Federal Register Vol. 82, No.240,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 240 (December 15, 2017)

Page Range59503-59946
FR Document

82_FR_240
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 59503 - Presidential Determination Pursuant to Section 1245(d)(4)(B) and (C) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012PDF
82 FR 59636 - Termination of the Designation of Nicaragua for Temporary Protected StatusPDF
82 FR 59630 - Extension of the Designation of Honduras for Temporary Protected StatusPDF
82 FR 59581 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 59664 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 59592 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 59685 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; the Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of No Objection to Advance Notice Concerning Liquidity for Same-Day SettlementPDF
82 FR 59517 - Special Local Regulation; Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone-San Diego Parade of LightsPDF
82 FR 59630 - National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 59629 - National Cancer Institute Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 59627 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 59651 - Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC)PDF
82 FR 59650 - Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC)PDF
82 FR 59937 - Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2018PDF
82 FR 59604 - Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various CommoditiesPDF
82 FR 59601 - Alabama: Notice of Determination of Adequacy of Alabama's Financial Assurance Regulations for the State's Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Permit ProgramPDF
82 FR 59599 - Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions for Several Pesticides; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 59596 - Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 59577 - Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection (Marking, Labeling and Packaging)PDF
82 FR 59576 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food AdditivesPDF
82 FR 59606 - Interim Registration Review Decisions and Case Closures for Several Pesticides; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 59603 - Allocations of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Allowances From New Unit Set-Asides for 2017 Control PeriodsPDF
82 FR 59598 - Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide RegistrationsPDF
82 FR 59602 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New UsesPDF
82 FR 59607 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Final Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 59597 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 59944 - ABE Fairmont, LLC-Abandonment Exemption-in Fillmore County, Neb.; BNSF Railway Company-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Fillmore County, Neb.PDF
82 FR 59652 - Scope of Preexisting Subscription ServicesPDF
82 FR 59514 - Extension of Expiration Dates for Four Body System ListingsPDF
82 FR 59562 - Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)PDF
82 FR 59586 - Procurement List; Addition and DeletionsPDF
82 FR 59585 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
82 FR 59526 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex; Adjustment to the Skate Wing Inseason Possession LimitPDF
82 FR 59584 - Forged Steel Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
82 FR 59668 - Submission for Review: Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions (CSRS), SF 2802 and Current/Former Spouse's Notification of Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions Under the Civil Service Retirement System, SF 2802APDF
82 FR 59583 - Limitation of Duty-Free Imports of Apparel Articles Assembled in Haiti Under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), as Amended by the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE)PDF
82 FR 59667 - Submission for Review: Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions,SF 3106 and Current/Former Spouse(s) Notification of Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions Under FERS, SF 3106APDF
82 FR 59677 - Submission for Review: Reinstatement of Disability Annuity Previously Terminated Because of Restoration to Earning Capacity, RI 30-9PDF
82 FR 59594 - Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee; Notice of RenewalPDF
82 FR 59669 - Submission for Review: Annuity Supplement Earnings Report, RI 92-22PDF
82 FR 59593 - Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee; Notice of RenewalPDF
82 FR 59669 - Excepted ServicePDF
82 FR 59595 - Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 59674 - Excepted ServicePDF
82 FR 59594 - Wind Industry Partnership SummitPDF
82 FR 59523 - Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gray Triggerfish Management Measures; Amendment 46PDF
82 FR 59511 - Donations of Technology and Related Support Services To Enforce Intellectual Property RightsPDF
82 FR 59607 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 59644 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
82 FR 59582 - Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Second Amended Final Determination in Less Than Fair Value Investigation and Notice of Third Amended Final DeterminationPDF
82 FR 59575 - Designation for the Aberdeen, South Dakota; Hastings, Nebraska; and Missouri AreasPDF
82 FR 59586 - Proposed Order and Request for Comment on Application for Exemption From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Regarding Investment of Customer Funds and From Certain Related Commission RegulationsPDF
82 FR 59627 - Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 59629 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 59628 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 59628 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 59576 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive LicensePDF
82 FR 59575 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive LicensePDF
82 FR 59580 - Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 59645 - Agency Information Collection Activities; 30 CFR 550, Subpart B, Plans and InformationPDF
82 FR 59666 - Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Annual Reporting (Form 5500 Series)PDF
82 FR 59622 - Issuance of Priority Review Voucher; Rare Pediatric Disease ProductPDF
82 FR 59622 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 59643 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey, New MexicoPDF
82 FR 59642 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Permit ApplicationsPDF
82 FR 59943 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 59555 - Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Aerospace Limited AirplanesPDF
82 FR 59945 - Thirteenth RTCA SC-230 Airborne Weather Detection Systems PlenaryPDF
82 FR 59943 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Ten Americans: After Paul Klee” ExhibitionPDF
82 FR 59627 - Determination Concerning a Petition To Add a Class of Employees to the Special Exposure CohortPDF
82 FR 59626 - Determination Concerning a Petition To Add a Class of Employees to the Special Exposure CohortPDF
82 FR 59621 - Designation of a Class of Employees for Addition to the Special Exposure CohortPDF
82 FR 59937 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for the U.S. Virgin IslandsPDF
82 FR 59936 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for the U.S. Virgin IslandsPDF
82 FR 59593 - Study of the ESEA Title VI Indian Education LEA Grants Program; ED-2017-ICCD-0083; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 59660 - Johns Hopkins Applied Physics LaboratoryPDF
82 FR 59649 - Certain Personal Transporters, Components Thereof, and Packaging and Manuals Therefor and Certain Personal Transporters and Components Thereof; Notice of a Commission Final Determination of Violation of Section 337; Issuance of Remedial Orders; Termination of InvestigationPDF
82 FR 59942 - Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery ServicesPDF
82 FR 59591 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application Package for Social Innovation Fund Performance Progress Report; Proposed Information Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 59591 - Guidance for Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Pilot and Test DataPDF
82 FR 59723 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to Proposed Rule Change Amending the Consolidated Audit Trail Funding FeesPDF
82 FR 59838 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to Proposed Rule Change Amending the Consolidated Audit Trail Funding FeesPDF
82 FR 59897 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to Proposed Rule Change Amending the Consolidated Audit Trail Funding FeesPDF
82 FR 59907 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Consolidated Audit Trail Funding FeesPDF
82 FR 59933 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Investors Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to the Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Assessments To Adopt a Fee Schedule To Establish Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59835 - Self-Regulatory Organizations, Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee SchedulePDF
82 FR 59841 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; MIAX PEARL LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee SchedulePDF
82 FR 59625 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Opioid Program Grant Performance Measures, OMB No. 0906-xxxx-NewPDF
82 FR 59687 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade the Shares of the Causeway International Value NextSharesTMPDF
82 FR 59677 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Pilot Period for the Exchange's Retail Liquidity Program Until June 30, 2018PDF
82 FR 59694 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 7004 and Chapter XV, Section 11PDF
82 FR 59900 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to the Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Assessments To Adopt a Fee Schedule To Establish Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59726 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to a Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59905 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to the Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Assessments To Adopt a Fee Schedule To Establish Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59753 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to a Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59721 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to the Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Assessments To Adopt a Fee Schedule To Establish Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59562 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Wappoo Creek, Charleston, SCPDF
82 FR 59517 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Ashley River, Charleston, SCPDF
82 FR 59505 - Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and StoolsPDF
82 FR 59683 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to the Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Assessments To Adopt a Fee Schedule To Establish Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59871 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to a Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59833 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to the Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Assessments To Adopt a Fee Schedule To Establish Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59805 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to a Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59902 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to the Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Assessments To Adopt a Fee Schedule To Establish Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59680 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to a Proposed Rule Change Amending Consolidated Audit Trail Funding FeesPDF
82 FR 59779 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 to a Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Fees for Industry Members Related to the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF
82 FR 59844 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 7004 and Chapter XV, Section 11PDF
82 FR 59623 - The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 59581 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Delaware Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 59582 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the District of Columbia Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 59679 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Granting an Extension to Limited Exemption From Rule 612(c) of Regulation NMS in Connection With the Exchange's Retail Liquidity Program Until June 30, 2018PDF
82 FR 59944 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 59644 - Notice of Availability for the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 2018; MMAA10400PDF
82 FR 59521 - Approval of Arizona Air Plan Revision; San Manuel, Arizona; Second 10-Year Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance PlanPDF
82 FR 59560 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbojet EnginesPDF
82 FR 59557 - Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Division Turbofan EnginesPDF
82 FR 59619 - Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce PortalsPDF
82 FR 59515 - Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying BenefitsPDF
82 FR 59626 - Findings of Research MisconductPDF
82 FR 59608 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
82 FR 59579 - Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Flathead National Forest and Amending the Land Management Plans of the Helena-Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, and Lolo National ForestsPDF
82 FR 59945 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in IdahoPDF
82 FR 59665 - Crow Butte Resources, Inc.; Marsland Expansion AreaPDF
82 FR 59519 - Air Plan Approval; CT; Decommissioning of Stage II Vapor Recovery SystemsPDF
82 FR 59533 - Policy Statement on the Scenario Design Framework for Stress TestingPDF
82 FR 59528 - Stress Testing Policy StatementPDF
82 FR 59547 - Enhanced Disclosure of the Models Used in the Federal Reserve's Supervisory Stress TestPDF
82 FR 59564 - Financial Assistance: Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, Hunter Education and SafetyPDF

Issue

82 240 Friday, December 15, 2017 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Designations: Aberdeen, SD, Hastings, NE, and Missouri Areas, 59575 2017-27061 Agricultural Research Agricultural Research Service NOTICES Exclusive Licenses; Approvals, 59575-59576 2017-27053 2017-27054 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Agricultural Research Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Designation of a Class of Employees for Addition to the Special Exposure Cohort, 59621 2017-27038 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59622 2017-27048 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Delaware Advisory Committee, 59581 2017-26986 District of Columbia Advisory Committee, 59582 2017-26985 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 59581-59582 2017-27138 2017-27139 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Ashley River, Charleston, SC, 59517-59519 2017-26998 Special Local Regulations: Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone—San Diego Parade of Lights, 59517 2017-27111 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Wappoo Creek, Charleston, SC, 59562-59564 2017-26999 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, 59585-59586 2017-27083 2017-27084 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Proposed Orders and Requests for Comments: Application for Exemption from Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Regarding Investment of Customer Funds and from Certain Related Commission Regulations, 59586-59591 2017-27060 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission RULES Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools, 59505-59511 2017-26997 Copyright Office Copyright Office, Library of Congress NOTICES Scope of Preexisting Subscription Services, 59652-59660 2017-27088 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application Package for Social Innovation Fund Performance Progress Report, 59591 2017-27028 Generic Clearance for the Collection of Pilot and Test Data, 59591-59592 2017-27027 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59592-59593 2017-27113 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Study of ESEA Title VI Indian Education LEA Grants Program; Correction, 59593 2017-27032 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Meetings: Workforce Information Advisory Council, 59650-59652 2017-27106 2017-27107 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

NOTICES Charter Renewals: Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, 59593-59594 2017-27074 Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, 59594 2017-27076
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Meetings: Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee, 59595-59596 2017-27072 Wind Industry Partnership Summit, 59594-59595 2017-27069 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Arizona; San Manuel, Arizona; Second 10-Year Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance Plan, 59521-59523 2017-26971 Connecticut; Decommissioning of Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems, 59519-59521 2017-26900 NOTICES Adequacy Determinations: Alabama's Financial Assurance Regulations for the State's Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Permit Program, 59601 2017-27102 Allocations of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Allowances from New Unit Set-Asides for 2017 Control Periods, 59603-59604 2017-27094 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 59597-59598 2017-27090 Interim Registration Review Decisions and Case Closures: Several Pesticides, 59606-59607 2017-27095 Pesticide Petitions: Chemicals in or on Various Commodities, 59604-59606 2017-27103 Pesticide Product Registrations: Cancellations, 59598-59599 2017-27093 New Uses, 59602-59603 2017-27092 Registration Reviews: Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides, 59596-59597 2017-27098 Proposed Interim Decisions for Several Pesticides, 59599-59600 2017-27100 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59607-59608 2017-27064 2017-27091 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Pacific Aerospace Limited Airplanes, 59555-59557 2017-27043 Pratt and Whitney Division Turbofan Engines, 59557-59559 2017-26967 Rolls-Royce plc Turbojet Engines, 59560-59562 2017-26968 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 59944-59945 2017-26976 Meetings: Thirteenth RTCA SC-230 Airborne Weather Detection Systems Plenary, 59945 2017-27042 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Federal Agency Actions: Idaho; Proposed Highway, 59945-59946 2017-26946 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Enhanced Disclosure of the Models Used in the Federal Reserve's Supervisory Stress Test, 59547-59555 2017-26856 Policy Statement on the Scenario Design Framework for Stress Testing, 59533-59547 2017-26858 Stress Testing Policy Statement, 59528-59533 2017-26857 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59608-59619 2017-26960 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Financial Assistance: Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, Hunter Education and Safety, 59564-59574 2017-26762 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Permit Applications, 59642-59643 2017-27045 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: The Least Burdensome Provisions; Concept and Principles, 59623-59625 2017-26987 Priority Review Vouchers; Issuances: Rare Pediatric Disease Product, 59622-59623 2017-27049 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Marking, Labeling and Packaging, 59577-59579 2017-27097 Meetings: Codex Committee on Food Additives, 59576-59577 2017-27096 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Land Management Plans; Revisions and Amendments: Flathead National Forest; Land Management Plans of the Helena-Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, and Lolo National Forests, 59579-59580 2017-26952 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Procurement through Commercial e-Commerce Portals, 59619-59621 2017-26964 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Findings of Research Misconduct, 59626-59627 2017-26961 Petitions to Add a Class of Employees to the Special Exposure Cohort, 59626-59627 2017-27039 2017-27040
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Rural Health Opioid Program Grant Performance Measures, 59625-59626 2017-27013 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China, 59584 2017-27081 Determinations in Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations: Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China, 59582-59583 2017-27062 Limitation of Duty-Free Imports of Apparel Articles Assembled in Haiti under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, as Amended by the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act, 59583-59584 2017-27079 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Personal Transporters, Components Thereof, and Packaging and Manuals Therefor and Certain Personal Transporters and Components Thereof, 59649-59650 2017-27030 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Wage and Hour Division

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Survey: New Mexico, 59643 2017-27047 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Office, Library of Congress

National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59580-59581 2017-27052 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 59627 2017-27108 Council of Councils, 59627-59628 2017-27059 National Cancer Institute, 59629 2017-27109 National Institute on Aging, 59628 2017-27055 2017-27056 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 59628-59630 2017-27057 2017-27058 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 59630 2017-27110 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northeast Skate Complex; Adjustment to the Skate Wing Inseason Possession Limit, 59526-59527 2017-27082 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico: Gray Triggerfish Management Measures; Amendment 46, 59523-59526 2017-27068 National Park National Park Service NOTICES National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 59644 2017-27063 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Crow Butte Resources, Inc.; Marsland Expansion Area, 59665-59666 2017-26934 License Applications: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, 59660-59664 2017-27031 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 59664 2017-27136 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59645-59649 2017-27051 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale 2018, 59644-59645 2017-26972 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation RULES Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans: Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying Benefits, 59515-59517 2017-26963 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Reporting, 59666-59667 2017-27050 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annuity Supplement Earnings Report, 59669 2017-27075 Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions and Current/Former Spouse's Notification of Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions under the Civil Service Retirement System, 59668-59669 2017-27080 Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions and Current/Former Spouse's Notification of Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions under the Federal Employees Retirement System, 59667-59668 2017-27078 Reinstatement of Disability Annuity Previously Terminated Because of Restoration to Earning Capacity, 59677 2017-27077 Excepted Service, 59669-59677 2017-27070 2017-27073 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Defense and National Security: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Presidential Determination No. 2018-1 of November 15, 2017), 59503 2017-27181 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BOX Options Exchange LLC, 59680-59682, 59779-59805 2017-26989 2017-26990 Cboe BYX Exchange, Inc., 59721-59723 2017-27000 Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 59726-59753, 59900-59902 2017-27003 2017-27004 Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc., 59805-59835 2017-26993 2017-26992 Cboe EDGA Exchange, Inc., 59902-59905 2017-26991 Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., 59753-59778, 59905-59907 2017-27001 2017-27002 Cboe Exchange Inc., 59871-59897 2017-26994 Cboe Exchange, Inc., 59683-59685 2017-26995 Investors Exchange LLC, 59933-59936 2017-27019 Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 59835-59838 2017-27017 MIAX PEARL, LLC, 59841-59844 2017-27015 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 59694-59721 2017-27005 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 59844-59871 2017-26988 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 59897-59900, 59907-59933 2017-27020 2017-27021 NYSE Arca, Inc., 59677-59680, 59723-59726 2017-26984 2017-27010 2017-27025 NYSE MKT LLC, 59838-59841 2017-27023 Options Clearing Corp., 59685-59687 2017-27112 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, 59687-59694 2017-27012 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: US Virgin Islands; Amendment 4, 59936-59937 2017-27035 2017-27036 Social Social Security Administration RULES Extension of Expiration Dates for Four Body System Listings, 59514-59515 2017-27086 NOTICES Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2018, 59937-59942 2017-27105 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 59943 2017-27044 Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery Services, 59942-59943 2017-27029 Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Ten Americans—After Paul Klee Exhibition, 59943 2017-27041 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment and Discontinuance of Service Exemptions: ABE Fairmont, LLC in Fillmore County, NE; BNSF Railway Co. in Fillmore County, NE, 59944 2017-27089 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

Treasury Treasury Department RULES Donations of Technology and Related Support Services to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights, 59511-59514 2017-27065 U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Temporary Protected Status; Extensions and Designations: Honduras, 59630-59636 2017-27140 Nicaragua, 59636-59642 2017-27141 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Donations of Technology and Related Support Services to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights, 59511-59514 2017-27065 Wage Wage and Hour Division PROPOSED RULES Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 59562 2017-27085 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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82 240 Friday, December 15, 2017 Rules and Regulations CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 1112, 1130, and 1232 [Docket No. CPSC-2015-0029] Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools AGENCY:

Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), requires the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission or CPSC) to promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. These standards are to be “substantially the same as” applicable voluntary standards, or more stringent than the voluntary standard if the Commission concludes that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product. The Commission is issuing a safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools in response to the direction under Section 104(b) of the CPSIA. In addition, the Commission is amending its regulations regarding third party conformity assessment bodies to include the safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools in the list of Notices of Requirements (NORs) issued by the Commission. Finally, the Commission is amending its regulations establishing requirements for consumer registration of durable infant or toddler products to identify children's folding stools as a durable infant or toddler product.

DATES:

This rule will become effective June 15, 2018. The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of June 15, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Keysha Walker, Office of Compliance and Field Operations, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; email: [email protected]; telephone: (301) 504-6820.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Statutory Authority

The CPSIA was enacted on August 14, 2008. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA, part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, requires the Commission to: (1) Examine and assess the effectiveness of voluntary consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, in consultation with representatives of consumer groups, juvenile product manufacturers, and independent child product engineers and experts; and (2) promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. Standards issued under section 104 are to be “substantially the same as” the applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard if the Commission concludes that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product.

On October 19, 2015, the Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for children's folding chairs and stools. 80 FR 63155. The NPR proposed to incorporate by reference the voluntary standard that was in effect at that time, ASTM F2613-14, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Chairs and Stools. ASTM F2613-14 contained testing and performance requirements for any chair or stool used by a single child who can get in and get out of the product unassisted and with a seat height 15 inches or less with or without a rocking base. The NPR proposed to limit the scope of the mandatory standard to folding chairs and stools because the hazards presented by folding chairs and stools are different from non-folding chairs and stools. In addition, the NPR proposed to change the stability test method to add a new performance requirement and test method to address sideways stability incidents in addition to rearwards stability incidents, and to revise the marking and labeling sections. Since the NPR was issued, ASTM has revised ASTM F2613-14 several times, as discussed in section V of this preamble. The current version of the standard is ASTM F2613-17a.

In this document, the Commission is issuing a mandatory safety standard that incorporates by reference the most recent voluntary standard, developed by ASTM International, ASTM F2613-17a, for children's folding chairs and stools. The mandatory standard does not include non-folding chairs and stools. The Commission is not making any other modifications to the ASTM standard. As required by section 104(b)(1)(A), the Commission consulted with manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, consumer advocacy groups, consultants, and the public to develop the standard, largely through the ASTM process. In addition, as required by section 14 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the final rule amends the list of NORs issued by the Commission in 16 CFR part 1112 to include the standard for children's folding chairs and stools. The final rule also amends the product registration rule in 16 CFR part 1130 to identify children's folding stools, in addition to children's folding chairs, as a durable infant or toddler product for purposes of consumer product registration requirements.

II. Product Description

The current voluntary standard, ASTM F2613-17a, describes a children's folding chair or stool as seating furniture with a seat height of 15 inches or less with a rigid frame that is intended to be used as a support for the body, limbs, or feet of a child when sitting or resting in an upright or reclining position, can be folded for transport or storage, and may include a rocking base. The product is intended to be used by a single child who can get out of the chair unassisted.

ASTM F26132-17a also includes a definition for “chairs with side containment” to describe “a children's chair or folding chair with armrests or otherwise designed in a shape which provides barriers in the vertical direction above the seating surface to the occupant's left and right which can act like arms or other side structures.” Other definitions remain unchanged from ASTMF2613-14. A “children's chair” is defined as “seating furniture with a rigid frame that is intended to be used as a support for the body, limbs, or feet of a child when sitting or resting in an upright or reclining position.” A “children's stool” is defined as a “children's chair without back, or armrest.” A “folding chair” and “folding stool” is defined as “a children's chair or stool which can be folded for transport or storage.” In the NPR, the Commission proposed to limit the scope of the mandatory standard to folding chairs and stools because the hazards presented by folding chairs and folding stools are different from non-folding chairs and stools. In this document, the Commission incorporates by reference ASTM F2613-17a, but continues to limit the scope of the mandatory standard to folding chairs and stools.

III. Market Description

CPSC staff's review of the market shows that there are currently 13 domestic firms, rather than 14 domestic firms identified in the NPR, supplying children's folding chairs and/or folding stools to the U.S. market. Three firms are large and ten firms are considered small according to the Small Business Administration (SBA) criteria.1 The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) maintains a certification program for children's folding chairs and folding stools, and there is one active participant at this time. Other than this certification program, compliance with the ASTM standard is self-reported. Two additional children's folding chair suppliers claim compliance with the voluntary standard.

1 The Small Business Administration categorizes manufacturers as “small” if they have fewer than 500 employees and importers or wholesalers as small if they have fewer than 100 employees.

IV. Incident Data

The preamble to the NPR summarized the incident data covering the period from January 2003 through December 31, 2014. CPSC staff identified a total of 98 incidents, including 45 nonfatal injuries, related to children's folding chairs or stools that were reported to have occurred. Since the publication of the NPR, CPSC staff has received ten new reports of incidents. Two of the incidents occurred in July and December of 2014, but were not fully investigated or reported until 2015. Of the other eight incidents, two occurred in 2015, three in 2016, and three in 2017. All ten incidents involved folding chairs intended for children under age 5. They were reported under CPSC's Consumer Product Safety Risk Management System (CPSRMS). Seven indicated some form of injury, including amputation or fracture of a finger, bruising (petechiae) of an arm, and head injuries due to falls.

Additionally, since December 31, 2014, CPSC staff's review of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) included several reports of folding chair incidents, but there was insufficient information to determine which, if any, of the NEISS cases involved folding chairs intended for children under the age of 5. Most of the hazards identified in the new incidents are consistent with the hazard patterns identified among the incidents presented in the NPR briefing package, with pinch/shear hazards the most common hazard category.

V. Overview of ASTM F2613

The voluntary standard, ASTM F2613, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Chairs and Stools, was first approved and published in 2007. The scope of products covered by the original version, F2613-07, was limited to “children's folding chairs” with a seat height of 15 inches or less. Significant revisions were made in 2013, in ASTM F2613-13, that were designed to expand the scope of the voluntary standard to all children's chairs and stools. On October 19, 2015, the Commission proposed to incorporate by reference ASTM F2613-14, with modifications. 80 FR 63155. Since the publication of the NPR, the standard has been revised four additional times, as discussed below. The current voluntary standard for children's chairs and stools is ASTM F2613-17a.

A. ASTM F2613-16

ASTM F2613-16 was published in May 2016. The changes adopted in ASTM F2613-16 included the following revisions:

• Added a definition for chairs with side containment (a children's chair or folding chair with armrests or otherwise designed in a shape which provides barriers in the vertical direction above the seating surface to the occupant's left and right, which can act like arms or side structures);

• Added a test requirement and test method for sideways stability for chairs with side containment;

• Added a diagram for measuring seat surface height;

• Added a diagram for side stability test.

B. ASTM F2613-16  1

ASTM F2613-16  1 was published in June 2016. ASTM published an editorial revision, which corrected a printing error which had distorted the diagram in Figure 4, and a typographical error in paragraph 6.8.1.1, revising the test surface angle tolerance from +/−5 degree to +/−0.5 degree.

C. ASTM F2613-17

ASTM F2613-17 was published in August 2017 with the following revisions:

• Modifications to the marking and labeling section of ASTM F2613-16  1 to address the changes proposed in the NPR.

• Modifications to the stability test performed on chairs with non-rigid seats to clarify the placement of the test cylinder during the stability test.

• Modifications to the folding mechanisms and hinges section of F2613-16  1 to clarify that chairs that fold are required to either have a locking mechanism to prevent folding of the chair by the child, or have adequate hinge-line clearance to prevent pinching and lacerations during folding.

• Modification of the standard's scope to exempt children's potties.

D. ASTM F2613-17a

The current version, ASTM F2613-17a, was published in October 2017. The revision makes minor editorial changes including the removal of side stability testing for stools because chairs and stools without side containment are exempt from side stability testing, and stools, by definition, do not have side containment. In addition, an incorrect reference to Fig.1 (Tension test Adaptor/Clamp) is removed.

ASTM F2613-17a addresses the issues raised in the NPR by strengthening the provisions of the voluntary standard. The current standard clarifies in section 5.8 (Products that Fold) that chairs that fold are required to either have a latching or locking mechanism to prevent folding of the chair by the child, or have adequate hinge-line clearance to prevent pinching and lacerations during folding. These requirements are intended to eliminate possible crushing, laceration, or pinching hazards that might occur in folding latching or locking mechanisms and hinges. In addition, the current standard now includes, under section 6.8 (Stability Test Method), a sideways stability test, in addition to a rearward stability test. The standard also clarifies proper cylinder positioning for chairs and stools for stability testing. The addition of the sideways stability test, in addition to the rearwards stability test will help address incidents that involve children's chairs with side containment tipping sideways or rearwards.

ASTM F2613-17a also incorporates the recommendations developed by the ASTM Ad Hoc Committee on Standardized Wording for Juvenile Product Standards (ASTM Ad Hoc Task Group), and the proposed language in the NPR. The current standard specifies that each folding chair and folding stool that does not meet the hinge line clearance requirements must have a warning label that contains statements consistent with the proposed language in the NPR. Specifically, the warning label shall contain the words “Amputation Hazard” and address the following:

• Chair can fold or collapse if lock not fully engaged. Moving parts can amputate child's fingers.

• Keep fingers away from moving parts.

• Completely unfold chair and fully engage locks before allowing child to sit in a chair.

• Never allow child to fold or unfold chair.

The Commission believes that ASTM F2613-17a provides clarifications to the standard and addresses the issues raised in the NPR for children's folding chairs and stools by adopting more stringent requirements than those in the ASTM version referenced in the NPR. Accordingly, the Commission incorporates ASTM F2613-17a, by reference, in the final rule for the CPSC's safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools.

VI. Response to Comments

The Commission received nine comments in response to the NPR. A summary of each comment and a response is provided below.

A. Scope of the Rule

Comment: One commenter stated that the scope of the mandatory standard should not be limited to just folding chairs and stools, and that the CPSC should include all non-folding chairs and stools in the standard.

Response: As we stated in the NPR, CPSC staff conducted a preliminary review of the incident data involving all children's chairs and stools. Some hazards are common among both folding and non-folding products such as tip overs, falling out of the chair, loose parts, staples or, other protruding objects with the potential for lacerations requiring sutures. However, the staff's review showed that the hazard associated with the folding mechanism in folding chairs and stools could result in the most serious injury, including pinching/scissoring, finger amputations, degloving or compound fracture, which could be addressed in a mandatory standard. Due to the variety of non-folding children's chair products in the market, including certain infant chairs/seats, the Commission concludes that additional study and testing regarding any potential hazards associated with non-folding chairs/stools will need to be conducted before the CPSC could propose performance requirements in a standard. To that end, CPSC staff will continue to evaluate incident data regarding non-folding chairs and stools and will make a recommendation to the Commission, if further action is required.

Comment: One commenter requested that the Commission clarify that the mandatory standard excludes toy seats.

Response: ASTM F963-17, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety (which is a CPSC mandatory standard, 16 CFR part 1250) specifically covers toy seats that have play features. Section 3.1.93 of ASTM F963-17 provides that a “toy seat” is a stationary toy product with a seat where the amusement of the child is a primary function of the product and the play pattern intends that the child be in a seated position. Section 3.1.93.1 further explains that play features may include, but are not limited to, sliding or rotating features, learning toys, manually actuated music, with which the seated child may interact. Children's furniture products without any interactive play features such as stools, chairs, patio sets, rocking chairs, picnic tables, storage units, are not considered toy seats. In addition, section 3.1.93.1 provides that juvenile products such as bouncers, infant seats, and stationary activity centers are not considered toy seats. Accordingly, toy seats are adequately addressed in ASTM F963-17, and the Commission does not believe that further clarification is necessary.

B. Stability Test Method

Comment: One commenter noted that the original stability test requirement in ASTM F2613-14, for chairs with soft seating surfaces, specified that the test cylinder should be replaced with a weighted bag filled with steel shot. However, the commenter questioned why the provision for soft seating surfaces was deleted.

Response: During the development of the proposed modification to address sideways stability incidents, CPSC staff determined that all chairs should be tested with the same test cylinder for consistency and the option for testing with a weighted bag was removed. After publication of the NPR, ASTM balloted and approved a modification which is consistent with proposed NPR. ASTM F2613-16 included a sideways stability test and removed the option to conduct stability testing with a weighted bag. This stability requirement has not been changed in the current version, ASTM F2613-17a. Accordingly, this issue has been adequately addressed.

Comment: Two commenters stated that during development of requirements for sideways stability, a review of CPSC incident data indicated that side stability issues were limited to chairs with side containment, such as arms, and did not support a requirement for sideways stability testing for chairs without side containment.

Response: Since the NPR was issued, ASTM balloted and approved a modification, first incorporated into ASTM F2613-16, and retained in the current version, ASTM F2613-17a, which excludes chairs without side containment from the sideways stability testing. Although CPSC's rule does not apply to non-folding chairs, the ASTM standard applies to both folding and non-folding chairs. Because incident data does not show problems with the sideways stability of chairs without arms, the Commission agrees that folding chairs and stools without side containment also should be excluded from the sideways stability testing requirement.

Comment: One commenter stated that the proposed requirement for rearward stability is flawed because it specifies that the test cylinder be allowed to “come to rest,” but then requires further adjustment to its position to complete the testing.

Response: Since the publication of the NPR, ASTM balloted and approved a modification, first incorporated into ASTM F2613-16, and retained in the current version, ASTM F2613-17a, which revised the test language to delete the words “come to rest.” The Commission agrees that the revised language, specified in ASTM F1613-17a removes inconsistent language regarding the rearward and side stability requirement. Accordingly, the Commission accepts the stability testing requirements as set forth in ASTM F2613-17a.

C. Warning Label

Comment: A number of commenters requested that the Commission delay publishing final warning requirements for children's folding chairs and stools until the ASTM Ad Hoc Task Group's recommendations are developed, balloted, and then incorporated into ASTM F2613.

Response: After publication of the NPR, the ASTM Ad Hoc Task Group made its recommendations for warning label formatting across juvenile products. Accordingly, formatting issues including fonts, markings, and colors in signal word panels addressed by the Ad Hoc Task Group were incorporated in ASTM F2613-17, and retained in ASTM F2613-17a. Therefore, the final rule incorporates by reference ASTM F2613-17a without any modification to the ASTM provisions on warning label format.

Comment: One commenter stated that the proposed requirement for the warning label on stools is not clear. The commenter stated that the proposed requirement to place the label in a “visible location” is not defined. The commenter also stated that the proposal requiring that the label not “wrap around the legs” is unclear. Another commenter expressed concern that the requirement to “contain sufficient white space” is unclear and can be potentially misconstrued by laboratories evaluating compliance of a product.

Response: Since the publication of the NPR, the labeling requirement was revised in ASTM F2613-17 and retained in the current version, ASTM F2613-17a, to require that all warnings shall be conspicuous and permanent. In addition, for products with limited space, the language “contain sufficient white space” was eliminated and warnings may be placed in two separate locations. Accordingly, this issue has been adequately addressed.

Comment: Several commenters recommended that CPSC add pictograms to the warnings to convey the hazard more effectively and avoid language barriers that minimize comprehension of these warnings.

Response: Although pictograms can help to convey the hazard that is presented, especially for users with limited or no English literacy, CPSC staff believes that designing effective pictograms for warning labels can present many challenges. The labeling section revised in ASTM F2613-17, and retained in the current version, ASTM F2613-17a, requires that the warnings shall be easy to read and understand and be in the English language at a minimum. Thus, the standard does not preclude the addition of other languages to address those groups who do not read English. However, CPSC staff will continue to review incidents and consider whether additional warning symbols are needed to further reduce the risk of injury associated with these products.

D. Effective Date

Comment: One commenter stated that small firms should have more time to comply with the rule.

Response: The Commission intended that the proposed 6-month effective date would give all firms 6 months to produce, or find suppliers to produce, compliant products. The Commission believes that most firms should be able to comply within the 6-month time frame and allow ample time for manufacturers and importers to arrange for third party testing, consistent with the timeframe adopted in a number of other section 104 rules. The commenter did not provide any justification to support a longer effective date. Moreover, the Commission did not receive comments from any affected suppliers (manufacturer or importer) that suggested the proposed effective date was too short. Therefore, the Commission requires a 6-month effective date in the final rule.

E. Cost Considerations

Comment: One commenter stated that the Commission should have considered additional costs for importers, such as negotiation costs with foreign suppliers. The commenter also stated that the Commission should have considered the rule's potential effect on retail prices and the impact of higher prices on consumers.

Response: CPSC staff conducted a regulatory flexibility analysis on the impact of the rule on small firms, including manufacturers, suppliers, and importers, as well as test laboratories, affected by the rulemaking. Staff's review showed that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Commission recognizes that an increase in costs for children's folding chair and stool suppliers could increase the retail price of these products; however, the Commission is required to promulgate consumer product safety standards on durable infant or toddler products, including on children's folding chairs and stools.

VII. Description of the Final Rule A. Final Rule for Part 1232 and Incorporation by Reference

Section 1232.2(a) of the final rule provides that folding chairs and stools must comply with the applicable sections of ASTM F2613-17a.

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has regulations concerning incorporation by reference. 1 CFR part 51. These regulations require that, for a final rule, agencies must discuss in the preamble of the rule the way in which the materials the agency incorporates by reference are reasonably available to interested persons and how interested parties can obtain the materials. In addition, the preamble of the rule must summarize the material. 1 CFR 51.5(b).

In accordance with the OFR's requirements, the discussion in this section summarizes the provisions of ASTM F2613-17a. Interested persons may purchase a copy of ASTM F2613-17a from ASTM, either through ASTM's website or by mail at the address provided in the rule. A copy of the standard may also be inspected at the CPSC's Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. We note that the Commission and ASTM arranged for commenters to have “read only” access to ASTM F2613-14 during the NPR's comment period.

ASTM F2613-17a contains requirements covering children's folding chairs and stools covering:

• Sharp points;

• Small parts;

• Lead in paint;

• Wood parts;

• Latching and locking mechanisms;

• Scissoring, shearing, and pinching

• Hinge line clearance;

• Circular holes in rigid materials;

• Labeling;

• Protective components;

• Strength requirements; and

• Stability

The standard additionally contains test methods that must be used to assess conformity with these requirements.

B. Amendment to 16 CFR Part 1112 To Include NOR for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools Standard

The final rule amends part 1112 to add a new section 1112.15(b)(43) that lists 16 CFR part 1232, Safety Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools, as a children's product safety rule for which the Commission has issued an NOR. Section XIII of the preamble provides additional background information regarding certification of children's folding chairs and stools and issuance of an NOR.

C. Amendment to 16 CFR Part 1130 To Include Children's Folding Chairs and Stools

The statutory definition of “durable infant or toddler product” in section 104(f) of the CPSIA identified certain product categories as examples of products included under that definition. The Commission identified additional products as “durable infant or toddler products” when the Commission issued its rule requiring that manufacturers of durable infant or toddler products establish a program for consumer registration of those products. 16 CFR part 1130. Among the products the Commission added is “children's folding chairs.” Id. 1130.2(a)(13). As explained in the NPR, based on ASTM's definitions, the Commission considers folding stools to be a subset of folding chairs. The configuration of children's folding chairs and folding stools are similar. The same potential hazards are presented in the folding mechanisms. The Commission is amending the definition section in the registration rule to make clear that both children's folding chairs and children's folding stools are considered durable infant or toddler products. Thus, the final rule amends part 1130, Requirements for Consumer Registration of Durable Infant or Toddler Products, by revising section 1130.2(a)(13) to add “stools” to the definition of children's folding chairs.

VIII. Effective Date

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) generally requires that the effective date of a rule be at least 30 days after publication of the final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). The safety standard for folding chairs and stools and the corresponding changes to part 1112, regarding requirements for third party conformity assessment bodies, and part 1130, regarding requirements for consumer registration of durable infant or toddler products, will become effective 6 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

Without evidence to the contrary, CPSC generally considers 6 months to be sufficient time for suppliers to come into compliance with a new standard, and a 6-month effective date is typical for other CPSIA section 104 rules. Six months is also the period that JPMA typically allows for products in the JPMA certification program to transition to a new standard once that standard is published. The Commission proposed a 6-month effective date in the NPR for children's folding chairs and stools and we addressed the comment on the proposed effective date. Accordingly, the final rule for children's folding chairs and stools, as well as the amendments to parts 1112 and 1130, have a 6-month effective date.

IX. Regulatory Flexibility Act A. Introduction

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, requires that agencies review a proposed rule and a final rule for the rule's potential economic impact on small entities, including small businesses. Section 604 of the RFA generally requires that agencies prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) when promulgating final rules, unless the head of the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

B. Impact on Small Businesses

Based on the analysis summarized below, the Commission certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

CPSC staff's review of the market shows that there are currently 13 domestic firms, rather than the 14 domestic firms identified in the NPR, supplying children's folding chairs and/or folding stools to the U.S. market. Of these, ten firms are considered small. Four of the small firms are manufacturers, five are importers or wholesalers, and the supply source for one firm could not be identified. Most firms only supply one model of chair, but one firm supplies four models and another firm supplies five models. Of the four small manufacturers of children's folding chairs and folding stools, one claims that its products comply with the voluntary standard and participates in the ASTM process. The compliance of the other three firms could not be determined. Of the five small importers/wholesalers, only one claims that its products comply with the ASTM standard. Staff could not determine the compliance status for the other four firms. For the firms currently in compliance with the voluntary standard, there should be minimal burden associated with compliance.

The children's folding chairs from the three small manufacturers whose products that do not meet the voluntary standard may require redesign to comply with the voluntary standard. One manufacturer estimates the cost to completely redesign a chair to be $10,000, including nine to twelve months of research and development time. It does not appear that the economic impact would be significant for any of the small manufacturers (i.e., the cost would be less that 1 percent of annual revenue). In addition, although staff could not rule out a significant economic impact on one small importer of noncompliant folding chairs, staff does not expect the rule to have a significant economic impact on the three other non-compliant importers.

Under section 14 of the CPSA, once new children's folding chairs and folding stools requirements become effective, all manufacturers will be subject to the third party testing and certification requirements. Third party testing will include any physical and mechanical test requirements specified in the final children's folding chairs and folding stools rule. One firm estimated that chemical and structural testing of one unit of a children's folding chair costs around $1,000 annually. Estimates provided by suppliers for other section 104 rulemakings indicate that around 40 to 50 percent of testing costs can be attributed to structural requirements, with the remaining 50 to 60 percent resulting from chemical testing (e.g., lead testing, to which they are already subject). If these percentages are applied to folding stools and chairs, the testing to structural components of the ASTM voluntary standard could cost about $400 to $500 per sample tested ($1,000 × .4 to $1,000 × .5), and are consistent with testing cost estimates for products with standards of similar complexity. Based on an examination of each small firm's revenues, staff did not find that testing, in addition to costs of redesign, would be economically significant for the majority of the small firms. For these reasons, the Commission certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

X. Environmental Considerations

The Commission's regulations address whether the agency is required to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. Under these regulations, a rule that has “little or no potential for affecting the human environment,” is categorically exempt from this requirement. 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(1). The final rule falls within the categorical exemption.

XI. Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains information collection requirements that are subject to public comment and review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521). The preamble to the proposed rule discussed the information collection burden of the proposed rule. Section 7 of ASTM F2613-17a contains requirements for marking and labeling, that are disclosure requirements, thus falling within the definition of “collections of information” as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3). OMB has assigned control number 3041-0172 to this information collection. The Commission did not receive any comments regarding the information collection burden of this proposal.

Since the publication of the NPR, staff has determined that there are 13 known firms, rather than 14 firms supplying children's folding chairs to the U.S. market. All firms are assumed to use labels on both their products and their packaging already, but they might need to make some modifications to their existing labels. The estimated time required to make these modifications is about 1 hour per model. Each of these firms supplies an average of 1.5 different models of children's folding chairs; therefore, the estimated burden hours associated with labels is 1 hour × 13 firms × 1.5 models per firm = 19.5 annual hours.

XII. Preemption

Section 26(a) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2075(a), provides that when a consumer product safety standard is in effect and applies to a product, no state or political subdivision of a state may either establish or continue in effect a requirement dealing with the same risk of injury unless the state requirement is identical to the federal standard. Section 26(c) of the CPSA also provides that states or political subdivisions of states may apply to the Commission for an exemption from this preemption under certain circumstances. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA refers to the rules to be issued under that section as “consumer product safety rules.” Therefore, the preemption provision of section 26(a) of the CPSA would apply to a rule issued under section 104.

XIII. Amendment to 16 CFR Part 1112 To Include Notice of Requirements (NOR) for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools Standard

Section 14(a) of the CPSA imposes the requirement that products subject to a consumer product safety rule under the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban, standard, or regulation under any other Act enforced by the Commission, must be certified as complying with all applicable CPSC-enforced requirements. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a). Section 14(a)(2) of the CPSA requires that certification of children's products subject to a children's product safety rule be based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted, third party conformity assessment body. Section 14(a)(3) of the CPSA requires the Commission to publish a NOR for the accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies (or laboratories) to assess conformity with a children's product safety rule to which a children's product is subject. The Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools, to be codified at 16 CFR 1232, is a children's product safety rule that requires the issuance of an NOR.

The Commission published a final rule, Requirements Pertaining to Third-Party Conformity Assessment Bodies, 78 FR 15836 (March 12, 2013), which is codified at 16 CFR part 1112 (referred to here as part 1112). This rule became effective on June 10, 2013. Part 1112 establishes requirements for accreditation of third-party conformity assessment bodies (or laboratories) to test for conformance with a children's product safety rule in accordance with section 14(a)(2) of the CPSA. Part 1112 also codifies a list of all of the NORs that the CPSC had published at the time part 1112 was issued. All NORs issued after the Commission published part 1112, such as the standard for children's folding chairs and stools, require the Commission to amend part 1112. Accordingly, the Commission is now amending part 1112 to include the standard for children's folding chairs and stools in the list of other children's product safety rules for which the CPSC has issued NORs.

Laboratories applying for acceptance as a CPSC-accepted third-party conformity assessment body to test to the new standard for children's folding chairs and stools would be required to meet the third-party conformity assessment body accreditation requirements in 16 CFR part 1112, Requirements Pertaining to Third-Party Conformity Assessment Bodies. When a laboratory meets the requirements as a CPSC-accepted third-party conformity assessment body, the laboratory can apply to the CPSC to have 16 CFR part 1232, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools, included in its scope of accreditation of CPSC safety rules listed for the laboratory on the CPSC website at: www.cpsc.gov/labsearch.

As required by the RFA, staff conducted a FRFA when the Commission issued the part 1112 rule (78 FR 15836, 15855-58). Briefly, the FRFA concluded that the accreditation requirements would not have a significant adverse impact on a substantial number of small test laboratories because no requirements were imposed on test laboratories that did not intend to provide third-party testing services. The only test laboratories that were expected to provide such services were those that anticipated receiving sufficient revenue from the mandated testing to justify accepting the requirements as a business decision. Moreover, a test laboratory would only choose to provide such services if it anticipated receiving revenues sufficient to cover the costs of the requirements.

Based on similar reasoning, amending 16 CFR part 1112 to include the NOR for the folding chairs and stools standard will not have a significant adverse impact on small test laboratories. Moreover, based upon the number of test laboratories in the United States that have applied for CPSC acceptance of accreditation to test for conformance to other mandatory juvenile product standards, we expect that only a few test laboratories will seek CPSC acceptance of their accreditation to test for conformance with the children's folding chairs and stools standard. Most of these test laboratories will have already been accredited to test for conformity to other mandatory juvenile product standards, and the only costs to them would be the cost of adding the chidren's folding chairs and stools standard to their scope of accreditation. For these reasons, the Commission certifies that the NOR amending 16 CFR part 1112 to include the children's folding chairs and stools standard will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

List of Subjects 16 CFR Part 1112

Administrative practice and procedure, Audit, Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Third-party conformity assessment body.

16 CFR Part 1130

Administrative practice and procedure, Business and industry, Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

16 CFR Part 1232

Consumer protection, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Infants and children, Labeling, Law enforcement, and Toys.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission amends 16 CFR Chapter II as follows:

PART 1112—REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO THIRD PARTY CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT BODIES 1. The authority citation for part 1112 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Pub. L. 110-314, section 3, 122 Stat. 3016, 3017 (2008); 15 U.S.C. 2063.

2. Amend § 1112.15 by adding paragraph (b)(43) to read as follows:
§ 1112.15 When can a third party conformity assessment body apply for CPSC acceptance for a particular CPSC rule and/or test method?

(b) * * *

(43) 16 CFR part 1232, Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools.

PART 1130—REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSUMER REGISTRATION OF DURABLE INFANT OR TODDLER PRODUCTS 3. The authority citation for part 1130 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 2056a, 2065(b).

4. Amend § 1130.2 by revising paragraph (a)(13) to read as follows:
§ 1130.2 Definitions.

(a) * * *

(13) Children's folding chairs and stools;

5. Add part 1232 to read as follows: PART 1232—SAFETY STANDARD FOR CHILDREN'S FOLDING CHAIRS AND STOOLS Sec. 1232.1 Scope. 1232.2 Requirements for children's folding chairs and stools. Authority:

Sec. 104, Pub. L. 110-314, 122 Stat. 3016 (August 14, 2008); Pub. L. 112-28, 125 Stat. 273 (August 12, 2011).

§ 1232.1 Scope.

This part establishes a consumer product safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools.

§ 1232.2 Requirements for children's folding chairs and stools.

(a) Each children's folding chair and stool shall comply with all applicable provisions of ASTM F2613-17a, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Chairs and Stools, approved on October 1, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy from ASTM International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box 0700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428; http://www.astm.org. You may inspect a copy at the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923, or 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: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

(b) [Reserved]

Alberta E. Mills, Acting Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2017-26997 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 19 CFR Part 133 [USCBP-2016-0076; CBP Dec. 17-21] RIN 1515-AE21 Donations of Technology and Related Support Services To Enforce Intellectual Property Rights AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document amends the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations relating to the enforcement of intellectual property rights. This final rule implements section 308(d) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), which requires CBP to prescribe regulatory procedures for the donation of technologies, training, or other related services for the purpose of assisting CBP in intellectual property enforcement.

DATES:

Effective January 16, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Garrett D. Wright, Chief, Donations Acceptance Program, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, telephone (202) 344-2344.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), Public Law 114-125, 130 Stat. 122 (19 U.S.C. 4301 note), was enacted on February 24, 2016, and includes several provisions regarding trade facilitation and trade enforcement, some of which deal with improving U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement at the border. Section 308(d) of the TFTEA requires the Commissioner of CBP to prescribe regulations to enable CBP to receive donations of hardware, software, equipment, and similar technologies, and to accept training and other support services, from private sector entities, for the purpose of enforcing IPR.

Acceptance of such donations must also be consistent with either section 482 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended by section 2 of the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-279), or section 507 of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-90).

Section 482 of the Homeland Security Act replaced section 559 of Title V of Division F of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Pub. L. 113-76) and permits CBP, in consultation with the General Services Administration (GSA), to “enter into an agreement with any entity to accept a donation of personal property, money or nonpersonal services” to be used for certain CBP activities at most ports of entry where CBP performs inspection services. Pursuant to section 482(c)(3), CBP in consultation with GSA will establish criteria for evaluating donation proposals under section 482 and make such criteria publicly available.

If donations cannot be accepted under section 482, they may be accepted under section 507 of the DHS Appropriations Act of 2004. Section 507 made the DHS Gifts and Donations account “available to the Department of Homeland Security . . . for the Secretary of Homeland Security to accept, hold, administer and utilize gifts and bequests, including property to facilitate the work of the Department of Homeland Security.” Title V, Public Law 108-90, 117 Stat. 1153-1154. DHS policy on the acceptance of gifts pursuant to section 507 is contained in DHS Directive 112-02 and DHS Instruction 112-02-001. The Secretary of DHS delegated the authority to accept and utilize gifts to the heads of certain DHS components, including the Commissioner of CBP, in DHS Delegation 0006.

This document implements section 308(d) of the TFTEA by promulgating a new subpart H to part 133 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which provides for the receipt and acceptance by CBP of donations of hardware, software, equipment, and similar technologies, as well as training and related support services, for the purpose of assisting CBP in enforcing IPR. New subpart H, as set forth in § 133.61, prescribes the methods by which donations of IPR technology and related support services may be made. Specifically, 19 CFR 133.61(a) sets forth the scope of this section and identifies the authority to accept donations, § 133.61(b) describes the donation process, and § 133.61(c) lays out the elements of the written donation agreement.

On January 17, 2017, CBP published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (82 FR 4800) proposing to amend its regulations pertaining to the enforcement of intellectual property rights in order to enhance CBP's intellectual property rights enforcement capabilities. The NPRM solicited for public comments on the proposed rulemaking. The public comment period closed on March 3, 2017.

Discussion of Comments

Three commenters responded to the solicitation of comments to the proposed rule. A description of the comments received, together with CBP's analysis, is set forth below.

Comment: One commenter, an association dedicated to serving the needs of the video game industry, commended CBP's efforts to enhance its engagement with intellectual property-intensive industries and border enforcement needs, but also voiced several concerns.

The first concern is related to proposed § 133.61(b). The commenter expressed concern with the procedure laid out in paragraph (b) because this “formalized” process might interrupt the dynamic nature of the relationship between CBP and the video game industry in providing training, as well as the tools CBP needs in order to accurately confirm the illegality of suspected infringing imports.

CBP Response: CBP seeks to maintain the dynamic relationship it has with the video game industry and other industries. The donation process that CBP is creating is intended to be streamlined, non-invasive, and flexible. For example, in certain circumstances, CBP and the industry partner may only need to enter into one written partnership agreement whereby any IPR donation proposal made pursuant to that agreement could be evaluated and, if viable, accepted at the local level. In addition, as explained below, the donation process does not apply to “sample” products or stand-alone training or educational seminars.

Comment: The commenter asked for clarification on whether a single donation offer, as envisioned by § 133.61(b), would cover a quantity or a range of items, or whether a donation offer must be submitted for each item contemplated for donation.

CBP Response: In general, a single donation offer could cover more than one item and/or a range of items assuming such items serve a similar IPR enforcement purpose. Each donation offer and each item, however, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Comment: The commenter also requested clarification on whether a single, written donation offer would encompass anticipated intermittent donations of samples of infringing products and circumvention devices. The commenter explained that current practice allows for video game companies to donate hardware, software, samples of infringing products, circumvention devices that violate 17 U.S.C. 1201, and training materials along with a request that CBP seize like goods using a simple transmittal letter to CBP's Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, IPR Branch. Typically, these donations comprise numerous identical or comparable items, such as game copiers, other circumvention devices, or memory cards filled with pre-loaded games.

CBP Response: The process described in the public comment with regard to submissions of samples of genuine and infringing articles will not be changed with the new regulation. A distinction needs to be made between “donations” covered under section 308(d) of the TFTEA which are provided for the regular use by CBP personnel assisting with the enforcement of IPR, such as an x-ray machine or a high magnification microscope, and “samples” of merchandise provided to the IPR Branch for purposes of determining admissibility. The furnishing of samples of genuine and infringing articles is not covered by the intended scope of the Donations Acceptance Program under § 133.61. Rights owners, including the video game industry, will be able to continue to communicate and provide samples to the IPR Branch and field offices as the need for enforcement arises. Accordingly, based on this comment, CBP has amended the regulatory text in § 133.61(a) to clarify that articles provided to CBP as “samples,” as referenced in 19 CFR 151.10 and 177.2, are not included within the scope of this rule.

Comment: The commenter also seeks clarification on whether the proposed donation offer requirements and process would hinder the ability of CBP or other DHS personnel, such as those of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to request hardware or software samples from private companies for the purpose of conducting investigations.

CBP Response: The donation requirements will not hinder the current process of cooperation and information-sharing that regularly occurs between rights holders and DHS personnel. The regulations are not intended to affect the processing of criminal investigations into potential IPR violations within other DHS agencies, such as DHS/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) under DHS/ICE.

With regard to CBP's civil administrative enforcement authority of IPR, if CBP makes a request to a rights holder for information, software and/or hardware, such request would not fall in the “donation” category as contemplated by the regulations, but would be considered a request for a “sample” of merchandise to be used by CBP for authentication purposes with regard to a specific matter. The current process with CBP will continue unaffected by the donation regulations put in place.

Comment: The commenter is further concerned with regard to the waiver language in proposed § 133.61(c) (“. . . the service provider expressly waives any future claims against the government.”). The commenter stated that the proposed language is overbroad and potentially captures all instances where a donor of technology and services pursues unrelated claims against the U.S. government. The commenter suggested that the waiver be reasonably tailored to the donation in question and not include “any claims against the government.” Entering into a donation agreement with CBP should not foreclose any remedies against the government in cases unrelated to the donation agreement.

CBP Response: CBP agrees that a clarification is appropriate and has amended the regulatory text in 19 CFR 133.61(c) to address this concern.

Comment: Another commenter expressed a concern with the proposed rule. The commenter stated that it appears that the proposed rule would favor companies with more well-known intellectual property and a larger market share, undercutting the fundamental purposes of intellectual property rights, namely those which promote the availability of new technologies and competition in the market. The commenter asked for clarification how the proposed rule would benefit entities other than those with a market incentive to make donations.

CBP Response: The intent of the Act is to enhance IPR enforcement. Although enforcement of a particular IPR right clearly benefits the right-holder, other parties also benefit from IPR enforcement, in general.

Comment: The third commenter commended CBP for its focus on the implementation of section 308(d) of the TFTEA and appreciated the opportunity for CBP to accept technology to enrich inspection activity at all U.S. ports of entry. The commenter stated that the equipment and technology that may be used by agents will improve CBP's ability to identify counterfeits at even earlier stages in the detection stage process.

The commenter further stated that under the TFTEA, CBP will now be able to provide samples of counterfeits to rights holders, and hopes that CBP will share details, such as container number, customs broker, freight forwarders, associated telephone numbers and email addresses once the goods have been deemed counterfeit. The sharing of this additional information would enable rights holders to analyze the data and provide CBP with additional information to identify illicit trade patterns.

CBP Response: This comment falls outside of the scope of 19 CFR 133.61. The proposed regulation deals with establishing a donation process so CBP can receive donations of technologies, equipment and other support services for the purpose of detecting potentially infringing articles and does not address CBP sharing information or samples to rights holders.

Other changes: CBP is adding the word “related” before the words “support services” throughout the regulatory text in order to clarify that only training and support services associated with a donation of hardware, software, equipment or technology fall within the scope of this regulation. Training services that may be donated pursuant to § 133.61 will be in the context of donated technology or equipment, in contrast to training services provided to assist with CBP's general trade facilitation and trade enforcement pursuant to section 104 of the TFTEA.

CBP is also adding a reference to “hardware, software, equipment, technologies” to § 133.61(c) to clarify that a donation agreement may also cover hardware, software, equipment, and technologies, as well as training and other related support services.

The email address in proposed § 133.61(b) to which donation offers should be submitted has been updated to [email protected] to reflect the program's current email address.

Conclusion

After review of the comments, CBP has decided to adopt as final the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2017, with the changes described above.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs and provides that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”

This final rule is not a “significant regulatory action,” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed this regulation. As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (April 5, 2017).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

This rule will allow private sector entities to voluntarily donate technology, training, and other related support services to improve CBP's ability to enforce intellectual property rights potentially related to their goods. As any entity with intellectual property could make these donations, this rule affects a substantial number of small entities. However, this rule imposes no new obligations on entities, including those considered small. Any small entity that chooses to make these donations will presumably do so because it believes the benefits of donating exceed the costs. Therefore, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on small entities. Given these reasons, CBP certifies that this rule, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

An agency may not conduct, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

OMB approved collection 1651-0123 has been revised to reflect this new collection of information in this final rule for written offers of donations to CBP of technology, training, and other related support services in accordance with 19 CFR 133.61(b). The information collection reflects the additional burden hours for each written offer of donation provided to CBP as follows:

Estimated number of annual respondents: 50.

Estimated number of annual responses: 50.

Estimated time burden per response: 2 hours.

Estimated total annual time burden: 100 hours.

Signing Authority

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

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 133

Circumvention devices, Copying or simulating trademarks, Copyrights, Counterfeit goods, Customs duties and inspection, Detentions, Donations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Restricted merchandise, Seizures and forfeitures, Technology, Trademarks, Trade names, Support services.

Amendments to Part 133 of the CBP Regulations

For the reasons set forth above, part 133 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 133) is amended as set forth below.

PART 133—TRADEMARKS, TRADE NAMES, AND COPYRIGHTS 1. The general authority citation for part 133 continues, and the specific authority for new subpart H is added to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 1124, 1125, 1127; 17 U.S.C. 101, 601, 602, 603; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202, 1499, 1526, 1624; 31 U.S.C. 9701.

Section 133.61 also issued under Sec. 308(d), Pub. L. 114-125; Sec. 507, Pub. L. 108-90; Sec. 2, Pub. L. 114-279.

Subpart G—[Reserved] 2. Reserved subpart G is added. 3. Subpart H, consisting of § 133.61, is added to read as follows: Subpart H—Donations of Intellectual Property Rights Technology and Related Support Services
§ 133.61 Donations of intellectual property rights technology and related support services.

(a) Scope. The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is authorized to accept donations of hardware, software, equipment, and similar technologies, as well as related support services and training, from private sector entities, for the purpose of assisting CBP in enforcing intellectual property rights. Such acceptance must be consistent with the conditions set forth in this section and section 308(d) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (19 U.S.C. 4301 note), as well as either section 482 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended by section 2 of the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2016 (6 U.S.C. 301a), or section 507 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-90). However, this section does not apply to merchandise provided to CBP as samples, e.g., as referenced in §§ 151.10 and 177.2 of this chapter.

(b) Donation offer. A donation offer must be submitted to CBP either via email, to [email protected], or mailed to the attention of the Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, or his/her designee. The donation offer must describe the proposed donation in sufficient detail to enable CBP to determine its compatibility with existing CBP technologies, networks, and facilities (e.g. operating system or similar requirements, power supply requirements, item size and weight, etc.). The donation offer must also include information pertaining to the donation's scope, purpose, expected benefits, intended use, costs, and attached conditions, as applicable, that is sufficient to enable CBP to evaluate the donation and make a determination as to whether to accept it. CBP will notify the donor, in writing, if additional information is requested or if CBP has determined that it will not accept the donation.

(c) Agreement to accept donation. If CBP accepts a donation of hardware, software, equipment, technologies, or related support services and training, for the purpose of enforcing intellectual property rights, CBP will enter into a signed, written agreement with an authorized representative of the donor. The agreement must contain all applicable terms and conditions of the donation. An agreement to accept a donation must provide that the hardware, software, equipment, technologies, or related support services and training are offered without the expectation of payment, and that the donor expressly waives any future claims, except those expressly reserved in the agreement, against the government related to the donation.

Kevin K. McAleenan, Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Approved: December 12, 2017. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2017-27065 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 20 CFR Part 404 [Docket No. SSA-2017-0055] RIN 0960-AI17 Extension of Expiration Dates for Four Body System Listings AGENCY:

Social Security Administration.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Musculoskeletal System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, and Skin Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension ensures that we will continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on December 15, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cheryl A. Williams, Director, Office of Medical Policy, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 965-1020. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

We use the listings in appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 of 20 CFR at the third step of the sequential evaluation process to evaluate claims filed by adults and children for benefits based on disability under the title II and title XVI programs.1 20 CFR 404.1520(d), 416.920(d), 416.924(d). The listings are in two parts: Part A has listings criteria for adults and Part B has listings criteria for children. If you are age 18 or over, we apply the listings criteria in part A when we assess your impairment or combination of impairments. If you are under age 18, we first use the criteria in part B of the listings when we assess your impairment(s). If the criteria in part B do not apply, we may use the criteria in part A when those criteria consider the effects of your impairment(s). 20 CFR 404.1525(b), 416.925(b).

1 We also use the listings in the sequential evaluation processes we use to determine whether a beneficiary's disability continues. See 20 CFR 404.1594, 416.994, and 416.994a.

Explanation of Changes

In this final rule, we are extending the dates on which the listings for the following four body systems will no longer be effective as set out in the following chart:

Listing Current expiration date Extended expiration date Musculoskeletal System 1.00 and 101.00 January 26, 2018 January 27, 2020. Cardiovascular System 4.00 and 104.00 January 26, 2018 January 27, 2020. Digestive System 5.00 and 105.00 January 26, 2018 January 27, 2020. Skin Disorders 8.00 and 108.00 January 26, 2018 January 27, 2020.

We continue to revise and update the listings on a regular basis, including those body systems not affected by this final rule.2 We intend to update the four listings affected by this final rule as quickly as possible, but may not be able to publish final rules revising these listings by the current expiration dates. Therefore, we are extending the current expiration dates for the above listed body systems.

2 Since we last extended the expiration dates of the listings affected by this rule in August 2016 (81 FR 51101), we have published final rules revising the medical criteria for evaluating mental disorders (81 FR 66137 (2016)) and HIV infection (81 FR 86915 (2016)).

Regulatory Procedures Justification for Final Rule

We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 in promulgating regulations. Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing a final regulation. The APA provides exceptions to the notice-and-comment requirements when an agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.

We have determined that good cause exists for dispensing with the notice and public comment procedures. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). This final rule only extends the date on which four body system listings will no longer be effective. It makes no substantive changes to our rules. Our current regulations 3 provide that we may extend, revise, or promulgate the body system listings again. Therefore, we have determined that opportunity for prior comment is unnecessary, and we are issuing this regulation as a final rule.

3 See the first sentence of appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 of 20 CFR.

In addition, for the reasons cited above, we find good cause for dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of this final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). We are not making any substantive changes to the listings in these body systems. Without an extension of the expiration dates for these listings, we will not have the criteria we need to assess medical impairments in these four body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes. We therefore find it is in the public interest to make this final rule effective on the publication date.

Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that this final rule does not meet the requirements for a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, OMB did not review it. We also determined that this final rule meets the plain language requirement of Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

We certify that this final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects only individuals. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended.

Paperwork Reduction Act

These rules do not create any new or affect any existing collections and, therefore, do not require Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social Security-Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security-Retirement Insurance; 96.004, Social Security-Survivors Insurance; 96.006, Supplemental Security Income) List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 404

Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, Old-age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social Security.

Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

For the reasons set out in the preamble, we are amending appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 of chapter III of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below.

PART 404—FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Subpart P—[Amended] 1. The authority citation for subpart P of part 404 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 202, 205(a)-(b) and (d)-(h), 216(i), 221(a), (i), and (j), 222(c), 223, 225, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402, 405(a)-(b) and (d)-(h), 416(i), 421(a), (i), and (j), 422(c), 423, 425, and 902(a)(5)); sec. 211(b), Pub. L. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105, 2189; sec. 202, Pub. L. 108-203, 118 Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note).

2. Amend appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 by revising items 2, 5, 6, and 9 of the introductory text before part A to read as follows: Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404—Listing of Impairments

2. Musculoskeletal System (1.00 and 101.00): January 27, 2020.

5. Cardiovascular System (4.00 and 104.00): January 27, 2020.

6. Digestive System (5.00 and 105.00): January 27, 2020.

9. Skin Disorders (8.00 and 108.00): January 27, 2020.

[FR Doc. 2017-27086 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Parts 4022 and 4044 Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying Benefits AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulations on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans and Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation for valuation dates in January 2018 and interest assumptions under the asset allocation regulation for valuation dates in the first quarter of 2018. The interest assumptions are used for valuing and paying benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by the pension insurance system administered by PBGC.

DATES:

Effective January 1, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Daniel S. Liebman ([email protected]), Acting Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4400 ext. 6510. (TTY/TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4400 ext. 6510.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

PBGC's regulations on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) and Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4022) prescribe actuarial assumptions—including interest assumptions—for valuing and paying plan benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The interest assumptions in the regulations are also published on PBGC's website (http://www.pbgc.gov).

The interest assumptions in appendix B to part 4044 are used to value benefits for allocation purposes under ERISA section 4044. PBGC uses the interest assumptions in appendix B to part 4022 to determine whether a benefit is payable as a lump sum and to determine the amount to pay. Appendix C to part 4022 contains interest assumptions for private-sector pension practitioners to refer to if they wish to use lump-sum interest rates determined using PBGC's historical methodology. Currently, the rates in appendices B and C of the benefit payment regulation are the same.

The interest assumptions are intended to reflect current conditions in the financial and annuity markets. Assumptions under the asset allocation regulation are updated quarterly; assumptions under the benefit payments regulation are updated monthly. This final rule updates the benefit payments interest assumptions for January 2018, and updates the asset allocation interest assumptions for the first quarter (January through March) of 2018.

The first quarter 2018 interest assumptions under the allocation regulation will be 2.39 percent for the first 20 years following the valuation date and 2.60 percent thereafter. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for the fourth quarter of 2017, this represents no change in the select period (the period during which the select rate, the initial rate, applies), an increase of 0.05 percent in the select rate, and a decrease of 0.03 percent in the ultimate rate, the final rate.

The January 2018 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 0.75 percent for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for December 2017, these assumptions are unchanged.

PBGC has determined that notice and public comment on this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This finding is based on the need to determine and issue new interest assumptions promptly so that the assumptions can reflect current market conditions as accurately as possible.

Because of the need to provide immediate guidance for the valuation and payment of benefits under plans with valuation dates during January 2018, PBGC finds that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication.

PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

List of Subjects 29 CFR Part 4022

Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

29 CFR Part 4044

Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions.

In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR parts 4022 and 4044 are amended as follows:

PART 4022—BENEFITS PAYABLE IN TERMINATED SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 4022 continues to read as follows: Authority:

29 U.S.C. 1302, 1322, 1322b, 1341(c)(3)(D), and 1344.

2. In appendix B to part 4022, Rate Set 291 is added at the end of the table to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for PBGC Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate
  • annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 291 1-1-18 2-1-18 0.75 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    3. In appendix C to part 4022, Rate Set 291 is added at the end of the table to read as follows: Appendix C to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for Private-Sector Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate
  • annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 291 1-1-18 2-1-18 0.75 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    PART 4044—ALLOCATION OF ASSETS IN SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 4. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1301(a), 1302(b)(3), 1341, 1344, 1362.

    5. In appendix B to part 4044, an entry for January-March 2018 is added at the end of the table to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 4044—Interest Rates Used to Value Benefits For valuation dates occurring in the month— The values of i t are: i t for t = i t for t = i t for t = *         *         *         *         *         *         * January-March 2018 0.0239 1-20 0.0260 >20 N/A N/A

    Issued in Washington, DC.

    Daniel S. Liebman, Acting Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26963 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0916] Special Local Regulation; Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone—San Diego Parade of Lights AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the San Diego Parade of Lights special local regulations on the waters of San Diego Bay, California on December 17, 2017. These special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, crew, spectators, sponsor vessels, and general users of the waterway. During the enforcement period, persons and vessels are prohibited from anchoring, blocking, loitering, or impeding within this regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 100.1101 will be enforced from 4:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on December 17, 2017 for Item 5 in Table 1 of § 100.1101.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this publication of enforcement, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Briana Biagas, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, CA; telephone (619) 278-7656, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulations in 33 CFR 100.1101 for the San Diego Parade of Lights in San Diego Bay Bay, CA in 33 CFR 100.1101, Table 1, Item 5 of that section from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on December 17, 2017. This enforcement action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the event. The Coast Guard's regulation for recurring marine events in the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone identifies the regulated entities and area for this event. Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.1101, persons and vessels are prohibited from anchoring, blocking, loitering, or impeding within this regulated area, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This document is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 33 CFR 100.1101. In addition to this document in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and local advertising by the event sponsor.

    If the Captain of the Port Sector San Diego or his designated representative determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated on this document, he or she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners or other communications coordinated with the event sponsor to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: December 5, 2017. J.R. Buzzella, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Diego.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27111 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0776] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Ashley River, Charleston, SC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the US17 Highway Bridges (Ashley River Bridges), across the Ashley River, miles 2.4 and 2.5, in Charleston, SC. This rule requires a bridge tender to be present during daytime hours only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily for on signal openings. All other times a 12 hour advanced notification is required. This modification provides relief to vehicle traffic congestion with minimal effect on navigation.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Type USCG-2016-0776 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LT Justin Heck, Coast Guard Sector Charleston, SC, Waterways Management Division; telephone 843-740-3184, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register OMB Office of Management and Budget NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Advance, Supplemental) § Section U.S.C. United States Code SCDOT South Carolina Department of Transportation SC South Carolina II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On April 24, 2017, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Ashley River, Charleston, SC” in the Federal Register (82 FR 18879). We received no comments on this rule.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 499.

    The US17 Highway Bridges (Ashley River Bridges), across the Ashley River, miles 2.4 and 2.5, at Charleston, SC are parallel double leaf bascule bridges. Each bridge has a vertical clearance of 24 feet in the closed position at mean high water and a horizontal clearance of 90 feet. Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.915(a), the US17 Highway Bridges (Ashley River Bridges) are required to open on signal; except that, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily, the draws need to be opened only if at least 12 hours notice is given. The draws of either bridge shall open as soon as possible for the passage of vessels in an emergency involving danger to life or property.

    On May 19, 2015, the HDR/ICA contractor for South Carolina Department of Transportation requested that the Coast Guard review the current bridge operating schedule to determine whether a change could be made to improve vehicle traffic flow in the area. The bridge owner, South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) was consulted on this issue and concurred with the recommendations which would change the current 12 hour advance notice for a bridge opening to include night time hours.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard provided a comment period of 30 days and no comments were received.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on: (1) The ability for vessels to transit the bridge given advanced notice, (2) vessels that can transit under the bridge without an opening may do so at anytime, and (3) the draws of either bridge shall open as soon as possible for the passage of vessels in an emergency.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    No comments were received; therefore, no changes were made to the regulatory text.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Amend § 117.915 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 117.915 Ashley River.

    (a) The draws of the US17 Highway Bridges (Ashley River Bridges), mile 2.4 and 2.5 at Charleston, SC shall open on signal; except that, from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m. daily, the draws shall open only if at least 12 hours notice is given. The draws of either bridge shall open as soon as possible for the passage of vessels in an emergency involving danger to life or property.

    Dated: December 11, 2017. Peter J. Brown, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26998 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0654; A-1-FRL-9966-28-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; CT; Decommissioning of Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). This revision includes regulatory amendments that require gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs) to decommission their Stage II vapor recovery systems on or before July 1, 2015, and a demonstration that such removal is consistent with the Clean Air Act and EPA guidance. This revision also includes regulatory amendments that strengthen Connecticut's requirements for Stage I vapor recovery systems at GDFs. The intended effect of this action is to approve Connecticut's revised vapor recovery regulations. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0654. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Rackauskas, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 [mail code: OPE05-2], Boston, MA 02109-3912, telephone number (617) 918-1628, fax (617) 918-0628, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background and Purpose II. Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background and Purpose

    On April 10, 2017 (82 FR 17161), EPA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) proposing approval of a SIP revision submitted by the CT DEEP on September 14, 2015. The SIP revision consists of Connecticut's newly adopted section 22a-174-30a, Stage I Vapor Recovery, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA) as well as the following revised RCSA sections:

    • 22a-174-3a, Permit to Construct and Operate Stationary Sources, specifically 22a-174-3a(a);

    • 22a-174-20, Control of Organic Compound Emissions, specifically 22a-174-20(a), 22a-174-20(b)(1) through (b)(16), and 22a-174-20(ee); and

    • 22a-174-32, Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for Volatile Organic Compounds, specifically 22a-174-32(b).

    In addition, this SIP revision also includes Public Act No. 13-120, An Act Concerning Gasoline Vapor Recovery Systems. Connecticut Public Act No. 13-120 revises section 22a-174e of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS). The regulations and statute require the decommissioning of Stage II vapor recovery systems and strengthen Stage I vapor recovery requirements. The SIP submittal also includes a demonstration that removal of Stage II vapor recovery systems in Connecticut is consistent with the Clean Air Act and EPA guidance. Finally, the SIP revision includes the withdrawal of RCSA section 22a-174-30, Dispensing of Gasoline/Stage I and Stage II Vapor Recovery, from the Connecticut SIP.

    Connecticut subsequently modified the September 14, 2015 SIP revision via a letter dated January 20, 2017 wherein Connecticut withdrew RCSA 22a-174-3a(a) from consideration as part of this SIP revision.

    A detailed discussion of Connecticut's September 14, 2015 SIP revision and EPA's rationale for proposing approval of the SIP revision were provided in the NPR and will not be restated in this notice. No public comments were received on the NPR.

    II. Final Action

    EPA is approving Connecticut's September 14, 2015 SIP revision. Specifically, EPA is approving, and incorporating into the Connecticut SIP, the following regulations and statute: Newly adopted RCSA section 22a-174-30a; revised RCSA subsection 22a-174-20(a); revised RCSA subsections 22a-174-20(b)(6) through (b)(16); revised RCSA subsection 22a-174-20(ee), and revised RCSA subsection 22a-174-32(b); as well as Connecticut Public Act No. 13-120. EPA is also approving Connecticut's request to withdraw RCSA section 22a-174-30 from the Connecticut SIP because it has been replaced with RCSA section 22a-174-30a, which is more stringent. EPA is approving this SIP revision because it meets all applicable requirements of the CAA and EPA guidance, and it will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or reasonable further progress towards attainment of any NAAQS, or with any other applicable requirement of the Clean Air Act.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Connecticut regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through http://www.regulations.gov.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 13, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 24, 2017. Deborah A. Szaro, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

    Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart H—Connecticut 2. Section 52.370 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(95)(i)(D) and (c)(117) to read as follows:
    § 52.370 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (95) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (D) Regulation 22a-174-30, which was approved in paragraph (c)(95)(i)(A), is removed and replaced by Regulation 22a-174-30a, see paragraph (c)(117)(i)(B).

    (117) Revisions to the State Implementation Plan submitted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on September 14, 2015.

    (i) Incorporation by reference

    (A) “Control of Organic Compound Emissions,” Regulation 22a-174-20, the sections listed below, effective July 8, 2015, as published in the Connecticut Law Journal on November 24, 2015.

    (1) Section 20(a)(7);

    (2) Section (b)(10);

    (3) Sections (b)(12) through (b)(16);

    (4) Section (20)(ee)

    (B) “Control of Organic Compound Emissions,” Regulation 22a-174-30a “Stage I Vapor Recovery,” effective July 8, 2015, as published in the Connecticut Law Journal on November 24, 2015.

    (C) “Control of Organic Compound Emissions,” Regulation 22a-174-32(b)(3), effective July 8, 2015, as published in the Connecticut Law Journal on November 24, 2015.

    (D) House Bill No. 6534, Public Act No. 13-120, “An Act Concerning Gasoline Vapor Recovery Systems,” approved June 18, 2013.

    (ii) Additional materials.

    (A) Letter from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, dated September 14, 2015, submitting a revision to the Connecticut State Implementation Plan.

    3. In § 52.385, Table 52.385 is amended by: Adding entries under existing state citations 22a-174-20 and 22a-174-30; adding an entry for state citation 22a-174-30a; adding an entry under existing state citation 22a-174-32, and adding a new entry for new Connecticut Public Act 13-120 to the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.385 EPA-approved Connecticut regulations. Table 52.385—EPA-Approved Regulations Connecticut State
  • citation
  • Title/subject Dates Date
  • adopted by
  • State
  • Date
  • approved by EPA
  • Federal Register
  • citation
  • Section 52.370 Comments/description
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 22a-174-20 Control of Organic Compound Emissions 7/8/15 12/15/2017 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)117 Removes sections (b)(6)-(b)(9) and (b)(11), Revises sections (a)(7), (b)(10), sections (b)(12)-(b)(16), and section (ee). *         *         *         *         *         *         * 22a-174-30 Dispensing of Gasoline/Stage II Vapor Recovery 7/8/15 12/15/2017 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)117 22a-174-30 was repealed by CT and withdrawn from the SIP and replaced by 22a-174-30a. 22a-174-30a Stage I Vapor Recovery 7/8/15 12/15/2017 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)117 Replaces the repealed section 22a-174-30. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 22a-174-32 Reasonably available control technology for volatile organic compounds 7/8/15 12/15/2017 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)117 Revises section (b)(3). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Connecticut Public Act No. 13-120 An act concerning gasoline Vapor recovery systems 6/18/13 12/15/2017 [Insert Federal Register citation] (c)117 Revises section 22a-174e of the Connecticut General Statutes to require decommissioning of Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26900 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0377; FRL-9972-03-Region 9] Approval of Arizona Air Plan Revision; San Manuel, Arizona; Second 10-Year Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final rulemaking action to approve, as part of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the State of Arizona, the second 10-year maintenance plan for the San Manuel area for the 1971 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“standards”) for sulfur dioxide (SO2).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0377. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through https://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ashley Graham, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3877, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, the words “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. EPA Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

    On October 5, 2017 (82 FR 46444), the EPA proposed to approve the second 10-year maintenance plan for the San Manuel, Arizona SO2 maintenance area. Submitted by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality on April 21, 2017, the San Manuel second 10-year maintenance plan (“plan”) demonstrates maintenance of the 1971 SO2 standards through the second maintenance period of 2018-2028.

    We proposed to approve the plan because we determined that it complied with the relevant Clean Air Act (CAA or “Act”) requirements. Our proposed action contains more information on the plan and our evaluation (82 FR 46444, October 5, 2017).

    II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    The EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period. During this period, we received one anonymous comment on October 10, 2017. The comment raised issues that are outside the scope of our proposed approval of the San Manuel second 10-year maintenance plan.

    III. EPA Action

    The EPA is taking final rulemaking action to approve the San Manuel second 10-year SO2 maintenance plan under sections 110 and 175A of the CAA. As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is approving the submitted SIP revision because it fulfills all relevant requirements.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    • 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 Clean Air Act; and

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 13, 2018. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action approving the revision to the State of Arizona's SIP may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: December 5, 2017. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA Region IX.

    Chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart D—Arizona 2. In § 52.120, table 1 in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “San Manuel Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance Plan Renewal, 1971 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards (April 2017)” to read as follows:
    § 52.120 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    Table 1—EPA-Approved Non-Regulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Measures [Excluding certain resolutions and statutes, which are listed in tables 2 and 3, respectively] 1 Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area or title/subject State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Part D Elements and Plans (Other than for the Metropolitan Phoenix or Tucson Areas) *         *         *         *         *         *         * San Manuel Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance Plan Renewal, 1971 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards (April 2017) San Manuel Sulfur Dioxide Air Quality Planning Area April 21, 2017 December 15, 2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Adopted by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality on April 21, 2017. Fulfills requirements for second 10-year maintenance plan. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 Table 1 is divided into three parts: Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2) State Implementation Plan Elements (excluding Part D Elements and Plans), Part D Elements and Plans (other than for the Metropolitan Phoenix or Tucson Areas), and Part D Elements and Plans for the Metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson Areas.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26971 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 170505465-7999-02] RIN 0648-BG87 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gray Triggerfish Management Measures; Amendment 46 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues regulations to implement management measures described in Amendment 46 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) (Amendment 46). For gray triggerfish, this final rule revises the recreational fixed closed season, recreational bag limit, recreational minimum size limit, and commercial trip limit. Additionally, Amendment 46 establishes a new rebuilding time period for the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) gray triggerfish stock. The purpose of this final rule is to implement management measures to assist in rebuilding the Gulf gray triggerfish stock and achieve optimum yield (OY).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of Amendment 46, which includes an environmental assessment, a fishery impact statement, a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office website at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2017/am46_gray_trigger/documents/pdfs/gulf_reef_am46_gray_trigg_final.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Waters, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone: 727-824-5305; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS and the Council manage the Gulf reef fish fishery, which includes gray triggerfish, under the FMP. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.).

    On August 30, 2017, NMFS published a notice of availability for Amendment 46 and requested public comment (82 FR 41205). On September 25, 2017, NMFS published a proposed rule for Amendment 46 and requested public comment (82 FR 44551). The proposed rule and Amendment 46 outline the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the management measures described in Amendment 46 and implemented by this final rule is provided below.

    The most recent Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment for gray triggerfish was completed and reviewed by the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) in October 2015 (SEDAR 43). SEDAR 43 indicated that the gray triggerfish stock was not experiencing overfishing but remained overfished and would not be rebuilt by the end of 2017 as previously projected. On November 2, 2015, NMFS notified the Council that the gray triggerfish stock was not making adequate progress toward rebuilding, and the Council subsequently began development of Amendment 46 to establish a new rebuilding time period and other management measures to achieve OY and rebuild the stock.

    Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule

    For gray triggerfish, this final rule revises the recreational fixed closed season, recreational bag limit, recreational minimum size limit, and commercial trip limit. NMFS and the Council are implementing changes to the recreational management measures to help constrain recreational landings to the recreational annual catch target (ACT) and to avoid triggering accountability measures (AMs) resulting in an in-season closure or post-season payback that would occur if landings exceed the recreational annual catch limit (ACL). The increase in the commercial trip limit will allow those commercial fishermen who encounter gray triggerfish to harvest more fish per trip while continuing to constrain commercial landings to the commercial ACT.

    Recreational Seasonal Closure

    The current recreational seasonal closure for gray triggerfish in the Gulf is from June 1 through July 31, and was established in Amendment 37 to the FMP to protect gray triggerfish during the peak spawning season and help constrain landings to the recreational ACT (78 FR 27084, May 5, 2013). However, recreational landings have exceeded the recreational ACL or adjusted ACL the last 4 years. This final rule establishes an additional recreational fixed closed season for gray triggerfish from January 1 through the end of February, which is expected to reduce recreational landings and help rebuild the stock within the rebuilding time period established in Amendment 46.

    Recreational Bag Limit

    The current recreational bag limit was set in Amendment 37 and is 2-fish per person per day within the overall 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit. This final rule reduces the recreational gray triggerfish bag limit to 1 fish per person per day within the 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit.

    As described in Amendment 46, from 2013 through 2015, approximately 10 percent of recreational trips with reef fish landings harvested 2 gray triggerfish within the 20-fish aggregate bag limit. NMFS expects the change to the bag limit to reduce recreational landings by 15 percent, which will help constrain harvest to the recreational ACT and allow the sector to remain open through the end of the fishing year.

    Recreational Minimum Size Limit

    The current recreational minimum size limit for gray triggerfish is 14 inches (35.6 cm), fork length (FL), and was established in Amendment 30A to the FMP (73 FR 38139, July 3, 2008). This final rule increases the minimum size limit to 15 inches (38.1 cm), FL. Increasing the recreational minimum size limit will increase the gray triggerfish stock spawning potential by maintaining larger-sized fish, which produce more eggs, and is expected to help slow recreational harvest.

    Commercial Trip Limit

    The current commercial trip limit is 12 fish per trip, and was established in Amendment 37 to help constrain commercial harvest to the commercial ACT and avoid an in-season closure as a result of the AMs being triggered (78 FR 27084, May 5, 2013). This final rule increases the trip limit to 16 fish per trip.

    As described in Amendment 46, since implementation of the 12 fish commercial trip limit in 2013, commercial landings have been consistently below the commercial ACT. Analysis of commercial trips demonstrated that 80 percent of trips caught 10 gray triggerfish or less. This indicates that gray triggerfish is primarily a non-target species by the commercial sector and that increasing the commercial trip limit will likely result in only a small change in the weight projected to be landed during a fishing year. However, increasing the commercial trip limit will allow those fishermen who encounter the species the opportunity to harvest more fish. This will help achieve OY for the stock while continuing to constrain commercial landings to the commercial ACT, which is consistent with rebuilding the stock within the rebuilding time period.

    Measures in Amendment 46 Not Codified Through This Final Rule

    In addition to the measures implemented and codified by this final rule, Amendment 46 contains actions to establish a rebuilding timeframe and to consider alternatives for the commercial and recreational ACTs and ACLs.

    Rebuilding Time Period and Commercial and Recreational ACTs and ACLs

    Amendment 37 established a 5-year rebuilding time period, expiring in 2017, and the current gray triggerfish commercial and recreational ACTs and ACLs. Amendment 46 establishes a new rebuilding time period for the Gulf gray triggerfish stock as a result of the stock status determined through SEDAR 43, and maintains the current commercial and recreational ACLs and ACTs.

    In Amendment 46, the Council determined that a 9-year rebuilding time period was as short as possible, taking into account the status and biology of the stock and the needs of the associated fishing communities. Although the acceptable biological catch recommendation by the SSC associated with the 9-year time period allowed for an increase in harvest, the Council chose to adopt a more conservative approach and maintain the current commercial and recreational ACLs and ACTs for gray triggerfish that were set through the final rule for Amendment 37 (78 FR 27084, May 9, 2013).

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received 26 comment submissions from individuals on the notice of availability and proposed rule for Amendment 46. Eleven of the individual comments agreed with portions of, or the entirety of, the actions in Amendment 46 and proposed rule. Other submissions addressed issues beyond the scope of the actions considered in Amendment 46 and the proposed rule, such as revising the sector allocations, separating the recreational sector into private and charter vessel/headboat components, and starting a tag program. Specific comments related to the actions contained in Amendment 46 and the proposed rule are summarized and responded to below.

    Comment 1: Increasing the commercial trip limit while implementing further restrictions on the recreational sector is not fair and is not consistent with rebuilding a gray triggerfish stock that is currently determined to be overfished.

    Response: NMFS disagrees. Amendment 37 to the FMP set the current sector ACTs and ACLs using an allocation of 79 percent of the stock ACL to the recreational sector and 21 percent of the stock ACL to the commercial sector (78 FR 27084, May 9, 2013). There are in-season AMs that close harvest for the recreational and commercial sectors when they reach or are projected to reach their respective ACT. However, the recreational sector has exceeded both the recreational ACT and ACL each year from 2013 through 2016. The commercial sector has not exceeded the commercial ACT since 2013. Therefore, the Council determined, and NMFS agrees, that it is appropriate to implement additional harvest restrictions for the recreational sector while increasing the trip limit for the commercial sector. The recreational management measures will reduce the risk of the recreational sector exceeding its ACL and provide for a longer recreational season. The increase in the commercial trip limit will help achieve OY while the stock continues to rebuild.

    In developing Amendment 46, the Council reviewed five trips limits alternatives and determined that a trip limit of 16 fish per trip best addressed the needs of fishing communities while continuing to constrain commercial landings to the commercial ACL. The trip limit being implemented in this final rule is expected to result in a minor increase in annual commercial landings of 2.79 percent a year over the current level of landings. However, this increase will allow those fishermen who encounter the species the opportunity to harvest more fish.

    Comment 2: The gray triggerfish stock is the most abundant that it has been in recent years, and the harvest limits should be increased.

    Response: NMFS disagrees that harvest limits should be increased. The SEDAR 43 stock assessment for Gulf gray triggerfish was completed in 2015 and indicated that the gray triggerfish stock was improving and was no longer undergoing overfishing, but remained overfished and would not rebuild by the end of the previously specified rebuilding time period. In Amendment 46, the Council considered alternatives to increase the sector ACTs and ACLs. However, the Council determined, and NMFS agrees, it is not appropriate to increase harvest levels given the prior inadequate progress in rebuilding the stock. Further, maintaining the current harvest levels will increase the likelihood that the stock rebuilds by the end of the new 9-year time period.

    Comment 3: A closure in January and February will negatively impact winter residents and tourists in the region.

    Response: The Council considered several alternatives for an additional recreational closed season, which is intended to work with the current June and July seasonal closure, the decrease in the recreational bag limit, and the increase in the recreational minimum size limit and are expected to slow the rate of recreational harvest, constrain recreational harvest to the recreational ACL, and reduce the likelihood of an in-season closure. Alternatives for the additional closed season included, the January through February preferred alternative, a more limited closure in January only, an extended summer closure through August, and a closure for the first 7 months of the year. NMFS understands that any closed season may negatively impact those who would like to fish during that time. However, fishing effort and landings are generally lower at the beginning of the year. Therefore, the Council determined, and NMFS agrees, that adding the 2-month closed season at the beginning of the year will help achieve the desired reduction in landings while minimizing, to the extent practicable, the negative impacts on recreational anglers and fishing communities.

    Comment 4: Several commenters stated that the recreational minimum size limit should not be increased to 15 inches (38.1 cm), FL, and the recreational bag limit should not be decreased to one fish per person per day. One commenter suggested a slot limit of 12 inches to 16 inches (30.5 cm to 40.6 cm) as opposed to an increase in the minimum size limit.

    Response: NMFS disagrees that the recreational bag limit and size limit should not be modified as implemented in this final rule. As noted in the response to Comment 3, the closed seasons, bag limit, and size limit are intended to work together to slow recreational harvest, constrain recreational harvest to the recreational ACL, and reduce the likelihood of an in-season closure. In addition, because larger fish are more fertile, the increase in the minimum size limit is expected to benefit the gray triggerfish stock by increasing spawning potential.

    With respect to the suggestion to implement a slot limit, this is beyond the scope of what was considered in Amendment 46 and the proposed rule. Further, the suggested slot limit would not likely achieve the desired reduction in recreational harvest or the benefits to the stock associated with allowing the fish additional time to spawn before they are harvested.

    Comment 5: The methods for verifying commercial catch and the methods for calculating the current stock population and ACL for gray triggerfish in the Gulf are unclear and should be published.

    Response: The current ACLs for gray triggerfish were established in Amendment 37 and are available for public review at the website http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2013/am37/documents/pdfs/rf_amend37.pdf. These ACLs were based on the stock population estimates and projections included in the SEDAR 9 update assessment that was completed in 2011 and can be found at the website http://sedarweb.org/docs/sar/SEDAR9_SAR1%20GOM%20Gray%20Triggerfish.pdf. The most recent stock population estimates are included in SEDAR 43, which can be found at the website http://sedarweb.org/docs/sar/S43_SAR_FINAL.pdf. Amendment 46 explains the results of SEDAR 43 and the basis for retaining the current ACLs.

    Commercial landings are verified through vessel and dealer reporting. Any fisher whose vessel has a commercial Federal vessel permit for Gulf reef fish must report their landings within 7 days of a trip through the commercial logbook program. Data from dealers' reports submitted electronically are used to monitor the gray triggerfish ACLs. All dealers in the Gulf are required to have a single Federal permit to purchase managed species and must submit their reports once per week. These datasets are updated weekly and are available for review at the following website: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/acl_monitoring/commercial_gulf/index.html.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS has determined that this final rule is consistent with Amendment 46, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No public comments were made related to the economic implications and potential impacts on small businesses, and no changes to this final rule were made in response to public comments. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gray triggerfish, Gulf, Recreational.

    Dated: December 12, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.34, revise paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 622.34 Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef fish.

    (f) Seasonal closures for gray triggerfish. The recreational sector for gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ is closed from January 1 through the end of February, and from June 1 through July 31, each year. During a recreational closure, the bag and possession limits for gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ are zero. The commercial sector for gray triggerfish in or from the Gulf EEZ is closed from June 1 through July 31, each year. During the period of both the commercial and recreational closure, all harvest or possession in or from the Gulf EEZ of gray triggerfish is prohibited and the sale and purchase of gray triggerfish taken from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited.

    3. In § 622.37, revise paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:
    § 622.37 Size limits.

    (c) * * *

    (1) Gray triggerfish. (i) For a person not subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38(b)(5)—14 inches (35.6 cm), fork length.

    (ii) For a person subject to the bag limit specified in § 622.38(b)(5)—15 inches (38.1 cm), fork length.

    4. In § 622.38, revise paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows:
    § 622.38 Bag and possession limits.

    (b) * * *

    (5) Gulf reef fish, combined, excluding those specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) and paragraphs (b)(6) and (7) of this section—20. In addition, within the 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit, no more than 1 fish may be gray triggerfish and no more than 10 fish may be vermilion snapper.

    5. In § 622.43, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 622.43 Commercial trip limits.

    (b) Gray triggerfish. Until the commercial ACT (commercial quota) specified in § 622.39(a)(1)(vi) is reached—16 fish. See § 622.39(b) for the limitations regarding gray triggerfish after the commercial ACT (commercial quota) is reached.

    [FR Doc. 2017-27068 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160301164-6694-02] RIN 0648-XF883 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex; Adjustment to the Skate Wing Inseason Possession Limit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces the reduction of the commercial skate wing fishery per-trip possession limit for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year, through April 30, 2018. This possession limit reduction is necessary to prevent the skate wing commercial quota from being exceeded, while still allowing the opportunity to harvest the annual total allowable landings. This announcement also informs the public that the skate wing possession limit is reduced.

    DATES:

    Effective December 27, 2017, through April 30, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cynthia Hanson, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9180, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The skate wing and bait fisheries are managed through the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan; the regulations for which are found at 50 CFR part 648, subpart O. Regulations at § 648.322(b)(2) describe the process of adjusting the commercial possession limit of skate wings. When 85 percent of the annual total allowable landings (TAL) for skate wing fishery is projected to be harvested, the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator may reduce the skate wing possession limit to the incidental limit, unless the reduction would be expected to prevent attainment of the annual TAL. The initial skate wing possession limit is 4,100 lb (1,860 kg) of wings (9,307 lb (4,222 kg) whole weight). When the 85-percent trigger is reached, this is reduced to the incidental limit of and 500 lb (227 kg) of wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight). We anticipate that implementing this inseason adjustment will allow the opportunity for the skate wing fishery to harvest the annual TAL while reducing the possibility of exceeding it.

    Based on commercial landings data reported through December 2, 2017, we project the skate wing fishery to reach 85 percent of the annual TAL (18.46 million lb, 8,372 mt) on or about December 11, 2017. Furthermore, without adjustment, there is a high probability that skate wing landings will exceed the TAL before the end of the fishing year. Therefore, consistent with § 648.322(b)(2), we are reducing the skate wing possession limit from 4,100 lb (1,860 kg) of skate wings (9,307 lb (4,222 kg) whole weight) to 500 lb (227 kg) of skate wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight) per trip. At the request of industry to allow adequate time for safe gear removal, we are affording a 14-day notice period before implementing this reduction. Effective December 27, 2017, no person may possess on board or land more than 500 lb (227 kg) of skate wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight), or any prorated combination of skate wings and whole skates based on the conversion factor for wing weight to whole weight of 2.27, per trip for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year. This action does not affect vessels fishing under a skate bait letter of authorization. On May 1, 2018, the 2018 fishing year begins, and the commercial skate wing possession limit will increase to the skate wing season 1 (May 1, 2018, to August 31, 2018) possession limit of 2,600 lb (1,179 kg) of skate wings (5,902 lb (2,677 kg) whole weight) per trip.

    Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest. This action lowers the possession limit for the commercial skate wing fishery to the incidental limit in order to prevent the annual quota from being exceeded, while still allowing the opportunity to harvest the annual TAL. The regulations at § 648.322(b)(2) allow such action when landings reach a trigger of 85 percent of the annual TAL to ensure this TAL is not exceeded. If implementation of this reduction were delayed to solicit prior public comment, the quota for this fishing year would likely be exceeded, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan. The Assistant Administrator further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the reason stated above.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 12, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27082 Filed 12-12-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 240 Friday, December 15, 2017 Proposed Rules FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 252 [Regulation YY; Docket No. OP-1587] Stress Testing Policy Statement AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; policy statement with request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board is inviting comment on a proposed policy statement on the approach to supervisory stress testing conducted under the Board's Regulation YY pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) and the Board's capital plan rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OP-1587 by any of the following methods:

    Agency website: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.aspx.

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number and RIN number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 452-2819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Ann Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments will be made available on the Board's website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/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 St. NW (between 18th and 19th Streets NW), Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. For security reasons, the Board requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202) 452-3684. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and to submit to security screening in order to inspect and photocopy comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Ryu, Associate Director, (202) 263-4833, Kathleen Johnson, Assistant Director, (202) 452-3644, Joseph Cox, Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3216, Hillel Kipnis, Senior Financial Analyst, (202) 452-2924, Aurite Werman, Financial Analyst, (202) 263-4802, Division of Supervision and Regulation; Benjamin W. McDonough, Assistant General Counsel, (202) 452-2036, or Julie Anthony, Counsel, (202) 475-6682, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551. Users of Telecommunication Device for Deaf (TDD) only, call (202) 263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Overview

    The proposed policy statement (Policy Statement) outlines the key principles and policies governing the Board's approach to the development, implementation, and validation of models used in the supervisory stress test. The supervisory stress test models are used to produce estimates of post-stress capital ratios for covered companies,1 pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) and the Board's stress test rules.2 This annual exercise is referred to as the Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test (DFAST). The supervisory models are also used in the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), pursuant to the Board's capital plan rule.3 The Board is proposing the Policy Statement to increase transparency around the development, implementation, and validation of these models by the Federal Reserve. Accordingly, the Policy Statement would not apply to models used by covered companies in the company-run stress tests mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act and the Board's stress test rules.4

    1 Covered companies are defined as bank holding companies (BHCs) and U.S. intermediate holding companies of foreign banking organizations (IHCs) with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more, and any nonbank financial company that the Financial Stability Oversight Committee has determined shall be supervised by the Board. See 12 U.S.C. 5365.

    2 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010); 12 CFR part 252, subpart E.

    3 12 CFR 225.8.

    4See 12 U.S.C. 5365(i); 12 CFR part 252, subparts B and F.

    II. Background

    Supervisory stress testing is a tool that allows the Board to assess whether the largest and most complex financial firms are sufficiently capitalized to absorb losses in stressful economic conditions while continuing to meet obligations to creditors and other counterparties and to lend to households and businesses. The 2007-2009 financial crisis showed that many large bank holding companies (BHCs) did not hold capital commensurate with their risk profiles and were insufficiently capitalized to withstand unanticipated losses in severe economic stress and remain a going concern. Post-crisis reforms to regulation and supervision have improved the quality and quantity of capital in the financial system. These improvements have strengthened financial institutions and have reduced the likelihood and severity of future financial crises, which can cause severe and lasting damage to the economy.

    The Board's approach to supervisory stress testing has evolved since the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (SCAP) in 2009, which was the first evaluation of BHCs' capital levels on a forward-looking basis under stress. The lessons from SCAP encouraged the creation, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, of DFAST,5 a forward-looking quantitative evaluation of the impact of stressful economic and financial market conditions on covered companies' capital. CCAR is a related supervisory program that was developed pursuant to the Board's capital plan rule and focuses on forward-looking capital planning and the use of stress testing to assess firms' capital adequacy. The quantitative assessment in CCAR uses the same supervisory stress test as does DFAST, and includes firms' planned capital distributions, including any dividend payments or common stock repurchases.6 By assessing the capital adequacy of a covered company under severe projected economic and financial stress, the supervisory stress test complements minimum regulatory capital ratios, which reflect the covered company's current condition.

    5 77 FR 62377 (October 12, 2012) (stress test rules). See 12 CFR part 252, subparts E and F.

    6 12 CFR 225.8. CCAR also includes a qualitative assessment of capital planning practices at the largest and most complex firms, which is not the subject of this proposed Policy Statement.

    The proposed Policy Statement describes the principles, policies, and procedures that guide the development, implementation, and validation of the Federal Reserve's supervisory stress test models, and would complement the Board's policy statement on scenario design.7

    7See 12 CFR part 252, appendix A, “Policy Statement on the Scenario Design Framework for Stress Testing.”

    The Federal Reserve maintains the same standards for model development and implementation of supervisory models as the Federal Reserve has established for covered companies. In addition to maintaining those standards, the Federal Reserve adheres to specific principles for model development and implementation. These principles, which apply broadly across the full set of supervisory models, have guided the formulation of the Federal Reserve's supervisory modeling approach and continue to guide changes to supervisory models.

    Models used in the supervisory stress test are also subject to ongoing review and validation by an independent unit within the Federal Reserve. In addition to addressing principles and policies of model development, implementation, and use, the Policy Statement describes principles of model validation, which is central to the credibility of supervisory models and to the credibility of the stress test exercise. The proposed Policy Statement is organized as follows. Section 1 describes the principles that guide the design of the supervisory stress test and the Federal Reserve's approach to supervisory modeling. Section 2 describes the governing policies and implementation of the supervisory stress test. Section 3 establishes the principles and policies for the validation of models used in the supervisory stress test. The Board may determine that modifications to the Policy Statement would be appropriate if the principles and policies that guide decisions in the supervisory stress test are revised materially. The Board is inviting public comment on all aspects of the proposed Policy Statement.

    III. Administrative Law Matters A. Use of Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Pub. L. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, 1471, 12 U.S.C. 4809) requires the Federal banking agencies to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The Board has sought to present the proposed rule in a simple and straightforward manner, and invites comment on the use of plain language.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506), the Board has reviewed the proposed policy statement to assess any information collections. There are no collections of information as defined by the Paperwork Reduction Act in the proposal.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with section 3(a) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Board is publishing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis of the proposed policy statement. The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., requires each federal agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis in connection with the promulgation of a proposed rule, or certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.8 The RFA requires an agency either to provide an initial regulatory flexibility analysis with a proposed rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking is required or to certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Based on its analysis and for the reasons stated below, the Board believes that the proposed policy statement will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    8See 5 U.S.C. 603, 604, and 605.

    Under regulations issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA), a “small entity” includes those firms within the “Finance and Insurance” sector with asset sizes that vary from $7 million or less in assets to $175 million or less in assets.9 The Board believes that the Finance and Insurance sector constitutes a reasonable universe of firms for these purposes because such firms generally engage in actives that are financial in nature. Consequently, bank holding companies or nonbank financial companies with assets sizes of $175 million or less are small entities for purposes of the RFA.

    9 13 CFR 121.201.

    As discussed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, the proposed policy statement generally would affect the stress test framework used in regulations that apply to bank holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets and nonbank financial companies that the Council has determined under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act must be supervised by the Board and for which such determination is in effect. Companies that are affected by the proposed policy statement therefore substantially exceed the $175 million asset threshold at which a banking entity is considered a “small entity” under SBA regulations.10 The proposed policy statement would affect a nonbank financial company designated by the Council under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act regardless of such a company's asset size. Although the asset size of nonbank financial companies may not be the determinative factor of whether such companies may pose systemic risks and would be designated by the Council for supervision by the Board, it is an important consideration.11 It is therefore unlikely that a financial firm that is at or below the $175 million asset threshold would be designated by the Council under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act because material financial distress at such firms, or the nature, scope, size, scale, concentration, interconnectedness, or mix of it activities, are not likely to pose a threat to the financial stability of the United States.

    10 The Dodd-Frank Act provides that the Board may, on the recommendation of the Council, increase the $50 billion asset threshold for the application of certain of the enhanced standards. See 12 U.S.C. 5365(a)(2)(B). However, neither the Board nor the Council has the authority to lower such threshold.

    11See 76 FR 4555 (January 26, 2011).

    As noted above, because the proposed policy statement is not likely to apply to any company with assets of $175 million or less, if adopted in final form, it is not expected to affect any small entity for purposes of the RFA. The Board does not believe that the proposed policy statement duplicates, overlaps, or conflicts with any other Federal rules. In light of the foregoing, the Board does not believe that the proposed policy statement, if adopted in final form, would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities supervised. Nonetheless, the Board seeks comment on whether the proposed policy statement would impose undue burdens on, or have unintended consequences for, small organizations, and whether there are ways such potential burdens or consequences could be minimized in a manner consistent its purpose.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 252

    Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Federal Reserve System, Holding companies, Nonbank financial companies supervised by the Board, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities, Stress testing.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the Supplementary Information, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System proposes to amend 12 CFR part 252 as follows:

    PART 252—ENHANCED PRUDENTIAL STANDARDS (Regulation YY) 1. The authority citation for part 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 321-338a, 1467a(g), 1818, 1831p-1, 1844(b), 1844(c), 5361, 5365, 5366.

    2. Add appendix B to part 252 to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 252—Stress Testing Policy Statement

    This Policy Statement describes the principles, policies, and procedures that guide the development, implementation, and validation of models used in the Federal Reserve's supervisory stress test.

    1. Principles of Supervisory Stress Testing

    The system of models used in the supervisory stress test is designed to result in projections that are (i) from an independent supervisory perspective; (ii) forward-looking; (iii) consistent and comparable across covered companies; (iv) generated from simple approaches, where appropriate; (v) robust and stable; (vi) conservative; and (vii) able to capture the impact of economic stress. These principles are further explained below.

    1.1. Independence

    In the supervisory stress test, the Federal Reserve uses models that are developed internally and independently (i.e., separately from models used by covered companies). The supervisory models rely on detailed portfolio data provided by covered companies, but do not rely on models or estimates provided by covered companies to the greatest extent possible.

    The Federal Reserve's stress testing framework is unique among regulators in its generation of estimates of covered companies' stressed losses and revenues that are not determined in consultation with firms or influenced by firm-provided estimates. Doing so enables the Federal Reserve to provide the public and the covered companies with credible, independent assessments of each firm's capital adequacy under stress and helps instill public confidence in the banking system.

    The independence of the supervisory stress test allows stress test projections to adhere to the other key principles described in the Policy Statement. The use of independent models allows for consistent treatment across firms. Losses and revenues under stress are estimated using the same modeling assumptions for all covered companies, enabling comparisons across supervisory stress test results. Differences in covered companies' results reflect differences in firm-specific risks and input data instead of differences in modeling assumptions. The use of independent models also ensures that stress test results are produced by stress-focused models, designed to project the performance of covered companies in adverse economic conditions.

    In instances in which it is not possible or appropriate to create a supervisory model for use in the stress test, including when supervisory data are insufficient to support a modeled estimate of losses or revenues, the Federal Reserve may use firm-provided estimates or third-party models or data. For example, in order to project trading and counterparty losses, sensitivities to risk factors and other information generated by covered companies' internal models are used. In the cases where firm-provided or third-party model estimates are used, the Federal Reserve monitors the quality and performance of the estimates through targeted examination, additional data collection, or benchmarking. The Board releases a list of the providers of third-party models or data used in the stress test exercise in the annual disclosure of quantitative results.

    Question number 1: The modeling framework of the Federal Reserve's supervisory stress test seeks to promote consistency and comparability in evaluating the impact of severe economic stress upon covered companies by generating independent estimates of losses, revenues, and capital. Are there additional advantages or disadvantages to this independent framework, relative to a framework that relies on models or estimates provided by covered companies?

    1.2. Forward-Looking

    The Federal Reserve has designed the supervisory stress test to be forward-looking. Supervisory models are tools for producing projections of potential losses and revenue effects based on each covered company's portfolio and circumstances.

    While supervisory models are specified using historical data, they should generally avoid relying solely on extrapolation of past trends in order to make projections, and instead should be able to incorporate events or outcomes that have not occurred. As described in Section 2.4, the Federal Reserve implements several supervisory modeling policies to limit reliance on past outcomes in its projections of losses and revenues. The incorporation of the macroeconomic scenario and global market shock component also introduces elements outside the realm of historical experience into the supervisory stress test.

    1.3. Consistency and Comparability

    The Federal Reserve uses the same set of models and assumptions to produce loss projections for all covered companies participating in the supervisory stress test. A standard set of scenarios, assumptions, and models promotes equitable treatment of firms participating in the supervisory stress test and comparability of results, supporting cross-firm analysis and providing valuable information to supervisors and to the public. Adhering to a consistent modeling approach across covered companies means that differences in projected results are due to differences in input data, such as instrument type or portfolio risk characteristics, rather than differences in firm-specific assumptions made by the Federal Reserve.

    1.4. Simplicity

    The Federal Reserve uses simple approaches in supervisory modeling, where possible. Given a range of modeling approaches that are equally conceptually sound, the Federal Reserve will select the least complex modeling approach. In assessing simplicity, the Federal Reserve favors those modeling approaches that allow for a more straightforward interpretation of the drivers of model results and that minimize operational challenges for model implementation.

    1.5. Robustness and Stability

    The Federal Reserve maintains supervisory models that aim to be robust and stable, such that changes in model projections over time reflect underlying risk factors, scenarios, and model enhancements, rather than transitory factors. The estimates of post-stress capital produced by the supervisory stress test provide information regarding a covered company's capital adequacy to market participants, covered companies, and the public. Adherence to this principle helps to ensure that changes in these model projections over time are not driven by temporary variations in model performance or inputs. Supervisory models are recalibrated with newly available input data each year. These data affect supervisory model projections, particularly in times of evolving risks. However, these changes generally should not be the principal driver of a change in results, year over year.

    1.6. Conservatism

    Given a reasonable set of assumptions or approaches, all else equal, the Federal Reserve will opt to use those that result in larger losses or lower revenue. For example, given a lack of information about the true risk of a portfolio, the Federal Reserve will compensate for the lack of data by using a high percentile loss rate.

    1.7. Focus on the Ability To Evaluate the Impact of Severe Economic Stress

    In evaluating whether supervisory models are appropriate for use in a stress testing exercise, the Federal Reserve places particular emphasis on supervisory models' abilities to project outcomes in stressed economic environments. In the supervisory stress test, the Federal Reserve also seeks to capture risks to capital that arise specifically in times of economic stress, and that would not be prevalent in more typical economic environments. For example, the Federal Reserve includes losses stemming from the default of a covered company's largest counterparty in projections of post-stress capital for firms with substantial trading or processing and custodial operations. The default of a company's largest counterparty is more likely to occur in times of severe economic stress than in normal economic conditions.

    2. Supervisory Stress Test Model Policies

    To be consistent with the seven principles outlined in Section 1, the Federal Reserve has established policies and procedures to guide the development, implementation, and use of all models used in supervisory stress test projections, described in more detail below. Each policy facilitates adherence to at least one of the modeling principles that govern the supervisory stress test, and in most cases facilitates adherence to several modeling principles.

    2.1. Soundness in Model Design

    During development, the Federal Reserve (i) subjects supervisory models to extensive review of model theory and logic and general conceptual soundness; (ii) examines and evaluates justifications for modeling assumptions; and (iii) tests models to establish the accuracy and stability of the estimates and forecasts that they produce.

    After development, the Federal Reserve continues to subject supervisory models to scrutiny during implementation to ensure that the models remain appropriate for use in the stress test exercise. The Federal Reserve monitors changes in the economic environment, the structure of covered companies and their portfolios, and the structure of the stress testing exercise, if applicable, to verify that a model in use continues to serve the purposes for which it was designed. Generally, the same principles, rigor, and standards for evaluating the suitability of supervisory models that apply in model development and design will apply in ongoing monitoring of supervisory models.

    2.2. Disclosure of Information Related to the Supervisory Stress Test

    In general, the Board does not disclose firm-specific results or other information related to the supervisory stress test to covered companies if that information is not also publicly disclosed. This policy promotes consistent and equitable treatment of covered companies by ensuring that institutions do not have access to information about the supervisory stress test that is not accessible to all covered companies, corresponding to Principle 1.3.

    The Board publicly discloses information related to the supervisory stress test on a regular basis, instead of privately communicating this information to covered companies. The Board has increased the breadth of its public disclosure since the inception of the supervisory stress test to include more information about model changes and key risk drivers, in addition to more detail on different components of projected net revenues and losses. Increasing public disclosure helps the public understand and interpret the results of the supervisory stress test, particularly with respect to the condition and capital adequacy of participating firms. Providing additional information about the supervisory stress test also allows the public to make an evaluation of the quality of the Board's capital adequacy assessment.

    2.3. Phasing in of Highly Material Model Changes

    The Federal Reserve may revise its supervisory stress test models to include advances in modeling techniques, enhancements in response to model validation findings, incorporation of richer and more detailed data, public comment, and identification of models with improved performance, particularly under adverse economic conditions. Revisions to supervisory stress models may at times have a material impact on modeled outcomes.

    In order to mitigate sudden and unexpected changes to the supervisory stress test results, the Federal Reserve follows a general policy of phasing highly material model changes into the supervisory stress test over two years. The Federal Reserve assesses whether a model change would have a highly significant impact on the projections of losses, components of revenue, or post-stress capital ratios for covered companies. In these instances, in the first year when the model change is first implemented, estimates produced by the enhanced model are averaged with estimates produced by the model used in the previous stress test exercise. In the second and subsequent years, the supervisory stress test exercise will reflect only estimates produced by the enhanced model. This policy contributes to the stability of the results of the supervisory stress test, corresponding to Principle 1.5. By implementing highly material model changes over the course of two stress test cycles, the Federal Reserve seeks to ensure that changes in model projections primarily reflect changes in underlying risk factors and scenarios, year over year.

    Question number 2: The Federal Reserve assesses individual model changes each year to determine whether these model changes will have a highly significant impact on the projections of losses, revenues, or post-stress capital ratios for covered companies, and whether these changes warrant a phase-in over two stress test exercises. What thresholds should the Federal Reserve use to determine whether model changes will have a highly significant impact on projections?

    2.4. Limiting Reliance on Past Outcomes

    Models should not place undue emphasis on historical outcomes in predicting future outcomes. The Federal Reserve aims to produce supervisory stress test results that reflect likely outcomes under the supervisory scenarios. The supervisory scenarios may potentially incorporate events that have not occurred historically. It is not consistent with the purpose of a stress testing exercise to assume that the future will always be like the past.

    In order to model potential outcomes outside the realm of historical experience, the Federal Reserve generally does not include variables that would capture unobserved historical patterns in supervisory models. The use of industry-level models, restricted use of firm-specific fixed effects (described below), and minimized use of dummy variables indicating a loan vintage or a specific year ensure that the outcomes of the supervisory models are forward-looking, consistent and comparable across firms, and robust and stable.

    Firm-specific fixed effects are variables that identify a specific firm and capture unobserved differences in the revenues, expenses or losses among firms. Firm-specific fixed effects are generally not incorporated in supervisory models in order to avoid the assumption that unobserved firm-specific historical patterns will continue in the future. Exceptions to this policy are made where appropriate. For example, if granular portfolio-level data on key drivers of a covered company's performance are limited or unavailable, and firm-specific fixed effects are more predictive of a covered company's future performance than are industry-level variables, then supervisory models may be specified with firm-specific fixed effects.

    Models used in the supervisory stress test are developed according to an industry-level approach, calibrated using data from many institutions. In adhering to an industry-level approach, the Federal Reserve models the response of specific portfolios and instruments to variations in macroeconomic and financial scenario variables. In this way, the Federal Reserve ensures that differences across covered companies are driven by differences in firm-specific input data, as opposed to differences in model parameters or specifications. The industry approach to modeling is also forward-looking, consistent with Principle 1.2, as the Federal Reserve does not assume that historical patterns will necessarily continue into the future for individual firms. By modeling a portfolio or instrument's response to changes in economic or financial conditions at the industry level, the Federal Reserve ensures that projected future losses are a function of that portfolio or instrument's own characteristics, rather than the historical experience of the covered company. This policy helps to ensure that two firms with the same portfolio receive the same results for that portfolio in the supervisory stress test.

    The Federal Reserve minimizes the use of loan vintage or year-specific fixed effects when estimating models and producing supervisory projections. In general, these types of variables are employed only when there are significant structural market shifts or other unusual factors for which supervisory models cannot otherwise account. Similar to the firm-specific fixed effects policy, and consistent with Principle 1.2, this vintage indicator policy is in place so that projections of future performance under stress do not incorporate assumptions that patterns in unmeasured factors from brief historical time periods persist. For example, the loans originated in a particular year should not be assumed to continue to default at a higher rate in the future because they did so in the past.

    Question number 3: The Federal Reserve seeks to model potential outcomes outside the realm of historical experience, and in connection with doing so, has implemented policies to limit its own reliance on historical outcomes in model design and calibration. What other policies or methodologies would allow the Federal Reserve to incorporate events that have not occurred historically in supervisory stress test projections while maintaining the integrity of the supervisory stress tests?

    2.5. Treatment of Global Market Shock and Largest Counterparty Default Components

    Both the global market shock and counterparty default components are exogenous components of the supervisory stress scenarios that are independent of the macroeconomic and financial market environment specified in those scenarios, and do not affect projections of risk-weighted assets or balances. The global market shock, which specifies movements in numerous market factors,1 applies only to covered companies with significant trading exposure. The largest counterparty default scenario component applies only to covered companies with substantial trading or processing and custodial operations. Though these stress factors may not be directly correlated to macroeconomic or financial assumptions, they can materially affect covered companies' risks. Losses from both components are therefore considered in addition to the estimates of losses under the macroeconomic scenario.

    1See appendix A to this part, “Policy Statement on the Scenario Design Framework for Stress Testing,” for a detailed description of the global market shock.

    Counterparty credit risk on derivatives and repo-style activities is incorporated in supervisory modeling in part by assuming the default of the single counterparty to which the covered firm would be most exposed in the global market shock event.2 Requiring covered companies subject to the largest counterparty default component to estimate and report the potential losses and effects on capital associated with such an instantaneous default is a simple method for capturing an important risk to capital for firms with large trading and custodial or processing activities. Engagement in substantial trading or custodial operations makes the covered companies subject to the largest counterparty default scenario component particularly vulnerable to the default of their major counterparty or their clients' counterparty, in transactions for which the covered companies act as agents. The largest counterparty default component is consistent with the purpose of a stress testing exercise, as discussed in Principle 1.7. The default of a covered company's largest counterparty is a salient risk in a macroeconomic and financial crisis, and generally less likely to occur in times of economic stability. This approach seeks to ensure that covered companies can absorb losses associated with the default of any counterparty, in addition to losses associated with adverse economic conditions, in an environment of economic uncertainty.

    2 In addition to incorporating counterparty credit risk by assuming the default of the covered company's largest counterparty, the Federal Reserve incorporates counterparty credit risk in the supervisory stress test by estimating mark-to-market losses, credit valuation adjustment (CVA) losses, and incremental default risk (IDR) losses associated with the global market shock.

    The full effect of the global market shock and counterparty default components is realized in net income in the first quarter of the projection horizon in the supervisory stress test. The Board expects covered companies with material trading and counterparty exposures to be sufficiently capitalized to absorb losses stemming from these exposures that could occur during times of general macroeconomic stress.

    2.6. Incorporation of Business Plan Changes

    The Federal Reserve incorporates material changes in the business plans of covered companies, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures over the projection horizon, in the supervisory stress test projections. The incorporation of business plan changes in the supervisory stress test is a requirement of the capital plan rule,3 and captures a risk to the capital of covered companies. Allowing for the inclusion of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures is forward-looking, and consistent with Principle 1.2, as the Federal Reserve seeks to capture material impacts on a covered company's post-stress capital that may arise from a business plan change in the course of the projection horizon.

    3 12 CFR 225.8(e)(2).

    The incorporation of business plan changes in supervisory projections is consistent with the purpose of a stress testing exercise, corresponding to Principle 1.7. In CCAR specifically, the Board evaluates whether covered companies have the ability to complete their projected capital actions in the supervisory stress test while remaining above post-stress minimum capital and leverage ratios. Business plan changes such as mergers, acquisitions, or divestitures, may have material impacts on these firm-projected capital actions and on the projected ability of a covered company to make planned capital distributions and maintain capital ratios above regulatory minima.

    A consistent methodology for modeling of business plan changes is applied across covered companies. The data that are available about characteristics of assets being acquired or divested are generally limited and less granular than other data collected by the Board in the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing (FR Y-14) information collection. Projections of the effects of business plan changes may rely on less granular information and may result in simpler modeling approaches than supervisory projections for legacy portfolios or businesses.

    2.7. Credit Supply Maintenance

    The supervisory stress test incorporates the assumption that aggregate credit supply does not contract during the stress period. The aim of supervisory stress testing is to assess whether firms are sufficiently capitalized to absorb losses during times of economic stress, while meeting obligations and continuing to lend to households and businesses. The assumption that a balance sheet of constant or increasing magnitude is maintained allows supervisors to evaluate the health of the banking sector, assuming firms continue to lend during times of stress.

    In order to implement this policy, the Federal Reserve must make assumptions about new loan balances. To predict losses on new originations over the planning horizon, newly originated loans are assumed to have the same risk characteristics as the existing portfolio, where applicable, with the exception of loan age and delinquency status. These newly originated loans would be part of a covered company's normal business, even in a stressed economic environment. While an individual firm may assume that it reacts to rising losses by sharply restricting its lending, (e.g. by exiting a particular business line), the banking industry as a whole cannot do so without creating a “credit crunch” and substantially increasing the severity and duration of an economic downturn. The assumption that the magnitude of firm balance sheets will be fixed or growing in the supervisory stress test ensures that covered companies cannot assume they will “shrink to health,” and serves the Federal Reserve's goal of helping to ensure that major financial firms remain sufficiently capitalized to accommodate credit demand in a severe downturn. In addition, by precluding the need to make assumptions about how underwriting standards might tighten or loosen during times of economic stress, the Federal Reserve adheres to Principle 1.3 and promotes consistency across covered companies.

    Question number 4: The Federal Reserve seeks to assess covered companies' capital adequacy in times of stress while those firms continue to lend. Beyond assuming that the magnitude of firm balance sheets is fixed or growing, are there other assumptions that could be incorporated into the supervisory stress test that would allow the Federal Reserve to make this assessment?

    2.8. Firm-Specific Overlays and Additional Firm-Provided Data

    The Federal Reserve does not make firm-specific overlays to model results used in the supervisory stress test. This policy ensures that the supervisory stress test results are determined solely by the industry-level supervisory models and by firm-specific input data. The Federal Reserve does not use additional input data submitted by one or more covered companies unless it collects comparable data from all the covered companies that have material exposure in a given area. Input data necessary to produce supervisory stress test estimates is collected via the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing (FR Y-14) information collection. The Federal Reserve may request additional information from covered companies, but otherwise will not incorporate additional information provided as part of a firm's CCAR submission or obtained through other channels into stress test projections.

    This policy curbs the use of data only from firms that have incentives to provide it, as in cases in which additional data would support the estimation of a lower loss rate or a higher revenue rate, and adheres to Principle 1.3 by promoting consistency across the stress test results of covered companies.

    2.9. Treatment of Missing or Erroneous Data

    Missing data, or data with deficiencies significant enough to preclude the use of supervisory models, create uncertainty around estimates of losses or components of revenue. If data that are direct inputs to supervisory models are not provided as required by the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing (FR Y-14) information collection or are reported erroneously, then a conservative value will be assigned to the specific data based on all available data reported by covered companies, depending on the extent of the data deficiency. If the data deficiency is severe enough that a modeled estimate cannot be produced for a portfolio segment or portfolio, then the Federal Reserve may assign a conservative rate (e.g., 10th or 90th percentile PPNR or loss rate, respectively) to that segment or portfolio.

    This policy reflects a conservative assumption given a lack of information sufficient to produce a risk-sensitive estimate of losses or revenues. This policy promotes policy 1.3 by ensuring consistent treatment for all covered companies that report data deemed insufficient to produce a modeled estimate. Finally, this policy is simple and transparent, consistent with Principle 1.4.

    2.10. Treatment of Immaterial Portfolio Data

    The Federal Reserve makes a distinction between missing or insufficient data reported by covered companies for material and immaterial portfolios. To limit regulatory burden, the Federal Reserve allows covered companies not to report detailed loan-level or portfolio-level data for loan types that are not material as defined in the FR Y-14 reporting instructions. In these cases, a loss rate representing the median rates among covered companies for whom the rate is calculated will be applied to immaterial portfolios. This approach is consistent across covered companies, simple, and transparent, promoting Principles 1.3 and 1.4.

    Question number 5: Each of the modeling policies described in Section 2 are consistent with at least one of the central principles of supervisory stress test modeling described herein. Are there other policies the Federal Reserve could implement to further promote the principles of independence, forward-looking perspective, consistency and comparability, simplicity, robustness and stability, or conservativism, or that would focus on the ability to evaluate the impact of severe economic stress?

    3. Principles and Policies of Supervisory Model Validation

    Independent and comprehensive model validation is key to the credibility of the supervisory stress test. An independent unit of validation staff within the Federal Reserve, with input from an advisory council of academic experts not affiliated with the Federal Reserve, ensures that stress test models are subject to effective challenge, defined as critical analysis by objective, informed parties that can identify model limitations and recommend appropriate changes.

    The Federal Reserve's supervisory model validation program, built upon the principles of independence, technical competence, and stature, is able to subject models to effective challenge, expanding upon supervisory modeling teams' efforts to manage model risk and confirming that supervisory models are appropriate for their intended uses. The supervisory model validation program produces reviews that are consistent, thorough, and comprehensive. Its structure ensures independence from the Federal Reserve's model development function, and its prominent role in communicating the state of model risk to the Board of Governors assures its stature within the Federal Reserve.

    3.1. Structural Independence

    The management and staff of the internal model validation program are structurally independent from the model development teams. Validators do not report to model developers, and vice versa. This ensures that model validation is conducted and overseen by objective parties. Validation staff's performance criteria include an ability to review all aspects of the models rigorously, thoroughly, and objectively, and to provide meaningful and clear feedback to model developers and users.

    In addition, a council of external academic experts provides independent advice on the Federal Reserve's process to assess models used in the supervisory stress test. In biannual meetings with Federal Reserve officials, members of the council discuss selected supervisory models, after being provided with detailed model documentation for those models, including some confidential supervisory information. The documentation and discussions enable the council to assess the effectiveness of the models used in the supervisory stress tests and of the overarching model validation program.

    3.2. Technical Competence of Validation Staff

    The model validation program is designed to provide thorough, high-quality reviews that are consistent across supervisory models.

    First, the model validation program employs technically expert staff with knowledge across model types. Second, reviews for every supervisory model follow the same set of review guidelines, and take place on an ongoing basis. The model validation program is comprehensive, in the sense that validators assess all models currently in use, and expand the scope of validation beyond basic model use, and cover both model soundness and performance.

    The model validation program covers three main areas of validation: (1) Conceptual soundness; (2) ongoing monitoring; and (3) outcomes analysis. Validation staff evaluate all aspects of model development, implementation, and use, including but not limited to theory, design, methodology, input data, testing, performance, documentation standards, implementation controls (including access and change controls), and code verification. Finally, the model validation program seeks to balance technical expertise with fresh scrutiny of supervisory models. In order to provide a new perspective on established models and practices, validation staff are re-allocated across models at regular intervals.

    3.3. Stature of Validation Function

    Through clear communication and participation in the model decision making process, the validation function has the influence and stature within the Federal Reserve to ensure that any issues and deficiencies are appropriately addressed in a timely and substantive manner.

    The model validation program communicates its findings and recommendations regarding model risk to all internal stakeholders. Validators provide detailed feedback to model developers and provide thematic feedback or observations on the overall system of models to the management of the modeling teams. Model validation feedback is also communicated to the users of supervisory model output for use in their deliberations and decisions about supervisory stress testing. In addition, the Federal Reserve Board's Director of Supervision and Regulation approves all models used in the supervisory stress test in advance of each exercise, based on validators' recommendations, development responses, and suggestions for risk mitigants. In several cases, models have been modified or implemented differently based on validators' feedback. The advisory council of academic experts also contributes to the stature of the Federal Reserve's validation program, by providing an external point of view on modifications to supervisory models and on validation program governance.

    Ultimately, the validation program serves to inform the Board of Governors about the state of model risk in the overall stress testing program, along with ongoing practices to control and mitigate model risk.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 7, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26857 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 252 [Regulation YY; Docket No. OP-1588] Policy Statement on the Scenario Design Framework for Stress Testing AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; policy statement with request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board is requesting public comment on amendments to its policy statement on the scenario design framework for stress testing. The proposed amendments to the policy statement would clarify when the Board may adopt a change in the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario of less than 4 percentage points; institute a counter-cyclical guide for the change in the house price index in the severely adverse scenario; and provide notice that the Board plans to incorporate wholesale funding costs for banking organizations in the scenarios. The Board would continue to use the policy statement to develop the macroeconomic scenarios and additional scenario components that are used in the supervisory and company-run stress tests conducted under the Board's stress test rules and the Board's capital plan rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OP-1588 by any of the following methods:

    Agency website: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.aspx.

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number and RIN number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 452-2819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Ann Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments will be made available on the Board's website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/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 St. NW (between 18th and 19th Streets NW), Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. For security reasons, the Board requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202) 452-3684. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and to submit to security screening in order to inspect and photocopy comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Ryu, Associate Director, (202) 263-4833, Joseph Cox, Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3216, or Aurite Werman, Financial Analyst (202) 263-4802, Division of Supervision and Regulation; Benjamin W. McDonough, Assistant General Counsel, (202) 452-2036, or Julie Anthony, Counsel, (202) 475-6682, Legal Division; or William Bassett, Associate Director, (202) 736-5644, Luca Guerrieri, Deputy Associate Director, (202) 452-2550, or Bora Durdu, Chief, (202) 452-3755, Division of Financial Stability.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background A. Supervisory Scenarios

    Pursuant to the Board's stress test rules, the Board conducts supervisory stress tests of bank holding companies and U.S. intermediate holding companies subsidiaries of foreign banking organizations with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more (covered companies) and requires covered companies to conduct semi-annual company-run stress tests.1 In addition, savings and loan holding companies, state member banks with greater than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, and bank holding companies with assets of more than $10 billion but less than $50 billion are required to conduct annual company-run stress tests.2

    1 12 CFR part 252, subparts E and F. In addition, the supervisory stress test rules would apply to any nonbank financial company supervised by the Board that becomes subject to these requirements pursuant to a rule or order of the Board. Currently, no nonbank financial companies supervised by the Board are subject to the capital planning or stress test requirements.

    2 12 CFR part 252, subpart B.

    To conduct the supervisory stress tests, the Board develops three scenarios—a baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenario—and projects a firm's balance sheet, risk-weighted assets, net income, and resulting post-stress capital levels and regulatory capital ratios under each scenario. Similarly, a firm subject to company-run stress tests under the Board's rules uses the same adverse and severely adverse scenarios that apply in the supervisory stress test to conduct an annual company-run stress test. The scenarios also serve as an input into a covered company's capital plan under the Board's capital plan rule (12 CFR 225.8), and the Federal Reserve also uses these scenarios to evaluate each firm's capital plan in the supervisory post-stress capital assessment.3

    3 Bank holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets and U.S. intermediate holding companies of foreign banking organizations additionally conduct mid-cycle company-run stress tests under scenarios that they develop. See 12 CFR 252.55.

    On November 29, 2013, the Board adopted a final policy statement on its scenario design framework for stress testing (policy statement).4 The policy statement outlined the characteristics of the supervisory stress test scenarios and explained the considerations and procedures that underlie the formulation of these scenarios. The considerations and procedures described in the policy statement apply to the Board's stress testing framework, including to the stress tests required under 12 CFR part 252, subparts B, E, and F, and the Board's capital plan rule. The policy statement describes in greater detail than the stress test rules the baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenarios. The policy statement also describes the Board's approach for developing these three macroeconomic scenarios and additional components of the stress test scenarios, which apply to a subset of covered companies.

    4See 12 CFR part 252, appendix A.

    As described in the policy statement, the severely adverse scenario is designed to reflect conditions that have characterized post-war U.S. recessions (the “recession approach”). Historically, recessions typically feature increases in the unemployment rate and contractions in aggregate incomes and economic activity. In light of the typical co-movement of measures of economic activity during economic downturns, such as the unemployment rate and gross domestic product, in developing the severely adverse scenario, the Board first specifies a path for the unemployment rate and then develops paths for other measures of activity broadly consistent with the course of the unemployment rate.

    The Board's scenario design framework includes a counter-cyclical design element in the change in the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario. The policy statement provides that the Board anticipates the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario would increase by between 3 and 5 percentage points from its initial level. However, if a 3 to 5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate does not raise the level of the unemployment rate to at least 10 percent, the path of the unemployment rate in most cases will be specified so as to raise the unemployment rate to at least 10 percent. The policy statement also notes that the typical increase in the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario will be about 4 percentage points. The policy statement provides that the Board intends to set the unemployment rate at the higher end of the 3 to 5 percentage point range if the Board believes that cyclical systemic risks are high (as they would be after a sustained long expansion), and to the lower end of the range if cyclical systemic risks are low (as they would be in the earlier stages of a recovery).

    The policy statement provides that economic variables included in the scenarios may change over time, or that the Board may augment the recession approach to account for salient risks.5 The Board has not historically captured stress to funding markets in the supervisory stress test exercise. However, it is exploring the inclusion of such a stress in the scenarios, given the potential impact that funding shocks could have on firms subject to the supervisory stress test.

    5 For example, if scenario variables do not capture material risks to capital, or if historical relationships between macroeconomic variables change such that one variable is no longer an appropriate proxy for another, the Board may add variables to a supervisory scenario. The Board may also include additional scenario components or additional scenarios that are designed to capture the effects of different adverse events on revenue, losses, and capital.

    B. Review of Stress Test Exercises

    The Federal Reserve routinely reviews its experience with each year's stress testing and capital planning programs as implemented through DFAST and CCAR. These reviews have included formal engagements with public interest groups, meetings with academics in the fields of economics and finance, and internal assessments.

    In the course of its review of the stress test exercises, the Federal Reserve has received feedback on the Board's framework for designing stress scenarios. Some participants advocated developing a structured process for strengthening scenario design over time. Other participants were concerned that the Federal Reserve would be pressured to reduce the severity of the scenario over time. As part of its internal assessment of the stress test exercises, the Federal Reserve also considered ways to further enhance the countercyclical elements, transparency, and risk coverage of the scenario design framework.

    After considering feedback received in these reviews and possible improvements to the methodology for specifying the macroeconomic scenarios used in the supervisory stress test and the annual company-run stress tests, the Board is proposing to modify the policy statement to enhance the countercyclicality and transparency of the Board's scenario design framework and improve the risk coverage of the scenarios.

    II. Review of the Supervisory Scenarios A. Unemployment and House Prices in the Severely Adverse Scenario

    The Board investigated possible improvements to the methodology for specifying the macroeconomic scenarios used in supervisory and company-run stress tests. A main area of inquiry was the severity of macroeconomic scenarios used in previous stress test exercises. As noted, the scenario design framework was formulated to increase the severity of the severely adverse scenario during economic expansions in order to limit the procyclicality of the financial system by increasing the resilience of the banking system to building risks. The review evaluated the path of key variables in the severely adverse scenarios since 2011, and determined that amendments to the scenario design framework could further limit procyclicality.6

    6 For completeness, the tables present data from the 2017 severely adverse scenario, however, this data was not available at the time of the review conducted by the Board. The data from 2017 was generally consistent with the analysis of the earlier scenarios.

    The severity of a scenario can be gauged by considering both the maximum (or minimum) levels obtained by key variables and changes of the variables from their starting points. Table 1 shows the peak and change in the unemployment rate in the supervisory severely adverse scenarios since 2011.7 The peak unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario has been falling since CCAR 2012 as the economy improved. Beginning in 2016, the countercyclical element of the Board's scenario design framework acted to increase scenario severity, so while the peak level of the unemployment rate remained about the same, the change in the unemployment rate increased. The countercyclical design of the scenarios is also reflected in the change in real GDP, which, in 2017, declined by the largest amount since 2012.

    7 The change in real gross domestic product (real GDP) is also presented as an additional gauge of severity because the path of real GDP is formulated based on the path of the unemployment.

    Table 1—Unemployment Rate and Real GDP in the Severely Adverse Scenario Stress test exercise 2011 a 2012 a 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Great
  • recession b
  • Severe
  • recessions c
  • Panel A: Developments as published in the supervisory scenarios Unemployment Rate: Peak Level (pct.) 11.1 12.6 12.1 11.3 10.1 10.0 10.0 10.0 9.3 Change Start-to-peak (pp.) 1.5 3.6 4.0 4.0 4.0 5.0 5.3 4.5 3.6 Real GDP: Change Start-to-trough (pct.) −4.1 −6.9 −4.8 −4.7 −4.7 −6.2 −6.6 −4.7 −3.4 Note: a In 2011 and 2012 the scenario was referred to as the “supervisory stress scenario.” b Great Recession is defined as that which occurred in Q4:2007-Q2:2009. c Recessions classified as severe: 1957:Q3-1958:Q2, 1973:Q4-1975:Q1, 1981:Q3-1982:Q4, and 2007:Q4-2009:Q2.

    The Board also evaluated its approach to developing the path of house prices, which is a key scenario variable, to assess whether it could improve the transparency of the measure and to identify a guide that would formalize the Board's countercyclical objectives. To date, the Board has developed the path of house prices using a judgmental approach, and has not established a quantitative guide for the trajectory of house prices.

    As demonstrated in Panel A of table 2, the existing approach to house prices has resulted in increasing severity over time. The declines in the nominal house price index (nominal HPI) from the start to the trough have increased from 21 percent (in 2012 and 2013) to about 25-26 percent (in 2014 through 2017). The increased severity in the decline in nominal HPI in supervisory scenarios beginning in 2014 offset the rise in observed house prices over that period, and hence limited procyclicality.

    Assessing the procyclicality of house price paths over time is complicated by the fact that house prices—in contrast to the unemployment rate—naturally trend upward over time. The ratio of nominal house prices to nominal, per capita, disposable personal income (HPI-DPI ratio, henceforth), does not exhibit an upward trend and, as such, provides an alternative way to assess the procyclicality of the scenarios' house price paths. The severity of a scenario depends on both the change and the trough level of the HPI-DPI ratio. Panel A of table 2 indicates that the change in the HPI-DPI ratio increased in absolute terms in the years 2014 to 2017 compared to the years 2012 and 2013. However, the trough of the HPI-DPI ratio achieved in the severely adverse scenarios has generally moved up since 2012. Scenarios with higher HPI-DPI troughs may be less severe even if they feature the same decline in the ratio.

    Table 2—House Prices in the Severely Adverse Scenario Stress test exercise 2011 a 2012 a 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Great
  • recession b
  • Housing
  • recessions c
  • Panel A: Developments as published in the supervisory scenarios Nominal HPI: Change Start-to-trough (pct.) −11 −21 −21 −26 −26 −25 −25 −30 2.5 Trough Level c 124 106 111 116 126 135 134 130 HPI-DPI Ratio: Change Start-to-trough (pct.) −11 −19 −18 −27 −25 −25 −24 −41 −25 Trough Level c 89 76 78 75 79 82 81 87 95 Panel B: Developments as implied by the HPI-DPI Guide Nominal HPI: Change Start-to-trough (pct.) −25 −27 −27 −24 −25 −25 −26 −30 2.5 Trough Level c 104 98 102 119 127 134 134 130 HPI-DPI Ratio: Change Start-to-trough (pct.) −25 −25 −25 −25 −25 −25 −25 −41 −25 Trough Level d 75 70 72 76 80 82 79 87 95 Note: a In 2011 and 2012 the scenario was referred to as the “supervisory stress scenario.” b Great Recession is defined as that which occurred in Q4:2007-Q2:2009. c Housing recessions are defined as the following date ranges: 1980-1985, 1989-1996, and 2006-2011. The date-ranges of housing recessions are based on the timing of house-price retrenchments. These dates were also associated with sustained declines in real residential investment, although, the precise timings of housing recessions would likely be slightly different were they to be classified based on real residential investment in addition to house prices. d Both the nominal HPI and HPI-DPI ratios are indexed to 100 in 2000:Q1.

    Based on this analysis, the Board determined that its scenario design framework could be strengthened by (1) enhancing the counter-cyclicality of the scenarios when conditions at the start of the exercise already reflected stress; and (2) improving the transparency of the scenario design framework by developing an explicit guide for formulating the path of house prices in the severely adverse scenario.

    B. Risk Coverage in Supervisory Scenarios

    The Board also has examined whether there were important dimensions of risk that had not featured in supervisory scenarios to date. The review suggested that a key risk dimension that had not been directly addressed in the supervisory stress test was banking organizations' reliance on certain types of runnable liabilities, which has been an important source of financial stress on banking organizations, as well a channel by which one firm's distress affects other firms. For example, shocks to the costs of short-term wholesale funding played a prominent role in the recent financial crisis, and had a notable effect on firms' ability to operate as financial intermediaries. Accordingly, the Board is exploring incorporating an increase in the cost of short-term wholesale funding in its scenarios and stress tests.

    III. Proposed Amendments to the Policy Statement

    The proposal includes three modifications to the Board's scenario design framework. First, the proposal would modify the current guide in the policy statement for the peak unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario to include a description of the circumstances in which an increase in the unemployment rate at the lower end of the 3 to 5 percentage point range suggested by the guide would be warranted. Second, the proposal would add to the policy statement an explicit guide for house prices in the severely adverse scenario based on the HPI-DPI ratio that features both a minimum level and a fixed change in the HPI-DPI ratio. Third, the proposal would provide notice that the Board is exploring the inclusion of an increase in the cost of funds for banking organizations as an explicit factor in the scenarios. Finally, the policy statement would be amended to update references and remove obsolete text.

    A. Unemployment Rate in the Severely Adverse Scenario

    The proposal would include more specific guidance for the change in the unemployment rate when the stress test is conducted during a period in which the unemployment rate is already elevated. The Board currently calibrates the peak unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario as the greater of a 3 to 5 percentage point increase from the unemployment rate at the beginning of the stress test planning horizon, or 10 percent. This approach introduces an element of counter-cyclicality to the scenario design process, as lower levels of the unemployment rate at the beginning of the stress planning horizons imply a larger increase in unemployment over the severely adverse scenario to a level that is at least consistent with past severe recessions.

    Consistent with the current policy statement, the Board believes that the typical increase in the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario will be about 4 percentage points, and that a lower increase may be appropriate in certain circumstances. In determining the increase in the unemployment rate, the Board would consider the level of unemployment at the start of the scenarios, the strength of the labor market, and the strength of firms' balance sheets. The proposed framework would clarify that the Board may adopt an increase in the unemployment rate of less than 4 percentage points when the unemployment rate at the start of the scenarios is elevated but the labor market is judged to be strengthening and higher-than-usual credit losses stemming from previously elevated unemployment rates were either already realized—or are in the process of being realized—and thus removed from banks' balance sheets. Evidence of a strengthening labor market could include a declining unemployment rate, steadily expanding nonfarm payroll employment, or improving labor force participation. Evidence that credit losses are being realized could include elevated charge-offs on loans and leases, loan-loss provisions in excess of gross charge-offs, or losses being realized in securities portfolios that include securities that are subject to credit risk.

    This proposed change would keep the unemployment rate in the macroeconomic scenario broadly similar to that in previous scenarios except during times when a smaller change would be appropriate based on the credit cycle. By adopting a smaller change in the unemployment rate when the economy was recovering and losses had already been broadly recognized by the industry, the proposal would complement the current counter-cyclical design elements.

    Question number 1: In connection with this proposal, the Federal Reserve considered an alternative guide for the unemployment rate, in which the path of the unemployment rate would reach the lesser of a level 4 percentage points above its level at the beginning of the scenario or 11 percent. On average, this alternative would increase the severity of severely adverse scenarios but also would be more countercyclical than the current guide. What are the advantages or disadvantages to this alternative relative to the proposed guide?

    B. House Prices in the Severely Adverse Scenario

    The policy statement would also be amended to include guidance for the path of the nominal house price index in the severely adverse scenario. The nominal house price index is a key scenario variable, and providing explicit guidance for its path over the planning horizon would enhance the transparency and countercyclical design of the scenario design framework.

    The proposal would establish a quantitative guide for house prices. The guide for house prices would be informed by the ratio of the nominal house price index to nominal per capita disposable income (HPI-DPI ratio). Unlike the level of house prices, the HPI-DPI ratio does not exhibit a trend over time. Under most circumstances, the decline in the HPI-DPI ratio in the severely adverse scenario is expected to be 25 percent from its starting value or enough to bring the ratio down to its Great Recession trough, whichever is greater. A rule with both a minimum change in the ratio and a level of severity that the ratio must reach is consistent with the rule for the path of the unemployment rate and would further the Board's countercyclical goals in scenario design.

    In its analysis, the Board identified the HPI-DPI trough reached during the Great Recession as the lowest trough attained in housing recessions since 1976, and considered this trough an appropriate basis for explicit guidance for the path of house prices. Setting a minimum decline in the HPI-DPI ratio would ensure that additional economic stress would be incorporated into the macroeconomic scenario, even if house prices were depressed at the outset of the scenario. The Board would typically set a minimum decline in the HPI-DPI ratio of 25 percent from its starting value. A decline of 25 percent is consistent with the average decline in housing recessions (see table 2 in the Policy Statement) and with the path of house prices in the supervisory severely adverse scenarios since 2015.

    Procyclicality in house prices would be limited by setting a maximum level for the trough of the HPI-DPI ratio in the severely adverse scenario. This would increase the severity of the decline in house prices as house prices rise relative to disposable personal incomes, as is the case in times of economic expansion. When the HPI-DPI ratio rises above the level at which a 25 percent decline would bring the ratio to its Great Recession trough, at the start of the stress test, the change in the ratio would be greater than 25 percent in order to bring the ratio to its Great Recession trough.8 This proposal would offer a more systematic approach to specifying house price paths than does the current approach, and would limit procyclicality while broadly preserving the decline in the nominal HPI featured in recent stress testing cycles.

    8 The Great Recession trough depends on the reference date used for indexing. For example, with nominal HPI and HPI-DPI ratios indexed to 100 in 2000:Q1, a decline in the HPI-DPI index of more than 25 percent would be necessary to reach the Great Recession trough of 87 when the HPI-DPI ratio at the start of the supervisory scenario was 116 or greater.

    Question number 2: In connection with this proposal, the Federal Reserve considered alternative guides for projecting house prices, including guides based on the ratio of the nominal house price index to an index of nominal rent prices for residential housing. What are the advantages or disadvantages to such alternatives relative to the proposed guide?

    C. Incorporating Short-Term Wholesale Funding Costs in the Adverse and Severely Adverse Scenarios

    To date, the Board's adverse and severely adverse scenarios have not incorporated stress to funding markets. The proposal states that the Board may include variables or an additional components in the scenario to capture the cost of funds, particularly wholesale funds, to banking organizations. Including stress to funding costs in the scenarios would account for the impact of increased costs of certain runnable liabilities on net income and capital of banking organizations reliant on short-term wholesale funding. The Board would not expect to incorporate wholesale funding costs in the scenarios before 2019, and would expect to include wholesale funding costs in the adverse scenario before the severely adverse scenario. Accordingly, the Board would not expect to include a stress to funding costs in the severely adverse scenario until 2020 at the earliest.

    Question number 3: What variable or combinations of variables would best represent stress to funding costs or availability in the supervisory scenarios?

    Question number 4: What, if any, other risks should the Federal Reserve consider capturing in the supervisory scenarios?

    D. Impact Analysis

    Generally, the proposed amendments would not affect the severity of the scenarios in a manner that persists throughout the economic cycle. The one exception is the introduction of an increase in the cost of certain runnable liabilities. Generally, the inclusion of a stress to wholesale funding would be expected to increase the stringency of the stress test. The extent of the increased stringency would depend on the implementation of the stress, such as the type of liabilities stressed, and the duration and magnitude of the stress considered.

    The proposed unemployment rate clarification would reduce the stringency of the scenario if the economy had already experienced stress and was recovering, and would not impact the stringency of the scenario in other points during the economic cycle. The house price guide would formalize an approach that was previously judgmental with little persistent impact on the severity of the stress to house prices in the severely adverse scenarios. However, the countercyclical element of the guide would increase the severity of the stress to house prices when the ratio of house prices to disposable personal income was particularly elevated at the start of the stress test.

    Question number 5: The Federal Reserve is proposing changes to the Scenario Design Policy Statement to enhance the countercyclicality, risk coverage, and transparency of the scenario development process. Are there other modifications not included in this proposal that could further enhance the scenario development process?

    IV. Administrative Law Matters A. Use of Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Pub. L. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, 1471, 12 U.S.C. 4809) requires the Federal banking agencies to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The Board has sought to present the proposed rule in a simple and straightforward manner, and invites comment on the use of plain language.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506), the Board has reviewed the proposed policy statement to assess any information collections. There are no collections of information as defined by the Paperwork Reduction Act in the proposal.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with section 3(a) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Board is publishing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis of the proposed policy statement. The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., requires each federal agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis in connection with the promulgation of a proposed rule, or certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.9 The RFA requires an agency either to provide an initial regulatory flexibility analysis with a proposed rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking is required or to certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Based on its analysis and for the reasons stated below, the Board believes that the proposed policy statement would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    9See 5 U.S.C. 603, 604 and 605.

    Under regulations issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA), a “small entity” includes those firms within the “Finance and Insurance” sector with asset sizes that vary from $7 million or less in assets to $175 million or less in assets.10 The Board believes that the Finance and Insurance sector constitutes a reasonable universe of firms for these purposes because such firms generally engage in actives that are financial in nature. Consequently, bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, state member banks, or nonbank financial companies with assets sizes of $175 million or less are small entities for purposes of the RFA.

    10 13 CFR 121.201.

    As discussed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, the proposed policy statement generally would affect the scenario design framework used in regulations that apply to covered companies, savings and loan holding companies, and state member banks with greater than $10 billion in total consolidated assets and bank holding companies with assets of more than $10 billion but less than $50 billion. Companies that are affected by the proposed policy statement therefore substantially exceed the $175 million asset threshold at which a banking entity is considered a “small entity” under SBA regulations.11 The proposed policy statement would affect a nonbank financial company designated by the Council under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act regardless of such a company's asset size. Although the asset size of nonbank financial companies may not be the determinative factor of whether such companies may pose systemic risks and would be designated by the Council for supervision by the Board, it is an important consideration.12 It is therefore unlikely that a financial firm that is at or below the $175 million asset threshold would be designated by the Council under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act because material financial distress at such firms, or the nature, scope, size, scale, concentration, interconnectedness, or mix of its activities, are not likely to pose a threat to the financial stability of the United States.

    11 The Dodd-Frank Act provides that the Board may, on the recommendation of the Council, increase the $50 billion asset threshold for the application of certain of the enhanced standards. See 12 U.S.C. 5365(a)(2)(B). However, neither the Board nor the Council has the authority to lower such threshold.

    12 See 76 FR 4555 (January 26, 2011).

    As noted above, because the proposed policy statement is not likely to apply to any company with assets of $175 million or less, if adopted in final form, it is not expected to affect any small entity for purposes of the RFA. The Board does not believe that the proposed policy statement duplicates, overlaps, or conflicts with any other Federal rules. In light of the foregoing, the Board does not believe that the proposed policy statement, if adopted in final form, would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities supervised. Nonetheless, the Board seeks comment on whether the proposed policy statement would impose undue burdens on, or have unintended consequences for, small organizations, and whether there are ways such potential burdens or consequences could be minimized in a manner consistent its purpose.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 252

    Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Federal Reserve System, Holding companies, Nonbank financial companies supervised by the Board, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities, Stress testing.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System proposes to amend 12 CFR part 252 as follows:

    PART 252—ENHANCED PRUDENTIAL STANDARDS (Regulation YY) 1. The authority citation for part 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 321-338a, 1467a(g), 1818, 1831p-1, 1844(b), 1844(c), 5361, 5365, 5366.

    2. Appendix A to part 252 is revised to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 252—Policy Statement on the Scenario Design Framework for Stress Testing 1. Background

    a. The Board has imposed stress testing requirements through its regulations (stress test rules) implementing section 165(i) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act or Act) and through its capital plan rule (12 CFR 225.8). Under the stress test rules issued under section 165(i)(1) of the Act, the Board conducts an annual stress test (supervisory stress tests), on a consolidated basis, of each bank holding company with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more, intermediate holding company of a foreign banking organization, and nonbank financial company that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated for supervision by the Board (together, covered companies).1 In addition, under the stress test rules issued under section 165(i)(2) of the Act, covered companies must conduct stress tests semi-annually and other financial companies with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion and for which the Board is the primary regulatory agency must conduct stress tests on an annual basis (together, company-run stress tests).2 The Board will provide for at least three different sets of conditions (each set, a scenario), including baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenarios for both supervisory and company-run stress tests (macroeconomic scenarios).3

    1 12 U.S.C. 5365(i)(1); 12 CFR part 252, subpart E.

    2 12 U.S.C. 5365(i)(2); 12 CFR part 252, subparts B and F.

    3 The stress test rules define scenarios, baseline scenario, adverse scenario, and severely adverse scenario. See 12 CFR 252.12(b), (f), (p), and (q); 12 CFR 252.42(b), (e), (n), and (o); 12 CFR 252.52(b), (e), (o), and (p).

    b. The stress test rules provide that the Board will notify covered companies by no later than February 15 of each year of the scenarios it will use to conduct its annual supervisory stress tests and provide, also by no later than February 15, covered companies and other financial companies subject to the final rules the set of scenarios they must use to conduct their annual company-run stress tests.4 Under the stress test rules, the Board may require certain companies to use additional components in the adverse or severely adverse scenario or additional scenarios. For example, the Board expects to require large banking organizations with significant trading activities to include a trading and counterparty component (market shock, described in the following sections) in their adverse and severely adverse scenarios. The Board will provide any additional components or scenario by no later than March 1 of each year.5 The Board expects that the scenarios it will require the companies to use will be the same as those the Board will use to conduct its supervisory stress tests (together, stress test scenarios).

    4Id.

    5Id.

    c. In addition, § 225.8 of the Board's Regulation Y (capital plan rule) requires covered companies to submit annual capital plans, including stress test results, to the Board to allow the Board to assess whether they have robust, forward-looking capital planning processes and have sufficient capital to continue operations throughout times of economic and financial stress.6

    6See 12 CFR 225.8.

    d. Stress tests required under the stress test rules and under the capital plan rule require the Board and financial companies to calculate pro-forma capital levels—rather than “current” or actual levels—over a specified planning horizon under baseline and stressful scenarios. This approach integrates key lessons of the 2007-2009 financial crisis into the Board's supervisory framework. During the financial crisis, investor and counterparty confidence in the capitalization of financial companies eroded rapidly in the face of changes in the current and expected economic and financial conditions, and this loss in market confidence imperiled companies' ability to access funding, continue operations, serve as a credit intermediary, and meet obligations to creditors and counterparties. Importantly, such a loss in confidence occurred even when a financial institution's capital ratios were in excess of regulatory minimums. This is because the institution's capital ratios were perceived as lagging indicators of its financial condition, particularly when conditions were changing.

    e. The stress tests required under the stress test rules and capital plan rule are a valuable supervisory tool that provide a forward-looking assessment of large financial companies' capital adequacy under hypothetical economic and financial market conditions. Currently, these stress tests primarily focus on credit risk and market risk—that is, risk of mark-to-market losses associated with companies' trading and counterparty positions—and not on other types of risk, such as liquidity risk. Pressures stemming from these sources are considered in separate supervisory exercises. No single supervisory tool, including the stress tests, can provide an assessment of a company's ability to withstand every potential source of risk.

    f. Selecting appropriate scenarios is an especially significant consideration for stress tests required under the capital plan rule, which ties the review of a company's performance under stress scenarios to its ability to make capital distributions. More severe scenarios, all other things being equal, generally translate into larger projected declines in banks' capital. Thus, a company would need more capital today to meet its minimum capital requirements in more stressful scenarios and have the ability to continue making capital distributions, such as common dividend payments. This translation is far from mechanical, however; it will depend on factors that are specific to a given company, such as underwriting standards and the company's business model, which would also greatly affect projected revenue, losses, and capital.

    2. Overview and Scope

    a. This policy statement provides more detail on the characteristics of the stress test scenarios and explains the considerations and procedures that underlie the approach for formulating these scenarios. The considerations and procedures described in this policy statement apply to the Board's stress testing framework, including to the stress tests required under 12 CFR part 252, subparts B, E, and F, as well as the Board's capital plan rule (12 CFR 225.8).7

    7 12 CFR 252.14(a), 12 CFR 252.44(a), 12 CFR 252.54(a).

    b. Although the Board does not envision that the broad approach used to develop scenarios will change from year to year, the stress test scenarios will reflect changes in the outlook for economic and financial conditions and changes to specific risks or vulnerabilities that the Board, in consultation with the other federal banking agencies, determines should be considered in the annual stress tests. The stress test scenarios should not be regarded as forecasts; rather, they are hypothetical paths of economic variables that will be used to assess the strength and resilience of the companies' capital in various economic and financial environments.

    c. The remainder of this policy statement is organized as follows. Section 3 provides a broad description of the baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenarios and describes the types of variables that the Board expects to include in the macroeconomic scenarios and the market shock component of the stress test scenarios applicable to companies with significant trading activity. Section 4 describes the Board's approach for developing the macroeconomic scenarios, and section 5 describes the approach for the market shocks. Section 6 describes the relationship between the macroeconomic scenario and the market shock components. Section 7 provides a timeline for the formulation and publication of the macroeconomic assumptions and market shocks.

    3. Content of the Stress Test Scenarios

    a. The Board will publish a minimum of three different scenarios, including baseline, adverse, and severely adverse conditions, for use in stress tests required in the stress test rules.8 In general, the Board anticipates that it will not issue additional scenarios. Specific circumstances or vulnerabilities that in any given year the Board determines require particular vigilance to ensure the resilience of the banking sector will be captured in either the adverse or severely adverse scenarios. A greater number of scenarios could be needed in some years—for example, because the Board identifies a large number of unrelated and uncorrelated but nonetheless significant risks.

    8 12 CFR 252.14(b), 12 CFR 252.44(b), 12 CFR 252.54(b).

    b. While the Board generally expects to use the same scenarios for all companies subject to the final rule, it may require a subset of companies—depending on a company's financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or activities, or risks to the U.S. economy—to include additional scenario components or additional scenarios that are designed to capture different effects of adverse events on revenue, losses, and capital. One example of such components is the market shock that applies only to companies with significant trading activity. Additional components or scenarios may also include other stress factors that may not necessarily be directly correlated to macroeconomic or financial assumptions but nevertheless can materially affect companies' risks, such as the unexpected default of a major counterparty.

    c. Early in each stress testing cycle, the Board plans to publish the macroeconomic scenarios along with a brief narrative summary that provides a description of the economic situation underlying the scenario and explains how the scenarios have changed relative to the previous year. In addition, to assist companies in projecting the paths of additional variables in a manner consistent with the scenario, the narrative will also provide descriptions of the general path of some additional variables. These descriptions will be general—that is, they will describe developments for broad classes of variables rather than for specific variables—and will specify the intensity and direction of variable changes but not numeric magnitudes. These descriptions should provide guidance that will be useful to companies in specifying the paths of the additional variables for their company-run stress tests. Note that in practice it will not be possible for the narrative to include descriptions on all of the additional variables that companies may need for their company-run stress tests. In cases where scenarios are designed to reflect particular risks and vulnerabilities, the narrative will also explain the underlying motivation for these features of the scenario. The Board also plans to release a broad description of the market shock components.

    3.1 Macroeconomic Scenarios

    a. The macroeconomic scenarios will consist of the future paths of a set of economic and financial variables.9 The economic and financial variables included in the scenarios will likely comprise those included in the “2014 Supervisory Scenarios for Annual Stress Tests Required under the Dodd-Frank Act Stress Testing Rules and the Capital Plan Rule” (2013 supervisory scenarios). The domestic U.S. variables provided for in the 2013 supervisory scenarios included:

    9 The future path of a variable refers to its specification over a given time period. For example, the path of unemployment can be described in percentage terms on a quarterly basis over the stress testing time horizon.

    i. Six measures of economic activity and prices: Real and nominal gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the unemployment rate of the civilian non-institutional population aged 16 and over, real and nominal disposable personal income growth, and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate;

    ii. Four measures of developments in equity and property markets: The Core Logic National House Price Index, the National Council for Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries Commercial Real Estate Price Index, the Dow Jones Total Stock Market Index, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index; and

    iii. Six measures of interest rates: The rate on the three-month Treasury bill, the yield on the 5-year Treasury bond, the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond, the yield on a 10-year BBB corporate security, the prime rate, and the interest rate associated with a conforming, conventional, fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage.

    b. The international variables provided for in the 2014 supervisory scenarios included, for the euro area, the United Kingdom, developing Asia, and Japan:

    i. Percent change in real GDP;

    ii. Percent change in the Consumer Price Index or local equivalent; and

    iii. The U.S./foreign currency exchange rate.10

    10 The Board may increase the range of countries or regions included in future scenarios, as appropriate.

    c. The economic variables included in the scenarios influence key items affecting financial companies' net income, including pre-provision net revenue and credit losses on loans and securities. Moreover, these variables exhibit fairly typical trends in adverse economic climates that can have unfavorable implications for companies' net income and, thus, capital positions.

    d. The economic variables included in the scenario may change over time. For example, the Board may add variables to a scenario if the international footprint of companies that are subject to the stress testing rules changed notably over time such that the variables already included in the scenario no longer sufficiently capture the material risks of these companies. Alternatively, historical relationships between macroeconomic variables could change over time such that one variable (e.g., disposable personal income growth) that previously provided a good proxy for another (e.g., light vehicle sales) in modeling companies' pre-provision net revenue or credit losses ceases to do so, resulting in the need to create a separate path, or alternative proxy, for the other variable. However, recognizing the amount of work required for companies to incorporate the scenario variables into their stress testing models, the Board expects to eliminate variables from the scenarios only in rare instances.

    e. The Board expects that the company may not use all of the variables provided in the scenario, if those variables are not appropriate to the company's line of business, or may add additional variables, as appropriate. The Board expects the companies will ensure that the paths of such additional variables are consistent with the scenarios the Board provided. For example, the companies may use, as part of their internal stress test models, local-level variables, such as state-level unemployment rates or city-level house prices. While the Board does not plan to include local-level macro variables in the stress test scenarios it provides, it expects the companies to evaluate the paths of local-level macro variables as needed for their internal models, and ensure internal consistency between these variables and their aggregate, macro-economic counterparts. The Board will provide the macroeconomic scenario component of the stress test scenarios for a period that spans a minimum of 13 quarters. The scenario horizon reflects the supervisory stress test approach that the Board plans to use. Under the stress test rules, the Board will assess the effect of different scenarios on the consolidated capital of each company over a forward-looking planning horizon of at least nine quarters.

    3.2 Market Shock Component

    a. The market shock component of the adverse and severely adverse scenarios will only apply to companies with significant trading activity and their subsidiaries.11 The component consists of large moves in market prices and rates that would be expected to generate losses. Market shocks differ from macroeconomic scenarios in a number of ways, both in their design and application. For instance, market shocks that might typically be observed over an extended period (e.g., 6 months) are assumed to be an instantaneous event which immediately affects the market value of the companies' trading assets and liabilities. In addition, under the stress test rules, the as-of date for market shocks will differ from the quarter-end, and the Board will provide the as-of date for market shocks no later than February 1 of each year. Finally, as described in section 4, the market shock includes a much larger set of risk factors than the set of economic and financial variables included in macroeconomic scenarios. Broadly, these risk factors include shocks to financial market variables that affect asset prices, such as a credit spread or the yield on a bond, and, in some cases, the value of the position itself (e.g., the market value of private equity positions).

    11 Currently, companies with significant trading activity include any bank holding company or intermediate holding company that (1) has aggregate trading assets and liabilities of $50 billion or more, or aggregate trading assets and liabilities equal to 10 percent or more of total consolidated assets, and (2) is not a large and noncomplex firm. The Board may also subject a state member bank subsidiary of any such bank holding company to the market shock component. The set of companies subject to the market shock component could change over time as the size, scope, and complexity of financial company's trading activities evolve.

    b. The Board envisions that the market shocks will include shocks to a broad range of risk factors that are similar in granularity to those risk factors trading companies use internally to produce profit and loss estimates, under stressful market scenarios, for all asset classes that are considered trading assets, including equities, credit, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, and commodities. Examples of risk factors include, but are not limited to:

    i. Equity indices of all developed markets, and of developing and emerging market nations to which companies with significant trading activity may have exposure, along with term structures of implied volatilities;

    ii. Cross-currency FX rates of all major and many minor currencies, along term structures of implied volatilities;

    iii. Term structures of government rates (e.g., U.S. Treasuries), interbank rates (e.g., swap rates) and other key rates (e.g., commercial paper) for all developed markets and for developing and emerging market nations to which companies may have exposure;

    iv. Term structures of implied volatilities that are key inputs to the pricing of interest rate derivatives;

    v. Term structures of futures prices for energy products including crude oil (differentiated by country of origin), natural gas, and power;

    vi. Term structures of futures prices for metals and agricultural commodities;

    vii. “Value-drivers” (credit spreads or instrument prices themselves) for credit-sensitive product segments including: Corporate bonds, credit default swaps, and collateralized debt obligations by risk; non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities and commercial mortgage-backed securities by risk and vintage; sovereign debt; and, municipal bonds; and

    viii. Shocks to the values of private equity positions.

    4. Approach for Formulating the Macroeconomic Assumptions for Scenarios

    a. This section describes the Board's approach for formulating macroeconomic assumptions for each scenario. The methodologies for formulating this part of each scenario differ by scenario, so these methodologies for the baseline, severely adverse, and the adverse scenarios are described separately in each of the following subsections.

    b. In general, the baseline scenario will reflect the most recently available consensus views of the macroeconomic outlook expressed by professional forecasters, government agencies, and other public-sector organizations as of the beginning of the annual stress-test cycle. The severely adverse scenario will consist of a set of economic and financial conditions that reflect the conditions of post-war U.S. recessions. The adverse scenario will consist of a set of economic and financial conditions that are more adverse than those associated with the baseline scenario but less severe than those associated with the severely adverse scenario.

    c. Each of these scenarios is described further in sections below as follows: Baseline (subsection 4.1), severely adverse (subsection 4.2), and adverse (subsection 4.3).

    4.1 Approach for Formulating Macroeconomic Assumptions in the Baseline Scenario

    a. The stress test rules define the baseline scenario as a set of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a banking organization, and that reflect the consensus views of the economic and financial outlook. Projections under a baseline scenario are used to evaluate how companies would perform in more likely economic and financial conditions. The baseline serves also as a point of comparison to the severely adverse and adverse scenarios, giving some sense of how much of the company's capital decline could be ascribed to the scenario as opposed to the company's capital adequacy under expected conditions.

    b. The baseline scenario will be developed around a macroeconomic projection that captures the prevailing views of private-sector forecasters (e.g. Blue Chip Consensus Forecasts and the Survey of Professional Forecasters), government agencies, and other public-sector organizations (e.g., the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) near the beginning of the annual stress-test cycle. The baseline scenario is designed to represent a consensus expectation of certain economic variables over the time period of the tests and it is not the Board's internal forecast for those economic variables. For example, the baseline path of short-term interest rates is constructed from consensus forecasts and may differ from that implied by the FOMC's Summary of Economic Projections.

    c. For some scenario variables—such as U.S. real GDP growth, the unemployment rate, and the consumer price index—there will be a large number of different forecasts available to project the paths of these variables in the baseline scenario. For others, a more limited number of forecasts will be available. If available forecasts diverge notably, the baseline scenario will reflect an assessment of the forecast that is deemed to be most plausible. In setting the paths of variables in the baseline scenario, particular care will be taken to ensure that, together, the paths present a coherent and plausible outlook for the U.S. and global economy, given the economic climate in which they are formulated.

    4.2 Approach for Formulating the Macroeconomic Assumptions in the Severely Adverse Scenario

    The stress test rules define a severely adverse scenario as a set of conditions that affect the U.S. economy or the financial condition of a financial company and that overall are more severe than those associated with the adverse scenario. The financial company will be required to publicly disclose a summary of the results of its stress test under the severely adverse scenario, and the Board intends to publicly disclose the results of its analysis of the financial company under the adverse scenario and the severely adverse scenario.

    4.2.1 General Approach: The Recession Approach

    a. The Board intends to use a recession approach to develop the severely adverse scenario. In the recession approach, the Board will specify the future paths of variables to reflect conditions that characterize post-war U.S. recessions, generating either a typical or specific recreation of a post-war U.S. recession. The Board chose this approach because it has observed that the conditions that typically occur in recessions—such as increasing unemployment, declining asset prices, and contracting loan demand—can put significant stress on companies' balance sheets. This stress can occur through a variety of channels, including higher loss provisions due to increased delinquencies and defaults; losses on trading positions through sharp moves in market prices; and lower bank income through reduced loan originations. For these reasons, the Board believes that the paths of economic and financial variables in the severely adverse scenario should, at a minimum, resemble the paths of those variables observed during a recession.

    b. This approach requires consideration of the type of recession to feature. All post-war U.S. recessions have not been identical: Some recessions have been associated with very elevated interest rates, some have been associated with sizable asset price declines, and some have been relatively more global. The most common features of recessions, however, are increases in the unemployment rate and contractions in aggregate incomes and economic activity. For this and the following reasons, the Board intends to use the unemployment rate as the primary basis for specifying the severely adverse scenario. First, the unemployment rate is likely the most representative single summary indicator of adverse economic conditions. Second, in comparison to GDP, labor market data have traditionally featured more prominently than GDP in the set of indicators that the National Bureau of Economic Research reviews to inform its recession dates.12 Third and finally, the growth rate of potential output can cause the size of the decline in GDP to vary between recessions. While changes in the unemployment rate can also vary over time due to demographic factors, this seems to have more limited implications over time relative to changes in potential output growth. The unemployment rate used in the severely adverse scenario will reflect an unemployment rate that has been observed in severe post-war U.S. recessions, measuring severity by the absolute level of and relative increase in the unemployment rate.13

    12 More recently, a monthly measure of GDP has been added to the list of indicators.

    13 Even though all recessions feature increases in the unemployment rate and contractions in incomes and economic activity, the size of this change has varied over post-war U.S. recessions. Table 1 of this appendix documents the variability in the depth of post-war U.S. recessions. Some recessions—labeled mild in Table 1—have been relatively modest with GDP edging down just slightly and the unemployment rate moving up about a percentage point. Other recessions—labeled severe in Table 1—have been much harsher with GDP dropping 33/4 percent and the unemployment rate moving up a total of about 4 percentage points.

    c. The Board believes that the severely adverse scenario should also reflect a housing recession. The house prices path set in the severely adverse scenario will reflect developments that have been observed in post-war U.S. housing recessions, measuring severity by the absolute level of and relative decrease in the house prices.

    d. The Board will specify the paths of most other macroeconomic variables based on the paths of unemployment, income, house prices, and activity. Some of these other variables, however, have taken wildly divergent paths in previous recessions (e.g., foreign GDP), requiring the Board to use its informed judgment in selecting appropriate paths for these variables. In general, the path for these other variables will be based on their underlying structure at the time that the scenario is designed (e.g., economic or financial-system vulnerabilities in other countries).

    e. The Board considered alternative methods for scenario design of the severely adverse scenario, including a probabilistic approach. The probabilistic approach constructs a baseline forecast from a large-scale macroeconomic model and identifies a scenario that would have a specific probabilistic likelihood given the baseline forecast. The Board believes that, at this time, the recession approach is better suited for developing the severely adverse scenario than a probabilistic approach because it guarantees a recession of some specified severity. In contrast, the probabilistic approach requires the choice of an extreme tail outcome—relative to baseline—to characterize the severely adverse scenario (e.g., a 5 percent or a 1 percent tail outcome). In practice, this choice is difficult as adverse economic outcomes are typically thought of in terms of how variables evolve in an absolute sense rather than how far away they lie in the probability space away from the baseline. In this sense, a scenario featuring a recession may be somewhat clearer and more straightforward to communicate. Finally, the probabilistic approach relies on estimates of uncertainty around the baseline scenario and such estimates are in practice model-dependent.

    4.2.2 Setting the Unemployment Rate Under the Severely Adverse Scenario

    a. The Board anticipates that the severely adverse scenario will feature an unemployment rate that increases between 3 to 5 percentage points from its initial level over the course of 6 to 8 calendar quarters.14 The initial level will be set based on the conditions at the time that the scenario is designed. However, if a 3 to 5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate does not raise the level of the unemployment rate to at least 10 percent—the average level to which it has increased in the most recent three severe recessions—the path of the unemployment rate in most cases will be specified so as to raise the unemployment rate to at least 10 percent.

    14 Six to eight quarters is the average number of quarters for which a severe recession lasts plus the average number of subsequent quarters over which the unemployment rate continues to rise. The variable length of the timeframe reflects the different paths to the peak unemployment rate depending on the severity of the scenario.

    b. This methodology is intended to generate scenarios that feature stressful outcomes but do not induce greater procyclicality in the financial system and macroeconomy. When the economy is in the early stages of a recovery, the unemployment rate in a baseline scenario generally trends downward, resulting in a larger difference between the path of the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario and the baseline scenario and a severely adverse scenario that is relatively more intense. Conversely, in a sustained strong expansion—when the unemployment rate may be below the level consistent with full employment—the unemployment in a baseline scenario generally trends upward, resulting in a smaller difference between the path of the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario and the baseline scenario and a severely adverse scenario that is relatively less intense. Historically, a 3 to 5 percentage point increase in unemployment rate is reflective of stressful conditions. As illustrated in Table 1 of this appendix, over the last half-century, the U.S. economy has experienced four severe post-war recessions. In all four of these recessions the unemployment rate increased 3 to 5 percentage points and in the three most recent of these recessions the unemployment rate reached a level between 9 percent and 11 percent.

    c. Under this method, if the initial unemployment rate were low—as it would be after a sustained long expansion—the unemployment rate in the scenario would increase to a level as high as what has been seen in past severe recessions. However, if the initial unemployment rate were already high—as would be the case in the early stages of a recovery—the unemployment rate would exhibit a change as large as what has been seen in past severe recessions.

    d. The Board believes that the typical increase in the unemployment rate in the severely adverse scenario will be about 4 percentage points. However, the Board will calibrate the increase in unemployment based on its views of the status of cyclical systemic risk. The Board intends to set the unemployment rate at the higher end of the range if the Board believed that cyclical systemic risks were high (as it would be after a sustained long expansion), and to the lower end of the range if cyclical systemic risks were low (as it would be in the earlier stages of a recovery). This may result in a scenario that is slightly more intense than normal if the Board believed that cyclical systemic risks were increasing in a period of robust expansion.15 Conversely, it will allow the Board to specify a scenario that is slightly less intense than normal in an environment where systemic risks appeared subdued, such as in the early stages of an expansion. Indeed, the Board expects that, in general, it will adopt a change in the unemployment rate of less than 4 percentage points when the unemployment rate at the start of the scenarios is elevated but the labor market is judged to be strengthening and higher-than-usual credit losses stemming from previously elevated unemployment rates were either already realized—or are in the process of being realized—and thus removed from banks' balance sheets.16 However, even at the lower end of the range of unemployment-rate increases, the scenario will still feature an increase in the unemployment rate similar to what has been seen in about half of the severe recessions of the last 50 years.

    15 Note, however, that the severity of the scenario would not exceed an implausible level: even at the upper end of the range of unemployment-rate increases, the path of the unemployment rate would still be consistent with severe post-war U.S. recessions.

    16 Evidence of a strengthening labor market could include a declining unemployment rate, steadily expanding nonfarm payroll employment, or improving labor force participation. Evidence that credit losses are being realized could include elevated charge-offs on loans and leases, loan-loss provisions in excess of gross charge-offs, or losses being realized in securities portfolios that include securities that are subject to credit risk.

    e. As indicated previously, if a 3 to 5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate does not raise the level of the unemployment rate to 10 percent—the average level to which it has increased in the most recent three severe recessions—the path of the unemployment rate will be specified so as to raise the unemployment rate to 10 percent. Setting a floor for the unemployment rate at 10 percent recognizes the fact that not only do cyclical systemic risks build up at financial intermediaries during robust expansions but that these risks are also easily obscured by the buoyant environment.

    f. In setting the increase in the unemployment rate, the Board will consider the extent to which analysis by economists, supervisors, and financial market experts finds cyclical systemic risks to be elevated (but difficult to be captured more precisely in one of the scenario's other variables). In addition, the Board—in light of impending shocks to the economy and financial system—will also take into consideration the extent to which a scenario of some increased severity might be necessary for the results of the stress test and the associated supervisory actions to sustain confidence in financial institutions.

    g. While the approach to specifying the severely adverse scenario is designed to avoid adding sources of procyclicality to the financial system, it is not designed to explicitly offset any existing procyclical tendencies in the financial system. The purpose of the stress test scenarios is to make sure that the companies are properly capitalized to withstand severe economic and financial conditions, not to serve as an explicit countercyclical offset to the financial system.

    h. In developing the approach to the unemployment rate, the Board also considered a method that would increase the unemployment rate to some fairly elevated fixed level over the course of 6 to 8 quarters. This will result in scenarios being more severe in robust expansions (when the unemployment rate is low) and less severe in the early stages of a recovery (when the unemployment rate is high) and so would not result in pro-cyclicality. Depending on the initial level of the unemployment rate, this approach could lead to only a very modest increase in the unemployment rate—or even a decline. As a result, this approach—while not procyclical—could result in scenarios not featuring stressful macroeconomic outcomes.

    4.2.3 Setting the Other Variables in the Severely Adverse Scenario

    a. Generally, all other variables in the severely adverse scenario will be specified to be consistent with the increase in the unemployment rate. The approach for specifying the paths of these variables in the scenario will be a combination of (1) how economic models suggest that these variables should evolve given the path of the unemployment rate, (2) how these variables have typically evolved in past U.S. recessions, and (3) and evaluation of these and other factors.

    b. Economic models—such as medium-scale macroeconomic models—should be able to generate plausible paths consistent with the unemployment rate for a number of scenario variables, such as real GDP growth, CPI inflation and short-term interest rates, which have relatively stable (direct or indirect) relationships with the unemployment rate (e.g., Okun's Law, the Phillips Curve, and interest rate feedback rules). For some other variables, specifying their paths will require a case-by-case consideration.

    c. Declining house prices, which are an important source of stress to a company's balance sheet, are not a steadfast feature of recessions, and the historical relationship of house prices with the unemployment rate is not strong. Simply adopting their typical path in a severe recession would likely underestimate risks stemming from the housing sector. In specifying the path for nominal house prices, the Board will consider the ratio of the nominal house price index (HPI) to nominal, per capita, disposable income (DPI). The Board believes that the typical decline in the HPI-DPI ratio will be at a minimum 25 percent from its starting value, or enough to bring the ratio down to its Great Recession trough. As illustrated in Table 2 of this appendix, housing recessions have on average featured HPI-DPI ratio declines of about 25 percent and the HPI-DPI ratio fell to its Great Recession trough.17

    17 The house-price retrenchments that occurred over the periods 1980-1985, 1989-1996, 2006-2011 (as detailed in Table 2 of this appendix) are referred to in this document as housing recessions. The date-ranges of housing recessions are based on the timing of house-price retrenchments. These dates were also associated with sustained declines in real residential investment, although, the precise timings of housing recessions would likely be slightly different were they to be classified based on real residential investment in addition to house prices. The ratios described in Table 2 are calculated based on nominal HPI and HPI-DPI ratios indexed to 100 in 2000:Q1.

    d. In addition, judgment is necessary in projecting the path of a scenario's international variables. Recessions that occur simultaneously across countries are an important source of stress to the balance sheets of companies with notable international exposures but are not an invariable feature of the international economy. As a result, simply adopting the typical path of international variables in a severe U.S. recession would likely underestimate the risks stemming from the international economy. Consequently, an approach that uses both judgment and economic models informs the path of international variables.

    4.2.4 Adding Salient Risks to the Severely Adverse Scenario

    a. The severely adverse scenario will be developed to reflect specific risks to the economic and financial outlook that are especially salient but will feature minimally in the scenario if the Board were only to use approaches that looked to past recessions or relied on historical relationships between variables.

    b. There are some important instances when it will be appropriate to augment the recession approach with salient risks. For example, if an asset price were especially elevated and thus potentially vulnerable to an abrupt and potentially destabilizing decline, it would be appropriate to include such a decline in the scenario even if such a large drop were not typical in a severe recession. Likewise, if economic developments abroad were particularly unfavorable, assuming a weakening in international conditions larger than what typically occurs in severe U.S. recessions would likely also be appropriate.

    c. Clearly, while the recession component of the severely adverse scenario is within some predictable range, the salient risk aspect of the scenario is far less so, and therefore, needs an annual assessment. Each year, the Board will identify the risks to the financial system and the domestic and international economic outlooks that appear more elevated than usual, using its internal analysis and supervisory information and in consultation with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Using the same information, the Board will then calibrate the paths of the macroeconomic and financial variables in the scenario to reflect these risks.

    d. Detecting risks that have the potential to weaken the banking sector is particularly difficult when economic conditions are buoyant, as a boom can obscure the weaknesses present in the system. In sustained robust expansions, therefore, the selection of salient risks to augment the scenario will err on the side of including risks of uncertain significance.

    e. The Board will factor in particular risks to the domestic and international macroeconomic outlook identified by its economists, bank supervisors, and financial market experts and make appropriate adjustments to the paths of specific economic variables. These adjustments will not be reflected in the general severity of the recession and, thus, all macroeconomic variables; rather, the adjustments will apply to a subset of variables to reflect co-movements in these variables that are historically less typical. The Board plans to discuss the motivation for the adjustments that it makes to variables to highlight systemic risks in the narrative describing the scenarios.18

    18 The means of effecting an adjustment to the severely adverse scenario to address salient systemic risks differs from the means used to adjust the unemployment rate. For example, in adjusting the scenario for an increased unemployment rate, the Board would modify all variables such that the future paths of the variables are similar to how these variables have moved historically. In contrast, to address salient risks, the Board may only modify a small number of variables in the scenario and, as such, their future paths in the scenario would be somewhat more atypical, albeit not implausible, given existing risks.

    4.3 Approach for Formulating Macroeconomic Assumptions in the Adverse Scenario

    a. The adverse scenario can be developed in a number of different ways, and the selected approach will depend on a number of factors, including how the Board intends to use the results of the adverse scenario.19 Generally, the Board believes that the companies should consider multiple adverse scenarios for their internal capital planning purposes, and likewise, it is appropriate that the Board consider more than one adverse scenario to assess a company's ability to withstand stress. Accordingly, the Board does not identify a single approach for specifying the adverse scenario. Rather, the adverse scenario will be formulated according to one of the possibilities listed below. The Board may vary the approach it uses for the adverse scenario each year so that the results of the scenario provide the most value to supervisors, in light of current condition of the economy and the financial services industry.

    19 For example, in the context of CCAR, the Board currently uses the adverse scenario as one consideration in evaluating a firm's capital adequacy.

    b. The simplest method to specify the adverse scenario is to develop a less severe version of the severely adverse scenario. For example, the adverse scenario could be formulated such that the deviations of the paths of the variables relative to the baseline were simply one-half of or two-thirds of the deviations of the paths of the variables relative to the baseline in the severely adverse scenario. A priori, specifying the adverse scenario in this way may appear unlikely to provide the greatest possible informational value to supervisors—given that it is just a less severe version of the severely adverse scenario. However, to the extent that the effect of macroeconomic variables on company loss positions and incomes are nonlinear, there could be potential value from this approach.

    c. Another method to specify the adverse scenario is to capture risks in the adverse scenario that the Board believes should be understood better or should be monitored, but does not believe should be included in the severely adverse scenario, perhaps because these risks would render the scenario implausibly severe. For instance, the adverse scenario could feature sizable increases in oil or natural gas prices or shifts in the yield curve that are atypical in a recession. The adverse scenario might also feature less acute, but still consequential, adverse outcomes, such as a disruptive slowdown in growth from emerging-market economies.

    d. Under the Board's stress test rules, covered companies are required to develop their own scenarios for mid-cycle company-run stress tests.20 A particular combination of risks included in these scenarios may inform the design of the adverse scenario for annual stress tests. In this same vein, another possibility would be to use modified versions of the circumstances that companies describe in their living wills as being able to cause their failures.

    20 12 CFR 252.55.

    e. It might also be informative to periodically use a stable adverse scenario, at least for a few consecutive years. Even if the scenario used for the stress test does not change over the credit cycle, if companies tighten and relax lending standards over the cycle, their loss rates under the adverse scenario—and indirectly the projected changes to capital—would decrease and increase, respectively. A consistent scenario would allow the direct observation of how capital fluctuates to reflect growing cyclical risks.

    f. The Board may consider specifying the adverse scenario using the probabilistic approach described in section 4.2.1 (that is, with a specified lower probability of occurring than the severely adverse scenario but a greater probability of occurring than the baseline scenario). The approach has some intuitive appeal despite its shortcomings. For example, using this approach for the adverse scenario could allow the Board to explore an alternative approach to develop stress testing scenarios and their effect on a company's net income and capital.

    g. Finally, the Board could design the adverse scenario based on a menu of historical experiences—such as, a moderate recession (e.g., the 1990-1991 recession); a stagflation event (e.g., stagflation during 1974); an emerging markets crisis (e.g., the Asian currency crisis of 1997-1998); an oil price shock (e.g., the shock during the run up to the 1990-1991 recession); or high inflation shock (e.g., the inflation pressures of 1977-1979). The Board believes these are important stresses that should be understood; however, there may be notable benefits from formulating the adverse scenario following other approaches—specifically, those described previously in this section—and consequently the Board does not believe that the adverse scenario should be limited to historical episodes only.

    h. With the exception of cases in which the probabilistic approach is used to generate the adverse scenario, the adverse scenario will at a minimum contain a mild to moderate recession. This is because most of the value from investigating the implications of the risks described above is likely to be obtained from considering them in the context of balance sheets of companies that are under some stress.

    5. Approach for Formulating the Market Shock Component

    a. This section discusses the approach the Board proposes to adopt for developing the market shock component of the adverse and severely adverse scenarios appropriate for companies with significant trading activities. The design and specification of the market shock component differs from that of the macroeconomic scenarios because profits and losses from trading are measured in mark-to-market terms, while revenues and losses from traditional banking are generally measured using the accrual method. As noted above, another critical difference is the time-evolution of the market shock component. The market shock component consists of an instantaneous “shock” to a large number of risk factors that determine the mark-to-market value of trading positions, while the macroeconomic scenarios supply a projected path of economic variables that affect traditional banking activities over the entire planning period.

    b. The development of the market shock component that are detailed in this section are as follows: baseline (subsection 5.1), severely adverse (subsection 5.2), and adverse (subsection 5.3).

    5.1 Approach for Formulating the Market Shock Component Under the Baseline Scenario

    By definition, market shocks are large, previously unanticipated moves in asset prices and rates. Because asset prices should, broadly speaking, reflect consensus opinions about the future evolution of the economy, large price movements, as envisioned in the market shock, should not occur along the baseline path. As a result, the market shock will not be included in the baseline scenario.

    5.2 Approach for Formulating the Market Shock Component Under the Severely Adverse Scenario

    This section addresses possible approaches to designing the market shock component in the severely adverse scenario, including important considerations for scenario design, possible approaches to designing scenarios, and a development strategy for implementing the preferred approach.

    5.2.1 Design Considerations for Market Shocks

    a. The general market practice for stressing a trading portfolio is to specify market shocks either in terms of extreme moves in observable, broad market indicators and risk factors or directly as large changes to the mark-to-market values of financial instruments. These moves can be specified either in relative terms or absolute terms. Supplying values of risk factors after a “shock” is roughly equivalent to the macroeconomic scenarios, which supply values for a set of economic and financial variables; however, trading stress testing differs from macroeconomic stress testing in several critical ways.

    b. In the past, the Board used one of two approaches to specify market shocks. During SCAP and CCAR in 2011, the Board used a very general approach to market shocks and required companies to stress their trading positions using changes in market prices and rates experienced during the second half of 2008, without specifying risk factor shocks. This broad guidance resulted in inconsistency across companies both in terms of the severity and the application of shocks. In certain areas companies were permitted to use their own experience during the second half of 2008 to define shocks. This resulted in significant variation in shock severity across companies.

    c. To enhance the consistency and comparability in market shocks for the stress tests in 2012 and 2013, the Board provided to each trading company more than 35,000 specific risk factor shocks, primarily based on market moves in the second half of 2008. While the number of risk factors used in companies' pricing and stress-testing models still typically exceed that provided in the Board's scenarios, the greater specificity resulted in more consistency in the scenario across companies. The benefit of the comprehensiveness of risk factor shocks is at least partly offset by potential difficulty in creating shocks that are coherent and internally consistent, particularly as the framework for developing market shocks deviates from historical events.

    d. Also importantly, the ultimate losses associated with a given market shock will depend on a company's trading positions, which can make it difficult to rank order, ex ante, the severity of the scenarios. In certain instances, market shocks that include large market moves may not be particularly stressful for a given company. Aligning the market shock with the macroeconomic scenario for consistency may result in certain companies actually benefiting from risk factor moves of larger magnitude in the market scenario if the companies are hedging against salient risks to other parts of their business. Thus, the severity of market shocks must be calibrated to take into account how a complex set of risks, such as directional risks and basis risks, interacts with each other, given the companies' trading positions at the time of stress. For instance, a large depreciation in a foreign currency would benefit companies with net short positions in the currency while hurting those with net long positions. In addition, longer maturity positions may move differently from shorter maturity positions, adding further complexity.

    e. The instantaneous nature of market shocks and the immediate recognition of mark-to-market losses add another element to the design of market shocks, and to determining the appropriate severity of shocks. For instance, in previous stress tests, the Board assumed that market moves that occurred over the six-month period in late 2008 would occur instantaneously. The design of the market shocks must factor in appropriate assumptions around the period of time during which market events will unfold and any associated market responses.

    5.2.2 Approaches to Market Shock Design

    a. As an additional component of the adverse and severely adverse scenarios, the Board plans to use a standardized set of market shocks that apply to all companies with significant trading activity. The market shocks could be based on a single historical episode, multiple historical periods, hypothetical (but plausible) events, or some combination of historical episodes and hypothetical events (hybrid approach). Depending on the type of hypothetical events, a scenario based on such events may result in changes in risk factors that were not previously observed. In the supervisory scenarios for 2012 and 2013, the shocks were largely based on relative moves in asset prices and rates during the second half of 2008, but also included some additional considerations to factor in the widening of spreads for European sovereigns and financial companies based on actual observation during the latter part of 2011.

    b. For the market shock component in the severely adverse scenario, the Board plans to use the hybrid approach to develop shocks. The hybrid approach allows the Board to maintain certain core elements of consistency in market shocks each year while providing flexibility to add hypothetical elements based on market conditions at the time of the stress tests. In addition, this approach will help ensure internal consistency in the scenario because of its basis in historical episodes; however, combining the historical episode and hypothetical events may require small adjustments to ensure mutual consistency of the joint moves. In general, the hybrid approach provides considerable flexibility in developing scenarios that are relevant each year, and by introducing variations in the scenario, the approach will also reduce the ability of companies with significant trading activity to modify or shift their portfolios to minimize expected losses in the severely adverse market shock.

    c. The Board has considered a number of alternative approaches for the design of market shocks. For example, the Board explored an option of providing tailored market shocks for each trading company, using information on the companies' portfolio gathered through ongoing supervision, or other means. By specifically targeting known or potential vulnerabilities in a company's trading position, the tailored approach will be useful in assessing each company's capital adequacy as it relates to the company's idiosyncratic risk. However, the Board does not believe this approach to be well-suited for the stress tests required by regulation. Consistency and comparability are key features of annual supervisory stress tests and annual company-run stress tests required in the stress test rules. It would be difficult to use the information on the companies' portfolio to design a common set of shocks that are universally stressful for all covered companies. As a result, this approach will be better suited to more customized, tailored stress tests that are part of the company's internal capital planning process or to other supervisory efforts outside of the stress tests conducted under the capital rule and the stress test rules.

    5.2.3 Development of the Market Shock

    a. Consistent with the approach described above, the market shock component for the severely adverse scenario will incorporate key elements of market developments during the second half of 2008, but also incorporate observations from other periods or price and rate movements in certain markets that the Board deems to be plausible though such movements may not have been observed historically. Over time the Board also expects to rely less on market events of the second half of 2008 and more on hypothetical events or other historical episodes to develop the market shock.

    b. The developments in the credit markets during the second half of 2008 were unprecedented, providing a reasonable basis for market shocks in the severely adverse scenario. During this period, key risk factors in virtually all asset classes experienced extremely large shocks; the collective breadth and intensity of the moves have no parallels in modern financial history and, on that basis, it seems likely that this episode will continue to be the most relevant historical scenario, although experience during other historical episodes may also guide the severity of the market shock component of the severely adverse scenario. Moreover, the risk factor moves during this episode are directly consistent with the “recession” approach that underlies the macroeconomic assumptions. However, market shocks based only on historical events could become stale and less relevant over time as the company's positions change, particularly if more salient features are not added each year.

    c. While the market shocks based on the second half of 2008 are of unparalleled magnitude, the shocks may become less relevant over time as the companies' trading positions change. In addition, more recent events could highlight the companies' vulnerability to certain market events. For example, in 2011, Eurozone credit spreads in the sovereign and financial sectors surpassed those observed during the second half of 2008, necessitating the modification of the severely adverse market shock in 2012 and 2013 to reflect a salient source of stress to trading positions. As a result, it is important to incorporate both historical and hypothetical outcomes into market shocks for the severely adverse scenario. For the time being, the development of market shocks in the severely adverse scenario will begin with the risk factor movements in a particular historical period, such as the second half of 2008. The Board will then consider hypothetical but plausible outcomes, based on financial stability reports, supervisory information, and internal and external assessments of market risks and potential flash points. The hypothetical outcomes could originate from major geopolitical, economic, or financial market events with potentially significant impacts on market risk factors. The severity of these hypothetical moves will likely be guided by similar historical events, assumptions embedded in the companies' internal stress tests or market participants, and other available information.

    d. Once broad market scenarios are agreed upon, specific risk factor groups will be targeted as the source of the trading stress. For example, a scenario involving the failure of a large, interconnected globally active financial institution could begin with a sharp increase in credit default swap spreads and a precipitous decline in asset prices across multiple markets, as investors become more risk averse and market liquidity evaporates. These broad market movements will be extrapolated to the granular level for all risk factors by examining transmission channels and the historical relationships between variables, though in some cases, the movement in particular risk factors may be amplified based on theoretical relationships, market observations, or the saliency to company trading books. If there is a disagreement between the risk factor movements in the historical event used in the scenario and the hypothetical event, the Board will reconcile the differences by assessing a priori expectation based on financial and economic theory and the importance of the risk factors to the trading positions of the covered companies.

    5.3 Approach for Formulating the Market Shock Under the Adverse Scenario

    a. The market shock component included in the adverse scenario will feature risk factor movements that are generally less significant than the market shock component of the severely adverse scenario. However, the adverse market shock may also feature risk factor shocks that are substantively different from those included in the severely adverse scenario, in order to provide useful information to supervisors. As in the case of the macroeconomic scenario, the market shock component in the adverse scenario can be developed in a number of different ways.

    b. The adverse scenario could be differentiated from the severely adverse scenario by the absolute size of the shock, the scenario design process (e.g., historical events versus hypothetical events), or some other criteria. The Board expects that as the market shock component of the adverse scenario may differ qualitatively from the market shock component of the severely adverse scenario, the results of adverse scenarios may be useful in identifying a particularly vulnerable area in a trading company's positions.

    c. There are several possibilities for the adverse scenario and the Board may use a different approach each year to better explore the vulnerabilities of companies with significant trading activity. One approach is to use a scenario based on some combination of historical events. This approach is similar to the one used for the market shock in 2012, where the market shock component was largely based on the second half of 2008, but also included a number of risk factor shocks that reflected the significant widening of spreads for European sovereigns and financials in late 2011. This approach will provide some consistency each year and provide an internally consistent scenario with minimal implementation burden. Having a relatively consistent adverse scenario may be useful as it potentially serves as a benchmark against the results of the severely adverse scenario and can be compared to past stress tests.

    d. Another approach is to have an adverse scenario that is identical to the severely adverse scenario, except that the shocks are smaller in magnitude (e.g., 100 basis points for adverse versus 200 basis points for severely adverse). This “scaling approach” generally fits well with an intuitive interpretation of “adverse” and “severely adverse.” Moreover, since the nature of the moves will be identical between the two classes of scenarios, there will be at least directional consistency in the risk factor inputs between scenarios. While under this approach the adverse scenario will be superficially identical to the severely adverse, the logic underlying the severely adverse scenario may not be applicable. For example, if the severely adverse scenario was based on a historical scenario, the same could not be said of the adverse scenario. It is also remains possible, although unlikely, that a scaled adverse scenario actually will result in greater losses, for some companies, than the severely adverse scenario with similar moves of greater magnitude. For example, if some companies are hedging against tail outcomes then the more extreme trading book dollar losses may not correspond to the most extreme market moves. The market shock component of the adverse scenario in 2013 was largely based on the scaling approach where a majority of risk factor shocks were smaller in magnitude than the severely adverse scenario, but it also featured long-term interest rate shocks that were not part of the severely adverse market shock.

    e. Alternatively, the market shock component of an adverse scenario could differ substantially from the severely adverse scenario with respect to the sizes and nature of the shocks. Under this approach, the market shock component could be constructed using some combination of historical and hypothetical events, similar to the severely adverse scenario. As a result, the market shock component of the adverse scenario could be viewed as an alternative to the severely adverse scenario and, therefore, it is possible that the adverse scenario could have larger losses for some companies than the severely adverse scenario.

    f. Finally, the design of the adverse scenario for annual stress tests could be informed by the companies' own trading scenarios used for their BHC-designed scenarios in CCAR and in their mid-cycle company-run stress tests.21

    21 12 CFR 252.55.

    6. Consistency Between the Macroeconomic Scenarios and the Market Shock

    a. As discussed earlier, the market shock comprises a set of movements in a very large number of risk factors that are realized instantaneously. Among the risk factors specified in the market shock are several variables also specified in the macroeconomic scenarios, such as short- and long-maturity interest rates on Treasury and corporate debt, the level and volatility of U.S. stock prices, and exchange rates.

    b. The market shock component is an add-on to the macroeconomic scenarios that is applied to a subset of companies, with no assumed effect on other aspects of the stress tests such as balances, revenues, or other losses. As a result, the market shock component may not be always directionally consistent with the macroeconomic scenario. Because the market shock is designed, in part, to mimic the effects of a sudden market dislocation, while the macroeconomic scenarios are designed to provide a description of the evolution of the real economy over two or more years, assumed economic conditions can move in significantly different ways. In effect, the market shock can simulate a market panic, during which financial asset prices move rapidly in unexpected directions, and the macroeconomic assumptions can simulate the severe recession that follows. Indeed, the pattern of a financial crisis, characterized by a short period of wild swings in asset prices followed by a prolonged period of moribund activity, and a subsequent severe recession is familiar and plausible.

    c. As discussed in section 4.2.4, the Board may feature a particularly salient risk in the macroeconomic assumptions for the severely adverse scenario, such as a fall in an elevated asset price. In such instances, the Board may also seek to reflect the same risk in one of the market shocks. For example, if the macroeconomic scenario were to feature a substantial decline in house prices, it may seem plausible for the market shock to also feature a significant decline in market values of any securities that are closely tied to the housing sector or residential mortgages.

    d. In addition, as discussed in section 4.3, the Board may specify the macroeconomic assumptions in the adverse scenario in such a way as to explore risks qualitatively different from those in the severely adverse scenario. Depending on the nature and type of such risks, the Board may also seek to reflect these risks in one of the market shocks as appropriate.

    7. Timeline for Scenario Publication

    a. The Board will provide a description of the macroeconomic scenarios by no later than February 15. During the period immediately preceding the publication of the scenarios, the Board will collect and consider information from academics, professional forecasters, international organizations, domestic and foreign supervisors, and other private-sector analysts that regularly conduct stress tests based on U.S. and global economic and financial scenarios, including analysts at the covered companies. In addition, the Board will consult with the FDIC and the OCC on the salient risks to be considered in the scenarios. The Board expects to conduct this process in October and November of each year and to update the scenarios based on incoming macroeconomic data releases and other information through the end of January.

    b. The Board expects to provide a broad overview of the market shock component along with the macroeconomic scenarios. The Board will publish the market shock templates by no later than March 1 of each year, and intends to publish the market shock earlier in the stress test and capital plan cycles to allow companies more time to conduct their stress tests.

    Table 1 to Appendix A of Part 252—Classification of U.S. Recessions Peak Trough Severity Duration
  • (quarters)
  • Decline in real GDP Change in the unemployment rate during the recession Total change in the
  • unemployment
  • rate (incl.
  • after the
  • recession)
  • 1957Q3 1958Q2 Severe 4 (Medium) −3.6 3.2 3.2 1960Q2 1961Q1 Moderate 4 (Medium) −1.0 1.6 1.8 1969Q4 1970Q4 Moderate 5 (Medium) −0.2 2.2 2.4 1973Q4 1975Q1 Severe 6 (Long) −3.1 3.4 4.1 1980Q1 1980Q3 Moderate 3 (Short) −2.2 1.4 1.4 1981Q3 1982Q4 Severe 6 (Long) −2.8 3.3 3.3 1990Q3 1991Q1 Mild 3 (Short) −1.3 0.9 1.9 2001Q1 2001Q4 Mild 4 (Medium) 0.2 1.3 2.0 2007Q4 2009Q2 Severe 7 (Long) −4.3 4.5 5.1 Average Severe 6 −3.5 3.7 3.9 Average Moderate 4 −1.1 1.8 1.8 Average Mild 3 −0.6 1.1 1.9 Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Comprehensive Revision on July 31, 2013.
    Table 2 to Appendix A of Part 252—House Prices in Housing Recessions Peak Trough Severity Duration
  • (quarters)
  • Percent change in NHPI Percent change in HPI-DPI HPI-DPI Trough Level
  • (2000:Q1 = 100)
  • 1980Q2 1985Q2 Moderate 20 (long) 26.6 −15.9 102.1 1989Q4 1997Q1 Moderate 29 (long) 10.5 −17.0 94.9 2005Q4 2012Q1 Severe 25 (long) −29.6 −41.3 86.9 Average 24.7 2.5 −24.7 94.6 Source: CoreLogic, BEA. Note: The date-ranges of housing recessions listed in this table are based on the timing of house-price retrenchments.
    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 7, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26858 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Chapter II [Docket No. OP-1586] Enhanced Disclosure of the Models Used in the Federal Reserve's Supervisory Stress Test AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board).

    ACTION:

    Notification with request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board is inviting comment on an enhanced disclosure of the models used in the Federal Reserve's supervisory stress test conducted under the Board's Regulation YY pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) and the Board's capital plan rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 22, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OP-1586 by any of the following methods:

    Agency website: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.aspx.

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number and RIN number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 452-2819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Ann Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments will be made available on the Board's website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/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 St. NW (between 18th and 19th Streets NW), Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. For security reasons, the Board requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202) 452-3684. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and to submit to security screening in order to inspect and photocopy comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Ryu, Associate Director, (202) 263-4833, Kathleen Johnson, Assistant Director, (202) 452-3644, Robert Sarama, Manager (202) 973-7436, Division of Supervision and Regulation; Benjamin W. McDonough, Assistant General Counsel, (202) 452-2036, or Julie Anthony, Counsel, (202) 475-6682, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551. Users of Telecommunication Device for Deaf (TDD) only, call (202) 263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Overview II. Description of Enhanced Model Disclosure A. Enhanced Description of Models B. Modeled Loss Rates on Pools of Loans C. Portfolios of Hypothetical Loans and Associated Loss Rates D. Explanatory Notes on Enhanced Model Disclosures III. Request for Comment IV. Example of Enhanced Model Disclosure A. Enhanced Description of Models B. Modeled Loss Rates on Pools of Loans C. Portfolios of Hypothetical Loans and Associated Loss Rates I. Overview

    Each year the Federal Reserve publicly discloses the results of the supervisory stress test.1 The disclosures include revenues, expenses, losses, pre-tax net income, and capital ratios that would result under two sets of adverse economic and financial conditions. As part of the disclosures, the Federal Reserve also describes the broad framework and methodology used in the supervisory stress test, including information about the models used to estimate the revenues, losses, and capital ratios in the stress test. The annual disclosures of both the stress test results and supervisory model framework and methodology represent a significant increase in the public transparency of large bank supervision in the U.S.2 Indeed, prior to the first supervisory stress test in 2009, many analysts and institutions cautioned against these disclosures, arguing that releasing bank-specific loss estimates to the public would be destabilizing. However, experience to date has shown the opposite to be true—disclosing these details to the public has garnered public and market confidence in the process.

    1See, for example, Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test 2017: Supervisory Stress Test Methodology and Results, June 2017 and Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review 2017: Assessment Framework and Results, June 2017.

    2 In addition to those public disclosures, the Federal Reserve has published detailed information about its scenario design framework and annual letters detailing material model changes. The Federal Reserve also hosts an annual symposium in which supervisors and financial industry practitioners share best practices in modeling, model risk management, and governance.

    The Federal Reserve routinely reviews its stress testing and capital planning programs, and during those reviews the Federal Reserve has received feedback regarding the transparency of the supervisory stress test models.3 Some of those providing feedback requested more detail on modeling methodologies with a focus on year-over-year changes in the supervisory models.4 Others, however, cautioned against disclosing too much information about the supervisory models because doing so could permit firms to reverse-engineer the stress test.

    3 During a review that began in 2015, the Federal Reserve received feedback from senior management at firms subject to the Board's capital plan rule, debt and equity market analysts, representatives from public interest groups, and academics in the fields of economics and finance. That review also included an internal assessment.

    4 Some of the comments in favor of additional disclosure included requests that the Federal Reserve provide additional information to firms only, without making the additional disclosures public. Doing so would be contrary to the Federal Reserve's established practice of not disclosing information related to the stress test to firms if that information is not also publicly disclosed.

    The Federal Reserve recognizes that disclosing additional information about supervisory models and methodologies has significant public benefits, and is committed to finding ways to further increase the transparency of the supervisory stress test. More detailed disclosures could further enhance the credibility of the stress test by providing the public with information on the fundamental soundness of the models and their alignment with best modeling practices. These disclosures would also facilitate comments on the models from the public, including academic experts. These comments could lead to improvements, particularly in the data most useful to understanding the risks of particular loan types. More detailed disclosures could also help the public understand and interpret the results of the stress test, furthering the goal of maintaining market and public confidence in the U.S. financial system. Finally, more detailed disclosures of how the Federal Reserve's models assign losses to particular positions could help those financial institutions that are subject to the stress test understand the capital implications of changes to their business activities, such as acquiring or selling a portfolio of assets.

    The Federal Reserve also believes there are material risks associated with fully disclosing the models to the firms subject to the supervisory stress test. One implication of releasing all details of the models is that firms could conceivably use them to make modifications to their businesses that change the results of the stress test without changing the risks they face. In the presence of such behavior, the stress test could give a misleading picture of the actual vulnerabilities faced by firms. Further, such behavior could increase correlations in asset holdings among the largest banks, making the financial system more vulnerable to adverse financial shocks.5 Another implication is that full model disclosure could incent banks to simply use models similar to the Federal Reserve's, rather than build their own capacity to identify, measure, and manage risk. That convergence to the Federal Reserve's model would create a “model monoculture,” in which all firms have similar internal stress testing models which may miss key idiosyncratic risks faced by the firms.6

    5 For example, if firms were to deem a specific asset as more advantageous to hold based on the particulars of the supervisory models, were an exogenous shock to occur to that specific asset class, the firms' losses would be magnified because they held correlated assets.

    6See, Schuermann, T. (March 19, 2013). The Fed's Stress Tests Add Risk to the Financial System. Wall Street Journal, which highlights bank incentives to mimic Federal Reserve's stress test models.

    In the next section of the paper, three proposed enhancements to the supervisory stress test model disclosures are described, with an example of the enhanced disclosure for the Federal Reserve's corporate loan loss model. If the proposed enhancements were implemented, the Federal Reserve would expect to publish the enhanced disclosures in the first quarter of each year, starting with selected loan portfolios in 2018. The Federal Reserve expects that the annual disclosure would reflect any updates to supervisory models, for applicable portfolios, in a given year, but would be based on data and scenarios from the prior year.

    The proposed enhancements are designed to balance the costs and benefits discussed above in a way that would further enhance the public's understanding of the supervisory stress test models without undermining the effectiveness of the stress test as a supervisory tool.

    II. Description of Enhanced Model Disclosure

    The proposed enhanced disclosures have three components: (1) Enhanced descriptions of supervisory models, including key variables; (2) modeled loss rates on loans grouped by important risk characteristics and summary statistics associated with the loans in each group; and, (3) portfolios of hypothetical loans and the estimated loss rates associated with the loans in each portfolio.7

    7 The second and third components would be provided for the models used to project losses on the most material loan portfolios.

    Collectively, the additional information is designed to facilitate the public's ability to understand the workings of the models and provide meaningful feedback.

    A. Enhanced Description of Models

    The Federal Reserve currently discloses descriptions of the supervisory stress test models in an appendix in the annual Dodd-Frank Act supervisory stress test methodology and results document. For each modeling area, the appendix includes a description of the structure of the model, key features, and the most important explanatory variables in the model.

    The proposed enhanced descriptions of the models would expand these descriptions in two ways. First, they would provide more detailed information about the structure of the models. For example, the existing disclosure for corporate loans explains that the model estimates expected losses using models of probability of default (PD), loss given default (LGD), and exposure at default (EAD). It further explains that PDs are projected using a series of equations fitted to the historical relationship between changes in the PD and macroeconomic variables, including growth in real gross domestic product, changes in the unemployment rate, and changes in the spread on BBB-rated corporate bonds. The proposed enhanced model description would include certain important equations that characterize aspects of the model. Second, the proposed enhanced descriptions would include a table that contains a list of the key loan characteristics and macroeconomic variables that influence the results of a given model. The table would show the relevant variables for each component of the model (e.g., PD, LGD, EAD), and information about the source of the variables (see Table 1).

    B. Modeled Loss Rates on Pools of Loans

    The proposed enhanced disclosure would include estimated loss rates for groups of loans with distinct characteristics. Those loss rates would allow the public to directly see how the supervisory models treat specific assets under stress. The corporate loan example included below illustrates how this new loss rate disclosure could operate in practice. The modeled loss rates are reported for eight groups of loans that have combinations of three loan characteristics: sector (financial and nonfinancial), security status (secured and unsecured), and rating class (investment grade and non-investment grade). The average (mean) estimated loss rate and 25th and 75th percentiles of the estimated loan-level loss rates are presented for each group of loans. By presenting the modeled loss rates in ranges as well as the average for each group, the disclosure highlights that loans within the same group may have different loss rates because of differences in other risk characteristics. For example, nonfinancial sector loans would include loans to companies in a range of sectors, which may have different sensitivities to the macroeconomic environment associated with any given scenario.

    To shed more light on the degree of heterogeneity of loans within a given group, the enhanced disclosure could also include summary statistics associated with the loans in each group. Combined, the modeled loss rates and summary statistics would allow a firm to compare the characteristics of its own portfolio to those of the aggregate portfolio for all firms subject to the stress test and to better understand differences in loss rates between the two. The modeled loss rates could be reported for both the supervisory adverse and supervisory severely adverse scenarios, which would help to illustrate the effect of variation in macroeconomic conditions on modeled loss rates.

    C. Portfolios of Hypothetical Loans and Associated Loss Rates

    Publishing portfolios of hypothetical loans is another way to enhance transparency. This approach would allow outside parties to use their own suites of models to estimate losses on the portfolios and compare loss rates across different models.

    The portfolios the Federal Reserve may publish for certain asset classes could comprise three sets of hypothetical loans designed to mimic the characteristics of the actual loans reported by firms participating in the stress test. The first set could be based on the full sample of loans observed in the data, the second could capture characteristics associated with lower-than-average risk loans, and the third could capture characteristics associated with higher-than-average risk loans. Importantly, those portfolios would not contain any individual firm's actual loan portfolio or any actual loans reported by firms, but rather would be portfolios of hypothetical loans designed to illustrate the effect of loan characteristics on estimated loss rates. The set of variables included for each portfolio would be designed such that the public could independently estimate loss rates for these portfolios, although this set would not necessarily include every variable that might be included in a loss model for the relevant loan type. The disclosure could also include the loss rates estimated by the supervisory models for each portfolio of hypothetical loans under the supervisory adverse and supervisory severely adverse scenarios.

    D. Explanatory Notes on Enhanced Model Disclosures 8

    8 This section highlights definitional differences between the proposed enhanced disclosures and the loss rate disclosures in the annual Dodd-Frank Act stress test methodology and results document. Those differences are intended to facilitate the stated goal of the proposed enhanced disclosure to illustrate more clearly how the Federal Reserve's models translate firms' portfolio characteristics and the scenarios into loss rates.

    The proposed enhanced model disclosures described in this document focus on the design of and projections from particular models, whereas the current disclosures of supervisory stress test results include projections aggregated to the portfolio level that in most cases contain the outputs from multiple supervisory models. As such, the two different disclosures will not align exactly.

    The proposed enhanced model disclosures would also differ from the current stress testing results disclosures in that they would not include accounting and other adjustments used to translate projected credit losses into net income. In the current supervisory stress test results disclosure, accounting adjustments are used to translate supervisory model estimates into provisions and other income or expense items needed to calculate stressed pre-tax net income. These adjustments often depend on factors that vary across participating banks, such as the write-down amounts on loans purchased with credit impairments.

    III. Request for Comment

    The Board requests comment on the proposed enhanced disclosure of the models used in the Federal Reserve's supervisory stress test. Where possible, commenters should provide both quantitative data and detailed analysis in their comments. Commenters should also explain the rationale for their suggestions. Specifically, feedback is requested on the following questions:

    • Does the enhanced disclosure appropriately balance the benefits and costs of additional disclosure as outlined above?

    • Would the enhanced disclosure allow the public, including academics, to comment on the soundness of the models and their alignment with best modeling practices?

    • Are there specific ways the enhanced disclosures could be tailored to limit the potential for increased correlation of risks in the system?

    • Are there additional disclosures that would be more helpful to the public without increasing the potential for increased correlation of risks in the system?

    IV. Example of Enhanced Model Disclosure

    This section contains an illustrative example of what an enhanced model disclosure could look like for the supervisory corporate loan model.

    A. Enhanced Description of Models Overview of Corporate Loan Model

    Losses stemming from the default of corporate loans are projected using a model that assigns a specific loss amount to each corporate loan held by a firm subject to the supervisory stress test. The model projects losses as the product of three components: Probability of default (PD), loss given default (LGD), and exposure at default (EAD). The PD component measures the likelihood that a borrower will stop repaying the loan. The other two components capture the lender's loss on the loan if the borrower enters default. The LGD component measures the percent of the loan balance that the lender will not be able to recover after the loan defaults, and the EAD component measures the total expected outstanding balance on the loan at the time of default.

    The model is estimated using historical data on corporate loan losses, loan characteristics, and economic conditions. Losses are projected using the estimated model, firm-reported loan characteristics, and economic conditions defined in the Federal Reserve's supervisory stress scenarios. Some of the key loan characteristics that affect projected losses include:

    • The loan's credit rating;

    • The industry of the borrower;

    • The country in which the borrower is domiciled; and

    • Whether or not the loan is secured.

    The losses projected by the model for a given loan vary based on changes in the defined economic conditions over the nine quarters of the projection horizon. Those include:

    • Growth in real gross domestic product (GDP);

    • Changes in the unemployment rate; and

    • Changes in the spread on BBB-rated loans relative to Treasuries.

    Loan Coverage and Model Structure

    Corporate loans modeled using the expected loss modeling framework described in this document consist of a number of different categories of loans, as defined by the Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies—FR Y-9C report. The largest group of these loans includes commercial and industrial (C&I) loans with more than $1 million in committed balances that are “graded” using a firm's corporate rating process. The corporate loan model is designed to project quarterly losses on those loans over the projection horizon of each stress test scenario.

    Expected loss (EL) is the product of the three components described above (PD, LGD, and EAD), and for loan i in quarter t of the projection horizon it can be expressed as: 9

    9 For example, if the probability of default is 1 percent, the loss given default is 20 percent, and the expected outstanding balance at default is $1,000,000 the expected loss is: EL = 0.01*0.20*1,000,000 = $2,000.

    EP15DE17.083

    Each of the three components is modeled separately. The three component models are described below.

    Probability of Default

    The PD model assumes that the probability that a loan defaults depends on macroeconomic factors, such as the unemployment rate. The model first calculates the loan's PD at the beginning of the projection horizon and then projects it forward using the estimated relationship between historical changes in PD and changes in the macroeconomic environment.10

    10 Loans that are 90 days past due, in non-accrual status, or that have a Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Subtopic 310-10 (ASC 310-10) reserve as of the reference date for the stress test are considered in default.

    Calculating the Initial PD: The initial PD, which is the PD at the beginning of the projection horizon (i.e., PD(i,t=0)), is calculated as the long-run average of daily expected default frequencies (EDFs). EDFs are measures of the probability of default based on a structural model that links the value of a firm to credit risk. The initial PD for publicly traded borrowers for which a CUSIP is available in the firm-reported data reflects a borrower-specific EDF. The initial PD for other borrowers is based on the average EDF for the industry and rating category group in which the borrower is classified. A borrower's industry category is directly observed in the firm-reported data, and the rating category is derived from the firm-reported internal credit rating for the borrower and a firm-reported table that maps the internal rating to a standardized rating scale.

    Projecting the PD: The initial PDs are then projected over the projection horizon using equations fitted to the historical relationship between changes in the EDFs and changes in macroeconomic variables. The equations are estimated separately by borrower industry, rating category, and country of borrower domicile. The macroeconomic variables used to project changes in PDs over the projection horizon are GDP growth, changes in the unemployment rate, and changes in the spread on BBB-rated loans relative to Treasuries (BBB spread). GDP growth and the rate of unemployment reflect economy-wide changes in demand for goods and services which affect firms' probabilities of default, while the BBB spread represents factors that affect firms' profitability and investment opportunities, such as aggregate credit risk and the cost of borrowing.

    For loan i, which is in country-industry group j, and rating category k, the change in PD from period t-1 to t is given by:

    EP15DE17.000 Where β jk (m) is the estimated sensitivity of the probability of default to macroeconomic factor m, for country-industry segment j and rating category k, and S(t,m) is macroeconomic factor m in period t. Loss Given Default

    Similar to the PD model, the LGD model first calculates the loan's LGD at the beginning of the projection horizon and then projects it forward using the estimated relationship between historical changes in LGD and changes in the macroeconomic environment.

    Calculating the Initial LGD: Firm-reported data on line of business and whether the loan is secured or unsecured are used to set the initial LGD for performing loans. In cases in which the loan has already been identified as troubled, i.e., the firm has already put aside a reserve to cover the expected loss, the initial LGD is based on the size of the reserve. Further adjustments are made to the initial LGDs of loans that are in default at inception.11 For foreign loans, initial LGDs are also adjusted based on the country in which the obligor is domiciled, capturing differences in collateral recovery rates across countries.

    11 Loans that are in default at inception of the stress period (i.e., t=0) are assigned a PD of 100%, and a LGD using the ASC 310-10 reserves reported by the firm.

    Projecting LGD: The LGD is then projected forward by relating the change in the LGD to changes in the PD following Frye and Jacobs (2012).12 Under that approach, changes in LGD are explicitly calculated as an increasing function of PD. Specifically, loan i's LGD from period t-1 to period t is given by:

    12See, Frye, J., & Jacobs Jr, M. (2012). Credit loss and systematic loss given default. The Journal of Credit Risk, 8(1), 109.

    EP15DE17.001 Where Φ[⋅] denotes the standard normal cumulative distribution function and Φ 1[⋅] is its inverse. LGD in period t depends on PD in period t and on PD and LGD in period t-1. If PD(i,t) = PD(i,t-1), then LGD(i,t) = LGD(i,t-1). Exposure at Default

    For closed-end loans, the EAD is the utilized exposure.

    For lines of credit and other revolving commitments, the EAD equals the utilized exposure plus a portion of the unfunded commitment (i.e., the difference between the committed exposure and utilized exposure), which reflects the amount that is likely to be drawn down by the borrower in the event of default. The amount that is likely to be drawn down is calibrated to the historical drawdown experience for defaulted U.S. syndicated revolving lines of credit that are in the Shared National Credit (SNC) database.13

    13 SNC loans have commitments of greater than $20 million and are held by three or more regulated participating entities. For additional information, see “Shared National Credit Program,” Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, www.federalreserve.gov/supervisionreg/snc.htm.

    Formally, the EAD for a line of credit or other revolving product i is set to:

    EP15DE17.002 Where LEQ is the calibrated drawdown amount, OB(i,t=0) is the line's outstanding exposure at the start of the projection horizon, and CB(i,t=0) is the line's committed exposure at the start of the projection horizon.

    For standby letters of credit and trade finance credits, EADs are conservatively assumed to equal the total commitment, since typically these types of credits are fully drawn when they enter default status.

    Table 1—List of Key Variables in the Corporate Loan Models and Sources of Variables Variable Description Variable type Source PD model1 U.S. BBB corporate yield spread The difference between quarterly average of the yield on 10-year BBB corporate bonds and quarterly average of the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds Macroeconomic FR supervisory scenarios. U.S. Real GDP growth Percent change in real gross domestic product in chained dollars, expressed at annualized rate Macroeconomic FR supervisory scenarios. U.S. unemployment rate Quarterly average of seasonally-adjusted monthly data for the unemployment rate of civilian, non-institutional population of age 16 years and older Macroeconomic FR supervisory scenarios. Country The two letter country code for the country in which the obligor is headquartered Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. Industry of obligor Numeric code that describes the primary business activity of the obligor Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. Internal obligor rating The obligor rating grade from the reporting entity's internal risk rating system Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. LGD model Country The two letter country code for the country in which the obligor is headquartered Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. Lien position The type of lien. Options include first lien senior, second lien, senior unsecured, or contractually subordinated Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. Line of business The name of the internal line of business that originated the credit facility using the institution's own department descriptions Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. Type of facility The type of credit facility. Potential types are defined in the FR Y-14Q H.1 corporate schedule Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. EAD model Committed exposure amount The current dollar amount the obligor is legally allowed to borrow according to the credit agreement Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. Type of facility The type of credit facility. Potential types are defined in the FR Y-14Q H.1 corporate schedule Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14 Utilized exposure amount The current dollar amount the obligor has drawn which has not been repaid, net of any charge-offs, ASC 310-30 (originally issued as SOP 03-03) adjustments, or fair value adjustments taken by the reporting institution, but gross of ASC 310-10 reserve amounts Loan/borrower characteristic FR Y-14. 1 Other variables used to calculate initial loan status include days past due, non-accrual date, and ASC 310-10 amount. B. Modeled Loss Rates on Pools of Loans

    The output of the corporate loan model is the expected loss on each loan. As described above, estimated corporate loan loss rates depend on a number of variables. This section groups loans according to three of the most important variables in the model: Sector (financial and nonfinancial), security status (secured and unsecured), and rating class (investment grade and non-investment grade).14 Categorizing corporate loans reported on schedule H.1 of the FR Y-14Q report as of the fourth quarter of 2016 by sector, security status, and rating class results in eight groups of loans: 15

    14 Financial loans have a NAICS category (“naics_two_digit_cat”) of 52; all other loans are marked nonfinancial. Secured loans are defined as loans with lien positions (“lien_position_cat”) marked as “first-lien senior”; all other loans are marked as unsecured. Investment grade loans are defined as loans with a credit rating (“rating”) higher than and including BBB; all other loans are marked as non-investment grade.

    15 The set of loans on which loss rates are calculated excludes loans held for sale or accounted for under the fair value option, loan observations missing data fields used in the model, lines of credit that were undrawn as of 2016:Q4, and other types of loans that are not modeled using the corporate loan model (e.g., loans to financial depositories).

    • Financial, secured, investment grade • Financial, secured, non-investment grade • Financial, unsecured, investment grade • Financial, unsecured, non-investment grade • Nonfinancial, secured, investment grade • Nonfinancial, secured, non-investment grade • Nonfinancial, unsecured, investment grade • Nonfinancial, unsecured, non-investment grade.

    The remainder of this section reports summary statistics and modeled loss rates for these eight groups of corporate loans.

    Table 2 reports summary statistics for the eight groups of loans. The summary statistics cover a wide set of variables that capture important characteristics of the loans and borrowers in the set of loans.

    Tables 3 and 4 show the modeled loss rates for the eight groups of loans for the DFAST 2017 supervisory severely adverse and supervisory adverse scenarios, respectively. Each entry in the table shows the average (mean) estimated loss rate for the loans in one of the eight groups, as well as the 25th and 75th percentiles of the estimated loss rates.

    Certain groups of loans generally have wider ranges of losses than other groups. Although the loans are grouped according to the most important characteristics in the model, other loan characteristics in the model also affect loss rates, albeit in more limited manner. Differences in these other characteristics within each loan group are responsible for the range of loss rates shown in the tables. Greater variation in these other characteristics within a group will generally lead to larger ranges of loss rates. For example, among secured, non-investment grade loans, the loss rates shown in Table 3 range from 8.7 to 12.1 for financial firms, but range from 2.7 to 9.8 for nonfinancial firms, which include a wider variety of industries. Secured, non-investment grade loans to nonfinancial firms are predominantly loans to firms in the manufacturing, transportation, and technology sectors, but also include loans to firms in other sectors like education and utilities (Table 2).

    Table 2—Summary Statistics of Selected Variables in the Corporate Loan Data Grouped by Loan and Borrower Characteristics 1 [Percent, except as noted] Variables Non-investment grade Nonfinancial sector Unsecured Secured Financial sector Unsecured Secured Investment grade Nonfinancial sector Unsecured Secured Financial sector Unsecured Secured Number of loans (thousands) 15.60 101.80 1.28 8.20 21.34 52.80 2.11 5.91 Facility type, share of utilized balance Revolving 37.14 41.52 33.37 45.28 32.27 37.17 51.78 71.39 Term loan 45.06 40.33 34.08 20.83 44.48 42.20 35.54 14.57 Other 17.80 18.15 32.55 33.89 23.25 20.63 12.67 14.04 Credit rating, share of utilized balance AAA 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.22 0.92 3.36 4.89 AA 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 6.55 7.17 12.12 11.05 A 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 22.23 23.63 25.16 39.80 BBB 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 70.00 68.28 59.35 44.26 BB 80.06 76.66 88.97 81.82 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 B 19.63 22.28 10.89 18.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 CCC or below 0.31 1.07 0.14 0.13 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Lien position, share of utilized balance First-lien senior 0.00 100.00 0.00 100.00 0.00 100.00 0.00 100.00 Senior unsecured 95.10 0.00 98.51 0.00 98.26 0.00 98.75 0.00 Other 4.90 0.00 1.49 0.00 1.74 0.00 1.25 0.00 Interest rate variability, share of utilized balance Fixed 23.04 14.45 13.11 6.17 24.93 27.97 17.69 6.92 Floating 71.61 79.99 81.29 88.65 68.75 68.72 77.52 90.21 Mixed 5.33 5.54 5.59 5.15 6.22 2.74 4.73 2.74 Industry, share of utilized balance2 Agriculture, fishing, and hunting 0.66 1.50 0.00 0.00 0.28 0.50 0.00 0.00 Natural resources, utilities, and construction 13.02 7.92 0.00 0.00 8.89 5.21 0.00 0.00 Manufacturing 25.70 18.82 0.00 0.00 28.19 13.73 0.00 0.00 Trade and transportation 28.30 32.57 0.00 0.00 15.95 29.17 0.00 0.00 Technological and business services 22.28 22.18 0.00 0.00 28.91 19.54 0.00 0.00 Finance and insurance 0.00 0.00 100.00 100.00 0.00 0.00 100.00 100.00 Education, health care, and social assistance 3.76 6.45 0.00 0.00 8.08 13.84 0.00 0.00 Entertainment and lodging 2.46 6.06 0.00 0.00 2.13 4.39 0.00 0.00 Other services 3.82 4.49 0.00 0.00 7.57 13.62 0.00 0.00 Guarantor flag, share of utilized balance Full guarantee 41.24 41.83 42.22 29.09 30.23 29.95 42.22 12.02 U.S. government guarantee 5.03 0.18 0.23 0.03 0.52 0.26 0.00 0.00 Partial guarantee 2.62 4.23 3.09 3.28 1.77 2.41 3.86 4.99 No guarantee 51.11 53.74 54.47 67.60 67.49 67.31 53.92 82.99 Domestic obligor, share of utilized balance 63.53 91.35 65.10 72.29 71.58 91.46 65.93 81.37 Remaining maturity, average in months 3 4 38.34 48.44 28.95 23.89 38.26 57.59 38.55 30.44 Interest rate, average in percent 4 2.77 3.24 2.36 2.68 2.17 2.48 2.26 2.32 Committed exposure, average in millions of dollars 15.24 8.32 25.22 17.43 24.79 10.81 43.24 57.37 Utilized exposure, average in millions of dollars 10.89 6.17 19.89 14.17 16.46 8.35 28.36 39.64 1 The set of loans presented in this table excludes loans held for sale or accounted for under the fair value option, loan observations missing data fields used in the model, lines of credit that were undrawn as of 2016:Q4, and other types of loans that are not modeled using the corporate loan model (e.g., loans to financial depositories). 2 Industries are collapsed using the first digit of the NAICS 2007 code, except for finance and insurance. 3 Maturity excludes demand loans. 4 Averages for remaining maturity and interest rate are weighted by utilized exposure. Table 3—Projected Average Loan Loss Rates and 25th and 75th Percentile Ranges by Loan and Borrower Characteristics, 2017:Q1-2019:Q1, DFAST 2017 Severely Adverse Scenario Sector Security status Rating class Loss rates (percent) Financial Secured Investment grade 2.5 [1.6 to 3.3]. Financial Secured Non-investment grade 10.4 [8.7 to 12.1]. Financial Unsecured Investment grade 3.3 [1.9 to 5.3]. Financial Unsecured Non-investment grade 12.6 [8.3 to 17.0]. Nonfinancial Secured Investment grade 0.8 [0.3 to 1.0]. Nonfinancial Secured Non-investment grade 5.4 [2.7 to 9.8]. Nonfinancial Unsecured Investment grade 1.2 [0.5 to 1.7]. Nonfinancial Unsecured Non-investment grade 6.0 [3.6 to 11.7]. Note: Loan-level loss rates are calculated as cumulative nine-quarter losses on a given loan divided by initial utilized balance on that loan. Average loss rates reported in the table are the average of the loan-level loss rates weighted by initial utilized balances. The set of loans on which loss rates are calculated excludes loans held for sale or accounted for under the fair value option, loan observations missing data fields used in the model, lines of credit that were undrawn as of 2016:Q4, and other types of loans that are not modeled using the corporate loan model (e.g., loans to financial depositories). Table 4—Projected Average Loan Loss Rates and 25th and 75th Percentile Ranges by Loan and Borrower Characteristics, 2017:Q1-2019:Q1, DFAST 2017 Adverse Scenario Sector Security status Rating class Loss rates (percent) Financial Secured Investment grade 1.5 [1.0 to 2.0]. Financial Secured Non-investment grade 5.9 [4.7 to 6.7]. Financial Unsecured Investment grade 2.0 [1.2 to 3.3]. Financial Unsecured Non-investment grade 7.3 [4.7 to 9.8]. Nonfinancial Secured Investment grade 0.5 [0.2 to 0.6]. Nonfinancial Secured Non-investment grade 3.2 [1.6 to 5.8]. Nonfinancial Unsecured Investment grade 0.8 [0.4 to 1.1]. Nonfinancial Unsecured Non-investment grade 3.7 [2.1 to 7.1]. Note: Loan-level loss rates are calculated as cumulative nine-quarter losses on a given loan divided by initial utilized balance on that loan. Average loss rates reported in the table are the average of the loan-level loss rates weighted by initial utilized balances. The set of loans on which loss rates are calculated excludes loans held for sale or accounted for under the fair value option, loan observations missing data fields used in the model, lines of credit that were undrawn as of 2016:Q4, and other types of loans that are not modeled using the corporate loan model (e.g., loans to financial depositories). C. Portfolios of Hypothetical Loans and Associated Loss Rates

    The effect of borrower and loan characteristics on the losses estimated by the corporate loan model can also be illustrated by the differences in the estimated loss rate on specific sets of hypothetical loans. This section contains descriptive statistics from three portfolios of hypothetical loans (Table 6) and the modeled loss rates for the three portfolios under the DFAST 2017 supervisory adverse and supervisory severely adverse scenarios (Table 7).

    The portfolios of hypothetical loans are designed to have characteristics similar to the actual loans reported in schedule H.1 of the FR Y-14Q report. Three portfolios containing 200 loans each are provided, and they are designed to capture characteristics associated with:

    1. Typical set of loans reported in the FR Y-14Q;

    2. Higher-than-average-risk loans (in this case, non-investment grade loans); and,

    3. Lower-than-average-risk loans (in this case, investment grade loans).

    The portfolios of hypothetical loans include 12 variables that describe characteristics of corporate loans that are generally used to estimate corporate loan losses (Table 5).16

    16 The sets of loans are available for download on the Federal Reserve's website: Higher-than-average-risk loans (https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/HigherRisk.csv); typical-risk loans (https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/Typical.csv); and lower-than-average-risk loans (https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/LowerRisk.csv).

    Table 6 contains summary statistics for the portfolios of hypothetical loans in the same format as Table 2. The portfolios of hypothetical loans are constructed to capture characteristics of certain sets of loans, but are not fully representative of the population of loans reported in Table 2. Table 7 contains the loss rates for the portfolios of hypothetical loans calculated under the DFAST 2017 supervisory severely adverse and supervisory adverse scenarios. The rank ordering of the loss rates is consistent with the ranges of loss rates reported in Tables 3 and 4. The portfolio of higher-risk loans has higher loss rates under both the severely adverse and adverse scenarios and is also more sensitive to changes in macroeconomic conditions (loss rate of 7.2 percent in the severely adverse scenario and 4.2 percent in the adverse scenario) than the portfolio of typical loans (loss rate of 5.4 percent in the severely adverse scenario and 3.2 percent in the adverse scenario). Conversely, the portfolio of lower-risk loans has lower losses under both scenarios, and is less sensitive to changes in macroeconomic conditions (loss rate of 1.8 percent in the severely adverse scenario and 1.1 percent in the adverse scenario).

    Table 5—List of Variables Included in Portfolios of Hypothetical Loans Variable Mnemonic Description Origination year orig_year Year loan was originated. Type of facility facility_type_cat The type of credit facility.
  • 1 is revolving;
  • 5 is non-revolving; and
  • 0 is other.
  • Lien position lien_position_cat The type of lien.
  • 1 is first-lien senior;
  • 2 is second-lien;
  • 3 is senior unsecured; and,
  • 4 is contractually subordinated.
  • Credit rating rating Credit rating of obligor. Categories include AAA, AA, A, BBB, BB, B, CCC, CC, C, and D. Domestic flag domestic_flag Equal to 1 if obligor is domiciled in the U.S. Industry code (2-digit) naics_two_digit_cat Two-digit industry code based on 2007 NAICS definitions. Committed exposure amount committed_exposure_amt Committed exposure in dollars. Utilized exposure amount utilized_exposure_amt Utilized exposure in dollars. Interest rate interest_rate Interest rate on credit facility. Interest rate variability interest_rate_variability Interest rate type.
  • 0 is fully undrawn (interest rate not provided);
  • 1 is fixed;
  • 2 is floating;
  • 3 is mixed.
  • Remaining maturity term Remaining term of the loan in months. Guarantor flag guarantor_flag Indicates the type of guarantee of the guarantor.
  • 1 is full guarantee;
  • 2 is partial guarantee;
  • 3 is U.S. government agency guarantee;
  • 4 is no guarantee.
  • Note: Some of the variables included in the portfolios of hypothetical loans are presented in a more aggregated form than they are reported in the FR Y-14.
    Table 6—Summary Statistics of Selected Variables in the Portfolios of Hypothetical Loans [Percent, except as noted] Variables Higher-risk Lower-risk Typical Facility type, share of utilized balance Revolving 36.52 46.02 50.77 Term loan 42.67 39.97 33.32 Other 20.81 14.02 15.91 Credit rating, share of utilized balance AAA 0.00 0.00 0.45 AA 0.00 6.79 1.06 A 0.00 9.72 4.48 BBB 0.00 83.49 41.32 BB 78.68 0.00 40.91 B 20.85 0.00 10.57 CCC or below 0.47 0.00 1.21 Lien position, share of utilized balance First-lien senior 82.79 61.31 76.61 Senior unsecured 17.21 38.69 23.39 Other 0.00 0.00 0.00 Interest rate variability, share of utilized balance Fixed 16.26 26.36 11.72 Floating 83.44 71.99 86.04 Mixed 0.30 1.64 2.24 Industry, share of utilized balance1 Agriculture, fishing, and hunting 0.42 0.00 0.16 Natural resources, utilities, and construction 10.71 9.34 4.03 Manufacturing 15.46 5.26 18.96 Trade and transportation 19.30 31.32 20.64 Technological and business services 26.36 11.52 13.74 Finance and insurance 16.36 15.51 20.15 Education, health care, and social assistance 6.40 7.67 7.05 Entertainment and lodging 1.96 1.66 1.52 Other services 3.03 17.73 13.75 Guarantor flag, share of utilized balance Full guarantee 41.61 50.93 32.40 U.S. government guarantee 1.50 0.00 0.38 Partial guarantee 1.57 0.06 2.15 No guarantee 55.32 49.01 65.08 Domestic obligor, share of utilized balance 93.88 82.34 94.64 Remaining maturity, average in months 2 3 48.57 56.35 39.23 Interest rate, average in percentage 3 3.33 2.75 2.87 Committed exposure, average in millions of dollars 7.87 17.94 17.47 Utilized exposure, average in millions of dollars 5.76 7.35 5.86 1 Industries are collapsed using the first digit of the NAICS 2007 code, except for finance and insurance. 2 Maturity excludes demand loans. 3 Averages for remaining maturity and interest rate are weighted by utilized exposure. Table 7—Projected Portfolio Loss Rates, 2017:Q1-2019:Q1, DFAST 2017 Scenarios [Percent] Hypothetical portfolio Scenario Severely adverse Adverse Typical 5.4 3.2 Lower-risk 1.8 1.1 Higher-risk 7.2 4.2 Note: Portfolio loss rates are calculated as sum of the cumulative nine-quarter losses divided by sum of initial utilized balances. By Order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 7, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26856 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1184; Product Identifier 2017-CE-029-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Aerospace Limited Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as incorrectly marked and annunciated low oil pressure indication warnings. We are issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 29, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments 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 proposed AD, contact Pacific Aerospace Limited, Airport Road, Hamilton, Private Bag 3027, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand; telephone: +64 7 843 6144; facsimile: +64 7 843 6134; email: [email protected]; internet: www.aerospace.co.nz. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    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-2017-1184; 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 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:

    Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-1184; Product Identifier 2017-CE-029-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 because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://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 Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the aviation authority for New Zealand, has issued AD No. DCA/750XL/19, dated September 7, 2017 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for Pacific Aerospace Limited Model 750XL airplanes and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information originated by an aviation authority of another country. The MCAI states:

    The low oil pressure warnings are incorrectly marked and annunciated on certain Pacific Aerospace 750XL aircraft. This AD introduces the requirements in Pacific Aerospace Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) PACSB/XL/088, dated 11 August 2017, to correct low oil pressure indication warnings.

    You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1184.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Pacific Aerospace Limited has issued Pacific Aerospace Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) PACSB/XL/088, dated August 11, 2017; and Pacific Aerospace temporary revisions XL/POH/00/001, XUPOH/02/001, XUPOH/03/001, and XUPOH/03/002 (co-published as one document), all dated August 18, 2017. The service bulletin describes procedures for adjustment or replacement of the low oil pressure light, pressure switch, and indicator. The temporary revisions correct the reference to the incorrect instrument markings in the Pilots Operating Handbook (POH). 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 of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of the 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 this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 22 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $500 per product.

    Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $14,740, or $670 per product.

    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 small airplanes and domestic business jet transport airplanes to the Director of the Policy and Innovation 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 AD: Pacific Aerospace Limited: Docket No. FAA-2017-1184; Product Identifier 2017-CE-029-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 29, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Pacific Aerospace Limited 750XL airplanes, all serial numbers up to XL217, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 79: Engine Oil.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as incorrectly marked and annunciated low oil pressure indication warnings. We are issuing this AD to prevent engine oil pressure from dropping below safe limits, which could cause possible engine damage or failure.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the following actions as appropriate in paragraph (f)(1) through (4) of this AD:

    (1) For airplanes with Pilots Operating Handbook (POH) AIR 2825: Within the next 30 days after the effective date of this AD, insert Pacific Aerospace temporary revisions XL/POH/00/001, XL/POH/02/001, and XUPOH/03/001 (co-published as one document), all dated August 18, 2017, into the Pacific Aerospace Limited (PAL) 750XL POH AIR 2825.

    (2) For airplanes with Pilots Operating Handbook (POH) AIR 3237: Within the next 30 days after the effective date of this AD, insert Pacific Aerospace temporary revisions XL/POH/00/001, XUPOH/02/001, XUPOH/03/001, and XUPOH/03/002 (co-published as one document), all dated August 18, 2017, into the PAL 750XL POH AIR 3237.

    (3) For Pacific Aerospace 750XL airplanes up to S/N XL217: Within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD or within the next 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the pressure switch for the low oil pressure light per the instructions in Part A of Pacific Aerospace Limited Mandatory Service Bulletin (PALMSB) PACSB/XL/088, dated August 11, 2017.

    (4) For Pacific Aerospace 750XL airplanes up to S/N XL217 fitted with PIN INS 60-8 oil pressure/temperature indicator: Within the next 100 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD or within the next 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the oil pressure/temperature indicator per the instructions in Part B of PALMSB PACSB/XL/088, dated August 11, 2017.

    (g) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Small Airplane Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

    (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, Small Airplane Standards Branch, FAA; or The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the aviation authority for New Zealand.

    (h) Related Information

    Refer to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the aviation authority for New Zealand MCAI AD No. DCA/750XL/19, dated September 7, 2017; Pacific Aerospace Mandatory Service Bulletin PACSB/XL/088, dated August 11, 2017, and Pacific Aerospace temporary revisions XL/POH/00/001, XUPOH/02/001, XUPOH/03/001, and XUPOH/03/002 (co-published as one document), all dated August 18, 2017; for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1184. For service information related to this AD, contact Pacific Aerospace Limited, Airport Road, Hamilton, Private Bag 3027, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand; telephone: +64 7 843 6144; facsimile: +64 7 843 6134; email: [email protected]; internet: www.aerospace.co.nz. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 11, 2017. Melvin J. Johnson, Deputy Director, Policy & Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27043 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1107; Product Identifier 2016-NE-22-AD;] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Division Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-12-03, which applies to certain Pratt & Whitney Division (PW) PW2037, PW2037M, and PW2040 turbofan engines. AD 2017-12-03 requires installing a software standard eligible for installation and precludes the use of electronic engine control (EEC) software standards earlier than SCN 5B/I. Since we issued AD 2017-12-03, software became available for additional PW engines models. This proposed AD would require installing a software standard eligible for installation and preclude the use of EEC software standards earlier than SCN 5B/I or SCN 27A. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 29, 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 Pratt & Whitney Division, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; fax: 860-565-5442. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    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-2017-1107; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin Clark, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7088; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-1107; Product Identifier 2016-NE-22-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2017-12-03, Amendment 39-18918 (82 FR 27411, June 15, 2017), (“AD 2017-12-03”), for PW PW2037, PW2037M, and PW2040 turbofan engines. AD 2017-12-03 requires installing a software standard eligible for installation and precludes the use of EEC software standards earlier than SCN 5B/I. AD 2017-12-03 resulted from an unrecoverable engine in-flight shutdown (IFSD) after an ice crystal icing event. We issued AD 2017-12-03 to prevent failure of the high-pressure turbine (HPT), rotor seizure, failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2017-12-03 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2017-12-03, software became available for PW engines with EEC model number EEC104-1 with 26K memory. These are older engine models that did not have software fixes available when AD 2017-12-03 was issued.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed PW Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) PW2000 A73-170, dated July 14, 2016 and PW ASB PW2000 A73-171, dated March 24, 2017. The ASBs describe procedures for modifying or replacing the EEC.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain all the requirements of AD 2017-12-03. This proposed AD would add additional, older engine models to the applicability.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 587 engines, installed on 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
    EEC software installation 1.8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $153 0 $153 $89,811
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-12-03, Amendment 39-18918 (82 FR 27411), and adding the following new AD: Pratt & Whitney Division: Docket No. FAA-2017-1107; Product Identifier 2016-NE-22-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by January 29, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2017-12-03, Amendment 39-18918 (82 FR 27411, June 15, 2017).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to:

    (1) All Pratt & Whitney Division (PW) PW2037, PW2037M, and PW2040 turbofan engines with electronic engine control (EEC), model number EEC104-40 or EEC104-60, installed, with an EEC software standard earlier than SCN 5B/I; and

    (2) All PW PW2037, PW2037M, and PW2040 turbofan engines with EEC, model number EEC104-1 with part numbers (P/Ns) 1B7484, 1B7486, 1B7984, or 1B7985, installed, with an EEC software standard earlier than SCN 27A.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7321, Fuel Control Turbine Engines.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an unrecoverable engine in-flight shutdown (IFSD) after an ice crystal icing event. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the high-pressure turbine (HPT) and rotor seizure. The unsafe condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) For an engine with an EEC model number EEC104-40 or EEC104-60 and a serial number (S/N) listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, upgrade any EEC software standards earlier than SCN 5B/I or replace the EEC with a part eligible for installation at the next engine shop visit, or before December 1, 2018, whichever occurs first.

    (2) For an engine with an EEC model number EEC104-40 or EEC104-60 and an S/N not listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, upgrade any EEC software standards earlier than SCN 5B/I or replace the EEC with a part eligible for installation at the next engine shop visit, or before July 1, 2024, whichever occurs first.

    (3) For an engine with an EEC model number EEC104-1 with PN 1B7484, 1B7486, 1B7984, or 1B7985, upgrade any EEC software standards earlier than SCN 27A or replace the EEC with a part eligible for installation at the next engine shop visit, or before July 1, 2024, whichever occurs first.

    Figure 1 to Paragraph (g)—Engine S/Ns 716402 727272 728741 727103 727280 728743 727134 727281 728748 727152 727282 728779 727158 727286 728785 727189 727287 728795 727202 727288 728806 727204 728709 728811 727231 728715 728812 727239 728716 728820 727240 728719 728824 727251 728720 728826 727252 728725 728827 727253 728726 728840 727257 728729 728864 727269 728730 728870 (h) Installation Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD, do not install any software standard earlier than:

    (1) SCN 5B/I into any EEC model number EEC104-40 or EEC104-60; or

    (2) SCN 27A into any EEC model number EEC104-1.

    (i) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, an “engine shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges, except that the separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transportation without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kevin Clark, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7088; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Pratt & Whitney Division, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; fax: 860-565-5442. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, FAA, Engine & Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on December 11, 2017. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26967 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1108; Product Identifier 2012-NE-44-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbojet Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede airworthiness directive (AD) 2016-03-03 that applies to all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Viper Mk. 521, Viper Mk. 522, and Viper Mk. 601-22 turbojet engines. AD 2016-03-03 requires reducing the life of certain critical parts. Since we issued AD 2016-03-03, RR determined that additional parts for these RR Viper engine models are affected. This proposed AD would add additional engine parts to the applicability. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 29, 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 DA Services Operations Room at Rolls-Royce plc, Defense Sector Bristol, WH-70, P.O. Box 3, Filton, Bristol BS34 7QE, United Kingdom; phone: +44 (0) 117 97 90700; fax: +44 (0) 117 97 95498; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    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-2017-1108; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information, regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-1108; Product Identifier 2012-NE-44-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2016-03-03, Amendment 39-18390 (81 FR 12585, March 10, 2016), “AD 2016-03-03,” for all RR Viper Mk. 521, Viper Mk. 522, and Viper Mk. 601-22 turbojet engines. AD 2016-03-03 requires reducing the life of certain critical parts. AD 2016-03-03 resulted from a determination by RR that the life of certain critical engine parts needed to be reduced. We issued AD 2016-03-03 to prevent failure of life-limited parts, which could lead to an uncontained part release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2016-03-03 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2016-03-03, RR determined that additional compressor rotating shrouds and the compressor main shaft, installed on the affected Viper engines, require a reduction in their cyclic life limits. Also since we issued AD 2016-03-03, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued AD 2017-0148, dated August 15, 2017, which requires reducing the cyclic life limits of the affected parts.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    RR has issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASBs) Mk. 521 Number 72-A408, Circulation A; Mk. 521 Number 72-A408, Circulation B; Mk. 522 Number 72-A413, Circulation A; Mk. 522 Number 72-A412, Circulation B; and Mk. 601-22 Number 72-A207; all identified as Revision 1 and all dated June 2017. RR ASBs Mk. 521 Number 72-A408, Circulation A (Revision 1) and Mk. 521 Number 72-A408, Circulation B (Revision 1) describe applicable part numbers (P/Ns) and revised cyclic life limits for parts installed on the Mk. 521 engine. RR ASBs Mk. 522 Number 72-A413, Circulation A (Revision 1), and Mk. 522 Number 72-A412, Circulation B (Revision 1) describe applicable P/Ns and revised cyclic life limits for parts installed on the Mk. 522 engine. RR ASB Mk. 601-22 Number 72-A207, Rev. 1, describes applicable P/Ns and revised cyclic life limits for parts installed on the Mk. 601-22 engine. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require reducing the cyclic life of certain critical parts. This proposed AD would add additional parts to the applicability of AD 2016-03-03.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 46 engines installed on helicopters of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Remove and replace parts 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 $75,000 $75,340 $3,465,640
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2016-13-03, Amendment 39-18390 (81 FR 12585, March 10, 2016), and adding the following new AD: Rolls-Royce plc (Type Certificate previously held by Rolls-Royce (1971) Limited, Bristol Engine Division): Docket No. FAA-2017-1108; Product Identifier 2012-NE-44-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 29, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2016-13-03, Amendment 39-18390 (81 FR 12585, March 10, 2016).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Viper Mk. 521, Viper Mk. 522, and Viper Mk. 601-22 turbojet engines.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7230, Compressor Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a review by RR of the lives of certain critical parts. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of life-limited parts, uncontained part release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) Remove from service any Group A component listed in Table 1 of the RR Alert Service Bulletins (ASBs) listed in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through (v) of this AD within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, or before the part exceeds the revised life limit specified in the applicable ASB, whichever occurs later.

    (i) RR ASB Mk. 521 Number 72-A408, Circulation A (Revision 1), dated June 2017.

    (ii) RR ASB Mk. 521 Number 72-A408, Circulation B (Revision 1), dated June 2017.

    (iii) RR ASB Mk. 522 Number 72-A413, Circulation A (Revision 1), dated June 2017.

    (iv) RR ASB Mk. 522 Number 72-A412, Circulation B (Revision 1), dated June 2017.

    (v) RR ASB Mk. 601-22 Number 72-A207, Rev. 1, dated June 2017.

    (2) Reserved.

    (h) Installation Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD, do not install any Group A component identified in Table 1 of the RR ASBs in paragraph (g)(1)(i) through (v) of this AD into any engine, or return any engine to service with any affected part installed, if the affected part exceeds the revised life limit specified in the applicable ASB.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency, AD 2017-0148, dated August 15, 2017, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2017-1108.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact DA Services Operations Room at Rolls-Royce plc, Defense Sector Bristol, WH-70, P.O. Box 3, Filton, Bristol BS34 7QE, United Kingdom; phone: +44 (0) 117 97 90700; fax: +44 (0) 117 97 95498; email: [email protected]

    (4) You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on December 8, 2017. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26968 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Wage and Hour Division 29 CFR Part 531 RIN 1235-AA21 Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) AGENCY:

    Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    This document extends the period for filing written comments until February 5, 2018 on the proposed rulemaking: Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2017. The Department of Labor (Department) is taking this action in order to provide interested parties additional time to submit comments.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule published December 5, 2017, at 82 FR 57395, is extended. The agency must receive comments on or before February 5, 2018. Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. on February 5, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To facilitate the receipt and processing of written comments on this NPRM, the Department encourages interested persons to submit their comments electronically. You may submit comments, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1235-AA21, by either of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Address written submissions to Melissa Smith, Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210.

    Instructions: This NPRM is available through the Federal Register and the http://www.regulations.gov website. You may also access this document via the Wage and Hour Division's (WHD) website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/. All comment submissions must include the agency name and Regulatory Information Number (RIN 1235-AA21) for this NPRM. Response to this NPRM is voluntary. The Department requests that no business proprietary information, copyrighted information, or personally identifiable information be submitted in response to this NPRM. Submit only one copy of your comment by only one method (e.g., persons submitting comments electronically are encouraged not to submit paper copies). Please be advised that comments received will become a matter of public record and will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. All comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the date indicated for consideration in this NPRM; comments received after the comment period closes will not be considered. Commenters should transmit comments early to ensure timely receipt prior to the close of the comment period. Electronic submission via http://www.regulations.gov enables prompt receipt of comments submitted as DOL continues to experience delays in the receipt of mail in our area. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Smith, Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693-0406 (this is not a toll-free number). Copies of this NPRM may be obtained in alternative formats (Large Print, Braille, Audio Tape or Disc), upon request, by calling (202) 693-0675 (this is not a toll-free number). TTY/TDD callers may dial toll-free 1 (877) 889-5627 to obtain information or request materials in alternative formats.

    Questions of interpretation and/or enforcement of the agency's regulations may be directed to the nearest WHD district office. Locate the nearest office by calling the WHD's toll-free help line at (866) 4US-WAGE ((866) 487-9243) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in your local time zone, or log onto WHD's website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm for a nationwide listing of WHD district and area offices.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Request for Comment

    On December 5, 2017, the Department published a NPRM and request for comments in the Federal Register (82 FR 57395), proposing to rescind portions of its tip regulations issued pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The NPRM also requested that interested parties from the public submit comments on the NPRM on or before January 4, 2018.

    The Department has decided to provide an extension of the period for submitting public comment until February 5, 2018.

    Bryan L. Jarrett, Acting Administrator, Wage and Hour Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27085 Filed 12-12-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4510-27-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0713] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Wappoo Creek, Charleston, SC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that governs the SR 171/700 (Wappoo Cut) Bridge across Wappoo Creek (AICW), mile 470.8, at Charleston, SC. This proposed action would eliminate the seasonal operating schedules and adjust the daily schedule due to an increase in vehicle traffic throughout the year. This proposed action is intended to reduce vehicular traffic congestion and provide a more consistent operating schedule for the bridge.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0713 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email LT Justin Heck, Coast Guard Sector Charleston, SC, Waterways Management Division; telephone 843-740-3184, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register OMB Office of Management and Budget NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code AICW Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway SC South Carolina SR State Route II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    The existing regulation for the SR 171/700 (Wappoo Cut) Bridge across Wappoo Creek (AICW), mile 470.8, at Charleston, SC is contained in 33 CFR 117.911(d), which is entitled, “Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River.” This regulation provides three different seasonal operating schedules throughout the year.

    The SR 171/700 (Wappoo Cut) Bridge across Wappoo Creek (AICW), mile 470.8 at Charleston, SC, provides a vertical clearance of 33 feet in the closed position at MHW and a horizontal clearance of 100 feet between fenders.

    On November 16, 2016, the Mayor of the City of Charleston requested that the Coast Guard modify the current regulation by changing the times the bridge is allowed to remain in the closed position, remove the seasonal operating schedules, and allow for a once an hour opening during the day. The South Carolina Department of Transportation, the bridge owner, has no objection to the requested changes.

    The requested modification should simplify the current operating schedule, allow for a more consistent and efficient operation of the bridge and provide relief to vehicle traffic congestion while meeting the reasonable needs of navigation.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify the regulation contained in 33 CFR 117.911(d). Under this proposed regulation, the draw of the SR171/700 (Wappoo Cut) Bridge would open on signal, except from 6 a.m. to 9:29 a.m. and 3:31 p.m. to 7 p.m., the bridge need not open. Additionally, the draw would open once an hour on the half hour, between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

    This proposed change would still allow vessels that can transit under the bridge, without an opening, to do so at any time while taking into account the reasonable needs of other modes of transportation. Emergency vessels and tugs with tows can still request openings at any time.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability of vessels to still transit the bridge once an hour during the day, except during the allowed closure times. Vessels in distress, public vessels of the United States and tugs with tows would be allowed to pass at any time.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves promulgating the operating regulations for a drawbridge. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L49 of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01.

    We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 117.911(d) to read as follows:
    § 117.911 Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River.

    (d) SR 171/700 (Wappoo Cut) Bridge across Wappoo Creek, mile 470.8, at Charleston, SC. The draw shall open on signal; except that the draw need not open from 6 a.m. to 9:29 a.m. and 3:31 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the draw need open only once an hour on the half hour.

    Dated: December 11, 2017. Peter J. Brown, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26999 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 80 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-WSR-2017-0002; 91400-5110-POLI-7B; 91400-9410-POLI-7B] RIN 1018-BA33 Financial Assistance: Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, Hunter Education and Safety AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to update regulations for the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs and subprograms, based on comments we received during the last rulemaking that were never resolved, existing guidance that we intend to move to regulation, and updates requested by States to improve the processes under license certification. We believe these changes will clarify and simplify the regulations and help ensure consistency in administering the programs across the Nation.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before February 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comment submission: You may submit comments, identified by docket number FWS-HQ-WSR-2017-0002, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to docket number FWS-HQ-WSR-2017-0002.

    U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-WSR-2017-0002; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We will not accept email or faxes. All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. We will post all comments received without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and other information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comments” heading below in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Background information: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket number FWS-HQ-WSR-2017-0002.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Van Alstyne, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, Division of Policy and Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 703-358-1942.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) annually apportions to States more than $1 billion for programs and subprograms under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (50 Stat. 917, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 669-669k), and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act (64 Stat. 430, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 777-777n, except 777e-1 and g-1) (Acts). We are proposing to update the regulations at title 50 part 80 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which is “Financial Assistance: Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, Hunter Education and Safety.” We published the last revision of these regulations in 2011. In conducting the rulemaking process for the 2011 rule, we received comments from the proposed rule that we did not resolve in the final rule. Since the 2011 update to the regulations, we have also worked with States and other partners to identify information from Service Manual chapters, Memoranda, Director's Orders, interim guidance, and other guidance that we intend to include, as appropriate, in regulation.

    This proposed rule is the first of several rulemaking documents that we will publish over an extended period, based on a phased plan developed by a team of Federal and State representatives. The phased-approach will allow us to make changes and address topics while giving States and the public additional opportunities for review and comment. The primary users of these regulations are the fish and wildlife agencies of the 50 States; the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands; the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa; and the District of Columbia (DC). We use “State” or “States” in this document to refer to any or all of these jurisdictions, except that the District of Columbia receives funds only under the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act. The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act does not authorize funding for the District of Columbia. The term “the 50 States” applies only to the 50 States of the United States.

    The Acts established a hunting- and angling-based user-pay and public-benefit system in which the State fish and wildlife agencies receive formula-based funding from a continuing appropriation. Industry partners pay excise taxes on equipment and gear manufactured for purchase by hunters, anglers, boaters, archers, and recreational shooters. The Service apportions funds to the State fish and wildlife agencies, and the agencies contribute matching funds. These regulations tell States how they may receive annual apportionments from the Wildlife Restoration Account (16 U.S.C. 669(b)) and the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (26 U.S.C. 9504), how they may use hunting and fishing license fees, and what requirements States must follow when participating in the programs under the Acts. We also address the State component of the Outreach and Communications subprogram. The programs and subprograms under the Acts give financial assistance to State fish and wildlife agencies to restore or manage wildlife and sport fish; offer hunter-education, hunter-development, hunter-recruitment, and hunter-safety programs; develop and increase recreational boating access; enhance the public's understanding of water resources, aquatic-life forms, and sport fishing; and develop responsible attitudes and ethics toward aquatic and related environments.

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov describes these programs under 15.605, 15.611, and 15.626.

    Phased Approach to Rulemaking

    We published a proposed revision to the regulations at 50 CFR part 80 on June 10, 2010 (75 FR 32877). We published the final rule on August 1, 2011 (76 FR 46150). In 2015, we shared with our State partners a list of topics that we generated from unresolved comments on that prior rulemaking and other non-regulatory guidance. From June through September 2015, we hosted 12 webinars that were open to States, Service Regions, and other interested parties. Each webinar addressed a few topics from the list and gave participants an opportunity to learn more about the reasons the topics are of concern, offer opinions on approaches we have considered, and share their knowledge and experiences. WSFR used information gathered from these webinars to help guide development of a draft proposed rule. In November 2015, we posted the draft proposed rule for informal comments prior to official rulemaking. States informed us that the volume of changes and the level of complexity of many of the topics made it difficult for them to review and respond effectively. At a meeting in April 2016, WSFR proposed to the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), the Joint Federal/State Task Force for Financial Assistance Policy, and the Federal Aid Coordinators Working Group a cooperative approach to scheduling rulemaking, which led to forming a Federal/State 50 CFR part 80 Schedule Development Team.

    The result of this effort is a plan to make changes to 50 CFR part 80 through four separate rulemakings. Each round of rulemaking will make changes to the rule to address concerns that have already been vetted and resolved and will now be included in regulation, as well as a few complex topics. This approach will distribute the workload in multiple ways, allowing for more focused involvement and well-developed comments. You may find further information on the schedule and topics at https://fawiki.fws.gov/display/5C8SDT. The proposed schedule is:

    Round Year 1 1 * 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Year 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 PR FR 2 PR FR 3 PR FR 4 PR FR PR means proposed rule; FR means final rule. * “1” indicates the month the proposed rule publishes, not necessarily January. The pattern will follow as closely as possible, considering sufficient time for States to comment and the Service to respond, while ensuring no overlap in rulemakings. Topics Under Consideration as Part of Phased Rulemaking

    In addition to the specific amendments that we are proposing elsewhere in this document, we are also requesting comments and information on some topics identified as being more complex or having the potential to elicit a wide range of opinion or approaches that could impact the proposed rules we issue later in this phased rulemaking process. The Service is asking you to respond to the questions we ask or suggestions we make. This will help us to understand how your State addresses the associated issues and how we can make changes that will improve the ability of fish and wildlife agencies to implement successful projects. We ask you to tell us if you support a suggested change or approach, as well as comment on suggested changes or approaches you do not support. When responding, we ask you to give the reasoning behind your comments to help us better understand your position. When your comments include a legal reference, please specifically cite the legal document. We recommend you use citation formats in Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) Guide to Legal Citation or Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation as your guide. If possible, please give a location where we may access the document electronically.

    The terms you, your, and I refer to a State fish and wildlife agency that applies for or receives a grant under the Acts, their subgrantees, or interested members of the public who comment. The terms we, us, and our refer to the Service or the Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR).

    Our focus audience for these topics consists of the State fish and wildlife agencies who receive funding under the Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration Act (Acts) and those interested in the activities of these agencies. We offer definitions and approaches to address a certain topic as a starting point to allow you to know what we are considering and to respond. We ask you to (1) tell us if you agree with an approach, (2) suggest alternatives, (3) advise us of potential obstacles or concerns, (4) give examples of scenarios that would help inform us, and (5) offer your knowledge and experience to assist us in understanding how our rulemaking can best support wildlife management goals and objectives.

    We have posted pertinent information about these topics and the development of 50 CFR part 80 at https://fawiki.fws.gov/display/5C8SDT/50+CFR+80+Update. This website includes copies of documents that we reference and information about scheduled webinars. These topics are open for discussion and you may contact the WSFR Policy Branch ([email protected]) or other WSFR staff with whom you work prior to or after making comments. You may view other comments at www.regulations.gov by searching for docket number FWS-HQ-WSR-2017-0002.

    Definitions Wildlife

    A definition for “wildlife” is not in the Act and was not in the regulations until 1960, at which time the term was simply defined as “wild birds and wild mammals.” The definition did not appear in the 2008 final rule (73 FR 43120, July 24, 2008), but the Service reintroduced the term with a new definition in the 2010 proposed rule (75 FR 32877, June 10, 2010), and the term was codified by the 2011 final rule (76 FR 46150, August 1, 2011). The definition of “wildlife” set forth in 2011 remains the definition in 50 CFR 80.2 today.

    We received many comments on our proposed rule to revise 50 CFR part 80 in 2010 (75 FR 32877, June 10, 2010). Among those comments were some from States that sell licenses to hunt or fish species that did not meet the definition of wildlife. These comments suggested that we consider adjusting the definition to allow State fish and wildlife agencies to use funds under the Acts for managing these other species. We did not make changes to the proposed definition in the 2011 final rule, as we wanted to gather comments from all State fish and wildlife agencies as to whether we should consider expanding the definition to include other species.

    We ask you to consider a possible alternative to the current definition at 50 CFR 80.2 that would include other species for which a State fish and wildlife agency sells a license to hunt. We ask your response to these questions:

    1. Should we expand the definition of “wildlife” to include other species for which a State fish and wildlife agency sells a license to hunt? This would include any indigenous or naturalized species other than birds or mammals that meet the existing criteria and for which a State issues a license for the legal taking of the species.

    2. If this option is acceptable, should we consider including a requirement that the hunting of the species does not interfere with or oppose the legal hunting of birds and mammals already in the definition?

    3. If this option is acceptable, should we consider including the requirement that the State Director approve the inclusion of that species as meeting the definition of “wildlife” for that State? Should the Service Director approve?

    4. If we should expand the definition, do you have comments on the suggested new definition?

    5. Are there advantages or concerns we should consider?

    Law Enforcement

    We received a comment during the 2011 rulemaking asking that we define “law enforcement.” Law enforcement is an ineligible activity under the Acts and the current regulations. States have told us that law enforcement officers sometimes conduct activities that do not involve enforcing laws and that are beneficial to the State fish and wildlife agency for fish and wildlife management. Agencies may interpret the current regulations to mean that any activities done by law enforcement personnel are not eligible. Without a definition for law enforcement, agencies do not have clear, consistent direction.

    We request your comments on how to define law enforcement and if any activities conducted by law enforcement personnel may be eligible using funds under the Acts. Please note that license revenue may be used for any activities that support the administration of the State fish and wildlife agency as described at 50 CFR 80.10(c), which could include some law enforcement activities. WSFR proposed the following definition for informal comment in 2015, and we offer it in this document for further comment and development. We ask you to comment on whether you think this definition is sufficient to guide States and WSFR regarding eligible and ineligible activities, and if the proposed definition is lacking, please describe what additional considerations you recommend.

    Law enforcement means the act of developing regulations, issuing punitive citations or tickets for infractions of the law, or assisting with inspections and other enforcement activities that have the potential to result in the issuance of penalties.

    Comprehensive Management System

    State fish and wildlife agencies may use one of two methods of operation for managing financial assistance. One method is project-by-project grants, and the other is the Comprehensive Management System (CMS). Currently, five States utilize the CMS method, leaving the majority using the project-by-project method. A CMS grant is not the same as a “block grant,” and Federal compliance requirements apply to eligible projects. States using a comprehensive plan link programs, financial systems, human resources, goals, products, and services in developing a strategic plan and carrying it out through an operational planning process. The process must allow an opportunity for public participation, clearly define projects to the level where grant managers can evaluate for compliance, and include approaches for evaluating results. The plan also assesses the current, projected, and desired status of fish and wildlife.

    We intend to define a comprehensive management plan and specify that the planning period must be at least 5 years and use a minimum 15-year projection of the desires and needs of the State's citizens. We would emphasize requirements for public participation in developing the plan. We would describe that a CMS grant funds all or part of your plan, you receive one grant at the beginning of the grant period, and the grant period consists of segments funded by annual apportionments. We would describe compliance requirements. Some compliance requirements may be completed when the plan is approved, but discrete projects in the plan, changing conditions or considerations, and other factors would require additional compliance prior to projects being initiated. We would describe situations that would require additional compliance actions. Plans will include projects using funding under the Acts and projects using other sources of funding. Service staff often must conduct extensive compliance for projects that have limited funding under the Acts, so we are considering a funding threshold under which States or other Federal entities will be responsible for compliance.

    We request your comments on whether we need to give more detail on the level of public participation required, type of notification to citizens, level of budget detail, compliance, and reporting.

    Loss of Control/Diversion

    We often receive questions from States as to what the Service means when we use the term “control” in 50 CFR part 80. We use the term “control” in conjunction with funding under the Acts, license revenues, real and personal property, third-party agreements, and more. States ask us to define the parameters for what constitutes a loss of control and what actions would lead to a diversion of license revenue or grant funds. States also ask us about control of real property when certain real property rights are held by other entities. We address Loss of Control and Disposal of Real Property in our Service manual at 522 FW 20, but this information is limited. Our Regional offices routinely respond to issues involving loss of control and diversion of funds under the Acts, which leads us to consider the need for clear information on control and diversion.

    We understand that this topic is complicated and that each State has a different perception of the needs, limits, and use of control under the Acts, and the meaning of control when certain situations present themselves. We intend to address this subject in a future proposed rule and ask State fish and wildlife agencies to comment on how this issue has affected your agency, what challenges you have encountered, and what concerns you wish us to address. We ask that you give us examples of scenarios that could be difficult to manage without further clarification. We ask you to tell us if your State has encountered situations where an outside entity has dictated, or attempted to dictate, the scope of work of the State fish and wildlife agency and what the response has been. We are also interested in hearing about situations that involve oil, gas, and mineral extraction on or under State fish and wildlife agency-owned and -managed lands. We encourage States to discuss this topic with your Regional WSFR offices.

    Allowable Recreational and Commercial Activities

    We address allowable recreational and commercial activities at Service manual chapters 522 FW 21 (https://www.fws.gov/policy/522fw21.html) and 522 FW 22 (https://www.fws.gov/policy/522fw22.html). We intend to move this policy information into regulations for those programs under the Acts. We welcome any comments you have on the information in the chapters, the approach, and making these policy provisions regulatory.

    Proposed Rule

    This document is not a full update of the proposed changes we plan to make to the regulations in 50 CFR part 80, but rather we address only certain topics at this time. State and Federal representatives proposed and accepted the list of topics we address in this proposed update to the regulations.

    Definitions

    • We define the terms “asset” and “obligation” in response to requests for clarifying these terms.

    • We revise the definition of “capital improvement” to raise the monetary threshold from $10,000 to $25,000.

    • We add definitions for the terms “geographic location,” “structure,” and “technical assistance.”

    • We revise the definition for the term “match” to include that match may be from a Federal source if a statute authorizes it. We revise the definition for the term “real property” to make the definition consistent with other guidance.

    License Certification

    We collaborated with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) to recommend changes to the regulations at Subpart D—Certification of License Holders that would address States' concerns over the current language. In September 2016, AFWA voted in support of the changes. In November 2016, the Joint Federal/State Task Force for Federal Assistance Policy proposed changes to the draft that will encourage all States to adopt the new method for all licenses as soon as possible. In December 2016, AFWA again voted in support of the changes.

    The major proposed change is in the method for determining the minimum standard needed to count a license holder. The current method requires a minimum of $1 of net revenue per year. State fish and wildlife agencies determine this amount through various cost accounting methods, tracking costs of multiple types of licenses, tracking and applying administrative costs, and comparing multiyear licenses to annual licenses. The proposed method simply requires a minimum of $2 of revenue (no net) to the State fish and wildlife agency for each privilege to hunt or fish, for each year the license is valid. The major effect is in how States count multiyear licenses. The proposed changes will allow a State to count a multiyear license for each year that it meets the standard and all other requirements of the subpart.

    Eligible Activities

    We propose to revise §§ 80.50 and 80.51 to:

    a. Add “technical assistance” as an eligible activity.

    b. Add information on payments in lieu of taxes.

    c. Expand the guidance on leased vs. purchased equipment.

    d. Add at § 80.50(c)(6) that buying real property for firearm and archery ranges is eligible under the Enhanced Hunter Education and Safety program.

    Other

    Additional proposed changes to 50 CFR part 80 in this document include the following:

    a. We revise § 80.56 to clarify that projects may have different components and still be substantial in character and design.

    b. We revise § 80.82 to separate “Purpose” and “Objectives.”

    c. We add a new section (at § 80.97) to incorporate guidance on how grantees and subgrantees may charge equipment-use costs to a WSFR grant.

    d. We update § 80.120 to include hunter education course fees as program income.

    e. We update §§ 80.123 and 80.124 to address program income banking.

    f. We add a new section (at § 80.134) to state that a lease is real property.

    g. We add a new section (at § 80.136) to address prescribed fires on land acquired under the Acts. (This proposed change is in response to requests from States to clarify the standards.)

    h. We revise current § 80.137 (proposed to be moved to § 80.139) to remove the reference to 43 CFR 12.71, which no longer exists as 43 CFR part 12 has been removed and reserved from the CFR.

    i. We add § 80.140 to replace the reference to 43 CFR 12.71 at current § 80.137 (proposed § 80.139).

    j. We update § 80.160 for terms and references.

    Public Comments

    We will accept comments on all the issues addressed that we describe in this preamble and that are set forth in the amendatory instructions. Prior to issuing a final rule on this proposed action, we will take into consideration all comments and any additional information we receive. Such information may lead to a final rule that differs from this proposal. All comments and recommendations, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record.

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. Comments must be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov before 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the date specified in DATES. We will not consider hand-delivered comments that we do not receive, or mailed comments that are not postmarked, by the date specified in DATES. Please note that comments posted to http://www.regulations.gov are not immediately viewable. When you submit a comment, the system receives it immediately. However, the comment will not be publicly viewable until we post it, which might not occur until several days after submission.

    We will post your entire comment on http://www.regulations.gov. Before including personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that we may make your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your hardcopy comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted in their entirety.

    In addition, comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection in two ways:

    (1) You can view them on http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-HQ-WSR-2017-0002, which is the docket number for this rulemaking.

    (2) You can make an appointment, during normal business hours, to view the comments and materials in person at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's headquarters office in Falls Church, VA (contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this proposed rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires an agency to consider the impact of rules on small entities, i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions. If there is a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the agency must perform a regulatory flexibility analysis. This analysis is not required if the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to state the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    We have examined this proposed rule's potential effects on small entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We have determined that this proposed rule does not have a significant impact and does not require a regulatory flexibility analysis because it:

    a. Gives information to State fish and wildlife agencies that allows them to apply for and administer financial assistance more easily, more efficiently, and with greater flexibility. Only State fish and wildlife agencies may receive Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, and Hunter Education program and subprogram grants.

    b. Addresses changes in law and regulation. This helps applicants and grantees by making the regulations consistent with current authorities and standards.

    c. Rewords and reorganizes the regulations to make them easier to understand.

    d. Allows small entities to voluntarily become subgrantees of agencies, and any impact on these subgrantees would be beneficial.

    The Service has determined that the proposed changes primarily affect State governments and any small entities affected by the changes voluntarily enter into mutually beneficial relationships with a State agency. They are primarily concessioners and subgrantees, and the impact on these small entities will be very limited and beneficial in all cases.

    Consequently, we certify that because this proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    In addition, this proposed rule is not a major rule under SBREFA (5 U.S.C. 804(2)) and will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because it will not:

    a. Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more;

    b. Cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or

    c. Have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. The Act requires each Federal agency, to the extent permitted by law, to prepare a written assessment of the effects of proposed regulations with Federal mandates that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any 1 year. We have determined the following under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act:

    a. As discussed in the determination for the Regulatory Flexibility Act, this proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities.

    b. The regulation does not require a small government agency plan or any other requirement for expending local funds.

    c. The programs governed by the current regulations and enhanced by the proposed changes potentially assist small governments financially when they occasionally and voluntarily participate as subgrantees of an eligible agency.

    d. The proposed rule clarifies and improves upon the current regulations allowing State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector to receive the benefits of financial assistance funding in a more flexible, efficient, and effective manner.

    e. Any costs incurred by a State, local, or tribal government or the private sector are voluntary. There are no mandated costs associated with the proposed rule.

    f. The benefits of grant funding outweigh the costs. The Federal Government may legally provide up to 100 percent for Puerto Rico and DC. The Federal Government will also waive the first $200,000 of match for each grant to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Of the 50 States and 6 other jurisdictions that voluntarily are eligible to apply for grants in these programs each year, all participate. This is clear evidence that the benefits of this grant funding outweigh the costs.

    g. This proposed rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or greater in any year, i.e., it is not a “significant regulatory action” under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

    Takings

    This proposed rule will not have significant takings implications under E.O. 12630 because it will not have a provision for taking private property. Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism

    This proposed rule will not have sufficient Federalism effects to warrant preparing a federalism summary impact statement under E.O. 13132. It would not interfere with the States' ability to manage themselves or their funds. We work closely with the States administering these programs. They helped us identify those sections of the current regulations needing further consideration and new issues that prompted us to develop a regulatory response.

    Civil Justice Reform

    The Office of the Solicitor has determined under E.O. 12988 that the rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. The proposed rule will help grantees because it:

    a. Updates the regulations to reflect changes in policy and practice and recommendations received during the past 5 years;

    b. Makes the regulations easier to use and understand by improving the organization and using plain language;

    c. Modifies the final rule to amend 50 CFR part 80 published in the Federal Register at 76 FR 46150 on August 1, 2011, based on subsequent experience; and

    d. Adopts recommendations on new issues received from State fish and wildlife agencies. We will review all comments on this proposed rule and consider all suggestions when preparing the final rule for publication.

    Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This proposed rule does not contain new information collection requirements that require approval under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). OMB reviewed and approved the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service application and reporting requirements associated with the Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, and Hunter's Education financial assistance programs and assigned OMB Control Number 1018-0109, which expires November 30, 2018. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), 43 CFR part 46, and part 516 of the Departmental Manual. This rule is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. An environmental impact statement/assessment is not required due to the categorical exclusion for administrative changes given at 43 CFR 46.210(i).

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    We have evaluated potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes under the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2. We have determined that there are no potential effects. This proposed rule will not interfere with the tribes' ability to manage themselves or their funds.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    E.O. 13211 addresses regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use, and requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 and does not affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 80

    Fish, Grant programs, Natural resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Signs and symbols, Wildlife.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, we propose to amend title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 80, as follows:

    PART 80—ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS, PITTMAN-ROBERTSON WILDLIFE RESTORATION AND DINGELL-JOHNSON SPORT FISH RESTORATION ACTS 1. The authority citation for part 80 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 669-669k and 777-777n, except 777e-1 and g-1.

    Subpart A—General 2. Amend § 80.2 by: a. Adding a definition for “Asset”; b. Revising the definition of “Capital improvement”; c. Adding a definition for “Geographic location”; d. Revising the definition of “Match”; e. Adding a definition for “Obligation”; f. Revising the definition of “Real property”; g. Adding a definition for “Structure”; and h. Adding a definition for “Technical assistance”.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 80.2 What terms do I need to know?

    Asset means all tangible and intangible real and personal property of monetary value.

    Capital improvement means:

    (1) A structure that costs at least $25,000 to build or install; or

    (2) The alteration or repair of a structure or the replacement of a structural component, if it increases the structure's useful life by at least 10 years or its market value by at least $25,000.

    Geographic location means an area defined with enough specificity for a reviewer to find the parcel location on a United States Geological Survey quadrangle map or its equivalent.

    Match means the value of any non-Federal in-kind contributions and the portion of the costs of a grant-funded project or projects not borne by the Federal Government, unless a Federal statute authorizes match using Federal funds.

    Obligation has two meanings depending on the context:

    (1) When a grantee of Federal financial assistance obligates funds by incurring costs for purposes of the grant, the definition at 2 CFR 200.71 applies.

    (2) When the Service sets aside funds for disbursement immediately or at a later date in the formula-based programs under the Acts, the definition at 50 CFR 80.91 applies.

    Real property means one, several, or all interests, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of a parcel of land or water. Examples of real property include fee and some leasehold interests, conservation easements, and mineral rights.

    (1) A parcel includes (unless limited by its legal description) the space above and below it and anything physically and firmly attached to it by a natural process or human action. Examples include standing timber, other vegetation (except annual crops), buildings, roads, fences, and other structures.

    (2) A parcel may also have rights attached to it by a legally prescribed procedure. Examples include water rights or an access easement that allows the parcel's owner to travel across an adjacent parcel.

    (3) The legal classification of an interest, benefit, or right depends on its attributes rather than the name assigned to it. For example, a grazing “lease” is often a type of personal property known as a license, which is described in the definition of “personal property” in this section.

    Structure means a building or anything permanently attached to the land by human action so that removal would cause material damage to the land or the structure itself.

    Technical assistance means providing fish, wildlife, and habitat information and advice to target segments of the public, including landowners or other citizens and beneficiaries. This may include collecting or distributing information on fish and wildlife presence and activities, advising on appropriate public response to fish and wildlife interactions, and directing landowners on how they may support fish and wildlife practices on private lands. Technical assistance does not include actual on-the-ground management activities.

    3. Revise subpart D, including the heading, to read as follows: Subpart D—License Holder Certification Sec. 80.30 Why must an agency certify the number of paid license holders? 80.31 How does an agency certify the number of paid license holders? 80.32 What is the certification period? 80.33 How does an agency decide who to count as paid license holders in the annual certification? 80.34 Must a State fish and wildlife agency receive a minimum amount of revenue for each license holder counted? 80.35 What additional requirements apply to multiyear licenses? 80.36 May an agency count license holders in the annual certification if the agency receives funds from the State or another entity to cover their license fees? 80.37 May the State fish and wildlife agency offer a discount on a license when combined with another license or privilege? 80.38 May an entity other than the State fish and wildlife agency offer a discount on a license or offer a free license under any circumstances? 80.39 What must an agency do if it becomes aware of errors in its certified license data? 80.40 May the Service recalculate an apportionment if an agency submits revised data? 80.41 May the Director correct a Service error in apportioning funds? Subpart D—License Holder Certification
    § 80.30 Why must an agency certify the number of paid license holders?

    A State fish and wildlife agency must certify the number of people having paid licenses to hunt and paid licenses to fish because the Service uses these data in statutory formulas to apportion funds in the Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration programs among the States.

    § 80.31 How does an agency certify the number of paid license holders?

    (a) A State fish and wildlife agency certifies the number of paid license holders by responding to the Director's annual request for the following information:

    (1) The number of people who have paid licenses to hunt in the State during the State-specified certification period (certification period); and

    (2) The number of people who have paid licenses to fish in the State during the certification period.

    (b) The agency director or his or her designee:

    (1) Must certify the information at paragraph (a) of this section in the format that the Director specifies;

    (2) Must provide documentation to support the accuracy of this information at the Director's request;

    (3) Is responsible for eliminating multiple counting of the same individuals in the information that he or she certifies; and

    (4) May use statistical sampling, automated record consolidation, or other techniques approved by the Director for this purpose.

    (c) If an agency director uses statistical sampling to eliminate multiple counting of the same individuals, he or she must ensure that the sampling is complete by the earlier of the following:

    (1) Five years after the last statistical sample; or

    (2) Before completing the first certification following any change in the licensing system that could affect the number of license holders.

    § 80.32 What is the certification period?

    A certification period must:

    (a) Be 12 consecutive months;

    (b) Correspond to the State's fiscal year or license year;

    (c) Be consistent from year to year unless the Director approves a change; and

    (d) End at least 1 year and no more than 2 years before the beginning of the Federal fiscal year in which the apportioned funds first become available for expenditure.

    § 80.33 How does an agency decide who to count as paid license holders in the annual certification?

    (a) A State fish and wildlife agency must count only those people who have a license issued:

    (1) In the license holder's name; or

    (2) With a unique identifier that is traceable to the license holder, who must be verifiable in State records.

    (b) A State fish and wildlife agency must count a person holding a single-year license only once in the certification period in which the license is sold. (Single-year licenses are valid for any length of time less than 2 years.)

    (c) A person is counted as a license holder even if the person is not required to have a paid license or is unable to hunt or fish.

    (d) A person having more than one license to hunt or to fish because the person either voluntarily obtained them or was required to in order to obtain a different privilege may be counted only once each certification period as either a hunter or an angler, or both.

    (e) A person who has a license that allows the license holder only to trap animals or only to engage in commercial fishing or other commercial activities must not be counted.

    § 80.34 Must a State fish and wildlife agency receive a minimum amount of revenue for each license holder counted?

    (a) For the State fish and wildlife agency to count a license holder, the agency must establish that it receives:

    (1) A minimum of $2 for each year the license is valid, for either the privilege to hunt or the privilege to fish; and

    (2) A minimum of $4 for each year the license is valid for a combination license that gives privileges to both hunt and fish.

    (b) A State fish and wildlife agency must follow the requirement in paragraph (a) of this section for all licenses sold as soon as practical, but by no later than July 1, 2018.

    § 80.35 What additional requirements apply to multiyear licenses?

    The following additional requirements apply to multiyear licenses:

    (a) A State fish and wildlife agency must follow the requirement at § 80.34(a) for all multiyear licenses sold before and after the date that the agency adopts the new standard, unless following the exception at paragraph (d) of this section.

    (b) If a valid license was not eligible to be counted in the annual license certification the year before adopting the standard at § 80.34(a), it must not be counted in any future certification.

    (c) If an agency is using an investment, annuity, or similar method to fulfill the net-revenue requirements of the version of § 80.33 that was effective from August 31, 2011, until [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE], the agency may discontinue that method and convert to the new method.

    (1) If the amount collected at the time of sale has not been spent, the agency must begin to use the new standard by applying the total amount the agency received at the time of sale.

    (2) If the amount collected at the time of sale has been spent, the agency must apply the new standard as if it were applicable at the time of sale. For example, if a single-privilege, multiyear license sold for $100 in 2012, and the agency adopts the new standard in 2018, then 4 years have been used toward the amount received by the agency (4 years × $2 = $8) and the license holder may be counted for up to 46 more years ($100 −$8 = $92/$2 = 46).

    (d) An agency may continue to follow the requirements of the version of § 80.33 that was effective from August 31, 2011, until [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE], for those multiyear licenses that were sold before the date specified at § 80.34(b) if the agency:

    (1) Notifies the Director of the agency's intention to do so;

    (2) Describes how the new requirement will cause financial or operational harm to the agency when applied to licenses sold before the effective date of these regulations; and

    (3) Commits to follow the current standard for those multiyear licenses sold after the date specified at § 80.34(b).

    (e) A multiyear license may be valid for either a specific or indeterminate number of years, but it must be valid for at least 2 years.

    (f) The agency may count the license for all certification periods for which it received the minimum required revenue, as long as the license holder meets all other requirements of this subpart. For example, an agency may count a single-privilege, multiyear license that sells for $25 for 12 certification periods. However, if the license exceeds the life expectancy or the license is valid for only 5 years, it may be counted only for the number of years it is valid.

    (g) An agency may spend a multiyear license fee as soon as the agency receives it.

    (h) The agency must count only the licenses that meet the minimum required revenue for the license period based on:

    (1) The duration of the license in the case of a multiyear license with a specified ending date; or

    (2) Whether the license holder remains alive.

    (i) The agency must obtain the Director's approval of its proposed technique to decide how many multiyear-license holders remain alive in the certification period. Some examples of techniques are statistical sampling, life-expectancy tables, and mortality tables. The agency may instead use 80 years of age as a default for life expectancy.

    § 80.36 May an agency count license holders in the annual certification if the agency receives funds from the State or another entity to cover their license fees?

    If a State fish and wildlife agency receives funds from the State to cover fees for some license holders, the agency may count those license holders in the annual certification only under the following conditions:

    (a) The State funds to cover license fees must come from a source other than hunting- and fishing-license revenue.

    (b) The State must identify funds to cover license fees separately from other funds provided to the agency.

    (c) The agency must receive at least the average amount of State-provided discretionary funds that it received for the administration of the State's fish and wildlife agency during the State's 5 previous fiscal years.

    (1) State-provided discretionary funds are those from the State's general fund that the State may increase or decrease if it chooses to do so.

    (2) Some State-provided funds are from special taxes, trust funds, gifts, bequests, or other sources specifically dedicated to the support of the State fish and wildlife agency. These funds typically fluctuate annually due to interest rates, sales, or other factors. They are not discretionary funds for purposes of this part as long as the State does not take any action to reduce the amount available to its fish and wildlife agency.

    (d) The agency must receive and account for the State funds as license revenue.

    (e) The agency must issue licenses in the license holder's name or by using a unique identifier that is traceable to the license holder, who is verifiable in State records.

    (f) The license fees must meet all other requirements at 50 CFR part 80.

    § 80.37 May the State fish and wildlife agency offer a discount on a license when combined with another license or privilege?

    Yes. A State fish and wildlife agency may offer a discount on a license when combined with another license or privilege as long as the agency meets the rules for minimum revenue at § 80.34 for each privilege.

    § 80.38 May an entity other than the State fish and wildlife agency offer a discount on a license or offer a free license under any circumstances?

    (a) An entity other than the agency may offer the public a license that costs less than the regulated price only if:

    (1) The license is issued to the individual according to the requirements at § 80.33;

    (2) The amount received by the agency meets all other requirements in this subpart; and

    (3) The agency agrees to the amount of revenue it will receive.

    (b) An entity other than the agency may offer the public a license that costs less than the regulated price without the agency agreeing, but must pay the agency the full cost of the license.

    § 80.39 What must an agency do if it becomes aware of errors in its certified license data?

    A State fish and wildlife agency must submit revised certified data on paid license holders within 90 days after it becomes aware of errors in its certified data. The State may become ineligible to participate in the benefits of the relevant Act if it becomes aware of errors in its certified data and does not resubmit accurate certified data within 90 days.

    § 80.40 May the Service recalculate an apportionment if an agency submits revised data?

    The Service may recalculate an apportionment of funds based on revised certified license data under the following conditions:

    (a) If the Service receives revised certified data for a pending apportionment before the Director approves the final apportionment, the Service may recalculate the pending apportionment.

    (b) If the Service receives revised certified data for an apportionment after the Director has approved the final version of the apportionment, the Service may recalculate the apportionment only if doing so would not reduce funds to other State fish and wildlife agencies.

    § 80.41 May the Director correct a Service error in apportioning funds?

    Yes. The Director may correct any error that the Service makes in apportioning funds.

    Subpart E—Eligible Activities 4. Amend § 80.50 by adding paragraphs (a)(9) through (11) and (c)(6) to read as follows:
    § 80.50 What activities are eligible for funding under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act?

    (a) * * *

    (9) Give technical assistance.

    (10) Make payments in lieu of taxes on real property under the control of the State fish and wildlife agency when the payment is:

    (i) Required by State or local law; and

    (ii) Required for all State lands including those acquired with Federal funds and those acquired with non-Federal funds.

    (11) Acquire the use of equipment by leasing it, but purchase may be eligible if:

    (i) The grantee can justify that it is cost effective and that the equipment will be used for project purposes for its useful life; or if

    (ii) Leasing the equipment is not feasible.

    (c) * * *

    (6) Buy real property for firearm or archery ranges.

    5. Amend § 80.51(a) by adding paragraphs (a)(12) through (14) to read as follows:
    § 80.51 What activities are eligible for funding under the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act?

    (a) * * *

    (12) Give technical assistance.

    (13) Make payments in lieu of taxes on real property under the control of the State fish and wildlife agency when the payment is:

    (i) Required by State or local law; and

    (ii) Required for all State lands including those acquired with Federal funds and those acquired with non-Federal funds.

    (14) Acquire the use of equipment by leasing it, but purchase may be eligible if:

    (i) The grantee can justify that it is cost effective and that the equipment will be used for project purposes for its useful life; or if

    (ii) Leasing the equipment is not feasible.

    6. Revise § 80.56 including the heading to read as follows:
    § 80.56 What does it mean for a project to be substantial in character and design?

    (a) Projects may have very different components and still be substantial in character and design.

    (b) A proposed project qualifies as substantial in character and design if it:

    (1) Describes a need consistent with the Acts;

    (2) States a purpose and sets measureable objectives, both of which you base on the need;

    (3) Uses a planned approach, appropriate procedures, and accepted principles of fish and wildlife conservation and management, research, or education; and

    (4) Is cost effective.

    Subpart G—Application for a Grant 7. Amend § 80.82 by: a. Revising paragraph (c)(2) to read as set forth below; b. Redesignating paragraphs (c)(3) through (13) as paragraphs (c)(4) through (14); c. Adding a new paragraph (c)(3) to read as set forth below; and d. Revising newly designated paragraphs (c)(9)(iv) and (v) and (10) to read as set forth below.
    § 80.82 What must an agency submit when applying for a project-by-project grant?

    (c) * * *

    (2) Purpose. State the purpose and base it on the need. The purpose states the desired outcome of the proposed project in general or abstract terms.

    (3) Objectives. State the objectives and base them on the need. The objectives state the desired outcome of the proposed project in terms that are specific and quantified.

    (9) * * *

    (iv) Indicate whether the agency wants to treat program income that it earns after the grant period as license revenue or additional funding for purposes consistent with the grant terms and conditions or program regulations.

    (v) Indicate whether the agency wants to treat program income that the subgrantee earns as license revenue, additional funding for the purposes consistent with the grant or subprogram, or income subject only to the terms of the subgrant agreement.

    (10) Budget narrative.

    (i) Provide costs by project and subaccount with additional information sufficient to show that the project is cost effective. Agencies may obtain the subaccount numbers from the Service's Regional Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration.

    (ii) Describe any item that requires the Service's approval and estimate its cost. Examples are preaward costs, capital improvements, and acquiring land or equipment.

    (iii) Include a schedule of payments to finish the project if an agency proposes to use funds from two or more annual apportionments.

    8. Amend § 80.85 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 80.85 What requirements apply to match?

    (b) * * *

    (2) Use the cost or value of an in-kind contribution to satisfy a match requirement if the cost or value has been or will be used to satisfy a match requirement of another Federal grant, cooperative agreement, or contract.

    9. Amend subpart H by: a. Redesignating §§ 80.97 through 80.100 as §§ 80.98 through 80.101; b. Adding a new § 80.97 to read as follows; and c. Revising newly designated § 80.98 to read as follows: Subpart H—General Grant Administration
    § 80.97 How may a grantee charge equipment use costs to a WSFR-funded project?

    (a) A State fish and wildlife agency must establish and use equipment rates that reflect the local market, the type of equipment used on a project, and actual costs to own and operate the equipment. Agencies must calculate their own rates and not use general State rates.

    (b) State fish and wildlife agencies must not use a predetermined rate or schedule published by a Federal agency for equipment used on a WSFR grant. However, States may allow subgrantees to use either the agency equipment rate schedule or a regional rate schedule published by a Federal agency if WSFR approves the rate schedule and if the schedule reflects the standards at paragraph (a) of this section.

    (c) States may choose from three methods to recover the cost of the equipment it owns when used on a grant. You may use only one method for the same equipment use.

    (1) Indirect. Grantees may apply costs to the pool of indirect costs that are included either as part of the Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement or an allowed de minimis rate.

    (2) Direct. Using one of these approaches:

    (i) Direct cost to the grant. Grantees may charge the total cost of acquiring and operating equipment directly to a grant. Once the cost of acquiring equipment is recovered through a Federal grant, the grantee has been paid in full and cannot charge to any other Federal grant through any method. Operating costs may be charged to future grants. This practice may require States to establish separate use rates for equipment acquired as a direct cost to a Federal grant.

    (ii) Allocation to the grant using an internally developed rate. The grantee uses depreciation to develop a rate considering acquisition cost of the equipment and the cost to operate the equipment. The allocation must be based on a methodology that properly allocates costs based on benefits received.

    (3) Match/cost share. The grantee may charge costs as match. The guidance for properly applying equipment as match is at 2 CFR 200.306(g)-(j) and 2 CFR 200.434. Guidance on operating cost items can be found at 2 CFR part 200, subpart E—Cost Principles.

    § 80.98 May an agency barter goods or services to carry out a grant-funded project?

    Yes. A State fish and wildlife agency may barter to carry out a grant-funded project. A barter transaction is the exchange of goods or services for other goods or services without the use of cash. Barter transactions are subject to the cost principles at 2 CFR part 200.

    Subpart I—Program Income 10. Amend § 80.120 by: a. Redesignating paragraphs (b)(5) and (6) as paragraphs (b)(6) and (7); b. Adding a new paragraph (b)(5) to read as set forth below; c. Removing paragraph (c)(3); and d. Redesignating paragraphs (c)(4) and (5) as paragraphs (c)(3) and (4).
    § 80.120 What is program income?

    (b) * * *

    (5) Hunter-education course fees;

    11. Amend § 80.123(a) by revising the last sentence to read as follows:
    § 80.123 How may an agency use program income?

    (a) * * * Program income must be spent within the grant period that it is earned and before requesting additional Federal funds.

    12. Revise § 80.124 to read as follows:
    § 80.124 How may an agency use unexpended program income?

    If a State fish and wildlife agency has unexpended program income on its final Federal financial report, it may use the income under a subsequent grant for any activity eligible for funding in the grant program that generated the income. The agency must spend program income before requesting additional payments for these activities.

    13. Amend subpart J by: a. Redesignating § 80.134 as § 80.135; b. Adding a new § 80.134 to read as set forth below; c. Redesignating §§ 80.136 through 80.138 as §§ 80.137 through 80.139; d. Adding a new § 80.136 to read as set forth below; e. Revising newly designated § 80.139 to read as set forth below; and f. Adding new § 80.140 to read as set forth below: Subpart J—Real Property
    § 80.134 Is a lease considered real property or personal property?

    A lease of real property is a contract in which the fee owner transfers to a lessee the right of exclusive possession and is, therefore, treated as real property.

    § 80.136 What standards must an agency follow when conducting prescribed fire on land acquired with financial assistance under the Acts?

    The State fish and wildlife agency:

    (a) Must comply with existing State laws that require compliance with Federal, State, and local laws; and

    (b) Does not have to comply with the Federal National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) requirements unless the Service has substantial involvement in the project or these requirements are contained in State or local laws. The NWCG provides national leadership to develop, maintain, and communicate standards, guidelines, qualifications, training, and other capabilities that enable common operations on wildland fires among Federal and non-Federal entities.

    § 80.139 What if real property is no longer useful or needed for its original purpose?

    If the director of the State fish and wildlife agency and the Regional Director jointly decide that grant-funded real property is no longer useful or needed for its original purpose under the grant, the director of the agency must:

    (a) Propose another eligible purpose for the real property under the grant program and ask the Regional Director to approve this proposed purpose; or

    (b) Follow the regulations at 2 CFR 200.311 through 200.315 and § 80.140 for instructions on treating proceeds from the disposition of real or personal property.

    § 80.140 When the Service approves the disposition of real property, equipment, intangible property, and excess supplies, what must happen to the proceeds of the disposition?

    (a) A grantee must refer to the regulations at 2 CFR 200.311 through 200.315 before depositing, allocating, or using any proceeds of the disposition of real property, equipment, unused supplies exceeding $5,000 in total aggregate value, or intangible property.

    (b) A grantee must treat the proceeds of the disposition of real and personal property as license revenue if the grantee acquired the property with:

    (1) License revenue; or

    (2) Federal financial assistance funds matched by license revenue.

    (c) A grantee must use its share of the proceeds under a subsequent grant for any activity eligible for funding in the grant program that generated the income. The agency must spend proceeds of the disposition of real or personal property before requesting additional Federal payments for these activities.

    (d) A grantee must credit the Service, through that State's Regional Office, with the Federal share of the proceeds. The Regional Office determines how the Federal share of the proceeds will be allocated.

    Subpart L—Information Collection 14. Amend § 80.160 by revising paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 80.160 What are the information collection requirements of this part?

    (b) The authorizations for information collection under this part are in the Acts and in 2 CFR part 200, “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.”

    (c) Send comments on the information collection requirements to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Information Collection Clearance Officer, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3803.

    Dated: December 5, 2017. Jason Larrabee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Exercising the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26762 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    82 240 Friday, December 15, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service Designation for the Aberdeen, South Dakota; Hastings, Nebraska; and Missouri Areas AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of designation.

    SUMMARY:

    AMS is announcing the designations of Aberdeen Grain Inspection, Inc. (Aberdeen); Hastings Grain Inspection, Inc. (Hastings); and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (Missouri) to provide official services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended. The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary's Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

    DATES:

    October 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Jacob Thein, Compliance Officer, USDA, AMS, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Thein, 816-866-2223, [email protected] or [email protected] Read applications: All applications and comments are available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the May 22, 2017, and May 30, 2017, Federal Register (82 FR 23174) and (82 FR 24671-24673), GIPSA requested applications for designation to provide official services in the geographic areas presently serviced by Aberdeen, Hastings, and Missouri. Applications for Missouri were due by June 21, 2017. Applications for Aberdeen and Hastings were due by June 29, 2017.

    Because the current official agencies, Aberdeen, Hastings, and Missouri were the only applicants for designation to provide official services in these areas, GIPSA did not seek additional comments.

    GIPSA evaluated the designation criteria in section 7(f) of the USGSA (7 U.S.C. 79(f)) and determined that Aberdeen, Hastings, and Missouri are qualified to provide official services in the geographic areas specified in the Federal Register on May 22 and May 30, 2017. These designations to provide official services in the specified areas of Aberdeen, Hastings, and Missouri became effective October 1, 2017, and expire September 30, 2022.

    Interested persons may obtain official services by contacting these agencies at the following telephone number:

    Official agency Headquarters location and telephone Designation start Designation end Aberdeen Aberdeen, SD, 605-225-8432 10/1/2017 9/30/2022 Hastings Hastings, NE, 402-462-4254 10/1/2017 9/30/2022 Missouri Jefferson City, MO, 573-751-5515 10/1/2017 9/30/2022

    Section 7(f) of the USGSA authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)).

    Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27061 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License AGENCY:

    Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Oregon State University of Corvallis, Oregon, an exclusive license to the variety of blackberry described in U.S. Plant Patent Application Serial No. 15/731,505, “BLACKBERRY PLANT NAMED `GALAXY',” filed on June 20, 2017.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to: USDA, ARS, Office of Technology Transfer, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Rm. 4-1174, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-5131.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian T. Nakanishi of the Office of Technology Transfer at the Beltsville address given above; telephone: 301-504-5989.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Government's patent rights in this plant variety are assigned to the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty-bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within thirty (30) days from the date of this published Notice, the Agricultural Research Service receives written evidence and argument which establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27053 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License AGENCY:

    Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Oregon State University of Corvallis, Oregon, an exclusive license to the variety of blackberry described in U.S. Plant Patent Application Serial No. 15/731,503, “BLACKBERRY PLANT NAMED `ECLIPSE',” filed on June 20, 2017.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to: USDA, ARS, Office of Technology Transfer, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Rm. 4-1174, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-5131.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian T. Nakanishi of the Office of Technology Transfer at the Beltsville address given above; telephone: 301-504-5989.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Government's patent rights in this plant variety are assigned to the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty-bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within thirty (30) days from the date of this published Notice, the Agricultural Research Service receives written evidence and argument which establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27054 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2017-0046] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives AGENCY:

    Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are sponsoring a public meeting on February 13, 2018. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions to be discussed at the 50th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Xiamen, Fujian, Province China, March 26-30, 2018. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and the FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties with the opportunity to obtain background information on the 50th Session of the CCFA and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 13, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will take place at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Harvey Wiley Federal Building, 5001 Campus Drive, Rooms 1A-001 and 1A-002, College Park, MD 20740.

    Documents related to the 50th Session of the CCFA will be accessible via the internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

    Paul Honigfort, U.S. Delegate to the 50th Session of the CCFA and the FDA invite U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Registration: Attendees may register to attend the public meeting by emailing [email protected] by February 9, 2018. Early registration is encouraged as it will expedite entry into the building and parking area. If you require parking, please include the vehicle make and tag number when you register. The meeting will be held in a Federal building. Attendees should bring photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through the security screening systems. Attendees who are not able to attend the meeting in person, but wish to participate, may do so by phone. Attendees who plan to participate by phone should request the call-in number and participant code when they register for the meeting.

    For Further Information About the 50th Session of the CCFA Contact:

    Paul Honigfort, Ph.D., Consumer Safety Officer, Division of Food Contact Notifications, Office of Food Additive Safety, FDA, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740, Telephone: (240) 402-1206, Fax: (301) 436-2965, Email: [email protected]

    For Further Information About the Public Meeting Contact:

    Daniel E. Folmer, Ph.D., Review Chemist, Division of Petition Review, Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, HFS-265, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740, Telephone: (240) 402-1269, Fax: (301) 436-2972, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure that fair practices are used in trade.

    The CCFA establishes or endorses permitted maximum levels for individual food additives; prepares priority lists of food additives for risk assessment by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA); assigns functional classes and International Numbering System (INS) numbers to individual food additives; recommends specifications of identity and purity for food additives for adoption by Codex; considers methods of analysis for the determination of additives in food; and considers and elaborates standards or codes for related subjects, such as labeling of food additives when sold as such. The CCFA is hosted by China.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the agenda for the 50th Session of the CCFA will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Matters referred by the Codex and other subsidiary bodies;

    • Matters of Interest arising from FAO/WHO and from the 84th Meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)

    • Proposed draft specifications for identity and purity of food additives arising from the 84th JECFA meeting

    • Endorsement and/or revision of maximum levels for food additives and processing aids in Codex Standards

    • Alignment of the food additive provisions of commodity standards/Report of the EWG on Alignment;

    • General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA): Report of the EWG on the GSFA;

    • General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA): Proposals for new and/or revision of food additive provisions

    • Discussion paper on the use of nitrates and nitrites

    • Discussion paper on the use of the terms “unprocessed” and “plain” in the GSFA

    • Proposed draft revision to the International Numbering System (INS) for Food Additives

    • Proposals for additions and changes to the Priority List of Substances Proposed for evaluation by JECFA

    • Discussion paper on “Future Strategies for CCFA”

    • Other Business and Future Work.

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Codex Secretariat before the meeting. Members of the public may access these documents at http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/meetings-reports.

    Public Meeting

    At the February 13, 2018 public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described, discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to the U.S. Delegate for the 50th Session of the CCFA, Paul Honigfort, Ph.D. at the following address: [email protected] Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 50th Session of the CCFA.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC, on: December 12, 2017. Paulo Almeida, Acting U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27096 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2017-0050] Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection (Marking, Labeling and Packaging) AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to renew an approved information collection regarding the regulatory requirements for marking, labeling, and packaging of meat, poultry, and egg products and for establishments that produce mechanically separated poultry. This approval covers the labeling approval process whereby establishments are to submit their labels to FSIS for approval or maintain files related to generic labeling. This collection also covers the recordkeeping burden for packaging material letters of guarantee for safety. Lastly, this collection contains the recordkeeping burden imposed on establishments that produce mechanically separated poultry. There are no changes to the existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before February 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.

    Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW, Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700

    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2017-0050. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go to the FSIS Docket Room at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW, Room 8-164, Washington, DC 20250-3700 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700; (202) 720-5627.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Marking, Labeling, and Packaging of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products.

    OMB Number: 0583-0092.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 04/30/2018.

    Type of Request: Renewal of an approved information collection.

    Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary (7 CFR 2.18, 2.53) as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). FSIS protects the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and correctly labeled and packaged.

    FSIS is requesting renewal of an approved information collection addressing paperwork requirements specified in the regulations related to marking, labeling, and packaging of meat, poultry, and egg products.

    To control the manufacture of marking devices bearing official marks, FSIS requires official meat and poultry establishments and the manufacturers of such devices to submit an Authorization Certificate to the Agency (FSIS Form 5200-7). Such certification is necessary to help prevent the manufacture and use of counterfeit marks of inspection (9 CFR 312.1, 317.3, 381.96 & 381.131).

    Meat and poultry establishments and egg products plants must develop labels in accordance with FSIS regulations (9 CFR 317.1, 381.115, & 590.410). Unless its labels are generically approved, establishments must complete an application for approval (“Application for Approval of Labels, Marking or Device,” FSIS Form 7234-1). Respondents must submit duplicate copies of the labels when submitting the applications by paper. Establishments may also submit labels through the Label Submission and Approval System or LSAS. LSAS is an internet-based application that allows respondents to gain label approval through a secure website. The establishment must maintain a copy of all the labeling used, along with product formulation and processing procedures (9 CFR 320.1(b)(11) and 381.175(b)(6)). Additionally, establishments requesting reconsideration of a label application that the Agency has modified or rejected must use the “Request for Label Reconsideration,” FSIS Form 8822-4.

    Labels that FSIS has approved but change for such reasons as, holiday season designs, addition or deletion of coupons, UPC production codes, or recipe suggestions; newly assigned or revised establishment numbers; changes in the arrangement or language of directions for opening containers or serving the product; or the substitution of abbreviations for words or vice versa, do not need additional FSIS approval (9 CFR 317.5). Establishments must keep a copy of the labeling used, along with the product formulation and processing procedures on file.

    FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment:

    Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of 4 minutes per response related to marking; 75 minutes per response related to labeling applications and recordkeeping; 120 minutes per response related to labeling reconsideration requests; 15 minutes per response related to generically approved labeling recordkeeping; 2 minutes per response related to packaging materials recordkeeping; and 5 minutes per response related to mechanically separated poultry recordkeeping.

    Respondents: Official meat and poultry establishments, official egg plants, and foreign establishments.

    Estimated No. of Respondents: 5,736 related to marking; 3,682 related to labeling applications and recordkeeping; 74 related to labeling reconsideration requests; 6,333 related to generically approved labeling recordkeeping; 5,735 related to packaging materials recordkeeping; and 82 related to mechanically separated poultry recordkeeping.

    Estimated No. of Annual Responses per Respondent: 1 related to marking; 20 related to labeling applications and recordkeeping; 2 related to labeling reconsideration requests; 20 related to generically approved labeling recordkeeping; 2 related to packaging materials recordkeeping; and 455 related to mechanically separated poultry recordkeeping.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 128,267 hours. Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence SW, Room 6077, South Building, Washington, DC 20250, (202)690-6510.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the method and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both FSIS, at the addresses provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

    Responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, Fax: (202) 690-7442, Email: [email protected].

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC, on December 12, 2017. Paul Kiecker, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27097 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Revision of the Land Management Plan for the Flathead National Forest and Amending the Land Management Plans of the Helena-Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, and Lolo National Forests AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunity to object to the Revised Land and Resource Management Plan and to forest plan amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service is revising the Flathead National Forest's Land and Resource Management Plan (forest plan). The Forest Service is concurrently amending the forest plans of the Helena-Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, and Lolo National Forests to incorporate habitat management direction for the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) grizzly bear population. The Flathead National Forest is proposing to incorporate the NCDE grizzly bear habitat management direction as part of its plan revision process. The Forest Service has prepared a single Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for its revised forest plan and the forest plan amendments, a draft Record of Decision (ROD) for the revised forest plan, and a draft ROD for the forest plan amendments.

    This notice is to inform the public that a 60-day period is being initiated where individuals or entities with specific concerns on the Flathead National Forest's Revised Land Management Plan and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy forest plan amendments for the Helena-Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, and Lolo National Forests and its associated FEIS may file objections for Forest Service review prior to the approval of the Revised Land Management Plan and forest plan amendments. This is also an opportunity to object to the Regional Forester's list of species of conservation concern for the Flathead National Forest.

    DATES:

    The FEIS, Flathead National Forest revised forest plan, other supporting documentation, and the draft RODs are available for review starting December 1, 2017 on the forest plan revision web page: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/flathead/fpr; on the forest plan amendments web page: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/flathead/gba; and the Northern Region species of conservation concern web page: http://bit.ly/NorthernRegion-SCC.

    ADDRESSES:

    The following address should be used for objections submitted by regular mail, private carrier, or hand delivery: Objection Reviewing Officer, USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, 26 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. Please be explicit as to whether the objection is for the Flathead Forest Plan, the NCDE Grizzly Bear Forest Plan Amendments, or the Flathead Species of Conservation Concern.

    Objections can be faxed to the Objection Reviewing Officer at (406) 329-3411. The fax coversheet must include a subject line with “Flathead Forest Plan Objection,” “NCDE Grizzly Bear Forest Plan Amendments,” or “Flathead Species of Conservation Concern” and should specify the number of pages being submitted. Electronic objections must be submitted to the Objection Reviewing Officer via email to [email protected], with “Flathead Forest Plan Objection,” “NCDE Grizzly Bear Forest Plan Amendments,” or “Flathead Species of Conservation Concern” in the subject line. Electronic submissions must be submitted in a format that is readable with optical character recognition software (e.g. Word, PDF, Rich Text) and be searchable. An automated response should confirm your electronic objection has been received.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Project Leader, Joe Krueger, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT 59901, (406) 758-5243. Additional information concerning the draft RODs may be obtained on the internet at the websites listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A legal notice of the initiation of the 60-day objection period is being published in the Flathead, Helena-Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, and Lolo National Forests' newspapers of record: Daily Interlake, Great Falls Tribune, Missoulian, and Helena Independent. The date of the publication of the legal notices will determine the actual date of initiation of the 60-day objection period. A copy of the legal notices published in the newspapers of record will be posted on the websites listed above.

    The decisions to approve the revised forest plan for the Flathead National Forest, the NCDE Grizzly Bear Forest Plan Amendments, and the Regional Forester's list of species of conservation concern will be subject to the objection process identified in 36 CFR part 219 subpart B (219.50 to 219.62). An objection must include the following (36 CFR 219.54(c)):

    (1) The objector's name and address along with a telephone number or email address if available. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to an objection, the Forest Service will attempt to verify the identity of the objector to confirm objection eligibility;

    (2) Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the objection);

    (3) Identification of the lead objector, when multiple names are listed on an objection. The Forest Service will communicate to all parties to an objection through the lead objector. Verification of the identity of the lead objector must also be provided if requested;

    (4) The name of the plan revision or forest plan amendment being objected to, and the name and title of the responsible official;

    (5) A statement of the issues and/or parts of the plan revision to which the objection applies;

    (6) A concise statement explaining the objection and suggesting how the proposed plan decision may be improved. If the objector believes that the plan revision is inconsistent with law, regulation, or policy, an explanation should be included;

    (7) A statement that demonstrates the link between the objector's prior substantive formal comments and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment; and

    (8) All documents referenced in the objection (a bibliography is not sufficient), except that the following need not be provided:

    a. All or any part of a Federal law or regulation,

    b. Forest Service Directive System documents and land management plans or other published Forest Service documents,

    c. Documents referenced by the Forest Service in the planning documentation related to the proposal subject to objection, and

    d. Formal comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during the plan revision comment period.

    Responsible Official

    The responsible official who will approve the ROD for the Flathead National Forest revised forest plan is Chip Weber, Forest Supervisor for the Flathead National Forest, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT 59901, (406) 758-5208.

    The Regional Forester is the reviewing officer for the revised plan since the Forest Supervisor is the deciding official (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)). The Flathead National Forest will provide the Regional Forester with public comments received on species of conservation concern (SCC). The Regional Forester will consider comments received and respond to them in the FEIS and ROD. The decision to approve the SCC list will be subject to a separate objection process. The Chief of the Forest Service is the reviewing officer for SCC identification since the Regional Forester is the deciding official (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)). Information about species of conservation concern is available at http://bit.ly/NorthRegion-SCC.

    Dated: November 16, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26952 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Field Crops Objective Yield Surveys. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length. In this renewal the program will be expanded to include several fruit and nut commodities into the Objective Yield program. The title of this renewal will be changed to “Objective Yield Surveys.”

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 13, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0088, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    eFax: (855) 838-6382.

    Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-2707. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Objective Yield Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0088.

    Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2018.

    Type of Request: To revise and extend a currently approved information collection for a period of three years.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to collect, prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices and disposition as well as economic statistics, farm numbers, land values, on-farm pesticide usage, pest crop management practices, as well as the Census of Agriculture. The field crops Objective Yield Surveys objectively predict yields for corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans, and wheat. Sample fields are randomly selected for these crops, plots are laid out, and periodic counts and measurements are taken and then used to forecast production during the growing season. Production forecasts are published in USDA Crop Production reports.

    In this approval request, NASS will be including a new group of fruit and nut objective yield surveys. These surveys will be conducted under cooperative agreements with several State Departments of Agriculture. The individual States will be reimbursing NASS for the costs associated with these additional surveys. The surveys will include: California citrus, almonds and walnuts; Florida citrus; and Oregon hazelnuts.

    The increased burden hours and sample sizes reported below include these additional surveys.

    Authority: These data will be collected under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average between 15 and 30 minutes per respondent.

    Respondents: Farmers, ranchers, or farm managers.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 16,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,800 hours.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, November 29, 2017. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27052 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Delaware Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of monthly planning meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the Delaware State Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call, on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The purpose of the meeting is to review/discuss the panel summaries that were prepared by several Committee members. This review will help the Committee focus on next steps, as it moves toward drafting the Committee report.

    DATES:

    Monday, January 22, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call number: 1-800-210-9006 and conference call ID: 4124362.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivy L. Davis, at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call number: 1-800-210-9006 and conference call ID: 4124362. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator may ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number herein.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-888-364-3109 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call number: 1-800-210-9006 and conference call ID: 4124362.

    Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=240; click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda: Monday, January 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. I. Welcome and Introductions Rollcall II. Planning Meeting Review/Discuss Panel Summaries III. Other Business IV. Open Comment V. Adjournment Dated: December 11, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26986 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    United States Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Commission telephonic business meeting.

    DATES:

    Thursday, December 21, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting to take place by telephone.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Walch, (202) 376-8371, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This business meeting is open to the public by telephone only.

    PARTICIPANT ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS:

    Listen Only, Toll Free: 1-888-219-1420; Conference ID: 5586588. Please dial in 5-10 minutes prior to the start time.

    Meeting Agenda I. Approval of Agenda II. Program Planning • Discussion and Vote on Commission's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2022 • Discussion and Vote on Revised Report: Public Education Funding Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation • Discussion and Vote on Timeline, Discovery Plan, and Outline for the Commission's FY19 Report on Federal Civil Rights Enforcement Efficacy V. Adjourn Meeting Dated: December 12, 2017. Brian Walch, Director, Communications and Public Engagement.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27138 Filed 12-13-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    United States Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Commission telephonic business meeting.

    DATES:

    Thursday, December 21, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting to take place by telephone.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Walch, (202) 376-8371, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This business meeting is open to the public by telephone only.

    PARTICIPANT ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS:

    Listen Only, Toll Free: 1-888-219-1420; Conference ID: 5586588. Please dial in 5-10 minutes prior to the start time.

    Meeting Agenda I. Approval of Agenda II. Program Planning • Discussion and Vote on Commission's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2022 • Discussion and Vote on Revised Report: Public Education Funding Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation • Discussion and Vote on Timeline, Discovery Plan, and Outline for the Commission's FY19 Report on Federal Civil Rights Enforcement Efficacy V. Adjourn Meeting Dated: December 12, 2017. Brian Walch, Director, Communications and Public Engagement.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27139 Filed 12-13-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the District of Columbia Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of monthly planning meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the District of Columbia Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 11:30 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the offices of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and vote on the project proposal on the mental health court in DC that will be submitted to the staff director for approval.

    DATES:

    January 9, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivy Davis, DFO, at [email protected] or 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Persons with accessibility needs should contact the Eastern Regional Office no later than 10 working days before the scheduled meeting by sending an email to the following email address at [email protected]

    Members of the public are entitled to attend or submit written comments. The comments must be received in the regional office by February 9, 2018. Comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425 or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at 202-376-7533.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=241; click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone numbers, email or street address.

    Agenda: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 I. Welcome and Introductions —Rollcall II. Planning Meeting —Discuss/Review Project Proposal —Identify Committee Members for Planning Workgroup III. Other Business IV. Open Comment V. Adjournment Dated: December 11, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26985 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-992] Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Second Amended Final Determination in Less Than Fair Value Investigation and Notice of Third Amended Final Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On November 3, 2017, the Court of International Trade (CIT or Court) sustained the final remand results pertaining to the less than fair value investigation of monosodium glutamate (MSG) from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Department of Commerce (the Department) is notifying the public that the final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the second amended final determination of the less than fair value investigation and that the Department is amending the second amended final determination with respect to the dumping margins assigned to Langfang Meihua Bio-Technology Co., Ltd.'s (Meihua).

    DATES:

    Effective November 13, 3017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jun Jack Zhao, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1396.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 29, 2014, the Department issued the Final Determination. 1 On November 26, 2014, in response to ministerial error allegations, the Department issued the Amended Final Determination and on January 6, 2015, in response to additional comments concerning inadvertent errors in the Amended Final Determination, the Department issued the Second Amended Final Determination and Order. 2 Meihua 3 is a Chinese producer/exporter of MSG and was a mandatory respondent in the underlying less than fair value investigation. In the Second Amended Final Determination and Order, the Department assigned a dumping margin of 21.28 percent to Meihua.

    1See Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and the Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 58326 (September 29, 2014) (Final Determination).

    2See Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Indonesia: Antidumping Duty Orders and Monosodium Glutamate From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 70505 (November 26, 2014) (Amended Final Determination), and, Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Second Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amended Antidumping Duty Order, 80 FR 487 (January 6, 2015) (Second Amended Final Determination and Order), respectively.

    3 Meihua, or Meihua Group, consists of Langfang Meihua Bio-Technology Co., Ltd., Tongliao Meihua Biological SCI-TECH Co., Ltd., Meihua Group International Trading (Hong Kong) Limited, and Meihua Holdings Group Co., Ltd, Bazhou Branch. See the Department's preliminary decision memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, and Postponement of Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China,” dated May 1, 2014, at 8-9, unchanged in Amended Final Determination.

    On April 25, 2017, the Court issued its Remand Order  4 and directed the Department to: (1) Reconsider the Department's selection of the best available information in setting the distance used to calculate a surrogate value for inland freight and (2) reconsider petitioner's, Ajinomoto North America, Inc.'s, (Ajinomoto) argument to calculate the corn factor of production (FOP) based upon the respondent Meihua's actual production experience.

    4See Ajinomoto North America, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 14-00351, Slip Op. 17-48 (April 25, 2017) (Remand Order).

    Pursuant to the Remand Order, the Department issued its Final Redetermination, which addressed the Court's Remand Order and revised the weighted-average dumping margin for Meihua to 34.15 percent.5 On November 3, 2017, the CIT sustained in whole the Department's Final Redetermination.6

    5See Department Memorandum dated August 30, 2017, “Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China Ajinomoto North America, Inc. v. United States Court No. 14-00351, Slip Op. 17-48 (CIT April 25, 2017),” (Final Redetermination).

    6See Ajinomoto North America, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 14-00351, Slip Op. 17-150 (CIT 2017).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken,7 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades,8 the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that, pursuant to sections 516A(c) and (e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The CIT's November 3, 2017, final judgment sustaining the Department's Final Redetermination constitutes a final decision of the Court that is not in harmony with the Second Amended Final Determination and Order. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken.

    7See Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken), at 341.

    8See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades).

    Third Amended Final Determination

    Because there is now a final court decision, the Department is amending the Second Amended Final Determination and Order with respect to the dumping margin calculated for Meihua. The revised dumping margin for Meihua, is 34.15 percent.9

    9See Final Redetermination.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Since the Second Amended Final Determination and Order, the Department has established a new cash deposit rate for Meihua.10 Therefore, the Department is not amending the cash deposit rate for Meihua.

    10See, e.g., Monosodium Glutamate from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 81 FR 89062 (December 9, 2016).

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e)(1), 735(c)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: December 11, 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. 2017-27062 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Limitation of Duty-Free Imports of Apparel Articles Assembled in Haiti Under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), as Amended by the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE) AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notification of annual quantitative limit on imports of certain apparel from Haiti.

    SUMMARY:

    CBERA, as amended, provides duty-free treatment for certain apparel articles imported directly from Haiti. One of the preferences is known as the “value-added” provision, which requires that apparel meet a minimum threshold percentage of value added in Haiti, the United States, and/or certain beneficiary countries. The provision is subject to a quantitative limitation, which is calculated as a percentage of total apparel imports into the United States for each 12-month annual period. For the annual period from December 20, 2017 through December 19, 2018, the quantity of imports eligible for preferential treatment under the value-added provision is 361,603,399 square meters equivalent.

    DATES:

    December 20, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laurie Mease, International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-3400.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority: Section 213A of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (19 U.S.C. 2703a) (“CBERA”), as amended; and as implemented by Presidential Proc. No. 8114, 72 FR 13655 (March 22, 2007), and No. 8596, 75 FR 68153 (November 4, 2010).

    Background: Section 213A(b)(1)(B) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(b)(1)(B)), outlines the requirements for certain apparel articles imported directly from Haiti to qualify for duty-free treatment under a “value-added” provision. In order to qualify for duty-free treatment, apparel articles must be wholly assembled, or knit-to-shape, in Haiti from any combination of fabrics, fabric components, components knit-to-shape, and yarns, as long as the sum of the cost or value of materials produced in Haiti or one or more beneficiary countries, as described in CBERA, as amended, or any combination thereof, plus the direct costs of processing operations performed in Haiti or one or more beneficiary countries, as described in CBERA, as amended, or any combination thereof, is not less than an applicable percentage of the declared customs value of such apparel articles. Pursuant to CBERA, as amended, the applicable percentage for the period December 20, 2017 through December 19, 2018, is 60 percent.

    For every twelve-month period following the effective date of CBERA, as amended, duty-free treatment under the value-added provision is subject to a quantitative limitation. CBERA, as amended, provides that the quantitative limitation will be recalculated for each subsequent 12 month period. Section 213A (b)(1)(C) of CBERA, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2703a(b)(1)(C)), requires that, for the twelve-month period beginning on December 20, 2017, the quantitative limitation for qualifying apparel imported from Haiti under the value-added provision will be an amount equivalent to 1.25 percent of the aggregate square meter equivalent of all apparel articles imported into the United States in the most recent 12-month period for which data are available.

    The aggregate square meters equivalent of all apparel articles imported into the United States is derived from the set of Harmonized System lines listed in the Annex to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (“ATC”), and the conversion factors for units of measure into square meter equivalents used by the United States in implementing the ATC.

    For purposes of this notice, the most recent 12-month period for which data are available as of December 20, 2017 is the 12-month period ending on October 31, 2017.

    Therefore, for the one-year period beginning on December 20, 2017 and extending through December 19, 2018, the quantity of imports eligible for preferential treatment under the value-added provision is 361,603,399 square meters equivalent. Apparel articles entered in excess of these quantities will be subject to otherwise applicable tariffs.

    Dated: December 11, 2017. Terry Labat, Senior Advisor, performing the Non-Exclusive Duties of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27079 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-068] Forged Steel Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable December 15, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Smith at (202) 482-1766 or Jaron Moore at (202) 482-3640, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On October 25, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of forged steel fittings from the People's Republic of China.1 Currently, the preliminary determination is due no later than December 29, 2017.

    1See Forged Steel Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 82 FR 50623 (November 1, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    Postponement of Preliminary Determination

    Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires the Department to issue the preliminary determination in a CVD investigation within 65 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation. However, section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act permits the Department to postpone the preliminary determination until no later than 130 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation if the petitioners 2 make a timely request for a postponement. Under 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioners 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.

    2 The petitioners are the Bonney Forge Corporation and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW).

    On November 24, 2017, the petitioners submitted a timely request that the Department postpone the preliminary CVD determination.3 Noting the comments filed with respect to respondent selection and the scope of the investigation, the petitioners stated that a postponement is necessary due to the difficulty in determining which companies imported subject merchandise, and the possibility that the Department may find it necessary to select additional respondents or issue quantity and value questionnaires. Finally, the petitioners state that a postponement is necessary to allow them sufficient time to identify additional subsidy benefits not addressed in the Petition once the Department identifies the mandatory respondents.

    3See the petitioners' letter, “Re: Forged Steel Fittings from the People's Republic of China: Request to Postpone Preliminary Determination,” dated November 24, 2017.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioners stated the reasons for requesting a postponement of the preliminary determination, and the Department finds no compelling reason to deny the request. Therefore, in accordance with section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determination to no later than 130 days after the date on which this investigation was initiated, i.e., March 5, 2018.4 Pursuant to section 705(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.

    4 Postponing the preliminary determination to 130 days after initiation would place the deadline on Sunday, March 4, 2018. The Department's practice dictates that where a deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the appropriate deadline is the next business day. See Notice of Clarification: Application of “Next Business Day” Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: November 30, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the non-exclusive duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27081 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products and services to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products previously provided by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: January 14, 2018.

    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.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products and services listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products and services are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 13100—Baking Value Pack MR 13101—Muffin Pan, 6-Cup MR 13102—Cake Pan, Square, 8″ x 8″ MR 13103—Cake Pan, Round, 9″ MR 13104—Muffin Pan, 12-Cup MR 13105—Muffin Pan, Mini, 24-Cup MR 13106—Cookie Sheet, Large, 11″ x 17″ MR 13107—Loaf Pan, 9.3″ x 5.3″ MR 13108—Cookie Sheet, Medium, 10″ x 15″ MR 13109—Cookie Tool, Scoop N' Cut MR 13110—Cake Cutter, Slice N' Easy MR 13111—Cookie Spatula, Slip N' Serve MR 13112—Cookie Sheet, Small, 9″ x 13″ Mandatory for: The requirements of military commissaries and exchanges in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations 41 CFR 51-6.4. Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency Distribution: C-List Services Service Type: Grounds Maintenance Service Mandatory for: US Coast Guard Station Atlantic City, 900 Beach Thorofare, Atlantic City, NJ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc., New York, NY Contracting Activity: Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, TRACEN CAPE MAY (00042) Service Type: Custodial Service Mandatory for: US Customs and Border Protection, 6604 E. Rutter Ave., Hangar 32, Spokane, WA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Good Works, Inc., Spokane, WA Contracting Activity: Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Ctr Div. Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN—Product Name: 7510-01-600-8034—Dated 2017 12-Month 2-Sided Laminated Wall Planner, 24″ x 37″ Mandatory Source of Supply: Chicago Lighthouse Industries, Chicago, IL Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Philadelphia, PA NSN—Product Name: 3990-00-NSH-0078—Pallet, Treated Wood, 70″ x 42″ Mandatory Source of Supply: Willamette Valley Rehab Center, Inc., Lebanon, OR 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, LL 8415-01-542-8500—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 2, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, XL 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 8415-01-543-1605—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 8415-01-543-7042—Jacket, Loft, Extreme Cold Weather Level 7, Type 1, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, ML 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 8415-01-543-7022—Pants, Loft, Level 7, PCU, Army, Alpha Green, ML 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 8415-01-543-7044—PCU Level 7 Loft Vest Alpha Green ML Mandatory Source of Supply: Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries, Inc., Corbin, KY 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 Mandatory Source of Supply: ReadyOne Industries, Inc., El Paso, TX Contracting Activity: Army Contracting Command—Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division Amy B. Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27083 Filed 12-14-17; 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 product to the Procurement List that will be furnished by a nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Date added to and deleted from the Procurement List: January 14, 2018.

    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 11/3/2017 (82 FR, No. 212), 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 product and impact of the addition on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the product 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 furnish the product to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing a small entity to furnish the product 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 proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following product is added to the Procurement List:

    Product NSN—Product Name: 7195-00-NIB-2415—Back Rest, Ergonomic, Adjustable, Black, 17-1/4 x W x 5-1/2″ D x 16″H Mandatory Source of Supply: Chicago Lighthouse Industries, Chicago, IL Mandatory for: Total Government Requirement Contracting Activity: GSA/FSS Household and Industrial Furniture, Philadelphia, PA Distribution: A-List Deletions

    On 11/3/2017 (82 FR, No. 212), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the products 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 products 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 products deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8415-01-103-1349—Cover, Helmet, Desert Camouflage 8415-01-327-4824—Cover, Helmet, Parachutists, Army, Desert Camouflage, X Small/Small Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Chautauqua County Chapter, NYSARC, Jamestown, NY; Human Technologies Corporation, Utica, NY; Mount Rogers Community Services Board, Wytheville, VA; North Bay Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Rohnert Park, CA 8415-01-144-1860—Cover, Helmet, Snow Camouflage 8415-01-144-1861—Cover, Helmet, Navy, White Snow Camouflage, Medium/Large Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Human Technologies Corporation, Utica, NY; Mount Rogers Community Services Board, Wytheville, VA 8415-01-494-4591—Cover, Parachutists' and Ground Troops' Helmet, All Services, Snow Camouflage, XSS Mandatory Source of Supply: Mount Rogers Community Services Board, Wytheville, VA Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Amy B. Jensen, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27084 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Proposed Order and Request for Comment on Application for Exemption From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Regarding Investment of Customer Funds and From Certain Related Commission Regulations AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed order and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) is requesting comment on a proposed exemption issued in response to an application from ICE Clear Credit LLC, ICE Clear US, Inc., and ICE Clear Europe Limited (collectively, “the ICE DCOs” or “the Petitioners”) to grant an exemption to permit the investment of futures and swap customer funds in certain categories of euro-denominated sovereign debt. The ICE DCOs are also requesting exemptive relief to expand the universe of counterparties and depositories they may use in connection with these investments given the structure of the market for repurchase agreements in euro-denominated sovereign debt.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    CFTC website: http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Comments Online process on the website.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail, above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one of these methods.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the established procedures in Commission Regulation 145.9, 17 CFR 145.9.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of this action will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the FOIA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eileen A. Donovan, Deputy Director, (202) 418-5096, [email protected], Division of Clearing and Risk, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581; or Tad Polley, Associate Director, (312) 596-0551, [email protected], or Scott Sloan, Attorney-Advisor, (312) 596-0708, [email protected], Division of Clearing and Risk, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 525 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60661.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    By application dated June 22, 2017, the Petitioners, all registered derivatives clearing organizations (“DCOs”), requested an exemptive order under section 4(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA” or “Act”) permitting the ICE DCOs to invest futures and cleared swap customer funds in certain categories of euro-denominated sovereign debt.

    Section 4d of the Act 1 and Commission Regulation 1.25(a) 2 set out the permitted investments in which DCOs may invest customer funds.3 Section 4d limits investments of customer money to obligations of the United States (“U.S. Government Securities”), general obligations of any State or of any political subdivision thereof, and obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States.4 Regulation 1.25 expands the list of permitted investments but does not permit investment of customer funds in foreign sovereign debt.5

    1 7 U.S.C. 6d.

    2 17 CFR 1.25(a) (2017).

    3 Although Regulation 1.25 by its terms applies only to futures customer funds, Regulation 22.3(d) requires that a DCO investing cleared swap customer funds comply with the requirements of Regulation 1.25.

    4See 7 U.S.C. 6d(a)(2) (futures), (f)(4) (cleared swaps).

    5 Regulation 1.25 permits investment of customer funds in: (i) Obligations of the United States and obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States (U.S. government securities); (ii) General obligations of any State or of any political subdivision thereof (municipal securities); (iii) Obligations of any United States government corporation or enterprise sponsored by the United States government (U.S. agency obligations); (iv) Certificates of deposit issued by a bank (certificates of deposit) as defined in section 3(a)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or a domestic branch of a foreign bank that carries deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; (v) Commercial paper fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program as administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (commercial paper); (vi) Corporate notes or bonds fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program as administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (corporate notes or bonds); and (vii) Interests in money market mutual funds.

    Regulation 1.25 previously included foreign sovereign debt as a permitted investment for customer funds.6 In 2011, the Commission removed this option from Regulation 1.25, but also acknowledged that “the safety of sovereign debt issuances of one country may vary greatly from those of another,” and stated that it was amenable to considering requests for section 4(c) exemptions from this restriction.7 Specifically, the Commission stated that it would consider permitting foreign sovereign debt investments (1) to the extent that the petitioner has balances in segregated accounts owed to customers or clearing member futures commission merchants in that country's currency and (2) to the extent that the sovereign debt serves to preserve principal and maintain liquidity of customer funds as required for all other investments of customer funds under Regulation 1.25.8

    6See 17 CFR 1.25(a) (2005).

    7 Investment of Customer Funds and Funds Held in an Account for Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Transactions, 76 FR 78776, 78782 (Dec. 19, 2011).

    8Id.

    In connection with their proposal to invest customer funds in foreign sovereign debt, the ICE DCOs have also requested an exemption from Regulations 1.25(d)(2) and (7). Regulation 1.25(d)(2) limits the counterparties with which a DCO can enter into a repurchase agreement involving customer funds to a bank as defined in section 3(a)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, a domestic branch of a foreign bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a securities broker or dealer, or a government securities broker or government securities dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or which has filed notice pursuant to section 15C(a) of the Government Securities Act of 1986. Regulation 1.25(d)(7) requires a DCO to hold the securities transferred to the DCO under a repurchase agreement in a safekeeping account with a bank as referred to in Regulation 1.25(d)(2), a Federal Reserve Bank, a DCO, or the Depository Trust Company in an account that complies with the requirements of Regulation 1.26.

    II. The ICE DCOs' Petition

    The ICE DCOs specifically seek to invest euro-denominated customer funds in sovereign debt issued by the French Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany (“Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt”) through both direct investment and repurchase agreements.9 In the petition, the ICE DCOs argue that French and German sovereign debt is comparable to U.S. Government Securities in terms of creditworthiness, liquidity, and volatility. The Petitioners note that facing the credit risk of these financially stable sovereigns is preferable from a risk management perspective to holding euro at a commercial bank. In the case of investments through reverse repurchase agreements (as opposed to direct investments), the ICE DCOs still face a commercial counterparty but receive the additional benefit of receiving securities as collateral against that counterparty's credit risk. The ICE DCOs have also represented that in the event a securities custodian enters insolvency proceedings, they would have a claim to specific securities rather than a general claim against the assets of the custodian.

    9 A copy of the petition is available on the Commission's website at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@requestsandactions/documents/ifdocs/icedcos4cappl6-22-17.pdf.

    The Petitioners further request an exemption from Regulation 1.25(d)(2) that would permit them to enter into reverse repurchase agreements with certain foreign banks, certain regulated securities dealers, or the European Central Bank and the central banks of Germany and France.10 The ICE DCOs have represented that the principal participants in the European sovereign debt repurchase markets are non-U.S. banks, non-U.S. securities dealers, and foreign branches of U.S. banks. As a result, the counterparty requirements under Regulation 1.25(d)(2) would significantly constrain the use of euro-denominated sovereign debt repurchase agreements.

    10 The ICE DCOs have indicated they may not currently be able to enter into repurchase agreements with these central banks.

    The ICE DCOs also request an exemption from Regulation 1.25(d)(7) that would permit them to hold the securities purchased through reverse repurchase agreements in a safekeeping account with a non-U.S. bank. The ICE DCOs seek this exemption based on their representation that it is impractical and inefficient to hold such securities at a U.S. custodian. Rather than seeking an open-ended exemption from Regulation 1.25(d)(7), the ICE DCOs propose that they be permitted to only use a foreign bank that qualifies as a depository under the requirements of Regulation 1.49.

    III. Section 4(c) of the Act

    Section 4(c)(1) of the Act empowers the Commission to “promote responsible economic or financial innovation and fair competition” by exempting any transaction or class of transactions (including any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice or rendering other services with respect to, the agreement, contract, or transaction), from any of the provisions of the Act, subject to exceptions not relevant here.11 In enacting section 4(c), Congress noted that its goal “is to give the Commission a means of providing certainty and stability to existing and emerging markets so that financial innovation and market development can proceed in an effective and competitive manner”.12 The Commission may grant such an exemption by rule, regulation, or order, after notice and opportunity for hearing, and may do so on application of any person or on its own initiative.

    11 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(1).

    12 House Conf. Report No. 102-978, 1992 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3179, 3213.

    Section 4(c)(2) of the Act provides that the Commission may grant exemptions under section 4(c)(1) only when it determines that the requirements for which an exemption is being provided should not be applied to the agreements, contracts, or transactions at issue; that the exemption is consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the Act; that the agreements, contracts, or transactions will be entered into solely between appropriate persons; and that the exemption will not have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Commission or any contract market or derivatives transaction execution facility to discharge its regulatory or self-regulatory responsibilities under the Act.

    IV. Order A. Discussion of the Proposed Order

    The Commission is proposing to permit the ICE DCOs to invest futures and cleared swap customer funds in sovereign debt issued by the French Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, through either direct investment or repurchase agreements, pursuant to an exemption under section 4(c) of the Act. The Commission is proposing the order below, which includes certain conditions on the permitted investments, in response to the ICE DCOs' argument that permitting investment in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt furthers responsible risk management. Based on the analysis below, the Commission has preliminarily determined that the exemption provided in the proposed order meets the requirements of section 4(c)(2) of the Act, including in that it is consistent with the public interest and the purposes of the Act, and in that it will not have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Commission to discharge its regulatory responsibilities.

    Through their petition, the ICE DCOs have demonstrated that the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt has credit, liquidity, and volatility characteristics that are comparable to U.S. Government Securities, which are permitted investments under the Act and Regulation 1.25. For example, as evidence of the creditworthiness of France and Germany, the ICE DCOs provided data demonstrating that credit default swap spreads of France and Germany have historically been similar to those of the United States. To demonstrate the liquidity of the markets, the ICE DCOs point to, for example, the substantial amount of outstanding marketable French and German debt and the daily transaction value of the repo markets for their debt. And with respect to volatility, the ICE DCOs provided data on daily changes to sovereign debt yields demonstrating that the price stability of French and German debt is comparable to that of U.S. Government Securities. The ICE DCOs have thus argued that the Designated Sovereign Debt serves to preserve principle and maintain liquidity of customer funds as is required for investments permitted under Regulation 1.25. To ensure that permitted investments are limited to those with an appropriate risk profile, the proposed order limits investments in Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt to instruments of a shorter duration, as is discussed below.

    Further, the ICE DCOs have demonstrated that investing in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt poses less risk to customer funds than the current alternative of holding the funds at a commercial bank, arguing that exposure to high-quality sovereign debt is preferable to facing the credit risk of commercial banks through unsecured bank demand deposit accounts. And finally, the Commission does not believe that any of the section 4(c)(2) exceptions would prevent a grant of the requested exemption.

    The Commission is also proposing certain conditions to the exemption, including that the ICE DCOs may only use customer euro cash to invest in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt. This restriction was included in Regulation 1.25 13 when the rule permitted the investment of customer funds in foreign sovereign debt, and the Commission believes it is still an appropriate restriction on the amount that may be invested in these instruments.

    13See 17 CFR 1.25(b)(4)(D) (2005) (providing that sovereign debt is subject to the following limits: A futures commission merchant may invest in the sovereign debt of a country to the extent it has balances in segregated accounts owed to its customers denominated in that country's currency; a DCO may invest in the sovereign debt of a country to the extent it has balances in segregated accounts owed to its clearing member futures commission merchants denominated in that country's currency).

    The Commission is further proposing to permit the ICE DCOs to invest in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt only so long as the two-year credit default spread of the issuing sovereign is 45 basis points (“BPS”) or less. Because the Commission does not intend in this proposed order to expand the universe of permitted investments beyond instruments with a risk profile similar to those that are currently permitted, the Commission believes it is appropriate to use U.S. Government Securities as a benchmark to confine permitted investments in foreign sovereign debt. The Commission is proposing the cap of 45 BPS based on a historical analysis of the two-year credit default spread of the United States (“U.S. Spread”). Forty-five BPS is approximately two standard deviations above the mean U.S. Spread over the past eight years and represents a risk level that the U.S. Spread has exceeded approximately 5% of the time over that period.14

    14 The Commission reviewed the daily U.S. Spread from July 3, 2009 to July 3, 2017. Over this time period, the U.S. Spread had a mean of approximately 26.5 BPS and a standard deviation of approximately 9.72 BPS. Over this same period, the two-year German spread exceeded 45 BPS approximately 6% of the time, and the two-year French spread exceeded 45 BPS approximately 25% of the time. Neither the German nor the French two-year spread has exceeded 45 BPS since September 2012.

    Under the proposal, if the spread exceeds 45 BPS, the ICE DCOs would not be permitted to make new investments in the relevant debt. They would not, however, be required to immediately divest all current investments, due to risks associated with selling assets into a potentially volatile market. The Commission believes that prohibiting new investments, together with the length to maturity condition discussed immediately below, will sufficiently protect customer funds in the event that a country's Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt were to exceed the 45 BPS spread limit.

    The Commission is also proposing to limit the length to maturity of direct investments in Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt, to limit permitted investments to those with a lower risk profile. Specifically, the proposed order requires each of the ICE DCOs to ensure that the dollar-weighted average of the time-to-maturity of their portfolio of direct investments in each type of Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt does not exceed 60 days. This restriction is consistent with Securities and Exchange Commission requirements for money market mutual funds 15 and ensures that the ICE DCOs will not hold Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt investments on a long-term basis, and that the investments will mature relatively quickly, providing the ICE DCOs with access to euro cash. The Commission believes that the liquidity timing needs of money market mutual funds are an appropriate analogue to those of a DCO in this instance and that the 60-day time-to-maturity limit will further limit the risks of investments in Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt.

    15See 17 CFR 270.2a-7.

    To provide the ICE DCOs with the ability to invest customer funds in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt, the Commission is also proposing to exempt the ICE DCOs from the counterparty and depository requirements of Regulation 1.25(d)(2) and (7), subject to conditions. As a practical matter, complying with these requirements would severely restrict the ICE DCOs' ability to enter into repurchase agreements for Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt. As a result, the Commission proposes to exempt the ICE DCOs from the counterparty restrictions of Regulation 1.25(d)(2), subject to the condition that counterparties be limited to certain categories that are intended to limit the risk associated with reverse repurchase transactions. Similarly, the Commission is proposing to condition the ICE DCOs' exemption from Regulation 1.25(d)(7) on its use of depositories that qualify as permitted depositories under Regulation 1.49. This approach is designed to ensure that the counterparties and depositories used by the ICE DCOs will be regulated entities comparable to those currently permitted under Regulation 1.25(d)(2) and (7).

    B. Proposed Order

    The Commission proposes an exemptive order that includes the following substantive provisions:

    (1) The Commission, pursuant to its authority under section 4(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“Act”) and subject to the conditions below, hereby grants registered derivatives clearing organizations (“DCOs”) ICE Clear Credit LLC, ICE Clear US Inc., and ICE Clear Europe Limited (“ICE DCOs”) a limited exemption to section 4d of the Act and to Commission Regulation 1.25(a) to permit the ICE DCOs to invest euro-denominated futures and cleared swap customer funds in euro-denominated sovereign debt issued by the French Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany (“Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt”).

    (2) The Commission, subject to the conditions below, additionally grants:

    (a) A limited exemption to Commission Regulation 1.25(d)(2) to permit the ICE DCOs to use customer funds to enter into repurchase agreements with foreign banks and foreign securities brokers or dealers; and

    (b) A limited exemption to Commission Regulation 1.25(d)(7) to permit the ICE DCOs to hold securities purchased under a repurchase agreement in a safekeeping account at a foreign bank.

    (3) This order is subject to the following conditions:

    (a) Investments of customer funds in Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt by each ICE DCO must be limited to investments made with euro customer cash.

    (b) The ICE DCOs may only invest customer funds in Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt if the two-year credit default spread of the issuing sovereign is 45 basis points or less.

    (c) The dollar-weighted average of the time-to-maturity of each ICE DCO's portfolio of direct investments in each sovereign's Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt may not exceed 60 days. Direct investment refers to purchases of Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt unaccompanied by a contemporaneous agreement to resell the securities.

    (d) The ICE DCOs may use customer funds to enter into repurchase agreements for Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt with a counterparty that does not meet the requirements of Commission Regulation 1.25(d)(2) only if the counterparty is:

    (i) A foreign bank that qualifies as a permitted depository under Commission Regulation 1.49(d)(3) and that is located in a money center country (as defined in Commission Regulation 1.49(a)(1)) or in another jurisdiction that has adopted the euro as its currency;

    (ii) A securities dealer located in a money center country as defined in Commission Regulation 1.49(a)(1) that is regulated by a national financial regulator such as the UK Prudential Regulation Authority or Financial Conduct Authority, the German Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), the French Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF) or Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), or the Italian Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB); or

    (iii) The European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, or the Banque de France.

    (e) The ICE DCOs may hold customer securities purchased under a repurchase agreement with a depository that does not meet the requirements of Commission Regulation 1.25(d)(7) only if the depository meets the location and qualification requirements contained in Commission Regulation 1.49(c) and (d) and if the account complies with the requirements of Commission Regulation 1.26.

    (4) The ICE DCOs must continue to comply with all other requirements in Commission Regulation 1.25, including but not limited to the counterparty concentration limits in Commission Regulation 1.25(b)(3)(v), and other applicable Commission regulations.

    V. Request for Comment

    The Commission requests comment on all aspects of Petitioners' exemption request, including the specific provisions and issues highlighted in the discussion above and the issues presented in this section. For each comment submitted, please provide a detailed rationale supporting the response.

    The purposes of the CEA include “promot[ing] responsible innovation and fair competition among boards of trade, other markets, and market participants”.16 It may be consistent with these and the other purposes of the CEA, and with the public interest, to grant the exemption requested by the Petitioners. Accordingly, the Commission is requesting comment as to whether an exemption from the requirements of the CEA should be granted in this context. The Commission also is requesting comment as to whether this exemption would affect its ability to discharge its regulatory responsibilities under the CEA.

    16 Section 3(b) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. 5(b). See also Section 4(c)(1) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. 6(c)(1) (purpose of exemptions is “to promote responsible economic or financial innovation and fair competition”).

    VI. Related Matters A. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) imposes certain requirements on federal agencies (including the Commission) in connection with their conducting or sponsoring any collection of information as defined by the PRA. This exemptive order does not involve a collection of information. Accordingly, the PRA does not apply.

    B. Cost-Benefit Analysis

    Section 15(a) of the CEA requires the Commission to consider the costs and benefits of its action before issuing an order under the CEA. By its terms, section 15(a) does not require the Commission to quantify the costs and benefits of an order or to determine whether the benefits of the order outweigh its costs. Rather, section 15(a) simply requires the Commission to “consider the costs and benefits” of its action.

    1. Baseline for the Proposal

    The Commission's proposed baseline for consideration of the costs and benefits of the proposed exemptive order are the costs and benefits that the ICE DCOs and the public would face if the Commission does not grant the order, or in other words, the status quo. In that scenario, the ICE DCOs would be limited to investing customer funds in the instruments listed in Regulation 1.25.

    2. Costs and Benefits

    The costs and benefits of the proposed order are not presently susceptible to meaningful quantification. Therefore, the Commission discusses proposed costs and benefits in qualitative terms.

    The Commission does not believe granting the exemption would impose additional costs on the ICE DCOs. The proposed order would permit but not require the Petitioners to invest customer funds in Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt. The ICE DCOs may therefore choose whether to accept any costs and benefits of an investment. The Commission also does not expect the proposed order to impose additional costs on other market participants or the public, which do not face any direct costs from the proposed order. While other market participants or the public could potentially face costs from riskier investment activity leading to financial instability at an ICE DCO, the flexibility to hold customer funds in Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt rather than in euro cash at a commercial bank provides risk management benefits as described above.

    The Commission believes that the ICE DCOs would benefit from the proposed order. The exemption would provide the ICE DCOs additional flexibility in how they manage and hold customer funds and would allow them to improve the risk management of their customer accounts. Further, as described above, it is safer from a risk management perspective to hold Foreign Sovereign Debt in a safekeeping account than to hold euro cash at a commercial bank. Therefore, market participants and the public may also benefit from the proposed exemption.

    3. Section 15(a) Factors

    Section 15(a) of the CEA further specifies that costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of five broad areas of market and public concern: Protection of market participants and the public; efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; price discovery; sound risk management practices; and other public interest considerations. The Commission could in its discretion give greater weight to any one of the five enumerated areas and could in its discretion determine that, notwithstanding its costs, a particular order was necessary or appropriate to protect the public interest or to effectuate any of the provisions or to accomplish any of the purposes of the CEA. The Commission is considering the costs and benefits of this exemptive order in light of the specific provisions of section 15(a) of the CEA, as follows:

    1. Protection of market participants and the public. As described above, investing in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt as requested by the Petitioners can provide risk management benefits relative to the current alternative of holding euro collateral in a commercial bank. Granting the exemption thus serves to protect market participants and the public.

    2. Efficiency, competition, and financial integrity. Granting the exemption may increase efficiency by providing the Petitioners additional flexibility in how they manage customer funds. Making the investments permitted by the proposed order is elective, within the discretion of the ICE DCOs, and thus does not impose additional costs. Further, as discussed above, the ICE DCOs plan to exercise prudent risk management by investing in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt, which may enhance the financial integrity of the ICE DCOs.

    3. Price discovery. The exemption is unlikely to impact price discovery.

    4. Sound risk management practices. As described above, the ICE DCOs' plan to invest customer funds in the Designated Foreign Sovereign Debt is intended to advance sound risk management practices.

    5. Other public interest considerations. The Commission believes that the relevant cost-benefit considerations are captured in the four factors above.

    The Commission invites public comment on its application of the cost-benefit provisions of section 15.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2017, by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Appendix to Proposed Order and Request for Comment on Application for Exemption From Certain Provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act Regarding Investment of Customer Funds and From Certain Related Commission Regulations—Commission Voting Summary

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

    [FR Doc. 2017-27060 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application Package for Social Innovation Fund Performance Progress Report; Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) entitled Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Performance Progress Report (PPR) which consists of the SIF Narrative Progress Report and SIF Data Supplement for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, by January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: 202-395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; or

    (2) By email to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Katy Hussey-Sloniker, at 202-606-6796 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments

    A 60-day Notice requesting public comment was published in the Federal Register on September 22, 2017 at FR Vol. 82, No. 183, page 44393. This comment period ended November 21, 2017. No public comments were received from this Notice.

    Description: The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Performance Progress Report (PPR) consists of the SIF Narrative Progress Report and SIF Data Supplement. The PPR is customized for SIF Classic grantees, SIF Pay for Success grantees, and SIF Pay for Success Administrative Data Pilot grantees. Instructions for all three versions of the PPR reporting requirements are included in this information collection request. CNCS seeks to renew the current information collection. The information collection will otherwise be used in the same manner as the existing application. CNCS also seeks to continue using the current application until the revised application is approved by OMB. The current application is due to expire on February 28, 2018.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: Social Innovation Fund Performance Progress Report.

    OMB Number: 3045-0168.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: Businesses or Organizations.

    Total Respondents: 47.

    Frequency: 2 times annually.

    Average Time per Response: 10 hrs.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 940 hrs.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: December 6, 2017. Chester Spellman, Director, AmeriCorps State & National.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27028 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Guidance for Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Pilot and Test Data AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

    ACTION:

    Guidance for CNCS Notices, with request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    CNCS is submitting the below information for future CNCS Federal Register Notices in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, OMB is coordinating the development of the following proposed Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Pilot and Test Data” for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. This notice announces that CNCS intends to submit collections to OMB for approval and solicit comments on specific aspects for the proposed information collection.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for CNCS, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: 202-395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for CNCS; and

    (2) Electronically by email to: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information, please contact Amy Borgstrom, Associate Director of Policy, at 202-606-6930 or email to [email protected]. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Pilot and Test Data.

    Abstract: This is a new information collection. The information collection activity will enable pilot testing of survey instruments in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By pilot testing we mean information that provides useful insights on how respondents interact with the instrument, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations regarding prospective studies. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of research program management.

    The Agency will only submit a collection for approval under this generic clearance if it meets the following conditions:

    • The collections are voluntary;

    • The collections are low-burden for respondents (based on considerations of total burden hours, total number of respondents, or burden-hours per respondent) and are low-cost for both the respondents and the Federal Government;

    • The collections are non-controversial and do not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies;

    • Any collection is targeted to the solicitation of opinions from respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the near future;

    • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected only to the extent necessary and is not retained;

    • Information gathered will be used only internally for general service improvement and program management purposes and is not intended for release outside of the agency;

    • Information gathered will not be used for the purpose of substantially informing influential policy decisions; and

    • Information gathered will yield qualitative information; the collections will not be designed or expected to yield statistically reliable results or used as though the results are generalizable to the population of study.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance provides useful information, but it does not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address the target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior to fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

    As a general matter, information collections will not result in any new system of records containing privacy information and will not ask questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, and other matters that are commonly considered private.

    No comments were received in response to the 60-day notice published in the Federal Register of March 5, 2014 (79 FR 12495).

    Current Actions: New collection of information.

    Type of Review: New Collection.

    Affected Public: Individuals and Households, Businesses and Organizations, State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: 10.

    Respondents: 350.

    Annual responses: 350.

    Frequency of Response: Once per request.

    Average minutes per response: 30.

    Burden hours: 10,500.

    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 Office of Management and Budget Control Number.

    Dated: December 11, 2017. Mary Hyde, Director, Research and Evaluation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27027 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2017-HA-0065] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    60-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's 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 through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by February 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Advisory Committee Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please contact Defense Health Agency, TRICARE Health Plan (J-10), ATTN: Mark Ellis, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, VA 22042, or call the TRICARE Health Plan, 703-681-0039.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: TRICARE Select Enrollment, Disenrollment, and Change Form, DD Form 3043, OMB Control Number 0720-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain each non-active duty TRICARE beneficiary's personal information needed to: (1) Complete his/her enrollment into the TRICARE Select health plan option, (2) dis-enroll a beneficiary, or (3) change a beneficiary's enrollment information (e.g., address, add a dependent, report other health insurance). This information is required to ensure the beneficiary's TRICARE benefits and claims are administered based on their TRICARE plan of choice. Without this new enrollment form, each non-active duty TRICARE beneficiary is automatically defaulted into direct care, limiting their health care options to military hospitals and clinics. These beneficiaries would have no TRICARE coverage when using the TRICARE network of providers for services not available at their local military hospital or clinic.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 24,825.

    Number of Respondents: 99,300.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 99,300.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents could be any non-active duty TRICARE beneficiary who is not eligible for Medicare. These beneficiaries have the option of enrolling into either the TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select plan option starting January 1, 2018. Those choosing to enroll in TRICARE Select can do so by submitting the DD Form 3043, using the BWE portal, or calling their Regional Contractor. If they choose to use the DD Form 3043, they must complete the appropriate page(s) of the form and mail the form to their Regional Contractor. No other form is required to enroll, dis-enroll, or change an enrollment. Respondents can download the form from the DoD Forms Management Program website, or click on the link to the form on the TRICARE.mil website or their Regional Contractor's website, or obtain a copy from their local military hospital or clinic. The mailing address and toll-free customer service number for their Regional Contractor are included on the DD Form 3043. If using either website option, the respondent can type in the information on the form prior to printing it or handwrite the information after printing the blank form.

    Dated: December 12, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27113 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Study of the ESEA Title VI Indian Education LEA Grants Program; ED-2017-ICCD-0083; Correction AGENCY:

    Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Correction Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is to request correction on the Federal Register Notice (Docket ID Number ED-2017-ICCD-0083; FR DOC# 2017-26723), published on December 12, 2017, and entitled “Evaluation of the ESEA Title VI Indian Education LEA Grants Program”. The title and abstract were incorrect. The correct title is “Study of the ESEA Title VI Indian Education LEA Grants Program”. The abstract is corrected as follows:

    This data collection supports a national study of the implementation of the Title VI Indian Education Grants to Local Educational Agencies program. It will provide descriptive information on the nature of program-funded services. It will also examine how grantees align and leverage Title VI-funded services with those funded by other federal, state, and local sources; how they identify American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students who are eligible for these services; how they establish and implement program priorities with parent, community, and tribal involvement; and how they measure progress toward their Title VI project objectives. This information will inform the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Indian Education (OIE), other federal policy, budget and program staff, and grantees about the implementation of current practices. To gather consistent information that addresses how Title VI grantees are identifying eligible children and planning and implementing services for them, it is necessary to collect additional information beyond current federal data collections (e.g., Annual Performance Reports and EASIE Budget Reports provided by the OIE).

    The Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management, hereby issues a correction notice as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Dated: December 12, 2017. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27032 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee; Notice of Renewal AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act and Code of Federal Regulations, and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee's (BERAC) charter has been renewed for a two-year period.

    The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Director, Office of Science on the biological and environmental research programs.

    Additionally, the Secretary of Energy has determined that renewal of the BERAC has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy's mission and to be in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy by law and agreement. The Committee will operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91), and rules and regulations issued in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Tristram West at (301) 903-5155.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 11, 2017. Shena Kennerly, Acting Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27074 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee; Notice of Renewal AGENCY:

    Office of Nuclear Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and in accordance with Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 102-3.65(a), and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee (NEAC) will be renewed for a two-year period beginning on December 11, 2017.

    The Committee will provide advice to the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy on complex science and technical issues that arise in the planning, managing, and implementation of DOE's nuclear energy program.

    Additionally, the renewal of the NEAC has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and to be the in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy, by law and agreement. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, adhering to the rules and regulations in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Rova, Designated Federal Officer at (301) 903-9096.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on December 11, 2017. Shena Kennerly, Acting Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27076 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind Industry Partnership Summit AGENCY:

    Wind Energy Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of the Wind Industry Partnership Summit.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) intends to hold a Wind Industry Partnership Summit (“Summit”) in Washington, DC, on January 24-25, 2018. WETO invests in energy science research and development (R&D) activities that enable innovation, advance U.S. wind systems, reduce the cost of electricity, and accelerate the deployment of wind power. In an effort to ensure that DOE's research and development priorities continue to benefit the wind energy industry, WETO is hosting this summit to share innovative technologies that may be beneficial to your firm and engage industry leaders in a dialogue about the future of public research and development laboratory R&D investments.

    DATES:

    DOE will host the Summit from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, and 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Summit will be held at Kimpton Hotel Palomar, 2121 P St. NW, Washington, DC 20045.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexsandra Lemke, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20585. Telephone: (720)-648-4381. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Wind Industry Partnership Summit will engage wind energy experts and industries to articulate wind power industry R&D needs, discuss capabilities of DOE National Laboratories, and provide guidance on how to engage DOE National Laboratories. This information will be summarized in a summary report capable of providing the wind energy industry and DOE with clarity on how the capabilities of its National Laboratories and other DOE Wind Program resources align with the perceived and prioritized R&D needs of the industry.

    In November of 2015, the Executive Summit on Wind Research and Development was held in conjunction with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Fall Symposium to identify and discuss priorities for industry-DOE Wind Program collaboration. This event will build on the successful 2015 Wind Industry Summit but provide a more focused agenda around particular technology areas as well as provide a setting for development of plans for wind power industry partnerships with DOE.

    This Summit will focus on the intersection of wind power industry R&D and technology development needs with the capabilities of DOE National Laboratories and other participants in R&D initiated by the DOE Wind Program. The Wind Vision1 includes a roadmap outlining potential actions, in a non-prescriptive manner, for consideration by all wind power stakeholders. In the spring of 2017, a survey was developed around the Wind Vision to solicit input from industry, including developers, manufacturers, utilities, owner/operators, service providers, and consultants, among others, on the technology development needs of greatest importance to industry and where DOE support was deemed valuable. Informed by the Wind Vision roadmap and subsequent survey, summit sessions will address three categories of R&D activities: (1) Turbine Technology Innovation and Extreme-Scale Turbines, (2) The SMART Wind Plant, and (3) Grid-enhancing Wind Power Plants.

    1https://energy.gov/eere/wind/wind-vision.

    Public Participation

    Although this meeting is primarily intended to be an information sharing event with design, consulting, assessment and operations professionals with experience in addressing the short and long-term challenges of wind energy development and operations, the event is open to the public based upon space availability. DOE anticipates that wind power professionals will share insights on the technological and science gaps that limit the growth of wind power capacity and generation and impede the enhancement of wind power technology and operations for greater value to the nation. As seating is limited, please RSVP to Alexsandra Lemke by January 3rd, 2018. DOE will also accept public comments as described above for purposes of better understanding the wind power industry and challenges associated with increased deployment. These comments may be submitted at [email protected]

    Participants should limit information and comments to those based on personal experience, individual advice, information, or facts regarding this topic. It is not the object of this session to obtain any group position or consensus from the meeting participants.

    Information on Services for Individuals With Disabilities

    Individuals requiring special accommodations at the meeting should contact [email protected]

    Following the meeting, a summary will be compiled by DOE; and a public summary of the 2017 survey results will also be distributed, the summary will be posted at wind.energy.gov.

    Issued on December 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. Valerie Reed, Acting Director, Wind Energy Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27069 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [EERE-2013-BT-NOC-0005] Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act, requires that agencies publish notice of an advisory committee meeting in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    DOE will hold a public meeting on January 10, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Washington, DC. The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. Please see the Public Participation section of this notice for additional information on attending the public meeting, including webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cymbalsky, ASRAC Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121, (202) 287-1692, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The primary focus of this meeting will be the discussion and prioritization of topic areas that ASRAC can assist the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program with. DOE plans to hold this public meeting to gather advice and recommendations to the Energy Department on the development of standards and test procedures for residential appliances and commercial equipment. (The final agenda will be available for public viewing at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EERE-2013-BT-NOC-0005.)

    Public Participation Attendance at Public Meeting

    The time, date and location of the public meeting are listed in the DATES and ADDRESSES sections of this document. If you plan to attend the public meeting, please notify the ASRAC staff at [email protected]

    Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Regina Washington at (202) 586-1214 or by email: [email protected] so that the necessary procedures can be completed.

    DOE requires visitors to have laptops and other devices, such as tablets, checked upon entry into the building. Any person wishing to bring these devices into the Forrestal Building will be required to obtain a property pass. Visitors should avoid bringing these devices, or allow an extra 45 minutes to check in. Please report to the visitor's desk to have devices checked before proceeding through security.

    Due to the REAL ID Act implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there have been recent changes regarding ID requirements for individuals wishing to enter Federal buildings from specific States and U.S. territories. DHS maintains an updated website identifying the State and territory driver's licenses that currently are acceptable for entry into DOE facilities at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief. A driver's license from a State or territory identified as not compliant by DHS will not be accepted for building entry and one of the alternate forms of ID listed below will be required. Acceptable alternate forms of Photo-ID include U.S. Passport or Passport Card; an Enhanced Driver's License or Enhanced ID-Card issued by States and territories as identified on the DHS website (Enhanced licenses issued by these States and territories are clearly marked Enhanced or Enhanced Driver's License); a military ID or other Federal government-issued Photo-ID card.

    In addition, you can attend the public meeting via webinar. Webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE's website: https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/public-meetings-and-comment-deadlines. Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software.

    Procedure for Submitting Prepared General Statements for Distribution

    Any person who has plans to present a prepared general statement may request that copies of his or her statement be made available at the public meeting. Such persons may submit requests, along with an advance electronic copy of their statement in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format, to the appropriate address shown in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. The request and advance copy of statements must be received at least one week before the public meeting and may be emailed, hand-delivered, or sent by mail. DOE prefers to receive requests and advance copies via email. Please include a telephone number to enable DOE staff to make a follow-up contact, if needed.

    Conduct of Public Meeting

    ASRAC's Designated Federal Officer will preside at the public meeting and may also use a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary-type public hearing, but DOE will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6306). A court reporter will be present to record the proceedings and prepare a transcript. DOE reserves the right to schedule the order of presentations and to establish the procedures governing the conduct of the public meeting.

    The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference style. DOE will present summaries of comments received before the public meeting, allow time for prepared general statements by participants, and encourage all interested parties to share their views. Each participant will be allowed to make a general statement (within time limits determined by DOE), before the discussion of specific topics. DOE will permit, as time permits, other participants to comment briefly on any general statements.

    At the end of all prepared statements on a topic, DOE will permit participants to clarify their statements briefly and comment on statements made by others. Participants should be prepared to answer questions by DOE and by other participants concerning these issues. DOE representatives may also ask questions of participants concerning other relevant matters. The official conducting the public meeting will accept additional comments or questions from those attending, as time permits. The presiding official will announce any further procedural rules or modification of the above procedures that may be needed for the proper conduct of the public meeting.

    A transcript of the public meeting will be included on DOE's website: https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/appliance-standards-and-rulemaking-federal-advisory-committee. In addition, any person may buy a copy of the transcript from the transcribing reporter.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 5, 2017. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27072 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0794; 9970-53] Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of abamectin, buprofezin, chlorpropham, emamectin benzoate, fludioxonil, fluopicolide, fluridone, methiocarb, norflurazon, oryzalin, PBO (piperonyl buotoxide), pyriproxyfen, and quinoxyfen. This notice also announces the availability of EPA's draft human health risk assessments for the registration review of 2,4-D, bifenthrin, and cyfluthrins.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before February 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, to the docket identification (ID) number for the specific pesticide of interest provided in the Table in Unit IV, 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:

    For pesticide specific information contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the Table in Unit IV.

    For general questions on the registration review program, contact: Dana Friedman, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8015; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager identified in the Table in Unit IV.

    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. Background

    Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. As part of the registration review process, the Agency has completed comprehensive draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for all pesticides listed in the Table in Unit IV. After reviewing comments received during the public comment period, EPA may issue a revised risk assessment, explain any changes to the draft risk assessment, and respond to comments and may request public input on risk mitigation before completing a proposed registration review decision for the pesticides listed in the Table in Unit IV. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    III. Authority

    EPA is conducting its registration review of the chemicals listed in the Table in Unit IV pursuant to section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Procedural Regulations for Registration Review at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. Section 3(g) of FIFRA provides, among other things, that the registrations of pesticides are to be reviewed every 15 years. Under FIFRA, a pesticide product may be registered or remain registered only if it meets the statutory standard for registration given in FIFRA section 3(c)(5) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(5)). When used in accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, the pesticide product must perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on the environment; that is, without any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, or a human dietary risk from residues that result from the use of a pesticide in or on food.

    IV. Registration Reviews

    As directed by FIFRA section 3(g), EPA is reviewing the pesticide registration for the pesticides listed in the Table to ensure that it continues to satisfy the FIFRA standard for registration—that is, that these chemicals can still be used without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment.

    Table—Draft Risk Assessments Being Made Available for Public Comment Registration review case name and No. Docket ID No. Chemical review manager and contact information 2,4-D, Case 0073 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0330 Christian Bongard, [email protected], (703) 347-0337. Abamectin, Case 7430 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0360 Julie Javier, [email protected], (703) 347-0790. Bifenthrin, Case 7402 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0384 Jordan Page, [email protected], (703) 347-0467. Buprofezin, Case 7462 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0373 Patricia Biggio, [email protected], (703) 347-0547. Chlorpropham, Case 0271 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0923 Marianne Mannix, [email protected], (703) 347-0275. Cyfluthrins, Case 7405 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0684 Garland Waleko, [email protected], (703) 308-8049. Emamectin Benzoate, Case 7607 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0483 Susan Bartow, [email protected], (703) 603-0065. Fludioxonil, Case 7017 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1067 Patricia Biggio, [email protected], (703) 347-0547. Fluopicolide, Case 7055 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0037 Thomas Harty, [email protected], (703) 347-0338. Fluridone, Case 7200 EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0160 Leigh Rimmer, [email protected], 703-347-0553. Methiocarb, Case 0577 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0278 Veronica Dutch, [email protected], 703-308-8585. Norflurazon, Case 0229 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0565 Moana Appleyard, [email protected], (703) 308-8175. Oryzalin, Case 0186 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0940 Christina Scheltema, [email protected], (703) 308-2201. PBO (piperonyl butoxide), Case 2525 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0498 Mark Baldwin, [email protected], (703) 308-0504. Pyriproxyfen, Case 7424 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0677 Caitlin Newcamp, [email protected], (703) 347-0325. Quinoxyfen, Case 7037 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0771 Katherine St. Clair, [email protected], (703) 347-8778.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.53(c), EPA is providing an opportunity, through this notice of availability, for interested parties to provide comments and input concerning the Agency's draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for the pesticides listed in the Table in Unit IV. For abamectin and emamectin benzoate, EPA is issuing a revised cumulative screening risk assessment in addition to chemical-specific ecological and human health risk assessments. For the pyrethroids bifenthrin and cyfluthrins, the ecological assessment for all of the pyrethroids was previously published for comment in the Federal Register in November 29, 2016 (81 FR 85952; FRL-9953-53); EPA is now publishing the single chemical human health risk assessments for bifenthrin and cyfluthrins. For 2,4-D, the ecological assessment was previously published for comment in the Federal Register in May 25, 2017 (82 FR 24117; FRL-9957-98); EPA is now publishing the human health risk assessment for 2,4-D. The Agency will consider all comments received during the public comment period and make changes, as appropriate, to a draft human health and/or ecological risk assessment. EPA may then issue a revised risk assessment, explain any changes to the draft risk assessment, and respond to comments.

    Information submission requirements. Anyone may submit data or information in response to this document. To be considered during a pesticide's registration review, the submitted data or information must meet the following requirements:

    • To ensure that EPA will consider data or information submitted, interested persons must submit the data or information during the comment period. The Agency may, at its discretion, consider data or information submitted at a later date.

    • The data or information submitted must be presented in a legible and useable form. For example, an English translation must accompany any material that is not in English and a written transcript must accompany any information submitted as an audiographic or videographic record. Written material may be submitted in paper or electronic form.

    • Submitters must clearly identify the source of any submitted data or information.

    • Submitters may request the Agency to reconsider data or information that the Agency rejected in a previous review. However, submitters must explain why they believe the Agency should reconsider the data or information in the pesticide's registration review.

    As provided in 40 CFR 155.58, the registration review docket for each pesticide case will remain publicly accessible through the duration of the registration review process; that is, until all actions required in the final decision on the registration review case have been completed.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Yu-Ting Guilaran, Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27098 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9036-6] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www2.epa.gov/nepa.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements Filed 12/04/2017 Through 12/08/2017 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9 Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-nepa-public/action/eia/search.

    EIS No. 20170238, Draft, FERC, CA, Lassen Lodge Hydroelectric Project, Comment Period Ends: 02/02/2018, Contact: Kenneth Hogan 202-502-8434. EIS No. 20170239, Final Supplement, BOEM, LA, Gulf of Mexico OCS Lease Sale Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 2018, Review Period Ends:01/15/2018, Contact: Mr. Greg Koslowski 504-736-2512. EIS No. 20170240, Final, ARS, USFS, WY, Final Environmental Impact Statement—Use of Domestic Sheep, Goats, and Pack Goats, Review Period Ends: 02/13/2018, Contact: Casey McQuiston 307-578-5134. Amended Notices EIS No. 20170218, Draft, NMFS, WA, 10 Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery Programs in the Duwamish-Green River Basin, Contact: Steve Leider 360-753-4650, Revision to FR Notice Published 11/03/2017; Extending Comment Period from 12/20/2017 to 01/19/2018. Dated: December 12, 2017. Kelly Knight Director, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27090 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0069; FRL-9969-98] Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's order for the cancellations, voluntarily requested by the registrants and accepted by the Agency, of the products listed in Table 1 of Unit II, pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

    This cancellation order follows an April 10, 2017 Federal Register Notice of Receipt of Requests from the registrants listed in Table 2 of Unit II to voluntarily cancel these product registrations. In the April 10, 2017 notice, EPA indicated that it would issue an order implementing the cancellations, unless the Agency received substantive comments within the 180-day comment period that would merit its further review of these requests, or unless the registrants withdrew their requests. The Agency did not receive any comments on the notice. Accordingly, EPA hereby issues in this notice a cancellation order granting the requested cancellations. Any distribution, sale, or use of the products subject to this cancellation order is permitted only in accordance with the terms of this order, including any existing stocks provisions.

    DATES:

    The cancellations are effective December 15, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Green, Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0367; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0069, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    This notice announces the cancellations, as requested by registrants, of products registered under FIFRA section 3 (7 U.S.C. 136a). These registrations are listed in sequence by registration number in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Product Cancellations Registration No. Company No. Product name Active ingredient 42750-78 42750 Picloram Acid Technical Picloram. 42750-183 42750 Picloram Acid Technical Picloram. 66171-1 66171 Advantage 256 2-Benzyl-4-chlorophenol; 4-tert-Amylphenol; & o-Phenylphenol (NO INERT USE). 66171-2 66171 Advantage 128 2-Benzyl-4-chlorophenol; 4-tert-Amylphenol; & o-Phenylphenol (NO INERT USE). OR-990007 62719 Kerb 50W Herbicide in WSP Propyzamide. WA-060002 62719 Kerb 50-W Propyzamide. WA-960004 279 Fyfanon ULV AG Malathion (NO INERT USE).

    Table 2 of this unit includes the names and addresses of record for all registrants of the products in Table 1 of this unit, in sequence by EPA company number. This number corresponds to the first part of the EPA registration numbers of the products listed in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 2—Registrants of Cancelled Products EPA company No. Company name and address 279 FMC Corporation, 2929 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. 42750 Albaugh, LLC, P.O. Box 2127, Valdosta, GA 31604-2127. 62719 Dow AgroSciences, LLC, 9330 Zionsville Rd., 308/2E, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1054. 66171 Preserve International, 944 Nandino Blvd., Lexington, KY 40511. III. Summary of Public Comments Received and Agency Response to Comments

    During the public comment period provided, EPA received no comments in response to the Federal Register notice of April 10, 2017 (82 FR 17258) (FRL-9959-67) announcing the Agency's receipt of the requests for voluntary cancellations of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II.

    IV. Cancellation Order

    Pursuant to FIFRA section 6(f)(7 U.S.C. 136d(f)), EPA hereby approves the requested cancellations of the registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit II. Accordingly, the Agency hereby orders that the product registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit II are canceled. The effective date of the cancellations that are the subject of this notice is December 15, 2017. Any distribution, sale, or use of existing stocks of the products identified in Table 1 of Unit II in a manner inconsistent with any of the provisions for disposition of existing stocks set forth in Unit VI will be a violation of FIFRA.

    V. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)(1)) provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may at any time request that any of its pesticide registrations be canceled or amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any such request in the Federal Register. Thereafter, following the public comment period, the EPA Administrator may approve such a request. The notice of receipt for this action was published for comment in the Federal Register of April 10, 2017. The comment period closed on October 10, 2017.

    VI. Provisions for Disposition of Existing Stocks

    Existing stocks are those stocks of registered pesticide products which are currently in the United States and which were packaged, labeled, and released for shipment prior to the effective date of the cancellation action. The existing stocks provisions for the products subject to this order are as follows.

    The registrants may continue to sell and distribute existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II until December 17, 2018, which is 1 year after the publication of the Cancellation Order in the Federal Register. Thereafter, the registrants are prohibited from selling or distributing products listed in Table 1, except for export in accordance with FIFRA section 17 (7 U.S.C. 1360), or proper disposal. Persons other than the registrants may sell, distribute, or use existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II until existing stocks are exhausted, provided that such sale, distribution, or use is consistent with the terms of the previously approved labeling on, or that accompanied, the canceled products.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: November 14, 2017. Hamaad A. Syed, Acting Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27093 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0729; FRL-9970-52] Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review decisions and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions for the following pesticides: Cloransulam-methyl, cymoxanil, cyprodinil, diethylene glycol monomethyl ether (DGME), dimethomorph, fomesafen, kresoxim-methyl, metalaxyl & mefenoxam, and the mineral acids. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before February 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the docket identification (ID) number for the specific pesticide of interest provided in the table in Unit II, 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:

    For pesticide specific information, contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Dana Friedman, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-8827; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    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 on 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. What action is the Agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58, this notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review decisions for the pesticides shown in the following table, and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions. For cloransulam-methyl, this notice also opens a comment period on the draft human health and ecological risk assessments.

    Table—Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions Being Issued Registration review case name and No. Docket ID No. Chemical review manager and contact information Cloransulam-methyl, Case 7243 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0855 Patricia Biggio, [email protected], 703-347-0547. Cymoxanil, Case 7023 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0148 Moana Appleyard, [email protected], 703-308-8175. Cyprodinil, Case 7025 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-1008 Cathryn Britton, [email protected], 703-308-0136. Diethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether (DGME), Case 5010 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0694 Stephen Savage, [email protected], 703-347-0345. Dimethomorph, Case 7021 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0045 Linsey Walsh, [email protected], 703-347-8030. Fomesafen, Case 7211 EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0239 Leigh Rimmer, [email protected], 703-347-0553. Kresoxim-methyl, Case 7026 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0861 Bilin Basu, [email protected], 703-347-0455. Metalaxyl and Mefenoxam, Case 0081 EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0863 Leigh Rimmer, [email protected], 703-347-0553. Mineral Acids, Case 4064 EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0766 Rachel Ricciardi, [email protected], 703-347-0465. Cathryn Britton, [email protected], 703-308-0136.

    The registration review docket for a pesticide includes earlier documents related to the registration review case. For example, the review opened with a Preliminary Work Plan, for public comment. A Final Work Plan was placed in the docket following public comment on the Preliminary Work Plan.

    The documents in the dockets describe EPA's rationales for conducting additional risk assessments for the registration review of the pesticides included in the table in Unit II, as well as the Agency's subsequent risk findings and consideration of possible risk mitigation measures. These proposed interim registration review decisions are supported by the rationales included in those documents.

    Following public comment, the Agency will issue interim or final registration review decisions for the pesticides listed in the table in Unit II.

    The registration review program is being conducted under congressionally mandated time frames, and EPA recognizes the need both to make timely decisions and to involve the public. Section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136a(g)) required EPA to establish by regulation procedures for reviewing pesticide registrations, originally with a goal of reviewing each pesticide's registration every 15 years to ensure that a pesticide continues to meet the FIFRA standard for registration. The Agency's final rule to implement this program was issued in August 2006 and became effective in October 2006, and appears at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA) was amended and extended in September 2007. FIFRA, as amended by PRIA in 2007, requires EPA to complete registration review decisions by October 1, 2022, for all pesticides registered as of October 1, 2007.

    The registration review final rule at 40 CFR 155.58(a) provides for a minimum 60-day public comment period on all proposed interim registration review decisions. This comment period is intended to provide an opportunity for public input and a mechanism for initiating any necessary amendments to the proposed interim decision. All comments should be submitted using the methods in ADDRESSES, and must be received by EPA on or before the closing date. These comments will become part of the docket for the pesticides included in the table in Unit II. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

    The Agency will carefully consider all comments received by the closing date and may provide a “Response to Comments Memorandum” in the docket. The interim registration review decision will explain the effect that any comments had on the interim decision and provide the Agency's response to significant comments.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: November 27, 2017. Charles Smith, Acting Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27100 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-R04-RCRA-2017-0534; FRL-9967-81-Region 4] Alabama: Notice of Determination of Adequacy of Alabama's Financial Assurance Regulations for the State's Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Permit Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On November 28, 2016, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) submitted a final solid waste Financial Assurance Program Approval Application to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking a Determination of Adequacy for its solid waste financial assurance regulations. ADEM supplemented this application on January 4 and 5, 2017. Subject to review and comment, this document approves ADEM's application and grants a Determination of Adequacy for Alabama's municipal solid waste landfill (MSWLF) financial assurance program.

    DATES:

    This Determination of Adequacy for Alabama's MSWLF financial assurance regulations will be effective February 13, 2018, unless adverse comments are received on or before February 13, 2018. If EPA receives adverse comments, EPA will review such comments and publish another Federal Register document responding to the comments and either affirming or revising this initial decision.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-RCRA-2017-0534, can be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Comments can also be sent to Davy Simonson, Materials and Waste Management Branch, Resource Conservation and Restoration Division, U.S. EPA Region 4, Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW (Mailcode: 9T25), Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960; telephone: (404) 562-8457. Comments may be submitted electronically to [email protected], or by facsimile to (404) 562-9964. You may examine copies of the application materials submitted by Alabama during normal business hours at EPA Region 4, or at the offices of ADEM, 1400 Coliseum Boulevard, Montgomery, Alabama 36110-2400, attn: Russell A. Kelly, Chief, Permits and Services Division, telephone: (334) 271-7714.

    Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA may publish any comment received at its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Davy Simonson, Materials and Waste Management Branch, Resource Conservation and Restoration Division, U.S. EPA Region 4, Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW (Mailcode: 9T25), Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960; telephone number: (404) 562-8457; fax number: (404) 562-9964; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Section 4005(c)(1)(B) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. 6945(c)(1)(B), as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA), requires that states develop and implement permit programs to ensure that MSWLFs receiving household hazardous waste or small quantity generator waste comply with the minimum federal criteria for MSWLFs in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) part 258. Section 4005(c)(1)(C) of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6945(c)(1)(C), then requires that EPA determine whether a state's MSWLF permit program is adequate. The federal regulations at 40 CFR part 239 set forth the procedures EPA will follow in determining the adequacy of such state programs.

    In 1993, Alabama applied to EPA for partial program approval for its MSWLF permit program. At that time, ADEM did not have the statutory authority to require financial assurance at MSWLFs; however, its regulations contained all of the other required MSWLF criteria in 40 CFR part 258. On March 2, 1994 (59 FR 9979), EPA granted a Determination of Adequacy to Alabama, approving its MSWLF permit program, with the exception of the financial assurance criteria contained in 40 CFR part 258, subpart G. In June 2005, the Alabama State Legislature enacted a statute allowing ADEM to require financial assurance at MSWLFs. Alabama's regulations were amended in December 2005 to add financial assurance requirements that mirror the federal financial assurance regulations at 40 CFR part 258, subpart G.

    On November 28, 2016, Alabama submitted a final solid waste Financial Assurance Program Approval Application to EPA. ADEM submitted supplemental information to support its application on January 4 and 5, 2017. The application covers ADEM's MSWLF financial assurance program, only.

    II. Decision

    After reviewing Alabama's application, EPA concludes that Alabama's financial assurance regulations, as set forth at ADEM Administrative Code (Admin. Code r.) 335-13-4-.28, along with the statutory authority provided in Section 22-27-8 of the Alabama Code, are adequate to ensure compliance with the federal criteria set forth at 40 CFR part 258, subpart G (§§ 258.70 through 258.74). Accordingly, EPA is granting a Determination of Adequacy for the portion of Alabama's MSWLF permit program relating to financial assurance requirements. EPA's approval of Alabama's financial assurance program will result in full federal approval of the State's MSWLF permit program.

    This action takes effect sixty (60) days after the date of publication if no adverse comments are received. EPA's action only addresses Alabama's financial assurance requirements for its MSWLF permit program. EPA is not reopening, nor soliciting public comments on, its prior approval of the remaining portions of Alabama's MSWLF permit program. EPA will only respond to comments addressing the financial assurance portion of Alabama's MSWLF permit program.

    Authority:

    This action is issued under the authority of sections 2002, 4005, and 4010(c) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6912, 6945, and 6949(a).

    Dated: November 9, 2017. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27102 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0008; FRL-9970-49] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients. 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 January 16, 2018.

    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:

    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).

    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 new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients. 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 Uses

    1. EPA Registration Number: 100-936, 100-938, 100-941, 100-1147, 100-1291, 100-1458. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0234. Applicant: Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419. Active ingredient: Thiamethoxam. Product type: Insecticide. Proposed Use: Foliar application to wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, alfalfa, rice, and potato. Contact: RD.

    2. EPA Registration Numbers: 524-591 and 66478-1. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0235. Applicant: Monsanto Company, 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63167. Active ingredient: Acetochlor. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed use: Alfalfa. Contact: RD.

    3. EPA Registration Number: 91274-1. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0508. Applicant: IGI, LLC, 600 West Taddel Road Acampo, CA 95220. Active ingredient: Carbon Dioxide. Product type: Rodenticide. Proposed Uses: Treatment of burrows of voles, gophers, wood chucks, and ground squirrels. Contact: RD.

    4. EPA Registration Numbers: 92198-R. Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0529. Applicant: All In One Medical, Enterprise Drive Four Ashes, Wolverhampton WV10 7DF, United Kingdom. (Represented by Exponent, 1150 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC). Active Ingredient: DDAC. Product Type: Antimicrobial End-Use Product. Proposed Uses: Materials preservative for non-clothing textiles. Contact: AD

    5. File Symbol: 7F8592. EPA Registration Numbers: 100-759 and 100-1308. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0538. Applicant: Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC 410 Swing Road, Greensboro, NC 27409. Active ingredient: Fludioxonil. Product type: Fungicide. Proposed use: Post-harvest sugar beet. Contact: RD.

    6. EPA Registration Numbers: 59639-97, 59639-193, 59639-206 and 59639-207. Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0333. Applicant: Valent U.S.A. Corporation, 1600 Riviera Ave., Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Active Ingredient: Flumioxazin. Product Type: Herbicide. Proposed Uses: Grass grown for seeds. Contact: RD.

    7. EPA Registration Numbers: 62719-73, 62719-80, and 62719-81. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0035. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Active ingredient: Clopyralid. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed Uses: Pear and Radish Contact: RD.

    8. EPA Registration Number: 62719-285. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0226. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Active ingredient: Fluroxypyr 1-methylheptyl ester. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed use: Formulation of end-use products used on teff. Contact: RD.

    9. EPA Registration Number: 62719-559. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0226. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Active ingredient: Florasulam. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed use: Formulation of end-use products used on teff. Contact: RD.

    10. EPA Registration Number: 62719-567. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0226. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Active ingredient: Pyroxsulam. Product type: herbicide. Proposed use: Formulation of end-use products used on teff. Contact: RD.

    11. EPA Registration Number: 62719-582. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0226. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Active ingredients: Florasulam, fluroxypyr 1-methylheptyl ester, and pyroxsulam. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed use: Special Local Needs (24(c)) use on teff to control broadleaf weeds. Contact: RD.

    12. EPA Registration Number: 62719-664. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0511. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Active ingredient: Halauxifen-methyl. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed use: Formulation into end-use products used on turf. Contact: RD.

    13. EPA Registration Numbers: 63588-91 and 63588-92. Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0334. Applicant: K-I Chemical USA, Inc., 11 Martine Ave., Suite 970, White Plains, NY 10606. Active Ingredient: Pyroxasulfone. Product Type: Herbicide. Proposed Uses: Leaf petiole vegetable subgroup 22B; Cottonseed subgroup 20C; Peppermint, oil; Peppermint, tops; Spearmint, oil; Spearmint, tops; Soybean, vegetable, succulent and Grass grown for seeds. Contact: RD.

    14. EPA Registration Numbers: 59639-206 and 59639-193. Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0334. Applicant: Valent U.S.A. Corporation, 1600 Riviera Ave., Suite 200, Walnut Creek CA 94596. Active Ingredient: Pyroxasulfone. Product Type: Herbicide. Proposed Uses: Grass grown for seeds. Contact: RD.

    15. File Symbol: 62719-TEN. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0511. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road. Active ingredients: Halauxifen-methyl and florasulam. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed use: Turf. Contact: RD.

    16. File Symbol: 62719-TEU. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0511. Applicant: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road. Active ingredients: Halauxifen-methyl, 2,4-D choline salt, and fluroxypyr 1 methylheptyl ester. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed use: Turf. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: November 14, 2017. Hamaad Syed, Acting Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27092 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9972-15-OAR] Allocations of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Allowances From New Unit Set-Asides for 2017 Control Periods AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of data availability (NODA).

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing notice of the availability of preliminary lists of units eligible for second-round allocations of emission allowances for the 2017 control periods from the new unit set-asides (NUSAs) established under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). EPA has posted spreadsheets containing the lists on EPA's website. EPA will consider timely objections to the lists before determining the amounts of the second-round allocations.

    DATES:

    Objections to the information referenced in this notice must be received on or before January 16, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your objections via email to [email protected] Include “2017 NUSA allocations” in the email subject line and include your name, title, affiliation, address, phone number, and email address in the body of the email.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions concerning this action should be addressed to Robert Miller at (202) 343-9077 or [email protected] or Kenon Smith at (202) 343-9164 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under each CSAPR trading program where EPA is responsible for determining emission allowance allocations, a portion of each state's emissions budget for the program for each control period is reserved in a NUSA (and in an additional Indian country NUSA in the case of states with Indian country within their borders) for allocation to certain units that would not otherwise receive allowance allocations. The procedures for identifying the eligible units for each control period and for allocating allowances from the NUSAs and Indian country NUSAs to those units are set forth in the CSAPR regulations at 40 CFR 97.411(b) and 97.412 (NOX Annual Trading Program), 97.511(b) and 97.512 (NOX Ozone Season Group 1 Trading Program), 97.611(b) and 97.612 (SO2 Group 1 Trading Program), 97.711(b) and 97.712 (SO2 Group 2 Trading Program), and 97.811(b) and 97.812 (NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program). Each NUSA allowance allocation process involves up to two rounds of allocations to eligible units, termed “new” units, followed by the allocation to “existing” units of any allowances not allocated to new units.

    This notice concerns EPA's preliminary identification of units eligible to receive allowances in the second round of NUSA allocations for the 2017 control periods. The units eligible for second-round allocations for a given control period are CSAPR-affected units that commenced commercial operation between January 1 of the year before that control period and November 30 of the year of that control period. In the case of the 2017 control periods, an eligible unit therefore must have commenced commercial operation between January 1, 2016 and November 30, 2017 (inclusive). Generally, where a unit is eligible to receive a second-round NUSA allocation under a given CSAPR trading program for a given control period, the unit's maximum potential second-round allocation equals the positive difference (if any) between the unit's emissions during the control period as reported under 40 CFR part 75 and any first-round NUSA allocation the unit received.1 If the total of such maximum potential allocations to all eligible units would exceed the total allowances remaining in the NUSA, the allocations are reduced on a pro-rata basis.

    1 EPA notes that a unit's emissions occurring before its monitor certification deadline are not considered to have occurred during a control period and consequently are not included in the emission amounts used to determine NUSA allocations. See 40 CFR 97.406(c)(3), 97.506(c)(3), 97.606(c)(3), 97.706(c)(3), and 97.806(c)(3).

    The preliminary lists of eligible units are set forth in Excel spreadsheets titled “CSAPR_NUSA_2017_NOx_Annual_2nd_Round_Prelim_Data,” “CSAPR_NUSA_2017_ NOx_Ozone_Season_2nd_Round_Prelim_Data,” and “CSAPR_NUSA_2017_SO _2nd_Round_Prelim_Data” available on EPA's website at https://www.epa.gov/csapr/csapr-compliance-year-2017-nusa-nodas. Each spreadsheet contains a separate worksheet for each state covered by that program showing each unit preliminarily identified as eligible for a second-round NUSA allocation. Each state worksheet also contains a summary showing (1) the quantity of allowances initially available in that state's 2017 NUSA, (2) the sum of the 2017 NUSA allowance allocations that were made in the first round to new units in that state, if any, and (3) the quantity of allowances in the 2017 NUSA available for second-round allocations to new units (or ultimately for allocations to existing units), if any.

    Objections should be strictly limited to whether EPA has correctly identified the units eligible for second-round 2017 NUSA allocations according to the criteria established in the regulations and should be emailed to the address identified in ADDRESSES. Objections must include: (1) Precise identification of the specific data the commenter believes are inaccurate, (2) new proposed data upon which the commenter believes EPA should rely instead, and (3) the reasons why EPA should rely on the commenter's proposed data and not the data referenced in this notice.

    EPA notes that an allocation or lack of allocation of allowances to a given unit does not constitute a determination that CSAPR does or does not apply to the unit. EPA also notes that allocations are subject to potential correction if a unit to which NUSA allowances have been allocated for a given control period is not actually an affected unit as of the start of that control period.2

    2See 40 CFR 97.411(c), 97.511(c), 97.611(c), 97.711(c), and 97.811(c).

    (Authority: 40 CFR 97.411(b), 97.511(b), 97.611(b), 97.711(b), and 97.811(b).) Dated: December 1, 2017. Reid P. Harvey, Director, Clean Air Markets Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27094 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0006; FRL-9970-50] 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 January 16, 2018.

    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], Steve Knizner, Antimicrobials Division (7510P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected], Michael Goodis. 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.

    III. Amended Tolerance Exemptions for Non-Inerts (Except PIPS)

    1. PP 7F8547. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0526). Bayer CropScience LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, requests to amend an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance in 40 CFR 180.1257 for residues of the nematocide Purpureocillium lilacinum (synonym Paecilomyces lilacinus) strain 251 in or on all agricultural commodities to update the taxonomic description. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because the active ingredient has only been renamed and remains unchanged. Contact: BPPD.

    IV. Amended Tolerances for Non-Inerts

    1. PP 7E8597. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0476). Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W, Princeton, NJ 08540, requests that the existing tolerance in 40 CFR 180.355(a) General. (1) for the combined residues of the herbicide bentazon (3-isopropyl-1H-2,1,3-benzothiadiazin-4(3H)-one-2,2-dioxide) and its 6- and 8-hydroxy metabolites in or on pea, dry, seed be increased from 1.0 ppm to 3.0 ppm. Upon establishment of the amended tolerance, the Petitioner requests that the previously established tolerance for bentazon on pea, dry, seed at 1.0 ppm is removed. Adequate enforcement methodolog (gas liquid chromatography (GLC) methods are available for the determination of residues of bentazon and its 6- and 8-hydroxy metabolites in/on plant commodities. The limit of detection is 0.05 ppm for each regulated compound. Contact: RD

    2. PP 7F8592. EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0538. Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC 410 Swing Road, Greensboro, NC 27409, requests to amend the tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the fungicide fludioxonil in or on Sugar beet at 5.0 parts per million (ppm). The method Syngenta Crop Protection Method AG-597B was used and has passed an Agency petition method validation for several commodities, and is currently the enforcement method to measure and evaluate the chemical fludioxonil. Contact: RD.

    V. New Tolerance Exemptions for Inerts (Except Pips)

    1. PP IN-11063. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0474). Toxcel, LLC, on behalf of Lanxess Corporation, 111 RIDC Park West Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275, requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of aspartic acid, N-(1,2-dicarboxyethyl)-, tetrasodium salt (CAS Reg. No. 144538-83-0) when used as an inert ingredient in antimicrobial pesticide formulations (food-contact surface sanitizing solutions) under 40 CFR 180.940(a). The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because it is not required for an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. Contact: RD

    2. PP IN-11066. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0541). SciReg, Inc., 12733 Director's Loop, Woodbridge, VA 22192 on behalf of Solvay USA Inc., requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of 2-isobutyl-2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane-4-methanol (CAS Reg. No. 5660-53-7) when used as an inert ingredient (solvent/cosolvent) in pesticide formulations applied to growing crops and raw agricultural commodities after harvest under 40 CFR 180.910and when used as an inert ingredient in antimicrobial pesticide formulations (food-contact surface sanitizing solutions) under 40 CFR 180.940(a). The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because it is not required for an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. Contact: RD.

    VI. New Tolerance Exemptions for Non-Inerts (Except Pips)

    1. PP 7E8567. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0525). Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Rd. East, Suite 201 W, Princeton, NJ 08540, requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the microbial pesticide Pepino mosaic virus, strain CH2, isolate 1906 in or on tomato. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because Pepino mosaic virus, strain CH2, isolate 1906 is a naturally occurring, low risk plant virus that is not related to any animal or human pathogen and is not known to be able to survive in animal or human tissue. Contact: BPPD.

    2. PP 4F8325. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0063). ICA Trinova, Inc., 1 Beavers Street, Suite B, Newnan, GA 30263, requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the antimicrobial, sodium chlorite, in or on tomatoes. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because no residues of chlorate were detected in tomato puree from tomatoes treated post-harvest with gaseous chlorine dioxide generated from sodium chlorite. Contact: AD.

    3. PP 7F8546. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0460). Envera, LLC, 220 Garfield Ave., West Chester, PA 19380, requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the bactericide and fungicide Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain ENV503 in or on all food commodities. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is being proposed. Contact: BPPD.

    4. PP 7F8599. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0487). Suntton International Inc., 901 H St., Suite 610, Sacramento, CA 95814, requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the plant regulator 24-epibrassinolide in or on all agricultural commodities. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because it is expected that, when used as proposed, 24-epibrassinolide would not result in residues that are of toxicological concern. Contact: BPPD.

    VII. New Tolerances for Non-Inerts

    1. PP 7E8609 (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0532) OAT Agrio. Ltd. 1-3-1 Kanda Ogawa-machi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-0052, Japan c/o Landis International R&D Management 3185 Madison Highway, P.O. Box 5126, Valdosta, Georgia, 31603-5126, requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the miticide, cyflumetofen (2-methoxyethyl α-cyano-α-[4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)phenyl]-β-oxo-2-(trifluoromethyl)benzenepropanoate) in or on tea at 40 parts per million (ppm). The high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method is used to measure and evaluate the chemicals, cyflumetofen and 2-trifluoromethylbenzoic acid. Contact: RD.

    2. PP 4F8325. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0063). ICA Trinova, Inc., 1 Beavers Street, Suite B, Newnan, GA 30263, requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the antimicrobial, sodium chlorite, in or on cantaloupes at 1.5 parts ppm. Liquid chromatography—mass spectroscopy (LC/MS) is used to measure and evaluate the chemical chlorate. Adequate enforcement methodology (LC/MS) is available to enforce the tolerance expression. The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected] Contact: AD.

    3. PP 7F8558. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0233). Bayer CropScience, 2 T. W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the insecticide, tetraniliprole in or tuberous and corm vegetables, crop group 1C at 0.015 ppm; potato, wet peel at 0.02 ppm; leafy vegetables, crop group 4-16 at 20 ppm; brassica head and stem vegetables, crop group 5-16 at 1.5 ppm; fruiting vegetables, crop group 8-10 at 0.40 ppm; tomato paste at 1.5 ppm; citrus fruit, orange subgroup 10-10A at 0.50 ppm; citrus fruit, lemon/lime subgroup 10-10B at 0.80 ppm; citrus fruit, grapefruit subgroup 10-10C at 0.50 ppm; citrus oil at 4.0 ppm; pome fruit, crop group 11-10 at 0.40 ppm; stone fruit, crop group 12-12 at 1.0 ppm; plum, dried (prune) at 2.0 ppm; small fruit, vine climbing subgroup, except fuzzy kiwi, crop subgroup 13-07F at 1.5 ppm; tree nuts, crop group 14-12 at 0.03 ppm; almond hulls at 4.0 ppm; corn, field, grain at 0.015 ppm; corn, field, forage at 4.0 ppm; corn, field, stover at 15 ppm; corn, pop, grain at 0.015 ppm; corn, pop, stover at 15 ppm; corn, sweet, kernel plus cobs with husks removed at 0.01 ppm; corn, sweet, forage at 6.0 ppm; corn, sweet, stover at 20 ppm; cottonseed, crop group 20C at 0.40 ppm; cotton, gin byproducts at 30 ppm; soybean seed at 0.20 ppm; soybean hulls at 0.60 ppm; aspirated grain fractions at 45 ppm; soybean forage at 0.07 ppm; soybean hay at 0.20 ppm; alfalfa, forage and hay at 0.06 ppm; forage, fodder and straw of cereal grains, crop group 16, except field, pop and sweet corn at 0.10 ppm; foliage of legume vegetables, crop group 7, except soybeans at 0.03 ppm; milk at 0.06 ppm; fat of cattle, horses, sheep and goats at 0.30 ppm; muscle of cattle, horses, sheep and goats at 0.03 ppm; meat by-products of cattle, horses, sheep and goats at 0.30 ppm. The high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) is used to measure and evaluate the chemical. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 346a.

    Dated: November 14, 2017. Hammad A. Syed, Acting Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27103 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0393; FRL-9970-54] Interim Registration Review Decisions and Case Closures for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decision for the chemicals listed in the Table in Unit II of this Notice. It also announces the case closure for metiram (Case 0644 and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0290) because all of the U.S. registrations for this pesticide have been canceled. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration; that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without causing unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the pesticide specific contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For pesticide specific information, contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Dana Friedman, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-8827; email address: [email protected]

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58(c), this notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decision for the chemicals listed in the Table in Unit II.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.57, a registration review decision is the Agency's determination whether a pesticide meets, or does not meet, the standard for registration in Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA has considered the chemicals listed in the following Table in light of the FIFRA standard for registration. The interim registration review decisions are supported by rationales included in the docket established for each chemical.

    In addition to the interim registration review decision document, the registration review docket for the chemicals listed in the Table also includes other relevant documents related to the registration review of these cases. The proposed interim registration review decision was posted to the docket and the public was invited to submit any comments or new information.

    Table—Registration Review Interim Decisions Being Issued Registration review case name and number Docket ID No. Chemical review manager
  • and contact information
  • Bifenazate case 7609 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0633 Garland Waleko, [email protected], 703-308-8049. Clethodim Case 7226 EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0658 Bilin Basu, [email protected], 703-347-0455. Ethalfluralin Case 2260 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0094 Patricia Biggio, [email protected], 703-347-0547. Fenitrothion Case 0445 EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0172 Leigh Rimmer, [email protected], 703-347-0553. Pirimiphos-methyl Case 2535 EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0056 Caitlin Newcamp, [email protected], 703-347-0325.

    EPA addressed the comments or information received during the 60-day comment period for the proposed interim decisions in the discussion for each pesticide listed in the Table. Comments from the 60-day comment period that were received may or may not have affected the Agency's interim decision.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58(c), the registration review case docket for the chemicals listed in the Table will remain open until all actions required in the interim decision have been completed.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation. Earlier documents related to the registration review of these pesticides are provided in the chemical specific dockets listed in the Table.

    This document also announces the closure of the registration review case for metiram (Case 0644 and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0290) because all of the U.S. registrations for this pesticide have been canceled.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: November 20, 2017. Yu-Ting Guilaran, Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27095 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice: 2017-3015] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Banks of the United States (EXIM), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    The Letter of Interest (LI) is an indication of Export-Import (EXIM) Bank's willingness to consider financing a given export transaction. EXIM uses the requested information to determine the applicability of the proposed export transaction and determines whether or not to consider financing that transaction.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 16, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV (EIB 95-09) or by mail to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20038, Attn: OMB 3048-EIB 95-09. The form can be reviewed at https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/pub/pending/95-09-li.pdf.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 95-09 Letter of Interest Application.

    OMB Number: 3048-0005.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The Letter of Interest (LI) is an indication of Export-Import (EXIM) Bank's willingness to consider financing a given export transaction. EXIM uses the requested information to determine the applicability of the proposed export transaction system prompts and determines whether or not to consider financing that transaction.

    Affected Public: This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 540.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 0.5 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 270.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: On occasion.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing Time per Year: 270.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $11,475 (time * wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $13,770.

    Bassam Doughman, IT Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27064 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice: 2017-3016] Agency Information Collection Activities: Final Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), as a part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    This collection will provide information needed to determine compliance and creditworthiness for transaction requests submitted to EXIM under its insurance, guarantee, and direct loan programs. Information presented in this form will be considered in the overall evaluation of the transaction, including Export-Import Bank's determination of the appropriate term for the transaction.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before January 16, 2018 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments maybe submitted electronically on http://www.regulations.gov (EIB 11-03) or by mail to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20038 Attn: OMB 3048-0039 The form can be viewed at: https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/pub/pending/eib11-03.pdf.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Titles and Form Number: EIB 11-03 Used Equipment Questionnaire.

    OMB Number: 3048-0039.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The information collected will provide information needed to determine compliance and creditworthiness for transaction requests submitted to the Export Import Bank under its insurance, guarantee, and direct loan programs.

    Affected Public: This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 50.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 15 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 12.5 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting or Use: As needed.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing Time per Year: 12.5 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $531.25 (time * wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $637.5.

    Bassam Doughman, IT Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27091 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-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.

    ACTION:

    Approval of information collection activity.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is adopting a proposal to extend for three years, with revision, the mandatory Capital Assessments and Stress Testing information collection applicable to bank holding companies (BHCs) with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more and U.S. intermediate holding companies (U.S. IHCs) established by foreign banking organizations under FR Y-14A/Q/M; OMB No. 7100-0341.

    DATES:

    The revisions are applicable as of December 31, 2017, or March 31, 2018, as described in this notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the final 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 website at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nuha Elmaghrabi, Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC, (202) 452-3884. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869.

    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 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.

    Final Approval Under OMB Delegated Authority To Extend for Three Years, With Revision, the Following Information Collection

    Report Title: Capital Assessments and Stress Testing information collection.

    Agency Form Number: FR Y-14A/Q/M.

    OMB Control Number: 7100-0341.

    Effective Dates: December 31, 2017, or March 31, 2018.

    Frequency: Annually, semi-annually, quarterly, and monthly.

    Respondents: The respondent panel consists of any top-tier bank holding company (BHC) or intermediate holding company (U.S. IHC) that has $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, as determined based on: (i) The average of the firm's total consolidated assets in the four most recent quarters as reported quarterly on the firm's Consolidated Financial Statements for Bank Holding Companies (FR Y-9C) (OMB No. 7100-0128); or (ii) the average of the firm's total consolidated assets in the most recent consecutive quarters as reported quarterly on the firm's FR Y-9Cs, if the firm has not filed an FR Y-9C for each of the most recent four quarters. Reporting is required as of the first day of the quarter immediately following the quarter in which it meets this asset threshold, unless otherwise directed by the Board.

    Estimated Annual Reporting Hours: FR Y-14A: Summary, 67,412 hours; Macro Scenario, 2,356 hours; Operational Risk, 684 hours; Regulatory Capital Instruments, 798 hours; Business Plan Changes, 608 hours; Adjusted capital plan submission, 500 hours. FR Y-14Q: Retail, 2,280 hours; Securities, 1,976 hours; Pre-provision net revenue (PPNR), 108,072 hours; Wholesale, 22,952 hours; Trading, 92,448 hours; Regulatory Capital Transitions, 3,496 hours; Regulatory Capital Instruments, 8,208 hours; Operational risk, 7,600 hours; Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR) Valuation, 1,288 hours; Supplemental, 608 hours; Retail Fair Value Option/Held for Sale (Retail FVO/HFS), 1,440 hours; Counterparty, 24,672 hours; and Balances, 2,432 hours. FR Y-14M: 1st lien mortgage, 222,912 hours; Home Equity, 185,760 hours; and Credit Card, 104,448 hours. FR Y-14 On-going automation revisions, 18,240 hours; and One-time implementation, 2,400 hours. FR Y-14 Attestation On-going audit and review, 33,280 hours.

    Estimated Average Hours per Response: FR Y-14A: Summary, 887 hours; Macro Scenario, 31 hours; Operational Risk, 18 hours; Regulatory Capital Instruments, 21 hours; Business Plan Changes, 16 hours; Adjusted capital plan submission, 100 hours. FR Y-14Q: Retail, 15 hours; Securities, 13 hours; PPNR, 711 hours; Wholesale, 151 hours; Trading, 1,926 hours; Regulatory Capital Transitions, 23 hours; Regulatory Capital Instruments, 54 hours; Operational risk, 50 hours; MSR Valuation, 23 hours; Supplemental, 4 hours; Retail FVO/HFS, 15 hours; Counterparty, 514 hours; and Balances, 16 hours. FR Y-14M: 1st Lien Mortgage, 516 hours; Home Equity, 516 hours; and Credit Card, 512 hours. FR Y-14 On-going automation revisions, 480 hours; and One-time implementation, 400 hours. FR Y-14 Attestation On-going audit and review, 2,560 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 38.

    Legal Authorization and Confidentiality: The FR Y-14 series of reports are authorized by section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), which requires the Board to ensure that certain BHCs and nonbank financial companies supervised by the Board are subject to enhanced risk-based and leverage standards in order to mitigate risks to the financial stability of the United States (12 U.S.C. 5365). Additionally, Section 5 of the Bank Holding Company Act authorizes the Board to issue regulations and conduct information collections with regard to the supervision of BHCs (12 U.S.C. 1844).

    As these data are collected as part of the supervisory process, they are subject to confidential treatment under exemption 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)). In addition, commercial and financial information contained in these information collections may be exempt from disclosure under exemption 4 of FOIA (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)), if disclosure would likely have the effect of (1) impairing the government's ability to obtain the necessary information in the future, or (2) causing substantial harm to the competitive position of the respondent. Such exemptions would be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Abstract: The data collected through the FR Y-14A/Q/M reports provide the Board with the information and perspective needed to help ensure that large firms have strong, firm‐wide risk measurement and management processes supporting their internal assessments of capital adequacy and that their capital resources are sufficient given their business focus, activities, and resulting risk exposures. The annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) exercise complements other Board supervisory efforts aimed at enhancing the continued viability of large firms, including continuous monitoring of firms' planning and management of liquidity and funding resources and regular assessments of credit, market and operational risks, and associated risk management practices. Information gathered in this data collection is also used in the supervision and regulation of these financial institutions. To fully evaluate the data submissions, the Board may conduct follow-up discussions with, or request responses to follow up questions from, respondents.

    The Capital Assessments and Stress Testing information collection consists of the FR Y-14A, Q, and M reports. The semi-annual FR Y-14A collects quantitative projections of balance sheet, income, losses, and capital across a range of macroeconomic scenarios and qualitative information on methodologies used to develop internal projections of capital across scenarios.1 The quarterly FR Y-14Q collects granular data on various asset classes, including loans, securities, and trading assets, and pre-provision net revenue (PPNR) for the reporting period. The monthly FR Y-14M comprises three retail portfolio- and loan-level collections, and one detailed address matching collection to supplement two of the portfolio and loan-level collections.

    1 BHCs that must re-submit their capital plan generally also must provide a revised FR Y-14A in connection with their resubmission.

    Current Actions: On June 9, 2017, the Board published a notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 26793) requesting public comment for 60 days on the proposal to extend, with revision, the FR Y-14A/Q/M reports. The Board proposed (1) revising and extending for three years the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing information collection (FR Y-14A/Q/M; OMB No. 7100-0341); (2) modifying the scope of the global market shock component of the Board's stress tests (global market shock) in a manner that would include certain U.S. intermediate holding companies (U.S. IHCs) of foreign banking organizations (FBOs); and (3) making other changes to the FR Y-14 reports.

    Specifically, the initial notice proposed amending the FR Y-14 to apply the global market shock to any domestic BHC or U.S. IHC that is subject to supervisory stress tests and that (1) has aggregate trading assets and liabilities of $50 billion or more, or aggregate trading assets and liabilities equal to 10 percent or more of total consolidated assets, and (2) is not a “large and noncomplex firm” under the Board's capital plan rule.2 As a result of the proposed change, based on data as of June 30, 2017, six U.S. IHCs would become subject to the global market shock, and the six domestic bank holding companies that meet the current materiality threshold would remain subject to the exercise under the proposed threshold.3

    2 A large and noncomplex firm is defined under the capital plan rule as a firm that has average total consolidated assets of at least $50 billion but less than $250 billion, has average total nonbank assets of less than $75 billion, and is not identified as global systemically important bank holding company (GSIB) under the Board's rules. See 12 CFR 225.8(d)(9).

    3 The firms include the five firms noted in the initial notice (Credit Suisse Holdings (USA), Inc., Barclays US LLC, DB USA Corporation, HSBC North America Holdings Inc., and UBS Americas Holdings LLC) and RBC USA HoldCo Corporation, which has since met the threshold.

    The proposed revisions to the FR Y-14M consisted of adding two items related to subsidiary identification and balance amounts, which facilitate use of these data by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The addition of these items would also result in the removal of an existing item that identifies loans where the reported balance is the cycle-ending balance. A limited number of other changes to the FR Y-14 were proposed. In connection with these proposed changes, two schedules on the FR Y-14A would be removed from the collection. The revisions were proposed to be effective with the reports with data as of September 30, 2017, or December 31, 2017.

    These data are, or would be, used to assess the capital adequacy of BHCs and U.S. IHCs using forward-looking projections of revenue and losses to support supervisory stress test models and continuous monitoring efforts, as well as to inform the Board's operational decision-making as it continues to implement the Dodd-Frank Act.

    The comment period for this notice expired on August 8, 2017. The Board received eight comment letters addressing the proposed changes: Three from industry groups (The Financial Services Roundtable, The Clearing House, The Institute of International Bankers), and five from U.S. IHCs that file the FR Y-14 reports. Most comment letters focused on the proposed modifications to the global market shock. Commenters requested that the Board reconsider applying the global market shock to U.S. IHCs at this time. In lieu of the proposed threshold, commenters recommended a number of alternative approaches to achieve what they indicated would be a more appropriate application of the global market shock, such as further tailoring the threshold based on risk, size, or complexity. Commenters recommended that if the Board were to adopt the modifications to the global market shock, the implementation timeline should be delayed and provide for a gradual phase-in of both the global market shock and associated FR Y-14 reporting requirements, including for BHCs or U.S. IHCs that subsequently cross the thresholds for application of the GMS in future quarters.

    Two commenters also addressed the proposed changes to the FR Y-14 information collection. Those commenters expressed support for many of the clarifying and burden reducing changes, but posed clarifying questions on the proposed instructions, forms, or reporting requirements for those items. Commenters offered alternatives to or suggestions for modifying or clarifying certain proposed changes, particularly surrounding the proposed modifications to the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H (Wholesale) and Schedule L (Counterparty), and recommended that the Board delay the effective date of several of the proposed modifications. Both commenters requested the elimination of additional FR Y-14 schedules or sub-schedules.

    The Board also received comments outside of the scope of this proposal regarding (1) historical resubmission of the FR Y-14Q, Schedule A.2 (Retail—U.S. Auto), (2) timing of release and content of technical instructions, (3) the Q&A (previously known as the FAQ) process, (4) the FR Y-14 attestation requirement, and (5) the removal of additional schedules or sub-schedules.

    The previous annual burden for the FR Y-14A/Q/M was estimated to be 858,138 hours and, with the changes in this final notice, is estimated to increase by 58,732 hours for 916,870 aggregate burden hours. The modifications to the scope of the global market shock are estimated to increase the annual reporting burden by approximately 61,000 hours in the aggregate. All of the increase in burden due to the modification of the global market shock is attributable to the six U.S. IHCs that would become subject to the global market shock submitting the FR Y-14 trading and counterparty schedules on a quarterly basis. This includes the addition of one-time implementation burden associated with the filing of these schedules by U.S. IHCs in response to comment. Excluding the proposed modifications to the global market shock, the further changes would result in an overall net decrease of 2,084 annual reporting hours.

    The following section includes a detailed discussion of aspects of the proposed FR Y-14 collection for which the Board received substantive comments and an evaluation of, and responses to the comments received. Where appropriate, responses to these comments and technical matters are also addressed in the attached final FR Y-14A/Q/M reporting forms and instructions.

    Proposed Revisions to the FR Y-14A/Q/M Proposed Global Market Shock Modifications

    The global market shock currently applies to a firm with a four quarter average of total consolidated assets of $500 billion or more. The proposal would have modified the definition of a firm with “significant trading activity” for purposes of determining applicability of the trading and counterparty components of the supervisory and company-run stress tests (“global market shock”) and associated regulatory reports. As noted, the proposal would have revised the definition of “significant trading activity” to include a firm that (1) has aggregate trading assets and liabilities of $50 billion or more, or aggregate trading assets and liabilities equal to 10 percent or more of total consolidated assets, and (2) is not a “large and noncomplex firm” under the Board's capital plan rule. The proposed changes were designed to better align the threshold with the risk profile of firms subject to the stress test rules.

    Commenters recommended various modifications to the proposed threshold. For instance, commenters recommended that the Board adopt a threshold based on the size, risk profile, or systemic importance of trading activities at the covered companies. Commenters noted that the modified threshold would scope in firms that have materially smaller trading activities and smaller systemic footprints than the firms currently subject to the global market shock. Some commenters noted that applying the global market shock to additional firms, and thereby increasing capital requirements for these firms, could disincentivize these firms to invest in their U.S. lending and securities businesses.

    The global market shock is a key element of the Dodd-Frank Act stress tests. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Board to conduct annual analyses of whether bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more have the capital necessary to absorb losses as a result of adverse economic conditions and to direct those firms to conduct stress tests under baseline, adverse, and severely adverse conditions. The Board's regulations provide that the Board will issue scenarios on an annual basis, and indicates that firms with “significant trading activity” (as identified in the Capital Assessments and Stress Testing report (FR Y-14)) may be required to include a trading and counterparty component in its stress test.

    The Board's Policy Statement on Scenario Design describes how the Board develops the supervisory scenarios, including the global market shock, and why the global market shock is important for firms with significant trading activity. As described in the Policy Statement, the macroeconomic severely adverse scenario is designed to reflect conditions that characterize post-war U.S. recessions, and does not capture the effects of a sudden market dislocation. The pattern of a financial crisis, characterized by a short period of large declines in asset prices, increased volatility, and reduced liquidity of higher-risk assets is a familiar and plausible risk to capital. To the extent a firm's trading activity is sufficiently large, or represents a sufficiently large percentage of the firm's assets, the trading shock is necessary to adequately evaluate whether the firm has capital necessary to absorb losses and withstand stressful conditions.

    The proposed measure was intended to provide a simple measure of the significance of a firm's trading activity to its operations. The proposed threshold would have represented a level of trading exposure that would be material to the capital of the firms subject to the global market shock. For example, unlike most banking book activities, losses stemming from trading activity potentially could be larger than the total size of on-balance sheet trading assets, for example, for derivatives exposures.

    As noted by commenters, the modified threshold would include firms with smaller trading activities than the firms currently included by the $500 billion in total consolidated assets threshold. However, the proposed revisions were designed to capture the materiality of a firm's trading activities to its operations, as well as the absolute size of a firm's trading activities. While the application of the global market shock may require a higher level of capital to meet post-stress regulatory minimums, this capital would be related to the losses arising from the firm's trading activities under stress. As such, the application of the global market shock would help to ensure that when the U.S. IHCs look to expand their U.S. lending and securities businesses, the firms are holding capital commensurate with the market risk associated with these exposures and activities.

    In addition, commenters argued that the global market shock should be modified as applied to U.S. IHCs. For instance, commenters recommended that the Board modify the definition of “trading activity” to exclude hedging positions booked outside of the United States. Another commenter argued that U.S. IHCs have less flexibility to respond to a negative outcome in CCAR as many IHCs have little or no planned capital distributions to reduce in the limited adjustment to planned capital actions.

    As noted, the proposal would have applied the same definition of significant trading activity standard to U.S. IHCs and U.S. BHCs. The stress testing regime is designed to measure the ability of the U.S. IHC to maintain operations during times of stress. In stressful circumstances, each U.S. IHC is expected to continue operations based on its own capital position, without relying on hedges overseas. Additionally, to the extent that a firm is unable to maintain capital levels above all minimum capital requirements even when it has little or no capital distributions, it should consider seeking a capital infusion.

    Commenters also provided views on the measurement of trading activities. For instance, commenters recommended that the Board take into account the risks and purposes of trading activities, such as excluding certain types of assets like U.S. Treasuries.

    Adopting a significant trading activity threshold that excluded certain types of trading assets, such as U.S. Treasuries, could be inconsistent with the purposes of the global market shock. The global market shock estimates projected profit and losses associated with repricing trading exposures based on a large instantaneous shock to risk factors. The resulting impact to capital is a reflection of market risk, not credit risk, and U.S. Treasuries could generate market losses, such as through changes to interest rates. In addition, all else equal, a firm with safer trading activities will have smaller losses in the global market shock than a firm that engages in riskier trading activities.

    For these reasons, the Board is finalizing the same definition of global market shock threshold as was proposed. The global market shock is applicable to any firm subject to the supervisory stress test that (1) has aggregate trading assets and liabilities of $50 billion or more, or aggregate trading assets and liabilities equal to 10 percent or more of total consolidated assets, and (2) is not a “large and noncomplex firm” under the Board's capital plan rule.

    In addition to modifications to the threshold itself, commenters noted that tailoring the reporting collection would allow the Board to estimate the losses associated with the global market shock while minimizing reporting burden on firms with smaller and less complex trading activity. In this regard, commenters recommended that the Board adopt an additional threshold for firms with smaller or less material trading exposures where only a subset of FR Y-14Q, Schedule F (Trading) data collection would apply. Alternatively, commenters recommended setting materiality thresholds for individual lines or sub-schedules on the trading schedule.

    Notably, the proposal adopted a threshold that was significantly higher than the materiality threshold for other FR Y-14 schedules, generally $5 billion or 5 percent of tier 1 capital for firms that are not large and noncomplex. The higher materiality threshold in the proposal reflected the Board's intention to apply the global market shock only to firms with significant trading activities that pose a potential risk to capital. Additionally, by excluding noncomplex firms from the global market shock, the proposal did tailor the application to only those firms that are larger and more complex.

    Introducing additional materiality criteria would create additional complexity in reporting thresholds and potentially require different scenarios or models to estimate trading losses. If a firm does not have exposure to particular risk factors, it can report a zero for that item on the trading schedule. However, if a firm does have sensitivity to that risk factor it would be inappropriate not to estimate the resulting profit and loss stemming from that exposure in the global market shock. As such, the final rule does not introduce an additional materiality threshold with tailored reporting requirements.

    Commenters also recommended that, as an alternative form of tailoring, the Board could revise the FR Y-14Q Schedule F and L (Trading and Counterparty collections) to require smaller firms to file the trading schedule less frequently, such as one time a year as of the date of the supervisory stress test. Commenters noted that this would reduce the reporting burden associated with participating in the global market shock for firms with smaller trading operations.

    The frequency of the collection of trading data is consistent with other FR Y-14 schedules and necessary for running of the stress tests. For instance, the Board collects data on credit cards and mortgages monthly and data on securities, other loans, and revenues quarterly. Trading exposures can evolve rapidly, especially relative to these banking book assets. Firms with material trading exposures produce reports and run internal stress tests far more frequently than once a quarter, usually at least weekly. As such, the firms subject to the global market shock should be able to produce information on their trading exposures once a quarter, allowing the Board to analyze the risks of their trading book and the evolution of those risks over the year. Further, collecting a time series of these data at least quarterly is important to the stress test to allow the Board to follow trends and examine the volatility of each respective firm's data. Therefore, the frequency of reporting the FR Y-14 Trading and Counterparty schedules is being finalized without further modification.

    Commenters also requested additional support for the proposed threshold, notably the impact on capital from the proposal. Based on publically available data from the stress test exercises from 2012 through 2017, on average, each global market shock firm experienced losses under the severely adverse stress scenarios equivalent to 4.8 percent of trading exposure on the as of date of the supervisory stress test. As of June 30, 2017, 4.8 percent of trading exposure would be equivalent to about 14.3 percent of tier 1 capital, on average, for the new participants in the global market shock.

    Ultimately, the impact on capital under the proposal would be a function of the trading exposures of each covered firm. Notably, many commenters indicated that their trading exposures were significantly less risky than the trading exposures of the firms that currently participate in the global market shock, which could make estimating the impact of the proposal based on those exposures unrepresentative. Additionally, since 2014, disclosed trading losses have also included the impact of the large counterparty default scenario component, which is not a part of this proposal. As such, this impact analysis may overstate the impact of the proposal on a firm's capital.

    In addition to the suggestion for further tailoring the global market shock requirement, commenters expressed concerns regarding transparency and the manner of notification surrounding the proposed changes to the global market shock threshold. Specifically, commenters stated that given the perceived significance of the changes and aforementioned impact to regulatory capital, the modifications should not have been proposed as a modification to the FR Y-14 information collection. As previously noted, the stress test rules indicate that the Board will specify the definition of significant trading activity in the FR Y-14.4 Moreover, the Board invited public comment on the proposed changes. For example, firms had the opportunity to comment for sixty days, Federal Reserve staff met with commenters to discuss their comments, and the Board considered and is responding to these comments.5

    4See 12 CFR 252.54(b)(2)(i). The Board's stress test rules require companies to submit data necessary for the Board to conduct a supervisory stress test. See 12 CFR 252.45(a)-(b). In the case of companies with significant trading activities, such data includes data necessary for the Federal Reserve to derive pro forma estimates of losses and revenue related to the global market shock. In addition, the capital plan rule (12 CFR 225.8), which applies to U.S. IHCs pursuant to 12 CFR 252.153(e)(2)(ii), requires companies to provide the Federal Reserve with information regarding the amount and risk characteristics their on- and off-balance sheet exposures, including exposures within the company's trading account, other trading-related exposures (such as counterparty-credit risk exposures) or other items sensitive to changes in market factors, including, as appropriate, information about the sensitivity of positions to changes in market rates and prices. 12 CFR 225.8(e)(3)(iii).

    5 As noted, companies subject to the Board's stress test rules are required, pursuant to these rules, to submit data necessary for the Board to conduct the stress tests, and companies subject to the capital plan rule are required, pursuant to the capital plan rule, to provide the Federal Reserve with information regarding their trading exposures. See 12 CFR 225.8(e)(3)(iii), and 12 CFR 252.45(a)-(b). This information, when applied through the global market shock, facilitates the implementation of the Board's supervisory stress tests under the stress test rules and the Board's review of capital plans under the capital plan rule.

    One commenter recommended that in the context of firms newly subject to the global market shock, the Board should clarify the treatment of losses on the same trading positions between the instantaneous shock and the Pre-Position Net Revenue (PPNR) nine quarter projections as outlined in the CCAR instructions. The commenter highlighted the difficulty in identifying identical positions when the as-of date for the global market shock is different from that of the other nine-quarter projections, including PPNR.

    The global market shock is generally intended to be an add-on component of the stress scenarios that is independent of a firm's PPNR projection process, with the exceptions for identical positions noted in the CCAR instructions. Per the CCAR 2017 instructions, firms have the option, but are not required, to demonstrate that identical positions are stressed under both the global market shock and supervisory macroeconomic scenario and, if so, may assume combined losses from such positions do not exceed losses resulting from the higher of losses from either the global market shock or macroeconomic scenario. For example, the Board adjusts PPNR to account for the global market shock by using a median regression approach for firms subject to the global market shock to lessen the influence of extreme movements in trading revenue, and, thereby, to avoid double-counting of trading losses that are captured under the global market shock. Firms should refer to the CCAR instructions and the Supervisory Stress Test Methodology and Results document for that year's exercise for guidance regarding the treatment of identical positions. For firms that choose to implement their own version of a market shock, firms have flexibility regarding how to effectively identify and capture their key risks, including the interaction of the BHC stress scenario market shock and PPNR projections; therefore, the Board does not intend to provide additional information regarding the double counting of losses in the described circumstance.

    If the Board did adopt the proposed changes modifying the applicability criteria for the global market shock, commenters recommended the implementation feature a phase-in of the application of global market shock to new participants and allow for additional time for firms newly subject to the global market shock to submit the FR Y-14 trading and counterparty schedules. Commenters stated that the compressed timeframe between finalization and the effective date would create challenges accounting for the impact of the global market shock on regulatory capital requirements, and to prepare systems, infrastructure, and processes to file the associated FR Y-14 data.

    Suggestions from commenters for transitioning the initial application of the global market shock to new participants included a confidential “dry-run” for the 2018 stress test and capital plan cycle and delaying full application of the global market shock component and public disclosure until the 2019 cycle. For the associated FR Y-14 data submissions, commenters requested additional time to submit the data for the reports with data as of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2017. Finally, commenters requested that any transitions for new participants apply for any additional firms that become subject to the global market shock going forward.

    Although, as noted, the Board is adopting the proposed global market shock threshold without modification, the Board recognizes the challenges associated with building the systems necessary to report the data in the trading schedule. Regarding the application of the global market shock component, under the revised FR Y-14 report, the Board is delaying the application of the global market shock to firms that would become newly subject to it until the 2019 DFAST/CCAR exercise. However, assessing potential losses associated with trading books, private equity positions, and counterparty exposures for firms with significant trading activity is a critical component of stress testing and capital planning. Therefore, for the 2018 DFAST exercise, pursuant to the stress test rules, the materiality of trading exposures and counterparty positions to U.S. IHCs may warrant applying an additional component to firms that meet such criteria. The components would serve as an add-on to the economic conditions and financial market environment specified in the adverse and severely adverse scenarios. The Board will notify any affected firms in writing of the additional components or the additional scenarios to be included.6

    6See 12 CFR 252.54(b)(4)(i).

    In consideration of the recommendations outlined by commenters regarding the submission of FR Y-14Q, Schedule F (Trading) and Schedule L (Counterparty), the Board agrees that a delay in the initial data submission date would facilitate improved data quality. Although commenters indicated that submitting data as of September 30, 2017, would be feasible with a delay in the submission date, firms joining the reporting panel will not be required to report the FR Y-14 trading and counterparty schedules until the December 31, 2017 as-of date. Given the alternative approach to inclusion of trading and counterparty activities for these firms for stress testing in 2018 the Board will provide firms with additional time to submit the FR Y-14 data with the objective of allowing for additional opportunities for submitting test files and achieving higher data quality. Specifically, the FR Y-14 trading and counterparty for the reports as of Q4 2017 will be due May 1, 2018. In addition, there will also be a delayed submission date for the reports as of Q1 2018, which will be due June 30, 2018. For the reports Q2 2018 forward, the data will be due as outlined in the FR Y-14 instructions.

    The Board understands the need for additional time for the initial application of the modified global market shock threshold. If firms that were already subject to stress testing and FR Y-14 reporting and subsequently cross the global market shock threshold going forward, firms would presumably have been below but close to the threshold for a considerable period of time and would have been aware of the application criteria. This should already provide an adequate amount of time to anticipate meeting and preparing to comply with requirements. In addition, firms already have a phase-in period related to the establishment of a U.S. IHC and application of the capital plan rule. Therefore, for firms that cross the global market shock threshold in the future, the Board does not anticipate providing any further delay in applicability.

    In the context of the recommendation for a transition period for applicability of the modified global market shock threshold, one commenter expressed that the resources required for actual implementation of the global market shock would be multiples of the estimated ongoing resources requirements for the schedule, estimated at 9,736 hours per firm. The Board continues to invite comments on the burden estimates and strives to accurately reflect the effort to compile and submit data on the FR Y-14 reports. The commenter provided no further information on how or why the Board should adjust the burden estimates and the Board received no other comments on the burden estimates as related to the global market shock threshold. To capture the additional effort necessary to begin reporting the FR Y-14 trading and counterparty schedules, the Board will adjust the implementation burden to recognize the upfront burden for the six firms newly subject to the global market shock and, specifically associated FR Y-14 reporting requirements, to begin filing the schedules.

    Commenters also noted that the proposal did not address whether U.S. IHCs that become subject to the global market shock would also become subject to the large counterparty default scenario. Specifically, commenters requested that if the Board's intention is to apply the large counterparty default scenario component to the firms covered under the modified global market shock threshold, the Board should conduct a quantitative impact study and/or allow for public comment. If the Board does apply the large counterparty default scenario component to firms newly subject to global market shock, commenters requested that it be applied only after implementation of global market shock or with a phased-in approach similar to that recommended for global market shock.

    The large counterparty default scenario component is an add-on component that requires firms with substantial derivatives or securities financing transaction activities to incorporate a scenario component into their supervisory adverse and severely adverse stress scenarios. In connection with the large counterparty default scenario component, subject firms are required to estimate and report losses and related effects on capital associated with the instantaneous and unexpected default of the counterparty that would generate the largest losses across their derivatives and securities financing activities, including securities lending and repurchase or reverse repurchase agreement activities. As indicated in the stress test rules, the Board will notify the firm in writing no later than December 31 of the preceding calendar year of its intention to require the firm to include one or more additional components in its stress test. The covered firm may request reconsideration with an explanation for why reconsideration should be granted within 14 calendar days of receipt of the notification. The Board will continue to use this existing process to apply the large counterparty default scenario component.

    Proposed Revisions to the FR Y-14A

    The proposed revisions to the FR Y-14A consisted of modifying reported items and instructions by clarifying the intended reporting of existing items or aligning them with standards and methodology, adding an item critical to stress test and supervisory modeling, and reducing burden through the elimination of certain schedules.

    Specifically, the Board proposed modifying Summary—Securities (Schedule A) sub-schedules A.3.a and A.3.c to clarify the reporting of “Credit Loss portion” and “Non-Credit Loss Portion” information, adding an item to the Summary—Counterparty sub-schedule (Schedule A.5) to capture Funding Valuation Adjustment (FVA), and eliminating the FR Y-14A, Schedule D (Regulatory Capital Transitions) and Schedule G (Retail Repurchase Exposures). Commenters were supportive of these modifications and the final FR Y-14 requirements implement the modifications as proposed effective for the reports with data as of December 31, 2017.

    Comments and clarifying changes were received on the proposed addition of a sub-schedule to the FR Y-14A, Schedule F (Business Plan Changes), indirectly related to the proposed removal of Schedule G (Retail Repurchase Exposures), and the proposed elimination of the concept of extraordinary items. In some cases, these comments resulted in modifications to the proposed changes, including delays in the effective date for certain changes to December 31, 2017, or March 31, 2018. The effective dates and responses to comments are detailed below.

    FR Y-14A, Schedule A (Summary)

    One commenter did not comment on the proposal to capture FVA on the FR Y-14A and FR Y-14Q reports, but recommended clarifications to the FR Y-14A instructions to allow for consistent reporting of FVA and related activities. First, the commenter recommended that the Board update the instructions to indicate that firms should report FVA gains and losses for all supervisory and BHC scenarios. Second, the commenter recommended that the Board update the instructions to indicate that gains and losses on FVA hedges should be reported on Schedule A.4 (Summary—Trading). The Board has reviewed the suggested clarifications, however additional analysis is needed surrounding the impact on reporting before updating the instructions. The Board will continue to consider the clarifications and will propose changes for notice and comment or provide additional guidance in the future if appropriate.

    FR Y-14A, Schedule F (Business Plan Changes) Schedule F.2 (Pro Forma Balance Sheet M&A)

    Two commenters requested clarification on what information surrounding pro forma balance sheet mergers and acquisitions the proposed sub-schedule would collect, and one commenter requested the Board delay the implementation of this new sub-schedule, which was originally proposed to be effective as of December 31, 2017. Specifically, one commenter requested clarification as to whether the “Pro Forma Balance Sheet M&A” sub-schedule of the FR Y-14A, Schedule F (Business Plan Changes) would require respondents to report projections. The same commenter also requested that the Board provide a minimum of six months to implement necessary changes to accommodate the proposed sub-schedule.

    In the event that a covered company intends to undertake a merger or acquisition, then the “Pro Forma Balance Sheet M&A” worksheet will require projections, as does the current FR Y-14A, Schedule F.1 (BPC). The pro forma information required is similar to what a firm must submit in its application for regulatory approval for the merger or acquisition, and the items collected on the sub-schedule must sum to the post-acquisition fair value of the portfolio as reported on the FR Y-14A, Schedule F.1 (BPC). The projection of these additional items should not pose a significant additional burden for firms that are already projecting a merger or acquisition for the purposes of reporting the FR Y-14A Schedule F, Balance Sheet worksheet. This information should be available to the firms that would be required to complete the schedule, is similarly structured to information reported elsewhere, and would provide valuable inputs to the DFAST and CCAR exercises, therefore the Board will not delay the effective date of this change. The final FR Y-14A report implements sub-schedule F.2 (Pro Forma Balance Sheet M&A) as proposed, effective December 31, 2017.

    Another commenter requested that the Board clarify if divestitures would also be included in the proposed sub-schedule F.2. The Board confirms that divestitures would not be included in sub-schedule F.2. The commenter also requested that the Board clarify how a firm would report values associated with M&A activity in the structure of the FR Y-14A, Balance Sheet as proposed. The Board confirms that a firm would report only the post-acquisition fair value of an asset or liability onboarded in a merger or acquisition on its projected balance sheet. The “Pro Forma Balance Sheet M&A” sub-schedule allows firms to report the pre-acquisition book value, purchase accounting adjustments, and fair value adjustments that resulted in the post-acquisition fair value reported on the current FR Y-14A, Balance Sheet sub-schedule.

    FR Y-14A, Schedule G (Retail Repurchase Exposures)

    One commenter requested that the Board clarify if the proposal eliminates the FR Y-14A, Schedule G (Retail Repurchase Exposures) completely or if the collection of these data would move back to a sub-schedule of the FR Y-14A, Schedule A (Summary) where it was historically collected. The Board confirms that the collection of data under the FR Y-14A, Schedule G would be removed and the FR Y-14 would no longer collect these data. Having received no further comments on the removal of the FR Y-14A, Schedule G, the final FR Y-14 eliminates the schedule as proposed, effective with the reports with data as of December 31, 2017.

    One commenter asked that the Board eliminate the FR Y-14A, Schedule A.2.b (Retail Repurchase Projections). The commenter noted that this sub-schedule collects similar information to the FR Y-14A, Schedule G (Retail Repurchase Exposures) indicating the rationale should also apply for eliminating this annual collection. In addition, commenters cited that large and noncomplex firms are no longer required to complete the FR Y-14A, Schedule A.2.b (Retail Repurchase Exposures).

    The Board agrees that some of the same reasons for eliminating the FR Y-14A, Schedule G (Retail Repurchase Exposures) apply to the projection data collection, however notes there are additional, ongoing uses of these data for which the Board can find alternative inputs. However, given the schedule's connection to other components of the FR Y-14A, Schedule A (Summary) and current reliance on these data for the CCAR and DFAST exercises, firms will still report the sub-schedule through the reports with data as of December 31, 2017. In response to comment and in an effort to further reduce burden, the final FR Y-14 eliminates the FR Y-14A, Schedule A.2.b (Retail Repurchase Projections) with the reports with data as-of March 31, 2018.

    Proposed Elimination of Extraordinary Items

    Under the proposal, references to the term “extraordinary items” would be eliminated from the FR Y-14A, Schedule A.1.a (Income Statement) and the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H (Wholesale) forms and instructions, and where appropriate, replaced with “discontinued operations” as a result of an amendment (ASU No. 2015-01) to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification, Income Statement—Extraordinary and Unusual Items (FASB Subtopic 225-30) effective with the reports with data as of September 30, 2017.

    One commenter requested that the Board clarify if firms should aggregate all categories of Discontinued Operations (revenue, expenses, and provisions) into the proposed field, Discontinued Operations, on the FR Y-14A, Schedule A.1.a (Income Statement) and consequently exclude all of those categories from other line items in the Income Statement sub-schedule. The Board clarifies that the intended reporting of line item 131 in the Income Statement sub-schedule (historically, “Extraordinary items and other adjustments, net of income taxes” and now proposed, “Discontinued operations, net of applicable income taxes”) does not change with the proposed modifications, rather the line item name has been updated to be in-line with the FR Y-9C, Schedule HI. The definition for this line item references the FR Y-9C, Schedule HI, item 11 and should still be reported as such under the proposed changes.

    Another commenter requested that the Board delay the removal and replacement of the extraordinary items concept on the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H (Wholesale) until at least March 31, 2018 to allow adequate time for the firms to source and validate the data. In response, the Board is delaying the effective date of these changes for both the FR Y-14A, Schedule A.1.a (Income Statement) and the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H (Wholesale) to be effective as of March 31, 2018 (i.e., for reports as of June 30, 2018 for FR Y-14A, Schedule A).

    Proposed Revisions to the FRY-14Q

    The proposed revisions to the FR Y-14Q consisted of updating certain instructions and changing the reporting structure and requirements of existing items to further align reported items with methodology, standards, and treatment on other regulatory reports or within the FR Y-14 reports, and to enhance supervisory modeling. The proposal would also have added new items and make a number of changes to the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L (Counterparty). Two commenters addressed the proposed changes to the FR Y-14Q schedules.

    Commenters were generally supportive of and voiced no concerns regarding the modifications to the FR Y-14Q Schedule A (Retail), Schedule C (Regulatory Capital Instruments), Schedule J (FVO/HFS), and Schedule M (Balances). These changes are narrow in scope or clarifying in nature, and are necessary to enhance supervisory information for the CCAR and DFAST exercises. Therefore, the Board will implement these changes with the reports with data as of December 31, 2017. There were no substantive comments regarding the proposed change to the FR Y-14Q, Schedule F (Trading); however, in response to comments, the Board will extend the effective date of this change until March 31, 2018. Any clarifying questions have been addressed in the detailed sections.

    Regarding the remaining changes to the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H (Wholesale) and Schedule L (Counterparty), certain modifications to the proposed changes will be made in consideration of the comments received, including delays in the effective date for certain changes to December 31, 2017 or March 31, 2018. The effective dates and responses to comments are detailed below.

    FR Y-14Q, Schedule C (Regulatory Capital Instruments)

    Under the proposal, the Board would enhance the instructions for the “Comments” field in all three sub-schedules of the FR Y-14Q, Schedule C (Regulatory Capital Instruments) to specify that firms should indicate within the comments how the amounts reported on these sub-schedules tie back to amounts approved in the firm's capital plan. One commenter requested that the Board clarify if the “Comments” field in the three sub-schedules should reflect summary balance variances to the firm's capital plan by Instrument Type since the capital plans submitted by firms do not reflect CUSIP-level detail. The Board confirms that firms' comments in the FR Y-14Q, Schedule C should reflect summary balance variances by Instrument Type. Furthermore, if the same comment is relevant across multiple instruments in the firm's submission, comments should repeat.

    Also under the proposal, additional types of instruments would be added to be reported in Column C (Instrument Type) on the issuance and redemption sub-schedules to capture issuances and redemptions of capital instruments related to employee stock compensation (e.g., de novo common stock or treasury stock), and changes in an IHC's APIC through the contribution of capital from a foreign parent or the remission of capital to a foreign parent.

    One commenter requested that the Board clarify if the firm should report the same CUSIP in multiple rows or add a character at the end of each CUSIP to uniquely identify each instrument. The Board confirms that the firm should report the same CUSIP across multiple rows, provided that a different instrument type is used for each recurrence of the respective CUSIP. The combination of the CUSIP and the Instrument Type will uniquely identify each record. If there are duplicate records with the same CUSIP and Instrument Type, a firm should append a differentiating feature on the end of the CUSIP (e.g., “v1” and “v2”, etc.) and specify in the comments column that these are in fact swaps on the same CUSIP.7 This guidance will be added to the instructions. Another comment asked for guidance regarding the intended reporting of Common Stock with relation to the three proposed instruments. The Board clarifies that firms should report the remaining amount of common stock after deducting the amount reported in the new instruments.

    7See FR Y-14 FAQ ID Y140000259.

    Finally, a third comment requested clarification surrounding how a decrease in APIC should be treated if it resulted from an issuance of common stock from treasury stock. The Board clarifies that a decrease in APIC as a result of treasury stock being issued at a price lower than its cost basis (i.e., the accounting amount of the stock held on the firm's balance sheet) must not be captured in sub-schedule C.2 (Issuances). Reductions in APIC on sub-schedule C.2 should reflect only instances in which an U.S. IHC remits capital to its foreign parent outside the context of payment on or redemption of an internal capital instrument. Sub-schedule C.2 does not capture decreases in APIC resulting from employee stock compensation-related drivers, nor does sub-schedule C.3 capture increases in APIC resulting from employee stock compensation-related drivers. The final instructions include these clarifications.

    The final FR Y-14 will be updated accordingly and the changes implemented with the reports with data as of December 31, 2017.

    FR Y-14Q, Schedule F (Trading)

    One commenter asked that the Board confirm the formatting of the proposed vintage breakouts on the FR Y-14Q, Schedule F.14 (Securitized Products). The proposed draft instructions erroneously specified one of the vintage breakouts for the FR Y-14Q, Schedule F.14. The vintage breakouts should read as follows: “>9Y”, “>6Y and <= 9Y”, “>3Y and <= 6Y”, “<= 3Y”, and “Unspecified Vintage”. The final form reflects the appropriate vintage breakouts. As noted above, having received no other comments, the final FR Y-14 will implement the revision as proposed effective with the reports with data as of March 31, 2018.

    FR Y-14Q, Schedule H (Wholesale)

    The Board proposed expanding the Disposition Flag (Schedule H.1 (Corporate), item 98, and Schedule H.2 (CRE), item 61) and Credit Facility Type (Schedule H.1, (Corporate), item 20) to include an option for commitments to commit. Commenters requested that the Board clarify the expectations surrounding the reporting of the proposed Credit Facility Type field to ensure accurate reporting and expressed that reporting firms do not always consider “commitment to commit” as a separate facility type. Commenters also asserted that the concept of netting deferred fees of a commitment is not a GAAP or FR Y-9C concept. Commenters requested that the Board withdraw or defer both of these proposed changes to a later effective date.

    The final FR Y-14 includes the expansion of the Disposition Flag (Schedule H.1, Corporate, Item 98, and Schedule H.2, CRE, item 61) and Credit Facility Type (Schedule H.1, Corporate, Item 20) to include an option for commitment to commit. However, in response to comments, the Board is delaying the effective date of this change until the reports with data as of March 31, 2018. The Board clarifies that firms are already required to report commitments to commit on both the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H.1 (Corporate) and H.2 (CRE). This improved data is necessary to adequately capture risk and provide consistent treatment across the portfolio of firms. In the absence of a clear and explicit reporting requirement, there has been significant variation in how banks have reported these exposures, including some who have not reported them at all. As these facilities constitute material exposures for some banks, the improvements fill important gaps in our assessment of potential losses. The Board further clarifies that firms should report commitments to commit, as defined in the FR Y-9C, Schedule HC-L (Derivatives and Off-Balance Sheet Items), on the Wholesale schedules along with all corresponding data fields. Per the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H.1 (Corporate) and H.2 (CRE) instructions for Origination Date (H.1, item 18 and H.2, item 10), “For commitments to commit which are not syndicated, report the date on which the BHC or IHC extended terms to the borrower.” Therefore, commitments to commit should not have a future origination date.

    The Board intended the proposed change in the reporting of Utilized Exposure/Outstanding Balance (Schedule H.1, Corporate, item 25 and Schedule H.2, CRE, item 3) and Committed Exposure (Schedule H.1, Corporate, item 24 and Schedule H.2, CRE, item 5) items to clarify reporting. However, in light of comments and questions received, the Board is not adopting these proposed changes to the FR Y-14.

    The Board also proposed updating the instructions for the ASC 310-30 item (Schedule H.1, Corporate, item 31 and Schedule H.2, CRE, item 47) to be consistent with purchase credit impaired (PCI) accounting standards and terminology and modifying the Participation Flag field (Item 7) on Schedule H.2 (CRE) to be mandatory rather than optional.

    One commenter questioned how the proposed instructions would result in different reporting from the current requirements. The Board confirms that the change to the existing ASC 310-30 field is only meant to clarify reporting of PCIs to improve alignment with GAAP and may not represent a change in reporting based on a firm's prior interpretation of the instructions. The final FR Y-14 implements this change effective with the reports with data as of March 31, 2018.

    Regarding the change of the Participation Flag to mandatory, one commenter expressed that item 7 and item 59 (Participation Flag and Participation Interest, respectively) of the FR Y-14Q, Schedule H.2 (CRE) should remain optional. Commenters cited that the SNC program status is monitored by agent banks, which are not required to notify participant banks of the status and therefore, the information is often not available and therefore not reported. Therefore, the commenter suggests, even if the field becomes mandatory, it should only be mandatory for agent banks.

    As stated in the initial Federal Register notice, almost all reporting firms already choose to report the participation flag field. Therefore, this information does in fact appear to be readily available in most cases. The Board confirms that intent of the options in the Participation Flag field are, in conjunction with the SNC Internal Credit Facility ID and Participation Interest, intended to distinguish whether or not the credit facility is included in the SNC report. The change will be implemented as proposed, with a delay in the effective date until March 31, 2018.

    FR Y-14Q, Schedule L (Counterparty)

    The Board proposed several changes to the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L (Counterparty). All of the changes were proposed to be effective with the September 30, 2017 report date. Primarily, commenters asked for additional time to incorporate these changes given the perceived material nature of several of the changes and inconsistencies or ambiguity identified in the proposed instructions and forms. Firms indicated that the Board would need to provide further guidance in order for respondents to report the various fields properly. Commenters also asked several clarifying questions regarding the proposed forms and instructions.

    The final FR Y-14 implements the proposed changes to the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L (Counterparty), but will delay the effective date until March 31, 2018, for all changes except for the collection of information related to additional or offline reserves, which will be collected with the reports with data as of December 31, 2017. This should allow reporting firms adequate time to incorporate the changes with the additional guidance needed to report the requested data properly. Furthermore, the final forms and instructions include a number of clarifications in line with the comments, as appropriate, to enhance guidance surrounding the intended reporting.

    One commenter noted that the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L.5 (Derivatives and Securities Financing Transactions (SFT) Profile) sub-schedules do not consistently address requirements for each scenario or distinguish on the report form for sub-schedule L.5.1 (Derivative and SFT information by counterparty legal entity and master netting agreement) where internal and external ratings of counterparties or different currencies should be reported, although subdivided reporting was proposed. To address this, the final FR Y-14 form for the L.5 sub-schedules will include a column for severely adverse and adverse scenarios, and the form for sub-schedule L.5.1 will include columns for both internal and external ratings and currencies in line with the proposed instructions. The final XML technical instructions will further outline reporting structure.

    Several clarifications were requested regarding the ranking and definition of central clearing counterparties (CCPs), including what ranking methodology should be used to report on sub-schedule L.5.2 (SFT assets posted and received by counterparty legal entity and master netting agreement) and what definition should be used for CCPs. The Board confirms that CCPs refer to designated central clearing counterparties and will update the instructions to clarify that all G-7 Sovereigns and CCPs should be reported in addition to the Top 25 counterparties by Rank 1, 2, 3, 4 (including non G-7s Sovereigns). For counterparties reported on sub-schedule L.5.2 ranking methodologies 1 and 2 apply. The final FR Y-14 form for the L.5 sub-schedules will include columns for rank methodology and rank so that firms may clearly report by distinguishing which counterparties are reported for each ranking methodology. The technical instructions will specify reporting structure details.

    Similarly, one commenter noted that the proposed instructions for sub-schedule L.5 did not specify a ranking methodology for the baseline and stressed scenarios. The Board clarifies that for unstressed (Non-CCAR) quarters, firms should report all G-7 Sovereigns and CCPs plus Top 25 non G-7/Non CCP counterparties, ranked by SFT amount posted, SFT net current exposure, derivatives notional, and derivatives net current exposure. For the CCAR (stressed) quarter, firms should report all G-7 Sovereigns and CCPs plus Top 25 non G-7/Non CCP counterparties, ranked by SFT amount posted, derivatives notional amount, SFT FR stressed net current exposure for each scenario, and derivatives FR stressed net current exposure for each scenario. The final instructions will be updated to be consistent with this reporting methodology.

    One commenter noted the proposed instructions indicate firms should report notional information and inquired whether respondents should report the notional amounts on the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L (Counterparty) net or gross. The Board confirms that respondents should report the gross amount and the instructions include this guidance. Total notional is the gross notional value of all derivative contracts on the reporting date. For contracts with variable notional principal amounts, the basis for reporting is the notional principal amounts at the time of reporting. The total should include the sum of notional values of all contracts with a positive market value and contracts with a negative market value.

    One commenter asked for clarification regarding the reporting of netting Agreement ID and Netting Set ID on the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L.5.1 and noted that the form only included a column for Netting Set ID. The Board clarifies that firms should only report the Netting Set ID field for both SFTs and derivatives. The final instructions will be updated to reflect this treatment.

    The commenter also asked for clarification regarding the “consolidation of counterparties” section of the general instructions for the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L. The Board will clarify these instructions to indicate that firms should report Sovereigns and CCPs at the entity level and non-Sovereigns and non-CCPs at the consolidated group level. For Sovereigns and CCPs, firms should report consolidated group/parent level name in the Counterparty Name field, the consolidated counterparty ID in Counterparty ID field, the counterparty entity ID in the Netting Set ID field, and the counterparty entity name in the Sub-Netting Set ID field. The ranking described in this section of the general instructions should be based on the consolidated Sovereign or CCP and firms must report that rank for each entity. For non-Sovereigns and non-CCPs, firms should report NA in both the Netting Set ID and the Sub-Netting Set ID fields.

    Also regarding L.5.1, one commenter asked if certain fields (Agreement Type (CACNR529), Agreement Role (CACNR530), Netting Level (CACNR532), Legal Enforceability (CACNR534), Independent Amount (non CCP) or Initial Margin (CCP) (CACSR551), Excess Variation Margin (for CCPs) (CACSR553), Default Fund (for CCPs) (CACSR554) were to be reported for both derivatives and SFTs. As proposed, firms should report these fields for both derivatives and SFTs. The final instructions reflect allowable entries for these fields applicable to derivatives as well.

    One commenter indicated that some firms do not collect initial margin and default fund as part of SFT CCP reporting and that the proposed instructions did not specify if the firms need to exclude initial margin and default fund contributions from SFT CCP data. The Board clarifies that initial margin and default fund contribution should only be reported where applicable to SFT CCP reporting.

    One commenter observed that 3 new columns were added to the instructions for the FR Y-14Q, Schedule L.5.4 (Derivative position detail), but were not included on the form. The commenter also asked if certain fields (total notional, new notional during the quarter, weighted average maturity, position MTM and total net collateral) are applicable to CCPs. The Board confirms that these fields are applicable to CCPs, for sub-schedules L.1.a through L.1.d. The instructions and forms will be updated accordingly.

    The proposed draft instructions asked firms to report Weighted Average Maturity. Commenters inquired whether, for trades with Optional Early Termination agreements (OETs) or Mandatory Early Termination agreements (METs), the maturity reporting should take into account early termination features and whether firms should report effective average maturity (e.g., to reflect amortizations or prepayments) or only legal maturity. The Board clarifies that firms should report the average of time to maturity in years for all positions associated with the reported amount in the item Gross CE, as weighted by the gross notional amount associated with a given position. For trades with Optional Early Termination (OET), the maturity reporting should not take into account such early termination features. For trades with Mandatory Early Termination (MET), however, the maturity reporting should take into account such early termination features.

    One commenter noted some inconsistencies in the instructions, and requested clarification to central counterparty reporting regarding the house exposures and client exposures. The Board has reviewed and addressed questions related to central counterparty reporting outside of this proposal. Firms should refer to the most up-to-date instructions are available on the Board's public website.

    Proposed Revisions to the FR Y-14M

    The proposed revisions to the FR Y-14M consisted of adding a line item to collect the RSSD ID (the unique identifier assigned to institutions by the Board) of any chartered national bank that is a subsidiary of the BHC and that is associated with a loan or portfolio reported, and add a line item to collect the month-ending balance for credit card borrowers. Both items were proposed to be effective for reports as of September 30, 2017.

    Schedules A, B, D (First Lien, Home Equity, and Credit Card)

    Regarding the addition of an item to collect the RSSD ID (the unique identifier assigned to institutions by the Board) one commenter presented questions regarding what RSSD ID should be reported and questioned the value of adding a field versus enhancing the existing “Entity Type” field (fields 129, 207, and 115 of Schedules A, B, and D, respectively). The commenter requested that in light of the required data sourcing and coding changes, the Board delay the implementation of this item.

    The final FR Y-14 implements the collection of the RSSD ID for loans reported on the FR Y-14M Schedules A, B, and D, but in response to comment will delay the effective date until the reports with data as of March 31, 2018, and would make certain clarifications to the collection of these data. The Board continues to support collection of this data element to meet supervisory needs of the OCC, but understands the complexities involved in making these changes. Accordingly, the final FR Y-14 implements the collection of the RSSD ID field beginning with the reports with data as of March 31, 2018, with the clarifications included in the following section.

    One commenter asked that the Board clarify, in Schedules A, B, and D, if loans could be identified using the existing Entity Type field or RSSD ID contained in the file name rather than adding a new field. The Board agrees the existing field provides additional information, however notes that it is not sufficient or comprehensive on its own. The Entity Type field alone is not sufficient, because for BHCs that have multiple national bank charters, the Entity Type field does not specify which national bank charter holds a financial interest in the loan.8 Furthermore, the RSSD ID provided in each of the BHC's file naming conventions is the RSSD ID of the BHC. The requested additional RSSD ID field is the RSSD ID of the national bank entity that has a financial interest associated with the loan.

    8 For the purposes of this notice, a national bank subsidiary is deemed to have a financial interest in the loan if it owns the loan and/or services the loan.

    Commenters asked several questions to clarify what RSSD ID respondents should provide in the proposed field in particular circumstances. Commenters asked if respondents should report the RSSD ID based on the direct subsidiary or indirect subsidiary for the proposed field for loans that are held in a chartered national bank that is an indirect subsidiary of the holding company. For example, if national bank B were an indirect subsidiary of a BHC and a direct subsidiary of national bank A (which is a direct subsidiary of a BHC). Commenters also asked if a respondent would ever be required to provide a RSSD ID of a chartered national bank that is not a subsidiary of the reporting BHC. For example, whether respondents would report loans serviced by a subsidiary of the BHC but owned by another bank or, if loans are owned by the BHC but serviced by a third party, whether respondents would report the RSSD ID of the subsidiary national bank or that of the third-party bank. For loans serviced by a direct subsidiary of the BHC for a third party entity, commenters asked if the respondent would report the BHC RSSD ID. Finally, commenters asked for clarification on whether the field should be reported if the subsidiary of the holding company is a state chartered bank, and not a national bank, and if so, if the reported RSSD ID should reflect the BHC or the state bank.

    In the case of an indirect subsidiary, the respondent should report the RSSD ID of the national bank that has a financial interest in the loan. For loans that are serviced by a national bank subsidiary of the BHC but owned by another entity, the respondent should report the RSSD ID of the national bank subsidiary that services the loan. For loans that are owned by a national bank subsidiary of the BHC but serviced by another entity, the respondent should report the RSSD ID of the national bank subsidiary that owns the loan. If a national bank subsidiary of the BHC both owns and services the loan, the respondent should report the RSSD ID of the national bank subsidiary that both owns and services the loan. If no national bank subsidiary either owns or services the loan, this field should be left blank (null). In all cases, this field either would be left null or will contain the RSSD ID of a chartered national bank that is a subsidiary of the reporting BHC. To clarify the intended reporting of the national bank RSSD ID in line with the proposal and in light of commenters' questions, the definition of this item within the FR Y-14M instructions will be updated to include these clarifications.

    Finally, commenters questioned whether the RSSD ID field would only affect Loan Level files (FR Y-14M, Schedules A.1, B.1, and D.1) or if an additional field also be added to Portfolio Level files (FR Y-14M, Schedules A.2, B.2 and D.2). With the clarifications to the instructions outlined above, the final FR Y-14 implements the proposed changes for the Loan Level files (Schedules A.1, B.1, and D.1) effective with the reports with data as of March 31, 2018. The RSSD ID field will not be collected as part of the Portfolio Level files (Schedules A.2, B.2, and D.2).

    Schedule D (Credit Card)

    For the reports with data as of September 30, 2017, the Board proposed breaking out the total outstanding balance reported on Schedule D (Credit Card) into two items: Cycle-Ending Balance (existing item 15) and Month-Ending Balance. The addition of the month-ending balance item would replace the Cycle Ending Balance Flag (item 16).

    One commenter indicated that the rationale for both cycle-ending balance and month-ending balance on Schedule D was unclear and that availability in credit card servicing systems does not necessarily imply those data are available for reporting purposes. The commenter requested that the Board withdraw this change.

    The Board emphasizes that both Month Ending Balance and the existing Cycle-Ending Balance fields enhance modeling and enable the Board and the OCC to identify the level and direction of model risks to which a bank is exposed. In particular, the cycle-ending balance informs consumers' behavior in terms of performance of loans, spending and payment behavior, and highlights the timing influence between the two measures. The existing cycle-ending balance field currently allows firms to report either the month-ending or cycle-ending balances identified by the existing cycle-ending balance flag field, resulting in inconsistent reporting across firms and diminished usability of the reported data for this field. The final FR Y-14 implements these changes with the reports with data as of March 31, 2018.

    Other Comments

    Under the current attestation requirement, BHCs and U.S. IHCs subject to supervision by the Large Institution Supervision Coordination Committee (LISCC) 9 are required to submit a cover page signed by the chief financial officer or an equivalent senior officer attesting to the material correctness of actual data, conformance to instructions, and effectiveness of internal controls. Although no modifications to the existing attestation requirement were proposed, commenters suggested certain modifications to the submission dates for the attestation requirement, including allowing firms subject to supervision by the LISCC to submit the FR Y-14M attestations quarterly, instead of each respective month. Another commenter requested that U.S. IHCs subject to supervision by the LISCC that are required to submit their first attestation as of December 31, 2017, submit their attestations for the reports associated with the annual cycle for the FR Y-14A and FR Y-14Q reports in April 2018, instead of on each data schedule's respective submission date. These modifications would allow these U.S. IHCs the same amount of time to come into compliance with the attestation requirement as was accorded BHCs and would clarify the attestation due date for FR Y-14 schedules with alternative submission dates, while reducing operational burden associated with the attestation requirement. In line with this feedback, the Board will modify the attestation requirement as follows:

    9 BHCs subject to supervision by the LISCC were subject to the attestation requirement in December 2016, and U.S. IHCs subject to supervision by the LISCC will be subject beginning in December 2017.

    FR Y-14A/Q (annual submission): For both LISCC U.S. IHCs and BHCs subject to the FR Y-14 attestation requirement, the attestation associated with the annual submission (i.e., data reported as of December 31, including the global market shock submission 10 ) will be submitted on the last submission date for those reports, typically April 5 of the following year. For example, all of the FR Y-14Q schedules due 52 days after the as of date (typically mid-February), all of the FR Y-14A schedules due April 5, and the trading and counterparty schedules due on the global market shock submission date (March 15 at the latest) will be due on the latest of those dates, the annual submission date for the FR Y-14A report schedules (April 5).

    10 As outlined in Sections 252.144 (Annual Stress Tests) of Regulation YY (12 CFR 252), the as-of date will be October 1 of the calendar year preceding the year of the stress test cycle to March 1 of the calendar year of the stress test cycle and will be communicated to the BHCs by March 1st of the calendar year.

    FR Y-14M: for those firms that file the FR Y-14M reports, the three attestations for the three months of the quarter will be due on one date, the final FR Y-14M submission date for those three intervening months. For example, the attestation cover pages and any associated materials for the FR Y-14M reports with January, February, and March as of dates will be due on the data due date for the March FR Y-14M. Note that one attestation page per monthly submission is still required.

    FR Y-14Q: the FR Y-14Q attestation for the three remaining quarters (Q1, Q2, and Q3) will continue to be submitted on the due date for the FR Y-14Q for that quarter.

    The instructions and cover pages will be updated to clarify and align with the submission dates.

    Two commenters requested the elimination of several schedules that the Board did not propose to modify. Commenters requested that the Board no longer require the reporting of detailed information on a firm's retail balances and loss projections (FR Y-14A, Schedule A.2.a), metrics of pre-provision net revenue (FR Y-14A, Schedule A.7.c), or quarterly data monitoring progress towards phasing in regulatory capital requirements (FR Y-14Q, Schedule D) as they believe the information is not material to the balance sheet and provides little incremental information or value. The Board reviews the items required to be reported on the FR Y-14 series of reports on an ongoing basis. In response to past comments, the Board has assessed the information collected on the Summary—PPNR Metrics (FR Y-14A, Schedule A.7.c) sub-schedule and added thresholds to certain items or removed other items altogether. All of these schedules continue to be used to produce either the Dodd-Frank Act stress test estimates or as part of the qualitative capital plan assessment (either through the qualitative component of the CCAR assessment for LISCC and large and complex firms or through the annual supervisory review for large and noncomplex firms). The Board may propose additional changes in the future to further reduce burden associated with these reporting requirements or in connection with updates to stress-test projections.

    Similarly, in an effort to reduce burden, commenters recommended that the Board reduce the reporting of the FR Y-14M schedules to a quarterly frequency. One commenter also summarized and provided further feedback on topics that require ongoing discussions, including requirements for historic resubmissions. The Board continues to investigate opportunities to reduce the burden of reporting while still collecting the data at a level of granularity and frequency that supports the running of the DFAST and CCAR exercises. As requested, the Board will continue to engage the industry to gather further feedback, including in regards to the FR Y-14M, and values industry feedback on matters related to FR Y-14 reporting.

    As in prior proposals,11 commenters requested that the Board undertake a periodic, full-scale review of the data items required in the FR Y-14 submissions, and that the Board increase edit check thresholds or allow for permanent closure options. In response, the Board confirms that it regularly reviews the required elements of the FR Y-14 submissions and will continue to review the requirements to ensure they are appropriate. The current edit check thresholds and permanent closure of edit checks are varied and have been determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the data item to which the edit check pertains. Given the disparate nature of the data items being collected, it would be inappropriate to create uniform minimum thresholds across all schedules.

    11 See, for example, responses to comments outline in the final tailoring rule (82 FR 9308).

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 11, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26960 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MV-2017-05; Docket No. 2017-0002; Sequence No. 25] Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting and request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are interested in conducting an ongoing dialogue with industry about Section 846 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, Procurement through Commercial e-Commerce Portals. The dialogue begins with this public notice and request for comment.

    GSA is providing external stakeholders the opportunity to offer input on the first implementation phase outlined in Section 846, an implementation plan due to Congress within 90 days of enactment.

    GSA and OMB are hosting a modified town-hall style public meeting to help inform the Phase I submittal.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be conducted on January 9, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Further Information for the public meeting may be found under the heading SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at GSA's Central Office, at 1800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20405.

    Submit comments identified by “Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals”, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments by searching for “Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals”. Select the link “Comment Now” and follow the instructions provided at the “You are commenting on” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals”, on your attached document.

    Mail: U.S. General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, 2nd Floor, ATTN: Lois Mandell, Washington, DC 20405-0001.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite “Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals” in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matthew McFarland at [email protected], or 202-690-9232, for clarification of content, public meeting information and submission of comment. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at 202-501-4755. Please cite “Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals”.

    Written Comments/Statements: Interested parties may submit written comments to www.regulations.gov by January 16, 2018.

    GSA and OMB encourage early engagement so that public input may be considered in the formulation of the Phase I implementation plan, which is due to Congress within 90 days of enactment of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2018.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The General Services Administration (GSA) was established to provide the United States Government with centralized procurement. For decades, GSA has provided access to commercial products through a number of channels including GSA Advantage!, GSA eBuy, GSA Global Supply, and the Federal Supply Schedules. Across the Government, the market for commercial products is estimated to be greater than $50 billion annually.

    GSA has long been focused on improving the acquisition of commercial items. Throughout its history, GSA has sought to leverage the best available technology to help agencies shorten the time to delivery, reduce administrative cost, make compliance easier, be a strategic thought leader and supplier of choice across the Federal Government, and be a good partner to industry. Today, the best available technology includes commercial e-commerce portals.

    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, Section 846 Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals, directs the Administrator of the GSA to establish a program to procure commercial products through commercial e-commerce portals. Section 846 language can be found at the following link—https://interact.gsa.gov/group/commercial-platform-initiative. Section 846 paragraph (c) instructs the “Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the GSA Administrator and the heads of other relevant departments and agencies,” to carry out three implementation phases. Phase I requires:

    Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, an implementation plan and schedule for carrying out the program established pursuant to subsection (a), including a discussion and recommendations regarding whether any changes to, or exemptions from, laws that set forth policies, procedures, requirements, or restrictions for the procurement of property or services by the Federal Government are necessary for effective implementation of this section.

    GSA and OMB intend to establish an ongoing dialogue with industry and interested parties in Government throughout the program's implementation. As a first step, GSA and OMB are seeking feedback from outside stakeholders on initial ideas for general program design and buying practices and, in that context, whether existing laws, Executive Orders, policies or other requirements may hinder effective implementation of the program.

    II. Written Comments

    To assist GSA and OMB in drafting the Phase I implementation plan, GSA and OMB are inviting interested parties to submit written comments. GSA and OMB are encouraging those comments be submitted before the public meeting on January 9, 2018, which will help GSA and OMB prepare informed questions for the public meeting discussions. However, all comments must be submitted by January 16, 2018, which will allow the Government to take them into account before drafting the Phase I implementation plan.

    To facilitate comment submission, GSA and OMB have developed a number of questions grouped around three focus areas—program design, business practices, and implementation. Each question is intended to provide respondents with a general framework for commenting. These questions are not intended to be all-inclusive; other comments and observations are encouraged. GSA and OMB understand the tight timeframe for initial comment may limit commenters' ability to fully address every issue and are therefore encouraging commenters to continue their analysis and provide additional input at future outreach sessions.

    A. General Program Design

    1. Leveraging existing e-commerce portal providers. What factors would encourage portal providers to contract with GSA to operate e-commerce portals for Government use? What are the standard terms and conditions relating to purchasing through the portal? Which of these standard terms and conditions would need to change for Federal Government buying? What relief from applicable laws, Executive Orders, regulations, and policies is necessary for portal providers to want to enter this marketplace?

    2. Number of portals. What factors should GSA take into consideration when determining the appropriate number of contracts to award to portal providers to achieve the objectives of the law (i.e., enhancing competition, expediting procurement, enabling market research, and ensuring reasonable pricing of commercial products)? For example, would it be appropriate for GSA to seek to limit overlap of product categories and/or make award to a single portal provider for a product category? In some industries, such as travel, aggregators and metasearch engines permit easy comparison shopping. Does such a model fit into a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) product marketplace?

    3. Phase-in. Section 846 envisions that the program would be available to acquisitions under the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT), which pursuant to NDAA Section 806, will be $250,000. Notwithstanding this limitation, should GSA take an incremental approach to the roll-out of the program? If so, should the phase-in be based on dollar value (e.g., focus initially on a threshold below the SAT), certain product categories (e.g., lab equipment, office supplies, clothing), and/or some other variable? Explain.

    4. Relationship between GSA, Government buyers, e-commerce portal providers, and sellers through portal providers. What is the commercial practice for the privity of contract relationship between e-commerce portal providers, sellers through portal providers, and buyers? Who should have privity of contract under the program? Should the portal provider have privity of contract with the sellers? Should the Government buyer have privity of contract with the seller through the portal provider?

    5. Relationship to existing programs. How should GSA consider the relationship between this program and other GSA managed Government-wide acquisition programs that provide ready access to COTS items, such as the Federal Supply Schedules and the national supply system? What unintended consequences, if any, do you envision, and what steps, if any, do you recommend to avoid them?

    B. Buying Practices

    1. Competition. How do commercial firms consider competition when conducting purchases through commercial e-commerce portals, compared to the Federal Government's approach to competition in its acquisition system? Should all purchases between the micro-purchase threshold and the SAT be treated in identical fashion in terms of competition? How, if at all, should the competition rules be modified from what is currently required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) for COTS purchases?

    2. Pricing, delivery and other terms of sale. How do commercial firms establish pricing, delivery, and other terms of sales when buying COTS products through commercial e-commerce portals? Should the Government's commercial e-commerce portal program allow GSA and/or Government buyers to negotiate discounts from stated prices and other concessions (e.g., volume discounts, faster delivery, longer warranties), as is done under the Federal Supply Schedules contracts? Alternatively, should Government buyers be restricted to a “take it or leave it” approach that limits customers to the prices sellers offer commercial customers based on the competitive pressures of the platform? How does the relationship between the e-commerce portal provider and supplier drive the approach?

    3. Compliance. What is the commercial practice of e-commerce portal providers for monitoring compliance with applicable laws/regulations and supply chain risk management of sellers through the portal? To the extent that purchases made through the portal are subject to certain Government-unique requirements, who should be responsible for ensuring compliance (e.g., the platform provider, the seller, the government buyer, other)?

    4. Considerations for small businesses, socio-economic programs, and mandatory sources. What, if any, adjustments should be made to existing requirements associated with small businesses, socio-economic programs, and mandatory sources?

    5. Supplier and product performance. What are the commercial practices for reviewing supplier and product performance on commercial e-commerce portals? How should the Government use supplier and product reviews for this program? Should Government reviews be public? Should the Government rely on commercial reviews integrated in the existing e-commerce platform when making purchases through the program? What role should existing Government past performance data play in the program?

    6. Responsibility of platform sellers. What are the commercial practices of e-commerce portal providers vetting the sellers on their platform? What, if any, responsibility determination should be made for companies selling through the portals, who should make the responsibility determination, and when should such a determination be made?

    C. Implementation

    1. Changes to existing acquisition framework for COTS items. If the program were only to apply core commercial item clauses in contracts with e-commerce portal providers and suppliers who sell through the portal, could the program operate successfully in part or in full? If not, what additional changes are needed to statutes, Executive Orders, regulations, policies, and other guidance and tools, to make the program successful? Where possible, please tie recommendations for relief to suggestions made in response to other questions to help illustrate the potential benefits of action and the potential consequences of inaction.

    2. Level of relief. Should the list of applicable laws, Executive Orders, regulations, and policies applicable to program purchases be identical for all COTS transactions over the micro-purchase threshold and up to the SAT?

    3. Rulemaking. Should the regulations for this program be in the FAR, in separate GSA regulations, or both? Why?

    D. Additional Considerations

    What other issues are especially important in thinking about Phase I and the initial implementation plan?

    III. Public Meeting

    GSA and OMB are holding a modified town-hall style public meeting on January 9, 2018. The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and conclude no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Attendees can attend the meeting in person at GSA Central Office or virtually through GSA's internet meeting platform, Adobe Connect. Further details on the virtual meeting will be made available via GSA Interact at https://interact.gsa.gov/group/commercial-platform-initiative. (GSA may encourage industry-to-industry dialogue through this interact site.)

    GSA and OMB will not make presentations and will not answer questions during this meeting. Instead, GSA and OMB will actively listen to the viewpoints and information presented by different interested parties. GSA and OMB may pose questions to participants to clarify feedback, to generate dialogue, or to increase understanding.

    This meeting will focus on Phase I. Future sessions are envisioned to gather information for subsequent implementation phases.

    In-person Attendance: Interested parties may attend the public meeting to be held in the GSA Auditorium at GSA Headquarters, located at 1800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20405. The public is asked to pre-register by January 2, 2018, due to security and seating limitations. To pre-register, email the names of attendees (required) and the name of their organization (not required) to Mr. Matthew McFarland at [email protected]

    Registration check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time January 9, 2018, and the meeting will start promptly at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, January 9, 2018. Attendees must be prepared to present a form of government-issued photo identification.

    Oral Presentations: GSA and OMB intend to conduct a modified town-hall/panel style discussion focused around each of the three main topics outlined above (i.e., program design, buying practices, and implementation). GSA will assign parties interested in presenting (at the public meeting) into panels.

    GSA intends to organize panel discussions around each of the three topic areas (General Program Design, Buying Practices, and Implementation). Each panel discussion will include up to five panelists and is expected to run between one to two hours. Parties wishing to participate as a panel member should email Mr. Matthew McFarland at [email protected] by December 28, 2017, noting which of the three topics they wish to address.

    GSA will select the panelists from amongst those expressing an interest and will formally notify them of which panel and estimated starting time. In selecting panelists, GSA will seek an array of perspectives, backgrounds, and views.

    As part of the facilitated dialogue, GSA and OMB employees will ask the panelists questions. Time permitting, other attendees may also be invited to ask questions. Time will be reserved before the conclusion of the meeting for attendees to comment on issues not already addressed.

    Note: Requests made after the deadline to participate on a panel may be accepted if space permits.

    Virtual Attendance: Interested parties may also attend virtually through GSA's virtual meeting platform, hosted by Adobe Connect. Further details on the virtual meeting will be made available via GSA Interact at https://interact.gsa.gov/group/commercial-platform-initiative.

    Meeting Accommodations: The public meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Request for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Matthew McFarland at [email protected] or 202-690-9232 by December 28, 2017.

    The TTY number for further information is: 1-800-877-8339. When the operator answers the call, let them know the agency is the General Services Administration; the point-of-contact is Mr. Matthew McFarland at 202-690-9232.

    Dated: December 11, 2017. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26964 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Designation of a Class of Employees for Addition to the Special Exposure Cohort AGENCY:

    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HHS gives notice of a decision to designate a class of employees from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Scoville, Idaho, as an addition to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stuart L. Hinnefeld, Director, Division of Compensation Analysis and Support, NIOSH, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS C-46, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1938, Telephone 1-877-222-7570. Information requests can also be submitted by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7384q(b). 42 U.S.C. 7384l(14)(C).

    On November 22, 2017, as provided for under 42 U.S.C. 7384l(14)(C),the Acting Secretary of HHS designated the following class of employees as an addition to the SEC:

    All employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Scoville, Idaho, and who were monitored for external radiation at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (CPP) (e.g., at least one film badge or TLD dosimeter from CPP) between January 1, 1975, and December 31, 1980, for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring solely under this employment, or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees in the Special Exposure Cohort.

    This designation will become effective on December 22, 2017, unless Congress provides otherwise prior to the effective date. After this effective date, HHS will publish a notice in the Federal Register reporting the addition of this class to the SEC or the result of any provision by Congress regarding the decision by HHS to add the class to the SEC.

    John Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27038 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-19-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10571] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by February 13, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number __, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' website address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected].

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10571 Limited Wraparound Coverage Reporting

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection of information request; Title of Information Collection: Limited Wraparound Coverage Reporting; Use: The Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services published final regulations on March 18, 2015 (80 FR 13995), amending the regulations regarding excepted benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Internal Revenue Code, and the Public Health Service Act to specify requirements for limited wraparound coverage to qualify as an excepted benefit. The final regulations include requirements that limited wraparound coverage must satisfy in order to qualify as excepted benefits. One of them is a reporting requirement, for group health plans and group health insurance issuers, as well as group health plan sponsors.

    A self-insured group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering or proposing to offer Multi-State Plan wraparound coverage, is required to report to OPM information reasonably required to determine whether the plan or issuer qualifies to offer such coverage or complies with the applicable requirements. In addition, the plan sponsor of any group health plan offering any type of limited wraparound coverage is required to report to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in a form and manner specified in guidance by the Secretary of HHS.

    We seek comment on the content of the proposed collection form. We also seek comment on the impact that an extension of the limited wraparound pilot program would have on the number of employers/sponsors participating in the limited wraparound pilot program. In addition, if HHS extends the limited wraparound pilot program, we seek comment on when the limited wraparound pilot program should sunset, or whether the limited wraparound pilot program should be made permanent. Form Number: CMS-10571 (OMB control number: 0938-NEW); Frequency: Once; Affected Public: Private Sector; Number of Respondents: 8; Number of Responses: 8; Total Annual Hours: 24. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Usree Bandyopadhyay at 410-786-6650).

    Dated: December 12, 2017. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27048 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-0809] Issuance of Priority Review Voucher; Rare Pediatric Disease Product AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the issuance of a priority review voucher to the sponsor of a rare pediatric disease product application. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), as amended by the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), authorizes FDA to award priority review vouchers to sponsors of approved rare pediatric disease product applications that meet certain criteria. FDA is required to publish notice of the award of the priority review voucher. FDA has determined that MEPSEVII (vestronidase alfa-vjbk), manufactured by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc., meets the criteria for a priority review voucher.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Althea Cuff, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-4061, Fax: 301-796-9856, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FDA is announcing the issuance of a priority review voucher to the sponsor of an approved rare pediatric disease product application. Under section 529 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360ff), which was added by FDASIA, FDA will award priority review vouchers to sponsors of approved rare pediatric disease product applications that meet certain criteria. FDA has determined that MEPSEVII (vestronidase alfa-vjbk), manufactured by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc., meets the criteria for a priority review voucher. MEPSEVII (vestronidase alfa-vjbk) is indicated for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis type VII (MPS VII, Sly Syndrome).

    For further information about the Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher Program and for a link to the full text of section 529 of the FD&C Act, go to https://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/DevelopingProductsforRareDiseasesConditions/RarePediatricDiseasePriorityVoucherProgram/default.htm. For further information about MEPSEVII (vestronidase alfa-vjbk), go to the “[email protected]” website at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/.

    Dated: December 12, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27049 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-D-6702] The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of the draft guidance entitled “The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles” FDA utilizes a least burdensome approach to medical device regulation to eliminate unnecessary burdens that may delay the marketing of beneficial new products, while maintaining the statutory requirements for clearance and approval. This document describes the guiding principles and recommended approach for FDA staff and industry to facilitate consistent application of least burdensome principles to the activities pertaining to products meeting the statutory definition of a device regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act). This draft guidance is not final nor is it in effect at this time.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by February 13, 2018 to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance.

    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-6702 for “The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Availability.” 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)).

    An electronic copy of the guidance document is available for download from the internet. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for information on electronic access to the guidance. Submit written requests for a single hard copy of the draft guidance document entitled “The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles” to the Office of the Center Director, Guidance and Policy Development, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5431, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or to 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 request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Silverstein, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave. Bldg. 66, Rm. 1615, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5155; and 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

    The FD&C Act, as amended by the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), and the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), includes least burdensome provisions that direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) to take a least burdensome approach to medical device evaluation in a manner that eliminates unnecessary burdens that may delay the marketing of beneficial new products, while maintaining the statutory requirements for clearance and approval. The updates to the least burdensome provisions in FDASIA and the Cures Act clarified the original least burdensome provisions and further recognized the role of postmarket activities as they relate to premarket decisions. FDA believes, as a matter of policy, that least burdensome principles should be consistently and widely applied to all activities in the premarket and postmarket settings to remove or reduce unnecessary burdens so that patients can have earlier and continued access to high quality, safe, and effective devices. This draft guidance, therefore, reflects FDA's belief that least burdensome principles should be applied throughout the medical device total product lifecycle.

    For the purposes of this guidance, FDA defines “least burdensome” as the minimum amount of information necessary to adequately address a regulatory question or issue through the most efficient manner at the right time. This draft guidance describes the least burdensome guiding principles and recommended approach for FDA staff and industry to ensure consistent application of least burdensome principles to the activities pertaining to products meeting the statutory definition of a device regulated under the FD&C Act. This guidance document, when finalized, will replace the 2002 Least Burdensome Guidance entitled “The Least Burdensome Provisions of the FDA Modernization Act of 1997: Concept and Principles” (October 4, 2002).

    II. Significance of Guidance

    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 current thinking of FDA on “The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles.” It does 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. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the draft guidance may do so by downloading an electronic copy from the internet. A search capability for all Center for Devices and Radiological Health guidance documents is available at https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/default.htm. This guidance document is also available at https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/default.htm or https://www.regulations.gov. Persons unable to download an electronic copy of “The Least Burdensome Provisions: Concept and Principles; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff” may send an email request to [email protected] to receive an electronic copy of the document. Please use the document number 1332 to identify the guidance you are requesting.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in the following FDA regulations, guidance, and forms have been approved by OMB as listed in the following table:

    21 CFR part; guidance; or FDA form Topic OMB control No. 820 Quality system regulation 0910-0073 812 Investigational device exemption 0910-0078 807, subpart E Premarket notification 0910-0120 860.123 Reclassification petition 0910-0138 814, subparts A through E Premarket approval 0910-0231 814, subpart H Humanitarian device exemption 0910-0332 803 Medical device reporting 0910-0437 822 Postmarket surveillance 0910-0449 Form FDA 3670 Adverse event reports/MedSun program 0910-0471 801 and 809 Labeling 0910-0485 “Recommendations: Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) Waiver Applications for Manufacturers of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices” CLIA waiver 0910-0598 807, subparts A through D Registration and listing 0910-0625 “Requests for Feedback on Medical Device Submissions: The Pre-Submission Program and Meetings with Food and Drug Administration Staff” Q-submissions 0910-0756 “De Novo Classification Process (Evaluation of Automatic Class III Designation)” De Novo classification process 0910-0844 Dated: December 11, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26987 Filed 12-14-17; 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 Opioid Program Grant Performance Measures, 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 February 13, 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 Opioid Program Grant Performance Measures.

    OMB No. 0906-xxxx-New.

    Abstract: The Rural Health Opioid Program aims to promote rural health care services outreach by expanding the delivery of opioid related health care services to rural communities. The program will work to reduce the morbidity and mortality related to opioid overdoses in rural communities through the development of broad community consortiums to prepare individuals with opioid-use disorder to start treatment, implement care coordination practices to organize patient care activities, and support individuals in recovery through the enhancement of behavioral counselling and peer support activities.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: For this program, performance measures were drafted to provide data to the program and to enable HRSA to provide aggregate program data required by Congress under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. These measures cover the principal topic areas of interest to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), including: (a) Target population demographics; (b) referrals to substance abuse treatment; (c) substance abuse treatment process and outcomes; (d) education of health care providers and community members; and (e) rates of fatal and non-fatal opioid-related overdose. All measures will speak to FORHP's progress toward meeting the goals set.

    Likely Respondents: The respondents would be recipients of the Rural Health Opioid Program grant funding.

    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
    Rural Health Opioid Program Grant Performance Measures 10 1 10 11 110 10 10 110

    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. 2017-27013 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Determination Concerning a Petition To Add a Class of Employees to the Special Exposure Cohort AGENCY:

    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HHS gives notice of a determination concerning a petition to add a class of employees from the Carborundum Company, in Niagara Falls, New York, to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stuart L. Hinnefeld, Director, Division of Compensation Analysis and Support, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS C-46, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1938, Telephone 1-877-222-7570. Information requests can also be submitted by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    [42 U.S.C.7384q].

    On November 16, 2017, the Acting Secretary of HHS determined that the following class of employees does not meet the statutory criteria for addition to the SEC as authorized under EEOICPA:

    All employees who worked in any area of the Carborundum Company facility on Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, New York, from January 1, 1943, through December 31, 1976.

    John Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27039 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-19-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary Findings of Research Misconduct AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Findings of research misconduct have been made on the part of Matthew Endo, former graduate student, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The questioned research was supported by National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant R01 GM080436. The administrative actions, including three (3) years of supervision, which are implemented beginning on November 16, 2017, are detailed below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wanda K. Jones, Dr.P.H., Interim Director, Office of Research Integrity, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750, Rockville, MD 20852, (240) 453-8200.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has taken final action in the following case:

    Matthew Endo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Based on the Respondent's admission, an assessment conducted by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Mr. Matthew Endo, a former graduate student, Department of Chemistry, UIUC, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant R01 GM080436.

    ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing false data to be recorded, falsifying and/or fabricating data and related images by alteration and/or reuse and/or relabeling of experimental data, and reporting falsified and/or fabricated data in one (1) manuscript subsequently submitted for publication:

    • “Amphotericin primarily kills human cells by binding and extracting cholesterol.” Submitted for publication to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [withdrawn prior to peer review] (hereafter referred to as “Manuscript 1”)

    Specifically, ORI found that:

    • In Manuscript 1, Respondent caused falsified and/or fabricated results to be recorded by knowingly requesting biological testing of a mixture of compounds that he falsely claimed to be a single compound • In Manuscript 1, Respondent falsified and/or fabricated the results on page S26 of the Supporting Information by modifying the HPLC trace through peak erasure to make the preparation of C35deOAmB appear more pure than in the actual results of experimentation • In Manuscript 1, Respondent falsified and/or fabricated the results of Surface Plasmon Resonance data on page S7 of the Supporting Information to make the error bars smaller than the actual results of experimentation • In Manuscript 1, Respondent falsified and/or fabricated the results of a WST08 Cell Proliferation Assay on page S32 of the Supporting Information by falsely claiming to run the reaction in triplicate when it was only performed in duplicate • In correspondence with his advisor, Respondent falsified and/or fabricated the results of the preparation of putative C2deoAmB where Respondent modified and relabeled a HPLC trace and relabeled an NMR spectrum to falsely claim characterization, purity, and identification of sample that was sent for biological assay

    Mr. Endo entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement and voluntarily agreed for a period of three (3) years, beginning on November 16, 2017:

    (1) To have his research supervised; Respondent agreed to ensure that prior to the submission of an application for PHS support for a research project on which Respondent's participation is proposed and prior to Respondent's participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, the institution employing him must submit a plan for supervision of Respondent's duties to ORI for approval; the plan for supervision must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Respondent's research contribution; Respondent agreed that he will not participate in any PHS-supported research until a plan for supervision is submitted and approved by ORI;

    (2) that any institution employing him must submit in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract;

    (3) if no supervisory plan is provided to ORI, to provide certification to ORI on annual basis that he has not engaged in, applied for, or had his name included on any application, proposal, or other request for PHS funds without prior notification to ORI; and

    (4) 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.

    Kathryn M. Partin, Director, Office of Research Integrity.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26961 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Determination Concerning a Petition To Add a Class of Employees to the Special Exposure Cohort AGENCY:

    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HHS gives notice of a determination concerning a petition to add a class of employees from the Rocky Flats Plant, in Golden, Colorado, to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stuart L. Hinnefeld, Director, Division of Compensation Analysis and Support, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS C-46, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1938, Telephone 1-877-222-7570. Information requests can also be submitted by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    [42 U.S.C. 7384q].

    On November 16, 2017, the Acting Secretary of HHS determined that the following class of employees does not meet the statutory criteria for addition to the SEC as authorized under EEOICPA:

    All employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked in any area of the Rocky Flats Plant in Golden, Colorado, from January 1, 1984, through December 31, 2005.

    John Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27040 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-19-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Pre and Postnatal Neurologic Disorders.

    Date: December 19, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Suzan Nadi, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5217B, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1259, [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.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 12, 2017. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27108 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the meeting of the Council of Councils.

    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 open session will be videocast and can be accessed from the NIH Videocasting and Podcasting website (http://videocast.nih.gov).

    A portion of the meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4), and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Council of Councils.

    Open: January 26, 2018.

    Time: 8:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Agenda: Call to Order and Introductions; Announcements and Updates; Common Fund 4D Nucleome Presentation; NIH Update; Common Fund Concepts.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, C Wing, 6th Floor, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Closed: January 26, 2018.

    Time: 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Agenda: Review of Grant Applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, C Wing, 6th Floor, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Open: January 26, 2018.

    Time: 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Tribal Health Research Office Update and Input; Introduction of New Working Group to Council of Councils; Update & Input—Office of Research on Women's Health Strategic Plan; The ECHO Program at Year One; Closing Remarks.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, C Wing, 6th Floor, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Franziska Grieder, D.V.M., Ph.D., Executive Secretary, Director, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Director, NIH, 6701 Democracy Boulevard, Room 948, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected], 301-435-0744.

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    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.

    Information is also available on the Council of Council's home page at http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/council/ where an agenda will be posted before the meeting date.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.14, Intramural Research Training Award; 93.22, Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds; 93.232, Loan Repayment Program for Research Generally; 93.39, Academic Research Enhancement Award; 93.936, NIH Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Research Loan Repayment Program; 93.187, Undergraduate Scholarship Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 11, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27059 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel, 2018 Beeson Review.

    Date: January 12, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Double Tree Hotel, 8120 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Alexander Parsadanian, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building 2C/212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-496-9666, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 11, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27055 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel; “Drug Repositioning and Combination Therapy for AD”.

    Date: January 18, 2018.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, 2W200, 7201 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Alexander Parsadanian, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building 2C/212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-496-9666, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 11, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27056 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Initial Review Group Epidemiology, Prevention and Behavior Research Review Subcommittee.

    Date: March 5, 2018.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Terrace Level Conference Room, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Anna Ghambaryan, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Extramural Project Review Branch, Office of Extramural Activities, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5635 Fishers Lane, Room 2019, Rockville, MD 20852, 301-443-4032, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.271, Alcohol Research Career Development Awards for Scientists and Clinicians; 93.272, Alcohol National Research Service Awards for Research Training; 93.273, Alcohol Research Programs; 93.891, Alcohol Research Center Grants; 93.701, ARRA Related Biomedical Research and Research Support Awards., National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 11, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27057 Filed 12-14-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute 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 Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI SPORE III Review.

    Date: January 30-31, 2018.

    Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Majed H. Hamawy, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Program Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W120, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6457, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI SPORE IV Review.

    Date: February 1-2, 2018.

    Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, 1750 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Sanita Bharti, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Resources and Training Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W122, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5909, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; SEP-4 For Provocative Questions.

    Date: February 6-7, 2018.

    Time: 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Hasan Siddiqui, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W240, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5122, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Initial Review Group; Subcommittee I—Transition to Independence.

    Date: February 22-23, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Delia Tang, MD, Scientific Review Officer, Research Programs Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W602, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6465, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Program Project Review II.

    Date: February 22, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Cambria Hotel & Suites Rockville, 1 Helen Heneghan Way, Rockville, MD 20850.

    Contact Person: Sanita Bharti, Ph.D. Scientific Review Officer, Resources and Training Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W122, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5909, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; SEP-3 For Provocative Questions.

    Date: February 23, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda Marriott, 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Jennifer C. Schiltz, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W634, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5864, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; SEP-2 for Provocative Questions.

    Date: February 27, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda Downtown, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Ombretta Salvucci, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W264, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-7286, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Program Project Review III.

    Date: February 27, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, 1750 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Majed H. Hamawy, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Program Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W120, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6457, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Program Project Review IV.

    Date: February 27-28, 2018.

    Time: 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center, 9751 Washingtonian Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD 20878.

    Contact Person: Adriana Stoica, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Resources and Training Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W234, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6368, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Program Project Review VI.