Federal Register Vol. 82, No.226,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 226 (November 27, 2017)

Page Range55923-56149
FR Document

82_FR_226
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 56044 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
82 FR 56011 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals With Disabilities Education ActPDF
82 FR 56011 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; State and Local Educational Agency Record and Reporting Requirements Under Part B of the Individuals With Disabilities Education ActPDF
82 FR 56089 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
82 FR 56064 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
82 FR 56006 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingsPDF
82 FR 55985 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 56015 - Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, State of TennesseePDF
82 FR 56018 - Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, Commonwealth of KentuckyPDF
82 FR 55966 - Approval of Arizona Air Plan Revisions, Arizona Department of Environmental QualityPDF
82 FR 56016 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active IngredientsPDF
82 FR 56116 - Agency Information Collection Activity; Notice of Reinstatement To Collect Information: Barrier Failure Reporting in Oil and Gas Operations on the Outer Continental ShelfPDF
82 FR 56017 - Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various CommoditiesPDF
82 FR 56114 - Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping Requirements: Agency Information Collection ActivityPDF
82 FR 55953 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
82 FR 56060 - Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1PDF
82 FR 56010 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Part 225 and 252 Provision on Prohibition of Foreign Commercial Satellite Services From Certain Foreign Entities-RepresentationsPDF
82 FR 55952 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish Hook-and-Line ComponentPDF
82 FR 56009 - Notice of Intent To Prepare An Environmental Impact Statement And Environmental Impact Report for the Edwards Air Force Base Solar Enhanced Use Lease ProjectPDF
82 FR 56009 - U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 56024 - Information Collection; OMB Circular A-119PDF
82 FR 55954 - Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to DecommissioningPDF
82 FR 55988 - Quarterly Update to Annual Listing of Foreign Government Subsidies on Articles of Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of DutyPDF
82 FR 56042 - Meeting of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 56042 - Findings of Research MisconductPDF
82 FR 56100 - Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST)PDF
82 FR 56050 - Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber From China, India, Korea, and Taiwan; Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 56007 - Procurement List; Proposed Addition and DeletionsPDF
82 FR 56008 - Procurement List; Addition and DeletionsPDF
82 FR 56048 - Certain Backpack Chairs; Notice of a Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating the Investigation Based on a Withdrawal of the Complaint; Termination of the InvestigationPDF
82 FR 56117 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Bond Guarantee ProgramPDF
82 FR 56117 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiple Bureau of the Fiscal Service Information Collection RequestsPDF
82 FR 56052 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection Comments Requested; Fee Waiver RequestPDF
82 FR 55987 - Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Initiation of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Consideration of Revocation of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders in PartPDF
82 FR 55990 - Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From the People's Republic of China and Taiwan: Continuation of Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
82 FR 55989 - Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings From People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationPDF
82 FR 55986 - Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
82 FR 56100 - SJI Board of Directors Meeting, NoticePDF
82 FR 55945 - Special Local Regulations; Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats, Charleston, SCPDF
82 FR 55945 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Jamaica Bay, Queens, NYPDF
82 FR 56056 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
82 FR 56098 - Consolidating the Retirement Research Consortium and the Disability Research Consortium Into the Retirement and Disability Research ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 55986 - Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities Grant ProgramPDF
82 FR 56102 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Driver Commuting Practices SurveyPDF
82 FR 55985 - Departmental Management; Performance Review Board Membership; Notice AppointmentsPDF
82 FR 56111 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; DiabetesPDF
82 FR 56046 - Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed United States Gypsum Company Mine Expansion/Modernization Project, Imperial County, CAPDF
82 FR 56103 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
82 FR 56105 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
82 FR 56106 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
82 FR 56108 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
82 FR 56107 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
82 FR 56110 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
82 FR 56120 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Marine Geophysical Survey in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, 2017/2018PDF
82 FR 56052 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
82 FR 56062 - Information Collection: Voluntary Reporting of Performance IndicatorsPDF
82 FR 56059 - Information Collection: Voluntary Reporting of Planned New Reactor ApplicationsPDF
82 FR 56101 - Alloy Property Company, LLC-Adverse Abandonment-Chicago Terminal Railroad in Chicago, Ill.PDF
82 FR 56012 - Public Availability of Department of Energy FY 2016 Service Contract InventoryPDF
82 FR 56039 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request Information Collection Request Title: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Client-Level Data Reporting System, OMB No. 0906-XXXX-NewPDF
82 FR 56038 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 56037 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS) Measures, OMB No. 0906-0009-RevisionPDF
82 FR 56040 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program OMB No. 0915-0140-RevisionPDF
82 FR 56048 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
82 FR 56098 - Administrative Declaration of an Economic Injury Disaster for the State of OregonPDF
82 FR 56097 - Administrative Declaration of an Economic Injury Disaster for the State of OregonPDF
82 FR 56021 - Notice to All Interested Parties of Intent To Terminate the Receivership 10399, The RiverBank, Wyoming, MinnesotaPDF
82 FR 56021 - Notice to All Interested Parties of Intent To Terminate the Receivership of 10176, Columbia River Bank, The Dalles, OregonPDF
82 FR 56045 - Foreign Endangered Species; Issuance of PermitsPDF
82 FR 56024 - Submission for OMB Review; General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Implementation of Information Technology Security ProvisionPDF
82 FR 56022 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 56021 - Agency information collection activities: Announcement of Board approval under delegated authority and submission to OMBPDF
82 FR 56027 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
82 FR 56028 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
82 FR 56026 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
82 FR 56025 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
82 FR 56099 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Supplemental Questions for Visa ApplicantsPDF
82 FR 56098 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of AlabamaPDF
82 FR 55947 - New Mailing Standards for Domestic Mailing Services ProductsPDF
82 FR 56014 - Notice of Application; Columbia Gas Transmission, LLCPDF
82 FR 56013 - Order on Intent To Revoke Market-Based Rate AuthorityPDF
82 FR 56014 - Notice of Complaint; Clear River Energy Center LLC v. ISO New England Inc., New England Power Company, New England Participating Transmission OwnersPDF
82 FR 56012 - Notice of Declaration of Intention and Soliciting Comments, Protests, and Motions To Intervene; Ram Valley, LLCPDF
82 FR 55990 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Bravo Wharf Recapitalization Project, Year 2PDF
82 FR 55946 - Cost of Living Adjustment to Satellite Carrier Compulsory License Royalty RatesPDF
82 FR 55946 - Cost of Living Adjustment to Royalty Rates for Webcaster Statutory LicensePDF
82 FR 56049 - Certain Glucosylated Steviol Glycosides, and Products Containing Same Institution of InvestigationPDF
82 FR 56049 - Determinations; Forged Steel Fittings From China, Italy, and TaiwanPDF
82 FR 56044 - Announcement of Public Meetings: North American Wetlands Conservation Council; Advisory Group for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation ActPDF
82 FR 56067 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Remove Directed Order FunctionalityPDF
82 FR 56075 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to All-Or-None OrdersPDF
82 FR 56084 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to All-Or-None OrdersPDF
82 FR 56082 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to All-Or-None OrdersPDF
82 FR 56089 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Investors Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Modify Its Fee Schedule, Pursuant to IEX Rule 15.110(a) and (c), To Adopt Pricing for Orders That Execute in an IEX Auction for IEX-Listed SecuritiesPDF
82 FR 56072 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Its Director Nomination and Committee Appointment Process and Its Nominating and Governance CommitteePDF
82 FR 56079 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Its Director Nomination and Committee Appointment Process and Its Nominating and Governance CommitteePDF
82 FR 56065 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Its Director Nomination and Committee Appointment Process and Its Nominating and Governance CommitteePDF
82 FR 56076 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Its Director Nomination and Committee Appointment Process and Its Nominating and Governance CommitteePDF
82 FR 56069 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Its Nominating and Governance Committee and Regulatory Oversight and Compliance CommitteePDF
82 FR 56085 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Its Nominating and Governance Committee and Regulatory Oversight and Compliance CommitteePDF
82 FR 56088 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 56079 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 56093 - New Mountain Finance Corporation, et al.PDF
82 FR 56019 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
82 FR 56020 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
82 FR 55970 - Nationwide Number Portability; Numbering Policies for Modern CommunicationsPDF
82 FR 56033 - Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without a Product Identifier; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 56031 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export CertificatesPDF
82 FR 56064 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 56036 - Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting; Public WorkshopPDF
82 FR 56035 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Electronic SignaturesPDF
82 FR 56031 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget ApprovalsPDF
82 FR 56043 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 56044 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of MeetingsPDF
82 FR 56043 - National Eye Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 56058 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests: 2019-2021 IMLS National Medals Nomination FormsPDF
82 FR 56063 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 56030 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 55951 - Approval of Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans; Adoption of a New Chapter Under the Nebraska Administrative Code; Withdrawal of Direct Final RulePDF
82 FR 55942 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Hawthorne, NVPDF
82 FR 55965 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Spanish Fork, UTPDF
82 FR 55939 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
82 FR 55943 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Pueblo, COPDF
82 FR 55964 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Clanton, ALPDF
82 FR 55941 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Alexander City, ALPDF
82 FR 55923 - Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant ProgramsPDF
82 FR 55955 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 55968 - State of Idaho Voluntary Transfer of Primacy of the Class II Underground Injection Control Program to the Environmental Protection AgencyPDF
82 FR 55958 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF

Issue

82 226 Monday, November 27, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 55985 2017-25575 Performance Review Board Membership, 55985-55986 2017-25525
AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Edwards Air Force Base Solar Enhanced Use Lease Project, 56009 2017-25556 Meetings: Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 56009-56010 2017-25555 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 56025-56030 2017-25493 2017-25494 2017-25495 2017-25496 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Personal Responsibility Education Program Multi-Component Evaluation Extension, 56030-56031 2017-25444 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Jamaica Bay, Queens, NY, 55945-55946 2017-25532 Special Local Regulations: Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats, Charleston, SC, 55945 2017-25533 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 56007-56009 2017-25544 2017-25545 Copyright Royalty Board Copyright Royalty Board RULES Cost of Living Adjustments: Royalty Rates for Webcaster Statutory License, 55946 2017-25480 Satellite Carrier Compulsory License Royalty Rates, 55946-55947 2017-25481 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Prohibition of Foreign Commercial Satellite Services From Certain Foreign Entities-Representations, 56010-56011 2017-25560 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: OMB Circular A-119, 56024 2017-25553
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual State Application Under Part B of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 56011-56012 2017-25705 State and Local Educational Agency Record and Reporting Requirements Under Part B of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 56011 2017-25702 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Determinations, 56052-56056 2017-25515 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES FY 2016 Service Contract Inventory, 56012 2017-25511
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Nebraska; Approval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Adoption of New Chapter Under Nebraska Administrative Code; Withdrawal of Direct Final Rule, 55951-55952 2017-25428 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Arizona Air Plan Revisions, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 55966-55968 2017-25567 Underground Injection Control Programs: Idaho; Voluntary Transfer of Primacy to Environmental Protection Agency, 55968-55970 2017-24637 NOTICES Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Kentucky; Authorized Program Revision Approval, 56018-56019 2017-25571 Tennessee; Authorized Program Revision Approval, 56015-56016 2017-25572 Pesticide Petitions: Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities, 56017-56018 2017-25564 Pesticide Product Registrations: New Active Ingredients, 56016-56017 2017-25566 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 55939-55941 2017-25382 Class D and E Airspace; Amendments: Pueblo, CO, 55943-55945 2017-25310 Class E Airspace; Amendments: Alexander City, AL, 55941-55942 2017-25308 Hawthorne, NV, 55942-55943 2017-25420 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 55955-55958 2017-25252 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 55958-55963 2017-24502 Class E Airspace; Amendments: Clanton, AL, 55964-55965 2017-25309 Class E Airspace; Establishments: Spanish Fork, UT, 55965-55966 2017-25419 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Nationwide Number Portability: Numbering Policies for Modern Communications, 55970-55984 2017-25458 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 56019-56021 2017-25459 2017-25460 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: Columbia River Bank, The Dalles, Or, 56021 2017-25502 RiverBank, Wyoming, MN, 56021 2017-25503 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 56014-56015 2017-25486 Ram Valley, LLC, 56012-56013 2017-25483 Complaints: Clear River Energy Center, LLC v. ISO New England, Inc.; New England Power Co.; New England Participating Transmission Owners, 56014 2017-25484 Market-Based Rate Authority; Revocations: Electric Quarterly Reports, Niagara Generation, LLC, C2K Energy, LLC, et al., 56013-56014 2017-25485 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Driver Commuting Practices Survey, 56102-56103 2017-25526 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes, 56111-56113 2017-25524 Diabetes Mellitus, 56105-56106 2017-25521 Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 56106-56111 2017-25517 2017-25518 2017-25519 2017-25520 Vision, 56103-56104 2017-25522 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 56021-56023 2017-25498 2017-25499 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Meetings: North American Wetlands Conservation Council; Advisory Group for Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, 56044-56045 2017-25477 Permits: Foreign Endangered Species, 56045-56046 2017-25501 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approvals, 56031 2017-25452 Electronic Signatures, 56035-56036 2017-25453 Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products—Export Certificates, 56031-56033 2017-25456 Guidance: Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without Product Identifier, 56033-56035 2017-25457 Meetings: Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting; Public Workshop, 56036-56037 2017-25454 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Implementation of Information Technology Security Provision, 56024 2017-25500 OMB Circular A-119, 56024 2017-25553 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Findings of Research Misconduct, 56042-56043 2017-25549 Meetings: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, 56042 2017-25550
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program, 56040-56042 2017-25507 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems Measures, 56037-56038 2017-25508 Rural Health Network Development Program, 56038-56039 2017-25509 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Client-Level Data Reporting System, 56039-56040 2017-25510 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2019-2021 National Medals Nomination Forms, 56058-56059 2017-25448 Inter-American Inter-American Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 56044 2017-25730 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, 55990 2017-25537 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China, 55987-55988 2017-25538 Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China, 55986-55987 2017-25535 Determinations of Sales of Less-Than-Fair-Value: Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings From People's Republic of China, 55989-55990 2017-25536 Quarterly Update to Annual Listing of Foreign Government Subsidies on Articles of Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of Duty, 55988-55989 2017-25551 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Backpack Chairs, 56048-56049 2017-25543 Certain Glucosylated Steviol Glycosides, and Products Containing Same; Institution of Investigation, 56049-56050 2017-25479 Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber From China, India, Korea, and Taiwan, 56050-56051 2017-25546 Forged Steel Fittings From China, Italy, and Taiwan, 56049 2017-25478 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Fee Waiver Request, 56052 2017-25539 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

NOTICES Worker Adjustment Assistance; Investigations, 56056-56058 2017-25530
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Proposed United States Gypsum Co. Mine Expansion/Modernization Project, Imperial County, CA, 56046-56047 2017-25523 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Royalty Board

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: OMB Circular A-119, 56024 2017-25553 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

Institute of Museum and Library Services

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping Requirements, 56114-56116 2017-25563 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Eye Institute, 56043 2017-25449 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 56044 2017-25450 National Institute of Environmental Health Science, 56043-56044 2017-25451 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: 2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish Hook-and-Line Component, 55952-55953 2017-25559 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Ocean Perch in Bering Sea Subarea of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 55953 2017-25562 NOTICES Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 56006-56007 2017-25640 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Bravo Wharf Recapitalization Project, Year 2, 55990-56006 2017-25482 Marine Geophysical Survey in Southwest Pacific Ocean, 2017/2018, 56120-56149 2017-25516 National Park National Park Service NOTICES National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 56048 2017-25506 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to Decommissioning, 55954-55955 2017-25552 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Voluntary Reporting of Performance Indicators, 56062-56063 2017-25514 Voluntary Reporting of Planned New Reactor Applications, 56059-56060 2017-25513 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1, 56060-56062 2017-25561 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 56063-56064 2017-25445 Postal Service Postal Service RULES New Mailing Standards for Domestic Mailing Services Products, 55947-55951 2017-25488 NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 56064 2017-25455 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Program, 55923-55939 2017-25266 NOTICES Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels: Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities Grant Program, 55986 2017-25527 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 56079, 56088 2017-25463 2017-25464 Applications: New Mountain Finance Corp., et al., 56093-56097 2017-25462 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 56064, 56089 2017-25700 2017-25701 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc., 56076-56079 2017-25467 Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 56065-56067 2017-25468 Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc., 56069-56072 2017-25466 Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc., 56079-56082 2017-25469 Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., 56072-56075 2017-25470 Cboe Exchange, Inc., 56085-56088 2017-25465 Investors Exchange, LLC, 56089-56093 2017-25471 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 56082-56083 2017-25472 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 56067-56069, 56075-56076 2017-25474 2017-25476 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 56084-56085 2017-25473 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Alabama; Public Assistance Only, 56098 2017-25489 Oregon, 56098 2017-25505 Economic Injury Disaster Declarations: Oregon, 56097-56098 2017-25504 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Consolidating Retirement Research Consortium and Disability Research Consortium into Retirement and Disability Research Consortium, 56098-56099 2017-25528 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants, 56099-56100 2017-25490 Designations as State Sponsors of Terrorism: Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 56100 2017-25547 State Justice State Justice Institute NOTICES Meetings: Board of Directors, 56100 2017-25534 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Adverse Abandonments: Alloy Property Co., LLC; Chicago Terminal Railroad in Chicago, IL, 56101 2017-25512 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Barrier Failure Reporting in Oil and Gas Operations on Outer Continental Shelf, 56116-56117 2017-25565
Treasury Treasury Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 56117 2017-25540 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Bond Guarantee Program, 56117-56118 2017-25541 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 56120-56149 2017-25516 Reader Aids

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

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82 226 Monday, November 27, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Parts 1703, 1734, and 1735 RIN 0572-AC37 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Programs AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, is issuing a final rule to streamline, revise, and update the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program, to minimize the burden of applying for and awarding grants. The Agency's goal is to reduce the regulatory burden on grant applicants and to ensure that grant funds are awarded for projects with the most demonstrable need. The Agency will follow this final rule affording the public an opportunity to comment with a subsequent final rule.

DATES:

This final rule is effective December 27, 2017.

Written comments must be received on or before December 27, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments on this Rule by any of the following methods:

• Federal Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov . Follow instructions for submitting comments.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comment addressed to Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, STOP 1522, Room 5162, Washington, DC 20250-1522.

Additional information about the Rural Development and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.rd.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Kuchno, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Policy and Outreach Division, Rural Utilities Service, Telecommunications Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1599, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1550, Telephone number: (202) 690-4673.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12866

This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Executive Order 12988

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. The Agency has determined that this rule meets the applicable standards provided in section 3 of the Executive Order. In addition, all state and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted. No retroactive effect will be given to this rule and, in accordance with section 212(e) of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 6912(e)), administrative appeal procedures must be exhausted before an action against the Department or its agencies may be initiated.

Executive Order 12372

This final rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review,” as implemented under USDA's regulations at 7 CFR part 3015.

Executive Order 13771

This action is expected to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action. This rule is expected to provide meaningful burden reduction by removing interim steps that delay the application process and reducing the amount of resources needed to process and award grant applications.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

RUS has determined that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). RUS provides loans to borrowers at interest rates and on terms that are more favorable than those generally available from the private sector. RUS borrowers, as a result of obtaining federal financing, receive economic benefits that exceed any direct economic costs associated with complying with RUS regulations and requirements.

Environmental Impact Statement

This final rule has been examined under Agency environmental regulations at 7 CFR part 1970. The Administrator has determined that this is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the environment. Therefore, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number assigned to this program is 10.855, Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loans and Grants. The Catalog is available on the Internet at http://www.cfda.gov and the General Services Administration's (GSA's) free CFDA Web site at http://www.cfda.gov. The CFDA Web site also contains a PDF file version of the Catalog that, when printed, has the same layout as the printed document that the Government Publishing Office (GPO) provides. GPO prints and sells the CFDA to interested buyers. For information about purchasing the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance from GPO, call the Superintendent of Documents at 202-512-1800 or toll free at 866-512-1800, or access GPO's online bookstore at http://bookstore.thefederalregister.org.

Unfunded Mandates

This final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for state, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of §§ 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

E-Government Act Compliance

RUS is committed to the E-Government Act, which requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The policies contained in this final rule do not have any substantial direct effect on 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. Nor does this final rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the states is not required.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Rural Development has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. If a tribe would like to engage in consultation with Rural Development on this rule, please contact Rural Development's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected]

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected]

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements

This final rule contains no new reporting or recordkeeping burdens under OMB control number 0572-0096 that would require approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Background

Rural Development is a mission area within the USDA comprised of the Rural Utilities Service, Rural Housing Service and Rural Business/Cooperative Service. Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for all rural Americans. Rural Development meets its mission by providing loans, loan guarantees, grants, and technical assistance through more than 40 programs aimed at creating and improving housing, businesses, and infrastructure throughout rural America.

RUS loan, loan guarantee, and grant programs act as a catalyst for economic and community development. By financing improvements to rural electric, water and waste, and telecom and broadband infrastructure, RUS also plays a big role in improving other measures of quality of life in rural America, including public health and safety, environmental protection and conservation, and cultural and historic preservation.

DLT grants and loans are designed to encourage and improve telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of computer networks and related advanced technologies by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents. RUS believes that need is often greatest in areas that are economically challenged, costly to serve, and experiencing outward migration. RUS gives priority to rural areas that the Agency believes have the greatest need for distance learning and telemedicine services based on the criteria outlined in the program regulation 7 CFR part 1734. This program is consistent with the provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that designate telecommunications service discounts for schools, libraries, and rural health care centers. The DLT Program continues to implement the provision of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 950aaa et seq.) to encourage and improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas.

Under this rulemaking, RUS is streamlining and revising the DLT Grant Program to minimize the burden of the application and selection processes in this competitive grant program and to ensure that grants are awarded for projects with the most demonstrable need. In order to reduce time required to announce the program on an annual basis, the agency will no longer publish a Notice of Funds Availability and will ensure that all pertinent information related to the application period is posted in the annual funding opportunity posted on Grants.gov, as required by 2 CFR 200.203, and include the information on the program Web site and in the program application guide, which will be linked to the funding opportunity posting. This rulemaking applies to the DLT Grant Program section of the regulation.

Changes to the Regulation

Changes to the DLT grant program regulation are statutory requirements and non-statutory issues. The statutory requirement changes are as follows:

(A) In 7 CFR part 1703, subpart E (newly designated 7 CFR part 1734, subpart B), revises the “Appeals” section. In review of the guiding statute, program appeals are defined as applying only to RUS Telecommunications and Electric Borrowers.

(B) In 7 CFR part 1703, subpart D (newly designated 7 CFR part 1734, subpart A), The Agency is revising this regulation to make RUS Telecom and Electrics borrowers eligible to apply for grants. In review of the guiding statute RUS Telecom and Electric Borrowers are not restricted to DLT loans only.

(C) The Agency is now making broadband facilities an eligible grant purpose. In the past, to leverage appropriations to their fullest, the Agency restricted transmission facilities from being an eligible purpose and focused the program on end user equipment. In today's environment, broadband facilities have become an integral part of providing distant learning and telemedicine services and therefor the Agency has decided to include them as an eligible grant purpose.

(D) In 7 CFR part 1703, 7 CFR part 1734 and 7 CFR part 1735 make administrative updates to reflect changes affected by this rule.

Other than the statutory changes, the Agency is affording the public the opportunity to comment on the following non-statutory changes which are as follows:

(A) Relocate the DLT Loan and Grant Program from 7 CFR part 1703, subparts D, E, F and G to 7 CFR part 1734, subparts A, B, C, and D.

(B) In 7 CFR part 1703, subpart D (newly designated 7 CFR part 1734, subpart A), remove the definitions of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community (EZ/EC), and Champion Community.

(C) In 7 CFR part 1703, subpart E (newly designated 7 CFR part 1734, subpart B), remove points for scoring the criteria from the code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which is used for determining the competitive need and eligibility among submitted applications. Instead, publish the points for scoring the criteria in the application guide and on the program Web site, and update as needed. This change is being made to allow the DLT program to keep up with changes in the industry and the landscape in rural America.

(D) In Subparts E, F and G (newly designated 7 CFR part 1734, subparts B, C, and D), remove references to the publication of notices in the Federal Register. In order to reduce time required to announce the program on an annual basis, the agency will no longer publish these notices and will ensure that all pertinent information related to the application period is posted in the annual funding opportunity posted on Grants.gov, as required by 2 CFR 200.203, and include the information on the program Web site and in the program application guide, which will be linked to the funding opportunity posting.

List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 1703

Community development, Grant programs—housing and community development, Loan programs—housing and community development, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 1734

Community development, Grant programs—education, Grant programs—health, Loan programs—education, Loan programs—health, Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 1735

Loan programs—communications, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas, Telecommunications, Telephone.

Accordingly, for reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter XVII, title 7, the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 1703—RURAL DEVELOPMENT 1. Revise the authority citation for part 1703 to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.

Subparts D, E, F and G—[Removed and Reserved] 2. Amend part 1703 by removing and reserving subparts D, E, F and G, consisting of §§ 1703.100 through 1703.147. 3. Revise § 1703.300 to read as follows:
§ 1703.300 Purpose.

This subpart H sets forth RUS' policies and procedures for making loan deferments of principal and interest payments on direct loans or insured loans made for electric or telephone purposes, but not for loans made for rural economic development purposes, in accordance with subsection (b) of section 12 of the RE Act. Loan deferments are provided for the purpose of promoting rural development opportunities.

4. Add part 1734 to read as follows: PART 1734—DISTANCE LEARNING AND TELEMEDICINE LOAN AND GRANT PROGRAMS Subpart A—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Programs—General 1734.1 Purpose. 1734.2 Policy. 1734.3 Definitions. 1734.4 Applicant eligibility and allocation of funds. 1734.5 Processing of selected applications. 1734.6 Disbursement of loans and grants. 1734.7 Reporting and oversight requirements. 1734.8 Audit requirements. 1734.9 Grant and loan administration. 1734.10 Changes in project objectives or scope. 1734.11 Grant and loan termination. 1734.12 Expedited telecommunications loans. 1734.13-1734.19 [Reserved] Subpart B—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program 1734.20 [Reserved] 1734.21 Approved purposes for grants. 1734.22 Matching contributions. 1734.23 Nonapproved purposes for grants. 1734.24 Maximum and minimum grant amounts. 1734.25 Completed application. 1734.26 Criteria for scoring grant applications. 1734.27 Application selection provisions. 1734.28 Submission of applications. 1734.29 Appeals. Subpart C—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Combination Loan and Grant Program 1734.30 Use of combination loan and grant. 1734.31 Approved purposes for a combination loan and grant. 1734.32 Nonapproved purposes for a combination loan and grant. 1734.33 Maximum and minimum amounts. 1734.34 Completed application. 1734.35 Application selection provisions. 1734.36 Submission of applications. 1734.37 Appeals. 1734.38-1734.39 [Reserved] Subpart D—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan Program 1734.40 Use of loan funds. 1734.41 Approved purposes for loans. 1734.42 Non-approved purposes for loans. 1734.43 Maximum and minimum amounts. 1734.44 Completed application. 1734.45 Application selection provisions. 1734.46 Submission of applications. 1734.47 Appeals. Authority:

7 U.S.C. 901 et seq. and 950aaa et seq.

Subpart A—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Program—General
§ 1734.1 Purpose.

The purpose of the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Loan and Grant Program is to encourage and improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents. This subpart describes the general policies for administering the DLT program. Subpart B of this part contains the policies and procedures related to grants; subpart C contains the policies and procedures related to a combination loan and grant; and subpart D contains the policies and procedures related to loans.

§ 1734.2 Policy.

(a) The transmission of information is vital to the economic development, education, and health of rural Americans. To further this objective, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will provide financial assistance to distance learning and telemedicine projects that will improve the access for people residing in rural areas to educational, learning, training, and health care services.

(b) In providing financial assistance, RUS will give priority to rural areas that it believes have the greatest need for distance learning and telemedicine services. RUS believes that generally the need is greatest in areas that are economically challenged, costly to serve, and experiencing outward migration. This program is consistent with the provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that designate telecommunications service discounts for schools, libraries, and rural health care centers. RUS will take into consideration the community's involvement in the proposed project and the applicant's ability to leverage grant funds.

(c) In administering this subpart, RUS will not favor or mandate the use of one particular technology over another.

(d) Rural institutions are encouraged to cooperate with each other, with applicants, and with end-users to promote the program being implemented under this subpart.

(e) RUS staff will make diligent efforts to inform potential applicants in rural areas of the programs being implemented under this subpart.

(f) The Administrator may provide loans under this subpart to an entity that has received a telecommunications or electric loan under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. A borrower receiving a loan shall:

(1) Make the funds provided available to entities that qualify as distance learning or telemedicine projects satisfying the requirements of this subpart, under any terms it so chooses as long as the terms are no more stringent than the terms under which it received the financial assistance.

(2) Use the loan to acquire, install, improve, or extend a distance learning or telemedicine system referred to in this subpart.

(g) The Administrator will allocate funds that are appropriated each fiscal year for subparts B, C, and D, of this part respectively. Not more than 30 days before the end of the fiscal year, the Administrator may transfer any funds not committed to grants in the combination loan and grant program to the grant program.

(h) Financial assistance may be provided for end user sites. Financial assistance may also be provided for hubs located in rural or non-rural areas if they are necessary to provide distance learning or telemedicine services to rural residents at end user sites.

(i) The Administrator will publish, at the end of each fiscal year, a notice on the RUS Telecommunications Program Web site of all applications receiving financial assistance under this subpart. Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), applications will be available for public inspection at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.

§ 1734.3 Definitions.

As used in this part:

1996 Act means the Federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 1996.

Act means the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.).

Administrator means the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, or designee or successor.

Applicant means an eligible organization that applies for financial assistance under this subpart.

Approved purposes means project purposes for which grant, loan, or combination loan and grant financial assistance may be expended.

Broadband facilities means facilities that transmit, receive, or carry voice, video, or data between the terminal equipment at each end of the circuit or path. Such facilities include microwave antennae, relay stations and towers, other telecommunications antennae, fiber-optic cables and repeaters, coaxial cables, communication satellite ground station complexes, copper cable electronic equipment associated with telecommunications transmissions, and similar items.

Combination loan and grant means a grant in combination with a loan made under the DLT program.

Completed application means an application that includes all those items specified in §§ 1734.125, 1734.134, and in form and substance satisfactory to the Administrator.

Consortium means a combination or group of entities undertaking the purposes for which the distance learning and telemedicine financial assistance is provided. At least one of the entities in a consortium must meet the requirements of § 1734.4.

Construct means to acquire, construct, extend, improve, or install a facility or system.

Distance learning means a telecommunications link to an end user through the use of eligible equipment to provide educational programs, instruction, or information originating in one area, whether rural or not, to students and teachers who are located in rural areas.

DLT borrower means an entity that has an outstanding loan under the provisions of the DLT program.

DLT program means the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Program administered by RUS.

Economic useful life as applied to equipment and facilities financed under the DLT program is calculated based on Internal Revenue Service depreciation rules or recognized telecommunications industry guidelines.

Eligible equipment means computer hardware and software, audio and video equipment, computer networking components, telecommunications terminal equipment, terminal equipment, inside wiring, interactive video equipment.

Eligible facilities means land, buildings, or building construction needed to carry out an eligible distance learning or telemedicine project for loan financial assistance only.

End user is one or more of the following:

(1) Rural elementary, secondary schools, and other educational institutions, such as institutions of higher education, vocational and adult training and educational centers, libraries and teacher training centers, and students, teachers and instructors using such rural educational facilities, that participate in distance learning telecommunications program through a project funded under this subpart;

(2) Rural hospitals, primary care centers or facilities, such as medical centers, nursing homes, and clinics, and physicians and staff using such rural medical facilities, that participants in a rural distance learning telecommunications program through a project funded under this part; and

(3) Other rural community facilities, institutions, or entities that receive distance learning or telemedicine services.

End user site means a facility that is part of a network or telecommunications system that is utilized by end users. An end user site can also be the residence of someone living in a rural area that is receiving telemedicine or distant learning services.

Financial assistance means a grant, combination loan and grant, or loan.

GFR means RUS telecommunications program General Field Representative.

Grant documents means the grant agreement, including any amendments and supplements thereto, between RUS and the grantee.

Grantee means a recipient of a grant from RUS to carry out the purposes of the DLT program.

Guarantee means a guarantee for a loan provided by a RUS borrower or other qualified third party.

Hub means a facility that is part of a network or telecommunications system that provides educational or medical services to end user sites.

Instructional programming means course material for teaching over the Distance Learning or Telemedicine network, including computer software.

Interactive equipment means equipment used to produce and prepare for transmission of audio and visual signals from at least two distant locations so that individuals at such locations can orally and visually communicate with each other. Such equipment includes, but is not limited to, monitors, other display devices, cameras or other recording devices, audio pickup devices, and other related equipment.

Loan means a loan made under the DLT program bearing interest at a rate equal to the then current cost-of-money to the government.

Loan documents mean the loan agreement, note, and security instrument, including any amendments and supplements thereto, between RUS and the DLT borrower.

Local exchange carrier (LEC) is a regulatory term in telecommunications for the local telephone company. In the United States, wireline telephone companies are divided into two large categories: Long distance (interexchange carrier, or IXCs) and local (local exchange carrier, or LECs). This structure is a result of 1984 divestiture of then regulated monopoly carrier American Telephone & Telegraph. Local telephone companies at the time of the divestiture are also known as Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILEC).

Matching contribution means the applicant's contribution for approved purposes.

Project means approved purposes for which financial assistance has been provided.

Project service area means the area in which at least 90 percent of the persons to be served by the project are likely to reside.

Recipient means a grantee, borrower, or both of a DLT program grant, loan or combination loan and grant.

Rural community facility means a facility such as a school, library, learning center, training facility, hospital, or medical facility that provides benefits primarily to residents of rural areas.

RUS means the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, successor to the Rural Electrification Administration.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

Technical assistance means:

(1) Assistance in learning to manage, operate, or use equipment or systems; and

(2) Studies, analyses, designs, reports, manuals, guides, literature, or other forms of creating, acquiring, or disseminating information.

Telecommunications carrier means any provider of telecommunications services.

Telecommunications or electric borrower means an entity that has outstanding RUS electric or telecommunications loan or loan guarantee under the provisions of the Act.

Telecommunications systems plan means the plan submitted by an applicant in accordance with § 1734.25 for grants, § 1734.34 for a combination loan and grant, or § 1734.44 for loans.

Telemedicine means a telecommunications link to an end user through the use of eligible equipment which electronically links medical professionals at separate sites in order to exchange health care information in audio, video, graphic, or other format for the purpose of providing improved health care services primarily to residents of rural areas.

§ 1734.4 Applicant eligibility and allocation of funds.

To be eligible to receive a grant, loan and grant combination, or loan under this subpart:

(a) The applicant must be legally organized as an incorporated organization, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b(b) and (c), a state or local unit of government, a consortium, as defined in § 1734.3, or other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a for-profit or not-for profit basis. Each applicant must provide written evidence of its legal capacity to contract with RUS to obtain the grant, loan and grant combination, or the loan, and comply with all applicable requirements. If a consortium lacks the legal capacity to contract, each individual entity must contract with RUS in its own behalf.

(b) The applicant proposes to utilize the financing to:

(1) Operate a rural End-User Site for the purpose of providing Distance Learning or Telemedicine services; or

(2) Deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance is passed through to such entities or to residents of rural areas.

§ 1734.5 Processing of selected applications.

(a) During the period between the submission of an application and the execution of documents, the applicant must inform RUS if the project is no longer viable or the applicant no longer is requesting financial assistance for the project. When the applicant so informs RUS, the selection will be rescinded or the application withdrawn and written notice to that effect sent to the applicant.

(b) If an application has been selected and the scope of the project changes substantially, the applicant may be required to reapply in the next program window if the agency and the selected applicant cannot agree on the new scope of the award.

(c) If state or local governments raise objections to a proposed project under the intergovernmental review process that are not resolved within 90 days from the time the public is made aware of the award, the Administrator will rescind the selection and written notice to that effect will be sent to the applicant. The Administrator, in his sole discretion, may extend the 90 day period if it appears resolution is imminent.

(d) RUS may request additional information that would not change the application or scoring, in order to complete the appropriate documents covering financial assistance.

(e) Financial assistance documents. (1) The documents will include a grant agreement for grants; loan documents, including third party guarantees, notes and security instruments for loans; or any other legal documents the Administrator deems appropriate, including suggested forms of certifications and legal opinions.

(2) The grant agreement and the loan documents will include, among other things, conditions on the release or advance of funds and include at a minimum, a project description, approved purposes, the maximum amount of the financial assistance, supplemental funds required for the project, and certain agreements or commitments the applicant may have proposed in its application. In addition, the loan documents may contain covenants and conditions the Administrator deems necessary or desirable to provide additional assurance that loans will be repaid and the purposes of the loan will be accomplished.

(3) The recipient of a loan will be required to execute a security instrument in form and substance satisfactory to RUS and must, before receiving any advance of loan funds, provide security that is adequate, in the opinion of RUS, to assure repayment, within the time agreed, of all loans to the borrower under the DLT program. This assurance will generally be provided by a first lien upon all facilities and equipment financed by the loan. RUS may require additional security as it deems necessary.

(4) Adequate security may also be provided by third-party guarantees, letters of credit, pledges of revenue, or other forms of security satisfactory to RUS.

(5) The security instrument and other loan documents required by RUS in connection with a loan under the DLT program shall contain such pledges, covenants, and other provisions as may, in the opinion of RUS, be required to secure repayment of the loan.

(6) If the project does not constitute a complete operating system, the DLT recipient shall provide evidence, in form and substance satisfactory to RUS, demonstrating that the recipient has sufficient contractual, financing, or other arrangements to assure that the project will provide adequate and efficient service.

(f) Prior to the execution of a grant and loan document, RUS reserves the right to require any changes in the project or legal documents covering the project to protect the integrity of the DLT program and the interests of the government.

(g) If the applicant fails to submit, within 120 calendar days from the date RUS notifies the applicant that they have been selected for an award, all of the information that RUS determines to be necessary to prepare legal documents and satisfy other requirements of this subpart, RUS may rescind the selection of the application.

§ 1734.6 Disbursement of loans and grants.

(a) For financial assistance of $100,000 or greater, prior to the disbursement of a grant and a loan, the recipient, if it is not a unit of government, will provide evidence of fidelity bond coverage as required by 2 CFR part 200, which is adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 400.

(b) Grants and loans will be disbursed to recipients on a reimbursement basis, or with unpaid invoices for the eligible purposes contained in this subpart, by the following process:

(1) An SF 270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement,” will be completed by the recipient and submitted to RUS not more frequently than once a month;

(2) RUS will review the SF 270 for accuracy when received and will schedule payment if the form is satisfactory. Payment will ordinarily be made within 30 days; and

(c) The recipient's share in the cost of the project must be disbursed in advance of the loan and grant, or if the recipient agrees, on a pro rata distribution basis with financial assistance during the disbursement period. Recipients will not be permitted to provide their contributions at the end of the project.

(d) A combination loan and grant will be disbursed on a pro rata basis based on the respective amounts of financial assistance provided.

§ 1734.7 Reporting and oversight requirements.

(a) A project performance activity report will be required of all recipients on an annual basis until the project is complete and the funds are expended by the applicant.

(b) Recipients shall diligently monitor performance to ensure that time schedules are being met, projected work by time periods is being accomplished, and other performance objectives are being achieved. Recipients are to submit all project performance reports, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) A comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives established for that period;

(2) A description of any problems, delays, or adverse conditions which have occurred, or are anticipated, and which may affect the attainment of overall project objectives, prevent the meeting of time schedules or objectives, or preclude the attainment of particular project work elements during established time periods. This disclosure shall be accompanied by a statement of the action taken or planned to resolve the situation; and

(3) Objectives and timetable established for the next reporting period.

A final project performance report must be provided by the recipient. It must provide an evaluation of the success of the project in meeting the objectives of the program. The final report may serve as the last annual report.

(c) RUS will monitor recipients, as it determines necessary, to ensure that projects are completed in accordance with the approved scope of work and that the financial assistance is expended for approved purposes.

§ 1734.8 Audit requirements.

A recipient of financial assistance shall provide RUS with an audit for each year, beginning with the year in which a portion of the financial assistance is expended, in accordance with the following:

(a) If the recipient is a for-profit entity, a Telecommunications or Electric borrower, or any other entity not covered by the following paragraph, the recipient shall provide an independent audit report in accordance with 7 CFR part 1773, “Policy on Audits of RUS Borrowers.”

(b) If the recipient is a state or local government, or non-profit organization, the recipient shall provide an audit in accordance with subpart F of 2 CFR part 200, as adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 400.

(c) Grantees shall comply with 2 CFR part 200, as adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 400, and rules on the disposition of grant assets in Part 200 shall be applied regardless of the type of legal organization of the grantee.

§ 1734.9 Grant and loan administration.

RUS will conduct reviews as necessary to determine whether the financial assistance was expended for approved purposes. The recipient is responsible for ensuring that the project complies with all applicable regulations, and that the grants and loans are expended only for approved purposes. The recipient is responsible for ensuring that disbursements and expenditures of funds are properly supported by invoices, contracts, bills of sale, canceled checks, or other appropriate forms of evidence, and that such supporting material is provided to RUS, upon request, and is otherwise made available, at the recipient's premises, for review by the RUS representatives, the recipient's certified public accountant, the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the General Accounting Office, and any other official conducting an audit of the recipient's financial statements or records, and program performance for the grants and loans made under this subpart. The recipient shall permit RUS to inspect and copy any records and documents that pertain to the project.

§ 1734.10 Changes in project objectives or scope.

The recipient shall obtain prior written approval by RUS for any material change to the scope or objectives of the project, including any changes to the scope of work or the budget submitted to RUS. Any material change shall be contained in a revised scope of work plan to be prepared by the recipient, submitted to, and approved by RUS in writing. If RUS does not approve the change and the awardee is unable to fulfill the original purposes of the award, the awardee will work with RUS to return or rescind the financial assistance.

§ 1734.11 Grant and loan termination.

(a) The financial assistance may be terminated when RUS and the recipient agree upon the conditions of the termination, the effective date of the termination, and, in the case of a partial termination of the financial assistance, any unadvanced portion of the financial assistance to be terminated and any advanced portion of the financial assistance to be returned.

(b) The recipient may terminate the financial assistance by written notification to RUS, providing the reasons for such termination, the effective date, and, in the case of a partial termination, the portion of the financial assistance to be terminated. In the case of a partial termination, if RUS believes that the remaining portion of the financial assistance will not accomplish the approved purposes, then RUS may terminate the financial assistance in its entirety, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section.

§ 1734.12 Expedited telecommunications loans

RUS will expedite consideration and determination of an application submitted by an RUS telecommunications borrower for a loan under the Act or an advance of such loan funds to be used in conjunction with financial assistance under subparts B, C, or D of this part. See 7 CFR part 1737 for loans and 7 CFR part 1744 for advances under this section.

§§ 1734.13-1734.19 [Reserved]
Subpart B—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program
§ 1734.20 [Reserved]
§ 1734.21 Approved purposes for grants.

For distance learning and telemedicine projects, grants shall finance only the costs for approved purposes. Grants shall be expended only for the costs associated with the capital assets associated with the project. The following are approved grant purposes:

(a) Acquiring and installing, by lease or purchase, eligible equipment as defined in § 1734.3;

(b) Purchases of extended warranties, site licenses, and maintenance contracts, for a period not to exceed 3 years from installation date, so long as such purchases are in support of eligible equipment included in the project and made concurrently;

(c) Acquiring or developing instructional programming; but shall not include salaries, benefits, and overhead of medical, educational, or any personnel employed by the applicant. The funded development and acquisition of instructional programming must be done through an independent 3rd party, and may not be performed using the applicant's employees.

(d) Providing technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment, including any related software; developing instructional programming; or providing engineering and environmental studies relating to the establishment or expansion of the phase of the project that is being financed with the grant. These purposes shall not exceed 10 percent of the grant; and

(e) Purchasing and installing broadband facilities. This purpose is limited to a maximum of 20 percent of the request grant amount and must be used for providing distance learning or telemedicine services.

§ 1734.22 Matching contributions.

(a) The grant applicant's minimum matching contribution must equal 15 percent of the grant amount requested and shall be used for approved purposes for grants listed in § 1734.21. Matching contributions generally must be in the form of cash. However, in-kind contributions solely for the purposes listed in § 1734.21 may be substituted for cash.

(b) In-kind items listed in § 1734.21 must be non-depreciated or new assets with established monetary values. Use of specific manufacturers' equipment or services, or discounts thereon, are not considered eligible in-kind matching if the manufacturer, or its authorized reseller, is a vendor on the project, the grant writer for the grant application, or has undertaken any responsibility on the grant application, including payment.

(c) Costs incurred by the applicant, or others on behalf of the applicant, for facilities or equipment installed, or other services rendered prior to submission of a completed application, shall not be considered as an eligible in-kind matching contribution.

(d) Costs incurred for non-approved purposes for grant outlined in § 1734.23 shall not be used as an in-kind matching contribution.

(e) Any financial assistance from Federal sources will not be considered as matching contributions under this subpart unless there is a Federal statutory exception specifically authorizing the Federal financial assistance to be considered as a matching contribution.

§ 1734.23 Nonapproved purposes for grants.

(a) A grant made under this subpart will not be provided or used:

(1) To pay for medical or educational equipment not having telemedicine or distance learning as its essential function;

(2) To pay for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems;

(3) To pay salaries, wages, or employee benefits to medical or educational personnel;

(4) To pay for the salaries or administrative expenses of the applicant or the project;

(5) To purchase equipment that will be owned by the local exchange carrier or another telecommunications service provider unless that service provider is the applicant.

(6) To duplicate facilities providing distance learning or telemedicine services in place or to reimburse the applicant or others for costs incurred prior to RUS' receipt of the completed application;

(7) To pay costs of preparing the application package for financial assistance under this program;

(8) For projects whose sole objective is to provide links between teachers and students or between medical professionals who are located at the same facility or campus environment;

(9) For site development and the destruction or alteration of buildings;

(10) For the purchase of land, buildings, or building construction;

(11) For projects located in areas covered by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

(12) For any purpose that the Administrator has not specifically approved;

(13) Except for leases provided for in § 1734.21, to pay the cost of recurring or operating expenses for the project; or

(14) For any other purposes not specifically contained in § 1734.21.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in § 1734.12, grants shall not be used to finance a project, in part, when the success of the project is dependent upon the receipt of additional financial assistance under this subpart or is dependent upon the receipt of other financial assistance that is not assured.

§ 1734.24 Maximum and minimum grant amounts.

Applications for grants under this subpart will be subject to limitations on the proposed amount of grant funds. The Administrator will establish the maximum and minimum amounts of a grant to be made available to an individual recipient for each fiscal year under this subpart by publishing notice of the maximum and minimum amounts in the RUS DLT Program Application Guide and/or the RUS DLT Program Web site and in the funding opportunity posted on www.Grants.gov on an annual basis.

§ 1734.25 Completed application.

The following items are required to be submitted to RUS in support of an application for grant funds:

(a) An application for Federal Assistance. A completed Standard Form 424.

(b) An executive summary of the project. The applicant must provide RUS with a general project overview that addresses the following 9 categories:

(1) A description of why the project is needed;

(2) An explanation of how the applicant will address the need cited in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, why the applicant requires financial assistance, the types of educational or medical services to be offered by the project, and the benefits to rural residents;

(3) A description of the applicant, documenting eligibility in accordance with § 1734.4;

(4) An explanation of the total project cost including a breakdown of the grant required and the source of matching contribution and other financial assistance for the remainder of the project;

(5) A statement specifying whether the project is either a distance learning or telemedicine facility as defined in § 1734.3. If the project provides both distance learning and telemedicine services, the applicant must identify the predominant use of the system;

(6) A general overview of the telecommunications system to be developed, including the types of equipment, technologies, and facilities used;

(7) A description of the participating hubs and end user sites and the number of rural residents that will be served by the project at each end user site

(8) A certification by the applicant that facilities constructed with grants do not duplicate adequate established telemedicine or distance learning services; and

(9) A listing of the location of each end user site (city, town, village, borough, or rural areas) plus the State.

(c) Scoring criteria documentation. Each grant applicant must address and provide documentation on how it meets each of the scoring criteria contained in § 1734.26, and as supplemented in the listing on grants.gov, the DLT Application Guide and the agency's Web site.

(d) A scope of work. The scope of work must include, at a minimum:

(1) The specific activities to be performed under the project;

(2) Who will carry out the activities;

(3) The time-frames for accomplishing the project objectives and activities; and

(4) A budget for all capital expenditures reflecting the line item costs for approved purposes for both the grant funds and other sources of funds for the project. Separately, the budget must specify any line item costs that are non-approved purposes for grants as contained in § 1734.23.

(e) Financial information and sustainability. The applicant must provide a narrative description demonstrating: Feasibility of the project, including having sufficient resources and expertise necessary to undertake and complete the project; and, how the project will be sustained following completion of the project.

(f) A statement of experience. The applicant must provide a written narrative (not exceeding three single spaced pages) describing its demonstrated capability and experience, if any, in operating an educational or health care endeavor and any project similar to the project. Experience in a similar project is desirable but not required.

(g) Funding commitment from other sources. The applicant must provide evidence, in form and substance satisfactory to RUS, that funding agreements have been obtained to ensure completion of the project. These agreements shall be sufficient to ensure:

(1) Payment of all proposed expenditures for the project;

(2) All required matching contributions in § 1734.22; and

(3) Any other funds necessary to complete the project.

(h) A telecommunications system plan. A telecommunications system plan consisting of the following:

(1) The capabilities of the telecommunications terminal equipment, including a description of the specific equipment which will be used to deliver the proposed service. The applicant must document discussions with various technical sources which could include consultants, engineers, product vendors, or internal technical experts, provide detailed cost estimates for operating and maintaining the end user equipment and provide evidence that alternative equipment and technologies were evaluated.

(2) A listing of the proposed telecommunications terminal equipment, telecommunications transmission facilities, data terminal equipment, interactive video equipment, computer hardware and software systems, and components that process data for transmission via telecommunications, computer network components, communication satellite ground station equipment, or any other elements of the telecommunications system designed to further the purposes of this subpart, that the applicant intends to build or fund using RUS financial assistance. If funds are being requested for broadband facilities, a description of the use of these facilities and how they will be used to deliver distance learning or telemedicine services.

(3) A description of the consultations with the appropriate telecommunications carriers (including other interexchange carriers, cable television operators, enhanced service providers, providers of satellite services and telecommunications equipment manufacturers and distributors) and the anticipated role of such providers in the proposed telecommunications system.

(i) Compliance with other Federal statutes. The applicant must provide evidence of compliance with other Federal statutes and regulations including, but not limited to the following:

(1) E.O. 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity, as amended by E.O. 11375 and as supplemented by regulations contained in 41 CFR part 60;

(2) Architectural barriers;

(3) Flood hazard area precautions;

(4) Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970;

(5) Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998 (41 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.), 2 CFR part 421;

(6) E.O.s 12549 and 12689, Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180, which is adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 417;

(7) Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment (31 U.S.C. 1352), 2 CFR part 418.

(j) Environmental review requirements.

(1) The applicant must provide details of the project's impact on the human environment and historic properties, in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970. The application must contain a separate section entitled “Environmental Impact of the Project.”

(2) The applicant must use any programmatic environmental agreements, available from RUS, in effect at the time of filing to assist in complying with the requirements of this section.

(k) Evidence of legal authority and existence. The applicant must provide evidence of its legal existence and authority to enter into a grant agreement with RUS and perform the activities proposed under the grant application.

(l) Federal debt certification. The applicant must provide a certification that it is not delinquent on any obligation owed to the government (31 U.S.C. 3720B).

(m) Consultation with USDA State Director, Rural Development. The applicant must provide evidence that it has consulted with the USDA State Director, Rural Development, concerning the availability of other sources of funding available at the State or local level.

(n) Supplemental information. The applicant should provide any additional information it considers relevant to the project and likely to be helpful in determining the extent to which the project would further the purposes of the 1996 Act.

§ 1734.26 Criteria for scoring grant applications.

The criteria by which applications will be scored will be published in the RUS DLT Program application guide and/or the RUS DLT Program Web site and in the funding opportunity posted on www.Grants.gov Web site on an annual basis. The criteria will be used to determine and evaluate: Rurality; economic need; service need and benefit; and special considerations as determined by the Administrator

§ 1734.27 Application selection provisions.

(a) Applications will be evaluated competitively by the Agency and will be ranked in accordance with § 1734.26. Applications will then be awarded generally in rank order until all grant funds are expended, subject to paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. RUS will make determinations regarding the reasonableness of all numbers; dollar levels; rates; the nature and design of the project; costs; location; and other characteristics of the application and the project to determine the number of points assigned to a grant application for all selection criteria.

(b) Regardless of the number of points an application receives in accordance with § 1734.26, the Administrator may, based on a review of the applications in accordance with the requirements of this subpart:

(1) Limit the number of applications selected for projects located in any one State during a fiscal year;

(2) Limit the number of selected applications for a particular type of project;

(3) Select an application receiving fewer points than another higher scoring application if there are insufficient funds during a particular funding period to select the higher scoring application. In this case, however, the Administrator will provide the applicant of the higher scoring application the opportunity to reduce the amount of its grant request to the amount of funds available. If the applicant agrees to lower its grant request, it must certify that the purposes of the project can be met, and the Administrator must determine the project is financially feasible at the lower amount in accordance with § 1734.25(e). An applicant or multiple applicants affected under this paragraph will have the opportunity to be considered for loan financing in accordance with subparts C and D of this part.

(c) RUS will not approve a grant if RUS determines that:

(1) The applicant's proposal does not indicate financial feasibility or is not sustainable in accordance with the requirements of § 1734.25(e);

(2) The applicant's proposal indicates technical flaws, which, in the opinion of RUS, would prevent successful implementation, operation, or sustainability of the project;

(3) Other applications would provide more benefit to rural America based on a review of the financial and technical information submitted in accordance with § 1734.25(e).

(4) Any other aspect of the applicant's proposal fails to adequately address any requirement of this subpart or contains inadequacies which would, in the opinion of RUS, undermine the ability of the project to meet the general purpose of this subpart or comply with policies of the DLT Program contained in § 1734.2.

(d) RUS may reduce the amount of the applicant's grant based on insufficient program funding for the fiscal year in which the project is reviewed. RUS will discuss its findings informally with the applicant and make every effort to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with the applicant. Any discussions with the applicant and agreements made with regard to a reduced grant amount will be confirmed in writing.

§ 1734.28 Submission of applications.

(a) Applications will be accepted as announced in the RUS DLT Program application guide and/or the RUS DLT Program Web site and in the funding opportunity posted on www.Grants.gov on an annual basis.

(b) When submitting paper applications:

(1) Applications for grants shall be submitted to the RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1590, Washington, DC 20250-1590. Applications should be marked “Attention: Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program”.

(2) Applications must be submitted to RUS postmarked no later than the application filing deadline established by the Administrator if the applications are to be considered during the period for which the application was submitted. The deadline for submission of applications each fiscal year will be announced in the RUS DLT Program application guide and/or the RUS DLT Program Web site and in the funding opportunity posted on www.Grants.gov on an annual basis.

(3) All applicants must submit an original and a digital copy of a completed application.

§ 1734.29 Appeals.

RUS Telecommunications and Electric Borrowers may appeal the decision to reject their application. Any appeal must be made, in writing, within 10 days after the applicant is notified of the determination to deny the application. Appeals shall be submitted to the Administrator, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1590, Washington, DC 20250-1590. Thereafter, the Administrator will review the appeal to determine whether to sustain, reverse, or modify the original determination. Final determinations will be made after consideration of all appeals. The Administrator's determination will be final. A copy of the Administrator's decision will be furnished promptly to the applicant.

Subpart C—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Combination Loan and Grant Program
§ 1734.30 Use of combination loan and grant.

(a) A combination loan and grant may be used by eligible organizations as defined in § 1734.4 for distance learning and telemedicine projects to finance 100 percent of the cost of approved purposes contained in § 1734.31 provided that no financial assistance may exceed the maximum amount for the year in which the combination loan and grant is made published in the funding opportunity posted on www.grants.gov on an annual basis.

(b) Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirement for determining the extent to which the project serves rural areas as determined in § 1734.26(b)

§ 1734.31 Approved purposes for a combination loan and grant.

The approved purposes for a combination loan and grant are:

(a) Acquiring, by lease or purchase, eligible equipment or facilities as defined in § 1734.3;

(b) Acquiring instructional programming;

(c) Providing technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment, including any related software; developing instructional programming; providing engineering or environmental studies relating to the establishment or expansion of the phase of the project that is being financed with a combination loan and grant (this purpose shall not exceed 10 percent of the total requested financial assistance);

(d) Paying for medical or educational equipment and facilities that are shown to be necessary to implement the project, including vehicles utilizing distance learning and telemedicine technology to deliver educational and health care services. The applicant must demonstrate that such items are necessary to meet the purposes under this subpart and financial assistance for such equipment and facilities is not available from other sources at a cost which would not adversely affect the economic viability of the project;

(e) Providing links between teachers and students or medical professionals who are located at the same facility, provided that such facility receives or provides distance learning or telemedicine services as part of a distance learning or telemedicine network which meets the purposes of this subpart;

(f) Providing for site development and alteration of buildings in order to meet the purposes of this subpart. Financial assistance for this purpose must be necessary and incidental to the total amount of financial assistance requested;

(g) Purchasing of land, buildings, or building construction determined by RUS to be necessary and incidental to the project. The applicant must demonstrate that financial assistance funding from other sources is not available at a cost that does not adversely impact the economic viability of the project as determined by the Administrator. Financial assistance for this purpose must be necessary and incidental to the total amount of financial assistance requested; and

(h) Acquiring telecommunications or broadband facilities provided that no telecommunications carrier will install such facilities under the Act or through other financial procedures within a reasonable time period and at a cost to the applicant that does not impact the economic viability of the project, as determined by the Administrator.

§ 1734.32 Nonapproved purposes for a combination loan and grant.

(a) Without limitation, a combination loan and grant made under this subpart shall not be expended:

(1) To pay salaries, wages, or employee benefits to medical or educational personnel;

(2) To pay for the salaries or administrative expenses of the applicant or the project;

(3) To purchase equipment that will be owned by the local exchange carrier or another telecommunications service provider, unless the applicant is the local exchange carrier or other telecommunications service provider;

(4) To duplicate facilities providing distance learning or telemedicine services in place or to reimburse the applicant or others for costs incurred prior to RUS' receipt of the completed application;

(5) For projects located in areas covered by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

(6) For any purpose that the Administrator has not specifically approved;

(7) Except for leases (see § 1734.31), to pay the cost of recurring or operating expenses for the project; or,

(8) For any other purposes not specifically outlined in § 1734.31.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in § 1734.12, funds shall not be used to finance a project, in part, when the success of the project is dependent upon the receipt of additional financial assistance under this subpart or is dependent upon the receipt of other funding that is not assured.

§ 1734.33 Maximum and minimum amounts.

Applications for a combination loan and grant under this subpart will be subject to limitations on the proposed amount of loans and grants. The Administrator will establish the maximum and minimum amount of loans and grants and the portion of grant funds as a percentage of total assistance for each project to be made available to an individual recipient for each fiscal year under this subpart, by posting a funding opportunity in the RUS DLT Program Application Guide and/or the RUS DLT Program Web site and in the funding opportunity posted on www.Grants.gov on an annual basis.

§ 1734.34 Completed application.

The following items are required to be submitted to RUS in support of an application for a combination loan and grant:

(a) An application for federal assistance: A completed Standard Form 424.

(b) An executive summary of the project: The applicant must provide RUS with a general project overview that addresses each of the following 9 categories:

(1) A description of why the project is needed;

(2) An explanation of how the applicant will address the need cited in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, why the applicant requires financial assistance, the types of educational or medical services to be offered by the project, and the benefits to the rural residents;

(3) A description of the applicant, documenting eligibility in accordance with § 1734.4;

(4) An explanation of the total project cost including a breakdown of the combination loan and grant required and the source of funding, if applicable, for the remainder of the project;

(5) A statement specifying whether the project provides predominantly distance learning or telemedicine services as defined in § 1734.3. If the project provides both distance learning and telemedicine services, the applicant must identify the predominant use of the system;

(6) A general overview of the telecommunications system to be developed, including the types of equipment, technologies, and facilities used;

(7) A description of the participating hubs and end user sites and the number of rural residents that will be served by the project at each end user site;

(8) A certification by the applicant that facilities constructed with a combination loan and grant do not duplicate adequately established telemedicine or distance learning services.

(9) A listing of the location of each end user site (city, town, village, borough, or rural area plus the State).

(c) A scope of work. The scope of work must include, at a minimum:

(1) The specific activities to be performed under the project;

(2) Who will carry out the activities;

(3) The time-frames for accomplishing the project objectives and activities; and

(4) A budget for capital expenditures reflecting the line item costs for both the combination loan and grant and any other sources of funds for the project.

(d) Financial information. The applicant must show its financial ability to complete the project; show project feasibility; and provide evidence that it can execute a note for a loan with a maturity period greater than one year. For educational institutions participating in a project application (including all members of a consortium), the financial data must reflect revenue and expense reports and balance sheet reports, reflecting net worth, for the most recent annual reporting period preceding the date of the application. For medical institutions participating in a project application (including all members of a consortium), the financial data must include income statement and balance sheet reports, reflecting net worth, for the most recent completed fiscal year preceding the date of the application. When the applicant is a partnership, company, corporation, or other entity, current balance sheets, reflecting net worth, are needed from each of the entities that has at least a 20 percent interest in such partnership, company, corporation or other entity. When the applicant is a consortium, a current balance sheet, reflecting net worth, is needed from each member of the consortium and from each of the entities that has at least a 20 percent interest in such member of the consortium.

(1) Applicants must include sufficient pro-forma financial data that adequately reflects the financial capability of project participants and the project as a whole to continue a sustainable project for a minimum of 10 years and repay the loan portion of the combination loan and grant. This documentation should include sources of sufficient income or revenues to pay operating expenses including telecommunications access and toll charges, system maintenance, salaries, training, and any other general operating expenses, provide for replacement of depreciable items, and show repayment of interest and principal for the loan portion of the combination loan and grant.

(2) A list of property which will be used as collateral to secure repayment of the loan. The applicant shall purchase and own collateral that secures the loan free from liens or security interests and take all actions necessary to perfect a security interest in the collateral that secures the loan. RUS considers as adequate security for a loan, a guarantee by a RUS Telecommunications or Electric borrower or by another qualified party. Additional forms of security, including letters of credit, real estate, or any other items will be considered. RUS will determine the adequacy of the security offered.

(3) As applicable, a depreciation schedule covering all assets of the project. Those assets for which a combination loan and grant are being requested should be clearly indicated.

(4) For each hub and end user site, the applicant must identify and provide reasonable evidence of each source of revenue. If the projection relies on cost sharing arrangements among hub and end user sites, the applicant must provide evidence of agreements made among project participants.

(5) For applicants eligible under § 1734.4(1), an explanation of the economic analysis justifying the rate structure to ensure that the benefit, including cost saving, of the financial assistance is passed through to the other persons receiving telemedicine or distance learning services.

(e) A statement of experience. The applicant must provide a written narrative (not exceeding three single spaced pages) describing its demonstrated capability and experience, if any, in operating an educational or health care endeavor similar to the project. Experience in a similar project is desirable but not required.

(f) A telecommunications system plan. A telecommunications system plan, consisting of the following (the items in paragraphs (f)(4) and (5) of this section are required only when the applicant is requesting a combination loan and grant for telecommunications transmission facilities):

(1) The capabilities of the telecommunications terminal equipment, including a description of the specific equipment which will be used to deliver the proposed service. The applicant must document discussions with various technical sources which could include consultants, engineers, product vendors, or internal technical experts, provide detailed cost estimates for operating and maintaining the end user equipment and provide evidence that alternative equipment and technologies were evaluated.

(2) A listing of the proposed purchases or leases of telecommunications terminal equipment, telecommunications or broadband transmission facilities, data terminal equipment, interactive video equipment, computer hardware and software systems, and components that process data for transmission via telecommunications, computer network components, communication satellite ground station equipment, or any other elements of the telecommunications system designed to further the purposes of this subpart, that the applicant intends to build or fund using a combination loan and grant.

(3) A description of the consultations with the appropriate telecommunications carriers (including other interexchange carriers, cable television operators, enhanced service providers, providers of satellite services, and telecommunications equipment manufacturers and distributors) and the anticipated role of such providers in the proposed telecommunications system.

(4) Results of discussions with local exchange carriers serving the project area addressing the concerns contained in § 1734.31(h).

(5) The capabilities of the telecommunications or broadband transmission facilities, including bandwidth, networking topology, switching, multiplexing, standards, and protocols for intra-networking and open systems architecture (the ability to effectively communicate with other networks). In addition, the applicant must explain the manner in which the transmission facilities will deliver the proposed services. For example, for medical diagnostics, the applicant might indicate whether or not a guest or other diagnosticians can join the network from locations off the network. For educational services, indicate whether or not all hub and end-user sites are able to simultaneously hear in real-time and see each other or the instructional material in real-time. The applicant must include detailed cost estimates for operating and maintaining the network, and include evidence that alternative delivery methods and systems were evaluated.

(g) Compliance with other Federal statutes. The applicant must provide evidence of compliance with other federal statutes and regulations including, but not limited to the following:

(1) E.O. 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity, as amended by E.O. 11375 and as supplemented by regulations contained in 41 CFR part 60;

(2) Architectural barriers;

(3) Flood hazard area precautions;

(4) Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970;

(5) Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998 (41 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.), 2 CFR part 421;

(6) E.O.s 12549 and 12689, Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180, which is adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 417;

(7) Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment (31 U.S.C. 1352), 2 CFR part 418.

(h) Environmental review requirements.

(1) The applicant must provide details of the project's impact on the human environment and historic properties, in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970. The application must contain a separate section entitled “Environmental Impact of the Project.”

(2) The applicant must use any programmatic environmental agreements, available from RUS, in effect at the time of filing to assist in complying with the requirements of this section.

(i) Evidence of legal authority and existence. The applicant must provide evidence of its legal existence and authority to enter into a grant and incur debt with RUS.

(j) Federal debt certification. The applicant must provide evidence that it is not delinquent on any obligation owed to the government (31 U.S.C. 3720B).

(k) Supplemental information. The applicant should provide any additional information it considers relevant to the project and likely to be helpful in determining the extent to which the project would further the purposes of this subpart.

(l) Additional information required by RUS. The applicant must provide any additional information RUS may consider relevant to the application and necessary to adequately evaluate the application. RUS may also request modifications or changes, including changes in the amount of funds requested, in any proposal described in an application submitted under this subpart.

§ 1734.35 Application selection provisions.

(a) A combination loan and grant will be approved based on availability of funds, the financial feasibility of the project in accordance with § 1734.34(d), the services to be provided which demonstrate that the project meets the general requirements of this subpart, the design of the project; costs; location; and other characteristics of the application.

(b) RUS will determine, from the information submitted with each application for a combination loan and grant, whether the application achieves sufficient priority, based on the criteria set forth in the 1996 Act, to receive a combination loan and grant from funds available for the fiscal year. If such priority is achieved, RUS will process the combination loan and grant application on a first-in, first-out basis, provided that the total amount of applications on-hand for combination loans and grants does not exceed 90 percent of the total loan and grant funding available for the fiscal year. At such time as the total amount of applications eligible for combination loans and grants, if such applications were approved, exceeds 90 percent of amount of combination loan and grant funding available, RUS will process the remaining applications using the evaluation criteria referenced in § 1734.26.

(c) RUS will not approve a combination loan and grant if RUS determines that:

(1) The applicant's proposal does not indicate financial feasibility, or will not be adequately secured in accordance with the requirements contained in § 1734.34(d);

(2) The applicant's proposal indicates technical flaws, which, in the opinion of RUS, would prevent successful implementation, or operation of the project; or

(3) Any other aspect of the applicant's proposal fails to adequately address any requirements of this subpart or contains inadequacies which would, in the opinion of RUS, undermine the ability of the project to meet the general purpose of this subpart or comply with policies of the DLT program contained in § 1734.2.

(d) RUS will provide the applicant with a statement of any determinations made with regard to paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section. The applicant will be provided 15 days from the date of RUS' letter to respond, provide clarification, or make any adjustments or corrections to the project. If, in the opinion of the Administrator, the applicant fails to adequately respond to any determinations or other findings made by the Administrator, the project will not be funded, and the applicant will be notified of this determination. If the applicant does not agree with this finding, an appeal may be filed in accordance with § 1734.37.

§ 1734.36 Submission of applications.

(a) RUS will accept applications for a combination loan and grant submitted by RUS Telecommunications General Field Representatives (GFRs), by Rural Development State Directors, or by applicants themselves. Applications for a combination loan and grant under this subpart may be filed at any time and will be evaluated as received.

(b) Applications submitted to the State Director, Rural Development, in the State serving the headquarters of the project will be evaluated as they are submitted. All applicants must submit an original and an electronic copy of a completed application. The applicant must also submit a copy of the application to the State government point of contact, if one has been designated for the State, at the same time it submits an application to the State Director. The State Director will:

(1) Review each application for completeness in accordance with § 1734.34, and notify the applicant, within 15 working days of receiving the application, of the results of this review, acknowledging a complete application, or citing any information that is incomplete. To be considered for a combination loan and grant, the applicant must submit any additional information requested to complete the application within 15 working days of the date of the State Director's written response. If the applicant fails to submit such information, the application will be returned to the applicant.

(2) Within 30 days of the determination of a completed application in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, review the application to determine suitability for financial assistance in accordance with § 1734.35, and other requirements of this subpart. Based on its review, the State Director will work with the applicant to resolve any questions or obtain any additional information. The applicant will be notified, in writing, of any additional information required to allow a financial assistance recommendation and will be provided a reasonable period of time to furnish the additional information.

(3) Based on the review in accordance with § 1734.35 and other requirements of this subpart, make a preliminary determination of suitability for financial assistance. A combination loan and grant recommendation will be prepared by the State Director with concurrence of the RUS telecommunications GFR that addresses the provisions of § 1734.34 and § 1734.35 and other applicable requirements of this subpart.

(4) If the application is determined suitable for further consideration by RUS, forward an original and electronic version of the application with a financial assistance recommendation, signed jointly, to the Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, Washington, DC. The applicant will be notified by letter of this action. Upon receipt of the application from the State Director, RUS will conduct a review of the application and the financial assistance recommendation. A final determination will be made within 15 days. If the Administrator determines that a combination loan and grant can be approved, the State Director will be notified and the State Director will notify the applicant. A combination loan and grant will be processed, approved, and serviced in accordance with §§ 1734.5 through 1734.12.

(5) If the State Director determines that the application is not suitable for further consideration by RUS, notify the applicant with the reasons for this determination.

(c) Applications submitted by RUS Telecommunications GFRs or directly by applicants will be evaluated as they are submitted. All applicants must submit an original and an electronic version a completed application. The applicant must also submit a copy of the application to the State government point of contact, if one has been designated for the State, at the same time it submits an application to RUS. RUS will:

(1) Review each application for completeness in accordance with § 1734.34, and notify the applicant, within 15 working days of receiving the application, of the results of this review, acknowledging a complete application, or citing any information that is incomplete. To be considered for a combination loan and grant assistance, the applicant must submit any additional information requested to complete the application within 15 working days of the date of the RUS written response. If the applicant fails to submit such information, the application will be returned to the applicant.

(2) Within 30 days of the determination of a completed application in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section, review the application to determine suitability for financial assistance in accordance with § 1734.35, and other requirements of this subpart. Based on its review, RUS will work with the applicant to resolve any questions or obtain any additional information. The applicant will be notified, in writing, of any additional information required to allow a financial assistance recommendation and will be provided a reasonable period of time to furnish the additional information.

(3) If the application is determined suitable for further consideration by RUS, conduct a review of the application and financial assistance recommendation. A final determination will be made within 15 days. If the Administrator determines that a combination loan and grant can be approved, the applicant will be notified. A combination loan and grant will be processed, approved, and serviced in accordance with §§ 1734.5 through 1734.12.

(4) If RUS determines that the application is not suitable for further consideration, notify the applicant with the reasons for this determination. The applicant will be able to appeal in accordance with § 1734.37.

§ 1734.37 Appeals.

RUS Electric and Telecommunications Borrowers may appeal a decision to reject their application. Any appeal must be made, in writing, within 10 days after the applicant is notified of the determination to deny the application. Appeals shall be submitted to the Administrator, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1590, Washington, DC 20250-1590. Thereafter, the Administrator will review the appeal to determine whether to sustain, reverse, or modify the original determination. Final determinations will be made after consideration of all appeals. The Administrator's determination will be final. A copy of the Administrator's decision will be furnished promptly to the applicant.

§§ 1734.38-1734.39 [Reserved]
Subpart D—Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan Program
§ 1734.40 Use of loan funds.

A loan may be used by eligible organizations as defined in § 1734.4 for distance learning and telemedicine projects to finance 100 percent of the cost of approved purposes contained in § 1734.41 provided that no financial assistance may exceed the maximum amount for the year in which the loan is made. Entities seeking a loan must be able to provide security and execute a note with a maturity period greater than one year. The following entities are eligible for loans under this subpart:

(a) Organizations as defined in § 1734.4. If a RUS Telecommunications Borrower is seeking a loan, the borrower does not need to submit all of the financial security information required by § 1734.44(d). The borrower's latest financial report (Form 479) filed with RUS and any additional information relevant to the project, as determined by RUS, will suffice;

(b) Any non-profit or for-profit entity, public or private entity, urban or rural institution, or rural educational broadcaster, which proposes to provide and receive distance learning and telemedicine services to carry out the purposes of this subpart; or

(c) Any entity that contracts with an eligible organization in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section for constructing distance learning or telemedicine facilities for the purposes contained in § 1734.41, except for those purposes in § 1734.41(h).

(d) Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirement for determining the extent to which the project serves rural areas as contained in § 1734.26(b)

§ 1734.41 Approved purposes for loans.

The following are approved purposes for loans:

(a) Acquiring, by lease or purchase, eligible equipment or facilities as defined in § 1734.3;

(b) Acquiring instructional programming;

(c) Providing technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment, including any related software; developing instructional programming; providing engineering or environmental studies relating to the establishment or expansion of the phase of the project that is being financed with the loan (financial assistance for this purpose shall not exceed 10 percent of the requested financial assistance);

(d) Paying for medical or educational equipment and facilities which are shown to be necessary to implement the project, including vehicles utilizing distance learning and telemedicine technology to deliver educational and health care services. The applicant must demonstrate that such items are necessary to meet the purposes under this subpart and financial assistance for such equipment and facilities is not available from other sources at a cost which would not adversely affect the economic viability of the project;

(e) Providing links between teachers and students or medical professionals who are located at the same facility, provided that such facility receives or provides distance learning or telemedicine services as part of a distance learning or telemedicine network which meets the purposes of this subpart;

(f) Providing for site development and alteration of buildings in order to meet the purposes of this subpart. Loans for this purpose must be necessary and incidental to the total amount of financial assistance requested;

(g) Purchasing of land, buildings, or building construction, where such costs are demonstrated necessary to construct distance learning and telemedicine facilities. The applicant must demonstrate that funding from other sources is not available at a cost which does not adversely impact the economic viability of the project as determined by the Administrator. Financial assistance for this purpose must be necessary and incidental to the total amount of financial assistance requested;

(h) Acquiring of telecommunications or broandband facilities provided that no telecommunications carrier will install such facilities under the Act or through other financial procedures within a reasonable time period and at a cost to the applicant that does not impact the economic viability of the project, as determined by the Administrator;

(i) Any project costs, except for salaries and administrative expenses, not included in paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section, incurred during the first two years of operation after the financial assistance has been approved. The applicant must show that financing such costs are necessary for the establishment or continued operation of the project and that financing is not available for such costs elsewhere, including from the applicant's financial resources. The Administrator will determine whether such costs will be financed based on information submitted by the applicant. Loans shall not be made exclusively to finance such costs, and financing for such costs will not exceed 20 percent of the loan provided to a project under this section; and

(j) All of the costs needed to provide distance learning broadcasting to rural areas. Loans may be used to cover the costs of facilities and end-user equipment dedicated to providing educational broadcasting to rural areas for distance learning purposes. If the facilities are not 100 percent dedicated to broadcasting, a portion of the financing may be used to fund such facilities based on a percentage of use factor that approximates the distance learning broadcasting portion of use.

§ 1734.42 Non-approved purposes for loans.

(a) Loans made under this subpart will not be provided to pay the costs of recurring or operating expenses incurred after two years from approval of the project except for leases (see § 1734.41).

(b) Loans made under this subpart will not be provided for any of the following costs:

(1) To purchase equipment that will be owned by the local exchange carrier or another telecommunications service provider, unless the applicant is the local exchange carrier or other telecommunications service provider;

(2) To duplicate facilities providing distance learning or telemedicine services in place or to reimburse the applicant or others for costs incurred prior to RUS' receipt of the completed application;

(3) For projects located in areas covered by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.); or

(4) To pay for salaries, wages, or administrative expenses; or

(5) For any purpose that the Administrator has not specifically approved.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in § 1734.12, funds shall not be used to finance a project, in part, when the success of the project is dependent upon the receipt of additional financial assistance under this subpart D or is dependent upon the receipt of other funding that is not assured.

§ 1734.43 Maximum and minimum amounts.

Applications for loans under this subpart will be subject to limitations on the proposed amount of loans. The Administrator will establish the maximum amount of a loan available to an applicant under this subpart.

§ 1734.44 Completed application.

The following items are required to be submitted in support of an application for a loan:

(a) An application for federal assistance: A completed standard form 424.

(b) An executive summary of the project. The applicant must provide RUS with a general project overview that addresses each of the following 9 categories:

(1) A description of why the project is needed;

(2) An explanation of how the applicant will address the need (see paragraph (b)(1) of this section), why the applicant requires financial assistance, the types of educational or medical services to be offered by the project, and the benefits to the rural residents;

(3) A description of the applicant, documenting eligibility in accordance with § 1734.4;

(4) An explanation of the total project cost including a breakdown of the loan required and the source of funding, if applicable, for the remainder of the project;

(5) A statement specifying whether the project provides predominantly distance learning or telemedicine services as defined in § 1734.3. If the project provides both distance learning and telemedicine services, the applicant must identify the predominant use of the system;

(6) A general overview of the telecommunications system to be developed, including the types of equipment, technologies, and facilities used;

(7) A description of the participating hubs and end user sites and the number of rural residents which will be served by the project at each end user site;

(8) A certification by the applicant that facilities funded by a loan do not duplicate adequate established telemedicine or distance learning services;

(9) A listing of the location of each end user site (city, town, village, borough, or rural area plus the State).

(c) A scope of work. The scope of work must include, at a minimum:

(1) The specific activities to be performed under the project;

(2) Who will carry out the activities;

(3) The time-frames for accomplishing the project objectives and activities; and

(4) A budget for capital expenditures reflecting the line item costs for the loan and any other sources of funds for the project.

(d) Financial information. The applicant must show its financial ability to complete the project; show project feasibility; and provide evidence that it can execute a note for a loan for a maturity period greater than one year. For educational institutions participating in a project application (including all members of a consortium), the financial data must reflect revenue and expense reports and balance sheet reports, reflecting net worth, for the most recent annual reporting period preceding the date of the application. For medical institutions participating in a project application (including all members of a consortium), the financial data must include income statement and balance sheet reports, reflecting net worth, for the most recent completed fiscal year preceding the date of the application. When the applicant is a partnership, company, corporation, or other entity, current balance sheets, reflecting net worth, are needed from each of the entities that has at least a 20 percent interest in such partnership, company, corporation or other entity. When the applicant is a consortium, a current balance sheet, reflecting net worth, is needed from each member of the consortium and from each of the entities that has at least a 20 percent interest in such member of the consortium.

(1) Applicants must include sufficient pro-forma financial data which adequately reflects the financial capability of project participants and the project as a whole to continue a sustainable project for a minimum of 10 years and repay the requested loan. This documentation should include sources of sufficient income or revenues to pay operating expenses including telecommunications access and toll charges, system maintenance, salaries, training, and any other general operating expenses, provide for replacement of depreciable items, and show repayment of interest and principal for the loan.

(2) A list of property which will be used as collateral to secure repayment of the proposed loan. The applicant shall purchase and own collateral that secures the loan free from liens or security interests and take all actions necessary to perfect a first lien in the collateral that secures the loan. RUS will consider as adequate security a loan guarantee by a telecommunications or electric borrower or by another qualified party. Additional forms of security, including letters of credit, real estate, or any other items will be considered. RUS will determine the adequacy of the security offered.

(3) As applicable, a depreciation schedule covering all assets of the project. Those assets for which a loan is being requested should be clearly indicated.

(4) For each hub and end user site, the applicant must identify and provide reasonable evidence of each source of revenue. If the projection relies on cost sharing arrangements among hub and end user sites, the applicant must provide evidence of agreements made among project participants.

(5) For applicants eligible under § 1734.4(a)(1), an explanation of the economic analysis justifying the rate structure to ensure that the benefit, including cost saving, of the financial assistance is passed through to the other persons receiving telemedicine or distance learning services.

(e) A statement of experience. The applicant must provide a written narrative (not exceeding three single spaced pages) describing its demonstrated capability and experience, if any, in operating an educational or health care endeavor and any project similar to the project. Experience in a similar project is desirable but not required.

(f) A telecommunications system plan. A telecommunications system plan, consisting of the following (the items in paragraphs (f)(4) and (5) of this section are required only when the applicant is requesting a loan for telecommunications transmission facilities):

(1) The capabilities of the telecommunications terminal equipment, including a description of the specific equipment which will be used to deliver the proposed service. The applicant must document discussions with various technical sources which could include consultants, engineers, product vendors, or internal technical experts, provide detailed cost estimates for operating and maintaining the end user equipment and provide evidence that alternative equipment and technologies were evaluated.

(2) A listing of the proposed purchases or leases of telecommunications terminal equipment, telecommunications transmission facilities, data terminal equipment, interactive video equipment, computer hardware and software systems, and components that process data for transmission via telecommunications, computer network components, communication satellite ground station equipment, or any other elements of the telecommunications system designed to further the purposes of this subpart, that the applicant intends to build or fund using a loan.

(3) A description of the consultations with the appropriate telecommunications carriers (including other interexchange carriers, cable television operators, enhanced service providers, providers of satellite services, and telecommunications equipment manufacturers and distributors) and the anticipated role of such providers in the proposed telecommunications system.

(4) Results of discussions with local exchange carriers serving the project area addressing the concerns contained in § 1734.41(h).

(5) The capabilities of the telecommunications transmission facilities, including bandwidth, networking topology, switching, multiplexing, standards, and protocols for intra-networking and open systems architecture (the ability to effectively communicate with other networks). In addition, the applicant must explain the manner in which the transmission facilities will deliver the proposed services. For example, for medical diagnostics, the applicant might indicate whether or not a guest or other diagnosticians can join the network from locations off the network. For educational services, indicate whether or not all hub and end-user sites are able to simultaneously hear in real-time and see each other or the instructional material in real-time. The applicant must include detailed cost estimates for operating and maintaining the network, and include evidence that alternative delivery methods and systems were evaluated.

(g) Compliance with other Federal statutes. The applicant must provide evidence of compliance with other Federal statutes and regulations including, but not limited to the following:

(1) E.O. 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity, as amended by E.O. 11375 and as supplemented by regulations contained in 41 CFR part 60;

(2) Architectural barriers;

(3) Flood hazard area precautions;

(4) Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970;

(5) Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998 (41 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.), 2 CFR part 421;

(6) E.O.s 12549 and 12689, Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180, which is adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 417;

(7) Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment (31 U.S.C. 1352), 2 CFR part 418.

(h) Environmental review requirements.

(1) The applicant must provide details of the project's impact on the environment and historic properties, in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970. The application must contain a separate section entitled “Environmental Impact of the Project.”

(2) The applicant must use any programmatic environmental agreements, available from RUS, in effect at the time of filing to assist in complying with the requirements of this section.

(i) Evidence of legal authority and existence. The applicant must provide evidence of its legal existence and authority to enter into debt with RUS and perform the activities proposed under the loan application.

(j) Federal debt certification. The applicants must provide a certification that it is not delinquent on any obligation owed to the government (31 U.S.C. 3720B).

(k) Supplemental information. The applicant should provide any additional information it considers relevant to the project and likely to be helpful in determining the extent to which the project would further the purposes of this subpart.

(l) Additional information required by RUS. The applicant must provide any additional information RUS determines is necessary to adequately evaluate the application. Modifications or changes, including changes in the loan amount requested, may be requested in any project described in an application submitted under this subpart.

§ 1734.45 Application selection provisions.

(a) Loans will be approved based on availability of funds, the financial feasibility of the project in accordance with § 1734.44(d), the services to be provided which demonstrate that the project meets the general requirements of this subpart, the design of the project; costs; location; and other characteristics of the application.

(b) RUS will determine, from the information submitted with each application for a loan, whether the application achieves sufficient priority, based on the criteria set forth in the 1996 Act, to receive a loan from funds available for the fiscal year. If such priority is achieved, RUS will process the loan application on a first-in, first-out basis, provided that the total amount of applications on-hand for loans does not exceed 90 percent of the total loan funding available for the fiscal year. At such time as the total amount of applications eligible for loans, if such applications were approved, exceeds 90 percent of amount of loan funding available, RUS will process the remaining applications using the evaluation criteria referenced in § 1734.26.

(c) A loan will not be approved if it is determined that:

(1) The applicant's proposal does not indicate financial feasibility, or is not adequately secured in accordance with the requirements of § 1734.44(d);

(2) The applicant's proposal indicates technical flaws, which, in the opinion of RUS, would prevent successful implementation, or operation of the project; or

(3) Any other aspect of the applicant's proposal fails to adequately address any requirements of this subpart or contains inadequacies which would, in the opinion of RUS, undermine the ability of the project to meet the general purpose of this subpart or comply with policies of the DLT program contained in § 1734.2.

(d) RUS will provide the applicant with a statement of any determinations made with regard to paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section. The applicant will be provided 15 days from the date of the RUS letter to respond, provide clarification, or make any adjustments or corrections to the project. If, in the opinion of the Administrator, the applicant fails to adequately respond to any determinations or other findings made by the Administrator, the loan will not be approved, and the applicant will be notified of this determination. If the applicant does not agree with this finding an appeal may be filed in accordance with § 1734.47.

§ 1734.46 Submission of applications.

(a) RUS will accept applications for loans submitted by RUS Telecommunications GFRs, by Rural Development State Directors, or by applicants themselves. Applications for loans under this subpart may be filed at any time and will be evaluated as received on a non-competitive basis.

(b) Applications submitted to the State Director, Rural Development, in the State serving the headquarters of the project will be evaluated as they are submitted. All applicants must submit an original and an electronic version of a completed application. The applicant must also submit a copy of the application to the State government point of contact, if one has been designated for the State, at the same time it submits an application to the State Director. The State Director will:

(1) Review each application for completeness in accordance with § 1734.44, and notify the applicant, within 15 working days of receiving the application, of the results of this review, acknowledging a complete application, or citing any information that is incomplete. To be considered for a loan, the applicant must submit any additional information requested to complete the application within 15 working days of the date of the State Director's written response. If the applicant fails to submit such information, the application will be returned to the applicant.

(2) Within 30 days of the determination of a completed application in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, review the application to determine suitability for financial assistance in accordance with § 1734.45, and other requirements of this subpart. Based on its review, the State Director will work with the applicant to resolve any questions or obtain any additional information. The applicant will be notified, in writing, of any additional information required to allow a financial assistance recommendation and will be provided a reasonable period of time to furnish the additional information.

(3) Based on the review in accordance with § 1734.45 and other requirements of this subpart, make a preliminary determination of suitability for financial assistance. A loan recommendation will be prepared by the State Director with concurrence of the RUS telecommunications GFR that addresses the provisions of §§ 1734.44 and 1734.45 and other applicable requirements of this subpart.

(4) If the application is determined suitable for further consideration by RUS, forward an original and an electronic version of the application with a loan recommendation, signed jointly, to the Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, Washington, DC. The applicant will be notified by letter of this action. Upon receipt of the application from the State Director, RUS will conduct a cursory review of the application and the recommendation. A final determination will be made within 15 days. If the Administrator determines that a loan can be approved, the State Director will be notified and the State Director will notify the applicant. Applications for loans will be processed, and approved loans serviced, in accordance with §§ 1734.5 through 1734.12.

(5) If the State Director determines that the application is not suitable for further consideration by RUS, notify the applicant with the reasons for this determination.

(c) Applications submitted by RUS Telecommunications GFRs or directly by applicants will be evaluated as they are submitted. All applicants must submit an original and an electronic version of a completed application. The applicant must also submit a copy of the application to the State government point of contact, if one has been designated for the State, at the same time it submits an application to the RUS. RUS will:

(1) Review each application for completeness in accordance with § 1734.44, and notify the applicant, within 15 working days of receiving the application, of the results of this review, acknowledging a complete application, or citing any information that is incomplete. To be considered for a loan, the applicant must submit any additional information requested to complete the application within 15 working days of the date of the RUS written response. If the applicant fails to submit such information, the application will be returned to the applicant.

(2) Within 30 days of the determination of a completed application in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section, review the application to determine suitability for financial assistance in accordance with this subpart. Based on its review, RUS will work with the applicant to resolve any questions or obtain any additional information. The applicant will be notified, in writing, of any additional information required to allow a financial assistance recommendation and will be provided a reasonable period of time to furnish the additional information.

(3) If the application is determined suitable for further consideration by RUS, conduct a review of the application and financial assistance recommendation. A final determination will be made within 15 days. If the Administrator determines that a loan can be approved, the applicant will be notified. Applications will be processed, and approved loans serviced, in accordance with §§ 1734.5 through 1734.12.

(4) If RUS determines that the application is not suitable for further consideration, notify the applicant with the reasons for this determination. The applicant will be offered appeal rights in accordance with § 1734.47.

§ 1734.47 Appeals.

RUS Electric and Telecommunications Borrowers may appeal a decision to reject their application. Any appeal must be made, in writing, within 10 days after the applicant is notified of the determination to deny the application. Appeals shall be submitted to the Administrator, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1590, Washington, DC 20250-1590. Thereafter, the Administrator will review the appeal to determine whether to sustain, reverse, or modify the original determination. Final determinations will be made after consideration of all appeals. The Administrator's determination will be final. A copy of the Administrator's decision will be furnished promptly to the applicant.

PART 1735—GENERAL POLICIES, TYPES OF LOANS, LOAN REQUIREMENTS—TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM 5. The authority citation for part 1735 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., 1921 et seq., and 6941 et seq.

6. Amend § 1735.30 by revising paragraph (d)(1)(v) to read as follows:
§ 1735.30 Hardship loans.

(d) * * *

(1) * * *

(v) Distance Learning and Medical Link Facilities. Borrowers will receive 2 points for loan funds included in the application for the purpose of providing distance learning or medical link transmission facilities. If loan funds are included for both distance learning and medical link transmission facilities, borrowers will receive 3 points. (See 7 CFR part 1734 for definitions of distance learning and medical link.)

Dated: October 10, 2017. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-25266 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1095; Product Identifier 2012-NM-215-AD; Amendment 39-19108; AD 2017-24-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F.27 airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. This AD was prompted by reports indicating that certain exit signs have a hydrogen isotope that decays over time, causing the signs to lose their brightness. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective December 12, 2017.

We must receive comments on this AD by January 11, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1095; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2012-0238, dated November 9, 2012 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F.27 airplanes. The MCAI states:

A number of Fokker F.27 aeroplanes have exit signs installed to locate the emergency exits. A number of these signs are not electrically powered, but are self-illuminated by means of a hydrogen isotope known as Tritium. As this isotope decays over time, these signs will lose their brightness.

To remain compliant with regulations, Tritium exit signs should be replaced when their brightness has deteriorated below accepted levels. The established service life for the Tritium powered exit signs is 7 years. Currently, the F.27 maintenance program does not include a replacement task for exit signs containing Tritium.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in insufficiently bright exit signs, possibly preventing safe evacuation during an emergency, which could result in injury to occupants.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the replacement of the affected Tritium powered exit signs. Depending on the aeroplane configuration, the replacement exit signs must be either photo-luminescent or Tritium powered. In addition, this [EASA] AD introduces a life limit for the Tritium signs and requires repetitive maintenance tasks for the photo-luminescent signs. [The EASA AD provides an option to revise the airplane maintenance program.]

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1095.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-1095; Product Identifier 2012-NM-215-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this AD.

Costs of Compliance

Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI, we are providing the following cost estimates for an affected airplane that is placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Unavailable $85 Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 85 Maintenance or inspection program revision 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 85
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-24-04 Fokker Services B.V.: Amendment 39-19108; Docket No. FAA-2017-1095; Product Identifier 2012-NM-215-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective December 12, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F.27 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 10425 through 10692 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 11, Placards and markings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports indicating that certain exit signs have a hydrogen isotope that decays over time, causing the signs to lose their brightness. We are issuing this AD to prevent insufficiently illuminated exit signs, which could possibly prevent safe evacuation during an emergency and cause injury to occupants.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the actions at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2012-0238, dated November 9, 2012.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2012-0238, dated November 9, 2012, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1095.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 14, 2017. Chris Spangenberg, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25382 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9549; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-5] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Alexander City, AL AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends Class E airspace at Alexander City, AL, due to the decommissioning of the Alexander City non-directional radio beacon (NDB), which requires airspace reconfiguration at Thomas C Russell Field Airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of 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 amends Class E airspace at Thomas C Russell Field Airport, Alexander City, AL, to support IFR operations at the airport.

    History

    On June 7, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (82 FR 26406) Docket No. FAA-2016-9549 to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Thomas C Russell Field Airport, Alexander City, AL, due to the decommissioning of the Alexander City NDB and cancellation of the NDB approach. 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 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.7 mile radius of Thomas C Russell Field Airport, Alexander City, AL, due to the decommissioning of the Alexander City NDB and cancellation of the NDB approach. The changes ensure the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. The geographic coordinates of the airport are amended to coincide with the FAAs 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 Alexander City, AL [Amended] Thomas C. Russell Field Airport, AL (Lat. 32°54′53″ N., long. 85°57′47″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.7-mile radius of Thomas C. Russell Field Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on November 16, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25308 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0983 Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-24] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Hawthorne, NV AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule, technical amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule technical amendment amends the legal description of Class E Airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Hawthorne Industrial Airport, Hawthorne, NV, to correct a clerical error. The airspace legal description inadvertently omits the word “radius” and defined the airspace boundary “within 3.6 miles of” instead of “within a 3.6-mile radius of” the airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, November 27, 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:

    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 amends Class E airspace at Industrial Airport, Hawthorne, NV, to support IFR operations at the airport.

    History

    The FAA recently published a rule in the Federal Register (82 FR 37514, August 11, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2017-0297, establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Hawthorne Industrial Airport, Hawthorne, NV, that contained a clerical error in the airspace legal description. The word `radius' was omitted from the sentence that reads “. . . within 3.6 miles of the Hawthorne Industrial Airport. . . .”

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraphs 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 action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by correcting a clerical error in the regulatory text of Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Hawthorne Industrial Airport, Hawthorne, NV. The text is corrected to read “That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 3.6-mile radius of Hawthorne Industrial Airport. . . .”

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedure when the agency for “good cause” finds that these procedures are “impracticable, or contrary to the public interest.” As published, the omission of the word “radius” in this regulation may prove to be misleading. Accordingly, action is taken herein to add the word “radius” to the airspace description for Hawthorne Industrial Airport, therefore, in the interest of flight safety, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    Section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to determine an effective date of less than 30 days after publication for good cause found and published with the rule. In consideration of the need to correct the airspace description for Hawthorne Industrial Airport and to avoid confusion on the part of pilots flying in the vicinity of airport, the FAA finds good cause for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days in order to promote the safe and efficient handling of air traffic in the area.

    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, 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 Surface Area Airspace. AWP NV E5 Hawthorne, NV [Amended] Hawthorne Industrial Airport, NV (Lat. 38°32′42″ N., long. 118°37′57″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 3.6-mile radius of Hawthorne Industrial Airport and within 2 miles each side of a line extending from lat. 38°32′25″ N., long. 118°37′26″ W.; to lat. 38°28′43″ N., long. 118°27′48″ W.; to lat. 38°28′49″ N., long. 118°24′19″ W.; to lat. 38°32′06″ N., long. 118°18′07″ W.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on November 15, 2017. Brian J. Johnson, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25420 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0666; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-15] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Pueblo, CO AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace upward from 700 feet above the surface at Pueblo Memorial Airport, Pueblo, CO. Also, the part-time Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) information is removed from Class E airspace designated as an extension, and the geographic coordinates for Pueblo Memorial Airport in the associated Class D and E airspace areas are amended to match the FAA's aeronautical database. A biennial review found these changes are necessary to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System. An editorial change also is made to the Class D airspace and Class E surface area airspace legal descriptions replacing “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement.”

    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 D and E airspace at Pueblo Memorial Airport, Pueblo, CO, in support of instrument flight rules operations at the airport.

    History

    On August 3, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 36103) Docket FAA-2017-0666, a notice of proposed rulemaking to modify Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace designated as an extension, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Pueblo Memorial Airport, Pueblo, CO. 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 paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, 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 D and 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

    The FAA is amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace designated as an extension, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Pueblo Memorial Airport, Pueblo, CO.

    Class D airspace and Class E surface area airspace are reduced to within a 5.1-mile radius (from 5.6 miles) of Pueblo Memorial Airport.

    The Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D or Class E surface area east of the airport is modified to a 7.2 mile wide segment (from 7 miles) extending to 11.3 miles (from 11.4 miles) east of the airport; the segment west of the airport is removed as it is not necessary to support current operations; and a segment is established north of the airport within 1.6 miles west and 1.3 miles east of the 358° bearing from the airport extending from the 5.1 mile radius to 6.7 miles north of the airport.

    Also, this action eliminates the following language from the legal description of Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D or Class E surface area at the airport: “This Class E airspace 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 Airport/Facility Directory,” since the airspace remains in effect full time.

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet is reduced to within a 7.6-mile radius of the Pueblo Memorial Airport with extensions to 12 miles north and 12.3 miles east of the airport (from a 21.8-mile radius with an extension to 28.2 miles east). Also, this action removes Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface since the airspace is wholly contained within the Denver Class E en route airspace area and duplication is not necessary.

    Additionally, this action updates the geographic coordinates for Pueblo Memorial Airport and replaces the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with the term “Chart Supplement” in the associated Class D and Class E airspace legal descriptions. This airspace redesign is necessary for the safety and management of 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 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 5000 Class D Airspace. ANM CO D Pueblo, CO [Amended] Pueblo Memorial Airport, CO (Lat. 38°17′24″ N., long. 104°29′53″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 7,200 feet MSL within a 5.1-mile radius of Pueblo Memorial 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.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ANM CO E2 Pueblo, CO [Amended] Pueblo Memorial Airport, CO (Lat. 38°17′24″ N., long. 104°29′53″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 5.1-mile radius of Pueblo Memorial 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 6004 Class E Airspace Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. ANM CO E4 Pueblo, CO [Amended] Pueblo Memorial Airport, CO (Lat. 38°17′24″ N., long. 104°29′53″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within 3.6 miles each side of the 081° bearing from Pueblo Memorial Airport extending from the 5.1-mile radius of the airport to 11.3 miles east of the airport, and within 1.6 miles west and 1.3 miles east of the 358° bearing from the airport extending from the 5.1-mile radius of the airport to 6.7 miles north of the airport.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM CO E5 Pueblo, CO [Amended] Pueblo Memorial Airport, CO (Lat. 38°17′24″ N., long. 104°29′53″ W.)

    That airspace upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.6-mile radius of Pueblo Memorial Airport, and within 2.2 miles west and 1.8 miles east of the 358° bearing from the airport extending to 12 miles north of the airport, and within 3.8 miles each side of the 081° bearing from the airport extending to 12.3 miles east of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on November 14, 2017. Brian J. Johnson, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25310 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0944] Special Local Regulations; Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats, Charleston, SC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulation pertaining to the Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats on December 9, 2017. This action is necessary to ensure safety of life on navigable waters of the United States during the Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats. During the enforcement period, and in accordance with previously issued special local regulations, no person or vessel may enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the designated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulation in 33 CFR 100.701, Table to § 100.701, Item (g)(6) will be enforced on December 9, 2017 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email LT Justin Heck, Sector Charleston Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (843) 740-3184, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulation for the Charleston Harbor Christmas Parade of Boats in the Table to 33 CFR 100.701, item (g)(6), from 4 p.m. through 8 p.m. on December 9, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.701, no vessels or people may enter into, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area, unless authorized to do so by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative. Only event sponsors, designated participants, and official patrol vessels are allowed to enter the regulated area. This rule creates a regulated area that will encompass a portion of the waterways during the parade transit from Charleston Harbor Anchorage A through Bennis Reach, Horse Reach, Hog Island Reach, Town Creek Lower Reach, Ashley River, and finishing at City Marina. Spectator vessels may safely transit outside the regulated area, but may not anchor in, block, loiter in, or impede the transit of parade participants or official patrol vessels. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.701 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated areas by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. J.W. Reed, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Charleston.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25533 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0595] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Jamaica Bay, Queens, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation; cancellation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is canceling the temporary deviation concerning the Marine Parkway (Gil Hodges) Bridge across the Rockaway Inlet, mile 3.0, at Queens, NY. The deviation cancellation is necessary to accommodate Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) (the bridge owner) unexpected emergency repairs requiring a complete closure of the Bridge and an extension of time for their completion. This cancellation is necessary so a temporary interim rule may be approved due to the requested extension exceeding the 180 day limit for deviations. Existing federal regulations do not allow back-to-back deviations.

    DATES:

    The temporary deviation published on July 6, 2017 (82 FR 31255), is cancelled as of 12:01 a.m. on November 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2017-0595 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 Judy K. Leung-Yee, Bridge Management Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 212-514-4336, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 6, 2017, we published a temporary deviation entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Marine Parkway Bridge, Jamaica Bay, Queens, NY” in the Federal Register (82 FR 31255). The temporary deviation concerned the bridge owner's rehabilitation work associated with the replacement of lift span machinery. This deviation from the operating regulations was authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

    During the recent replacement/rehabilitation of lift span systems, water was discovered inside the power and communication cables from the main electrical rooms on the lower level of the towers to the machinery rooms at the tops of the towers. In addition, structural steel for riser conduit support was discovered to be in need of immediate repairs and/or replacement. Therefore, more time is needed to complete the job, conduct tests, and inspections. The subject temporary deviation will be replaced with a temporary interim rule because an extension of time could not be approved, as it exceeds the 180 day limit.

    Dated: November 21, 2017. Christopher J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25532 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Royalty Board 37 CFR Part 380 [Docket No. 14-CRB-0001-WR (2016-2020) (COLA 2018)] Cost of Living Adjustment to Royalty Rates for Webcaster Statutory License AGENCY:

    Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Copyright Royalty Judges announce a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in the royalty rates that commercial and noncommercial noninteractive webcasters pay for eligible transmissions pursuant to the statutory licenses for the public performance of and for the making of ephemeral reproductions of sound recordings.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: January 1, 2018.

    Applicability Dates: These rates are applicable to the period January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Whittle, Attorney Advisor, by telephone at (202) 707-7658 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Sections 112(e) and 114(f) of the Copyright Act, title 17 of the United States Code, create statutory licenses for certain digital performances of sound recordings and the making of ephemeral reproductions to facilitate transmission of those sound recordings. On May 2, 2016, the Copyright Royalty Judges (Judges) adopted final regulations governing the rates and terms of copyright royalty payments under those licenses for the license period 2016-2020 for performances of sound recordings via eligible transmissions by commercial and noncommercial noninteractive webcasters. See 81 FR 26316.

    Pursuant to those regulations, at least 25 days before January 1 of each year from 2017 to 2020, the Judges shall publish in the Federal Register notice of a COLA applicable to the royalty fees for performances of sound recordings via eligible transmissions by commercial and noncommercial noninteractive webcasters. 37 CFR 380.10(a)(1)-(2).

    The adjustment in the royalty fee shall be based on a calculation of the percentage increase in the CPI-U from the CPI-U published in November 2015 (237.838), according to the formula (1 + (Cy− 237.838)/237.838) × R2016, where Cy is the CPI-U published by the Secretary of Labor before December 1 of the preceding year and R2016 is the royalty rate for 2016 (i.e., $0.0022 per subscription performance or $0.0017 per nonsubscription performance). The adjustment shall be rounded to the nearest fourth decimal place. 37 CFR 380.10(c) (as revised herein). The CPI-U published by the Secretary of Labor from the most recent index published before December 1, 2017, is 246.663.1 Applying the formula in 37 CFR 380.10(c) and rounding to the nearest fourth decimal place results in an increase in the rates for 2018.

    1 As announced on November 15, 2017, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its News Release—Consumer Price Index October 2017, available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf at 4.

    The 2018 rate for eligible transmission of sound recordings by commercial webcasters is a rate of $0.0023 per subscription performance and a rate of $0.0018 per nonsubscription performance.

    Application of the increase to rates for noncommercial webcasters results in a 2018 rate of $0.0018 per performance for all digital audio transmissions in excess of 159,140 ATH in a month on a channel or station.

    As provided in 37 CFR 380.1(d), the royalty fee for making ephemeral recordings under section 112 of the Copyright Act to facilitate digital transmission of sound recordings under section 114 of the Copyright Act is included in the section 114 royalty fee and comprises 5% of the total fee.

    List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 380

    Copyright, Sound recordings.

    Final Regulations

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Judges amend part 380 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 380—RATES AND TERMS FOR TRANSMISSIONS BY ELIGIBLE NONSUBSCRIPTION SERVICES AND NEW SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES AND FOR THE MAKING OF EPHEMERAL REPRODUCTIONS TO FACILITATE THOSE TRANSMISSIONS 1. The authority citation for part 380 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    17 U.S.C. 112(e), 114(f), 804(b)(3).

    2. Section 380.10 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 380.10 Royalty fees for the public performance of sound recordings and the making of ephemeral recordings.

    (a) Royalty fees. For the year 2018, Licensees must pay royalty fees for all Eligible Transmissions of sound recordings at the following rates:

    (1) Commercial Webcasters: $0.0023 per performance for subscription services and $0.0018 per performance for nonsubscription services.

    (2) Noncommercial webcasters. $500 per year for each channel or station and $0.0018 per performance for all digital audio transmissions in excess of 159,140 ATH in a month on a channel or station.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Suzanne M. Barnett, Chief Copyright Royalty Judge.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25480 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-72-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Royalty Board 37 CFR Part 386 [Docket No. 17-CRB-0018-SA-COLA (2018)] Cost of Living Adjustment to Satellite Carrier Compulsory License Royalty Rates AGENCY:

    Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Copyright Royalty Judges announce a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2.0% in the royalty rates satellite carriers pay for a compulsory license under the Copyright Act. The COLA is based on the change in the Consumer Price Index from October 2016 to October 2017.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: January 1, 2018.

    Applicability Dates: These rates are applicable to the period January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Whittle, Attorney Advisor, by telephone at (202) 707-7658 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The satellite carrier compulsory license establishes a statutory copyright licensing scheme for the distant retransmission of television programming by satellite carriers. 17 U.S.C. 119. Congress created the license in 1988 and has reauthorized the license for additional five-year periods, most recently with the passage of the STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014, Public Law 113-200.

    On August 31, 2010, the Copyright Royalty Judges (Judges) adopted rates for the section 119 compulsory license for the 2010-2014 term. See 75 FR 53198. The rates were proposed by Copyright Owners and Satellite Carriers 1 and were unopposed. Id. Section 119(c)(2) of the Copyright Act provides that, effective January 1 of each year, the Judges shall adjust the royalty fee payable under Section 119(b)(1)(B) “to reflect any changes occurring in the cost of living as determined by the most recent Consumer Price Index (for all consumers and for all items) [CPI-U] published by the Secretary of Labor before December 1 of the preceding year.” Section 119 also requires that “[n]otification of the adjusted fees shall be published in the Federal Register at least 25 days before January 1.” 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(2).

    1 Program Suppliers and Joint Sports Claimants comprised the Copyright Owners while DIRECTV, Inc., DISH Network, LLC, and National Programming Service, LLC, comprised the Satellite Carriers.

    The change in the cost of living as determined by the CPI-U during the period from the most recent index published before December 1, 2016, to the most recent index published before December 1, 2017, is +2.0%.2 Application of the 2.0% COLA to the current rate for the secondary transmission of broadcast stations by satellite carriers for private home viewing—27 cents per subscriber per month—results in a rate of 28 cents per subscriber per month (rounded to the nearest cent). See 37 CFR 386.2(b)(1). Application of the 2.0% COLA to the current rate for viewing in commercial establishments—57 cents per subscriber per month—results in a rate of 58 cents per subscriber per month (rounded to the nearest cent). See 37 CFR 386.2(b)(2).

    2 On November 15, 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the CPI-U increased 2.0% over the last 12 months.

    List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 386

    Copyright, Satellite, Television.

    Final Regulations

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Judges amend part 386 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 386—ADJUSTMENT OF ROYALTY FEES FOR SECONDARY TRANSMISSIONS BY SATELLITE CARRIERS 1. The authority citation for part 386 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    17 U.S.C. 119(c), 801(b)(1).

    2. Section 386.2 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(1)(ix) and (b)(2)(ix) as follows:
    § 386.2 Royalty fee for secondary transmission by satellite carriers.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ix) 2018: 28 cents per subscriber per month.

    (2) * * *

    (ix) 2018: 58 cents per subscriber per month.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Suzanne M. Barnett, Chief Copyright Royalty Judge.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25481 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-72-P
    POSTAL SERVICE 39 CFR Part 111 New Mailing Standards for Domestic Mailing Services Products AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 6, 2017, the Postal Service (USPS®) filed a notice of mailing services price adjustments with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in Docket No. R2018-1. On October 13, 2017 the Postal Service published a proposed rule containing the revisions to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) that we planned to adopt to implement rule changes coincident with the price adjustments.

    DATES:

    Effective: January 21, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Erwin at (202) 268-2158, or Lizbeth Dobbins at (202) 268-3789.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On November 9, 2017, the PRC found that the price adjustments proposed by the Postal Service may take effect as planned. The price adjustments and DMM revisions are scheduled to become effective on January 21, 2018. Final prices are available under Docket No. R2018-1 (Order No. 4215) on the Postal Regulatory Commission's Web site at www.prc.gov. The Postal Service's final rule includes: a change to the pallet preparation for Carrier Route (CR) Pallets in Non-FSS Zones, a change to add Bound Printed Matter Flats up to 24 ounces to comail with USPS Marketing Mail and Periodicals (DSCF or DDU only), and a Zone chart revision for Priority Mail to APO/FPO/DPO processing at Chicago ISC.

    Comments on Proposed Changes and USPS Response

    The Postal Service received 1 formal comment on the October 13, 2017 proposed rule.

    Zone Charts Revision: Priority Mail to APO/FPO/DPO Processing at Chicago ISC

    One comment requested that the Postal Service reconsider changing APO/FPO/DPO mail processing at Chicago ISC, based on needing more study on negative, financial consequences on US Service members, their families and businesses that serve them.

    USPS Response

    The Postal Service is revising Zone charts for Priority Mail to APO/FPO/DPO, which is processed at the Chicago ISC, based on operational needs. This revision reflects current operations and is consistent with Title 39 and former Postal Rate Commission precedent regarding the alignment of rates and costs for mail classification. It is necessary to align rates and costs for Priority Mail addressed to APO/FPO/DPO destinations, and eliminate inconsistencies between rates and costs for such Priority Mail.

    The Proposed Rule is not a sudden, unforeseeable change in policy. The transfer of processing operations to the Chicago ISC, and the resulting inconsistency between Zone classification and transportation costs, occurred in 2013. For over three years, mailers had an opportunity to assess the potential impact of this change on future operations, and some businesses responded to the change by relocating their operations in anticipation of a potential reclassification of zones necessary to align rates and costs.

    The resulting changes to DMM 608 are shown below.

    List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    The Postal Service adopts the following changes to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), incorporated by reference in the Code of Federal Regulations. See 39 CFR 111.1.

    Accordingly, 39 CFR part 111 is amended as follows:

    PART 111—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552(a); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-1737; 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 5001.

    2. Revise the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) as follows: Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 200 Commercial Mail Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels 201 Physical Standards 5.0 Physical Standards for Nonautomation Flats 5.3 Bound Printed Matter

    These additional standards apply to Bound Printed Matter:

    [Revise the text of item b to read as follows:]

    b. Bound Printed Matter may not weigh more than 20 ounces (except under 705.15).

    6.0 Physical Standards for Automation Flats 6.2 Additional Criteria for Automation Flats 6.2.2 Maximum Weight

    Maximum weight limits are as follows:

    [Revise the text of item d to read as follows:]

    d. For Bound Printed Matter, 20 ounces (except under 705.15).

    600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services 608 Postal Information and Resources 9.0 Postal Zones 9.2 Application

    a. For the purposes of computing postal zone information, except for items 9.2b and 9.2c, the following table applies to MPOs not listed in L005.

    [Revise the ZIP Code groups listed under the “3-DIGIT ZIP CODE PREFIX GROUP” column by adding asterisks and add a new footnote to read as follows:]

    3-DIGIT ZIP CODE PREFIX GROUP 090-098* 340 962-966* * Priority Mail service destinating to these ZIP Codes is served by SCF Chicago IL 606.

    [Revise the text of item b to read as follows:]

    b. The postage prices for zoned mail transported between the United States, the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories or possessions, including the Freely Associated States on the one hand, and MPOs on the other, or, among the MPOs, are the applicable zone prices for mail between the place of mailing or delivery and the city of the postmaster serving the MPO concerned.

    700 Special Standards 705 Advanced Preparation and Special Postage Payment Systems 10.0 Merging Bundles of Flats Using the City State Product 10.1 Periodicals 10.1.5 Pallet Preparation and Labeling

    [Revise the second sentence in the introductory text of 10.1.5 to read as follows:]

    * * * When sortation under this option is performed, after completing required or optional carrier route pallets (if any), mailers must prepare all merged 5-digit scheme, and merged 5-digit pallets that are possible in the mailing based on the volume of mail to the destination using L001 and/or the City State Product. * * *

    [Reverse the order of items a. and b.; and revise the text of reordered items a. and b. to read as follows:]

    a. 5-digit scheme carrier routes, required; optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route bundles for carrier routes for 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the L001 5-digit scheme listing. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS”; followed by “CR-RTS SCHEME.”

    b. Merged 5-digit scheme, required and permitted only when there is at least one 5-digit ZIP Code in the scheme that has an “A” or “C” indicator in the City State Product. May contain carrier route bundles for any 5-digit ZIP Code(s) in a single scheme listed in L001 as well as machinable barcoded price 5-digit bundles and machinable nonbarcoded price 5-digit bundles for those 5-digit ZIP Codes in the scheme that have an “A” or “C” indicator in the City State Product. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS”; followed by “CR/5D SCHEME.”

    [Reverse the order of items c and d; and revise the text of reordered item c to read as follows:]

    c. 5-digit carrier routes, required; optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route price bundles for the same 5-digit ZIP Code for those 5-digit ZIP Codes that are not part of a scheme. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination (see 8.6.4 for military mail).

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS”; followed by “CARRIER ROUTES” or “CR-RTS.”

    10.2 USPS Marketing Mail 10.2.5 Pallet Preparation and Labeling

    [Revise the first two sentences of the introductory text of 10.2.5 to read as follows:]

    Mailers must prepare pallets of bundles in the manner and sequence listed below and under 8.0. When sortation under this option is performed, after completing required or optional carrier route pallets (if any), mailers must prepare all merged 5-digit scheme and merged 5-digit pallets that are possible in the mailing based on the volume of mail to the destination using L001 and/or the City State Product. * * *

    [Reverse the order of items a and b; and revise the text in reordered items a and b to read as follows:]

    a. 5-digit scheme carrier routes, required; optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route bundles for carrier routes for 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the L001 5-digit scheme listing. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS CR-RTS SCHEME.”

    b. Merged 5-digit scheme, required and permitted only when there is at least one 5-digit ZIP Code in the scheme that has an “A” or “C” indicator in the City State Product. May contain carrier route bundles for any 5-digit ZIP Code(s) in a single scheme listed in L001 as well as automation price 5-digit bundles and Presorted price 5-digit bundles for those 5-digit ZIP Codes in the scheme that have an “A” or “C” indicator in the City State Product. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS CR/5D SCHEME.”

    [Reverse the order of items c and d; and revise the text of reordered item c to read as follows:]

    c. 5-digit carrier routes, required; optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route price bundles for the same 5-digit ZIP Code for those 5-digit ZIP Codes that are not part of a scheme. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination (see 8.6.4 for military mail).

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS,” followed by “CARRIER ROUTES” or “CR-RTS.”

    12.0 Merging Bundles of Flats on Pallets Using a 5% Threshold 12.1 Periodicals 12.1.5 Pallet Preparation and Labeling

    [Revise the second sentence in the introductory text of 12.1.5 to read as follows:]

    * * * When sortation under this option is performed, after completing required or optional carrier route pallets (if any), mailers must prepare all merged 5-digit scheme, 5-digit scheme, and merged 5-digit pallets that are possible in the mailing based on the volume of mail to the destination using L001 and the 5% threshold, as applicable. * * *

    Prepare and label pallets as follows:

    [Reverse the order of items a and b; and revise the text of reordered items a. and b. to read as follows:]

    a. 5-digit scheme carrier routes, required; optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route bundles for all carrier routes for 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the L001 5-digit scheme listing. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS” or “IRREG” as applicable; followed by “CR-RTS SCHEME.”

    b. Merged 5-digit scheme, required; * * * For 5-digit ZIP Codes not included in a scheme, begin preparing pallets under 12.1.5e (merged 5-digit pallet). Labeling:

    1. Line 1: use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS” or “IRREG” as applicable; followed by “CR/5D SCHEME.”

    [Reverse the order of items d and e; and revise the text of reordered item d to read as follows:]

    d. 5-digit carrier routes, required; optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route price bundles for the same 5-digit ZIP Code for those 5-digit ZIP Codes that are not part of a scheme. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination (see 8.6.4 for military mail).

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS” or “IRREG” as applicable; followed by “CARRIER ROUTES” or “CR-RTS.”

    [Add new heading 12.2, USPS Marketing Mail, renumber 12.1.6 through 12.1.8 as 12.2.1 through 12.2.3]

    12.2 USPS Marketing Mail 12.2.3 Pallet Preparation and Labeling

    [Revise the second sentence in the introductory text of renumbered 12.2.3 to read as follows:]

    * * * When sortation under this option is performed after completing required or optional carrier route pallets (if any), mailers must prepare all merged 5-digit scheme, and merged 5-digit pallets that are possible in the mailing based on the volume of mail to the destination using L001 and the 5% threshold. * * *

    [Reverse the order of items a and b; and revise the text in reordered items a. and b. to read as follows:]

    a. 5-digit scheme carrier routes, required, optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route bundles for carrier routes for 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the L001 5-digit scheme listing. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS CR-RTS SCHEME.”

    b. Merged 5-digit scheme, required, permitted only when 5-digit bundles for at least one 5-digit ZIP Code in the scheme may be merged with carrier route bundles under the 5% threshold standard in 12.2.2. * * * For 5-digit ZIP Codes not included in a scheme, begin preparing pallets under 12.2.3d (merged 5-digit pallet). Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS CR/5D SCHEME.”

    [Reverse the order of items c and d; and revise the text of reordered item c to read as follows:]

    c. 5-digit carrier routes, required, optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route price bundles for the same 5-digit ZIP Code for those 5-digit ZIP codes that are not part of a scheme. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination (see 8.6.4 for military mail).

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS”; followed by “CARRIER ROUTES” or “CR-RTS.”

    13.0 Merging Bundles of Flats on Pallets Using the City State Product and a 5% Threshold 13.1 Periodicals 13.1.1 Basic Standards

    [Revise the text of item e to read as follows:]

    e. After completing all possible required or optional carrier route pallets (if any), mailers must prepare all merged 5-digit scheme and 5-digit scheme pallets according to standards in 13.1.5.

    13.1.5 Pallet Preparation and Labeling

    [Revise the second sentence in the introductory text of 13.1.5 to read as follows:]

    * * * When sortation under this option is performed, after completing required or optional carrier route pallets (if any), mailers must prepare all merged 5-digit scheme, 5-digit scheme, and merged 5-digit pallets that are possible in the mailing based on the volume of mail to the destination (8.0) using L001, the City State Product, and the 5% threshold (13.1.4), as applicable. * * * Prepare and label pallets as follows:

    [Reverse the order of items a and b; and revise the text of reordered item a to read as follows:]

    a. 5-digit scheme carrier routes, required, optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route bundles for carrier routes for 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the L001 5-digit scheme listing. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS” or “IRREG” as applicable; and followed by “CR-RTS SCHEME.”

    [Reverse the order of items d and e; revise the text of reordered item d to read as follows:]

    d. 5-digit carrier routes, required; optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route price bundles for the same 5-digit ZIP Code for those 5-digit ZIP Codes that are not part of a scheme. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination (see 8.6.4 for military mail).

    2. Line 2: “PER” or “NEWS” as applicable; followed by “FLTS” or “IRREG” as applicable; and followed by “CARRIER ROUTES” or “CR-RTS.”

    13.2 USPS Marketing Mail 13.2.4 Pallet Preparation and Labeling

    [Revise the second sentence of the introductory text of 13.2.4 to read as follows:]

    * * * When sortation under this option is performed after completing required or optional carrier route pallets (if any), mailers must prepare all merged 5-digit scheme, and merged 5-digit pallets that are possible in the mailing based on the volume of mail to the destination using L001, the City State Product, and the 5% threshold. Mailers must label pallets according to the Line 1 and Line 2 information listed below and under 8.6.

    [Reverse the order of items a and b; revise the text of reordered item a. to read as follows:]

    a. 5-digit scheme carrier routes, required, optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route bundles for carrier routes for 5-digit ZIP Codes identified in the L001 5-digit scheme listing. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use L001, Column B.

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS CR-RTS SCHEME.”

    [Reverse the order of items c and d; revise the text of reordered item c to read as follows:]

    c. 5-digit carrier routes, required, optional with no minimum. May contain only carrier route price bundles for the same 5-digit ZIP Code for those 5-digit ZIP Codes that are not part of a scheme. Labeling:

    1. Line 1: Use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code destination (see 8.6.4 for military mail).

    2. Line 2: “MKT FLTS,” followed by “CARRIER ROUTES or “CR-RTS.”

    [Revise the heading of 15.0 to read as follows:]

    15.0 Combining USPS Marketing Mail Flats, Bound Printed Matter Flats, and Periodicals Flats 15.1 Basic Standards

    [Revise the introductory text of 15.1 to read as follows:]

    Authorized mailers may combine USPS Marketing Mail flats, Bound Printed Matter flats, and Periodicals flats in a single mailing as follows:

    [Revise the text in item a to read as follows:]

    a. Each mailpiece must meet the standards in 240 for USPS Marketing Mail, 260 for Bound Printed Matter and 207 for Periodicals. Periodicals publications must be authorized or pending original or additional entry at the office of mailing.

    [Revise the text of item b by adding a new last sentence to read as follows:]

    b. * * * For exceptions to bundling contact the Pricing and Classification Service Center (see 608.8.0).

    [Revise the text of item e to read as follows:]

    e. Each mailing must include at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of USPS Marketing Mail and/or at least 300 pieces of Bound Printed Matter mail, when USPS Marketing Mail and/or Bound Printed Matter are combined within a mailing.

    [Add new item h, to read as follows:]

    h. Each comailing containing Bound Printed Matter flats must:

    1. Be entered at a destination sectional center facility (DSCF) or a destination delivery unit (DDU) (Presorted DDU prices are not available for flats that weigh 1 pound or less).

    a. When prepared and entered at a destination sectional center facility (DSCF) at 5-digit, 3-digit/SCF level pallets, BPM pieces should weigh no more than 20 ounces.

    1. Heavier BPM pieces, (pieces greater than 20 ounces and less than 24 ounces) in comail can only be placed in CR level bundles on a pallet included in no less than SCF/3D sortation entered at an SCF.

    2. Not exceed the maximum weight of 24 ounces per piece within the same bundle, when comailed with Periodicals pieces.

    a. The maximum number of heavier pieces would be no more than half of each bundle. (Half of the bundle can have BPM pieces that weigh 20-24 ounces).

    b. The maximum bundle weight is 20 pounds.

    15.1.1 Service Objectives

    [Revise the text in 15.1.1 to read as follows:]

    The Postal Service processes combined mailings of USPS Marketing Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Periodicals flats to the service standards of USPS Marketing Mail.

    15.1.2 Postage Payment

    [Revise the first sentence of 15.1.2 to read as follows:]

    Postage for all USPS Marketing Mail and Bound Printed Matter pieces must be paid with permit imprint using a special postage payment system in 2.0 through 4.0 at the Post Office location serving the mailer's plant. * * *

    15.1.3 Documentation

    * * * In addition, mailers must provide:

    [Delete current item f. and renumber item g. to item f. to read as follows:]

    f. Any additional documentation to support postage payment system records, if requested.

    15.1.4 Authorization

    [Revise the first sentence and add a new fourth sentence of 15.1.4 to read as follows:]

    A mailer must submit a written request to the manager, Business Mailer Support (see 608.8.1 for address) to combine mailings of USPS Marketing Mail flats, Bound Printed Matter flats, and Periodicals flats. * * * When requested, a mailer must submit a copy of a notification document signed and dated by the Periodicals publisher, acknowledging the mailer's participation in a combined mailing of USPS Marketing Mail and Periodicals and the potential for the mailpieces to receive deferred USPS handling. * * *

    15.1.5 Price Eligibility

    [Revise the first sentence in 15.1.5 to read as follows:]

    Apply prices based on the standards in 240 for USPS Marketing Mail and 260 for Bound Printed Matter flats. * * *

    [Revise the heading of 15.2 to read as follows:]

    15.2 Combining USPS Marketing Mail Flats, Bound Printed Matter Flats, and Periodicals Flats in the Same Bundle 15.2.2 Mailpiece and Bundle Identification

    [Revise the text in 15.2.2 to read as follows:]

    Each USPS Marketing Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Periodicals mailpiece prepared under a combined mailing of USPS Marketing Mail flats, Bound Printed Matter flats, and Periodicals flats must be identified as being part of a mixed class mailing through the use of an optional endorsement line (OEL) in accordance with the standards in 203.7.1.8. Post-print consolidators who have mailings of USPS Marketing Mail and Bound Printed Matter, using Permit Imprint may include a “Co-Class” marking.

    [Revise the heading of 15.3 to read as follows:]

    15.3 Combining Bundles of USPS Marketing Mail Flats, Bound Printed Matter Flats, and Periodicals Flats on the Same Pallet 15.3.2 Mailpiece and Bundle Identification

    [Revise the introductory text in item a. in 15.3.2 to read as follows:]

    Each USPS Marketing Mail, Bound Printer Matter, and Periodicals mailpiece prepared under a combined mailing of USPS Marketing Mail flats, Bound Printed Matter flats, and Periodicals flats must be identified as being part of a mixed class mailing through the use of an optional endorsement line (OEL) in accordance with standards in 203.7.1.8. Post-print consolidators who have mailings of USPS Marketing Mail and Bound Printed Matter, using Permit Imprint may include a “Co-Class” marking.

    15.4 Pallet Preparation 15.4.1 Pallet Preparation, Sequence and Labeling

    [Revise the text in 15.4.1 to read as follows:]

    When combining USPS Marketing Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Periodicals flats within the same bundle or combining bundles of USPS Marketing Mail flats, Bound Printed Matter flats, and bundles of Periodicals flats on pallets, bundles must be placed on pallets. For labeling, '”MKT/BPM/PER FLTS”, as applicable' means to label each individual pallet based on the classes of mailpieces on that individual pallet. As an example, in a combined mailing of USPS Marketing Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Periodicals flats, some pallets may be labeled “MKT/BPM/PER” while others might properly be labeled “MKT/BPM,” “MKT/PER,” “BPM/PER,” or even “MKT,” “BPM,” or “PER.”

    Preparation, sequence and labeling:

    a. 5-digit scheme carrier routes, required. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item a 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS,” as applicable; * * *

    b. Merged 5-digit scheme, optional. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item b 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS CR/5D,” as applicable * * *

    c. Merged 5-digit, optional. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item c 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS,” as applicable; * * *

    d. 5-digit carrier routes, required. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item d 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS,” as applicable; * * *

    e. 5-digit, required. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item e 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS,” as applicable; * * *

    f. 3-digit, optional, * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item f 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS,” as applicable; * * *

    g. SCF, required. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item g 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS,” as applicable; * * *

    h. ASF, required unless bundle reallocation used under 15.1.10. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item h 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS NDC,” as applicable; * * *

    [Revise item i to read as follows:]

    i. NDC, required. Pallet may contain carrier route, automation or presorted mail for the 3-digit ZIP Code groups in L601. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item i 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS NDC,” as applicable; * * *

    [Revise item j to read as follows:]

    j. Mixed NDC, required, 100 pound minimum. Pallet may contain carrier route, automation or presorted mail. * * * Labeling:

    [Revise item j 2 to read as follows:]

    2. Line 2: “MKT/BPM/PER FLTS,” as applicable;

    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to reflect these changes.

    Stanley F. Mires, Attorney, Federal Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25488 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0386; FRL-9971-16-Region 7] Approval of Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans; Adoption of a New Chapter Under the Nebraska Administrative Code; Withdrawal of Direct Final Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Due to adverse comments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing the direct final rule for “Approval of Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans; Adoption of a New Chapter Under the Nebraska Administrative Code” published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2017. Nebraska's SIP revision added a new chapter titled “Visibility Protection” which provides Nebraska authority to implement Federal regulations relating to Regional Haze and Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART). The new chapter incorporates by reference EPA's Guidelines for BART Determinations under the Regional Haze Rule. The revision to the SIP meets the visibility component of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    The direct final rule published at 82 FR 46415, October 5, 2017, is withdrawn effective November 27, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Greg Crable, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7391, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to adverse comments, EPA is withdrawing the direct final rule to approve revisions to the Nebraska State Implementation Plan (SIP). In the direct final rule published on October 5, 2017 (82 FR 46415), we stated that if we received adverse comment by November 6, 2017, the rule would be withdrawn and not take effect. EPA received adverse comments. EPA will address the comments in a subsequent final action based upon the proposed action also published on October 5, 2017 (82 FR 46433).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Best available retrofit technology, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Regional haze, Sulfur dioxide, Visibility, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: November 16, 2017. James B. Gulliford, Regional Administrator, Region 7. Accordingly, the direct final rule published at 82 FR 46415, October 5, 2017, is withdrawn effective November 27, 2017.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25428 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 120404257-3325-02] RIN 0648- XF854 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2017 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish Hook-and-Line Component AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS implements accountability measures for the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial hook-and-line landings for golden tilefish will reach the hook-and-line component's commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on November 29, 2017. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ on November 29, 2017, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year on January 1, 2018. This closure is necessary to protect the golden tilefish resource.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, November 29, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Vara, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes golden tilefish and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

    On April 23, 2013, NMFS published a final rule for Amendment 18B to the FMP (78 FR 23858). Amendment 18B to the FMP established a longline endorsement program for the commercial golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery and allocated the commercial golden tilefish ACL among two gear types, the longline and hook-and-line components.

    The commercial ACL (equivalent to the commercial quota) for the hook-and-line component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic is 135, 324 lb (61,382 kg), gutted weight, for the current fishing year, January 1 through December 31, 2017, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(2)(ii).

    Under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(i), NMFS is required to close the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish when the hook-and-line component's commercial ACL has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial ACL for the hook-and-line component for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic will be reached by November 29, 2017. Accordingly, the commercial hook-and-line component for South Atlantic golden tilefish is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, November 29, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018.

    The commercial longline component for South Atlantic golden tilefish closed on May 9, 2017, for the remainder of the current fishing year, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018 (82 FR 21316; May 8, 2017). Therefore, because the commercial longline component is already closed, and NMFS is closing the commercial hook-and-line component through this temporary rule, all commercial fishing for South Atlantic golden tilefish is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, November 29, 2017, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2018.

    The operator of a vessel with a valid Federal commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having golden tilefish on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such golden tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 29, 2017. During the closure, the sale or purchase of golden tilefish taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of golden tilefish that were harvested by hook-and-line, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 29, 2017, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, the sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for golden tilefish would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(c).

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of South Atlantic golden tilefish and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(a)(1)(i) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

    This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule itself has been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL for the hook-and-line component, and there is a need to immediately implement this action to protect golden tilefish. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and could potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL for the hook-and-line component.

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 21, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25559 Filed 11-21-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF851 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2017 Pacific Ocean perch total allowable catch (TAC) in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), November 21, 2017, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The 2017 Pacific ocean perch TAC in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI is 9,350 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017).

    The Regional Administrator has determined that the 2017 TAC for Pacific Ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 9,335 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 15 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. Consequently, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.

    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the directed fishing closure of Pacific Ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as November 14, 2017.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 21, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25562 Filed 11-21-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 226 Monday, November 27, 2017 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 26, 50, 52, 73, and 140 [NRC-2015-0070] RIN 3150-AJ59 Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to Decommissioning AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Regulatory basis.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing a regulatory basis to support a rulemaking that would amend the NRC's regulations for the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors. The NRC's goals in amending these regulations would be to provide for an efficient decommissioning process; reduce the need for exemptions from existing regulations; address other decommissioning issues deemed relevant by the NRC staff; and support the principles of good regulation, including openness, clarity, and reliability.

    DATES:

    The regulatory basis is available on November 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0070 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0070. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. The regulatory basis can be accessed in ADAMS at accession number ML17215A010.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alysia G. Bone, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301-415-1034, email: [email protected]; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 30, 2014, the Commission directed the NRC staff to proceed with a rulemaking on power reactor decommissioning in the staff requirements memorandum (SRM) for SECY-14-0118, “Request by Duke Energy Florida, Inc., for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements” (ADAMS Accession No. ML14364A111). The Commission also stated that the rulemaking should address: Issues discussed in SECY-00-0145, “Integrated Rulemaking Plan for Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning” (ADAMS Accession No. ML003721626), such as the graded approach to emergency preparedness (EP); lessons learned from the plants that have already gone or are currently going through the decommissioning process; the advisability of requiring a licensee's post-shutdown decommissioning activities report (PSDAR) to be approved by the NRC; the appropriateness of maintaining the three existing options for decommissioning and the timeframes associated with those options; the appropriate role of state and local governments and non-governmental stakeholders in the decommissioning process; and any other issues deemed relevant by the NRC staff.

    The NRC issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register (80 FR 72358; November 19, 2015) to obtain stakeholder feedback on the regulatory issues included in the SRM for SECY-14-0118. The NRC received public comments related to each of the regulatory issues outlined in the ANPR. Most public feedback pertained to the level of public involvement in the decommissioning process, the 60-year limit for power reactor decommissioning, the NRC's approval of the PSDAR, the use of decommissioning trust funds (DTFs), and EP considerations. The NRC reviewed the comments and used input received from the comments to develop the options presented in the draft regulatory basis, which was issued for a 90-day public comment period on March 15, 2017 (82 FR 13778). The NRC received input from stakeholders in every area addressed in the draft regulatory basis. The NRC also received the most stakeholder input on the current regulatory approach to decommissioning, EP, and DTFs. The comments received on the draft regulatory basis were considered in the development of the regulatory basis.

    In the regulatory basis, the NRC staff concludes that it has sufficient justification to proceed with rulemaking in the areas of EP, physical security, cyber security, drug and alcohol testing, training requirements for certified fuel handlers (CFHs), DTFs, offsite and onsite financial protection requirements and indemnity agreements, and application of the backfit rule. Further, the NRC staff is recommending rulemaking: (1) to require that decommissioning documents in § 50.54(bb) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR); § 50.82, “Termination of license”; and § 52.110, “Termination of license,” or a combination thereof, contain information on spent fuel management planning, in accordance with the regulatory requirements in § 72.218, “Termination of Licenses”; (2) to amend § 51.53, “Postconstruction environmental reports,” and § 51.95, “Postconstruction environmental impact statements,” to clarify the environmental reporting requirements and add a reference to § 52.110; (3) to amend §§ 50.82(a) and 52.110 to clarify that licensees must evaluate the environmental impacts of decommissioning, and whether they are bounded, in the PSDAR; (4) to amend § 50.59(d)(3); § 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, appendix A, Criterion 1, “Quality standards and records”; 10 CFR part 50, appendix B, Criterion XVII, “Quality Assurance Records”; and § 72.72(d) to remove certain record-retention requirements for structures, systems, and components (SSCs) that no longer remain in service during decommissioning, as well as duplication requirements for spent fuel storage records; and (5) to amend 10 CFR part 20, appendix G, Section III.E, for investigating shipments of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) if the shipper has not received notification of receipt within 20 days after transfer, to allow a 45-day notification window based on operating experience that shows this is a reasonable delay for LLW shipments.

    Additionally in this regulatory basis, the NRC staff recommends guidance development and inspection procedure updates for minimum staffing of non-licensed operators and aging management of certain SSCs. The NRC staff also determined that fatigue management would not be addressed in this decommissioning rule.

    In the regulatory basis, the NRC staff reiterated conclusions from the draft regulatory basis that regulatory activities other than rulemaking—such as guidance development—can be pursued to address the appropriate role of State and local governments in the decommissioning process, the level of NRC review of the PSDAR, and the 60-year limit for power reactor decommissioning.

    In addition to the regulatory basis, staff plans to publish a revised preliminary draft of the regulatory analysis, which will update and refine the analysis of costs and benefits.

    The NRC staff plans to publish a proposed rule for public comment in 2018.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of November 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Patricia K. Holahan, Director, Division of Rulemaking, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25552 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1093; Product Identifier 2017-NM-018-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of early cracking on certain holes of the crossbeam splicing at certain fuselage frames. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections for cracking of the fastener holes in certain fuselage frames, and depending on airplane configuration, would provide an optional terminating action to the repetitive inspections. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office-EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1093; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-1093; Product Identifier 2017-NM-018-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0139, dated July 14, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Model A318 series airplanes; A319 series airplanes; A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Following addition of a new airworthiness limitation item (ALI) task 531110 in the Airworthiness Limitation Section (ALS) Part 2 in the revision dated April 2012, numerous findings have been reported of early cracks on the four holes of the crossbeam splicing at frame (FR)16 and FR20 on both left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the airframe.

    To allow an earlier crack detection, Airbus decided to transfer the repetitive inspections from ALI task 531110 to Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1286, later revised, including new recommended inspection thresholds.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive special detailed [rototest] inspections (SDI) of the two upper rows of fasteners of the crossbeam splicing at FR16 and FR20, on both LH and RH sides, [installation of new fasteners on crack-free frames, related investigative and corrective actions,] and, depending on aeroplane configuration, provides an optional terminating action to the repetitive inspections required by this [EASA] AD.

    Related investigative actions include checking the edge margins of the holes. Corrective actions include reaming affected crossbeams and frames and cold working the frames. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1093.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information:

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1286, Revision 01, dated December 22, 2015, which describes procedures for rototest inspections for cracking of the holes in certain fuselage frames and crossbeams.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1295, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated June 29, 2015, which describes procedures for modifying the airplane, including cold working instructions in certain fuselage frames and crossbeams.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Difference Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    Where the MCAI, paragraph (4), specifies a repair approved by EASA or under a Design Organization Approval (DOA) other than Airbus, paragraph (j) of this proposed AD refers to a repair approved by the FAA, EASA, or an EASA DOA other than Airbus. The MCAI did not specify whether FAA approved repairs are acceptable for compliance.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 928 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections 116 work-hours × $85 per hour = $9,860 per inspection $960 $10,820 $10,040,960. Optional Modification 28 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,380 3,020 5,400 Up to $5,011,200.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2017-1093; Product Identifier 2017-NM-018-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 11, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes; A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except the airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Airplanes on which Airbus modification 161255 has been embodied in production.

    (2) Model A319 series airplanes on which Airbus modifications 28238, 28162, and 28342 have been concurrently embodied in production.

    (3) Model A318 series airplanes on which Airbus modification 39195 has been embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of early cracking on the four holes of the crossbeam splicing at certain fuselage frames (FR). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking at two upper rows of fasteners of the crossbeam splicing at FR16 and FR20, on both the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides, which can result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane due to the failure of structural components.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Rototest Inspections

    Before exceeding the threshold specified in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, or table 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable to airplane configuration (pre- or post-modification 20416 or pre- or post-modification 21999): Do a special detailed (rototest) inspection of the two upper rows of fasteners of the crossbeam splicing at FR16 and FR20 on both LH and RH sides, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1286, Revision 01, dated December 22, 2015. Thereafter, repeat the inspection at the intervals specified in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, or table 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable to airplane configuration (pre- or post-modification 20416 or pre- or post-modification 21999).

    Table 1 to Paragraph (g) of This AD—Inspection of Pre-Modification 20416 or Pre-Modification 21999 Airplanes Threshold (A or B or C, whichever occurs later) A: Before exceeding 36,800 flight cycles (FC) or 73,600 flight hours (FH), whichever occurs first since the first flight of the airplane.
  • B: Within 27,400 FC or 54,900 FH, whichever occurs first since the last inspection as specified in airworthiness limitation item (ALI) task 531110-01-1 accomplished before the effective date of this AD.
  • C: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, without exceeding 38,800 FC or 77,600 FH, whichever occurs first since the first flight of the airplane. Repetitive Inspection Interval (Not to exceed) 27,400 FC or 54,900 FH, whichever occurs first.
    Table 2 to Paragraph (g) of This AD—Inspection of Post-Modification 20416 or Post-Modification 21999 Airplanes Threshold (A or B or C, whichever occurs later) A: Before exceeding 34,700 FC or 69,400 FH, whichever occurs first since the first flight of the airplane.
  • B: Within 12,900 FC or 25,800 FH, whichever occurs first since the last inspection as specified in ALI task 531110-01-2 accomplished before the effective date of this AD.
  • C: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, without exceeding 38,900 FC or 77,900 FH, whichever occurs first since the first flight of the airplane. Repetitive Inspection Interval (Not to exceed) 12,900 FC or 25,800 FH, whichever occurs first.
    (h) Post-Inspection Actions

    Depending on the results from any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, do the actions in paragraphs (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any crack is detected: Before further flight, do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1286, Revision 01, dated December 22, 2015; except where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1286, Revision 01, dated December 22, 2015, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate repair, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), accomplish corrective actions before further flight in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (r)(2) of this AD. Repair of an airplane as required by this paragraph does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that airplane, unless specified otherwise in the repair instructions.

    (2) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no cracks are detected: Before further flight, do all applicable fastener installations, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1286, Revision 01, dated December 22, 2015.

    (i) Airplanes on Which Airbus Repair Instruction R53112926 Was Applied

    For airplanes on which Airbus Repair Instruction R53112926 at issue A or B was applied on the frame and/or crossbeam at FR16 LH or RH, or at FR20 LH or RH: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (j) Airplanes on Which a Repair With Installation of EN6114 Countersunk Fasteners Was Applied on the Frame and/or Crossbeam

    For airplanes on which a repair with installation of EN6114 countersunk fasteners, approved by the FAA, EASA, or an EASA DOA other than Airbus, was applied on the frame and/or crossbeam at FR16 LH or RH, or at FR20 LH or RH, in the area covered by paragraph (g) of this AD: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (k) Optional Terminating Action for Airplanes Post-Modification 20416 or Post-Modification 21999

    Modification of an airplane post-modification 20416 or post-modification 21999 in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1295, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated June 29, 2015, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that airplane.

    (l) Post-Repair Actions for Certain Airplanes

    For an airplane that has been inspected per ALI task 531110 and repaired before the effective date of this AD using the instructions in an Airbus Repair Design Approval Sheet (RDAS): Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, contact the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA for instructions and accomplish those instructions accordingly. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. Accomplishment of the instructions required by this paragraph, does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that airplane, unless specified otherwise in the instructions.

    (m) Partial Terminating Action for Airplanes Post-Modification 20416 or Post-Modification 21999

    For an airplane post-modification 20416 or post-modification 21999, modification in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1295, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated June 29, 2015, for the applicable fastener holes, where no damage or cracks were detected (i.e., those not repaired) during the latest inspection as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections of those fastener holes as required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that airplane.

    (n) Actions for Airplanes With Certain Repairs

    For an airplane that has been repaired before the effective date of this AD in the areas described in this AD using the instructions in an Airbus RDAS unrelated to ALI task 531110: Before exceeding the compliance times specified in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable, contact the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA for corrective action instructions and accomplish those instructions accordingly. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. Accomplishment of corrective action(s) on an airplane, as required by this paragraph, does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that airplane, as applicable, unless specified otherwise in the instructions.

    (o) Terminating Action for ALI Tasks

    (1) Accomplishment of an inspection as required by paragraph (g) of this AD or instructions as required by paragraph (l) of this AD, as applicable, constitutes terminating action for the inspection requirements of ALI task 531110, for that airplane.

    (2) Modification of the two upper rows of fasteners of the crossbeam splicing at FR16 and FR20 on both LH and RH sides of an airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1295, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated June 29, 2015, as specified in paragraphs (k) and (m) of this AD, constitutes terminating action for the inspection requirements of ALI task 531110, for those holes for that airplane.

    (p) No Reporting Requirement

    Although Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1286, Revision 01, dated December 22, 2015, specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD does not include that requirement.

    (q) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1286, dated June 29, 2015.

    (r) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (s)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

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

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraphs (h)(1) and (p) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (s) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0139, dated July 14, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1093.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 7, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25252 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1421; Product Identifier 2014-NM-177-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposal for certain The Boeing Company Model 767-300 and -300F series airplanes. This action revises the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by adding new high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of an expanded area of the lower outboard wing skin for certain airplanes. We are proposing this airworthiness directive (AD) to address the unsafe condition on these products. Since these actions would impose an additional burden over those in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these changes.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2015 (80 FR 32066), is reopened.

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by January 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact Aviation Partners Boeing, 2811 S. 102nd Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98168; telephone 206-762-1171; Internet https://www.aviationpartnersboeing.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1421; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this SNPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Allen Rauschendorfer, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6450; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1421; Product Identifier 2014-NM-177-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this SNPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this SNPRM because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this SNPRM.

    Discussion

    We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 767-300 and -300F series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2015 (80 FR 32066). The NPRM was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking on airplanes with Aviation Partners Boeing winglets installed. The NPRM proposed to require an HFEC inspection for cracking of the lower outboard wing skin, and repair or modification if necessary. The NPRM also proposed to require one of three follow-on actions: repeating the HFEC inspections; modifying certain internal stringers and oversizing and plugging the existing fastener holes of the lower wing; or modifying the external doubler/tripler and doing repetitive post-modification inspections.

    Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM, we have determined that new HFEC inspections for cracking of an expanded area of the lower outboard wing skin are necessary to address the identified unsafe condition for certain airplanes.

    Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) has released Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017. In the NPRM, we refer to APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 7, dated November 4, 2014, as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the proposed actions. APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, corrects certain errors and omissions that were in the Accomplishment Instructions of APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 7, dated November 4, 2014, and provides clarification of certain procedures. APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, also removes all work related to stringer L-6.5 due to recent analysis that the modification was not sufficient to meet the 767 design service objective.

    In light of this analysis, new repetitive post-modification HFEC inspections have been added for airplanes on which the optional terminating modification of the existing skin or external skin doubler has been done. We have revised this proposed AD to refer to APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, for accomplishing proposed actions for stringer L-9.5.

    APB has also released Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017. APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, includes procedures for inspections, repair (modification), and repair of stringer L-6.5 of the lower outboard wing skin (which replace the actions that were removed from APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017. The service information describes procedures for an HFEC inspection for cracking of the external surface of the lower outboard wing skin at stringer L-9.5 and on-condition actions that include repetitive HFEC inspections; modification by oversizing and plugging the existing fastener holes of the wing skin; repair (modification) of the stringer with new stringer; repair (modification) of the stringer with external doubler/tripler; repetitive post-repair inspections for cracking; and repair.

    We also reviewed APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017. The service information describes procedures for an HFEC inspection for cracking of the lower outboard wing skin at stringer L-6.5 and on-condition actions that include repetitive HFEC inspections; repair (modification) of the stringer with new stringer; repetitive post-repair HFEC inspections for cracking; and repair.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. We considered the comments received.

    Request To Clarify Service Information and Actions in the Proposed AD

    Multiple commenters (United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Japan Airlines, FedEx, Boeing) requested that the actions specified in APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 7, dated November 4, 2014, be revised. Commenters noted that APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 7, dated November 4, 2014, contained multiple errors. United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Boeing also requested that the actions specified in the proposed AD be revised for clarity because certain language in the proposed AD did not match the language in APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 7, dated November 4, 2014. APB stated APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 7, dated November 4, 2014, is being revised to include corrections and clarifications and additional work. APB recommend that we refer to updated service information.

    We acknowledge the commenters' request and have revised this SNPRM to refer to the updated service information in APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, and APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017.

    Request To Allow Previously Approved Repairs

    American Airlines, APB, and Boeing requested that we give credit for repairs in the subject area that had received 8100-9 approval prior to the effective date of the AD.

    We agree to give credit for repairs that we have determined will address the identified unsafe condition. We replaced the content of paragraph (i) of the proposed AD (in the NPRM) with new content in this proposed AD to specify that repairs of the lower outboard wing skin done after June 15, 2017, and before the effective date of this AD, that are approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, are approved for the applicable repairs required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    Request To Allow Previous Modifications

    Air New Zealand requested that we give credit for accomplishing the proposed modification before the effective date of the AD by adding the required service information to paragraph (i) of the proposed AD, which specifies credit for previous actions.

    We acknowledge the comment. However, no change to this proposed AD is necessary. Operators who accomplish the actions required by an AD using the required service information before the effective date of an AD are in compliance with the AD. Paragraph (f) of this proposed AD states “comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.” Credit for previous actions in ADs is used primarily to give credit for earlier revisions of required service information that are also acceptable for compliance if done before the effective date of the AD.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    Proposed Requirements of This SNPRM

    This SNPRM would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed Rule and the Service Information.”

    The compliance times vary depending on airplane configuration and inspection area. The shortest initial compliance time is the later of: 1,500 flight cycles or 7,500 flight hours after winglet installation, whichever occurs first; or 18 months after the effective date of the AD. Except for one group of airplanes, the longest initial compliance time is the later of: 7,800 flight cycles or 23,400 flight hours after installation of a certain modification, whichever occurs first; or 18 months after the effective date of the AD. For one group of airplanes, the longest initial compliance time is 29,000 total flight cycles or 111,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    The shortest repetitive interval is 1,500 flight cycles or 7,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first. The longest repetitive interval is 12,000 flight cycles or 36,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    Differences Between Proposed Rule and Service Information

    APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, and APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, specify to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

    • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes ODA whom we have authorized to make those findings.

    Table 5a of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of APB Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, does not provide a grace period for airplanes that have exceeded a certain compliance time. We have added a grace period of 6 months to paragraph (g)(2) of this proposed AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 140 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs—Required Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • HFEC Inspections 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 $0 $510 $71,400

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions.

    Estimated Costs—On-Condition Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Post-repair Inspections 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 per inspection cycle $0 $510 Repair/Modification 262 work-hours × 85 per hour = 22,270 0 22,270

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for on-condition repairs for the post-repair inspections specified in this proposed AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

    The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-1421; Product Identifier 2014-NM-177-AD.

    (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 11, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 767-300 and -300F series airplanes, certificated in any category, with Aviation Partners Boeing winglets installed; as identified in Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking in the lower outboard wing skin at the inboard fastener of stringer L-9.5, and the lower outboard wing skin of stringer L-6.5, on airplanes with winglets installed per Supplemental Type Certificate ST01920SE. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking in the lower outboard wing skin, which could result in failure and subsequent separation of the wing and winglet and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Stringer L-9.5 Inspections, Modification, Repair (Modification), Repetitive Post-Repair Inspections, and Repair

    (1) For Group 1 and Group 2 airplanes identified in Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, except as required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD: Do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the lower outboard wing skin at stringer L-9.5, in accordance with Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (i) For airplanes on which “Condition 1” is found, as defined in the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(1)(i)(A) of this AD: Do the applicable actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(i)(A), (g)(1)(i)(B), (g)(1)(i)(C), or (g)(1)(i)(D) of this AD.

    (A) Repeat the inspection specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (B) Do the applicable actions required by paragraphs (g)(1)(i)(B)(1), (g)(1)(i)(B)(2), and (g)(1)(i)(B)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Before further flight, do actions (modifications and repair (modification)) in accordance with Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (2) For airplanes on which the repair (modification) specified in Part 5 of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010 was done: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 12 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(i)(B)(2) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (C) Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1)(i)(C)(1) and (g)(1)(i)(C)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(i)(C)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Before further flight, repair (modify) in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (2) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 9 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(i)(C)(2) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (D) Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1)(i)(D)(1) and (g)(1)(i)(D)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(i)(D)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Before further flight, repair (modify) in accordance with Part 11 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (2) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 13 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(i)(D)(2) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (ii) For airplanes on which “Condition 2” is found, as defined in the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(1)(i)(A) of this AD: Do the actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(A) or (g)(1)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1)(ii)(A)(1) and (g)(1)(ii)(A)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(A)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Before further flight, repair (modify) in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (2) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 9 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(A)(2) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (B) Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1)(ii)(B)(1) and (g)(1)(ii)(B)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(B)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Before further flight, repair (modify) in accordance with Part 11 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (2) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 13 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(B)(2) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (iii) For airplanes on which “Condition 3” is found, as defined in the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, during the actions specified in paragraph (g)(1)(i)(B)(1) of this AD: Do the actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(A) or (g)(1)(iii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1)(iii)(A)(1) and (g)(1)(iii)(A)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(A)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Before further flight, repair (modify) in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (2) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 9 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(A)(2) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (B) Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1)(iii)(B)(1) and (g)(1)(iii)(B)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(B)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Before further flight, repair (modify) in accordance with Part 11 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (2) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 13 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017; and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(B)(2) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (iv) For airplanes on which “Condition 4” is found, as defined in the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, during any action specified in paragraph (g)(1)(i)(C)(1), (g)(1)(i)(D)(1), (g)(1)(ii)(A)(1), (g)(1)(ii)(B)(1), (g)(1)(iii)(A)(1), and (g)(1)(iii)(B)(1) of this AD: Repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (2) For Group 3 airplanes identified in Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, or within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do an HFEC inspection for cracking of the lower outboard wing skin at stringer L-9.5, in accordance with Part 7 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017. Repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017. If any cracking is found during any inspection, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD. An approved repair terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD.

    (h) Repetitive Stringer L-6.5 Inspections, Repair (Modification), Repetitive Post-Repair Inspections, and Repair

    (1) For airplanes identified in Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD: Do an HFEC inspection for cracking of stringer L-6.5 of the lower outboard wing skin, in accordance with Part 1 of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017. If no cracking is found, repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, except as provided by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD.

    (2) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, do the actions required by paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (h)(2)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Before further flight, repair (modify) stringer L-6.5, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017.

    (ii) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, do an HFEC post-repair inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017.

    (iii) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (3) As an option to the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, do the actions required by paragraphs (h)(3)(i) and (h)(3)(ii) of this AD, and do all applicable actions required by paragraph (h)(3)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Before further flight after accomplishing the most recent inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, repair (modify) stringer L-6.5, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017.

    (ii) At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, do a post-repair HFEC inspection for cracking, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, and repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017.

    (iii) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(3)(ii) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (i) Repair Approval

    Repairs of the lower outboard wing skin done after June 15, 2017, and before the effective date of this AD, that are approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, are approved for the applicable repairs required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (j) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-010, Revision 11, dated April 3, 2017, specifies a compliance time of “after the issue date of Revision 11 of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP767-57-014, Revision 1, dated April 12, 2017, specifies a compliance time of “after the initial issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes ODA that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) Except as required by paragraphs (g)(1)(i)(B)(3), (g)(1)(i)(C)(3), (g)(1)(i)(D)(3), (g)(1)(ii)(A)(3), (g)(1)(ii)(B)(3), (g)(1)(iii)(A)(3), (g)(1)(iii)(B)(3), (g)(1)(iv), (g)(2), (h)(2)(iii), and (h)(3)(iii) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (k)(4)(i) and (k)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. If a step or substep is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Allen Rauschendorfer, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6450; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Aviation Partners Boeing, 2811 S. 102nd Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98168; telephone 206-762-1171; Internet https://www.aviationpartnersboeing.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 3, 2017. Jeffrey E. Duven, Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-24502 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0802; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-18] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace, Clanton, AL AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E airspace at Chilton County Airport (formerly Gragg-Wade Field Airport), Clanton, AL, to accommodate airspace reconfiguration due to the decommissioning of the Gragg-Wade non-directional radio beacon (NDB), and cancellation of the NDB approach. 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.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; Telephone: (800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify the Docket No. FAA-2017-0802; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-18, 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 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 Chilton County Airport, Clanton, AL, to support IFR operations at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to comment on 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-2017-0802 and Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-18) and be submitted in triplicate to DOT Docket Operations (see “ADDRESSES” section for the address and phone number.) 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 FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0802; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASO-18.” 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 document may be changed in light of the comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the comment closing date. 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 7.7-mile radius (increased from a 6.3-mile radius) of Chilton County Airport, Clanton, AL, due to the decommissioning of the Gragg-Wade NDB, and cancellation of the NDB approach. The changes would enhance the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. The geographic coordinates of the airport also would be adjusted to coincide with the FAAs aeronautical database, and the airport name would be updated to Chilton County 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. ASO AL E5 Clanton, AL [Amended] Chilton County Airport, AL (Lat. 32°51′02″ N., long. 86°36′41″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.7-mile radius of Chilton County Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on November 16, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25309 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0897; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-22] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Spanish Fork, UT AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Spanish Fork Airport Springville-Woodhouse Field, Spanish Fork, UT, to accommodate new area navigation (RNAV) procedures at the airport. This action would ensure the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 11, 2018.

    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-2017-0897; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-22, 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 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 establish Class E airspace to support new RNAV procedures at Spanish Fork Airport Springville-Woodhouse Field, Spanish Fork, UT.

    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 and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. 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-2017-0897; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-22”. 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 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 during normal business hours 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 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 establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Spanish Fork Airport Springville-Woodhouse Field, Spanish Fork, UT, within a 6.5-mile radius of the airport. This proposed airspace is necessary to support the new RNAV procedures for runways 12 and 30 for the safety and management of 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, 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

    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. ANM UT E5 Spanish Fork, UT [New] Spanish Fork Airport Springville-Woodhouse Field, UT (Lat. 40°08′42″ N., long. 111°40′04″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Spanish Fork Airport Springville-Woodhouse Field.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on November 14, 2017. Brian J. Johnson, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25419 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0468; FRL-9971-20-Region 9] Approval of Arizona Air Plan Revisions, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) portion of the Arizona State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns emissions of lead-bearing fugitive dust from roads, storage piles and other activities associated with the primary copper smelter located in Hayden, Arizona. We are proposing to approve a state rule and associated appendix to regulate these emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0468 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to Christine Vineyard, Rulemaking Office at [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Vineyard, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4125, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rule and appendix did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of this rule and appendix? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule and appendix? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rule and appendix? B. Do the rule and appendix meet the evaluation criteria? C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule and Appendix D. Public Comment and Proposed Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rule and appendix did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the rule and appendix addressed by this proposal with the dates that they were submitted by ADEQ.

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Submitted ADEQ R18-2-B1301.01 Limits on Lead-Bearing Fugitive Dust from the Hayden Smelter 04/06/17 ADEQ Appendix 15 Test Methods for Determining Opacity and Stabilization of Unpaved Roads 04/06/17

    On July 17, 2017 the EPA determined that the submittal for ADEQ Rule R18-2-B1301.01 and Appendix 15 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of this rule and appendix?

    There are no previous versions of Rule 18-2-B1301.01 and Appendix 15 in the SIP.

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule and appendix?

    On November 12, 2008 the EPA published a final rule revising the lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The revisions to the primary and secondary lead NAAQS were to provide increased protection for children and other at-risk populations against an array of health effects including neurological effects. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires States to submit regulations that control lead emissions. ADEQ Rule R18-2-B1302.01 and Appendix 15 establish control requirements and test methods for lead-bearing fugitive dust sources at the Hayden primary copper smelter. The EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about this rule and appendix.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rule and appendix?

    SIP rules must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193). On September 3, 2014 the EPA issued a final rule redesignating the Hayden, Arizona area to nonattainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS (79 FR 52205). Under CAA section 172(c)(1), the Arizona SIP must provide for implementation of all reasonably available control measures (RACM), including reasonably available control technology (RACT) for lead, and must provide for attainment of the NAAQS in the Hayden nonattainment area. The EPA will address the overall RACM/RACT requirement for the Hayden lead nonattainment area separately, in the context of our action on the “SIP Revision: Hayden Lead Nonattainment Area” submitted by ADEQ to the EPA on March 3, 2017. Therefore, our stringency evaluation considers whether Rule 18-2-B1301.01 implements reasonable controls for leaded fugitive dust at the Hayden primary copper smelter.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

    1. “Addendum to the General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990” (58 FR 67748, December 22, 1993). 2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” EPA, May 25, 1988 (the Bluebook, revised January 11, 1990). 3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (the Little Bluebook). 4. “Implementation of the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards Guide to Developing Reasonable Available Control Measures (RACM) for Controlling Lead Emissions,” EPA-457/R-12-001, March 2012. B. Do the rule and appendix meet the evaluation criteria?

    We have determined that the rule and appendix are consistent with CAA requirements and relevant guidance regarding enforceability and SIP revisions. R18-2-B1301.01 establishes controls for lead-bearing fugitive dust emissions surrounding the Hayden copper smelter that include a facility-wide 20% opacity limit, wind fences for storage piles and chemical dust-suppression application for unpaved roads. Appendix 15 describes appropriate test methods to help ensure enforceability. We also have determined that R18-2-B1301.01 generally implements reasonably available controls for lead-bearing fugitive dust at the Hayden smelter. The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

    C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule and Appendix

    The TSD describes additional revisions that we recommend for the next time ADEQ modifies the rule and appendix.

    D. Public Comment and Proposed Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA proposes to fully approve the submitted rule and appendix because they fulfill all relevant requirements. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal until December 27, 2017. If we take final action to approve the submitted rule and appendix, our final action will incorporate them into the federally enforceable SIP.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the ADEQ rules described in Table 1 of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    • is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: November 16, 2017. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25567 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 147 [EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0584; FRL-9970-73-OW] State of Idaho Voluntary Transfer of Primacy of the Class II Underground Injection Control Program to the Environmental Protection Agency AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing notice of the transfer of the state of Idaho's Underground Injection Control (UIC) program for Class II injection wells from Idaho to EPA, and is concurrently issuing a proposed rule to amend EPA's UIC regulations to reflect such transfer. This transfer would be effective upon publication in the Federal Register of a final rule revising such regulations. Idaho submitted a formal request that EPA transfer and directly implement the Class II UIC Program. Idaho would maintain primacy for Class I, III, IV, and V injection wells pursuant to their EPA-approved program in 1985.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 11, 2018. A public hearing will be held only if there is significant public interest. Request for a public hearing will be accepted until December 12, 2017. Only if requested, a public hearing will be held on January 8, 2018, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Banner Bank Building, 950 W. Bannock Street, Boise, Idaho. Requests for a public hearing may be mailed to: Evan Osborne, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 6th Ave., OCE-101, Seattle, Washington 98101. For additional information regarding the public hearing, please contact Evan Osborne (206) 553-1747 or [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0584, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system).

    For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colin Dyroff, Drinking Water Protection Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (4606M), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-3149; fax number: (202) 564-3754; email address: [email protected]; or Evan Osborne, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 6th Ave., OCE-101, Seattle, Washington 98101; telephone number: (206) 553-1747; fax number: (206) 553-1762; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Why is EPA taking this action?

    On August 25, 2017, EPA received a letter from the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR), formally requesting that EPA transfer and directly implement the Class II UIC program in Idaho, pursuant to 40 CFR 145.34(a). Class II injection wells inject fluids (1) that are brought to the surface in connection with natural gas storage, or oil or natural gas production; or (2) for the purpose of enhanced oil or natural gas recovery; or (3) for the storage of hydrocarbons, which are liquid at standard temperature and pressure. Idaho received primary implementation and enforcement authority (primacy) for Class I, II, III, IV, and V injection wells under the Safe Drinking Water Act, section 1422, on July 22, 1985. Idaho has since maintained primacy for these injection well classes in Idaho, including Class II.

    Class II injection wells were banned in Idaho under the state's regulations in 1985, when EPA originally approved Idaho primacy, and as a result, this ban was codified in EPA's regulations. However, in 2013, the state passed legislation which allows these wells. Although the state's regulations now allow Class II wells, Idaho has not issued any Class II permits because EPA has not approved the change to Idaho's approved Class II UIC program and the wells remain banned under federal law; therefore, the state is not authorized to issue Class II permits. The voluntary transfer of authority for the UIC Class II program to EPA would allow EPA to issue Class II permits in Idaho. EPA would be responsible for the direct implementation of the Class II underground injection program in Idaho, including permitting, compliance, and enforcement responsibilities, pursuant to the SDWA and federal UIC regulations.

    This Federal Register document constitutes public notice of the transfer of Idaho's Class II program to EPA, as required by 40 CFR 145.34(a)(3). In this Federal Register document, EPA also proposes to make conforming changes to its regulations to reflect such transfer. 40 CFR part 147 sets forth the applicable UIC programs for each of the states. This rule would update 40 CFR part 147, subpart N, which currently lists Idaho as having primacy over Class II, to indicate that EPA will directly implement the Class II UIC program in Idaho. This transfer of authority will be effective upon publication of the final rule, revising such regulations, in the Federal Register. Because the transfer and rulemaking will allow wells to be permitted that were previously banned, EPA finds that there is “good cause” to make this rule, when final, effective upon publication in the Federal Register. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (3).

    II. Legal Authorities

    A state with an approved primacy program may voluntarily transfer UIC program responsibilities to EPA, pursuant to 40 CFR 145.34(a). The regulations require that EPA provide notice of such transfer in the Federal Register at least 30 days before the transfer is to occur. 40 CFR 145.34(a)(3). The regulations do not provide for opportunity to comment on whether to transfer, and accordingly, EPA is not taking comment on such transfer.

    EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 147 set forth the applicable UIC programs for each of the states. This rule would make ministerial revisions to these regulations to reflect the transfer noticed herein. Specifically, the rule would revise 40 CFR part 147, subpart N, to indicate that the Class II UIC program for Idaho is to be directly implemented by EPA, and consists of the UIC program requirements of 40 CFR parts 124, 144, 146, and 148. EPA is taking comment only on these revisions.

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

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

    B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This action is not expected to be an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this action is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2040-0042.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This rule does not impose any requirements on small entities; this action withdraws a state program and therein transfers direct implementation of the Class II UIC program to EPA. We have therefore concluded that this action will have no net regulatory burden for any directly regulated small entities.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This rule does not impose any mandates on small entities; this action withdraws a state program and therein transfers direct implementation of the Class II UIC program to EPA.

    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. This action contains no federal mandates for state and local governments and does not impose any enforceable duties on state and local governments. This action merely withdraws a state program (at the voluntary request from Idaho) and therein transfers implementation of the Class II UIC program to EPA.

    G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This action contains no federal mandates for tribal governments and does not impose any enforceable duties on tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

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

    I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

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

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA has determined that this action is not subject to Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) because it does not establish an environmental health or safety standard. This rule does not impose any health or safety standards; this action transfers a state program and therein transfers direct implementation of the Class II UIC program to EPA.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 147

    Environmental protection, Indian—lands, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Water supply.

    Dated: November 6, 2017. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, Title 40 chapter 1 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 147—STATE, TRIBAL, AND EPA-ADMINISTERED UNDERGROUND INJECTION CONTROL PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for part 147 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 300h et seq.; and 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

    Subpart N—Idaho 2. Amend § 147.650 by revising the section heading and the introductory paragraph to read as follows:
    § 147.650 State-administered program—Class I, III, IV, and V wells.

    The UIC program for Class I, III, IV, and V wells in the state of Idaho, other than those on Indian lands, is the program administered by the Idaho Department of Water Resources, approved by EPA pursuant to section 1422 of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Notice of this approval was published in the Federal Register on June 7, 1985; the effective date of this program is July 22, 1985. This program consists of the following elements, as submitted to EPA in Idaho's program application. Note: because EPA subsequently transferred the Class II UIC program from the Idaho Department of Water Resources to EPA, references to Class II in the following elements are no longer relevant or applicable for federal UIC purposes.

    3. Amend § 147.651 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 147.651 EPA-administered program—Class II wells and all wells on Indian lands.

    (a) Contents. EPA administers the UIC program for all classes of wells on Indian lands and for Class II wells on non-Indian lands in the state of Idaho. This program consists of the UIC program requirements of 40 CFR parts 124, 144, 146, 148, and any additional requirements set forth in the remainder of this subpart. Injection well owners and operators, and EPA shall comply with these requirements.

    (b) Effective dates. The effective date of the UIC program for Indian lands in Idaho is June 11, 1984. The effective date of the UIC program for Class II wells on non-Indian lands in Idaho is [date of publication of final rule in the Federal Register].

    [FR Doc. 2017-24637 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 51 and 52 [WC Docket No. 17-244, WC Docket No. 13-97; FCC 17-133] Nationwide Number Portability; Numbering Policies for Modern Communications AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission seeks comment on how best to move toward complete nationwide number portability (NNP) to promote competition among all service providers. The NPRM proposes to eliminate the N-1 query requirement, and also proposes to forbear from the dialing parity requirements for competitive LECs that remain after the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order as they apply to interexchange services. The NPRM asserts these changes will remove regulatory barriers to NNP and better reflect the competitive realities of today's marketplace. The NOI seeks to refresh the record in the 2013 Future of Numbering NOI. It also seeks comment on four NNP models proposed by ATIS: Nationwide implementation of local routing numbers (LRNs); non-Geographic LRNs (NGLRNs); commercial agreements; and iconectiv's GR-2982-CORE. The NOI finally seeks comment on the implications of these proposals as they relate to public safety, access by individuals with disabilities, tariffs, and intercarrier compensation.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before December 27, 2017, and reply comments are due on or before January 26, 2018. Written comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act proposed information collection requirements must be submitted by the public, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other interested parties on or before January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by both WC Docket No. 17-244, and WC Docket No. 13-97 by any of the following methods:

    Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy 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 and boxes 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).

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained herein should be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via email to [email protected] and to Nicole Ongele, Federal Communications Commission, via email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Sherwin Siy, at (202) 418-2783, or [email protected] For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WC Docket No. 17-244, and CC Docket No. 13-97, adopted October 24, 2017, and released October 26, 2017. The full text of this document is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. It is available on the Commission's Web site at https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-comment-moving-toward-nationwide-number-portability-0. Pursuant to sections 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 the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998), http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/OGC/Orders/1998/fcc98056.pdf.

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy 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 and boxes 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).

    Synopsis I. Introduction

    1. Telephone numbers continue to serve as important identifiers for reaching family and friends, businesses, and other key contacts. Therefore, many individuals and businesses value their telephone numbers and the ability to keep them—whether changing service providers, moving from one neighborhood to another, or relocating across the country.

    2. Currently, consumers and businesses can keep their telephone numbers when changing service providers—wireline-to-wireline, wireless-to-wireless, and wireline-to-wireless and the reverse—when they move locally. This local number portability (LNP) benefits consumers and promotes competition. But consumers cannot uniformly keep their traditional wireline numbers or their mobile numbers when they move long distance. The ability to keep your telephone number when switching your wireline or wireless service provider may depend on whether the service provider to whom you want to switch is a nationwide service provider. This limitation not only confuses and inconveniences consumers, it harms the ability of small or regional carriers to compete, undermining a core principle of number portability—competition.

    3. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI), the Commission seeks comment on how best to move toward complete nationwide number portability to promote competition between all service providers, regardless of size or type of service (wireline or wireless). We also explore how technical aspects of our current LNP and dialing parity rules hinder the efficient routing of calls throughout the network, causing inefficiencies and delays.

    II. Background A. Overview

    4. The Commission has plenary authority over numbering matters. Section 251(e) of the Act of 1934, as amended (the Act) gives the Commission exclusive jurisdiction over the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and related telephone numbering issues in the United States. Section 251(b)(2) of the Act requires local exchange carriers (LECs) to “provide, to the extent technically feasible, number portability in accordance with requirements prescribed by the Commission.” Together, these portions of the Act give the Commission the authority not only to require “number portability,” which allows users to retain telephone numbers at the same location, but also to encourage “location portability,” allowing consumers to retain their telephone numbers when changing their location. Ensuring that telephone numbers do not act as barriers to competition between carriers of various sizes and technologies is well within our statutory authority. The Commission has created rules for local number portability and rules requiring that local number portability be available for wireless and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) customers. A “rate center” is a geographic area that is used to determine whether a call is local or toll. This type of unlimited number portability—allowing consumers to port any telephone number anywhere—has been referred to as “nationwide number portability” (NNP) or “non-geographic number portability” (NGNP).

    5. A wireless user may currently have more opportunities than a wireline user when it comes to number porting. But even among wireless competitors, smaller rural and regional carriers are at a disadvantage versus their nationwide competitors. Wireless-to-wireless porting is only possible if the ported-to wireless carrier has a facilities-based presence in the porting customer's original geographic location, placing smaller, non-nationwide carriers at a disadvantage. Similarly, existing technical strictures prevent customers from porting their numbers from wireless-to-wireline services, should a consumer want to do so, unless the ported-to wireline service provider happens to have a presence in the same rate center as the customer's number. This requirement naturally limits the ability of LECs to port-in numbers from wireless services, and will affect any toll or long-distance charges or other distance-sensitive costs for transiting the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) portion of the call path, placing these local wireline carriers at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for consumers.

    6. An interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) user is likewise limited in terms of portability. While there is no technologically-inherent restriction on location of use if connectivity is supported via the Internet (or via a dedicated network that can connect to it), calls to and from the PSTN are routed through the rate center where the telephone number is assigned as a local number. This means that the rate center “location” of the number determines the location and thus the available LECs to which a customer can port the number. This reduced flexibility and choice also disadvantages LEC over providers of other telephony services.

    7. Many consumers are thus still limited to local number portability, and interest in NNP remains high. Government and private stakeholders have explored possibilities for implementing NNP in various forums. In July 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce (the Committee) requested that the Commission expeditiously support nationwide number portability, noting that “[c]onsumers overwhelmingly prefer to keep their numbers when they switch carriers.” The Committee further indicated that the distinction within the number portability rules places non-nationwide providers at a competitive disadvantage and could result in consumer confusion when attempting to switch providers.

    8. The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) subsequently asserted that “CCA's rural and regional members have experienced problems with porting-in wireless numbers from disparate parts of the country.” CCA further asserts that, as a result, non-nationwide carriers are placed at a competitive disadvantage compared to their nationwide counterparts who are able to port-in numbers regardless of location. CCA expressed that number portability “helps to expand competition by allowing consumers to choose carriers that offer lower prices and innovative product and service offerings, and these public interest benefits are diminished when non-nationwide carriers do not have the same capability as nationwide carriers.”

    9. On May 16, 2016, the North American Numbering Council (NANC), issued a report on NNP. The NANC is the Commission's Federal Advisory Committee on numbering administration matters. It is comprised of state regulators, consumer groups, industry representatives, and other stakeholders interested in number administration. The NANC Report recommended further inquiry into several issues, including potential impacts to the life of the NANP, necessary edits to federal rules, and the role of LRNs in the future as carriers use both time division multiplexing- and VoIP-based interconnection.

    10. The Alliance for Technical Industry Solutions (ATIS) approved a Technical Report on a Nationwide Number Portability Study on June 20, 2016. The Alliance for Telecommunication Industry Solutions (ATIS) is a technical planning and standards organization that develops and promotes technical and operations standards for communications and related information technologies worldwide. The ATIS Report analyzes five potential solutions for achieving NNP: (1) Nationwide implementation of LRNs; (2) non-Geographic LRNs (NGLRNs); (3) commercial agreements; (4) Internet interconnection; and (5) iconectiv's GR-2982-CORE specification. ATIS reported that the commercial agreement solution is the only one that can be supported today that has no porting impacts.

    11. On August 30, 2016, the NANC LNP Working Group issued a white paper on NGNP (the NANC notes that NGNP and NNP “are considered to be two synonymous terms, but it has become the preference of the NANC Working Groups to use the term NNP”). Among other things, the LNP Working Group concluded that regulatory changes made as a result of non-geographic number porting implementation should be technology and provider agnostic. The Working Group reiterated that “any implementation of NGNP . . . will require collaboration and support by all parties involved” and that an industry move towards NGNP will require a mandate by the Commission.

    B. Background on Number Portability Mechanisms

    12. In the last few years, ATIS and the NANC have worked to develop approaches for implementing NNP and thereby, increase access to smaller, regional carriers and increase routing efficiency in the network. Because the changes required by some of these proposals could be hindered by legacy aspects of our telephone regulations, we propose to eliminate certain legacy aspects of our telephone regulations to promote NNP, such as existing N-1 and dialing parity requirements. This section provides a summary of existing number portability mechanisms as background to the proposals and questions in the NPRM and the NOI below.

    13. Current LNP Process. In the current local number portability system, consumers may keep their telephone number when changing providers if they remain at the same location. Stated differently, consumers may be prevented, for technical reasons, from retaining their telephone number when switching providers if they move outside the original geographic area of their telephone number. This is true for both intramodal (e.g., wireline-to-wireline or wireless-to-wireless) and intermodal (e.g., wireline-to-wireless) ports. In either context, a customer who changes carriers, or who moves within the same general geographic area, can retain a telephone number through the use of a LRN: A 10-digit number-like number that shares a switch with the customer's location. The LRN is essentially a telephone number that designates the switch that serves the customer's new location. When someone calls that customer's ported number, one of the carriers routing the call will query the Number Portability Administration Center/Service Management System (NPAC/SMS), which provides the routing carrier the appropriate LRN. The NPAC/SMS consists of hardware and software platforms that host a national information database and serves as the central coordination point of LNP activity. In this NPRM/NOI, we refer to this system simply as the NPAC. The call is then routed to the appropriate switch, which contains the information necessary to route the call to the correct customer. The N-1 query requirement, described below, is built into this process; NNP solutions that alter the process would likely require altering or rescinding the N-1 requirement, lest it result in persistent routing inefficiencies. Dialing parity requirements are also implicated in the routing of calls to ported numbers, and their amendment may similarly facilitate NNP, by allowing greater choice on the part of local carriers to decide how calls are routed.

    14. N-1 Requirement. The N-1 query requirement mandates that the carrier immediately preceding the terminating carrier (the N-1 carrier) be responsible for ensuring that the number portability database is queried. Paragraph 73 of the Second Number Portability Order is included in the NANC's recommendations for LNP architecture and administration, and thus incorporated by reference into our Rules. For instance, if a carrier is asked to originate a telephone call to a number that can be ported, it first determines whether or not the number requires routing to an interexchange carrier. If so, it routes the call to the interexchange carrier, which then queries the NPAC, sending it the digits of the dialed telephone number. The database answers the query by providing an LRN. The interexchange provider then routes the call to the terminating carrier's switch, which routes the call to the intended recipient. In this case, the interexchange carrier is the N-1 carrier, and thus performs the number portability database query. If, on the other hand, the originating carrier finds that the dialed number does not require handoff to an interexchange carrier, it performs the query itself, receives the LRN, and then routes the call to the appropriate terminating carrier's switch. In that case, the originating carrier itself is the N-1 carrier, since only two carriers are involved.

    15. The N-1 requirement requires the second-to-last carrier to perform the number portability database query; where an interexchange carrier is involved, this prevents the originating carrier from performing the query. The N-1 requirement was recommended by the NANC and adopted by the Commission in the early stages of implementing LNP because it ensured that: Carriers would know when a database had been queried; the cost of performing queries would be distributed between interexchange and originating providers; and, moreover, that routing performance would not be degraded by, for instance, having a call routed to a supposed terminating carrier, only for that carrier to perform a query and discover that the number had been ported and required further routing. Furthermore, industry stakeholders at the time preferred the N-1 query requirement to having the originating service provider perform the query, since doing so would require all carriers across the country to implement number portability simultaneously for it to work. However, given changing market conditions, and even more so with NNP, this system may need to be altered. As explained by ATIS, “[i]n an NNP environment, a call could look like it is interLATA but actually be intraLATA. In this case it could be more efficient for the originating carrier to know this, but they may not be able to do this with the N-1 requirement.” Thus, changes to the number portability system can affect the ability for a given carrier to know whether or not it is in fact the N-1 carrier, and the requirement would actively introduce inefficiencies into the routing system, in some cases resulting in calls unnecessarily being rerouted multiple times, potentially increasing traffic and costs for carriers, and delays for consumers.

    16. Dialing Parity. Dialing parity provisions were originally intended to ensure that incumbent LECs provided the same access to stand-alone long distance service providers as they did to their own or their affiliates' long distance offerings. This nondiscriminatory access to interexchange carriers is part of the set of equal access requirements in the Act that have been adopted from the 1982 Modification of Final Judgment (MFJ) in the federal antitrust case against AT&T, which imposed these requirements on the Bell Operating Companies (BOCs). The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (1996 Act) incorporated the MFJ's equal access requirements for these former BOCs into the Communications Act via section 251(g). The 1996 Act also created more specific, affirmative equal access requirements in section 251(b) that applied to all local exchange carriers. The provisions in this section substantially resemble the requirements in the MFJ, with the key differences that the requirements in the MFJ cover information services as well as telephone toll service, and section 251(b)(3) covers local exchange and telephone toll service.

    17. We seek, through this NPRM and NOI, to continue the Commission's efforts to align our regulations with the trend toward all-distance voice services. Moreover, we recognize, the decline of the stand-alone long distance market has limited the relevance and utility of certain equal access obligations for competitive providers and their customers. In the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, the Commission forbore from the “application to incumbent LECs of all remaining equal access and dialing parity requirements for interexchange services, including those under section 251(g) and section 251(b)(3) of the Act.” However, the Commission adopted a “grandfathering” condition allowing incumbent LEC customers who were presubscribed to third-party long distance services as of the date of the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order to retain certain equal access and dialing parity service. Thus, unless the grandfathering condition is applicable, toll dialing parity requirements, preserved by section 251(g), and the long distance (toll) dialing parity requirements of section 251(b)(3), no longer apply to incumbent LEC provision of interexchange access services.

    18. Since the 2015 US Telecom Forbearance Order, only limited toll dialing parity requirements remain. Competitive local exchange carriers (competitive LECs) must still abide by the long-distance dialing parity requirements of section 251(b)(3). The ATIS Report on NNP suggests that interLATA call processing requirements, such as the interexchange dialing parity requirements, may hinder certain proposals for NNP. Currently, an originating carrier determines whether or not to hand a call to an interexchange carrier based upon the dialed number. However, if numbers can be ported on a nationwide basis, the number might actually be in the same LATA, meaning that transfer to an interexchange carrier of the customer's choosing would result in persistently inefficient routing, with potentially concomitant delays and costs. Eliminating the remaining dialing parity requirements may allow originating carriers to avoid these inefficiencies by increasing their choices. For instance, a carrier being asked by a customer to originate a call to a non-geographic telephone number might benefit from being able to handle the call as it prefers, instead of abiding by the constraints of the dialing parity requirements.

    III. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    19. We believe that NNP will level the playing field for many rural and regional carriers, who are disadvantaged by the difficulty or outright inability of consumers to port in to their networks. Accordingly, we believe it is important to begin forging the way towards NNP. Because we understand that achieving this goal without incurring significant practical harms or prohibitive costs will require extensive work, collaboration, and support by all parties involved, we propose taking an incremental approach toward achieving NNP. As a first step to accommodate the architectures of NNP proposals and to reflect the evolving marketplace, we propose to remove the N-1 query requirement. Further, based on the ATIS Report and the marketplace findings in the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, we propose to eliminate remaining interexchange dialing parity requirements. Removing these regulations will thus help ensure an efficient network that provides consumers maximum flexibility in their communications choices and a competitive landscape for small and rural providers.

    A. Proposed Elimination of the N-1 Query Requirement

    20. We seek comment on whether the N-1 query requirement impedes plans for NNP such as the non-geographic LNP proposal. As the ATIS Report notes, in an NNP environment, an originating carrier could not determine, without performing a query, whether a dialed number required interexchange routing or not. This could lead to a number of inefficiencies, such as a scenario in which a number is ported from a distant location to the same LATA as an originating caller. In such a scenario, the originating carrier, believing the call to be long-distance, would route the call to an interexchange carrier, only for the interexchange carrier, upon conducting the query, to have to route the ported number back to the originating carrier's LATA.

    21. Furthermore, the motivating concerns that caused the NANC to recommend and the Commission to implement the N-1 requirement no longer seem to apply. When it was first adopted, the N-1 requirement was favored over requiring originating carriers to perform the database query because this latter solution would have required every local carrier across the country to adopt LNP simultaneously in a “flash-cut” manner for LNP to work, requiring more complicated coordination of the LNP rollout. Moreover, in an environment of many competing interexchange carriers and restrictions on incumbent LECs from offering interexchange services, interexchange carriers “wanted to ensure that they were involved in this important aspect of call processing.” Since LNP has by now been broadly and successfully adopted nationwide, and in light of the changed competitive landscape, we anticipate that these concerns are no longer relevant.

    22. We therefore propose to eliminate the N-1 query requirement, and we seek comment on this proposal. What are the benefits and drawbacks of removing the requirement? Is eliminating the requirement necessary to, or will it facilitate, the implementation of non-geographic location routing numbers or other NNP proposals, as suggested by ATIS? Would removing the requirement interfere with any aspects of the current routing or number portability querying system, or any other aspect of the network? For example, by proposing to allow carriers flexibility in conducting NPAC queries, will there be coordination issues among carriers or calls that are processed without a query? What costs, if any, would be saved if we eliminated the N-1 query requirement? Did the N-1 requirement lead to network routing inefficiencies and will its elimination correct those inefficiencies? Alternatively, will rescinding the requirement add to the costs of originating carriers, terminating carriers, or other parties, either in terms of performing more queries, or in terms of requiring equipment upgrades? Are there transaction or other costs or harms associated with transitioning away from N-1 query? In the absence of the requirement, would costs of the system be allocated appropriately? Would there be any other benefits of eliminating the N-1 query requirement not predicated on a move to NNP? Interested stakeholders should address these questions.

    23. The ATIS Report states that eliminating the N-1 query requirement does not require supplanting it with a new requirement that originating carriers query the NPAC. According to the Report, “[a] carrier could choose to query all calls on their originating network and route calls to the NNP numbers accordingly, or they could choose to handle calls as they do today, i.e., if a call looks like it is interLATA, hand it off to the IXC and let the IXC query the call.” As the ATIS Report notes, it is important to ensure the call is queried before it gets to the network that is assigned the central office (CO) code, but not necessarily that the N-1 methodology be used. We seek comment on this perspective. Are there any benefits to the Commission requiring particular parties to perform the query, or are existing technical and market mechanisms (such as agreements and signaling between providers indicating query status) sufficient to ensure that queries will be performed efficiently and by the parties best placed to do so?

    24. We also seek comment on whether anticipated changes in routing and queries might have other effects upon the public. For instance, how would these changes interact with public safety, including the provision of emergency services, such as 911 or Next Generation 911 calls? Will eliminating the N-1 query requirement lead to any changes in the handling of emergency calls, including their routing or the provision of necessary caller information?

    B. Proposed Elimination of Remaining Interexchange Dialing Party Requirements

    25. In the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, the Commission forbore from the dialing parity provisions of sections 251(b)(3) and 251(g) only insofar as they applied to incumbent LECs in their provision of interexchange access services. In this section, we (1) propose to extend that forbearance to competitive LECs, (2) seek comment on extending forbearance to “grandfathered” customers who still maintain accounts with stand-alone long-distance providers, and (3) propose to eliminate the Commission's rules that mandate interexchange dialing parity and other requirements associated with it. We do not propose here to forbear from other requirements of section 251, such as requirements for interconnection; resale; number portability; access to rights of way; reciprocal compensation; or nondiscriminatory access to telephone numbers, operator services, directory assistance services, directory listings, with no unreasonable dialing delays. We anticipate that these changes will remove barriers to NNP and better reflect the competitive realities of today's marketplace.

    1. Proposed Forbearance From Interexchange Dialing Parity Requirements

    26. We propose to forbear from the dialing parity requirements of section 251(b)(3) as they apply to interexchange services. The 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order removed these constraints from incumbent LECs with regard to interexchange access services, and we propose to extend that same forbearance to competitive LECs. Section 10 of the Act states that the Commission shall forbear from applying any regulation or provision of the Act if it determines that: (1) Enforcement of such regulation or provision is not necessary to ensure that the charges, practices, classifications, or regulations by, for, or in connection with that telecommunications carrier or telecommunications service are just and reasonable and are not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory; (2) enforcement of such regulation or provision is not necessary for the protection of consumers; and (3) forbearance from applying such provision or regulation is consistent with the public interest. We seek comment on whether forbearing from the dialing parity requirements of section 251(b)(3) as they apply to interexchange services would meet the criteria of section 10.

    27. We believe that the remaining interexchange dialing parity requirements for competitive LECs are no longer necessary in today's all-distance market to ensure that the charges and practices of competitive LECs are just and reasonable and are not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory, and are no longer necessary for the protection of consumers. We further believe that the rationales behind the forbearance from the interexchange dialing parity requirements in the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order apply similarly to both incumbent and competitive LECs. Do commenters agree? For instance, are commenters aware of substantial complaints stemming from our forbearance from the interexchange dialing parity requirements in the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order? As described in the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, wireline customers today have more choices than they did in 1982 or 1996, including interconnected VoIP services. Similarly, stand-alone long-distance has not been critical to competition for over a decade, with declining demand for it from both mass-market and business customers. Does the decrease in demand for stand-alone interexchange services reduce the likelihood that LECs will have unjust or unreasonable charges, practices, or classifications, and does it suggest that consumers no longer require protection from such practices? Does the increase in consumer choice obviate the need for these protections?

    28. We also seek comment on the extent to which the interexchange dialing parity provisions affect any competitive LECs in practice. Do these provisions have substantial effects upon the costs, practices, and behavior of LECs currently? Are there any effects upon competitive LECs that significantly affect the market for local service as a whole? For example, given that competitive LECs serve a relatively small percentage of residential wireline voice accounts, do these provisions help a significant number of consumers or competitors?

    29. Forbearance from the interexchange dialing parity requirements would also appear to be in the public interest. ATIS notes that an NNP regime, with all of the benefits to competition and consumers that come with it, would be facilitated by the elimination of interLATA call processing requirements. The ATIS Report notes that carriers' ability to efficiently route calls to non-geographic LRNs could be hindered by the need to refer calls that look like interexchange calls to a third-party carrier, when the call would more efficiently have been routed to a non-geographic transport provider or a non-geographic gateway. It is our understanding that forbearing from interexchange dialing parity would enable originating carriers to better choose how to route their calls, preventing inefficient network routing that might otherwise result from various NNP proposals. Do commenters agree? Can customers' pre-subscribed interexchange carrier choices accommodate the proposed changes without a loss of efficiency or undue cost? Are there other effects upon the public interest that might result from our proposed forbearance from the interexchange dialing parity requirements for competitive LECs? For instance, will there be any effects upon 911, Next Generation 911, or other aspects of emergency calling?

    30. Furthermore, section 10(b) requires that the Commission account for the effects of forbearance on ensuring a competitive marketplace in making its public interest determination. Since the implementation of the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, incumbent LECs have not had to comply with the interexchange dialing parity requirements of sections 251(b)(3) and 251(g). Will extending forbearance from those requirements to competitive LECs therefore ensure a level playing field between incumbent and competitive LECs? Will forbearance from these requirements help ensure a level and competitive playing field for small, rural, and regional carriers with respect to number portability? Will granting LECs more flexibility in choosing how calls are routed improve their competitive ability and offer consumers access to greater number portability? How else will the competitive landscape be affected by this proposed forbearance?

    31. Given the decreased need for these mandates, combined with the likelihood that they will impede the implementation of NNP, we propose to use our forbearance authority to eliminate remaining interexchange dialing parity requirements, which apply to competitive LECs. We seek comment on this proposal. What costs, if any, do competitive LECs currently bear due to these requirements? Are other providers of local voice service, such as interconnected VoIP providers, affected by the application of these provisions, either to themselves or to competitors? Do other stakeholders benefit from relieving competitive LECs of these requirements, or are there other costs? Are there stakeholders whose position vis-à-vis competitive LECs today is significantly different from their position vis-à-vis incumbent LECs at the time of the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order? Are there other aspects of section 251(b)(3), including nondiscriminatory access to telephone numbers, operator services, directory assistance, and directory listing, that are relevant to stakeholders today? We do not here propose to forbear from requirements for interconnection, resale, number portability, access to rights of way, or reciprocal compensation. Would any of these existing requirements be affected by our proposed forbearance? Would forbearance from any of these provisions assist in or hinder the implementation of NNP?

    32. In the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, we forbore from the all remaining equal access requirements, including dialing parity, preserved in section 251(g), with the exception of the grandfathering condition. We do not believe the dialing parity requirements preserved in section 251(g) apply to competitive LECs. We seek comment on whether there are any dialing parity requirements (applied via section 251(g)) from which we must forbear. If there are any remaining dialing parity requirements, we propose to forbear from those requirements and seek comment on such forbearance.

    2. Seeking Comment on Extending Forbearance From Interexchange Dialing Parity Rules to Customers With Pre-Existing Stand-Alone Long-Distance Carriers

    33. We also seek comment on the continuing need to preserve the choices of existing customers who are presubscribed to stand-alone long-distance services, whose choices were grandfathered in the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order. Will LECs serving these customers be hindered from implementing NNP if these grandfathered customers continue to fall outside of the scope of forbearance? What costs would LECs or other carriers face in implementing NNP with or without the preservation of these choices? How many people still purchase long-distance calling from stand-alone long-distance carriers? Will these subscribers face any additional costs, burdens, or harms if we forbear from interexchange dialing parity rules? We seek estimates that quantify the cost of adjustment that such subscribers might face. Do interexchange carriers place material competitive pressure on LECs, and if so, what consumer benefit would be lost if we forbear as discussed herein? Are there additional benefits to retaining current grandfathered subscribers? In the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, we found that a significant number of retail customers still presubscribed to a stand-alone long-distance carrier, and that the public interest and protection of consumers required limiting the forbearance of equal access and dialing parity rules for these customers. We seek comment on whether or not extending this forbearance would meet the criteria of section 10.

    34. We seek comment on whether the rationales for the grandfathering in the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order still apply. Have conditions significantly changed since 2015? We seek comment on the present number of retail customers in the United States who presubscribe to stand-alone long-distance carriers. Would extending forbearance to these customers affect the costs they bear, considering the competition for all-distance packages? Are there any harms to customers affected by the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order that suggest that we should retain the forbearance for grandfathered customers? Are the number of such customers, and benefit they receive from use of stand-alone long-distance carriers, significant enough to justify maintaining this grandfathered status when weighed against the burdens and costs it imposes on LECs? Would eliminating the grandfathering and extending this forbearance to them meet the criteria of section 10?

    3. Proposing Elimination of Toll Dialing Parity Rules

    35. Because we propose to forbear from the long-distance dialing parity provisions of section 251(b)(3), for both incumbent and competitive LECs, we propose to eliminate the rules implementing those requirements. We believe that sections 51.209 (“Toll dialing parity”), 51.213 (“Toll dialing parity implementation plans”), and 51.215 (“Dialing parity; Cost recovery” for toll dialing parity), serve only to implement the provisions of section 251(b)(3) relating to toll dialing parity, and thus should be eliminated if our proposed forbearances are to be effective in facilitating the development of NNP. We also propose modifying section 51.205 (“Dialing parity: General”) to omit references to toll dialing parity. We seek comment on this proposal. Do these rule provisions serve any purpose or implement any other portions of the Act other than section 251(b)(3)? Are there any other rules whose only purpose is to implement toll dialing parity requirements? Are there any interests beyond those articulated in the Act's dialing parity provisions that require these rules? How are these considerations affected by the retention or elimination of grandfathered customer relationships with presubscribed interexchange carriers? Will the elimination of these rules have any effect upon slamming? For example, can elimination of these rules reduce the mechanisms by which unscrupulous entities slam consumers? Conversely, are there useful consumer protections against slamming in these rules that are not effectively implemented elsewhere?

    36. We seek comment on whether there are other rules that should be rescinded or modified to promote NNP. Should we consider forbearing from any other statutory provisions to allow the benefits of NNP to competition and consumers? We also seek comment on the interplay of the proposed forbearance and rule changes discussed in the NPRM with the technical solutions discussed below in the NOI. Specifically, to make NNP workable, should any forbearance and rule changes happen first, in advance of implementing any technical solutions, or should the Commission defer until any technical solutions are in place?

    IV. Notice of Inquiry

    37. While we believe it is important to move toward NNP, and invite comment above on steps that would lay the groundwork for doing so, we also seek input on how best to implement NNP, as well as its potential impacts on consumers and carriers. We therefore seek comment in this NOI on a variety of issues related to the deployment of NNP. We also note that while the focus of this NOI is to seek perspectives on the most feasible way to implement NNP, the goals of this proceeding could also be facilitated by larger changes to the current system of numbering administration. To that end, we also seek comment on how number administration might be improved to realize more efficient technical, operational, administrative, and legal processes.

    A. Scope of Inquiry

    38. The ATIS Report and the NANC Report focus on NNP across wireline and wireless telecommunications services. Early efforts on this issue, however, focused merely on ensuring that wireless customers can retain their numbers when porting to other wireless carriers that lack a nationwide service area. We believe broader, intermodal NNP efforts will benefit consumers and competition, as well as potentially allow for useful reforms of the numbering system, and we explore means of achieving this goal below.

    39. While our goal is to ensure broad, intermodal NNP, are there any benefits to a gradual implementation of NNP? Is such a partial deployment technically feasible? For instance, would it be possible for NNP to first be implemented for a particular subset of entities using numbering resources (such as wireless providers) before applying it to all entities? What advantages and disadvantages are there to a partial implementation of NNP?

    B. NNP Alternatives Identified in the ATIS Report

    40. We seek comment on four of the specific models of NNP outlined by ATIS in its report: (1) Nationwide implementation of LRNs; (2) non-Geographic LRNs (NGLRNs); (3) commercial agreements; and (4) iconectiv's GR-2982-CORE specification. Are any of the models preferable to others in terms of feasibility, cost, and adaptability to changing markets and technologies? Have ATIS and the NANC adequately considered the potential costs, benefits, and barriers to implementation of each of these proposals? More generally, we seek evidence quantifying the benefit consumers would gain from being able to keep their number whenever they move outside a rate center and, alternatively, whether NNP would impose costs that outweigh those benefits as phone numbers increasingly become less informative about the dialed party's location. We also anticipate that NNP will have beneficial competitive effects, by allowing small, rural, and regional carriers to compete more effectively with larger, nationwide providers. We seek comment on this perspective. We also seek comment on other effects that these NNP proposals might have upon small carriers, including precisely what costs they might impose upon them, and how. We also seek comment on the impacts these various alternatives pose to routing calls to ported telephone numbers. To the extent that commenters believe that other NNP proposals, in addition to those outlined below, are promising solutions for NNP, we seek comment on those proposals and their potential implications.

    41. National LRN. One conceptually simple way of implementing NNP would be to allow a ported number to be associated with any LRN. Instead of limiting the geographic area within which the number can be ported, the system could associate it with an LRN associated with any location in the country. Although this approach allows many existing systems and processes to be used, it also requires changes to NPAC rules, may complicate other routing and critical processes, and may require many carriers to upgrade or replace existing equipment. The NGNP subcommittee found that such an approach would require the NPAC to relax existing LRN changes to allow any LRN to be added to any NPAC region (there are eight NPAC regions—one in Canada and seven in the United States). In addition, it might require carriers to accept downloads from all NPAC regions, or keep port records in the region that is servicing the ported telephone number.

    42. National LRN may require carriers' existing switches to handle more numbering plan areas, since a given switch may have to accommodate telephone numbers being ported in from a wider range of original areas. National LRN likely also requires changes to number portability rules. We have proposed eliminating the N-1 query requirement and remaining interexchange dialing parity requirements in the NPRM above. Are additional changes necessary? We seek comment on these issues.

    43. The national LRN proposal also implicates several non-routing issues. Industry processes, including the handling of call detail records, subscriber billing, and caller ID, will be impacted. We also anticipate that tariffs, toll free database processing, enhanced 911 processes, and other systems that rely upon the relationship between a telephone number and its rate center/LATA will likely be affected. What systems will be affected, and to what extent? We seek comment from providers, end users, and other stakeholders on what dependencies exist that would require changes, as well as how changes brought about by national LRN can improve existing systems.

    44. The ATIS Report anticipates that a porting-in service provider may not have a presence in the ported-out area. While such situations currently exist and are generally handled by agreements between providers, many more such situations are likely to arise in a national LRN environment. What effects will this increase in demand have?

    45. Local systems, including Local Service Management Systems (LSMS) and Service Order Administration (SOA), will also be affected by a national LRN system. Current systems may rely in part upon an assumed structure whereby numbers are only ported within LATAs or NPAC regions; an LRN can only be associated with a single NPAC region; or a ported telephone number record can only exist in one NPAC region. We seek comment on what dependencies exist based on these assumptions, and how they might be resolved.

    46. What is necessary to ensure that a national LRN system is compatible with the variation in dialing plans across the country? Different customers have different requirements when dialing—some need only dial seven digits of a local number; others must dial ten digits, others must dial 1 and ten digits. Is nationwide consistency required for national LRN compatibility?

    47. What effects will a national LRN system have on state regulators and systems? Porting numbers across state lines raises questions of existing state regulatory authority, and policy, including numbering resource management. For example, would NNP affect state regulatory commission processes for reviewing tariffs, handling customer complaints, and ensuring public safety? Provider responsibilities, obligations, and liabilities may also be implicated with interstate porting. We seek comment on what issues may arise and how they may be resolved. Can existing systems and agreements in bordering states serve as models for interstate cooperation?

    48. How will consumer experiences be affected by a national LRN system? Would calls to numbers ported outside of a specific rate center have completion issues? Consumers would also need to be informed about any effects upon rates and billing, if they subscribe to a geographically-based rate plan keyed to their rate center or LATA. How might this be done? Some consumers use software that blocks calls which incur tolls, based upon the number's NPA-NXX. How will such programs be affected, and how can they be adapted, if necessary, to accommodate a national LRN system? What effects will there be on caller ID?

    49. Certain services are set up with restrictions on toll free calling based on the calling party's location. A customer who ports his number to a new location might therefore have problems calling the same toll-free number. We seek comment on the effects on toll free calling and potential implications of national LRN.

    50. Non-Geographic LRN (NGLRN). Another mechanism to allow NNP is to designate a new area code unaffiliated with any particular location. This non-geographic area code would be the area code for NGLRNs. Under an NGLRN system, ported numbers are associated with an NGLRN, instead of an LRN associated with the new location. When a service provider queries the NPAC and receives an NGLRN, the call is then routed to a non-geographic gateway (NGGW) that resides on an IP network and routes the call appropriately. This system can also support the creation of non-geographic telephone numbers. An NGLRN solution would support both wireline and wireless NNP. It also allows many existing processes to continue working, but as noted by ATIS and the NGNP subcommittee, it requires the creation and setup of the non-geographic area code, NGLRNS, NGGWs, and likely changes to certain regulations, including the N-1 query requirement.

    51. The ATIS Report anticipates that aspects of interLATA call processing requirements, such as the dialing parity provisions, may interfere with an NGLRN system. Likewise, the ATIS Report suggests that the N-1 query requirement could create problems. Are these concerns adequately dealt with by our proposed forbearance from these rules as discussed above?

    52. To route calls to non-geographic telephone numbers, carriers will need to access relevant routing information and route to NGGWs. Carriers that cannot route to NGGWs will need to route calls to a carrier that can, possibly requiring agreements with non-geographic transport providers. What policies are necessary to ensure continued and reliable call routing in an NGLRN system? What criteria should be required for NGGWs? The ATIS Report recommends that an industry-led body create a certification process. What bodies are best placed to conduct such certification, and what oversight should they have to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and competition? We also seek comment on criteria for NGGWs, such as interconnection requirements. The ATIS Report recommends that carriers not be required to provide NGGW service or NNP service and that the only requirement be that carriers have the ability to route calls to NGLRNs. Furthermore, ATIS suggests that carriers that do choose to provide NGGW do so “for their own customers only.” We seek comment on this recommendation. Relatedly, the NGLRN system is designed such that carriers are not required to implement NNP. What would be an appropriate timeline for NNP adoption, if any?

    53. What characteristics should any non-geographic area code have? Should it be easily recognizable? Should various non-geographic area codes resemble each other for ease of recognition? How should the system address integration with other NANP countries? What impact would assignment and use of a non-geographic area code or codes within the NANP have on number exhaust in the United States and other NANP countries? We also seek comment on whether a single non-geographic area code will scale for the total set of NGLRNs. Will a single non-geographic area code be sufficient for the future?

    54. The ATIS Report also raises several specific questions with regard to administration of non-geographic resources with an NGLRN system. The ATIS Report notes that certain current systems can be simplified with the adoption of non-geographic codes, such as combining the processes of number allocation and porting, or allowing distributed registries to handle processes currently managed by a single authoritative registry. We seek comment on the potential for such reforms, and their integration with existing systems and authorities.

    55. With an NGLRN system, a call to 911 does not indicate its location by virtue of the calling telephone number, but rather from databases such as the Master Service Address Guide (MSAG) or the emergency service number that has been assigned to the cell site. Will systems that depend on pseudo-Automatic Number Identification (p-ANI), in use for wireless and VoIP calls, be appropriate for other non-geographic calls?

    56. Commercial Agreements. One proposed solution for wireless carriers uses a third party entity that would install points of interconnection in various LATAs, using its own network as a way to route interLATA calls to ported numbers. This proposal requires significant evaluation of LRN assignments in addition to the nature, categorization, and operation of the third party. The NGNP subcommittee found that the commercial agreement solution was the only one that could be supported without significant changes or impacts to NPAC or service provider systems.

    57. In a commercial agreement solution, what entities would act as the third-party network, and what abilities and obligations would they need to have for effective and competitive operation? What would such a system require with respect to LRN assignments? Would such a proposal provide a pathway for wireline and intermodal NNP?

    58. GR-2982-CORE. iconectiv's GR-2982-CORE specification details another NNP system called Portability Outside the Rate Center (PORC). PORC calls for dividing the country into small, non-overlapping geographic blocks called Geographic Unit Building Blocks (GUBBs). Each GUBB is represented by a telephone number-like identifier, and acts as the vehicle for the recipient switch to identify the geographic location of the end user receiving the call. A call to a ported telephone number will be routed using an LRN, as it is today, with the difference that the GUBB is used for carrier selection and rating purposes. This includes changes in how the caller is billed, and may include the need to alter porting data and NPAC policies and procedures. GR-2982-CORE also recognizes that participating carriers must have compatible switches, depending upon their role in the call flow. The NGNP subcommittee found that this proposal might require the NPAC to relax LRN changes, and may impact porting data if systems need to transmit additional routing data about the newly-created geographic building blocks of the system. The NGNP subcommittee also reports that changes to the porting records would impact all switches and number portability databases and many service order administrations and local service management systems across the industry.

    59. Do commenters agree with the NGNP subcommittee's assessments? Are there other issues or factors we should take into consideration in exploring the various approaches? How should the subcommittee's assessments affect any future action on these solutions?

    60. The ATIS Report suggests that this solution may require the NPAC to relax existing LRN changes; that porting data may need to change to include GUBB information; and that these changes may impact all switches and number portability databases, as well as many SOAs and LSMS systems. What do these effects suggest for the viability of this solution currently? What is the likely timing for this option?

    C. Necessary Changes and Challenges to Achieving NNP

    61. Apart from the implications raised by each specific proposal outlined by ATIS and the NANC, most, if not all, NNP proposals will have consequences for a variety of other aspects of the network. We seek comment on these implications in the specific areas below.

    62. Routing and Interconnection. Are there NNP solutions that can improve the efficiency of existing routing systems? Conversely, are there NNP proposals that burden or render inefficient particular systems or industry databases? Can such systems and databases be modified, improved, or obviated with NNP solutions?

    63. Public Safety. We seek comment on the effects that NNP might have upon public safety, including users' ability to use 911 in the knowledge that their calls will be routed appropriately, and that Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) will receive accurate callback and location information. Can an NNP system provide this information? To the extent that existing systems lack the ability to provide this information in various NNP scenarios, are there modifications, adaptations, or workarounds that can supply it?

    64. For instance, how can proposed NNP solutions work with legacy systems that rely upon ANI to report the location of users calling 911? Are enhanced or next generation 911 services affected by the proposals? The ATIS Report details several number portability issues affecting emergency calls, and we seek comment on their resolution.

    65. The ATIS Report similarly notes potential effects of NNP proposals on the use of national security and emergency preparedness systems like Emergency Telecommunications Service (ETS), including the Government Emergency Telecommunication Service (GETS) and the Priority Access Service (PAS), which provide priority calling for emergency telecommunications. What are the effects of the various proposals on the ability of ETS calls to be prioritized? Are there beneficial or deleterious effects on the network capacity, routing, or signaling of ETS?

    66. Access by Individuals with Disabilities. We seek comment on how NNP implementations might affect access to communications services by individuals with disabilities. Can increased intermodal and geographic porting provide increased access to communications networks by individuals using assistive technologies? The Commission has permitted video relay service (VRS) and IP Relay users to register and obtain 10-digit geographic numbers, allowing users to be reached through a single number that will automatically connect to the registered user's primary VRS or IP Relay provider and allow the provider to determine the user's IP address for the purpose of delivering incoming calls made to that number. The Commission also adopted requirements allowing VRS and IP Relay users to have both their 10-digit number and registered location information forwarded to the appropriate PSAP. We seek comment on how any NNP implementations might benefit these services, equivalent services, or any other services that serve individuals with hearing and speech disabilities. Can widespread NNP adoption promote technologies and systems that allow for more efficient or user-friendly ways to achieve these, or better, effects? What steps would be necessary to ensure that access to communications services for Americans with disabilities continues to be robust and secure in an NNP scenario, such as if numbers are assigned without regard to geography?

    67. Tariffs and Intercarrier Compensation. We also seek comment on the various ways that NNP could affect carriers' pricing issues. How will proposed NNP implementations affect existing carrier tariffs? What are the ways in which various NNP proposals may alter the existing system of intercarrier compensation? Are there systems that can support or encourage a bill-and-keep system? What costs and benefits would such systems generate?

    D. Number Administration

    68. We also seek comment on how changes to our current methods of numbering plan, number pooling, and number portability administration might facilitate NNP, or how NNP might affect these existing systems. If we significantly simplify the assignment and porting of numbers, would these changes require modifications to the current systems? Would it be possible, and beneficial, to allow multiple entities to provide competitive numbering administration services? Are there other systems of addressing what can serve as models for an evolving and increasingly IP-based network?

    V. Legal Authority

    69. As noted above, section 251(e)(1) of the Act gives the Commission “exclusive jurisdiction over those portions of the North American Numbering Plan that pertain to the United States” and provides that numbers must be made “available on an equitable basis.” The Commission retains “authority to set policy with respect to all facets of numbering administration in the United States.” The Commission has promulgated local number portability rules to satisfy these congressional mandates, and the proposed actions in this NPRM are intended to further and better satisfy these mandates. We seek comment on this assessment.

    70. Moreover, section 10 of the Act states that the Commission shall forbear from applying any regulation or provision of the Act if it determines that: (1) Enforcement of such regulation or provision is not necessary to ensure that the charges, practices, classifications, or regulations by, for, or in connection with that telecommunications carrier or telecommunications service are just and reasonable and are not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory; (2) enforcement of such regulation or provision is not necessary for the protection of consumers; and (3) forbearance from applying such provision or regulation is consistent with the public interest. We believe that our proposals discussed here satisfy these criteria as the remaining interexchange dialing parity requirements for competitive LECs are no longer necessary in today's all distance market to ensure that the charges and practices of competitive LECs are just and reasonable and are not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory, and are no longer necessary for the protection of consumers. We seek comment on our forbearance analysis, as well as any other issues pertinent to our legal authority to facilitate NNP.

    VI. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    71. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The Commission requests written public comments on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments provided on the first page of the NPRM. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.

    A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    72. In this NPRM, we propose changes to, and seek comment on, our rules on Local Number Portability Administration, and Nationwide Number Portability (NNP). In the NPRM, the Commission proposes to rescind the N-1 query requirement. Further, based on the ATIS Report and the marketplace findings in the 2015 USTelecom Forbearance Order, we propose to eliminate remaining interexchange dialing parity requirements. The objectives of the proposed modifications are to remove impediments to NNP.

    B. Legal Basis

    73. The legal basis for any action that may be taken pursuant to this NPRM is contained in sections 1, 4(i), 10, 201(b), and 251(e)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 160, 201(b), and 251(e)(1).

    C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    74. 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 by the rule revisions on which the NPRM seeks comment, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small-business concern” under the Small Business Act. 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.

    75. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, Small Governmental Jurisdictions. 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 herein. First, while there are industry specific size standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory flexibility analysis, according to data from the SBA's Office of Advocacy, in general a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. These types of small businesses represent 99.9% of all businesses in the United States which translates to 28.8 million businesses. Next, the type of small entity described as a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,215 small organizations. Finally, the small entity described as a “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.” U.S. Census Bureau data published in 2012 indicate that there were 89,476 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States. We estimate that, of this total, as many as 88,761 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are small.

    76. 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.” 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. Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small.

    77. 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 Wired Telecommunications Carriers as defined above. Under the applicable SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 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. The Commission therefore estimates that most providers of local exchange carrier service are small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted.

    78. 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 as defined above. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 3,117 firms operated in that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted. Three hundred and seven (307) Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers. Of this total, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees.

    79. 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, as defined above. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. 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. 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 Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services or competitive access provider services. 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. Also, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers. Of this total, 70 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, based on internally researched FCC data, 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.

    80. We have included small incumbent LECs in this present RFA analysis. As noted above, a “small business” under the RFA is one that, inter alia, meets the pertinent small business size standard (e.g., a telephone communications business having 1,500 or fewer employees), and “is not dominant in its field of operation.” The SBA's Office of Advocacy contends that, for RFA purposes, small incumbent LECs are not dominant in their field of operation because any such dominance is not “national” in scope. We have therefore included small incumbent LECs in this RFA analysis, although we emphasize that this RFA action has no effect on Commission analyses and determinations in other, non-RFA contexts.

    81. 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 above. The applicable size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicates that 3,117 firms operated during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. According to internally developed Commission data, 359 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of interexchange services. Of this total, an estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of IXCs are small entities that may be affected by our proposed rules.

    82. Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. The Telecommunications Resellers 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 network operators (MVNOs) are included in this industry. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that 1,341 firms provided resale services during that year. Of that number, all operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these prepaid calling card providers can be considered small entities.

    83. Toll Resellers. The Commission has not developed a definition for Toll Resellers. The closest NAICS Code Category is Telecommunications Resellers. The Telecommunications Resellers 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 network operators (MVNOs) are included in this industry. 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. 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. 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. Of this total, an estimated 857 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of toll resellers are small entities.

    84. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition 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 above. Under the applicable SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. 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. Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of Other Toll Carriers can be considered small. According to internally developed Commission data, 284 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll carriage. Of these, an estimated 279 have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most Other Toll Carriers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Second Further Notice.

    85. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. The SBA has developed a definition for small businesses within the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that SBA definition, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to the Commission's Form 499 Filer Database, 500 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of prepaid calling cards. The Commission does not have data regarding how many of these 500 companies have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are 500 or fewer prepaid calling card providers that may be affected by the rules.

    86. 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. 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, U.S. Census data for 2012 show that there were 967 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 955 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 12 had employment of 1000 employees or more. Thus under this category and the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities.

    87. The Commission's own data—available in its Universal Licensing System—indicate that, as of October 25, 2016, there are 280 Cellular licensees that will be affected by our actions today. The Commission does not know how many of these licensees are small, as the Commission does not collect that information for these types of entities. Similarly, according to internally developed Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service, and Specialized Mobile Radio Telephony services. Of this total, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees, and 152 have more than 1,500 employees. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    88. Wireless Communications Services. This service can be used for fixed, mobile, radiolocation, and digital audio broadcasting satellite uses. The Commission defined “small business” for the wireless communications services (WCS) auction as an entity with average gross revenues of $40 million for each of the three preceding years, and a “very small business” as an entity with average gross revenues of $15 million for each of the three preceding years. The SBA has approved these definitions.

    89. Wireless Telephony. Wireless telephony includes cellular, personal communications services, and specialized mobile radio telephony carriers. As noted, the SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). Under the SBA small business size standard, a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in wireless telephony. Of these, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 1,500 employees. Therefore, a little less than one third of these entities can be considered small.

    90. Cable 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. The SBA has established a size standard for this industry stating that a business in this industry is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. The 2012 Economic Census indicates that 367 firms were operational for that entire year. Of this total, 357 operated with less than 1,000 employees. Accordingly we conclude that a substantial majority of firms in this industry are small under the applicable SBA size standard.

    91. Cable Companies and Systems (Rate Regulation). The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data indicate that there are currently 4,600 active cable systems in the United States. Of this total, all but eleven cable operators nationwide are small under the 400,000-subscriber size standard. In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current Commission records show 4,600 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 3,900 cable systems have fewer than 15,000 subscribers, and 700 systems have 15,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard as well, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.

    92. 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.” There are approximately 52,403,705 cable video subscribers in the United States today. 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. Based on available data, we find that all but nine incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard. The Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million, 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. 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. 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. 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. Consequently, we estimate that the majority of All Other Telecommunications firms are small entities that might be affected by our action.

    D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    94. This NPRM proposes changes to, and seeks comment on, Commission rules on Local Number Portability Administration, and Nationwide Number Portability (NNP). The NPRM seeks to amend our rules by removing the N-1 query requirement and proposes to forbear from remaining interexchange dialing parity requirements of section 251(b)(3). The objectives of the proposed modifications are to remove impediments to NNP. As the NPRM seeks comment on rule withdrawal and forbearance, we therefore do not adopt new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements.

    95. As reported in the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (1996 FRFA) of the 1996 order instituting the dialing parity rules, the compliance requirements of the Section 251 dialing parity rules include “dialing-parity specific software, hardware, signaling system upgrades and necessary consumer education.” Such compliance entailed the “use of engineering, technical, operational, and accounting skills.” We seek comment on whether withdrawing these proposed rules will enable LECs, including small entities, to reduce or eliminate these costs via a lesser compliance burden.

    E. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    96. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed 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 and reporting requirements under the rules for such 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 such small entities.

    97. The 1996 FRFA states that the dialing parity provisions allowed “LECs and competing providers of telephone toll service” including small entities “to not be subject to an array of differing state standards and timetables requiring them to research and tailor their operations to the unique requirements of each state.” We seek comment as to the extent all LECs, including small entities, will be economically impacted by the removal of nationwide provisions.

    98. The 1996 FRFA also explains that as result of the dialing parity rules, a carrier could not automatically designate itself as a “toll carrier without notifying the customer of the opportunity to choose an alternative carrier, one or more of which may be a small business.” We seek comment as to any additional economic burden incurred by small entities as a result of the withdrawal of the dialing parity rule.

    F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

    99. None.

    VII. Procedural Matters A. Deadlines and Filing Procedures

    100. Pursuant to sections 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 in Dockets WC 17-244, and WC 13-97. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). 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://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy 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 and boxes 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).

    101. This proceeding 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 (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) 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 rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by Rule 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. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    102. Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the policies and actions considered in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The text of the IRFA is set forth in Appendix B. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    103. This document may contain proposed new or modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, we seek specific comment on how we might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    D. Contact Persons

    104. For further information about this proceeding, please contact Sherwin Siy, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Room 5-C225, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-2783, [email protected]

    VIII. Ordering Clauses

    105. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 10, 201(b), and 251(e) of the Communication Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 160, 201(b), and 251(e) that this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry is adopted.

    106. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 51

    Interconnection.

    47 CFR Part 52

    Numbering.

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

    For the reasons set forth above, The Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend parts 51 and 52 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 51—INTERCONNECTION 1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151-55, 201-05, 207-09, 218, 220, 225-27, 251-54, 256, 271, 303(r), 332, 1302.

    Subpart C—Obligations of All Local Exchange Carriers 2. Amend § 51.205 by revising it to read as follows:
    § 51.205 Dialing parity: General.

    A local exchange carrier (LEC) shall provide local dialing parity to competing providers of telephone exchange service, with no unreasonable dialing delays. Dialing parity shall be provided for originating telecommunications services that require dialing to route a call.

    3. Remove § 51.209.
    § 51.209 [Removed]

    Remove § 51.209.

    4. Remove § 51.213
    § 51.213 [Removed]

    Remove § 51.213.

    5. Remove § 51.215.
    § 51.215 [Removed]

    Remove § 51.215.

    PART 52—NUMBERING 6. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 1, 2, 4, 5, 48 Stat. 1066, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154 and 155 unless otherwise noted. Interpret or apply secs. 3, 4, 201-05, 207-09, 218, 225-27, 251-52, 271 and 332, 48 Stat. 1070, as amended, 1077; 47 U.S.C. 153, 154, 201-05, 207-09, 218, 225-27, 251-52, 271 and 332 unless otherwise noted.

    Subpart C—Number Portability 7. In § 52.26 revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 52.26 NANC Recommendations on Local Number Portability Administration.

    (a) Local number portability administration shall comply with the recommendations of the North American Numbering Council (NANC) as set forth in the report to the Commission prepared by the NANC's Local Number Portability Administration Selection Working Group, dated April 25, 1997 (Working Group Report) and its appendices, which are incorporated by reference pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Except that: Sections 7.8 and 7.10 of Appendix D and the following portions of Appendix E: Section 7, Issue Statement I of Appendix A, and Appendix B in the Working Group Report are not incorporated herein.

    [FR Doc. 2017-25458 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    82 226 Monday, November 27, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request November 21, 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 or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by December 27, 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.

    Foreign Agricultural Service

    Title: Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund.

    OMB Control Number: 0551-0044.

    Summary of Collection: Section 12314 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79) authorizes distribution out of the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund in each of calendar years 2014 through 2018, payable to qualifying claimants. Eligible claimants are directed to submit a notarized affidavit, following the statutory procedures specified Section 12314(c) or (d) of the Act.

    Need and Use of the Information: Distributions out of the Trust Fund is payable to (1) One or more nationally recognized associations established for the promotion of pima cotton for use in textile and apparel goods; (2) yarn spinners of pima cotton that produce ring spun cotton yarns in the United States; and (3) manufacturers who cut and sew cotton shirts in the United States who certify that they used imported cotton fabric during calendar year 2013. Eligible claimants for a distribution from the Pima Cotton Trust Fund are directed to submit a notarized affidavit. The Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) will use the information provided in the affidavits to certify the claimants' eligibility and to authorize payment from the Pima Cotton Trust Fund. If eligible claimants do not submit an affidavit with the required information they will not be entitled to a distribution from the Pima Cotton Trust Fund.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other-for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 7.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping, Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 14.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25575 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Departmental Management; Performance Review Board Membership; Notice Appointments AGENCY:

    Office of Human Resource Management, Departmental Management, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Performance Review Board appointments.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Level (SL) and Scientific or Professional (ST) Performance Review Board. Agriculture has one PRB that is represented by each Mission Area. The PRB is comprised of a Chairperson and a mix of career and noncareer senior executives that meets annually to review and evaluate performance appraisal documents and provides a written recommendation to the Secretary for final approval of each executive's performance rating, performance-based pay adjustment, and performance award.

    DATES:

    The board membership is applicable beginning on October 24, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marsha A. Wiggins, Acting Director, Office of Human Resources Management, telephone: (202) 720-3585, or Terri Meighan, Acting Director, Executive Resources Management Division, telephone: (202) 720-2655.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(4), the USDA PRB members are named below:

    Office of the Secretary

    Adcock, Rebeckah F. and Lyons, Margaret P.

    Assistant Secretary for Administration

    Salguero, Francisco; William, Duane

    Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

    Lake Scott, Winona M.

    Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

    Lipps, Brandon R.

    Farm Production and Conservation

    Christensen, Thomas W.

    Food Safety

    Rottenberg, Carmen M.

    Marketing and Regulatory Programs

    Morris, Erin and Shea, A. Kevin

    Natural Resources and Environment

    Jiron, Daniel J.; Millar, Constance I.; and Velasco, Robert

    Office of Budget and Program Analysis

    Bice, Donald

    Office of the Chief Economist

    Hohenstein, William G.

    Office of the Chief Financial Officer

    Moaney, Lynn M.

    Office of the General Counsel

    Leland, Arlean and Ricci, Carrie F.

    Rural Development

    McLean, Christopher and Primrose, Edna

    Research Education and Economics

    Bretting, Peter K.; Hamer Jr., Hubert; Jacobs-Young, Chavonda J.; Liu, Simon Y.; and Mattoo, Autar K.

    Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

    Hafemeister, Jason T.

    Dated: November 17, 2017. Marsha A. Wiggins, Acting Chief Human Capital Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25525 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities Grant Program AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA); correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a document in the Federal Register on October 12, 2017 announcing the availability of up to $10 million in fiscal year 2017 (FY17) and application deadlines for competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs. The priority points to be awarded for projects serving communities identified as high poverty communities is 10 points. This notice is to correct inconsistencies on this matter in the NOSA that was published on October 12th.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robin Meigel, USDA—Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 1568, Washington, DC 20250-1568, telephone (202) 720-9452 or email to [email protected]

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of October 12, 2017, in FR Doc. 2017-22042, on page 47462, in the first column, the heading “a. High Poverty Areas (15 Points)” should read “a. High Poverty Areas (10 Points).”

    Also, in the same FR Doc. 2017-22042, on page 47462, in the first column, under the heading “a. High Poverty Areas” in the first paragraph, the third sentence should begin as follows: “In support of this USDA initiative, RUS will award 10 priority points for projects that serve communities in counties that are classified as High Poverty or Persistent Poverty by the USDA Economic Research Service . . .”

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25527 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-601] Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, United States Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 1, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Department) initiated an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on tapered roller bearings and parts thereof, finished and unfinished (TRBs) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for 24 companies. Based on timely withdrawal of requests for review, we are now rescinding this administrative review with respect to four of these companies, Changshan Peer Bearing Co., Ltd. (CPZ/SKF), Hubei New Torch Science & Technology Co Ltd (New Torch), Shanghai General Bearing Co., Ltd (SGBC), and Wanxiang Group Corp (Wanxiang).

    DATES:

    Applicable November 27, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Medley or Whitley Herndon, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4987 or (202) 482-6274, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In June 2017, the Department received multiple timely requests to conduct an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on TRBs from the PRC. Based upon these requests, on August 1, 2017, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department published a notice of initiation of an administrative review covering the period June 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017, with respect to 24 companies.1 On September 13, 2017, CPZ/SKF and SGBC withdrew their requests for an administrative review. On September 13, 2017, and October 30, 2017, The Timken Company (the petitioner) withdrew its requests for an administrative review on SGBC, Wanxiang, and New Torch.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 35749 (August 1, 2017). See also Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974, 42981 (September 13, 2017).

    Partial Rescission

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party who requested the review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of notice of initiation of the requested review. CPZ/SKF and SGBC timely withdrew their requests for an administrative review of themselves. The petitioner timely withdrew its requests for review concerning SGBC, Wanxiang, and New Torch. No other party requested a review of these four companies. Accordingly, we are rescinding this review, in part, with respect to these companies, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. For the companies for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305, which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751 and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: November 16, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25535 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-979, C-570-980] Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Initiation of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Consideration of Revocation of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders in Part AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on a request from Pitsco, Inc. d/b/a Pitsco Education (Pitsco), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is initiating changed circumstances reviews to consider the possible revocation, in part, of the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the People's Republic of China (PRC) with respect to certain solar panels, as described below.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 27, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Caserta or Kaitlin Wojnar, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4737 and (202) 482-3857, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 7, 2012, the Department published AD and CVD orders on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the PRC.1

    1See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 73018 (December 7, 2012) and Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 77 FR 73017 (December 7, 2012) (collectively, Orders).

    On October 6, 2017, Pitsco, an importer of the subject merchandise, requested through a changed circumstances review revocation, in part, of the Orders pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.216(b),2 with respect to certain solar panels. On October 13, 2017, SolarWorld Americas, Inc. (the petitioner) submitted a letter stating that it does not oppose the scope exclusion language proposed by Pitsco.3 From October 25, 2017, through November 8, 2017,4 the Department consulted with both Pitsco and SolarWorld regarding revisions to the proposed exclusion language; specifically, the Department suggested limiting the language to a description of the physical characteristics of the product and also expressed concerns regarding the dimensions indicated in the description.5

    2See Pitsco's Letter, “Request for Changed Circumstances Review (A-570-980; C-570-979),” dated October 6, 2017.

    3See SolarWorld's Letter, “Pitsco, Inc.'s Scope Exclusion Language—Letter of No Opposition,” dated October 13, 2017.

    4See Memorandum, “Ex Parte Communications with Adduci, Mastriani and Wiley Rein,” dated November 13, 2017.

    5Id.

    Accordingly, on November 10, 2017, Pitsco submitted the following revised exclusion language: 6

    6See Pitsco's Letter, “Amended Changed Circumstances Review (A-570-980; C-570-979),” dated November 10, 2017.

    Excluded from the scope of these orders are panels with surface area from 3,450 mm2 to 33,782 mm2 with one black wire and one red wire (each of type 22 AWG or 24 AWG not more than 206 mm in length when measured from panel extrusion), and not exceeding 2.9 volts, 1.1 amps, and 3.19 watts. No panel shall contain an internal battery or external computer peripheral ports.

    On November 13, 2017, SolarWorld submitted a letter stating that it does not oppose the revised exclusion language submitted by Pitsco on November 10, 2017.7

    7See SolarWorld's Letter, “Pitsco, Inc.'s Scope Exclusion Language—Letter of No Opposition,” dated November 13, 2017.

    Scope of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China

    The merchandise covered by the orders is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials.

    The orders cover crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells of thickness equal to or greater than 20 micrometers, having a p/n junction formed by any means, whether or not the cell has undergone other processing, including, but not limited to, cleaning, etching, coating, and/or addition of materials (including, but not limited to, metallization and conductor patterns) to collect and forward the electricity that is generated by the cell.

    Merchandise under consideration may be described at the time of importation as parts for final finished products that are assembled after importation, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels, building-integrated modules, building-integrated panels, or other finished goods kits. Such parts that otherwise meet the definition of merchandise under consideration are included in the scope of the orders.

    Excluded from the scope of the orders are thin film photovoltaic products produced from amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS).

    Also excluded from the scope of the orders are crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, not exceeding 10,000 mm 2 in surface area, that are permanently integrated into a consumer good whose function is other than power generation and that consumes the electricity generated by the integrated crystalline silicon photovoltaic cell. Where more than one cell is permanently integrated into a consumer good, the surface area for purposes of this exclusion shall be the total combined surface area of all cells that are integrated into the consumer good.

    Modules, laminates, and panels produced in a third-country from cells produced in the PRC are covered by the orders; however, modules, laminates, and panels produced in the PRC from cells produced in a third-country are not covered by the orders.

    Merchandise covered by these orders is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope of the orders is dispositive.

    Initiation of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Consideration of Revocation of the Orders in Part

    Pursuant to section 751(b) of the Act, the Department will conduct a changed circumstances review upon receipt of a request from an interested party 8 that shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of an order.9 Based on the information provided by Pitsco, the Department has determined that there exist changed circumstances sufficient to warrant changed circumstances reviews of the AD and CVD orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the PRC. We find that the petitioner's affirmative statement of no interest in the Orders with respect to the exclusionary text proposed by Pitsco, as revised by the Department and described above, constitutes good cause for the conduct of these reviews.

    8 Pitsco stated in its October 6, 2017 CCR request that it is an importer of subject merchandise and as such is an interested party pursuant to 19 CFR 351.102(b)(29).

    9See 19 CFR 351.216.

    Section 782(h)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.222(g)(1)(i) provide that the Department may revoke an order (in whole or in part) if it determines that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product have expressed a lack of interest in the order, in whole or in part. In addition, in the event the Department determines that expedited action is warranted, 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii) permits the Department to combine the notices of initiation and preliminary results. In its administrative practice, the Department has interpreted “substantially all” to mean producers accounting for at least 85 percent of the total U.S. production of the domestic like product covered by the order.10

    10See, e.g., Certain Cased Pencils from the People's Republic of China: Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, and Intent To Revoke Order in Part, 77 FR 42276 (July 18, 2012), unchanged in Certain Cased Pencils from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, and Determination To Revoke Order, in Part, 77 FR 53176 (August 31, 2012).

    The petitioner states that it agrees with the exclusion request; however, because the petitioner did not indicate whether it accounts for substantially all of the domestic production of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, we are providing interested parties with the opportunity to address the issue of domestic industry support with respect to this requested partial revocation of the orders, as explained below. After examining comments, if any, concerning domestic industry support, the Department will issue the preliminary results of these changed circumstances reviews.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties are invited to provide comments and/or factual information regarding these changed circumstances reviews, including comments concerning industry support. Comments and factual information may be submitted to the Department no later than ten days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal comments and rebuttal factual information may be filed with the Department no later than seven days after the comments and/or factual information are filed.11 All submissions must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).12 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the due dates set forth in this notice.

    11 Submission of rebuttal factual information must comply with 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    12See, generally, 19 CFR 351.303.

    The Department will issue preliminary results of these changed circumstances reviews, which will set forth the factual and legal conclusions upon which the preliminary results are based, and, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(i), will include a description of any action proposed because of those results. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4)(ii), interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on the preliminary results of these reviews. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.216(e), the Department intends to issue the final results of these AD and CVD changed circumstance reviews within 270 days after the date on which the reviews are initiated, or within 45 days if all parties to the proceeding agree to the outcome of the review. This initiation is published in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(1).

    Dated: November 20, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25538 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Quarterly Update to Annual Listing of Foreign Government Subsidies on Articles of Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of Duty AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 27, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Moore, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-3692.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 702 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (as amended) (the Act) requires the Department of Commerce (the Department) to determine, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, whether any foreign government is providing a subsidy with respect to any article of cheese subject to an in-quota rate of duty, as defined in section 702(h) of the Act, and to publish quarterly updates to the type and amount of those subsidies. We hereby provide the Department's quarterly update of subsidies on articles of cheese that were imported during the periods April 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017.

    The Department has developed, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, information on subsidies, as defined in section 702(h) of the Act, being provided either directly or indirectly by foreign governments on articles of cheese subject to an in-quota rate of duty. The appendix to this notice lists the country, the subsidy program or programs, and the gross and net amounts of each subsidy for which information is currently available. The Department will incorporate additional programs which are found to constitute subsidies, and additional information on the subsidy programs listed, as the information is developed.

    The Department encourages any person having information on foreign government subsidy programs which benefit articles of cheese subject to an in-quota rate of duty to submit such information in writing to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    This determination and notice are in accordance with section 702(a) of the Act.

    Dated: November 20, 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 Subsidy Programs on Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of Duty Country Program(s) Gross 1
  • subsidy
  • ($/lb)
  • Net 2
  • subsidy
  • ($/lb)
  • 28 European Union Member States 3 European Union Restitution Payments $0.00 $0.00 Canada Export Assistance on Certain Types of Cheese 0.47 0.47 Norway Indirect (Milk) Subsidy Consumer Subsidy 0.00
  • 0.00
  • 0.00
  • 0.00
  •   Total 0.00 0.00 Switzerland Deficiency Payments 0.00 0.00 1 Defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(5). 2 Defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(6). 3 The 28 member states of the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25551 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-062] Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings From People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 27, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sergio Balbontin at (202) 482-6478 or Michael Bowen at (202) 482-0768, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 2, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated a less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation of imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings (soil pipe fittings) from the People's Republic of China (PRC).1 Currently, the preliminary determination is due no later than December 20, 2017.

    1See Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair Value Investigation, 82 FR 37053 (August 8, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    Postponement of Preliminary Determination

    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.

    On November 14, 2017, the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute 2 (the petitioner) submitted a timely request that the Department postpone the preliminary determination in this LTFV investigation.3 The petitioner stated that it requests postponement because it believes that “the Department needs more time to analyze the information submitted to date.” 4

    2 The members of the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute are AB&I Foundry, Charlotte Pipe & Foundry, and Tyler Pipe.

    3See Letter from the petitioner, “Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Request to Extend the Preliminary Determination,” dated November 14, 2017.

    4Id.

    For the reason 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 determination by 50 days (i.e., 190 days after the date on which this investigation was initiated). As a result, the Department will issue its preliminary determination no later than February 8, 2018. In accordance with section 735(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determination of this investigation will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, 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: November 20, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25536 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-972; A-583-848] Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From the People's Republic of China and Taiwan: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable November 27, 2017.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of the determinations by the Department of Commerce (the Department) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on certain stilbenic optical brightening agents (stilbenic OBAs) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, the Department is publishing a notice of continuation of the antidumping duty orders.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eli Lovely, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-1593.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 3, 2017, the Department published the notice of initiation of the first sunset reviews of the antidumping duty orders on stilbenic OBAs from the PRC and Taiwan pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).1

    1See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 82 FR 16159 (April 3, 2017).

    As a result of its review, the Department determined that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on certain stilbenic OBAs from the PRC and Taiwan would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and, therefore, notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins of dumping likely to prevail should the orders be revoked.2

    2See Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents from the People's Republic of China and Taiwan: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders, 82 FR 36732 (August 7, 2017).

    On October 27, 2017, the ITC published its determination, pursuant to section 751(c)(1) of the Act, that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on certain stilbenic OBAs from the PRC and Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.3

    3See USITC Publication 4737 (October 2017), entitled Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents from China and Taiwan: Investigation Nos. 731-TA-1186-1187 (Review).

    Scope of the Orders

    The stilbenic OBAs covered by the orders are all forms (whether free acid or salt) of compounds known as triazinylaminostilbenes (i.e., all derivatives of 4,4′-bis [1,3,5-triazin-2-yl] 4 amino-2,2′-stilbenedisulfonic acid), except for compounds listed in the following paragraph. The stilbenic OBAs covered by the orders include final stilbenic OBA products, as well as intermediate products that are themselves triazinylaminostilbenes produced during the synthesis of stilbenic OBA products.

    4 The brackets in this sentence are part of the chemical formula.

    Excluded from the orders are all forms of 4,4′-bis[4-anilino-6-morpholino-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl] 5 amino-2,2′-stilbenedisulfonic acid, C40H40N12O8S2 (Fluorescent Brightener 71). The orders cover the above-described compounds in any state (including but not limited to powder, slurry, or solution), of any concentrations of active stilbenic OBA ingredient, as well as any compositions regardless of additives (i.e., mixtures or blends, whether of stilbenic OBAs with each other, or of stilbenic OBAs with additives that are not stilbenic OBAs), and in any type of packaging.

    5Id.

    These stilbenic OBAs are classifiable under subheading 3204.20.8000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), but they may also enter under subheadings 2933.69.6050, 2921.59.4000 and 2921.59.8090. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

    Continuation of the Orders

    As a result of these determinations by the Department and the ITC that revocation of the antidumping duty orders would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act, the Department hereby orders the continuation of the antidumping orders on certain stilbenic OBAs from the PRC and Taiwan. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect antidumping duty cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise. The effective date of the continuation of these orders will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act, the Department intends to initiate the next five-year review of the orders not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of continuation.

    This five-year (sunset) review and this notice are in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25537 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF582 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Bravo Wharf Recapitalization Project, Year 2 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic (the Navy) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to Bravo Wharf Recapitalization, Year 2 in Naval Station Mayport (NSM), Jacksonville, Florida. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brianna Elliott, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, 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 (as delegated to NMFS) 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

    To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, NMFS must review our proposed action (i.e., the issuance of an incidental harassment authorization) with respect to potential impacts on the human environment.

    This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, which do not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion. Accordingly, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the issuance of the proposed IHA qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review.

    We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to concluding our NEPA process or making a final decision on the IHA request.

    Summary of Request

    On July 12, 2017, NMFS received a request from the Navy for an IHA to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving in association with the Bravo Wharf recapitalization project at NSM, FL. The Navy's request is for take of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus) by Level B harassment only. Neither the Navy nor NMFS expect mortality to result from this activity and, therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    NMFS previously issued IHAs to the Navy for similar work at Bravo Wharf (81 FR 52637, 1 December 2016; revised IHA for this activity: 82 FR 11344, 13 March 2017) and Wharf C-2, also located within NSM (80 FR 55598, 8 September 2015; 78 FR 71566, 1 December 2013 and revised IHA for this activity: 79 FR 27863, 1 September 2014). The Navy complied with all the requirements (e.g., mitigation, monitoring, and reporting) of previous IHAs at Wharf C-2 (80 FR 55598, 8 September 2015; 79 FR 27863, 1 September 2014) and information regarding their monitoring results may be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm.

    This proposed IHA would cover one year of a larger project for which the Navy obtained a prior IHA at Bravo Wharf. The larger project involves recapitalization of Bravo Wharf at three berths in NSM spread across Phase I and Phase II, which involves installing 880 single sheet piles through the two phases. The majority of construction activity is occurring in the first year of the project, with Phase I estimated to be fully complete and Phase II estimated to be 60 percent complete by March 13, 2018, the proposed start date for this proposed IHA; therefore, this IHA is for the remaining work at Bravo Wharf.

    Description of Proposed Activity Overview

    Bravo Wharf is a medium draft, general purpose berthing wharf that was constructed in 1970 and lies at the western edge of the NSM turning basin. Bravo Wharf is approximately 2,000 feet (ft) long, 125 ft wide, and has a berthing depth of 50 ft mean lower low water. The wharf is one of two primary deep draft berths at the basin and is capable of berthing ships up to and including large amphibious ships; it is one of three primary ordnance handling berths at the basin. The wharf is a diaphragm steel sheet pile cell structure with a concrete apron, partial concrete encasement of the piling, and asphalt paved deck. The wharf is currently in poor condition due to advanced deterioration of the steel sheeting and lack of corrosion protection. This structural deterioration has resulted in the institution of load restrictions within 60 ft of the wharf face. The purpose of the second year of this project is to finish installing remaining sheet piles by vibratory pile driving, though contingency impact driving may be necessary, in order to complete necessary repairs to Bravo Wharf. Please refer to the Navy's application for a schematic of the project plan.

    Both vibratory and impact pile driving could result in take, by Level B harassment only, of bottlenose dolphins through exposure to the sound source in waters surrounding NSM. Activity will be confined to forty days, including 30 days for vibratory pile driving and 10 contingency days for impact pile driving.

    Dates and Duration

    The total project, including the first year of construction for which an IHA was issued (82 FR 11344; 22 February 2017) is expected to require a maximum of 130 days of in-water pile driving. The second year of the project, reflected in this proposed IHA, will involve a maximum of 40 days of in-water construction. Vibratory pile driving is expected to take 30 days, with a contingent 10 days of impact pile driving. Operators would only conduct pile driving during daylight hours as determined by NOAA data, and no in-water construction activities could occur between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. at any point during the year. The specified activities are expected to occur between March 13, 2018 and March 12, 2019.

    Specific Geographic Region

    NSM is located in northeastern Florida, at the mouth of the St. Johns River and adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean (see Figures 1-1, 2-1, and 2-2 of the Navy's application). The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida, with the final 35 miles (mi) flowing through the city of Jacksonville. This portion of the river is significant for commercial shipping and military use. At the mouth of the river, near the action area, the Atlantic Ocean is the dominant influence and typical salinities are above 30 parts per million. Outside the river mouth, in nearshore waters, moderate oceanic currents tend to flow southward parallel to the coast. Sea surface temperatures range from around 16 °C in winter to 28 °C in summer.

    The specific action area consists of the NSM turning basin, an area of approximately 2,000 by 3,000 ft containing ship-berthing facilities at sixteen locations along wharves around the basin perimeter. The basin was constructed during the early 1940s by dredging the eastern part of Ribault Bay (at the mouth of the St. Johns River), with dredge material from the basin used to fill parts of the bay and other low-lying areas in order to elevate the land surface. The basin is currently maintained through regular dredging at a depth of 50 ft, with depths at the berths ranging from 30-50 ft. The turning basin, connected to the St. Johns River by a 500-ft-wide entrance channel, will largely contain sound produced by project activities, with the exception of sound propagating east into nearshore Atlantic waters through the entrance channel (see Figure 2-2 of the Navy's application). Bravo Wharf is located in the western corner of the Mayport turning basin.

    Detailed Description of Specific Activity

    In order to rehabilitate Bravo Wharf, the Navy proposes to install a new steel sheet pile bulkhead at Bravo Wharf. The entire recapitalization project consists of installing a total of approximately 880 single sheet piles. By March 2018, it is estimated that Phase I will be 100 percent complete and Phase II will be 60 percent complete, with 234 piles remaining to be installed. The wall will be anchored at the top and fill consisting of clean gravel and concrete fill will be placed behind the wall. A concrete cap will be formed along the top and outside face of the wall to tie the entire structure together and provide a berthing surface for vessels. The new bulkhead will be designed for a 50-year service life.

    All piles would be driven by vibratory hammer, although impact pile driving may be used as a contingency in cases when vibratory driving is not sufficient to reach the necessary depth. In the unlikely event that impact driving is required, either impact or vibratory driving could occur on a given day, but concurrent use of vibratory and impact drivers would not occur. The Navy estimates that a total of 40 in-water work days may be required to complete pile driving activity, which includes 10 days for contingency impact driving, if necessary.

    Proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures are described in detail later in this document (please see Proposed Mitigation and Proposed Monitoring and Reporting).

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

    There are four marine mammal species which may inhabit or transit through the waters nearby NSM at the mouth of the St. Johns River and in nearby nearshore Atlantic waters. These include the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Multiple additional cetacean species occur in south Atlantic waters but would not be expected to occur in shallow nearshore waters of the action area.

    Sections 3 and 4 of the application summarize available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, and behavior and life history, of the potentially affected species. Additional information regarding population trends and threats may be found in NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/) and more 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/). Please also refer to the Navy's Marine Resource Assessment for the Charleston/Jacksonville Operating Area, which documents and describes the marine resources that occur in Navy operating areas of the Southeast (DoN 2008). The document is publicly available at www.navfac.navy.mil/products_and_services/ev/products_and_services/marine_resources/marine_resource_assessments.html (accessed October 12, 2017).

    Table 1 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in the vicinity of NSM and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including regulatory status under the MMPA and ESA and potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2016). PBR is 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 (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality from anthropogenic sources 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 or survey 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. For some species, this geographic area may extend beyond U.S. waters. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in NMFS's U.S. 2016 SARs (Hayes et al., 2016). All values presented in Table 1 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2016 SARs (Hayes et al., 2016).

    In addition, the West Indian manatees may be found in the vicinity of NSM. However, West Indian manatees are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are not considered further in this document.

    Table 1—Marine Mammals Potentially Present in the Vicinity of NSM 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 North Atlantic Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis Western North Atlantic E/D; Y 440 (0; 440; 2013) 1 5.66 Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae Gulf of Maine -; N 823 (0; 823; 2011) 13 9.05 Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Stenella frontalis Western North Atlantic -; N 44,715 (0.43; 31,610; 2011) 316 0 Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus truncatus Jacksonville Estuarine System -; Y 412 (0.06; unk; 1994-97) 4 unk 1.2 Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus truncatus Western North Atlantic, northern Florida coastal -/D; Y 1,219 (0.67; 730; 2010-11) 7 0.4 Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus truncatus Western North Atlantic, offshore -; N 77,532 (0.40; 56,053; 2011) 63 0-12 Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus truncatus Western North Atlantic, southern migratory coastal -/D; Y 9,173 (0.46; 6,326; 2010-11) 63 0-12 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. In some cases, CV is not applicable. 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 This abundance estimate is considered an overestimate because it includes non- and seasonally-resident animals. NoteItalicized species are not expected to be taken or proposed for authorization.

    All species that could potentially occur in the proposed survey areas are included in Table 1. However, the temporal and/or spatial occurrence of North Atlantic right whales, humpback whales, and Atlantic spotted dolphins is such that take is not expected to occur.

    Regarding North Atlantic right whales, an estimate of potential exposures shows that there is potential for two Level B exposures of North Atlantic right whales from vibratory pile driving. However, the North Atlantic right whale density used in this analysis reflects their expected occurrence in waters outside of the St. Johns River, as there is no applicable density for waters affected by the specified activity. We consider the likelihood of occurrence to be extremely low, given that the only known sighting of a North Atlantic right whale in the St. Johns River occurred in 2011, resulting in a disruption of all boat traffic (Gibbons 2011; Cravey 2016). Therefore, the potential for interaction with this species is unlikely and NMFS does not believe take authorization is warranted for right whales. The Navy has not requested, and NMFS is not proposing to authorize, incidental take of right whales.

    The likelihood of encountering a humpback whale in NSM or around the mouth of the river is similarly considered discountable. In the winter, some humpback whales migrate from their summer foraging grounds in the Gulf of Maine to their winter breeding habitat around the Cape Verde Islands and West Indies (Stevick et al., 1998; Wenzel et al., 2009, Stevick et al., 2016). Significant numbers of whales do not migrate to these wintering grounds, and there have been a number of humpback whale sightings and detections in the southeastern U.S. during the winter (Wiley et al., 1995; Laerm et al., 1997; Norris et al., 2013; Waring et al., 2014). When considering the low frequency of occurrence, small size of ensonified area, short duration (40 days total), and proposed monitoring and mitigation (see Proposed Mitigation and Proposed Monitoring and Reporting below), we consider the possibility for harassment of humpback and right whales to be discountable.

    Concerning Atlantic spotted dolphins, no acoustic exposures were predicted and, from recent observation reports from the Navy from previous construction activity at Naval Station Mayport, no spotted dolphins were observed. Similarly, dolphin research studies that have been conducted in the area also reported zero observed spotted dolphins in the project area (Q. Gibson, pers. comm. with L. McCue, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, 2015). We consider the likelihood of Atlantic spotted dolphins being impacted by the construction activities to be discountable based on this information, combined with the zero estimated exposures. Therefore, the North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale, and Atlantic spotted dolphins are excluded from further analysis and are not discussed further in this document.

    Bottlenose Dolphins

    Bottlenose dolphins are found worldwide in tropical to temperate waters and can be found in all depths from estuarine inshore to deep offshore waters. Temperature appears to limit the range of the species, either directly, or indirectly, for example, through distribution of prey. Off North American coasts, common bottlenose dolphins are found where surface water temperatures range from about 10 °C to 32 °C. In many regions, including the southeastern U.S., separate coastal and offshore populations are known. There is significant genetic, morphological, and hematological differentiation evident between the two ecotypes (e.g., Walker 1981; Duffield et al., 1983; Duffield 1987; Hoelzel et al., 1998), which correspond to shallow, warm water and deep, cold water. Both ecotypes have been shown to inhabit the western North Atlantic (Hersh and Duffield 1990; Mead and Potter 1995), where the deep-water ecotype tends to be larger and darker. In addition, several lines of evidence, including photo-identification and genetic studies, support a distinction between dolphins inhabiting coastal waters near the shore and those present in the inshore waters of bays, sounds and estuaries. This complex differentiation of bottlenose dolphin populations is observed throughout the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts where bottlenose dolphins are found, although estuarine populations have not been fully defined.

    In the Mayport area, four stocks of bottlenose dolphins are currently managed, none of which are protected under the ESA. Of the four stocks—offshore, southern migratory coastal, northern Florida coastal, and Jacksonville estuarine system—only the latter three are likely to occur in the action area. Bottlenose dolphins typically occur in groups of 2-15 individuals (Shane et al., 1986; Kerr et al., 2005). Although significantly larger groups have also been reported, smaller groups are typical of shallow, confined waters. In addition, such waters typically support some degree of regional site fidelity and limited movement patterns (Shane et al., 1986; Wells et al., 1987). Observations made during marine mammal surveys conducted during 2012-2013 in the Mayport turning basin show bottlenose dolphins typically occurring individually or in pairs, or less frequently in larger groups. The maximum observed group size during these surveys was six, while the mode was one. Navy observations indicate that bottlenose dolphins rarely linger in a particular area in the turning basin, but rather appear to move purposefully through the basin and then leave, which likely reflects a lack of biological importance for these dolphins in the basin. Based on currently available information, it is not possible to determine the stock to which the dolphins occurring in the action area may belong. These stocks are described in greater detail below.

    Western North Atlantic Offshore—This stock, consisting of the deep-water ecotype or offshore form of bottlenose dolphin in the western North Atlantic, is distributed primarily along the outer continental shelf and continental slope, but has been documented to occur relatively close to shore (Waring et al., 2014). The separation between offshore and coastal morphotypes varies depending on location and season, with the ranges overlapping to some degree south of Cape Hatteras. Based on genetic analysis, Torres et al. (2003) found a distributional break at 34 km from shore, with the offshore form found exclusively seaward of 34 km and in waters deeper than 34 m. Within 7.5 km of shore, all animals were of the coastal morphotype. More recently, coastwide, systematic biopsy collection surveys were conducted during the summer and winter to evaluate the degree of spatial overlap between the two morphotypes. South of Cape Hatteras, spatial overlap was found although the probability of a sampled group being from the offshore morphotype increased with increasing depth, and the closest distance for offshore animals was 7.3 km from shore, in water depths of 13 m just south of Cape Lookout (Garrison et al., 2003). The maximum radial distance for the largest ZOI is approximately 1.2 km (Table 2); therefore, it is unlikely that any individuals of the offshore morphotype would be affected by project activities. In terms of water depth, the affected area is generally in the range of the shallower depth reported for offshore dolphins by Garrison et al. (2003), but is far shallower than the depths reported by Torres et al. (2003). South of Cape Lookout, the zone of spatial overlap between offshore and coastal ecotypes is generally considered to occur in water depths between 20-100 m (Waring et al., 2014), which is generally deeper than waters in the action area. This stock is thus excluded from further analysis.

    Western North Atlantic, southern migratory coastal—The coastal morphotype of bottlenose dolphin is continuously distributed from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic and north approximately to Long Island (Waring et al., 2014). On the Atlantic coast, Scott et al. (1988) hypothesized a single coastal stock, citing stranding patterns during a high mortality event in 1987-88 and observed density patterns. More recent studies demonstrate that there is instead a complex mosaic of stocks (Zolman 2002; McLellan et al., 2002; Rosel et al., 2009). The coastal morphotype was managed by NMFS as a single stock until 2009, when it was split into five separate stocks, including northern and southern migratory stocks. The original, single stock of coastal dolphins recognized from 1995-2001 was listed as depleted under the MMPA as a result of a 1987-88 mortality event. That designation was retained when the single stock was split into multiple coastal stocks. Therefore, all coastal stocks of bottlenose dolphins are listed as depleted under the MMPA, and are also considered strategic stocks.

    According to the Scott et al. (1988) hypothesis, a single stock was thought to migrate seasonally between New Jersey (summer) and central Florida (winter). Instead, it was more recently determined that a mix of resident and migratory stocks exists, with the migratory movements and spatial distribution of the southern migratory stock the most poorly understood of these. Stable isotope analysis and telemetry studies provide evidence for seasonal movements of dolphins between North Carolina and northern Florida (Knoff 2004; Waring et al., 2014), and genetic analyses and tagging studies support differentiation of northern and southern migratory stocks (Rosel et al., 2009; Waring et al., 2014). Although there is significant uncertainty regarding the southern migratory stock's spatial movements, telemetry data indicates that the stock occupies waters of southern North Carolina (south of Cape Lookout) during the fall (October-December). In winter months (January-March), the stock moves as far south as northern Florida where it overlaps spatially with the northern Florida coastal and Jacksonville estuarine system stocks. In spring (April-June), the stock returns north to waters of North Carolina, and is presumed to remain north of Cape Lookout during the summer months. Therefore, the potential exists for harassment of southern migratory dolphins, most likely during the winter only.

    Bottlenose dolphins are ubiquitous in coastal waters from the mid-Atlantic through the Gulf of Mexico, and therefore interact with multiple coastal fisheries, including gillnet, trawl, and trap/pot fisheries. Stock-specific total fishery-related mortality and serious injury cannot be directly estimated because of the spatial overlap among stocks of bottlenose dolphins, and because of unobserved fisheries. The primary known source of fishery mortality for the southern migratory stock is the mid-Atlantic gillnet fishery (Waring et al., 2014). Between 2004 and 2008, 588 bottlenose dolphins stranded along the Atlantic coast between Florida and Maryland that could potentially be assigned to the southern migratory stock, although the assignment of animals to a particular stock is impossible in some seasons and regions due to spatial overlap amongst stocks (Waring et al., 2014). Many of these animals exhibited some evidence of human interaction, such as line/net marks, gunshot wounds, or vessel strike. In addition, nearshore and estuarine habitats occupied by the coastal morphotype are adjacent to areas of high human population and some are highly industrialized. It should also be noted that stranding data underestimate the extent of fishery-related mortality and serious injury because not all of the marine mammals that die or are seriously injured in fishery interactions are discovered, reported or investigated, nor will all of those that are found necessarily show signs of entanglement or other fishery interaction. The level of technical expertise among stranding network personnel varies widely as does the ability to recognize signs of fishery interactions. Finally, multiple resident populations of bottlenose dolphins have been shown to have high concentrations of organic pollutants (e.g., Kuehl et al., 1991) and, despite little study of contaminant loads in migrating coastal dolphins, exposure to environmental pollutants and subsequent effects on population health is an area of concern and active research.

    Western North Atlantic, Northern Florida Coastal—Please see above for description of the differences between coastal and offshore ecotypes and the delineation of coastal dolphins into management stocks. The northern Florida coastal stock is one of five stocks of coastal dolphins and one of three known resident stocks (other resident stocks include South Carolina/Georgia and central Florida dolphins). The spatial extent of these stocks, their potential seasonal movements, and their relationships with estuarine stocks are poorly understood. During summer months, when the migratory stocks are known to be in North Carolina waters and further north, bottlenose dolphins are still seen in coastal waters of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, indicating the presence of additional stocks of coastal animals. Speakman et al. (2006) documented dolphins in coastal waters off Charleston, South Carolina, that are not known resident members of the estuarine stock, and genetic analyses indicate significant differences between coastal dolphins from northern Florida, Georgia and central South Carolina (NMFS 2001; Rosel et al., 2009). The northern Florida stock is thought to be present from approximately the Georgia-Florida border south to 29.4° N. (Waring et al., 2014).

    The northern Florida coastal stock ventures into the St. Johns River in large numbers, but rarely moves past NSM. The mouth of the St. Johns River may serve as a foraging area for this stock and the Jacksonville estuarine stock (Q. Gibson, pers. comm. with L. McCue, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, 2015).

    The northern Florida coastal stock is susceptible to interactions with similar fisheries as those described above for the southern migratory stock, including gillnet, trawl, and trap/pot fisheries. From 2004-08, 78 stranded dolphins were recovered in northern Florida waters, although it was not possible to determine whether there was evidence of human interaction for the majority of these (Waring et al., 2014). The same concerns discussed above regarding underestimation of mortality hold for this stock and, as for southern migratory dolphins, pollutant loading is a concern.

    Western North Atlantic, Jacksonville Estuarine System—Please see above for description of the differences between coastal and offshore ecotypes and the delineation of coastal dolphins into management stocks primarily inhabiting nearshore waters. The coastal morphotype of bottlenose dolphin is also resident to certain inshore estuarine waters (Caldwell 2001; Gubbins 2002; Zolman 2002; Gubbins et al., 2003). Multiple lines of evidence support demographic separation between coastal dolphins found in nearshore waters and those in estuarine waters, as well as between dolphins residing within estuaries along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts (e.g., Wells et al., 1987; Scott et al., 1990; Wells et al., 1996; Cortese 2000; Zolman 2002; Speakman et al. 2006; Stolen et al., 2007; Balmer et al., 2008; Mazzoil et al., 2008). In particular, a study conducted near Jacksonville demonstrated significant genetic differences between coastal and estuarine dolphins (Caldwell 2001; Rosel et al., 2009). Despite evidence for genetic differentiation between estuarine and nearshore populations, the degree of spatial overlap between these populations remains unclear. Photo-identification studies within estuaries demonstrate seasonal immigration and emigration and the presence of transient animals (e.g., Speakman et al., 2006). In addition, the degree of movement of resident estuarine animals into coastal waters on seasonal or shorter time scales is poorly understood (Waring et al., 2014).

    The Jacksonville estuarine system (JES) stock has been defined as separate primarily by the results of photo-identification and genetic studies. The stock range is considered to be bounded in the north by the Georgia-Florida border at Cumberland Sound, extending south to approximately Jacksonville Beach, Florida. This encompasses an area defined during a photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphin residency patterns in the area (Caldwell 2001), and the borders are subject to change upon further study of dolphin residency patterns in estuarine waters of southern Georgia and northern/central Florida. The habitat is comprised of several large brackish rivers, including the St. Johns River, as well as tidal marshes and shallow riverine systems. Three behaviorally different communities were identified during Caldwell's (2001) study: The estuarine waters north (Northern) and south (Southern) of the St. Johns River and the coastal area, all of which differed in density, habitat fidelity and social affiliation patterns. The coastal dolphins are believed to be members of a coastal stock, however (Waring et al., 2014). Although Northern and Southern members of the JES stock show strong site fidelity, members of both groups have been observed outside their preferred areas. Dolphins residing within estuaries south of Jacksonville Beach down to the northern boundary of the Indian River Lagoon Estuarine System (IRLES) stock are currently not included in any stock, as there are insufficient data to determine whether animals in this area exhibit affiliation to the JES stock, the IRLES stock, or are simply transient animals associated with coastal stocks. Further research is needed to establish affinities of dolphins in the area between the ranges, as currently understood, of the JES and IRLES stocks.

    The JES stock is susceptible to similar fisheries interactions as those described above for coastal stocks, although only trap/pot fisheries are likely to occur in estuarine waters frequented by the stock. Only one dolphin carcass bearing evidence of fisheries interaction was recovered during 2003-07 in the JES area, and an additional 16 stranded dolphins were recovered during this time, but no determinations regarding human interactions could be made for the majority (Waring et al., 2014). Nineteen bottlenose dolphins died in the St. Johns River (SJR), Florida between May 24 and November 7, 2010, all of which came from the JES stock. The cause of these deaths was undetermined. The same concerns discussed above regarding underestimation of mortality hold for this stock and, as for stocks discussed above, pollutant loading is a concern. Although no contaminant analyses have yet been conducted in this area, the JES stock inhabits areas with significant drainage from industrial and urban sources, and as such is exposed to contaminants in runoff from these. In other estuarine areas where such analyses have been conducted, exposure to anthropogenic contaminants has been found to likely have an effect (Hansen et al. 2004; Schwacke et al., 2004; Reif et al., 2008).

    The original, single stock of coastal dolphins recognized from 1995-2001 was listed as depleted under the MMPA as a result of a 1987-88 mortality event. That designation was retained when the single stock was split into multiple coastal stocks. However, Scott et al. (1988) suggested that dolphins residing in the bays, sounds and estuaries adjacent to these coastal waters were not affected by the mortality event and these animals were explicitly excluded from the depleted listing (Waring et al., 2014). Gubbins et al. (2003), using data from Caldwell (2001), estimated the stock size to be 412 (CV = 0.06). However, NMFS considers abundance unknown because this estimate likely includes an unknown number of non-resident and seasonally-resident dolphins. It nevertheless represents the best available information regarding stock size. Because the stock size is likely small, and relatively few mortalities and serious injuries would exceed PBR, the stock is considered to be a strategic stock (Waring et al., 2014).

    A UME occurred between 2013 and 2015 spanning the Atlantic coast, which impacted all stocks of bottlenose dolphins in the area. Over 1,800 dolphins stranded in this time period. The preliminary conclusion of the cause of this UME was morbillivirus. The bottlenose dolphin stocks in this area (SJR and coastal areas) may be considered vulnerable to impacts from future activities due to this recent event.

    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 decibels (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.

    For more detail concerning these groups and associated frequency ranges, please see NMFS (2016) for a review of available information. Bottlenose dolphins, the species that could co-occur with proposed survey activities and for which take is estimated, are are classified as mid-frequency cetaceans.

    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 section later in this document includes a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination section considers the content of this section, the Estimated Take section, and the Proposed 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.

    We provided discussion of the potential effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat in our Federal Register notice of proposed authorization associated with the first IHA for recapitalization at Bravo Wharf (80 FR 75978; 7 December 2015). The specified activity associated with this proposed IHA is substantially similar to that considered for the first IHA, and the potential effects of the specified activity are nearly the same as those identified in those documents. In the aforementioned Federal Register notice, we also provided general background information on sound and a description of sound sources and ambient sound and refer the reader to those documents. Therefore, we briefly summarize potential effects here, but refer the reader to that document (80 FR 75978; 7 December 2015).

    An increase in noise levels from pile driving in waters surrounding NSM is the primary means by which marine mammals and their habitat could be impacted. Marine mammals exposed to elevated sound levels could experience physical and behavioral effects, though the magnitude of potential impact depends on a range of factors on the physical environment and biological state of marine mammals, such as sound type (e.g. impulsive sounds of impact driving or non-impulsive sound of vibratory pile driving), bottom profile characteristics, species, age and sex class, duration of exposure, and many other factors (Wartzok et al., 2003; Southall et al., 2007; Hildebrand 2009). Potential effects include potential behavioral harassment (e.g. avoidance behavior or temporary displacement), masking—or interference, with marine mammals' ability to receive other sounds vital for biological functioning, and increased stress.

    Marine Mammal Habitat Effects

    There are no known foraging hotspots or other ocean bottom structure of significant biological importance to marine mammals present in the marine waters of the project area, though the surrounding areas may be foraging habitat for the dolphins. The most likely impact to marine mammal habitat occurs from pile driving effects on likely marine mammal prey (i.e., fish) within NSM. Hastings and Popper (2005) identified several studies that suggest fish may relocate to avoid certain areas of sound energy. Furthermore, sound pulses at received levels of 160 dB re 1 μPa (all dB values in this document are referenced to a pressure of 1 μPa) may cause subtle changes in fish behavior, while SPLs of 180 dB may cause noticeable changes in behavior (Pearson et al., 1992; Skalski et al., 1992). SPLs of sufficient strength have been known to cause injury to fish and fish mortality, though the most likely impact to fish from pile driving activities at the project area would be temporary behavioral avoidance of the area. The duration of fish avoidance of this area after pile driving stops is unknown, but a rapid return to normal recruitment, distribution and behavior is anticipated.

    The Mayport turning basin itself is a man-made basin with significant levels of industrial activity and regular dredging, and is unlikely to harbor significant amounts of forage fish. Thus, any impacts to marine mammal habitat are not expected to cause significant or long-term consequences for individual marine mammals or their populations. In summary, given the short daily duration of sound associated with individual pile driving events and the relatively small areas being affected, pile driving activities associated with the proposed action are not likely to have a permanent, adverse effect on marine mammal prey or their habitat.

    Estimated Take

    This section provides an estimate of the number of incidental takes proposed for authorization through this IHA, which will inform both NMFS's 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 vibratory and impact pile driving. Based on the nature of the activity, Level A harassment is neither anticipated nor proposed to be authorized.

    In order to estimate the potential incidents of take that may occur incidental to the specified activity, we must first estimate the extent of the sound field that may be produced by the activity and then consider in combination with information about marine mammal density or abundance in the project area. 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 proposed 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) (Table 2).

    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). 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 micro Pascal (μPa) root mean square (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.

    Recapitalization of Bravo Wharf includes the use of continuous (vibratory pile driving) and impulsive (impact pile driving) sources, and therefore the 120 and 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) thresholds are 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) (Table 2). The Navy's proposed recapitalization of Bravo Wharf includes the use of impulsive (impact pile driving) and non-impulsive (vibratory pile driving) sources.

    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 2—Thresholds Identifying the Onset of Permanent Threshold Shift Hearing group PTS Onset 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. 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. * 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.

    Distance to Sound Thresholds

    Underwater Sound Propagation Formula—Pile driving generates underwater noise that can potentially result in disturbance to marine mammals in the project area. Transmission loss (TL) is the decrease in acoustic intensity as an acoustic pressure wave propagates out from a source. TL parameters vary with frequency, temperature, sea conditions, current, source and receiver depth, water depth, water chemistry, and bottom composition and topography. The general formula for underwater TL is:

    TL = B * log10 (R1/R2), Where: R1 = the distance of the modeled SPL from the driven pile, and R2 = the distance from the driven pile of the initial measurement. This formula neglects loss due to scattering and absorption, which is assumed to be zero here. The degree to which underwater sound propagates away from a sound source is dependent on a variety of factors, most notably the water bathymetry and presence or absence of reflective or absorptive conditions including in-water structures and sediments. Spherical spreading occurs in a perfectly unobstructed (free-field) environment not limited by depth or water surface, resulting in a 6 dB reduction in sound level for each doubling of distance from the source (20*log[range]). Cylindrical spreading occurs in an environment in which sound propagation is bounded by the water surface and sea bottom, resulting in a reduction of 3 dB in sound level for each doubling of distance from the source (10*log[range]). A practical spreading value of fifteen is often used under conditions, such as at the NSM turning basin, where water increases with depth as the receiver moves away from the shoreline, resulting in an expected propagation environment that would lie between spherical and cylindrical spreading loss conditions. Practical spreading loss (4.5 dB reduction in sound level for each doubling of distance) is assumed here.

    Underwater Sound—The intensity of pile driving sounds is greatly influenced by factors such as the type of piles, hammers, and the physical environment in which the activity takes place. A number of studies, primarily on the west coast, have measured sound produced during underwater pile driving projects. However, these data are largely for impact driving of steel pipe piles and concrete piles as well as vibratory driving of steel pipe piles. Vibratory driving of steel sheet piles was monitored during the first year of construction at the nearby Wharf C-2 at Naval Station Mayport during 2015. Measurements were conducted from a small boat in the turning basin and from the construction barge itself. Average SPLs for steel sheet piles ranged from 135 to 158 dB (DoN 2015) and SPLs for a 10-second period of driving averaged 156 dB re 1µPa rms (DoN, 2017a). No impact driving was measured at this location; therefore, proxy levels for impact driving have been calculated from other available source levels.

    In order to determine reasonable SPLs and their associated effects on marine mammals that are likely to result from impact pile driving at NSM, we considered existing measurements from similar physical environments (sandy sediments and water depths greater than 15 ft) for driving of steel sheet piles (all measured at 10 m; e.g., Laughlin, 2005a, 2005b; Illingworth and Rodkin, 2010, 2012, 2013; CalTrans 2012; CalTrans 2015). Proxy source values based on similarity to the physical environment at NSM and measurement location in the mid-water column were selected for acoustic modeling: 156 dB for vibratory driving (DoN 2017a) and 190 dB for impact driving (CalTrans 2015). All calculated distances to and the total area encompassed by the marine mammal sound thresholds are provided in Table 3.

    Table 3—Distance to Relevant Underwater Sound Tresholds and Areas of Ensonification Pile type Method Threshold Distance
  • (m)
  • Area
  • (km2)
  • Steel sheet piles Vibratory MF Level A (injury): 198 dB SELcum 0.1 0 Level B (behavior): 120 dB re 1μPa rms 2,512 1.3550776 Impact (contingency only) MF Level A (injury): 185 dB SELcum 7.7 0.004 Level B (behavior): 160 dB re 1μPa rms 1,000 0.5313217 1 Sound pressure levels used for calculations are 156 dB rms and 190 dB rms for vibratory and impact driving, respectively.

    The Mayport turning basin does not represent open water, or free field, conditions. Therefore, sounds would attenuate as per the confines of the basin, and may only reach the full estimated distances to the harassment thresholds via the narrow, east-facing entrance channel. Distances shown in Table 3 are estimated for free-field conditions, but areas are calculated per the actual conditions of the action area. See Figures 6-1 and 6-2 of the Navy's application for a depiction of areas in which each underwater sound threshold is predicted to occur at the project area due to pile driving.

    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.

    Marine Mammal Densities

    For all species, the best scientific information available was considered for use in the marine mammal take assessment calculations. All densities for marine mammals with the possibility of occurring in the project area were calculated from the Navy's Marine Species Density Database and Technical Report (DoN 2017b). Density for bottlenose dolphins is derived from site-specific surveys conducted by the Navy (see Appendix C of the Navy's application for more information); it is not currently possible to identify observed individuals to stock. This survey effort consists of 24 half-day observation periods covering mornings and afternoons during four seasons (December 10-13, 2012, March 4-7, 2013, June 3-6, 2013, and September 9-12, 2013). During each observation period, two observers (a primary observer at an elevated observation point and a secondary observer at ground level) monitored for the presence of marine mammals in the turning basin (0.712 km2) and an additional grid east of the basin entrance. Observers tracked marine mammal movements and behavior within the observation area, with observations recorded for five-minute intervals every half-hour. Morning sessions typically ran from 7:00-11:30 and afternoon sessions from 1:00 to 5:30.

    Most observations of bottlenose dolphins were of individuals or pairs, although larger groups were occasionally observed (median number of dolphins observed ranged from 1-3.5 across seasons). Densities were calculated using observational data from the primary observer supplemented with data from the secondary observer for grids not visible by the primary observer. Season-specific density was then adjusted by applying a correction factor for observer error (i.e., perception bias). The seasonal densities range from 1.98603 (winter) to 4.15366 (summer) dolphins/km2. We conservatively use the largest density value to assess take, as the Navy does not have specific information about when in-water work may occur during the proposed period of validity.

    Take Calculation and Estimation

    Here we describe how the information provided above is brought together to produce a quantitative take estimate.

    The following assumptions are made when estimating potential incidents of take:

    • All marine mammal individuals potentially available are assumed to be present within the relevant area, and thus incidentally taken;

    • An individual can only be taken once during a 24-h period;

    • There will be 30 total days of vibratory driving and 10 days of contingency of impact pile driving;

    • Exposures to sound levels at or above the relevant thresholds equate to take, as defined by the MMPA.

    The estimation of marine mammal takes typically uses the following calculation:

    Exposure estimate (rounded to the nearest whole number) = n * ZOI * total activity days Where: n = density estimate used for each species/season ZOI = sound threshold ZOI area; the area encompassed by all locations where the SPLs equal or exceed the threshold being evaluated

    The ZOI impact area is estimated using the relevant distances in Table 3, taking into consideration the possible affected area with attenuation due to the constraints of the basin. Because the basin restricts sound from propagating outward, with the exception of the east-facing entrance channel, the radial distances to thresholds are not generally reached.

    There are a number of reasons why estimates of potential incidents of take may be conservative, assuming that available density or abundance estimates and estimated ZOI areas are accurate. We assume, in the absence of information supporting a more refined conclusion, that the output of the calculation represents the number of individuals that may be taken by the specified activity. In fact, in the context of stationary activities such as pile driving and in areas where resident animals may be present, this number more realistically represents the number of incidents of take that may accrue to a smaller number of individuals. While pile driving can occur any day throughout the in-water work window, and the analysis is conducted on a per day basis, only a fraction of that time (typically a matter of hours on any given day) is actually spent pile driving. The potential effectiveness of mitigation measures in reducing the number of takes is typically not quantified in the take estimation process. For these reasons, these take estimates may be conservative.

    The quantitative exercise described above indicates that no incidents of Level A harassment would be expected, independent of the implementation of required mitigation measures. See Table 4 for total estimated incidents of take.

    Table 4—Calculations for Incidental Take Estimation Species n
  • (animals/km²)
  • Activity n * ZOI 1 Proposed
  • authorized
  • takes 2
  • Phase II (40 days) Bottlenose dolphin 1 4.15366 Vibratory driving (30 days) 6 169 Bottlenose dolphin 3 4.15366 Contingency impact driving (10 days) 2 22 Total exposures 191 1 See Table 3 for relevant ZOIs. The product of this calculation is rounded to the nearest whole number. 2 The product of n * ZOI * total activity days (rounded to the nearest whole number) is used to estimate the number of takes. 3 It is impossible to estimate from available information which stock these takes may accrue to.
    Proposed 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.

    Measurements from similar pile driving events were coupled with practical spreading loss to estimate zones of influence (ZOI; see Estimated Take); these values were used to develop mitigation measures for pile driving activities at NSM. The ZOIs effectively represent the mitigation zone that would be established around each pile to prevent Level A harassment to marine mammals, while providing estimates of the areas within which Level B harassment might occur. In addition to the specific measures described later in this section, the Navy would conduct briefings between construction supervisors and crews, marine mammal monitoring team, and Navy staff prior to the start of all pile driving activity, and when new personnel join the work, in order to explain responsibilities, communication procedures, marine mammal monitoring protocol, and operational procedures.

    Monitoring and Shutdown for Pile Driving

    Shutdown Zone—For all pile driving activities, the Navy will establish a shutdown zone intended to contain the area in which SPLs equal or exceed the acoustic injury criteria for mid-frequency hearing specialists (e.g. bottlenose dolphins) at 198 dB SELcum for vibratory driving and 185 dB SELcum for impact driving. The purpose of a shutdown zone is to define an area within which shutdown of activity would occur upon sighting of a marine mammal (or in anticipation of an animal entering the defined area), thus preventing injury of marine mammals (as described previously under Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals, serious injury or death are unlikely outcomes even in the absence of mitigation measures). Modeled radial distances for shutdown zones are shown in Table 3. However, a minimum shutdown zone of 15 m (which is larger than the maximum predicted injury zone) will be established during all pile driving activities, regardless of the estimated zone. Vibratory pile driving activities are not predicted to produce sound exceeding 198 dB SELcum threshold, but these precautionary measures are intended to prevent the already unlikely possibility of physical interaction with construction equipment and to further reduce any possibility of acoustic injury.

    Disturbance Zone—Disturbance zones are the areas in which SPLs equal or exceed 160 and 120 dB rms (for impulse and continuous sound, respectively). Disturbance zones provide utility for monitoring conducted for mitigation purposes (i.e., shutdown zone monitoring) by establishing monitoring protocols for areas adjacent to the shutdown zones. Monitoring of disturbance zones enables observers to be aware of and communicate the presence of marine mammals in the project area but outside the shutdown zone and thus prepare for potential shutdowns of activity. However, the primary purpose of disturbance zone monitoring is for documenting incidents of Level B harassment; disturbance zone monitoring is discussed in greater detail later (see Proposed Monitoring and Reporting). Nominal radial distances for disturbance zones are shown in Table 3. Given the size of the disturbance zone for vibratory pile driving, it is impossible to guarantee that all animals would be observed or to make comprehensive observations of fine-scale behavioral reactions to sound, and only a portion of the zone (e.g., what may be reasonably observed by visual observers stationed within the turning basin) would be observed.

    In order to document observed incidents of harassment, monitors record all marine mammal observations, regardless of location. The observer's location, as well as the location of the pile being driven, is known from a GPS. The location of the animal is estimated as a distance from the observer, which is then compared to the location from the pile. It may then be estimated whether the animal was exposed to sound levels constituting incidental harassment on the basis of predicted distances to relevant thresholds in post-processing of observational and acoustic data, and a precise accounting of observed incidences of harassment created. This information may then be used to extrapolate observed takes to reach an approximate understanding of actual total takes.

    Monitoring Protocols—Monitoring would be conducted before, during, and after pile driving activities. In addition, observers shall record all incidents of marine mammal occurrence within the ZOI and shall document any behavioral reactions in concert with distance from piles being driven. Observations made outside the shutdown zone will not result in shutdown; that pile segment would be completed without cessation, unless the animal approaches or enters the shutdown zone, at which point all pile driving activities would be halted. Monitoring will take place from 15 minutes prior to initiation through 30 minutes post-completion of pile driving activities. Pile driving activities include the time to install or remove a single pile or series of piles, as long as the time elapsed between uses of the pile driving equipment is no more than thirty minutes. Please see the Monitoring Plan (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm), developed by the Navy in agreement with NMFS, for full details of the monitoring protocols.

    The following additional measures apply to visual monitoring:

    (1) Marine mammal observer (MMO) requirements for this construction action are as follows:

    (a) At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer.

    (b) Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience.

    (c) 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.

    (2) Qualified MMOs are trained biologists, and need the following additional minimum qualifications:

    (a) Visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient for discernment of moving targets at the water's surface with ability to estimate target size and distance; use of binoculars may be necessary to correctly identify the target;

    (b) Ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols

    (c) Experience or training in the field identification of marine mammals, including the identification of behaviors;

    (d) Sufficient training, orientation, or experience with the construction operation to provide for personal safety during observations;

    (e) Writing skills sufficient to prepare a report of observations including but not limited to the number and species of marine mammals observed; dates and times when in-water construction activities were conducted; dates and times when in-water construction activities were suspended to avoid potential incidental injury from construction sound of marine mammals observed within a defined shutdown zone; and marine mammal behavior; and

    (f) Ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real-time information on marine mammals observed in the area as necessary.

    (2) Prior to the start of pile driving activity, the shutdown zone will be monitored for fifteen minutes to ensure that it is clear of marine mammals. Pile driving will only commence once observers have declared the shutdown zone clear of marine mammals; animals will be allowed to remain in the shutdown zone (i.e., must leave of their own volition) and their behavior will be monitored and documented. The shutdown zone may only be declared clear, and pile driving started, when the entire shutdown zone is visible (i.e., when not obscured by dark, rain, fog, etc.). In addition, if such conditions should arise during impact pile driving that is already underway, the activity would be halted.

    (3) If a marine mammal approaches or enters the shutdown zone during the course of pile driving operations, activity will be halted and delayed until either the animal has voluntarily left and been visually confirmed beyond the shutdown zone or 15 minutes (30 minutes in the case of a large whale) have passed without re-detection of the animal. Should any marine mammal not authorized for Level B harassment in this IHA enter the ensonified area, pile driving will cease until the animal(s) leaves the area and will resume after the observer has determined through re-sighting or by waiting 15 minutes that the animal moved outside the ensonified area. Monitoring will be conducted throughout the time required to drive a pile.

    (4) Monitoring of the shutdown zone will continue for 30 minutes following completion of construction activity.

    Soft-Start—The use of a soft start procedure is believed to provide additional protection to marine mammals by warning or providing a chance to leave the area prior to the hammer operating at full capacity, and typically involves a requirement to initiate sound from the hammer at reduced energy followed by a waiting period. This procedure is repeated two additional times. It is difficult to specify the reduction in energy for any given hammer because of variation across drivers and, for impact hammers, the actual number of strikes at reduced energy will vary because operating the hammer at less than full power results in “bouncing” of the hammer as it strikes the pile, resulting in multiple “strikes.” For impact driving, we require an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at reduced energy, followed by a 30-second waiting period, then two subsequent three strike sets. Soft start will be required at the beginning of each day's impact pile driving work and at any time following a cessation of impact pile driving of thirty minutes or longer.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's proposed measures, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the proposed 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.

    Proposed 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);

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    The Navy's proposed monitoring and reporting is also described in their Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan, on the Internet at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm.

    Visual Marine Mammal Observations

    The Navy will collect sighting data and behavioral responses to construction for marine mammal species observed in the region of activity during the period of activity. All marine mammal observers (MMOs) will be trained in marine mammal identification and behaviors and are required to have no other construction-related tasks while conducting monitoring. The Navy will monitor the shutdown zone and disturbance zone before, during, and after pile driving, with observers located at the best practicable vantage points. Based on our requirements, the Navy would implement the following procedures for pile driving:

    • MMOs would be located at the best vantage point(s) in order to properly see the entire shutdown zone and as much of the disturbance zone as possible;

    • During all observation periods, observers will use binoculars and the naked eye to search continuously for marine mammals;

    • If the shutdown zones are obscured by fog or poor lighting conditions, pile driving at that location will not be initiated until that zone is visible. Should such conditions arise while impact driving is underway, the activity would be halted; and

    • The shutdown and disturbance zones around the pile will be monitored for the presence of marine mammals before, during, and after any pile driving or removal activity.

    Individuals implementing the monitoring protocol will assess its effectiveness using an adaptive approach. The monitoring biologists will use their best professional judgment throughout implementation and seek improvements to these methods when deemed appropriate. Any modifications to protocol will be coordinated between NMFS and the Navy.

    Data Collection

    We require that observers use approved data forms. Among other pieces of information, the Navy will record detailed information about any implementation of shutdowns, including the distance of animals to the pile and description of specific actions that ensued and resulting behavior of the animal, if any. In addition, the Navy will attempt to distinguish between the number of individual animals taken and the number of incidences of take. We require that, at a minimum, the following information be collected on the sighting forms:

    • Date and time that monitored activity begins or ends;

    • Construction activities occurring during each observation period;

    • Weather parameters (e.g., percent cover, visibility);

    • Water conditions (e.g., sea state, tide state);

    • Species, numbers, and, if possible, sex and age class of marine mammals;

    • Description of any observable marine mammal behavior patterns, including bearing and direction of travel, and if possible, the correlation to SPLs;

    • Duration of marine mammals within the shutdown area;

    • Distance from pile driving activities to marine mammals and distance from the marine mammals to the observation point;

    • Description of implementation of mitigation measures (e.g., shutdown or delay);

    • Locations of all marine mammal observations; and

    • Other human activity in the area.

    Reporting

    A draft report would be submitted to NMFS within 90 days of the completion of marine mammal monitoring, or sixty days prior to the requested date of issuance of any future IHA for projects at the same location, whichever comes first. The report will include marine mammal observations pre-activity, during-activity, and post-activity during pile driving days, and will also provide descriptions of any behavioral responses to construction activities by marine mammals and a complete description of all mitigation shutdowns and the results of those actions and an extrapolated total take estimate based on the number of marine mammals observed during the course of construction. A final report must be submitted within thirty days following resolution of comments on the draft report.

    Prior Monitoring

    The Navy met all monitoring requirements for similar construction activity at nearby Wharf C-2 in NSM (80 FR 55598, 8 September 2015; 78 FR 71566, 1 December 2013 and revised IHA for this activity: 79 FR 27863, 1 September 2014). During the course of both IHAs, the Navy did not exceed authorized take levels. The first IHA (covering the period of May 26 to August 17, 2015) authorized incidental take of 365 bottlenose dolphins and 95 Atlantic spotted dolphins by Level B harassment. Observers documented 272 bottlenose dolphins based on derived correction factors, and no Atlantic spotted dolphins were observed (DoN 2015b). As mentioned in the Estimated Take section, the Navy also monitored underwater acoustics during vibratory installation of king piles and steel sheet piles during the period of this IHA at NSM; the sound pressure level average ranged from 135 to 158 dB and averaged 21 seconds to install a sheet pile (DoN 2015b). Collection of underwater sound and production of a subsequent report was not required under the respective IHA, and is thus not discussed below for the second IHA at Wharf C-2.

    An IHA for the second year of construction (covering a period from September 8, 2015 to September 7, 2016) authorized incidental take of 304 total bottlenose dolphins. After applying correction factors to derive a total number of estimated takes, estimated Level B takes were calculated to be 128 bottlenose dolphins (DoN 2016).

    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).

    Pile driving activities associated with the wharf construction project, as outlined previously, have the potential to disturb or displace marine mammals. Specifically, the specified activities may result in take, in the form of Level B harassment (behavioral disturbance) only, from underwater sounds generated from pile driving. Potential takes could occur if individuals of these species are present in the ensonified zone when pile driving is happening.

    No injury, serious injury, or mortality is anticipated given the nature of the activities and measures designed to minimize the possibility of injury to marine mammals. The potential for these outcomes is minimized through the construction method and the implementation of the planned mitigation measures. Specifically, vibratory hammers will be the primary method of installation (impact driving is included only as a contingency). Vibratory pile driving does have the potential to cause injury to marine mammals, but sound pressure levels in this activity (156 dB rms) do not exceed the threshold for injury in mid-frequency cetaceans. Impact pile driving produces short, sharp pulses with higher peak levels and much sharper rise time to reach those peaks. If impact driving is necessary, implementation of soft start and shutdown zones significantly reduces any possibility of injury. Given sufficient “notice” through use of soft start (for impact driving), marine mammals are expected to move away from a sound source that is annoying prior to it becoming potentially injurious. Environmental conditions in the confined and protected Mayport turning basin mean that marine mammal detection ability by trained observers is high, enabling a high rate of success in implementation of shutdowns to avoid injury.

    Effects on individuals that are taken by Level B harassment, on the basis of reports in the literature as well as monitoring from other similar activities, will likely be limited to reactions such as increased swimming speeds, increased surfacing time, or decreased foraging (if such activity were occurring) (e.g., Thorson and Reyff 2006; HDR Inc. 2012). Most likely, individuals will simply move away from the sound source and be temporarily displaced from the areas of pile driving, although even this reaction has been observed primarily only in association with impact pile driving. The pile driving activities analyzed here are similar to, or less impactful than, numerous other construction activities conducted in San Francisco Bay and in the Puget Sound region, which have taken place with no reported injuries or mortality to marine mammals, and no known long-term adverse consequences from behavioral harassment. These activities are also nearly identical to the pile driving activities that took place at Wharf C-2 at NSM, which also reported zero injuries or mortality to marine mammals and no known long-term adverse consequences from behavioral harassment. Repeated exposures of individuals to levels of sound that may cause Level B harassment are unlikely to result in hearing impairment or to significantly disrupt foraging behavior. Thus, even repeated Level B harassment of some small subset of the overall stock is unlikely to result in any significant realized decrease in viability for the affected individuals, and thus would not result in any adverse impact to the stock as a whole. Level B harassment will be reduced to the level of least practicable impact through use of mitigation measures described herein and, if sound produced by project activities is sufficiently disturbing, animals are likely to simply avoid the turning basin while the activity is occurring.

    The turning basin is not considered important habitat for marine mammals, as it is a man-made, semi-enclosed basin with frequent industrial activity and regular maintenance dredging. The surrounding waters may be an important foraging habitat for the dolphins, but the small area of ensonification does not extend outside of the turning basin and into this foraging habitat (see Figure 6-1 in the Navy's application). Therefore, behavioral disturbances that could result from anthropogenic sound associated with these activities are expected to affect only a relatively small number of individual marine mammals that may venture near the turning basin, although those effects could be recurring over the life of the project if the same individuals remain in the project vicinity. In summary and as described above, the following factors primarily support our preliminary 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 mortality or injury is anticipated or authorized;

    • Behavioral disturbance is possible, but the significance to the affected stocks is expected to be minimal due to:

    ○ No more than 40 days of pile driving during the proposed authorized year;

    ○ The time required to drive each pile is brief, with no more than 60 seconds per pile via vibratory driving and no more than 10 minutes per pile via impact driving;

    ○ Proposed mitigation (e.g. shut-downs and soft start) would reduce acoustic impacts to species in the area of activities;

    • The absence of any significant habitat within the project area, including known areas or features of special significance for foraging or reproduction; Noise associated with pile driving will ensonify relatively small areas, the majority of which are within the industrialized turning basin.

    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 proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS preliminarily finds that the total marine mammal 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, where estimated numbers are available, 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. Additionally, other qualitative factors may be considered in the analysis, such as the temporal or spatial scale of the activities.

    Of the 191 incidents of behavioral harassment proposed to be authorized for bottlenose dolphins, we have no information allowing us to parse the predicted incidents amongst the four stocks that may occur in the project area. Therefore, we assessed the total number of predicted incidents of take against the best abundance estimate for each stock, as though the total would occur for the stock in question. For two of the bottlenose dolphin stocks—Western North Atlantic Southern Migratory Coastal and Western North Atlantic Northern Florida coastal stock—the total predicted number of incidents of take authorized would be considered small at 2.82 percent and 15.67 percent, respectively. This estimate assumes that estimated take occurs to a new individual, which is an extremely unlikely scenario and therefore a conservative estimate, as there is likely to be some overlap in both bottlenose dolphin stocks and individuals from day to day. Likelihood of actual take to the latter Northern Florida coastal stock is relatively low, and this estimate assumes all takes would occur to this one stock. In the western North Atlantic, the Northern Florida Coastal Stock is present in coastal Atlantic waters from the Georgia/Florida border south to 29.4° N. (Waring et al., 2014), a span of more than 90 miles. There is no obvious boundary defining the offshore extent of this stock. They occur in waters less than 20 m deep; however, they may also occur in lower densities over the continental shelf (waters between 20 m and 100 m depth) and overlap spatially with the offshore morphotype (Waring et al., 2014).

    For the other stock, the Jacksonville Estuarine System stock, if all takes occurred to this one stock, this could take 46.36 percent of the stock (n=412). It is, however, highly unlikely that all takes would occur to this one stock due to their distribution relative to Bravo Wharf and social patterns within stock range. JES bottlenose dolphins range from Cumberland Sound at the Georgia-Florida border south to approximately Jacksonville Beach, FL, an area consisting of coastline and complex estuarine habitat of riverines and tidal marshes. Three behaviorally different communities exist within the JES stock: In estuarine waters north of St. Johns River (termed the Northern area), estuarine waters south of St. Johns River to Jacksonville Beach (the Southern area), and the coastal area (Caldwell 2001). Caldwell (2001) found that dolphins in the northern area exhibit year-round site fidelity and are the most isolated of the three communities. They are also not known to socialize with dolphins in the Southern area, which show summer site fidelity but traverse in and out of the Jacksonville area each year (Caldwell 2001). Dolphins in the coastal area are much more mobile, exhibit fluid social patterns, and show no long-term site fidelity. Furthermore, genetic analysis also supports differentiation from JES dolphins between the Northern and Southern areas (Caldwell 2011). Although members of both groups have been observed outside their preferred areas, it is likely that the majority of JES dolphins would not occur within waters ensonified by project activities. In summary, JES dolphins largely comprise two predominant groups and exhibit strong site fidelity to those areas, which does not significantly overlap with the larger ZOI, which is almost entirely confined within NSM.

    Furthermore, assessing potential impacts to individuals or stocks based on take estimates alone, in the absence of further context (e.g. quality of surrounding habitat, site fidelity, etc.), has limitations. It is common practice to estimate how many animals are likely to be present within a particular distance of a given activity, or exposed to a particular level of sound, given the many uncertainties in predicting the quantity and types of impacts of sound on marine mammals. In practice, depending on the amount of information available to characterize daily and seasonal movement and distribution of affected marine mammals, it can be difficult to distinguish between the number of individuals harassed and the instances of harassment and, when duration of the activity is considered, it can result in a take estimate that overestimates the number of individuals harassed. In particular, for stationary activities, it is more likely that some smaller number of individuals may accrue a number of incidences of harassment per individual than for each incidence to accrue to a new individual, especially if those individuals display some degree of residency or site fidelity and the impetus to use the site (e.g., because of foraging opportunities) is stronger than the deterrence presented by the harassing activity. Given stock distribution, site fidelity, social patterns, the small likelihood that all takes would occur to new individuals within this stock, and that fact that NSM does not include any particularly unique habitat to aggregate dolphins, the majority of JES dolphins are not expected to occur within ensonified waters of project activities. Therefore, proposed takes are not expected to exceed small numbers relative to stock abundance.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the proposed activity (including the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS preliminarily finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population size of the affected species or stocks.

    Unmitigable Adverse Impact 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)

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that each Federal agency insure that any action it authorizes, funds, or carries out 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.

    No incidental take of ESA-listed species is proposed for authorization or expected to result from this activity. Therefore, NMFS has determined that consultation under Section 7 of the ESA is not required for this action.

    Proposed Authorization

    As a result of these preliminary determinations, NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to the U.S. Navy for conducting pile driving associated with recapitalization of Bravo Wharf at NSM, Jacksonville, FL from March 13, 2018 to March 12, 2019, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. This section contains a draft of the IHA itself. The wording contained in this section is proposed for inclusion in the IHA (if issued).

    1. This Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) is valid for one year from March 13, 2018 to March 12, 2019.

    2. This IHA is valid only for pile driving activities associated with the Bravo Wharf Recapitalization Project at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

    3. General Conditions

    (a) A copy of this IHA must be in the possession of the Navy, its designees, and work crew personnel operating under the authority of this IHA.

    (b) The species authorized for taking is the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    (c) The taking, by Level B harassment only, is limited to the species listed in condition 3(b). See Table 1 for numbers of take authorized.

    Table 1—Authorized Take Numbers Species Proposed authorized take Level B Level A Bottlenose dolphin 191 0

    (d) The taking by injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or death of the species listed in condition 3(b) of the Authorization or any taking of any other species of marine mammal is prohibited and may result in the modification, suspension, or revocation of this IHA.

    (e) The Navy shall conduct briefings between construction supervisors and crews, marine mammal monitoring team, and Navy staff prior to the start of all pile driving activity, and when new personnel join the work, in order to explain responsibilities, communication procedures, marine mammal monitoring protocol, and operational procedures.

    4. Mitigation measures

    The holder of this Authorization is required to implement the following mitigation measures:

    (a) For all pile driving, the Navy shall implement a minimum shutdown zone of 15 m radius around the pile. If a marine mammal comes within or approaches the shutdown zone, such operations shall cease;

    (b) The Navy shall establish monitoring locations as described below. Please also refer to the Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan (see www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm);

    i. For all pile driving activities, a minimum of two observers shall be deployed, with one positioned to achieve optimal monitoring of the shutdown zone and the second positioned to achieve optimal monitoring of surrounding waters of the turning basin, the entrance to that basin, and portions of the Atlantic Ocean. If practicable, the second observer should be deployed to an elevated position, preferably opposite Bravo Wharf and with clear sight lines to the wharf and out the entrance channel;

    ii. These observers shall record all observations of marine mammals, regardless of distance from the pile being driven, as well as behavior and potential behavioral reactions of the animals. Observations within the turning basin shall be distinguished from those in the entrance channel and nearshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean; and

    iii. All observers shall be equipped for communication of marine mammal observations amongst themselves and to other relevant personnel (e.g., those necessary to effect activity delay or shutdown);

    (c) Monitoring shall take place from fifteen minutes prior to initiation of pile driving activity through thirty minutes post-completion of pile driving activity. In the event of a delay or shutdown of activity resulting from marine mammals in the shutdown zone, animals shall be allowed to remain in the shutdown zone (i.e., must leave of their own volition) and their behavior shall be monitored and documented. Monitoring shall occur throughout the time required to drive a pile. The shutdown zone must be determined to be clear during periods of good visibility (i.e., the entire shutdown zone and surrounding waters must be visible to the naked eye);

    (d) If a marine mammal approaches or enters the shutdown zone, all pile driving activities at that location shall be halted. If pile driving is halted or delayed due to the presence of a marine mammal, the activity may not commence or resume until either the animal has voluntarily left and been visually confirmed beyond the shutdown zone or fifteen minutes have passed without re-detection of the animal. No pile driving may occur if any whale is detected within the Level B harassment zone (e.g. pile driving must be delayed or cease until the animal leaves the ZOI for at least 30 minutes).

    (e) Monitoring shall be conducted by qualified observers, as described in the Monitoring Plan. Trained observers shall be placed from the best vantage point(s) practicable to monitor for marine mammals and implement shutdown or delay procedures when applicable through communication with the equipment operator. Observer training must be provided prior to project start and in accordance with the monitoring plan, and shall include instruction on species identification (sufficient to distinguish the species listed in 3(b)), description and categorization of observed behaviors and interpretation of behaviors that may be construed as being reactions to the specified activity, proper completion of data forms, and other basic components of biological monitoring, including tracking of observed animals or groups of animals such that repeat sound exposures may be attributed to individuals (to the extent possible);

    (f) The Navy shall use soft start techniques recommended by NMFS for impact pile driving. Soft start requires contractors to provide an initial set of strikes at reduced energy, followed by a thirty-second waiting period, then two subsequent reduced energy strike sets. Soft start shall be implemented at the start of each day's impact pile driving and at any time following cessation of impact pile driving for a period of thirty minutes or longer; and

    (g) Pile driving shall only be conducted during daylight hours.

    5. Monitoring

    The holder of this Authorization is required to conduct marine mammal monitoring during pile driving activity. Marine mammal monitoring and reporting shall be conducted in accordance with the Monitoring Plan.

    (a) The Navy shall collect sighting data and behavioral responses to pile driving for marine mammal species observed in the region of activity during the period of activity. All observers shall be trained in marine mammal identification and behaviors, and shall have no other construction-related tasks while conducting monitoring.

    (b) For all marine mammal monitoring, the information shall be recorded as described in the Monitoring Plan.

    6. Reporting

    The holder of this Authorization is required to:

    (a) Submit a draft report on all monitoring conducted under the IHA within ninety days of the completion of marine mammal monitoring, or sixty days prior to the issuance of any subsequent IHA for projects at NSM, whichever comes first. A final report shall be prepared and submitted within thirty days following resolution of comments on the draft report from NMFS. This report must contain the informational elements described in the Monitoring Plan, at minimum, and shall also include:

    i. Detailed information about any implementation of shutdowns, including the distance of animals to the pile and description of specific actions that ensued and resulting behavior of the animal, if any;

    ii. Description of attempts to distinguish between the number of individual animals taken and the number of incidents of take, such as ability to track groups or individuals; and

    iii. An estimated total take estimate extrapolated from the number of marine mammals observed during the course of construction activities, if necessary;

    (b) Reporting injured or dead marine mammals:

    i. In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by this IHA, such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality, Navy shall immediately cease the specified activities and report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Southeast Regional Stranding Coordinator, NMFS. The report must include the following information:

    A. Time and date of the incident;

    B. Description of the incident;

    C. Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    D. Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    E. Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    F. Fate of the animal(s); and

    G. Photographs or video footage of the animal(s).

    Activities shall not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS will work with Navy to determine what measures are necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. Navy may not resume their activities until notified by NMFS.

    ii. In the event that Navy discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead observer determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (e.g., in less than a moderate state of decomposition), Navy shall immediately report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Southeast Regional Stranding Coordinator, NMFS.

    The report must include the same information identified in 6(b)(i) of this IHA. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS will work with Navy to determine whether additional mitigation measures or modifications to the activities are appropriate; and

    iii. In the event that Navy discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead observer determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, scavenger damage), Navy shall report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Southeast Regional Stranding Coordinator, NMFS, within 24 hours of the discovery. Navy shall provide photographs or video footage or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS.

    7. This Authorization may be modified, suspended or withdrawn if the holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein, or if NMFS determines the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals.

    Request for Public Comments

    We request comment on our analyses, the draft authorization, and any other aspect of this Notice of Proposed IHA for the proposed construction activities. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the request for MMPA authorization.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25482 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF857 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold public meetings of the Council and its Committees.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held Monday, December 11, 2017 through Thursday, December 14, 2017. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at: The Westin Annapolis, 100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, telephone: (410) 972-4300.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255. The Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org also has details on the meeting location, proposed agenda, webinar listen-in access, and briefing materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following items are on the agenda, though agenda items may be addressed out of order (changes will be noted on the Council's Web site when possible.)

    Monday, December 11, 2017 Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management Risk Assessment Review and approve EAFM based assessment Risk Policy Framework—Meeting 2 Review and approve recommended modifications to Council's Risk Policy Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization Review proposed MSA reauthorization legislation and CCC Working Paper Tilefish Survey Project Report Update of the fisheries-independent pilot survey for tilefish Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Executive Committee—CLOSED SESSION Ricks E Savage Award Squid Buffer Zone Framework—Meeting 1 Discuss framework goals and review and approve preliminary alternatives Chub Mackerel Amendment Review scoping comments and discuss next steps Law Enforcement Reports Reports will be received from the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard Scup Recreational Specifications Review Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations and adopt recommendations for 2018 Federal waters management measures Summer Flounder Recreational Specifications Review Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations and recommend Conservation Equivalency or coastwide management and associated measures for 2018 Summer Flounder Amendment Review and approve November 2017 Demersal Committee recommendations for further staff analysis Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Black Sea Bass Recreational Specifications Review Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations and adopt recommendations for 2018 Federal waters management measures. Review Wave 1 fishery implementation. Board Addendum XXX Black Sea Bass Wave 1 Letter of Authorization Framework Review background and provide guidance for development of draft alternatives Black Sea Bass Amendment Review initiation of black sea bass amendment (December 2015 motion) Bluefish Amendment Initiate Bluefish Amendment and discuss next steps Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Presentation Updates of Atlantic Offshore Renewable Projects and Atlantic Renewable Energy Studies Thursday, December 14, 2017 2018 Implementation Plan Review and approve 2018 Implementation Plan Business Session Committee Reports; Executive Director's Report (Golden Tilefish IFQ review and NEFMC Framework 57 update); Science Report; Organization Reports; Liaison Reports Continuing and New Business

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: November 21, 2017. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25640 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Addition and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed addition to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add service to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products and service previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information or to submit comments contact: Amy B. Jensen, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Addition

    If the Committee approves the proposed addition, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the service listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities. The following service is proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Service Service Type: Grounds Maintenance Mandatory for: US Navy NAVFAC Mid Atlantic, Greater Sandy Run Area, Camp Davis, Onslow Beach, Wilson Bay, Hwy 24 Bell Fork foot Bridge & Verona Loop, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC Mandatory Source of Supply: Coastal Enterprises of Jacksonville, Inc., Jacksonville, NC Contracting Activity: DEPT OF THE NAVY, NAVAL FAC ENGINEERING CMD MID LANT Deletion

    The following products and service are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSNs/Product Names: 9905-02-000-8089/Holder, Label, Brass 9905-02-000-8698/Holder, Label, Brass Mandatory Source of Supply: CW Resources, Inc., New Britain, CT Contracting Activity: U.S. Postal Service, Eagan, Eagan, MN NSN/Product Name: 3920-02-000-1915/Bar Assembly, Door Mandatory Source of Supply: Rauch, Inc., New Albany, IN Contracting Activity: USPS, Topeka Purchasing Center, Topeka, KS NSNs/Product Names: 7510-01-600-7561/Wall Calendar, Dated 2017, Wire Bound w/hanger, 15.5″ x 22″ 7510-01-600-7564/Monthly Wall Calendar, Dated 2017, Jan-Dec, 81/2″ x 11″ 7510-01-600-7622/Wall Calendar, Dated 2017, Wire Bound w/Hanger, 12″ x 17″ 7530-01-600-7578/Daily Desk Planner, Dated 2017, Wire bound, Non-refillable, Black Cover 7530-01-600-7592/Weekly Desk Planner, Dated 2017, Wire Bound, Non-refillable, Black Cover 7530-01-600-7600/Weekly Planner Book, Dated 2017, 5″ x 8″, Digital Camouflage 7530-01-600-7611/Monthly Desk Planner, Dated 2017, Wire Bound, Non-refillable, Black Cover Mandatory Source of Supply: Chicago Lighthouse Industries, Chicago, IL Contracting Activity: GSA/FSS OFC SUP CTR—PAPER PRODUCTS, NEW YORK, NY NSN/Product Name: 7510-01-600-8034/Dated 2017 12-Month 2-Sided Laminated Wall Planner, 24″ x 37″ Contracting Activity: GSA/FSS HOUSEHOLD AND INDUSTRIAL FURNITURE NSN/Product Name: 3990-00-NSH-0078/Pallet, Treated Wood, 70″ x 42″ Contracting Activity: DEPT OF JUST/FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM NSNs/Product Names: 8415-01-542-8496—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, MR 8415-01-542-8497—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 1, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, LR 8415-01-542-8498—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XL 8415-01-542-8499—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XL 8415-01-542-8500—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXL 8415-01-542-8501—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXLL 8415-01-542-8502—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XS 8415-01-542-8504—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 1, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, LL 8415-01-542-8505—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXXLL 8415-01-542-8575—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXLL 8415-01-542-8576—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXXLL 8415-01-542-8577—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXXLL 8415-01-542-8580—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, LL 8415-01-542-8581—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, MR 8415-01-542-8582—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, SR 8415-01-542-8584—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XL 8415-01-542-8586—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXL 8415-01-542-8587—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XLL 8415-01-542-8588—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XS 8415-01-542-8589—Trousers, Loft Level 7, ECWCS, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, LR 8415-01-543-0377—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXXLL 8415-01-543-0382—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXL 8415-01-543-0384—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, LR 8415-01-543-0386—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXXLL 8415-01-543-0391—Vest, Loft, Level 7 Epic by Nextec, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, SR 8415-01-543-0392—Vest, Loft, Level 7 Epic by Nextec, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, MR 8415-01-543-0396—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, LL 8415-01-543-0399—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XL 8415-01-543-0401—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XLL 8415-01-543-0403—Vest, Loft, Rainproof, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XXXLL 8415-01-543-0404—Vest, Loft, Level 7 Epic by Nextec, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XS 8415-01-543-1605— Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, PCU, Type 1, Army, Alpha Green, XXXL 8415-01-543-1613—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 1, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, SR 8415-01-543-7022—Pants, Loft, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, ML 8415-01-543-7042—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 1, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, ML 8415-01-576-2044—Jacket, Wet Weather Level 6, PCU, Army, Men's, Desert Camouflage, XSR 8415-01-576-0098—Jacket, Wet Weather Level 6, PCU, Army, Men's, Desert Camouflage, MR 8415-01-576-2048—Jacket, Wet Weather Level 6, PCU, Army, Men's, Desert Camouflage, XXL 8415-01-543-7044 PCU Level 7 Loft Vest Alpha Green ML Contracting Activity: W6QK ACC-APG NATICK, DEPT OF THE ARMY Service Service Type/Location: Custodial Services/Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, Norfolk, VA Mandatory Source of Supply: Didlake, Inc., Manassas, VA Contracting Activity: DEPT OF THE NAVY, NAVAL FAC ENGINEERING CMD MID LANT. Patricia Briscoe, Deputy Director, Business Operations, (Pricing and Information Management).
    [FR Doc. 2017-25545 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Addition and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Addition to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds a service to the Procurement List that will be provided by nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes a product and services from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Date added to the Procurement List: December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy B. Jensen, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Addition

    On 9/22/2017 (82 FR, No. 183), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed addition to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agency to provide the service and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the service listed below is suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organization that will provide the service to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing a small entity to provide the service to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the service proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following service is added to the Procurement List:

    Service Service Type: Custodial Service Mandatory for: USDA Forest Service, Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor's Office, Jackson Ranger District & Teton Interagency Helibase, Jackson, WY Mandatory Source of Supply: Development Workshop, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID Contracting Activity: USDA FOREST SERVICE Deletions

    On 10/10/2017 (82 FR, No. 194) and 10/20/2017 (82 FR, No. 202), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the product and services listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the product and services to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the product and services deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following product and services are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Product NSN—Product Name: 8470-00-NSH-0031—Center Mounted Weapon Harness Mandatory Source of Supply: Employment Source, Inc., Fayetteville, NC Contracting Activity: Army Contracting Command—Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, MA Services Service Type: Mail and Messenger Service Mandatory for: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southern Division, Charleston, SC Mandatory Source of Supply: Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina, Inc., North Charleston, SC Contracting Activity: DEPT OF THE NAVY, NAVY FACILITIES ENGINEERING COMMAND Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: GSA, Parking Facilities Spring and Pearl Streets, Columbus, OH Mandatory Source of Supply: VGS, Inc., Cleveland, OH Contracting Activity: PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT DIVISION Patricia Briscoe, Deputy Director, Business Operations, (Pricing and Information Management)
    [FR Doc. 2017-25544 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Notice of Intent To Prepare An Environmental Impact Statement And Environmental Impact Report for the Edwards Air Force Base Solar Enhanced Use Lease Project AGENCY:

    Department of the States Air Force.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Air Force (The Air Force) is issuing this notice to advise the public of the intent to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report with the County of Kern, California. The Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report will assess the potential environmental consequences of various alternatives for development of the Edwards Air Force Base Solar Enhanced Use Lease Project.

    DATES:

    The Air Force invites the public, stakeholders, and other interested parties to attend an open house public scoping meeting on December 12, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mojave Veterans Memorial Building located at address 15580 O Street, Mojave, California 93501.

    ADDRESSES:

    Scoping comments may also be submitted to: Gary Hatch, Environmental Public Affairs, Bldg. 1405 Room 400, Edwards Air Force Base, California 93524; email: [email protected], Phone: 661-277-4127, Fax: (661) 277-2732. Handicap assistance or translation service at public meetings can be made available by providing advance notice to Mr. Hatch at the contact information listed above.

    Comments will be accepted at any time during the environmental impact analysis process. However, to ensure the Air Force has sufficient time to consider public input in the preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, scoping comments should be submitted by January 12, 2017.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Solar Enhanced Use Lease Project will be sited up to 4,000 acres of available, non-excess Air Force land located on Edwards Air Force Base. Alternatives which meet the purpose and need for the Proposed Action have been identified and include the No Action Alternative and two additional alternatives. Alternative A includes full-scale project development of a 600 Megawatt solar PV project and construction of a 150 Megawatt battery storage facility on up to 4,000 acres of Edwards Air Force Base property located in the northwestern corner of the base. Alternative B represents a reduced-scale alternative for the construction and operation of a 200 Megawatt solar PV project and construction of a 150 Megawatt battery storage facility. Under Alternative B, the reduced-scale project will be sited on up to 1,500 acres of Edwards Air Force Base non-excess property within the same project footprint as Alternative A. The project also includes construction of a Gen-tie line of approximately 10-14 miles in total length. The Gen-tie includes a north-south component and an east-west component. There are three alternatives for the north-south Gen-tie connection. The Proposed Action will include only one of these three north-south route options. There are two alternatives for the east-west Gen-tie connection. The Proposed Action will include only one of these two east-west route options. The Proposed Action is subject to the requirements and objectives of Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, as amended. All alternatives for the Proposed Action, including alternatives for the Gen-tie line will result in impacts to floodplains.

    Scoping and Agency Coordination: To effectively define the full range of issues to be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report, the Air Force will determine the scope of the analysis by soliciting comments from interested local, state and federal elected officials and agencies, as well as interested members of the public and others. Implementation of the Edwards Solar Enhanced Use Lease Project would have the potential to be located in a floodplain and/or wetland. Consistent with the requirements and objectives of Executive Order 11990, “Protection of Wetlands,” and Executive Order 11988, “Floodplain Management,” as amended by Executive Order 13690, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input,” state and federal regulatory agencies with special expertise in wetlands and floodplains will be contacted to request comment. Consistent with Executive Order 11988, Executive Order 13690, and Executive Order 11990, this Notice of Intent initiates early public review of the alternatives that have the potential to be located in a floodplain and/or wetland. Notification of the meeting locations, dates, and times will be published and announced in local news media no later than 15 days prior to public scoping meetings.

    The scoping process will help identify the full range of reasonable alternatives, potential impacts, and key issues to be emphasized in the environmental analysis. The Air Force has identified potential impacts to the following resources: Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural and Historical Resources, Water Resources, Land Use, Paleontological Resources, Soils, and Visual Resources. Scoping will assist the Air Force and Kern County in identifying and addressing other issues of concern.

    Oral and written comments presented at the public scoping meetings, as well as written comments received by the Air Force or County of Kern will be considered in the preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Report.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25556 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of the Air Force, Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    Under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150, the Department of Defense announces that the United States Air Force (USAF) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) Winter Board meeting will take place on 23 January 2018 at the Beckman Center of National Academies of Science and Engineering, located at 100 Academy Drive, Irvine, California 92617. The purpose of this Air Force Scientific Advisory Board quarterly meeting is to kick-off the Scientific Advisory Board's FY18 studies, offering board members the opportunity to hear directly from a wide-range of Department of Defense subject matter experts and provide dedicated time to begin collaboration on research. The meeting will occur from 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, 23 January 2018. The session that will be open to the general public will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on 23 January 2018. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.155, a number of sessions of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Winter Board meeting will be closed to the general public because they will discuss classified information and matters covered by Section 552b of Title 5, United States Code, subsection (c), subparagraph (1).

    Any member of the public that wishes to attend this meeting or provide input to the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board must contact the Scientific Advisory Board meeting organizer at the phone number or email address listed in this announcement at least five working days prior to the meeting date. Please ensure that you submit your written statement in accordance with 41 CFR 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Statements being submitted in response to the agenda mentioned in this notice must be received by the Scientific Advisory Board meeting organizer at least five calendar days prior to the meeting commencement date. The Scientific Advisory Board meeting organizer will review all timely submissions and respond to them prior to the start of the meeting identified in this notice. Written statements received after this date may not be considered by the Scientific Advisory Board until the next scheduled meeting.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Scientific Advisory Board meeting organizer, Lt Col Mike Rigoni at [email protected] or 703-695-4297, United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 1500 West Perimeter Road, Ste. #3300, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25555 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket DARS-2017-0018; OMB Control Number 0704-0525] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Part 225 and 252 Provision on Prohibition of Foreign Commercial Satellite Services From Certain Foreign Entities-Representations AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed extension of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, DoD announces the proposed extension of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. DoD invites comments on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection requirement for use through January 31, 2018. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for use for three additional years beyond the current expiration date.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0525, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0525 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Amy Williams, OUSD (AT&L) DPAP/DARS, Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Instructions: Search for “Docket Number: DARS-2017-0018.” Select “Comment Now” and follow the instructions provided to submit a comment. All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Amy Williams, 571-372-6106.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and OMB Number: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Part 225 and 252.225-7049, Prohibition on Acquisition of Commercial Satellite Services from Certain Foreign Entities-Representations; OMB Control Number 0704-0525.

    Needs and Uses: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) provision 252.225-7049, Prohibition on Acquisition of Commercial Satellite Services from Certain Foreign Entities—Representations, is used by contracting officers to determine whether the offeror is subject to the statutory prohibition on award of contracts for commercial satellite services to certain foreign entities.

    Type of Collection: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 256.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 256.

    Average Burden per Response: .25 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 64.

    Frequency: On Occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    The provision is included in solicitations for the acquisition of foreign commercial satellite services and requires the offeror to represent whether it is or is not a foreign entity subject to the prohibitions of the statute, or is or is not offering foreign commercial satellite services provided by such a foreign entity. If the offeror responds affirmatively to any of the representations, then the offeror must provide further information.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Regulatory Control Officer, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25560 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0097] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; State and Local Educational Agency Record and Reporting Requirements Under Part B of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act AGENCY:

    Department of Education (ED), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2017-ICCD-0097. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 216-32, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Rebecca Walawender, 202-245-7399.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: State and Local Educational Agency Record and Reporting Requirements Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    OMB Control Number: 1820-0600.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 73,503.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 347,449.

    Abstract: OMB Information Collection 1820-0600 reflects the provisions in the Act and the Part B regulations requiring States and/or local educational agencies (LEAs) to collect and maintain information or data and, in some cases, report information or data to other public agencies or to the public. However, such information or data are not reported to the Secretary. Data are collected in the areas of private schools, parentally placed private school students, State high cost fund, notification of free and low cost legal services, early intervening services, notification of hearing officers and mediators, State complaint procedures, and the LEA application under Part B.

    Dated: November 22, 2017. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25702 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0100] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act AGENCY:

    Department of Education (ED), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2017-ICCD-0100. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 216-32, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Rebecca Walawender, 202-245-7399.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    OMB Control Number: 1820-0030.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 60.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 840.

    Abstract: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, signed on December 3, 2004, became Public Law 108-446. In accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1412(a) a State is eligible for assistance under Part B for a fiscal year if the State submits a plan that provides assurances to the Secretary that the State has in effect policies and procedures to ensure that the State meets each of the conditions found in 20 U.S.C. 1412.

    Dated: November 22, 2017. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25705 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Public Availability of Department of Energy FY 2016 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public availability of FY 2016 Service Contract inventories.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with Section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), the Department of Energy (DOE) is publishing this notice to advise the public on the availability of the FY 2016 Service Contract inventory. This inventory provides information on service contract actions over $25,000 that DOE completed in FY 2016. The inventory has been developed in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).

    FY 2016 government-wide service contract inventory can be found at https://www.acquisition.gov/service-contract-inventory. The Department of Energy's service contract inventory data is included in the government-wide inventory posted on the above link and the government-wide inventory can be filtered to display the inventory data for the Department.

    DOE has posted its FY 2015 Analysis and the FY 2016 Analysis Plan at: http://energy.gov/management/downloads/service-contract-inventory.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions regarding the service contract inventory should be directed to Jeff Davis in the Strategic Programs Division at 202-287-1877 or [email protected]

    Dated: October 5, 2017. John R. Bashista, Director, Office of Acquisition Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25511 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. DI17-12-000] Notice of Declaration of Intention and Soliciting Comments, Protests, and Motions To Intervene; Ram Valley, LLC

    Take notice that the following application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Declaration of Intention.

    b. Docket No: DI17-12-000.

    c. Date Filed: September 22, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Ram Valley, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Juniper Creek Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The proposed Juniper Creek Hydroelectric Project would be located near the Town of Eagle River, in the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Section 23(b)(1) of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 817(b) (2012).

    h. Applicant Contact: David Brailey, managing member, Ram Valley LLC, 3527 North Point Drive, Anchorage, AK 99502, telephone: (907) 248-0058; email: [email protected]; Agent Contact: David Brailey, owner, Brailey Hydrologic, 3527 North Point Drive, Anchorage, AK 99502, telephone: (907) 248-0058

    i. FERC Contact: Any questions on this notice should be addressed to Jennifer Polardino, (202) 502-6437, or email: [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, protests, and motions to intervene is: 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. This supersedes the due date of the October 4, 2017 public notice issued for this proceeding.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, protests, and motions to intervene using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number DI17-12-000.

    k. Description of Project: The proposed run-of-river Juniper Creek Hydroelectric Project would consist of: (1) A low-head diversion structure on Juniper Creek; (2) a 16-inch-diameter, 1,125-foot-long buried penstock; (3) a 20-foot-wide, 20-foot-long powerhouse containing a 320-kilowatt generating unit; (4) a 40-foot-long tailrace returning water to Juniper Creek; (5) a 1,700-foot-long, 13.8-kilovolt underground transmission line; (6) access trails; and (7) appurtenant facilities.

    When a Declaration of Intention is filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Power Act requires the Commission to investigate and determine if the project would affect the interests of interstate or foreign commerce. The Commission also determines whether or not the project: (1) Would be located on a navigable waterway; (2) would occupy public lands or reservations of the United States; (3) would utilize surplus water or water power from a government dam; or (4) would be located on a non-navigable stream over which Congress has Commerce Clause jurisdiction and would be constructed or enlarged after 1935.

    l. Locations of the Application: This filing may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above and in the Commission's Public Reference Room located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, and .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must bear in all capital letters the title COMMENTS, PROTESTS, and MOTIONS TO INTERVENE, as applicable, and the Docket Number of the particular application to which the filing refers. A copy of any Motion to Intervene must also be served upon each representative of the Applicant specified in the particular application.

    p. Agency Comments: Federal, state, and local agencies are invited to file comments on the described application. A copy of the application may be obtained by agencies directly from the Applicant. If an agency does not file comments within the time specified for filing comments, it will be presumed to have no comments. One copy of an agency's comments must also be sent to the Applicant's representatives.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25483 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order on Intent To Revoke Market-Based Rate Authority Before Commissioners: Neil Chatterjee, Chairman; Cheryl A. LaFleur, and Robert F. Powelson. Docket Nos. Electric Quarterly Reports ER02-2001-020 Niagara Generation, LLC ER10-3154-000 C2K Energy, LLC ER14-1751-001 RDAF Energy Solutions, LLC ER16-895-002 Castlebridge Energy Group LLC ER11-4629-000 Intercom Energy, Inc. ER11-125-000 Chesapeake Renewable Energy LLC ER13-28-001 EmpireCo Limited Partnership ER11-2882-001

    1. Section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824d (2012), and 18 CFR part 35 (2017), require, among other things, that all rates, terms, and conditions for jurisdictional services be filed with the Commission. In Order No. 2001, the Commission revised its public utility filing requirements and established a requirement for public utilities, including power marketers, to file Electric Quarterly Reports.1

    1Revised Public Utility Filing Requirements, Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-A, 100 FERC ¶ 61,074, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-B, 100 FERC ¶ 61,342, order directing filing, Order No. 2001-C, 101 FERC ¶ 61,314 (2002), order directing filing, Order No. 2001-D, 102 FERC ¶ 61,334, order refining filing requirements, Order No. 2001-E, 105 FERC ¶ 61,352 (2003), order on clarification, Order No. 2001-F, 106 FERC ¶ 61,060 (2004), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-G, 120 FERC ¶ 61,270, order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 2001-H, 121 FERC ¶ 61,289 (2007), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-I, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,282 (2008). See also Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements, 155 FERC ¶ 61,280, order on reh'g and clarification, 157 FERC ¶ 61,180 (2016) (clarifying Electric Quarterly Reports reporting requirements and updating Data Dictionary).

    2. The Commission requires sellers with market-based rate authorization to file Electric Quarterly Reports summarizing contractual and transaction information related to their market-based power sales as a condition for retaining that authorization.2 Commission staff's review of the Electric Quarterly Reports indicates that the following seven public utilities with market-based rate authorization have failed to file their Electric Quarterly Reports: Niagara Generation, LLC, C2K Energy, LLC, RDAF Energy Solutions, LLC, Castlebridge Energy Group LLC, Intercom Energy, Inc., Chesapeake Renewable Energy LLC, and EmpireCo Limited Partnership. This order notifies these public utilities that their market-based rate authorizations will be revoked unless they comply with the Commission's requirements within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order.

    2See Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 (2015), order on reh'g, Order No. 816-A, 155 FERC ¶ 61,188 (2016); Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252, at P 3, clarified, 121 FERC ¶ 61,260 (2007), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268, clarified, 124 FERC ¶ 61,055, order on reh'g, Order No. 697-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,285 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,291 (2009), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-D, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,305 (2010), aff'd sub nom. Mont. Consumer Counsel v. FERC, 659 F.3d 910 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 26 (2012).

    3. In Order No. 2001, the Commission stated that,

    [i]f a public utility fails to file a[n] Electric Quarterly Report (without an appropriate request for extension), or fails to report an agreement in a report, that public utility may forfeit its market-based rate authority and may be required to file a new application for market-based rate authority if it wishes to resume making sales at market-based rates.3

    3 Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127 at P 222.

    4. The Commission further stated that,

    [o]nce this rule becomes effective, the requirement to comply with this rule will supersede the conditions in public utilities' market-based rate authorizations, and failure to comply with the requirements of this rule will subject public utilities to the same consequences they would face for not satisfying the conditions in their rate authorizations, including possible revocation of their authority to make wholesale power sales at market-based rates.4

    4Id. P 223.

    5. Pursuant to these requirements, the Commission has revoked the market-based rate tariffs of market-based rate sellers that failed to submit their Electric Quarterly Reports.5

    5See, e.g., Electric Quarterly Reports, 80 FR 58,243 (Sep. 28, 2015); Electric Quarterly Reports, 79 FR 65,651 (Nov. 5, 2014).

    6. Sellers must file Electric Quarterly Reports consistent with the procedures set forth in Order Nos. 2001, 768,6 and 770.7 The exact filing dates for Electric Quarterly Reports are prescribed in 18 CFR 35.10b (2017). As noted above, Commission staff's review of the Electric Quarterly Reports for the period up to the second quarter of 2017 identified seven public utilities with market-based rate authorization that failed to file Electric Quarterly Reports. Commission staff contacted or attempted to contact these entities to remind them of their regulatory obligations. Despite these reminders, the public utilities listed in the caption of this order have not met these obligations. Accordingly, this order notifies these public utilities that their market-based rate authorizations will be revoked unless they comply with the Commission's requirements within 15 days of the issuance of this order.

    6Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act, Order No. 768, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,336 (2012), order on reh'g, Order No. 768-A, 143 FERC ¶ 61,054 (2013).

    7Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process, Order No. 770, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,338 (2012).

    7. In the event that any of the above-captioned market-based rate sellers has already filed its Electric Quarterly Reports in compliance with the Commission's requirements, its inclusion herein is inadvertent. Such market-based rate seller is directed, within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order, to make a filing with the Commission identifying itself and providing details about its prior filings that establish that it complied with the Commission's Electric Quarterly Report filing requirements.

    8. If any of the above-captioned market-based rate sellers does not wish to continue having market-based rate authority, it may file a notice of cancellation with the Commission pursuant to section 205 of the FPA to cancel its market-based rate tariff.

    The Commission orders:

    (A) Within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order, each public utility listed in the caption of this order shall file with the Commission all delinquent Electric Quarterly Reports. If a public utility subject to this order fails to make the filings required in this order, the Commission will revoke that public utility's market-based rate authorization and will terminate its electric market-based rate tariff. The Secretary is hereby directed, upon expiration of the filing deadline in this order, to promptly issue a notice, effective on the date of issuance, listing the public utilities whose tariffs have been revoked for failure to comply with the requirements of this order and the Commission's Electric Quarterly Report filing requirements.

    (B) The Secretary is hereby directed to publish this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: November 20, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25485 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL18-31-000] Notice of Complaint; Clear River Energy Center LLC v. ISO New England Inc., New England Power Company, New England Participating Transmission Owners

    Take notice that on November 17, 2017, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824e, and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Clear River Energy Center LLC, (Complainant) filed a formal complaint against ISO New England Inc. (ISO-NE), New England Power Company, New England Participating Transmission Owners (collectively, Respondents) alleging that ISO-NE's Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff is unjust and unreasonable, anticompetitive and unduly discriminatory, all as more fully explained in the complaint.

    Complainants certifies that a copy of the complaint was served on respondents.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondents' answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondents' answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 7, 2017.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25484 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP18-13-000] Notice of Application; Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC

    Take notice that on November 3, 2017, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gas), 700 Louisiana Street, Suite 700, Houston, Texas 77002-2700, filed in Docket No. CP18-13-000, an application under sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act for the proposed Line 8000 Replacement Project (Project). Specifically, Columbia Gas requests authorization to: (i) Replace approximately 14 miles of bare steel pipeline; and (ii) abandon multiple taps, all located in Mineral County, West Virginia and Allegany County, Maryland, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The project costs approximately $18.2 million and Columbia Gas requests pre-determination of rolled-in rate treatment and surcharges. The Project is part of Columbia Gas's multi-year, comprehensive modernization program to address its aging infrastructure. This filing may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886)208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding this Application should be directed counsel for Columbia, Lauri Newton, Director of Regulatory and Commercial Law, TransCanada Corporation, 700 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77002; Telephone: (832) 320-5177.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 7 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenter's will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenter's will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentary, will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. See, 18 CFR 385.2001(a) (1) (iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site under the e-Filing link.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 8, 2017.

    Dated: November 17, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25486 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [9970-26-OEI] Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, State of Tennessee AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's approval of the State of Tennessee's request to revise its EPA Administered Permit Programs: The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System EPA-authorized program to allow electronic reporting.

    DATES:

    EPA approves the State of Tennessee's authorized program revision as of November 27, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Seeh, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Information, Mail Stop 2823T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, (202) 566-1175, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 13, 2005, the final Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR) was published in the Federal Register (70 FR 59848) and codified as part 3 of title 40 of the CFR. CROMERR establishes electronic reporting as an acceptable regulatory alternative to paper reporting and establishes requirements to assure that electronic documents are as legally dependable as their paper counterparts. Subpart D of CROMERR requires that state, tribal or local government agencies that receive, or wish to begin receiving, electronic reports under their EPA-authorized programs must apply to EPA for a revision or modification of those programs and obtain EPA approval. Subpart D provides standards for such approvals based on consideration of the electronic document receiving systems that the state, tribe, or local government will use to implement the electronic reporting. Additionally, § 3.1000(b) through (e) of 40 CFR part 3, subpart D provides special procedures for program revisions and modifications to allow electronic reporting, to be used at the option of the state, tribe or local government in place of procedures available under existing program-specific authorization regulations. An application submitted under the subpart D procedures must show that the state, tribe or local government has sufficient legal authority to implement the electronic reporting components of the programs covered by the application and will use electronic document receiving systems that meet the applicable subpart D requirements.

    On October 17, 2017, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) submitted an application titled “Construction Stormwater System” for revision to its EPA-approved program under title 40 CFR to allow new electronic reporting. EPA reviewed TDEC's request to revise its EPA-authorized Part 123—EPA Administered Permit Programs: The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program and, based on this review, EPA determined that the application met the standards for approval of authorized program revision/modification set out in 40 CFR part 3, subpart D. In accordance with 40 CFR 3.1000(d), this notice of EPA's decision to approve Tennessee's request to revise its Part 123—EPA Administered Permit Programs: The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program to allow electronic reporting under 40 CFR part 122 and 125 is being published in the Federal Register.

    TDEC was notified of EPA's determination to approve its application with respect to the authorized program listed above.

    Matthew Leopard, Director, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25572 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0007; FRL-9968-48] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active Ingredients AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the Docket Identification (ID) Number and the File Symbol of interest as show in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]; or Michael Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected] The mailing address for each contact person is: Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. As part of the mailing address, include the contact person's name, division, and mail code. The division to contact is listed at the end of each application summary.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Registration Applications

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the provisions of FIFRA section 3(c)(4) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Notice of receipt of these applications does not imply a decision by the Agency on these applications.

    III. New Active Ingredients

    1. File symbol: 279-GAGR and 279-GAGN. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0417. Applicant: FMC Corporation, 1735 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Product names: Valifenalate Technical and F9177-2 WG. Active ingredient: Fungicide and Valifenalate at 98.4% (Valifenalate Technical) and 10% (F9177-2 WG). Proposed use: Classification/Use Bulb vegetable crop group 3-07, cucurbit vegetable crop group 9, fruiting vegetable crop group 8, celery, and potatoes. Contact: RD.

    2. File Symbol: 87645-G. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0461. Applicant: Envera, LLC, 220 Garfield Ave., West Chester, PA 19380. Product name: ENV503 Biofungicide MUP. Active ingredient: Fungicide and Bactericide—Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain ENV503 at 1.30%. Proposed use: Manufacturing use. Contact: BPPD.

    3. File Symbol: 87645-U. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0461. Applicant: Envera, LLC, 220 Garfield Ave., West Chester, PA 19380. Product name: ENV503 Biofungicide Wettable Powder. Active ingredient: Fungicide and Bactericide—Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain ENV503 at 0.15%. Proposed use: Broad-spectrum, preventative biofungicide for control or suppression of fungal and bacterial plant diseases in agricultural, field, nursery, and forested areas and as a seed treatment. Contact: BPPD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Delores Barber, Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25566 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0006; FRL-9968-55] Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of filing of petitions and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the Agency's receipt of several initial filings of pesticide petitions requesting the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number and the pesticide petition number (PP) of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected], Michael Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected] The mailing address for each contact person is: Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for the division listed at the end of the pesticide petition summary of interest.

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

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low-income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is announcing its receipt of several pesticide petitions filed under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, requesting the establishment or modification of regulations in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various food commodities. The Agency is taking public comment on the requests before responding to the petitioners. EPA is not proposing any particular action at this time. EPA has determined that the pesticide petitions described in this document contain the data or information prescribed in FFDCA section 408(d)(2), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(2); however, EPA has not fully evaluated the sufficiency of the submitted data at this time or whether the data support granting of the pesticide petitions. After considering the public comments, EPA intends to evaluate whether and what action may be warranted. Additional data may be needed before EPA can make a final determination on these pesticide petitions.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 180.7(f), a summary of each of the petitions that are the subject of this document, prepared by the petitioner, is included in a docket EPA has created for each rulemaking. The docket for each of the petitions is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

    As specified in FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), EPA is publishing notice of the petition so that the public has an opportunity to comment on this request for the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticides in or on food commodities. Further information on the petition may be obtained through the petition summary referenced in this unit.

    IV. New Tolerances for Non-Inerts

    1. PP 7F8557. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0429). E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Chestnut Run Plaza, 974 Centre Road, Wilmington, DE 19805, requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the fungicide picoxystrobin in or on alfalfa, forage at 4 parts per million (ppm); alfalfa, hay at 5 ppm; alfalfa, seed at 9 ppm; almond hulls at 15 ppm; cotton, gin by-products at 40 ppm; cottonseed (Crop Subgroup 20C) at 4 ppm; grass, forage (Grown for Seed) at 40 ppm; grass, hay (Grown for Seed) at 80 ppm; head lettuce at 7 ppm; onion, bulb (Crop Subgroup 3-07A) at 0.8 ppm; onion, green (Crop Subgroup 3-07B) at 15; pea and bean, succulent shelled (Crop Subgroup 6B) at 3 ppm; peanut at 0.1 ppm; peanut, hay at 40 ppm; sunflower (Crop Subgroup 20B) at 3 ppm; tree nut except hulls (Crop Group 14-12) at 0.15 ppm; vegetable, brassica head and stem (Crop Group 5-16) at 5 ppm; vegetable, cucurbit (Crop Group 9) at 0.7 ppm; vegetable, fruiting (Crop Group 8-10) at 1.5 ppm; vegetable, leaf petiole (Crop Subgroup 22B) at 40 ppm; vegetable, leafy except head lettuce (Crop Group 4-16) at 60 ppm; vegetable, leaves of root and tuber (Crop Group 2) at 40 ppm; vegetable, legume, edible podded (Crop Subgroup 6A) at 4 ppm; vegetable, root (Crop Subgroup 1A) at 0.6 ppm; and vegetable, tuberous and corm (Crop Subgroup 1C) at 0.06 ppm. The LC/MS/MS is used to measure and evaluate the chemical picoxystrobin. Contact: RD.

    2. PP 7F8582. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0417). FMC Corporation, 1735 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR 180 for residues of the fungicide, valifenalate, in or on the raw agricultural commodities: Bulb vegetable crop group 3-07 at 0.40 ppm; celery at 6.0 ppm; cucurbit crop group 9 at 0.3 ppm; fruiting vegetable crop group 8 at 0.60 ppm; grape at 3.0 ppm; potato at 0.04 ppm; potato-chips at 0.05 ppm; potato-dried pulp at 0.06 ppm; potato-granules/flakes at 0.15 ppm; and tomato-wet peel at 1.8 ppm. The LC/MS/MS method is used to measure and evaluate the chemical valifenalate (beta-Alanine, N-[(1-methylethoxy)carbonyl]-L-valyl-3-(4-chlorophenyl)-, methyl ester). Contact: RD.

    3. PP7E8601. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0494). Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268, requests to establish import tolerances in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the insecticide methoxyfenozide [3-methoxy-2-methylbenzoic acid 2-(3,5-dimethylbenzoyl)-2-(1,1-dimethylethyl) hydrazide] in or on tea, dried, and tea, instant at 20 ppm. Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection is used to measure and evaluate the residues of methoxyfenozide. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 346a.

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Delores Barber, Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25564 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [9970-09-OEI] Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, Commonwealth of Kentucky AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's approval of the Commonwealth of Kentucky's request to revise its National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Implementation EPA-authorized program to allow electronic reporting.

    DATES:

    EPA approves the authorized program revision for the Commonwealth of Kentucky's National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Implementation program as of December 27, 2017 if no timely request for a public hearing is received and accepted by the Agency.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Seeh, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Information, Mail Stop 2823T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, (202) 566-1175, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 13, 2005, the final Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR) was published in the Federal Register (70 FR 59848) and codified as part 3 of title 40 of the CFR. CROMERR establishes electronic reporting as an acceptable regulatory alternative to paper reporting and establishes requirements to assure that electronic documents are as legally dependable as their paper counterparts. Subpart D of CROMERR requires that state, tribal or local government agencies that receive, or wish to begin receiving, electronic reports under their EPA-authorized programs must apply to EPA for a revision or modification of those programs and obtain EPA approval. Subpart D provides standards for such approvals based on consideration of the electronic document receiving systems that the state, tribe, or local government will use to implement the electronic reporting. Additionally, § 3.1000(b) through (e) of 40 CFR part 3, subpart D provides special procedures for program revisions and modifications to allow electronic reporting, to be used at the option of the state, tribe or local government in place of procedures available under existing program-specific authorization regulations. An application submitted under the subpart D procedures must show that the state, tribe or local government has sufficient legal authority to implement the electronic reporting components of the programs covered by the application and will use electronic document receiving systems that meet the applicable subpart D requirements.

    On October 9, 2017, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KY DEP) submitted an application titled “Compliance Monitoring Data Portal” for revision to its EPA-approved drinking water program under title 40 CFR to allow new electronic reporting. EPA reviewed KY DEP's request to revise its EPA-authorized program and, based on this review, EPA determined that the application met the standards for approval of authorized program revision set out in 40 CFR part 3, subpart D. In accordance with 40 CFR 3.1000(d), this notice of EPA's decision to approve Kentucky's request to revise its Part 142 —National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Implementation program to allow electronic reporting under 40 CFR part 141 is being published in the Federal Register.

    KY DEP was notified of EPA's determination to approve its application with respect to the authorized program listed above.

    Also, in today's notice, EPA is informing interested persons that they may request a public hearing on EPA's action to approve the Commonwealth of Kentucky's request to revise its authorized public water system program under 40 CFR part 142, in accordance with 40 CFR 3.1000(f). Requests for a hearing must be submitted to EPA within 30 days of publication of today's Federal Register notice. Such requests should include the following information:

    (1) The name, address and telephone number of the individual, organization or other entity requesting a hearing;

    (2) A brief statement of the requesting person's interest in EPA's determination, a brief explanation as to why EPA should hold a hearing, and any other information that the requesting person wants EPA to consider when determining whether to grant the request;

    (3) The signature of the individual making the request, or, if the request is made on behalf of an organization or other entity, the signature of a responsible official of the organization or other entity. In the event a hearing is requested and granted, EPA will provide notice of the hearing in the Federal Register not less than 15 days prior to the scheduled hearing date. Frivolous or insubstantial requests for hearing may be denied by EPA. Following such a public hearing, EPA will review the record of the hearing and issue an order either affirming today's determination or rescinding such determination. If no timely request for a hearing is received and granted, EPA's approval of the Commonwealth of Kentucky's request to revise its part 142—National Primary Drinking Water Regulations Implementation program to allow electronic reporting will become effective 30 days after today's notice is published, pursuant to CROMERR section 3.1000(f)(4).

    Matthew Leopard, Director, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25571 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0716] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before January 26, 2018. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the PRA of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the FCC invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0716.

    Title: Sections 73.88, 73.318 and 73.685, Blanketing Interference.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; and Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 21,000 respondents; 21,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 to 2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Third party disclosure requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 41,000 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirements approved under this collection are contained under the following rule sections:

    47 CFR 73.88 states that the licensee of each broadcast station is required to satisfy all reasonable complaints of blanketing interference within the 1 V/m contour.

    47 CFR 73.318(b) states that after January 1, 1985, permittees or licensees who either (1) commence program tests, (2) replace the antennas, or (3) request facilities modifications and are issued a new construction permit must satisfy all complaints of blanketing interference which are received by the station during a one year period.

    47 CFR 73.318(c) states that a permittee collocating with one or more existing stations and beginning program tests on or after January 1, 1985, must assume full financial responsibility for remedying new complaints of blanketing interference for a period of one year.

    Under 47 CFR 73.88, and 73.685(d), the license is financially responsible for resolving complaints of interference within one year of program test authority when certain conditions are met. After the first year, a license is only required to provide technical assistance to determine the cause of interference.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25460 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1139] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before December 27, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1139.

    Title: FCC Consumer Broadband Services Testing and Measurement.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit and individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 501,020 respondents and 501,020 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour-200 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Biennial reporting requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Voluntary. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008, Public Law 110-385, Stat 4096, 103(c)(1).

    Total Annual Burden: 46,667 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: No Cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: All participation in the Measuring Broadband America Program is voluntary and any participant can decline to participate at any time. No volunteers' personally identifying information (PII) such as name, phone number, or street addresses will be transmitted to the Commission from the contractor as a matter of vendor policy and agency privacy policy. SamKnows maintains a series of administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect against the transmission of PII. At point of registration, individuals will be given full disclosure in a “privacy statement” highlighting what information will be collected. Fixed Broadband ISP Partners receive PII about volunteers to confirm the validity of the information against their subscription records, but will be bound by a non-disclosure agreement that will maintain various administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the information and limit its use. Mobile Broadband ISP Partners have access to five kinds of information, including location and time of data collection, device type and operating system version, cellular performance and characteristics, and download, upload speed and other broadband performance, also restricted by a non-disclosure agreement that will maintain various administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the information and limit its use. ISP Partners providing support to the testing program will likewise be bound to the same series of administrative, technical and physical safeguards developed by SamKnows. In addition all third parties supporting the program directly will be bound by a “Code of Conduct” to ensure all participate and act in good faith and with other legally enforceable documents such as non-disclosure agreements.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: This information collection effects individuals or households. However, personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, phone number, or street addresses is not being collected by, made available to or made accessible by the Commission but instead by third parties including SamKnows, a third party contractor, and Internet Service Provider (ISP) Partners.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this expiring collection after this 60-day comment period to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to obtain the full three-year clearance.

    This study's collection of information on actual speeds and performance of fixed and mobile broadband connections delivered to consumers by ISPs has been reported to be of great value to academic researchers, manufacturers and technology providers, broadband providers, public interest groups and other diverse stakeholders. Validation of fixed broadband subscribed speeds as opposed to actual speeds by participating ISPs remains unique to this program and provides a context for measured speeds. Mobile broadband performance information is measured using the FCC Speed Test app for Android and iPhone devices to test the upload and download speed, latency and packet loss, as well as the wireless performance characteristics of the broadband connection and the kind of handsets and versions of operating systems tested. Information the FCC Speed Test App (“Application”) collects is limited to information used to measure volunteers' mobile broadband service and no personally identifiable information, such as subscribers' name, phone number or unique identifiers associated with a device is collected. Software-based tools and online tools exist that can test consumer's broadband connections, including a set of consumer tools launched by the FCC in conjunction with the National Broadband Plan. However, these tools track speeds experienced by consumers, rather than speeds delivered directly to a consumer by an ISP. The distinction is important for supporting Agency broadband policy analysis, as ISPs advertise speeds and performance delivered rather than speeds experienced, which suffers from degradation outside of an ISP's control.

    No other dedicated panel of direct fixed and mobile broadband performance measurement using publicly documented methodologies using free and add-free technologies exists today in the country. The program will continue to support existing software-based tools and online tools but the focus of the program will remain the direct measurement of broadband performance delivered to the consumer. The collection effort also has specific elements focused on further network performance statistics, time of day parameters, and other elements affecting consumers' broadband experience that are not tracked elsewhere. The information to be confirmed by ISP Partners about their subscribers or technical and market data regarding the broadband services they provide is unavailable from other sources.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25459 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of Intent To Terminate the Receivership 10399, The RiverBank, Wyoming, Minnesota

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC or Receiver) as Receiver for The RiverBank, Wyoming, Minnesota, intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of The RiverBank on October 7, 2011. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: November 21, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25503 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of Intent To Terminate the Receivership of 10176, Columbia River Bank, The Dalles, Oregon

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC or Receiver) as Receiver for Columbia River Bank, The Dalles, Oregon, intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of Columbia River Bank on January 22, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: November 21, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25502 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency information collection activities: Announcement of Board approval under delegated authority and submission to OMB AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is adopting a proposal to extend for three years, without revision, the Application for Exemption from Prohibited Service at Savings and Loan Holding Companies (FR LL-12, OMB No. 7100-0338).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to approve of and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the Paperwork Reduction Act Submission, supporting statements and approved collection of information instrument(s) are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Final Approval Under OMB Delegated Authority of the Extension for Three Years, Without Revision, of the Following Report

    Report title: Application for Exemption from Prohibited Service at Savings and Loan Holding Companies.

    Agency form number: FR LL-12.

    OMB control number: 7100-0338.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents: Individuals and savings and loan holding companies.

    Estimated number of respondents: 15.

    Estimated average hours per response: 16.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 240.

    General description of report: The Federal Deposit Insurance (FDI) Act and Regulation LL (12 CFR part 238) prohibit individuals who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses or who have agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such criminal offenses from participating in the affairs of a savings and loan holding company (SLHC) or any of its subsidiaries without the written consent of the Board. In order for such a person to participate in the conduct of the affairs of any SLHC, the SLHC or the individual must file an application seeking to obtain an exemption from the Board. The Board will use any information provided by the applicant when considering an exemption request concerning a prohibited person. Such considerations will include, but are not limited to, whether the prohibited person would participate in the major policymaking functions of the SLHC or would threaten the safety and soundness of any subsidiary insured depository institution of the SLHC or the public confidence in the insured depository institution.

    Legal authorization and confidentiality: The Board has determined that this information collection is authorized by section 19(e)(2) of the FDI Act, which states that the “Board . . . may provide exemptions [from the prohibition] by regulation or order . . . if the exemption is consistent with the purposes of this subsection” (12 U.S.C. 1829(e)(2)). The Board exercises general supervision over SLHCs, which includes examination authority and the imposition of reporting and recordkeeping requirements (12 U.S.C. 1467a(b)(2)). This information collection is required in order for prohibited persons to obtain the benefit of becoming, or continuing service as, an institution-affiliated party of an SLHC, and for an SLHC to permit that prohibited person to engage in any conduct or continue any relationship prohibited by section 19(e) of the FDI Act.

    Some or all of the information submitted may be withheld pursuant to sections (b)(4), (b)(6), and (b)(8) of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(8)). The applicability of these exemptions would need to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    Current actions: On July 24, 2017, the Board published a notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 34311) requesting public comment for 60 days on the extension, without revision, of the Application for Exemption from Prohibited Service at Savings and Loan Holding Companies. The comment period for this notice expired on September 22, 2017. The Board did not receive any comments. The extension will be implemented as proposed.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 21, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25498 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice, request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) invites comment on a proposal to extend for three years, without revision, the Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements Associated with Securities Transactions Pursuant to Regulation H (Reg H-3; OMB No. 7100-0196).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Reg H-3, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx.

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Ann E. Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street (between 18th and 19th Streets NW.), Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the proposed reporting form and instructions, supporting statement, and other documentation will be placed into OMB's public docket files, once approved. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public Web site at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears below.

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551, (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to approve of and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. In exercising this delegated authority, the Board is directed to take every reasonable step to solicit comment. In determining whether to approve a collection of information, the Board will consider all comments received from the public and other agencies.

    Request for Comment on Information Collection Proposal

    The Board invites public comment on the following information collection, which is being reviewed under authority delegated by the OMB under the PRA. Comments are invited on the following:

    a. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions; including whether the information has practical utility;

    b. The accuracy of the Federal Reserve's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    d. Ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

    e. Estimates of capital or startup costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    At the end of the comment period, the comments and recommendations received will be analyzed to determine the extent to which the Federal Reserve should modify the proposal prior to giving final approval.

    Proposal To Approve Under OMB Delegated Authority the Extension for Three Years, Without Revision, of the Following Report

    Report title: Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements Associated with Securities Transactions Pursuant to Regulation H.

    Agency form number: Reg H-3.

    OMB control number: 7100-0196.

    Frequency: Event-generated.

    Respondents: State member banks.

    Estimated number of respondents: State member banks (de novo): 1; state member banks with trust departments: 228; state member banks without trust departments: 601.

    Estimated average hours per response: State member banks (de novo): recordkeeping, 40 hours. State member banks with trust departments: recordkeeping, 2 hours; disclosure, 16 hours. State member banks without trust departments: recordkeeping, 15 minutes; disclosure, 5 hours.

    Estimated annual burden hours: State member banks (de novo): recordkeeping, 40 hours. State member banks with trust departments: recordkeeping, 12,768 hours; disclosure, 43,776 hours. State member banks without trust departments: recordkeeping, 4,207 hours; disclosure, 36,060 hours.

    General description of report: These recordkeeping and disclosure requirements are pursuant to Sections 208.34(c), (d), and (g) of the Board's Regulation H, which require that state member banks effecting securities transactions for customers establish and maintain a system of records of these transactions, furnish confirmations of transactions to customers that disclose certain information, and establish written policies and procedures relating to securities trading. State member banks are required to maintain records created per these requirements for three years following a securities transaction. These requirements are necessary to protect the customer, to avoid or settle customer disputes, and to protect the institution against potential liability arising under the anti-fraud and insider trading provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Securities Exchange Act”).

    Legal authorization and confidentiality: The Board has determined that the Regulation H requirements are authorized by Section 23 of the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78w, which empowers the Board to make rules and regulations implementing those portions of the Securities Exchange Act for which it is responsible. The requirements of 12 CFR 208.34(c), (d), and (g) also are impliedly authorized by Section 9 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 321-328a), which establishes the Board's supervisory authority with respect to the safety and soundness of state member banks. Accordingly, the Board is authorized to impose these recordkeeping, disclosure, and policy establishment requirements. The obligation of a state member bank to comply with the Regulation H requirements is mandatory, save for the limited exceptions set forth in 12 CFR 208.34(a).

    Inasmuch as the Board does not collect or receive any information concerning securities transactions pursuant to these requirements, no issues of confidentiality normally will arise. If, however, these records were to come into the possession of the Board, they may be protected from disclosure pursuant to exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), under the standards set forth in National Parks & Conservation Ass'n v. Morton, 498 F.2d 765 (D.C. Cir. 1974), to the extent an institution can establish the potential for substantial competitive harm. They also may be subject to withholding under FOIA exemption 6, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6), should disclosure constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Additionally, if such information were included in the work papers of System examiners or abstracted in System reports of examination, the information also may be protected under exemption 8 of FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8). Any withholding determination would be made on a case-by-case basis in response to a specific request for disclosure of the information.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 21, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25499 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0153; Docket 2017-0053; Sequence 17] Information Collection; OMB Circular A-119 AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains a correction to the information collection notice that was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 51256, on November 3, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Michael O. Jackson, Procurement Analyst, Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, 202-208-4949, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Correction

    In the information collection document appearing at 82 FR 51256, on November 3, 2017, on page 51256, second column, paragraph 1, lines 1 through 7 are corrected to replace the reference to an outdated version of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119. The 1998 version was superseded in 2016.

    The current version may be found on Standards.gov: https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/revised_circular_a-119_as_of_01-22-2016.pdf.

    Dated: November 21, 2017. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25553 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0300: Docket No. 2017-0001; Sequence 9] Submission for OMB Review; General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Implementation of Information Technology Security Provision AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB information collection.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve a renewal of the currently approved information collection requirement regarding Implementation of Information Technology Security Provision. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 43021 on September 13, 2017. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number 3090-0300. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0300, Implementation of Information Technology Security Provision”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0300, Implementation of Information Technology Security Provision” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 3090-0300.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0300, Implementation of Information Technology Security Provision, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Kevin Funk, Program Analyst, Office of Acquisition Policy, at 202-357-5805 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Clause 552.239-71 requires contractors, within 30 days after contract award, to submit an IT Security Plan to the Contracting Officer and Contacting Officer's Representative that describes the processes and procedures that will be followed to ensure appropriate security of IT resources that are developed, processed, or used under the contract. The clause will also require that contractors submit written proof of IT security authorization six months after contract award, and verify that the IT Security Plan remains valid annually.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 160.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Total Annual Responses: 320.

    Hours per Response: 5.

    Total Burden Hours: 1600.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the GSAR, and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755.

    Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0300, Implementation of Information Technology Security Provision, in all correspondence.

    Jeffrey A. Koses, Director, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25500 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-17-0544] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled Evaluation of Effectiveness of NIOSH Publications: NIOSH Customer Satisfaction and Impact Survey to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on September 19, 2016 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC did not receive comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    Evaluation of Effectiveness of NIOSH Publications: NIOSH Customer Satisfaction and Impact (CSI) Survey (OMB Control Number 0920-0544, Expiration Date 4/30/2010)—Reinstatement with Changes—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    As mandated in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-596), the mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to conduct research and investigations on work-related disease and injury and to disseminate information for preventing identified workplace hazards (Sections 20 (a)(1) and (d)). NIOSH is proposing a Reinstatement with Changes to continue a two-year study to collect stakeholder feedback on the effectiveness of its products and their dissemination. This dual responsibility of NIOSH's mission recognizes the need to translate research into workplace application if it is to impact worker safety and well-being. NIOSH, through its communication efforts, seeks to promote greater awareness of occupational hazards and their control, influence public policy and regulatory action, shape national research priorities, change organizational practices and individual behavior, and ultimately, improve American working life. NIOSH's primary communication vehicle is its series of numbered publications catalogued by the Institute as Policy Documents, Technical Documents, and Educational Documents.

    The aforementioned types of documents are available to the public through the use of mailing lists, NIOSH eNews, the NIOSH Web site, promotion at conferences, and by other means. In FY 2015, combined digital downloads and hard copy distributions of NIOSH publications registered at over 790,000. Yet, these numbers tell little of whether the reports are reaching all of the appropriate audiences, or whether the information is perceived as credible and useful by the recipients. Therefore, a Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) was conducted in 2003 and a follow-up CSS in 2010 to assess customer satisfaction and perceived impact of NIOSH publications. The proposed survey seeks to update the data collected for the 2010 survey (OMB Control Number 0920-0544, expiration date 4/30/10) and gather data on outreach initiatives NIOSH has undertaken in recent years. The findings from the study completed in 2010 confirmed that NIOSH continues to be a credible source of occupational safety and health information, NIOSH publications were being used more frequently than in previous years, and respondents are relying more on the NIOSH Web site and other electronic resources. However, the 2010 CSS also revealed that the percentage of respondents who looked to NIOSH for Occupational Safety and Health information dropped from 84% in 2003 to 76% in 2009 (2010 survey data collection). Results from the 2010 CSS suggest that NIOSH needs to collaborate more with stakeholder associations to assess the needs of those in the OSH community who are not using NIOSH resources. Since then, NIOSH has established a partner database, which documents the private companies, professional associations, and labor unions listed as partners on various projects. Another recommendation is that NIOSH develop strategies to increase awareness of electronic resources and newsletters and develop a broader range of tools that have direct application and provide clearer guidance on policy.

    The currently proposed Customer Satisfaction and Impact (CSI) Survey is a reinstatement of the 2010 study with changes to the instrument and data collection methods to account for new products and technologies that did not exist in 2010. It is an effort by the agency to obtain current estimates of consumer use/benefit from NIOSH communication products as a whole, as well as to determine the adequacy of the agency's circulation/delivery practices in light of changing distribution approaches and technologies. The CSI will account for changes in NIOSH publications, digital product formats, and new dissemination channels emerging since the last collection of survey data. As offered with many NIOSH publications, the CSI will also solicit more audience-based information that reflects the new media environment. Such expansions will yield findings that show how well customer service practices at NIOSH have followed the 2003 and 2010 recommendations, as well as provide insights into how users seek and use NIOSH information in the current digital environment.

    NIOSH will direct the survey to members of the following occupational safety and health organizations: American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), American Insurance Association (AIA), Insurance Loss Control Association (ILCA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NIOSH will randomly sample within each of the five following occupational groups: AIHA, ACOEM, AAOHN, ASSE, and other (includes members of AIA, ILCA, and NFPA). The annual number of respondents is 1500. Each participant will complete one of the four data collection instruments, depending on whether they are identified as an “intermediary” or “employer” and whether they complete the full or short version.

    NIOSH estimates that it will take 312 total burden hours to complete information collections, compared to 205 burden hours estimated for the 2010 CSS. There are no costs to the respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    AIHA, AAOHN, ACOEM, ASSE, and Other members NIOSH Customer Satisfaction Survey—full version, intermediary 375 1 20/60 125 AIHA, AAOHN, ACOEM, ASSE, and Other members NIOSH Customer Satisfaction Survey—short version, intermediary 375 1 5/60 31 AIHA, AAOHN, ACOEM, ASSE, and Other members NIOSH Customer Satisfaction Survey—full version, employer 375 1 20/60 125 AIHA, AAOHN, ACOEM, ASSE, and Other members NIOSH Customer Satisfaction Survey—short version, employer 375 1 5/60 31
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25493 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-17-0909] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on July 14, 2017 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC received and responded to 33 unique public comments that were related to this notice from both individuals and organizations that are outside of CDC. Within those 33 of comments, there were 119 unique questions/comments that CDC answered. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP)(OMB Control Number 0920-0909, exp. 12/31/2017)—Revision—National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Background and Brief Description

    Evidence from efficacy and effectiveness research studies has shown that lifestyle modifications leading to weight loss and increased physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in persons with prediabetes or those at high risk of developing type 2. To translate these research findings into practice, Section 399V-3 of Public Law 111-148, directed CDC “to determine eligibility of entities to deliver community-based type 2 diabetes prevention services,” monitor and evaluate the services, and provide technical assistance. To this end, CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) established and administers the DPRP as part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which recognizes organizations that deliver type 2 diabetes prevention programs according to requirements set forth in the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recognition Program Standards and Operating Procedures” (Standards).

    Currently CDC has 1,363 organizations in its DPRP registry. On July 7, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP). Sections 1102 and 1871 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302 and 1395hh § 424.59) authorized CDC-recognized organizations to prepare for enrollment as MDPP suppliers in order to bill CMS for these services beginning in 2018; only organizations in good standing with the CDC DPRP are eligible as MDPP suppliers. CDC anticipates an additional 500 organizations per year will apply for recognition.

    Previously, in 2011, CDC received OMB approval to collect organizational and de-identified participant information needed to administer the DPRP (OMB No. 0920-0909, expired 11/30/2014). In 2015, CDC renewed these Standards for three years (OMB No. 0920-0909, expires 12/31/2017) to continue collecting information needed to manage the DPRP. Virtual organizations were added in the 2015 Standards based on new published evidence and to reach a broader audience.

    Two levels of CDC recognition have been provided: Pending recognition for new applicants that have submitted an application and meet eligibility criteria defined by the Standards, and Full recognition for programs that have demonstrated effectiveness according to the Standards. CMS allows for a new recognition status, Preliminary, in addition to Pending and Full. MDPP reimbursement is directly tied to Preliminary and Full statuses. The intent of this current Standards' revision is to align with the CMS MDPP that will be finalized in 2017 and is scheduled to go in effect January 1, 2018, and to account for new evidence in the type 2 diabetes prevention literature. The MDPP benefit will scale type 2 diabetes prevention programs more broadly.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Public sector organizations that deliver type 2 diabetes prevention programs DPRP Application Form
  • DPRP Evaluation Data
  • 150
  • 350
  • 1
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 150
  • 1,400
  • Private sector organizations that deliver type 2 diabetes prevention programs DPRP Application Form
  • DPRP Evaluation Data
  • 350
  • 1,444
  • 1
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 350
  • 5,776
  • Total 7,676
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25494 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-18-0278; Docket No. CDC-2017-0101] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies the opportunity to comment on a proposed and/or continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed information collection project titled the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). NHAMCS collects facility and visit information on ambulatory care services utilization in non-Federal, short stay hospitals in the United States.

    DATES:

    CDC must receive written comments on or before January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2018-0101 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. CDC will post, without change, all relevant comments to Regulations.gov.

    Please note: Submit all comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal (regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to the OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments that will help:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    5. Assess information collection costs.

    Proposed Project

    National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) (OMB Control Number 0920-0278, Expiration Date 02/28/2018)—Revision—National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Section 306 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (42 U.S.C. 242k), as amended, authorizes that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (DHHS), acting through NCHS, shall collect statistics on “utilization of health care” in the United States. The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) has conducted annually since 1992. NCHS is seeking OMB approval to extend this survey for an additional three years.

    The target universe of the NHAMCS is in-person visits made to emergency departments (EDs) of non-Federal, short-stay hospitals (hospitals with an average length of stay of less than 30 days) that have at least six beds for inpatient use, and with a specialty of general (medical or surgical) or children's general.

    NHAMCS was initiated to complement the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS, OMB Control Number 0920-0234, Expiration Date 03/31/2019), which provides similar data concerning patient visits to physicians' offices. NAMCS and NHAMCS are the principal sources of data on ambulatory care provided in the United States.

    NHAMCS provides a range of baseline data on the characteristics of the users and providers of hospital ambulatory medical care. Data collected include patients' demographic characteristics, reason(s) for visit, providers' diagnoses, diagnostic services, medications, and disposition. These data, together with trend data, may be used to monitor the effects of change in the health care system, for the planning of health services, improving medical education, determining health care work force needs, and assessing the health status of the population.

    Starting 2018, CDC will implement the ED component of NHAMCS. However, between December 2017 and May 2018, the 2017 survey will run concurrently with the 2018 survey. This is typical with any data collection cycle: It begin in the last month of the preceding year and ends around the middle of the following year. For the 2017 data collection, CDC will collect information on all three settings (ED, OPD, and ASL). For this three-year request, CDC does not expect substantive changes or supplements for the survey.

    Users of NHAMCS data include, but are not limited to, congressional offices, Federal agencies, state and local governments, schools of public health, colleges and Universities, private industry, nonprofit foundations, professional associations, clinicians, researchers, administrators, and health planners.

    There are no costs to the respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 1,806.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Hospital Chief Executive Officer Hospital Induction 2017 Data Collection 60 1 75/60 75 Hospital Chief Executive Officer Hospital Induction 2018+ Data Collection 340 1 75/60 425 Ancillary Service Executive Ambulatory Unit Induction (ED, OPD and ASL) 810 1 15/60 203 Ancillary Service Executive Ambulatory Unit Induction (ED only) 583 1 15/60 146 Medical Record Clerk Retrieving Patient Records (ED, OPD and ASL) 396 144 1/60 950 Ancillary Service Executive—Reabstraction Reabstraction Telephone Call (ED, OPD and ASL) 29 1 5/60 2 Medical Record Clerk—Reabstraction Pulling and re-filing Patient Records (ED, OPD and ASL) 29 10 1/60 5 Total 1,806
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25496 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-18-1190] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the information collection request titled ZEN Colombia Study: Zika in Pregnant Women and Children in Colombia to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. CDC previously published a “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” notice on August 30, 2017 to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. CDC did not receive comments related to the previous notice. This notice serves to allow an additional 30 days for public and affected agency comments.

    CDC will accept all comments for this proposed information collection project. The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and

    (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Direct written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Provide written comments within 30 days of notice publication.

    Proposed Project

    ZEN Colombia Study: Zika in Pregnant Women and Children in Colombia (OMB Control Number 0920-1190, expires 07/31/2019)—Revision—National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is a mosquito-borne flavivirus transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, and also through sexual and mother-to-child transmission; laboratory-acquired infections have also been reported. Health officials observed sporadic evidence of human ZIKV infection in Africa and Asia prior to 2007, when an outbreak of ZIKV caused an estimated 5,000 infections in the State of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. Since then, health officials have found evidence of ZIKV in 65 countries and territories, mostly in Central and South America. Common symptoms of ZIKV in humans include rash, fever, arthralgia, and nonpurulent conjunctivitis. The illness is usually mild and self-limited, with symptoms lasting for several days to a week; however, based on previous outbreaks, some infections are asymptomatic. The prevalence of asymptomatic infection in the current Central and South American epidemic is unknown.

    Although the clinical presentation of ZIKV infection is typically mild, ZIKV infection in pregnancy can cause microcephaly and related brain abnormalities when fetuses are exposed in utero. Other adverse pregnancy outcomes related to ZIKV infection remain under study, and include pregnancy loss, other major birth defects, arthrogryposis, eye abnormalities, and neurologic abnormalities.

    As the spectrum of adverse health outcomes potentially related to ZIKV infection continues to grow, large gaps remain in our understanding of ZIKV infection in pregnancy. These include the full spectrum of adverse health outcomes in pregnant women, fetuses, and infants associated with ZIKV infection; the relative contributions of sexual transmission and mosquito-borne transmission to occurrence of infections in pregnancy; and variability in the risk of adverse fetal outcomes by gestational week of maternal infection or symptoms of infection. There is an urgency to fill these large gaps in our understanding given the rapidity of the epidemic's spread and the severe health outcomes associated with ZIKV to date.

    Colombia's Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) began surveillance for ZIKV in 2015, reporting the first autochthonous transmission in October 2015 in the north of the country. As of December 2016, Colombia has reported over 106,000-suspected ZIKV cases, with over 19,000 of them among pregnant women. With a causal link established between ZIKV infection in pregnancy and microcephaly, there is an urgent need to understand: How to prevent ZIKV transmission; the full spectrum of adverse maternal, fetal, and infant health outcomes associated with ZIKV infection; and risk factors for occurrence of these outcomes. To answer these questions, INS and the CDC will follow 5,000 women enrolled in the first trimester of pregnancy, their male partners, and their infants, in various cities in Colombia where ZIKV transmission is currently ongoing.

    The primary study objectives are to: (1) Describe the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of the study population; (2) Identify risk factors for ZIKV infection in pregnant women and their infants. These include behaviors such as use of mosquito-bite prevention measures or condoms, and factors associated with maternal-to-child transmission; (3) Assess the risk for adverse maternal, fetal, and infant outcomes associated with ZIKV infection; (4) Assess modifiers of the risk for adverse outcomes among pregnant women and their infants following ZIKV infection. This includes investigating associations with gestational age at infection, presence of ZIKV symptoms, extended viremia, mode of transmission, prior infections or immunizations, and co-infections.

    The project aims to enroll approximately 5,000 women, 1,250 male partners, 4,500 newborns, and a subset of 900 infants/children. Pregnant women will be recruited in the first trimester of pregnancy for study enrollment, followed by assessments during pregnancy (every other week until 32 weeks gestation and monthly thereafter), and within 10 days postpartum. At all visits, participants will complete visit-specific questionnaires. In addition to the questionnaires, at all pregnancy and delivery visits, participants will receive Colombian national recommended clinical care and provide samples for laboratory testing.

    Researchers will recruit male partners around the time of the pregnant partners' study enrollment, followed by monthly visits until his pregnant partner reaches the third trimester (approximately 27 weeks gestation). If the male partner contracts ZIKV during this time, visits will occur every other week until the partner has two negative consecutive tests for ZIKV or the pregnancy ends. At all study visits, male partners will complete visit-specific questionnaires and provide samples for laboratory testing.

    Researchers will follow all newborns of mothers participating in the study every other week from birth to 6 months of age. At all visits, infants will receive national recommended clinical care (at birth and follow-up visits at 1, 2, 3, and 6 months), provide samples for laboratory testing, and mothers will complete study-specific questionnaires about infant ZIKV symptoms and developmental milestones. During follow-up, infants will also have cranial ultrasounds, their head circumference measured, and hearing and vision tests. For mothers and their infants and as part of clinical care, researchers will abstract relevant information from medical records.

    The revised information collection package includes the following changes. During the data collection period, researchers will follow a subset of 900 infants until 2-years of age. A parent of each of these infants will answer a questionnaire at 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months, as well as have other clinical assessments performed to examine developmental delays.

    CDC will use study results to guide recommendations made by both INS and CDC to prevent ZIKV infection; to improve counseling of patients about risks to themselves, their pregnancies, their partners, and their infants; and to help agencies prepare to provide services to affected children and families. Participation in this study is voluntary and there are no costs to participants other than their time.

    The total burden hours are 14,210.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Pregnant Women Pregnant Women Eligibility Questionnaire 600 1 5/60 Pregnant Women Enrollment Questionnaire 500 1 35/60 Adult Symptoms Questionnaire 500 15 10/60 Pregnant Women Follow-up Questionnaire 500 8 15/60 Infant Symptoms Questionnaire 2,250 14 10/60 Parent-Child Eligibility Questionnaire 1,000 1 5/60 Parent-Child Enrollment Questionnaire 900 1 20/60 Parent-Child Follow-up Questionnaire 900 4 15/60 Ages and Stages Questionnaire: 2 and 6 Month Visits 2,250 2 15/60 Ages and Stages Questionnaire: 12 and 24 Month Visits 900 2 15/60 Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 900 3 30/60 Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire 900 1 5/60 Peabody Developmental Motor Scales 900 1 30/60 Parenting Stress Index IV 900 5 10/60 Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale 900 5 5/60 Test of Nonverbal Intelligence 900 1 20/60 Male partners Male Partner Eligibility Questionnaire 150 1 5/60 Male Enrollment Questionnaire 125 1 25/60 Adult Symptoms Questionnaire 125 7 10/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25495 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Multi-Component Evaluation Extension.

    OMB No.: 0970-0398.

    Description: The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) and the Office of Planning, Research, Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) are requesting an extension without change of a currently approved information collection (OMB No. 0970-0398). The purpose of the extension is to complete the ongoing follow-up data collection for the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Multi-Component Evaluation, which was designed to document how PREP programs are designed and implemented in the field, collect performance measure data for PREP programs, and assess the effectiveness of selected PREP-funded programs.

    The PREP Multi-Component Evaluation contains three components: A Design and Implementation Study, a Performance Analysis Study, and an Impact and In-Depth Implementation Study. Data collection related to the Design and Implementation Study is complete; data collection related to the Performance Analysis Study will be complete in late summer 2017. This notice is specific to data collection activities for the Impact and In-Depth Implementation Study, which is being conducted in four sites. The proposed extension is necessary to complete ongoing follow-up data collection. The resulting data will be used in a rigorous program impact analysis to assess the effectiveness of each program in reducing teen sexual activity and associated risk behaviors.

    Respondents: Youth participants who agreed to participate in the study upon enrollment in the four impact study sites.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Total/annual number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondents
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total/annual burden hours
    Second follow-up survey 325 1 .75 244

    Estimated Total/Annual Burden Hours: 244.

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20201, Attn: OPRE Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Mary Jones, ACF/OPRE Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25444 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-37-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket Nos. FDA-2010-N-0601, FDA-2010-N-0598, FDA-2010-N-0600, FDA-2007-N-0037, FDA-2010-N-0597, FDA-2011-N-0017, and FDA-2016-N-2496] Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approvals AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is publishing a list of information collections that have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ila S. Mizrachi, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-7726, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a list of FDA information collections recently approved by OMB under section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507). The OMB control number and expiration date of OMB approval for each information collection are shown in Table 1. Copies of the supporting statements for the information collections are available on the internet at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Table 1—List of Information Collections Approved by OMB Title of collection OMB
  • control No.
  • Date
  • approval
  • expires
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicated Feeds 0910-0152 8/31/2020 Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Type A Medicated Articles 0910-0154 8/31/2020 Animal Drug User Fee Cover Sheet, Form FDA 3546 0910-0539 8/31/2020 Animal Drug User Fee Waivers and Reductions 0910-0540 8/31/2020 Index of Legally Marketed Unappropriated New Animal Drugs for Minor Species 0910-0620 8/31/2020 Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards 0910-0621 8/31/2020 Impact Trade Auxiliary Communication System 0910-0842 8/31/2020
    Dated: November 20, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25452 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0161] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export Certificates AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on export certificates for the export of FDA-regulated products.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before January 26, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of January 26, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0161 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export Certificates.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Sanford, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A63, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-8867, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Export of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Products: Export Certificates OMB Control Number 0910-0498—Extension

    In April 1996, the FDA Export, Reform, and Enhancement Act of 1996 (FDAERA) (Pub. L. 104-134) amended sections 801(e) and 802 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 381(e) and 382). It was designed to ease restrictions on exportation of unapproved pharmaceuticals, biologics, and devices regulated by FDA. Section 801(e)(4) of the FDAERA provides that persons exporting certain FDA-regulated products may request FDA to certify that the products meet the requirements of sections 801(e) and 802 or other requirements of the FD&C Act. This section of the law requires FDA to issue certification within 20 days of receipt of the request and to charge firms up to $175 for the certifications. In January 2011, section 801(e)(4)(A) was amended by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (Pub. L. 111-353) to provide authorization for export certification fees for food and animal feed.

    This section of the FD&C Act authorizes FDA to issue export certificates for regulated food, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, biologics, and devices that are legally marketed in the United States, as well as for these same products that are not legally marketed but are acceptable to the importing country, as specified in sections 801(e) and 802 of the FD&C Act. FDA has developed various types of certificates that satisfy the requirements of section 801(e)(4)(B) of the FD&C Act. Four of those certificates are discussed in this notice: (1) Certificates to Foreign Governments, (2) Certificates of Exportability, (3) Certificates of a Pharmaceutical Product, and (4) Non-Clinical Research Use Only Certificates. FDA has updated the certificates as part of the proposed collection of information to account for the amendment authorizing export certification fees for food and animal feed. Table 1 lists the different certificates and details their uses:

    Table 1—Certificates and Uses Type of certificate Use “Supplementary Information Certificate to Foreign Government Requests“, “Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate to Foreign Government“, “Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate to Foreign Government (For Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation)“ For the export of products legally marketed in the United States. “Supplementary Information Certificate of Exportability Requests“, Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate of Exportability” For the export of products not approved for marketing in the United States (unapproved products) that meet the requirements of sections 801(e) or 802 of the FD&C Act. “Supplementary Information Certificate of a Pharmaceutical Product“, “Exporter's Certification Statement Certificate of a Pharmaceutical Product“ Conforms to the format established by the World Health Organization and is intended for use by the importing country when the product in question is under consideration for a product license that will authorize its importation and sale or for renewal, extension, amending, or reviewing a license. “Supplementary Information Non-Clinical Research Use Only Certificate“, “Exporter's Certification Statement (Non-Clinical Research Use Only)“ For the export of a non-clinical research use only product, material, or component that is not intended for human use which may be marketed in, and legally exported from the United States under the FD&C Act.

    FDA will continue to rely on self-certification by manufacturers for the first three types of certificates listed in table 1. Manufacturers are requested to self-certify that they are in compliance with all applicable requirements of the FD&C Act, not only at the time that they submit their request to the appropriate center, but also at the time that they submit the certification to the foreign government.

    The appropriate FDA centers will review product information submitted by firms in support of their certificate and any suspected case of fraud will be referred to the appropriate offices.

    Table 2—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 FDA center Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research 2,651 1 2,651 1 2,651 Center for Devices and Radiological Health 11,175 1 11,175 2 22,350 Center for Drug Evaluation and Research 3,680 1 3,680 1 3,680 Center for Veterinary Medicine 1,819 1 1,819 1 1,819 Total 30,500 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: November 20, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25456 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-D-6526] Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without a Product Identifier; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without a Product Identifier.” This draft guidance specifies whether and under what circumstances packages and homogenous cases of product not labeled with a product identifier shall be exempted, as grandfathered, from certain requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act).

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by January 26, 2018 to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance. Submit either electronic or written comments concerning the collection of information proposed in the draft guidance by January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2017-D-6526 for “Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without a Product Identifier; Draft Guidance for Industry.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, or the Office of Communication, Outreach, and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Abha Kundi, Office of Compliance, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3130, [email protected]; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without a Product Identifier.” On November 27, 2013, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) (Title II of Pub. L. 113-54) was signed into law. Section 202 of the DSCSA added section 582 to the FD&C Act, which established product tracing requirements for manufacturers, repackagers, wholesale distributors, and dispensers. The DSCSA phases in its requirements over a period of 10 years.

    A critical set of phased product tracing requirements outlined in section 582 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360eee-1) relate to the product identifier. Among its provisions, section 582 requires that each package and homogenous case of product in the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain bear a product identifier that is encoded with the product's standardized numerical identifier, lot number, and expiration date by specific dates. Under the statute, manufacturers must begin affixing or imprinting a product identifier to each package and homogenous case of a product intended to be introduced into commerce no later than November 27, 2017. Repackagers are required to do the same no later than November 27, 2018.

    Sections 582(c)(2), (d)(2), and (e)(2)(A)(iii) of the FD&C Act restrict trading partners' ability to engage in transactions involving packages and homogenous cases of product that are not labeled with a product identifier after specific dates. Beginning November 27, 2018, repackagers may not engage in a transaction involving a package or homogenous case of a product that is not encoded with a product identifier. Similar restrictions go into effect for wholesale distributors and dispensers on November 27, 2019, and November 27, 2020, respectively.

    Section 582(a)(5)(A) of the FD&C Act gives FDA authority to exempt packages and homogenous cases of product without a product identifier from the product tracing requirements discussed above. We are required to issue guidance that specifies whether and under what circumstances we will exercise this authority. The draft guidance addresses this requirement. As explained in the draft guidance, only packages and homogenous cases of product that are in the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain at the time of the effective date of the requirements of section 582 are eligible for an exemption under section 582(a)(5)(A).

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the Agency's current thinking on the grandfathering policy for packages and homogenous cases of product without a product identifier. Guidance documents generally do not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. For this particular document, section 582 of the FD&C Act gives FDA authority to issue binding guidance specifying the circumstances under which packages and homogenous cases of product that are not labeled with a product identifier shall be exempted from the requirements of section 582 of the FD&C Act. Thus, insofar as section IV of this guidance specifies the circumstances under which packages and homogenous cases of product that are not labeled with a product identifier and that are in the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain at the time of the effective date of the requirements of section 582 of the FD&C Act shall be exempted from certain requirements of section 582, it will have binding effect upon finalization.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the guidance document at https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25457 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0076] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Electronic Signatures AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by December 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, Fax: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0303. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-7729, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures OMB Control Number 0910-0303—Extension

    This information collection supports FDA regulations; specifically, in part 11 (21 CFR part 11), which sets forth criteria for acceptance of electronic records, electronic signatures, and handwritten signatures executed to electronic records as equivalent to paper records. Under these regulations, records and reports may be submitted to FDA electronically provided the Agency has stated its ability to accept the records electronically in an Agency-established public docket and that the other requirements of part 11 are met.

    The recordkeeping provisions in part 11 (§§ 11.10, 11.30, 11.50, and 11.300) require the following standard operating procedures to assure appropriate use of, and precautions for, systems using electronic records and signatures: (1) § 11.10 specifies procedures and controls for persons who use closed systems to create, modify, maintain, or transmit electronic records; (2) § 11.30 specifies procedures and controls for persons who use open systems to create, modify, maintain, or transmit electronic records; (3) § 11.50 specifies procedures and controls for persons who use electronic signatures; and (4) § 11.300 specifies controls to ensure the security and integrity of electronic signatures based upon use of identification codes in combination with passwords. The reporting provision (§ 11.100) requires persons to certify in writing to FDA that they will regard electronic signatures used in their systems as the legally binding equivalent of traditional handwritten signatures.

    The burden created by the information collection provision of this regulation is a one-time burden associated with the creation of standard operating procedures, validation, and certification. The Agency anticipates the use of electronic media will substantially reduce the paperwork burden associated with maintaining FDA required records. The respondents are businesses and other for-profit organizations, State or local governments, Federal Agencies, and nonprofit institutions.

    In the Federal Register of June 19, 2017 (82 FR 27838), we published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed extension of this collection of information. No comments were received in response to the information collection topics solicited in the notice. However, one comment was received regarding a related Agency draft guidance entitled, “Use of Electronic Records and Electronic Signatures in Clinical Investigations Under 21 CFR part 11—Questions and Answers,” and the comment has been directed to the appropriate Agency components for consideration.

    We therefore estimate the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total hours
    11.100 4,500 1 4,500 1 4,500 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total hours
    11.10 2,500 1 2,500 20 50,000 11.30 2,500 1 2,500 20 50,000 11.50 4,500 1 4,500 20 90,000 11.300 4,500 1 4,500 20 90,000 Total 280,000 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: November 20, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25453 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-4562] Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug Safety Reporting; Public Workshop AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public workshop.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) is announcing the public workshop entitled “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting.” Convened by the Duke-Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University and supported by a cooperative agreement with FDA, the purpose of the public workshop is to bring the stakeholder community together to discuss a variety of topics related to “Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug (IND) Safety Reporting.” This public workshop is organized in response to public comments received to Docket No. FDA-2015-D-4562 for the draft guidance “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting” issued in December 2015 requesting a public meeting to discuss the draft guidance and its implications. The public workshop is intended to engage external stakeholders in discussions related to finalizing the draft guidance entitled “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting.”

    DATES:

    The public workshop will be held on January 11, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Time. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for registration date and information.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public workshop will be held at the Conference Center at 1777 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. For additional travel and hotel information, please refer to the following Web site: https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/events/fda-ind-safety-reporting-meeting. There will also be a live webcast for those unable to attend the meeting in person (see Streaming Webcast of Public Workshop).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Wedlake, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6362, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-2728, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The IND safety reporting requirements for human drugs and biological products being studied under an IND are stated in § 312.32 (21 CFR 312.32). In 2012, FDA published final guidance for industry and investigators regarding implementation of these requirements entitled “Safety Reporting Requirements for INDs and BA/BE Studies.1  ” During the evaluation of comments to the draft guidance for industry and investigators entitled “Safety Reporting Requirements for INDs and BA/BE Studies” (Docket No. FDA-2010-D-0482) and at meetings with stakeholders, FDA identified the need for additional guidance on IND safety reporting. The draft guidance for industry entitled “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting” was issued in December 2015 2 as a follow-on to the guidance for industry and investigators entitled “Safety Reporting Requirements for INDs and BA/BE Studies” and provides recommendations for how sponsors of INDs can identify and evaluate important safety information that must be submitted to FDA and all participating investigators under the IND safety reporting regulations at § 312.32. The focus of this draft guidance is on safety information that is only interpretable in the aggregate and therefore, this guidance is most applicable to late-stage studies and drug development programs that have multiple studies. This guidance contains recommendations on the following matters that are most relevant to sponsors' review of aggregate data for IND safety reporting: (1) The entity that reviews aggregate data, (2) methods for aggregate analyses of safety data, (3) maintaining trial integrity while reviewing unblinded data, and (4) reporting criteria. This guidance also contains recommendations regarding the development of a plan for safety surveillance, and includes considerations and recommendations.

    1 Available at: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/Guidances/UCM227351.pdf.

    2https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM477584.pdf.

    Timely reporting of meaningful safety information allows FDA to consider whether any changes in study conduct should be made beyond those initiated by the sponsor and allows investigators to make any needed changes to protect subjects. Simply reporting all serious adverse events, however, including those where there is little reason to consider them suspected adverse reactions (suspected adverse reactions being those with a reasonable possibility of having been caused by the drug), does not serve this purpose because it may obscure safety information that is relevant to the investigational drug. Sponsors' effective processes for a systematic approach to safety surveillance, coupled with IND safety reporting of suspected adverse reactions to FDA and all participating investigators (and subsequent reporting to involved institutional review boards), allows all parties to focus on important safety issues and to take actions to minimize the risks of participation in a clinical trial. Sponsors are encouraged to have internal processes for governing the safety surveillance and safety reporting for their development programs. Such process may include documenting which adverse events are anticipated in the population under study and would not likely be reported as a single occurrence, but instead would be evaluated by assessing whether there are differences in the rate of occurrence of such events between those receiving the intervention and the concurrent or historical control.

    This public workshop is being held in response to public comments received to Docket No. FDA-2015-D-4562 for the draft guidance entitled “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting” issued in December 2015 requesting a public meeting to discuss the draft guidance recommendations and their implications, including the new recommendations regarding the formation of a safety assessment committee and the submission of a portion of the safety surveillance plan to the IND before initiating phase 2 or 3 studies. The public workshop is intended to engage external stakeholders in discussions related to finalizing the draft guidance entitled “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting.”

    II. Topics for Discussion at the Public Workshop

    During the public workshop, speakers and participants will address a range of issues related to the draft guidance “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting”, issued in December 2015. Items for discussion will include topics raised in public comments submitted to the draft guidance docket, including but not limited to: The entity that conducts aggregate analysis of safety data for IND safety reporting, concerns with unblinding of data and trial integrity, methods for determining the threshold for reporting, and developing and documenting a plan for safety surveillance. Furthermore, input will be sought on other factors that drive over-reporting of safety events that do not meet the definition of a suspected unexpected serious adverse reaction.

    III. Participating in the Public Workshop

    Registration: To register for the public workshop, please visit the following Web site: https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/events/fda-ind-safety-reporting-meeting and register online by January 8, 2018, midnight Eastern Time. There will be no onsite registration. Please provide complete contact information for each attendee, including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and telephone.

    Registration is free and based on space availability, with priority given to early registrants. Persons interested in attending this public workshop must register online by January 8, 2018, midnight Eastern Time. Early registration is recommended because seating is limited; therefore, FDA may limit the number of participants from each organization. Registrants will receive confirmation when they have been accepted. Duke-Margolis will post on its Web site if registration closes before the day of the public workshop.

    If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Sarah Supsiri at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, 202-791-9561, [email protected], no later than January 4, 2018.

    Streaming Webcast of the Public Workshop: This public workshop will also be webcast; archived video footage will be available at the Duke-Margolis Web site (https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/events/fda-ind-safety-reporting-meeting) following the workshop. Organizations are requested to register all participants, but to view using one connection per location whenever possible. Webcast participants will be sent technical system requirements in advance of the event. Prior to joining the streaming webcast of the public workshop, we recommend that you review these technical system requirements in advance.

    Transcripts: Please be advised that transcripts will not be available.

    FDA has verified the Web site addresses in this document, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.

    Meeting Materials: All event materials will be provided to registered attendees via email prior to the workshop and publicly available at the Duke-Margolis Web site: https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/events/fda-ind-safety-reporting-meeting.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25454 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS) Measures, OMB No. 0906-0009—Revision AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR must be received no later than January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N39, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call Lisa Wright-Solomon, the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS) Measures OMB No. 0906-0009 Revision.

    Abstract: The Rural Health Care Services Outreach (Outreach) Program is authorized by Section 330A(e) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (42 U.S.C. 254c(e)), as amended, to “promote rural health care services outreach by expanding the delivery of health care services to include new and enhanced services in rural areas.” The goals for the Outreach Program are as follows: (1) Expand the delivery of health care services in rural communities; (2) deliver health care services through a strong consortium, in which every consortium member organization is actively involved and engaged in the planning and delivery of services; (3) utilize and/or adapt an evidence-based or promising practice model(s) in the delivery of health care services; and (4) improve population health, demonstrate health outcomes and sustainability.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The PIMS measures for the Outreach Program enable HRSA and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to capture awardee-level and aggregate data that illustrate the impact and scope of federal funding. The collection of this information helps further inform and substantiate the focus and objectives of the grant program. The measures encompass the following topics: (a) Access to care; (b) population demographics; (c) consortium/network; (d) sustainability; and (f) project specific domains.

    There are proposed revisions to the currently approved Outreach Program PIMS measures. The proposed Outreach PIMS measures reflect a reduced number of measures including the following: 16 process measures applicable to all awardees (previously 22), consolidation of the project-specific measures (currently 7, previously 8), and 8 clinical measures (previously 9). In addition, the proposed measures include the addition of two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculators: The CDC Heart Age calculator and the CDC BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen. Data for both calculators will be collected on an aggregate level and only from awardees with applicable projects; the CDC Heart Age calculator is specific to awardees participating in the Health Improvement Special Project while the CDC BMI calculator is for projects focusing on childhood obesity.

    Likely Respondents: The respondents are award recipients of the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden Hours:

    Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Name of instrument 25 1 25 3.0 75.0 Total 25 25 75.0

    HRSA specifically requests comments on: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Amy McNulty, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25508 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request

    Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Network Development Program, OMB No. 0906-0010—Revision

    AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Derpartment of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this Information Collection Request must be received no later than January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N39, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call Lisa Wright-Solomon, the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference, in compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Network Development Program OMB No. 0906-0010—Revision.

    Abstract: The purpose of the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) program is to support mature, integrated rural health care networks that have combined the functions of the entities participating in the network in order to address the health care needs of the targeted rural community. Awarded programs combine the functions of the entities participating in the network to create innovative solutions to local healthcare needs while addressing the following statutory charges: (i) Achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole.

    RHND funded programs promote population health management and the transition towards value based care through diverse network membership that include traditional and non-traditional network partners collaborating to address the local healthcare needs of the targeted community. Evidence of program effectiveness demonstrated by outcome data and program sustainability are integral components of the program. This is a three-year competitive program for mature networks composed of at least three members that are separate, existing health care providers entities.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: For this program, performance measures provide data to program staff and enable HRSA to provide aggregate program data. These measures cover the principal topic areas of interest to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, including: (a) Network infrastructure; (b) sustainability; (c) community impact; and (d) access and quality of healthcare.

    For this revised ICR, there are proposed changes to several measures that include network infrastructure, sustainability, community impact, and access and quality of healthcare.

    Likely Respondents: The respondents are the RHND Program grant recipients.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Performance Improvement and Measurement System (PIMS) Database 51 1 51 6 306 Total 51 51 306

    HRSA specifically requests comments on: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Amy McNulty, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25509 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request Information Collection Request Title: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Client-Level Data Reporting System, OMB No. 0906-XXXX—New AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR should be received no later than January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N39, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call Lisa Wright-Solomon, the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference, pursuant to Section 3506(c)(2)(A), the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Information Collection Request Title: Client-Level Data Reporting System OMB No. 0906-XXXX—New.

    Abstract: The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program's (RWHAP) client-level data reporting system, entitled the RWHAP Services Report or the Ryan White Services Report (RSR), is designed to collect information from grant recipients, as well as their subcontracted service providers, funded under Parts A, B, C, and D of the RWHAP legislation. The RWHAP, authorized under Title XXVI of the Public Health Service Act, as amended by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, is administered by the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The RWHAP awards funding to recipients to respond effectively to the changing HIV epidemic, with an emphasis on providing life-saving and life-extending services for people living with HIV in the United States, as well as to target resources to areas that have the greatest needs.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: All Parts of the RWHAP specify HRSA's responsibilities in administering grant funds, allocating funding, assessing HIV care outcomes (e.g., viral suppression) and populations served. The RSR will collect data on the characteristics of RWHAP-funded recipients, their contracted service providers, and the patients or clients served. The RSR system will consist of two online data forms, the Recipient Report and the Service Provider Report, as well as a data file containing the client-level data elements. Data will be submitted annually. The RWHAP statute specifies the importance of recipient accountability and linking performance to budget. The RSR will be used to ensure recipient compliance with the law, including evaluating the effectiveness of programs, monitoring recipient and provider performance, and informing annual reports to Congress. Information collected through the RSR will be critical for HRSA, state and local grant recipients, and individual providers to assess the status of existing HIV-related service delivery systems, assess trends in service utilization, assess the impact of data reporting and identify areas of greatest need.

    This new ICR is being developed to replace the existing ICR (OMB control number 0915-0323), for which HRSA has collected RSR data since 2009. These revisions will account for significant modifications to several variables within the client report and XML file, which will improve data quality and align data collection efforts with recent Policy Clarification Notices (PCN 16-02). HRSA will continue to collect and report the client-level data elements supplied by the existing ICR through 2019. In 2019, the existing ICR will expire and HRSA will collect and report on the data elements defined in the new ICR. While there will be no overlap in the data collected and reported between the existing and new ICR, HRSA is submitting this new ICR in tandem with the existing ICR to allow recipients the ability to make modifications to their RSR systems between the two reporting periods, and continue to collect and report on both the old and new variables without interruption.

    Likely Respondents: RWHAP Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D recipients and their contracted service providers.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Grantee Report 595 1 595 7 4,165 Provider Report 1793 1 1793 17 30,481 Client Report 1,312 1 1,312 67 87,904 Total 3,700 3,700 122,550

    HRSA specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Amy McNulty, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25510 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program OMB No. 0915-0140—Revision AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR should be received no later than January 26, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N39, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call Lisa Wright-Solomon, the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the ICR title for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program OMB No. 0915-0140-Revision.

    Abstract: The NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (NURSE Corps LRP) assists in the recruitment and retention of professional Registered Nurses (RNs) by decreasing the financial barriers associated with pursuing a nursing education. RNs in this instance include advanced practice RNs (e.g., nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse-midwives, and clinical nurse specialists) dedicated to working at eligible health care facilities with a critical shortage of nurses (i.e., a Critical Shortage Facility) or working as nurse faculty in eligible, accredited schools of nursing. The NURSE Corps LRP provides loan repayment assistance to these nurses to repay a portion of their qualifying educational loans in exchange for full-time service at a public or private nonprofit Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) or in an eligible, accredited school of nursing.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The need and purpose of this information collection is to obtain information regarding NURSE Corps LRP applicants and participants to be used to consider an applicant for a NURSE Corps LRP contract award and to monitor a participant's compliance with the program's service requirements. Individuals must submit an application in order to participate in the program. The application asks for personal, professional, educational, and financial information required to determine the applicant's eligibility to participate in the NURSE Corps LRP. The Semi-Annual Employment Verification Form asks for personal and employment information about the participant to determine if a participant is in compliance with the program's service requirements. The Authorization to Release Employment Information Form is now a self-certification within the NURSE Corps LRP application process, with applicants clicking a box.

    This revision to the clearance package will incorporate two new forms for participants: (1) The CSF Verification Form, which is used to verify transfers to critical shortage facilities not already recorded in the online portal; and (2) the NURSE Corps Nurse Faculty Employment Verification Form, which asks for personal and employment information to specifically determine if nurse faculty participants are eligible to transfer to another approved accredited school of nursing.

    Likely Respondents: Professional RNs or advanced practice RNs who are interested in participating in the NURSE Corps LRP, and official representatives at their service sites.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below. The change in the Authorization to Release Employment Information Form has reduced the time necessary for applicants to complete the form from an estimated six minutes to around one minute for online applicants. This decreases the overall time burden by eliminating a form and not increasing the “average” time required to complete the NURSE Corps LRP application. Most applicants fill this form out online by checking a box, bypassing the need for the physical form.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden Hours:

    The estimates of reporting burden for Applicants are as follows:

    Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses/
  • respondents
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • NURSE Corps LRP Application * 5,500 1 5,500 2.0 11,000 Authorization to Release Employment Information Form ** 5,500 1 5,500 .10 550 Total for Applicants 5,500 1 11,000 2.10 11,550 * The burden hours associated with this instrument account for both new and continuation applications. Additional (uploaded) supporting documentation is included as part of this instrument and reflected in the burden hours. ** The same respondents are completing these instruments.

    The estimates of reporting for Participants are as follows:

    Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses/
  • respondents
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Participant Semi-Annual Employment Verification Form 2,300 2 4,600 .5 2,300 NURSE Corps CSF
  • Verification Form
  • 550 1 550 .10 55
    NURSE Corps Nurse Faculty Employment Verification Form 250 1 250 .20 50 Total for Participants 3,100 4 5,400 .8 2,405 Total for Applicants and Participants 8,600 16,400 *13,955 * The 13,955 figure is a combination of burden hours for applicants and participants. This revision adds two forms (the CSF Verification Form and NURSE Corps Nurse Faculty Employment Verification Form). Participants, not applicants, only use these forms. The 13,955 total burden hours represents the net decrease in applicant burden, and the net increase in participant burden.

    HRSA specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Amy McNulty, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25507 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Meeting of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hereby giving notice that a meeting of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) will take place and will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The CFSAC in person meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and Thursday, December 14, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 800, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Commander Gustavo Ceinos, MPH, Designated Federal Officer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Room 728F6, Washington, DC 20201. Please direct all inquiries to [email protected] or 202-690-7650.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CFSAC is authorized under 42 U.S.C. 217a, Section 222 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. The purpose of the CFSAC is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), on issues related to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The issues can include factors affecting access and care for persons with ME/CFS; the science and definition of ME/CFS; and broader public health, clinical, research, and educational issues related to ME/CFS.

    The agenda for this meeting, call-in information and location will be posted on the CFSAC Web site http://www.hhs.gov/ash/advisory-committees/cfsac/meetings/index.html.

    Request to speak to the committee: Each day of the meeting an hour has been scheduled for public comments via telephone or in person. Individuals will have three minutes to present their comments. Priority will be given to individuals who have not provided public comment within the previous twelve months. We are unable to place international calls for public comments. To request a time slot for public comments, please send an email to [email protected] by close of business on Monday, November 27, 2017. The email should contain the speaker's name and the phone number that will be used for public comments.

    An email from the CFSAC Support Team will be sent back to you confirming receipt of your request. If the email confirmation is not received within two working days, please call 202-690-7650.

    Request to provide written comments: Individuals who would like to provide only written testimony to the Committee members and do not wish to speak, should indicate so in their email when submitting their written testimony. It is preferred, but not required, that the submitted testimony be prepared in digital format and typed using a 12-pitch font. Written comments must not exceed 5 single-space pages, and it is preferred, but not required that the document be prepared in the MS Word format. Please note that PDF files, handwritten notes, charts, and photographs cannot be accepted. Materials submitted should not include sensitive personal information, such as social security number, birthdates, driver's license number, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. If you wish to remain anonymous please specify this in your email, otherwise your name will be included at the top of your written comments.

    The Committee welcomes input on any topic related to ME/CFS.

    Dated: November 17, 2017. Gustavo Ceinos, CDR, USPHS, Designated Federal Officer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25550 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-42-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary Findings of Research Misconduct AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has taken final action in the following case:

    Mahandranauth Chetram, Ph.D., Georgetown University and Emory School of Medicine: Based on the report of an investigation conducted by Georgetown University (GU), Respondent's admission at Emory School of Medicine (ESOM), and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Dr. Mahandranauth Chetram, former postdoctoral fellow, Department of Oncology, GU, and former postdoctoral fellow, Department of Pediatrics, ESOM, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants R01 CA113447, R01 CA092306, and T32 CA09686 while at GU, and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH, grant R01 DK059380 while at ESOM.

    ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct at GU by falsifying Western blot images and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) data included in an unfunded grant application, R01 CA193344-01A1, and in a manuscript submitted to Cancer Cell (“The DNA Repair Protein, NTHL1 Functions as an Oncoprotein by Activating the Canoncial Wnt Pathway.” Submitted to Cancer Cell; hereafter referred to as the “Cancer Cell manuscript”). Subsequently, after Respondent was aware of the research misconduct findings from GU, Respondent engaged in research misconduct at ESOM and falsified RT-PCR data on Excel spreadsheets in the research record and in a figure generated from the false data included in a manuscript submitted to and withdrawn from Scientific Reports (“Immipramine Blue Sensitively and Selectively Targets FLT3-ITD Positive Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells.” Scientific Reports 7(1):4447, 2017 June 30; doi:10.1038/s41598-017-04796-1. PMID: 28667329. Submitted to Scientific Reports [withdrawn]; hereafter referred to as the “Scientific Reports manuscript”).

    Specifically, ORI found:

    • While at GU, Respondent falsified Western blot images and qPCR experiments examining mechanisms underlying the hypothesis that the DNA repair protein, NTHL-1, regulates wingless signaling in cancer cells. False Western blot images were included in Figures 6A and S7L in the Cancer Cell manuscript, and the same Figure 6A was included as Figure 8A in grant application R01 CA193344-01A1. False qPCR data were included in Figures 3F and 5D in the Cancer Cell manuscript and Figures 5C (MCF7 panel) and 5E of grant application R01 CA193344-01A1.

    • While at ESOM, Respondent falsified data on Excel spreadsheets for eight (8) RT-PCR experiments measuring the expression of various genes in leukemia cell lines and included false data in the Scientific Reports manuscript.

    Dr. Chetram entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement and voluntarily agreed for a period of three (3) years, beginning on October 19, 2017:

    (1) To exclude himself from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility for or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government referred to as “covered transactions” pursuant to HHS' Implementation (2 CFR part 376 et seq.) of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180 (collectively the “Debarment Regulations”); and

    (2) To exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Director, Office of Research Integrity, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750, Rockville, MD 20852, (240) 453-8200.

    Kathryn M. Partin, Director, Office of Research Integrity.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25549 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Eye Council.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and/or contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Advisory Eye Council.

    Date: January 18, 2018.

    Open: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Following opening remarks by the Director, NEI, there will be presentations by the staff of the institute and discussions concerning Institute programs.

    Place: Fishers Lane Conference Center, Terrace Level, 5635 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Closed: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Fishers Lane Conference Center, Terrace Level, 5635 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Paul A. Sheehy, Ph.D., Executive Secretary, Division of Extramural Affairs, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, 5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 12300, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-2020, [email protected].

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page:www.nei.nih.gov, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.867, Vision Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: November 20, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25449 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel, SBIR E-Learning Review.

    Date: December 4, 2017.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: NIEHS/National Institutes of Health, Keystone Building, 530 Davis Drive, Room 3118, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 (Teleconference).

    Contact Person: Janice B Allen, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, Nat. Institute of Environmental Health Science, P. O. Box 12233, MD EC-30/Room 3170, B Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 919/541-7556, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel Assay Development: Toxicity Testing with Differentiated Cells Special Emphasis Panel Review.

    Date: December 5, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: NIEHS/National Institutes of Health, Keystone Building, 530 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27713 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Leroy Worth, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, Nat. Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P. O. Box 12233, MD EC-30/Room 3171, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (919) 541-0670, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13).

    Date: December 5, 2017.

    Time: 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: NIEHS/National Institutes of Health, Keystone Building, 530 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27713 (Teleconference).

    Contact Person: RoseAnne M McGee, Associate Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, Nat. Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-30, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (919) 541-0752, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities In Environmental Health Sciences (R21).

    Date: December 13, 2017.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: NIEHS/National Institutes of Health, Keystone Building, 530 Davis Drive, Room 1002, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 (Teleconference).

    Contact Person: Laura A. Thomas, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 919-541-2824, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.115, Biometry and Risk Estimation—Health Risks from Environmental Exposures; 93.142, NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Health and Safety Training; 93.143, NIEHS Superfund Hazardous Substances—Basic Research and Education; 93.894, Resources and Manpower Development in the Environmental Health Sciences; 93.113, Biological Response to Environmental Health Hazards; 93.114, Applied Toxicological Research and Testing, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: November 20, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25451 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of meetings of the AIDS Research Advisory Committee, NIAID.

    The meetings will be open to the public, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    Name of Committee: AIDS Research Advisory Committee, NIAID.

    Date: January 29, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Reports from the Division Director and other staff.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Natcher Building, Conference Rooms E1/E2, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Mark A. Mueller, Executive Secretary, AIDS Research Advisory Committee, Division of AIDS, NIAID/NIH, 5601 Fishers Lane, RM 8D39 Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-2308, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: AIDS Research Advisory Committee, NIAID.

    Date: June 4, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Reports from the Division Director and other staff.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Natcher Building, Conference Rooms E1/E2 45, Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Mark A. Mueller, Executive Secretary, AIDS Research Advisory Committee, Division of AIDS, NIAID/NIH, 5601 Fishers Lane, RM 8D39 Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-2308, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: AIDS Research Advisory Committee, NIAID.

    Date: September 17, 2018.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Reports from the Division Director and other staff.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Natcher Building, Conference Rooms E1/E2, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Mark A. Mueller, Executive Secretary, AIDS Research Advisory Committee, Division of AIDS, NIAID/NIH, 5601 Fishers Lane, RM 8D39, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-2308, [email protected].

    In the interest of security, NIH has instituted stringent procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel, and airport shuttles will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: November 17, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25450 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    INTER-AMERICAN FOUNDATION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    November 28, 2017, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    PLACE:

    Via tele-conference hosted at Inter-American Foundation, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 1200, NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    STATUS:

    Meeting of the Board of Directors, Open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    FY19 Budget Submission FOR DIAL-IN INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Vargas, Executive Assistant, (202) 524-8869.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Paul Zimmerman, General Counsel, (202) 683-7118.

    Paul Zimmerman, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25730 Filed 11-22-17; 5:10 pm] BILLING CODE 7025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-MB-2017-N152; 91100-3740-GRNT 7C] Announcement of Public Meetings: North American Wetlands Conservation Council; Advisory Group for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Council) will meet to select North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant proposals for recommendation to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (Commission). The Council will consider Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Standard grant proposals. The Advisory Group for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) grants program (Advisory Group) also will meet. The Advisory Group will discuss the strategic direction and management of the NMBCA program. Both meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may present oral or written statements.

    DATES:

    Council: December 13, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    Advisory Group: December 12, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    Attendance: To attend either or both meetings, contact the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than December 5, 2017.

    Presenting Information: If you are interested in presenting information, contact the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator no later than December 5, 2017.

    Submitting Information: To submit written information or questions before the Council or Advisory Group meeting for consideration during the meeting, contact the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator no later than December 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Council and Advisory Group meetings will take place at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 1133 15th Street NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Mott, Council/Advisory Group Coordinator, by phone at 703-358-1784; by email at [email protected]; or by U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: MB, Falls Church, VA 22041. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 during normal business hours. Also, FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    About the Council

    In accordance with the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (Pub. L. 101-233, 103 Stat. 1968, December 13, 1989, as amended; NAWCA), the State-private-Federal North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Council) meets to consider wetland acquisition, restoration, enhancement, and management projects for recommendation to, and final funding approval by, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. NAWCA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. These projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. Project proposal due dates, application instructions, and eligibility requirements are available on the NAWCA Web site at www.fws.gov/birds/grants/north-american-wetland-conservation-act.php.

    About the Advisory Group

    In accordance with Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (Pub. L. 106-247, 114 Stat. 593, July 20, 2000; NMBCA), the Advisory Group will hold its meeting to discuss the strategic direction and management of the NMBCA program and provide advice to the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. NMBCA promotes long-term conservation of neotropical migratory birds and their habitats through a competitive grants program by promoting partnerships, encouraging local conservation efforts, and achieving habitat protection in 36 countries. The goals of NMBCA include perpetuating healthy bird populations, providing financial resources for bird conservation, and fostering international cooperation. Because the greatest need is south of the U.S. border, at least 75 percent of NMBCA funding supports projects outside the United States. Project proposal due dates, application instructions, and eligibility requirements are available on the NMBCA Web site at http://www.fws.gov/birds/grants/neotropical-migratory-bird-conservation-act.php.

    Public Input Submitting Written Information or Questions

    Interested members of the public may submit relevant information or questions to be considered during the public meetings. If you wish to make information available to the Council or Advisory Group for their consideration prior to the meeting, you must contact the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator by the date in DATES. Written statements must be supplied to the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator in both of the following formats: One hard copy with original signature and one electronic copy via email (acceptable file formats are Adobe Acrobat PDF, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, or rich text file).

    Giving an Oral Presentation

    Individuals or groups requesting to make an oral presentation at the meetings will be limited to 2 minutes per speaker, with no more than a total of 30 minutes for all speakers. Interested parties should contact the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator, by the date specified above in DATES, in writing (preferably via email; see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to be placed on the public speaker list for the meetings. Nonregistered public speakers will not be considered during the Council or Advisory Group meeting. Registered speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, or those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, are invited to submit written statements to the Council or Advisory Group within 30 days following the meeting.

    Meeting Minutes

    Summary minutes of the Council and Advisory Group meetings will be maintained by the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator at the address under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Meeting notes will be available by contacting the Council/Advisory Group Coordinator within 30 days following the meeting. Personal copies may be purchased for the cost of duplication.

    Authority: We issue this notice under the authority of NAWCA (Pub. L. 101-233, 103 Stat. 1968, December 13, 1989, as amended).

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Michael Johnson, Deputy Assistant Director, Migratory Birds.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25477 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2017-0078; FXIA16710900000-156-FF09A30000] Foreign Endangered Species; Issuance of Permits AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of issuance of permits.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have issued the following permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species, marine mammals, or both. We issue these permits under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents and other information submitted with these applications are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any party who submits a written request for a copy of such documents to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, MS: IA, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041; fax (703) 358-2281. To locate the Federal Register notice that announced our receipt of the application for each permit listed in this document, go to www.regulations.gov and search on the permit number provided in the tables in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joyce Russell, (703) 358-2023 (telephone); (703) 358-2281 (fax); or [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On the dates below, as authorized by the provisions of the ESA, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we issued requested permits subject to certain conditions set forth therein. For each permit for an endangered species, we found that (1) the application was filed in good faith, (2) the granted permit would not operate to the disadvantage of the endangered species, and (3) the granted permit would be consistent with the purposes and policy set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

    Endangered Species Permit No. Applicant Receipt of application Federal Register notice Permit
  • issuance
  • date
  • 23963c Janis Maund 82 FR 28348; June 21, 2017 8/29/2017 32538C Amanda Henson 82 FR 35817; August 1, 2017 9/14/2017 31910C Zoological Society of Philadelphia 82 FR 37603; August 11, 2017 9/15/2017 700877 Bishop Museum 82 FR 32374; July 13, 2017 9/19/2017 64738A Palfam Ranch 82 FR 35817; August 1, 2017 9/22/2017 14837C Temple 82 FR 28348; June 21, 2017 9/13/2017 66306A Wildwood Wildlife Park and Nature Center, Inc 82 FR 33924; July 21, 2017 9/28/2017
    Availability of Documents

    Documents and other information submitted with these applications are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any party who submits a written request for a copy of such documents to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, MS: IA, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041; fax (703) 358-2281.

    Authority: We issue this notice under the authority of the ESA, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Joyce Russell, Government Information Specialist, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25501 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCAD07000 L51010000 ER0000 16X LVRWB09B1670] Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed United States Gypsum Company Mine Expansion/Modernization Project, Imperial County, CA AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) El Centro Field Office, with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as a cooperating agency, intends to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the United States Gypsum Company (USG) Mine Expansion/Modernization Project. The Supplemental EIS will analyze additional alternatives and update technical information in the 2008 USG Mine Expansion/Modernization Project Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/EIS. The USACE was not involved in the development of the EIR/EIS, but will be involved with the Supplemental EIS, based on USACE's jurisdiction by law and special expertise, pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Scoping is not usually required for preparation of a Supplemental EIS. However, since USACE was not a cooperating agency during scoping of the EIR/EIS, they have requested that public scoping be included for the Supplemental EIS.

    This notice announces the beginning of the public scoping process for input into the Supplemental EIS. The goal of the scoping process is to solicit public comments, for the purpose of identifying relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the process for developing the Supplemental EIS.

    DATES:

    Comments for input into the Supplemental EIS may be submitted in writing until January 11, 2018. A public scoping meeting will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local newspaper(s), the BLM Web site, BLM Newsbytes, and BLM social media. All comments received during the scoping period will be considered for input into the Supplemental EIS. In order to be included in the Supplemental EIS, all comments must be received prior to the close of the 45-day scoping period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. Additional opportunities for public participation will be provided upon publication of a Draft Supplemental EIS. Upon completion of the public review and comment period of the Draft Supplemental EIS, a Final Supplemental EIS will be prepared and subsequently published for public review.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on issues related to the Supplemental EIS by any of the following methods: Email: [email protected]; Fax: 530-224-2172; or Mail: Attn: Susie Greenhalgh, BLM Northern California District Office, 6640 Lockheed Drive, Redding, CA 96002.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susie Greenhalgh, BLM Northern California District Office, 6640 Lockheed Drive, Redding, CA 96002; phone: 530-224-2142; email: [email protected] Contact Ms. Greenhalgh to have your name added to our mailing list. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The USG's mine expansion/modernization project (Project) involves both the Plaster City Wallboard Plant (Plant) and Plaster City Quarry (Quarry). The Plant is located on Evan Hewes Highway in Plaster City, CA, approximately 18 miles west of the city of El Centro. The Quarry is located on Split Mountain Road approximately 26 miles northwest of Plaster City. Both sites are located within the BLM's California Desert Conservation Area. Components of the expansion project originally analyzed in the EIR/EIS included water delivery systems to the wallboard plant and quarry, a new electrical transmission line, and maintenance of an existing tram road using narrow gauge rail line between the Plant and Quarry. Certain aspects of the project have already been implemented under the conditions and approvals provided by Imperial County and may not be subject to the jurisdiction of the BLM or the USACE.

    The surface disturbance analyzed in the 2006 Draft EIR/EIS and the 2008 Final EIR/EIS included operations on placer mining claims and mill sites on BLM land totaling 407.9 acres. Since then, 304.57 acres of these mining claims were patented, subject to regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior to protect the scenic, scientific, and environmental values of the public lands within the California Desert Conservation Area. Pursuant to 43 CFR 3809.2(c), lands patented with this stipulation must comply with the regulations at 43 CFR 3809.

    Consequently, the Supplemental EIS will update land ownership changes since completion of the 2006/2008 environmental documents, but the analysis of the applicable regulations and impacts will not need to be changed because of the change in land ownership.

    Additionally, USG submitted two right of way applications for the utility access across approximately 55.7 acres of BLM-managed land. BLM's involvement consists of responding to a plan of operations, the two right of way applications, and any other project needs that may be discovered during the scoping process. USG also submitted a request for a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 Permit to the USACE for expansion of operations into alluvial portions of the quarry. USACE's involvement consists of responding to the Section 404 Permit.

    At present, the following preliminary issues have been identified: hydrology and water resources, threatened and endangered species, realty/right-of-ways, mineral resources, and cultural resources. The BLM will identify, analyze, and require mitigation, as appropriate, to address the reasonably foreseeable impacts to resources from the project. The BLM will utilize and coordinate the NEPA process to help fulfill the public involvement process under the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S.C. 306108) as provided in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). The BLM will consult with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the proposed USG Project that the BLM and USACE are evaluating, are invited to participate in the public scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM to participate in the development of the environmental analysis as a cooperating agency.

    In December 2001, Imperial County, California, published the Notice of Preparation of the joint EIR/EIS for the USG Expansion/Modernization Project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As the lead agency for the project under NEPA, the BLM issued a Notice of Intent to prepare a joint EIR/EIS in the Federal Register on May 1, 2002 (67 FR 21713). A Draft EIR/EIS was prepared for the project and was circulated for comment by the public and other interested agencies from April 17, 2006, to July 17, 2006. The BLM also initiated consultation with the USFWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A Final EIR/EIS responding to comments was released in January of 2008.

    On March 18, 2008, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors certified the EIR and adopted findings of fact, a statement of overriding considerations, and a mitigation monitoring program in compliance with CEQA. The Imperial County Board of Supervisors filed a Notice of Determination on March 19, 2008. On March 14, 2008, the BLM published in the Federal Register the Notice of Availability of the USG Expansion/Modernization Project Final EIR/EIS (73 FR 13918). The BLM did not issue a ROD because its ESA Section 7 consultation requirements were still pending.

    USG proceeded to conduct quarrying operations within its private land at the Quarry under the conditions and approvals provided by Imperial County and the State of California consistent with stipulations outlined by the County. Under existing conditions, USG holds title to 2,032.2 acres of private land of which 1,118.7 acres are approved by Imperial County for mining. In order to proceed with phased quarry operations consistent with production demands and an approved Mine Reclamation Plan, USG proposes to initiate alluvial quarrying activities in undisturbed portions of its mine plan. Proposed project activities related to alluvial quarrying will require a CWA Section 404 Permit from the USACE. The USACE was not a cooperating agency in the development of the USG Expansion/Modernization Project Final EIR/EIS.

    In March 2014, USG submitted a request for a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 Permit to the USACE for expansion of operations into alluvial portions of the quarry, Phase 2 and 2P of the Quarry's mine plan. The USACE determined in its initial evaluation of the application that an EIS-level analysis may be required to evaluate impacts to waters of the U.S., including a CWA Section 404(b)(1) alternatives analysis (pursuant to 40 CFR part 230). The USACE could not adopt the USG Final EIR/EIS, per Federal regulations at 40 CFR 1506.3(c), because the USACE was not a cooperating agency at the time of the development of the EIR/EIS. Furthermore, the BLM did not complete its ESA Section 7 consultation requirements or issue a Record of Decision (ROD) based on the Final EIR/EIS.

    Public Comments: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. 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.

    Authority:

    40 CFR 1501.7.

    Thomas F. Zale, El Centro Field Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25523 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-40-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NRNHL-24652; PPWOCRADI0, PCU00RP14.R50000] National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service is soliciting comments on the significance of properties nominated before November 4, 2017, for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places.

    DATES:

    Comments should be submitted by December 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be sent via U.S. Postal Service and all other carriers to the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C St. NW., MS 7228, Washington, DC 20240.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The properties listed in this notice are being considered for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places. Nominations for their consideration were received by the National Park Service before November 4, 2017. Pursuant to section 60.13 of 36 CFR part 60, written comments are being accepted concerning the significance of the nominated properties under the National Register criteria for evaluation.

    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. 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.

    Nominations submitted by State Historic Preservation Officers:

    CALIFORNIA Los Angeles County Drucker, Peter, House, 636 Wellesley Dr., Claremont, SG100001890 Orange County Pomona Court and Apartments, 314-320 N. Paloma & 200-204 E. Whiting Aves., Fullerton, SG100001891 Sacramento County Southside Park (Latinos in 20th Century California MPS), Between T, W, 6th & 8th Sts., Sacramento, MP100001892 MARYLAND Howard County Forest View, 1805 Marriottsville Rd., Marriottsville vicinity, SG100001894 MONTANA Fergus County Draft Horse Barn, Fergus County Fairgrounds, 1000 US 191, Lewistown, SG100001895 Flathead County DESMET (Boat) (Glacier National Park MPS, AD), L. McDonald, Glacier NP, West Glacier vicinity, MP100001896 Glacier County LITTLE CHIEF (Boat) (Glacier National Park MPS, AD), Two Medicine L., Glacier NP, East Glacier Park vicinity, MP100001897 Jefferson County Grant-Marshall Lime Kiln Historic District, The 1,000 ft. S. of S. end of Crystal Dr., Helena vicinity, SG100001898 OHIO Erie County Downtown Sandusky Commercial Historic District, Roughly bounded by Shoreline Dr., Washington Row, Hancock & Decatur Sts., Sandusky, SG100001899 WEST VIRGINIA Jefferson County Wild Goose Farm, 2935 Shepherd Grade Rd., Shepherdstown vicinity, SG100001902 Wayne County Fort Gay High School, 675 Court St., Fort Gay, SG100001903

    A request for removal has been made for the following resource:

    SOUTH DAKOTA Pennington County Madison, Pap, Cabin, Bounded by W. Main St., St. Joseph St. & West Blvd., Rapid City, OT08000054

    A request to move has been received for the following resources:

    UTAH Salt Lake County Hawk, William, Cabin, 458 N. 3rd West, Salt Lake City, MV78002671

    Additional documentation has been received for the following resource:

    KANSAS Lincoln County Nielsen Farm, 1125 E. Pike Dr., Denmark vicinity, AD05001513
    Authority:

    60.13 of 36 CFR Part 60.

    Dated: November 8, 2017. Christopher Hetzel, Acting Chief, National Register of Historic Places/National Historic Landmarks Program.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25506 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-1062] Certain Backpack Chairs; Notice of a Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating the Investigation Based on a Withdrawal of the Complaint; Termination of the Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined not to review an initial determination (“ID”) (Order No. 5) of the presiding administrative law judge (“ALJ”), granting a motion to terminate the above-captioned investigation in its entirety based on a withdrawal of the complaint.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cathy Chen, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2392. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission instituted this investigation on July 12, 2017, based on a complaint filed on behalf of Rio Brands, LLC of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. 82 FR 32199 (July 12, 2017). The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, by reason of infringement of a claim of U.S. Patent No. RE 39,022. The complaint further alleges that a domestic industry exists. The Commission's notice of investigation named CGI Outdoor, Inc. of Higganum, Connecticut, as respondent. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations did not participate in the investigation.

    On October 27, 2017, Complainant filed a motion to terminate the investigation in its entirety under Commission Rule 210.21(a)(1), based on a withdrawal of the complaint. Order No. 5 at 1. Respondent submitted a response but did not oppose the motion to terminate. Id. at 1-2.

    On November 6, 2017, the ALJ issued the subject ID granting the motion and terminating the investigation in its entirety. Id. at 3. The ALJ found that the motion complies with the Commission Rules and that termination of the investigation is not contrary to the public interest. Id. at 2. The ALJ also found that no extraordinary circumstances prevent termination of the investigation based on a withdrawal of the complaint. Id.

    No petitions for review were filed. The Commission has determined not to review the ID.

    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, and in part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR part 210.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: November 21, 2017. Katherine M. Hiner, Supervisory Attorney.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25543 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-589 and 731-TA-1394-1396 (Preliminary)] Determinations; Forged Steel Fittings From China, Italy, and Taiwan

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject investigations, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan, provided for in subheadings 7307.99.10, 7307.99.30, and 7307.99.50 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”) and to be subsidized by the government of China.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Commencement of Final Phase Investigations

    Pursuant to section 207.18 of the Commission's rules, the Commission also gives notice of the commencement of the final phase of its investigations. The Commission will issue a final phase notice of scheduling, which will be published in the Federal Register as provided in section 207.21 of the Commission's rules, upon notice from the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) of affirmative preliminary determinations in the investigations under sections 703(b) or 733(b) of the Act, or, if the preliminary determinations are negative, upon notice of affirmative final determinations in those investigations under sections 705(a) or 735(a) of the Act. Parties that filed entries of appearance in the preliminary phase of the investigations need not enter a separate appearance for the final phase of the investigations. Industrial users and, if the merchandise under investigation is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations have the right to appear as parties in Commission antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. The Secretary will prepare a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the investigations.

    Background

    On October 5, 2017, Bonney Forge Corporation, Mount Union, Pennsylvania and the United Steel, Paper, and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania filed petitions with the Commission and Commerce, alleging that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of LTFV and subsidized imports of forged steel fittings from China and LTFV imports of forged steel fittings from Italy and Taiwan. Accordingly, effective October 5, 2017, the Commission, pursuant to sections 703(a) and 733(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671b(a) and 1673b(a)), instituted countervailing duty investigation No. 701-TA-589 and antidumping duty investigation Nos. 731-TA-1394-1396 (Preliminary).

    Notice of the institution of the Commission's investigations and of a public conference to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register of October 12, 2017 (82 FR 47578). The conference was held in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2017, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel.

    The Commission made these determinations pursuant to sections 703(a) and 733(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671b(a) and 1673b(a)). It completed and filed its determinations in these investigations on November 20, 2017. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4743 (November 2017), entitled Forged Steel Fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan: Investigation Nos. 701-TA-589 and 731-TA-1394-1396 (Preliminary).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: November 20, 2017. Katherine M. Hiner, Supervisory Attorney.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25478 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Inv. No. 337-TA-1085] Certain Glucosylated Steviol Glycosides, and Products Containing Same Institution of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on October 20, 2017, under the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, on behalf of PureCircle USA Inc. of Oak Brook, Illinois and PureCircle Sdn Bhd of Malaysia. A supplement was filed on November 13, 2017. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of the Tariff Act based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain glucosylated steviol glycosides, and products containing same by reason of infringement of U.S. Patent No. 9,420,815 (“the '815 patent”). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists or is in the process of being established as required by the applicable Federal Statute.

    The complainants request that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. Hearing impaired individuals are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pathenia M. Proctor, The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-2560.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority: The authority for institution of this investigation is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337 and in section 210.10 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10 (2017).

    Scope of Investigation: Having considered the complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on November 20, 2017, ordered that

    (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain glucosylated steviol glycosides, and products containing same by reason of infringement of one or more of claims 1-14 of the `815 patent; and whether an industry in the United States exists or is in the process of being established as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337;

    (2) For the purpose of the investigation so instituted, the following are hereby named as parties upon which this notice of investigation shall be served:

    (a) The complainants are:

    PureCircle USA Inc., 915 Harger Road, Suite 250, Oak Brook, IL 60523 PureCircle Sdn Bhd, Level 12, West Wing, Rohas PureCircle, No. 9 Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    (b) The respondent is the following entity alleged to be in violation of section 337, and is the party upon which the complaint is to be served:

    Sweet Green Fields USA LLC, 11 Bellwether Way, Suite 305, Bellingham, WA 98225 Sweet Green Fields Co., Ltd., 11 Bellwether Way, Suite 305, Bellingham, WA 98225 Ningbo Green-Health Pharma-ceutical Co., Ltd., a/k/a NB Green-Health Pharma-ceutical Co., Ltd., Fenghua Xiwu Town Foreign Technological Garden Fenghua, Zip Code: 315505, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China

    (3) For the investigation so instituted, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. International Trade Commission, shall designate the presiding Administrative Law Judge. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in this investigation.

    Responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation must be submitted by the named respondents in accordance with section 210.13 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.13. Pursuant to 19 CFR 201.16(e) and 210.13(a), such responses will be considered by the Commission if received not later than 20 days after the date of service by the Commission of the complaint and the notice of investigation. Extensions of time for submitting responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation will not be granted unless good cause therefor is shown.

    Failure of a respondent to file a timely response to each allegation in the complaint and in this notice may be deemed to constitute a waiver of the right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and this notice, and to authorize the administrative law judge and the Commission, without further notice to the respondent, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and this notice and to enter an initial determination and a final determination containing such findings, and may result in the issuance of an exclusion order or a cease and desist order or both directed against the respondent.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: November 20, 2017. Katherine M. Hiner, Supervisory Attorney.
    [FR Doc. 2017-25479 Filed 11-24-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-579-580 and 731-TA-1369-1372 (Final)] Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber From China, India, Korea, and Taiwan; Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty Investigations AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the scheduling of the final phase of antidumping and countervailing duty investigation Nos. 701-TA-579-580 and 731-TA-1369-1372 (Final) pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded, by reason of imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber (“fine denier PSF”) from China, India, Korea, and Taiwan, provided for in subheading 5503.20.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. Imports of this product from China and India have been preliminarily determined by the Department of Commerce to be subsidized. Determinations with respect to imports of fine denier PSF alleged to be sold at less than fair value are pending.

    DATES:

    November 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jordan Harriman (202-205-2610), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server (https://www.usitc.gov). The public record for these investigations may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope.—For purposes of these investigations, the Department of Commerce has defined the subject merchandise as, “fine denier polyester staple fiber (fine denier PSF), not carded or combed, measuring less than 3.3 decitex (3 denier) in diameter. The scope covers all fine denier PSF, whether coated or uncoated. The following products are excluded from the scope:

    (1) PSF equal to or greater than 3.3. decitex (more than 3 denier, inclusive) currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 5503.20.0045 and 5503.20.0065.

    (2) Low-melt PSF defined as a bicomponent fiber with a polyester core and anouter, polyester sheath that melts at a significantly lower temperature than its inner polyester core currently classified under HTSUS subheading 5503.20.0015.

    Fine denier PSF is classifiable under the HTSUS subheading 5503.20.0025. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.”

    Background.—The final phase of these investigations is being scheduled pursuant to section 705(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b)), as a result of affirmative preliminary determinations by the Department of Commerce that certain benefits which constitute subsidies within the meaning of section 703 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671b) are being provided to manufacturers, producers, or exporters in China and India of fine denier PSF. The investigations were requested in petitions filed on May 31, 2017, by DAK Americas LLC, Charlotte, NC; Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America, Lake City, SC; and Auriga Polymers Inc., Charlotte, NC.

    For further information concerning the conduct of this phase of the investigations, hearing procedures, and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A and C (19 CFR part 207).

    Participation in the investigations and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the subject merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in the final phase of these investigations as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11 of the Commission's rules, no later than 21 days prior to the hearing date specified in this notice. A party that filed a notice of appearance during the preliminary phase of the investigations need not file an additional notice of appearance during this final phase. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the investigations.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and BPI service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI gathered in the final phase of these investigations available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the investigations, provided that the application is made no later than 21 days prior to the hearing date specified in this notice. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined by 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the investigations. A party granted access to BPI in the preliminary phase of the investigations need not reapply for such access. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Staff report.—The prehearing staff report in the final phase of these investigations will be placed in the nonpublic record on January 3, 2018, and a public version will be issued thereafter, pursuant to section 207.22 of the Commission's rules.

    Hearing.—The Commission will hold a hearing in connection with the final phase of these investigations beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed in writing with the Secretary to the Commission on or before January 11, 2018. A nonparty who has testimony that may aid the Commission's deliberations may request permission to present a short statement at the hearing. All parties and nonparties desiring to appear at the hearing and make oral presentations should participate in a prehearing conference to be held on January 12, 2018, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, if deemed necessary. Oral testimony and written materials to be submitted at the public hearing are governed by sections 201.6(b)(2), 201.13(f), and 207.24 of the Commission's rules. Parties must submit any request to present a portion of their hearing testimony in camera no later than 7 business days prior to the date of the hearing.

    Written submissions.—Each party who is an interested party shall submit a prehearing brief to the Commission. Prehearing briefs must conform with the provisions of section 207.23 of the Commission's rules; the deadline for filing is January 10, 2018. Parties may also file written testimony in connection with their presentation at the hearing, as provided in section 207.24 of the Commission's rules, and posthearing briefs, which must conform with the provisions of section 207.25 of the Commission's rules. The deadline for filing posthearing briefs is January 23, 2018. In addition, any person who has not entered an appearance as a party to the investigations may submit a written statement of information pertinent to the subject of the investigations, including statements of support or opposition to the petition, on or before January 23, 2018. On February 9, 2018, the Commission will make available to parties all