Federal Register Vol. 82, No.243,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 243 (December 20, 2017)

Page Range60281-60503
FR Document

82_FR_243
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 60306 - Medical Devices; General Hospital and Personal Use Devices; Classification of the Image Processing Device for Estimation of External Blood LossPDF
82 FR 60382 - Request for Information on Obtaining Input From Rural Schools and Local Educational AgenciesPDF
82 FR 60416 - Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for the Desert Tortoise and Mohave Ground Squirrel and Draft Environmental Assessment; Hinkley Groundwater Remediation Project; San Bernardino County, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 60420 - AREVA, Inc.; Richland, Washington; Indirect Transfer of License; OrderPDF
82 FR 60402 - Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 60350 - Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television StandardPDF
82 FR 60348 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, San Diego County Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
82 FR 60463 - Consulting Group Capital Markets Funds and Consulting Group Advisory Services LLCPDF
82 FR 60327 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch AmountsPDF
82 FR 60329 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch AmountsPDF
82 FR 60325 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
82 FR 60396 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection (EPA ICR No. 1710.08); Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 60335 - Retail Commodity Transactions Involving Virtual CurrencyPDF
82 FR 60467 - Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment on the Release of Deed Restrictions at the Yellowstone Airport, West Yellowstone, MTPDF
82 FR 60466 - CSX Transportation, Inc.-Abandonment Exemption-in Greenbrier County, W. Va.PDF
82 FR 60399 - Notice of Request for Comment on the Exposure Draft of a Proposed Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS), Classified ActivitiesPDF
82 FR 60408 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
82 FR 60406 - Prospective Grant of an Exclusive Patent License: The Development of an Anti-CD30 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) for the Treatment of Human CancerPDF
82 FR 60407 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics Fellowship Program and Summer Student Applications (DCEG) (National Cancer Institute)PDF
82 FR 60417 - Notice of Realty Action: Proposed Non-Competitive (Direct) Sale of Public Land in Santa Barbara County, CAPDF
82 FR 60320 - Final Supplementary Rules for Guffey Gorge in Park County, ColoradoPDF
82 FR 60290 - Agency ReorganizationPDF
82 FR 60283 - Emergency Mergers-Chartering and Field of MembershipPDF
82 FR 60314 - 2016 Quarterly Listings; Safety Zones, Security Zones, Special Local Regulations, Drawbridge Operation Regulations and Regulated Navigation AreasPDF
82 FR 60401 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 60422 - Information Collection: Registration Certificate-In Vitro Testing With Byproduct Material Under General LicensePDF
82 FR 60369 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 41-Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; AFE, Inc. (Monitors/Displays/Televisions); Mount Pleasant, WisconsinPDF
82 FR 60370 - Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017PDF
82 FR 60312 - 2016 Quarterly Listings; Safety Zones, Security Zones, Special Local Regulations, Drawbridge Operation Regulations and Regulated Navigation AreasPDF
82 FR 60316 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Quantuck Canal, Westhampton Beach, NYPDF
82 FR 60409 - Removal of Conditions of Entry for Certain Vessels Arriving to the United States From Two Port Facilities in Côte d'IvoirePDF
82 FR 60281 - Rules of Practice and Procedures To Formulate or Amend a Marketing Agreement or a Marketing Order, or Certain Research and Promotion Orders; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 60419 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
82 FR 60405 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 60414 - U.S. Endangered Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit ApplicationsPDF
82 FR 60383 - Notice of Filing of Self-Certification of Coal Capability Under the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use ActPDF
82 FR 60384 - Agency Information Collection Activity; ExtensionPDF
82 FR 60384 - Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Financing ProgramsPDF
82 FR 60282 - Regulation D: Reserve Requirements of Depository InstitutionsPDF
82 FR 60281 - Regulation A: Extensions of Credit by Federal Reserve BanksPDF
82 FR 60419 - Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Italy, Malaysia, and the PhilippinesPDF
82 FR 60401 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
82 FR 60362 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Five SpeciesPDF
82 FR 60304 - Addition of Certain Entities to the Entity ListPDF
82 FR 60382 - Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Proposed New Space Lease for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, NJPDF
82 FR 60315 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; San Leandro Bay, Between Alameda and Bay Farm Island, CAPDF
82 FR 60420 - Notice of Permits Issued Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
82 FR 60466 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Training/Internship Placement PlanPDF
82 FR 60423 - Information Collection: Request for Approval of Official Foreign TravelPDF
82 FR 60318 - Safety Zone; Spa Creek, Annapolis, MDPDF
82 FR 60470 - Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans, Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 60369 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of Residential Building or Zoning Permit SystemsPDF
82 FR 60470 - Publication of the Date on Which All Amounts Deposited in the Veterans Choice Fund Will Be ExhaustedPDF
82 FR 60412 - Foreign Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
82 FR 60334 - Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled OilPDF
82 FR 60390 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 60387 - Idaho Power Company; Notice of Application for Amendment of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
82 FR 60386 - City of Radford; Notice Soliciting Scoping CommentsPDF
82 FR 60388 - Gregory R. and Beverly F. Swecker v. Midland Power Cooperative, Central Iowa Power Cooperative Swecker, Gregory and Beverly; Notice of Petition for EnforcementPDF
82 FR 60393 - Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP ; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Westlake Expansion ProjectPDF
82 FR 60389 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 60386 - Notice of Request for Waiver: Empire Pipeline, Inc.PDF
82 FR 60464 - Administrative Declaration of an Economic Injury Disaster for the State of MONTANAPDF
82 FR 60399 - Filing Dates for the Michigan Special Election in the 13th Congressional DistrictPDF
82 FR 60400 - Filing Dates for the Arizona Special Election in the 8th Congressional DistrictPDF
82 FR 60374 - Marine Mammals; Issuance of PermitsPDF
82 FR 60308 - Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement AgePDF
82 FR 60392 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 60424 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 60424 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 60373 - Accurate Fluorescence Measurements ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 60376 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council-Public MeetingsPDF
82 FR 60442 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 3, To Amend Section 102.01B of the NYSE Listed Company Manual To Provide for the Listing of Companies That List Without a Prior Exchange Act Registration and That Are Not Listing in Connection With an Underwritten Initial Public Offering and Related Changes to Rules 15, 104, and 123DPDF
82 FR 60424 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 19.6, Series of Options Contracts Open for TradingPDF
82 FR 60443 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade the Common Shares of Beneficial Interest of the PowerShares Income Builder Portfolio, a Series of PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust IIPDF
82 FR 60429 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 4120 (Limit Up-Limit Down Plan and Trading Halts) To Reduce the Length of the “Display-Only Period” for the Initial Pricing on Nasdaq of a Security That Is the Subject of an Initial Public OfferingPDF
82 FR 60439 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Primary Market Maker ObligationsPDF
82 FR 60451 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 300PDF
82 FR 60460 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Primary Market Maker ObligationsPDF
82 FR 60455 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To List and Trade Shares of the Hartford Schroders Tax-Aware Bond ETF Under NYSE Arca Rule 8.600-EPDF
82 FR 60458 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Specialist ObligationsPDF
82 FR 60433 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Consisting of Proposed Amendments to MSRB Rule G-34, on CUSIP Numbers, New Issue, and Market Information RequirementsPDF
82 FR 60464 - Notice of Issuance of a Presidential Permit to the State of North DakotaPDF
82 FR 60455 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Calculation of the Member Order Routing ProgramPDF
82 FR 60431 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Market Access and Routing Subsidy ProgramPDF
82 FR 60453 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Primary Market Maker ObligationsPDF
82 FR 60426 - Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc. and Ausdal Unit Investment TrustPDF
82 FR 60379 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery ProgramsPDF
82 FR 60394 - Carroll County Energy, LLC; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective DatePDF
82 FR 60391 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
82 FR 60385 - Mad River Power Associates LP; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
82 FR 60394 - Flambeau Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Ready for Environmental Analysis, and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and PrescriptionsPDF
82 FR 60392 - Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
82 FR 60394 - Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order; Blue Racer NGL Pipelines, LLCPDF
82 FR 60407 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 60468 - Agency Information Collection Requirements: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Debt Cancellation Contracts and Debt Suspension AgreementsPDF
82 FR 60410 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Comment Request: Agency Information Collection Activities: Consolidated Discretionary Grant Programs Solicitations (Funding Opportunities) Templates and FormsPDF
82 FR 60402 - Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 60316 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, CAPDF
82 FR 60366 - Pacific Island Fisheries; 2017 Hawaii Kona Crab Annual Catch Limit and Accountability MeasurePDF
82 FR 60418 - Certain Color Intraoral Scanners and Related Hardware and Software; Institution of InvestigationPDF
82 FR 60474 - Safety and Effectiveness of Health Care Antiseptics; Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human UsePDF
82 FR 60323 - Hours of Service; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver for the Transportation of Agricultural CommoditiesPDF
82 FR 60360 - Hours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles; Proposed Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Transportation of Agricultural CommoditiesPDF
82 FR 60341 - Safety Zone; Pacific Ocean, Kilauea Lava Flow Ocean Entry on Southeast Side of Island of Hawaii, HIPDF
82 FR 60377 - Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, LouisianaPDF
82 FR 60292 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France)PDF
82 FR 60355 - Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad EmployeesPDF
82 FR 60295 - Airworthiness Directives; The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation HelicoptersPDF
82 FR 60298 - Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. HelicoptersPDF
82 FR 60302 - Change to Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast ServicesPDF
82 FR 60300 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 60403 - Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic; Draft Guidance for Food and Drug Administration Staff and Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 60309 - Exchange of CoinPDF
82 FR 60397 - Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #2: Provide and Enhance Recreational OpportunitiesPDF

Issue

82 243 Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Rules of Practice and Procedures to Formulate or Amend a Marketing Agreement or a Marketing Order, or Certain Research and Promotion Orders; Correction, 60281 2017-27401 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Survey of Residential Building or Zoning Permit Systems, 60369 2017-27377 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 60402 2017-27324 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Quantuck Canal, Westhampton Beach, NY, 60316-60318 2017-27403 Sacramento River, Sacramento, CA, 60316 2017-27323 San Leandro Bay, between Alameda and Bay Farm Island, CA, 60315-60316 2017-27386 Quarterly Listings: Safety Zones, Security Zones, Special Local Regulations, Drawbridge Operation Regulations and Regulated Navigation Areas; 2016, 60312-60315 2017-27404 2017-27409 Safety Zones: Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD, 60318-60320 2017-27381 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Pacific Ocean, Kilauea Lava Flow Ocean Entry on Southeast Side of Island of Hawaii, HI, 60341-60348 2017-27297 NOTICES Removal of Conditions of Entry for Certain Vessels Arriving to the United States from Two Port Facilities: Cote d'Ivoire, 60409-60410 2017-27402 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission PROPOSED RULES Retail Commodity Transactions Involving Virtual Currency, 60335-60341 2017-27421 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Debt Cancellation Contracts and Debt Suspension Agreements, 60468-60470 2017-27328 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Requests for Information: Obtaining Input from Rural Schools and Local Educational Agencies, 60382-60383 2017-27442 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Information Administration

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Financing Programs, 60384 2017-27395 Self-Certifications: Coal Capability Under the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act, 60383-60384 2017-27397
Energy Information Energy Information Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60384-60385 2017-27396 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, 60348-60350 2017-27432 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60396-60397 2017-27424 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #2: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities, 60397-60398 2017-26565 Federal Accounting Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board NOTICES Requests for Comments: Proposed Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards, Classified Activities, 60399 2017-27418 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters, 60298-60300 2017-27263 Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France), 60292-60295 2017-27274 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 60300-60302 2017-27169 The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation Helicopters, 60295-60297 2017-27268 Change to Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast Services, 60302-60303 2017-27202 NOTICES Release of Deed Restrictions: Yellowstone Airport, West Yellowstone, MT, 60467-60468 2017-27420 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard, 60350-60355 2017-27433 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Filing Dates: Arizona Special Election in the 8th Congressional District, 60400-60401 2017-27363 Michigan Special Election in the 13th Congressional District, 60399-60400 2017-27364 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, 60392 2017-27331 Flambeau Hydro, LLC, 60394-60396 2017-27332 Mad River Power Associates LP, 60385-60386 2017-27333 Combined Filings, 60389-60393 2017-27360 2017-27367 2017-27373 Declaratory Orders; Petitions: Blue Racer NGL Pipelines, LLC, 60394 2017-27330 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP; Westlake Expansion Project, 60393-60394 2017-27368 Hydroelectric Applications: City of Radford, 60386-60387 2017-27370 Idaho Power Co., 60387-60388 2017-27372 Institution of Section 206 Proceedings: Carroll County Energy, LLC, 60394 2017-27335 Petitions for Enforcement: Gregory R. and Beverly F. Swecker v. Midland Power Cooperative, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, 60388-60389 2017-27369 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 60391-60392 2017-27334 Requests for Waivers: Empire Pipeline, Inc., 60386 2017-27366 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 60401 2017-27390 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Hours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver for the Transportation of Agricultural Commodities, 60323-60325 2017-27311 PROPOSED RULES Hours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Transportation of Agricultural Commodities, 60360-60362 2017-27310 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration PROPOSED RULES Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees, 60355-60360 2017-27272 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Regulation A: Extensions of Credit by Federal Reserve Banks, 60281-60282 2017-27392 Regulation D: Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions, 60282-60283 2017-27393 NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 60401-60402 2017-27408 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission PROPOSED RULES Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled Oil, 60334-60335 2017-27374 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: 90-Day Findings for Five Species, 60362-60363 2017-27389 NOTICES Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications, 60414-60415 2017-27398 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for the Desert Tortoise and Mohave Ground Squirrel; Hinkley Groundwater Remediation Project; San Bernardino County, CA, 60416-60417 2017-27440 Permit Applications: Foreign Endangered and Threatened Species, 60412-60414 2017-27375 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices: General Hospital and Personal Use Devices; Classification of the Image Processing Device for Estimation of External Blood Loss, 60306-60308 2017-27443 Safety and Effectiveness of Health Care Antiseptics; Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use, 60474-60503 2017-27317 NOTICES Guidance: Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases, 60402-60403 2017-27435 Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic, 60403-60405 2017-27157 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: AFE, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 41, Milwaukee, WI, 60369-60370 2017-27406 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 60405-60406 2017-27399
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Consolidated Discretionary Grant Programs Solicitations (Funding Opportunities) Templates and Forms, 60410-60412 2017-27327 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Certain Entities to the Entity List; Additions: Russian Sanctions, 60304-60306 2017-27388 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from Taiwan, 60370-60373 2017-27405 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Color Intraoral Scanners and Related Hardware and Software, 60418-60419 2017-27321 Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines, 60419 2017-27391 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees: CERCLA, 60419-60420 2017-27400 Land Land Management Bureau RULES Final Supplementary Rules: Guffey Gorge in Park County, CO, 60320-60323 2017-27413 NOTICES Realty Actions: Proposed Non-Competitive (Direct) Sale of Public Land in Santa Barbara County, CA, 60417-60418 2017-27414 National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Agency Reorganization, 60290-60292 2017-27411 Emergency Mergers—Chartering and Field of Membership, 60283-60290 2017-27410 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Accurate Fluorescence Measurements Consortium, 60373-60374 2017-27353 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics Fellowship Program and Summer Student Applications, 60407-60408 2017-27415 Exclusive Patent Licenses: Development of an Anti-CD30 Chimeric Antigen Receptor for the Treatment of Human Cancer, 60406-60407 2017-27416 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 60408-60409 2017-27417 Meetings: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 60407 2017-27329 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska: Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts, 60329-60333 2017-27428 Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts, 60327-60329 2017-27429 Reallocation of Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 60325-60326 2017-27427 PROPOSED RULES Pacific Island Fisheries: 2017 Hawaii Kona Crab Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measure, 60363 2017-27322 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, LA, 60377-60379 2017-27295 Proposed New Space Lease for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ, 60382 2017-27387 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska: North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs, 60379-60382 2017-27336 Meetings: Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 60376 2017-27352 Permits: Marine Mammals, 60374-60376 2017-27362 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Antarctic Conservation Act Permits, 60420 2017-27385 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Registration Certificate—In Vitro Testing With Byproduct Material Under General License, 60422-60423 2017-27407 Request for Approval of Official Foreign Travel, 60423-60424 2017-27383 License Transfers: AREVA, Inc.; Richland, WA, 60420-60422 2017-27436 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation RULES Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans: Valuation of Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement Age, 60308-60309 2017-27361 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service Agreement, 60424 2017-27356 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 60424 2017-27354 2017-27355 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc. and Ausdal Unit Investment Trust, 60426-60429 2017-27337 Consulting Group Capital Markets Funds and Consulting Group Advisory Services LLC, 60463-60464 2017-27430 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc., 60443-60451 2017-27349 Cboe EDGX Exchange, Inc., 60424-60426 2017-27350 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 60433-60439 2017-27342 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 60431-60432, 60439-60442 2017-27339 2017-27347 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 60453-60458 2017-27338 2017-27340 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 60460-60462 2017-27345 Nasdaq PHLX LLC, 60458-60460 2017-27343 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 60442, 60451-60453 2017-27346 2017-27351 NYSE Arca, Inc., 60455 2017-27344 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, 60429-60430 2017-27348 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: Montana, 60464 2017-27365 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Training/Internship Placement Plan, 60466 2017-27384 Presidential Permits: North Dakota, 60464-60466 2017-27341 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: CSX Transportation, Inc. in Greenbrier County, WV, 60466-60467 2017-27419 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

United States Mint

U.S. Mint United States Mint RULES Exchange of Coin, 60309-60312 2017-27026 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans, 60470 2017-27378 Publication of the Date on Which All Amounts Deposited in the Veterans Choice Fund Will Be Exhausted, 60470-60471 2017-27376 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Food and Drug Administration, 60474-60503 2017-27317 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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82 243 Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Parts 900 and 1200 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-17-0081] RIN 0581-AD76 Rules of Practice and Procedures To Formulate or Amend a Marketing Agreement or a Marketing Order, or Certain Research and Promotion Orders; Correction AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

This document contains a correction to the final rule which was published on December 11, 2017. In the final rule, the Regulatory Information Number (RIN) appears as RIN 0581-AD74. This number is incorrect. The correct number is 0581-AD76. This document corrects the final rule.

DATES:

Effective December 20, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

William Richmond, Acting Chief of Staff, AMS, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250, (202) 720-5115.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In final rule FR Doc. 2017-26718, beginning at page 58097 of the issue December 11, 2017, make the following corrections:

On page 58097, in the first column in the heading, correct the RIN to read “0581-AD76”.

Dated: December 15, 2017. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-27401 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 201 [Docket No. R-1592; RIN 7100 AE-93] Regulation A: Extensions of Credit by Federal Reserve Banks AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”) has adopted final amendments to its Regulation A to reflect the Board's approval of an increase in the rate for primary credit at each Federal Reserve Bank. The secondary credit rate at each Reserve Bank automatically increased by formula as a result of the Board's primary credit rate action.

DATES:

The amendments to part 201 (Regulation A) are effective December 20, 2017. The rate changes for primary and secondary credit were applicable on December 14, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Clinton Chen, Senior Attorney (202-452-3952), or Sophia Allison, Special Counsel (202-452-3565), Legal Division, or Lyle Kumasaka, Senior Financial Analyst (202-452-2382); for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact 202-263-4869; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW, Washington, DC 20551.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Federal Reserve Banks make primary and secondary credit available to depository institutions as a backup source of funding on a short-term basis, usually overnight. The primary and secondary credit rates are the interest rates that the twelve Federal Reserve Banks charge for extensions of credit under these programs. In accordance with the Federal Reserve Act, the primary and secondary credit rates are established by the boards of directors of the Federal Reserve Banks, subject to the review and determination of the Board.

On December 13, 2017, the Board voted to approve a 1/4 percentage point increase in the primary credit rate in effect at each of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks, thereby increasing from 1.75 percent to 2.00 percent the rate that each Reserve Bank charges for extensions of primary credit. In addition, the Board had previously approved the renewal of the secondary credit rate formula, the primary credit rate plus 50 basis points. Under the formula, the secondary credit rate in effect at each of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks increased by 1/4 percentage point as a result of the Board's primary credit rate action, thereby increasing from 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent the rate that each Reserve Bank charges for extensions of secondary credit. The amendments to Regulation A reflect these rate changes.

The 1/4 percentage point increase in the primary credit rate was associated with an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate (from a target range of 1 to 11/4 percent to a target range of 11/4 to 11/2 percent) announced by the Federal Open Market Committee on December 13, 2017, as described in the Board's amendment of its Regulation D published elsewhere in today's Federal Register.

Administrative Procedure Act

In general, the Administrative Procedure Act (12 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) (“APA”) imposes three principal requirements when an agency promulgates legislative rules (rules made pursuant to congressionally delegated authority): (1) Publication with adequate notice of a proposed rule; (2) followed by a meaningful opportunity for the public to comment on the rule's content; and (3) publication of the final rule not less than 30 days before its effective date. The APA provides that notice and comment procedures do not apply if the agency for good cause finds them to be “unnecessary, impracticable, or contrary to the public interest.” 12 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). Section 553(d) of the APA also provides that publication at least 30 days prior to a rule's effective date is not required for (1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction; (2) interpretive rules and statements of policy; or (3) a rule for which the agency finds of good cause for shortened notice and publishes its reasoning with the rule. 12 U.S.C. 553(d). The APA further provides that the notice, public comment, and delayed effective date requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553 do not apply “to the extent that there is involved . . . a matter relating to agency management or personnel or to public property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts.” 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2) (emphasis added).

Regulation A establishes the interest rates that the twelve Reserve Banks charge for extensions of primary credit and secondary credit. The Board has determined that the notice, public comment, and delayed effective date requirements of the APA do not apply to these final amendments to Regulation A for several reasons. The amendments involve a matter relating to loans, and are therefore exempt under the terms of the APA. In addition, the Board has determined that notice, public comment, and delayed effective date would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest because delay in implementation of changes to the rates charged on primary credit and secondary credit would permit insured depository institutions to profit improperly from the difference in the current rate and the announced increased rate. Finally, because delay would undermine the Board's action in responding to economic data and conditions, the Board has determined that “good cause” exists within the meaning of the APA to dispense with the notice, public comment, and delayed effective date procedures of the APA with respect to the final amendments to Regulation A.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) does not apply to a rulemaking where a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required.1 As noted previously, a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required if the final rule involves a matter relating to loans. Furthermore, the Board has determined that it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for this final rule. Accordingly, the RFA's requirements relating to an initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis do not apply.

1 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR 1320 Appendix A.1), the Board reviewed the final rule under the authority delegated to the Board by the Office of Management and Budget. The final rule contains no requirements subject to the PRA.

12 CFR Chapter II List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 201

Banks, Banking, Federal Reserve System, Reporting and recordkeeping.

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board is amending 12 CFR chapter II to read as follows:

PART 201—EXTENSIONS OF CREDIT BY FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS (REGULATION A) 1. The authority citation for part 201 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 248(i)-(j), 343 et seq., 347a, 347b, 347c, 348 et seq., 357, 374, 374a, and 461.

2. In § 201.51, paragraphs (a) and (b) are revised to read as follows:
§ 201.51 Interest rates applicable to credit extended by a Federal Reserve Bank.3

3 The primary, secondary, and seasonal credit rates described in this section apply to both advances and discounts made under the primary, secondary, and seasonal credit programs, respectively.

(a) Primary credit. The interest rate at each Federal Reserve Bank for primary credit provided to depository institutions under § 201.4(a) is 2.00 percent.

(b) Secondary credit. The interest rate at each Federal Reserve Bank for secondary credit provided to depository institutions under 201.4(b) is 2.50 percent.

By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
[FR Doc. 2017-27392 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 204 [Docket No. R-1593; RIN 7100 AE-04] Regulation D: Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”) is amending Regulation D (Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions) to revise the rate of interest paid on balances maintained to satisfy reserve balance requirements (“IORR”) and the rate of interest paid on excess balances (“IOER”) maintained at Federal Reserve Banks by or on behalf of eligible institutions. The final amendments specify that IORR is 1.50 percent and IOER is 1.50 percent, a 0.25 percentage point increase from their prior levels. The amendments are intended to enhance the role of such rates of interest in moving the Federal funds rate into the target range established by the Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC” or “Committee”).

DATE:

The amendments to part 204 (Regulation D) are effective December 20, 2017. The IORR and IOER rate changes were applicable on December 14, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Clinton Chen, Senior Attorney (202-452-3952), or Sophia Allison, Special Counsel (202-452-3198), Legal Division, or Kristen Payne, Financial Analyst (202-452-2872), or Heather Wiggins, Section Chief (202-452-3674), Division of Monetary Affairs; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact 202-263-4869; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW, Washington, DC 20551.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Statutory and Regulatory Background

For monetary policy purposes, section 19 of the Federal Reserve Act (“the Act”) imposes reserve requirements on certain types of deposits and other liabilities of depository institutions. Regulation D, which implements section 19 of the Act, requires that a depository institution meet reserve requirements by holding cash in its vault, or if vault cash is insufficient, by maintaining a balance in an account at a Federal Reserve Bank (“Reserve Bank”).1 Section 19 also provides that balances maintained by or on behalf of certain institutions in an account at a Reserve Bank may receive earnings to be paid by the Reserve Bank at least once each quarter, at a rate or rates not to exceed the general level of short-term interest rates. Institutions that are eligible to receive earnings on their balances held at Reserve Banks (“eligible institutions”) include depository institutions and certain other institutions.2 Section 19 also provides that the Board may prescribe regulations concerning the payment of earnings on balances at a Reserve Bank.3 Prior to these amendments, Regulation D specified a rate of 1.25 percent for both IORR and IOER.4

1 12 CFR 204.5(a)(1).

2 See 12 U.S.C. 461(b)(1)(A) & (b)(12)(C); see also 12 CFR 204.2(y).

3 See 12 U.S.C. 461(b)(12).

4 See 12 CFR 204.10(b)(5).

II. Amendments to IORR and IOER

The Board is amending § 204.10(b)(5) of Regulation D to specify that IORR is 1.50 percent and IOER is 1.50 percent. This 0.25 percentage point increase in the IORR and IOER was associated with an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate, from a target range of 1 to 11/4 percent to a target range of 11/4 to 11/2 percent, announced by the FOMC on December 13, 2017, with an effective date of December 14, 2017. The FOMC's press release on the same day as the announcement noted that:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate. Averaging through hurricane-related fluctuations, job gains have been solid, and the unemployment rate declined further. Household spending has been expanding at a moderate rate, and growth in business fixed investment has picked up in recent quarters. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have declined this year and are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. Hurricane-related disruptions and rebuilding have affected economic activity, employment, and inflation in recent months but have not materially altered the outlook for the national economy. Consequently, the Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will remain strong. Inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee's 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 11/4 to 11/2 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

A Federal Reserve Implementation note released simultaneously with the announcement stated that:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System voted unanimously to raise the interest rate paid on required and excess reserve balances to 1.50 percent, effective December 14, 2017.

As a result, the Board is amending section 204.10(b)(5) of Regulation D to change IORR to 1.50 percent and IOER to 1.50 percent.

III. Administrative Procedure Act

In general, the Administrative Procedure Act (12 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) (“APA”) imposes three principal requirements when an agency promulgates legislative rules (rules made pursuant to congressionally delegated authority): (1) Publication with adequate notice of a proposed rule; (2) followed by a meaningful opportunity for the public to comment on the rule's content; and (3) publication of the final rule not less than 30 days before its effective date. The APA provides that notice and comment procedures do not apply if the agency for good cause finds them to be “unnecessary, impracticable, or contrary to the public interest.” 12 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). Section 553(d) of the APA also provides that publication at least 30 days prior to a rule's effective date is not required for (1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction; (2) interpretive rules and statements of policy; or (3) a rule for which the agency finds of good cause for shortened notice and publishes its reasoning with the rule. 12 U.S.C. 553(d).

The Board has determined that good cause exists for finding that the notice, public comment, and delayed effective date provisions of the APA are unnecessary, impracticable, or contrary to the public interest with respect to these final amendments to Regulation D. The rate increases for IORR and IOER that are reflected in the final amendments to Regulation D were made with a view towards accommodating commerce and business and with regard to their bearing upon the general credit situation of the country. Notice and public comment would prevent the Board's action from being effective as promptly as necessary in the public interest, and would not otherwise serve any useful purpose. Notice, public comment, and a delayed effective date would create uncertainty about the finality and effectiveness of the Board's action and undermine the effectiveness of that action. Accordingly, the Board has determined that good cause exists to dispense with the notice, public comment, and delayed effective date procedures of the APA with respect to these final amendments to Regulation D.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) does not apply to a rulemaking where a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required.5 As noted previously, the Board has determined that it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for this final rule. Accordingly, the RFA's requirements relating to an initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis do not apply.

5 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR 1320 Appendix A.1), the Board reviewed the final rule under the authority delegated to the Board by the Office of Management and Budget. The final rule contains no requirements subject to the PRA.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 204

Banks, Banking, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board amends

12 CFR part 204 as follows:

PART 204—RESERVE REQUIREMENTS OF DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS (REGULATION D) 1. The authority citation for part 204 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 248(a), 248(c), 461, 601, 611, and 3105.

2. Section 204.10 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows:
§ 204.10 Payment of interest on balances.

(b) * * *

(5) The rates for IORR and IOER are:

Rate
  • (%)
  • IORR 1.50 IOER 1.50

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27393 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 701 RIN 3133-AE76 Emergency Mergers—Chartering and Field of Membership AGENCY:

    National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The NCUA Board (Board) is issuing this final rule to amend, in its Chartering and Field of Membership Manual, the definition of the term “in danger of insolvency” for emergency merger purposes. The previous definition, adopted in 2010 (2010 definition), required a credit union to fall into at least one of three net worth categories over a period of time to be “in danger of insolvency.” For two of those three categories, the final rule lengthens by six months the forecast horizons, the time periods in which the NCUA projects a credit union's net worth will decline to the point that it falls into one of the categories. This extends the time period in which a credit union's net worth is projected to either render it insolvent or drop below two percent from 24 to 30 months and from 12 to 18 months, respectively. Additionally, the final rule adds a fourth category to the three existing net worth categories to include credit unions that have been granted or received assistance under section 208 of the Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) in the 15 months prior to the NCUA regional office's determination that the credit union is in danger of insolvency.

    DATES:

    The effective date for this rule is January 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas I. Zells, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, or Amanda Parkhill, Loss/Risk Analysis Officer, Office of Examination and Insurance, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 or telephone: (703) 548-2478 (Mr. Zells) or (703) 518-6385 (Ms. Parkhill).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background II. Summary of Comments III. Final Rule IV. Regulatory Procedures I. Background

    Credit unions that experience a sharp decline in net worth have a much higher likelihood of failing. From the second quarter of 1996 through the second quarter of 2016, there were 11,734 federally insured credit unions. As shown in the table below, 2,502 of these credit unions fell below the well-capitalized threshold (7 percent net worth ratio) after having a net worth ratio above that threshold for at least one quarter. The net worth ratios of 490 of these 2,502 credit unions eventually declined to below two percent. Importantly, only 15 percent of those credit unions whose net worth dropped below two percent sometime in this period remain currently active.

    Table 1—Credit Unions Falling Below Critical Net Worth Ratio Thresholds Net worth ratio fell: Number of CUs Active % Active Below 7% 2,502 1,104 44 Below 6% 1,563 475 30 Below 5% 1,126 254 23 Below 4% 825 151 18 Below 3% 647 102 16 Below 2% 490 73 15

    Credit union failures are costly to the entire credit union system through their effect on the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). The NCUA, as a prudential safety and soundness regulator, is charged with protecting the safety and soundness of the credit union system and, in turn, the NCUSIF through regulation and supervision.1 One way to mitigate some of the cost to the NCUSIF and minimize disruption to credit union members is to find appropriate merger partners for at-risk credit unions.

    1 NCUA's mission is to “provide, through regulation and supervision, a safe and sound credit union system, which promotes confidence in the national system of cooperative credit.” https://www.ncua.gov/About/Pages/Mission-and-Vision.aspx.

    Under the emergency merger provision of section 205(h) of the FCU Act, the Board may allow a credit union that is either insolvent or in danger of insolvency to merge with another credit union if the Board finds that: (1) An emergency requiring expeditious action exists; (2) no other reasonable alternatives are available; and (3) the action is in the public interest.2 Under these circumstances, the Board may approve an emergency merger without regard to common bond or other legal constraints, such as obtaining the approval of the members of the merging credit union. The emergency merger provision addresses exigent circumstances and is intended to serve the public interest and credit union members by providing for the continuation of credit union services to members and by preserving credit union assets and the NCUSIF.

    2 12 U.S.C. 1785(h).

    To take such action, the NCUA must first determine that a credit union is either insolvent or in danger of insolvency before the agency can make the additional findings that an emergency exists, other alternatives are not reasonably available, and the public interest would be served by the merger. The FCU Act, however, does not define when a credit union is “in danger of insolvency.”

    In 2009, the NCUA proposed a definition of in danger of insolvency to establish an objective standard to aid it in making in danger of insolvency determinations.3 In doing so, the NCUA aimed to provide certainty and consistency regarding how it interprets the in danger of insolvency standard. In 2010, the NCUA finalized the 2009 proposed definition, which provided for the above-referenced three net worth categories, and it has remained the definition since.4

    3 74 FR 68722 (Dec. 29, 2009).

    4 75 FR 36257 (June 25, 2010).

    Experience gained since 2010, including the analysis of Call Reports and other NCUA internal data, led the Board to conclude that an update to the 2010 definition of in danger of insolvency is needed. For these reasons, the Board published proposed changes to the definition in the Federal Register in July 2017.5

    5 82 FR 35493 (July 31, 2017).

    II. Summary of Comments

    The NCUA received 12 comments on the 2017 proposal to amend the definition of in danger of insolvency for emergency merger purposes (the Proposal). The comments were overwhelmingly supportive of the proposed definition and generally agreed with the NCUA's rationale for amending the definition. No commenters specifically opposed the proposed amendments to the definition. However, the commenters did raise several issues and made several suggestions. Specifically, commenters: Raised concerns about the impact on small credit unions and the impact of mergers on the federal charter generally; asked the NCUA to continue to study section 208 assistance generally and the data the NCUA has on recipient credit unions; requested increased transparency in the emergency merger process; and asked the NCUA to avoid using any definition that is overly rigid and results in the premature merger of a credit union. A number of these issues and suggestions, while relevant to emergency mergers or section 208 assistance generally, fall outside the scope of this rulemaking, which is only concerned with the definition of in danger of insolvency for emergency merger purposes. The Board addresses these concerns, to the extent that they fall within the scope of the rulemaking, below. Based on the rationale previously set forth, the commenters overwhelming support, and for the reasons explained in more detail below, the Board has decided to finalize the Proposal without amendment.

    III. Final Rule A. Overview

    After reviewing and considering the comments, the Board is issuing this final rule to implement the changes as proposed in the Proposal. The 2010 definition of in danger of insolvency required a credit union to fall into at least one of three net worth categories to be found to be in danger of insolvency. Consistent with the Proposal, this final rule amends the 2010 definition in three ways.

    First, the final rule lengthens by six months the “forecast horizons,” the time periods in which the NCUA projects a credit union's net worth for determining if it is in danger of insolvency. This change applies to two of the three current categories. It results in forecast horizons of 30 months for the insolvency (zero net worth) category, up from 24 months, and 18 months for the critically undercapitalized (under two percent net worth) category, up from 12 months. The third category of the 2010 definition, in which a credit union is significantly undercapitalized and the NCUA determines there is no reasonable prospect of the credit union becoming adequately capitalized in the succeeding 36 months, remains unchanged.

    The second change the final rule makes is the addition of a fourth category to the definition. Specifically, a credit union will be considered in danger of insolvency if it has been granted or received assistance under section 208 of the FCU Act in the 15 months prior to the NCUA regional office's determination that the credit union is in danger of insolvency.

    Third, the final rule makes a technical spelling correction to the first category of the definition to replace the word “relay” with the word “rely”.

    The Board believes these changes to the 2010 definition provide the NCUA with a more appropriate degree of flexibility and better allow the NCUA to act when the statutory criteria for an emergency merger are met, namely an emergency requiring expeditious action exists, no other reasonable alternatives are available, and the action is in the public interest.6 As detailed in the Proposal and restated below, both the experience the NCUA gained in applying the current definition and quantitative data persuaded the Board that these changes are necessary. Commenters' overwhelming support for the changes further strengthened the Board's position. Under the time frames of the 2010 definition, the NCUA was, on several occasions, prevented from instituting an emergency merger because a struggling credit union had not yet met the regulatory time frames to be considered in danger of insolvency, although it had otherwise met the statutory criteria. The lack of flexibility in the 2010 definition can result in continued decline in the health of a credit union, leading to a reduction in member services as the institution moves towards resolution. As shown in the chart below, credit union loan growth declines in the quarters leading up to an emergency merger.

    6 12 U.S.C. 1785(h).

    ER20DE17.002

    In some instances, the rigidity of the 2010 regulatory definition unnecessarily limited the NCUA's ability to resolve failing institutions. This came at a greater cost to a credit union's members and the NCUSIF, particularly in the case of an eventual liquidation. The FCU Act grants the Board broad authority to define the term “in danger of insolvency” for emergency merger purposes. The new definition increases agency flexibility and will enable the NCUA to act more timely to preserve credit union services and credit union assets and to protect the safety and soundness of the credit union system and the NCUSIF. Specifically, commenters agreed that the changes will: (1) Modernize and provide increased flexibility to the emergency merger process; (2) improve merger prospects and help the NCUA and credit unions find appropriate merger partners for declining credit unions; (3) allow the NCUA to capture more credit unions that are in danger of insolvency earlier in their decline; (4) help to preserve and protect assets, liquidity, and net worth; (5) protect and mitigate costs to the NCUSIF; and (6) preserve continuity in services to members. One commenter also specifically agreed that identifying struggling credit unions and allowing them to merge is more desirable than total liquidation.

    B. Extending the Forecast Horizons

    The Proposal amended the definition of in danger of insolvency in the glossary to appendix B to part 701 to extend the forecast horizons. Under the 2010 definition, to be deemed in danger of insolvency under the definition's first two categories, the NCUA had to project that a credit union's future net worth would decline at a rate that would either render the credit union insolvent within 24 months or drop below two percent (critically undercapitalized) within 12 months. In the Proposal, the Board proposed extending these periods to 30 months and 18 months, respectively. The Proposal left as is the forecast horizon of the third category of the definition pertaining to significantly undercapitalized credit unions that NCUA projects have no reasonable prospect of becoming adequately capitalized in the succeeding 36 months. After reviewing the data and considering the overwhelmingly supportive comments, the Board is finalizing these amendments to the forecast horizons as proposed.

    As noted in the Proposal, the Board believes that these changes to the definition will capture more credit unions that are in danger of insolvency earlier in their decline, before their net worth declines most rapidly, and will provide value to both the members of the credit union being merged and the NCUSIF. Increasing the likelihood that a distressed credit union would be eligible for an emergency merger earlier could help to protect net worth, reduce payouts on deposit insurance or merger assistance, and improve merger prospects. The changes also provide the NCUA with additional flexibility to resolve the distressed credit union through a merger and help to better ensure continuity of financial services for members. This additional flexibility is especially beneficial when circumstances deplete a credit union's capital slowly and steadily rather than abruptly, such as in the case of an institution with a large portfolio of declining illiquid assets.

    As provided in the Proposal, the NCUA used a simple forecast of the net worth ratios of 46 credit unions that underwent an emergency merger between the second quarter of 2010, when the 2010 definition of in danger of insolvency was put into place, and the fourth quarter of 2016 to evaluate the benefit of shifting the critically undercapitalized threshold from 12 to 18 months and the insolvency threshold from 24 to 30 months.7 Of the 46 credit unions that underwent an emergency merger since the rule was previously revised by the NCUA Board, 11 credit unions with total assets of $812 million would have qualified for an emergency merger earlier under the new definition of in danger of insolvency. The 11 credit unions had $12 million more in net worth at the time the credit unions first qualified under the new definition compared with the 2010 definition. The $12 million additional net worth meant the credit unions had net worth ratios one to three percentage points higher.

    7 This simple hypothetical forecast was used exclusively for purposes of analyzing emergency merger data and forecast horizons. It is not representative of, and does not limit, how the NCUA projects credit unions to meet the in danger of insolvency categories. The forecast of the net worth ratio uses the change in the net worth ratio during the most recently available four quarters and projects that change in net worth through the forecast horizon for each threshold. In other words, the NCUA calculated whether the credit union would fall below either of the critical thresholds using a simple straight line projection approach, with the projected rate of decline in net worth equal to the most recently available four-quarter change.

    Also, the longer forecast horizon allows the NCUA to identify a significant number of additional potential credit union emergency merger candidates. The largest diagnostic improvements from extending the forecast horizon occur in the two quarters prior to an emergency merger. Instead of 31% of the credit unions estimated to be below the critically undercapitalized threshold within 12 months two quarters before the emergency merger and 50% one quarter before, 42% and 58% of the credit unions are estimated to be below the critically undercapitalized threshold within 18 months. The identification of these additional credit unions represent an opportunity for the NCUA to preserve services to members and member assets through the emergency merger process prior to the quarters when the net worth of these credit unions declines the most. As the chart below illustrates, credit union net worth generally declines the most in the quarters leading up to an emergency merger.

    ER20DE17.003

    The data closely aligns with the views and experiences of the NCUA. The agency found that the 2010 definition's forecast horizons for these two categories could result in the unnecessary delay or even rejection of emergency merger requests that did not meet the 2010 regulatory definition of in danger of insolvency, but would otherwise meet the statutory criteria for an emergency merger. The NCUA believes that extending these forecast horizons will lessen the potential for such occurrences. When a credit union cannot be timely merged through an emergency merger and no other credit unions with compatible fields of membership submit a merger proposal, the NCUA must consider alternative and usually less desirable means of resolution. These less desirable means of resolution could even include the liquidation of the credit union. In general, merging a credit union into another institution is more desirable than liquidating the credit union because a merger is generally lower cost to the NCUSIF and provides continued and, in most cases, expanded service to the membership.

    The NCUA believes that the delay associated with waiting for an institution to deteriorate to the point where it satisfies the 2010 regulatory definition of in danger of insolvency has too frequently resulted in struggling institutions being allowed to deteriorate over time to the point where they are no longer viable merger partners and have to be resolved by means that are more costly to the NCUSIF and more disruptive to the members. Rather than continue to operate under the 2010 definition, which hampered the NCUA's ability to take responsible supervisory action on a timely basis and ensure the safety and soundness of the credit union system, the Board is adopting the Proposal's amendments to the forecast horizons of the regulatory definition of in danger of insolvency to facilitate those mergers that satisfy the statutory requirements.

    The vast majority of commenters specifically expressed support for the extended forecast horizons. No commenters opposed the change. Commenters' reasons for supporting the extended forecast horizons mirrored those expressed by the NCUA in the Proposal. Commenters specifically stated that the change will: (1) Improve merger prospects as credit unions will not continue to deteriorate until they are no longer viable merger partners; (2) allow undercapitalized institutions, where merited, to sooner be eligible for emergency mergers; (3) allow the NCUA to act more timely to preserve credit union services, liquidity, and assets for the benefit of members; (4) protect the NCUSIF; and (5) allow for continued (and often expanded) service to the membership. Additionally, one commenter specifically noted that the desire to preserve the NCUSIF will help federally insured credit unions avoid additional premium cost due to NCUSIF depletion. Another commenter stated that because of how expensive and draining mergers are to the acquiring organization, particularly when there is limited capital remaining or the membership base has departed, earlier identification and action by the NCUA to preserve the capital and membership base will make finding a merger partner for the merging credit union easier.

    One commenter described how its credit union's experiences support the changes. The commenter stated that, as the continuing credit union, their members would have benefited greatly from an extra six months of cushion before the merging credit union deteriorated further. The commenter reiterated that mergers require months or years of due diligence and that, under the current rule, strong credit unions are reluctant to consider mergers with safety and soundness concerns because qualifying in danger of insolvency credit unions are often too far gone to allow sufficient time for proper due diligence. The commenter opined that on a few occasions they had to turn down emergency merger opportunities presented by the NCUA regional office due to safety and soundness concerns. The commenter concluded that the extended forecast horizons will help ease this pressure and bring needed flexibility.

    Commenters' support for the extended forecast horizons and their description of their own real world experiences bolsters the need for the extended forecast horizons. As such, the Board is finalizing the 30-month insolvency and 18-month critically undercapitalized forecast horizons as proposed.

    As proposed, the final rule leaves the forecast horizon for the third category of the current definition as is. Rather than establishing a time period in which credit unions are projected to decline to a certain point, as the other two categories do, the third category only allows the NCUA to find that a credit union is in danger of insolvency if the credit union has no reasonable prospect of improving its net worth from the significantly undercapitalized level to the adequately capitalized level in the succeeding 36 months. The Board believes that the forecast horizon for this category adopted in 2010 already provides credit unions significant time to become adequately capitalized and is concerned that any extension to the forecast horizon would make it exceedingly difficult to accurately determine if a credit union has a reasonable possibility of returning its net worth to the adequately capitalized level.

    C. Section 208 Assistance

    In the Proposal, the Board proposed expanding the definition of in danger of insolvency in the glossary to appendix B to part 701 to add a fourth category that provides that a credit union will satisfy the definition of in danger of insolvency if the credit union has been granted or received assistance under section 208 of the FCU Act in the 15 months prior to the NCUA regional office making such a determination. Section 208 allows the Board to provide special assistance to credit unions to avoid liquidation. After reviewing the data and the comments, the Board has decided to adopt this change as proposed.

    In the Proposal the Board noted that, in analyzing credit union Call Reports and other internal NCUA data, the NCUA has found that an overwhelming number of credit unions that received section 208 assistance eventually left the credit union system. Specifically, between the first quarter of 2001 and the fourth quarter of 2016, 181 credit unions received at least one type of section 208 assistance. Since then, 165, or 91.2%, of these credit unions have stopped filing Call Reports.

    Further, the data shows that not only did the overwhelming majority of the credit unions that received section 208 assistance stop filing Call Reports, but did so not long after, or prior to, receiving the assistance. Notably, 13.9% of the total number of credit unions that received section 208 assistance began receiving such assistance after they filed their final Call Report. An additional 37.0% of these 165 credit unions filed their final Call Report in the same quarter in which they first began receiving section 208 assistance. Another 41.2% of these credit unions filed their final Call Report within the four quarters after the quarter they first received section 208 assistance. In total, 152 of the 165 credit unions, or 92.1%, stopped filing Call Reports prior to or within 15 months of receiving the section 208 assistance.

    Credit Unions Receiving Section 208 Assistance—First Receipt of Section 208 Assistance to Last Call Report Filed Number % Same quarter 61 37.0 1 year 68 41.2 2 years 3 1.8 3 years 2 1.2 4 or more years 8 4.8 Assistance began after final call report was filed 23 13.9 Total 165 100.0

    The quantitative evidence, along with the NCUA's experiences and observations, demonstrate that credit unions receiving section 208 assistance within the last 15 months are in danger of insolvency for emergency merger purposes.

    The majority of commenters explicitly supported the proposed fourth category and felt the NCUA's data clearly showed that credit unions receiving 208 assistance are in danger of insolvency. While no commenter opposed the addition of the fourth category, a number did provide suggestions and feedback. However, much of this feedback falls outside the scope of this rulemaking.

    Specifically, one commenter who supported the change also argued that the data shows problems with 208 assistance generally and that the current process covers up foundational problems inherent in credit unions approaching insolvency. The commenter urged the NCUA to explore ways to either improve the success of 208 assistance or to seek more effective remedies to help struggling credit unions. Additionally, four commenters requested that the NCUA further analyze the credit unions that survived after receiving 208 assistance to ensure the success of future recipients. One of these commenters specifically asked the NCUA to consider whether more stringent criteria is warranted when receiving 208 assistance. Another of these commenters recommended that the NCUA continue to collect and analyze the 208 assistance data. Another commenter specifically asked that the NCUA exhaust all efforts to assist credit unions receiving 208 assistance to regain strength.

    The Proposal sought comment on amendments to the in danger of insolvency standard for purposes of determining credit unions' eligibility for emergency mergers. This included whether the addition of the fourth category is proper. The comments received addressing section 208 assistance in a capacity other than its merits as an indication that a credit union is in danger of insolvency for emergency merger purposes, while generally helpful and appreciated, fall outside the scope of this rulemaking. However, the Board does note that the NCUA has previously and will continue to evaluate the 208 assistance program and the data the agency collects on it on an ongoing basis.

    One commenter noted the delicate balance the NCUA must strike between the public policy behind 208 assistance and the implementation of this fourth category. The commenter stressed that the in danger of insolvency determination should be holistic and not based solely or primarily on a credit union's request or acceptance of 208 assistance. A separate commenter supported the addition of the fourth category, but cautioned that adding 208 assistance to the definition could deter credit unions from seeking 208 assistance.

    The Board agrees that the determination that a credit union is eligible for an emergency merger must be made holistically rather than just based on a credit union's request for or acceptance of 208 assistance. The Board reiterates that it is not proposing that every credit union that receives section 208 assistance, thus meeting the new definition of in danger of insolvency, is destined for an emergency merger. In fact, the Board cannot authorize an emergency merger on this determination alone. Credit unions to be merged on an emergency basis still must meet the statutory requirements that an emergency exists, other alternatives are not reasonably available, and the public interest would be served by the merger.8 However, quantitative evidence and the NCUA's experience do indicate that a credit union's receipt of section 208 assistance is a reliable indicator of a credit union being in danger of insolvency and a safety and soundness concern.

    8 12 U.S.C. 1785(h).

    For similar reasons, the Board does not believe that using section 208 assistance to determine that a credit union is in danger of insolvency is likely to deter credit unions from seeking 208 assistance. The Board's determination that an emergency merger is necessary is a holistic one and subject to the above strict statutory requirements. Further, credit unions that receive section 208 assistance typically do so only when necessary to avoid liquidation or reduce risk to the NCUSIF. Whether they would potentially be part of an emergency merger down the line should they survive seems a minor concern.

    D. Technical Correction

    The final rule replaces the word “relay” with the word “rely” as proposed. One commenter specifically supported this change.

    E. Other Issues Raised by Commenters Rigid Guidelines

    Two commenters specifically cautioned against any regime that would result in rigid guidelines forcing credit union mergers. One of the commenters cited data in the Proposal that showed that roughly 73 credit unions that fell below two percent net worth during the last 20 years remain active today as evidence of the need to avoid “impos[ing] an inflexible, one-size-fits-all rubric to resolve financially-challenged institutions.” The Board understands this concern, and reiterates that the aim of this rulemaking is to return flexibility to the in danger of insolvency definition, not to force credit unions that meet the definition into emergency mergers. Further, credit unions are not forced into emergency mergers. While it is true that fledgling institutions may be left with limited options, including liquidation, a credit union's Board of Directors must consent to an emergency merger for it to occur.

    Transparency

    One commenter argued for a more transparent emergency merger process. The commenter suggested prospective merger partners be fully apprised of important information regarding the selection process and have the opportunity to make their case for the merger. To increase transparency and guide future emergency mergers, the commenter asked the NCUA to provide prospective merger partners with a written explanation of the reasons for its decision. The emergency merger process is a collaborative one between the merging credit union, the potential acquiring credit unions, the state regulator if applicable, and the NCUA. The Board believes that potential acquiring credit unions are currently provided with a transparent view of the emergency merger process. Further, this rulemaking focuses on the in danger of insolvency definition rather than the emergency merger process generally. As such, this comment is beyond the scope of this rulemaking but nevertheless appreciated.

    Impact on Small Credit Unions

    One commenter said that small credit unions' lack of resources often frustrates the merger process and requested the NCUA try to alleviate these potential issues by providing more streamlined procedures for merger of small institutions. The commenter noted that even with the increased forecast horizons, there may still be delays in the actual emergency merger process. The commenters did not specify how the procedures for emergency mergers could be streamlined to assist small institutions. This rulemaking relates only to the in danger of insolvency definition. As such, comments relating to procedures governing other aspects of the emergency merger process are beyond the scope of this rulemaking but still appreciated.

    Another commenter read the proposal's Paperwork Reduction Act and Regulatory Flexibility Act sections to mean that the NCUA believed the proposed changes focused on regulating larger credit unions and did not impact a significant number of smaller credit unions. The commenter advised the NCUA to review how the proposal will actually impact smaller credit unions. Specifically, the commenter suggested the NCUA research whether the Proposal affects small credit unions through evaluation forecasts, prompt corrective action, and net worth restoration plans. The commenter requested that the NCUA analyze and explain whether subjective application of the definition will disproportionately affect small credit unions, as examiners may be more likely to accept (or even push for) a forecast for small credit unions that reflects a danger of insolvency.

    The Proposal's Paperwork Reduction Act and Regulatory Flexibility Act analyses do not state that the changes to the in danger of insolvency definition are focused on regulating larger institutions. Instead, they convey that the changes do not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions and do not require additional information collection requirements. The analyses state that the proposed amendments instead are intended to return flexibility to the NCUA in making the in danger of insolvency determination.

    Other

    One commenter was particularly concerned that the NCUA “emphasize and uphold the importance and viability of the credit union charter.” The commenter said the NCUA has a dual obligation to preserve and protect the NCUSIF and the federal credit union system. The commenter stressed the value federal credit union charters hold and asserted that while a strong emphasis on finances is important in the emergency merger context, a more holistic evaluation that includes the three other statutory criteria should be incorporated to preserve the value of FCU charters.

    The Board appreciates its responsibility to serve both as the charterer and prudential regulator of federal credit unions and the insurer of all federally insured credit unions. As the Board has noted both in the Proposal and above, it appreciates that the emergency merger evaluation is a holistic one that, in addition to the insolvent or in danger of insolvency determination, includes the Board's determination that the credit union meets the three other statutory criteria that: Exigent circumstances exist; there are no other reasonable alternatives available; and the emergency merger is in the public interest.9 To reiterate, this final rule is not intended to encourage more emergency mergers or promote consolidation, but to return some flexibility to the definition of in danger of insolvency so that credit unions that are in fact in danger of insolvency can become eligible for an emergency merger.

    9Id.

    Another commenter suggested that “the Board consider standardizing timeframes contained both within this final rule as well as throughout all regulations relative to capitalization and net worth.” The commenter noted that for risk-based capital purposes, the NCUA uses a 24-month look-back period and that for the in danger of insolvency determination the timelines would now be: 30 months for the insolvency category; 18 months for the critically undercapitalized category; 36 months for the significantly undercapitalized category; and 15 months for the proposed 208 assistance category. The commenter said that while it “supports the extensions and additions suggested in the proposed rule, it is recommended that a holistic view of look-back and forecast timeframes is important and suggests that standardization of such timeframes may assist the industry.” The Board does not necessarily agree that standardization of timeframes across NCUA's regulations relative to capitalization and net worth is desirable or would benefit credit unions. Further, the Board believes this comment to beyond the scope of this rulemaking.

    IV. Regulatory Procedures A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires the NCUA to prepare an analysis of any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities (primarily those under $100 million in assets).10 This final rule merely provides the NCUA greater flexibility to authorize emergency mergers and will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions. Accordingly, the NCUA certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions.

    10 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency creates new or amends existing information collection requirements.11 For the purpose of the PRA, an information collection requirement may take the form of a reporting, recordkeeping, or a third-party disclosure requirement. The final rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the PRA.12 The final rule will merely provide the NCUA greater flexibility to authorize emergency mergers.

    11 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

    12 44 U.S.C. chap. 35.

    C. Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. In adherence to fundamental federalism principles, the NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order. This rulemaking will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the connection between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The NCUA has therefore determined that this final rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

    D. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The NCUA has determined that this final rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.13

    13 Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

    E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121) (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where the NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the Administrative Procedure Act. The NCUA does not believe this final rule is a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA. As required by SBREFA, the NCUA has filed the appropriate reports so that this final rule may be reviewed.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 701

    Credit, Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on December 14, 2017. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons discussed above, the NCUA Board amends 12 CFR part 701 as follows:

    PART 701—ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority citation for part 701 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1752(5), 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1761a, 1761b, 1766, 1767, 1782, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789. Section 701.6 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 3717. Section 701.31 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 3601-3610. Section 701.35 is also authorized by 42 U.S.C. 4311-4312.

    2. In appendix B to part 701, in the glossary, revise the definition of “in danger of insolvency” to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 701—Chartering and Field of Membership Manual

    In danger of insolvency—In making the determination that a particular credit union is in danger of insolvency, NCUA will establish that the credit union falls into one or more of the following categories:

    1. The credit union's net worth is declining at a rate that will render it insolvent within 30 months. In projecting future net worth, NCUA may rely on data in addition to Call Report data. The trend must be supported by at least 12 months of historic data.

    2. The credit union's net worth is declining at a rate that will take it under two percent (2%) net worth within 18 months. In projecting future net worth, NCUA may rely on data in addition to Call Report data. The trend must be supported by at least 12 months of historic data.

    3. The credit union's net worth, as self-reported on its Call Report, is significantly undercapitalized, and NCUA determines that there is no reasonable prospect of the credit union becoming adequately capitalized in the succeeding 36 months. In making its determination on the prospect of achieving adequate capitalization, NCUA will assume that, if adverse economic conditions are affecting the value of the credit union's assets and liabilities, including property values and loan delinquencies related to unemployment, these adverse conditions will not further deteriorate.

    4. The credit union has been granted or received assistance under section 208 of the Federal Credit Union Act, 12 U.S.C. 1788, in the 15 months prior to the Region's determination that the credit union is in danger of insolvency.

    [FR Doc. 2017-27410 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Parts 701, 705, 708a, 708b, and 790 RIN 3133-AE81 Agency Reorganization AGENCY:

    National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The NCUA Board (“Board”) is issuing a final rule to implement certain features of the NCUA reorganization that the Board announced earlier this year. This rule amends the NCUA's regulations related to the organization of the NCUA's Central Office.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective January 6, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Wirick, Senior Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 or telephone (703) 518-6540.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In July 2017, the Board announced a plan to streamline and consolidate certain of the NCUA's functions and offices in an effort to reduce the NCUA's budget and increase efficiency. The portions of the Board's reorganization plan reflected in this rule will:

    • Eliminate the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives;

    • Rename the Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access the “Office of Consumer Financial Protection;” and

    • Create a new office named the “Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion” to absorb: (1) Most of the current functions of the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives; (2) the federal credit union chartering and field of membership functions of the Office of Consumer Financial Protection; and (3) the minority depository institution preservation program of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.

    Other aspects of the Board's reorganization plan, such as changes affecting the Office of Examination and Insurance, do not require regulatory changes.

    The rule also makes a technical correction to the definition of “Regional Director” in the NCUA's voluntary merger regulation to reflect the fact that the Office of National Examinations and Supervision supervises natural person credit unions with assets of $10 billion or more as well as corporate credit unions.

    Additionally, the changes articulated in this rulemaking relate only to changes in the organization of the NCUA's Central Office, which become effective January 6, 2018. The two NCUA Regional Offices that are to be eliminated under the reorganization plan will not be closed until December 31, 2018. The Board will issue another rule in 2018 to reflect the reduction in the number of NCUA Regional Offices beginning in 2019.

    II. Regulatory Procedures 1. Final Rule Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

    Generally, the APA requires a federal agency to provide the public with notice and an opportunity to comment on agency rulemakings.1 This rule is exempt from the APA's notice and comment requirement because it only addresses the NCUA's organization and structure.2

    1 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

    2Id. (b)(A).

    2. Effective Date

    The APA also generally requires publication of a rule in the Federal Register at least 30 days before the effective date of the rule. Agencies can dispense with the 30-day requirement for good cause.3 The NCUA finds good cause to dispense with the 30-day effective date requirement, as this rule is technical rather than substantive. The rule will, therefore, be effective January 6, 2018 to coincide with the implementation of the NCUA's reorganization plan.

    3Id. 553(d)(3).

    3. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 4 (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where the NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the APA.5 As required by SBREFA, the NCUA has submitted this rule to the Office of Management and Budget for it to determine if the final rule is a “major rule” for purposes of SBREFA. The NCUA does not believe the rule is major.

    4 Public Law 104-121.

    5 5 U.S.C. 551.

    4. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires the NCUA to prepare an analysis of any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities (primarily those under $100 million in assets).6 This final rule will not have a significant economic impact on small credit unions as it addresses only the NCUA's internal organization. Accordingly, the NCUA certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions.

    6 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    5. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden on regulated entities or increases an existing burden.7 For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of a reporting or recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. As the final rule simply conforms the NCUA's regulations to reflect its new organizational structure, the NCUA has determined it does not increase paperwork requirements under the PRA.

    7 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

    6. Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. The NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order to adhere to fundamental federalism principles. The final rule does not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The NCUA has therefore determined that this final rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

    7. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The NCUA has determined that this rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of § 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

    List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 701

    Credit unions, Chartering, Field of membership.

    12 CFR Part 705

    Credit unions, Grants, Loans, Low-income credit unions, Revolving fund.

    12 CFR Part 708a

    Credit unions, Charter conversions.

    12 CFR Part 708b

    Credit unions, Mergers of credit unions.

    12 CFR Part 790

    Organization and functions (Government agencies).

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on December 14, 2017. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons discussed above, the National Credit Union Administration amends 12 CFR parts 701, 705, 708a, 708b, and 790 as follows:

    PART 701—ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority citation for part 701 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1752(5), 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1761a, 1761b, 1766, 1767, 1782, 1784, 1786, 1787, 1789. Section 701.6 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 3717. Section 701.31 is also authorized by 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 3601-3610. Section 701.35 is also authorized by 42 U.S.C. 4311-4312.

    Appendix B to Part 701 [Amended] 2. In appendix B to part 701, remove the term “Office of Consumer Financial Protection and Access” wherever it appears and add in its place the term “Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion”. PART 705—COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT REVOLVING LOAN FUND FOR CREDIT UNIONS 3. The authority citation for part 705 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1756, 1757, 1766, 1782, 1784, 1785, 1786.

    4. In § 705.5, in paragraph (d), remove the term “Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives” and add in its place the term “Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion”. PART 708a—BANK CONVERSIONS AND MERGERS 5. The authority citation for part 708a continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1766, 1785(b), and 1785(c).

    6. In § 708a.101, revise the first sentence of the definition of “Regional Director” to read as follows:
    § 708a.101 Definitions.

    Regional Director means either the director for the NCUA Regional Office for the region where a natural person credit union's main office is located or the director of the NCUA's Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion. * * *

    PART 708b—MERGERS OF FEDERALLY-INSURED CREDIT UNIONS; VOLUNTARY TERMINATION OR CONVERSION OF INSURED STATUS 7. The authority citation for part 708b continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1752(7), 1766, 1785, 1786, and 1789.

    8. In § 708b.2, revise the definition of “Regional Director” to read as follows:
    § 708b.2 Definitions.

    Regional Director means either the director for the NCUA Regional Office for the region where a natural person credit union's main office is located or the director of the NCUA's Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion. For corporate credit unions and natural person credit unions with $10 billion or more in assets, Regional Director means the director of the NCUA's Office of National Examinations and Supervision.

    PART 790—DESCRIPTION OF NCUA; REQUEST FOR AGENCY ACTION 9. The authority citation for part 790 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1766, 1789, 1795f.

    10. In § 790.2, revise the second sentence of paragraph (b)(6), paragraph (b)(12), the third sentence of paragraph (b)(13), and paragraph (b)(15) to read as follows:
    § 790.2 Central and field office organization.

    (b) * * *

    (6) * * * The Executive Director translates the NCUA Board policy decisions into workable programs, delegates responsibility for these programs to appropriate staff members, and coordinates the activities of the senior executive staff, which includes: The General Counsel; the Regional Directors; and the Office Directors for the Asset Management and Assistance Center, Chief Economist, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Consumer Financial Protection, Continuity and Security Management, Credit Union Resources and Expansion, Examination and Insurance, Human Resources, Minority and Women Inclusion, National Examinations and Supervision, and Public and Congressional Affairs. * * *

    (12) Credit Union Resources and Expansion. This Office is responsible for coordinating NCUA policy and actions related to credit union chartering and field of membership, low income designation, and preserving credit unions run by minorities and/or serving minorities. The Office administers the Community Development Revolving Loan Program for Credit Unions (Program). This Program is funded from congressional appropriations and serves as a source of financial support, in the form of technical assistance grants and loans to low-income credit unions serving predominantly low-income members. The Program is governed by part 705 of subchapter A of this chapter.

    (13) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. * * * Specific duties of the Office include developing and implementing standards for: Equal employment opportunity and the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the workforce and senior management of the NCUA; increased participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the programs and contracts of the NCUA, including standards for coordinating technical assistance to such businesses; and assessing the diversity policies and practices of credit unions regulated by the NCUA. * * *

    (15) Office of Consumer Financial Protection. (i) The Office of Consumer Financial Protection contains two divisions:

    (A) The Division of Consumer Compliance Policy and Outreach; and

    (B) The Division of Consumer Affairs;

    (ii) The Office provides consumer financial services, including consumer education and complaint resolution; establishes, consolidates, and coordinates consumer financial protections within the agency; oversees the agency's fair lending examination program; and acts as the central liaison on consumer financial protection with other federal agencies.

    [FR Doc. 2017-27411 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0671; Product Identifier 2016-SW-072-AD; Amendment 39-19135; AD 2017-26-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009-25-07 for Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2009-25-07 required amending the rotorcraft flight manual supplement (RFMS) and pre-flight checking the emergency flotation gear before each flight over water. Since we issued AD 2009-25-07, Airbus Helicopters developed a terminating action and identified an additional part-numbered emergency floatation gear part with the unsafe condition. This new AD retains the requirements of AD 2009-25-07, expands the applicability, and adds a terminating action for the repetitive inspections. The actions of this AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these helicopters.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective January 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/website/technical-expert/. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    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-2017-0671; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to remove AD 2009-25-07 (74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009) (2009-25-07), and add a new AD. AD 2009-25-07 applied to Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2009-25-07 required amending the limitations section of RFMS to prohibit flight over water if the “float arm” pushbutton does not remain lit, conducting a pilot check to determine whether the “float arm” pushbutton remains lit before any flight over water, and placarding the “float arm” pushbutton as inoperative if the functional check is unsuccessful.

    The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2017 (82 FR 32501). The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2016-0180, dated September 13, 2016 (AD 2016-0180), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Model EC120B helicopters. EASA advises that Airbus Helicopters has designed an improved latching pushbutton, which when installed becomes a terminating action for the repetitive functional checks of the float arm pushbuttons. EASA also states that lighting and ancillary control unit (LACU) part number (P/N) 040101BA is equipped with the same faulty pushbutton and must be included in the applicability.

    Accordingly, the NPRM proposed to retain the RFMS amendment and repetitive functional check requirements of AD 2009-25-07, add LACU P/N 040101BA to the applicability paragraph, require replacing the float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A with float arm pushbutton P/N 304-2500-00 within 300 hours time-in-service (TIS), and prohibit installing float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A on any helicopter. Replacing the float arm pushbutton was also proposed as a terminating action for the repetitive functional checks prior to flight overwater. An owner/operator (pilot) may perform the functional check required by this AD and must enter compliance with that paragraph into the helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform this check because it involves only a functional check to determine whether the emergency flotation gear has been armed and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. This check is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations.

    The proposed requirements were intended to prohibit flight over water if a functional test indicates that the emergency flotation gear cannot be armed, which would preclude deployment of the floats in an emergency water ditching, resulting in subsequent damage to the helicopter and injury to occupants.

    Since the NPRM was issued, the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service has changed its organization structure. The new structure replaces product directorates with functional divisions. We have revised some of the office titles and nomenclature throughout this Final rule to reflect the new organizational changes. Additional information about the new structure can be found in the Notice published on July 25, 2017 (82 FR 34564).

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

    Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD requires installing the LACU float arm pushbutton within 13 months; this AD requires the installation within 300 hours TIS.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 04A007, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2016 (EASB), for Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. The EASB describes procedures for a pre-flight check of the float arm pushbutton while arming the emergency flotation gear and prohibits operators from flight over water if the float arm pushbutton fails.

    We also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC120-31A008, Revision 0, dated June 30, 2016 (ASB), for Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. The ASB describes procedures for replacing the float arm pushbutton with a new design pushbutton and for re-labeling the modified LACU with a new P/N label.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate this AD will affect 53 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85 per hour, the cost of revising the limitations section of the RFMS and of the pre-flight functional check is negligible. Replacing the float arm pushbutton will require about 2 work-hours, and required parts cost about $311, for a cost per helicopter of $481 and a total cost of $25,493 to the U.S. fleet.

    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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009-25-07, Amendment 39-16126 (74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009), and adding the following new AD: 2017-26-04 Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Amendment 39-19135; Docket No. FAA-2017-0671; Product Identifier 2016-SW-072-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) Model EC120B helicopters, certificated in any category, with a Lighting and Ancillary Control Unit (LACU) part-number (P/N) 040101AB or 040101BA with a float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A installed.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a “float arm” pushbutton, which could result in inoperative floats being used in an emergency water ditching, causing damage to the helicopter or injury to occupants.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2009-25-07, Amendment 39-16126 (74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009).

    (d) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective January 24, 2018.

    (e) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (f) Required Actions

    (1) Before further flight, amend the EC120B Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement (RFMS) for the Aerazur emergency flotation gear, by inserting a copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the RFMS or by making pen and ink changes to that section to add the information in Figure 1 to paragraph (f)(1) of this AD:

    Figure 1 to Paragraph (f)(1)—Amendment to RFMS Arm the emergency flotation gear by pressing the LACU “FLOAT ARM” pushbutton. —If both lights of the pushbutton remain lit, flight over water is permitted. —If one or both lights of the pushbutton do not remain lit, FLIGHT OVER WATER IS PROHIBITED.

    (2) Before each flight over water:

    (i) Perform a functional check to determine whether flight over water is permitted under the Limitations section in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD. For purposes of this AD, “flight over water” means flight beyond the power-off gliding distance from shore. “Shore” is an area of land adjacent to the water and above the high water mark but does not include land area that is intermittently under water. The actions required by this paragraph may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate, and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439.

    (ii) If the LACU fails the functional check required by paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this AD, place a placard over the “float arm” pushbutton that reads “INOP.”

    (3) Within 300 hours time-in-service, replace float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A with float arm pushbutton P/N 304-2500-00. Installing float arm pushbutton P/N 304-2500-00 is terminating action for the functional check and placard required by paragraphs (f)(2)(i) and (f)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (4) Do not install float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A on any helicopter.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (h) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 04A007, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2016, and Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC120-31A008, Revision 0, dated June 30, 2016, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/website/technical-expert/. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0180, dated September 13, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2017-0671.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2560 Emergency Equipment.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 12, 2017. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27274 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1191; Product Identifier 2017-SW-046-AD; Amendment 39-19134; AD 2017-26-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation (Enstrom) Model F-28, F-28A, F-28C, F-28C-2, F-28C-2R, F-28F, F-28F-R, TH-28, 280, 280C, 280F, 280FX, 480, and 480B helicopters. This AD requires inspecting certain rod end bearing assemblies. This AD is prompted by an accident. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these helicopters.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective January 4, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of January 4, 2018.

    We must receive comments on this AD by February 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1191; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Enstrom Helicopter Corporation, 2209 22nd Street, Menominee, MI; telephone (906) 863-1200; fax (906) 863-6821; or at www.enstromhelicopter.com. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1191.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manzoor Javed, Senior Aerospace Engineer, Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service, FAA, 2300 East Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294-8112; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

    Discussion

    We are adopting a new AD for Enstrom Model F-28, F-28A, F-28C, F-28C-2, F-28C-2R, F-28F, F-28F-R, TH-28, 280, 280C, 280F, 280FX, 480, and 480B helicopters with a rod end bearing assembly (bearing assembly) part number (P/N) 01-824-08E-011, 09455-01-824-08E-011, ECD091-1, ASMK8T, M81935/1-08K, MS21242S8K, or MTK8 installed. We received a report of an accident involving an Enstrom Model 480B helicopter in which one of the main rotor (M/R) blades departed in-flight. The preliminary investigation indicated that failure of a rod end bearing assembly of one of the M/R hydraulic damper assemblies may have caused the M/R blade to depart from the helicopter. Based on a partially visible marking, the FAA believes the failed part is assembly P/N ECD091-1, vendor P/N 09455-01-824-08E-011. Analysis of the failed assembly revealed corrosion in the root of the threaded portion of the rod end. Enstrom identified a potential failure mode whereby failure of the rod end bearing assembly may result in the loss of the M/R blade. Because there is no indication of a specific manufacturing or design issue that would limit the potential for this corrosion to have occurred on other similarly-designed rod ends, the FAA determined it necessary to require an inspection of all approved rod end P/Ns.

    Accordingly, this AD requires, within 5 hours time-in-service (TIS), a one-time inspection of the bearing assemblies for corrosion on the threaded portion of the rod end. If there is any corrosion, this AD requires replacing the bearing assembly before further flight. This AD also requires reporting information about the inspection to the FAA within 10 days.

    The actions specified by this AD are intended to detect corrosion in the bearing assembly to prevent failure of the rod end, loss of an M/R blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Additional inspections at longer intervals may also be necessary. We plan to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to give the public an opportunity to comment on those long-term requirements.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Enstrom has issued Service Directive Bulletin (SDB) No. 0127, Revision 1, dated October 6, 2017, for Model F-28, F-28A, F-28C, F-28C-2, F-28C-2R, F-28F, F-28F-R, 280, 280C, 280F, and 280FX helicopters and SDB No. T-058, dated August 2, 2017, for Model TH-28, 480, and 480B helicopters. This service information provides procedures for inspecting certain vendor specific bearing assemblies P/N ECD091-1 for corrosion on the threaded portion of the rod end.

    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.

    AD Requirements

    This AD requires, within 5 hours TIS, inspecting each M/R hydraulic damper bearing assembly P/N ECD091-1, and for model F-28, F-28A, F-28C, F-28C-2, F-28C-2R, F-28F, F-28F-R, 280, 280C, 280F, and 280FX helicopters each belt tension shaft bearing assembly P/N 01-824-08E-011, 09455-01-824-08E-011, ASMK8T, ECD091-1, MTK8, M81935/1-08K, and MS21242S8K, for corrosion at the root of the thread on the rod end with a 5X or higher power magnifying glass. If there is any corrosion, this AD requires replacing the bearing assembly before further flight.

    This AD also requires, within 10 days after completing each inspection, reporting the findings of the inspection to the FAA's Chicago ACO Branch, including: The owner's contact information, helicopter registration number and model, date of the inspection, total hours of the bearing assembly and helicopter, bearing assembly serial number, the location of any corrosion, and a description of any corrosion.

    Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

    The service information specifies repeating the visual inspection for corrosion at every 100 hour or annual inspection, while this AD does not, as this time interval would allow for sufficient time for notice and comment.

    Also, the service information only applies to bearing assembly P/N ECD091-1 and only specifies performing an inspection if marked with vendor P/N 09455-01-824-08E-011 or if the marking is missing or illegible. This AD applies to all P/N ECD091-1, 09455-01-824-08E-011, MTK8, ASMK8T, 01-824-08E-011, M81935/1-08K, and MS21242S8K bearing assemblies. Because the FAA does not have any data that positively confirms the root cause as a manufacturing batch, the AD requires inspections on all P/Ns of the same type design. The data received about the initial inspections will be used to determine the effectivity of any follow-on actions.

    Finally, the service information specifies reporting the inspection findings to Enstrom, while this AD requires reporting the findings to the FAA.

    Interim Action

    We consider this AD interim action. The inspection reports that are required by this AD will enable us to obtain better insight into the nature of the corrosion and to develop final action to address the unsafe condition. Once final action has been identified, we might consider further rulemaking.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 513 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, we estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD.

    Inspecting the bearing assemblies will require 5 work-hours, for a cost per helicopter of $425 and a total cost of $218,025 to the U.S. fleet.

    Reporting the inspection results required by this AD will require about 0.5 work-hour, for a cost per helicopter of $43, and a total cost of $22,059 to the U.S. fleet.

    If required, replacing one bearing assembly will not incur any additional work-hours, and required parts will cost $410, for a cost per helicopter of $410.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting required by this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591. ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because the bearing assembly inspection required by this AD must be accomplished within 5 hours TIS. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    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.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-26-03 The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation: Amendment 39-19134; Docket No. FAA-2017-1191; Product Identifier 2017-SW-046-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation (Enstrom) Model F-28, F-28A, F-28C, F-28C-2, F-28C-2R, F-28F, F-28F-R, TH-28, 280, 280C, 280F, 280FX, 480, and 480B helicopters, certificated in any category, with a rod end bearing assembly (bearing assembly) P/N 01-824-08E-011, 09455-01-824-08E-011, ECD091-1, ASMK8T, M81935/1-08K, MS21242S8K, or MTK8 installed.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as corrosion on a bearing assembly rod end thread. This condition could result in a crack in the bearing assembly, failure of the rod end resulting in loss of a main rotor blade, and loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective January 4, 2018.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 5 hours time-in-service (TIS), using a 5X or higher power magnifying glass, inspect each main rotor damper bearing assembly for corrosion on the threaded portion of the rod end as shown in Figure 1 of Enstrom Service Directive Bulletin (SDB) No. 0127, Revision 1, dated October 6, 2017 (SDB 0127), for Model F-28, F-28A, F-28C, F-28C-2, F-28C-2R, F-28F, F-28F-R, 280, 280C, 280F, and 280FX helicopters or Enstrom SDB No. T-058, dated August 2, 2017 (SDB T-058), for model TH-28, 480, and 480B helicopters, as appropriate for your model helicopter. If there is any corrosion, before further flight, replace the bearing assembly.

    (2) For Model F-28, F-28A, F-28C, F-28C-2, F-28C-2R, F-28F, F-28F-R, 280, 280C, 280F, and 280FX helicopters, within 5 hours TIS, using a 5X or higher power magnifying glass, inspect each belt tension shaft rod end bearing assembly for corrosion on the threaded portion of the rod end as shown in Figure 1 of SDB 0127. If there is any corrosion, before further flight, replace the bearing assembly.

    (3) Within 10 days after completing the inspections required by paragraph (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this AD, report the findings of each inspection, including the helicopter owner, address, telephone number, email address, helicopter model, helicopter registration number, date of inspection, total hours TIS of the helicopter, total hours TIS of the bearing, bearing assembly serial number, location of any corrosion, and a description of any corrosion, by mail or email to the individual listed in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

    (f) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 30 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Manzoor Javed, Senior Aerospace Engineer, Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service, FAA, 2300 East Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294-8112; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6200 Main Rotor System.

    (i) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Enstrom Service Directive Bulletin No. 0127, Revision 1, dated October 6, 2017.

    (ii) Enstrom Service Directive Bulletin No. T-058, dated August 2, 2017.

    (3) For Enstrom service information identified in this AD, contact Enstrom Helicopter Corporation, 2209 22nd Street, Menominee, MI; telephone (906) 863-1200; fax (906) 863-6821; or at www.enstromhelicopter.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 11, 2017. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27268 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-1173; Product Identifier 2017-SW-030-AD; Amendment 39-19131; AD 2017-25-17] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding airworthiness directive (AD) 2011-27-08 for Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters. AD 2011-27-08 required repetitively inspecting each elevator assembly for a crack. This new AD retains the initial inspection interval and adds a repetitive borescope inspection. This AD is prompted by the discovery of another crack on an elevator assembly since AD 2011-27-08 was issued. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these helicopters.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective January 4, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of January 4, 2018.

    We must receive comments on this AD by February 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1173; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1173.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2011-27-08 (77 FR 3382, January 24, 2012) (2011-27-08), for Agusta Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters with elevator assemblies, part number (P/N) 109-0200-02-601, 109-0200-02-801, 109-0200-02-602, 109-0200-02-802, 109-0200-02-803, or 109-0200-02-804 installed. AD 2011-27-08 required repetitively inspecting the left and right elevator assemblies for a crack and replacing the elevator assembly before further flight if there is a crack. AD 2011-27-08 was prompted by AD No. 2011-0150, dated August 9, 2011 (AD 2011-0150), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Agusta Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters. EASA advised of a fracture of the left elevator assembly along the riveting of the upper skin to the fourth rib due to fatigue.

    Actions Since AD 2011-27-08 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2011-27-08, EASA has issued Emergency AD No. 2017-0085-E, dated May 12, 2017 (EAD 2017-0085-E), which supersedes AD 2011-0150. EASA advises that since AD 2011-0150 was issued, another crack was found in an elevator assembly during a post-flight inspection on an A109S helicopter. EAD 2017-0085-E requires a one-time visual or dye-penetrant inspection of the elevator upper skin in the area of the fourth rib, and also requires drilling an access hole in each elevator and performing repetitive inspections of the internal areas with an endoscope. If there is a crack, EAD 2017-0085-E requires replacing the cracked elevator assembly or contacting Agusta for an approved repair.

    Also, the FAA is in the process of updating Agusta's name change to Leonardo Helicopters S.p.A. on its FAA type certificate. Because this name change is not yet effective, this AD specifies Agusta.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Leonardo Helicopters has issued Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 109S-076 for Model A109S helicopters, and EASB No. 109SP-113 for Model AW109SP helicopters, both Revision A and dated May 12, 2017. Each EASB specifies procedures for visually inspecting the elevator assembly skin for a crack, adding an inspection hole to the elevator assembly, and inspecting the interior of the elevator assembly with an endoscope.

    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.

    AD Requirements

    This AD retains the initial visual inspection of AD 2011-27-08, but changes the compliance time to before further flight or before the elevator assembly exceeds 400 hours TIS, whichever occurs later.

    The AD also requires, within 10 hours TIS or before the elevator assembly exceeds 400 hours TIS, whichever occurs later, drilling an access hole on the lower face of each elevator assembly and performing a borescope inspection of the internal areas of the elevator assembly leading edge and trailing edge longerons and upper web for a crack. If there is a crack, the AD requires replacing the elevator assembly before further flight. Lastly, this AD requires repeating the borescope inspection every 25 hours TIS.

    Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD allows a dye-penetrant inspection of the elevator assembly as an option, while this AD does not.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 14 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    At an average labor rate of $85 per hour, we estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Inspecting the elevator assemblies with a magnifying glass will require 3 work-hours for a cost of $255 per helicopter and $3,570 for the U.S. fleet.

    Drilling an access hole will require 1 work-hour and required parts cost would be minimal, for a cost of $85 per helicopter and $1,190 for the U.S. fleet.

    Inspecting with a borescope will require 1 work-hour for a cost of $85 per helicopter and $1,190 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.

    If required, replacing a cracked elevator assembly will require 10 work-hours and required parts will cost $23,905 for a cost per helicopter of $24,755.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because some of the corrective actions must be accomplished before further flight. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reason stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    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.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-27-08, Amendment 39-16910 (77 FR 3382, January 24, 2012), and adding the following new AD: 2017-25-17 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-19131; Docket No. FAA-2017-1173; Product Identifier 2017-SW-030-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters with elevator assemblies, part number (P/N) 109-0200-02-601, 109-0200-02-801, 109-0200-02-602, 109-0200-02-802, 109-0200-02-803, or 109-0200-02-804 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a fatigue crack on the elevator assembly. This condition could result in failure of the elevator, reduced maneuverability of the helicopter, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2011-27-08, Amendment 39-16910 (77 FR 3382, January 24, 2012).

    (d) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective January 4, 2018.

    (e) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (f) Required Actions

    (1) Before further flight or before the elevator assembly accumulates 400 hours time-in-service (TIS), whichever occurs later, inspect the left and right elevator upper skin along the 4th rib station rivet line from the leading edge to 200 mm aft with a 10X or higher power magnifying glass for a crack in the area depicted in Figure 1 of Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 109S-076, Revision A, dated May 12, 2017 (EASB 109S-076), or EASB No. 109SP-113, Revision A, dated May 12, 2017 (EASB 109SP-113), as appropriate for your model helicopter. If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the elevator assembly.

    (2) Within 10 hours TIS or before the elevator assembly accumulates 400 hours TIS, whichever occurs later:

    (i) Drill a 19.05 mm access hole on the lower face of each elevator assembly as depicted in Figure 2 of EASB 109S-076 or EASB 109SP-113, as appropriate for your model helicopter. Apply Alodine or equivalent coating and epoxy polyamide primer to the hole surface.

    (ii) Using a borescope, inspect the internal area of each elevator assembly for a crack along the leading edge and trailing edge longerons and upper web as depicted in Figure 3 of EASB 109S-076 or EASB 109SP-113, as appropriate for your model helicopter. If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the elevator assembly. Repeat this inspection at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (h) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2017-0085-E, dated May 12, 2017. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2017-1173.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5520 Elevator Structure.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 109S-076, Revision A, dated May 12, 2017.

    (ii) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 109SP-113, Revision A, dated May 12, 2017.

    (3) For Leonardo Helicopters service information identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G. Agusta 520, 21017 C. Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 4, 2017. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27263 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0251; Product Identifier 2016-NM-101-AD; Amendment 39-19133; AD 2017-26-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the main cargo door (MCD) forward-most cam latch on the forward center cam latch pair broke during flight. This AD requires repetitive inspections for discrepancies of cam latches, latch pins, and latch pin cross bolts of the MCD; replacement of all alloy steel latch pin cross bolts with corrosion-resistant steel (CRES) latch pin cross bolts of the MCD; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective January 24, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 24, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc., 2100 9th Street, Brookley Aeroplex, Mobile, AL 36615; telephone: 251-379-0112; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.vtmae.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0251.

    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-2017-0251; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Samuel Belete, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Section, FAA, Atlanta ACO Branch, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; telephone: 404-474-5580; fax: 404-474-5605; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2017 (82 FR 26617). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that the MCD forward-most cam latch on the forward center cam latch pair broke during flight. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for discrepancies of cam latches, latch pins, and latch pin cross bolts of the MCD; replacement of all alloy steel latch pin cross bolts with CRES latch pin cross bolts of the MCD; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary.

    We are issuing this AD to detect and correct discrepancies of the MCD cam latches, latch pins, and latch pin cross bolts, which, if left undetected, could reduce the structural integrity of the MCD and result in potential loss of the cargo door and rapid decompression of the airplane.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We have considered the comments received. Air Line Pilots Association, International, FedEx Express, and VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc. supported the NPRM.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc. Service Bulletin MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, Revision 3, dated July 22, 2016. This service information describes procedures for doing inspections for discrepancies of cam latches, latch pins, and latch pin cross bolts of the MCD; replacement of all alloy steel latch pin cross bolts with CRES latch pin cross bolts of the MCD; and related investigative and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 119 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 per inspection cycle $0 $1,700 per inspection cycle $202,300 per inspection cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacement of latch pin cross bolts and related investigative and corrective actions that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement and Related investigative and corrective actions Up to 144 work-hours × $85 per hour = $12,240 Up to $3,000 Up to $15,240.
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-26-02 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19133; Docket No. FAA-2017-0251; Product Identifier 2016-NM-101-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective January 24, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200 series airplanes, certificated in any category, that have been converted from passenger to freighter configuration as specified in any of the VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc. supplemental type certificates (STCs) identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD.

    (1) STC ST03562AT (14 pallet) (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/7239683609eb1b4086257ff1004d0f2b/$FILE/ST03562AT.pdf).

    (2) STC ST04242AT (15 pallet) (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/edd46d607cedd3a286257ff1004d8d82/$FILE/ST03952AT.pdf.)

    (3) STC ST03952AT (combi—airplanes that can carry passenger, freight, or both in the cabin) (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/edd46d607cedd3a286257ff1004d8d82/$FILE/ST03952AT.pdf).

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the main cargo door (MCD) forward-most cam latch on the forward center cam latch pair broke during flight. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct discrepancies of the MCD cam latches, latch pins, and latch pin cross bolts, which, if left undetected, could reduce the structural integrity of the MCD and result in potential loss of the MCD and rapid decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections, Replacement, and Related Investigative and Corrective Actions

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph I.D., “Compliance,” of VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc. Service Bulletin MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, Revision 3, dated July 22, 2016 (“SB MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, R3”), except as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD; or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of SB MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, R3, except as specified in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspections specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(4) of this AD thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph I.D., “Compliance,” of SB MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, R3.

    (1) Do a general visual inspection for any broken or missing cam latches, latch pins, and latch pin cross bolts of the MCD.

    (2) Do a detailed inspection for any cracks or gouges in critical areas of the cam latches and latch pins of the MCD and for any cam latches with lip deformation.

    (3) Replace all previously unreplaced alloy steel latch pin cross bolts with corrosion resistant steel (CRES) latch pin cross bolts of the MCD.

    (4) Do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) or magnetic particle inspection for any cracks in the critical areas of cam latch 1 and cam latch 2 of the MCD.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information

    (1) Where the “Condition” column of table 1 of paragraph I.D., “Compliance,” of SB MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, R3, refers to airplanes meeting certain conditions identified in “Condition 1,” for this AD, “Condition 1” applies to all airplanes.

    (2) Where the Accomplishment Instructions of SB MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, R3, specify doing actions only for airplanes that have completed a certain rig and check of the MCD, this AD requires doing those actions on all airplanes.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc. Service Bulletin MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, Revision 2, dated February 18, 2016.

    (j) Special Flight Permit

    A special flight permit may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane, for a single unpressurized flight, to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (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.

    (l) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Samuel Belete, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Section, Atlanta ACO Branch, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; telephone 404-474-5580; fax 404-474-5605; email: [email protected]

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc. Service Bulletin MAE757SF-SB-52-12/02, Revision 3, dated July 22, 2016. The date appears only on pages 1 and 3 of this document.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc., 2100 9th Street, Brookley Aeroplex, Mobile, AL 36615; telephone: 251-379-0112; email: [email protected]; internet: http://www.vtmae.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 8, 2017. Jeffrey E. Duven, Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27169 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2017-1194] Change to Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast Services AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notification of changes in ADS-B services.

    SUMMARY:

    This action announces changes in ADS-B services, including Traffic Information Service—Broadcast (TIS-B), for a small number of aircraft. The FAA is implementing a filter for certain ADS-B equipped aircraft broadcasting erroneous or improper information when the broadcast information could affect the safe provision of air traffic services. Any aircraft subject to the filter will not have its ADS-B information sent to an air traffic control (ATC) facility nor will the aircraft be a client for TIS-B services. Affected aircraft will continue to receive ATC services within radar coverage using secondary radar information.

    DATES:

    The action described herein is implemented January 2, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact: David E. Gray, Program Manager, Surveillance and Broadcast Services, AJM-232, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, 600 Independence Ave. SW, Wilbur Wright Building, Washington, DC 20597; telephone: 202-267-3615; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In 2010, the FAA issued a final rule mandating equipage requirements and performance standards for Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast (ADS-B) Out avionics on aircraft operating in certain airspace after December 31, 2019. 75 FR 30160, May 28, 2010. Use of ADS-B Out will move air traffic control from a radar-based system to a satellite-derived aircraft location system and enhance aircraft surveillance by FAA and Department of Defense (DOD) air traffic controllers. Equipage with ADS-B avionics also provides aircraft operators with a platform for additional flight applications and services, including TIS-B,1 which improve a pilot's situational awareness in aircraft not equipped with a traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS).

    1 TIS-B uses secondary surveillance radars and multilateration systems to provide proximate traffic situational awareness, including position reports from aircraft not equipped with ADS-B Out. TIS-B data may not provide as much information as could be received directly from an aircraft's ADS-B Out broadcast, because of the required data processing. The TIS-B signal is an advisory service that is not designed for aircraft surveillance or separation, and cannot be used for either purpose.

    In deploying the ADS-B surveillance infrastructure, the FAA implemented a capability to monitor compliance with § 91.227 requirements for aircraft operating within the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). Over the past three years, this monitoring has identified some ADS-B Out aircraft with non-performing equipment (NPE) transmitting data used by ATC and ADS-B-In-equipped aircraft that present a potential safety hazard to NAS operations, including but not limited to: Unassigned/invalid 24-bit ICAO addresses; incorrect flight identification codes; erroneous position reports; improper avionics integrity and accuracy levels; and missing data required by applicable regulations.

    To reduce the potential hazard presented by NPE aircraft, the FAA is filtering individual 24-bit ICAO address codes (also known as Mode S codes) for certain aircraft from the FAA's operational ADS-B network. The FAA is implementing an ATC filtering capability on January 2, 2018. This filtering prevents processing of data transmitted by uniquely identified NPE aircraft within FAA air traffic control systems and by the FAA TIS-B service. ATC will continue to receive transponder replies to secondary radar interrogations and will be able to provide ATC services within radar coverage to aircraft subject to the filter, using secondary radar information. Also, any aircraft with a filtered ICAO address code will continue to appear as a “target” to nearby aircraft with ADS-B-In equipment.

    Action

    The FAA will always filter ICAO address codes from aircraft that are transmitting the hexadecimal values “000000” and “FFFFFF.” Per ICAO technical standards which FAA surveillance systems meet, neither of these ICAO address codes should be used by any aircraft ADS-B Out transmitter or Mode S transponder. However, FAA ADS-B monitoring over the last three years indicates that approximately once per day, on average, there is a flight in the NAS using one of these incorrect ICAO address codes and indicating that the aircraft is equipped with an ADS-B-In system. Because these non-compliant codes are not unique to a single aircraft, the potential for multiple aircraft to transmit the same code could create confusion inside ADS-B and TCAS avionics, Mode S interrogators, and ATC automation systems. This confusion could cause an aircraft's position to be incorrectly displayed or not displayed at all, thereby creating an unsafe condition in the NAS. To mitigate this risk and discourage violation of ICAO technical standards, the FAA will filter the ADS-B information from any aircraft transmitting a non-compliant address code from the FAA's operational ATC systems. Therefore, aircraft broadcasting these incorrect ICAO address codes will be unable to receive TIS-B services.

    The FAA also intends to utilize the filter for other ICAO codes that are being improperly broadcast or for aircraft whose ADS-B Out equipment has exhibited erroneous position reports that could affect the safe provision of air traffic services. The FAA may also utilize the filter for aircraft that have a known issue that could reasonably result in erroneous ADS-B reports that could affect the safe provision of ATC services.

    The FAA has initiated the filtering capability described in this document for aircraft transmitting non-compliant codes. For other aircraft, the FAA intends when possible to provide individual notice to owners/operators prior to utilizing the filter. This notification would describe the reason for applying the filter and steps that must be taken before an aircraft may be removed from the filter. If an aircraft owner/operator does not respond to an FAA notice of finding regarding an ADS-B avionics issue, FAA at its option may subject that aircraft to the filter without further notice.

    Owners and operators can identify the ICAO address filtering status of their aircraft by requesting a Public ADS-B Performance Report (PAPR) at the following web address: https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/PAPRRequest.aspx. Owners and operators whose aircraft are affected by application of the ICAO address filter must contact the FAA Flight Standards Service ADS-B Focus Team at [email protected] for guidance on corrective actions and coordination for removal of aircraft from the ICAO address filter.

    Operators should check to insure that the ICAO address code (Mode S code) broadcast by their ADS-B equipment matches the assigned ICAO address code for their aircraft. This ICAO address code (Mode S code) can be found at: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Inquiry.aspx. Operators can verify what ICAO address code is being broadcast by their aircraft by visiting: https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/PAPRRequest.aspx. 2

    2 For those aircraft transmitting an erroneous ICAO code, the PAPR software will search for the Flight ID matching the entered N-registry number if it cannot locate the corresponding ICAO code.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2017. Kristen G. Burnham, Vice President, Program Management Organization, FAA Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27202 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 744 [Docket No. 140908761-7999-02] RIN 0694—AG29 Addition of Certain Entities to the Entity List AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding two entities to the Entity List. The two entities being added to the Entity List have been determined by the U.S. Government to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. These two entities will be listed on the Entity List under the destination of Russia.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective December 20, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chair, End-User Review Committee, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Export Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, Phone: (202) 482-5991, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Entity List (Supplement No. 4 to part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)) identifies entities and other persons reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The EAR imposes additional license requirements on, and limits the availability of most license exceptions for, exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to those listed. The “license review policy” for each listed entity or other person is identified in the License Review Policy column on the Entity List and the impact on the availability of license exceptions is described in the Federal Register document adding entities or other persons to the Entity List. BIS places entities and other persons on the Entity List pursuant to sections of part 744 (Control Policy: End-User and End-Use Based) and part 746 (Embargoes and Other Special Controls) of the EAR.

    The End-User Review Committee (ERC), composed of representatives of the Departments of Commerce (Chair), State, Defense, Energy and, where appropriate, the Treasury, makes all decisions regarding additions to, removals from, or other modifications to the Entity List. The ERC makes decisions to add an entry to the Entity List by majority vote and decisions to remove or modify an entry by unanimous vote. The Departments represented on the ERC have approved these changes to the Entity List.

    ERC Entity List Decisions Additions to the Entity List

    This rule implements the decision of the ERC to add two entities to the Entity List. These two entities are being added on the basis of § 744.11 (License requirements that apply to entities acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States) of the EAR. The two entries added to the Entity List consist of two entities located in Russia.

    Under § 744.11(b) (Criteria for revising the Entity List) of the EAR, persons for whom there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, that they have been involved, are involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in, activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States and those acting on behalf of such persons may be added to the Entity List. Paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(5) of § 744.11 provide an illustrative list of activities that could be contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

    BIS, pursuant to Section 744.11(b) of the EAR, and in consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Energy and the Treasury, has designated the two persons, located in the Russian Federation, to be added to the Entity List for actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. Specifically, these entities produced, for the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, a ground-launched cruise missile system, and associated transporter-erector-launcher, with a range prohibited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Both the Russian Federation and the United States are party to the INF Treaty. Therefore, there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, that Joint Stock Company Experimental Design Bureau Novator, and Joint Stock Company Federal Scientific and Production Center Titan-Barrikady have been involved in actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

    The prior review of exports, reexports or transfers (in-country) of all items subject to the EAR involving these persons, and the possible imposition of license conditions or license denials on shipments to the persons, will enhance BIS's ability to prevent use of items subject to the EAR contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.

    For the two persons added to the Entity List, BIS imposes a license requirement for all items subject to the EAR, and a license review policy of presumption of denial. The license requirements apply to any transaction in which items are to be exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) to either of the persons or in which such persons act as purchaser, intermediate consignee, ultimate consignee, or end-user. In addition, no license exceptions are available for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to the persons being added to the Entity List in this rule. The acronym “a.k.a.” (also known as) is used in entries on the Entity List to identify aliases and help exporters, reexporters and transferors to better identify persons on the Entity List.

    This final rule adds the following two entities to the Entity List:

    Russia

    (1) Joint Stock Company Experimental Design Bureau Novator, a.k.a., the following two aliases:

    —Novator Design Bureau; and —JSC OKB Novator.

    18 Prospekt Kosmonavtov, 620017 Yekaterinburg, Russia; and

    (2) Joint Stock Company Federal Scientific and Production Center Titan-Barrikady, a.k.a., the following three aliases:

    —Federal Research and Production Center Titan Barrikady JSC; —Titan Design Bureau; and —JSC FNPTS Titan-Barrikady.

    Prospekt Imeni V.I. Lenina, b/n 400071, Volgograd, Russia.

    Export Administration Act of 1979

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

    Rulemaking Requirements

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

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to nor be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This regulation involves collections previously approved by OMB under control number 0694-0088, Simplified Network Application Processing System, which includes, among other things, license applications, and carries a burden estimate of 43.8 minutes for a manual or electronic submission.

    Total burden hours associated with the PRA and OMB control number 0694-0088 are not expected to increase as a result of this rule. You may send comments regarding the collection of information associated with this rule, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet K. Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285.

    3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    4. For the two persons added to the Entity List in this final rule, the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for public participation and a 30-day delay in effective date are inapplicable because this regulation involves a military or foreign affairs function of the United States (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). BIS implementation of this rule is necessary to protect U.S. national security or foreign policy interests by preventing items from being exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) to the persons being added to the Entity List. If this rule were delayed to allow for notice and comment and a delay in effective date, the entities being added to the Entity List by this action would continue to be able to receive items without a license and to conduct activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. In addition, publishing a proposed rule would give these parties notice of the U.S. Government's intention to place them on the Entity List, which could create an incentive for these persons to accelerate receiving items subject to the EAR to conduct activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States, including taking steps to set up additional aliases, change addresses, and other measures to try to limit the impact of the listing on the Entity List once a final rule is published. Further, no other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 744

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Terrorism.

    Accordingly, part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) is amended as follows:

    PART 744—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 744 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 12947, 60 FR 5079, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 356; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13099, 63 FR 45167, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 208; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13224, 66 FR 49079, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 786; Notice of January 13, 2017, 82 FR 6165 (January 18, 2017); Notice of August 15, 2017, 82 FR 39005 (August 16, 2017); Notice of September 18, 2017, 82 FR 43825 (September 19, 2017); Notice of November 6, 2017, 82 FR 51971 (November 8, 2017).

    2. Supplement No. 4 to part 744 is amended by adding under Russia, two Russian entities.

    The additions read as follows:

    Supplement No. 4 to Part 744—Entity List Country Entity License requirement License review policy Federal Register citation *         *         *         *         *         *         * RUSSIA  *         *         *         *         *         * Joint Stock Company Experimental Design Bureau Novator, a.k.a., the following two aliases:
  • —Novator Design Bureau; and
  • —JSC OKB Novator.
  • 18 Prospekt Kosmonavtov, 620017 Yekaterinburg, Russia.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], December 12/20/17.
    Joint Stock Company Federal Scientific and Production Center Titan-Barrikady, a.k.a., the following three aliases:
  • —Federal Research and Production Center Titan Barrikady JSC;
  • —Titan Design Bureau; and
  • —JSC FNPTS Titan-Barrikady.
  • Prospekt Imeni V.I. Lenina, b/n 400071, Volgograd, Russia.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 12/20/17.
    *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: December 15, 2017. Richard E. Ashooh, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27388 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 880 [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-6570] Medical Devices; General Hospital and Personal Use Devices; Classification of the Image Processing Device for Estimation of External Blood Loss AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This order is effective December 20, 2017. The classification was applicable on May 9, 2014.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jitendra Virani, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. G459, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-6398, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    II. De Novo Classification

    For this device, FDA issued an order on November 13, 2012, finding the Gauss Surgical Pixel 3 Application not substantially equivalent to a predicate not subject to PMA. Thus, the device remained in class III in accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act when we issued the order.

    On February 4, 2013, Gauss Surgical, Inc., submitted a request for De Novo classification of the PIXEL 3 SYSTEM. FDA reviewed the request in order to classify the device under the criteria for classification set forth in section 513(a)(1) of the FD&C Act.

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

    Therefore, on May 9, 2014, FDA issued an order to the requester classifying the device into class II. FDA is codifying the classification of the device by adding 21 CFR 880.2750. We have named the generic type of device image processing device for estimation of external blood loss, and it is identified as a device to be used as an aid in estimation of patient external blood loss. The device may include software and/or hardware that is used to process images capturing externally lost blood to estimate the hemoglobin mass and/or the blood volume present in the images.

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

    Table 1—Image Processing Device for Estimation of External Blood Loss Risks and Mitigation Measures Identified risks Mitigation measures Failure to provide accurate or precise device output Non-clinical performance testing; Software display of estimated cumulative error; Software verification, validation, and hazard analysis; Human factors testing; and Labeling. Use error Human factors testing; and Labeling. Electromagnetic incompatibility Electromagnetic compatibility testing; Wireless testing; and Labeling.

    FDA has determined that special controls, in combination with the general controls, address these risks to health and provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. For a device to fall within this classification, and thus avoid automatic classification in class III, it would have to comply with the special controls named in this final order. The necessary special controls appear in the regulation codified by this order. This device is subject to premarket notification requirements under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act.

    III. Analysis of Environmental Impact

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

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final order establishes special controls that refer to previously approved collections of information found in other FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in the guidance document “De Novo Classification Process (Evaluation of Automatic Class III Designation)” have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0844; the collections of information in part 814, subparts A through E, regarding premarket approval, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0231; the collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120; and the collections of information in 21 CFR part 801, regarding labeling, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 880

    Medical devices.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 880 is amended as follows:

    PART 880—GENERAL HOSPITAL AND PERSONAL USE DEVICES 1. The authority citation for part 880 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

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

    2. Add § 880.2750 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 880.2750 Image processing device for estimation of external blood loss.

    (a) Identification. An image processing device for estimation of external blood loss is a device to be used as an aid in estimation of patient external blood loss. The device may include software and/or hardware that is used to process images capturing externally lost blood to estimate the hemoglobin mass and/or the blood volume present in the images.

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

    (1) Non-clinical performance data must demonstrate that the device performs as intended under anticipated conditions of use. Demonstration of the performance characteristics must include a comparison to a scientifically valid alternative method for measuring deposited hemoglobin mass. The following use conditions must be tested:

    (i) Lighting conditions;

    (ii) Range of expected hemoglobin concentrations;

    (iii) Range of expected blood volume absorption; and

    (iv) Presence of other non-sanguineous fluids (e.g., saline irrigation fluid).

    (2) Human factors testing and analysis must validate that the device design and labeling are sufficient for appropriate use by intended users of the device.

    (3) Appropriate analysis and non-clinical testing must validate the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and wireless performance of the device.

    (4) Appropriate software verification, validation, and hazard analysis must be performed.

    (5) Software display must include an estimate of the cumulative error associated with estimated blood loss values.

    (6) Labeling must include:

    (i) Warnings, cautions, and limitations needed for safe use of the device;

    (ii) A detailed summary of the performance testing pertinent to use of the device, including a description of the bias and variance the device exhibited during testing;

    (iii) The validated surgical materials, range of hemoglobin mass, software, hardware, and accessories that the device is intended to be used with; and

    (iv) EMC and wireless technology instructions and information.

    Dated: December 15, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27443 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Part 4044 Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement Age AGENCY:

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans by substituting a new table for determining expected retirement ages for participants in pension plans undergoing distress or involuntary termination with valuation dates falling in 2018. This table is needed to compute the value of early retirement benefits and, thus, the total value of benefits under a plan.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective January 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hilary Duke ([email protected]), Attorney, Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4400 ext. 3839. (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. 3839.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) administers the pension plan termination insurance program under Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) sets forth (in subpart B) the methods for valuing plan benefits of terminating single-employer plans covered under Title IV. Guaranteed benefits and benefit liabilities under a plan that is undergoing a distress termination must be valued in accordance with subpart B of part 4044. In addition, when PBGC terminates an underfunded plan involuntarily pursuant to ERISA section 4042(a), it uses the subpart B valuation rules to determine the amount of the plan's underfunding.

    Under § 4044.51(b) of the asset allocation regulation, early retirement benefits are valued based on the annuity starting date, if a retirement date has been selected, or the expected retirement age, if the annuity starting date is not known on the valuation date. Sections 4044.55 through 4044.57 set forth rules for determining the expected retirement ages for plan participants entitled to early retirement benefits. Appendix D of part 4044 contains tables to be used in determining the expected early retirement ages.

    Table I in appendix D (Selection of Retirement Rate Category) is used to determine whether a participant has a low, medium, or high probability of retiring early. The determination is based on the year a participant would reach “unreduced retirement age” (i.e., the earlier of the normal retirement age or the age at which an unreduced benefit is first payable) and the participant's monthly benefit at unreduced retirement age. The table applies only to plans with valuation dates in the current year and is updated annually by PBGC to reflect changes in the cost of living, etc.

    Tables II-A, II-B, and II-C (Expected Retirement Ages for Individuals in the Low, Medium, and High Categories respectively) are used to determine the expected retirement age after the probability of early retirement has been determined using Table I. These tables establish, by probability category, the expected retirement age based on both the earliest age a participant could retire under the plan and the unreduced retirement age. This expected retirement age is used to compute the value of the early retirement benefit and, thus, the total value of benefits under the plan.

    This document amends appendix D to replace Table I-17 with Table I-18 to provide an updated correlation, appropriate for calendar year 2018, between the amount of a participant's benefit and the probability that the participant will elect early retirement. Table I-18 will be used to value benefits in plans with valuation dates during calendar year 2018.

    PBGC has determined that notice of, and public comment on, this rule are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Plan administrators need to be able to estimate accurately the value of plan benefits as early as possible before initiating the termination process. For that purpose, if a plan has a valuation date in 2018, the plan administrator needs the updated table being promulgated in this rule. Accordingly, PBGC finds that the public interest is best served by issuing this table expeditiously, without an opportunity for notice and comment, and that good cause exists for making the table set forth in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication to allow as much time as possible to estimate the value of plan benefits with the proper table for plans with valuation dates in early 2018.

    PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13771.

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

    List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4044

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR part 4044 is amended as follows:

    PART 4044—ALLOCATION OF ASSETS IN SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    2. Appendix D to part 4044 is amended by removing Table I-17 and adding in its place Table I-18 to read as follows: Appendix D to Part 4044—Tables Used To Determine Expected Retirement Age Table I-18—Selection of Retirement Rate Category [For plans with valuation dates after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2019] If participant reaches URA in year— Participant's Retirement Rate Category is— Low 1 if
  • monthly
  • benefit at
  • URA is
  • less than—
  • Medium 2 if monthly
  • benefit at URA is—
  • From— To— High 3 if monthly
  • benefit at
  • URA is
  • greater than—
  • 2019 647 647 2,734 2,734 2020 662 662 2,797 2,797 2021 678 678 2,862 2,862 2022 693 693 2,927 2,927 2023 709 709 2,995 2,995 2024 725 725 3,064 3,064 2025 742 742 3,134 3,134 2026 759 759 3,206 3,206 2027 777 777 3,280 3,280 2028 or later 794 794 3,355 3,355 1 Table II-A. 2 Table II-B. 3 Table II-C.

    Issued in Washington, DC, by:

    Daniel S. Liebman, Acting Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27361 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY United States Mint 31 CFR Part 100 Exchange of Coin AGENCY:

    United States Mint, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule revises Treasury regulations relating to the exchange of uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed coins, and to update the regulations to comply with the requirement for orderly codification. The revisions include updates to redemption rates and procedures that will enhance the integrity of the acceptance and processing of bent and partial United States coins.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: January 19, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheila Barnett, Legal Counsel; Office of the Chief Counsel; United States Mint; at (202) 354-7624 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Treasury Regulations appearing at 31 CFR part 100, subpart C, are promulgated under 31 U.S.C. 5120, and relate to the exchange of uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed coins. The last amendment to 31 CFR part 100, subpart C, was on August 23, 1999. Since then, the United States Mint identified portions of the regulations in need of revision to update redemption rates and procedures, and to enhance the integrity of the acceptance and processing of bent and partial United States coins. The United States Mint was also informed that the current structure of part 100 does not meet the orderly codification requirements of 1 CFR 8.2, 21.8, and 21.9.

    The first category of revisions updates and improves the redemption process of bent and partial coins to enhance security and ensure the integrity of United States coinage. The revisions establish procedures for certifying participants based on submission amounts and frequency, sampling submissions to authenticate material, conducting site visits for certain participants, and requiring information on how the submission came to be bent or partial. The revisions also inform submitters of required banking information. Lastly, the revisions provide the United States Mint discretion to cease processing submissions that appear to be part of an illegal scheme, or contain material that is not identifiable as bent or partial United States coinage.

    The second category of revisions relates to the redemption rates for uncurrent coins and bent and partial coins that have been withdrawn from circulation. For uncurrent coins, the revisions clarify the procedure for redemption by instructing the public to deposit the uncurrent coins with a financial institution that will accept them, or with a depository institution that has a direct relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank. The revisions make clear that a Federal Reserve Bank will redeem uncurrent coins based on the policies described in the Federal Reserve's Operating Circular 2.

    For bent or partial coins, the revisions update the redemption rates of certain coins to reflect the current values and compositions of coins being redeemed. For example, in the prior regulation, the redemption rate for one-cent coins was $1.4585 per pound; this redemption rate was derived from the weight of bronze one-cent coins (3.11 grams or 0.1097 ounces each), which the United States Mint has not minted and issued since 1982. In 1983, the United States Mint began minting and issuing only copper-plated zinc one-cent coins, which weigh 2.50 grams or 0.0882 ounces each. Due to the weight difference, a pound (the minimum weight for redemption) of copper-plated zinc one-cent coins contains a higher quantity of coins than a pound of bronze one-cent coins. The revisions make the redemption rate $1.8100 for a pound consisting solely of copper-plated zinc one-cent coins. For bronze one-cent coins, or a mix of both bronze and copper-plated zinc one-cent coins, the lower redemption rate of $1.4585 will apply. A similar update is made to the redemption rate for $1 coins.

    The third category of revisions clarifies that the United States Mint will not accept fused coins. The United States Mint will also not accept mixed coins (coins of several alloy categories presented together) for redemption, with the exception of bent or partial one-cent coins and $1 coins that are presented in mixed years.

    The fourth category of revisions puts the public on notice that the Director of the United States Mint may provide information pertaining to any bent or partial coin submission to law enforcement officials or other third parties for purposes of investigating related criminal activity or for purposes of seeking civil judgment. The revisions also notify potential participants that they may be held criminally and/or civilly liable, fined, and/or imprisoned for fraudulent submissions.

    Finally, the United States Mint clarifies which of the various offices and bureaus within the Department of the Treasury has authorization to update the different subparts within part 100.

    II. Public Participation

    In 82 FR 43730, Sep. 19, 2017, the United States Mint issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise redemption rates and procedures relating to the exchange of uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed coins, and requested comments on the proposed revisions. The United States Mint received fourteen comments. The majority of comments were from individuals and businesses who previously participated in the exchange program. One comment was from a trade association representing the private, for-profit recycling industry.

    Most comments expressed support for the revisions. Many of the comments raised questions about details of the exchange program that specifically relate to operating procedures. Those instructions and other details relating to the exchange of bent and partial coins will be provided to the public on the United States Mint's website. Instructions and other details related to the exchange of uncurrent coins will be described in the Federal Reserve's Operating Circular 2. If a comment is not addressed in the summary below, it is because the comment was more specific to those operating procedures and details, or the comment was not responsive to the proposed revisions.

    Certification Process

    The majority of comments supported a participant certification process. A few comments expressed confusion or dissatisfaction with certification occurring prior to submission of coins. One comment said it would be logically inconsistent to require certification prior to submission because the thresholds related to certification are related to the submission. The United States Mint does not believe it is inconsistent to require certification prior to submission. Participants who will exceed or plan to exceed the annual weight threshold will be required to be certified by the United States Mint prior to submission. The annual weight threshold, along with other certification instructions, will be provided on the United States Mint's website.

    One comment asked whether a participant would be required to go through the certification process prior to each submission. The answer is no. A recertification will be required every three years for those participants whose recurring submissions exceed the annual submission threshold, unless the United States Mint decides in its discretion that recertification is needed earlier than the three year period. Details and instructions on the certification process will be available on the United States Mint's website.

    Foreign Participants

    Two comments expressed concern with the regulations applying equally to domestic and foreign recycling companies. Foreign individuals and businesses will be given the same opportunity to participate in the exchange program. The requirement to provide payment information for a bank or other financial institution in the United States applies equally to domestic and foreign participants.

    Request To Clarify Denomination Categories

    One comment requested clarity on how to separate bent or partial coins for redemption. Specifically, the comment cited the requirement of the prior regulation to separate bent or partial coins into the following denomination categories of at least one pound: One-cent coins; 5-cent coins; dime, quarter-dollar, and half-dollar coins; and $1 coins. The United States Mint is only revising the redemption rates, not the denomination categories themselves. Paragraph (d) is revised to clarify that lots of at least one pound must still be separated into the denomination categories of one-cent coins; 5-cent coins; dime, quarter-dollar, and half-dollar coins; and $1 coins.

    Conclusion

    After reviewing and considering all timely comments received in response to the NPRM, the United States Mint decided to move forward with the proposed regulatory text, with a minor editorial change to clarify the denomination categories. The United States Mint has determined that this minor editorial change is consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM and does not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

    III. Procedural Analysis Regulatory Planning and Review

    The Office of Management and Budget determined that this rule does not constitute a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 or Executive Order 13771.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    It is hereby certified that the revisions will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., is not required. First, the regulations do not directly regulate any entities. The redemption of uncurrent, bent, or partial coins is a discretionary service offered to the public; participation is voluntary. Second, many of the coins presented for redemption in the past were submitted by individuals transacting with the United States Mint in their own names. The number of entities tendering significant quantities of coins for redemption is small. Even if each such individual or entity qualified as a “small entity” within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 604(a), the United States Mint does not believe that the revisions are likely to have a significant economic impact. The revisions do not change or limit the scope of what may be submitted for redemption or who may submit them. The revisions may require additional information from participants to deter potential fraud and abuse, but the added administrative costs for participants are expected to be minimal.

    List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 100

    Coins.

    Words of Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the United States Mint amends 31 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—EXCHANGE OF PAPER CURRENCY AND COIN 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 321.

    2. Amend § 100.2 by designating the undesignated paragraph as paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 100.2 Scope of regulations; transactions effected through Federal Reserve banks and branches; distribution of coin and currencies.

    (b) The Department of the Treasury has authorized amendments to this part by the following bureaus and offices:

    (1) This section—Office of the Secretary.

    (2) Subpart A—Office of the Secretary.

    (3) Subpart B—Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

    (4) Subpart C—United States Mint.

    (5) Subpart D—Office of the Secretary.

    3. Revise subpart C to read as follows: Subpart C—Request for Examination of Coin for Possible Redemption Sec. 100.10 Request for examination of uncurrent coin for possible redemption. 100.11 Request for examination of bent or partial coin for possible redemption. 100.12 Exchange of fused or mixed coin. 100.13 Notices.
    § 100.10 Request for examination of uncurrent coin for possible redemption.

    (a) Definition. Uncurrent coins are whole U.S. coins which are merely worn or reduced in weight by natural abrasion yet are readily and clearly recognizable as to genuineness and denomination and which are machine countable.

    (b) Redemption process. The United States Mint will not accept uncurrent coins for redemption. Members of the public wishing to redeem lawfully held uncurrent coins must deposit the uncurrent coins with a bank or other financial institution that will accept them, or with a depository institution that has established a direct customer relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank. A Federal Reserve Bank will redeem uncurrent coins, based on the policies described in the Federal Reserve's Operating Circular 2.

    (c) Criteria for acceptance. Depository institutions that redeem uncurrent coins must sort the coins by denomination into packages in accordance with the Federal Reserve's Operating Circular 2. The Federal Reserve Banks have the right to reject any shipment containing objects that are not U.S. coins or any contaminant that could render the uncurrent coins unsuitable for coinage metal.

    (d) Redemption sites. The Federal Reserve Banks and branches listed in § 100.17 are the only authorized redemption sites at which a depository institution that has established a direct customer relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank may redeem uncurrent coins.

    § 100.11 Request for examination of bent or partial coin for possible redemption.

    (a) General. Lawfully held bent or partial coins of the United States may be submitted to the United States Mint for examination in accordance with the provisions in this subpart. Any submission under this subpart shall be deemed an acceptance of all provisions of this subpart.

    (b) Definitions. (1) Bent coins are U.S. coins which are bent or deformed so as to preclude normal machine counting but which are readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination.

    (2) Partial coins are U.S. coins which are not whole; partial coins must be readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination.

    (3) Participants are individuals or businesses that submit coins through the redemption process.

    (c) Redemption process. (1) Depending on submission amount and frequency, participants may be subject to a certification process by the United States Mint. The established annual weight threshold and details about the participant certification process will be published on the United States Mint's website. If certification is required, it must be done prior to submission.

    (2) All submissions for review shall include an estimate of the value of the coins and an explanation of how the submission came to be bent or partial. The submission should also contain the bank account number and routing number for a checking or savings account at a bank or other financial institution (such as a mutual fund, brokerage firm, or credit union) in the United States.

    (3) Participants may be required to provide documentation for how the participant came into custody of the bent or partial coins.

    (4) The United States Mint reserves the right to test samples from any submission to authenticate the material. The size of the sample will be limited to the amount necessary for authentication. Testing may result in partial or complete destruction of the sample.

    (5) The United States Mint reserves the right to conduct site visits for participants over a certain volume threshold to verify information provided to the United States Mint.

    (6) No redemption will be made when:

    (i) A submission, or any portion of a submission, demonstrates a pattern of intentional mutilation or an attempt to defraud the United States;

    (ii) A submission appears to be part of, or intended to further, any criminal activity;

    (iii) A submission contains a material misrepresentation of facts;

    (iv) Material presented is not identifiable as United States coins. In such instances, the participant will be notified to retrieve the entire submission, at the participant's sole expense, within 30 days. If the submission is not retrieved in a timely manner, the entire submission will be treated as voluntarily abandoned property, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-41.80, and will be retained or disposed of by the United States Mint;

    (v) A submission contains any contaminant that could render the coins unsuitable for coinage metal. In such instances, the participant will be notified to retrieve the entire submission, at the participant's sole expense, within 30 days. If the submission is not retrieved in a timely manner, the entire submission will be treated as voluntarily abandoned property, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-41.80, and will be retained or disposed of by the United States Mint; or

    (vi) A submission contains more than a nominal amount of uncurrent coins. In such instances, the participant may be notified to retrieve the entire submission, at the participant's sole expense, within 30 days. If the submission is not retrieved in a timely manner, the entire submission will be treated as voluntarily abandoned property, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-41.80, and will be retained or disposed of by the United States Mint.

    (7) The Director of the United States Mint, or designee, shall have final authority with respect to all aspects of redemptions of bent or partial coin submissions.

    (d) Redemption rates. (1) Generally. Participants shall separate bent or partial coins by the denomination categories listed below in lots of at least one pound for each denomination category. The United States Mint will redeem bent or partial coins on the basis of their weight and denomination at the following rates:

    (i) One-Cent Coins: $1.4585 per pound.

    (ii) 5-Cent Coins: $4.5359 per pound.

    (iii) Dime, Quarter-Dollar, and Half-Dollar Coins: $20.00 per pound.

    (iv) $1 Coins: $20.00 per pound.

    (2) Exceptions. (i) The United States Mint will redeem one-cent coins inscribed with a year after 1982 at the rate set forth at paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section unless such one-cent coins are presented unmixed from one-cent coins inscribed with a year before 1983. The United States Mint will redeem unmixed one-cent coins inscribed with a year after 1982 at a rate of $1.8100 per pound.

    (ii) The United States Mint will redeem $1 coins inscribed with a year after 1978 at the rate set forth at paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section unless such $1 coins are presented unmixed from $1 coins inscribed with a year before 1979. The United States Mint will redeem unmixed $1 coins inscribed with a year after 1978 at a rate of $56.00 per pound.

    (e) Redemption sites. Coins are shipped at the sender's risk of loss and expense.

    (1) Bent and partial coins submitted in quantities less than or equal to a threshold established annually will be redeemed only at the United States Mint at Philadelphia, P.O. Box 400, Philadelphia, PA 19105.

    (2) Bent and partial coins submitted in quantities greater than a threshold established annually should be scheduled with the United States Mint to be sent directly to the authorized recycler(s) of the United States Mint.

    § 100.12 Exchange of fused or mixed coin.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Fused coins are U.S. coins which are melted to the extent that they are bonded together.

    (2) Mixed coins are U.S. coins of several alloy categories which are presented together, but are readily and clearly identifiable as U.S. coins.

    (b) Fused and mixed coins. The United States Mint will not accept fused coins for redemption. The United States Mint will not accept mixed coins for redemption, except as provided for in § 100.11(d)(2).

    § 100.13 Notices.

    (a) Additional information and procedures about the United States Mint's redemption of bent or partial coins can be found on the United States Mint's website.

    (b) Criminal penalties connected with the defacement or mutilation of U.S. coins are provided in 18 U.S.C. 331.

    (c) The Director of the United States Mint may provide information pertaining to any bent or partial coin submissions to law enforcement officials or other third parties for purposes of investigating related criminal activity or for purposes of seeking a civil judgment.

    (d) Whoever intentionally files a false claim seeking reimbursement for uncurrent, bent or partial coins may be held criminally liable under a number of statutes including 18 U.S.C. 287 and 18 U.S.C. 1341 and may be held civilly liable under 31 U.S.C. 3729, et seq.

    Dated: December 11, 2017. Jean Gentry, Chief Counsel, United States Mint.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27026 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-37-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Parts 100, 117, 147, and 165 [USCG-2017-1007] 2016 Quarterly Listings; Safety Zones, Security Zones, Special Local Regulations, Drawbridge Operation Regulations and Regulated Navigation Areas AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of expired temporary rules issued.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice of substantive rules issued by the Coast Guard that were made temporarily effective but expired before they could be published in the Federal Register. This document lists temporary safety zones, security zones, special local regulations, drawbridge operation regulations and regulated navigation areas, all of limited duration and for which timely publication in the Federal Register was not possible.

    DATES:

    This document lists temporary Coast Guard rules that became effective, primarily between July 2016 and September 2016, unless otherwise indicated, and were terminated before they could be published in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Temporary rules listed in this document may be viewed online, under their respective docket numbers, using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions on this notice contact Yeoman First Class David Hager, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law, telephone (202) 372-3862.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Coast Guard District Commanders and Captains of the Port (COTP) must be immediately responsive to the safety and security needs within their jurisdiction; therefore, District Commanders and COTPs have been delegated the authority to issue certain local regulations. Safety zones may be established for safety or environmental purposes. A safety zone may be stationary and described by fixed limits or it may be described as a zone around a vessel in motion. Security zones limit access to prevent injury or damage to vessels, ports, or waterfront facilities. Special local regulations are issued to enhance the safety of participants and spectators at regattas and other marine events. Drawbridge operation regulations authorize changes to drawbridge schedules to accommodate bridge repairs, seasonal vessel traffic, and local public events. Regulated Navigation Areas are water areas within a defined boundary for which regulations for vessels navigating within the area have been established by the regional Coast Guard District Commander.

    Timely publication of these rules in the Federal Register may be precluded when a rule responds to an emergency, or when an event occurs without sufficient advance notice. The affected public is, however, often informed of these rules through Local Notices to Mariners, press releases, and other means. Moreover, actual notification is provided by Coast Guard patrol vessels enforcing the restrictions imposed by the rule. Because Federal Register publication was not possible before the end of the effective period, mariners were personally notified of the contents of these safety zones, security zones, special local regulations, regulated navigation areas or drawbridge operation regulations by Coast Guard officials on-scene prior to any enforcement action. However, the Coast Guard, by law, must publish in the Federal Register notice of substantive rules adopted. To meet this obligation without imposing undue expense on the public, the Coast Guard periodically publishes a list of these temporary safety zones, security zones, special local regulations, regulated navigation areas and drawbridge operation regulations. Permanent rules are not included in this list because they are published in their entirety in the Federal Register. Temporary rules are also published in their entirety if sufficient time is available to do so before they are placed in effect or terminated.

    The following unpublished rules were placed in effect temporarily during the period between May 2013-October 2016 unless otherwise indicated. To view copies of these rules, visit www.regulations.gov and search by the docket number indicated in the list below.

    Docket No. Type Location Effective date USCG-2016-0465 Security Zones Rhode Island 5/27/2016 USCG-2016-0455 Safety Zones Quincy, IL 6/6/2016 USCG-2016-0585 Safety Zones Port New York Zone 7/1/2016 USCG-2016-0630 Safety Zones Pigeon, MI 7/1/2016 USCG-2016-0357 Safety Zones Cincinnati, OH 7/2/2016 USCG-2016-0576 Special Local Regulations Tuscaloosa, AL 7/2/2016 USCG-2016-0284 Safety Zones Greenup City, KY 7/2/2016 USCG-2016-0411 Safety Zones Point Pleasant, WV 7/2/2016 USCG-2016-0470 Safety Zones Aurora, IN 7/2/2016 USCG-2016-0290 Safety Zones Newburgh, IN 7/2/2016 USCG-2016-0617 Safety Zones Knoxville, TN 7/3/2016 USCG-2016-0562 Safety Zones Clarksville, TN 7/3/2016 USCG-2016-0618 Security Zones Chattanooga, TN 7/3/2016 USCG-2015-0854 Special Local Regulations Solomons, MD 7/3/2016 USCG-2016-0530 Drawbridges Seattle, WA 7/4/2016 USCG-2016-0577 Safety Zones Put-In-Bay, OH 7/4/2016 USCG-2016-0419 Safety Zones Demopolis, AL 7/4/2016 USCG-2016-0629 Safety Zones Naval Base Guam 7/4/2016 USCG-2016-0471 Safety Zones Bellevue, KY 7/8/2016 USCG-2016-0655 Safety Zones Middleport, OH 7/8/2016 USCG-2016-0563 Safety Zones Port Buffalo Zone 7/9/2016 USCG-2016-0558 Security Zones Rising Sun, IN 7/9/2016 USCG-2016-0659 Safety Zones Portsmouth, OH 7/9/2016 USCG-2016-0652 Special Local Regulations Marietta, OH 7/9/2016 USCG-2016-0163 Safety Zones Portland, OR 7/10/2016 USCG-2016-0681 Safety Zones Sabine, TX 7/11/2016 USCG-2016-0464 Safety Zones Wrightsville, NC 7/12/2016 USCG-2016-0683 Security Zones San Diego, CA 7/13/2016 USCG-2016-0549 Special Local Regulations Bay City, MI 7/14/2016 USCG-2012-1036 Safety Zones Groton, CT 7/16/2016 USCG-2016-0684 Safety Zones Suffolk, VA 7/16/2016 USCG-2016-0592 Safety Zones Merizo, GU 7/17/2016 USCG-2016-0660 Safety Zones Lake Erie, Cleveland, OH 7/17/2016 USCG-2012-1036 Safety Zones Captain of Port Long Island Zone 7/22/2016 USCG-2016-0704 Safety Zones Panoma Beach, FL 7/23/2016 USCG-2016-0597 Safety Zones Ghent, KY 7/23/2016 USCG-2016-0170 Special Local Regulations Nashville, TN 7/24/2016 USCG-2016-0691 Safety Zones Virginia Beach, VA 7/26/2016 USCG-2016-0701 Safety Zones Put-In-Bay, OH 7/26/2016 USCG-2016-0654 Safety Zones Piti, GU 7/27/2016 USCG-2016-0726 Safety Zones Buffalo, NY 7/28/2016 USCG-2016-0708 Safety Zones Washington, DC 7/28/2016 USCG-2016-0740 Security Zones Pittsburg, PA 7/30/2016 USCG-2016-0727 Safety Zones Buffalo, NY 7/30/2016 USCG-2016-0728 Safety Zones Calumet, LA 8/2/2016 USCG-2016-0734 Safety Zones Cincinnati, OH 8/4/2016 USCG-2016-0601 Security Zones Martha's Vineyard, MA 8/5/2016 USCG-2016-0621 Safety Zones Elk Rapids, MI 8/6/2016 USCG-2016-0738 Safety Zones New Albany, IN 8/6/2016 USCG-2016-0713 Special Local Regulations Ravenswood, WV 8/6/2016 USGC-2016-0672 Special Local Regulations Cincinnati, OH 8/6/2016 USCG-2016-0407 Special Local Regulations Ashland City, TN 8/7/2016 USCG-2016-0793 Safety Zones Sabine, TX 8/8/2016 USCG-2016-0811 Safety Zones East China, MI 8/12/2016 USCG-2016-0812 Safety Zones Lake St. Clair 8/12/2016 USCG-2016-0803 Safety Zones Perry, WA 8/13/2016 USCG-2016-0800 Special Local Regulations Port Huron, MI 8/14/2016 USCG-2016-0329 Safety Zones Portland, ME 8/14/2016 USCG-2016-0835 Safety Zones Lake Arthur, LA 8/17/2016 USCG-2016-0828 Safety Zones Jacksonville, FL 8/19/2016 USCG-2016-0837 Safety Zones Waddington, NY 8/21/2016 USCG-2016-0822 Safety Zones Put-in-Bay, OH 8/26/2016 USCG-2016-0823 Special Local Regulations Wheeling, WV 8/27/2016 USCG-2016-0750 Special Local Regulations Knoxville, TN 8/27/2016 USCG-2016-0417 Special Local Regulations Louisville, KY 8/27/2016 USCG-2016-0448 Safety Zones Fall River, MA 8/28/2016 USCG-2016-0667 Special Local Regulations Huntsville, AL 8/28/2016 USCG-2016-0775 Safety Zones Philippine Sea, GU 8/31/2016 USCG-2016-0806 Safety Zones Naval Base Guam, GU 8/31/2016 USCG-2016-0873 Safety Zones Panama City, FL 9/1/2016 USCG-2016-0875 Safety Zones Pittsburg, PA 9/2/2016 USCG-2016-0664 Safety Zones Shreveport Regatta, LA 9/2/2016 USCG-2016-0809 Special Local Regulations Ohio River 9/3/2016 USCG-2016-0759 Special Local Regulations Allegheny River 9/3/2016 USCG-2016-0766 Safety Zones Boston, MA 9/3/2016 USCG-2015-1081 Safety Zones Port Lake Michigan Zone 9/4/2016 USCG-2016-0872 Special Local Regulations Detroit, MI 9/4/2016 USCG-2016-0742 Security Zones Cincinnati, OH 9/4/2016 USCG-2016-0865 Drawbridges San Francisco, CA 9/8/2016 USCG-2016-0647 Special Local Regulations Nashville, TN 9/8/2016 USCG-2016-0794 Safety Zones Ohio River 9/9/2016 USCG-2016-0789 Safety Zones Mobile, AL 9/9/2016 USCG-2016-0794 Safety Zones Ohio River 9/9/2016 USCG-2016-0870 Safety Zones Cincinnati, OH 9/9/2016 USGC-2016-0860 Safety Zones Pasco, WA 9/10/2016 USCG-2016-0857 Special Local Regulations Keweenaw Waterway, MI 9/10/2016 USCG-2016-0838 Special Local Regulations Shelter Island, NY 9/10/2016 USCG-2016-0820 Special Local Regulations Mayaguez Bay, PR 9/11/2016 USCG-2016-0861 Safety Zones Marinette, WI 9/17/2016 USCG-2016-0844 Safety Zones Biloxi, MS 9/17/2016 USCG-2016-0758 Safety Zones Chattanooga, TN 9/18/2016 USCG-2016-0898 Safety Zone Island, MI 9/24/2016 USCG-2016-0850 Safety Zone Tiburon, CA 9/30/2016 Katia Kroutil, Office Chief, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27404 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Parts 100, 117, 147, and 165 [USCG-2017-0694] 2016 Quarterly Listings; Safety Zones, Security Zones, Special Local Regulations, Drawbridge Operation Regulations and Regulated Navigation Areas AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of expired temporary rules issued.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice of substantive rules issued by the Coast Guard that were made temporarily effective but expired before they could be published in the Federal Register. This notice lists temporary safety zones, security zones, special local regulations, drawbridge operation regulations and regulated navigation areas, all of limited duration and for which timely publication in the Federal Register was not possible.

    DATES:

    This document lists temporary Coast Guard rules that became effective, primarily between October 2016 and December 2016, unless otherwise indicated, and were terminated before they could be published in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Temporary rules listed in this document may be viewed online, under their respective docket numbers, using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions on this notice contact Yeoman First Class David Hager, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law, telephone (202) 372-3862.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Coast Guard District Commanders and Captains of the Port (COTP) must be immediately responsive to the safety and security needs within their jurisdiction; therefore, District Commanders and COTPs have been delegated the authority to issue certain local regulations. Safety zones may be established for safety or environmental purposes. A safety zone may be stationary and described by fixed limits or it may be described as a zone around a vessel in motion. Security zones limit access to prevent injury or damage to vessels, ports, or waterfront facilities. Special local regulations are issued to enhance the safety of participants and spectators at regattas and other marine events. Drawbridge operation regulations authorize changes to drawbridge schedules to accommodate bridge repairs, seasonal vessel traffic, and local public events. Regulated Navigation Areas are water areas within a defined boundary for which regulations for vessels navigating within the area have been established by the regional Coast Guard District Commander.

    Timely publication of these rules in the Federal Register may be precluded when a rule responds to an emergency, or when an event occurs without sufficient advance notice. The affected public is, however, often informed of these rules through Local Notices to Mariners, press releases, and other means. Moreover, actual notification is provided by Coast Guard patrol vessels enforcing the restrictions imposed by the rule. Because Federal Register publication was not possible before the end of the effective period, mariners were personally notified of the contents of these safety zones, security zones, special local regulations, regulated navigation areas or drawbridge operation regulations by Coast Guard officials on-scene prior to any enforcement action. However, the Coast Guard, by law, must publish in the Federal Register notice of substantive rules adopted. To meet this obligation without imposing undue expense on the public, the Coast Guard periodically publishes a list of these temporary safety zones, security zones, special local regulations, regulated navigation areas and drawbridge operation regulations. Permanent rules are not included in this list because they are published in their entirety in the Federal Register. Temporary rules are also published in their entirety if sufficient time is available to do so before they are placed in effect or terminated.

    The following unpublished rules were placed in effect temporarily during the period between October 2016 and December 2016 unless otherwise indicated. To view copies of these rules, visit www.regulations.gov and search by the docket number indicated in the list below.

    Docket No. Type Location Effective date USCG-2016-0485 Safety Zone Erie, PA 6/4/2016 USCG-2016-0583 Security Zones Buffalo, NY 6/17/2016 USCG-2016-0712 Safety Zone Cleveland, OH 7/21/2016 USCG-2016-0417 Special Local Regulations Louisville, KY 8/27/2016 USCG-2016-0881 Safety Zone Hampton, IL 9/12/2016 USCG-2016-0634 Special Local Regulations Nashville, TN 9/30/2016 USGC-2016-0826 Safety Zone Santa Cruz, CA 10/1/2016 USCG-2016-0869 Safety Zone Florence, AL 10/1/2016 USCG-2016-0777 Special Local Regulations San Diego, CA 10/2/2016 USCG-2016-0732 Special Local Regulations Clearwater, FL 10/2/2016 USGC-2016-0927 Safety Zone Allegheny River 10/2/2016 USCG-2012-0459 Special Local Regulations San Francisco, CA 10/7/2016 USCG-2016-0944 Safety Zone Bethel Island, CA 10/7/2016 USCG-2011-0489 Safety Zone Chicago Burnham Park Harbor 10/7/2016 USCG-2016-0849 Security Zones Biloxi, MS 10/8/2016 USCG-2016-0862 Safety Zone Richmond, CA 10/8/2016 USCG-2016-0871 Safety Zone San Francisco, CA 10/8/2016 USCG-2009-0559 Safety Zone Rio Vista, CA 10/8/2016 USGC-2016-0901 Special Local Regulations Chattanooga, TN 10/8/2016 USCG-2016-0958 Safety Zone Inola, OK 10/12/2016 USGC-2016-0945 Safety Zone Pittsburgh, PA 10/13/2016 USCG-2016-0910 Drawbridges New Bern, NC 10/15/2016 USCG-2016-0732 Special Local Regulations Clearwater, FL 10/15/2016 USCG-2016-0876 Drawbridges Sacramento, CA 10/16/2016 USCG-2016-0969 Security Zones Boston, MA 10/19/2016 USCG-2016-0967 Safety Piti, Guam 10/20/2016 USCG-2016-0971 Security Zones Cleveland, OH 10/21/2016 USCG-2016-0955 Special Local Regulations Chattanooga, TN 10/22/2016 USCG-2016-0981 Security Zones Pittsburgh, PA 10/25/2016 USCG-2016-0820 Special Local Regulations Mayaguez Bay, PR 10/29/2016 USCG-2016-0970 Safety Zone Tanguisson, GUAM 10/29/2016 USCG-2016-0960 Safety Harbor, GU 10/31/2016 USCG-2016-0961 Safety Harbor, Guam 11/3/2016 USCG-2016-0995 Safety Zone Bellingham, WA 11/9/2016 USCG-2016-0995 Safety Zone Bellingham, WA 11/9/2016 USCG-2016-0929 Safety Zone Portland, OR 11/13/2016 USCG-2016-1028 Safety Zone Beaufort, NC 11/17/2016 USCG-2016-1032 Safety Zone Drummonds, TN 11/19/2016 USCG-2016-0947 Safety Merizo, GU 11/20/2016 USCG-2016-1030 Security Zones Palm Beach, FL 11/22/2016 USCG-2016-1033 Safety Zone Moriches Bay, NY 11/22/2016 USCG-2012-1036 Safety Zone Oak dale, NY 11/26/2016 USCG-2016-0984 Special Local Regulations Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico 11/27/2016 USCG-2016-1052 Safety Zone Helena, AR 12/2/2016 USCG-2016-1051 Safety Zone Orange, TX 12/2/2016 USCG-2016-0979 Safety Zone Biloxi, MS 12/3/2016 USCG-2016-1035 Safety Zone Vicksburg, MS 12/3/2016 USCG-2016-0974 Safety Zone Savannah, GA 12/4/2016 USCG-2016-1036 Drawbridges Seattle, WA 12/8/2016 USCG-2016-1070 Safety Zone Fitler, MS 12/11/2016 USCG-2016-1069 Safety Zones Calumet, LA 12/13/2016 USCG-2016-1072 Safety Zone Fitler, MS 12/15/2016 USGC-2016-1075 Safety Zones Drummonds, TN 12/16/2016 USCG-2009-0559 Special Local Regulations Rio Vista, CA 12/30/2016 USGC-2016-1082 Safety Zone Chicago, IL 12/31/2016 USCG-2016-1079 Safety Zone Tumon, GU 12/31/2016 Katia Kroutil, Office Chief, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27409 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-1074] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; San Leandro Bay, Between Alameda and Bay Farm Island, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the California Department of Transportation Highway and Bicycle drawbridges across San Leandro Bay, mile 0.0 and mile 0.1, between Alameda and Bay Farm Island, CA. The deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to perform major rehabilitation and maintenance. This deviation allows the bridges to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the deviation period.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 6 a.m. on January 2, 2018 through 6 p.m. on May 27, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2017-1074, is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Carl T. Hausner, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The California Department of Transportation has requested a temporary change to the operation of the Highway and Bicycle drawbridges over San Leandro Bay, mile 0.0 and mile 0.1, between Alameda and Bay Farm Island, CA. The highway drawbridge navigation span provides a vertical clearance of 20 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The bicycle drawbridge navigation span provides a vertical clearance of 26 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The draws operate as required by 33 CFR 117.193. Navigation on the waterway is commercial and recreational.

    The drawspans will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 6 a.m. on January 2, 2018 through 6 p.m. on May 27, 2018 to allow the bridge owner to perform major rehabilitation and maintenance work, including repainting the structural steel of the highway drawbridge. A temporary platform will be installed beneath the drawspan of the highway drawbridge, reducing the vertical clearance by 3 feet. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation were raised.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridges in the closed position may do so at anytime. If necessary, the draws can open on signal if at least 30 days notice is given to the bridge owner. Oakland Inner Harbor Tidal Canal can be used an alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridges in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridges so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), both drawbridges must return to their regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Carl T. Hausner, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27386 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-1027] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Tower Drawbridge across the Sacramento River, mile 59.0, at Sacramento, CA. The deviation is necessary to allow the community to participate in the New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular fireworks show. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the deviation period.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 8 p.m. through 11 p.m. on December 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2017-1027, is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Carl T. Hausner, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The California Department of Transportation has requested a temporary change to the operation of the Tower Drawbridge over the Sacramento River, mile 59.0, at Sacramento, CA. The drawbridge navigation span provides a vertical clearance of 30 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The draw operates as required by 33 CFR 117.189(a). Navigation on the waterway is commercial and recreational.

    The drawspan will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 8 p.m. through 11 p.m. on December 31, 2017, to allow the community to participate in the New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular fireworks show. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation were raised. Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. In the event of an emergency the draw can open on signal if at least one hour notice is given to the bridge operator. There are no immediate alternate routes for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Carl T. Hausner, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27323 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0311] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Quantuck Canal, Westhampton Beach, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the Beach Lane Bridge across Quantuck Canal, mile 1.1, at Westhampton Beach, New York. This action is necessary to allow for an unexpected delay in the rehabilitation of the bascule leaves and painting of the bridge. A temporary deviation was previously granted for a length of 180 days. As the Coast Guard may not approve extensions beyond that allotted timeframe nor approve back-to-back or sequential deviations, it is necessary to issue this rule in order to allow the bridge owner to complete the remaining work items.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from December 20, 2017 until 11:59 p.m. on January 11, 2018. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 12:01 on December 1, 2017 until December 20, 2017.”

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0048 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 interim rule, call or email Judy Leung-Yee, Bridge Management Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 212-514-4336, 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 II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On September 13, 2017, we published a temporary deviation entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Beach Lane Bridge, Quantuck Canal, Westhampton Beach, NY” in the Federal Register (see 82 FR 42940). Although we did not request public comments, outreach conducted with mariners utilizing the waterway indicated no objections to the temporary deviation. No complaints were submitted during the temporary deviation.

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. Due to unanticipated difficulties and delays impacting the schedule and pace of rehabilitation of the bascule leaves and painting of the bridge additional time is required to finalize and complete the work necessary in order to restore the bridge to full operational capacity. We must modify the operation schedule of the bridge by December 1, 2017 to allow the completion of rehabilitation of the bascule leaves and painting of the bridge. We therefore lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the modification.

    We are issuing this rule and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), and for the reasons stated above, the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for the Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499. The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the Beach Lane Bridge across Quantuck Canal, mile 1.1, at Westhampton Beach, New York. The Beach Lane Bridge is a double-leaf bascule bridge offering mariners a vertical clearance of 13.9 feet at mean high water and 16.2 feet at mean low water in the closed position.

    The existing drawbridge regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.799(d). The Suffolk County Department of Public Works, the bridge owner, has requested this modification as additional time is required to complete the final rehabilitation of the bascule leaves and painting of the bridge.

    The Suffolk County Department of Public Works has also requested that the Beach Lane Bridge be allowed to open on signal only one of two bascule spans for bridge openings with the understanding that dual lift-span operations will occur for vessels requiring such an opening provided a 48 hour advance notice was furnished to the owner of the bridge.

    The bridge generally opens for seasonal recreational craft and small scale tug/barge combinations occasionally transit the waterway. Vessels that can pass under the bridge without an opening may do so at all times. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge when in the closed position.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule, which permits a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Beach Lane Bridge across Quantuck Canal, mile 1.1, at Westhampton Beach, New York. The rule is necessary to accommodate the completion of rehabilitation of the bascule leaves and painting of the bridge. This rule allows for single-leaf operations upon signal and dual lift-span operations will be provided for vessels requiring such an opening given 48 hours of advance notice.

    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 the ability of the majority of vessels to successfully transit through the draw of the bridge with a single-leaf opening. Vessels requiring dual lift-span operations may continue to transit the draw provided submission of advance notice.

    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 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 interim rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator. Mariners requiring dual lift-span operations have been able to transit the draw following provision of advance notice. Single-leaf operations will be furnished on signal for those vessels requiring such an opening.

    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.

    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 preliminary 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. In § 117.799, effective from 12:01 a.m. on December 20, 2017, through 11:59 p.m. on January 11, 2018, suspend paragraph (d) and add paragraph (j) to read as follows:
    § 117.799 Long Island, New York Inland Waterway from East Rockaway Inlet to Shinnecock Canal.

    (j) The draws of the West Bay bridge, mile 0.1, across Quantuck Canal, Quoque bridge, mile 1.1, across Quoque Canal and the Smith Point bridge, mile 6.1, across Narrow Bay shall open on signal from October 1 through April 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from May 1 through September 30 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. At all other times during these periods, the draws shall open as soon as possible but no more than one hour after a request to open is received.

    (1) The draw of the Beach Lane bridge, mile 1.1, across Quantuck Canal shall open only one of two bascule spans on signal for bridge openings. Dual lift-span operations will occur for vessels requiring such an opening provided a 48 hour advance to the owner of the bridge.

    Dated: December 5, 2017. S.D. Poulin, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27403 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0994] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for certain waters of Spa Creek. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during a fireworks display in Anne Arundel County at Annapolis, MD, on December 31, 2017. This rulemaking prohibits persons and vessels from entering the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 11 p.m. on December 31, 2017 through 1 a.m. on January 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0994 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Ronald Houck, Sector Maryland-National Capital Region Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On August 29, 2017, the City of Annapolis, MD, notified the Coast Guard that it will be conducting an aerial fireworks display at 11:55 p.m. on December 31, 2017. The fireworks display will be conducted by Pyrotecnico of New Castle, PA and launched from a barge located in Spa Creek, in Anne Arundel County at Annapolis, MD. There is no rain date planned for this fireworks display. In response, on November 21, 2017, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Safety Zone; Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD” (82 FR 55336). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this fireworks display. During the comment period that ended November 28, 2017, we received no comments.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with a fireworks display from a barge on navigable waters.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks to be used in this December 31, 2017 display will be a safety concern for anyone within 133 yards of the fireworks barge. The purpose of this rule is to ensure safety of vessels and the navigable waters in the safety zone before, during, and after the scheduled event.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received no comments on our NPRM published November 21, 2017. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 11 p.m. on December 31, 2017 through 1 a.m. on January 1, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters of Spa Creek within 133 yards of a fireworks barge in approximate position latitude 38°58′33.01″ N, longitude 076°28′58.00″ W, located at Annapolis, MD. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled 11:55 p.m. fireworks display. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the duration, time-of-year, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Although vessel traffic will not be able to safely transit around this safety zone, the impact would be for only 2 hours during the late evening when vessel traffic in Spa Creek is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting less than two hours that would prohibit entry within 133 yards of a fireworks barge. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T05-0994 to read as follows:
    § 165.T05-0994 Safety Zone; Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    Captain of the Port means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region.

    Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of Spa Creek, within 133 yards of a fireworks barge in approximate position latitude 38°58′33.01″ N, longitude 076°28′58.00″ W, located at Annapolis, MD. All coordinates refer to North American Datum 83 (NAD 1983).

    (c) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in subpart C of this part apply to the safety zone created by this section.

    (1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones found in § 165.23.

    (2) Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) or designated representative. All vessels underway within this safety zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone.

    (3) Persons desiring to transit the area of the safety zone must first obtain authorization from the COTP or designated representative. To request permission to transit the area, the COTP and or designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). If permission is granted, persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative and proceed as directed while within the zone.

    (4) The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

    (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 11 p.m. on December 31, 2017 through 1 a.m. on January 1, 2018.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Michael W. Batchelder, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27381 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management 43 CFR Part 8360 [LLCOF02000.L12200000.DU0000-17X] Final Supplementary Rules for Guffey Gorge in Park County, Colorado AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final supplementary rules.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office is implementing supplementary rules to regulate certain activities on public lands within Guffey Gorge in Park County, Colorado. These supplementary rules are necessary to implement decisions found in the Guffey Gorge Management Plan approved on June 29, 2015, to provide for the protection of persons, property, and public lands and resources located within the 80-acre site. These supplementary rules will result in changes to some currently authorized activities related to the possession or use of alcohol, amplified music, vehicle parking, and visitors with dogs.

    DATES:

    These supplementary rules are effective January 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send inquiries by mail or hand delivery to Linda Skinner, Outdoor Recreation Planner, BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 3028 E. Main Street, Cañon City, CO 81212. You may also send inquiries via email to [email protected] (include “Final Supplementary Rules-Guffey Gorge” in the subject line).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda Skinner, Outdoor Recreation Planner; see address in the ADDRESSES section of this notice; telephone (719) 269-8732. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 to contact Linda Skinner during normal business hours. The Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Guffey Gorge is an 80 acre tract of public land in Park County, Colorado. It is surrounded by private land with Park County Road 102 providing legal public access. Until ten years ago, recreational use of this area was light, and the area was used primarily by local residents for picnicking, hiking, and swimming. Recreational use of the area has increased significantly over the past five years, resulting in resource damage, user conflicts, and safety hazards for visitors and surrounding private landowners. In 2013, the BLM began the public process for developing a management plan for the 80 acre parcel to manage the increasing visitor use and associated issues. This process included presentations and site tours with the Rocky Mountain (formerly Front Range) Resource Advisory Council (RAC) and collaboration with stakeholders and concerned citizens. On August 11, 2014, the BLM initiated a 30-day public scoping period. Based on feedback received during this process, the BLM developed a proposed action and released a preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for a 30-day public review on November 20, 2014. The BLM incorporated comments into the Final EA and corresponding Decision Record, signed on June 29, 2015.

    II. Discussion of Public Comments and the Final Supplementary Rules

    The proposed supplementary rules were published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2016 (81 FR 35039). The BLM received three letters with comments during the 60-day comment period. One commenter supported a proposed fee; therefore, the comment was not relevant to the proposed supplementary rules. A second commenter submitted a general statement in support of controlling cars, trash, and people in Guffey Gorge. In response to this comment, the concern for controlling cars supports the rule that prohibits parking a motor vehicle outside of designated parking areas. The trash issue was addressed through the Guffey Gorge Management Plan, approved on June 29, 2015, by creating a standard amenity site with trash collection; therefore, no revision to the rules was needed. The third commenter shared a story about her negative experience at Guffey Gorge. This commenter supports a strict ban on alcohol consumption while visiting Guffey Gorge. The comment was noted as supporting the rule prohibiting the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    These final supplementary rules implement certain decisions from the Guffey Gorge Management Plan on lands administered by the Royal Gorge Field Office. The planning area consists of approximately 80 acres of public lands within Park County, Colorado, in the following described townships:

    Park County, Colorado, Sixth Principal Meridian T. 15 S., R. 71 W, Section 4: SE1/4SE1/4 Section 9: NE1/4NE1/4

    These final supplementary rules are needed to address significant public safety concerns and resource protection issues resulting from increased and unsafe public use on public lands known as Guffey Gorge. The authority for these supplementary rules is set forth at section 310 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), 43 U.S.C. 1740, and 43 CFR 8365.1-6. This notice, with a detailed map, will be posted at the Royal Gorge Field Office.

    These final supplementary rules will help the BLM achieve management objectives for the area in the following ways:

    • Supplementary rule number one prohibits possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. As visitation at Guffey Gorge has increased, alcohol and drug use has also increased, leading to public health and safety concerns. This supplementary rule will help reduce disruptive behavior associated with alcohol use, improve public safety, and reduce litter in the area.

    • Supplementary rule number two prohibits visitors from parking a motor vehicle outside of designated parking areas. Visitor parking is limited at Guffey Gorge and frequently overflows onto the shoulder of Park County Road 102. Park County Road 102 is a narrow, two-lane road with limited visibility near the Guffey Gorge trailhead. Restricting parking to designated parking areas only is essential for public health and safety.

    • Supplementary rule number three requires animals brought into the area to be on a leash and under the control of a person, or otherwise physically restricted. This rule will help reduce problems associated with unrestrained dogs observed by staff in recent years. Currently, BLM regulations only require dogs to be restrained in developed recreation sites. Guffey Gorge is not a developed site, so existing BLM regulations do not apply. This supplementary rule will help reduce conflicts between visitors; reduce conflicts between domestic animals and wildlife; and control domestic animal waste.

    • Supplementary rule number four prohibits the operation of any device producing amplified sound, such as stereos, speakers, and public address systems. This supplementary rule will help restore opportunities for quiet recreational activities recognized as one of Guffey Gorge's attributes.

    III. Procedural Matters Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

    These supplementary rules are not significant regulatory actions and not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. These supplementary rules will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy. They will not adversely affect in a material way the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; environment; public health or safety; or State, local or tribal governments or communities. These supplementary rules do not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency. These supplementary rules do not materially alter the budgetary effects of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or obligations of their recipients; nor do they raise novel legal or policy issues. These supplementary rules merely establish rules of conduct for public use of a limited area of public lands.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    During the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review for the Guffey Gorge Management Plan, the BLM fully analyzed the substance of these supplementary rules in an EA, DOI-BLM-CO-200-2013-040 EA. The BLM signed the Decision Record for the EA on June 29, 2015, and found that these supplementary rules would not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment under Section 102(2)(C) of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)). These supplementary rules merely establish rules of conduct for public use of a limited area of public lands in order to protect natural resources and public health and safety. Although some activities will be prohibited in the area, the area will still be open to other recreation uses. A detailed statement under NEPA is not required. The BLM has placed the EA and Finding of No Significant Impact on file in the BLM Administrative Record at the address specified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Congress enacted the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, to ensure that government regulations do not unnecessarily or disproportionately burden small entities. The RFA requires a regulatory flexibility analysis if a rule would have a significant economic impact, either detrimental or beneficial, on a substantial number of small entities. These supplementary rules will have no effect on business entities of any size. These supplementary rules merely impose reasonable restrictions on certain recreational activities on certain public lands to protect natural resources and the environment and human health and safety. Therefore, the BLM has determined under the RFA that these supplementary rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    These supplementary rules are not a “major rule” as defined at 5 U.S.C. 804(2). These supplementary rules merely impose reasonable restrictions on certain recreational activities on certain public lands to protect natural resources and the environment and human health and safety. These supplementary rules will not:

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more;

    (2) Cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local agencies; or geographic regions; or

    (3) Have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, or innovation; or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    These supplementary rules do not impose an unfunded mandate on the private sector; or State, local, or tribal governments of more than $100 million per year, nor will these supplementary rules have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. These supplementary rules merely impose reasonable restrictions on certain recreational activities on certain public lands to protect natural resources and the environment and human health and safety. Therefore, the BLM is not required to prepare a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights (Takings)

    These supplementary rules do not constitute a government action capable of interfering with constitutionally protected property rights. These supplementary rules will not address property rights in any form, and will not cause the impairment of constitutionally protected property rights. Therefore, the BLM has determined that these supplementary rules will not cause a “taking” of private property or require further discussion of takings implications under this Executive Order.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    These supplementary rules will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, the BLM has determined that these supplementary rules will not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    Under Executive Order 12988, the BLM Colorado State Director has determined that these supplementary rules will not unduly burden the judicial system, and that they meet the requirements of Sections 3(a) and 3(b) (2) of the Order.

    Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, the BLM has found that these supplementary rules do not include policies that have tribal implications, and will have no bearing on trust lands or on lands for which title is held in fee status by Indian Tribes or U.S. Government-owned lands managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    Information Quality Act

    In developing these supplementary rules, the BLM did not conduct or use a study, experiment or survey requiring peer review under the Information Quality Act (Section 515 of Pub. L. 106-554).

    Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    These supplementary rules do not constitute a significant energy action. These supplementary rules will not have an adverse effect on energy supply, production, or consumption and have no connection with energy policy.

    Executive Order 13352, Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation

    In accordance with Executive Order 13352, the BLM has determined that these supplementary rules will not impede facilitating cooperative conservation; will take appropriate account of and consider the interests of persons with ownership or other legally recognized interests in land or other natural resources; will properly accommodate local participation in the Federal decision-making process; and will provide that the programs, projects, and activities are consistent with protecting public health and safety.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    These supplementary rules do not contain information collection requirements that the Office of Management and Budget must approve under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521.

    Author

    The principal author of these final supplementary rules is Linda Skinner, Outdoor Recreation Planner, BLM, Royal Gorge Field Office.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, and under the authorities for supplementary rules found at 43 U.S.C. 1740 and 43 CFR 8365.1-6, the BLM Colorado State Director establishes supplementary rules for approximately 80 acres of public lands in Guffey Gorge, to read as follows:

    Final Supplementary Rules for Guffey Gorge Prohibited Acts

    Unless otherwise authorized, the following acts are prohibited on all public lands, roads, trails, and waterways administered by the BLM within the Guffey Gorge Management Area:

    1. You must not possess or consume alcoholic beverages;

    2. You must not park a motor vehicle outside of designated parking areas;

    3. You must not bring an animal into the area, unless the animal is on a leash not longer than six feet and secured to a fixed object or under control of a person, or is otherwise physically restricted at all times; and

    4. You must not operate any device producing amplified sound such as a stereo, speaker, public address system, or other similar device.

    Exemptions

    The following persons are exempt from these supplementary rules: Any Federal, State, local and/or military persons acting within the scope of their duties; members of any organized rescue or fire-fighting force in performance of an official duty; or individuals expressly authorized by the BLM.

    Enforcement

    Any person who violates any of these supplementary rules may be tried before a United States Magistrate and fined in accordance with 18 U.S.C. 3571, imprisoned no more than 12 months under 43 U.S.C. 1733(a) and 43 CFR 8360.0-7, or both. In accordance with 43 CFR 8365.1-7, State or local officials may also impose penalties for violations of Colorado law.

    Gregory P. Shoop, Acting BLM Colorado State Director.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27413 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-JB-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 395 Hours of Service; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver for the Transportation of Agricultural Commodities AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notification; grant of waiver.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA grants a limited 90-day waiver from the Federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations pertaining to electronic logging devices (ELDs) for the transportation of agricultural commodities as defined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The Agency takes this action in response to a waiver request from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) on behalf of eight organizations representing transporters of livestock and other agricultural commodities, as defined in the FMCSRs. The Agency has determined that the waiver is in the public interest and would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption, based on the terms and conditions imposed. The waiver will also through notice and public comment, provide FMCSA with time to consider certain exemption applications from segments of the agricultural industry concerning the use of ELDs to document drivers' hours of service and clarify applicability of the requirements and the need for certain carriers to begin using ELDs by the December 18, 2017, deadline.

    DATES:

    This waiver is applicable beginning December 18, 2017, and expires on March 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas L. Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590. Email: [email protected] Phone: (614) 942-6477.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Basis

    The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) (Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, June 9, 1998) provides the Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary) the authority to grant waivers from any of the FMCSRs issued under Chapter 313 of Title 49 of the United States Code or 49 U.S.C. 31136, to a person(s) seeking regulatory relief. (49 U.S.C. 31136(e), 31315(a)). The Secretary must make a determination that the waiver is in the public interest, and that it is likely to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the waiver. Individual waivers may be granted only for a specific unique, non-emergency event, for a period up to three months. TEA-21 authorizes the Secretary to grant waivers without requesting public comment, and without providing public notice.

    The Administrator of FMCSA has been delegated authority under 49 CFR 1.87(e) to carry out the functions vested in the Secretary by 49 U.S.C. chapter 311, subchapters I and III, relating to commercial motor vehicle programs and safety regulation.

    Background

    The FMCSA received an application for an exemption and waiver from the NPPC on behalf of eight organizations that represent transporters of livestock and other agricultural commodities. Notice of the request for exemption from the requirement that a motor carrier require each of its drivers to use an electronic logging device (ELD) no later than December 18, 2017, to record the driver's hours-of-service (HOS), was published in the Federal Register on October 31, 2017 (82 FR 50358). Comments to that document were due by November 30, 2017 (www.regulations.gov, Docket FMCSA-2017-0297).

    The NPPC focused on the impact of the ELD requirement on its members, given unique aspects of its industry, including “exposed incompatibilities between the HOS rules and the . . . industry . . . causing disruption . . . and endangering the health and welfare of . . . animals transported . . .”

    FMCSA has also received from the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) an exemption, waiver, and petition document dated October 25, 2017, requesting that transporters of agricultural commodities and farm supplies not be required to use ELDs during an exemption period. That exemption request has not yet been published for comment. While this waiver is issued in response to the application submitted by the NPPC, it also applies to other eligible motor carriers, including ARA members, to the extent they are handling agricultural commodities as defined under 49 CFR 395.2, as discussed in the Terms and Conditions of the Waiver section below.

    In addition to NPPC's request, FMCSA received numerous inquiries from parties involved in the transport of agricultural commodities about the correct application of the HOS agricultural exception in 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1), leading to an ongoing review of the exception. FMCSA is considering providing new guidance on the agricultural exception in the near future.

    Safety Determination

    In an October 6, 2010, Federal Register document (75 FR 61626), FMCSA granted a limited 90-day waiver from the HOS requirements for the distribution of an agricultural supply—anhydrous ammonia. At that time, the Agency compared safety performance data for agricultural carriers then operating under the statutory HOS agricultural exception in 49 CFR 395.1(k) to non-agricultural carriers that were not exempt from HOS regulations to determine whether the waiver would be likely to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the waiver. The data were collected as part of a study, “Agricultural Commodity and Utility Carriers Hours of Service Exemption Analysis.” The final report from the study is available online.1

    1https://ntlrepository.blob.core.windows.net/lib/42000/42700/42776/FMCSA-RRA-10-048.pdf.

    The study was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 compared the safety performance of agricultural and non-agricultural carriers for the period 2005 through 2008, and also examined two additional industries, livestock and utility carriers, whose operations were not exempt from HOS regulations prior to the passage of SAFETEA-LU. The Phase 1 analysis used carrier registration, inspection and crash data from FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The study used cargo classification information on the FMCSA Motor Carrier Identification Report (Form MCS-150) 2 in MCMIS to identify the carrier's industry group (agricultural, livestock, or utility carrier), and used MCS-150 information to identify carriers operating within and beyond a 100-air-mile radius. The operating radius information was used to create two agricultural carrier subgroups: (1) Agricultural carriers with 100 percent of drivers operating within a 100-air-mile radius; and (2) agricultural carriers with 100 percent of drivers operating beyond a 100-air-mile radius. The analysis used the first subgroup as representative of agricultural carriers exempt from the HOS requirements, and the second subgroup as representative of agricultural carriers not exempt from the HOS requirements.

    2 This registration form has subsequently been replaced with Form MCSA-1.

    For the Phase 2 analysis, inspection data of agricultural commodity and utility carriers (which are also exempt from HOS regulations) were collected during an FMCSA special study of a sample of States. These data included only those inspections occurring during the States' planting and harvesting seasons and indicated both the commodity being transported and whether the driver was operating within or beyond the 100-air-mile radius exempt from HOS regulations. The Phase 2 analysis assessed the safety performance of the HOS exempt agricultural commodity and utility service carriers identified in the survey in comparison with non-HOS exempt carriers based on their out of service (OOS) violation rates and crash rates.

    For the purposes of considering whether to issue a limited waiver, FMCSA focused on the crash rate data from the study. The Agency placed less emphasis on the out-of-service (OOS) rates because there were no HOS violation data to consider given that the agricultural carriers for which data were available were operating under a statutory exemption from the HOS rule. Differences between the OOS rates for other issues such as driver qualifications and vehicle defects and deficiencies, while important in considering overall safety management controls of the carriers, were not necessarily related to the potential safety impact of the waiver.

    The Phase 1 analysis indicated that nationally, agricultural carriers operating within a 100-air-mile radius had lower crash rates per 100 power units than those operating beyond this radius, except in 2008, when there was no difference in the crash rates.

    To provide additional validation of the crash analysis, which uses power unit data reported on the Form MCS-150, a separate analysis was performed using data only for carriers domiciled in States participating in the Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) program that enforces MCS-150 updating. PRISM links State motor vehicle registration systems with carrier safety data in order to identify unsafe commercial motor carriers. The PRISM State carriers are required to update their MCS-150 annually. By contrast, non-PRISM State carriers are required by FMCSA to update their MCS-150 biennially. As a result, the PRISM State data are considered more current and reliable than non-PRISM State data where there is no direct implication for not updating the data. Data from PRISM States that enforce MCS-150 updating show that agricultural carriers operating within a 100-air-mile radius had more varied results, with crash rates higher than carriers operating beyond a 100-air-mile radius in 2008, lower in 2006 and 2007, and nearly the same in 2005.

    The Phase 2 analysis indicated that in the four States participating in the survey (ID, KS, MD, MI), agricultural carriers that were subject to the HOS requirements had higher crash rates per 100 power units than agricultural carriers exempt from the HOS requirements.

    Although this study was conducted in 2010 and relied upon data from 2005 through 2008, FMCSA has no reason to believe that the conclusions would be different if updated using more recent data. Although these studies did not focus on benefits achieved by use of ELDS, given the limited population of motor carriers affected by the waiver and the brief period of time a waiver is in effect, FMCSA believes that the level of safety maintained by haulers of agricultural commodities will be equivalent to the safety of operations that would be obtained absent the granting of a waiver. Furthermore, the Agency believes the sense of urgency in this matter requires a decision based on the best available data, albeit dated, rather than delaying a decision until a new study can be conducted.

    FMCSA Determination

    Considering the above study, the ongoing review of the HOS agricultural commodities exception, and the pending exemption request from NPPC, FMCSA has determined that it is in the public interest to provide a limited waiver from the use of ELDs for interstate motor carriers engaged in the transportation of agricultural commodities as defined in 49 CFR 395.2. This waiver will allow FMCSA time to evaluate the HOS exception applicable to the transport of agricultural commodities and review the concerns unique to the agricultural industry identified by NPPC and others. FMCSA grants the waiver requested by NPPC, but also extends it to all motor carriers transporting an agricultural commodity.

    Terms and Conditions of the Waiver

    (1) Duration of the waiver. This waiver is applicable December 18, 2017, through March 18, 2018.

    (2) Motor carriers transporting agricultural commodities under the provisions of 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1), are exempt from the ELD requirements in 49 CFR 395.8(a) during the period of this waiver, regardless of the distance traveled.

    (3) Carriers operating under this waiver must comply with all other applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR parts 390 through 399), including the preparation of records of duty status (RODS) for operations which are currently considered to be subject to the HOS rules and the record retention requirements associated with those RODs and supporting documents.

    (4) Motor carriers operating under this waiver must have a “satisfactory” safety rating from FMCSA or be unrated; motor carriers with “conditional” or “unsatisfactory” safety ratings are prohibited from taking advantage of the waiver.

    (5) Drivers operating under this waiver must carry a copy of this Federal Register notification and present it to motor carrier safety enforcement officials upon request.

    (6) Crash Notification to FMCSA

    Carriers operating under this waiver must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any of the motor carrier's drivers operating under the terms of this waiver. The notification must include the following information:

    (a) Identity of Waiver: “AG”

    (b) Date of the accident,

    (c) City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene,

    (d) Driver's name and license number,

    (e) Co-driver's name and license number (if applicable),

    (f) Vehicle number and State license number,

    (g) Number of individuals suffering physical injury,

    (h) Number of fatalities,

    (i) The police-reported cause of the accident,

    (j) Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, motor carrier safety regulations, and

    (k) The total driving time and total on-duty time period prior to the accident.

    Accident notifications must be emailed to [email protected]

    Safety Considerations

    Considering the limited period of this waiver and that it does not alter any of the HOS regulations other than the method of recording HOS, and the Agency's previous review of data concerning the safety performance of motor carriers engaged in the transportation of agricultural commodities, the Agency has determined that the waiver from the ELD requirements for 90 days is likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation.

    FMCSA expects that any drivers and their employing motor carrier operating under the terms and conditions of the exemption will maintain their safety record. Should any safety problems be discovered, however, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest. Use of this waiver is voluntary, and FMCSA will immediately revoke the waiver for any interstate driver or motor carrier for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the waiver.

    Preemption of State Requirements

    Consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), this waiver preempts inconsistent State or local requirements applicable to interstate commerce.

    Issued on: December 13, 2017. Cathy F. Gautreaux, Deputy Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27311 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF889 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of the 2017 Bering Sea subarea and Eastern Aleutian Island District (BS/EAI) Atka mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) assigned to the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) trawl limited access sector to the Amendment 80 cooperative in the BS/EAI of the BSAI. This action is necessary to allow the 2017 TAC of Atka mackerel in the BSAI to be fully harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 15, 2017, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The 2017 Atka mackerel TAC in the BS/EAI assigned to the BSAI trawl limited access sector is 2,966 metric tons (mt) and 2017 Atka mackerel TAC assigned to the Amendment 80 cooperatives is 27,594 mt as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) and reallocation (82 FR 45740, October 2, 2017.)

    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that 6 mt of the Atka mackerel TAC for the BS/EAI assigned to the BSAI trawl limited access sector will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.91(f), NMFS reallocates 6 mt of Atka mackerel in the BS/EAI from the BSAI trawl limited access sector to the Amendment 80 cooperatives in the BSAI. In accordance with § 679.91(f), NMFS will reissue cooperative quota permits for the reallocated Atka mackerel following the procedures set forth in § 679.91(f)(3).

    The harvest specifications for Atka mackerel included in the harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) and reallocation (82 FR 45740, October 2, 2017) are revised as follows: 2,960 mt of Atka mackerel in the BS/EAI for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and 27,600 mt for the Amendment 80 cooperative allocations in the BS/EAI. Table 6 is revised and republished in its entirety as follows:

    Table 6—Final 2017 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and Amendment 80 Allocations of the BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 1 Season 234 2017 allocation by area Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea Central Aleutian District 5 Western Aleutian District TAC n/a 34,500 18,000 12,500 CDQ reserve Total 3,692 1,926 1,338 A 1,846 963 669 Critical Habitat n/a 578 401 B 1,846 963 669 Critical Habitat n/a 578 401 Non-CDQ TAC n/a 30,809 16,074 11,163 ICA Total 100 75 20 Jig 6 Total 149 0 0 BSAI trawl limited access Total 2,960 1,600 0 A 1,480 800 0 Critical Habitat n/a 480 0 B 1,480 800 0 Critical Habitat n/a 480 0 Amendment 80 sectors Total 27,600 14,399 11,143 A 13,800 7,200 5,571 B 13,800 7,200 5,571 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative Total 6 15,632 8,545 6,852 A 7,816 4,273 3,426 Critical Habitat n/a 2,564 2,056 B 7,816 4,273 3,426 Critical Habitat n/a 2,564 2,056 Alaska Seafood Cooperative Total 6 11,967 5,854 4,291 A 5,984 2,927 2,146 Critical Habitat n/a 1,756 1,287 B 5,984 2,927 2,146 Critical Habitat n/a 1,756 1,287 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Note:

    Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    This will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters dependent upon Atka mackerel in this area. The Regional Administrator considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of Atka mackerel by the BSAI trawl limited access sector in the BS/EAI, and (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of the Amendment 80 cooperatives that participate in this BS/EAI fishery.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Atka mackerel in the BS/EAI from the BSAI trawl limited access sector to the Amendment 80 cooperatives in the BSAI. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 11, 2017.

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

    This action is required by § 679.91 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 15, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27427 Filed 12-15-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866-7167-02] RIN 0648-XF867 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is adjusting the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information for pollock and Pacific cod in the GOA. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.

    DATES:

    Effective 0000 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 2018, until the effective date of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for GOA groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register.

    Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 4, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2016-0127 by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0127, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) set the 2018 pollock TAC at 163,479 metric tons (mt) and the 2018 Pacific cod TAC at 57,825 mt in the GOA. In December 2017, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended a 2018 pollock TAC of 166,228 mt for the GOA, which is more than the 163,479 mt established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA. The Council also recommended a 2018 Pacific cod TAC of 13,096 mt for the GOA, which is less than the 57,825 mt established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA. The Council's recommended 2018 TACs, and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2017, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information for these fisheries.

    Steller sea lions occur in the same location as the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pollock and Pacific cod are a principal prey species for Steller sea lions in the GOA. The seasonal apportionment of pollock and Pacific cod harvest is necessary to ensure the groundfish fisheries are not likely to cause jeopardy of extinction or adverse modification of critical habitat for Steller sea lions. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(iv) specify how the pollock TAC will be apportioned. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(6)(ii) and § 679.20(a)(12)(i) specify how the Pacific cod TAC will be apportioned.

    In accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), (a)(2)(i)(B), and (a)(2)(iv) the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that, based on the November 2017 SAFE report for this fishery, the current GOA pollock and Pacific cod TACs are incorrectly specified. Consequently, pursuant to § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2018 GOA pollock TAC to 166,228 mt and the 2018 GOA Pacific cod TAC to 13,096 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised consistent with this adjustment.

    Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iv), Table 4 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 TACs of pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.

    Table 4—Final 2018 Distribution of Pollock in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments; and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01] Season 1 Shumagin (Area 610) Chirikof (Area 620) Kodiak (Area 630) Total 2 A (Jan 20-Mar 10) 1,317 3.497% 27,314 72.537% 9,025 23.966% 37,656 B (Mar 10-May 31) 1,317 3.497% 32,155 85.392% 4,184 11.111% 37,656 C (Aug 25-Oct 1) 13,777 36.587% 10,013 26.591% 13,865 36.821% 37,656 D (Oct 1-Nov 1) 13,777 36.587% 10,013 26.591% 13,865 36.821% 37,656 Annual Total 30,188 79,495 40,939 150,622 1 As established by § 679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore components are not shown in this table. 2 The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.

    Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(6)(ii) and § 679.20(a)(12)(i), Table 6 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 seasonal apportionments and allocation of Pacific cod TAC in the GOA consistent with this adjustment.

    Table 6—Final 2018 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the GOA; Allocations for the Western GOA and Central GOA Sectors and the Eastern GOA Inshore and Offshore Processing Components [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not total precisely to annual allocation amount] Regulatory area and sector Annual
  • allocation
  • (mt)
  • A Season Sector
  • percentage of
  • annual
  • non-jig TAC
  • Seasonal
  • allowances
  • (mt)
  • B Season Sector
  • percentage of
  • annual
  • non-jig TAC
  • Seasonal
  • allowances
  • (mt)
  • Western GOA Jig (2.5% of TAC) 141 N/A 85 N/A 57 Hook-and-line CV 77 0.70 39 0.70 39 Hook-and-line C/P 1,092 10.90 601 8.90 491 Trawl CV 2,118 27.70 1,528 10.70 590 Trawl C/P 132 0.90 50 1.50 83 All Pot CV and Pot C/P 2,096 19.80 1,092 18.20 1,004 Total 5,657 60.00 3,394 40.00 2,263 Central GOA Jig (1.0% of TAC) 61 N/A 37 N/A 24 Hook-and-line <50 CV 880 9.32 562 5.29 319 Hook-and-line ≥50 CV 404 5.61 338 1.10 66 Hook-and-line C/P 308 4.11 248 1.00 60 Trawl CV 1 2,507 21.14 1,274 20.45 1,233 Trawl C/P 253 2.00 121 2.19 132 All Pot CV and Pot C/P 1,676 17.83 1,075 9.97 601 Total 6,089 60.00 3,653 40.00 2,436 Eastern GOA Inshore (90% of Annual TAC) Offshore (10% of Annual TAC) 1,350 1,215 135 Note: Seasonal apportionments may not total precisely due to due to rounding.
    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would allow for harvests that exceed the appropriate allocations for pollock and Pacific cod based on the best scientific information available. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 13, 2017, and additional time for prior public comment would result in conservation concerns for the ESA-listed Steller sea lions.

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

    Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until January 4, 2018.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 15, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27429 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF866 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2018 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason adjustment; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is adjusting the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod fisheries. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined these TACs are incorrectly specified, and will ensure the BSAI pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information. Also, NMFS is announcing the Aleutian Islands Catcher Vessel (CV) Harvest Set-Aside and Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation will be in effect for 2018, and TACs in this inseason adjustment will apply for 2018. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.

    DATES:

    Effective 0000 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 1, 2018, until the effective date of the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for BSAI groundfish, unless otherwise modified or superseded through publication of a notification in the Federal Register.

    Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., January 4, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0140, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0140, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Furuness, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) set the 2018 Bering Sea (BS) pollock TAC at 1,345,000 mt, the 2018 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC at 65,000 mt, the 2018 BS Pacific cod TAC at 223,704 mt, and the 2018 AI Pacific cod TAC at 15,695 mt. In December 2017, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended a 2018 BS pollock TAC of 1,364,341 mt, which is more than the 1,345,000 mt TAC established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council also recommended a 2018 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC of 71,000 mt, which is more than the 65,000 mt TAC established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council recommended a 2018 BS Pacific cod TAC of 188,136 mt, and an AI Pacific cod TAC of 15,695 mt, which is less than the BS Pacific cod TAC of 223,704 mt, and the same as the AI Pacific cod TAC of 15,695 mt established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council's recommended 2018 TACs, and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2017, which NMFS has determined is the best available scientific information for these fisheries.

    Amendment 113 to the FMP (81 FR 84434, November 23, 2016) and regulations at § 679.20(a)(7)(viii) require NMFS to announce whether the Aleutian Islands incidental catch allowance, directed fishing allowance, CV Harvest Set-Aside, and Unrestricted Fishery, as well as the Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation will be in effect for 2018. NMFS received notification from Adak that a shoreplant will be processing Aleutian Islands Pacific cod in 2018. Therefore, the Pacific cod TACs in Table 9A of this inseason adjustment will be effective for 2018 and the harvest limits will apply in 2018.

    Steller sea lions occur in the same location as the pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod fisheries and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod are a principal prey species for Steller sea lions in the BSAI. The seasonal apportionment of pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod harvest is necessary to ensure the groundfish fisheries are not likely to cause jeopardy of extinction or adverse modification of critical habitat for Steller sea lions. NMFS published regulations and the revised harvest limit amounts for Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, and pollock fisheries to implement Steller sea lion protection measures to insure that groundfish fisheries of the BSAI are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment of Steller sea lions or destroy or adversely modify their designated critical habitat (79 FR 70286, November 25, 2014). The regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(i) specify how the BS pollock TAC will be apportioned. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(7) specify how the BSAI Pacific cod TAC will be apportioned. The regulations at § 679.20(a)(8) specify how the BSAI Atka mackerel TAC will be apportioned.

    In accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), (a)(2)(i)(B), and (a)(2)(iv), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that, based on the November 2017 SAFE report for this fishery, the current BSAI pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod TACs are incorrectly specified. Pursuant to § 679.25(a)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator is adjusting the 2018 BS pollock TAC to 1,364,341 mt, the 2018 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC to 71,000 mt, and the 2018 BS Pacific cod TAC to 188,136 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) is revised consistent with this adjustment.

    Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i), Table 5 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 BS allocations of pollock TAC to the directed pollock fisheries and to the Community Development Quota (CDQ) directed fishing allowances consistent with this adjustment. The Steller sea lion protection measure final rule (79 FR 70286, November 25, 2014), sets harvest limits for pollock in the A season (January 20 to June 10) in Areas 543, 542, and 541, see § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6). In Area 541, the 2018 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 30 percent, or 12,236 mt, of the AI ABC of 40,788 mt. In Area 542, the 2018 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 15 percent, or 6,118 mt, of the AI ABC of 40,788 mt. In Area 543, the 2018 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 5 percent, or 2,039 mt, of the AI pollock ABC of 40,788 mt.

    Table 5—Final 2018 Allocations of Pollock TACs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Area and sector 2018
  • allocations
  • 2018 A season 1 A season DFA SCA harvest limit 2 2018
  • B season 1
  • B season DFA
    Bering Sea subarea TAC 1 1,364,341 n/a n/a n/a CDQ DFA 164,434 61,395 38,202 75,093 ICA 1 47,888 n/a n/a n/a Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA 1,180,019 531,008 330,405 649,010 AFA Inshore 590,009 265,504 165,203 324,505 AFA Catcher/Processors 3 472,007 212,403 132,162 259,604 Catch by C/Ps 431,887 194,349 n/a 237,538 Catch by CVs 3 40,121 18,054 n/a 21,754 Unlisted C/P Limit 4 2,360 1,062 n/a 1,280 AFA Motherships 118,002 53,101 33,041 64,901 Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 206,503 n/a n/a n/a Excessive Processing Limit 6 354,006 n/a n/a n/a Aleutian Islands subarea ABC 40,788 n/a n/a n/a Aleutian Islands subarea TAC 1 19,000 n/a n/a n/a CDQ DFA 1,900 760 n/a 1,140 ICA 2,400 1,200 n/a 1,200 Aleut Corporation 14,700 12,355 n/a 345 Area harvest limit: 7 541 12,236 n/a n/a n/a 542 6,118 n/a n/a n/a 543 2,039 n/a n/a n/a Bogoslof District ICA 8 500 n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3.9 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—40 percent, and mothership sector—10 percent. In the BS subarea, 45 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the pollock directed fishery. 2 In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in Area 541 no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 no more than 5 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. 8 The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8), Table 7 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 seasonal and spatial allowances, gear shares, CDQ reserve, incidental catch allowance, and Amendment 80 allocation of the BSAI Atka mackerel TAC consistent with this adjustment.

    Table 7—Final 2018 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and Amendment 80 Allocations of the BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 2018 Allocation by area Eastern
  • Aleutian
  • District/
  • Bering Sea
  • Central
  • Aleutian
  • District 5
  • Western
  • Aleutian
  • District
  • TAC n/a 36,500 21,000 13,500 CDQ reserve Total 3,906 2,247 1,445 A 1,953 1,124 722 Critical Habitat n/a 674 433 B 1,953 1,124 722 Critical Habitat n/a 674 433 Non-CDQ TAC n/a 32,595 18,753 12,056 Jig 6 Total 163 0 0 ICA Total 800 75 20 BSAI trawl limited access Total 3,163 1,868 0 A 1,582 934 0 Critical Habitat n/a 560 0 B 1,582 934 0 Critical Habitat n/a 560 0 Amendment 80 sector Total 6 28,468 16,810 12,036 A 14,234 8,405 6,018 Critical Habitat n/a 5,043 3,611 B 14,234 8,405 6,018 Critical Habitat n/a 5,043 3,611 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of critical habitat; (a)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and (a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7), Table 9 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) is revised for the 2018 gear shares and seasonal allowances of the BSAI Pacific cod TAC consistent with this adjustment.

    Table 9—Final 2018 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector Percent 2018 share
  • of gear
  • sector total
  • 2018 share
  • of sector
  • total
  • 2018 seasonal apportionment Seasons Amount
    BS TAC n/a 188,136 n/a n/a n/a BS CDQ n/a 20,131 n/a see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) n/a BS non-CDQ TAC n/a 168,005 n/a n/a n/a AI TAC n/a 15,695 n/a n/a n/a AI CDQ n/a 1,679 n/a see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) n/a AI non-CDQ TAC n/a 14,016 n/a n/a n/a Western Aleutian Island Limit n/a 4,018 n/a n/a n/a Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC 1 100 182,021 n/a n/a n/a Total hook-and-line/pot gear 60.8 110,669 n/a n/a n/a Hook-and-line/pot ICA 2 n/a 400 n/a see § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) n/a Hook-and-line/pot sub-total n/a 110,269 n/a n/a n/a Hook-and-line catcher/processor 48.7 n/a 88,324 Jan 1-Jun 10 45,045 Jun 10-Dec 31 43,279 Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥60 ft LOA 0.2 n/a 363 Jan 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Dec 31
  • 185
  • 178
  • Pot catcher/processor 1.5 n/a 2,720 Jan 1-Jun 10 1,387 Sept 1-Dec 31 1,333 Pot catcher vessel ≥60 ft LOA 8.4 n/a 15,235 Jan 1-Jun 10 7,770 Sept 1-Dec 31 7,465 Catcher vessel <60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear 2 n/a 3,627 n/a n/a Trawl catcher vessel 22.1 40,227 n/a Jan 20-Apr 1 29,768 Apr 1-Jun 10 4,425 Jun 10-Nov 1 6,034 AFA trawl catcher/processor 2.3 4,186 n/a Jan 20-Apr 1 3,140 Apr 1- Jun 10 1,047 Jun 10-Nov 1 0 Amendment 80 13.4 24,391 n/a Jan 20-Apr 1 18,293 Apr 1- Jun 10 6,098 Jun 10-Nov 1 0 Jig 1.4 2,548 n/a Jan 1-Apr 30 1,529 Apr 30-Aug 31 510 Aug 31-Dec 31 510 1 The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached, then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea may be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains. 2 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 400 mt for 2018 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii), the Pacific cod TACs in Table 9A of this inseason adjustment will be effective for 2018 and the harvest limits will apply in 2018.

    Table 9a—Final 2018 BSAI A-Season Pacific Cod Limits Aleutian Islands for Shoreplants Intention To Process Pacific Cod 1 2018 allocations under Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside Amount
  • (mt)
  • AI non-CDQ TAC 14,016 AI ICA 2,500 AI DFA 11,516 BS non-CDQ TAC 168,005 BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation 29,768 BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation minus Sector Limitation 2 24,768 BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation 5,000 AI CV Harvest Set-Aside 5,000 AI Unrestricted Fishery 6,516 1 These allocations will apply in 2018 because NMFS received notice of intent to process AI Pacific cod by October 31 of the previous year, pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii), and the performance requirements set forth in § 679.20(a)(7)(viii) are likewise met. Prior to October 31, 2017, NMFS received timely notice from the City of Adak indicating intent to process AI Pacific cod for the 2018 season. Accordingly, the harvest limits in Table 9a will be in effect in 2018, subject to the performance requirements outlined in § 679.20(a)(7)(viii). 2 This is the amount of the BSAI trawl CV A season allocation that may be harvested in the Bering Sea prior to March 21, 2018, unless modified because the performance requirements were not met.
    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would allow for harvests that exceed the appropriate allocations for pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod in the BSAI based on the best scientific information available. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 20, 2017, and additional time for prior public comment would result in conservation concerns for the ESA-listed Steller sea lions.

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

    Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until January 4, 2018.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 15, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27428 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 243 Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Proposed Rules FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 311 RIN 3084-AB48 Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled Oil AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) requests public comment on the overall costs, benefits, and regulatory and economic impact of its rule specifying Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled Oil (“Recycled Oil Rule” or “Rule”), as part of the Commission's systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before February 12, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “16 CFR part 311—Recycled Oil, Matter No. R811006” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/RecycledOilReview, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex A), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex A), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hampton Newsome, (202) 326-2889, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, CC-9528, Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Recycled Oil Rule, mandated by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“EPCA”) (42 U.S.C. 6363), contains testing and labeling requirements for recycled engine oil. As indicated in the statute, the Rule's purpose is to encourage used oil recycling, promote recycled oil use, reduce new oil consumption, and reduce environmental hazards and wasteful practices associated with used oil disposal.1 The Rule, initially promulgated in 1995 (60 FR 55414 (Oct. 31, 1995)), allows manufacturers to represent that processed used engine oil is substantially equivalent to new oil as long as they substantiate such claims using American Petroleum Institute (API) Publication 1509 (Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System).2 The Rule does not require manufacturers to explicitly state that their engine oil is substantially equivalent to new oil, nor does it mandate any specific qualifiers or disclosures.3

    1 42 U.S.C. 6363(a).

    2 Under EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6363(c)), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) must develop (and report to the FTC) applicable standards for determining the substantial equivalence of processed used engine oil with new engine oil. NIST recommended API 1509 when the Commission originally promulgated the Rule.

    3 60 FR at 55418-55419.

    II. Regulatory Review Program

    The Commission reviews its rules and guides periodically to seek information about their costs and benefits, regulatory and economic impact, and general effectiveness in protecting consumers and helping industry avoid deceptive claims. These reviews assist the Commission in identifying rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. As part of its last review in 2007, the Commission determined to retain the Rule and updated the reference to API Publication 1509, Fifteenth Edition, and added an explanation of incorporation by reference in § 311.4.4

    4 72 FR 14410, 14413 (March 28, 2007).

    With the present Notice, the Commission initiates a new review. The Commission solicits comments on, among other things, the economic impact of, and the continuing need for, the Recycled Oil Rule; the Rule's benefits to consumers; and the burdens it places on industry members subject to the Rule's requirements, including small businesses.

    III. Issues for Comments

    To aid commenters in submitting information, the Commission has prepared the following specific questions related to the Recycled Oil Rule. The Commission seeks comments on these and any other issues related to the Rule's current requirements. In their replies, commenters should provide any available evidence and data that supports their position, such as empirical data, consumer perception studies, and consumer complaints.

    (1) Need: Is there a continuing need for the Rule? Why or why not?

    (2) Benefits and Costs to Consumers: What benefits has the Rule provided to consumers, and does the Rule impose any significant costs on consumers?

    (3) Benefits and Costs to Industry Members: What benefits, if any, has the Rule provided to businesses, and does the Rule impose any significant costs, including costs of compliance, on businesses, including small businesses?

    (4) Recommended Changes: What modifications, if any, should the Commission make to the Rule to increase its benefits or reduce its costs? How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Rule for consumers? How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Rule for businesses, particularly small businesses?

    (5) Impact on Information: What impact has the Rule had on the flow of truthful information to consumers and on the flow of deceptive information to consumers?

    (6) Compliance: Provide any evidence concerning the degree of industry compliance with the Rule. Does this evidence indicate that the Rule should be modified? If so, why, and how? If not, why not?

    (7) Unnecessary Provisions: Provide any evidence concerning whether any of the Rule's provisions are no longer necessary. Explain why these provisions are unnecessary.

    (8) Technological or Economic Changes: What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to account for current or impending changes in technology or economic conditions? How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Rule for consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses?

    (9) Conflicts With Other Requirements: Does the Rule overlap or conflict with other federal, state, or local laws or regulations? If so, how? Provide any evidence that supports your position. With reference to the asserted conflicts, should the Rule be modified? If so, why, and how? If not, why not? Are there any Rule changes necessary to help state law enforcement agencies combat deceptive practices in the recycled engine oil market? Provide any evidence concerning whether the Rule has assisted in promoting national consistency with respect to the advertising of recycled engine oil.

    (10) Update Rule Reference to API Document: Should the Commission update the Rule to incorporate by reference the current version (i.e., the Seventeenth Edition) of the API Publication 1509? 5 If so, should the incorporation include a specific date or other information to identify the seventeenth edition of API Publication 1509?

    5 The current Rule (Section 311.4) references the Fifteenth Edition of API Publication 1509.

    IV. Comment Submissions

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before February 12, 2018. Write “16 CFR part 311—Recycled Oil, Matter No. R811006” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission website, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online, or to send them to the Commission by courier or overnight service. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/RecycledOilReview, by following the instructions on the web-based form. When this Notice appears at https://www.regulations.gov, you also may file a comment through that website.

    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “16 CFR part 311—Recycled Oil, Matter No. R811006” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex A), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex A), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC website at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else's Social Security number; date of birth; driver's license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any “trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential”—as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)—including, in particular, competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC website—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request.

    Visit the FTC website to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before February 12, 2018. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27374 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 1 RIN 3038-AE62 Retail Commodity Transactions Involving Virtual Currency AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed interpretation; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “Commission” or “CFTC”) is issuing this proposed interpretation of the term “actual delivery” as set forth in a certain provision of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). Specifically, this proposed interpretation is being issued to inform the public of the Commission's views as to the meaning of actual delivery within the specific context of retail commodity transactions in virtual currency. The Commission requests comment on this proposed interpretation and further invites comment on specific questions related to the Commission's treatment of virtual currency transactions.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before March 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3038-AE62, 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 Center, 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 method.

    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”),1 a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in Commission Regulation 145.9.2

    1 5 U.S.C. 552.

    2 17 CFR 145.9. Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 CFR chapter I.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the interpretation 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 FOIA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Philip W. Raimondi, Special Counsel, (202) 418-5717, [email protected]; or David P. Van Wagner, Chief Counsel, (202) 418-5481, [email protected]; Office of the Chief Counsel, Division of Market Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    With certain exceptions, the CFTC has been granted exclusive jurisdiction over commodity futures, options, and all other derivatives that fall within the definition of a swap.3 Further, the Commission has been granted general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority over “any swap, or a contract of sale of any commodity in interstate commerce, or for future delivery on or subject to the rules of any registered entity.” 4 The Commission's mission is to foster open, transparent, competitive and financially sound markets; and protect the American public from fraudulent schemes and abusive practices in those markets and products over which it has been granted jurisdiction.

    3 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(1)(A). The CFTC shares its swap jurisdiction in certain aspects with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). See 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(1)(C).

    4 7 U.S.C. 9(1).

    Pursuant to CEA section 2(c)(2)(D),5 the marketplace for “retail commodity transactions” is one such area over which the Commission has been granted explicit oversight authority.6 CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) applies to any agreement, contract or transaction in any commodity that is entered into with, or offered to (even if not entered into with), a person that is neither an eligible contract participant 7 nor an eligible commercial entity 8 (“retail”) on a leveraged or margined basis, or financed by the offeror, the counterparty or a person acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty on a similar basis.9 CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) further provides that such an agreement, contract or transaction is subject to CEA sections 4(a),10 4(b),11 and 4b 12 “as if the agreement, contract or transaction was a contract of sale of a commodity for future delivery.” 13 The statute, however, excepts certain transactions from its application. In particular, CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa) 14 excepts a contract of sale that “results in actual delivery within 28 days or such other longer period as the Commission may determine by rule or regulation based upon the typical commercial practice in cash or spot markets for the commodity involved.” 15 If no exception is applicable, these retail transactions are “commodity interests” subject to Commission regulations together with futures, options, and swaps.16 Under this authority, the Commission regulates retail commodity transactions, with the exception of contracts of sale that result in actual delivery within 28 days.17

    5 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D).

    6 The authority provided to the Commission by CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) is in addition to, and independent from, the jurisdiction over contracts of sale of a commodity for future delivery and transactions subject to regulation pursuant to CEA section 19 that the CEA has historically granted to the Commission. It is also in addition to, and independent from, the jurisdiction over swaps granted to the Commission by the Dodd-Frank Act. Further, the authority granted under CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) is in addition to, and independent of, the Commission's ability to bring enforcement actions for fraud or manipulation in connection with swaps, contracts of sale of any commodity in interstate commerce, or for future delivery on or subject to the rules of any registered entity. 7 U.S.C. 9(1), 9(3), 13(a)(2); 17 CFR 180.1, 180.2.

    7 7 U.S.C. 1a(18).

    8 7 U.S.C. 1a(17); see also 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(iv).

    9 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(i).

    10 7 U.S.C. 6(a) (prohibiting the off-exchange trading of futures transactions by U.S. persons unless the transaction is conducted on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market).

    11 7 U.S.C. 6(b) (permitting foreign boards of trade registered with the Commission with the ability to provide direct access to U.S. persons).

    12 7 U.S.C. 6b (prohibiting fraudulent conduct in connection with any contract of sale of any commodity in interstate commerce, among other things).

    13 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(iii).

    14 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa).

    15 The Commission has not adopted any regulations permitting a longer actual delivery period for any commodity pursuant to this statute. Accordingly, the 28-day actual delivery period remains applicable to all commodities, while retail foreign currency transactions remain subject to a 2-day actual delivery period pursuant to CEA section 2(c)(2)(C).

    16 17 CFR 1.3(yy).

    17 In addition, certain commercial transactions and securities are excepted pursuant to CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)(ii).

    The Dodd-Frank Act added CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) to address certain judicial uncertainty involving the Commission's regulatory oversight capabilities. The Commission has long held that certain speculative commodity transactions involving leverage or margin may have indicia of futures contracts, subjecting them to Commission oversight.18 However, judicial decisions emerged that called into question the Commission's oversight over certain leveraged retail transactions in currencies and other commodities.19 In 2008, Congress addressed this judicial uncertainty by providing the Commission with more explicit authority over retail foreign currency transactions in CEA section 2(c)(2)(C).20 These new statutory provisions established a two-day actual delivery exception for such transactions.21 Two years later, Congress provided the Commission with explicit oversight authority over all other “retail commodity transactions” in CEA section 2(c)(2)(D).22 As noted, these new statutory provisions established an exception for instances when actual delivery of the commodity occurs within 28 days.23

    18See In re Stovall, CFTC Docket No. 75-7 [1977-1980 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 20,941, at 23,777 (CFTC Dec. 6, 1979) (applying traditional elements of a futures contract to a purported cash transaction).

    19See, e.g., CFTC v. Zelener, 373 F.3d 861 (7th Cir. 2004); CFTC v. Erskine, 512 F.3d 309 (6th Cir. 2008).

    20See Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Public Law 110-246, 122 Stat. 1651 (2008).

    21 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(C)(i)(II)(bb)(AA).

    22See Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010); see also Hearing to Review Implications of the CFTC v. Zelener Case Before the Subcomm. on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management of the H. Comm. on Agriculture, 111th Cong. 52-664 (2009) (statement of Rep. Marshall, Member, H. Comm. on Agriculture) (“If in substance it is a futures contract, it is going to be regulated. It doesn't matter how clever your draftsmanship is.”); 156 Cong. Rec. S5,924 (daily ed. July 15, 2010) (statement of Sen. Lincoln) (“Section 742 corrects [any regulatory uncertainty] by extending the Farm Bill's “Zelener fraud fix” to retail off-exchange transactions in all commodities.”) (emphasis added).

    23 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa).

    In connection with its retail commodity transaction oversight, the Commission previously issued a proposed interpretation of the term “actual delivery” in the context of CEA section 2(c)(2)(D), accompanied by a request for comment.24 In that interpretation, the Commission provided several examples of what may and may not satisfy the actual delivery exception. After reviewing public comments, the Commission issued a final interpretation in 2013 (the “2013 Guidance”).25

    24 Retail Commodity Transactions Under Commodity Exchange Act, 76 FR 77670 (Dec. 14, 2011).

    25 Retail Commodity Transactions Under Commodity Exchange Act, 78 FR 52426 (Aug. 23, 2013).

    The 2013 Guidance explained that the Commission will consider evidence “beyond the four corners of contract documents” to assess whether actual delivery of the commodity occurred.26 The Commission further noted that it will “employ a functional approach and examine how the agreement, contract, or transaction is marketed, managed, and performed, instead of relying solely on language used by the parties in the agreement, contract, or transaction.” 27 The 2013 Guidance also included a list of relevant factors the Commission will consider in an actual delivery determination 28 and again provided examples 29 of what may and may not constitute actual delivery. As per the 2013 Guidance, the only satisfactory examples of actual delivery involve transfer of title and possession of the commodity to the purchaser or a depository acting on the purchaser's behalf.30 Among other things, mere book entries and certain instances where a purchase is “rolled, offset, or otherwise netted with another transaction” do not constitute actual delivery.31

    26Id. at 52,428.

    27Id.

    28 “Relevant factors in this determination include the following: Ownership, possession, title, and physical location of the commodity purchased or sold, both before and after execution of the agreement, contract, or transaction, including all related documentation; the nature of the relationship between the buyer, seller, and possessor of the commodity purchased or sold; and the manner in which the purchase or sale is recorded and completed.” 78 FR at 52428.

    29 In the 2013 Guidance, Examples 1 and 2 illustrate circumstances where actual delivery is made, while Examples 3, 4 and 5 illustrate circumstances where actual delivery is not made. In setting forth the examples, the Commission made clear that they are non-exclusive and were intended to provide the public with guidance on how the Commission would apply the interpretation. 78 FR at 52427-28.

    30Id.

    31Id.

    Within a year after the 2013 Guidance was released, the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion affirming a preliminary injunction obtained by the Commission in CFTC v. Hunter Wise Commodities, LLC. 32 Hunter Wise further reinforced the Commission's interpretation of actual delivery in the 2013 Guidance. Specifically, the Eleventh Circuit recognized that delivery “denotes a transfer of possession and control.” 33 Indeed, “[i]f `actual delivery' means anything, it means something other than simply `delivery,' for we must attach meaning to Congress's use of the modifier `actual.' ” 34 Accordingly, the Court stated that actual delivery “denotes `[t]he act of giving real and immediate possession to the buyer or the buyer's agent” and constructive delivery does not suffice.35 Notably, the Eleventh Circuit found that its own holding harmonized with the 2013 Guidance and recognized that the legislative history behind CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) also “complements” its decision.36

    32CFTC v. Hunter Wise Commodities, LLC, et al., 749 F.3d 967 (11th Cir. 2014) (hereinafter, Hunter Wise).

    33 749 F.3d at 978-79, (citing Black's Law Dictionary 494 (9th ed. 2009)).

    34 749 F.3d at 979.

    35Id.

    36 749 F.3d at 977.

    Soon after the Hunter Wise decision, the Commission established that virtual currency is a commodity as that term is defined by CEA section 1a(9).37 Subsequently, the Commission brought its first enforcement action against a platform that offered virtual currency transactions to retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis without registering with the Commission.38 In the Bitfinex settlement order, the Commission found that the virtual currency platform violated CEA sections 4(a) and 4d because the unregistered entity “did not actually deliver bitcoins purchased from them” as prescribed within the actual delivery exception.39 Rather, the entity “held the purchased bitcoins in bitcoin deposit wallets that it owned and controlled.” 40

    37In re Coinflip, Inc., d/b/a Derivabit, and Francisco Riordan, CFTC Docket No. 15-29, 2015 WL 5535736, [Current Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 33,538 (CFTC Sept. 17, 2015) (consent order); In re TeraExchange LLC, CFTC Docket No. 15-33, 2015 WL 5658082, [Current Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 33,546 (CFTC Sept. 24, 2015) (consent order).

    38In re BFXNA INC. d/b/a BITFINEX, CFTC Docket No. 16-19 (June 2, 2016) (consent order) (hereinafter, Bitfinex).

    39Id.

    40Id.

    After Bitfinex, the Commission received requests for guidance with regard to the meaning of the actual delivery exception in the specific context of virtual currency transactions. Accordingly, the Commission has decided to issue this proposed interpretation and seek public comment. The Commission is issuing this proposed interpretation to inform the public of the Commission's views as to the meaning of the term “actual delivery” in the context of virtual currency and to provide the public with guidance on how the Commission intends to assess whether any given retail commodity transaction in virtual currency (whereby an entity or platform offers margin trading or otherwise facilitates 41 the use of margin, leverage, or financing arrangements for their retail market participants) results in actual delivery, as the term is used in CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa).42 The Commission requests comment generally on this proposed interpretation and further invites comment on specific questions, as outlined within this release.

    41 Specifically, CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)(i) captures any such retail commodity transaction “entered into, or offered . . . on a leveraged or margined basis, or financed by the offeror, the counterparty, or a person acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty on a similar basis.”

    42 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa).

    II. Commission Interpretation of Actual Delivery for Virtual Currency A. Virtual Currency as a Commodity

    As noted previously, the Commission considers virtual currency to be a commodity,43 like many other intangible commodities that the Commission has recognized over the course of its existence (e.g., renewable energy credits and emission allowances, certain indices, and certain debt instruments, among others).44 Indeed, since their inception, virtual currency structures were proposed as digital alternatives to gold and other precious metals.45 As a commodity, virtual currency is subject to applicable provisions of the CEA and Commission regulations.

    43In re Coinflip, Inc., d/b/a Derivabit, and Francisco Riordan, CFTC Docket No. 15-29, 2015 WL 5535736, [Current Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 33,538 (CFTC Sept. 17, 2015) (consent order); In re TeraExchange LLC, CFTC Docket No. 15-33, 2015 WL 5658082, [Current Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 33,546 (CFTC Sept. 24, 2015) (consent order).

    44See generally Further Definition of “Swap,” “Security-Based Swap,” and “Security-Based Swap Agreement”; Mixed Swaps; Security-Based Swap Agreement Recordkeeping, 77 FR 48208 at 48233 (Aug. 13, 2012) (discussing application of the swap forward exclusion to intangible commodities).

    45 Nick Szabo, Bit gold, Unenumerated (Dec. 27, 2008), http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2005/12/bit-gold.html.

    The Commission interprets the term virtual currency broadly. In the context of this interpretation, virtual or digital currency: 46 Encompasses any digital representation of value (a “digital asset”) that functions as a medium of exchange, and any other digital unit of account that is used as a form of a currency (i.e., transferred from one party to another as a medium of exchange); may be manifested through units, tokens, or coins, among other things; and may be distributed by way of digital “smart contracts,” among other structures.47 However, the Commission notes that it does not intend to create a bright line definition at this time given the evolving nature of the commodity and, in some instances, its underlying public distributed ledger technology (“DLT” or “blockchain”).

    46 The Commission uses the term “virtual currency” and “digital currency” interchangeably for purposes of this proposed interpretation. However, the Commission acknowledges that the two terms may have certain practical differences in other contexts. For example, one view is that “digital currency” includes fiat currencies, while “virtual currency” does not. See The Financial Action Task Force [FATF], Virtual Currencies: Key Definitions and Potential AML/CFT Risks, at 4 (June 27, 2014), http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/Virtual-currency-key-definitions-and-potential-aml-cft-risks.pdf. Further, this interpretation is not intended to encompass transactions otherwise covered by CEA section 2(c)(2)(C) and related Commission regulations.

    47 One prominent type of virtual currency is cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is described as “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.” Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System (Oct. 31, 2008), https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. Transactions are represented by a hash or “chain of digital signatures,” which takes into account the previous owner and the next owner. Given the lack of a centralized authority, transaction verification is “publicly announced” in a transparent ledger “system for participants to agree on a single history” of transactions. Id. Each transaction moves from one digital wallet to another, recognized as “nodes” on a distributed ledger network. This structure represents one form of DLT or blockchain technology, which underlies bitcoin—a widely traded virtual currency.

    B. The Commission's Interest in Virtual Currency

    The Commission recognizes that certain virtual currencies and their underlying blockchain technologies have the potential to yield notable advancements in applications of financial technology (“FinTech”). Indeed, as part of its efforts to facilitate beneficial FinTech innovation and help ensure market integrity, the Commission launched the LabCFTC initiative.48 This initiative provides the Commission with a platform to engage the FinTech community and promote market-enhancing innovation in furtherance of improving the quality, resiliency, and competitiveness of the markets overseen by the Commission. As such, the Commission is closely following the development and continuing evolution of blockchain technologies and virtual currencies.

    48See Press Release, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC Launches LabCFTC as Major FinTech Initiative (May 17, 2017), http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/pr7558-17.

    Moreover, since virtual currency can serve as an underlying component of derivatives transactions, the Commission maintains a close interest in the development of the virtual currency marketplace generally. As a practical matter, virtual currency, by virtue of its name, represents a digital medium of exchange for goods and services, similar to fiat currency.49 Over time, numerous centralized platforms have emerged as markets to convert virtual currency into fiat currency or other virtual currencies. These platforms provide a place to immediately exchange one commodity for another “on the spot.”

    49 Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna, Bitcoin and the Digital-Currency Revolution, The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 23, 2015), https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-revolutionary-power-of-digital-currency-1422035061 (“Once inside the coffee shop, you will open your wallet's smartphone app and hold its QR code reader up to the coffee shop's device” to buy a cup of coffee).

    Some of these centralized platforms also attempt to cater to those that wish to speculate on the price movements of a virtual currency against other currencies. For example, a speculator may purchase virtual currency using borrowed money in the hopes of covering any outstanding balance owed through profits from favorable price movements in the future. This interpretation is specifically focused on such “retail commodity transactions,” whereby an entity or platform: (i) Offers margin trading or otherwise facilitates 50 the use of margin, leverage, or financing arrangements for their retail market participants; (ii) typically to enable such participants to speculate or capitalize on price movements of the commodity—two hallmarks of a regulated futures marketplace.51

    50 As noted earlier, CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)(i) captures any such retail transaction “entered into, or offered . . . on a leveraged or margined basis, or financed by the offeror, the counterparty, or a person acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty on a similar basis.” The Commission views any financing arrangements facilitated, arranged, or otherwise endorsed by the offeror or counterparty to satisfy this statutory definition for purposes of this interpretation.

    51See, e.g., CFTC v. Int'l Foreign Currency, Inc., 334 F. Supp. 2d 305, 310 (E.D.N.Y. 2004) (listing elements typically found in a futures contract); In re Stovall, CFTC Docket No. 75-7 [1977-1980 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 20,941, at 23,777 (CFTC Dec. 6, 1979) (describing how futures contracts, being traded on margin, “are entered into primarily for the purpose of assuming or shifting the risk of change in value of commodities, rather than for transferring ownership of the actual commodities.”); David J. Gilberg, Regulation of New Financial Instruments Under the Federal Securities and Commodities Laws, 39 Vand. L. Rev. 1599, 1603-04, n.14 (1986) (typically, futures “traders are interested only in obtaining cash payments of price differentials, not actual commodities”).

    Beyond their practical and speculative functions, the emergence of these nascent markets has also been negatively marked by a variety of retail customer harm that warrants the Commission's attention, including, among other things, flash crashes and other market disruptions,52 delayed settlements,53 alleged spoofing,54 hacks,55 alleged internal theft,56 alleged manipulation,57 smart contract coding vulnerabilities,58 bucket shop arrangements and other conflicts of interest.59 These types of activities perpetrated by bad actors can inhibit market-enhancing innovation, undermine market integrity, and stunt further market development.

    52See, e.g., Paul Vigna, Virtual Currencies Bitcoin and Ether Wrap Up a Wild Quarter, The Wall Street Journal, Jul. 3, 2017, at B6 (describing a recent flash crash affecting the price of virtual currency Ether, caused by “a multimillion-dollar sell order” that subsequently “sparked a cascade of stop-loss orders”); Paul Vigna, BitBeat: Bitcoin Price Drops on Block-Size Debate, `Flash Crash,' The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 20, 2015), http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2015/08/20/bitbeat-bitcoin-price-drops-on-block-size-debate-flash-crash/ (“bitcoin's speculative traders love this kind of stuff [margin trading]; these guys could easily give Wall Street's casino hotshots a run for their money”).

    53 Paul Vigna, Virtual Currencies Bitcoin and Ether Wrap Up a Wild Quarter, The Wall Street Journal, Jul. 3, 2017, at B6 (“[t]here were delays of hours and even days.”).

    54 Lionel Laurent, Bitcoin Wrestles With Spoofy the Trader, Bloomberg Gadfly (Aug. 7, 2017), https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-08-07/bitcoin-has-a-spoofy-problem.

    55See, e.g., Paul Vigna and Gregor Stuart Hunter, Bitcoin Sinks After Exchange Reports Hack, The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 3, 2016), http://www.wsj.com/articles/bitcoin-sinks-after-exchange-reports-hack-1470195727; Nathaniel Popper and Rachel Abrams, Apparent Theft Rattles the Bitcoin World, N.Y. Times, Feb. 25, 2014, at B1; Alex Hern, A History of Bitcoin Hacks, The Guardian (Mar. 18, 2014), http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/18/history-of-bitcoin-hacks-alternative-currency.

    56 Jessica Lipscomb, Cryptsy Founder Paul Vernon Disappeared, Along With Millions of His Customers' Cash, Miami New Times (Jun. 28, 2016), http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/cryptsy-founder-paul-vernon-disappeared-along-with-millions-of-his-customers-cash-8557571.

    57 Izabella Kaminska, When OTC markets backfire, bitcoin edition, Financial Times—Alphaville (Mar. 8, 2017), https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2017/03/08/2185731/when-otc-markets-backfire-bitcoin-edition.

    58 Matthew Leising, The Ether Thief, Bloomberg Markets Magazine (Jun. 13, 2017), https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2017-the-ether-thief/ (while not technically an event specific to any one platform, this hack illustrates an event that dramatically affected the price and status of a virtual currency traded on such platforms).

    59See, e.g., Vitalik Buterin, Bitfinex: Bitcoinica Rises From The Grave, Bitcoin Magazine (Nov. 22, 2012), http://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitfinex-bitcoinica-rises-from-the-grave-1353644122; Matt Levine, How A Bank Should Be?, Bloomberg View (Mar. 11, 2015), https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-03-11/how-should-a-bank-be- (“Just because you mumble the word `blockchain' doesn't make otherwise illegal things legal”); Matt Levine, Bitcoin Bucket Shop Kicks Bucket, Bloomberg View (Jun. 19, 2015), https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-06-19/bitcoin-bucket-shop-kicks-bucket.

    C. Actual Delivery of Virtual Currency

    As underscored by its efforts to engage the FinTech community, the Commission emphasizes that it does not intend to impede market-enhancing innovation or otherwise harm the evolving virtual currency marketplace with this interpretation. To the contrary, the Commission believes this interpretation can help advance a healthy ecosystem and support further market-enhancing innovation. Additionally, the Commission takes seriously its goal of protecting U.S. retail market participants engaged in the virtual currency marketplace that falls within the Commission's jurisdiction—as it would with respect to retail market participants trading in any other retail commodity marketplace that falls within its jurisdiction. The Commission drafted this interpretation with such a balance in mind.

    As discussed above, a retail commodity transaction may be excepted from CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) (and thus not subject to CEA sections 4(a), 4(b), and 4b) if actual delivery of the commodity occurs within 28 days of the transaction.60 The longstanding Model State Commodity Code also contains an exception from its “commodity contract” regulation when physical settlement occurs within 28 days.61 However, the Model State Commodity Code provides for the ability to lengthen or shorten its 28-day physical delivery exception time period, while CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) only provides the Commission with the ability to lengthen its actual delivery exception time period.62 Therefore, absent Congressional action, the Commission is unable to reduce the actual delivery exception period for speculative, leverage-based retail commodity transactions in virtual currency. The one-size-fits-all 28 day delivery period in CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) may not properly account for innovation or customary practice in certain cash markets, such as virtual currency transactions that would presumably take much less than 28 days to deliver to a purchaser in a typical spot transaction.63 Without the application of CEA section 2(c)(2)(D), retail market participants that transact on platforms offering speculative transactions in virtual currency (involving margin, leverage, or other financing) will not be afforded many of the protections that flow from registration under the CEA. Despite the statutory limitations, the Commission will utilize its current statutory authority as best it can to prevent fraud in retail commodity transactions involving virtual currency.

    60 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa).

    61See Model State Commodity Code section 1.01(e), [1984-1986 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 22,568 (Apr. 5, 1985).

    62 To date, the Commission has not chosen to extend the 28-day actual delivery period in any instance.

    63 Notably, Congress provided a 2-day actual delivery exception for retail foreign currency transactions. See 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(C)(i)(II)(bb)(AA).

    The Commission, in interpreting the term actual delivery for the purposes of CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(aa), will continue to follow the 2013 Guidance and “employ a functional approach and examine how the agreement, contract, or transaction is marketed, managed, and performed, instead of relying solely on language used by the parties in the agreement, contract, or transaction.” 64

    64 78 FR at 52428.

    Further, the Commission will continue to assess all relevant factors 65 to aid in such an actual delivery determination. More specifically, the Commission's view of when “actual delivery” has occurred within the context of virtual currency requires:

    65 This list includes, but is not limited to “[o]wnership, possession, title, and physical location of the commodity purchased or sold, both before and after execution of the agreement, contract, or transaction, including all related documentation; the nature of the relationship between the buyer, seller, and possessor of the commodity purchased or sold; and the manner in which the purchase or sale is recorded and completed.” Id.

    (1) A customer having the ability to: (i) Take possession and control of the entire quantity of the commodity, whether it was purchased on margin, or using leverage, or any other financing arrangement, and (ii) use it freely in commerce (both within and away from any particular platform) no later than 28 days from the date of the transaction; and

    (2) The offeror and counterparty seller (including any of their respective affiliates or other persons acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty seller on a similar basis) 66 not retaining any interest in or control over any of the commodity purchased on margin, leverage, or other financing arrangement at the expiration of 28 days from the date of the transaction.67

    66 The Commission recognizes that the offeror of the transaction and the ultimate counterparty may be two separate entities or may be the same. For example, the Commission would consider as the offeror of the transaction a virtual currency platform that makes the transaction available to the retail customer or otherwise facilitates the transaction. That virtual currency platform could also be considered a counterparty to the transaction if, for example, the platform itself took the opposite side of the transaction or the purchaser of the virtual currency enjoyed privity of contract solely with the platform rather than the seller. Additionally, the Commission recognizes that some virtual currency platforms may provide a purchaser with the ability to source financing or leverage from other users or third parties. The Commission would consider such third parties or other users to be acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty seller on a similar basis.

    67 Among other things, the Commission may look at whether the offeror or seller retain any ability to access or withdraw any quantity of the commodity purchased from the purchaser's account or wallet.

    Consistent with the 2013 Guidance, a sham delivery does not constitute actual delivery for purposes of this interpretation. The offeror and counterparty seller, including their agents, must retain no interest or control whatsoever in the virtual currency acquired by the purchaser at the expiration of 28 days from the date of entering into the transaction. Indeed, in its simplest form, actual delivery of virtual currency connotes the ability of a purchaser to utilize the virtual currency purchased “on the spot” to immediately purchase goods or services with the currency elsewhere.

    In the context of an “actual delivery” determination in virtual currency, physical settlement of the commodity must occur. A cash settlement or offset mechanism, as described in Example 4 below, will not satisfy the actual delivery exception of CEA section 2(c)(2)(D). The distinction between physical settlement and cash settlement in this context is akin to settlement of a spot foreign currency transaction at a commercial bank or hotel in a foreign nation—the customer receives physical foreign currency, not U.S. dollars. As mentioned, such physical settlement must occur within 28 days from the date on which the “agreement, contract, or transaction is entered into” to constitute “actual delivery.” 68

    68 78 FR at 52427.

    Consistent with the interpretation above, the Commission provides the following non-exclusive examples to further clarify the meaning of actual delivery in the virtual currency context:

    Example 1: Actual delivery of virtual currency will have occurred if, within 28 days of entering into an agreement, contract, or transaction, there is a record on the relevant public distributed ledger network or blockchain of the transfer of virtual currency, whereby the entire quantity of the purchased virtual currency, including any portion of the purchase made using leverage, margin, or other financing, is transferred from the counterparty seller's blockchain wallet 69 to the purchaser's blockchain wallet, the counterparty seller retains no interest in or control over the transferred commodity, and the counterparty seller has transferred title 70 of the commodity to the purchaser. When a matching platform or other third party offeror acts as an intermediary, the virtual currency's public distributed ledger must reflect the purchased virtual currency transferring from the counterparty seller's blockchain wallet to the third party offeror's blockchain wallet and, separately, from the third party offeror's blockchain wallet to the purchaser's blockchain wallet, provided that the purchaser's wallet is not affiliated with or controlled by the counterparty seller or third party offeror in any manner.

    69 The source of the virtual currency is provided for purposes of this example. However, the focus of this analysis remains on the actions that would constitute actual delivery of the virtual currency to the purchaser.

    70 For purposes of this interpretation, title may be reflected by linking an individual purchaser with proof of ownership of the particular wallet or wallets that contain the purchased virtual currency.

    Example 2: Actual delivery will have occurred if, within 28 days of entering into a transaction: (1) The counterparty seller has delivered the entire quantity of the virtual currency purchased, including any portion of the purchase made using leverage, margin, or financing, into the possession of a depository (i.e., wallet or other relevant storage system) other than one owned, controlled, or operated by the counterparty seller (including any parent companies, partners, agents, affiliates, and others acting in concert with the counterparty seller) 71 that has entered into an agreement with the purchaser to hold virtual currency as agent for the purchaser without regard to any asserted interest of the offeror, the counterparty seller, or persons acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty seller on a similar basis; (2) the counterparty seller has transferred title of the commodity to the purchaser; (3) the purchaser has secured full control over the virtual currency (i.e., the ability to immediately remove the full amount of purchased commodity from the depository); and (4) no liens (or other interests of the offeror, counterparty seller, or persons acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty seller on a similar basis) resulting from the use of margin, leverage, or financing used to obtain the entire quantity of the commodity purchased will continue forward at the expiration of 28 days from the date of the transaction.

    71 The Commission recognizes that an offeror could act in concert with both the purchaser and the counterparty seller in the ordinary course of business if it intermediates a transaction. It is not intended that such activity would prevent an offeror from associating with a depository, as otherwise allowed by this example.

    Example 3: Actual delivery will not have occurred if, within 28 days of entering into a transaction, a book entry is made by the offeror or counterparty seller purporting to show that delivery of the virtual currency has been made to the purchaser, but the counterparty seller or offeror has not, in accordance with the methods described in Example 1 or Example 2, actually delivered the entire quantity of the virtual currency purchased, including any portion of the purchase made using leverage, margin, or financing, and transferred title to that quantity of the virtual currency to the purchaser, regardless of whether the agreement, contract, or transaction between the purchaser and offeror or counterparty seller purports to create an enforceable obligation 72 to deliver the commodity to the purchaser.

    72 This “enforceable obligation” language is provided in reference to an exception to CEA section 2(c)(2)(D) that is limited by its terms to a commercial transaction involving two commercial entities with a pre-existing line of business in the commodity at issue that is separate and distinct from the business of engaging in a retail commodity transaction. See 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(III)(bb).

    Example 4: Actual delivery will not have occurred if, within 28 days of entering into a transaction, the agreement, contract, or transaction for the purchase or sale of virtual currency is rolled, offset against, netted out, or settled in cash or virtual currency (other than the purchased virtual currency) between the purchaser and the offeror or counterparty seller (or persons acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty seller).

    III. Request for Comment

    The Commission requests comment from the public regarding the Commission's proposed interpretation of “actual delivery” in the context of virtual currency and further invites comments on specific questions related to the Commission's treatment of virtual currency transactions. The Commission encourages all comments including background information, actual market examples, best practice principles, expectations for the possible impact on further innovation, and estimates of any asserted costs and expenses. Specifically, the Commission requests comment on the following questions:

    Question 1: As noted in this proposed interpretation, the Commission is limited in its ability to shorten the length of the actual delivery exception period for retail commodity transactions in virtual currency—which presumably take much less than 28 days to deliver to a purchaser. Would a 2-day actual delivery period, such as the actual delivery exception in CEA section 2(c)(2)(C), more accurately apply to such transactions in virtual currency? Would another actual delivery period be more appropriate? What additional information should the Commission consider in determining an appropriate actual delivery exception period for retail commodity transactions in virtual currency? If the Commission were to decide that a shorter actual delivery exception period would be more appropriate in the context of virtual currency, should the Commission engage Congress to consider an adjustment to CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)'s the actual delivery exception? For example, should the Commission seek that Congress amend CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)'s actual delivery exception to be more aligned with the broader delivery period adjustment language in the Model State Commodity Code?

    Question 2: With respect to the Commission's proposed interpretation, are there additional examples the Commission should consider in satisfaction of the “actual delivery” exception to CEA section 2(c)(2)(D)?

    Question 3: The Commission is concerned about offerors of virtual currency retail commodity transactions that may be subject to conflicts of interest, including situations such as an offeror or its principals taking the opposite side of a customer transaction, either directly or through an affiliated liquidity provider or market maker. These arrangements may, in certain circumstances, resemble bucket shops.73 How should the Commission evaluate such circumstances if a platform seeks to avail itself of the actual delivery exception? Are there any additional factors that the Commission should consider in its determination of whether the “actual delivery” exception is available?

    73 Vitalik Buterin, Bitfinex: Bitcoinica Rises From The Grave, Bitcoin Magazine (Nov. 22, 2012), http://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitfinex-bitcoinica-rises-from-the-grave-1353644122 (describing a bucket shop arrangement whereby a platform “steps in and acts as the counterparty to some of its users,” creating “perverse incentives”).

    Question 4: As noted above, CEA sections 4(a), 4(b), and 4b apply to retail commodity transactions “as if” the transaction was a futures contract.74 Therefore, absent an exception, a retail commodity transaction must be offered on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market (“DCM”).75 Separately, an entity soliciting or accepting orders for retail commodity transactions and accepting money, securities, or property (or extending credit in lieu thereof) to margin, guarantee, or secure such transactions must register with the Commission as a futures commission merchant (“FCM”).76 As a result of these requirements, the Commission recognizes that certain entities or platforms will choose not to offer virtual currency retail commodity transactions. This business decision is not unique to any particular commodity. However, as noted earlier, the Commission does not intend to stifle innovation. Rather, it is acting to protect U.S. retail customers regarding transactions that fall within its jurisdiction. Therefore, the Commission requests comments as to what factors may be relevant to consider regarding the Commission's potential use of its exemptive authority under CEA section 4(c) 77 in this regard. For example, please note any advantages and disadvantages regarding the potential to establish a distinct registration and compliance regime for entities that seek to offer retail commodity transactions in virtual currency. Why would such treatment be uniquely warranted 78 in the context of virtual currency? Please also note any other issues that the Commission should consider regarding such an analysis. What other alternatives should the Commission consider instead of establishing a distinct registration and compliance regime?

    74 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(iii).

    75 7 U.S.C. 6(a).

    76 7 U.S.C. 1a(28); 7 U.S.C. 6d(a).

    77 7 U.S.C. 6(c).

    78 Arguably, beyond the distributed ledger technologies, entities offering virtual currency retail commodity transactions operate in a similar manner to any other entity offering retail commodity transactions online.

    Question 5: In Example 2, the Commission sets forth a proposed set of facts that permits actual delivery to a depository instead of the purchaser. What should the Commission consider in further clarifying the meaning of “depository” for purposes of this interpretation? For example, could the depository maintain certain licenses or registrations in order to qualify for this example? In addition, should the Commission further prohibit the depository from being owned or operated by the offeror (including any offeror parent company, partner, agent, and other affiliates)? Please note any factors the Commission should consider in making this determination (such as the effect of contractual agreements between the depository and the offeror).

    Question 6: Example 2 also requires the purchaser to secure full control over the virtual currency once it is deposited in a depository in order for the fact pattern to constitute actual delivery. The Commission requests comment regarding what types of circumstances would ensure a purchaser has obtained “full control” of the commodity. For example, is possession of a unique key or other credentials that allow full access and ability to transfer virtual currency sufficient to provide full control? Similarly, how should the Commission view full control by a user in light of commonly used cybersecurity techniques and money transmitter procedures otherwise required by law?

    Question 7: Example 2 also requires that no liens resulting from the use of margin, leverage, or financing used to obtain the entire quantity of the commodity purchased by the buyer continue forward at the expiration of 28 days from the date of the transaction. The Commission requests comment regarding circumstances under which a lien would be considered terminated for purposes of this interpretation. For example, are there circumstances where the Commission should consider allowing “forced sale” scenarios, whereby the purchased virtual currency is used to satisfy any resulting liens from the retail commodity transaction, while still interpreting the transaction as having resulted in actual delivery to the purchaser? Should the Commission consider other types of lien scenarios or interests, such as those liens that would not provide a right to repossession of the commodity?

    Question 8: As noted above, the status of “title” is one of the factors the Commission considers in an actual delivery determination for retail commodity transactions.79 In Examples 1 and 2, this interpretation notes that “title” may be reflected by linking an individual purchaser with proof of ownership of the particular wallet or wallets that contain the purchased virtual currency. What additional examples, if any, should the Commission consider to address the status of “title” for the purposes of an actual delivery determination?

    79See 78 FR at 52428.

    Question 9: While this interpretation is solely focused on the actual delivery exception to CEA section 2(c)(2)(D), the Commission recognizes other exceptions may be available.80 Specifically, the Commission recognizes that the SEC recently issued a statement regarding the application of federal securities laws to certain initial coin offerings (“ICOs”).81 Depending on their use, the tokens or units issued in an ICO may be commodities, commodity options, derivatives, or otherwise fall within the Commission's virtual currency definition described in this interpretation. However, any such tokens that are deemed securities (and trade in a manner that qualifies as a retail commodity transaction) would be excepted from the retail commodity transaction definition pursuant to section 2(c)(2)(D)(ii)(II) of the Act. Are there concerns with the scope of this exception with regard to retail commodity transactions? What factors should the Commission consider if it were to issue further guidance regarding this exception?

    80See generally 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(D)(ii).

    81 Report of Investigation Pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934: The DAO, Exchange Act Release No. 81207 (Jul. 25, 2017).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 15, 2017 by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Appendix to Retail Commodity Transactions Involving Virtual Currency—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. 2017-27421 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0234] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Pacific Ocean, Kilauea Lava Flow Ocean Entry on Southeast Side of Island of Hawaii, HI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    On April 3, 2017, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a permanent safety zone surrounding the entry of lava from the Kilauea volcano into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Island of Hawaii, HI. The safety zone is needed to protect persons and vessels from the potential hazards associated with molten lava entering the ocean. After considering comments received from the public, the Coast Guard analyzed the economic impact of the proposed rule and made minor modifications to the proposed rule. This supplemental notice requests comments on the analysis and revised proposal.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before February 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit and view comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0234 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Lieutenant Commander John Bannon, Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone 808-541-4359, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register IRFA Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis NAICS North American Industry Classification System NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OMB Office of Management and Budget RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act § Section symbol SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking TFR Temporary final rule U.S.C. United States Code II. Background

    Lava flow that enters the ocean is potentially hazardous to anyone near it, particularly when lava deltas collapse. A lava delta is new land that forms when lava accumulates above sea level, and extends from the existing base of a sea cliff. Persons and vessels near active lava flow ocean-entry sites face potential hazards, which include, but are not limited to: Plumes of hot, corrosive seawater laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs; explosions of debris and eruptions of scalding water from hot rock entering the ocean; sudden lava delta collapses; and waves associated with these explosions and collapses.

    Lava has been entering the ocean at the Kamokuna lava delta on Kilauea volcano's south coast since July 2016. On December 31, 2016, a large portion of the new lava delta collapsed into the ocean, producing waves and explosions of debris near 19°19′12″ N, 155°02′24″ W at the Kamokuna entry point. Following this collapse, portions of the adjacent sea cliff continued to collapse into the ocean, producing localized waves and showers of debris. The lava delta continues to undergo a series of formation and subsequent collapses as lava pours into the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, cracks parallel to the sea cliff in the surrounding area persist, indicating further collapses with very little or no warning are possible. As of March 2017, a new delta began to form at the Kamokuna ocean-entry point. As it continues to grow and collapse, cracks parallel to the sea cliff surrounding it persist, indicating the possibility of further collapses.

    On March 28, 2017, the Captain of the Port (COTP) Honolulu issued a temporary final rule (TFR) under docket USCG-2017-0172. The TFR was published in the Federal Register (82 FR 16109) on April 3, 2017 and an extension of the TFR was published in the Federal Register (82 FR 45461) on September 29, 2017. The TFR established a safety zone to immediately protect persons and vessels from the potential hazards associated molten lava entering the ocean. The safety zone encompassed all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in every direction around all ocean-entry points of lava. The Coast Guard prohibited entry of persons or vessels into the safety zone, unless authorized by the COTP Honolulu, or his designated representative.

    In addition to the TFR, the Coast Guard also published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on April 3, 2017, proposing to make the temporary safety zone a final rule. Its purpose was to mitigate the potential threats that molten lava posed to the maritime public when it entered the ocean by implementing the safety zone as a permanent control measure for vessels operating near the lava entry points. The NPRM addressed these concerns, and invited the public to comment during the comment period, which ended June 2, 2017. Subsequently, the Coast Guard extended the TFR to allow the Coast Guard to analyze the economic impact of the safety zone and allow for public comments on this supplemental NPRM. The TFR will remain in effect through March 28, 2018, unless the COTP Honolulu cancels or modifies the TFR.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is proposing this SNPRM under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP Honolulu has determined that there are potential hazards associated with the molten lava at the Kamokuna lava delta, which pose potential safety concerns for anyone within 300 meters of the ocean-entry point. The purpose of this proposed rule is to clarify the regulatory language for the entry requirements of the safety zone, and emphasize the safety concerns related to boating near lava ocean-entry points. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document. It differs from the text proposed in the NPRM, primarily in its discussion of enforcement and how to gain permission to enter the safety zone.

    This proposed rule would establish a permanent safety zone around the lava flow at the Kamokuna lava delta. Additionally, this proposed rule would allow the Coast Guard to impose and enforce restrictions on vessels operating near the lava flow that enters the ocean. This action is necessary to promote safe navigation, and to preserve the safety of life and property. Vessels capable of safely operating inside the safety zone may be authorized to enter by the COTP Honolulu, or his designated representative. Vessels approved for transiting within the safety zone, such as approved lava tour-boat operations, are required to adhere to specific conditions set by the COTP Honolulu. Mariners who seek first time authorization to enter the safety zone must submit a written request, by email or letter. The request must explain how the vessel will operate safely in proximity to lava. A typical request should note the vessel's condition, the operator's familiarity with the surrounding waters, and any specific safety practices for operating near the lava ocean-entry points. Once initial authorization is received, a vessel owner or operator only needs to contact COTP Honolulu by phone or radio to request permission to enter the safety zone.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    In response to the NPRM, the Coast Guard received 67 public comments. On May 8, 2017, at a public meeting held in Hilo, HI, meeting participants discussed the proposed rule as well as the dangers associated with lava ocean-entry points. The public comments and meeting summary are available in the public docket for this proposed rule where indicated under ADDRESSES. Because several comments raised similar concerns, we will address the main comment topic, followed by our responses. Unless we receive recommendations for change during the SNPRM comment period, we plan to adopt the regulations proposed in the NPRM with minor modifications as reflected in this SNPRM. The SNPRM provides an additional comment period to shape the final regulatory action. Concerns received in the NPRM and this SNPRM will be addressed in the final rule.

    The Coast Guard received nine comments in support of the proposed rule. One commenter noted that he had taken a lava boat tour and felt that the vessel got too close to the entry point and that he experienced adverse health symptoms from being in the lava plume. Several commenters agreed that the safety zone should be consistent with that of the landside restriction of 300 meters. Other commenters supported the safety zone due to the hazards resulting from the entry of volcanic lava into the ocean.

    The Coast Guard received 18 comments regarding the safety zone's size and location. These comments ranged from being in favor of the 300-meter safety zone as well as opposed. Nine opposing views stated that 300 meters is excessively restrictive. One comment from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration stated that the Coast Guard should “provide definitive bounding coordinates for the safety zone, instead of a general statement that the safety zone will encompass all waters extending 300 meters in all directions around the entry point of lava flow into the ocean associated with the lava flow at the Kamokuna lava delta.”

    We believe that because of the unpredictable and varying nature of the active lava flowing into the ocean at this area, the Coast Guard cannot issue specific geographic coordinates of the safety zone in the final rulemaking, but will discuss the current entry site in the final rule. We have noted, with the concurrence of NOAA's Nautical Data Branch, Marine Chart Division, the position 19°19′08″ N, 155°02′36″ W for their charting systems. That is the coordinate provided for Kamokuna Beach in the U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System.

    Additionally, because of the varying dangers of the lava entry and fragile bench shelf development, the Coast Guard cannot provide a specific distance at which a vessel can safely operate. However, the COTP Honolulu has permitted vessels to operate within the 300-meter safety zone under certain conditions.

    The Coast Guard received one comment from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park supporting a safety zone “that is flexible to account for whatever location the lava may occur since it is not a static event in time or space. As such, we recommend that the proposed rule apply not just to the Kamokuna ocean-entry point, but any location in the future where lava enters the ocean.”

    We agree, and the proposed final rule includes language stating that all locations associated with the Kilauea lava flow entering the Pacific Ocean on the eastern side of the Island of Hawaii, HI, are included under the safety zone.

    Sixteen commenters recommended that the Coast Guard reduce the 300-meter radius of the safety zone.

    We believe that based on Sector Honolulu's review of the historical observations of delta collapses and ejecta distances from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) records, a radius of 300 meters remains a safe and reasonable distance for a high-hazard zone for the general boating public. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that explosions from delta collapses “have hurled hot rocks nearly a meter (yard) in size as far as about 250 m (273 yards) inland from the collapsed delta and scattered rock debris onshore over an area the size of several football fields. These explosions also hurl rocks seaward, probably to similar distances.” 1

    1https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hawaii_ocean_entry.html.

    The 300-meter safety zone also mirrors land and air restrictions for lava flow viewing. Furthermore, the 300 meter restriction was discussed at the public meeting held on this rulemaking and staff from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reiterated the need for a 300 meter restriction. Accordingly, the Coast Guard proposes to maintain the safety zone's 300-meter radius, with the option of allowing operators to request authorization to enter the safety zone from the COTP Honolulu.

    The Coast Guard received 30 comments in favor of allowing the lava tour-boat owners and operators to enter and operate in the safety zone.

    Prior to the NPRM, the Coast Guard promulgated a TFR for a 300-meter safety zone at the Kamokuna lava delta. Pursuant to the TFR, the COTP Honolulu granted four lava tour-boat owners and operators and one photographer access to operate within the safety zone. We believe that because of the potential hazards associated with the active lava flow and cliff fragility at lava ocean-entry points, specific distances from the lava flow a vessel can safely operate cannot be provided. Under this proposed final rule, any vessel owner or operator may submit a written request to the COTP Honolulu, or his designated representative, for authorization to enter the safety zone. Such written requests must explain how the vessel will operate safely in proximity to lava. A typical request should note the vessel's condition, the operator's familiarity with the surrounding waters, and any specific safety practices for operating near the lava ocean-entry points. Once initial authorization is received, a vessel owner or operator only needs to contact COTP Honolulu by phone or radio to request permission to enter the safety zone.

    The Coast Guard received three comments regarding access or exclusive access to the lava flow by Hawaiian natives. This rule is concerned with the safety aspect of access to the lava flow area. Mandating exclusive access to the lava flow is outside the scope of this rulemaking and is outside the Coast Guard's authority. This proposed rule provides for access after requesting permission from the COTP to enter the zone. We encourage persons or vessel owners and operators seeking access to the safety zone to make their request by following the guidance above.

    The Coast Guard received one comment regarding the lack of reliable VHF radio communications near the lava flow area, thereby, preventing lava tour-boat owners and operators from hailing the Coast Guard via VHF radio.

    We are aware of the VHF radio limitations in this area, and are currently researching how to improve radio coverage. The COTP Honolulu and Coast Guard Base Honolulu are attempting to install equipment in the vicinity to enhance communications in this area. In the meantime, vessel owners and operators are encouraged to use alternate means to communicate effectively near the lava flow ocean-entry points. They are also encouraged to contact the Coast Guard in advance of their transits to the lava ocean-entry points in order to facilitate effective communications as well as timely processing any written request for authorization to enter the safety zone.

    The Coast Guard received four comments regarding general unsafe conditions at the boat ramp where tour operators launch.

    Boat ramps and associated safe boating concerns are a state management issue. We have forwarded this comment to the appropriate state office.

    One comment proposed the safety zone be stationary, and move with the lava shelf, essentially creating a moving safety zone.

    Title 33 CFR 165.20 defines a safety zone as a water area to which, for safety purposes, access is limited to authorized persons or vessels. It further states that a safety zone may be stationary and described by fixed limits. We believe that in this situation, the entry point of the lava changes based on flow, and as such, the safety zone would encompass all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around the entry point of lava flow into the ocean. The Coast Guard does not define this as a moving safety zone around a moving object, but rather as a necessary adjustment to a dynamic environmental occurrence, which may have multiple lava entry points.

    The Coast Guard also received a comment stating that our certification under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), concerning the economic impact on small entities, was potentially arbitrary as it lacked any factual basis for the certification. This SNPRM includes an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) in Section V. B. in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612).

    The Coast Guard received two comments regarding Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) directing a reduction of the promulgation of new regulations. As discussed in the next section, this rule is exempt from this Executive order.

    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 discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review,” and 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” 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, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” 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. See OMB's Memorandum “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (April 5, 2017).

    Costs

    This SNPRM proposes to make permanent the existing TFR safety zone for the navigable waters surrounding the entry of lava from Kilauea volcano into the Pacific Ocean. The safety zone would remain to include waters within 300 meters (984 feet) of where lava enters the ocean. Entry of persons or vessels into the safety zone may only occur if granted permission by the COTP Honolulu, or his designated representative.

    Lava has been entering the ocean at Kamokuna lava delta on Kilauea volcano's south coast since July of 2016 and will continue to do so in the future. When lava enters the ocean, hazards emerge. The hazards include, but are not limited to, plumes of corrosive seawater, which can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs; explosions of debris and scalding water, which can injure passengers; and sudden collapses of lava deltas, which can cause large waves potentially capsizing vessels. This SNPRM seeks to establish a minimum safe operating distance to protect individuals and vessel owners and operators from the hazards of the Kilauea lava flow at sea.

    Prior to the original TFR, any vessel could enter within 300 meters of the point where lava reaches the ocean. This SNPRM proposes to make permanent the original TFR so that any vessel wishing to enter the safety zone must request permission in writing to enter the safety zone from the COTP Honolulu.

    Therefore, this proposed rule affects any vessel that would normally travel within 300 meters of points where lava reaches the ocean. Due to the hazards and relative remoteness of such an area, the Coast Guard is not aware of any vessel operations within 300 meters of a point where lava enters the ocean other than those by lava tour-boat owners and operators. So far, the COTP Honolulu has granted four lava tour-boat owners and operators as well as one photographer authorization to enter the safety zone under certain conditions while the TFR is still in effect. These entities are required to notify the COTP Honolulu by phone before departing for each tour in which they plan on entering the 300-meter safety zone.

    When the Coast Guard published the original TFR concurrently with the NPRM on April 3, 2017, vessel owners and operators were required to prepare and submit a written request to the COTP Honolulu to enter the safety zone. Because this SNPRM is consistent with the requirements in the TFR, we are presenting the costs associated with this SNPRM.

    The written request requirement was contained in the previous TFR and each lava tour-boat owner and operator seeking authorization to enter the safety zone has complied. Based on discussions with COTP Honolulu personnel, we estimated it takes about 4-hours for a vessel owner or operator to submit a written request to enter the safety zone. This includes the time it would take lava tour-boat owners and operators to respond to questions from the COTP concerning the written request. Lava tour-boat owners and operators would only be required to make a written request once rather than for each voyage. The Coast Guard is not aware that any voyages were terminated due to a lack of authorization to enter the safety zone during the period operators requested to enter.

    We obtained the mean hourly wage rate for a captain of a lava tour-boat from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. Based on BLS' data, the mean hourly wage rate for captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) occupational code of 53-5021 in the “Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water” industry is $24.42.2 Because this is an unloaded hourly wage rate, we added a load factor of 1.52 derived from the May 2016 BLS “Employer Cost for Compensation” databases to obtain a loaded hourly wage rate of $37.12.3 Using this information, we estimated the one-time initial cost for an owner or operator to prepare a written request and respond to comments from the Coast Guard to be about $148.47 ($37.12 per hour × 4 hours). Therefore, we estimated the total cost of the proposed rule on industry to be about $593.88 ($148.47 × 4 lava tour-boat owners or operators).

    2 Captains, mates, and pilots may work in numerous industries. We use the BLS industry-specific mean hourly wage rate for the affected tour boat operators from the “Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water” industry. See http://www.bls.gov/oes/2016/may/oes535021.htm.

    3 A loaded wage rate is what a company pays per hour to employ a person, not an hourly wage. The loaded wage rate includes the cost of benefits (health insurance, vacation, etc.). The load factor for wages is calculated by dividing total compensation by wages and salaries. For this analysis, we used BLS Employer cost of employee compensation/Transportation and Materials Moving Occupations, Private Industry Report (Series IDs, CMU2010000520000D and CMU2020000520000D) for all workers using the multi-screen data search. Using 2016 Q4 data for the cost of compensation per hour worked, we divided the total compensation amount of $28.15 by the wage and salary amount of $18.53 to obtain the load factor of about 1.52, rounded. See the following websites: https://beta.bls.gov/dataQuery/find?fq=survey:[oe]s=popularity:D and https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/dsrv?cm. Multiplying 1.52 by $24.42, we obtained a loaded hourly wage rate of about $37.12, rounded.

    Since all four lava tour-boat owners and operators (and one photographer, who this proposed rule would not affect) were each granted permission to enter the safety zone through an initial written request, the only potential cost to these lava tour-boat owners and operators would be the cost of the initial request. Each owner or operator would also be required to notify the COTP Honolulu by phone during the normal course of their duty before entering the safety zone. These entities shall notify the Coast Guard by phone; however, we did not estimate a cost for the call because the equipment already exists onboard the vessel.

    The Federal government would also incur costs of this proposed rule. Government costs to implement this proposed rule include the one-time cost of reviewing the written requests (we did not estimate a cost for the time to receive a call from an owner or operator to when entering a safety zone because the COTP Honolulu conducts this review in the normal course of the COTP duties). To process the written request, we estimated one non-commissioned officer with a rank of E-7, and three officers with ranks of O-4, O-5, and O-6 would take about one hour each to review the written request. Based on the labor rates listed in Table 1,4 we estimated the total cost of the proposed rule to the Federal government to be about $378.00.

    4 We obtained the hourly wage rates from Enclosure (2) of Commandant Instruction 7310.1R (29 March 2017) using the “In Government Rate.”

    Table 1—Total Government Costs of the Temporary Final Rule Rank Wage rate Labor hours Total cost E-7 $65 1 $65 O-4 92 1 92 O-5 104 1 104 O-6 117 1 117 Total 4 378

    We estimated the total cost of this proposed rule to lava tour-boat owners and operators and the government to be about $972 ($593.88 for lava tour-boat owners or operators + $378 for the government).

    Benefits

    Lava flow that enters the ocean is potentially hazardous and presents a danger to vessels navigating within close proximity of where the flow enters the ocean, particularly when lava deltas collapse.5 These hazards include, but are not limited to, plumes of hot, corrosive seawater laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs; explosions of debris and eruptions of scalding water from hot rock entering the ocean; sudden lava delta collapses; and waves associated with these explosions and collapses.

    5 A lava delta is new land that forms when lava accumulates above sea level and extends from an existing base of a sea cliff.

    The primary benefit of this SNPRM is to promote safe navigation, and preserve the safety of life and property. If vessel operators wish to transit through the safety zone they will be required to first contact the COTP Honolulu for permission with an explanation of how their safety and lifesaving equipment is adequate to meet the greater risks present.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Coast Guard prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) that examines the impacts of the rule on small entities (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Due to the proposed rule's anticipated impacts on small entities, the Coast Guard is including an analysis of the SNPRM requirements for informational purposes.

    A small entity may be: A small independent business, defined as independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field per the Small Business Act (5 U.S.C. 632); a small not-for-profit organization (any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field); or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people) per the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    An IRFA addresses the following:

    (1) A description of the reasons why action by the agency is being considered;

    (2) A succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, the rule;

    (3) A description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule would apply;

    (4) A description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities that would be subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record;

    (5) An identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the rule; and

    (6) A description of any significant alternatives to the rule that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and that minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities.

    We address each of these six elements below:

    1. A description of the reasons why action by the agency is being considered.

    Lava has been entering the ocean at Kamokuna on Kilauea volcano's south coast since July of 2016 and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. When lava enters the ocean, potential hazards emerge such as: Plumes of corrosive seawater can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs; explosions of debris and scalding water can injure passengers; collapses of lava deltas can cause large waves potentially capsizing vessels. Unless vessels have the proper equipment and their operators take sufficient precautions, passengers, and operators face significant hazards to their lives as well as property. This SNPRM is necessary to promote navigational safety, provide for the safety of life and property, and facilitate and accommodate the reasonable demands of commerce related to tourism surrounding the lava ocean-entry points.

    2. A succinct statement of the objective of, and legal basis for, the proposed rule.

    This safety zone proposes to protect the safety of mariners, lava tour-boat passengers, and the protection of property by establishing a 300 meter safety zone from every direction and all points where lava enters the ocean.

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. The COTP Honolulu has determined that potential hazards exist that are associated with Kilauea's active lava flow entry into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Island of Hawaii, HI. The Coast Guard considers this area to be a safety concern for anyone who transits within 300 meters (984 feet) in every direction and around all points where the lava flow enters the ocean. The objective of this proposed rule is to protect the public including mariners and passengers aboard lava tour-boat owners and operators traveling in the navigable waters inside the safety zone.

    3. A description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities to which the proposed rule would apply.

    This proposed rule affects any vessel that would normally travel within 300 meters of points where lava reaches the ocean. Due to the hazards and relative remoteness of such an area, the Coast Guard believes only lava tour operators would regularly operate within 300 meters of a point where lava enters the ocean. Based on the Coast Guard's understanding, there are four known lava tour-boat owners and operators (and one photographer) who regularly come within 300 meters of the Kilauea lava flow.

    Of the four lava tour-boat owners and operators who would transit within the safety zone, we could not find publically available information such as annual revenues and number of employees for three of the four operators. We assumed these three operators qualified as small entities. We found revenue information on the fourth lava tour-boat owner. Using Manta, a publicly available database for businesses in the United States, we found this lava tour-boat owner to have annual revenues of $220,000 and a NAICS code of 561520, “Tour Operators.” 6 This NAICS code has a size threshold of $20.5 million for annual revenues, based on the Small Business Administration's table of size standards.7 Based on this information, this lava tour-boat operator also qualified as a small entity.

    6 Accessed July 17, 2017 from https://www.manta.com.

    7https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf.

    Based on discussions with COTP Honolulu personnel and using the wage rates and labor hour estimates as established above, we estimated it would take about 4-hours for an owner or operator of a lava tour-boat to prepare a written request to enter the safety zone. This includes the time it would take lava tour-boat owners or operators to respond to questions from the COTP concerning the written request. Lava tour-boat owners and operators would be only required to make this request once rather than for every voyage.

    Above we obtained a loaded hourly wage rate of $37.12 for captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels. We estimated the one-time initial cost for an owner or operator to prepare a written request and respond to comments from the Coast Guard to be about $148.47 ($37.12 per hour × 4 hours). We estimated the total cost of the SNPRM to be about $593.88 ($148.47 × 4 lava tour-boat owners or operators).

    As mentioned above, we only found revenue data on one of the four operators. Therefore, we estimate the initial revenue impact of this proposed rule on this lava tour-boat owner to be about $148.47, which is 0.07% of the company's revenue. There are no annual revenue impacts because the written request needs to be made once, after which each lava tour-boat operator would notify the COTP Honolulu by phone to obtain permission to enter the safety on a given day.

    4. A description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities, which would be subject to the requirements and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record.

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

    5. An identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal rules, which may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the rule.

    There are no relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this SNPRM.

    6. A description of any significant alternatives to the rule which accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and which minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities.

    The Coast Guard considered the alternative of not establishing a safety zone. However, without a safety zone, vessel owners and operators would be unprepared for the greater hazards that are present near the Kilauea lava flow ocean-entry point. These vessel owners and operators and passengers could suffer grave injury or in the extreme case death, in addition to damage to or loss of property, if adequate protection is not provided. Therefore, the Coast Guard decided a safety zone was necessary to promote navigational safety, provide for the safety of life and property, and to accommodate and facilitate the reasonable demands of commerce relating to tourism surrounding the lava entry points. No cost to industry or government would be associated with this alternative; nevertheless, we rejected this alternative because it would not ensure that the boating public would operate within a safe distance of where the lava flow enters the ocean.

    Therefore, 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. We are interested in the potential impacts from this proposed rule on small businesses and we request public comment on these potential impacts. If you think that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on you, your business, or your organization, please submit a comment to the docket at the address under ADDRESSES in the proposed rule. In your comment, explain why, how, and to what degree you think this rule would have an economic impact on you.

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this 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.

    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 would not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination 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 proposed rule involves establishing a safety zone that would prohibit persons and vessels from entry into the 300 meters (984 feet) safety zone extending in all directions around the entry of lava flow into the Pacific Ocean. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1, of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. 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.

    VI. 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, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM are available in the 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 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.1414 to read as follows:
    § 165.1414 Safety Zone; Pacific Ocean, Kilauea Lava Flow Ocean Entry on Southeast Side of Island of Hawaii, HI.

    (a) Location. The safety zone area is located within the Captain of the Port (COTP) Honolulu Zone (See 33 CFR 3.70-10) and encompasses all primary areas from the surface of the water to the ocean floor at the Kilauea active lava flow entry into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Island of Hawaii, HI. The entry point of the lava may change based on flow. The safety zone encompasses all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around entry points of lava flow into the ocean associated with the lava flow at the Kamokuna lava delta.

    (b) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the COTP Honolulu to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (a).

    (c) Regulations. The general regulations governing safety zones contained in § 165.23 apply to the safety zone created by this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    (1) All persons and vessels are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones found this part.

    (2) Entry into or remaining in this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP Honolulu, or his designated representative.

    (3) Persons or vessels desiring to enter the safety zone identified in paragraph (a) should submit a written request to the COTP Honolulu before initial entry into the safety zone. The request must explain how the vessel will operate safely in proximity to lava. A typical request should note the vessel's condition, the operator's familiarity with the surrounding waters, and any specific safety practices for operating near the lava ocean-entry points. Persons authorized initial entry may, thereafter, contact the COTP Honolulu through his designated representatives at the Command Center via telephone: 808-842-2600 and 808-842-2601; fax: 808-842-2642; or on VHF channel 16 (156.8 Mhz) to request permission to transit the safety zone.

    (4) If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP Honolulu, or his designated representative, and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while transiting through or in the safety zone as well as maintain a safe distance from the lava hazards.

    (5) The COTP Honolulu will provide notice of enforcement of the safety zone described in this section by verbal radio broadcasts and written notice to mariners. The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHZ). The COTP and his or her designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number listed in (c)(3) of this section.

    (6) The Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

    Dated: December 13, 2017. M.C. Long, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Honolulu.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27297 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0140; FRL-9972-31-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, San Diego County Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (SDCAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from polyester resin operations. We are proposing to approve a local rule to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or “the Act”), as well as a rule rescission. We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by January 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0140 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to Doris Lo, Rulemaking Office Chief at [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arnold Lazarus, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3024, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule and rule rescission? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rule? B. Do the rule and rule rescission meet the evaluation criteria? C. The EPA's Recommendations to Further Improve the Rule D. Public Comment and Proposed Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the rules addressed by this action with the date that they were adopted and repealed by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Adopted/
  • amended
  • Repealed/
  • rescinded
  • Submitted
    SDCAPCD 67.12 Polyester Resin Operations 5/15/1996 5/11/2016 8/22/16 SDCAPCD 67.12.1 Polyester Resin Operations 5/11/2016 8/22/16
    On September 27, 2016, the EPA determined that the submittals for SDCAPCD Rules 67.12 and 67.12.1 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal review by the EPA. B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    There are no previous versions of Rule 67.12.1 in the SIP. We approved Rule 67.12 on March 27, 1997 (62 FR 14639).

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule and rule rescission?

    VOCs help produce ground-level ozone, smog and particulate matter, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control VOC emissions. Rule 67.12.1, and the rescinded Rule 67.12, control VOCs emitted from polyester resin operations. The EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about these rules.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rule?

    SIP rules must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193).

    Generally, SIP rules must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for each category of sources covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document as well as each major source of VOCs in ozone nonattainment areas classified as Moderate or above (see CAA section 182(b)(2)). The SDCAPCD regulates an ozone nonattainment area classified as “Moderate” for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) (40 CFR 81.305). Rule 67.12.1 regulates activities covered by the CTG titled “Control Techniques Guidelines for Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials,” EPA-453/R-08-004, September 2008. However, none of the sources regulated by Rule 67.12.1 meet the applicability threshold for the Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing CTG.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

    1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990” (57 FR 13498, April 16, 1992 and 57 FR 18070, April 28, 1992).

    2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations” (“the Bluebook,” U.S. EPA, May 25, 1988; revised January 11, 1990).

    3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies” (“the Little Bluebook”, EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001).

    4. “Control Techniques Guidelines for Fiberglass Boat Manufacturing Materials,” EPA-453/R-08-004, September 2008.

    B. Do the rule and rule rescission meet the evaluation criteria?

    This rule and rule rescission are consistent with the CAA requirements and relevant guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP relaxations. Based on information provided by the SDCAPCD, the District does not appear to have facilities that are subject to the fiberglass boat manufacturing CTG and therefore the District's RACT analysis for Rule 67.12.1 is not required to address the presumptive RACT limits included in the CTG.1 The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

    1 Email dated July 12, 2017, from Angela Ortega (SDCAPCD) to Arnold Lazarus (USEPA), RE: “RE: Response to EPA regarding Rule 67.12.1 06_30_17 revised.docx” with attachment. See Table 1. “Summary of Total Emission Reduction.”

    C. The EPA's Recommendations to Further Improve the Rule

    The TSD describes additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agency modifies the rule.

    We recommend the SDCAPCD consider adopting a negative declaration for the fiberglass boat manufacturing operations CTG since the District's data indicate it does not have facilities meeting the CTG's applicability threshold of 15 lb/day or 2.7 tpy.

    D. Public Comment and Proposed Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA proposes to fully approve the submitted rule and rule rescission because they fulfill all relevant requirements. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal until January 19, 2018. If we take final action to approve the submitted rule and rule rescission, our final action will incorporate the rule and rule rescission into the federally enforceable SIP.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the SDCAPCD rule described in Table 1 of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

    • is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Volatile organic compounds, Particulate matter.

    Dated: December 5, 2017. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27432 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 15, 73, 74 and 76 [GN Docket No. 16-142; FCC 17-158] Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, we seek further comment on issues related to exceptions to and waivers of the local simulcasting requirement, whether we should let full power broadcasters use channels in the television broadcast band that are vacant to facilitate the transition to 3.0, and finally, we tentatively conclude that local simulcasting should not change the significantly viewed status of a Next Gen TV station.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before February 20, 2018; reply comments are due on or before March 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by GN Docket No. 16-142, by any of the following methods:

    Federal Communications Commission's website: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    People With Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: (202) 418-0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432. For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information, contact Evan Baranoff, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-7142, or Matthew Hussey, [email protected], of the Office of Engineering and Technology, (202) 418-3619. Direct press inquiries to Janice Wise at (202) 418-8165. For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM), FCC 17-158, adopted on November 16, 2017 and released on November 20, 2017. The full text of this document is available electronically via the FCC's Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS) website at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/ or via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) website at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. (Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.) This document is also available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, which is located in Room CY-A257 at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. The Reference Information Center is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis I. Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Introduction

    1. In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek further comment on three topics related to the rules adopted in the companion Report and Order. First, we seek further comment on issues related to exceptions to and waivers of the local simulcasting requirement. Second, we seek comment on whether we should let full power broadcasters use channels in the television broadcast band that are vacant to facilitate the transition to 3.0. Finally, we tentatively conclude that local simulcasting should not change the significantly viewed status of a Next Gen TV station.

    B. Discussion 1. Local Simulcasting Waivers and Exceptions

    2. Simulcast Waivers. In the Report and Order, we explain that we will consider requests for waiver of our local simulcasting requirement on a case-by-case basis, including (1) requests seeking to transition directly from 1.0 to 3.0 service on the station's existing facility without simulcasting in 1.0 and (2) requests to air a 1.0 simulcast channel from a host location that does not cover all or a portion of the station's community of license or from which the station can provide only a lower signal threshold over the community than that required by the rules.1 With respect to such requests, we state: “We are inclined to consider favorably requests for waiver of our local simulcasting requirement where the Next Gen TV station can demonstrate that it has no viable local simulcasting partner in its market and where the station agrees to make reasonable efforts to preserve 1.0 service to existing viewers in its community of license and/or otherwise minimize the impact on such viewers (for example, by providing free or low cost ATSC 3.0 converters to viewers).”

    1 The Commission may waive its rules if good cause is shown. See 47 CFR 1.3. We explain in the Report and Order that we are not inclined to consider favorably requests to change community of license solely to enable simulcasting.

    3. We seek comment on what further guidance we should provide about the circumstances in which we will grant a waiver of the local simulcasting requirement. How should we determine if a station has a “viable” simulcast partner? Given that we specify in the Report and Order that a Next Gen TV broadcaster's 1.0 simulcast channel must continue to cover its entire community of license, should we consider a station to have no viable partner only if there is no potential simulcasting partner in the same DMA that can cover the station's entire community of license? Alternatively, should we consider adopting a broader definition of viability? For example, should we specify that waiver applicants located in DMAs in which there are fewer than a threshold number of full power and/or Class A or LPTV broadcasters will be considered to have no viable partner? If so, what threshold should we adopt? How should we consider cases in which there are no stations that can cover a station's community of license, and therefore serve as an ATSC 1.0 simulcast host under our rules, but there are stations in the DMA that are transitioning to ATSC 3.0 and therefore could potentially serve as a 3.0 lighthouse? If there is a potential partner in the same DMA, are there other circumstances that would make such potential partner not viable, such as, for example, if the potential partner refused to agree to being a simulcasting partner? Should we have different levels of scrutiny for waiver requests depending on whether the petition seeks to transition directly as opposed to simulcast from a facility that will not cover its community of license? For stations that seek to simulcast from a facility that will not cover its community of license, should a factor be how far the host location is from the petitioner's community of license? Are there special circumstances we should consider for NCE stations, including those that are in isolated areas or are not centrally located in DMAs? 2 We seek comment on the same issues for Class A stations if they cannot find a host that allows them to satisfy the simulcasting requirements in the Report and Order. We also seek comment on the potential impact that any definition of viability would have on local viewers.

    2 Several commenters express concern that some broadcasters would not be able to satisfy a local simulcasting requirement because of the lack of availability of potential simulcasting partners. For example, PBS states that “[p]ublic stations may be unable to share facilities with another station, particularly in rural and isolated communities, because they are often not centrally located in a television market. . . .” PBS further explains that this is because “noncommercial educational must-carry rights are not tied to Designated Market Areas, so such stations are not necessarily sited near their commercial counterparts, and given that 16 states are covered by statewide public television networks that are designed to serve their entire state regardless of DMA boundaries.”

    4. In addition, we seek comment on what type of “reasonable efforts” we should require a waiver applicant to undertake in order to preserve 1.0 service to existing viewers in its community of license and/or otherwise minimize the impact on viewers in its coverage area. Should it be favorable to our determination if waiver applicants volunteer to provide free or low cost ATSC 3.0 converters to viewers in their coverage area? Should we require such a commitment as a condition for waiver? Are there other efforts to minimize disruption to consumers that we should consider or require? We also invite comment on other circumstances in which we should consider granting waivers of the local simulcasting requirement.

    5. Simulcast Exceptions. We also seek comment on whether to exempt NCE and/or Class A stations as a class from our local simulcasting requirement or adopt a presumptive waiver standard for such stations. In the Report and Order, we exempt LPTV and TV translator stations from our local simulcasting requirement and allow these stations to transition directly to 3.0 service. Class A and NCE stations could also face more difficulty than commercial full power stations face when seeking a local simulcasting partner. Could allowing Class A and NCE stations to transition directly to 3.0 make them more attractive “lighthouse” candidates? We seek comment on whether, as a general matter, allowing NCE and Class A stations to transition directly would serve the public interest. Under what circumstances would direct transitions be appropriate? What effect would this have on consumers and on MVPDs? What criteria distinguish these stations from full power commercial broadcasters to justify disparate treatment?

    2. Temporary Use of Vacant Channels

    6. In the Next Gen TV NPRM, we asked whether we should “consider allowing broadcasters [that wish to deploy ATSC 3.0 service] to use vacant in-band channels remaining in the market after the incentive auction repack to serve as temporary host facilities for ATSC 1.0 or 3.0 programming by multiple broadcasters.” ONE Media requests that in markets with vacant channels, the Commission should allow full power broadcasters to use the vacant channels as “dedicated transition channels to ensure maximum continuity of service, just as it did during the transition from analog to digital.” It suggests that these vacant channels should be made available during the post-auction transition period, and that only after the full power broadcaster has vacated the channel should the channel be made available to others, such as displaced LPTV and translator license applicants. ONE Media asserts that as primary users in the television band, full power licensees have priority to obtain licenses for vacant channels over any LPTV and translator licensees, and therefore full power licensees should be able to use such a channel as a transition channel during the voluntary ATSC 3.0 deployment period, even if it is the only channel to which a displaced LPTV or translator station could relocate. The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition opposes ONE Media's proposal on the ground that it would diminish LPTV licensing rights in the middle of the displacement process. The Wi-Fi Alliance, Microsoft, the Consumers Union et al., and Dynamic Spectrum Alliance also oppose any approach that would expand broadcasters' spectrum rights in conjunction with ATSC 3.0 deployment, and they express concern about damaging the potential success of white space use in the television bands.

    7. Given the diversity of comments on this issue, we seek additional comment on the extent to which we should allow full power broadcasters to use vacant channels in the television broadcast band to facilitate the transition to 3.0, and, if so, when they should be able to use these channels, and what procedures we should use to authorize that use. As a threshold matter, how should we define a “vacant” channel for this purpose? We seek specific comment on ONE Media's proposal, and how it potentially would affect the post-incentive auction transition/repacking process and the various other users in the repacked television band.3 That is, given that vacant channels might be needed by stations transitioning to new channel assignments, how does ONE Media's proposal impact that and the post-auction process in general? For example, if we allow usage of vacant channels, should we only allow temporary access to a vacant channel after the repacking process is completed? Or, should we permit such access after the LPTV displacement window is closed?

    3 In the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission provided for a 39-month post-incentive auction transition pertaining to the various secondary broadcast and unlicensed operations in the TV bands—including LPTV and TV translator stations, broadcast auxiliary service, wireless microphones, and unlicensed white space devices—with the goal of promoting a smooth and effective transition process.

    8. If we were to permit full power licensees priority to use vacant channels as dedicated transition channels, we seek comment on the process for doing so. Specifically, how would broadcasters apply for an authorization to use a vacant channel? Should the request be for Special Temporary Authority (STA)? Should we instead consider a request for a temporary channel to be a minor change of the station's existing license and require a minor change application? If we treat these requests as minor changes, should we process such requests on a first-come, first-served basis? Should we open a window for such requests? How should we resolve competing requests for temporary channels? What should we require a broadcaster to show to demonstrate that it needs a temporary channel, and how long should the authorization last? What effect would this proposal have on other users in the repacked band, including wireless microphone users and white space device operations? 4 We also seek input on how we should address MVPD carriage issues related to usage of vacant channels. How would the Commission handle loss of service when the full power broadcaster ceases its temporary operation—and moves back to its original facility? We seek specific comment on the effects on small entities: (1) Would allowing broadcasters to use these vacant channels help small broadcasters transition, (2) would allowing broadcasters to use these vacant channels impose carriage burdens on small MVPDs, and (3) what can we do to ease the burdens on those entities? We seek comment on these and any other issues that we would need to address if we allow full power broadcasters to use vacant channels as temporary transition channels.

    4 We note that the Commission has an open proceeding seeking comment on whether to preserve a vacant channel in every area for white space device and wireless microphone use.

    3. Significantly Viewed Status of Next Gen TV Stations

    9. We tentatively conclude that the significantly viewed status of a Next Gen TV station should not change if it moves its 1.0 simulcast channel to a temporary host facility.5 Under our proposal, a commercial television station that relocates its 1.0 simulcast channel could not seek to gain significantly viewed status in new communities or counties and such station could not lose significantly viewed status in communities or counties for which it qualified prior to the move of its 1.0 simulcast channel. We seek comment on this tentative conclusion. In the Report and Order, we impose a freeze on the filing of any requests to change the significantly viewed status of a Next Gen TV station that is moving its 1.0 simulcast channel to avoid confusion while we consider this issue.6

    5 Significantly viewed stations are commercial television stations that the Commission has determined have “significant” over-the-air (i.e., non-cable and non-satellite) viewing and are thus treated as local stations in certain respects with regard to a particular community in another television market. The Significantly Viewed Stations List is maintained on Commission's website at https://transition.fcc.gov/mb/significantviewedstations061817.pdf.

    6 We note that, in order to obtain a waiver of the network nonduplication and syndicated-exclusivity rules (collectively, “exclusivity rules”), petitioners seeking to reassert exclusivity rights on significantly viewed stations are required to demonstrate for two consecutive years that a station was no longer significantly viewed, based either on community-specific or system-specific over-the-air viewing data, following the methodology set forth in 47 CFR 76.54(b).

    10. Stations that vary their signal strength or change their location as a result of moving their 1.0 signal to simulcast raise the question of how this change may affect their status as “significantly viewed” in certain communities or counties under §§ 76.5(i) and 76.54 of our rules. Significantly viewed status allows the significantly viewed station (1) to be carried by a satellite carrier in such community in the other market; 7 (2) to be carried in such community by cable and satellite operators at the reduced copyright payment applicable to local (in-market) stations; and (3) to be exempt in such community from another station's assertion of its network non-duplication or syndicated exclusivity rights. We tentatively agree with ATVA that we should maintain the status quo in the significantly viewed context with respect to 1.0 simulcast signals.8 We note that our tentative conclusion differs from how we addressed this issue in the channel sharing context. In the Incentive Auction Report and Order, the Commission found that because significantly viewed status is largely a function of signal availability, a station moving to a new channel should lose its status at the relinquished location. But unlike the channel sharing context, Next Gen TV broadcasters are not relinquishing their original channel, but rather will continue to operate on it and will ultimately return to it when the local simulcasting period ends. That is, the relocation of the 1.0 signal is temporary and a Next Gen TV broadcaster will continue to reach the communities or counties in which it is significantly viewed with an over-the-air signal, albeit in 3.0.9

    7 Significantly viewed status is an exception to the “no distant where local” requirement which prohibits satellite carriage of distant (out-of-market) stations.

    8 We note that ATVA argues the Commission should “prohibit simulcasts that reduce a station's eligibility for `significantly viewed' carriage” and urges that the Commission “not adopt the approach it took to channel sharing.” Although we do not restrict simulcasts in the manner sought by ATVA, we tentatively agree with ATVA in this FNPRM to the extent that ATVA seeks to maintain the status quo with respect to significantly viewed carriage while local simulcasting is required.

    9 We tentatively conclude that the availability of the 3.0 signal to the station's existing viewers at its original location is relevant in the significantly viewed context. Moreover, considering 3.0 service in this regard will not impose additional mandatory carriage obligations on MVPDs (because MVPD carriage of significantly viewed stations is voluntary).

    11. We recognize that broadcasters would not soon be able to demonstrate “significant viewing” with their 3.0 signals, but expect they will eventually be able to do so once Next Gen TV service takes hold in the marketplace. In the meantime, we tentatively conclude that maintaining the status quo with respect to eligibility for significantly viewed carriage would avoid some complications and disruptions to cable and satellite television viewers who have come to rely on such signals, while not imposing added mandatory carriage burdens on MVPDs.10 We likewise tentatively conclude that expansion of eligibility for significantly viewed carriage due to the relocation of the 1.0 simulcast channel is not consistent with the purposes of local simulcasting, which includes maintaining existing television service to viewers within the station's original coverage area but does not include expanding service into new areas. We seek comment on our proposal and tentative conclusions. We also seek comment on what effect our proposal and tentative conclusions would have on small broadcasters and MVPDs.

    10 We note that significantly viewed status does not confer mandatory carriage rights to the station, but rather only allows carriage of the station via retransmission consent. Thus, maintaining the status quo with respect to eligibility for significantly viewed carriage presents no mandatory carriage burdens on MVPDs.

    II. Procedural Matters A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    12. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) concerning the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments provided on the first page of the item. The Commission will send a copy of the FNPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).11 In addition, the FNPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.12

    11 See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    12 See id.

    1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    13. In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek further comment on three topics related to the rules adopted in the companion Report and Order, which authorizes television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard, also called “ATSC 3.0” or “3.0,” on a voluntary, market-driven basis. Next Gen TV broadcasters will continue to deliver current-generation digital television (DTV) service, using the ATSC 1.0 transmission standard, also called “ATSC 1.0” or “1.0,” to their viewers via “local simulcasting.”

    14. Simulcast Waivers and Exceptions. First, we seek further comment on issues related to exceptions to and waivers of the local simulcasting requirement. In the Report and Order, we explain that we will consider requests for waiver of our local simulcasting requirement on a case-by-case basis, including (1) requests seeking to transition directly from 1.0 to 3.0 service on the station's existing facility without simulcasting in 1.0 and (2) requests to air a 1.0 simulcast channel from a host location that does not cover all or a portion of the station's community of license or from which the station can provide only a lower signal threshold over the community than that required by the rules.13 With respect to such requests, we state: “We are inclined to consider favorably requests for waiver of our local simulcasting requirement where the Next Gen TV station can demonstrate that it has no viable local simulcasting partner in its market and where the station agrees to make reasonable efforts to preserve 1.0 service to existing viewers in its community of license and/or otherwise minimize the impact on such viewers (for example, by providing free or low cost ATSC 3.0 converters to viewers).” In this FNPRM, we seek comment on what further guidance we should provide about the circumstances in which we will grant a waiver of the local simulcasting requirement. Among other things, we ask how we should determine if a station has a “viable” simulcast partner and whether there are special circumstances we should consider for NCE and/or Class A stations.

    13 The Commission may waive its rules if good cause is shown. See 47 CFR 1.3. We explain in the Report and Order that we are not inclined to consider favorably requests to change community of license solely to enable simulcasting.

    15. Simulcast Exceptions. 14 In the Report and Order, we exempt LPTV and TV translator stations from our local simulcasting requirement and allow these stations to transition directly to 3.0 service. In this FNPRM, we also seek comment on whether to exempt NCE and/or Class A stations as a class from our local simulcasting requirement or adopt a presumptive waiver standard for such stations. Class A and NCE stations could also face more difficulty than commercial full power stations face when seeking a local simulcasting partner.

    14 Unlike waivers which are considered on a case-by-case basis, exceptions or class waivers do not require the filing of a waiver request.

    16. Temporary Use of Vacant Channels. Second, we seek comment on whether we should let full power broadcasters use channels in the television broadcast band that are vacant to facilitate the transition to 3.0. In the Next Gen TV NPRM, the Commission asked whether we should “consider allowing broadcasters [that wish to deploy ATSC 3.0 service] to use vacant in-band channels remaining in the market after the incentive auction repack to serve as temporary host facilities for ATSC 1.0 or 3.0 programming by multiple broadcasters.” ONE Media requests that in markets with vacant channels, the Commission should allow full power broadcasters to use the vacant channels as “dedicated transition channels to ensure maximum continuity of service, just as it did during the transition from analog to digital.” The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition opposes ONE Media's proposal on the ground that it would diminish LPTV licensing rights in the middle of the displacement process. The Wi-Fi Alliance, Microsoft, the Consumers Union et al., and Dynamic Spectrum Alliance also oppose any approach that would expand broadcasters' spectrum rights in conjunction with ATSC 3.0 deployment, and they express concern about damaging the potential success of white space use in the television bands.

    17. Significantly Viewed Status of Next Gen TV Stations. Finally, we tentatively conclude that local simulcasting should not change the significantly viewed status of a Next Gen TV station. Stations that vary their signal strength or change their location as a result of moving their 1.0 signal to simulcast raise the question of how this change may affect their status as “significantly viewed” in certain communities or counties under §§ 76.5(i) and 76.54 of our rules. Significantly viewed status allows the significantly viewed station (1) to be carried by a satellite carrier in such community in the other market; (2) to be carried in such community by cable and satellite operators at the reduced copyright payment applicable to local (in-market) stations; and (3) to be exempt in such community from another station's assertion of its network non-duplication or syndicated exclusivity rights. Under our proposal, a commercial television station that relocates its 1.0 simulcast channel could not seek to gain significantly viewed status in new communities or counties and such station could not lose significantly viewed status in communities or counties for which it qualified prior to the move of its 1.0 simulcast channel.

    2. Legal Basis

    18. The proposed action is authorized pursuant to sections 1, 4, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 325(b), 336, 338, 399b, 403, 534, and 535 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 325(b), 336, 338, 399b, 403, 534, and 535.

    3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    19. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The types of small entities that may be affected by the R&O fall within the following categories: (1) Wired Telecommunications Carriers, of which 3,083 are estimated to be small entities; (2) Cable Companies and Systems (Rate Regulation), of which 3,900 are estimated to be small entities; (3) Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard), of which 52,403,696 are estimated to be small entities; (4) Direct Broadcast Satellite Service, of which 3,083 are estimated to be small entities, but internally developed FCC data suggest that in general DBS service is only provided by large entities; (5) Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV) Systems, also known as Private Cable Operators (PCOs),of which 3,083 are estimated to be small entities; (6) Home Satellite Dish (HSD) Service, of which 3,083 are estimated to be small entities; (7) Open Video Services, of which 3,083 are estimated to be small entities; (8) Wireless Cable Systems—Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service, of which 440 (BBS) and 2,241 (EBS) are estimated to be small entities; (9) Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) and Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers, of which 3,083 are estimated to be small entities; (10) Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, of which 819 are estimated to be small entities; (11) Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing of which 465 are estimated to be small entities; (12) and Television Broadcasting, of which 656 (commercial stations), 395 (NCE stations), 2,344 (LPTV), and 3,689 (TV translator stations) are estimated to be small entities.

    4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    20. The FNPRM does not propose any new reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements. However, if the Commission decides to allow the use of unused channels, there may be new reporting requirements, such as the filing of an application with the Commission. Additionally, if the Commission decides to adopt specific criteria for its waiver standard, these may be considered new compliance requirements.

    5. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered

    21. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): “(1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.” 15

    15 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).

    22. Local Simulcasting Waivers and Exceptions. The FNPRM seeks comment on two issues related to waivers of the local simulcasting requirement: (1) The circumstances in which we should grant a waiver of our local simulcasting requirement for full power and Class A stations; and (2) whether we should permit NCE and Class A stations to transition directly from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0. As noted in Section C. of this IRFA, NCE and Class A stations are considered small entities. Waiver of, or exemption from, the local simulcasting requirement may afford more flexibility to broadcasters, including small entities, that may face unique challenges in finding a suitable simulcasting partner. This added flexibility may reduce costs for such small entities.

    23. Temporary Use of Vacant Channels. The FNPRM seeks comment on whether we should allow full power broadcasters to use vacant channels in the television broadcast band to facilitate the transition to 3.0, and, if so, when they should be able to use these channels, and what procedures we should use to authorize that use. We seek specific comment on the effects on small entities: (1) Would allowing broadcasters to use these vacant channels help small broadcasters transition to 3.0?, 16 (2) would allowing broadcasters to use these vacant channels impose carriage burdens on small MVPDs?, and (3) what can we do to ease the burdens on those small entities?

    16 For example, NCTA opposes temporary use of vacant channels in the television broadcast band for ATSC 1.0 simulcast signals. NCTA Reply at 8. NCTA explains that “[a]llowing use of a `temporary' channel for these purposes would impose new, unreimbursed costs on cable operators. Operators might need to purchase and install new equipment—or at a minimum, incur the labor costs and burdens of repointing receive antennas at the headend—to be able to continue to receive a station transmitting on this new frequency.” Id.

    24. Significantly Viewed Status of Next Gen TV Stations. The FNPRM tentatively concludes that the significantly viewed status of a Next Gen TV station should not change if it moves its 1.0 simulcast channel to a temporary host facility. Under this proposal, a commercial television station that relocates its 1.0 simulcast channel could not seek to gain significantly viewed status in new communities or counties and such station could not lose significantly viewed status in communities or counties for which it qualified prior to the move of its 1.0 simulcast channel. We tentatively conclude that maintaining the status quo with respect to eligibility for significantly viewed carriage would avoid some complications and disruptions to MVPDs and their subscribers, who have come to rely on such signals. We seek comment on what effect our proposal and tentative conclusion would have on small broadcasters and MVPDs.

    6. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule

    25. None.

    B. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    26. This NPRM may result in new or revised information collection requirements. If the Commission adopts any new or revised information collection requirements, the Commission will publish a notice in the Federal Register inviting the public to comment on such requirements, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, the Commission will seek specific comment on how it might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

    C. Ex Parte Rules

    27. Permit But Disclose. The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Ex parte presentations are permissible if disclosed in accordance with Commission rules, except during the Sunshine Agenda period when presentations, ex parte or otherwise, are generally prohibited. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. Memoranda must contain a summary of the substance of the ex parte presentation and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one or two sentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally required. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with § 1.1206(b) of the rules. In proceedings governed by § 1.49(f) of the rules or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    D. Filing Procedures

    28. Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the internet by accessing the ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the internet by accessing the ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.

    U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.

    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    III. Ordering Clauses

    29. It is ordered, pursuant to the authority found in sections 1, 4, 7, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 325(b), 336, 338, 399b, 403, 614, and 615 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 157, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 325(b), 336, 338, 399b, 403, 534, and 535, this Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted, effective thirty (30) days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

    It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27433 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration 49 CFR Part 243 [Docket No. FRA-2009-0033, Notice No. 5] RIN 2130-AC70 Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees AGENCY:

    Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    In response to a petition for reconsideration of a final rule, FRA proposes to amend its regulations (Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees) by delaying certain implementation dates an additional year. FRA previously delayed the regulations' implementation dates for one year in a final rule published May 3, 2017 (May 2017 Final Rule).

    DATES:

    Written comments on this proposed rule must be received by January 19, 2018. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent possible without incurring additional expense or delay.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments related to Docket No. FRA-2009-0033 may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments;

    Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. DOT, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12-140, Washington, DC 20590;

    Hand Delivery: The Docket Management Facility is located in Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, U.S. DOT, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays; or

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this rulemaking (2130-AC70). All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov; this includes any personal information. Please see the Privacy Act heading in the Supplementary Information section of this document for Privacy Act information related to any submitted comments or materials.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, petitions for reconsideration, or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or visit the Docket Management Facility described above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert J. Castiglione, Staff Director—Human Performance Division, Federal Railroad Administration, 4100 International Plaza, Suite 450, Fort Worth, TX 76109-4820 (telephone: 817-447-2715); or Alan H. Nagler, Senior Trial Attorney, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Chief Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6038).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On November 7, 2014, FRA published a final rule (2014 Final Rule) that established minimum training standards for each category and subcategory of safety-related railroad employees and required railroad carriers, contractors, and subcontractors to submit training programs to FRA for approval. See 79 FR 66459. The 2014 Final Rule was required by section 401(a) of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), Public Law 110-432, 122 Stat. 4883 (Oct. 16, 2008), codified at 49 U.S.C. 20162. The Secretary of Transportation delegated the authority to conduct this rulemaking and implement the rule to the Federal Railroad Administrator. 49 CFR 1.89(b).

    In the preamble to the 2014 Final Rule, FRA noted the importance of establishing implementation dates and providing incentives for the early filing of model programs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the review process. FRA recognized it was paramount to give model program developers sufficient time to develop programs and receive FRA approval. FRA also recognized that employers would not use those model programs unless the employers were given reasonable time to consider those programs before the employers' deadline for implementation. Consequently, the 2014 Final Rule provided model program developers with an incentive to file all model programs by May 1, 2017—eight months before the first employers were required to submit model programs and two years before smaller employers (i.e., those employers with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually) were required to submit their model programs. See 79 FR 66459, 66503-66504. The incentive to submit early was a guarantee from FRA that the model program would be considered approved so it could be implemented within 180 days after the date of submission unless FRA identified that all or part of the program did not conform to the rule's requirements.

    After publishing the 2014 Final Rule, FRA took significant steps to educate the regulated community on its requirements and assist with the development of model training plans. For example, on March 20, 2017, FRA added information to its website to more broadly disseminate information about the 2014 Final Rule's requirements. See https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P1023. 1 Moreover, when ASLRRA requested FRA's help in developing its model programs for its members, FRA shared training documents it uses to train the agency's personnel on Federal rail safety requirements. FRA then made those same FRA training documents available on FRA's website because others in the regulated community would likely find them useful.

    1 Additional details about each of those steps are contained in the May 2017 Final Rule. See 82 FR 20549 (May 3, 2017).

    During FRA outreach on the 2014 Final Rule, FRA heard concerns from ASLRRA and the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association, Inc. (NRC), which were two of the associations identified in the 2014 Final Rule's Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) as likely model program developers. These two associations represent most of the 1,459 employers FRA projected would adopt model training programs rather than develop their own.2 Although ASLRRA had submitted several model training programs to FRA, and had made significant strides towards completing some programs, ASLRRA still had a significant number of training programs left to develop and submit.

    2 The RIA for the 2014 Final Rule provided the estimated costs and benefits, and explained FRA based this analysis on the premise that “most small railroads and contractors will use consortiums or model training programs developed by industry associations . . . thereby minimizing costs.” RIA at 15. In the RIA, FRA estimated that 1,459 railroads and contractors would use model programs.

    Based on ASLRRA and NRC's concerns about their ability to submit their model training programs by the May 1, 2017, deadline, and the significant impact that not meeting the deadline would have on the costs associated with the rule and FRA's approval process, FRA issued the May 2017 Final Rule extending each of the implementation dates in the 2014 Final Rule by one year.

    Petition for Reconsideration

    On May 22, 2017, ASLRRA filed a petition for reconsideration of the May 2017 Final Rule. ASLRRA's petition was the only petition FRA received, and FRA did not receive any comments on the May 2017 Final Rule or ASLRRA's petition.

    In the petition, ASLRRA stated that the association will need more than a one-year delay on each of the implementation dates in the 2014 Final Rule and requested that the one-year extension be extended further by another year. In the petition, ASLRRA stated that it represents over 500 Class II and III railroads and has assumed the responsibility for preparing model training programs for its member railroads' use. ASLRRA asserts that it still has a significant number of model programs left to develop and submit.

    ASLRRA states in its petition that it is utilizing a large group of volunteer safety professionals from the ranks of its Safety and Training Committee to develop the model programs. ASLRRA is using these volunteers because the association asserts it would not otherwise have the resources to complete the task. With the commitments it received from volunteers, ASLRRA has mapped out a schedule to complete the model training programs by fall 2018.3 ASLRRA's estimated completion date would mean that many of its model programs would likely not be completed by the May 1, 2018, deadline afforded by the May 2017 Final Rule.

    3 Interested parties can view that schedule at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA-2009-0033-0039.

    Further, ASLRRA's petition states that extending the one-year delay will allow adequate time to comply with FRA's review and approval process and thereby assure its members that its model programs have been approved by FRA. According to ASLRRA the additional one-year extension will also allow each railroad adequate time to consider how it will implement each of the model programs it will adopt and whether it will need to adapt the programs to address any unique aspects of its operations.

    FRA's Response

    FRA delayed each of the implementation dates in the 2014 Final Rule by one year largely because if both ASLRRA and NRC cannot submit most or all of their model training programs by the model program developer deadline, there would be significant cost impacts associated with the rule and it would complicate the approval process. Indeed, even if the ASLRRA alone were unable to submit its model programs for its more than 500 member railroads, the cost impacts would still be substantial.

    The 500 or more railroad employers that rely on ASLRRA to produce model programs would bear significantly higher costs developing personalized training programs, rather than adopting model programs that are generic enough to apply to the gamut of railroads. Further, FRA's resources would be stretched thin reviewing potentially 500 or more individual Class II and Class III railroad employer programs, rather than a relatively small number of model programs. Moreover, by providing ASLRRA additional time to produce model programs, FRA expects the quality of those model programs will be much better than those separately prepared by a large number of individual small or medium-sized railroads. Of course, FRA does not see the value in limiting the extension only to ASLRRA and its member railroads. FRA believes all regulated entities can benefit from having additional time to implement the rule's requirements.

    Overall, the additional one-year delay of the implementation dates should allow all model training program developers and other regulated entities to meet the rule's deadlines. FRA understands that many regulated entities were on schedule to meet the original deadlines in the 2014 Final Rule, or were preparing to meet the deadlines delayed by the May 2017 Final Rule. For those regulated entities that are prepared to move forward in advance of any deadline, there is certainly no prohibition against doing so and implementing a more robust training program should benefit the overall safety of those employers who are early adopters.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FRA proposes to delay each of the implementation dates in the May 2017 Final Rule by an additional year, thereby delaying each of the implementation dates in the 2014 Final Rule by a total of two years.

    Section-by-Section Analysis Subpart B—Program Components and Approval Process Section 243.101 Employer Program Required

    The implementation dates in this proposed section would be cumulatively delayed by two years from the 2014 Final Rule so all employers have additional time to develop and submit training programs. Specifically, as previously amended by the May 2017 Final Rule, in paragraphs (a)(1) and (b) the January 1, 2019, implementation dates would be changed to January 1, 2020. Likewise, in paragraph (a)(2) the May 1, 2020, implementation date, as previously amended by the May 2017 Final Rule, would be changed to May 1, 2021.

    Section 243.105 Optional Model Program Development

    The implementation date in proposed paragraph (a)(3) of this section would be cumulatively delayed by two years from the 2014 Final Rule so that all model program developers have additional time to submit model programs, while also potentially benefiting from an expedited FRA review process. Under the May 2017 Final Rule, each model program submitted to FRA before May 1, 2018, would be considered approved and may be implemented 180 days after the date of the submission, unless FRA otherwise advises that all or part of the program does not conform to the rule's requirements. This NPRM proposes to extend that date until May 1, 2019.

    Section 243.111 Approval of Programs Filed by Training Organizations or Learning Institutions

    FRA proposes that each training organization or learning institution that has provided training services to employers covered by this part would cumulatively have an additional two years from the 2014 Final Rule to continue to offer such training services without FRA approval. As previously amended by the May 2017 Final Rule, a training organization or learning institution that has provided training services to employers covered by this part before January 1, 2018, may continue to offer such training services without FRA approval until January 1, 2019. FRA proposes to amend paragraph (b) of this section so that both dates are delayed by an additional year. Accordingly, the proposed requirement states that a training organization or learning institution that has provided training services to employers covered by this part before January 1, 2019, may continue to offer such training services without FRA approval until January 1, 2020.

    Subpart C—Program Implementation and Oversight Requirements Section 243.201 Employee Qualification Requirements

    The implementation dates in this section would be cumulatively delayed by two years from the 2014 Final Rule so all employers have additional time to designate each of their existing safety-related railroad employees by occupational category or subcategory, and only permit designated employees to perform safety-related service in such occupational category or subcategory. In paragraph (a)(1), the September 1, 2019, implementation date, as previously amended by the May 2017 Final Rule, would be changed to September 1, 2020. Likewise, in paragraph (a)(2) the January 1, 2021, implementation date, as previously amended by the May 2017 Final Rule, would be changed to January 1, 2022.4 Further, the dates used for referencing total employee work hours for purposes of applying both paragraphs would be modified accordingly.

    4 FRA notes that while the May 2017 Final Rule correctly amended the implementation date in paragraph (a)(2), the section-by-section analysis contained an incorrect statement that the paragraph (a)(2) deadline in the 2014 Final Rule was May 1, 2019; that date was January 1, 2020, calculated as four years and eight months from the date of issuance of FRA's Interim Final Compliance Guide.

    In proposed paragraph (b), the January 1, 2019, implementation date, as previously amended by the May 2017 Final Rule, would change to January 1, 2020.

    In proposed paragraphs (e)(1) and (2), the implementation dates for refresher training would also be cumulatively delayed by two years from the 2014 Final Rule. Thus, the January 1, 2021, implementation date in paragraph (e)(1), as previously amended by the May 2017 Final Rule, would change to January 1, 2022, and the proposed completion of that refresher training for each employee would be required no later than December 31, 2024, instead of the previously amended date of December 31, 2023. In proposed paragraph (e)(2), each employer with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually would be required to implement a refresher training program by May 1, 2023, rather than the previously amended date of May 1, 2022, and complete that refresher training for each employee by no later than December 31, 2025, instead of the previously amended date of December 31, 2024.

    Regulatory Impact and Notices Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 13771, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This proposed rule is a non-significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 and DOT policies and procedures. See 44 FR 11034 (Feb. 26, 1979). The proposed rule also follows the direction of Executive Order 13563 which emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Finally, the proposed rule follows the guidance of Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) which 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.” FRA identified this proposed rule as a deregulatory effort to comply with E.O. 13771. For more information on Executive Order 13771, see OMB's April 5, 2017 “Memorandum: Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.' ”

    In 2014, FRA published a Final Rule which established minimum training standards for each category and subcategory of safety-related railroad employee, as required by section 401(a) of the RSIA. FRA believes that this proposed rule will reduce the regulatory burden on the railroad industry by delaying the implementation dates of the 2014 Final Rule. In May 2017, FRA issued a Final Rule which delayed each of the implementation dates in the 2014 Final Rule by one year. This proposed rule will extend the implementation deadlines by a total of two years from the 2014 Final Rule, one year of which has already been granted in the May 2017 Final Rule. This proposed rule would be beneficial for regulated entities by adding time to comply with the 2014 Final Rule.

    The costs arising from part 243 over the 20-year period include: The costs of revising training programs to include “hands-on” training where appropriate, as well as the costs of creating entirely new training programs for any employer that does not have one already; the costs of customizing model training programs for those employers that choose to adopt a model program rather than create a new program; the costs of annual data review and analysis required in order to refine training programs; the costs of revising programs in later years; the costs of additional time new employees may have to spend in initial training; the costs of additional periodic oversight tests and inspections; the costs of additional qualification tests; and the costs of additional time all safety-related railroad employees may have to spend in refresher training.

    FRA believes that additional hands-on and refresher training found in the 2014 Final Rule will reduce the frequency and severity of some future accidents and incidents. Expected safety benefits were calculated using full accident costs, which are based on past accident history, the values of preventing future fatalities and injuries sustained, and the cost of property damage. (Full accident costs are determined by the number of fatalities and injuries multiplied by their respective prevention valuations, and the cost of property damage.)

    By delaying the implementation dates of the 2014 Final Rule, railroads will realize a cost savings. Railroads will not incur costs during the first two years of this analysis. Also, costs incurred in future years will be discounted an extra two years, which will decrease the present value burden. The present value of costs would be less than if the original implementation dates were adhered to. FRA has estimated this cost savings to be approximately $40.6 million, at a 3% discount rate, and $37.2 million, at a 7% discount rate. The table below shows the costs estimated at the final rule stage as well as the costs with the two-year implementation delay.

    Present
  • value
  • (3%)
  • Present
  • value
  • (7%)
  • Total costs (2-year delay) $250,309,438 $169,902,295 Final rule costs 290,932,418 207,068,184 Two-year-delay cost savings 40,622,980 37,165,889
    Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272; Initial Regulatory Flexibility Assessment

    FRA has determined and certifies that this proposed rule is not expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The requirements of this proposed rule would apply to employers of safety-related railroad employees, whether the employers are railroads, contractors, or subcontractors. Although a substantial number of small entities would be subject to this proposed rule, it would provide relief by extending all of the implementation dates in the 2014 Final Rule, as amended by the May 2017 Final Rule. Thus, the economic impact of this proposed rule would not be significant because it would only provide additional time for all entities to comply with the 2014 Final Rule.

    This proposed rule would have no direct impact on small units of government, businesses, or other organizations. State rail agencies are not required to participate in this program. State owned railroads would receive a positive impact by having additional time to comply.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    There are no new collection of information requirements contained in this proposed rule and, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq ., the record keeping and reporting requirements already contained in the 2014 Final Rule have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB approval number is OMB No. 2130-0597. Thus, FRA is not required to seek additional OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Federalism Implications

    This proposed rule would not have a substantial 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. Thus in accordance with Executive Order 13132, “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999), preparation of a Federalism Assessment is not warranted.

    International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreement Act of 1979 prohibits Federal agencies from engaging in any standards or related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Legitimate domestic objectives, such as safety, are not considered unnecessary obstacles. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.

    This proposed rule is purely domestic in nature and is not expected to affect trade opportunities for U.S. firms doing business overseas or for foreign firms doing business in the United States.

    Environmental Impact

    FRA has evaluated this proposed rule in accordance with its “Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts” (FRA's Procedures) (64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), other environmental statutes, Executive Orders, and related regulatory requirements. FRA has determined that this proposed rule is not a major FRA action, requiring the preparation of an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment, because it is categorically excluded from detailed environmental review pursuant to section 4(c)(20) of FRA's Procedures. See 64 FR 28547 (May 26, 1999).

    In accordance with section 4(c) and (e) of FRA's Procedures, the agency has further concluded that no extraordinary circumstances exist with respect to this proposed rule that might trigger the need for a more detailed environmental review. As a result, FRA finds that this proposed rule is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Pursuant to section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 2 U.S.C. 1531), each Federal agency shall, unless otherwise prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector (other than to the extent that such regulations incorporate requirements specifically set forth in law). Section 202 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1532) further requires that before promulgating any general notice of proposed rulemaking that is likely to result in the promulgation of any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any 1 year, and before promulgating any final rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking was published, the agency shall prepare a written statement detailing the effect on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. This proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, and thus preparation of such a statement is not required.

    Energy Impact

    Executive Order 13211 requires Federal agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for any “significant energy action.” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001). FRA evaluated this proposed rule in accordance with Executive Order 13211, and determined that this regulatory action is not a “significant energy action” within the meaning of the Executive Order.

    Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” requires Federal agencies to review regulations to determine whether they potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. 82 FR 16093 (March 31, 2017). FRA determined this proposed rule would not burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources.

    Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 243

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Railroad employees, Railroad safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    The Proposed Rule

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, FRA proposes to amend chapter II, subtitle B of title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 243—TRAINING, QUALIFICATION, AND OVERSIGHT FOR SAFETY-RELATED RAILROAD EMPLOYEES 1. The authority citation for part 243 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107, 20131-20155, 20162, 20301-20306, 20701-20702, 21301-21304, 21311; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.89.

    Subpart B—Program Components and Approval Process 2. Revise § 243.101(a) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 243.101 Employer program required.

    (a)(1) Effective January 1, 2020, each employer conducting operations subject to this part with 400,000 total employee work hours annually or more shall submit, adopt, and comply with a training program for its safety-related railroad employees.

    (2) Effective May 1, 2021, each employer conducting operations subject to this part with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually shall submit, adopt, and comply with a training program for its safety-related railroad employees.

    (b) Except for an employer subject to the requirement in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an employer commencing operations subject to this part after January 1, 2020, shall submit a training program for its safety-related railroad employees before commencing operations. Upon commencing operations, the employer shall adopt and comply with the training program.

    3. Revise § 243.105(a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 243.105 Optional model program development.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Each model training program submitted to FRA before May 1, 2019, is considered approved and may be implemented 180 days after the date of submission unless the Associate Administrator advises the organization, business, or association that developed and submitted the program that all or part of the program does not conform.

    4. Revise § 243.111(b) to read as follows:
    § 243.111 Approval of programs filed by training organizations or learning institutions.

    (b) A training organization or learning institution that has provided training services to employers covered by this part before January 1, 2019, may continue to offer such training services without FRA approval until January 1, 2020. The Associate Administrator may extend this period at any time based on a written request. Such written requests for an extension of time to submit a program should contain any factors the training organization or learning institution wants the Associate Administrator to consider before approving or disapproving the extension.

    Subpart C—Program Implementation and Oversight Requirements 5. Revise § 243.201(a)(1) and (2), (b), and (e)(1) and (2) to read as follows:
    § 243.201 Employee qualification requirements.

    (a) * * *

    (1) By no later than September 1, 2020, each employer with 400,000 total employee work hours annually or more in operation as of January 1, 2020, shall declare the designation of each of its existing safety-related railroad employees by occupational category or subcategory, and only permit designated employees to perform safety-related service in that occupational category or subcategory. The Associate Administrator may extend this period based on a written request.

    (2) By no later than January 1, 2022, each employer with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually in operation as of January 1, 2021, shall declare the designation of each of its existing safety-related railroad employees by occupational category or subcategory, and only permit designated employees to perform safety-related service in that occupational category or subcategory. The Associate Administrator may extend this period based on a written request.

    (b) Except for an employer subject to the requirement in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an employer commencing operations after January 1, 2020, shall declare the designation of each of its existing safety-related railroad employees by occupational category or subcategory before beginning operations, and only permit designated employees to perform safety-related service in that category or subcategory. Any person designated shall have met the requirements for newly hired employees or those assigned new safety-related duties in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

    (e) * * *

    (1) Beginning January 1, 2022, each employer with 400,000 total employee work hours annually or more shall deliver refresher training at an interval not to exceed 3 calendar years from the date of an employee's last training event, except where refresher training is specifically required more frequently in accordance with this chapter. If the last training event occurs before FRA's approval of the employer's training program, the employer shall provide refresher training either within 3 calendar years from that prior training event or no later than December 31, 2024. Each employer shall ensure that, as part of each employee's refresher training, the employee is trained and qualified on the application of any Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders the person is required to comply with, as well as any relevant railroad rules and procedures promulgated to implement those Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders.

    (2) Beginning May 1, 2023, each employer with less than 400,000 total employee work hours annually shall deliver refresher training at an interval not to exceed 3 calendar years from the date of an employee's last training event, except where refresher training is specifically required more frequently in accordance with this chapter. If the last training event occurs before FRA's approval of the employer's training program, the employer shall provide refresher training either within 3 calendar years from that prior training event or no later than December 31, 2025. Each employer shall ensure that, as part of each employee's refresher training, the employee is trained and qualified on the application of any Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders the person is required to comply with, as well as any relevant railroad rules and procedures promulgated to implement those Federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders.

    Juan D. Reyes III, Chief Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27272 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 395 [Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0360] Hours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles; Proposed Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Transportation of Agricultural Commodities AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed regulatory guidance; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA announces regulatory guidance to clarify the applicability of the “Agricultural commodity” exception to the “Hours of Service of Drivers” regulations, and requests public comments. This regulatory guidance is being proposed to ensure consistent understanding and application of the exception by motor carriers and State officials enforcing hours of service rules identical to or compatible with FMCSA's requirements.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2018. This guidance would expire no later than 5 years after it is finalized.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may insert comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2017-0360 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: (202) 493-2251.

    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, phone (614) 942-6477, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Public Participation and Request for Comments A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number listed above, indicate the specific section of this document to which your comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, put the docket number, FMCSA-2017-0360, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on the “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit.

    If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change this guidance based on your comments.

    B. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA-2017-0360, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” Next, click the “Open Docket Folder” button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    C. Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its regulatory process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.transportation.gov/privacy.

    II. Legal Basis

    The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995, Public Law 104-59, 345, 109 Stat. 568. 613 (Nov. 28, 1995), provided the initial exception for drivers transporting agricultural commodities or farm supplies for agricultural purposes. This Act limited the exception to a 100 air-mile radius from the source of the commodities or distribution point for the farm supplies and during the planting and harvesting seasons as determined by the applicable State.

    In enacting the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Congress revised this provision, enacted it to be new section 229 of Title II of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, and defined the terms “agricultural commodity” and “farm supplies for agricultural purposes.” Public Law 109-59, §§ 4115 and 4130, 119 Stat. 1144, 1726, 1743 (Aug. 10, 2005). These terms are now defined in 49 CFR 395.2.

    Most recently, the statute was amended by section 32101(d) of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 778 (July 6, 2012). This provision revised the description of the exception's scope and extended the applicable distance from 100 air-miles to 150 air-miles from the source.

    III. Background

    The focus of today's guidance is limited to the transportation of agricultural commodities, 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1). It does not address “farm supplies for agricultural purposes” under 49 CFR 395.1(k)(2) or (3) given that the applicable range under these latter two provisions is specifically addressed. While the regulatory provision governing the agricultural commodity exception (49 CFR 395.1(k)(1)) closely tracks the statutory provisions discussed above, the language is susceptible to multiple interpretations, and the Agency acknowledges that various stakeholders and enforcement officials in different States have expressed inconsistent understandings of the exception from time to time.

    This proposed regulatory guidance would clarify the exception with regard to: (1) Drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity, as defined in 49 CFR 395.2, or returning from a delivery point; and (2) drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity. In addition, the Agency seeks public comment on (1) whether grain elevators and/or livestock sale barns should be considered a “source” of agricultural commodities under section 395.1(k)(1); and (2) how the exception should apply when agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip.

    FMCSA's final rule “Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents” (80 FR 78292; December 16, 2015), will require most drivers who use paper logs to document their hours of service to switch to electronic logging devices. That rule did not alter the hours of service rules or the agricultural commodity exception. However, FMCSA has received questions from regulated motor carriers about the agricultural commodity exception and application of the hours of service rules due to the practical ramifications of that rule, and the approaching December 18, 2017 compliance date. Specific scenarios are addressed further below.

    IV. Reason for This Notice of Regulatory Guidance

    Today's proposed regulatory guidance would provide clarity to the agricultural exception in 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1) and specifically addresses two scenarios: (1) Driving an unladen commercial motor vehicle to either pick up an agricultural commodity or on a return trip following the delivery of an agricultural commodity; and (2) application of the agricultural commodity exception to trips involving transportation of the commodity more than 150 air-miles from its source. In addition, the Agency seeks comment on (1) whether grain elevators and/or livestock sale barns should be considered a “source” of agricultural commodities under section 395.1(k)(1); and (2) scenarios where a trip involves the loading of agricultural commodities at multiple sources.

    Unladen vehicles: Interpreted literally, the agricultural commodity exception could be read as applicable only during the period during which the commodity is being transported, and not extended to movements of an unladen vehicle either heading to pick up a load or returning after a delivery. However, the Agency does not consider that view as consistent with legislative intent of providing round-trip relief to farmers, and has therefore informally advised stakeholders that both legs of a trip are covered. In today's proposed guidance (Question 34), FMCSA seeks to clarify how the agricultural commodity exception applies to a driver operating an unladen commercial motor vehicle used in transportation either to a source to pick up an agricultural commodity or on a return trip following delivery of an agricultural commodity.

    Loads beyond a 150 air-mile radius: The Agency recognizes that some motor carrier safety enforcement personnel and other stakeholders have interpreted the agricultural commodity exception as inapplicable to any portion of a trip if the destination exceeds 150 air-miles from the source. Under that reading, the word “location” in section 395.1(k)(1) is interpreted as reflecting only the final destination of the load. FMCSA notes that the statutory language, as amended,1 and the implementing regulation 2 are ambiguous, however, and considers this strict interpretation too narrow. In today's regulatory guidance (Question 35), the Agency proposes to clarify that “location” means the outer limit of the exception distance, i.e., 150 air-miles from the source. Thus, the Agency would interpret the exception as available to a driver transporting agricultural commodities for a distance up to 150 air-miles from the source, regardless of the distance between the source and final destination or place of delivery. Once a driver crosses the 150 air-mile point, however, the driver would be subject to the hours of service rules for the remainder of the trip.

    1 SEE MAP-21, Public Law 112-141, 32101(d), 126 Stat. 778 (July 6, 2012). . . .

    2 SEE 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1). The term “agricultural commodity” is defined in 49 CFR 395.2.

    Meaning of “sources,” and multiple sources: Several agricultural transporters have requested guidance on the extent to which grain elevators and/or livestock sale barns should be considered a “source” of agricultural commodities under section 395.1(k)(1). While these facilities are originating points for many agricultural commodity loads, they are not expressly encompassed within the statutory or regulatory terminology of the exception. Many of these transporters have also asked how the agricultural commodity exception would apply if the driver were to pick up partial loads at two or more locations. Specifically, they asked whether a pick-up at a subsequent source has the effect of extending the 150 air-mile radius, i.e., restarting the calculation of the 150 air-mile distance. Previous informal guidance has been that the 150 air-mile radius is based on the first source of an agricultural commodity on a particular trip, and that additional stops to load additional agricultural commodities do not extend the 150-mile radius. The Agency invites public comment on this interpretation, however, and on how additional sources might affect the exception under 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1).

    V. Regulatory Guidance

    FMCSA proposes Regulatory Guidance, Questions 34 and 35 to 49 CFR 395.1 as follows:

    PART 395—HOURS OF SERVICE OF DRIVERS
    Section 395.1 Scope of the rules in this part

    Question 34: Does the agricultural commodity exception (§ 395.1(k)(1)) apply to drivers while driving unloaded to a source where an agricultural commodity will be loaded, and to an unloaded return trip after delivering an agricultural commodity under the exception?

    Guidance: Yes, provided that the trip does not involve transporting other cargo and the sole purpose of the trip is to complete the delivery or pick up of agricultural commodities, as defined in § 395.2. In that case, driving and on-duty time are not limited, nor do other requirements of 49 CFR part 395 apply.

    Question 35: Does the agricultural commodity exception (§ 395.1(k)(1)) apply if the destination for the commodity is beyond the 150 air-mile radius from the source?

    Guidance: The exception applies to transportation during the initial 150 air-miles from the source of the commodity. Once a driver operates beyond the 150 air-mile radius of the source, part 395 applies. Starting at zero from that point, the driver must then begin recording his or her duty time, and the limits under the 11-hour, 14-hour, and the 60-/70-hour rules apply. Once the hours of service rules begin to apply on a given trip, they continue to apply for the duration of that trip, until the driver crosses back into the area within 150 air-miles of the original source of the commodities and is returning to that source. If the driver is not returning to the original source, the HOS rules continue to apply, even if the driver reenters the 150-mile radius.

    VI. Expiration Date for the Proposed Regulatory Guidance

    In accordance with section 5203(a)(2)(A) and (a)(3) of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312, 1535 (Dec. 4, 2015), the proposed regulatory guidance will be posted on FMCSA's website, www.fmcsa.dot.gov, if finalized. It would be reviewed by the Agency no later than five years after it is finalized. The Agency would consider at that time whether the guidance should be withdrawn, reissued for another period up to five years, or incorporated into the safety regulations.

    VII. Request for Comments

    Refer to the ADDRESSES section above for instructions on submitting comments to the public docket concerning this regulatory guidance. The FMCSA will consider comments received by the closing date of the comment period to determine whether any further clarification of these regulatory provisions is necessary. In addition to comments concerning the proposed regulatory guidance above, including the issue of “sources” of agricultural commodities, as outlined above, the Agency is seeking information on the following:

    1. Are there particular segments of the industry that would take advantage of this change more than others?

    2. How does the flexibility provided in this guidance impact a carrier's need for an electronic logging device?

    3. How many carriers and drivers are there transporting agricultural commodities in various segments (livestock, unprocessed food, others) that are impacted by this guidance?

    Issued on: December 13, 2017. Cathy F. Gautreaux, Deputy Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27310 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [4500030115] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Five Species AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notification of petition findings and initiation of status reviews.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90-day findings on several petitions to list or reclassify wildlife or plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted with respect to the species mentioned in this notification. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to initiate a review of the status of each of these species to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that these status reviews are comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding these species. After completing the status reviews, we will issue 12-month findings on the petitions, which will address whether or not the petitioned action is warranted, in accordance with the Act. In addition, we announce a correction to information contained in the 90-day petition finding for the leopard (Panthera pardus), which clarifies the range and entity we are evaluating in our status review of the species.

    DATES:

    These findings were made on December 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Summaries of the bases for the petition findings contained in this document are available on http://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Supporting information in preparing these findings is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by contacting the appropriate person, as specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. If you have new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species for which we made these petition findings, or their habitats, please submit that information by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Then, click on the Search button. After finding the correct document, you may submit information by clicking on “Comment Now!” If your information will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of http://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our information review procedures. If you attach your information as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send information only by the methods described above. We will post all information we receive on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Common name Contact person Oblong rocksnail Brian Evans, 404-679-7118; [email protected]. Sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub Justin Shoemaker, 309-757-5800 x214; [email protected]. Tricolored bat Krishna Gifford, 413-253-8619; [email protected] Venus flytrap Brian Evans, 404-679-7118; [email protected]. Leopard Janine Van Norman, 703-358-2370; [email protected].

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for adding a species to, or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. To the maximum extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our receipt of the petition and publish the finding promptly in the Federal Register.

    Last year, the Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service of the Department of Commerce revised the regulations that outline the procedures for evaluating petitions (81 FR 66462; September 27, 2016). The new regulations at 50 CFR 424.14 were effective October 27, 2016. We received the petitions referenced in this document prior to that effective date. Therefore, we evaluated these petitions under the 50 CFR 424.14 requirements that were in effect prior to October 27, 2016, as those requirements applied when the petitions were received. The regulations in effect prior to October 27, 2016, establish that the standard for substantial scientific or commercial information with regard to a 90-day petition finding is “that amount of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition may be warranted” (former 50 CFR 424.14(b)).

    A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The five factors are:

    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range (Factor A);

    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B);

    (c) Disease or predation (Factor C);

    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); or

    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence (Factor E).These factors represent broad categories of natural or human-caused actions or conditions that could have an effect on a species' continued existence (i.e., threats). In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as well as for those that may ameliorate any negative effects and those that may have positive effects. In considering whether the petition presents substantial information indicating the species may be threatened or endangered, we must look beyond the exposure of the species to a threat to evaluate whether the species may respond to the threat in a way that causes actual impacts to the species. The mere identification of threats that could affect a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the information in the petition is substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. The information presented in the petition must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these threats may be affecting the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of an “endangered species” or “threatened species” under the Act.

    If we find that a petition presents such information, our subsequent status review will evaluate all identified threats by considering the individual, population, and species-level effects, and the expected response by the species. We will evaluate individual threats and their expected effects on the species, then analyze the cumulative effect of the threats on the species as a whole. We also consider the cumulative effect of the threats in light of those actions and conditions that will have positive effects on the species—such as any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts that may ameliorate threats. It is only after conducting this cumulative analysis of threats and the actions that may ameliorate them, and the expected effect on the species now and in the foreseeable future, that we can determine whether the species meets the definition of an “endangered species” or “threatened species.”

    If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information, the Act requires us to promptly commence a review of the status of the species, and we will subsequently complete a status review in accordance with our prioritization methodology for 12-month findings (81 FR 49248; July 27, 2016).

    Summaries of Petition Findings

    The petition findings contained in this document are listed in the table below and the bases for the findings, along with supporting information, are available on http://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number.

    Table—Substantial Findings and Correction Announced Common name Docket No. URL to docket on http://www.regulations.gov Oblong rocksnail FWS-R4-ES-2017-0042 http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R-ES-2017-0042. Sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub FWS-R6-ES-2017-0010 http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R6-ES-2017-0010. Tricolored bat FWS-R5-ES-2017-0011 http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R5-ES-2017-0011. Venus flytrap FWS-R4-ES-2017-0041 http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R4-ES-2017-0041. Leopard FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0131 http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0131. Evaluation of a Petition To List the Oblong Rocksnail as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range

    Oblong rocksnail (Leptoxis compacta): Cahaba River, Shelby County, Alabama.

    Petition History

    On June 21, 2016, we received a petition dated the same day from the Center for Biological Diversity and Cahaba Riverkeeper requesting that the oblong rocksnail be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

    Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the oblong rocksnail, based on Factors A and E as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either “endangered species” under section 3(6) of the Act or “threatened species” under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).

    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0042 under the Supporting Documents section.

    Evaluation of a Petition To List the Sturgeon Chub and Sicklefin Chub as Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range

    Sturgeon chub (Macrhybopsis gelida): Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming (Missouri River, tributaries to the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, Middle and Lower Mississippi River).

    Sicklefin chub (Macrhybopsis meeki): Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee (Missouri River, Lower Yellowstone River, and Middle and Lower Mississippi River).

    Petition History

    On August 15, 2016, we received a petition dated August 11, 2016, from WildEarth Guardians requesting that the sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for these species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

    Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the sturgeon chub and sicklefin chub, based on Factors A, C, D, and E as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for these species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species fall within the definition of either “endangered species” under section 3(6) of the Act or “threatened species” under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).

    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2017-0010 under the Supporting Documents section.

    Evaluation of a Petition To List the Tricolored Bat as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range

    Tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus): Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin; Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec); Mexico (Eastern and southern regions: Coahuila to Chiapas); Central America (Guatemala)

    Petition History

    On June 14, 2016, we received a petition dated June 14, 2016, from the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife requesting that the tricolored bat be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

    Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the tricolored bat, based on Factors A, C, and E as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either “endangered species” under section 3(6) of the Act or “threatened species” under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).

    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2017-0011 under the Supporting Documents section.

    Evaluation of a Petition To List the Venus Flytrap as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range

    Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis): Southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, and one introduced population each in Florida and New Jersey.

    Petition History

    On October 21, 2016, we received a petition dated the same day from Donald M. Waller, J.T. Curtis Professor of Botany and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 25 additional supporters requesting that the Venus flytrap be listed as endangered or threatened and that critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at former 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.

    Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the Venus flytrap, based on Factors A, B, and D as set forth in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Background, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of either “endangered species” under section 3(6) of the Act or “threatened species” under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).

    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0041 under the Supporting Documents section.

    Correction to our Evaluation of a Petition To Reclassify the Leopard as an Endangered Species Throughout Its Range

    On November 30, 2016, we published a document in the Federal Register (81 FR 86315) announcing 90-day findings on three petitions to list or reclassify wildlife or plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). That document included a finding on a petition to reclassify leopard (Panthera pardus) as an endangered species throughout its range. However, in the discussion of our finding and supporting documentation, we made two errors. Therefore, with this document, we correct those errors, clarify our intent to evaluate the status of the species throughout its range. The public is welcome to submit information on the species in light of these corrections (see ADDRESSES, above). If you sent information previously, you need not resend it.

    The first error we made in the November 30, 2016, 90-day finding is that we mistakenly titled the action “Evaluation of a Petition To Reclassify Leopards Currently Listed as Threatened Species to Endangered Species Under the Act,” inadvertently implying that we will evaluate the status of the species only in the countries in which it is currently listed as threatened. However, the petition requests that we reclassify leopards as endangered throughout the species' current range, and we evaluated the petition based on that request. Our finding on the petition—that the petition contains substantial information that listing the leopard as endangered throughout its range may be warranted—has not changed. Therefore, we clarify that we will evaluate the status of leopards throughout their current range in our assessment of the species' status.

    The second error we made in the November 30, 2016, 90-day finding is that we mistakenly described the current range of the leopard as: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, and Uganda. However, the correct current range of the species is as follows:

    Species and Range

    Leopard (Panthera pardus): 62 countries in Africa and Asia.

    The corrected information regarding our review of this petition can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0131 in the Supporting Documents section.

    Request for Information for Status Reviews

    When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial information indicating that listing, reclassification, or delisting of a species may be warranted, we are required to review the status of the species (a status review). For the status review to be complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request information on these species from governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek information on:

    (1) The species' biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Habitat requirements;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns; and

    (d) Historical and current population levels and current and projected trends.

    (2) The five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Background, above) that are the basis for making a listing, reclassification, or delisting determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including past and ongoing conservation measures that could decrease the extent to which one or more of the factors affect the species, its habitat, or both.

    (3) The potential effects of climate change on the species and its habitat, and the extent to which it affects the habitat or range of the species.

    If, after the status review, we determine that listing is warranted, we will propose critical habitat (see definition at section 3(5)(A) of the Act) for domestic (United States) species under section 4 of the Act, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable at the time we propose to list the species. Therefore, we also request data and information (submitted as provided for in ADDRESSES, above) for the species listed in the table above on:

    (1) What may constitute “physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species,” within the geographical range occupied by the species;

    (2) Where these features are currently found;

    (3) Whether or not any of these features may require special management considerations or protection;

    (4) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species that are “essential for the conservation of the species”; and

    (5) What, if any, critical habitat you think we should propose for designation if the species is proposed for listing, and why such habitat falls within the definition of “critical habitat” at section 3(5) of the Act.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your information concerning these status reviews by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    It is important to note that the standard for a 90-day finding differs from the Act's standard that applies to a status review to determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. In making a 90-day finding, we consider information in the petition and sources cited in the petition, as well as information which is readily available, and we evaluate merely whether that information constitutes “substantial information” indicating that the petitioned action “may be warranted.” In a 12-month finding, we must complete a thorough status review of the species and evaluate the “best scientific and commercial data available” to determine whether a petitioned action “is warranted.” Because the Act's standards for 90-day and 12-month findings are different, a substantial 90-day finding does not mean that the 12-month finding will result in a “warranted” finding.

    Conclusion

    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the petitions under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that the petitions referenced above for the oblong rocksnail, sturgeon chub, sicklefin chub, tricolored bat, and Venus flytrap present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the requested actions may be warranted. Because we have found that these petitions present substantial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted, we are initiating status reviews to determine whether these actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of each status review, we will issue a finding, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether or not the petitioned action is warranted.

    Authors

    The primary authors of this document are staff members of the Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Authority

    The authority for these actions is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: October 23, 2017. James W. Kurth, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, exercising the authority of the Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27389 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 170915903-7999-01] RIN 0648-XF706 Pacific Island Fisheries; 2017 Hawaii Kona Crab Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measure AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed specification; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes a 2017 annual catch limit (ACL) of 3,500 lb for Hawaii Kona Crab, and an accountability measure (AM) to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. The proposed ACL and AM support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

    DATES:

    NMFS must receive comments by January 4, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2017-0120, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0120, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Send written comments to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on https://www.regulations.gov change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible.

    NMFS prepared an environmental analysis that describes the potential impacts on the human environment that would result from the proposed ACL and AM. Copies of the environmental analyses and other supporting documents are available at https://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Ellgen, NMFS PIR Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5173.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Kona crab fishery in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (generally 3-200 nm from shore) around Hawaii is managed under Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago (FEP). The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) developed the FEP, and NMFS implemented the plan under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    The FEP contains a process for the Council and NMFS to specify ACLs and AMs; that process is codified at Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 665.4 (50 CFR 665.4). The regulations require NMFS to specify, every fishing year, an ACL for each stock and stock complex of management unit species (MUS) in an FEP, as recommended by the Council and considering the best available scientific, commercial, and other information about the fishery. If a fishery exceeds an ACL, the regulations require the Council to take action, which may include reducing the ACL for the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the overage, or other appropriate action.

    The Council recommended that NMFS specify an ACL of 3,500 lb of Hawaii Kona crab for fishing year 2017, which began on January 1 and ends on December 31. The Council based its ACL recommendation on a recommendation of acceptable biological catch of 3,500 lb from its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and the results of an October 2015 stock assessment that included commercial catch data from 1970 through 2006. The stock assessment found that the Hawaii Kona crab stock had reached an overfished status (<50 percent of BMSY, biomass at maximum sustainable yield) in 2006, and was likely still overfished in 2010. The assessment also included biomass projections for 2010-2030 under three commercial landings scenarios: Zero lb, 7,000 lb, and 8,000 lb.

    Hawaii State law prohibits retention of female crabs, but the assessment results included both males and females combined. The assessment acknowledged that the 2010-2030 stock status projections did not account for the effects of the State prohibition after September 2006 and, as a result, the projections are associated with a high degree of uncertainty. At a constant zero-lb annual harvest rate, the assessment predicted that the Kona crab stock would recover from overfished levels after 2015. At a constant 7,000-lb annual commercial harvest rate, the assessment estimated that Kona crab biomass would increase above 50 percent of BMSY by 2030 but explained that, due to uncertainty, there was a chance that stock biomass could potentially decline to zero lb by 2020. At a constant 8,000-lb annual harvest rate, the assessment predicted that stock biomass could reach zero lb by 2020.

    In 2015, NMFS contracted the Center for Independent (CIE) experts to review the stock assessment. Both the CIE reviewers and NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) agreed with the evaluation of the fishery for 2006, and the conclusion that stock projections beyond 2006 probably do not accurately describe current Hawaii Kona crab stock size or structure. PIFSC also agreed with the CIE review that further work is needed to provide advice on the status of the population in more recent years. Therefore, PIFSC is planning to complete a benchmark assessment for Hawaii Kona crab in 2019, which could be available for management use in fishing year 2020.

    In developing the proposed ACL recommendation, the Council also considered information indicating a 50:50 male to female landings ratio, and information suggesting that crabs disentangled from Kona crab may have injuries that could result in mortality rates as high as 100 percent if limbs are lost. Therefore, to meet the objective of rebuilding stock biomass to levels above 50 percent of BMSY, and limit total fishing mortality to 7,000 lb, the Council recommended an ACL of 3,500 lb.

    As an AM, NMFS proposes to apply a three-year average catch to evaluate fishery performance against the proposed ACLs. Specifically, NMFS proposes to use the average catch of fishing years 2015, 2016, and 2017, to evaluate fishery performance against the 2017 ACL. If, after the end of the fishing year, NMFS and the Council determine that the three-year average catch exceeded the specified ACL, NMFS and the Council will reduce the ACL for that fishery by the amount of the overage in the subsequent year. The Council recommended an AM based on multi-year average catch data to reduce the influence of inter-annual variability in catch estimates in evaluating fishery performance against the ACL.

    NMFS will consider public comments on the proposed ACL and AM and will announce the final specification in the Federal Register. NMFS must receive any comments by the date provided in the DATES heading, not postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. Regardless of the final ACL and AM specification, all other management measures will continue to apply in the fisheries.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that this proposed specification is consistent with the FEP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    Certification of Finding of No Significant Impact on Substantial Number of Small Entities

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed specification, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A description of the proposed action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for it are contained in the preamble to this proposed specification.

    NMFS proposes to specify a 2017 annual catch limit (ACL) of 3,500 lb for Kona crab in Hawaii, as recommended by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council). The 2017 proposed ACL is based on updated scientific information made available to NMFS. The proposed ACL is much lower than the ACL implemented each year from 2012 and 2015, which had been 27,600 lb. NMFS did not implement an ACL for this stock in 2016.

    This rule would affect participants in the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for Hawaii Kona crab. Kona crab landings averaged 2,658 lb from 2014-2016, with an estimated ex-vessel value of $20,965, based on a price of $5.99 per lb. The amount of Kona crab landed each year has generally declined since 2011, when 51 fishermen reported landing 10,883 lb. During the 2016 fishing year, 24 fishermen reported landing 2,577 lb. In 2015, 26 fishermen reported landing 2,332 lb. In 2014, 30 fishermen reported landing 3,067 lb.

    Based on available information, NMFS has determined that all vessels in the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for Kona crab are small entities under the Small Business Administration's definition of a small entity. That is, they are engaged in the business of fish harvesting, independently owned or operated, not dominant in their field of operation, and have annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million, the small business size standard for commercial fishing (NAICS Code: 11411). Therefore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts between large and small entities. Furthermore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts among the universe of vessels based on gear, home port, or vessel length.

    Even though this proposed action would apply to a substantial number of vessels, this action should not result in significant adverse economic impact to individual vessels. NMFS and the Council are not considering in-season closure in the Kona crab fisheries to which this ACL apply because fishery management agencies are not able to track catch relative to the ACLs during the fishing year. As a result, fishermen would be able to fish throughout the entire year. In addition, the ACLs, as proposed, would not change the gear types, areas fished, effort, or participation of the fishery during the 2017 fishing year. A post-season review of the catch data would be required to determine whether the fishery exceeded its ACL by comparing the ACL to the most recent three-year average catch for which data is available. If an ACL is exceeded, the Council and NMFS would take action in future fishing years to correct the operational issue that caused the ACL overage. NMFS and the Council would evaluate the environmental, social, and economic impacts of future actions, such as changes to future ACLs or AMs, after the required data are available. Specifically, if NMFS and the Council determine that the three-year average catch for a fishery exceeds the specified ACL, NMFS would reduce the ACL for that fishery by the amount of the overage in the subsequent year.

    The proposed action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules and is not expected to have significant impact on small entities (as discussed above), organizations, or government jurisdictions. The proposed action also will not place a substantial number of small entities, or any segment of small entities, at a significant competitive disadvantage to large entities. For the reasons above, NMFS does not expect the proposed action to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As such, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    This action is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27322 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 243 Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U.S. Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of Residential Building or Zoning Permit Systems AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before February 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Erica M. Filipek, U.S. Census Bureau, MCD, CENHQ Room 7K057, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone (301) 763-5161 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Census Bureau plans to request a three-year extension of a currently approved collection of the Form C-411, Survey of Residential Building or Zoning Permit Systems. The Census Bureau produces statistics used to monitor activity in the large and dynamic construction industry. These statistics help state and local governments and the Federal government, as well as private industry, to analyze this important sector of the economy.

    The Census Bureau uses the Form C-411 to obtain information needed to update the universe of permit-issuing places from state and local building and zoning officials. Questions on the form pertain to the legal requirements for issuing building or zoning permits in the local jurisdictions. Information is obtained on such items as geographic coverage and types of construction for which permits are issued.

    The universe of permit-issuing places is the sampling frame for the Building Permits Survey (BPS) and the Survey of Construction (SOC). These two sample surveys provide widely used measures of construction activity, including the monthly Principal Federal Economic Indicators Housing Units Authorized by Building Permits and Housing Starts.

    II. Method of Collection

    One of three variants of the Form C-411 is sent to a jurisdiction when the Census Bureau has reason to believe that a new permit system has been established or an existing one has changed, based on information the Census Bureau obtains from a variety of sources including survey respondents and regional planning councils. Staff in the Census Bureau's Geography Division also monitor changes in corporate status, which indicates if a place is incorporated. Responses rates for the Form C-411 typically approach 85 percent. There are three versions of the form:

    • C-411(V) for verification of coverage for jurisdictions with existing permit systems

    • C-411(M) for municipalities where a new permit system may have been established

    • C-411(C) for counties where new permit systems may have been established.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0607-0350.

    Form Number: C-411(V), C-411(M), and C-411(C).

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: State and Local Governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,000 per year.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 500 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0. (Per OMB requirements, this cost does not measure respondents' time, but the indirect costs respondents may incur for such things as purchases of specialized software or hardware needed to report, or expenditures for accounting or records maintenance services required specifically by the collection.)

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 131 and 182.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27377 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-78-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 41—Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; AFE, Inc. (Monitors/Displays/Televisions); Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin

    The Port of Milwaukee, grantee of FTZ 41, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of AFE, Inc., located in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on November 30, 2017.

    The applicant has submitted a separate application for subzone designation at AFE, Inc.'s facility under 15 CFR 400.38. The facility would be used to produce whiteboard monitors/interactive displays and televisions with and without tuners. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt AFE, Inc., from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, the company would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to whiteboard monitors/interactive displays, tuner-free televisions, and televisions with tuners (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 3.9%). The company would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Printed wire boards (PWBs) for monitors; PWBs for keyboards; infrared light detecting units for remote controllers; open cell liquid crystal displays (LCDs); monitor chassis components and assemblies of plastic and metal; stainless steel screws; reflector sheets; lens sheets; diffusion sheets; light emitting diode (LED) wires; PWBs for LEDs; plastic tapes; bezels; LCD modules; rear cover cable assemblies; power supply and drive units; power cables; LCD control cables; Wi-Fi cables; keyboard cables; speakers; A/C cords; remote controls; flexible flat cable for printed wire boards; AAA batteries; Wi-Fi units; plastic labels; TV stands and stand support brackets; plastic bags; printed setup guides; plastic cable clamps; molded paper packaging; paper packaging; cardboard cartons; plastic packaging; printed instructions; self-tapping screws; wire holders of plastic; plastic spacers; plastic insulator for coolers; keyboard cover assemblies; wooden pallets; PWBs for tuner TV keyboards; infrared light detecting units for tuner TV remote controllers; open cell LCDs for tuner TVs; monitor chassis components and assemblies of plastic and metal for tuner TVs; reflector sheets for tuner TVs; lens sheets for tuner TVs; diffusion sheets for tuner TVs; bezels for tuner TVs; LCD modules for tuner TVs; rear cover cable assemblies for tuner TVs; and, stands for tuner TVs (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 10.7%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is January 29, 2018.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's website, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Christopher Wedderburn at [email protected] or (202) 482-1963.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27406 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-853] Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2016-2017 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty (AD) order on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products (solar products) from Taiwan. The period of review (POR) is February 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017. This administrative review covers 11 exporters of the subject merchandise, including one mandatory respondent, Motech Industries, Inc. (Motech). The Department preliminarily determines that Motech made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value during the POR. Additionally, we are rescinding this administrative review with respect to 23 companies that timely withdrew their requests for administrative review. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable December 20, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ariela Garvett or Thomas Martin, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3609 or (202) 482-3936, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 8, 2017, the Department notified interested parties of the opportunity to request an administrative review of orders, findings, or suspended investigations with anniversaries in February 2017, including the antidumping duty order on solar products from Taiwan.1 On February 28, 2017, SolarWorld Americas Inc. (the petitioner), as well as various exporters and exporters, requested that the Department conduct an administrative review of certain exporters covering the POR. On April 10, 2017, the Department published a notice initiating an AD administrative review of solar products from Taiwan covering 34 companies for the POR.2

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 82 FR 9709 (February 8, 2017).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 17188, 17189 (April 10, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    In the Initiation Notice, the Department stated that if it limited the number of respondents for individual examination, it intended to select respondents based on volume data contained in responses to its quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaire.3 On April 10, 2017, the Department issued Q&V questionnaires to all 11 companies that appeared in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for import and merchandise value.4 We received Q&V questionnaire responses from 11 companies 5 named in the Initiation Notice. The remaining 23 companies withdrew their requests for administrative review, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    3Id. at 17189.

    4 The Department explained in the Initiation Notice that the units used to measure the imported quantities of solar cells and solar modules in the CBP data are in “piece” units, and it would not be meaningful to sum the number of imported solar cells and the number of imported solar modules in attempting to determine the largest Taiwan exporters of subject merchandise by volume. Id. Therefore, the Department stated that it would limit the number of Q&V questionnaires issued based on the import values in CBP data. Id.

    5 The 11 companies that submitted a Q&V questionnaire response include: AU Optronics Corporation, EEPV Corp., Gintech Energy Corporation, Inventec Solar Energy Corporation, Kyocera Mexicana S.A. de C.V., Motech Industries, Inc., Neo Solar Power Corporation, Sino-American Silicon Products Inc., Solartech Energy Corp. group, TSEC Corporation, and Vina Solar Technology Co., Ltd.

    On May 24, 2017, the Department selected Motech as a mandatory respondent.6 From May 25, 2017, through November 16, 2017, the Department issued questionnaires to, and received timely responses from, Motech.7 The petitioner commented on these responses between July 6, July 28, October 3, and October 24, 2017.

    6See memorandum from Thomas Martin, Senior International Trade Compliance Analyst, Office IV, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance to Abdelali Elouaradia, Director, Office IV, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance regarding “2016-2017 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from Taiwan: Respondent Selection,” dated May 24, 2017 (Respondent Selection Memorandum) at 4-5.

    7See Letters from Motech to the Department dated June 22, July 13, September 20, October 3, October 13, November 6, November 13, and November 16, 2017.

    Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party that requested the review withdraws its request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Twenty-three companies 8 withdrew their respective requests for an administrative review within 90 days of the date of publication of Initiation Notice. Accordingly, the Department is rescinding this review with respect to these 23 companies.

    8 Baoding Jiasheng Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd., Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., Beijing Tianneng Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd., Boviet Solar Technology Co., Ltd., Canadian Solar Inc., Canadian Solar International, Ltd., Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Changshu), Inc., Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Luoyang), Inc., Canadian Solar Solution Inc., E-TON Solar Tech. Co., Ltd., Hainan Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., Hengshui Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., Inventec Energy Corporation., Lixian Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., Shenzhen Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., Sunengine Corporation Ltd., Sunrise Global Solar Energy., Tianjin Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., Trina Solar (Schweiz) AG., Trina Solar (Singapore) Science and Technology Pte Ltd., Win Win Precision Technology Co., Ltd., Yingli Energy (China) Co., Ltd., and Yingli Green Energy International Trading Company Limited.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates and/or panels consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including building integrated materials.9 Merchandise covered by this order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.8030, 8507.20.8040, 8507.20.8060, 8507.20.8090, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030 and 8501.31.8000. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    9 For a complete description of the scope of the products under review, see Memorandum from James Maeder, Senior Director, performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to 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, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of the 2016-2017 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from Taiwan,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum). The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price and constructed export price are calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.10 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as an Appendix to this notice.

    10See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margins for the period February 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017:

    Manufacturer/exporter Weighted-average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Motech Industries, Inc 1.07 AU Optronics Corporation 1.07 EEPV Corp 1.07 Gintech Energy Corporation 1.07 Inventec Solar Energy Corporation 1.07 Kyocera Mexicana S.A. de C.V 1.07 Neo Solar Power Corporation 1.07 Sino-American Silicon Products Inc. and Solartech Energy Corp 1.07 TSEC Corporation 1.07 Vina Solar Technology Co., Ltd 1.07
    Rate for Companies Not Individually Examined

    The statute and the Department's regulations do not address the establishment of a rate to be applied to respondents not selected for individual examination when the Department limits its examination of companies subject to the administrative review pursuant to section 777A(c)(2)(B) of the Act. Generally, the Department looks to section 735(c)(5) of the Act, which provides instructions for calculating the all-others rate in an investigation, for guidance when calculating the rate for respondents not individually examined in an administrative review. Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act articulates a preference for not calculating an all-others rate using rates which are zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts available (FA).11 Accordingly, the Department's usual practice has been to determine the dumping margin for companies not individually examined by averaging the weighted-average dumping margins for the individually examined respondents, excluding rates that are zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts available.12 Consistent with this practice, we preliminarily calculated a weighted-average dumping margin for Motech that is above de minimis and not based entirely on FA; therefore, the Department preliminarily assigns to the non-selected companies the weighted-average margin calculated for Motech as the non-selected respondent rate for this review.

    11See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews and Rescission of Reviews in Part, 73 FR 52823, 52824 (September 11, 2008), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 16.

    12Id.

    Assessment Rates

    As noted above, we are rescinding the review with respect to 23 companies that withdrew their requests for an administrative review within 90 days of the date of publication of the Initiation Notice. As such, the Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of this notice for these 23 companies. Antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i).

    Upon completion of the administrative review, the Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of this review.

    For any individually examined respondents whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent), we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).13 For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by each respondent for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company involved in the transaction.14 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    13 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation methodology adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    14See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of solar products from Taiwan entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for the companies under review will be the rate established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, no cash deposit will be required); (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the manufacturer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of the proceeding for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 19.50 percent ad valorem, the all-others rate established in the less-than-fair-value investigation.15 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    15See Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 76966 (December 23, 2014).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose the calculations used in our analysis to interested parties in this review within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results of this review. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii), interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.16 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with each brief: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities.17 Executive summaries should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.18 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.19

    16See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1).

    17See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    18Id.

    19See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. If a hearing is requested, the Department will notify interested parties of the hearing schedule. Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs.

    We intend to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of issues raised by the parties in the written comments, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless otherwise extended.20

    20See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    These preliminary results of administrative review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistance Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Selection of Respondents 5. Affiliation and Collapsing of Affiliates 6. Unexamined Respondents 7. Discussion of Methodology 8. Product Comparisons 9. Date of Sale 10. Export Price 11. Normal Value 12. Revisions to SAS-Solartech's Reported Home Market Sales 13. Cost of Production Analysis 14. Calculation of NV Based on Comparison-Market Prices 15. Currency Conversions 16. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2017-27405 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Accurate Fluorescence Measurements Consortium AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, is establishing the Accurate Fluorescence Measurements Consortium and invites organizations to participate in this Consortium. The Consortium will develop tools for improving the accuracy of quantitative fluorescence measurements including reference materials, reference data and reference methods for relative spectral correction of spectra, lifetimes and quantum yields and for assessing the associated uncertainties and utilities. Participation in this Consortium is open to all eligible organizations, as described below.

    DATES:

    NIST will accept responses for participation in this Consortium on an ongoing basis. The Consortium's activities will commence on January 2, 2018 (“Commencement Date”). Acceptance of participants into the Consortium after the Commencement Date will depend on eligibility and the availability of NIST resources.

    ADDRESSES:

    Information in response to this notice and request for additional information about the Consortium can be directed via mail to the NIST Consortium Manager, Dr. Paul DeRose, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division of NIST's Material Measurement Laboratory, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-8312, or via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information about partnership opportunities or about the terms and conditions of NIST's Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), please contact Jeffrey DiVietro, CRADA and License Officer, National Institute of Standards and Technology's Technology Partnerships Office, by mail to 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 2200, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by telephone at (301) 975-8779.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Quantitative fluorescence measurements are used for instrument qualification and method validation in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. It is also increasingly being used for detection of antibodies in clinical diagnostics and biomedical research. The measurements made on different instrument platforms at different times and locations cannot be compared accurately, which makes diagnostic decisions unreliable and slows down advances in these areas. In response to this limitation, NIST, secondary standards manufacturers and other stakeholders have developed methodologies to implement quantitation fluorescence measurements.

    NIST produced SRMs 2940 through 2944 in the past nine years as relative intensity correction standards for fluorescence spectroscopy. These standards are needed by fluorescence instrument manufacturers and regulated communities that use quantitative fluorescence detection. For instance, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology communities use SRMs 2940 through 2944 to calibrate and verify the performance of their fluorescence instruments, which is required to achieve accurate results in secondary screening of drugs and in quantitative analysis of bioassays. Many other communities that use fluorescence detection need similar standards, but cannot afford the price of these SRMs or require different sample formats.

    Few secondary standards of this type have been produced by industry because most companies do not have the fluorescence measurement capabilities and expertise to make high accuracy measurements. This Consortium is intended to give secondary standard manufacturers, as well as other stakeholders in the fluorescence measurement community, access to highly accurate fluorescence measurement capabilities available at NIST. In return, these manufacturers provide NIST information about new materials, future material needs, and new customer bases. These manufacturers know the needs of different communities and have developed new materials to meet these needs. Many of the fluorescent materials to be measured have not been used as standards and the suitability of these materials as standards is of great interest to NIST. NIST's understanding of the fluorescent characteristics of such materials through collaborative research and information exchange may lead to new NIST standards in this and other related areas. It is also important for NIST to know about additional standards needed in emerging technologies. Collaborators will supply NIST with this knowledge and work with NIST to design and characterize the best standards for such emerging technologies. Through this process, collaborators will assist NIST to develop better reference materials.

    Participation Process

    Eligibility will be determined by NIST using the information provided by an organization in response to this notice based on the information requested below.

    An organization responding to this notice should provide the following information to NIST's Consortium Manager:

    (1) Type of Reference Materials: Format of the sample (e.g., standard cuvette, microwell plate, microscope slide); and Quantitative Target for Improved Accuracy (e.g., relative spectral correction of emission, fluorescence lifetime, fluorescence quantum yield).

    (2) Types of Applications: Fluorescence measurements are used for detection in many areas, but how will the proposed reference materials address the quantitative needs of high impact communities requiring better accuracy and reproducibility?

    (3) Experience in production and characterization of reference materials for quantitative fluorescence.

    A responding organization should not include any business proprietary information in its response to this request for information. NIST will not treat any information provided in response to this request as proprietary information.

    NIST will notify each organization of its eligibility. In order to participate in this Consortium, each eligible organization must sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for this Consortium. All participants to this Consortium will be bound by the same terms and conditions.

    Authority

    15 U.S.C. 3710a.

    Kevin Kimball, NIST Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27353 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF860 Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permits.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that individuals and institutions have been issued Letters of Confirmation for activities conducted under the General Authorization for Scientific Research on marine mammals. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for a list of names and address of recipients.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Letters of Confirmation and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office:

    Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Office of Protected Resources, Permits and Conservation Division, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The requested Letters of Confirmation have been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). The General Authorization allows for bona fide scientific research that may result only in taking by Level B harassment of marine mammals. The following Letters of Confirmation (LOC) were issued in Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017.

    File No. 19826: Issued to Tara Moll, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, 1176, Howell St., Newport, RI, 02841 on January 28, 2016 to conduct ground surveys, photo-identification, and behavioral observations of gray (Halichoerus grypus grypus), harbor (Phoca vitulina), and harp (Phoca groenlandica) seals in the lower Chesapeake Bay, VA, and Narragansett Bay, RI. The purpose of the research is to investigate site fidelity and movement among haul-out locations, and to improve baseline knowledge of pinniped occurrence in areas adjacent to Navy training and testing areas. The LOC expires January 31, 2021.

    File No. 19749: Issued to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767 on February 17, 2016 to conduct vessel surveys, close approach, photo-identification, behavioral observations, and focal follows of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Research would primarily occur in coastal waters from Redington Long Pier (Pinellas County) and north to Levy County, FL and expand offshore to 20m isobaths. The purpose of the research is to determine home ranges, distribution, population abundance, site fidelity, and reproductive success, in the estuarine and coastal waters of west central Florida. The effects of human interactions in this area will also be considered. The LOC expires March 1, 2021.

    File No. 19686: Issued to Jennifer Lewis, Ph.D., Florida International University 11200 SW 8th Street Miami, FL 33199 on March 11, 2016 to conduct vessel surveys, close approach, photo-identification, behavioral observations, and focal follows of bottlenose dolphins. Research would primarily occur in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as well as the southern Florida Keys. The purpose of the research is to determine home ranges, distribution, population abundance, site fidelity, and reproductive success, in the estuarine and coastal waters of southern Florida. The effects of human interactions in this area will also be considered. The LOC expires March 15, 2021.

    File No. 20066: Issued to Eric Montie, Ph.D., University of South Carolina Beaufort, One University Boulevard, Bluffton, SC 29909 on March 29, 2016 to conduct vessel surveys for passive acoustic recordings, close approach, photo-identification, and behavioral observations of bottlenose dolphins. Research would primarily occur in the coastal waters of Bluffton and Hilton Head, SC. The purpose of the research is to better understand (1) the acoustic ecology of bottlenose dolphins and their prey, and (2) how anthropogenic noise may impact the acoustic signals of fish and bottlenose dolphins. The LOC expires March 31, 2021.

    File No. 19903: Issued to Andrew Read, Ph.D., Duke University Marine Laboratory, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, NC 28516-9721 on April 27, 2016 to conduct cetacean photo-identification surveys, behavioral follows, and audio recordings in the waters off Jacksonville, FL; Cape Hatteras, NC; and Norfolk, VA. Twenty-one species of cetaceans would be studied. The objectives of the research are to study factors influencing habitat use, ranging patterns, behavioral variation and population structure of the above mentioned species. The LOC expires April 30, 2021.

    File No. 20412: Issued to Shoals Marine Lab, 113 Morse Hall, 8 College Road, Durham, NH 03824 on April 28, 2016, to conduct vessel surveys, photo-identification, and behavioral observations and monitoring of harbor, harp (Pagophilus groenlandica), hooded (Cystophora cristata), and gray seals in Maine and New Hampshire. The purpose of this research is to monitor density and distribution; identify and re-sight unique individuals; document use of the area by mother-pup pairs; visually assess health of individuals; and monitor the effects of human disturbance (boating, fishing, entanglement) on pinnipeds.

    File No. 19540: Issued to Shannon Gowans, Ph.D., Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory, Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33711 on May 26, 2016, to conduct vessel surveys for close-approach, photo-identification, behavioral observations, underwater photo/videography, focal follows, and passive acoustic recordings of bottlenose, Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis), and rough-toothed (Steno bredanensis) dolphins within Tampa Bay and adjacent Gulf of Mexico waters. The purpose of the research is to continue long-term monitoring including population size and trends, spatial and temporal distribution of individual dolphins, and social structure. The LOC expires May 31, 2021.

    File No. 16299-01: Issued to Ann Weaver, Ph.D., School of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Argosy University, 5250 17th Street, Sarasota, FL 34235 on June 10, 2016, extended the expiration date of the LOC for one year. The LOC authorizes vessel surveys, photo-identification and behavioral observations of bottlenose dolphins near John's Pass on the west coast of Florida. The objective is to study the before, during, and after effects of bridge construction on the abundance, distribution, and behavior of dolphins. This LOC was subsequently terminated on August 26, 2016, when a new LOC (File No. 20346) was issued to Dr. Weaver.

    File No. 15621-01: Issued to Peggy Stap, Marine Life Studies, P.O. Box 884, Monterey, CA 93942 on June 15, 2016, extended the expiration date of the LOC for one year. The LOC authorizes for photo-identification, passive acoustic recordings, behavioral observations, underwater photography and video, and harassment of marine mammals during vessel surveys in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The objectives are to: (1) Study the foraging strategies of killer whales (Orcinus orca) (transient and offshore) within the sanctuary and (2) investigate the abundance, distribution, movement, and frequency of occurrence of cetaceans in the sanctuary, specifically the interaction of mixed species groups. The new expiration date is June 15, 2017.

    File No. 20386: Issued to Golden Gate Cetacean Research, 9 Edgemar Way, Corte Madera, CA 94925 on July 28, 2016 to conduct vessel surveys for close-approach, photo-identification, and behavioral observations of harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and bottlenose dolphin in Monterey Bay through northern California waters, including San Francisco Bay, and Kachemak Bay, AK. The purpose of the research is to collect photographic and observational data on the distribution and occurrence of harbor porpoise in San Francisco Bay and to track the movements of California coastal bottlenose dolphins to the northern limits of their range, as well as conduct a comparative stud with harbor porpoises in Kachemak Bay, AK. The LOC expires July 31, 2021.

    File No. 20169: Issued to Maddalena Bearzi, Ocean Conservation Society P.O. Box 12860, Marina Del Rey, CA 90295 on August 9, 2016 to conduct vessel surveys for close approach, photo-identification, and behavioral observations of 18 non-listed cetacean and pinniped species and stocks. Research would occur within coastal and offshore waters of Southern California. The purpose of the research is to continue the long-term study on the ecology and aggregations of, and disease occurrence in, marine mammals in the area. The LOC expires August 15, 2021.

    File No. 19289: Issued to Mari Smultea, Smultea Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 256, Preston, WA 98050 on August 16, 2016 to conduct aerial line-transect surveys, photography, and behavioral observations of 20 cetacean species and five pinniped species. Aerial surveys may occur in the U.S. Navy's Southern California Range Complex off San Diego, CA, and near U.S. Naval installations in Washington state: inland Puget Sound Region and offshore in the existing Northwest Training Range Complex and Naval Underwater Warfare Center Keyport Dabob Bay Range Complex. The objectives of the research are to improve baseline information on marine mammal status, abundance, stock structure, life history, seasonal distribution, and behavior; and assessment of potential impacts from Naval training exercises in the study areas. The LOC expires on August 1, 2021.

    File No. 20346: Issued to Ann Weaver, Ph.D., Good-natured Statistics Consulting, PO Box 8732, St. Petersburg, FL 33738 on August 25, 2016 to conduct vessel-based scientific research of bottlenose dolphins to monitor abundance, distribution, and behavior associated with a bridge construction project over John's Pass, Florida and other coastal construction projects. The purpose is to monitor the effects on bottlenose dolphins associated with the construction in an important dolphin corridor at John's Pass tidal inlet, St. Petersburg, FL. The LOC expires August 31, 2021.

    File No. 20377: Issued to Wendy Noke Durden, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, 3830 South Highway A1A #4-181, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951 on August 30, 2016 to conduct vessel-based scientific research of behavioral observations, passive acoustic recording, monitoring, photo identification, photography and video of bottlenose dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon and Jacksonville Estuarine System stock. The objective is to conduct scientific research of abundance, distribution, behavior, population dynamics and communication. The research will occur along the east coast of Florida, specifically the Indian River Lagoon and Halifax Rivers from northernmost limits of Flagler County.

    File No. 18605-01: Issued to Tara M. Cox, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marine Science, Savannah State University, P.O. Box 20467, Savannah, GA 31404 on September 9, 2016 to add the newly recognized Central Georgia Estuarine System stock of bottlenose dolphins that occurs in the study area. The LOC authorizes close approach, photo-identification, behavioral observations, passive acoustics, and focal follows of several cetacean species within estuarine and coastal waters of Georgia and South Carolina. The purpose of the research is to continue to study dolphin-human interaction behaviors related to coastal fisheries, foraging ecology, and social and population structure of local bottlenose dolphins. The LOC expires on March 1, 2019.

    File No. 20377-01: Issued to Wendy Noke Durden, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, 3830 South Highway A1A #4-181, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951 on September 19, 2016, to change the bottlenose dolphin stocks in the LOC to reflect accurately those stocks found in the study area. The LOC authorizes vessel-based surveys involving behavioral observations, passive acoustic recording, monitoring, photo identification, photography and video from the inland waters of the Indian River Lagoon estuary to the Intracoastal Waters of the Halifax Rivers estuary. The objective of the research is to study bottlenose dolphin abundance, distribution, behavior, population dynamics and communication. The LOC expires on September 1, 2021.

    File No. 20519: Issued to Peggy Stap, Marine Life Studies, P.O. Box 884, Monterey, CA 93942 on December 28, 2016 to conduct vessel surveys, close approach, photo-identification, behavioral observations, passive acoustics, and underwater photograph/video within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Eighteen species of cetaceans and four species of pinnipeds would be studied. The purpose of the research is to study foraging strategies and vocalizations of killer whales and investigate the abundance, distribution, movement, and frequency of occurrence of cetacean species within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The LOC expires December 31, 2021.

    File No. 19749-01: Issued to Clearwater Marine Aquarium [Responsible Party is Frank Dame], 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767 on March 27, 2017 to conduct vessel surveys, close approach, photo-identification, behavioral observations, of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to assess their home ranges, distribution, population abundance, site fidelity, and reproductive success, in the estuarine and coastal waters of west central Florida. The amended LOC adds 52 annual takes of Atlantic spotted dolphins that are observed to co-occur with the target species (bottlenose dolphins). The LOC expires March 1, 2021.

    File No. 18101-01: Issued to Pacific Whale Foundation [Principal Investigator is Greg Kaufman], 300 Ma'alaea Rd., Suite 211, Wailuku, HI 96793 on March 27, 2017. The original LOC authorized close approaches during vessel line-transect surveys for photo-identification, behavioral observation, focal follows, and underwater photography/videography of several non-Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed odontocetes in the waters offshore of Maui County, HI. The amended LOC adds annual takes of non-ESA listed humpback whales, (Megaptera novaeangliae, Hawaii Distinct Population Segment), during these surveys. Additionally, the amendment adds in-water activities (pole-mounted cameras and up to two swimmers) with humpback whales only in order to identify the sex of humpback whales. The LOC expires June 1, 2018.

    File No. 21134: Issued to John H. Schacke, Ph.D., George Dolphin Ecology Program, 223 Trace Lane, Commerce, GA 30530 on May 11, 2017 to conduct vessel surveys, photo-identification, and behavioral observations of bottlenose dolphins (Central Georgia Estuarine System stock) within coastal and estuarine waters of central Georgia. The purpose of the research is to document the abundance, distribution, movement, and frequency of bottlenose dolphins within Georgia and to contribute to shared bottlenose dolphin catalogs within the southeast Atlantic region. The LOC expires May 15, 2022.

    File No. 18101-02: Issued to Pacific Whale Foundation [Principal Investigator is Greg Kaufman], 300 Ma'alaea Rd., Suite 211, Wailuku, HI 96793 on March 27, 2017. The previous LOC (No. 18101-01; above) authorized close approaches during vessel line-transect surveys for photo-identification, behavioral observation, focal follows, and underwater photography/videography of several non-listed odontocetes in the waters offshore of Maui County, HI. The amended LOC adds photogrammetry as a research procedure. The LOC expires June 1, 2018.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activities are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27362 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF828 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council—Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Announcement of rescheduled meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Citizen Science Advisory Panel Finance & Infrastructure Action Team via webinar. The meeting via webinar was originally scheduled for December 13, 2017, but has been rescheduled as a result of schedule changes.

    DATES:

    The meeting via webinar has been rescheduled for January 10, 2018, at 1 p.m. The meeting is scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes. Additional Action Team webinar and plenary webinar dates and times will publish in a subsequent issue in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meetings will be held via webinar and are open to members of the public. Webinar registration is required and registration links will be posted to the Citizen Science program page of the Council's website at www.safmc.net.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Von Harten, Citizen Science Program Manager, SAFMC; phone 843/302-8433 or toll free 866/SAFMC-10; FAX 843/769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to schedule changes, the Council's Finance & Infrastructure Action Team meeting is rescheduled for Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 1 p.m.

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) created a Citizen Science Advisory Panel Pool in June 2017. The Council appointed members of the Citizen Science Advisory Panel Pool to five Action Teams in the areas of Volunteers, Data Management, Projects/Topics Management, Finance, and Communication/Outreach/Education to develop program policies and operations for the Council's Citizen Science Program.

    The Finance & Infrastructure Action Team will meet to continue work on developing recommendations on program policies and operations to be reviewed by the Council's Citizen Science Committee. Public comments will be accepted at the beginning of the meeting.

    Items to be addressed during these meetings:

    1. Discuss work on tasks in the Terms of Reference.

    2. Other Business.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27352 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE201 Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and a Consent Decree with BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP), the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) have prepared the Draft Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana (SRP/EA). The Draft SRP/EA identifies a restoration strategy that will help prioritize future decisions regarding project selection and funding. Rather than selecting specific projects for construction, the Trustees evaluate a suite of restoration techniques and approaches, for example large-scale diversions or marsh creation, to determine how to best support restoring ecosystem-level injuries in the Gulf of Mexico through restoration in the Barataria Basin.

    The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Draft SRP/EA and to seek public comments on the document.

    DATES:

    The Louisiana TIG will consider public comments received or postmarked on or before Monday, February 5, 2018.

    Public Meetings: The Louisiana TIG will conduct two public meetings to provide information and seek public input on the Draft SRP/EA:

    • January 17, 2018, in conjunction with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board Meeting; 9:30 a.m.; Louisiana State Capitol, House Committee Room 5; 900 North Third Street; Baton Rouge, LA 70802. Additional information regarding logistics for the Public Meeting, including the timing of the public comment opportunity following the Board Agenda, will be posted to the Louisiana (http://la-dwh.com) and DWH websites ((http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov) (see ADDRESSES).

    • January 24, 2018; 5:30 p.m.; University of New Orleans; Homer Hitt Alumni Center; 2000 Lakeshore Drive; New Orleans, LA 70148. The meeting will begin with an open house at 5:30 p.m. and follow with Louisiana TIG presentation and public comment opportunity at 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: You may download the Draft SRP at: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov, http://www.la-dwh.com.

    Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Draft SRP/EA (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). In addition, you may view the document at any of the public facilities listed at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Draft SRP/EA by one of following methods:

    • Via the Web: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/louisiana.

    • Via U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345; or Louisiana Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority, ATTN: Liz Williams, P.O. Box 44027, Baton Rouge, LA 70804.

    • In Person: Written and verbal comments may be submitted at the public meetings on January 17 and January 24, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—Mel Landry, [email protected], (301) 427-8711.

    • Louisiana—Liz Williams, [email protected], (225) 342-7308.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Introduction

    On April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, which was being used to drill a well for BP in the Macondo prospect (Mississippi Canyon 252-MC252), exploded, caught fire, and subsequently sank in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in an unprecedented volume of oil and other discharges from the rig and from the wellhead on the seabed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest maritime oil spill in United States history, discharging millions of barrels of oil over a period of 87 days. In addition, well over one million gallons of dispersants were applied to the waters of the spill area in an attempt to disperse the spilled oil. An undetermined amount of natural gas also was released to the environment as a result of the spill.

    The Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustees (DWH Trustees) conducted the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant to OPA, Federal and State agencies act as trustees on behalf of the public to assess natural resource injuries and losses and to determine the actions required to compensate the public for those injuries and losses. OPA further instructs the designated trustees to develop and implement a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent of the injured natural resources under their trusteeship, including the loss of use and services from those resources from the time of injury until the time of restoration to baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the spill had not occurred) is complete.

    The DWH Trustees are:

    • U.S. Department of the Interior, as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture;

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;

    • State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Department of Natural Resources;

    • State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;

    • State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;

    • State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and

    • For the State of Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

    On April 4, 2016, the DWH Trustees reached and finalized a settlement of their natural resource damages claims with BP in a Consent Decree approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in the Louisiana Restoration Area are now chosen and managed by the Louisiana TIG. The Louisiana TIG is comprised of the following DWH Trustees:

    • State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA);

    • Oil Spill Coordinator's Office (LOSCO);

    • Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ);

    • Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF);

    • Department of Natural Resources (LDNR);

    • U.S. Department of the Interior, as represented by National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture; and

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the PDARP/PEIS. Information on the Restoration Type considered in the Draft SRP/EA, as well as the OPA criteria against which alternatives were evaluated, can be viewed in the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan) and in the Overview of the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan).

    Background

    On March 29, 2017, the Louisiana TIG solicited project ideas to sustainably create, restore, and enhance coastal wetlands, and restore or preserve Mississippi River processes (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2017/03/request-restoration-project-ideas-louisiana). From that input and review of other Louisiana restoration planning efforts, including Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan and Deepwater Horizon restoration planning efforts, the Louisiana TIG published a notice of intent on April 28, 2017 announcing its initiation of strategic restoration planning through two phases (82 FR 19659). The first phase would prepare a strategic restoration plan for Louisiana's Barataria Basin. The Deepwater Horizon spill created an ecosystem-level injury to the Gulf of Mexico, which included accelerated loss of critical wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats as well as injuries across all trophic levels in the Gulf of Mexico. The most severe losses to coastal marshes, which represent the foundation of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, were focused on the Barataria Basin. As described in the April 28, 2017 notice, the Louisiana TIG has prepared this Draft SRP/EA which focuses on wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitat restoration type projects in the Barataria Basin restoration area. This geographic focus is appropriate as the PDARP/PEIS found that the Barataria Basin experienced some of the heaviest and most persistent oiling from the DWH spill and because the Basin supports very high primary and secondary production that contributes to the overall health of the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

    Overview of the Draft SRP/EA

    The Draft SRP/EA is being released in accordance with OPA, the OPA NRDA regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    The Louisiana TIG focused this SRP/EA on two wetlands, coastal and nearshore habitat restoration approaches described in the PDARP/PEIS: Creating, restoring and enhancing coastal wetlands; and restoring and preserving Mississippi-Atchafalaya River processes. Within the two restoration approaches, the PDARP/PEIS identifies a series of potential restoration techniques. These techniques, spanning both restoration approaches, are as follows (PDARP/PEIS, Appendix 5.D):

    • Create or enhance coastal wetlands through placement of dredged material;

    • Backfill canals;

    • Restore hydrologic connections to enhance coastal habitats;

    • Construct breakwaters; and

    • Controlled river diversions.

    Four project types are carried forward for additional consideration:

    • sediment diversion projects;

    • large-scale marsh creation projects;

    • ridge restoration projects; and

    • breakwater construction projects (also referred to as shoreline protection projects).

    After reviewing the restoration approaches and techniques, the Louisiana TIG identified 13 example projects from public submissions in response to the Notice of Solicitation and from the 2017 Coastal Master Plan. The Louisiana TIG then combined restoration techniques into four strategic restoration alternatives. With the exception of the natural recovery/no action alternative, each of these alternatives meets the Draft SRP/EA's purpose and need “to restore the ecosystem level injuries in Barataria Basin and to restore, rehabilitate, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitat resources and services and compensate for interim losses of those resources from the DWH oil spill.” The four strategic restoration alternatives are as follows:

    • Alternative 1: Marsh creation, ridge restoration, and large-scale sediment diversion;

    • Alternative 2: Marsh creation, ridge restoration, and shoreline protection;

    • Alternative 3: Marsh creation and ridge restoration; and

    • Alternative 4: Natural recovery/no action.

    The Louisiana TIG is proposing two decisions in this draft SRP/EA to restore ecosystem-level injuries in the Gulf of Mexico through restoration of critical wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitat resources and services in the Barataria Basin. First, the Louisiana TIG proposes a preferred alternative that relies on a suite of restoration techniques in the Barataria Basin, including large-scale sediment diversion, marsh creation, and ridge restoration. Second, the Louisiana TIG proposes to advance specific projects forward for further evaluation and planning: The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion and two marsh creation increments within Large Scale Marsh Creation: Component E in northern Barataria Basin. The LA TIG also confirms its 2017 decision to move the Spanish Pass Increment of the Barataria Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation project forward for further evaluation and planning. The trustees are not making a decision to fund these projects for construction at this time. Rather, the trustees will continue to consider the selected projects in future Phase II restoration plans including further OPA and NEPA evaluation.

    The Louisiana TIG evaluated strategic restoration alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment regulations. The strategic restoration alternatives are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS).

    NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the potential environmental impacts of planned actions. NEPA provides a mandate and framework for federal agencies to determine if their proposed actions have significant environmental effects and related social and economic effects, consider these effects when choosing between alternative approaches, and inform and involve the public in the environmental analysis and decision-making process. This SRP/EA tiers from the PDARP/PEIS and incorporates by reference the NEPA environmental consequences analysis found in Chapter 6 of the PDARP/PEIS. The Louisiana TIG has found, based on its evaluation in the EA portion of this SRP/EA that: (1) The PDARP/EIS included a thorough evaluation of the potential range of environmental effects that could result from the various restoration approaches and techniques analyzed in the PDARP; (2) the analysis of the environmental consequences of those approaches and techniques in the PDARP remains valid; (3) the effects of the restoration approaches and techniques, including the project selected for further planning and environmental review, evaluated in this SRP/EA are within the range of impacts evaluated in the PDARP; and (4) any new information regarding the environmental consequences of the restoration approaches and techniques, including the projects selected for further planning and environmental review, evaluated within this SRP/EA are within the range of and consistent with the environmental impacts identified and analyzed within the PDARP.

    Next Steps

    The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Draft SRP/EA. A public meeting has been scheduled to also help facilitate the public review and comment process. After the public comment period ends, the Louisiana TIG will consider the comments received before issuing a Final SRP/EA. A summary of comments received and the Louisiana TIG's responses and any revisions to the document, as appropriate, will be included in the final document.

    Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Draft SRP/EA can be viewed electronically at http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord.

    Authority

    The authority for this action is OPA (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), the OPA NRDA regulations at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Carrie Selberg, Deputy Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27295 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF877 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of standard prices and fee percentage.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS publishes the individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for cost recovery for the IFQ Program for the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific (IFQ Program). The fee percentage for 2017 is 2.2 percent. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2017 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2018.

    DATES:

    Valid on December 20, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carl Greene, Fee Coordinator, 907-586-7105.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    NMFS Alaska Region administers the IFQ Program in the North Pacific. The IFQ Program is a limited access system authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982. Fishing under the IFQ Program began in March 1995. Regulations implementing the IFQ Program are set forth at 50 CFR part 679.

    In 1996, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was amended to, among other purposes, require the Secretary of Commerce to “collect a fee to recover the actual costs directly related to the management and enforcement of any . . . individual quota program.” This requirement was further amended in 2006 to include collection of the actual costs of data collection, and to replace the reference to “individual quota program” with a more general reference to “limited access privilege program” at section 304(d)(2)(A). Section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act also specifies an upper limit on these fees, when the fees must be collected, and where the fees must be deposited.

    On March 20, 2000, NMFS published regulations in § 679.45 implementing cost recovery for the IFQ Program (65 FR 14919). Under the regulations, an IFQ permit holder must pay a cost recovery fee for every pound of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish that is landed on his or her IFQ permit(s). The IFQ permit holder is responsible for self-collecting the fee for all IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings on his or her permit(s). The IFQ permit holder is also responsible for submitting IFQ fee payment(s) to NMFS on or before the due date of January 31 of the year following the year in which the IFQ landings were made. The total dollar amount of the fee due is determined by multiplying the NMFS published fee percentage by the ex-vessel value of all IFQ landings made on the permit(s) during the IFQ fishing year. As required by § 679.45(d)(1) and (d)(3)(i), NMFS publishes this notice of the fee percentage for the halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries in the Federal Register during or before the last quarter of each year.

    Standard Prices

    The fee is based on the sum of all payments made to fishermen for the sale of the fish during the year. This includes any retro-payments (e.g., bonuses, delayed partial payments, post-season payments) made to the IFQ permit holder for previously landed IFQ halibut or sablefish.

    For purposes of calculating IFQ cost recovery fees, NMFS distinguishes between two types of ex-vessel value: Actual and standard. Actual ex-vessel value is the amount of all compensation, monetary or non-monetary, that an IFQ permit holder received as payment for his or her IFQ fish sold. Standard ex-vessel value is the default value used to calculate the fee. IFQ permit holders have the option of using actual ex-vessel value if they can satisfactorily document it; otherwise, the standard ex-vessel value is used.

    Section 679.45(b)(3)(iii) requires the Regional Administrator to publish IFQ standard prices during the last quarter of each calendar year. These standard prices are used, along with estimates of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings, to calculate standard ex-vessel values. The standard prices are described in U.S. dollars per IFQ equivalent pound for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings made during the year. According to § 679.2, IFQ equivalent pound(s) means the weight amount, recorded in pounds, and calculated as round weight for sablefish and headed and gutted weight for halibut, for an IFQ landing. The weight of halibut in pounds landed as guided angler fish is converted to IFQ equivalent pound(s) as specified in § 300.65(c) of this title. NMFS calculates the standard prices to closely reflect the variations in the actual ex-vessel values of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings by month and port or port-group. The standard prices for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish are listed in the tables that follow the next section. Data from ports are combined as necessary to protect confidentiality.

    Fee Percentage

    NMFS calculates the fee percentage each year according to the factors and methods described at § 679.45(d)(2). NMFS determines the fee percentage that applies to landings made in the previous year by dividing the total costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the IFQ Program (management costs) during the previous year by the total standard ex-vessel value of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings made during the previous year (fishery value). NMFS captures the actual management costs associated with certain management, data collection, and enforcement functions through an established accounting system that allows staff to track labor, travel, contracts, rent, and procurement. NMFS calculates the fishery value as described under the section, Standard Prices.

    Using the fee percentage formula described above, the estimated percentage of management costs to fishery value for the 2017 calendar year is 2.2 percent of the standard ex-vessel value, which is below the 3.0 maximum fee percentage allowed under section 304(d)(2)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. An IFQ permit holder is to use the fee percentage of 2.2 percent to calculate his or her fee for IFQ equivalent pound(s) landed during the 2017 halibut and sablefish IFQ fishing season. An IFQ permit holder is responsible for submitting the 2017 IFQ fee payment to NMFS on or before January 31, 2018. Payment must be made in accordance with the payment methods set forth in § 679.45(a)(4). NMFS no longer accepts credit card information by phone or in-person for fee payments. NMFS has determined that the practice of accepting credit card information by phone or in-person no longer meets agency standards for protection of personal financial information (81 FR 23645, April 22, 2016).

    The 2017 fee percentage of 2.2 percent is lower than the 2016 fee percentage of 3.1 percent, which was capped at 3.0 percent (81 FR 89900, December 13, 2016). The change can be attributed to an estimated 9.8 percent increase in the value of the IFQ Program fisheries from 2016 to 2017, along with a corresponding 21.2% drop in management costs over the same period.

    Table 1—Registered Buyer Standard Ex-Vessel Prices by Landing Location for the 2017 IFQ Season 1 Landing location Period ending Halibut
  • standard
  • ex-vessel
  • price
  • Sablefish
  • standard
  • ex-vessel
  • price
  • Homer March 31 April 30 6.49 4.38 May 31 6.58 4.51 June 30 6.52 July 31 6.60 4.52 August 31 6.40 September 30 5.91 5.00 October 31 5.91 5.00 November 30 5.91 5.00 Ketchikan March 31 April 30 6.71 May 31 6.57 4.93 June 30 6.59 July 31 6.53 August 31 6.49 September 30 6.63 October 31 6.63 November 30 6.63 Kodiak March 31 6.53 April 30 6.44 4.59 May 31 6.51 4.53 June 30 6.41 4.75 July 31 6.30 5.10 August 31 6.14 4.94 September 30 5.88 5.13 October 31 5.88 5.13 November 30 5.88 5.13 Petersburg March 31 April 30 6.64 May 31 June 30 6.53 July 31 August 31 6.69 September 30 October 31 November 30 Seward March 31 6.75 April 30 6.48 May 31 June 30 July 31 August 31 September 30 October 31 November 30 Sitka March 31 6.57 April 30 May 31 6.55 5.21 June 30 July 31 August 31 September 30 October 31 November 30 Port Group Bering Sea 2 March 31 April 30 5.71 3.93 May 31 6.04 4.03 June 30 6.15 4.69 July 31 5.96 4.86 August 31 5.73 4.70 September 30 5.94 4.58 October 31 5.94 4.58 November 30 5.94 4.58 Port Group Central Gulf 3 March 31 6.66 4.69 April 30 6.45 4.62 May 31 6.49 4.61 June 30 6.46 4.67 July 31 6.46 4.87 August 31 6.33 4.79 September 30 5.96 4.93 October 31 5.96 4.93 November 30 5.96 4.93 Port Group Southeast 4 March 31 6.77 4.80 April 30 6.57 4.77 May 31 6.52 5.07 June 30 6.54 5.18 July 31 6.58 5.15 August 31 6.64 5.36 September 30 6.46 5.30 October 31 6.46 5.30 November 30 6.46 5.30 All-Alaska 5 March 31 6.72 4.70 April 30 6.48 4.65 May 31 6.47 4.71 June 30 6.44 4.84 July 31 6.34 4.94 August 31 6.24 4.88 September 30 6.08 5.01 October 31 6.08 5.01 November 30 6.08 5.01 All 6 March 31 6.72 4.70 April 30 6.48 4.65 May 31 6.47 4.71 June 30 6.44 4.84 July 31 6.34 4.94 August 31 6.24 4.88 September 30 6.08 5.01 October 31 6.08 5.01 November 30 6.08 5.01 1Note: In many instances prices have not been reported to comply with confidentiality guidelines that prevent price reports when there are fewer than three processors operating in a location during a month. 2Landing locations Within Port Group—Bering Sea: Adak, Akutan, Akutan Bay, Atka, Bristol Bay, Chefornak, Dillingham, Captains Bay, Dutch Harbor, Egegik, Ikatan Bay, Hooper Bay, King Cove, King Salmon, Kipnuk, Mekoryuk, Naknek, Nome, Quinhagak, Savoonga, St. George, St. Lawrence, St. Paul, Togiak, Toksook Bay, Tununak, Beaver Inlet, Ugadaga Bay, Unalaska. 3Landing Locations Within Port Group—Central Gulf of Alaska: Anchor Point, Anchorage, Alitak, Chignik, Cordova, Eagle River, False Pass, West Anchor Cove, Girdwood, Chinitna Bay, Halibut Cove, Homer, Kasilof, Kenai, Kenai River, Alitak, Kodiak, Port Bailey, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Old Harbor, Palmer, Sand Point, Seldovia, Resurrection Bay, Seward, Valdez, Whittier. 4Landing Locations Within Port Group—Southeast Alaska: Angoon, Baranof Warm Springs, Craig, Edna Bay, Elfin Cove, Excursion Inlet, Gustavus, Haines, Hollis, Hoonah, Hyder, Auke Bay, Douglas, Tee Harbor, Juneau, Kake, Ketchikan, Klawock, Metlakatla, Pelican, Petersburg, Portage Bay, Port Alexander, Port Graham, Port Protection, Point Baker, Sitka, Skagway, Tenakee Springs, Thorne Bay, Wrangell, Yakutat. 5Landing Locations Within Port Group—All: For Alaska: All landing locations included in 2, 3, and 4. For California: Eureka, Fort Bragg, Other California. For Oregon: Astoria, Aurora, Lincoln City, Newport, Warrenton, Other Oregon. For Washington: Anacortes, Bellevue, Bellingham, Nagai Island, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Ilwaco, La Conner, Port Angeles, Port Orchard, Port Townsend, Rainier, Fox Island, Mercer Island, Seattle, Standwood, Other Washington. For Canada: Port Hardy, Port Edward, Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Haines Junction, Other Canada.
    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27336 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Proposed New Space Lease for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ AGENCY:

    Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an EA; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NOAA announces its intention to prepare an EA, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, for a new space lease to be occupied by the NOAA/OAR Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before January 15, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments on suggested alternatives and potential impacts should be sent to Stephen F. Mayle, Administrative Officer, NOAA/OAR/GFDL, 201 Forrestal Road, Princeton, NJ 08540. Comments may also be submitted via facsimile to 609-452-5395 or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The proposed action would involve a lease for space for the offices, seminar rooms, meeting rooms, etc. and computing facilities used by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). The current facilities, located in the Princeton, New Jersey area, are part of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). Research conducted at this laboratory includes development and use of mathematical models and computer simulations to improve our understanding and prediction of the behavior of the atmosphere and the oceans. GFDL scientists focus on model-building relevant for society, such as hurricane research, weather and ocean prediction, and forecasting on the continuum of time and space scales. GFDL also collaborates with visiting scientists and students from academic and non-profit institutions with whom NOAA has partnered to further its mission goals. The current physical space for GFDL consists of two buildings that together provide office space, teaching/seminar space, high performance computing space, a command/control center, and mechanical and electrical plants. The current GFDL facilities are approximately 68,675 square feet. Current space can house up to 215 staff, including full-time employees, visiting scientists and students, and contract employees.

    The current facilities are in need of repairs and renovations in order to continue to be effectively and safely occupied by GFDL. The existing space is also insufficient to accommodate visiting scientists and students, for example approximately 40 such staff utilize nearby overflow space, and to effectively store and stage necessary equipment for current levels of effort. It also does not allow space to expand to continue to meet NOAA's mission in collaboration with our institutional partners. NOAA is contracting with an architectural and engineering firm to conduct a space programming and planning study, or a Program of Requirements, that will more specifically identify GFDL's space needs. This study is expected to be completed on or about April 1, 2018, and will also inform the alternatives to be considered in an EA.

    The purpose of the public scoping process for this EA is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including potential alternatives, and the extent to which those issues and impacts will be analyzed in the EA. Federal, state, and local agencies, along with other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by NOAA's decision on this project are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by NOAA to participate as a cooperating agency.

    Dated: November 28, 2017. David Holst, Chief Financial Officer/CAO, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27387 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket ID ED-2017-OCO-0139] Request for Information on Obtaining Input From Rural Schools and Local Educational Agencies AGENCY:

    Office of Communications and Outreach, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 5005 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Secretary seeks information from the public regarding actions the Department of Education (Department) can take to improve how it considers the unique needs of rural schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) as it develops and implements its policies and programs. The Secretary intends to use this information in issuing a final report, required under section 5005, describing the actions it will take to increase the consideration and participation of rural schools and LEAs in the development and execution of the Department's processes, procedures, policies, and regulations.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments no later than February 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, hand delivery, or email. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under the “Help” tab.

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, Hand Delivery, or Email: The Department encourages commenters to submit their comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. However, if you mail or deliver your comments in response to this request, address them to Michael Chamberlain, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5E260, Washington, DC 20202. If you email your comments, send them to [email protected]

    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

    Note:

    This is a request for information (RFI) only. This RFI is not a request for proposals (RFP) or a promise to issue an RFP or a notice inviting applications. This RFI does not commit the Department to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. Further, the Department is not seeking proposals and will not accept unsolicited proposals. The Department will not pay for any information or administrative costs that you may incur in responding to this RFI. If you do not respond to this RFI, you may still apply for future contracts and grants. The documents and information submitted in response to this RFI become the property of the U.S. Government and will not be returned.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Chamberlain, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5E260, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7527 or by email: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: Section 5005 of the ESSA (Pub. L. 114-95), which was enacted on December 10, 2015, requires the Department to: “review the organization, structure, and process and procedures of the Department of Education for administering its programs and developing policy and regulations, in order to—

    (A) assess the methods and manner through which, and the extent to which, the Department of Education takes into account, considers input from, and addresses the unique needs and characteristics of rural schools and rural local educational agencies; and

    (B) determine actions that the Department of Education can take to meaningfully increase the consideration and participation of rural schools and rural local educational agencies in the development and execution of the processes, procedures, policies, and regulations of the Department of Education.”

    Section 5005 also requires the Department to publish a preliminary report containing the information described above and provide Congress and the public with 60 days to comment on the proposed actions. Thereafter, the Department must issue a final report to the Department's authorizing committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and carry out each action described in the final report or explain to the authorizing committees the reason for not carrying out any action described in the final report.

    Request for Information: Since the passage of the ESSA, the Department has been engaging in the required review and report, including conducting listening sessions on issues facing rural schools and LEAs and ways the Department can address those issues. The Department has published the preliminary report on its website at: https://blog.ed.gov/2017/12/public-comment-sought-report-obtaining-input-rural-schools-local-educational-agencies. It gives a brief overview of how the Department is organized and describes how the Department solicited and incorporated input from rural stakeholders as it developed the preliminary report. Additionally, the report explains the processes we currently use to incorporate the rural perspective into our policies and procedures, including processes we have recently implemented in response to stakeholder input, and describes additional proposed actions we can take.

    While we invite comment on the entire report, we particularly encourage comment on the proposed actions, as described in the section of the report titled “Additional Actions the Department Can Take to Increase Rural Stakeholder Input.” Specifically, we request feedback on whether:

    1. The actions described in the preliminary report will meaningfully increase the consideration and participation of rural schools and LEAs in the development and execution of the Department's processes, procedures, policies, and regulations; and

    2. There are other actions the Department can take to achieve this goal.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site, you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: December 15, 2017. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27442 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [Certification Notice—251] Notice of Filing of Self-Certification of Coal Capability Under the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of filing.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 26, 2017, APV Renaissance Opco, LLC, as owner and operator of a new baseload electric generating powerplant, submitted a coal capability self-certification to the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978 (FUA), as amended, and DOE regulations. The FUA and regulations thereunder require DOE to publish a notice of filing of self-certification in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of coal capability self-certification filings are available for public inspection, upon request, in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code OE-20, Room 8G-024, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Lawrence at (202) 586-5260.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 26, 2017, APV Renaissance Opco, LLC, as owner and operator of a new baseload electric generating powerplant, submitted a coal capability self-certification to the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to section 201(d) of the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978 (FUA), as amended, and DOE regulations in 10 CFR 501.60, 61. The FUA and regulations thereunder require DOE to publish a notice of filing of self-certification in the Federal Register. 42 U.S.C. 8311(d) and 10 CFR 501.61(c). Title II of FUA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), provides that no new base load electric powerplant may be constructed or operated without the capability to use coal or another alternate fuel as a primary energy source. Pursuant to the FUA, in order to meet the requirement of coal capability, the owner or operator of such a facility proposing to use natural gas or petroleum as its primary energy source shall certify to the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) prior to construction, or prior to operation as a base load electric powerplant, that such powerplant has the capability to use coal or another alternate fuel. Such certification establishes compliance with FUA section 201(a) as of the date it is filed with the Secretary. 42 U.S.C. 8311.

    The following owner of a proposed new baseload electric generating powerplant has filed a self-certification of coal-capability with DOE pursuant to FUA section 201(d) and in accordance with DOE regulations in 10 CFR 501.60, 61:

    Owner: APV Renaissance Opco, LLC Capacity: 1000 megawatts (MW) Plant Location: Renaissance Energy Center, Greene County, PA 15063 In-Service Date: Expected in June 2021 Issued in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2017. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27397 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Financing Programs AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Submission for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review; public comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) invites public comment on a revision of a currently approved collection of information that DOE is developing for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection requests a revision and three-year extension of its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, OMB Control Number 1910-5150.

    The proposed action will continue the collection of information on the status of financing program activities, expenditures, and results, to ensure that program funds are being used appropriately, effectively and expeditiously. No changes to the collection instrument are being proposed.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the revision of the currently approved collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden pertaining to the approved collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to further enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (d) ways to further minimize the burden regarding the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this revision to an approved information collection must be received on or before January 19, 2018. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be sent to Sallie Glaize, EE-5W, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20585, Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to: James Carlisle, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20585, Phone: (202) 287-1724, Fax: (412) 386-5835, Email: [email protected]

    Additional information and reporting guidance concerning the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) is available for review at the following website: https://energy.gov/eere/wipo/articles/energy-efficiency-and-conservation-block-grant-financing-programs-after-grant.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. 1910-5150; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program Financing Programs; (3) Type of Review: Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection; (4) Purpose: To collect information on the status of Financing Program activities, expenditures, and results, to ensure that program funds are being used appropriately, effectively and expeditiously; (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 108; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 175; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 525; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $21,000. Respondents, total responses, burden hours and the annual cost burden have all been significantly reduced because of the retirement of grants, fewer programs and a lessened burden on reporting and recordkeeping costs.

    Statutory Authority: Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), Public Law 110-140 as amended (42 U.S.C. 17151 et seq.).

    Issued in Washington, DC, December 4, 2017. James Carlisle, Supervisory Policy Advisor, Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27395 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY U.S. Energy Information Administration Agency Information Collection Activity; Extension AGENCY:

    U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    EIA, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, intends to extend with changes for three years with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Form EIA-886, Annual Survey of Alternative Fueled Vehicles. Form EIA-886 collects information on the number of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) made available, the distribution of AFVs in use, and alternative transportation fuels (ATFs) consumed.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before February 20, 2018. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in the ADDRESSES section below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be sent to Cynthia Sirk, EI-22, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, or by fax at (202) 586-9753, or by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Cynthia Sirk by phone at (202) 586-1658, or by email at [email protected] Access to the proposed form, instructions, and internet data collection screens can be found at: https://www.eia.gov/survey/form/eia_886/proposed/2018/form.pdf.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the expanded collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden 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; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to identify alternate sources of AFV information EIA proposes to collect. EIA will evaluate comments on duplication of data sources based on terms of data coverage, level of aggregation, frequency of collection, data reliability, and statutory requirements to determine whether alternate data sources represent a suitable substitute for EIA data.

    This information collection request contains:

    (1) OMB No. 1905-0191;

    (2) Information Collection Request Title: Annual Survey of Alternative Fueled Vehicles;

    (3) Type of Request: Renewal, with Changes;

    (4) Purpose: Form EIA-886 is an annual survey that collects information on the number and type of alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs) and other advanced technology vehicles that vehicle suppliers made available in the previous calendar year and plan to make available in the following calendar year; the number, type, and geographic distribution of AFVs in use in the previous calendar year; and the amount and distribution of each type of alternative transportation fuel (ATF) consumed in the previous calendar year. Form EIA-886 data are collected from suppliers and users of AFVs. These data are needed by federal and state agencies, fuel suppliers, transit agencies and other fleets to determine if sufficient quantities of AFVs are available for purchase and to provide Congress with a measure of the extent to which the objectives of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 are being achieved. These data serve as a tool for analysis on market penetration of AFVs in the motor vehicle population as well as trend analysis tools on the use and type of AFVs for Congress, federal/state agencies, AFV suppliers, vehicle fleet managers, and other interested organizations and persons.

    (4a) Proposed Changes to Information Collection: EIA is proposing two changes to Form EIA-886: (1) Collect more detailed vehicle type information and weight classifications from suppliers and users of AFVs; and (2) incorporate questions for electric vehicle users to gain a better understanding of refueling infrastructure and electricity consumption in electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

    (1) Changes to Vehicle Type and Weight Classifications: EIA proposes to standardize and break out weight classes to reflect industry standards by simplifying the list of vehicle type codes and adding a new column for detailed weight classifications in Parts 2 and 3 of Form EIA-886. These changes support EPA's emission inventory Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator model (MOVES) by making the weight classifications in EIA's data collection consistent with the weight classifications used by EPA. The MOVES model is the official emissions inventory model for highway and non-road mobile sources used by EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. This model is also used by state, local, and regional governments for environmental analysis of official submissions to EPA required by the Clean Air Act, such as State Implementation Plans (SIPs) and transportation conformity analysis for roadway construction. In addition, the MOVES model is instrumental in the development of national inventories used for evaluating the costs and benefits of EPA regulations, such as the second phase of the Greenhouse Gas Rule for Heavy-Duty Vehicles currently underway, including the predictions of the effects of EPA regulations on air quality.

    (2) Questions for Electric Vehicle Users: EIA seeks to gather tertiary information about electric vehicle power consumption to establish parameters for estimating consumption of electricity in its published report. EIA proposes to add questions to Part 2 of the form to collect information on charging patterns, mileage, and electric utility billing as it relates to electric vehicles.

    (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,050;

    (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 2,050;

    (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 8,575;

    Average Burden per Response: 4.2 hours;

    AFV Suppliers (30 Original Equipment Manufacturers): 3.5 hours per response;

    AFV Suppliers (20 Aftermarket Vehicle Converters): 3 hours per response;

    AFV Users (100 complex fleets): 4.3 hours per response;

    AFV Users (1,900 simple fleets): 4.2 hours per response;

    (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: EIA estimates that there are no capital and start-up costs associated with this data collection. The information is maintained in the normal course of business. The cost of burden hours to the respondents is estimated to be $631,635 (8,575 burden hours times $73.66 per hour). Therefore, other than the cost of burden hours, EIA estimates that there are no additional costs for generating, maintaining, and providing the information.

    Statutory Authority:

    Section 13(b) of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, Pub. L. 93-275, (FEA Act), and codified at 15 U.S.C. 772 (b), and Section 503(b)(2) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, Pub. L. 102-486 (EPACT92) codified at 42 U.S.C. 13253.

    Issued in Washington, DC on November 9, 2017. Nanda Srinivasan, Director, Office of Survey Development and Statistical Integration, U.S. Energy Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27396 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 3253-014] Mad River Power Associates LP; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application and Request to Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: 3253-014.

    c. Date Filed: October 17, 2017.

    d. Submitted By: Mad River Power Associates LP.

    e. Name of Project: Campton Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Mad River, in the Town of Campton, Grafton County, New Hampshire. The project occupies approximately 0.1 acre of United States lands administered by the United States Forest Service.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 and 5.5 of the Commission's regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Ian Clark, Managing Partner, Mad River Power Associates LP, 826 Scarsdale Avenue, Scarsdale, NY 10583; (914) 297-7645.

    i. FERC Contact: Dr. Nicholas Palso at (202) 502-8854; or email at [email protected]

    j. Mad River Power Associates LP filed its request to use the Traditional Licensing Process on October 17, 2017. Mad River Power Associates LP provided public notice of its request on October 22, 2017. In a letter dated December 13, 2017, the Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing approved Mad River Power Associates LP's request to use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402; and NOAA Fisheries under section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.920. We are also initiating consultation with the New Hampshire State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. With this notice, we are designating Mad River Power Associates LP as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and consultation pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    m. Mad River Power Associates LP filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule) with the Commission, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    n. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website (http://www.ferc.gov), using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    o. The licensee states its unequivocal intent to submit an application for a subsequent license for Project No. 3253. Pursuant to 18 CFR 16.20 each application for a subsequent license and any competing license applications must be filed with the Commission at least 24 months prior to the expiration of the existing license. All applications for license for this project must be filed by October 31, 2020.

    p. Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27333 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AC18-15-000] Notice of Request for Waiver: Empire Pipeline, Inc.

    Take notice that on November 9, 2017, Empire Pipeline, Inc., filed a request for waiver of the requirement to provide its certified public accountant certification statement for the 2017 FERC Form No. 2 on the basis of the calendar year ending December 31.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comments: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on January 8, 2018.

    Dated: December 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27366 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 1235-017] City of Radford; Notice Soliciting Scoping Comments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 1235-017.

    c. Date filed: May 30, 2017.

    d. Applicant: City of Radford.

    e. Name of Project: Municipal Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Little River near the City of Radford in Montgomery and Pulaski Counties, Virginia. The project does not affect federal lands.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Tim Logwood, Director of Electric Utilities for the City of Radford, 701 17th Street Radford, VA 24141; Telephone (540) 731-3641.

    i. FERC Contact: Allyson Conner, (202) 502-6082 or [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing scoping comments: 30 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file scoping comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-1235-017.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. Project Description. The existing Municipal Hydroelectric Project consists of: (1) A 293-foot-long, 58-foot-high reinforced concrete slab and buttress dam that includes: (a) A south non-overflow section; (b) an overflow bulkhead section; (c) an eight-bay spillway section each with a steel tainter gate; (d) a powerhouse intake section; and (e) a north non-overflow section; (2) a 77-acre impoundment with a gross storage capacity of 562 acre-feet at a normal pool elevation of 1,772 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD29) and a net storage capacity of 220 acre-feet between elevations 1,768 and 1,772 feet; (3) a 20-foot, 3-inch-wide intake section with angled steel trash racks (3-inch by 5/16th-inch trash rack bars spaced 2.5 inches on center) and a steel roller type head gate; (4) a 27-foot-long steel-lined penstock in concrete that transitions from a 13.5-foot-wide, 11-foot-high entrance to an 8-foot-diameter conveyance to the turbine scroll case; (5) a 30-foot-long, 28-foot-wide, and 62-foot-high powerhouse containing a single 1,185-kilowatt turbine-generator unit; (6) a 2.7-mile-long transmission line connected to the grid; and (7) appurtenant facilities.

    The City of Radford proposes to revise its exhibit G to include transmission facilities composed of only three, 560-foot-long, 4.16-kV overhead conductors that transmit power to a switched disconnect/interconnection with the local distribution grid. The City of Radford states that the formerly licensed transmission line now serves to distribute power to other sources along its length and is no longer part of the project.

    The City of Radford operates the project in both run-of-river and peaking modes. For the period 1984 through 2013, the project's average annual generation was about 4,550 megawatt-hours.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    n. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    o. Scoping Process. The Commission staff intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Municipal Hydroelectric Project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA will consider both site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.

    Commission staff issued Scoping Document 1 (SD1) on September 1, 2017 and held scoping meetings on October 2-3, 2017 and an environmental site review on October 2, 2017. Because some entities may not have received proper notice of the issuance of SD1 and the scoping meetings, we are providing an additional 30-day comment period on Scoping Document 2, which will be issued concurrently with this notice, for entities to provide comments, recommendations, and information.

    Copies of SD1 and this SD2 outlining the subject areas to be addressed in the EA were distributed to the parties on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of SD1 and SD2 may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or for TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27370 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2778-077] Idaho Power Company; Notice of Application for Amendment of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Amendment of license to reduce approved capacity upgrade.

    b. Project Number: 2778-077.

    c. Date Filed: April 14, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Idaho Power Company (licensee).

    e. Name of Project: Shoshone Falls Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the Snake River in Jerome and Twin Falls Counties, Idaho. Part of the project occupies lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: L. Lewis Wardle, FERC Lands and Licensing Coordinator, Idaho Power Company, P.O. Box 70, 1221 W Idaho St., Boise, Idaho 83702; telephone (208) 388-2964; email address: [email protected] Also, Jerrod Vaughn, Idaho Power Company, P.O. Box 70, 1221 W Idaho St., Boise, Idaho 83702; telephone (208) 388-2362: email address: [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Kurt Powers; telephone (202) 502-8949; email address: [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene and protests is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2778-077. Comments emailed to Commission staff are not considered part of the Commission record.

    k. Description of Filing: Idaho Power Company (IPC) requests amendment of the Commission's July 1, 2010 Order that authorized IPC to upgrade the Shoshone Falls Hydroelectric Project's installed capacity. Specifically, IPC no longer wants to build a new powerhouse with a single 50 megawatt (MW) unit. Instead, IPC proposes to remove the project's two existing turbines and install a single 3.2 MW unit in the project's existing powerhouse. The project's total installed capacity would then be 3.2 MW. IPC also proposes to delete Article 402 to remove the supplemental aesthetic flow release requirement and proposes to delete Article 420 which requires a Visitor Use Survey and Monitoring Plan. Both of these requirements were added to the license in response to the 50 MW upgrade. Finally, IPC proposes to accelerate its license expiration date so the license expires on July 31, 2040 instead of its current expiration date of July 31, 2044. This proposal would coordinate the license expiration date of the Shoshone Falls Project with the Twin Falls Project (FERC Project No. 18), which is located one mile upstream on the Snake River and has a license expiration date of December 31, 2040. IPC says coordination would allow the licensee, resource agencies, and the Commission to more effectively relicense the two projects and would allow the Commission to better assess cumulative effects.

    l. Locations of Applications: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should do so by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title PROTEST, MOTION TO INTERVENE, or COMMENTS; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.24(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are subject of the non-project use application. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27372 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. EL18-48-000; QF11-424-004] Gregory R. and Beverly F. Swecker v. Midland Power Cooperative, Central Iowa Power Cooperative Swecker, Gregory and Beverly; Notice of Petition for Enforcement

    Take notice that on December 1, 2017, pursuant to section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), Gregory R. and Beverly F. Swecker (Petitioners) filed a Petition for Enforcement, requesting that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) initiate an enforcement action against Midland Power Cooperative and Central Iowa Power Cooperative to remedy their alleged improper implementation of PURPA, all as more fully explained in their petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Petitioners.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 29, 2017.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27369 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-31-000.

    Applicants: Ohio Power Company, The Dayton Power and Light Company, Duke Energy Ohio, Inc.

    Description: Application under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Ohio Power Company, et al. for approval of a Transmission Asset Exchange Agreement.

    Filed Date: 12/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171211-5196.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2855-023; ER11-2856-023; ER11-2857-023; ER10-2488-015; ER10-2722-009; ER10-2787-007; ER12-2037-010.

    Applicants: Avenal Park LLC, Sand Drag LLC, Sun City Project LLC, Oasis Power Partners, LLC, Eurus Combine Hills I LLC, Eurus Combine Hills II LLC, Spearville 3, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of the Eurus MBR Companies.

    Filed Date: 12/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171211-5210.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2719-005.

    Applicants: NextEra Energy Transmission New York, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: NextEra Energy Transmission New York, Inc. Errata to Compliance Filing to be effective 11/30/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171211-5175.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1092-002.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing in ER17-1092-Variable Demand Curve and Scarcity Pricing to be effective 5/11/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171211-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1567-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing Pursuant to the November 9, 2017 Order in ER17-1567-000 to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 12/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171211-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-210-001.

    Applicants: Emera Maine.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Revised Request for Stay of Action Docket No. ER18-210-000 to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-296-000.

    Applicants: Phibro Americas LLC.

    Description: Supplement to November 11, 2017 Phibro Americas LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 12/8/17.

    Accession Number: 20171208-5186.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/29/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-301-000.

    Applicants: Ormesa LLC.

    Description: Amendment to November 11, 2017 Ormesa LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 12/1/17.

    Accession Number: 20171201-5232.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/22/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-425-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rev to OATT Att Q RE: FTR Credit Requirements Reflecting RTEP Upgrades to be effective 2/9/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/11/17.

    Accession Number: 20171211-5187.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-426-000.

    Applicants: The Dayton Power and Light Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Dayton submits an Upgraded Facilities Agreement, Service Agreement No. 4850 to be effective 12/13/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-427-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX-Port Comfort Power IA 1st Amend & Restated to be effective 11/16/2017

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-428-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX-Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative IA 1st Amend & Restated to be effective 12/7/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5066.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-429-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX-Pacific Wind Development Interconnection Agreement to be effective 11/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5067.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-430-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-12-12_Revisions to Attachment L and Module A Regarding Credit Provisions to be effective 3/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5111.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-431-000.

    Applicants: Dynegy Miami Fort, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Reactive Service Rate Schedule Filings and Request for Expedited Action to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-432-000.

    Applicants: Dynegy Zimmer, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Reactive Service Rate Schedule Filings and Request for Expedited Action to be effective 1/1/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following PURPA 210(m)(3) filings:

    Docket Numbers: QM18-6-000.

    Applicants: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.

    Description: Application of Basin Electric Power Cooperative to Terminate Mandatory Purchase Obligation Under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/18.

    Docket Numbers: QM18-7-000.

    Applicants: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.

    Description: Application of Basin Electric Power Cooperative to Terminate Mandatory Purchase Obligation Under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 12, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27367 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC18-32-000.

    Applicants: Jurisdictional Regional Equipment Sharing.

    Description: Joint Application under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act for Pre-Authorization of the Jurisdictional Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration Participants.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5233.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: EC18-33-000.

    Applicants: Imperial Valley Solar 3, LLC.

    Description: Application under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Imperial Valley Solar 3, LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-233-001.

    Applicants: Illinois Power Resources Generating, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Upstream Change in Control to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2566-003.

    Applicants: Dynegy Midwest Generation, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Upstream Change in Control to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1648-002.

    Applicants: Illinois Power Generating Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Upstream Change in Control to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5116.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-387-001.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc., Emera Maine.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Errata Filing of Original Service Agreement under Schedule 21-EM to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-440-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 1977R10 Nemaha-Marshall Electric Cooperative NITSA NOA to be effective 12/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5214.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-441-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PSO-AEPOTC-WFEC Roosevelt-Steed DPA to be effective 12/4/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5042.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-442-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Missouri River Energy Services.

    Description: Request to Implement the 50 Basis Point RTO Membership Adder For Five Members of Missouri River Energy Services of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., et. al.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-443-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to ISA, Service Agreement No. 4527; Queue No. AA1-145 to be effective 8/10/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-444-000.

    Applicants: Florida Power & Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: FPL Amendment No. 4 to Rate Schedule No. 74 to be effective 2/13/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-445-000.

    Applicants: Entergy Services, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Entergy Services, Inc., Amended Service Agreements to be effective 2/12/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-446-000.

    Applicants: AmerenEnergy Medina Valley Cogen, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of MBR Tariff to be effective 2/12/2018.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-447-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Provo City Operating Agreement Rev 1 to be effective 11/27/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-448-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: LGIA Willow Springs Solar 3 Project SA No 206 to be effective 12/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-449-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Third Amendment LGIA Avalon Hybrid Project SA No 154 to be effective 11/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-450-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-12-14_MISO-PJM JOA Clean up Revisions to be effective 6/28/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-451-000.

    Applicants: Dynegy Kendall Energy, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Upstream Change in Control to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-452-000.

    Applicants: Liberty Electric Power, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Upstream Change in Control to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-453-000.

    Applicants: Ontelaunee Power Operating Company, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Upstream Change in Control to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 12/14/17.

    Accession Number: 20171214-5151.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27373 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM98-1-000] Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public Notice

    This constitutes notice, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2201(b), of the receipt of prohibited and exempt off-the-record communications.

    Order No. 607 (64 FR 51222, September 22, 1999) requires Commission decisional employees, who make or receive a prohibited or exempt off-the-record communication relevant to the merits of a contested proceeding, to deliver to the Secretary of the Commission, a copy of the communication, if written, or a summary of the substance of any oral communication.

    Prohibited communications are included in a public, non-decisional file associated with, but not a part of, the decisional record of the proceeding. Unless the Commission determines that the prohibited communication and any responses thereto should become a part of the decisional record, the prohibited off-the-record communication will not be considered by the Commission in reaching its decision. Parties to a proceeding may seek the opportunity to respond to any facts or contentions made in a prohibited off-the-record communication, and may request that the Commission place the prohibited communication and responses thereto in the decisional record. The Commission will grant such a request only when it determines that fairness so requires. Any person identified below as having made a prohibited off-the-record communication shall serve the document on all parties listed on the official service list for the applicable proceeding in accordance with Rule 2010, 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Exempt off-the-record communications are included in the decisional record of the proceeding, unless the communication was with a cooperating agency as described by 40 CFR 1501.6, made under 18 CFR 385.2201(e)(1)(v).

    The following is a list of off-the-record communications recently received by the Secretary of the Commission. The communications listed are grouped by docket numbers in ascending order. These filings are available for electronic review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Docket No. File date Presenter or requester Prohibited 1. CP17-101-000 11-24-2017 Elaine Card. 2. CP17-101-000 12-11-2017 Michael Duggan. 3. CP17-101-000 12-11-2017 Stan Foster. 4. CP17-101-000 12-11-2017 Mary Wolf. 5. CP17-101-000 12-11-2017 Andrea Richlin. 6. CP17-101-000 12-11-2017 Mark Caskey. Exempt 1. EL15-95-000 11-28-2017 State Governors.1 ER15-2563-000 2. CP16-357-000 11-28-2017 U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito. 3. CP17-101-000 11-30-2017 FERC Staff.2 4. P-2232-653 12-7-2017 U.S Senator Thom Tillis. 1 State of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and State of Delaware Governor John Carney. 2 Meeting minutes for teleconference on November 17, 2017 with EPA and Transco. Dated: December 13, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27334 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2232-698] Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Non-Project Use of Project Lands.

    b. Project No.: 2232-698.

    c. Date Filed: November 13, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (licensee).

    e. Name of Project: Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The affected project land is located on the Catawba River in Burke County, North Carolina.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Dennis Whitaker, Manager, Lake Services North, 526 South Church Street, ECQ12, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202; telephone: (704) 382-1594.

    i. FERC Contact: Alicia Burtner; telephone: (202) 502-8038; email address: [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene and protests is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2232-698. Comments emailed to Commission staff are not considered part of the Commission record.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee filed a request for approval for a non-project use of project lands and waters, to lease approximately 18.715 acres of the project area in Burke County, North Carolina to Carolina Sand, Inc. for the purpose of hydraulic sand mining activities. While not currently in operation, this location has been maintained for dredging by previous contractors for over 75 years. The proposed sand mining would employ hydraulic dredge and barge operations to remove an estimated average of 33,000 tons of sediment from the river bed each year. The sediment would be transported via pipeline to a 29-acre processing and stockpiling area, and the excess water would be treated to remove sediment and turbidity and then returned to the Catawba River.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title PROTEST, MOTION TO INTERVENE, or COMMENTS; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.24(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are subject of the non-project use application. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27331 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3079-014.

    Applicants: Tyr Energy, LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Southeast Region of Tyr Energy, LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/12/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1160-002.

    Applicants: Entergy Arkansas, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: EAI MSS-4 Amended PPAs to be effective5/9/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-433-000.

    Applicants: La Paloma Generating Company, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of MBR Tariff to be effective 12/13/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20171212-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/2/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-434-000.

    Applicants: Chandler Wind Partners, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation to be effective 12/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5060.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-435-000.

    Applicants: Anbaric Development Partners, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authority to Sell Transmission Rights at Negotiated Rates of Anbaric Development Partners, LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5110.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-436-000.

    Applicants: Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP, Muskogee.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Notices of succession update to be effective 12/16/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-437-000.

    Applicants: Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP, Naheola.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Notices of succession update to be effective 12/16/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5154.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-438-000.

    Applicants: Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP, Green Bay West.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Notices of succession to be effective 12/16/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: ER18-439-000.

    Applicants: Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP Savannah.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Notices of succession update to be effective 12/16/2017.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/3/18.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF17-1530-000.

    Applicants: DOM Solar Lessor I, LP.

    Description: Refund Report of DOM Solar Lessor I, LP [CMEEC—Norwich].

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 01/3/18.

    Docket Numbers: QF18-266-000.

    Applicants: Chompie Solar I, LLC.

    Description: Refund Report of Chompie Solar I, LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/13/17.

    Accession Number: 20171213-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 01/3/18.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27360 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-476-000] Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP ; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Westlake Expansion Project

    On July 20, 2017, Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP (Gulf South) filed an application in Docket No. CP17-476-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate facilities in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The proposed project is known as the Westlake Expansion Project (Project) and would provide about 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to the proposed 980 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle electric generating plant near Westlake, Louisiana.

    On July 31, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA—February 27, 2018 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—May 29, 2018

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Gulf South proposes to construct and operate the following facilities as part of the Project in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana:

    • One new 10,000 horsepower compressor station (Westlake Compressor Station) and appurtenant facilities;

    • approximately 1,600 feet of 16-inch-diamater natural gas pipeline lateral; and

    • two new metering and regulating stations (Entergy Lake Charles and Varibus Meter and Regulator Stations).

    Background

    On August 30, 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Westlake Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; Native American tribes; environmental groups; and local libraries. In response to the NOI, the Commission received comments from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, three Louisiana state senators/representatives, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (SWLA), and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. The primary issues raised by the EPA and the LDWF are impacts on wetlands and wetland mitigation, waters of the United States, and construction and operational air quality impacts. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma requested to be a consulting party, be involved in the development of the Area of Potential Effect, and requested Project shapefiles, which Gulf South provided. The Louisiana state senators/representatives, SWLA, and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury commented that they support the Project due to its potential economic benefits.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov). Using the eLibrary link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and Docket Number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-476), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC website also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27368 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR18-8-000] Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order; Blue Racer NGL Pipelines, LLC

    Take notice that on December 11, 2017, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2016), Blue Racer NGL Pipelines, LLC (Blue Racer Pipelines), filed a petition for a declaratory order seeking approval of (1) the service structure for the reconfiguration and expansion of the Blue Racer Pipelines system in response to market changes and demand to transport additional natural gas liquids from the Natrium natural gas processing and fractionation facility in Marshall County, West Virginia; and (2) the rate structure and terms agreed upon with the shipper that has made a long-term commitment to utilize, or pay for, significant capacity, as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the website that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on January 11, 2018.

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27330 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL18-32-000] Carroll County Energy, LLC; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective Date

    On December 13, 2017, the Commission issued an order in Docket No. EL18-32-000, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e (2012), instituting an investigation into whether the Reactive Power Revenue Requirements of Carroll County Energy, LLC may be unjust and unreasonable. Carroll County Energy, LLC, 161 FERC 61, 259 (2017).

    The refund effective date in Docket No. EL18-32-000, established pursuant to section 206(b) of the FPA, will be the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Any interested person desiring to be heard in Docket No. EL18-32-000 must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.214, within 21 days of the date of issuance of the order.

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27335 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2684-010] Flambeau Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Ready for Environmental Analysis, and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Prescriptions

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 2684-010.

    c. Date filed: April 26, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Flambeau Hydro, LLC (Flambeau Hydro).

    e. Name of Project: Arpin Dam Project.

    f. Location: On the Chippewa River, near the Village of Radisson, Sawyer County, Wisconsin. There are no federal or tribal lands within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Jason Kreuscher, Renewable World Energies, LLC, 100 State Street, P.O. Box 264, Neshkoro, WI 54960; (855) 994-9376, ext. 102.

    i. FERC Contact: Amy Chang, 202-502-8250, or [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing motions to intervene and protests, comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions: 60 days from the issuance date of this notice; reply comments are due 105 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and protests, comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2684-010.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application has been accepted for filing and is now ready for environmental analysis.

    l. The existing Arpin Dam Project consists of: (1) An approximately 742.5-foot-long, 19-foot-high stone masonry dam (west dam section) that includes two timber stoplog spillway bays and a 318.9-foot-long overflow section; (2) an approximately 452.2-foot-long, 18-foot-high masonry dam (middle dam section) that includes two steel vertical lift gates and a 237.9-foot-long overflow section; (3) an approximately 319.8-foot-long, 16-foot-high masonry dam (east dam section) that includes two tainter gates and a 108-foot-long overflow section; (4) an approximately 294-acre impoundment at a normal full pond water surface elevation of 1,227.32 feet North American Vertical Datum of 1988; (5) a 37-foot-long, 11.5-foot-wide, 14-foot-high concrete, canal headworks structure on the eastern side of the impoundment; (6) an approximately 3,200-foot-long, 56-foot-wide, 6-foot-deep power canal; (7) a 13.5-foot-long, 48-foot-wide, 14.4-foot-high concrete intake structure that includes two 9-foot-wide, 11-foot-high steel stop gates and a 44-foot-wide, 14.4-foot-high trashrack with 1.5- to 1.75-inch clear bar spacing; (8) three 79-foot-long, 8-foot-diameter steel penstocks; (9) a 52-foot-long, 24-foot-wide, 25-foot-high cement block powerhouse containing two 600-kilowatt (kW), and one 250-kW vertical Francis turbine-generator units, for a total capacity of 1,450 kW; (10) a 15-foot-long, 2.4-kilovolt (kV) underground generator lead line that connects the turbine-generator units to a substation containing three step-up transformers; (11) a 3,645-foot-long, 22.9-kV above-ground transmission line; (12) an approximately 100-foot-long, 77-foot-wide tailrace; (13) recreation facilities; and (14) appurtenant facilities.

    Flambeau Hydro manually operates the project in a run-of-river mode, with an average annual generation of 7,336 megawatt-hours. Flambeau Hydro is not proposing any changes in project operation. Flambeau Hydro proposes to continue releasing a year-round minimum flow of 40 cubic feet per second to the bypassed reach to protect aquatic resources; limiting fluctuations in the reservoir to one foot below the maximum, except between April 1 and June 1, when fluctuations would be limited to 0.5 foot; and operating and maintaining existing recreation facilities. Flambeau Hydro also proposes to develop an Historic Properties Management Plan to protect historic resources.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    n. Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, and .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title PROTEST, MOTION TO INTERVENE, COMMENTS, REPLY COMMENTS, RECOMMENDATIONS, TERMS AND CONDITIONS, or PRESCRIPTIONS; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, recommendations, terms and conditions or prescriptions must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    o. Procedural Schedule:

    The application will be processed according to the following revised schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions, and preliminary fishway prescriptions February 2018. Commission issues Environmental Assessment June 2018. Comments on Environmental Assessment July 2018.

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    p. A license applicant must file no later than 60 days following the date of issuance of this notice: (1) A copy of the water quality certification; (2) a copy of the request for certification, including proof of the date on which the certifying agency received the request; or (3) evidence of waiver of water quality certification.

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27332 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0631; FRL-9970-90] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection (EPA ICR No. 1710.08); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), this document announces that EPA is planning to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ICR, entitled: “Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements” and identified by EPA ICR No. 1710.08 and OMB Control No. 2070-0151, represents the renewal of an existing ICR that is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2018. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection that is summarized in this document. The ICR and accompanying material are available in the docket for public review and comment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before February 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0631, 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: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 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 technical information contact: John Wilkins, National Program Chemicals Division (7404T), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 566-0477; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What information is EPA particularly interested in?

    Pursuant to PRA section 3506(c)(2)(A) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), EPA specifically solicits comments and information to enable it to:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility.

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. In particular, EPA is requesting comments from very small businesses (those that employ less than 25) on examples of specific additional efforts that EPA could make to reduce the paperwork burden for very small businesses affected by this collection.

    II. What information collection activity or ICR does this action apply to?

    Title: Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Disclosure Requirements.

    ICR number: EPA ICR No. 1710.08.

    OMB control number: OMB Control No. 2070-0151.

    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on October 31, 2018. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), after appearing in the Federal Register when approved, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers for certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.

    Abstract: Section 1018 of the Residential Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 4852d) requires that sellers and lessors of most residential housing built before 1978 disclose known information on the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards, and provide an EPA approved pamphlet to purchasers and renters before selling or leasing the housing. Sellers of pre-1978 housing are also required to provide prospective purchasers with ten days to conduct an inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint hazards before obligating purchasers under contracts to purchase the property. The rule does not apply to rental housing that has been found to be free of lead-based paint, zero-bedroom dwellings, housing for the elderly, housing for the handicapped, or short term leases. The affected parties and the information collection-related requirements related to each are described below:

    1. Sellers of pre-1978 housing must attach certain notification and disclosure language to their sales/leasing contracts. The attachment lists the information disclosed and a statement of compliance by the seller, purchaser and any agents involved in the transaction.

    2. Lessors of pre-1978 housing must attach notification and disclosure language to their leasing contracts. The attachment, which lists the information disclosed and a statement of compliance with all elements of the rule, must be signed by the lessor, lessee and any agents acting on their behalf. Agents and lessors must retain the information for three years from the completion of the transaction.

    3. Agents acting on behalf of sellers or lessors are specifically required by Section 1018 to comply with the disclosure regulations described above.

    Responses to the collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR 745, Subpart F, and 24 CFR 35, Subpart H). Respondents may claim all or part of a notice confidential. EPA will disclose information that is covered by a claim of confidentiality only to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with, the procedures in TSCA section 14 and 40 CFR part 2.

    Burden statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.11 hours per response. Burden is defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    The ICR, which is available in the docket along with other related materials, provides a detailed explanation of the collection activities and the burden estimate that is only briefly summarized here:

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Entities potentially affected by this ICR are persons engaged in selling or leasing certain residential dwellings built before 1978, or who are real estate agents representing such parties.

    Estimated total number of potential respondents: 21,504,926.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 2.6.

    Estimated total annual burden hours: 5,952,344 hours.

    Estimated total annual costs: $130,067,754. This includes an estimated burden cost of $130,067,754 and an estimated cost of $0 for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

    III. Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    There is a decrease of 514,832 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease reflects revisions to the estimated number of respondents based on updates to data sources, and revisions based on market factors, e.g., declines in the numbers of new rentals and declines in the amount of owner-occupied target housing in the market. This change is an adjustment. See the Supporting Statement for details.

    IV. What is the next step in the process for this ICR?

    EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. EPA will issue another Federal Register document pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB. If you have any questions about this ICR or the approval process, please contact the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: December 4, 2017. Charlotte Bertrand, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27424 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9971-53-OW] Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #2: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) have prepared a Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #2: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities (RP/EA). The Draft RP/EA describes and proposes restoration project alternatives considered by the Louisiana TIG to compensate for recreational use services lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Louisiana TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) regulations, and also evaluated the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The proposed projects are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Draft RP/EA and to seek public comments on the document.

    DATES:

    The Louisiana TIG will consider public comments received on or before January 19, 2018.

    Public Meeting: The Louisiana TIG will also take written and verbal comments at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board Meeting on January 17, 2018; 9:30 a.m.; Louisiana State Capitol, House Committee Room 5, 900 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: You may download the Draft RP/EA at any of the following sites:

    http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov http://www.la-dwh.com

    Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Draft RP/EA (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may also view the document at any of the public facilities listed at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Draft RP/EA by one of following methods:

    Via the Web: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/louisiana.

    Via U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345; or Louisiana Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority, ATTN: Liz Williams, P.O. Box 44027, Baton Rouge, LA 70804.

    In Person: Written and verbal comments may be submitted at the public meeting on January 17, 2018

    Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The Louisiana TIG may publish any comment received on the document. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The Louisiana TIG 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). Please be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, will become part of the public record. Please not that mailed comments must be postmarked on or before the comment deadline of 30 days following publication of this notice to be considered.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    • Louisiana—Liz Williams at [email protected].

    • EPA—Tim Landers at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

    On April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, which was being used to drill a well for BP Exploration and Production, Inc. (BP), in the Macondo prospect (Mississippi Canyon 252-MC252), experienced a significant explosion, fire, and subsequent sinking in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in an unprecedented volume of oil and other discharges from the rig and from the wellhead on the seabed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest off shore oil spill in U.S. history, discharging millions of barrels of oil over a period of 87 days. The Trustees conducted the natural resource damage assessment for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Under OPA, Federal and State agencies act as trustees on behalf of the public to assess natural resource injuries and losses and to determine the actions required to compensate the public for those injuries and losses. OPA further instructs the designated trustees to develop and implement a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent of the injured natural resources under their trusteeship, including the loss of use and services from those resources from the time of injury until the time restoration to baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the spill had not occurred) is complete.

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Trustees are:

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);

    • U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);

    • State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Oil Spill Coordinator's Office (LOSCO), Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Department of Natural Resources (LDNR);

    • State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;

    • State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;

    • State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and

    • State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, General Land Office, and Commission on Environmental Quality.

    On April 4, 2016, the Trustees reached and finalized a settlement of their natural resource damage claims with BP in a Consent Decree approved by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in the Louisiana Restoration Area are now chosen and managed by the Louisiana TIG. The Louisiana TIG is composed of the following Trustees: CPRA, LOSCO, LDEQ, LDWF, LDNR, EPA, DOI, NOAA, USDA.

    Background

    In a November 2016 notice posted at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov the Louisiana TIG notified the public that the $22 million originally allocated to the Louisiana Marine Fisheries Enhancement, Research, and Science Center (LMFERSC) in the 2014 Programmatic and Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Early Restoration Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Phase III ERP/PEIS) would need to be re-allocated to other restoration projects intended to provide and enhance recreational opportunities. Site issues that arose during planning and development of the LMFERSC had precluded the Louisiana TIG from moving forward with the project. The Louisiana TIG requested restoration project ideas, including in a May 17, 2017, notice posted at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov, to provide and enhance recreational opportunities using the $22 million in early restoration funding.

    Overview of the Draft RP/EA

    The Draft RP/EA is being released in accordance with OPA, NRDA regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). In the Draft RP/EA, the Louisiana TIG presents to the public their plan to compensate for recreational use services lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Draft RP/EA proposes four restoration project alternatives, evaluated in accordance with OPA and NEPA. The four proposed restoration project alternatives in the Draft RP/EA are as follows:

    • Elmer's Island Access • Island Road Piers • Statewide Artificial Reefs • Lake Charles Science Center and Educational Complex

    The Draft RP/EA also evaluates a no action alternative. One or more alternatives may be selected for implementation by the Louisiana TIG to compensate for recreational use services lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    The Louisiana TIG has examined the injuries assessed by the Deepwater Horizon Trustees and evaluated restoration project alternatives to address the injuries. In the Draft RP/EA, the Louisiana TIG presents to the public its plan for providing partial compensation for lost recreational use services in the Louisiana Restoration Area. The proposed project alternatives are intended to continue the process of using restoration funding to restore recreational use services lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The total estimated cost of the proposed project alternatives is $22 million. Additional restoration planning for lost recreational use in the Louisiana Restoration Area will occur at a later time.

    Next Steps

    The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Draft RP/EA. A public meeting is scheduled to also help facilitate the public review and comment process. After the public comment period ends, the Louisiana TIG will consider the comments received before issuing a Final RP/EA. A summary of comments received and the Louisiana TIG's responses and any revisions to the document, as appropriate, will be included in the final document.

    Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Draft RP/EA can be viewed electronically at http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/administrativerecord.

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), its implementing NRDA regulations found at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    Dated: November 22, 2017. Benita Best-Wong, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
    [FR Doc. 2017-26565 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS ADVISORY BOARD Notice of Request for Comment on the Exposure Draft of a Proposed Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS), Classified Activities AGENCY:

    Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3511(d), the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), as amended, and the FASAB Rules Of Procedure, as amended in October 2010, notice is hereby given that the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) has issued an exposure draft of a proposed Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS) entitled Classified Activities.

    The exposure draft is available on the FASAB website at http://www.fasab.gov/documents-for-comment/. Copies can be obtained by contacting FASAB at (202) 512-7350.

    Respondents are encouraged to comment on any part of the exposure draft. Written comments are requested by March 16, 2018, and should be sent to [email protected] or Wendy M. Payne, Executive Director, Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, 441 G Street NW, Suite 6814, Mailstop 6H19, Washington, DC 20548.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Wendy M. Payne, Executive Director, 441 G Street NW, Mailstop 6H19, Washington, DC 20548, or call (202) 512-7350.

    Authority:

    Federal Advisory Committee Act, Pub. L. 92-463.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Wendy M. Payne, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27418 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1610-02-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION [Notice 2017-16] Filing Dates for the Michigan Special Election in the 13th Congressional District AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of filing dates for special elections.

    SUMMARY:

    Michigan has scheduled special elections on August 7, 2018, and November 6, 2018, to fill the U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 13th Congressional District vacated by Representative John Conyers, Jr.

    Committees required to file reports in connection with the Special Primary Election on August 7, 2018, shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary Report. Committees required to file reports in connection with both the Special Primary and Special General Election on November 6, 2018, shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary, 12-day Pre-General Report and a 30-day Post-General Report.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Elizabeth S. Kurland, Information Division, 999 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20463; Telephone: (202) 694-1100; Toll Free (800) 424-9530.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Principal Campaign Committees

    All principal campaign committees of candidates who participate in the Michigan Special Primary and Special General Elections shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary Report on July 26, 2018; a 12-day Pre-General Report on October 25, 2018; and a 30-day Post-General Report on December 6, 2018. (See charts below for the closing date for each report.)

    All principal campaign committees of candidates participating only in the Special Primary Election shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary Report on July 26, 2018. (See charts below for the closing date for each report.)

    Unauthorized Committees (PACs and Party Committees)

    Political committees filing on a quarterly basis in 2018 are subject to special election reporting if they make previously undisclosed contributions or expenditures in connection with the Michigan Special Primary or Special General Elections by the close of books for the applicable report(s). (See charts below for the closing date for each report.)

    Committees filing monthly that make contributions or expenditures in connection with the Michigan Special Primary or Special General Elections will continue to file according to the monthly reporting schedule.

    Additional disclosure information in connection with the Michigan Special Elections may be found on the FEC website at https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/dates-and-deadlines/.

    Disclosure of Lobbyist Bundling Activity

    Principal campaign committees, party committees and Leadership PACs that are otherwise required to file reports in connection with the special elections must simultaneously file FEC Form 3L if they receive two or more bundled contributions from lobbyists/registrants or lobbyist/registrant PACs that aggregate in excess of the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold during the special election reporting periods (See charts below for closing date of each period.) 11 CFR 104.22(a)(5)(v), (b).

    The lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold for calendar year 2017 is $17,900. This threshold amount may increase in 2018 based upon the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). Once the adjusted threshold amount becomes available, the Commission will publish it in the Federal Register and post it on its website. 11 CFR 110.17(e)(2). For more information on these requirements, see Federal Register Notice 2009-03, 74 FR 7285 (February 17, 2009).

    Calendar of Reporting Dates for Michigan Special Elections Report Close of books 1 Reg./Cert. and overnight
  • mailing
  • deadline
  • Filing deadline
    Committees Involved in Only the Special Primary (08/07/18) Must File: Pre-Primary 07/18/18 07/23/18 07/26/18 October Quarterly 09/30/18 10/15/18 10/15/18 Committees Involved in Both the Special Primary (08/07/18) and Special General (11/06/18) Must File: Pre-Primary 07/18/18 07/23/18 07/26/18 October Quarterly 09/30/18 10/15/18 10/15/18 Pre-General 10/17/18 10/22/18 10/25/18 Post-General 11/26/18 12/06/18 12/06/18 Year-End 12/31/18 01/31/19 01/31/19 Committees Involved in Only the Special General (11/06/18) Must File: Pre-General 10/17/18 10/22/18 10/25/18 Post-General 11/26/18 12/06/18 12/06/18 Year-End 12/31/18 01/31/19 01/31/19 1 The reporting period always begins the day after the closing date of the last report filed. If the committee is new and has not previously filed a report, the first report must cover all activity that occurred before the committee registered as a political committee up through the close of books for the first report due.
    Dated: December 14, 2017.

    On behalf of the Commission,

    Steven T. Walther, Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27364 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION [Notice 2017-15] Filing Dates for the Arizona Special Election in the 8th Congressional District AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of filing dates for special elections.

    SUMMARY:

    Arizona has scheduled special elections on February 27, 2018, and April 24, 2018, to fill the U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 8th Congressional District vacated by Representative Trent Franks.

    Committees required to file reports in connection with the Special Primary Election on February 27, 2018, shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary Report. Committees required to file reports in connection with both the Special Primary and Special General Election on April 24, 2018, shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary, 12-day Pre-General Report and a 30-day Post-General Report.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Elizabeth S. Kurland, Information Division, 999 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20463; Telephone: (202) 694-1100; Toll Free (800) 424-9530.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Principal Campaign Committees

    All principal campaign committees of candidates who participate in the Arizona Special Primary and Special General Elections shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary Report on February 15, 2018; a 12-day Pre-General Report on April 12, 2018; and a 30-day Post-General Report on May 24, 2018. (See charts below for the closing date for each report.)

    All principal campaign committees of candidates participating only in the Special Primary Election shall file a 12-day Pre-Primary Report on February 15, 2018. (See charts below for the closing date for each report.)

    Unauthorized Committees (PACs and Party Committees)

    Political committees filing on a quarterly basis in 2018 are subject to special election reporting if they make previously undisclosed contributions or expenditures in connection with the Arizona Special Primary or Special General Elections by the close of books for the applicable report(s). (See charts below for the closing date for each report.)

    Committees filing monthly that make contributions or expenditures in connection with the Arizona Special Primary or Special General Elections will continue to file according to the monthly reporting schedule.

    Additional disclosure information in connection with the Arizona Special Elections may be found on the FEC website at https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/dates-and-deadlines/.

    Disclosure of Lobbyist Bundling Activity

    Principal campaign committees, party committees and Leadership PACs that are otherwise required to file reports in connection with the special elections must simultaneously file FEC Form 3L if they receive two or more bundled contributions from lobbyists/registrants or lobbyist/registrant PACs that aggregate in excess of the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold during the special election reporting periods (See charts below for closing date of each period.) 11 CFR 104.22(a)(5)(v), (b).

    The lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold for calendar year 2017 is $17,900. This threshold amount may increase in 2018 based upon the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). Once the adjusted threshold amount becomes available, the Commission will publish it in the Federal Register and post it on its website. 11 CFR 110.17(e)(2). For more information on these requirements, see Federal Register Notice 2009-03, 74 FR 7285 (February 17, 2009).

    Calendar of Reporting Dates for Arizona Special Elections Report Close of books 1 Reg./Cert. and overnight
  • mailing
  • deadline
  • Filing deadline
    Committees Involved in Only the Special Primary (02/27/18) Must File: Pre-Primary 02/07/18 02/12/18 02/15/18 April Quarterly 03/31/18 04/15/18 2 04/15/18 Committees Involved in Both the Special Primary (02/27/18) and Special General (04/24/18) Must File: Pre-Primary 02/07/18 02/12/18 02/15/18 Pre-General 04/04/18 04/09/18 04/12/18 April Quarterly —WAIVED— Post-General 05/14/18 05/24/18 05/24/18 July Quarterly 06/30/18 07/15/18 2 07/15/18 Committees Involved in Only the Special General (04/24/18) Must File: Pre-General 04/04/18 04/09/18 04/12/18 April Quarterly —WAIVED— Post-General 05/14/18 05/24/18 05/24/18 July Quarterly 06/30/18 07/15/18 2 07/15/18 1 The reporting period always begins the day after the closing date of the last report filed. If the committee is new and has not previously filed a report, the first report must cover all activity that occurred before the committee registered as a political committee up through the close of books for the first report due. 2 Notice that this filing deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday. Filing deadlines are not extended when they fall on nonworking days. Accordingly, reports filed by methods other than registered, certified or overnight mail must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline.
    Dated: December 14, 2017.

    On behalf of the Commission,

    Steven T. Walther, Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27363 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on any agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. A copy of each agreement is available through the Commission's website (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 011075-078.

    Title: West Coast of South America Discussion Agreement.

    Parties: CMA CGM S.A.; King Ocean Service Limited, Inc.; and Seaboard Marine Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment adds Great White Fleet Corp. as a party to the agreement. Great White Fleet Corp. and Great White Fleet Liner Service Ltd. will act as a single party to the agreement. The Parties request expedited review.

    Agreement No.: 011426-064.

    Title: Central America Discussion Agreement.

    Parties: Crowley Latin America Services, LLC; Dole Ocean Cargo Express, Great White Fleet Corp.; Great White Fleet Liner Services, Ltd.; King Ocean Services Limited, Inc.; and Seaboard Marine Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes Hamburg Sud as a party to the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012212-003.

    Title: NYK/Grimaldi Cooperative Working Agreement.

    Parties: Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and Grimaldi Deep Sea S.p.A. and Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A. (acting as a single party).

    Filing Party: H. Kristen Chung, Corporate Counsel; NYK Line (North America) Inc.; 300 Lighting Way, 5th Floor; Secaucus, NJ 07094.

    Synopsis: The amendment expands the Agreement's geographic scope to include all coasts of the United States and ports in North Europe and the Mediterranean.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: December 15, 2017. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27390 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than January 8, 2018.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (David L. Hubbard, Senior Manager) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034. Comments can alsobe sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. David Armbrust, Salem, Illinois; to acquire voting shares of Iuka Bancshares, Inc., Salem, Illinois, and thereby indirectly acquire shares of Iuka State Bank, Iuka, Illinois.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. David Riordan, Abilene, Kansas; Robert Riordan, Solomon, Kansas; Dennis Riordan, Salina, Kansas; Michael Riordan, St. Charles, Missouri; and Kirk Berneking, Salina, Kansas; to retain voting shares of Solomon Bancshares, Inc., Solomon, Kansas, and thereby indirectly retain shares of Solomon State Bank, Solomon, Kansas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 15, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27408 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notice of Closed Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c)(4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Name of Committee: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP)-PAR15-303, Occupational Safety and Health Education Research Centers (ERC).

    Date: February 21-23, 2018.

    Time: 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m., EST.

    Place: The Alexandrian Hotel, 480 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-549-6080.

    Agenda: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to PAR15-303, Occupational Safety and Health Education Research Centers (ERC).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Goldcamp, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer/CDC, 1095 Willowdale Road, Mailstop H1808, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26505, (304) 285-5951; [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27324 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-D-6380] Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases; Draft Guidance for Industry; 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 a draft guidance for industry entitled “Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases.” FDA intends to no longer grant orphan drug designation to drugs for pediatric subpopulations of common diseases (i.e., diseases or conditions with an overall prevalence of over 200,000 in the United States), unless the use of the drug in the pediatric subpopulation meets the regulatory criteria for an orphan subset, or unless the disease in the pediatric subpopulation is considered a different disease from the disease in the adult population. This will help resolve an unintended loophole in the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) orphan exemption process where a sponsor holding a pediatric-subpopulation designation can submit a marketing application for use of its drug in the non-orphan adult population of that disease, get a pediatric-subpopulation designation for the pediatric subset of the disease, and, due to this designation, be exempt from conducting the pediatric studies normally required under PREA when seeking approval of the adult indication.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by January 19, 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-6380 for “Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases.” 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-201-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aaron Friedman, Office of Orphan Products Development, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 5295, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-8660.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Clarification of Orphan Designation of Drugs and Biologics for Pediatric Subpopulations of Common Diseases.” FDA intends to no longer grant orphan drug designation to drugs for pediatric subpopulations of common diseases (i.e., diseases or conditions with an overall prevalence of over 200,000 in the United States), unless the use of the drug in the pediatric subpopulation meets the regulatory criteria for an orphan subset, or unless the disease in the pediatric subpopulation is considered a different disease from the disease in the adult population. This will help resolve an unintended loophole in the PREA orphan exemption process where a sponsor holding a pediatric-subpopulation designation can submit a marketing application for use of its drug in the non-orphan adult population of that disease, get a pediatric-subpopulation designation for the pediatric subset of the disease, and, due to this designation, be exempt from conducting the pediatric studies normally required under PREA when seeking approval of the adult indication.

    FDA expects to implement this policy upon publication of the final version of this guidance dependent upon comments received. In the interim, FDA will refrain from issuing final decisions on requests for pediatric-subpopulation designation until the guidance is finalized.

    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 orphan designation of drugs and biologics for pediatric subpopulations of common diseases. 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.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the draft guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Orphan or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: December 14, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27435 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-D-6580] Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic; Draft Guidance for Food and Drug Administration Staff and Industry; 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 a draft guidance for FDA staff and industry entitled “Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic.” This draft guidance describes how FDA intends to prioritize enforcement and regulatory action with regard to drug products, including biological products, labeled as homeopathic and marketed in the United States without the required FDA approval.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by March 20, 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-6580 for “Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    You may submit comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)).

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or 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 requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elaine Lippmann, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6238, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-3600; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for FDA staff and industry entitled “Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic.” This draft guidance describes how FDA intends to prioritize enforcement and regulatory action with regard to drug products, including biological products, labeled as homeopathic and marketed in the United States without the required FDA approval. Simultaneous with the issuance of the final guidance, FDA will withdraw Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) 400.400, “Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May be Marketed”, issued on May 31, 1988.

    Homeopathy is an alternative medical practice that has an historical basis in theory and practice first systematized in the late 1700s. Homeopathy is generally based on two main principles: (1) A substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can be used in diluted form to treat symptoms and illnesses (known as “like-cures-like”) and (2) the more diluted the substance, the more potent it is (known as the “law of infinitesimals”).

    The definition of “drug” in section 201(g)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 321(g)(1)) includes articles recognized in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) or any supplement to it. As such, homeopathic drugs are subject to the same regulatory requirements as other drugs. Generally, a drug, including a homeopathic drug, is considered a “new drug” if it is not generally recognized by qualified experts as safe and effective (GRAS/E) for its labeled uses (section 201(p) of the FD&C Act). FDA makes GRAS/E determinations for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs marketed under the OTC Drug Review (see 21 CFR part 330). FDA has not reviewed any drug products labeled as homeopathic under the OTC Drug Review because the Agency categorized these products as a separate category and deferred consideration of them (37 FR 9464 at 9466 (May 11, 1972)). Under section 505(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 355(a)), before any “new drug” is marketed, it must be the subject of an approved application submitted pursuant to section 505(b) or section 505(j) of the FD&C Act; however, a biological product with an approved license under section 351(a) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) (42 U.S.C. 262(a)) is not required to have an approved application under section 505 of the FD&C Act. Accordingly, absent a determination that a drug product labeled as homeopathic is not a “new drug” under section 201(p), all drug products labeled as homeopathic are subject to the premarket approval requirements in section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act. There are no drug products labeled as homeopathic that are approved by FDA.

    In May 1988, FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research issued CPG 400.400 entitled “Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May be Marketed.” As stated in the 1988 CPG, it delineates the conditions, including conditions related to ingredients, labeling, prescription status, and current good manufacturing practice, under which homeopathic drug products may ordinarily be marketed.

    In light of the growth of the industry and passage of more than 2 decades since the 1988 CPG's issuance, FDA announced on March 27, 2015, that it was evaluating its regulatory framework for these products. In April 2015, FDA held a public hearing to obtain information and comments from stakeholders about the current use of drug products labeled as homeopathic, as well as the Agency's regulatory framework for such products (Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0540; available at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2015-N-0540). FDA sought broad public input on its enforcement policies related to drug products labeled as homeopathic in an effort to better promote and protect the public health.

    As a result of the Agency's evaluation, including consideration of the public input received on this issue, FDA has determined that it is in the best interest of public health to issue a new guidance that applies a risk-based enforcement approach to drug products labeled as homeopathic and marketed in the United States without the required FDA approval, consistent with FDA's risk-based regulatory approaches generally. The Agency generally intends to apply a risk-based enforcement approach to the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of drug products labeled as homeopathic, as described in the draft guidance, when finalized. However, the Agency has limited enforcement resources and recognizes that many such products likely will fall outside the risk-based categories described in the draft 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 drug products labeled as homeopathic. 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.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the internet may obtain the draft guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: December 6, 2017. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27157 Filed 12-18-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    30-Day Day Notice template for Request for Generic Clearance for the Collection of Routine Customer Feedback on (HITRC).

    AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is requesting OMB approval for an extension on the Generic Clearance for the Collection of Routine Customer Feedback by OMB.

    SUMMARY:

    Department of Health and Human Services, The Office of the Secretary (OS), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public to take this opportunity to comment on the “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery” for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This collection was developed as part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process for seeking feedback from the public on service delivery. This notice announces our intent to submit this collection to OMB for approval and solicits comments on specific aspects for the proposed information collection.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 19, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Website: www.regulations.gov. Direct comments to Docket ID OMB-2010-0021.

    Email: [email protected]

    Phone: (202) 795-7714.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice may be made available to the public through relevant websites. For this reason, please do not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information. If you send an email comment, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. Please note that responses to this public comment request containing any routine notice about the confidentiality of the communication will be treated as public comments that may be made available to the public notwithstanding the inclusion of the routine notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherrette Funn, [email protected] or (202) 795-7714.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

    Abstract: The proposed information collection activity provides a means to garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

    The solicitation of feedback will target areas such as: Timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses will be assessed to plan and inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public. If this information is not collected, vital feedback from customers and stakeholders on the Agency's services will be unavailable.

    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.

    Current Actions: Extension of approval for a collection of information.

    Type of Review: Extension.

    Affected Public: Individuals, households, professionals, public/private sector.

    Estimated Number of Respondents:

    Below we provide projected average estimates for the next three years:

    Average Expected Annual Number of activities: 7.

    Average number of Respondents per Activity: 350.

    Annual responses: 4,158.

    Frequency of Response: Once per request.

    Average minutes per response: 5.

    Burden hours: 1,041.

    Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. 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.

    All written comments will be available for public inspection Regulations.gov.

    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.

    Terry S. Clark, Asst. Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27399 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-45-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of an Exclusive Patent License: The Development of an Anti-CD30 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) for the Treatment of Human Cancer AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Cancer Institute, an institute of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of an Exclusive Patent License to practice the inventions embodied in the Patents and Patent Applications listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice to Kite Pharma, Inc. (“Kite”) located in Santa Monica, CA.

    DATES:

    Only written comments and/or complete applications for a license which are received by the National Cancer Institute's Technology Transfer Center on or before January 4, 2018 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patent application, inquiries, and comments relating to the contemplated Exclusive Patent License should be directed to: David A. Lambertson, Ph.D., Senior Technology Transfer Manager, NCI Technology Transfer Center, 9609 Medical Center Drive, RM 1E530, MSC 9702, Bethesda, MD 20892-9702 (for business mail), Rockville, MD 20850-9702; Telephone: (240)-276-5530; Facsimile: (240)-276-5504; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Intellectual Property

    United States Provisional Patent Application No. 62/241,896, filed 15 October 2015 and entitled “Anti-CD30 Chimeric Antigen Receptors” [HHS Reference No. E-016-2018/0-US-01]; PCT Patent Application PCT/US2016/056262, filed 10 October 2016 and entitled “Anti-CD30 Chimeric Antigen Receptors” [HHS Reference No. E-016-2018/0-PCT-02]; and U.S. and foreign patent applications claiming priority to the aforementioned applications.

    The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned and/or exclusively licensed to the government of the United States of America.

    The prospective exclusive license territory may be worldwide and the field of use may be limited to the following:

    “The development of a CD30 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-based immunotherapy using autologous (meaning one individual is both the donor and the recipient) T cells transfected with a retroviral vector (including lentiviral vectors), wherein the vector expresses a CAR having:

    (1) a single antigen specificity; and

    (2) comprising at least:

    (a) the complementary determining region (CDR) sequences of the anti-CD30 antibody known as 5F11; and

    (b) a T cell signaling domain;

    for the prophylaxis and treatment of CD30-expressing human cancers.”

    This technology discloses the development of chimeric antigen receptors that recognize the CD30 protein (also known as tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 8 (TNFRSF8)). CD30 is expressed on the cell surface of several rare forms of cancer, including Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL), diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), peripheral T cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS), anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), and angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma (AITL). The development of a new therapeutic targeting CD30 will benefit public health by offering up a treatment for these rare cancers in instances when conventional first line therapies are ineffective.

    This notice is made in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty bearing, and the prospective exclusive license may be granted unless within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, the National Cancer Institute receives written evidence and argument that establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.

    In response to this Notice, the public may file comments or objections. Comments and objections, other than those in the form of a completed license application, will not be treated confidentially, and may be made publicly available.

    License applications submitted in response to this Notice will be presumed to contain business confidential information and any release of information in these license applications will be made only as required and upon a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: December 8, 2017. Richard U. Rodriguez, Associate Director, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27416 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Technologies for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System.

    Date: January 18-19, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Alexandria Old Town, 1767 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Ernest Lyons, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer; Scientific Review Branch; NINDS/NIH/DHHS; Neuroscience Center; 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3204, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529; 301-496-4056; [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Neurological Sciences Training Initial Review Group; NST-1 Subcommittee.

    Date: January 29-30, 2018.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Alexandria Old Town, 1767 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: William Benzing, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, NINDS/NIH/DHHS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3204, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, 301-496-0660, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.853, Clinical Research Related to Neurological Disorders; 93.854, Biological Basis Research in the Neurosciences, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: December 14, 2017. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27329 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics Fellowship Program and Summer Student Applications (DCEG) (National Cancer Institute) AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 to provide opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will publish periodic summaries of propose projects to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 60 days of the date of this publication.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, submit comments in writing, or request more information on the proposed project, contact: Jackie Lavigne, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief, Office of Education, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, 9609 Medical Center Drive, MSC, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 or call non-toll-free number 240.276.7237or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected]. Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires: Written comments and/or suggestions from the public and affected agencies are invited to address one or more of the following points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the function of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize's the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Proposed Collection Title: Fellowship Program and Summer Student Applications 0925-0716, Exp., date 5/31/2018, Extension, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This is a request for approval of an “Extension” for three years. The National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) Office of Education administers a variety of programs and initiatives to recruit pre-college through post-doctoral educational level individuals into the Intramural Research Program to facilitate their development into future biomedical scientists. DCEG trains post-doctoral, doctoral candidates, graduate and baccalaureate students, through full time fellowships, summer fellowships, and internships in preparation for research careers in cancer epidemiology and genetics. The proposed information collection involves brief online applications completed by applicants to the full time and the summer fellowship programs. Full-time fellowships include: Full-time Equivalents (FTE) and non-FTE fellowships for US citizens, permanent residents and international fellows. These applications are essential to the administration of these training programs as they enable OE to determine the eligibility and quality of potential awardees; to assess their potential as future scientists; to determine where mutual research interests exist; and to make decisions regarding which applicants will be proposed and approved for traineeship awards. In each case, completing the application is voluntary, but in order to receive due consideration, the prospective trainee is encouraged to complete all relevant fields. The information is for internal use to make decisions about prospective fellows and students that could benefit from the DCEG program.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 218 hours.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • time per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • annual
  • burden
  • hour
  • Full-time Fellows 150 1 30/60 75 Summer Students 430 1 20/60 143 Total 580 580 218
    Dated: December 4, 2017. Karla Bailey, Project Clearance Liaison, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27415 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The invention listed below is owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and is available for licensing to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Natalie Greco, 301-761-7898; [email protected] Licensing information and copies of the patent applications listed below may be obtained by communicating with the indicated licensing contact at the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852; tel. 301-496-2644. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of unpublished patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology description follows.

    Enhanced Tissue Clearing Solution, Clearing-Enhanced 3D (Ce3D), Compatible With Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy Imaging

    Description of Technology: NIH immunologists have created a solution, Clearing-enhanced 3D (Ce3D), that can be used to make entire organs extremely transparent. This allows the tissue to be imaged using advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques. Unlike current tissue clearing solutions, the Ce3D tissue clearing solution is robustly compatible with a variety of staining methods, and preserves tissue morphology and reporter fluorescence. Ce3D enabled microscopy provides unprecedented insight into the spatial organization of cells within intact organs. Further, when Ce3D enabled microscopy is coupled with multiplexed staining and a newly developed analysis pipeline, investigators are able to extensively characterize densely packed cells in situ, providing advantages to phenotyping cells with flow cytometric techniques.

    This technology is available for licensing for commercial development in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404, as well as for further development and evaluation under a research collaboration.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Research reagent—can be applied to a variety of biological disciplines.

    • Diagnostic medical imaging reagent—characterization of disease state/condition.

    Competitive Advantages:

    • Simple, quick and inexpensive procedure that has been extensively validated.

    • Generates excellent tissue transparency, resulting in high quality images.

    • Compatible with highly multiplexed staining/labeling techniques, including antibody-based methods, fluorescently tagged reporter proteins, and RNA-FISH.

    • Fluorescence is maintained in diverse fluorescent proteins and fluorophores.

    • Enables quantitative analysis of tissue composition and cellular distribution in whole organs, and has advantages over flow cytometric techniques.

    Development Stage:

    • Prototype.

    Inventors: Ronald N. Germain, Michael Y. Gerner, Weizhe Li (All from NIAID).

    Publications: Li W, et al. (2017)—Multiplex, quantitative cellular analysis in large tissue volumes with clearing-enhanced 3D microscopy (Ce3D) [PMID: 28808033—PMCID: PMC5584454].

    Intellectual Property: PCT Patent Application—PCT/US2017/049133, HHS Reference No. E-168-2016.

    Licensing Contact: Dr. Natalie Greco, 301-761-7898; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize tissue-clearing technologies. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Dr. Natalie Greco, 301-761-7898; [email protected]

    Dated: December 13, 2017. Suzanne Frisbie, Deputy Director, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27417 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2017-0466] Removal of Conditions of Entry for Certain Vessels Arriving to the United States From Two Port Facilities in Côte d'Ivoire AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard announces that it is modifying the conditions of entry for vessels arriving to the United States from Côte d'Ivoire by adding an exception to the conditions of entry for two facilities in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire.

    DATES:

    The policy takes effect January 3, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information about this document call or email Juliet Hudson, International Port Security Evaluation Division, United States Coast Guard, telephone 202-372-1173.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    The authority for this notice is 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 46 U.S.C. 70110, and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(II)(97.f). Section 70110(a) provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security may impose conditions of entry into the United States from ports that are not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures. Section 70110(d) provides that these conditions may be removed upon Secretary's determination that the measures are maintained. The Secretary delegated the authority to carry out the provisions of these sections to the Coast Guard. Section 552(a)(1)(E) requires an agency to provide a Federal Register notice to the public in regards to any amendment, revision or repeal of a rule adopted as authorized by law. The Regulatory Docket for this Notice (USCG-2017-0466) contains previous notices imposing or removing conditions of entry on vessels arriving from certain countries.

    On May 27, 2011, the Coast Guard determined that ports in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire did not maintain effective anti-terrorism measures and that Côte d'Ivoire's designated authority's oversight, access control and cargo control remained deficient (76 FR 30954). However, since 2014 the Coast Guard has assessed and found that the port facilities listed in Table 1 do have effective anti-terrorism measures. As such, port facilities listed in Table 1 are exempted from the conditions of entry previously imposed.

    Table 1—Exempted Port Facilities Port IMO port No. Carena Shipyard CIABJ-0004 Terminal A Containers, Abidjan CIABJ-0015

    Accordingly, beginning January 3, 2018, the conditions of entry shown in Table 2 below will apply to any vessel that visited a non-exempted Côte d'Ivoire port facility in its last five port calls.

    Table 2—Conditions of Entry for Vessels Visiting Côte d'Ivoire's Ports Not Listed in Table 1 No. Each vessel must: 1 Implement measures per the vessel's security plan equivalent to Security Level 2 while in a port in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. As defined in the ISPS Code and incorporated herein, “Security Level 2” refers to the “level for which appropriate additional protective security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of a security incident.” 2 Ensure that each access point to the vessel is guarded and that the guards have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel while the vessel is in ports in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. 3 Guards may be provided by the vessel's crew; however, additional crewmembers should be placed on the vessel if necessary to ensure that limits on maximum hours of work are not exceeded and/or minimum hours of rest are met, or provided by outside security forces approved by the vessel's master and Company Security Officer. As defined in the ISPS Code and incorporated herein, “Company Security Officer” refers to the “person designated by the Company for ensuring that a ship security assessment is carried out; that a ship security plan is developed, submitted for approval, and thereafter implemented and maintained and for liaison with port facility security officers and the ship security officer.” 4 Attempt to execute a Declaration of Security while in a port in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. 5 Log all security actions in the vessel's log; and 6 Report actions taken to the cognizant Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) prior to arrival into U.S. waters. 7 In addition, based on the findings of the Coast Guard boarding or examination, the vessel may be required to ensure that each access point to the vessel is guarded by armed, private security guards and that they have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel while in U.S. ports. The number and position of the guards has to be acceptable to the cognizant COTP prior to the vessel's arrival.

    The list of countries that do not maintain effective anti-terrorist measures is available in a Port Security Advisory notice available at http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/International-Domestic-Port-Assessment/; Port Security Advisory link.

    Dated: November 1, 2017. Charles W. Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations, USCG.
    [FR Doc. 2017-27402 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-6005-N-01] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Comment Request: Agency Information Collection Activities: Consolidated Discretionary Grant Programs Solicitations (Funding Opportunities) Templates and Forms AGENCY:

    Office of Strategic Planning and Management, Grants Management and Oversight Division, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: February 20, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ann vom Eigen, Grants Management and Oversight Division, Office of Strategic Planning and Management, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh St. SW, Room 3156, Washington, DC 20410 or by email [email protected] or telephone 202-402-2146. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of the proposed data collection forms may be requested from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that Department will submit the proposed information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended). HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Consolidated Discretionary Grant Programs Solicitations (Funding Opportunities) Templates and Forms

    OMB Approval Number: Consolidation of existing collections, renewals as well as new and pending collections listed as follows:

    HUD Standard Forms OMB Control Number: 4040-0004 • Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) OMB Control Number: 2501-0017 • Grant Application Detailed Budget Form (HUD-424-CB) • Grant Application Detailed Budget Worksheet (HUD-424-CBW) OMB Control Number: 2535-0011 • Applicant/Recipient Disclosure/Update Report (HUD-2880) OMB Control Number: 2577-0259 • Acknowledgment of Application Receipt (HUD-2993) OMB Control Number: 4040-0013 • Disclosure of Lobbying (SF-LLL) • Certification Regarding Lobbying (SF-LLLa) OMB Control Number: 2502-0261 • Funding Matrix (HUD 424-M) OMB Control Number: 2502-0447 • Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants (HUD-424-SUP) New Collection: Pending OMB Approval (Number not yet Assigned) • Discretionary Program Notice of Funding Availability Template • CoC Notice of Funding Availability Template Approved Collections Using HUD Standard Forms for Applications OMB Control Number: 2577-0283 OMB Control Number: 2539-0015 OMB Control Number: 2528-0299 OMB Control Number: 2506-0195 OMB Control Number: 2506-0197 OMB Control Number: 2506-0210 OMB Control Number: 2506-0157 OMB Control Number: 2529-0033 OMB Control Number: 2502-0613 HUD Common Forms OMB Control Number: 2535-0120 • Removal of Regulatory Barriers (form HUD-27300) OMB Control Number: 2502-0267 • Sponsor's Conflict of Interest Resolution (form HUD-92041) OMB Control Number: 2506-0112 • Fair Housing Certification (form HUD-40090-4) OMB Control Number: 2506-0182 OMB Control Number: 2502-0261 • Housing Counseling Agency Fiscal Year Activity Report (form HUD-9902) • Housing Counseling Charts (form HUD-9906 A, B, C, D, E, F, G) OMB Control Number: 2577-0269 • Eligible Neighborhoods Documentation—Inadequate School Documentation (HUD-53153) • Eligible Target Housing Documentation—Severe Distress of Targeted Project Certification (HUD-53232) OMB Control Number: 2502-0118 • Previous Participation Certification—Multifamily (form HUD-2530) OMB Control Number: 2535-0113 • Race and Ethnicity Reporting (form HUD-27061) OMB Control Number: 2577-0169