22nd Street NW., Washington, DC 20037.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Munira Mwalimu, Executive Officer/Designated Federal Official for the Governing Board, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002, telephone: (202) 357-6938, fax: (202) 357-6945, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Statutory Authority and Function: The Governing Board is established under the National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act, Title III of Public Law 107-279. Written comments may be submitted electronically or in hard copy to the attention of the Executive Officer/Designated Federal Official (see contact information noted above). Information on the Governing Board and its work can be found at www.nagb.gov.

    The Governing Board is established to formulate policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Governing Board's responsibilities include the following: Selecting subject areas to be assessed, developing assessment frameworks and specifications, developing appropriate student achievement levels for each grade and subject tested, developing standards and procedures for interstate and national comparisons, improving the form and use of NAEP, developing guidelines for reporting and disseminating results, and releasing initial NAEP results to the public.

    November 16-17, 2017 Committee Meetings

    The Governing Board's standing committees will meet to conduct regularly scheduled work based on agenda items planned for this Quarterly Board Meeting and follow-up items as reported in the Governing Board's committee meeting minutes available at http://nagb.gov/what-we-do/board-committee-reports-and-agendas.html.

    Detailed Meeting Agenda: November 16-18, 2017 November 16: Committee Meetings

    Assessment Development Committee (ADC): Open Session: 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Ad Hoc Committee on Measures of Postsecondary Preparedness: Open Session: 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

    Executive Committee: Open Session: 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Closed Session: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    November 17: Full Governing Board and Committee Meetings

    Full Governing Board: Open Session: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Committee Meetings

    ADC: Open Session: 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

    Reporting and Dissemination (R&D): Open Session 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

    ADC and R&D Joint Session: Open Session: 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

    Committee on Standards, Design and Methodology (COSDAM): Open Session: 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Closed Session: 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

    November 18: Full Governing Board and Committee Meetings

    Nominations Committee: Closed Session: 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

    Full Governing Board: Open Session: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    On Thursday, November 16, 2017, ADC will meet in open session from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thereafter, the Ad Hoc Committee on Measures of Postsecondary Preparedness will meet in open session from 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. The Executive Committee will convene in open session from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and in closed session from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. During the closed session, the Executive Committee will receive and discuss cost estimates for implementing NAEP's Assessment Schedule for 2014-2024, and the implications of cost and funding estimates for the NAEP Assessment Schedule in relation to the Governing Board's Strategic Vision and draft policy priorities for the NAEP Assessment Schedule. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because public disclosure of this information would likely have an adverse financial effect on the NAEP program by providing confidential cost details and proprietary contract costs of current contractors to the public. Discussion of this information would be likely to significantly impede implementation of a proposed agency action if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    On Friday, November 17, 2017, the Governing Board will meet in open session and also via webcast from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    From 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., the Governing Board will review and approve the November 17-18, 2017 Governing Board meeting agenda and meeting minutes from the August 2017 Quarterly Board Meeting. Thereafter, the Governing Board Chairman will provide remarks. From 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will administer the oath of office to five new members and one reappointed member and provide remarks. See the news release at the following link: https://www.nagb.org/news-and-events/news-releases/2017/release-20170928-six-leaders-named.html.

    On Friday, November 17, 2017, the Governing Board will hear from a panel of experts on international assessments, Thinking Beyond Borders: The Future of Student Assessment, from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This session will be available via webcast online at www.nagb.gov on the day of the event. Members of the public may view the session in person on a first come, first serve basis, with an overflow room also available as needed.

    At 12:30 p.m., the Governing Board will recess for a 15 minute break and convene for standing committee meetings which will take place from 12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. The ADC and R&D Committees will meet in open session to conduct regular business. Thereafter, the two committees will meet in an open joint session from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

    On Friday November 17, 2017, COSDAM will meet in open session from 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and in closed session from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. During the closed session, COSDAM will discuss information regarding analyses of the 2017 bridge studies for paper-and-pencil and digital-based assessments, and discuss secure NAEP Reading and Mathematics data. This part of the meeting must be conducted in closed session because the analysis involves the use of secure data for the NAEP Reading and Mathematics assessments on digital-based platforms. Public disclosure of secure data would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of § 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    Following the committee meetings, from 3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Governing Board will take a 15 minute break and thereafter meet in open session from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    From 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Board will hear remarks from new members. The Governing Board will then receive their annual ethics briefing conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of General Counsel Ethics Division staff from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The November 17, 2017 session will adjourn at 4:30 p.m.

    On November 18, 2017, the Nominations Committee will meet in closed session from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. The Committee will discuss nominees for Governing Board vacancies for terms beginning October 1, 2018. The Nominations Committee's discussions pertain solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency and information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As such, the discussions are protected by exemptions 2 and 6 of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    The Governing Board will meet in open session on November 18, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. From 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. the Governing Board will engage in discussion on the international assessment panel that was convened on Friday, November 17, 2017. Then, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the Governing Board will discuss the draft resolution on Governing Board priorities for the NAEP Assessment Schedule vis-a-vis the Governing Board's Strategic Vision #9, which is to develop policy approaches to revise the NAEP assessment subjects and schedule.

    Following this session, the Governing Board will take a break from 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

    From 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. the Governing Board will receive committee reports and take action on the Release Plan for the 2017 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Report Cards for Grades 4 and 8.

    From 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Governing Board will engage in discussion on the NAEP Framework Policy Revision pursuant to the Governing Board's Strategic Vision #5, which is to develop new approaches to update NAEP subject area frameworks.

    The November 18, 2017 meeting will adjourn at 12:00 p.m.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: Pursuant to FACA requirements, the public may also inspect the meeting materials at www.nagb.gov beginning on Thursday, November 16, 2017 by 10:00 a.m. ET. The official verbatim transcripts of the public meeting sessions will be available for public inspection no later than 30 calendar days following the meeting.

    Reasonable Accommodations: The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this notice no later than 21 days prior to the meeting.

    Electronic Access to this Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. 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 Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the Adobe Web 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.

    Authority:

    Pub. L. 107-279, Title III—National Assessment of Educational Progress § 301.

    Dated: October 27, 2017. William J. Bushaw, Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), U.S. Department of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23751 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION State Educational Agency and Local Educational Agency—School Data Collection and Reporting Under ESEA, Title I, Part A; ED-2017-ICCD-0130; Correction AGENCY:

    Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Correction notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 26, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education published a 60-day comment period notice in the Federal Register (Page 49602, Column 1; FR DOC #2017-23222) seeking public comment for an information collection entitled, “State Educational Agency and Local Educational Agency—School Data Collection and Reporting Under ESEA, Title I, Part A”. The abstract was incorrect, and is corrected as follows:

    Although the U.S. Department of Education (ED) determines Title I, Part A allocations for Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, requires State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to adjust ED-determined Title I, Part A LEA allocations to account for newly created LEAs and LEA boundary changes, to redistribute Title I, Part A funds to small LEAs (under 20,000 total population) using alternative poverty data (if an SEA has ED's approval to do so), and to reserve funds for school improvement, State administration, and, if applicable, Direct Student Services. This control number covers only the burden associated with the actual procedures an SEA must follow when adjusting ED-determined LEA allocations.

    The Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management, hereby issues a correction notice as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Dated: October 26, 2017. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23710 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP). The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, November 30, 2017; 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday, December 1, 2017; 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Hilton Washington, DC North/Gaithersburg, 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Kogut, Executive Secretary; High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP); U.S. Department of Energy; Office of Science; SC-25/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Telephone: (301) 903-1298; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation on scientific priorities within the field of high energy physics research.

    Tentative Agenda: Agenda Will Include Discussions of the Following November 30-December 1, 2017 • Discussion of Department of Energy High Energy Physics Program • Discussion of National Science Foundation Elementary Particle Physics Program • Reports on and Discussions of Topics of General Interest in High Energy Physics • Public Comment (10-minute rule)

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. A webcast of this meeting will be available. Please check the Web site below for updates and information on how to view the meeting. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make oral statements regarding any of these items on the agenda, you should contact John Kogut, (301) 903-1298 or by email at: [email protected] You must make your request for an oral statement at least five business days before the meeting. Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements on the agenda. The Chairperson of the Panel will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Public comment will follow the 10-minute rule.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available on the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of High Energy Physics Advisory Panel Web site: http://science.energy.gov/hep/hepap/meetings/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on October 27, 2017. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23767 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Financing Programs AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Submission for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review; public comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) invites public comment on a revision of a currently approved collection of information that DOE is developing for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection requests a revision and three-year extension of its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, OMB Control Number 1910-5150.

    The proposed action will continue the collection of information on the status of financing program activities, expenditures, and results, to ensure that program funds are being used appropriately, effectively and expeditiously. No changes to the collection instrument are being proposed.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the revision of the currently approved 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 pertaining to the approved collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to further enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (d) ways to further minimize the burden regarding the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this revision to an approved information collection must be received on or before January 2, 2018. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be sent to: Sallie Glaize, EE-5W, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, Email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to: James Carlisle, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: (202) 287-1724, Fax: (412) 386-5835, Email: [email protected].

    Additional information and reporting guidance concerning the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) is available for review at the following Web site: https://energy.gov/eere/wipo/articles/energy-efficiency-and-conservation-block-grant-financing-programs-after-grant.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. 1910-5150; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program Financing Programs; (3) Type of Review: Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection; (4) Purpose: To collect information on the status of Financing Program activities, expenditures, and results, to ensure that program funds are being used appropriately, effectively and expeditiously; (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 108; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 175; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 525; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $21,000. Respondents, total responses, burden hours and the annual cost burden have all been significantly reduced because of the retirement of grants, fewer programs and a lessened burden on reporting and recordkeeping costs.

    Statutory Authority: Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), Public Law 110-140 as amended (42 U.S.C. 17151 et seq.).

    Issued in Washington, DC, October 26, 2017. James Carlisle, Supervisory Policy Advisor, Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23762 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER18-157-000] DV Trading, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of DV Trading, 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 15, 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 26, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23780 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL18-21-000] Alabama Power Company; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective Date

    On October 25, 2017, the Commission issued an order in Docket No. EL18-21-000, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e (2012), instituting an investigation into whether Southern Companies' 1 market-based rate authority in the South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., City of Tallahassee, and Santee Cooper balancing authority areas may be unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory or preferential. Alabama Power Company, 161 FERC 61,102 (2017).

    1 Southern Companies include the following: Alabama Power Company; Southern Power Company; Mississippi Power Company; Georgia Power Company; Gulf Power Company; Oleander Power Project, Limited Partnership; Southern Company—Florida LLC; and Mankato Energy Center, LLC.

    The refund effective date in Docket No. EL18-21-000, established pursuant to section 206(b) of the FPA, will be the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Any interested person desiring to be heard in Docket No. EL18-21-000 must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.214, within 21 days of the date of issuance of the order.

    Dated: October 26, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23779 Filed 10-31-17; 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 Numbers: RP18-51-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Targa Gas Marketing Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/23/17.

    Accession Number: 20171023-5300.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-52-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2017 October Negotiated Rates to be effective 10/23/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/23/17.

    Accession Number: 20171023-5482.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/6/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-53-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Update to Fuel Exemption Routes to be effective 12/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/23/17.

    Accession Number: 20171023-5485.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/6/17.

    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 25, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23778 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order Docket No. IGS ORIX Solar I, LLC, IGS Solar I, LLC Docket No. EL18-24-000. IGS ORIX Solar I, LLC Docket Nos. QF17-1029-002, QF17-1030-001, QF17-1337-001, QF17-1338-001, QF17-1357-001, QF17-1455-001, QF17-1532-001, QF17-1537-001, QF17-1538-001. IGS Solar I, LLC Docket Nos. QF17-1256-002, QF17-1257-002, QF17-1258-002.

    Take notice that on October 24, 2017, pursuant to Rule 207 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207 (2017), IGS ORIX Solar I, LLC and IGS Solar I, LLC (together Applicants) filed a petition for declaratory order requesting the Commission grant certain of Applicants' solar generating projects limited waivers of the qualifying facility certification requirement set forth in section 292.203(a)(3) 1 for the period of time during which each project commenced operation to the date Applicants caused a FERC Form 556 Notice of Self-Certification of Qualifying Facility Status to be filed for such project, all as more fully explained in the petition.

    1 18 CFR 292.203(a)(3) (2017).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest in this proceeding must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    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 proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on November 24, 2017.

    Dated: October 25, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23773 Filed 10-31-17; 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: PR17-57-001.

    Applicants: Houston Pipe Line Company LP.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b), (e)+(g): Amended Rate Election of Houston Pipe Line Company LP to be effective 11/1/2017; Filing Type: 1270.

    Filed Date: 10/13/17.

    Accession Number: 201710135143.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/3/17.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/12/17.

    Docket Number: PR18-3-000.

    Applicants: New Mexico Gas Company, Inc.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b), (e)+(g): Amended Statement of Operating Conditions to be effective 9/15/2017; Filing Type: 1300.

    Filed Date: 10/16/17.

    Accession Number: 201710165206.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/6/17.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-40-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Macquarie Energy LLC NRFiling to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/18/17.

    Accession Number: 20171018-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/30/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-41-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to NRAFiling MercuriaEnergy America, Inc. to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/18/17.

    Accession Number: 20171018-5052.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/30/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-42-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Addition of Exit Fee language to be effective 11/17/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/18/17.

    Accession Number: 20171018-5053.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/30/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-43-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Key Span Release to Emera 794830 to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/18/17.

    Accession Number: 20171018-5082.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/30/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-44-000.

    Applicants: Centra Pipelines Minnesota Inc.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Update Shipper Index Oct 2017 to be effective 12/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/18/17.

    Accession Number: 20171018-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/30/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-45-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Fuel Tracker Filing 10/19/17 to be effective 12/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/19/17.

    Accession Number: 20171019-5010.

    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 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 19, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-23776 Filed 10-31-17; 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 Numbers: RP12-1093-001.

    Applicants: Northern Border Pipeline Company.

    Description: Petition of Northern Border Pipeline Company to Amend Language in the Settlement Agreement, et al. under RP12-1093.

    Filed Date: 10/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20171020-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-46-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming Negotiated Rate Service Agreements—PTWP Name Change to be effective 7/12/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20171020-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-47-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: Compliance filing Notice Regarding Non-Jurisdictional Gathering Facilities (Auburn CS PEG173/4).

    Filed Date: 10/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20171020-5043.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-48-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: DTE Energy Trading Negotiated Rate Agreement to be effective 11/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20171020-5054.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-49-000.

    Applicants: Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Neg Rate Agmt (BP 1884-2) to be effective 5/23/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20171020-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/1/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP18-50-000.

    Applicants: BKV Chelsea, LLC,BKV Operating, LLC,Carrizo (Marcellus) LLC,Reliance Marcellus II, LLC.

    Description: Joint Petition of BKV Chelsea, LLC, et al. for Limited Transaction Specific Waivers of Commission Policies, Capacity Release Regulations, and Related Pipeline Tariff Provisions under RP18-50.

    Filed Date: 10/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20171020-5238.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/27/17.

    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 24, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.