Federal Register Vol. 82, No.6,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 6 (January 10, 2017)

Page Range2849-3129
FR Document

82_FR_6
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 2945 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 3030 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 3074 - Departmental Offices; Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited To Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration BondsPDF
82 FR 3016 - Update to Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) National GuidelinesPDF
82 FR 3013 - Notice of Availability of the Office of Dietary Supplements Strategic Plan for 2017-2021PDF
82 FR 3016 - Tribal Declarations Pilot GuidancePDF
82 FR 3005 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
82 FR 2975 - National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity MeetingPDF
82 FR 2946 - Approval of Subzone Status, Jos. A. Bank Manufacturing Company, Hampstead and Eldersburg, MarylandPDF
82 FR 3072 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; AgrowSoft, LLCPDF
82 FR 3071 - RTCA Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 3072 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 2995 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 3019 - Endangered Species Recovery Permit ApplicationsPDF
82 FR 2963 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
82 FR 2962 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 3069 - Notice of a Public Meeting and Request for Comments on Funding Initiatives To End Modern SlaveryPDF
82 FR 3070 - In the Matter of the Designation of Ibrahim al-Banna Also Known as Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad Salih al-Banna Also Known as Ibrahim Muhammad Salih al-Banna Also Known as Ibrahim Muhamad Salih al-Banna Also Known as Abu Ayman al-Masri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section l(b) of E.O. 13224, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 3070 - In the Matter of the Designation of Hamza bin Laden as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of E.O. 1 3224, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 3078 - Protection of Visibility: Amendments to Requirements for State PlansPDF
82 FR 2970 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 2949 - Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From Sri Lanka: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, and Final Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
82 FR 2954 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed Issuance of PermitPDF
82 FR 2946 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From India: Final Affirmative Determination, and Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in PartPDF
82 FR 3028 - FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company; Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Unit No. 1PDF
82 FR 2977 - Appraisal Subcommittee; Proposed Revised Policy StatementsPDF
82 FR 2916 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2017 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch AmountsPDF
82 FR 2960 - Nominations for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Permanent Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 3023 - Renewal of Approved Information Collection; OMB Control No. 1004-0168PDF
82 FR 3008 - Indian Health Professions Preparatory, Indian Health Professions Pre-Graduate and Indian Health Professions Scholarship ProgramsPDF
82 FR 2953 - U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Council on Trade Enforcement and CompliancePDF
82 FR 2964 - National Intelligence University Board of Visitors; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 2951 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
82 FR 2966 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
82 FR 2970 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
82 FR 3006 - Request for Information From Organizations Utilizing Business Models Supporting Private Sector Vaccine ManagementPDF
82 FR 3028 - Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions (FACIE) Panel MeetingPDF
82 FR 3028 - Arts Advisory Panel MeetingsPDF
82 FR 2964 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
82 FR 2966 - Charter Amendment of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
82 FR 3074 - Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 3004 - Annual Reporting by Prescription Drug Wholesale Distributors and Third-Party Logistics Providers: Questions and Answers; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 3017 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, Form I-407; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
82 FR 3018 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Citizenship and Integration Direct Services Grant Program, Form G-1482; Existing Collection in Use Without an OMB Control NumberPDF
82 FR 3015 - Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 3056 - Hartford Funds Exchange-Traded Trust, et al.; Notice of Application]PDF
82 FR 3044 - Krane Funds Advisors, LLC, et al.;PDF
82 FR 3034 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules To Extend a Pilot ProgramPDF
82 FR 3059 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Mercury, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend its Rules to Extend a Pilot ProgramPDF
82 FR 3032 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Adjust Fees Related to Insurance and Retirement Processing ServicesPDF
82 FR 3068 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change Allowing the Exchange To Trade Pursuant to Unlisted Trading Privileges for Any NMS Stock Listed on Another National Securities Exchange; Establishing Rules for the Trading Pursuant to UTP of Exchange-Traded Products; and Adopting New Equity Trading Rules Relating to Trading Halts of Securities Traded Pursuant to UTP on the Pillar PlatformPDF
82 FR 3052 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Change Modifying the NYSE Amex Options Fee SchedulePDF
82 FR 3067 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendments No. 1 and 2, Allowing the Exchange To Trade Pursuant to Unlisted Trading Privileges any NMS Stock Listed on Another National Securities Exchange; Establishing Listing and Trading Requirements for Exchange Traded Products; and Adopting New Equity Trading Rules Relating To Trading Halts of Securities Traded Pursuant to UTP on the Pillar PlatformPDF
82 FR 3043 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Response Times in the Block Mechanism, Facilitation Mechanism, Solicited Order Mechanism, and Price Improvement MechanismPDF
82 FR 3030 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change To Accommodate Shorter Standard Settlement Cycle and Make Other ChangesPDF
82 FR 3055 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Response Times in the Block Mechanism, Facilitation Mechanism, Solicited Order Mechanism, and Price Improvement MechanismPDF
82 FR 3042 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change To Conform to Proposed Amendment to Rule 15c6-1(a) Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 To Shorten the Standard Settlement Cycle From Three Business Days After the Trade Date (“T+3”) to Two Business Days After the Trade Date (“T+2”)PDF
82 FR 3058 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Mercury, LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Response Times in the Block Mechanism, Facilitation Mechanism, Solicited Order Mechanism, and Price Improvement MechanismPDF
82 FR 3045 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the Exchange's Price List Related to Co-location Services To Increase LCN and IP Network Fees and Add a Description of Access To Trading and Execution Services and Connectivity to Included Data ProductsPDF
82 FR 3061 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule and the NYSE Arca Equities Schedule of Fees and Charges Related to Co-Location Services To Increase LCN and IP Network Fees and Add a Description of Access to Trading and Execution Services and Connectivity to Included Data ProductsPDF
82 FR 3035 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE MKT Equities Price List and the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule Related to Co-Location Services To Increase LCN and IP Network Fees and Add a Description of Access to Trading and Execution Services and Connectivity to Included Data ProductsPDF
82 FR 3024 - Proposed Information Collection; National Park Service Visitor Survey CardPDF
82 FR 3025 - National Commission on Forensic Science Extension of the Deadline for the Solicitation of Applications for Additional Statistician Commission MembershipPDF
82 FR 3026 - Discount Rates for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Federal ProgramsPDF
82 FR 3075 - Agency Information Collection Activity: (Application Requirements To Receive VA Dental Insurance Plan Benefits under 38 CFR 17.169)PDF
82 FR 2997 - Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Health Disparities Subcommittee (HDS)PDF
82 FR 2939 - Opportunity for Designation in the Casa Grande, Arizona, Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This AreaPDF
82 FR 2939 - Designation of Fremont Grain Inspection Department, Inc. To provide Class X or Class Y Weighing ServicesPDF
82 FR 2998 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 2961 - List of Foreign FisheriesPDF
82 FR 3002 - Recommendations for Assessment of Blood Donor Eligibility, Donor Deferral and Blood Product Management in Response to Ebola Virus; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 2997 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 2945 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 2940 - Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding LevelsPDF
82 FR 2999 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Citizen Petitions and Petitions for Stay of Action Subject to Section 505(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic ActPDF
82 FR 3027 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 2873 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Wisconsin Towns; Land O' Lakes, WI; Manitowish Waters, WI; Merrill, WI; Oconto, WI; Phillips, WI; Platteville, WI; Solon Springs, WI; Superior, WI; and West Bend, WIPDF
82 FR 3070 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Alfred Sisley (1839-1899): Impressionist Master” ExhibitionPDF
82 FR 3069 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Seurat's Circus Sideshow” ExhibitionPDF
82 FR 3070 - Notice of Determinations: Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Abstract Experiments: Latin American Art on Paper after 1950” ExhibitionPDF
82 FR 2977 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 2868 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Iowa Towns; Algona, IA; Ankeny, IA; Atlantic, IA; Belle Plane, IA; Creston, IA; Estherville, IA; Grinnell, IA; Guthrie Center, IA; and Oelwein, IAPDF
82 FR 3071 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at the South Texas Regional Airport at Hondo in Hondo, TexasPDF
82 FR 2871 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace and Revocation of Class E Airspace; Roswell, NMPDF
82 FR 3013 - National Library of Medicine; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 3014 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 3014 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 3071 - Thirty First RTCA 216 Aeronautical Systems Security PlenaryPDF
82 FR 3024 - Certain Document Cameras and Software for Use Therewith; Commission Decision To Rescind a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist OrderPDF
82 FR 2997 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 2995 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 2930 - Special Local Regulation; Mavericks Surf Competition, Half Moon Bay, CAPDF
82 FR 3073 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in North CarolinaPDF
82 FR 2896 - Production or Disclosure of Material or InformationPDF
82 FR 2892 - Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment-Alcoholic Beverage Labeling ActPDF
82 FR 2870 - Amendment of VOR Federal Airway V-506; Kotzebue, AKPDF
82 FR 2857 - Energy Efficiency Standards for the Design and Construction of New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings' Baseline Standards UpdatePDF
82 FR 2893 - Anchorage Regulations: Special Anchorage Areas; Marina del Rey Harbor, Marina del Rey, CAPDF
82 FR 2883 - Addition of Certain Persons and Revisions to Entries on the Entity List; and Removal of a Person From the Entity ListPDF
82 FR 2897 - Butanedioic Acid, 2-Methylene-, Telomer With Sodium Phosphinate (1:1), Acidified, Potassium Salts; Tolerance ExemptionPDF
82 FR 2933 - Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Applications for Credit Assistance Under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) ProgramPDF
82 FR 2900 - Tetraconazole; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
82 FR 3007 - Request for Public Comment: 30 Day Proposed Information Collection: Environmental Health Assessment of Tribal Child Care Centers in the Pacific NorthwestPDF
82 FR 2915 - Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle OperatorsPDF
82 FR 2875 - Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR): Control of Spacecraft Systems and Related Items the President Determines No Longer Warrant Control Under the United States Munitions List (USML)PDF
82 FR 2906 - Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Onshore Oil and Gas Order Number 1, Approval of OperationsPDF
82 FR 2889 - International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XVPDF
82 FR 2921 - Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Bureau of Consumer Financial ProtectionPDF
82 FR 2849 - Availability of Official InformationPDF

Issue

82 6 Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

See

Rural Utilities Service

Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments: Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act, 2892-2893 2017-00082 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 2921-2929 2016-31596 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee to the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Health Disparities Subcommittee, 2997 2017-00207 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2997-2998 2017-00198 Chemical Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 2945 2017-00403 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2998-2999 2017-00202 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Anchorage Regulations: Special Anchorage Areas; Marina del Rey Harbor, Marina del Rey, CA, 2893-2896 2016-31996 PROPOSED RULES Special Local Regulations: Mavericks Surf Competition, Half Moon Bay, CA, 2930-2933 2017-00175 NOTICES Update to Alternative Planning Criteria National Guidelines, 3016 2017-00319 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2945-2946 2017-00196
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2963 2017-00281 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2970 2017-00267 Arms Sales, 2964-2975 2017-00241 2017-00246 2017-00248 Charter Amendments, Establishments or Renewals: United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors, 2966 2017-00239 Meetings: National Intelligence University Board of Visitors, 2964 2017-00253 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, 2975-2977 2017-00306 Energy Department Energy Department RULES Energy Efficiency Standards: Design and Construction of New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings' Baseline Standards Update, 2857-2868 2017-00025 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Pesticide Tolerances: Tetraconazole, 2900-2906 2016-31824 Protection of Visibility: Requirements for State Plans, 3078-3129 2017-00268 Tolerance Exemptions: Butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts, 2897-2900 2016-31830 PROPOSED RULES Funding Availability: Applications for Credit Assistance under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program, 2933-2938 2016-31828 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2977 2017-00187 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Class D and E Airspace, Amendments; Class E Airspace, Revocations: Roswell, NM, 2871-2873 2017-00184 Class E Airspace, Amendments: Algona, IA; Ankeny, IA; Atlantic, IA; Belle Plane, IA; Creston, IA; Estherville, IA; Grinnell, IA; Guthrie Center, IA; Oelwein, IA, 2868-2870 2017-00186 Land O' Lakes, WI; Manitowish Waters, WI; Merrill, WI; Oconto, WI; Phillips, WI; Platteville, WI; Solon Springs, WI; Superior, WI; West Bend, WI, 2873-2875 2017-00191 VOR Federal Airway V-506; Amendments: Kotzebue, AK;, 2870-2871 2017-00077 NOTICES Airport Property Releases: South Texas Regional Airport, Hondo, TX, 3071 2017-00185 Meetings: RTCA Drone Advisory Committee, 3071 2017-00291 Thirty First RTCA 216 Aeronautical Systems Security Plenary, 3071-3072 2017-00180 Petitions for Exemption; Summaries, 3072 2017-00290 Petitions for Exemption; Summaries: AgrowSoft, LLC, 3072-3073 2017-00292 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Guidance: Tribal Declarations Pilot, 3016-3017 2017-00315 Federal Financial Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council NOTICES Appraisal Subcommittee Proposed Revised Policy Statements, 2977-2995 2017-00262 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions: Proposed Highway in North Carolina, 3073-3074 2017-00124 Federal Labor Federal Labor Relations Authority RULES Availability of Official Information, 2849-2857 2016-31121 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Commercial Driver's License Requirements: Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators; Correction, 2915-2916 2016-31784 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2995-2997 2017-00289 Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 2997 2017-00177 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 2995 2017-00176 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered Species Recovery Permit; Applications, 3019-3023 2017-00285 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Citizen Petitions and Petitions for Stay of Action Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 2999-3001 2017-00193 Guidance: Annual Reporting by Prescription Drug Wholesale Distributors and Third-Party Logistics Providers, 3004-3005 2017-00233 Recommendations for Assessment of Blood Donor Eligibility, Donor Deferral and Blood Product Management in Response to Ebola Virus, 3002-3004 2017-00200 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Subzone Status; Approvals: Jos. A. Bank Manufacturing Co., Hampstead and Eldersburg, MD, 2946 2017-00303 Grain Inspection Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration NOTICES Designation Opportunities: Casa Grande, AZ, Area, 2939-2940 2017-00205 Designations: Fremont Grain Inspection Department, Inc. to provide Class X or Class Y Weighing Services, 2939 2017-00203 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Requests for Information: Organizations Utilizing Business Models Supporting Private Sector Vaccine Management, 3006-3007 2017-00245 Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 3005-3006 2017-00312
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Environmental Health Assessment of Tribal Child Care Centers in the Pacific Northwest, 3007-3008 2016-31799 Funding Opportunities: Indian Health Professions Preparatory, Indian Health Professions Pre-Graduate and Indian Health Professions Scholarship Programs, 3008-3013 2017-00257 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Certain Persons and Modification of Certain Entries to the Entity List; Additions and Removals, 2883-2889 2016-31833 Export Administration Regulations: Control of Spacecraft Systems and Related Items the President Determines No Longer Warrant Control under the United States Munitions List, 2875-2883 2016-31755 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from India, 2946-2949 2017-00264 Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from Sri Lanka, 2949-2951 2017-00266 Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 2951-2953 2017-00252 Council Establishments: U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Council on Trade Enforcement and Compliance, 2953-2954 2017-00254 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Document Cameras and Software for Use Therewith, 3024-3025 2017-00179 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Membership Applications: National Commission on Forensic Science; Additional Statistician Commission, 3025-3026 2017-00210 Land Land Management Bureau RULES Onshore Oil and Gas Operations: Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Onshore Oil and Gas Order Number 1, Approval of Operations, 2906-2915 2016-31752 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 3023-3024 2017-00258 Management Management and Budget Office NOTICES Discount Rates for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Federal Programs, 3026-3027 2017-00209 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules; Availability, 3027-3028 2017-00192 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Meetings: Arts Advisory Panel, 3028 2017-00243 Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, 3028 2017-00244 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 3014 2017-00181 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 3014 2017-00182 National Library of Medicine, 3013 2017-00183 Office of Dietary Supplements Strategic Plan for 2017-2021, 3013-3014 2017-00316 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Inseason Adjustment to the 2017 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pollock, Atka Mackerel, and Pacific cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts, 2916-2920 2017-00260 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2962-2963 2017-00276 List of Foreign Fisheries, 2961-2962 2017-00201 Requests for Nominations: Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Permanent Advisory Committee, 2960-2961 2017-00259 Takes of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Specific Activities: Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed Issuance of Permit, 2954-2960 2017-00265 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Park Service Visitor Survey Card, 3024 2017-00211 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company; Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Unit No. 1, 3028-3030 2017-00263 Postal Service Postal Service RULES Production or Disclosure of Material or Information, 2896 2017-00106 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels, 2940-2945 2017-00194 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Hartford Funds Exchange-Traded Trust, et al., 3056-3058 2017-00227 Krane Funds Advisors, LLC, et al., 3044-3045 2017-00226 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 3030 2017-00376 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: International Securities Exchange, LLC, 3055-3056 2017-00217 ISE Gemini, LLC, 3034-3035, 3043-3044 2017-00219 2017-00225 ISE Mercury, LLC, 3058-3061 2017-00215 2017-00224 National Securities Clearing Corp., 3030-3034 2017-00218 2017-00223 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 3045-3052, 3067-3068 2017-00214 2017-00220 NYSE Arca, Inc., 3042, 3061-3067 2017-00213 2017-00216 NYSE MKT LLC, 3035-3042, 3052-3055, 3068-3069 2017-00212 2017-00221 2017-00222 State Department State Department RULES International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XV, 2889-2892 2016-31751 NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Abstract Experiments—Latin American Art on Paper after 1950 Exhibition, 3070 2017-00188 Alfred Sisley (1839-1899): Impressionist Master, 3070-3071 2017-00190 Seurat's Circus Sideshow Exhibition, 3069 2017-00189 Designations as Global Terrorists: Hamza bin Laden, 3070 2017-00272 Ibrahim al-Banna, aka Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad Salih al-Banna, aka Ibrahim Muhammad Salih al-Banna, aka Ibrahim Muhamad Salih al-Banna, aka Abu Ayman al-Masri, 3070 2017-00273 Meetings: Funding Initiatives to End Modern Slavery, 3069-3070 2017-00274 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Council, 3015-3016 2017-00228 2017-00229 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

NOTICES Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited to Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration Bonds, 3074 2017-00323
U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Citizenship and Integration Direct Services Grant Program, 3018 2017-00230 Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, 3017 2017-00231 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application Requirements to Receive VA Dental Insurance Plan Benefits, 3075 2017-00208 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War, 3074-3075 2017-00235 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 3078-3129 2017-00268 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 6 Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Rules and Regulations FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY 5 CFR Part 2411 Availability of Official Information AGENCY:

Federal Labor Relations Authority.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rulemaking amends the regulations that the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) follows in processing records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to comply with the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The amendments would clarify and update procedures for requesting information from the FLRA and procedures that the FLRA follows in responding to requests from the public.

DATES:

Effective January 24, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Fred B. Jacob, Solicitor, Chief FOIA Officer, Federal Labor Relations Authority, 1400 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20424; (202) 218-7999; fax: (202) 343-1007; or email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The Act specifically requires all agencies to review and update their FOIA regulations in accordance with its provisions, and the FLRA is making changes to its regulations accordingly. Among other things, the Act addresses a range of procedural issues that affect agency FOIA regulations, including requirements that agencies establish a minimum of 90 days for requesters to file an administrative appeal and that they provide dispute-resolution services at various times throughout the FOIA process. In addition to some minor non-substantive changes to correct typographical errors, make small stylistic adjustments for clarification, and streamline the language of some procedural provisions, the FLRA is making the following changes:

• Section 2411.4 is amended to emphasize the ability to view records electronically on the FLRA's Web site. Because all of the FLRA's disclosable records under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) are available on the FLRA's Web site, section 2411.4 is also amended to eliminate the procedure for requesting use of a computer terminal at the FLRA's headquarters or one of its regional offices. Finally, section 2411.4 is amended to reflect the requirement under the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 that agencies make available for public inspection, in electronic format, records that have been requested three or more times.

• Section 2411.6 is amended to notify requesters that they may contact the FLRA's Chief FOIA Officer or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss and to receive assistance in processing records requests. This section also updates the information that is listed in the agency's public FOIA logs to include, among other things, whether any exemptions were applied in processing a request. The section additionally describes the agency's consultation, referral, and coordination efforts with other agencies in processing FOIA requests.

• Section 2411.7 is amended to describe that the agency will inform a requester of the availability of the FLRA's FOIA Public Liaison to assist in processing his or her request.

• Section 2411.8 describes the time limits for processing FOIA requests and provides instances in which fees will not be assessed if an agency component fails to comply with deadlines listed in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A). The section is amended to further describe exceptions under this rule, including, for instance, when unusual circumstances are present and when large numbers of documents are necessary to respond to the request. This section is also amended to explain that in the case of a denial, the agency will notify the requester of additional assistance that is available, specifically from the FLRA's FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).

• Section 2411.10, describing how a requester can appeal a denied request, is amended to provide the requester with 90 calendar days to appeal. This section also now notifies a requester of the dispute-resolution services offered by OGIS.

• Section 2411.11 is amended to again notify requesters of the availability of OGIS and its dispute-resolution services.

• Section 2411.12 is amended to state that no search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review. This section is also amended to elaborate on how a requester may submit a fee waiver, as well as to describe the obligations on the requester when a fee waiver is denied. Additionally, the section is amended to explain the consequences of failing to pay fees, such as the agency closing the matter without further processing the request.

• Section 2411.15 is amended to incorporate the additional reporting requirements related to the agency's FOIA annual report, including that the report will provide raw statistical data to the public.

This rule is internal and procedural rather than substantive. It does not create a right to obtain FLRA records, nor does it create any additional right or privilege not already available to the public as a result of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. It merely adopts the improvements mandated in the Act and builds upon the previous agency procedures for processing FOIA-related requests.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the FLRA has determined that this regulation, as amended, will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

This rule change will not result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This action is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. 804. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

The amended regulations contain no additional information-collection or record-keeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

Public Participation

This rule is published as a final rule. It is exempt from public comment, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), as a rule of “agency organization, procedure, or practice.” If you wish to contact the agency, please do so at the above listed address. However, before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 2411

Freedom of Information Act.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Authority amends 5 CFR part 2411 as follows:

PART 2411—AVAILABILITY OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 2411 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552, as amended; Freedom of Information Improvement Act of 2016, Pub. L. 114-185, 130 Stat. 528; Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2007 (OPEN Government Act), Pub. L. 110-175, 121 Stat. 2524.

2. Revise § 2411.1 to read as follows:
§ 2411.1 Purpose.

This part contains the rules that the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), including the three-Member Authority component (Authority), the General Counsel of the FLRA (General Counsel), the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel), and the Inspector General of the FLRA (IG), follow in processing requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552 (FOIA) These regulations should be read in conjunction with the text of the FOIA and the Uniform Freedom of Information Fee Schedule and Guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget. Requests by individuals for records about themselves under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, are processed in accordance with the Authority's Privacy Act regulations, see 5 CFR part 2412, as well as under this subpart.

3. Revise § 2411.2 to read as follows:
§ 2411.2 Scope.

(a) For the purpose of this part, the term record and any other term used in reference to information includes any information that would be subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552 when maintained by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG in any format, including an electronic format. All written requests for information from the public that are not processed under parts 2412 and 2417 of this chapter will be processed under this part. The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG may each continue, regardless of this part, to furnish the public with the information that it has furnished in the regular course of performing its official duties, unless furnishing the information would violate the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, or another law.

(b) When the subject of a record, or the subject's representative, requests the record from a Privacy Act system of records, as that term is defined by 5 U.S.C. 552a(a)(5), and the FLRA retrieves the record by the subject's name or other personal identifier, the FLRA will handle the request under the procedures and subject to the fees set out in part 2412. When a third party requests access to those records, without the written consent of the subject of the record, the FLRA will process the request under this part.

(c) Nothing in 5 U.S.C. 552 or this part requires that the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, create a new record in order to respond to a request for the records.

4. Revise § 2411.3 to read as follows:
§ 2411.3 Delegation of authority.

(a) Chief FOIA Officer. The Chairman of the FLRA designates the Chief FOIA Officer, who has agency-wide responsibility for the efficient and appropriate compliance with the FOIA. The Chief FOIA Officer monitors the implementation of the FOIA throughout the agency.

(b) Authority/General Counsel/Panel/IG. Regional Directors of the Authority, the FOIA Officer of the Office of the General Counsel, Washington, DC, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, and the IG are delegated the exclusive authority to act upon all requests for information, documents, and records that are received from any person or organization under § 2411.5(a) and (b).

(c) FOIA Public Liaison(s). The Chief FOIA Officer shall designate the FOIA Public Liaison(s), who shall serve as the supervisory official(s) to whom a FOIA requester can raise concerns about the service that the FOIA requester has received following an initial response.

5. Amend § 2411.4 by revising paragraphs (a) through (c) and (e) and (f) to read as follows:
§ 2411.4 Information policy.

(a)(1) It is the policy of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG to make available for public inspection in an electronic format:

(i) Final decisions and orders of the Authority and administrative rulings of the General Counsel; procedural determinations, final decisions and orders of the Panel; factfinding and arbitration reports; and reports and executive summaries of the IG;

(ii) Statements of policy and interpretations that have been adopted by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG and that are not published in the Federal Register;

(iii) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public (except those establishing internal operating rules, guidelines, and procedures for the investigation, trial, and settlement of cases);

(iv) Copies of all records, regardless of form or format, that have been released to any person under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3) and that:

(A) Because of the nature of their subject matter, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG determines have become, or are likely to become, the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records; or

(B) Have been requested three or more times; and

(v) A general index of the records referred to in paragraph (a)(i)-(iv) of this section.

(2) It is the policy of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG to make promptly available for public inspection in an electronic format, upon request by any person, other records where the request reasonably describes such records and otherwise conforms to the procedures of this part.

(b)(1) Any person may examine and copy items in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section, at each regional office of the Authority and at the offices of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG, respectively, in Washington, DC, under conditions prescribed by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG, respectively, and at reasonable times during normal working hours, so long as it does not interfere with the efficient operations of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG. To the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, identifying details may be deleted and, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be fully explained in writing. On the released portion of the record, the amount of information deleted, and the exemption under which the deletion is made, shall be indicated unless an interest protected by the exemption would be harmed.

(2) All records covered by this section are available on the FLRA's Web site (https://www.flra.gov/elibrary).

(c) The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG shall maintain and make available for public inspection in an electronic format the current indexes and supplements to the records that are required by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) and, as appropriate, a record of the final votes of each Member of the Authority and of the Panel in every agency proceeding. Any person may examine and copy such document or record of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG at the offices of either the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, in Washington, DC, under conditions prescribed by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG at reasonable times during normal working hours, so long as it does not interfere with the efficient operations of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG.

(e)(1) The formal documents constituting the record in a case or proceeding are matters of official record and, until destroyed pursuant to applicable statutory authority, are available to the public for inspection and copying at the appropriate regional office of the Authority, or the offices of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG in Washington, DC, as appropriate, under conditions prescribed by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG at reasonable times during normal working hours so long as it does not interfere with the efficient operations of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG.

(2) The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, shall certify copies of the formal documents upon request made a reasonable time in advance of need and payment of lawfully prescribed costs.

(f)(1) Copies of forms prescribed by the General Counsel for the filing of charges and petitions may be obtained without charge from any regional office of the Authority or on the Authority's Web site at: https://www.flra.gov/resources-training/resources/forms-checklists.

(2) Copies of forms prescribed by the Panel for the filing of requests may be obtained without charge from the Panel's offices in Washington, DC or on the Authority's Web site at: https://www.flra.gov/resources-training/resources/forms-checklists.

(3) Copies of optional forms for filing exceptions or appeals with the Authority may be obtained without charge from the Office of Case Intake and Publication at the Authority's offices in Washington, DC or on the Authority's Web site at: https://www.flra.gov/resources-training/resources/forms-checklists.

6. Revise § 2411.5 to read as follows:
§ 2411.5 Procedure for obtaining information.

(a) Any person who desires to inspect or copy any records, documents, or other information of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG, covered by this part, other than those specified in § 2411.4(a)(1) and (c), shall submit an electronic written request via the FOIAOnline system at https://foiaonline.regulations.gov or a written, facsimiled, or email request (see office and email addresses listed at https://www.flra.gov/foia_contact and in Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV) as follows:

(1) If the request is for records, documents, or other information in a regional office of the Authority, it should be made to the appropriate Regional Director;

(2) If the request is for records, documents, or other information in the Office of the General Counsel and located in Washington, DC, it should be made to the FOIA Officer, Office of the General Counsel, Washington, DC;

(3) If the request is for records, documents, or other information in the offices of the Authority in Washington, DC, it should be made to the Solicitor of the Authority, Washington, DC;

(4) If the request is for records, documents, or other information in the offices of the Panel in Washington, DC, it should be made to the Executive Director of the Panel, Washington, DC; and

(5) If the request is for records, documents or other information in the offices of the IG in Washington, DC, it should be made to the IG, Washington, DC.

(b) Each request under this part should be clearly and prominently identified as a request for information under the FOIA and, if submitted by mail or otherwise submitted in an envelope or other cover, should be clearly identified as such on the envelope or other cover. A request shall be considered an agreement by the requester to pay all applicable fees charged under § 2411.13, up to $25.00, unless the requester seeks a waiver of fees. When making a request, the requester may specify a willingness to pay a greater or lesser amount. Fee charges will be assessed for the full allowable direct costs of document search, review, and duplication, as appropriate, in accordance with § 2411.13. If a request does not comply with the provisions of this paragraph, it shall not be deemed received by the appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate.

7. Revise § 2411.6 to read as follows:
§ 2411.6 Identification of information requested.

(a) Reasonably describe and identify records. Each request under this part shall reasonably describe the records being sought in a way that the FLRA can be identify and locate them. A request shall be legible and include all pertinent details that will help identify the records sought. Before submitting a request, a requester may contact the FLRA's Chief FOIA Officer or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss the records that he or she seeks and to receive assistance in describing the records.

(b) Agency efforts to further identify records. If the description does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the officer processing the request shall so notify the person making the request and indicate the additional information needed. Every reasonable effort shall be made to assist in the identification and location of the records sought. A requester who is attempting to reformulate or modify his or her request may discuss the request with the FLRA's Chief FOIA Officer or FOIA Public Liaison.

(c) Public logs. Upon receipt of a request for records, the appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, shall enter it in a public log. The log shall state: The request number; the date received; the nature of the records requested; the action taken on the request; the agency's response date; any exemptions that were applied (if applicable) and their descriptions; and whether any fees were charged for processing the request.

(d) Consultation, referral, and coordination. When reviewing records located in response to a request, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will determine whether another agency of the Federal Government is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. As to any such record, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will proceed in one of the following ways:

(1) Consultation. When records originated with the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG, but contain within them information of interest to another agency or other Federal Government component, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will typically consult with that other entity prior to making a release determination.

(2) Referral. (i) When the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG believes that a different agency or component is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will typically refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record to that agency or component. Ordinarily, the agency or component that originated the record is presumed to be the best agency or component to make the disclosure determination. However, if the FLRA and the originating agency or component jointly agree that the FLRA is in the best position to respond regarding the record, then the record may be handled as a consultation.

(ii) Whenever the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG refers any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another Federal agency, it must document the referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, and notify the requester of the referral, informing the requester of the name(s) of the agency to which the record was referred, including that agency's FOIA contact information.

(3) Coordination. The standard referral procedure is not appropriate where disclosure of the identity of the agency to which the referral would be made could harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption, such as the exemptions that protect personal privacy or national-security interests. In such instances, in order to avoid harm to an interest protected by an applicable exemption, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG should coordinate with the originating agency to seek its views on the disclosability of the record. The release determination for the record that is the subject of the coordination should then be conveyed to the requester by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG.

8. Revise § 2411.7 to read as follows:
§ 2411.7 Format of disclosure.

(a) After a determination has been made to grant a request in whole or in part, the appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, will notify the requester in writing. The notice will describe the manner in which the record will be disclosed and will inform the requester of the availability of the Authority's FOIA Public Liaison to offer assistance. The appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, will provide the record in the form or format requested if the record is readily reproducible in that form or format, provided the requester has agreed to pay and/or has paid any fees required by § 2411.13 of this part. The appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, will determine on a case-by-case basis what constitutes a readily reproducible format. These offices will make a reasonable effort to maintain their records in commonly reproducible forms or formats.

(b) Alternatively, the appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, may make a copy of the releasable portions of the record available to the requester for inspection at a reasonable time and place. The procedure for such an inspection will not unreasonably disrupt the operations of the office.

9. Amend § 2411.8 by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text, (b), (c) introductory text, (c)(1) and (2), (c)(5), (d), and (e) to read as follows:
§ 2411.8 Time limits for processing requests.

(a) The 20-day period (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays), established in this section, shall commence on the date on which the request is first received by the appropriate component of the agency (Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the Office of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG), but in any event not later than 10 days after the request is first received by any FLRA component responsible for receiving FOIA requests under part 2411. The 20-day period does not run when:

(b) A request for records shall be logged in by the appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, pursuant to § 2411.6(c). All requesters must reasonably describe the records sought. An oral request for records shall not begin any time requirement. A written request for records sent to other than the appropriate officer will be forwarded to that officer by the receiving officer, but, in that event, the applicable time limit for response shall begin as set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Except as provided in § 2411.11, the appropriate Regional Director, the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the Solicitor of the Authority, the Executive Director of the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, shall, within 20 working days following receipt of the request, as provided by paragraph (a) of this section, respond in writing to the requester, determining whether, or the extent to which, the request shall be complied with.

(1) If all of the records requested have been located, and a final determination has been made with respect to disclosure of all of the records requested, the response shall so state.

(2) If all of the records have not been located, or a final determination has not been made with respect to disclosure of all of the records requested, the response shall state the extent to which the records involved shall be disclosed pursuant to the rules established in this part.

(5) Search fees shall not be assessed to requesters (or duplication fees in the case of an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research; or a representative of the news media requester, as defined by § 2411.13(a)(8)) under this subparagraph if an agency component fails to comply with any of the deadlines in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A), except as provided in the following paragraphs (c)(5)(i) through (iii):

(i) If the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG has determined that unusual circumstances apply (as the term is defined in § 2411.11(b)) and the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG provided a timely written notice to the requester in accordance with § 2411.11(a), a failure described in this paragraph (c)(5) is excused for an additional 10 days. If the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG fails to comply with the extended time limit, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG may not assess any search fees (or, in the case of a requester described in § 2411.13(a)(8), duplication fees).

(ii) If the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG determines that unusual circumstances apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG may charge search fees or, in the case of requesters defined in § 2411.13(a)(6) through (8), may charge duplication fees, if the following steps are taken. The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG must have provided timely written notice of unusual circumstances to the requester in accordance with the FOIA and must have discussed with the requester via written mail, email, or telephone (or made not less than three good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(ii). If this exception is satisfied, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG may charge all applicable fees incurred in the processing of the request.

(iii) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist, as defined by the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limits shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

(d) If a request will take longer than 10 days to process:

(1) An individualized tracking number will be assigned to the request and provided to the requester; and

(2) Using the tracking number, the requester can find, by calling 202-218-7999 or visiting https://foiaonline.regulations.gov, status information about the request including:

(i) The date on which the agency originally received the request; and

(ii) An estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request.

(e) If any request for records is denied in whole or in part, the response required by paragraph (c) of this section shall notify the requester of the denial. Such denial shall specify the reason therefore, set forth the name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial, and notify the person making the request of the right to appeal the denial under the provisions of § 2411.10. Such denial shall also notify the requester of the assistance available from the FLRA's FOIA Public Liaison and the dispute resolution services offered by the Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration (OGIS).

10. Amend § 2411.9 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), (d), (e)(2), (f), (g) introductory text, (h)(1), (3), and (4), (i), and (j) to read as follows:
§ 2411.9 Business information.

(a) In general. Business information obtained by the FLRA from a submitter will be disclosed under the FOIA only under this section.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) Business information means commercial or financial information obtained by the FLRA from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA.

(2) Submitter means any person or entity from whom the FLRA obtains business information, directly or indirectly. The term includes corporations; state, local, and tribal governments; and foreign governments.

(d) Notice to submitters. The FLRA shall provide a submitter with prompt written notice of a FOIA request or administrative appeal that seeks its business information wherever required under paragraph (e) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, in order to give the submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure of any specified portion of that information under paragraph (f) of this section. The notice shall either describe the business information requested or include copies of the requested records or record portions containing the information. When notification of a voluminous number of submitters is required, notification may be made by posting or publishing the notice in a place reasonably likely to accomplish it.

(e) * * *

(2) The FLRA has reason to believe that the information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4.

(f) Opportunity to object to disclosure. The FLRA will allow a submitter a reasonable time to respond to the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section and will specify that time period within the notice. If a submitter has any objection to disclosure, it is required to submit a detailed written statement. The statement must specify all grounds for withholding any portion of the information under any exemption of the FOIA and, in the case of Exemption 4, it must show why the information is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. In the event that a submitter fails to respond to the notice within the time specified in it, the submitter will be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information. Information provided by the submitter that is not received by the FLRA until after it has made its disclosure decision shall not be considered by the FLRA. Information provided by a submitter under this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

(g) Notice of intent to disclose. The FLRA shall consider a submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose business information. Whenever the FLRA decides to disclose business information over the objection of a submitter, the FLRA shall give the submitter written notice, which shall include:

(h) * * *

(1) The FLRA determines that the information should not be disclosed;

(3) Disclosure of the information is required by statute (other than the FOIA) or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600, (52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp. p. 235); or

(4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (c) of this section appears to be obviously frivolous—except that, in such a case, the FLRA shall, within a reasonable time prior to a specified disclosure date, give the submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the information.

(i) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of business information, the FLRA shall promptly notify the submitter.

(j) Corresponding notice to requesters. Whenever the FLRA provides a submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure under paragraph (d) of this section, the FLRA shall also notify the requester(s). Whenever the FLRA notifies a submitter of its intent to disclose requested information under paragraph (g) of this section, the FLRA shall also notify the requester(s). Whenever a submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of business information, the FLRA shall notify the requester(s).

11. Revise § 2411.10 to read as follows:
§ 2411.10 Appeal from denial of request.

(a)(1) When a request for records is denied, in whole or in part, a requester may appeal the denial by submitting a written appeal by mail or online that is postmarked, or in the case of an electronic submission, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the requester receives notification that the request has been denied or after the requester receives any records being made available, in the event of partial denial. The appeal should clearly identify the agency determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number.

(i) If the denial was made by the Solicitor or the IG, the appeal shall be filed with the Chairman of the Authority in Washington, DC.

(ii) If the denial was made by a Regional Director or by the FOIA Officer of the General Counsel, the appeal shall be filed with the General Counsel in Washington, DC.

(iii) If the denial was made by the Executive Director of the Panel, the appeal shall be filed with the Chairman of the Panel.

(2) The Chairman of the Authority, the General Counsel, or the Chairman of the Panel, as appropriate, shall, within 20 working days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) from the time of receipt of the appeal, except as provided in § 2411.11, make a determination on the appeal and respond in writing to the requester, determining whether, or the extent to which, the request shall be granted. An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

(i) If the determination is to grant the request and the request is expected to involve an assessed fee in excess of $250.00, the determination shall specify or estimate the fee involved, and it shall require prepayment of any charges due in accordance with the provisions of § 2411.13(a) before the records are made available.

(ii) Whenever possible, the determination relating to a request for records that involves a fee of less than $250.00 shall be accompanied by the requested records when there is no history of the requester having previously failed to pay fees in a timely manner. Where this is not possible, the records shall be forwarded as soon as possible thereafter, consistent with other obligations of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG.

(b) If, on appeal, the denial of the request for records is upheld in whole or in part by the Chairman of the Authority, the General Counsel, or the Chairman of the Panel, as appropriate, the person making the request shall be notified of the reasons for the determination, the name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial, and the provisions for judicial review of that determination under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4). The determination will also inform the requester of the mediation services offered by the OGIS as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Mediation is a voluntary process. If the FLRA agrees to participate in the mediation services provided by the OGIS, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

(c) Even though no appeal is filed from a denial in whole or in part of a request for records by the person making the request, the Chairman of the Authority, the General Counsel, or the Chairman of the Panel, as appropriate, may, without regard to the time limit for filing of an appeal, sua sponte initiate consideration of a denial under this appeal procedure by written notification to the person making the request. In such event, the time limit for making the determination shall commence with the issuance of such notification.

(d) Before seeking judicial review of the FLRA's denial of a request, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.

12. Revise § 2411.11 to read as follows:
§ 2411.11 Modification of time limits.

(a) In unusual circumstances, as specified in this section, the time limits prescribed with respect to initial determinations or determinations on appeal may be extended by written notice from the agency component handling the request (either initial or on appeal) to the person making such request setting forth the reasons for such extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. As appropriate, the notice shall provide the requester with an opportunity to limit the scope of the request so that it may be processed within the time limit or an opportunity to arrange with the processing agency component an alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request. No such notice shall specify a date that would result in a total extension of more than 10 working days. To aid the requester, the FOIA Public Liaison shall assist in the resolution of any disputes between the requester and the processing agency component, and shall notify the requester of the requester's right to seek dispute resolution services from the OGIS.

(b) As used in this section, “unusual circumstances” means, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of the particular request:

(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the processing agency component;

(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are demanded in a single request; or

(3) The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency having substantial subject matter interest therein.

(c) Expedited processing of a request for records, or an appeal of a denial of a request for expedited processing, shall be provided when the requester demonstrates a compelling need for the information and in other cases as determined by the officer processing the request. A requester seeking expedited processing can demonstrate a compelling need by submitting a statement certified by the requester to be true and correct to the best of such person's knowledge and belief and that satisfies the statutory and regulatory definitions of compelling need. Requesters shall be notified within 10 calendar days after receipt of such a request whether expedited processing, or an appeal of a denial of a request for expedited processing, was granted. As used in this section, “compelling need” means:

(1) That a failure to obtain requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or

(2) With respect to a request made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity.

13. Revise § 2411.12 to read as follows:
§ 2411.12 Effect of failure to meet time limits.

Failure by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG either to deny or grant any request under this part within the time limits prescribed by the FOIA, as amended and these regulations shall be deemed to be an exhaustion of the administrative remedies available to the person making this request.

14. Amend § 2411.13 by revising paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(3) through (8), (b), (c)(2) through (4), (d)(2) through (5), (e) through (h), and adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:
§ 2411.13 Fees.

(a) * * *

(1) The term direct costs means those expenditures that the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and in the case of commercial requesters, reviewing) documents to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs include, for example, the salary of the employee performing work (the basic rate of pay for the employee plus 16 percent of the rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating duplication machinery. Not included in direct costs are overhead expenses such as costs of space, and heating or lighting the facility in which the records are stored.

(3) The term duplication refers to the process of making a copy of a document necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Such copies can take the form of paper copy, audio-visual materials, or machine-readable documentation, among others.

(4) The term review refers to the process of examining documents located in response to a commercial-use request (see paragraph (a)(5) of this section) to determine whether any portion of any document located is permitted to be withheld. It also includes processing any documents for disclosure, e.g., doing all that is necessary to prepare them for release. Review does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

(5) The term commercial-use request refers to a request from or on behalf of one who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person on whose behalf the request is made. In determining whether a requester properly belongs in this category, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will look first to the use to which a requester will put the document requested. Where the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG has reasonable cause to doubt the use to which a requester will put the records sought, or where that use is not clear from the request itself, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG may seek additional clarification before assigning the request to a specific category.

(6) The term educational institution refers to a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, or an institution of vocational education that operates a program or programs of scholarly research.

(7) The term non-commercial scientific institution refers to an institution that is not operated on a commercial basis as that term is referenced in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry.

(8) The term representative of the news media refers to any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term news means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news-media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate “news” and make their products available through a variety of means to the general public including news organizations that disseminate solely on the Internet. These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive. Moreover, as methods of news delivery evolve, such alternative media shall be considered to be news-media entities. A freelance journalist shall be regarded as working for a news-media entity if the journalist can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through that entity, whether or not the journalist is actually employed by the entity. A publication contract would present a solid basis for such an expectation; the FLRA may also consider the past publication record of the requester in making such a determination.

(b) Exceptions to fee charges. (1) With the exception of requesters seeking documents for a commercial use, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will provide the first 100 pages of duplication and the first two hours of search time without charge. The word pages in this paragraph refers to paper copies of standard size, usually 81/2 by 11. The term search time in this paragraph is based on a manual search for records. In applying this term to searches made by computer, when the cost of the search as set forth in paragraph (d)(2) of this section equals the equivalent dollar amount of two hours of the salary of the person performing the search, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will begin assessing charges for the computer search. No search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review.

(2) The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will not charge fees to any requester, including commercial-use requesters, if the cost of collecting the fee would be equal to or greater than the fee itself.

(3) As provided in § 2411.8(c)(5), the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will not charge search fees (or duplication fees if the requester is an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research; or a representative of the news media, as described in this section), when the time limits are not met.

(4)(i) The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will provide documents without charge or at reduced charges if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government; and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

(ii) In determining whether disclosure is in the “public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government” under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG will consider the following factors:

(A) The subject of the request. The subject of the requested records must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal government, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated;

(B) The informative value of the information to be disclosed. The disclosable portions of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities in order to be “likely to contribute” to an increased public understanding of those operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either a duplicative or a substantially identical form, would not be as likely to contribute to such understanding where nothing new would be added to the public's understanding;

(C) The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure. The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's expertise in the subject area and his or her ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be considered. It shall be presumed that a representative of the news media will satisfy this consideration; and

(D) The significance of the contribution to the public understanding. The public's understanding of the subject in question, as compared to the level of public understanding existing prior to the disclosure, must be enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent. The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG shall not make value judgments about whether information that would contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government is “important” enough to be made public.

(iii) In determining whether disclosure “is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester” under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG will consider the following factors:

(A) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest. The processing agency component will identify any commercial interest of the requester (with reference to the definition of “commercial use” in paragraph (a)(5) of this section), or of any person on whose behalf the requester may be acting, that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. Requesters shall be given an opportunity in the administrative process to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration; and,

(B) The primary interest in disclosure. A fee waiver or reduction is justified where the public interest standard is satisfied and that public interest is greater in magnitude than that of any identified commercial interest in disclosure. The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG ordinarily shall presume that where a news media requester has satisfied the public interest standard, the public interest will be the interest primarily served by disclosure to that requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return shall not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.

(iv) A request for a fee waiver based on the public interest under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section must address these factors as they apply to the request for records in order to be considered by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG.

(v) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when the request is first submitted to the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG. A requester may submit a fee-waiver request at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees, and that waiver is denied, the requester must pay any costs incurred up to the date on which the fee-waiver request was received.

(vi) When only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver shall be granted for those records.

(c) * * *

(2) A request for documents from an educational or non-commercial scientific institution will be charged for the cost of duplication alone, excluding charges for the first 100 pages. To be eligible for inclusion in this category, requesters must show that the request is being made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use, but are sought in furtherance of scholarly (if the request is from an educational institution) or scientific (if the request is from a non-commercial scientific institution) research.

(3) The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG shall provide documents to requesters who are representatives of the news media for the cost of duplication alone, excluding charges for the first 100 pages.

(4) The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG shall charge requesters who do not fit into any of the categories of this section fees that recover the full direct cost of searching for and duplicating records that are responsive to the request, except that the first 100 pages of duplication and the first two hours of search time shall be furnished without charge. Requests from record subjects for records about themselves filed in Authority, General Counsel, Panel, or IG systems of records will continue to be treated under the fee provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, which permits fees only for duplication.

(d) * * *

(2) Computer searches for records. The actual direct cost of providing the service, including the cost of operating computers and other electronic equipment, and the salary (i.e., basic pay plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) of the employee conducting the search.

(3) Review of records. The salary rate (i.e., basic pay plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) of the employee(s) conducting the review. This charge applies only to requesters who are seeking documents for commercial use, and only to the review necessary at the initial administrative level to determine the applicability of any relevant FOIA exemptions, and not at the administrative-appeal level of an exemption already applied.

(4) Duplication of records. Twenty-five cents per page for paper-copy duplication of documents, which the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG have determined is the reasonable direct cost of making such copies, taking into account the average salary of the operator and the cost of the duplication machinery. For copies of records produced on tapes, disks, or other media, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG shall charge the actual cost of production, including operator time. When paper documents must be scanned in order to comply with a requester's preference to receive the records in an electronic format, the requester shall pay the direct costs associated with scanning those materials, including operator time. For all other forms of duplication, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG will charge the direct costs, including operator time.

(5) Forwarding material to destination. Postage, insurance, and special fees will be charged on an actual-cost basis.

(e) Aggregating requests. When the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG reasonably believes that a requester or group of requesters is attempting to break a request down into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the assessment of fees, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will aggregate any such requests and charge accordingly.

(f) Charging interest. Interest at the rate prescribed in 31 U.S.C. 3717 may be charged to those requesters who fail to pay fees charged, beginning on the 31st day following the billing date. Receipt of a fee by the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG, whether processed or not, will stay the accrual of interest.

(g) Advance payments. The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will not require a requester to make an advance payment, i.e., payment before work is commenced or continued on a request, unless:

(1) The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG estimates or determines that allowable charges that a requester may be required to pay are likely to exceed $250. In those circumstances, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will notify the requester of the likely cost and obtain satisfactory assurance of full payment, where the requester has a history of prompt payment of FOIA fees, or require an advance payment of an amount up to the full estimated charges in the case of requesters with no history of payment; or

(2) A requester has previously failed to pay a fee charged in a timely fashion (i.e., within 30 days of the date of the billing), in which case the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG requires the requester to pay the full amount owed plus any applicable interest, as provided in this section, or demonstrate that the requester has, in fact, paid the fee, and to make an advance payment of the full amount of the estimated fee before the agency begins to process a new request or a pending request from that requester. When the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG has a reasonable basis to believe that a requester has misrepresented his or her identity in order to avoid paying outstanding fees, it may require that the requester provide proof of identity. When the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG acts under paragraph (g)(1) or (2) of this section, the administrative time limits prescribed in subsection (a)(6) of the FOIA (i.e., 20 working days from receipt of initial requests and 20 working days from receipt of appeals from initial denial, plus permissible extension of these time limits) will begin only after the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG has received fee payments described in this section. If the requester does not pay the advance payment within 30 calendar days after the date of the fee determination, the request will be closed.

(h) When a person other than a party to a proceeding before the FLRA makes a request for a copy of a transcript or recording of the proceeding, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG, as appropriate, will handle the request under this part.

(j) The fee schedule of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that specifically requires the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG to set and collect fees for particular types of records. In instances in which records responsive to a request are subject to a statutorily based fee-schedule program, the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, or the IG will inform the requester of the contact information for that program.

15. Revise § 2411.14 to read as follows.
§ 2411.14 Record retention and preservation.

The Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG shall preserve all correspondence pertaining to the requests that it receives under this subpart, as well as copies of all requested records, until such time as disposition or destruction is authorized by title 44 of the United States Code or the National Archives and Records Administration's General Records Schedule 14. Records will not be disposed of while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or lawsuit under the FOIA.

16. Revise § 2411.15 to read as follows:
§ 2411.15 Annual report.

Each year, on or around February 1, as requested by the Department of Justice's Office of Information Policy, the Chief FOIA Officer of the FLRA shall submit a report of the activities of the Authority, the General Counsel, the Panel, and the IG with regard to public information requests during the preceding fiscal year to the Attorney General of the United States and the Director of the OGIS. The report shall include those matters required by 5 U.S.C. 552(e), and it shall be made available electronically. The Chief FOIA Officer of the FLRA shall make each such report available for public inspection in an electronic format. In addition, the Chief FOIA Officer of the FLRA shall make the raw statistical data used in each report available in a timely manner for public inspection in an electronic format, which shall be available—

(a) Without charge, license, or registration requirement;

(b) In an aggregated, searchable format; and

(c) In a format that may be downloaded in bulk.

Dated: December 20, 2016. Carol Waller Pope, Chairman.
[FR Doc. 2016-31121 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 435 [Docket No. EERE-2016-BT-STD-0003] RIN 1904-AD56 Energy Efficiency Standards for the Design and Construction of New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings' Baseline Standards Update AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is publishing this final rule to implement provisions in the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA) that require DOE to update the baseline Federal energy efficiency performance standards for the construction of new Federal low-rise residential buildings. This rule updates the baseline Federal residential standard to the International Code Council (ICC) 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

DATES:

This rule is effective March 13, 2017.

The incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this rule was approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 13, 2017.

All Federal agencies shall design new Federal buildings that are low-rise residential buildings, for which design for construction began on or after January 10, 2018, using the 2015 IECC as the baseline standard for 10 CFR part 435.

ADDRESSES:

The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&po=0&D=EERE-2016-BT-STD-0003]. All documents in the docket are listed in the regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available. The regulations.gov site contains simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

A link to the docket Web page can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2016-BT-STD-0003. This Web page will contain a link to the docket for this rule on the www.regulations.gov site. The www.regulations.gov Web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

For further information on how to review the docket, contact Mr. Nicolas Baker at (202) 586-8215 or by email: [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicolas Baker, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Federal Energy Management Program, Mailstop EE-5F, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-8215, email: [email protected] Kavita Vaidyanathan, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Forrestal Building, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-0669, email: [email protected]
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This final rule incorporates by reference the following standard into 10 CFR part 435: ICC International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), 2015 Edition (“IECC 2015”), May 30, 2014.

Copies of this standard are available from the International Code Council, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, 1-800-422-7233, http://www.iccsafe.org/.

Also, a copy of this standard is available for inspection at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Federal Energy Management Program, 8th Floor, 956 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 8000, Washington, DC 20024. For information on the availability of this standard at DOE, contact Mr. Cyrus Nasseri at (202) 586-9138, or email [email protected]

This standard is discussed in greater detail in section VI.N of this document.

Table of Contents I. Executive Summary of the Final Rule II. Introduction III. Synopsis of the Final Rule A. Updated Definition of New Federal Building B. Adding Explicit Mention of Mechanical Ventilation Requirements in the 2015 IECC C. Expanding the List of Energy End-Uses that must be included in the 30 Percent Savings Calculation D. Other Energy Efficiency Requirements E. Synopsis of Changes to the IECC Between the 2009 and 2015 Versions IV. Compliance Date V. Reference Resources A. Resources for Low-Rise Residential Buildings. VI. Regulatory Analysis A. Review Under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” B. Administrative Procedure Act C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 F. Review Under Executive Order 13132, “Federalism” G. Review Under Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform” H. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 I. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999 J. Review Under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” K. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 L. Review Under Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” M. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 N. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference VII. Congressional Notification VIII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Executive Summary of the Final Rule

Section 305 of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA), as amended, requires DOE to determine whether the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings should be updated to reflect revisions to the IECC based on the cost-effectiveness of the revisions. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(B)) Accordingly, DOE conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis that found the 2015 IECC to be cost-effective. DOE's assumptions and methodology for the cost-effectiveness of this rule are based on DOE's cost-effectiveness analysis of 2015 IECC, as well as DOE's Environmental Assessment (EA) for this rulemaking.1 Therefore, in this final rule, DOE updates the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings to the 2015 IECC for buildings for which design for construction began on or after one year after the rule is published in the Federal Register. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(A)). Federal buildings are defined as follows: “any building to be constructed by, or for the use of, any Federal agency. Such term shall include buildings built for the purpose of being leased by a Federal agency, and privatized military housing.” (42 U.S.C. 6832(6)). This term does not include renovations or modifications to existing buildings.

1 The Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2020) is entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 435, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update”. The EA may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/12/f34/EA-2020-FEA-2016.pdf.

II. Introduction

ECPA, as amended, requires DOE to establish building energy efficiency standards for all new Federal buildings. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(1)) The standards established under section 305(a)(1) of ECPA must contain energy efficiency measures that are technologically feasible, economically justified, and meet the energy efficiency levels in the applicable voluntary consensus energy codes specified in section 305. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(1)-(3))

Under section 305 of ECPA, the referenced voluntary consensus code for low-rise residential buildings is the International Code Council (ICC) International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(2)(A)). DOE codified this referenced code as the baseline Federal building standard in its existing energy efficiency standards found in 10 CFR part 435. Also pursuant to section 305 of ECPA, DOE must establish, by rule, revised Federal building energy efficiency performance standards for new Federal buildings that require such buildings to be designed to achieve energy consumption levels that are at least 30 percent below the levels established in the referenced code (baseline Federal building standard), if life-cycle cost-effective. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(A)(i)(I))

Under section 305 of ECPA, not later than one year after the date of approval of each subsequent revision of the ASHRAE Standard or the IECC, DOE must determine whether to amend the baseline Federal building standards with the revised voluntary standard based on the cost-effectiveness of the revised voluntary standard. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(B)) It is this requirement that this rulemaking addresses. ICC has updated the IECC from the version currently referenced in DOE's regulations at 10 CFR part 435. In this rule, DOE revises the latest baseline Federal building standard for 10 CFR part 435 from the 2009 IECC to the 2015 IECC. DOE notes that although ICC published an update to the IECC in 2012, this rule updates 10 CFR part 435 to the 2015 IECC directly, without requiring agencies to comply with the 2012 IECC. DOE notes however that because development of the IECC is incremental from version to version, the 2015 IECC does include all content in the 2012 IECC that was not specifically removed or modified during the development of the 2015 IECC. DOE evaluated the 2012 IECC as well and found it to be technologically feasible and economically justified.2

2 See DOE's determination for the 2012 IECC at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-05-17/pdf/2012-12000.pdf. See DOE's analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the 2012 IECC at https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/NationalResidentialCostEffectiveness.pdf. See DOE's analysis of the cost savings of the 2009 IECC and 2012 IECC at https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/NationalResidentialEnergyAnalysis.pdf.

Section 306(a) of ECPA provides that each Federal agency and the Architect of the Capitol must adopt procedures to ensure that new Federal buildings will meet or exceed the Federal building energy efficiency standards established under section 305. (42 U.S.C. 6835(a)) ECPA Section 306(b) bars the head of a Federal agency from expending Federal funds for the construction of a new Federal building unless the building meets or exceeds the applicable baseline Federal building energy standards established under section 305. (42 U.S.C. 6835(b)) Specifically, all new Federal buildings 3 must be designed to achieve the baseline standards in the International Energy Conservation Code for low-rise residential buildings (and ASHRAE Standard 90.1 for commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings) and achieve energy consumption levels at least 30 percent below these minimum baseline standards, where life-cycle cost-effective. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(A)). This requirement does not extend to renovations or modifications to existing buildings.

3 42 U.S.C. 6832 defines “Federal buildings” as any building to be constructed by, or for the use of, any Federal agency. Such term shall include buildings built for the purpose of being leased by a Federal agency, and privatized military housing. DOE's codifications of this definition in 10 CFR 435 and 10 CFR 433 include a second sentence defining “new buildings”, resulting in the definition of “new Federal buildings” as “New Federal building means any building to be constructed by, or for the use of, any Federal agency which is not legally subject to State or local building codes or similar requirements. A new building is a building constructed on a site that previously did not have a building or a complete replacement of an existing building from the foundation up.”

III. Synopsis of the Final Rule

DOE is issuing this action as a final rule. As indicated in this preamble, DOE must determine whether the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings should be updated to reflect revisions to the 2015 IECC based on the cost-effectiveness of the revisions. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(B)) In this final rule, DOE determines that the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings should be updated to reflect the 2015 revisions to the IECC based on the cost-effectiveness of the revisions.

DOE reviewed the IECC for DOE's state building codes program and determined that the 2015 version of the IECC would achieve greater energy efficiency than the prior version (the 2012 version). (See 80 FR 33250 (June 11, 2015)) DOE also reviewed the 2012 version of the IECC and determined that the 2012 version would achieve greater energy efficiency than the prior version (the 2009 version currently referenced in 10 CFR part 435). (See 77 FR 29322 (May 17, 2012)) Both these determinations were subject to notice and comment. See 79 FR 57915 (September 26, 2014) and 76 FR 42688 (July 19, 2011) respectively for the 2015 IECC and 2012 preliminary determinations. DOE found that the 2015 version of the IECC would save 0.87% more source energy than the 2012 version of the IECC 4 and that the 2012 version of the IECC would save 24% more source energy than the 2009 version of the IECC.5

4Determination Regarding Energy Efficiency Improvements in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC); Notice of determination, 80 FR 33250 (June 11, 2015)

5 Energy savings of the 2012 IECC over the 2009 IECC are shown in Table 1 of Energy Use Savings for a Typical New Residential Dwelling Unit Based on the 2009 and 2012 IECC as Compared to the 2006 IECC—Letter Report (PNNL-88603) (available at https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/NationalResidentialEnergyAnalysis.pdf, rather than the actual published determination.

In DOE's determination for the state building codes program, and again in this rule, DOE states that the cost-effectiveness of revisions to the voluntary codes is considered through DOE's statutorily directed involvement in the codes process. See 80 FR 33250. Section 307 of ECPA requires DOE to participate in the ICC code development process and to assist in determining the cost-effectiveness of the voluntary standards. (42 U.S.C. 6836) DOE is required to periodically review the economic basis of the voluntary building energy codes and participate in the industry process for review and modification, including seeking adoption of all technologically feasible and economically justified energy efficiency measures. (42 U.S.C. 6836(b))

In addition to DOE's consideration of the cost-effectiveness of the 2015 IECC through its participation in the codes development process, DOE conducted an independent analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the 2015 IECC compared to the 2012 IECC and 2009 IECC. The results of the analysis are discussed in section A. Review Under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review”.6 DOE's assumptions and methodology for the cost-effectiveness of this rule are based on DOE's cost-effectiveness analysis of the 2015 IECC, as well as DOE's Environmental Assessment (EA) for this rulemaking.7

6National Cost-Effectiveness of the Residential Provisions of the 2015 IECC, Mendon, V.V. et al. PNNL-24240, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, June 2015. https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2015IECC_CE_Residential.pdf.

7 The Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2020) is entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 435, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update”. The EA may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/12/f34/EA-2020-FEA-2016.pdf.

In this rule, DOE updates the energy efficiency standards applicable to new Federal buildings based on the determinations made by DOE as to the energy efficiency improvements of the 2015 IECC 8 and 2012 IECC,9 as compared to the predecessor version (the 2009 IECC), and based on the considerations of cost-effectiveness incorporated into the codes processes, DOE's involvement in those processes, and DOE's own cost-effectiveness analysis. This final rule amends 10 CFR part 435 to update the referenced baseline Federal energy efficiency performance standards. This final rule does not make any changes to the overall requirement that agencies must design buildings to meet the baseline standard and, if life-cycle cost-effective, achieve savings of at least 30% below the baseline standard. The statutory requirement to achieve savings of at least 30% below the levels established for the 2012 and 2015 IECC updates, applies to Federal agencies in the determinations they make for individual buildings, but not to DOE's overall determination for the purpose of this rule.

8Determination Regarding Energy Efficiency Improvements in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC); Notice of determination. 80 FR 33250 (June 11, 2015).

9Updating State Residential Building Energy Efficiency Codes, 77 FR 29322 (May 17, 2012).

Three changes made to 10 CFR part 435 in this rule warrant further discussion. These changes are: (1) Updated the definition of “Federal buildings” to meet the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6832(6); (2) explicit reference to the new mechanical ventilation requirements found in the 2015 IECC to § 435.4; and (3) expanded list of energy end-uses that must be considered in the 30 percent savings calculation. Each of these changes is discussed in this preamble. DOE is also providing a synopsis of the major changes made to the IECC between the 2009 IECC and the 2015 IECC to provide more detail regarding what the change in baseline standard means.

A. Updated Definition of New Federal Building

The definition of “New Federal building” in 10 CFR part 435 has not previously been updated to match what is found in 42 U.S.C. 6832(6). The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) updated the definition of “Federal building” to include privatized military family housing and leased buildings. This rule makes that update by revising the definition of “New Federal building” to mean “any new building (including a complete replacement of an existing building from the foundation up) to be constructed by, or for the use of, any federal agency.10 Such term shall include buildings built for the purpose of being leased by a federal agency, and privatized military housing.” DOE believes that the main impact of this definition change for this rule will be that privatized military housing will now be required to follow the requirements of 10 CFR part 435 for energy efficiency instead of using prevailing energy efficiency standards. For example, privatized military family housing constructed in the state of Georgia must meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 435, which may or may not be the same as the Georgia energy code. This change is made solely to bring 10 CFR part 435 into agreement with 42 U.S.C. 6832(6).

10 42 U.S.C. 6832 defines “Federal agency” as “any department, agency, corporation, or other entity or instrumentality of the executive branch of the Federal Government, including the United States Postal Service, the Federal National Mortgage Association, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.”

B. Adding Explicit Mention of Mechanical Ventilation Requirements in the 2015 IECC

The 2015 IECC includes explicit mechanical ventilation requirements for new homes. Previous editions of the IECC (prior to the 2012 IECC, but including the 2009 IECC) referred to in 10 CFR part 435 did not explicitly require mechanical ventilation. DOE believes that ensuring adequate ventilation is critical to ensuring good indoor air quality and has therefore explicitly added a mention of this requirement in 10 CFR part 435. DOE believes the main impact of this change will be to require agencies to use the newest residential ventilation standards. The 2015 IECC explicitly mentions the 2015 International Mechanical Code (IMC) 11 and the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) 12 as optional sources of ventilation requirements. The 2015 IECC also allows “other approved means” of mechanical ventilation.

11 The 2015 IMC is available for read-only viewing at http://codes.iccsafe.org/app/book/toc/2015/I-Codes/2015%20IMC%20HTML/index.html.

12 The 2015 IRC is available for read-only viewing at http://codes.iccsafe.org/app/book/toc/2015/I-Codes/2015%20IRC%20HTML/index.html.

Specifically, Section R403.5 of the 2015 IECC requires that “the building shall be provided with ventilation that meets the requirements of the International Residential Code or International Mechanical Code, as applicable, or with other approved means of ventilation. Outdoor air intakes and exhausts shall have automatic or gravity dampers that close when the ventilation system is not operating”. Section R403.5.1 of the 2015 IECC also requires that “Mechanical ventilation system fans shall meet the requirements of Table R403.5.1.” Table R403.5.1 sets minimum efficacy for range hoods, in-line fans, and bathroom and utility room fans. DOE's 2012 IECC determination (previously footnoted) states that the 2009 IECC does not require any mechanical ventilation. Section R403.5 of the 2012 IECC refers to the 2012 International Residential Code and International Mechanical Code which, in tandem with the 2012 IECC, require that a mechanical ventilation system meet these requirements or other approved means of ventilation in new homes.

DOE believes that the primary technical authority on residential ventilation is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.2 committee. Their latest standard—ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2013,13 is the source of many of the requirements in the 2015 IMC and 2015 IRC and could therefore be used as an “other approved means” by agencies. If agencies wish to develop their own mechanical ventilation standards, they may choose to request an interpretation from the ASHRAE Standard 62.2 committee as to whether or not the agency's own standard is an acceptable substitute. Agencies may submit a request for interpretation to the committee using the procedures outlined at https://www.ashrae.org/standards-research--technology/standards-forms--procedures/how-to-request-an-interpretation. Neither the 2015 IMC, nor 2015 IRC, nor ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2013 are incorporated by reference in this rule as they are options that an agency may choose to use.

13 Standard 62.2-2013 is available for read-only viewing at https://www.ashrae.org/standards-research--technology/standards--guidelines/other-ashrae-standards-referenced-in-code.

C. Expanding the List of Energy End-Uses That Must Be Included in the 30 Percent Savings Calculation

Under the current 10 CFR 435.4, Federal agencies that are designing new Federal buildings that are low-rise residential buildings must only consider space heating, space cooling and domestic water heating when making the 30% savings calculation required in 10 CFR part 435 because the 2004 IECC and 2009 IECC only included those requirements. In addition to those three elements, the 2015 IECC includes explicit mechanical ventilation requirements that, the energy used for mechanical ventilation should be included in the 30 percent savings calculation required in 10 CFR part 435 as well. Also, both the 2015 IECC and the 2009 IECC (the current baseline standard for 10 CFR part 435) contain requirements for high-efficacy lighting and, therefore, lighting should be included in the 30 percent savings calculation as well. DOE believes that the impact of this change on agencies should be minimal as ventilation and lighting end-uses should be part of the output of any residential whole building simulation tool that an agency might be using for its calculations.

This rule also updates the methodology used in the 30 Percent Savings Calculation by directing agencies to use the Simulated Performance Alternative in the 2015 IECC as opposed to the Simulated Performance Alternative in the 2009 IECC. Updates to the Simulation Performance Alternative in the 2015 IECC from the Simulated Performance Alternative in the 2009 IECC include three clarifications to the documentation, calculation procedure, and calculation software tools sections that point out that all subsections in these sections must be addressed, as well as a number of editorial changes to call out specific sections in the 2015 IECC. There were also a few more technical changes to the Simulated Performance Alternative, including a change to the calculation method for the internal shade fraction, a change to the treatment of air exchange rates, a change to the default heating system assumption in cases where electric heating without a heat pump is used, and a change in how thermal distribution system efficiency is treated. There are also new requirements for compliance documentation associated with the Simulated Performance Alternative in the 2015 IECC. These requirements, while part of the 2015 IECC, do not apply to Federal buildings as they are associated with applications for building permits and certificates of occupancy required from local code officials.

D. Other Energy Efficiency Requirements

DOE also notes that there are a number of statutory provisions, regulations, Executive Orders, and memoranda of understanding that govern energy consumption in new Federal buildings. These include, but are not limited to, the Executive Order 13693 (80 FR 15871 (March 25, 2015)); sections 323, 431, 433, 434, and 523 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007); section 109 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-58); and 10 CFR parts 433 and 435. This rule supports and does not supplant these other applicable requirements and goals for new Federal buildings. For example, by designing buildings to meet the 2015 IECC baseline, Federal agencies also help achieve the energy intensity reductions mandated under section 431 of EISA 2007.

Of particular significance is the Administration's Climate Action Plan, (CAP), issued June 2013, in which the President affirmed that the Federal government must position itself as a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency, and pledged that Federal agencies must surpass previous greenhouse gas reduction achievements, through a combination of consuming 20 percent of Federal electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and by pursuing greater energy efficiency in Federal buildings.14 Additionally, the President directed that efficiency standards for appliances and Federal buildings set in the first and second terms combined would reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030—equivalent to nearly one-half of the carbon pollution from the entire U.S. energy sector for one year. This rule, which DOE estimates will avoid cumulative emissions of 690,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2030, directly supports the Administration's undertaking to make energy efficiency in Federal buildings an essential stratagem in the government's enduring achievement of the greenhouse gas reduction goals set out in the CAP.

14 The President's Climate Action Plan, Office of the Executive Office of the President, https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf, June 2013.

E. Synopsis of Changes to the IECC Between the 2009 and 2015 IECC

The IECC is updated every three years by the International Code Council (ICC). Between the 2009 IECC and the 2015 IECC, the ICC also issued the 2012 IECC. DOE, as part of its determination process, evaluates each new version of the IECC for low-rise residential buildings. The following summaries are taken directly from DOE's determinations and supporting analyses for the 2012 IECC 15 and 2015 IECC.16

15 See determination at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-05-17/pdf/2012-12000.pdf. See analysis of energy savings at https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/NationalResidentialEnergyAnalysis.pdf.

16 See determination at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE-2014-BT-DET-0030-0007.

2012 IECC Changes

In creating the 2012 IECC, ICC processed 27 sets of approved code change proposals. Overall, DOE found that the majority of changes in the 2012 IECC appear to be positive (i.e., have a positive impact on energy savings) within the context of the determination analysis. Of the 27 sets of changes:

• 14 were considered beneficial; • 9 were considered neutral; • 2 were considered detrimental; and • 2 were considered to have an unquantifiable impact.

In the 2012 IECC, DOE noted the following 14 sets of improvements:

1. Increases in prescriptive insulation levels of walls, roofs and floors,

2. Decrease (improvement) in U-factor allowances for fenestration,

3. Decrease (improvement) in allowable Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) for fenestration in warm climates,

4. Infiltration control: Mandated whole house pressure test with strict allowances for air leakage rates,

5. Wall insulation when structural sheathing is used,

6. Ventilation fan efficiency,

7. Lighting—Increased fraction of lamps required to be high-efficacy,

8. Air distribution systems—leakage control requirements,

9. Hot water pipe insulation and length requirements,

10. Skylight definition change,

11. Penalizing electric resistance heating in the performance compliance path,

12. Fireplace air leakage control,

13. Insulating covers for in-ground spas, and

14. Baffles for attic insulation.

DOE also noted the following two changes that decrease the efficiency of the 2012 IECC:

1. Steel-framed wall insulation, and

2. Air barrier location.

DOE also noted another two changes the effect of which was unclear:

1. Fenestration SHGC requirement in climate zone 4, and

2. Interior shading assumptions in the performance compliance path.

DOE also noted nine additional changes that had no apparent impact on the energy performance of the 2012 IECC:

1. Clarification of the scope of the residential building section of the IECC,

2. Definition of a whole house ventilation system,

3. A requirement for the results of the air leakage test to be put on the certificate,

4. Inclusion of Visual Transmittance (VT) in the code,

5. Clarification of recessed lighting leakage rates,

6. Introduction of ASHRAE Test Procedure 193 for HVAC equipment leakage test rates,

7. Introduction of a new test standard for home ventilation systems,

8. Clarification for the requirement for thermal distribution system design in the Simulated Performance Alternative, and

9. Moving of a requirement for sizing of equipment from an IRC reference into the IECC.

All of these changes are discussed in more detail in DOE's 2012 Determination.

2015 IECC Changes

In creating the 2015 IECC, ICC processed 76 approved code change proposals. Overall, DOE found that the vast majority of changes in the 2015 IECC appear to be neutral (i.e., have no direct impact on energy savings) within the context of the determination analysis. DOE also found that beneficial changes (i.e., increased energy savings) outweigh any changes with a detrimental effect on energy efficiency in residential buildings. Of the 76 total changes:

• 6 were considered beneficial; • 62 were considered neutral; • 5 were considered negligible; • 2 were considered detrimental; and • 1 was considered to have an unquantifiable impact.

The 6 changes considered beneficial are:

Nature of change Reason for evaluation Increases insulation requirements for return ducts in attics from R-6 to R-8 Modestly reduces conduction losses from return ducts in attics. Adds requirements for demand-activated control on hot water circulation systems and heat trace systems. Makes IECC, IRC, and IPC consistent and clarifies requirements for these systems Demand activated control reduces the runtime of circulation pumps. Deletes requirement for domestic hot water (DHW) pipe insulation to kitchen and the generic requirement on long/large-diameter pipes. However, adds DHW pipe insulation for 3/4-inch pipes Energy lost due to the elimination of hot water pipe insulation on the kitchen pipe is typically more than made up by added insulation requirements for pipes 3/4 inches in diameter, the most common size for trunk lines. Adds demand control requirements for recirculating systems that use a cold water supply pipe to return water to the tank Demand activated control reduces the runtime of circulation pumps. Revises language requiring the code to apply to historic buildings if no “compromise to the historic nature and function of the building” occurs Additional buildings must meet the code requirements. Adds requirement for outdoor setback control for hot water boilers that controls the boiler water temperature based on the outdoor temperature Lowering boiler water temperature during periods of moderate outdoor temperature reduces energy consumption of the boiler.

The two changes were considered detrimental were:

Nature of change Reason for evaluation Slightly increases sunroom U-factor Applies to only climate zones 2 and 3; impacts only thermally isolated sunrooms. Defines a new “Tropical” climate zone and adds an optional compliance path for semi-conditioned residential buildings with a list of pre-defined criteria to be deemed as code compliant in this climate zone Exception to code requirements applicable to a small number of homes in tropical areas. The remaining 68 changes were primarily editorial in nature. These changes are discussed in more detail in Table III.1 in DOE's 2015 IECC Determination. IV. Compliance Date

This final rule applies to new Federal low-rise residential buildings for which design for construction begins on or after one year from the publication date of this rulemaking in the Federal Register. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(1)) Such buildings must be designed to exceed the energy efficiency level of the appropriate updated voluntary standard by 30 percent if life-cycle cost-effective. However, at a minimum, such buildings must achieve the energy efficiency equal to that of the appropriate updated voluntary standard. One year lead time before the design for construction begins is consistent with DOE's previous updates to the energy efficiency baselines and the original statutory mandate for Federal building standards. One year lead time before design for construction begins helps minimize compliance costs to agencies, which may have planned buildings in various stages of design, and allows for design changes to more fully consider life-cycle cost-effective measures (as opposed to having to revise designs in development, which may make incorporation of energy efficiency measure more difficult or expensive).

V. Reference Resources

The Department originally prepared this list of resources to help Federal agencies achieve building energy efficiency levels of at least 30 percent below the 2009 IECC. The Department has reviewed these resources and believes that they continue to be useful for helping agencies maximize their energy efficiency levels. The Department has updated this resource list as appropriate. These resources come in many forms and in a variety of media. Resources are provided for all buildings, and also specifically for low-rise residential buildings.

A. Resources for Low-Rise Residential Buildings 1. Energy Efficient Products—U.S. DOE Federal Energy Management Program and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR Program http://energy.gov/eere/femp/energy-and-water-efficient-products

Federal agencies are required to specify Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated or ENERGY STAR equipment, including building mechanical and lighting equipment and builder-supplied appliances, for purchase and installation in all new construction. 42 U.S.C. 8259b(b) Although this rule does not specifically address the use of this equipment, ENERGY STAR and FEMP-Designated products are generally more energy efficient than the corresponding requirements of the 2015 IECC, and may be used to achieve part of the savings required of Federal building designs. Therefore, DOE lists this Web site as a potential resource.

2. Life-Cycle Cost Analysis—U.S. DOE Federal Energy Management Program http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/06/f23/ashb15.pdf

The life-cycle cost analysis rules promulgated in 10 CFR part 436 Subpart A Life-Cycle Cost Methodology and Procedures conform to requirements in the Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-615) and subsequent energy conservation legislation, as well as Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade. The life-cycle cost guidance and required discount rates and energy price projections are determined annually by FEMP and the Energy Information Administration, and are published in the Annual Supplement to The National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 135: “Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis”.

3. ENERGY STAR Buildings—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy (http://www.energystar.gov/homes)

ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. The EPA program requirements for ENERGY STAR-labeled homes, effective as of the date of this rule, provide a useful guide for meeting the Federal energy efficiency standard for low-rise residential buildings.

4. Passive House Institute US http://www.phius.org/home-page

This Web site provides information on designing and building very low energy homes.

5. Energy Efficient Home Design—U.S. DOE Building Technologies Program http://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-efficient-home-design

This Web site provides information on energy efficient home design strategies, and technologies to support energy efficiency in residences.

6. 2012 National Green Building Standard—ICC and NAHB http://shop.iccsafe.org/2012-national-green-building-standard-icc-700-2012.html

This standard provides requirements for building high-efficiency and green homes and multi-family buildings.

7. LEED for Homes—US Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/articles/getting-know-leed-homes-design-and-construction

This certification system provides requirements for building high-efficiency and green homes and multi-family buildings.

8. Green Globes—The Green Building Initiative http://www.thegbi.org/

This certification provides requirements for building high-efficiency and green multi-family buildings.

9. 2015 IECC—ICC http://shop.iccsafe.org/codes/2015-international-codes-and-references/2015-international-energy-conservation-coder-1.html

The baseline energy efficiency standard for low-rise residential buildings is the 2015 IECC.

10. Whole Building Design Guide—National Institute of Building Sciences http://www.wbdg.org/

A portal providing one-stop access to up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria and technology from a “whole buildings” perspective.

VI. Regulatory Analysis A. Review Under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review”

This final rule is a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.” 58 FR 51735 (October 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was subject to review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB has completed its review. As discussed previously in this rule, DOE is required to determine, based on the cost-effectiveness, whether the standards for Federal buildings should be updated to reflect an amendment to the IECC standard. As stated in this preamble, DOE complied with the statutory language by analyzing the cost-effectiveness of the 2015 IECC, and through DOE's involvement in the ICC code development process, including consideration of the cost-effectiveness of the 2015 IECC.

DOE has also reviewed this regulation pursuant to Executive Order 13563, issued on January 18, 2011. 76 FR 3281 (January 21, 2011). E.O. 13563 is supplemental to and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866.

Review under Executive Order 12866 requires an analysis of the economic effect of the rule. For this purpose, DOE estimated incremental first cost (in this case, the difference between the cost of a building designed to meet the 2015 IECC and a building designed to meet the 2009 IECC) for the Federal low-rise residential buildings sector, as well as life-cycle cost net savings. DOE determined that the total incremental first cost estimate is an increase of $4.1 million per year, with an average first cost increase of $2,051 per household. DOE estimated $14.8 million in annual life-cycle cost (LCC) net savings for the entire Federal low-rise residential buildings sector with an average life-cycle cost net savings of $7,421 per household.

DOE's assumptions and methodology for the cost-effectiveness of this rule are based on DOE's cost-effectiveness analysis of the 2015 IECC,17 as well as DOE's Environmental Assessment (EA) for this rulemaking.18 The EA identified a rate of new Federal residential construction of 4,936 homes per year. As described in the EA, this estimate is derived from consideration of data from a number of sources. DOE's cost-effectiveness analysis of the 2015 IECC provides tables for the first cost increase, the energy savings, and the life cycle costs associated with the 2015 IECC versus the 2012 IECC and 2009 IECC by climate zone. DOE's cost-effectiveness report does not provide national average values, but does provide sufficient weighting data so that these national averages can be calculated. The weighting data provided in the cost-effectiveness report is used to generate the rows labeled “National Average” in Tables 1, 2, and 3 in this preamble.

17 DOE's Cost Effectiveness report on the 2015 IECC is “National Cost-Effectiveness of the Residential Provisions of the 2015 IECC”, PNNL-24240, Mendon et al, June 2015. Available at https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2015IECC_CE_Residential.pdf.

18 The Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2020) is entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 435, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update”. The EA may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/12/f34/EA-2020-FEA-2016.pdf.

Table 1 lists the increased first costs associated with the 2015 IECC for a standard 2,400 ft2 prototypical home and a standard 1,200 ft2 prototypical apartment/condo building. DOE believes that the majority of Federal low-rise residential construction will be single family homes built by the Department of Defense (or their privatization contractors), but there is a possibility that some Federal low-rise multi-family buildings could be built,19 so the results of DOE's first cost analysis are shown in full. The 2015 IECC does increase the first cost of construction of new homes and apartments/condos compared to the 2009 IECC in all climate zones in the United States.

19 DOE's main source of Federal construction information, the Federal Real Property Profile, does list Family Housing and Barracks/Apartments as separate categories but does not differentiate Barracks/Apartments on the basis of number of stories. DOE assumes the all Family Housing would fall under this rule, while Barracks/Apartments are regulated under the Federal building energy efficiency standards for commercial and high-rise multi-family buildings. While Barracks may be envisioned long low buildings containing rows of cots, this vision is driven primarily by old-style barracks from the past. DOD's new training barracks tend to combine sleeping accommodations, class rooms, and physical training facilities and are therefore designed by DOD using the Federal commercial and high-rise multi-family requirements.

Table 1—Total Incremental First Cost for 2015 IECC Compared to the 2009 IECC Climate zone 2,400 ft 2 house Slab-on-grade Unheated basement, or crawlspace Heated
  • basement
  • 1,200 ft 2 apartment/condo a Slab, unheated basement, or crawlspace Heated
  • basement
  • 1 $1,585 $1,553 $1,553 $848 $848 1-tropical b 1,152 1,152 1,152 848 848 2 1,920 1,888 1,888 968 968 3 2,495 2,463 2,463 1,175 1,175 4 2,005 1,973 1,973 1,012 1,012 5 1,493 1,461 1,715 827 865 6 2,718 2,686 2,686 1,266 1,266 7 2,718 2,686 2,686 1,266 1,266 8 2,718 2,686 2,686 1,266 1,266 National Average 2,060 2,028 2,081 1,026 1,034 Foundation Weight c 0.479 0.379 0.142 0.858 0.142 a For multifamily homes with an oil-fired boiler, an additional incremental cost of $30.55 for the outdoor air temperature reset applies to all climate zones. b This cost applies to 35% of all new single-family homes in the tropical climate zone. The tropical climate zone accounts for around 50% of all new single-family construction starts in climate zone 1. c Foundation weights from Table 1.3 of the 2015 IECC Cost-Effectiveness Report.

    The first cost data shown in Table 1 can be further aggregated by foundation type using the foundation type weightings found in the 2015 IECC Cost-Effectiveness report (and also shown in Table 1 in the row labeled “Foundation Weights”). The results of that weighting indicate that the typical first cost of a home would be $2,051 and that of an apartment/condo would be $1,027. These first cost increases should be compared to the estimated first cost of new Federal low-rise residential construction, but that information is not typically publicly available. Instead, DOE has chosen to compare these costs to typical costs in the private sector.

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) in a press release dated September 21, 2015 states that the median U.S. single family home price was $230,200 in August 2015.20 The $2,051 cost increase represents approximately 0.9% of the average cost of a new home. As previously stated, DOE does not believe that a large fraction of Federal low-rise construction falls under this rule, but for comparison, the same NAR press release lists the price for condominiums at $217,400. The $1,027 cost increase for condominiums represents a 0.5% increase. Any increase in first cost would be accompanied by a reduction in energy costs and an increase in life cycle cost savings.

    20 See http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/09/existing-home-sales-stall-in-august-prices-moderate.

    The estimated energy cost savings associated with the 2015 IECC is shown in Table 2. This table is based on a combination of single-family homes and apartments/condos as described in DOE's cost-effectiveness report. While the weighting of homes and apartments/condos may not be identical in the private and Federal sectors, the trends are similar for both single-family homes and apartments/condos. The 2015 IECC saves a considerable amount of energy costs over the 2009 IECC in all climate zones in the United States.

    Table 2—Average Annual Energy Cost Savings for the 2015 IECC Compared to the 2009 IECC Climate zone Average annual energy cost
  • savings
  • ($/residence-yr)
  • 1 $179 2 220 3 256 4 353 5 353 6 497 7 841 8 1,199 National Average 315

    The life-cycle cost impact of the 2015 IECC is shown in Table 3. Again, these values represent the combination of single-family homes and apartments/condos, but the trends are clear. The 2015 IECC has large life cycle cost-savings in all climate zones in the U.S.

    Table 3—Total Life Cycle Cost Savings for the 2015 IECC Compared to the 2009 IECC Climate zone Total life cycle cost savings
  • ($/residence-yr)
  • 1 +$4,418 2 +5,725 3 +6,569 4 +8,088 5 +7,697 6 +11,231 7 +17,525 8 +24,003 National Average +7,421

    Multiplying the estimated 4936 new Federal homes per year by the national average values in Tables 1, 2, and 3 provides a summary of annual cost increases, energy savings, and first cost-increases for the entire Federal low-rise sector shown in Table 4.

    Table 4—Annual National Average First Cost Increase, Energy Savings, and Life Cycle Cost Savings for Federal Low Rise Residential Sector for the 2015 IECC Compared to 2009 IECC Metric Annual national average fist cost increase
  • (million)
  • Incremental First Cost Increase $9.24 Energy Savings 1.55 Life Cycle Cost Savings 36.6
    B. Administrative Procedure Act

    DOE notes that the determination regarding the 2015 IECC in the context of State building codes was subject to notice and comment in evaluating the voluntary consensus codes. See 79 FR 57915 (September 26, 2014) for the preliminary determination and 80 FR 33250 (June 11, 2015) for the final determination. DOE also notes that the determination regarding the 2012 IECC in the context of State building codes was subject to notice and comment in evaluating the voluntary consensus codes. See 76 FR 42688 (July 19, 2011) for the preliminary determination and 77 FR 29322 (May 17, 2012) for the final determination. The determinations made in the context of the State codes are equally applicable in the context of Federal buildings. DOE finds that providing notice and comment on the determinations again in the context of Federal buildings would be unnecessary. The fact that the voluntary consensus codes apply to Federal buildings as opposed to the general building stock does not require a different evaluation of energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Additionally, DOE notes that this rule, which updates energy efficiency performance standards for the design and construction of new Federal buildings, is a rule relating to public property, and therefore is not subject to the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, including the requirement to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking. (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2))

    C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires the preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required by Executive Order 13272, Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking, 67 FR 53461 (August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the rulemaking process, 68 FR 7990. The Department has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of General Counsel's Web site: http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel.

    DOE has determined that a notice of proposed rulemaking is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law for issuance of this rule. As such, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act do not apply.

    D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This rulemaking will impose no new information or record keeping requirements. Accordingly, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance is not required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq).

    E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    The Department prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2020) entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 435, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update,” 21 pursuant to the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and DOE's NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021).

    21 The EA may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/12/f34/EA-2020-FEA-2016.pdf.

    The EA addresses the possible incremental environmental effects attributable to the application of the final rule. The only anticipated impact would be a decrease in outdoor air pollutants resulting from decreased fossil fuel burning for energy use in Federal buildings. Therefore, DOE has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), pursuant to NEPA, the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and DOE's regulations for compliance with NEPA (10 CFR part 1021).

    To identify the potential environmental impacts that may result from implementing the final rule on new Federal low-rise residential buildings, DOE compared the requirements of the final rule updating energy efficiency performance standard for Federal new low-rise residential buildings to 2015 IECC with the “no-action alternative” of using the current Federal standards (the 2009 IECC). This comparison is identical to that undertaken by DOE in its determinations of energy savings of those standards and codes.

    Accordingly, DOE concludes in the EA that new Federal buildings designed and constructed to the 2015 IECC will use less energy than new Federal buildings designed and constructed to the 2009 IECC because the 2015 IECC is more efficient than 2009 IECC. This decrease in energy usage translates to reduced emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and mercury (Hg) over the thirty-year period examined in the EA. Cumulative emission reductions for 30 years of construction (2018 through 2047) and 30 years of energy reduction for each building built during that period can be estimated at up to 4,114,800 metric tons of CO2, up to 3,147 metric tons of NOX, and up to 0.0338 metric tons of Hg. DOE conducted a separate calculation to determine emissions reductions relative to the targets identified in the CAP. This calculation showed that the cumulative reduction in CO2 emissions through 2030 amounts to 690,220 metric tons of CO2.22

    22 See discussion of CAP calculations in footnote 12 on page 23 of the EA for this rule. The EA may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/12/f34/EA-2020-FEA-2016.pdf.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations, 65 FR 13735. DOE examined this rule and determined that it does not preempt State law and does 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. No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    G. Review Under Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform”

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996), imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; and (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, rather than a general standard and promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    H. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. For a proposed regulatory action likely to result in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a) and (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA (62 FR 12820) (also available at http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel). This final rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, so these requirements under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act do not apply.

    I. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This final rule would not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    J. Review Under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights”

    The Department has determined, under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” 53 FR 8859 (March 18, 1988) that this rule would not result in any takings which might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    K. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516, note) provides for agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (February 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (October 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed this final rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

    L. Review Under Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”

    Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget, a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use. DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that new construction in the residential sector will range from average about 81 million households in the US in 2016, with a growth rate of roughly 0.8% per year which is equivalent to about 648,000 new households per year.23 This rule is expected to incrementally reduce the energy usage of approximately 4936 24 units of Federal low-rise residential construction annually. Thus, the rule represents approximately 0.76% of the expected annual U.S. construction in 2017, and less in every succeeding year. This final rule would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy and, therefore, is not a significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

    23 See Table A4 of the 2016 Annual Energy Outlook at http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/.

    24 See Environmental Assessment for this rule for origin of the 4936 homes estimate.

    M. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974

    Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91), DOE must comply with section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-275), as amended by the Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977 (Pub. L. 95-70). (15 U.S.C. 788) Section 32 provides that where a proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the NOPR must inform the public of the use and background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE to consult with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or industry standards on competition.

    Although section 32 specifically refers to the proposed rule stage, DOE is meeting these requirements at the final rule stage because there was no proposed rule for this action. This final rule incorporates testing methods contained in the following commercial standard: ICC 2015 IECC, International Energy Conservation Code, 2014, International Code Council, ISBN 978-1-60983-486-9.

    DOE has evaluated these standards and notes that the IECC Standard is developed under ICC's governmental consensus standard procedures, and is under a three-year maintenance cycle. ICC has established a program for regular publication of errata and revisions, including procedures for timely, documented, consensus action on requested changes to the IECC. The 2015 IECC was published in 2014. However, DOE is unable to conclude whether the IECC fully complies with the requirements of section 32(b) of the FEAA (i.e., whether they were developed in a manner that fully provides for public participation, comment, and review). DOE has consulted with both the Attorney General and the Chairman of the FTC about the impact on competition of using the methods contained in these standards and has received no comments objecting to their use.

    N. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference

    In this rule, DOE incorporates by reference the ICC 2015 IECC, International Energy Conservation Code, Copyright 2014. This U.S. standard provides minimum requirements for energy efficient designs for low-rise residential buildings. Copies of this standard are available from the International Code Council, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, 1-888-422-7233, http://www.iccsafe.org.

    VII. Congressional Notification

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, DOE will report to Congress on the promulgation of this rule prior to its effective date. The report will state that it has been determined that the rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    VIII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this final rule.

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 435

    Buildings and facilities, Energy conservation, Federal buildings and facilities, Housing, Incorporation by reference.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 28, 2016. David J. Friedman, Acting Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of Energy amends part 435 of chapter II of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 435—ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS FOR THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW FEDERAL LOW-RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS 1. The authority citation for part 435 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6831-6832; 6834-6836; 42 U.S.C. 8253-54, 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.

    2. Section 435.2 is amended by: a. Adding in alphabetical order the definition of “IECC Baseline Building 2015”; and b. Revising the definition of “New Federal building”.

    The revision and addition read as follows:

    § 435.2 Definitions.

    IECC Baseline Building 2015 means a building that is otherwise identical to the proposed building but is designed to meet, but not exceed, the energy efficiency specifications in the ICC IECC 2015 (incorporated by reference, see § 435.3).

    New Federal building means any new building (including a complete replacement of an existing building from the foundation up) to be constructed by, or for the use of, any federal agency. Such term shall include buildings built for the purpose of being leased by a federal agency, and privatized military housing.

    3. Revise § 435.3(b) to read as follows:
    § 435.3 Materials incorporated by reference.

    (b) ICC. International Code Council, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, 1-888-422-7233, or go to http://www.iccsafe.org/.

    (1) ICC International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), 2004 Supplement Edition (“IECC 2004”), January 2005, IBR approved for §§ 435.2, 435.4, 435.5;

    (2) ICC International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), 2009 Edition (“IECC 2009”), January 2009, IBR approved for §§ 435.2, 435.4, 435.5.

    (3) ICC International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), 2015 Edition (“IECC 2015”), published May 30, 2014, IBR approved for §§ 435.2, 435.4, 435.5.

    4. Section 435.4 is amended by: a. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a)(2); b. Adding paragraph (a)(3); and c. Revising paragraph (b).

    The revisions and addition reads as follows:

    § 435.4 Energy efficiency performance standard.

    (a) * * *

    (2) All Federal agencies shall design new Federal buildings that are low-rise residential buildings, for which design for construction began on or after August 10, 2012, but before January 10, 2018 to:

    (3) All Federal agencies shall design new Federal buildings that are low-rise residential buildings, for which design for construction began on or after January 10, 2018 to:

    (i) Meet the IECC 2015, (incorporated by reference, see § 435.3), including the mandatory mechanical ventilation requirements in Section R403.6 of the 2015 IECC; and

    (ii) If life-cycle cost-effective, achieve energy consumption levels, calculated consistent with paragraph (b) of this section, that are at least 30 percent below the levels of the IECC Baseline Building 2015.

    (b)(1) For new Federal low-rise residential buildings whose design for construction began before January 10, 2018, energy consumption for the purposes of calculating the 30 percent savings shall include space heating, space cooling, and domestic water heating.

    (2) For new Federal low-rise residential buildings whose design for construction began on or after before January 10, 2018, energy consumption for the purposes of calculating the 30 percent savings shall include space heating, space cooling, lighting, mechanical ventilation, and domestic water heating.

    5. Revise § 435.5 to read as follows:
    § 435.5 Performance level determination.

    (a) For new Federal buildings for which design for construction began on or after January 3, 2007, but before August 10, 2012, each Federal agency shall determine energy consumption levels for both the IECC Baseline Building 2004 and proposed building by using the Simulated Performance Alternative found in section 404 of the IECC 2004 (incorporated by reference, see § 435.3).

    (b) For new Federal buildings for which design for construction began on or after August 10, 2012, but before January 10, 2018, each Federal agency shall determine energy consumption levels for both the IECC Baseline Building 2009 and proposed building by using the Simulated Performance Alternative found in section 405 of the IECC 2009 (incorporated by reference, see § 435.3).

    (c) For new Federal buildings for which design for construction began on or after January 10, 2018 each Federal agency shall determine energy consumption levels for both the IECC Baseline Building 2015 and proposed building by using the Simulated Performance Alternative found in section R405 of the IECC 2015 (incorporated by reference, see § 435.3).

    [FR Doc. 2017-00025 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-8833; Airspace Docket No. 16-ACE-8] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Iowa Towns; Algona, IA; Ankeny, IA; Atlantic, IA; Belle Plane, IA; Creston, IA; Estherville, IA; Grinnell, IA; Guthrie Center, IA; and Oelwein, IA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class E surface area at Ankeny Regional Airport, Ankeny, IA; and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Algona Municipal Airport, Algona, IA; Ankeny Regional Airport; Atlantic Municipal Airport, Atlantic, IA; Belle Plaine Municipal Airport, Belle Plaine, IA; Creston Municipal Airport, Creston, IA; Estherville Municipal Airport, Estherville, IA; Grinnell Regional Airport, Grinnell, IA; Guthrie County Regional Airport, Guthrie Center, IA; and Oelwein Municipal Airport, Oelwein, IA. Decommissioning of non-directional radio beacons (NDB), cancellation of NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) procedures have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at these airports. Additionally, the geographic coordinates for Algona Municipal Airport, Atlantic Municipal Airport, and Grinnell Regional Airport are being adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. The name of Belle Plaine, IA, is also being adjusted to correct a misspelling in the legal description.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, April 27, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class E surface area at Ankeny Regional Airport, Ankeny, IA; and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Algona Municipal Airport, Algona, IA; Ankeny Regional Airport; Atlantic Municipal Airport, Atlantic, IA; Belle Plaine Municipal Airport, Belle Plaine, IA; Creston Municipal Airport, Creston, IA; Estherville Municipal Airport, Estherville, IA; Grinnell Regional Airport, Grinnell, IA; Guthrie County Regional Airport, Guthrie Center, IA; and Oelwein Municipal Airport, Oelwein, IA.

    History

    On September 23, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), (81 FR 65583) Docket No. FAA-2016-8833, to amend Class E surface area at Ankeny Regional Airport, Ankeny, IA; and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Algona Municipal Airport, Algona, IA; Ankeny Regional Airport; Atlantic Municipal Airport, Atlantic, IA; Belle Plaine Municipal Airport, Belle Plaine, IA; Creston Municipal Airport, Creston, IA; Estherville Municipal Airport, Estherville, IA; Grinnell Regional Airport, Grinnell, IA; Guthrie County Regional Airport, Guthrie Center, IA; and Oelwein Municipal Airport, Oelwein, IA. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6002 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11A, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies:

    Class E surface area airspace within a 4.2-mile radius (increased from the 4-mile radius) of Ankeny Regional Airport, Ankeny, IA;

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface:

    By removing the 10-mile extension northwest of Algona Municipal Airport, Algona, IA, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within a 6.7-mile radius (reduced from the previous 7.1-mile radius) of Ankeny Regional Airport, Ankeny, IA, and removing the extensions 9.3 miles northeast and 11.1 miles north of the airport;

    Within a 7.2-mile radius (increased from the 6.8-mile radius) of Atlantic Municipal Airport, Atlantic, IA, with an extension to the northeast from the 7.2-mile radius to 9.2 miles, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within a 6.5-mile radius (reduced from the previous 7.5-mile radius) of Belle Plaine Municipal Airport, Belle Plaine, IA, and correcting city designation from Belle Plane to Belle Plaine;

    By removing the 11-mile extension south of Creston Municipal Airport, Creston, IA;

    By removing the 7.4-mile extensions south and northwest of Estherville Municipal Airport, Estherville, IA;

    Within a 6.5-mile radius (reduced from the previous 7.6-mile radius) of Grinnell Regional Airport, Grinnell, IA, and updating the geographical coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    By adding an extension to the north from the 6.4-mile radius to 9.8 miles of Guthrie County Regional Airport, Guthrie Center, IA;

    And within a 6.4-mile radius (reduced from the previous 7.3-mile radius) of Oelwein Municipal Airport, Oelwein, IA.

    Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Mapleton NDB, cancellation of NDB approaches, and implementation of RNAV procedures at the airport and for the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at these airports.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ACE IA E2 Ankeny, IA [Amended] Ankeny Regional Airport, IA (Lat. 41°41′29″ N., long. 93°33′59″ W.)

    Within a 4.2-mile radius of Ankeny Regional Airport, excluding that portion within the Des Moines Class C airspace area.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ACE IA E5 Algona, IA [Amended] Algona Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 43°04'41″ N., long. 94°16'19″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Algona Municipal Airport.

    ACE IA E5 Ankeny, IA [Amended] Ankeny Regional Airport, IA (Lat.41°41′29″ N., long. 93°33′59″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.7-mile radius of Ankeny Regional Airport, excluding that portion within the Des Moines Class C airspace area.

    ACE IA E5 Atlantic, IA [Amended] Atlantic Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 41°24′14″ N., long. 95°02′56″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.2-mile radius of Atlantic Municipal Airport and within 1.8 miles each side of the 022° bearing from the airport extending from the 7.2-mile radius to 9.2 miles northeast of the airport.

    ACE IA E5 Belle Plaine, IA [Amended] Belle Plaine Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 41°52′44″ N., long. 92°17′04″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Belle Plaine Municipal Airport, excluding that portion which overlies the Cedar Rapids, IA, Class E airspace area.

    ACE IA E5 Creston, IA [Amended] Creston Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 41°01′17″ N., long. 94°21′48″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Creston Municipal Airport.

    ACE IA E5 Estherville, IA [Amended] Estherville Municipal Airport, LA (Lat. 43°24′27″ N long. 94°44′47″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Estherville Municipal Airport.

    ACE IA E5 Grinnell, IA [Amended] Grinnell Regional Airport, IA (Lat. 41°42′36″ N., long. 92°44′10″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Grinnell Regional Airport.

    ACE IA E5 Guthrie Center, IA [Amended] Guthrie County Regional Airport, IA (Lat. 41°41′13″ N., long. 93°26′06″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of the Guthrie County Regional Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 360° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.4-mile radius to 9.8 miles north of the airport.

    ACE IA E5 Oelwein, IA [Amended] Oelwein Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 42°40′51″ N., long. 91°58′28″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Oelwein Municipal Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 28, 2016. Thomas L. Lattimer, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00186 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3193; Airspace Docket No. 15-AAL-3] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment of VOR Federal Airway V-506; Kotzebue, AK AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends Alaskan VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airway V-506 by lowering the floor of class E controlled airspace due to the establishment of a lower global navigation satellite system (GNSS) Minimum Enroute Altitude (MEA). This action allows for maximum use of the airspace within the National Airspace System in Alaska.

    DATES:

    Effective date 0901 UTC, March 2, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA, Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenneth Ready, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies the air traffic service route structure in Alaska to maintain the efficient flow of air traffic.

    History

    On March 7, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (81 FR 11694), Docket No. FAA-2016-3193, to amend VOR Federal airway V-506 by lowering the floor of Class E controlled airspace due to the establishment of a lower GNSS MEA on a segment of the route. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal. One comment was received.

    Discussion of Comment

    The comment received generally asked whether there would be any safety issues by lowering the floor of Class E airspace?

    The FAA finds the proposed modification is in accordance with the criteria and guidelines in FAA Order 7400.2, and it does not introduce new or increased safety risk into the National Airspace System, including Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations.

    For VFR operations, the modified Class G (uncontrolled) airspace stratum would extend upward from the surface to 7,499 feet mean sea level (MSL). The maximum terrain and obstruction elevation in this area is 5,300 feet MSL. The depth of the Glass G airspace stratum will therefore remain at least 2,199 feet, which exceeds the minimum airspace necessary for VFR cruise flight over non-congested areas in accordance with 14 CFR 91.119. It should also be noted, VFR flight is permitted within Class E airspace, with the only additional or different requirement (from Class G airspace) being increased cloud clearance and visibility minima.

    Additionally, no safety issues or increased risk would be introduced for IFR operations. The airspace modification would lower the floor of Class E (controlled) airspace along the specific portion of V-506 from 9,500 feet MSL to 7,500 feet MSL. This action would lower the minimum altitude for air traffic control services and accommodate the minimum GNSS (MEA) for the airway of 8,000 feet MSL, while maintaining a 500 foot airspace buffer between IFR aircraft and uncontrolled airspace. The airway would provide a buffer of greater than 2,000 feet between IFR aircraft and the maximum terrain and obstacle elevation. Lastly it would provide IFR aircraft experiencing icing conditions the ability to fly 2,000 feet lower than previously allowed, and remain within controlled airspace.

    Alaskan VOR Federal Airways are published in paragraph 6010(b) of FAA Order 7400.11A dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Alaskan VOR Federal airways listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to modify VOR Federal airwayV-506 in the vicinity of Kotzebue, AK, due to the establishment of a lower GNSS Minimum Enroute Altitude. The route modifications are outlined below.

    V-506: V-506 extends from the intersection of Kodiak, AK, VOR/DME 107° radial and the Anchorage Oceanic CTA/FIR boundary to the Barrow, AK, VOR/DME. A portion of the route segment between the Hotham, AK, NDB and the Barrow, AK, VOR/DME is amended to a lower MEA from 95 MSL to 75 MSL.

    All radials in the regulatory text route descriptions below are stated in True degrees.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action of amending Alaskan VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airway V-506 by lowering the floor of class E controlled airspace due to the establishment of a lower global navigation satellite system (GNSS) Minimum Enroute Altitude (MEA) qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, its implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 1500, and in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F. Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, Paragraph 5-6.5a which categorically excludes from further environmental review Rulemaking actions that designate or modify classes of airspace areas, airways, routes, and reporting points (see 14 CFR part 71, Designation of Class A, B, C, D, and E Airspace Areas; Air Traffic Service Routes; and Reporting Points). This action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, this action has been reviewed for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis, and it is determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016 and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6010(b)  Alaskan VOR Federal Airways V-506 [Amended]

    From INT Kodiak, AK, 107° radial and the Anchorage Oceanic CTA/FIR boundary, 37 miles 20 MSL, 24 miles 12 AGL, Kodiak; 50 miles 12 AGL, 50 miles 95 MSL, 51 miles 12 AGL, King Salmon, AK; 51 miles 12 AGL, 84 miles 70 MSL, 63 miles 12 AGL, Bethel, AK; Nome, AK; 35 miles 12 AGL, 71 miles 55 MSL, 53 miles 12 AGL, Kotzebue, AK; Hotham, AK, NDB; 69 miles 12 AGL, 124 miles 75 MSL, 98 miles 12 AGL, Barrow, AK.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on January 3, 2017. Gemechu Gelgelu, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00077 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7488; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-19] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace and Revocation of Class E Airspace; Roswell, NM AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Roswell, NM. This action is necessary due to advances Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) procedures at Roswell International Air Center, Roswell, NM. Additionally, this action removes Class E airspace designated as an extension at Roswell International Air Center. This action also updates the name and geographic coordinates of the airport and the Chisum VHF omnidirectional range collocate tactical air navigation (VORTAC) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, April 27, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX, 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    On March 28, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register (81 FR 17116) Docket No. FAA-2015-7488, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and remove Class E airspace designated as an extension at Roswell International Air Center, Roswell, NM. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found that the geographic coordinates for the Chisum VORTAC needed to be adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. That adjustment has been incorporated in this action.

    Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11A, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Roswell International Air Center, Roswell, NM. Cancellation of the standard instrument approach procedures (SIAPs), advances in GPS capabilities, and implementation of RNAV procedures at Roswell International Air Center (formerly Roswell Industrial Air Center), is necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    The class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at the airport is reduced from a 12.7-mile radius to a 7.4-mile radius, with the extension to the northwest being reduced from 4 miles to 1.7 miles each side of the Chisum VORTAC 278° radial extending from the 7.4-mile radius to 11 miles vice 23 miles; and the extension to the northeast being removed. Additionally, the Class E airspace designated as an extension at the airport is removed as it is no longer needed. All modifications to the Class E airspace are in accordance with airspace requirements specified in FAA Joint Order 7400.2K. The airport name and geographic coordinates are amended in the existing Class D and Class E airspace areas to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database. The geographic coordinates for the Chisum VORTAC noted in Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface are also adjusted.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. ASW NM D Roswell, NM [Amended] Roswell International Air Center, NM (Lat. 33°18′06″ N., long. 104°31′50″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 6,200 feet MSL within a 5-mile radius of Roswell International Air Center. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ASW NM E2 Roswell, NM [Amended] Roswell International Air Center, NM (Lat. 33°18′06″ N., long. 104°31′50″ W.)

    Within a 5-mile radius of Roswell International Air Center. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. ASW NM E4 Roswell, NM [Removed] Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW NM E5 Roswell, NM [Amended] Roswell International Air Center, NM (Lat. 33°18′06″ N., long. 104°31′50″ W.) Chisum VORTAC (Lat. 33°20′15″ N., long. 104°37′16″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.4-mile radius of Roswell International Air Center, and within 1.7 miles each side of the Chisum VORTAC 278° radial extending from the 7.4-mile radius of the airport to 11 miles northwest of the airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 28, 2016. Thomas L. Lattimer, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00184 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-8830; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-18] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Wisconsin Towns; Land O' Lakes, WI; Manitowish Waters, WI; Merrill, WI; Oconto, WI; Phillips, WI; Platteville, WI; Solon Springs, WI; Superior, WI; and West Bend, WI AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Kings Land O' Lakes Airport, Land O' Lakes, WI; Manitowish Waters Airport, Manitowish Waters, WI; Merrill Municipal Airport, Merrill, WI; Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport, Oconto, WI; Price County Airport, Phillips, WI; Platteville Municipal Airport, Platteville, WI; Solon Springs Municipal Airport, Solon Springs, WI; Richard I. Bong Airport, Superior, WI; and West Bend Municipal Airport, West Bend, WI. Decommissioning of non-directional radio beacons (NDBs), cancellation of NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) procedures have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at these airports. This action also updates the geographic coordinates for Kings Land O' Lakes Airport; Manitowish Waters Airport; Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport; and Solon Springs Municipal Airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. The name of Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport (formerly Oconto Municipal Airport) is also adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, April 27, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Kings Land O' Lakes Airport, Land O' Lakes, WI; Manitowish Waters Airport, Manitowish Waters, WI; Merrill Municipal Airport, Merrill, WI; Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport, Oconto, WI; Price County Airport, Phillips, WI; Platteville Municipal Airport, Platteville, WI; Solon Springs Municipal Airport, Solon Springs, WI; Richard I. Bong Airport, Superior, WI; and West Bend Municipal Airport, West Bend, WI.

    History

    On September 8, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), (81 FR 62044) Docket No. FAA-2016-8830, to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Kings Land O' Lakes Airport, Land O' Lakes, WI; Manitowish Waters Airport, Manitowish Waters, WI; Merrill Municipal Airport, Merrill, WI; Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport, Oconto, WI; Price County Airport, Phillips, WI; Platteville Municipal Airport, Platteville, WI; Solon Springs Municipal Airport, Solon Springs, WI; Richard I. Bong Airport, Superior, WI; and West Bend Municipal Airport, West Bend, WI. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11A, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at the following airports:

    Within a 6.4-mile radius (reduced from the 7-mile radius) of Kings Land O' Lakes Airport, Land O' Lakes, WI, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within a 6.3-mile radius (reduced from the 7-mile radius) of Manitowish Waters Airport, Manitowish, WI, and removing the 9-mile segment southeast of the airport, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's database;

    Within a 6.6-mile radius (reduced from the 7-mile radius) of Merrill Municipal Airport, Merrill, WI;

    By removing the 7-mile segment extending from the 6.3-mile radius southeast of Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport, Oconto, WI, and updating the name and geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    By removing the 7-mile segments extending from the 6.6-mile radius southwest and northeast of Price County Airport, Phillips, WI;

    Within a 6.4-mile radius (reduced from the 7.4-mile radius) of Platteville Municipal Airport, Platteville, WI, with an extension southeast of the airport from the 6.4-mile radius to 10.2 miles;

    Within a 6.3-mile radius (reduced from the 6.6-mile radius) of Solon Springs Municipal Airport, Solon Springs, WI, and removing the 7.4-mile segment north of the airport, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within an 8.5-mile radius (increased from a 6.7-mile radius) of Richard I. Bong Airport, Superior, WI, and removing the 12.2-mile segment southeast of the airport;

    And within a 6.8-mile radius (reduced from the 7.4-mile radius) of the West Bend Municipal Airport, West Bend, WI, reducing existing segment extending from the 6.8-mile radius to 11.4 miles southwest, and adding segments extending from the 6.8-mile radius to 7 miles northeast and 10 miles northwest of the airport.

    Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs, cancellation of NDB approaches, or implementation of RNAV standard instrument procedures at these airports. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at these airports.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL WI E5 Land O' Lakes, WI [Amended] Kings Land O' Lakes Airport, WI (Lat. 46°09′15″ N., long. 89°12′43″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Kings Land O'Lakes Airport.

    AGL WI E5 Manitowish Waters, WI [Amended] Manitowish Waters Airport, WI (Lat. 46°07′13″ N., long. 89°52′56″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Manitowish Waters Airport.

    AGL WI E5 Merrill, WI [Amended] Merrill Municipal Airport, WI (Lat. 45°11′56″ N., long. 89°42′46″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Merrill Municipal Airport.

    AGL WI E5 Oconto, WI [Amended] Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport, WI (Lat. 44°52′27″ N., long. 87°54′35″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport.

    AGL WI E5 Phillips, WI [Amended] Price County Airport, WI (Lat. 45°42′32″ N., long. 90°24′09″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Price County Airport.

    AGL WI E5 Platteville, WI [Amended] Platteville Municipal Airport, WI (Lat. 42°41′22″ N., long. 90°26′40″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Platteville Municipal Airport, and within 4 miles each side of the 145° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.4-mile radius to 10.2 miles southeast of the airport.

    AGL WI E5 Solon Springs, WI [Amended] Solon Springs Municipal Airport, WI (Lat. 46°18′53″ N., long. 91°48′59″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Solon Springs Municipal Airport.

    AGL WI E5 Superior, WI [Amended] Richard I. Bong Airport, WI. (Lat. 46°41′23″ N., long. 92°05′41″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8.5-mile radius of Richard I. Bong Airport.

    AGL WI E5 West Bend, WI [Amended] West Bend Municipal Airport, WI (Lat. 43°25′20″ N., long. 88°07′41″ W.) West Bend VOR (Lat. 43°25′19″ N., long. 88°07′31″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.8-mile radius of West Bend Municipal Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 239° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.8-mile radius to 11.4 miles southwest of the airport, and within 1.2 miles each side of the West Bend VOR 052° radial extending from the 6.8-mile radius to 7 miles northeast of the airport, and within 1.3 miles each side of the West Bend VOR 303° radial extending from the 6.8-mile radius to 10 miles northwest of the airport, excluding that airspace within the Hartford, WI, Class E airspace area.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 28, 2016. Thomas L. Lattimer, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00191 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Parts 740, 742, 750, and 774 [Docket No. 150325297-6180-02] RIN 0694-AG59 Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR): Control of Spacecraft Systems and Related Items the President Determines No Longer Warrant Control Under the United States Munitions List (USML) AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule addresses issues raised in, and public comments on, the interim final rule that was published on May 13, 2014, as well as additional clarifications and corrections. The May 13 rule added controls to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for spacecraft and related items that the President has determined no longer warrant control under United States Munitions List (USML) Category XV—spacecraft and related items.

    This is the third final rule BIS has published related to the May 13 rule and completes the regulatory action for the interim final rule. These changes were also informed by comments received in response to the May 13 rule that included a request for comments, as well as interagency discussions on how best to address the comments. The changes made in this final rule are grouped into four types of changes: Changes to address the movement of additional spacecraft and related items from the USML to the Commerce Control List (CCL), as a result of changes in aperture size for spacecraft that warrant ITAR control, in response to public comments and further U.S. Government review; changes to address the movement of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) from the USML to the CCL; other corrections and clarifications to the spacecraft interim final rule; and addition of .y items to Export Control Classification Number 9A515.

    This final rule is being published in conjunction with the publication of a Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) final rule, which makes changes, including corrections and clarifications, to the provisions adopted in the State Department's own May 13, 2014 rule. The State May 13 rule revised USML Category XV (22 CFR 121.1) to control those articles the President has determined warrant control on the USML. Both May 13 rules and the subsequent related rules are part of the President's Export Control Reform Initiative. This rule is also part of Commerce's retrospective regulatory review plan under Executive Order (EO) 13563 (see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this rule for information on the availability of the plan).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 15, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about the ECCNs included in this rule, contact Dennis Krepp, Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Telephone: 202-482-1309, email: [email protected] For general questions about the regulatory changes pertaining to satellites, spacecraft, and related items, contact the Regulatory Policy Division, Office of Exporter Services, Bureau of Industry and Security, at 202-482-2440 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This final rule addresses issues raised in, and public comments on, the interim final rule, Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR): Control of Spacecraft Systems and Related Items the President Determines No Longer Warrant Control Under the United States Munitions List (USML), that was published on May 13, 2014 (79 FR 27417) (May 13 rule), and makes corrections and clarifications. The May 13 rule added controls to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for spacecraft and related items that the President has determined no longer warrant control under United States Munitions List (USML) Category XV—spacecraft and related items. The vast majority of the changes included in the May 13 rule have been implemented as published in the interim final rule and are not republished in this final rule. A full description of those changes can be found in the Background section and the regulatory text of the May 13 rule. BIS also published corrections and clarifications to the May 13 rule in a final rule published on November 12, 2014 (79 FR 67055) and in a final rule published on July 13, 2015 (80 FR 39950).

    This final rule is being published in conjunction with the publication of a Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) final rule, which makes changes, including corrections and clarifications, to the provisions adopted in the May 13 State rule (79 FR 27180). The State May 13 rule revised USML Category XV (22 CFR 121.1) to control those articles the President has determined warrant control on the USML. Both May 13 rules and the subsequent related rules are part of the President's Export Control Reform Initiative.

    The changes included in this Commerce final rule complete the regulatory action begun by the May 13 rule and are also informed by comments received in response to that rule. The changes made in this Commerce final rule are grouped into four types of changes: (1) Changes to address the movement of additional spacecraft and related items from the USML to the CCL, as a result of changes in aperture size for spacecraft that warrant ITAR control, in response to public comments and further U.S. Government review; (2) changes to address the movement of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) from the USML to the CCL; (3) other corrections and clarifications to the spacecraft interim final rule; and (4) addition of .y items to Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 9A515. Note that certain ECCNs may be referenced in more than one of the (1) through (4) sections, but for ease of reference the description of those changes to those ECCNs, such as ECCN 9E515, are grouped with the related changes under sections (1) through (4), as applicable.

    (1) Changes To Address the Movement of Additional Spacecraft and Related Items From the USML to the CCL, as a Result of Changes in Aperture Size for Spacecraft That Warrant ITAR Control, in Response to Public Comments and Further U.S. Government Review

    This final rule makes several changes to the EAR to address the movement of additional spacecraft and related items from the USML to the CCL, as a result of the Department of State's responding to comments on its interim final rule, which specifically asked for additional public comments on this issue. The Department of State in its May 13 interim final rule noted:

    Commenting parties recommended the aperture threshold for civil and commercial remote sensing satellites in paragraph (a)(7)(i) be increased from 0.35 meters to a threshold more appropriate for current world capabilities and market conditions. The Department [of State] did not accept this recommendation at this time. However, it, along with other agencies, understands that the technology and civil and commercial applications in this area are evolving. Thus, the Department has committed to reviewing during the six months after the publication of this rule whether further amendments to the USML controls on civil and commercial remote sensing satellites are warranted, and seeks additional public comment on this matter.

    For a discussion of the changes made to the ITAR in response to the related public comments, see the corresponding Department of State rule published today.

    The changes described below are the EAR changes needed to address the movement of these additional spacecraft (under ECCNs 9A515.a.1 to .a.4 and 9A004.u) and related items (under 9A515.g) from the USML to the CCL. Adopting a more permissive aperture size (meaning more spacecraft items would no longer warrant ITAR control) was strongly advocated by commenters in response to the Commerce interim final rule. The public believed additional changes were needed to appropriately control spacecraft and related items that warranted ITAR control, with respect to aperture size, while moving those that did not warrant ITAR control to the CCL, consistent with the stated objectives in the May 13 final rules. State and the other agencies reviewing the comments agreed that some additional spacecraft and related items did not warrant ITAR control. This Commerce rule makes conforming changes to the EAR to ensure that appropriate controls are in place for such additional spacecraft and related items that did not warrant ITAR control, based on the review of the public comments and additional U.S. Government review. BIS anticipates an increase of approximately 10 to 20 license applications per year as a result of these changes to the EAR.

    Because of the more sensitive nature of these additional spacecraft and related items that are being moved to the CCL, additional changes are needed to the EAR to effectively control these items. In certain cases, this means imposing more restrictive requirements compared to other 9x515 items. These additional requirements are described below, including a description of the parameters for the items moved to the CCL.

    In § 740.20, paragraph (g) (License Exception STA eligibility requests for 9x515 and “600 series” end items), this final rule revises paragraph (g)(1) as a conforming change to the changes made to ECCN 9A515.a, described below. To maintain the same scope of paragraph (g)(1), this final rule removes the text that referred to ECCN 9A515.a and adds in its place text referencing “spacecraft” in 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, or .a.4, or items in 9A515.g. The spacecraft in ECCN 9A515.a.5 are eligible for License Exception STA without a § 740.20(g) request. As a conforming change, this final rule adds ECCN 9E515.b, .d, .e, or .f as eligible for § 740.20(g) License Exception STA eligibility requests. Because the scope of revised paragraph (g) includes items other than end items, this final rule also revises the heading of paragraph (g) to remove the term “end items” and add in its place the term “items.” However, the items eligible to be submitted under the § 740.20(g) process are still limited to those specific ECCNs and “items” paragraphs identified in paragraph (g).

    The spacecraft transferred to the CCL in this final rule are subject to special regional stability license requirements. Therefore, in § 742.6 (Regional stability), this final rule makes revisions to five paragraphs. The final rule revises paragraph (a)(1), adds a new paragraph (a)(8), revises paragraph (b)(1)(i), and adds paragraphs (b)(5) and (b)(6). These changes are described below.

    In § 742.6, paragraph (a)(1) (RS Column 1 license requirements in general), this final rule adds a reference to new paragraph (a)(8). New paragraph (a)(8) (Special RS Column 1 license requirement applicable to certain spacecraft and related items) is an RS Column 1 license requirement, which is specific to certain spacecraft and related items. This paragraph specifies that a license is required for all destinations, including Canada, for spacecraft and related items classified under ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2., .a.3., .a.4., .g, and ECCN 9E515.f. Although the license requirement for these specified ECCN 9x515 items is more restrictive than for those 9x515 items on the CCL prior to publication of this rule, the license review policy is the same as those for other 9x515 items. As a conforming change, this final rule revises the fourth sentence of paragraph (b)(1)(i) to add a reference to paragraph (a)(8), because that sentence references the ECCN 9x515 license requirements, which now include those special RS license requirements in paragraph (a)(8).

    This final rule adds two new paragraphs, paragraph (b)(5) (Spacecraft for launch) and paragraph (b)(6) (Remote sensing spacecraft) to specify the requirements that apply for license applications involving spacecraft and remote sensing spacecraft. Consistent with the requirements in paragraph (y) in Supplement No. 2 to part 748 Unique Application and Submission Requirements, this final rule adds paragraphs (b)(5)(i) and (b)(5)(ii) to specify when applications to export or reexport a “spacecraft” controlled under ECCN 9A515.a for launch in or by a country will or may require a technology transfer control plan (TCP) approved by the Department of Defense (DoD), an encryption technology control plan approved by the National Security Agency (NSA), and DoD monitoring of all launch activities. Paragraph (b)(5)(i) specifies that this is a requirement for all such applications for countries that are not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or a major non-NATO ally of the United States. This final rule adds a similar requirement under paragraph (b)(5)(ii), but with the key distinction that it may be required for countries that are a member of NATO or a major non-NATO ally of the United States.

    Also in § 742.6, this final rule adds a new paragraph (b)(6) (Remote sensing spacecraft) to make applicants aware that any application for “spacecraft” described in ECCN 9A515.a.1,.a.2, a.3, or .a.4, for sensitive remote sensing components described in 9A515.g, or for “technology” described in ECCN 9E515.f, may require a government-to-government agreement at the discretion of the U.S. Government. A government-to-government agreement may be required for any destination at the sole discretion of the U.S. Government.

    In § 750.4 (Procedures for processing license applications), as conforming changes to the changes described above to § 742.6, this final rule makes the following two changes: adds a new paragraph (b)(8), and adds a new paragraph (d)(2)(iv). These changes are described in the next two paragraphs.

    In § 750.4, consistent with the requirements in paragraph (y) in Supplement No. 2 to part 748 Unique Application and Submission Requirements, this final rule adds a new paragraph (b)(8) (Satellites for launch) to include a requirement for license applications involving a satellite for launch. Applicants must obtain approval by the DoD of a technology transfer control plan and the approval of the NSA of an encryption technology control plan. In addition, the applicant will also be required to make arrangements with the DoD for monitoring of all launch activities. These existing DoD and NSA requirements in regards to satellites for launch are in addition to the EAR licensing requirements, but any license authorized under the EAR for satellites for launch must also be done in accordance with those DoD and NSA requirements to be authorized under an EAR license. Therefore, this final rule adds this requirement to § 750.4(b)(8), which will eliminate the need to add this requirement as a license condition for any license for satellites for launch. These DoD and NSA TCP approval requirements existed under the ITAR and are added to the EAR to preserve the status quo. Therefore, although this paragraph adds three new requirements to the EAR for license applications for spacecraft for launch, the requirements are the same as when these spacecraft were formerly under the ITAR, so there will be no increased burden on exporters, reexporters or transferors.

    In § 750.4, this final rule adds a new paragraph (d)(2)(iv) (Remote Sensing Interagency Working Group (RSIWG)) to make applicants aware that the RSIWG, chaired by the State Department, will review license applications involving remote sensing spacecraft. These will be any items described in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, or .a.4, sensitive remote sensing components described in 9A515.g, or “technology” described in 9E515.f.

    ECCN 9A515. This final rule adds a new License Requirement Note, revises the Special Conditions for STA section, revises “items” paragraph (a), and adds paragraph (g) in the List of “items” controlled section of ECCN 9E515. These changes are described in the next five paragraphs.

    Addition of License Requirement Note to 9A515. As a conforming change to the addition of § 742.6(a)(8), described above, this final rule adds a License Requirement Note to the end of the License Requirements section of ECCN 9A515 to specify that the Commerce Country Chart is not used for determining license requirements for commodities classified as 9A515.a.1, .a.2., .a.3., .a.4, and .g. The new License Requirement also includes a cross reference to § 742.6(a)(8) and alerts exporters and reexporters that these commodities are subject to a worldwide license requirement.

    In ECCN 9A515, Special Conditions for STA section, this final rule revises paragraph (1). This final rule adds references to the new “items” paragraphs of ECCN 9A515.a (9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3 and .a.4) and 9A515.g, which would not be eligible for License Exception STA, unless determined by BIS to be eligible for License Exception STA in accordance with § 740.20(g) (License Exception STA eligibility requests for certain 9x515 and “600 series” end items). Because these items are commodities that are more sensitive, additional U.S. Government review of the specific commodity is warranted prior to allowing exporters, reexporters or transferors to use License Exception STA. The imposition of this requirement is consistent with the use of the paragraph (g) process for other sensitive items in the 9x515 ECCNs and the “600 series” that have been moved to the CCL. Also in the Special Conditions for STA section, this final rule redesignates paragraph (2) as paragraph (3) and adds a new paragraph (2). This final rule adds new paragraph (2) in the Special Conditions for STA section to exclude the use of License Exception if the “spacecraft” controlled in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, or .a.4 contains a separable or removable propulsion system enumerated in USML Category IV(d)(2) or USML Category XV(e)(12) and designated MT. This exclusion is being added because the MTCR Category I components identified in this paragraph are separable or removable and therefore for consistency with the intent to exclude MT items from License Exception STA eligibility, this final rule adds this as an additional restriction on the use of License Exception STA.

    In ECCN 9A515.a, this final rule revises “items” paragraph (a) to add control parameters for the additional spacecraft being moved from the USML to the CCL. Spacecraft moved from the USML to the CCL and classified under ECCN 9A515.a prior to publication of this rule are being moved to new “items” paragraph (a)(5). This final rule adds “items” paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3) and (a)(4) to ECCN 9A515 to control the additional spacecraft items being moved to the CCL. The identification of these more sensitive spacecraft items in their own “items” level paragraph in ECCN 9A515 (9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3., .a.4) will allow for the imposition of more restrictive controls that are needed, while not impacting other spacecraft and related items that do not warrant the more restrictive controls (e.g., 9A515.a.5). These more restrictively controlled items consist of the following: “spacecraft,” including satellites, and space vehicles, whether designated developmental, experimental, research or scientific, not enumerated in USML Category XV or described in ECCN 9A004 that have electro-optical remote sensing capabilities and having a clear aperture greater than 0.35 meters, but less than or equal to 0.50 meters (under ECCN 9A515.a.1). It includes those having remote sensing capabilities beyond NIR (under ECCN 9A515.a.2), those having radar remote sensing capabilities (e.g., AESA, SAR, or ISAR) having a center frequency equal to or greater than 1.0 GHz, but less than 10.0 GHz and having a bandwidth equal to or greater than 100 MHz, but less than 300 MHz (under 9A515.a.3). These more sensitive items being moved from the USML to the CCL also include those providing space-based logistics, assembly, or servicing of another “spacecraft” (under ECCN 9A515.a.4).

    In ECCN 9A515.g, this final rule also adds “items” paragraph (g) to 9A515, as related to the changes described above to 9A515.a. Paragraph (g) is added to control remote sensing components that are “specially designed” for “spacecraft” described in ECCN 9A515.a.1 though 9A515.a.4, which were described above. Similar to the reason for identifying the items in ECCN 9A515.a.1 through .a.4., specifying that these remote sensing components are the “items” paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) will allow the imposition of more restrictive controls on these components, without needing to impose the same level of restrictions on 9A515.x items, which is the paragraph under which these components would have been controlled if this new 9A515.g paragraph were not being added. Paragraph (g) controls remote sensing components for space-qualified optics with the largest lateral clear aperture dimension equal to or less than 0.35 meters; or with the largest clear aperture dimension greater than 0.35 meters but less than or equal to 0.50 meters (under ECCN 9A515.g.1). In addition, paragraph (g) controls optical bench assemblies “specially designed” for the spacecraft added to ECCN 9A515.a.1 through .a.4 (under ECCN 9A515.g.2), and primary, secondary, or hosted payloads that perform a function of spacecraft added to 9A515.a.1. through .a.4. (under 9A515.g.3).

    ECCN 9E515. This final rule adds a new License Requirement Note, revises the Special Conditions for STA section and “items” paragraph (a), and adds “items” paragraph (f) in the List of “items” controlled section of ECCN 9E515. These changes are described in the next five paragraphs:

    Addition of License Requirement Note to 9E515. As a conforming change to the addition of § 742.6(a)(8), described above, this final rule adds a License Requirement Note to the end of the License Requirements section of ECCN 9E515 to specify that the Commerce Country Chart is not used for determining license requirements for “technology” classified 9E515.f. The new License Requirement also includes a cross reference to § 742.6(a)(8) and alerts exporters and reexporters that this “technology” is subject to a worldwide license requirement.

    In ECCN 9E515, Special Conditions for STA section, this final rule revises paragraph (1) to add a reference to 9E515.f. This final rule specifies that such technology is not eligible for STA, unless the specific technology has been approved under the § 740.20(g) process by the U.S. Government. This change is made to conform to the addition described below of “technology” under ECCN 9E515.f for the additional spacecraft and related components added to 9A515.a and .g described above. In addition, this final rule also specifies that the “technology” controlled under ECCN 9E515.b, .d and .e are not eligible for License Exception STA, unless the specific “technology” has been approved under the § 740.20(g) process by the U.S. Government. Prior to publication of this final rule, ECCN 9E515.b, .d and .e “technology” was excluded from License Exception STA in all cases, which based on public comments and interagency discussions was a more restrictive policy than was needed to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests for this “technology” classified under ECCN 9E515. Therefore, this final rule makes the other “technology” (9E515.b, .d and .e) also eligible for the requests under § 740.20(g), as described above in the changes this final rule makes to paragraph (g) of License Exception STA.

    In ECCN 9E515.a, this final rule revises “items” paragraph (a) to exclude the “technology” for the new commodities added to 9A515.a (.a.1 through .a.4) and .g. “Required” “technology” for these new commodities added to ECCN 9A515.a and .g will be controlled under ECCN 9E515, but in order to impose more restrictive controls on those “technologies” without impacting other 9E515 “technology,” this final rule adds this “technology” being moved to the CCL to a new “items” paragraph (f) to 9E515, as described below.

    In ECCN 9E515.f, this final rule adds a new “items” paragraph (f) in the List of Items Controlled section to control “technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” installation, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities that this final rule adds to ECCN 9A515 under “items” paragraphs .a.1 through .a.4, or .g. As described above, this final rule is identifying these “technologies” in their own “items” paragraph in order to allow more restrictive controls to be placed on these items without impacting other ECCN 9E515 “technology.”

    (2) Changes To Address the Movement of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) From the USML to the CCL

    ECCN 9A004. This final rule revises ECCN 9A004 to add a specific telescope, which was “subject to the ITAR” prior to the effective date of this final rule. A determination was made based on the public comments received by the Department of State and the space interagency working group (a group of U.S. Government agencies involved in the export control system and that deal with space related issues) that this specific telescope was within the scope of spacecraft and related items that did not warrant being subject to the ITAR. Therefore, consistent with the stated purpose of the May 13 rule, as well as section 38(f) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the Department of State has moved this telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is being developed, launched, and operated under the supervision of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to the CCL. The “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” that are “specially designed” for use in or with the JWST are also being moved from the ITAR and will be subject to the EAR, as of the effective date of the State and Commerce final rules.

    To control the JWST and the “specially designed” “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” for the JWST, this final rule adds two new “items” paragraph to ECCN 9A004. First, this final rule adds a new “items” paragraph (u) to 9A004 to control the JWST (the specific telescope) that is being moved to the CCL from the USML. Second, this final rule adds a new “items” paragraph (v) to control the “specially designed” “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” or “attachments” for use in or with the JWST. The commodities this final rule adds to ECCN 9A004.v include the primary and secondary payloads of the JWST.

    This final rule also specifies in the control parameters in the new paragraph (v)(1) to (v)(4) that the “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” specified in paragraph (v) do not include items that are “subject to the ITAR,” microelectronic circuits, items in ECCNs 7A004 and 7A104, or in any ECCN containing “space qualified” as a control criterion (See ECCN 9A515.x.4). As a conforming change, this final rule revises the phrase “ECCN 9A004.x” in paragraph (y) to add a reference to the “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” in paragraph (v) that this final rule adds. This final rule revises the phrase, so it now specifies “ECCN 9A004.v or .x,” which is being done to account for the fact that paragraphs (v) and (x) will contain certain “specially designed” “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” for items enumerated in ECCN 9A004 and that the new items being added to paragraph (v) and (x) could be reclassified under 9A004.y, if subsequently the specific item is identified in an interagency-cleared commodity classification (CCATS) pursuant to § 748.3(e) as warranting control in 9A004.y. BIS anticipates an increase of approximately 20 license applications per year as a result of these changes to the EAR.

    In addition to the change to ECCN 9A004, this final rule makes changes to three 9x515 ECCNs to reflect that the JWST and the “specially designed” “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” for the JWST are being added to 9A004. This final rule makes these conforming changes to ECCNs 9A515, 9B515 and 9E515. These are not substantive changes. These changes are described in the next three paragraphs.

    ECCN 9A515. This final rule revises the third sentence of the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section of ECCN 9A515 to add a reference to the JWST. This final rule also revises the Note to ECCN 9A515.a to specify items in ECCN 9A004 are not within the scope of 9A515.a. A reference to ECCN 9A004 needs to be added because the description of this Note to ECCN 9A515.a would otherwise include the JWST. This final rule revises “items” paragraph (b) in ECCN 9A515, to add a reference to ECCN 9A004.u for the JWST. This conforming change is needed to specify that ground control systems and training simulators “specially designed” for telemetry, tracking and control of the JWST are also within the scope of ECCN 9A515.b. For similar reasons, this final rule revises “items” paragraph (e) to add a reference to ECCN 9A004.u. This conforming change is made to specify that the microelectronic circuits and discrete electronic components described in ECCN 9A515.e include those “specially designed” for the JWST. This final rule also makes some changes to the .y paragraph in ECCN 9A515, which are discussed further below.

    ECCN 9B515. This final rule revises “items” paragraph (a) in the List of Items Controlled section to add a reference to ECCN 9A004.u. This conforming change is needed to specify that the test, inspection, and production “equipment” “specially designed” for the “production” or “development” of the JWST are also classified under ECCN 9B515.a. For similar reasons, this final rule revises the Note to ECCN 9B515.a to add a reference to ECCN 9A004.u. This conforming change is intended to specify that ECCN 9B515.a includes equipment, cells, and stands “specially designed” for the analysis or isolation of faults in the JWST, in addition to the other commodities enumerated in the Note to ECCN 9A515.a.

    ECCN 9E515. This final rule also revises the third sentence in the “Related Controls” paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section in ECCN 9E515 to add a reference to the JWST. This sentence will alert persons classifying technology for the JWST to see ECCNs 9E001 and 9E002.

    (3) Other Corrections and Clarifications to Interim Spacecraft Final Rule

    ECCN 9A515. This final rule adds two sentences at the end of the introductory text in the “items” paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section of ECCN 9A515, consistent with the notes to USML Category XV. The introductory paragraph clarifies when “spacecraft” and other items described in ECCN 9A515 remain subject to the EAR even if exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) with defense articles “subject to the ITAR” integrated into and included therein as integral parts of the item. This introductory paragraph includes some application examples and some qualifiers for when the ITAR jurisdiction would reapply to such defense articles. This final rule adds two new sentences to clarify two additional instances where the jurisdiction of the ITAR would be applicable in such scenarios. The first new sentence is being added to clarify that the removal of a defense article subject to the ITAR from the spacecraft is a retransfer under the ITAR—meaning the removal of a defense article would require an ITAR authorization. The ITAR authorization requirement would apply regardless of which CCL authorization the spacecraft is exported under the EAR. The second sentence clarifies that transfer of technical data regarding the defense article subject to the ITAR integrated into the spacecraft would require an ITAR authorization.

    ECCN 9B515. This final rule revises the License Requirements section of ECCN 9B515 to add a missile technology (MT) control. The MT control is being added to impose a license requirement on equipment in ECCN 9B515.a that is for the “development” or “production” of commodities in USML Category XV(e)(12) and XV(e)(19) that are MT controlled. This change is made to conform to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex and the corresponding MT controls in USML Category XV (MTCR Annex, Category I: Item 2.B.2.). BIS anticipates an increase of approximately 10 license applications per year as a result of this change to the EAR, along with the conforming MT change made to ECCN 9E515 described in the next paragraph.

    ECCN 9E515. This final rule, as a conforming change to the change to ECCN 9B515, revises the MT Control paragraph in the License Requirements section on ECCN 9E515. This final rule revises the MT Control paragraph in ECCN 9E515 to add technology for items in 9B515.a that are controlled for MT reasons. This change is made to conform to the MTCR Annex and the corresponding MT controls in USML Category XV (MTCR Annex, Category I: Item 2.E.1.).

    (4) Addition of .y Items to ECCN 9A515

    This final rule adds five .y paragraphs (ECCN 9A515.y.2, .y.3., .y.4, .y.5, and .y.6) as additional commodities specified under paragraph (y) in this ECCN. As noted in the introductory text of paragraph (y), the U.S. Government through the § 748.3(e) process will identify the items that warrant being classified under 9x515.y, such as the commodities being specified under ECCN 9A515.y.2 to .y.6 in this final rule. Specifically, the following space grade or for spacecraft applications commodities: thermistors (ECCN 9A515.y.2); RF microwave bandpass ceramic filters (dielectric resonator bandpass filters) (9A515.y.3); space grade or for spacecraft applications hall effect sensors (9A515.y.4); subminiature (SMA and SMP) plugs and connectors, TNC plugs and cable and connector assemblies with SMA plugs and connectors (9A515.y.5); and flight cable assemblies (9A515.y.6) have been identified in interagency-cleared commodity classifications (CCATS) pursuant to § 748.3(e) as warranting control in 9A515.y.2 to .y.6. The additions described above for ECCN 9A515.y.2 to y.6 are the second set of approved populations of .y controls being added to 9A515. As stated in the May 13 rule, as well as the July 13 rule (which added ECCN 9A515.y.1), BIS (along with State and Defense) will continue to populate the 9A515.y with additional entries as additional classification determinations are made in response to requests from the public under § 748.3(e).

    As required by Executive Order (EO) 13563, BIS intends to review this rule's impact on the licensing burden on exporters. Commerce's full plan is available at: http://open.commerce.gov/news/2011/08/23/plan-retrospective-analysis-existing-rules. Data are routinely collected on an ongoing basis, including through the comments to be submitted and as a result of new information and results from AES data. These results and data have been, and will continue to form, the basis for ongoing reviews of the rule and assessments of various aspects of the rule. As part of its plan for retrospective analysis under EO 13563, BIS intends to conduct periodic reviews of this rule and to modify, or repeal, aspects of this rule, as appropriate, and after public notice and comment. Some of the changes described above are limited to corrections or clarifications of what was included in the May 13 rule. BIS estimates that the substantive changes described above will result in an increase of 30-40 license applications per year, which is within the previous estimate made for the number of license applications that BIS anticipated receiving as a result of the movement of these spacecraft and related items to the CCL under the May 13 rule.

    Export Administration Act

    Although the Export Administration Act 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 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016), 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, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222 as amended by Executive Order 13637.

    Rulemaking Requirements

    1. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This final rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor is 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 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 expected to increase slightly as a result of this rule. The expected increase in total burden hours is expected to be minimal and to not exceed the existing estimates for burden hours associated with the PRA and OMB control number 0694-0088. You may send comments regarding the collection of information associated with this rule, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet K. Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285.

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

    4. The Department finds that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requiring prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because they are either unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. The following revisions are non-substantive or are limited to ensure consistency with the intent of the May 13, 2014 interim final rule, and thus prior notice and the opportunity for public comment is unnecessary. ECCNs 9A004, 9A515, 9B515, and 9E515 are revised to make clarifications to the EAR to ensure consistency with the intent of the May 13, 2014 interim final rule for purposes of what spacecraft and related items warranted ITAR control and what spacecraft items were intended to be moved to the EAR, as well as for consistency with the MTCR Annex for certain changes made to ECCNs 9B515 and 9E515. This includes the changes made to §§ 740.20(g), 742.6(a)(1), (a)(8), (b)(1)(i), (b)(5) and (b)(6), and 750.4(b)(4), (b)(8) and (d)(2)(iv) to ensure appropriate controls are in place under the EAR for the additional spacecraft and related items that are moved to the CCL in this final rule in response to public comments and additional U.S. Government review of those comments. Finally, as contemplated in the May 13 rule, BIS has added five entries to the .y paragraph of ECCN 9A515, which were added as a result of the § 748.3(e) process. For purposes of the APA, there is good cause, and it is in the public interest to incorporate this change so the public can benefit from understanding the classification of the items. These revisions are important to implement as soon as possible so the public will be aware of the correct text and meaning of current EAR provisions.

    BIS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). As mentioned previously, the revisions made by this rule are non-substantive or are limited to ensure consistency with the intent of the May 13, 2014 interim final rule and are important to implement as soon as possible so the public will be aware of the correct text and meaning of current EAR provisions.

    Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for these amendments by 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable.

    List of Subjects 15 CFR Parts 740 and 750

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

    15 CFR Part 742

    Exports, Terrorism.

    15 CFR Part 774

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) are amended as follows:

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

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    2. Section 740.20 is amended by revising the heading of paragraph (g) and paragraph (g)(1) to read as follows:
    § 740.20 License exception strategic trade authorization (STA).

    (g) License Exception STA eligibility requests for 9x515 and “600 series” items—(1) Applicability. Any person may request License Exception STA eligibility for end items described in ECCN 0A606.a, ECCN 8A609.a, ECCN 8A620.a or .b, “spacecraft” in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, .a.4, or .g, that provide space-based logistics, assembly or servicing of any spacecraft (e.g., refueling), ECCN 9A610.a, or ECCN 9E515.b, .d, .e, or .f.

    PART 742—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 742 continues 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; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; 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. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Presidential Determination 2003-23, 68 FR 26459, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 320; Notice of November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015); Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    4. Section 742.6 is amended: a. By revising paragraph (a)(1); b. By adding paragraph (a)(8); c. By revising the fourth sentence of paragraph (b)(1)(i); and d. By adding paragraphs (b)(5) and (6), to read as follows:
    § 742.6 Regional stability.

    (a) * * *

    (1) RS Column 1 license requirements in general. A license is required for exports and reexports to all destinations, except Canada, for all items in ECCNs on the CCL that include RS Column 1 in the Country Chart column of the “License Requirements” section. Transactions described in paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), or (a)(8) of this section are subject to the RS Column 1 license requirements set forth in those paragraphs rather than the license requirements set forth in this paragraph (a)(1).

    (8) Special RS Column 1 license requirement applicable to certain spacecraft and related items. A license is required for all destinations, including Canada, for spacecraft and related items classified under ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2., .a.3., .a.4., .g, and ECCN 9E515.f.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) *** Applications for export or reexport of items classified under any 9x515 or “600 series” ECCN requiring a license in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(8) of this section will also be reviewed consistent with United States arms embargo policies in § 126.1 of the ITAR (22 CFR 126.1) if destined to a country set forth in Country Group D:5 in Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. * * *

    (5) Spacecraft for launch. (i) Applications to export or reexport a “spacecraft” controlled under ECCN 9A515.a for launch in or by a country that is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or a major non-NATO ally of the United States (as defined in 22 CFR 120.31 and 120.32), will require a technology transfer control plan approved by the Department of Defense, an encryption technology control plan approved by the National Security Agency, and Department of Defense monitoring of all launch activities.

    (ii) Applications to export or reexport a “spacecraft” controlled under ECCN 9A515.a for launch in or by a country that is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or a major non-NATO ally of the United States (as defined in 22 CFR 120.31 and 120.32), may require a technology transfer control plan approved by the Department of Defense, an encryption technology control plan approved by the National Security Agency, or Department of Defense monitoring of launch activities.

    (6) Remote sensing spacecraft. Applications to export or reexport a “spacecraft” described in ECCN 9A515.a.1,.a.2, a.3, or .a.4, sensitive remote sensing components described in 9A515.g, or “technology” described in ECCN 9E515.f may require a government-to-government agreement at the discretion of the U.S. Government.

    PART 750—[AMENDED] 5. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 750 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13637, 78 FR 16129, 3 CFR, 2013 Comp., p. 223; Presidential Determination 2003-23, 68 FR 26459, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 320; Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    6. Section 750.4 is amended: a. By adding paragraph (b)(8); and b. By adding paragraph (d)(2)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 750.4 Procedures for processing license applications.

    (b) * * *

    (8) Satellites for launch. Applicant must obtain approval by the Department of Defense of a technology transfer control plan and the National Security Agency of an encryption technology transfer control plan and must make arrangements with the Department of Defense for monitoring of all launch activities.

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) Remote Sensing Interagency Working Group (RSIWG). The RSIWG, chaired by the State Department, reviews license applications involving remote sensing spacecraft described in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, or .a.4, sensitive remote sensing components described in 9A515.g, or “technology” described in ECCN 9E515.f.

    PART 774—[AMENDED] 7. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 774 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 22 U.S.C. 287c, 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 15 U.S.C. 1824a; 50 U.S.C. 4305; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    8. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774, Category 9—Aerospace and Propulsion, ECCN 9A004 is amended: a. By revising the License Requirements table; b. By adding “items” paragraph u. and v. to the List of Items Controlled section; and c. By revising “items” paragraph y. in the List of Items Controlled section to read as follows: Supplement No. 1 to Part 774—The Commerce Control List 9A004 Space launch vehicles and “spacecraft,” “spacecraft buses,” “spacecraft payloads,” “spacecraft” on-board systems or equipment, and terrestrial equipment, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS and AT Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • NS applies to 9A004.u, .v, .w and .x NS Column 1 AT applies to 9A004.u, .v, .w, .x and .y AT Column 1
    List of Items Controlled

    u. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) being developed, launched, and operated under the supervision of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    v. “Parts,” “components,” “accessories” and “attachments” that are “specially designed” for the James Webb Space Telescope and that are not:

    v.1. Enumerated or controlled in the USML;

    v.2. Microelectronic circuits;

    v.3. Described in ECCNs 7A004 or 7A104; or

    v.4. Described in an ECCN containing “space-qualified” as a control criterion (See ECCN 9A515.x.4).

    y. Items that would otherwise be within the scope of ECCN 9A004.v or .x but that have been identified in an interagency-cleared commodity classification (CCATS) pursuant to § 748.3(e) as warranting control in 9A004.y.

    9. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774, Category 9—Aerospace and Propulsion, ECCN 9A515 is amended: a. By adding a License Requirement Note at the end of the License Requirements section; b. By revising the Special Conditions for STA section; c. By revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section; d. By revising the introductory text to the “items” paragraph in the List of items Controlled section; e. By revising “items” paragraphs a. and b. in the List of Items Controlled section; f. By revising the introductory text of paragraphs d. and e. in the List of Items Controlled section; g. By adding “items” paragraph g. in the list of Items Controlled section; and h. By adding “items” paragraphs y.2., y.3., y.4., y.5. and y.6. to read as follows: 9A515 “Spacecraft” and related commodities, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements License Requirement Note:

    The Commerce Country Chart is not used for determining license requirements for commodities classified in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2., .a.3., .a.4, and .g. See § 742.6(a)(8), which specifies that such commodities are subject to a worldwide license requirement.

    Special Conditions for STA STA: (1) Paragraph (c)(1) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(1) of the EAR) may not be used for “spacecraft” in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, or .a.4, or items in 9A515.g, unless determined by BIS to be eligible for License Exception STA in accordance with § 740.20(g) (License Exception STA eligibility requests for certain 9x515 and “600 series” items). (2) License Exception STA may not be used if the “spacecraft” controlled in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, or .a.4 contains a separable or removable propulsion system enumerated in USML Category IV(d)(2) or USML Category XV(e)(12) and designated MT. (3) Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 9A515. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: Spacecraft, launch vehicles and related articles that are enumerated in the USML, and technical data (including “software”) directly related thereto, and all services (including training) directly related to the integration of any satellite or spacecraft to a launch vehicle, including both planning and onsite support, or furnishing any assistance (including training) in the launch failure analysis or investigation for items in ECCN 9A515.a, are “subject to the ITAR.” All other “spacecraft,” as enumerated below and defined in § 772.1, are subject to the controls of this ECCN. See also ECCNs 3A001, 3A002, 3A991, 3A992, 6A002, 6A004, 6A008, and 6A998 for specific “space-qualified” items, 7A004 and 7A104 for star trackers, and 9A004 for the International Space Station (ISS), James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and “specially designed” “parts” and “components” therefor. See USML Category XI(c) for controls on microwave monolithic integrated circuits (MMICs) that are “specially designed” for defense articles. See ECCN 9A610.g for pressure suits used for high altitude aircraft. Items: “Spacecraft” and other items described in ECCN 9A515 remain subject to the EAR even if exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) with defense articles “subject to the ITAR” integrated into and included therein as integral parts of the item. In all other cases, such defense articles are subject to the ITAR. For example, a 9A515.a “spacecraft” remains “subject to the EAR” even when it is exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) with a “hosted payload” described in USML Category XV(e)(17) incorporated therein. In all other cases, a “hosted payload” performing a function described in USML Category XV(a) always remains a USML item. The removal of the defense article subject to the ITAR from the spacecraft is a retransfer under the ITAR and would require an ITAR authorization, regardless of the CCL authorization the spacecraft is exported under. Additionally, transfer of technical data regarding the defense article subject to the ITAR integrated into the spacecraft would require an ITAR authorization.

    a. “Spacecraft,” including satellites, and space vehicles, whether designated developmental, experimental, research or scientific, not enumerated in USML Category XV or described in ECCN 9A004, that:

    a.1. Have electro-optical remote sensing capabilities and having a clear aperture greater than 0.35 meters, but less than or equal to 0.50 meters;

    a.2. Have remote sensing capabilities beyond NIR (i.e., SWIR, MWIR, or LWIR);

    a.3. Have radar remote sensing capabilities (e.g., AESA, SAR, or ISAR) having a center frequency equal to or greater than 1.0 GHz, but less than 10.0 GHz and having a bandwidth equal to or greater than 100 MHz, but less than 300 MHz;

    a.4. Provide space-based logistics, assembly, or servicing of another “spacecraft”; or

    a.5. Are not described in ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3 or .a.4.

    Note:

    ECCN 9A515.a includes commercial communications satellites, remote sensing satellites, planetary rovers, planetary and interplanetary probes, and in-space habitats, not identified in ECCN 9A004 or USML Category XV(a).

    b. Ground control systems and training simulators “specially designed” for telemetry, tracking, and control of the “spacecraft” controlled in paragraphs 9A004.u or 9A515.a.

    d. Microelectronic circuits (e.g., integrated circuits, microcircuits, or MOSFETs) and discrete electronic components rated, certified, or otherwise specified or described as meeting or exceeding all the following characteristics and that are “specially designed” for defense articles, “600 series” items, or items controlled by ECCNs 9A004.v or 9A515:

    e. Microelectronic circuits (e.g., integrated circuits, microcircuits, or MOSFETs) and discrete electronic components that are rated, certified, or otherwise specified or described as meeting or exceeding the characteristics in either paragraph e.1 or e.2, AND “specially designed” for defense articles controlled by USML Category XV or items controlled by ECCNs 9A004.u or 9A515:

    g. Remote sensing components “specially designed” for “spacecraft” described in ECCNs 9A515.a.1 through 9A515.a.4 as follows:

    g.1. Space-qualified optics (i.e., lens, mirror, membrane having active properties (e.g., adaptive, deformable)) with the largest lateral clear aperture dimension equal to or less than 0.35 meters; or with the largest clear aperture dimension greater than 0.35 meters but less than or equal to 0.50 meters;

    g.2. Optical bench assemblies “specially designed” for ECCN 9A515.a.1, 9A515.a.2, 9A515.a.3, or 9A515.a.4 “spacecraft;” or

    g.3. Primary, secondary, or hosted payloads that perform a function of ECCN 9A515.a.1, 9A515.a.2, 9A515.a.3, or 9A515.a.4 “spacecraft.”

    y. * * *

    y.2. Space grade or for spacecraft applications thermistors;

    y.3. Space grade or for spacecraft applications RF microwave bandpass ceramic filters (Dielectric Resonator Bandpass Filters);

    y.4. Space grade or for spacecraft applications hall effect sensors;

    y.5. Space grade or for spacecraft applications subminiature (SMA and SMP) plugs and connectors, TNC plugs and cable and connector assemblies with SMA plugs and connectors; and

    y.6. Space grade or for spacecraft applications flight cable assemblies.

    10. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774, Category 9—Aerospace and Propulsion, ECCN 9B515 is amended: a. By revising the License Requirements section; and b. By revising “items” paragraph a. in the List of Items Controlled section to read as follows: 9B515 Test, inspection, and production “equipment” “specially designed” for “spacecraft” and related commodities, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, MT, RS, AT Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry NS Column 1 MT applies to equipment in 9B515.a for the “development” or “production” of commodities in USML Category XV(e)(12) and XV(e)(19) that are MT controlled MT Column 1 RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1 AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1
    Items:

    a. Test, inspection, and production “equipment” “specially designed” for the “production” or “development” of commodities enumerated in ECCNs 9A004.u, 9A515.a, or USML Category XV(a) or XV(e).

    Note:

    ECCN 9B515.a includes equipment, cells, and stands “specially designed” for the analysis or isolation of faults in commodities enumerated in ECCNs 9A004.u or 9A515.a, or USML Category XV(a) or XV(e).

    11. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774, Category 9—Aerospace and Propulsion, ECCN 9E515 is amended: a. By revising the License Requirements table; b. By adding a License Requirement Note at the end of the License Requirements section; c. By revising paragraph (1) in the Special Conditions for STA section; d. By revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section; e. By revising “items” paragraph a. in the List of Items Controlled section; and f. By adding “items” paragraph f. in the list of Items Controlled section to read as follows: 9E515 “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of “spacecraft” and related commodities, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry except 9E515.y NS Column 1 MT applies to technology for items in 9A515.d, 9A515.e.2 and 9B515.a controlled for MT reasons MT Column 1 RS applies to entire entry except 9E515.y RS Column 1 AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1
    License Requirement Note:

    The Commerce Country Chart is not used for determining license requirements for “technology” classified ECCN 9E515.f. See § 742.6(a)(8), which specifies that such “technology” is subject to a worldwide license requirement.

    Special Conditions for STA STA: (1) Paragraph (c)(1) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(1) of the EAR) may not be used for ECCN 9E515.b, .d, .e, or .f unless determined by BIS to be eligible for License Exception STA in accordance with § 740.20(g) (License Exception STA eligibility requests for certain 9x515 and “600 series” items). * * * List of Items Controlled Related Controls: Technical data directly related to articles enumerated in USML Category XV are subject to the control of USML paragraph XV(f). See also ECCNs 3E001, 3E003, 6E001, and 6E002 for specific “space-qualified” items. See ECCNs 9E001 and 9E002 for technology for the International Space Station, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” “specially designed” therefor. See USML category XV(f) for controls on technical data and defense services related to launch vehicle integration. Items:

    a. “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” installation, repair (including on-orbit anomaly resolution and analysis beyond established procedures), overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities controlled by ECCN 9A515 (except 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, .a.4, .b, .d, .e, or .g), ECCN 9B515, or “software” controlled by ECCN 9D515.a.

    f. “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” installation, repair (including on-orbit anomaly resolution and analysis beyond established procedures), overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities controlled by ECCN 9A515.a.1, .a.2, .a.3, .a.4, or .g.

    Dated: December 27, 2016. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-31755 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 744 [Docket No. 161221999-6999-01] RIN 0694—AH23 Addition of Certain Persons and Revisions to Entries on the Entity List; and Removal of a Person From the Entity List AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding five persons to the Entity List. The five persons who are 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 five persons will be listed on the Entity List under the destination of Turkey. This final rule also removes one entity from the Entity List under the destination of India as the result of a request for removal received by BIS and a review of information provided in the removal request in accordance with the procedure for requesting removal or modification of an Entity List entity. Finally, this rule is also revising five existing entries in the Entity List, under the destinations of Armenia, Greece, Pakistan, Russia and the United Kingdom (U.K.). Four of these entries are modified to reflect the removal from the Entity List of the entity located in India. The license requirement for the entry under the destination of Russia is being revised to conform with a general license issued by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control on December 20, 2016.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective January 10, 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) 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 notice 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 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 all decisions to add an entry to the Entity List by majority vote and all decisions to remove or modify an entry by unanimous vote.

    ERC Entity List Decisions Additions to the Entity List

    This rule implements the decision of the ERC to add five persons to the Entity List. These five persons 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 five entries added to the Entity List are located in Turkey.

    The ERC reviewed § 744.11(b) (Criteria for revising the Entity List) in making the determination to add these five persons to the Entity List. Under that paragraph, 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 include an illustrative list of activities that could be contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

    Specifically, two entities, AR Kompozit Kimya and Murat Taskiran, are being added to the Entity List as these entities exported high grade U.S.-origin carbon fiber to Iran in violation of U.S. law (i.e., 50 U.S.C. 1701 thru 1706 and 30 CFR 560.203 & 560.204). The additional three entities located in Turkey, Fulya Kalfatoglu Oguzturk, Ramor Group and Resit Tavan, are being added to the Entity List on the basis of their involvement in the procurement and/or retransfer of U.S.-origin items to Iran for use by the Iranian military.

    Pursuant to § 744.11(b) of the EAR, the ERC determined that the conduct of these five entities raises sufficient concern that 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 violations of the EAR.

    For the five 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 any 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 help exporters, reexporters and transferors to better identify listed persons on the Entity List.

    This final rule adds the following five persons to the Entity List:

    Turkey

    (1) AR Kompozit Kimya, a.k.a., the following two aliases:

    —AR Composites Company Ltd; and —AR Kompozit Kimya Muhendislik Taah Dis Tic Ltd.

    Kuyumcukent 2, Plaza Kat 5, No 9, Yenibosna, Istanbul, Turkey;

    (2) Fulya Kalafatoglu Oguzturk, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Macide Fulya Kalafatoglu.

    Barajyolu Cd Yenisehir Mh Sinpas Koruk Konutlari No 40 Sogut Blok D1 Istanbul, Turkey;

    (3) Murat Taskiran,

    Kuyumcukent 2, Plaza Kat 5, No 9, Yenibosna, Istanbul, Turkey;

    (4) Ramor Group, a.k.a., the following four aliases:

    —Ramor Construction Food and Furniture Incorporation; —Ramor Ins; —Ramor Company; and —Ramor Ltd. Co.

    Unit 42, Gardenya Plaza 7/1, 12th Floor, No: 77, Atasehir, Istanbul, Turkey 34758; and 1st.End.ve.Tic.Serbest Bol.Sub. Kopuzlar Cad.No.8 Solingen Zemin Kat Tuzla/Istanbul, Turkey; and

    (5) Resit Tavan,

    Turgotozl CD Agaoglu MySkyTowers, A Blok D 12, Istanbul, Turkey 34758.

    Removal From the Entity List

    This rule implements a decision of the ERC to remove the following entry from the Entity List on the basis of on a removal request received by the BIS: Veteran Avia LLC, located in India. The ERC decided to remove Veteran Avia LLC (India) based on information received by BIS regarding activities at the listed location in India and further review conducted by the ERC.

    This final rule implements the decision to remove the following entity located in India from the Entity List:

    India

    (1) Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Veteran Airline.

    A-107, Lajpat Nagar—I, New Delhi 110024, India and Room No. 34 Import Cargo, IGI Airport Terminal—II, New Delhi 110037, India; and 25B, Camac Street 3E, Camac Court Kolkatta, 700016, India; and Ali's Chamber #202, 2nd Floor Sahar Cargo Complex Andheri East Mumbai, 400099, India. (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, Pakistan, and U.K).

    The removal of the person referenced above, which was approved by the ERC, eliminates the existing license requirements in Supplement No. 4 to part 744 for exports, reexports and transfers (in-country) to this entity. However, the removal of this person from the Entity List does not relieve persons of other obligations under part 744 of the EAR or under other parts of the EAR. Neither the removal of an entity from the Entity List nor the removal of Entity List-based license requirements relieves persons of their obligations under General Prohibition 5 in § 736.2(b)(5) of the EAR which provides that, “you may not, without a license, knowingly export or reexport any item subject to the EAR to an end-user or end-use that is prohibited by part 744 of the EAR.” Additionally, this removal does not relieve persons of their obligation to apply for export, reexport or in-country transfer licenses required by other provisions of the EAR. BIS strongly urges the use of Supplement No. 3 to part 732 of the EAR, “BIS's `Know Your Customer' Guidance and Red Flags,” when persons are involved in transactions that are subject to the EAR.

    Revisions to Entries on the Entity List Modification to License Requirements for an Entry on the Entity List

    On December 20, 2016, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued General License No. 11, Authorizing Certain Transactions With FAU Glavgosekspertiza Rossii, an entity in the Russian Federation. This general license authorizes transactions otherwise prohibited by Executive Order 13685 (E.O.) of December 19, 2014 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to requesting, contracting for, paying for, receiving, or utilizing a project design review or permit from FAU Glavgosekspertiza Rossii's office(s) in the Russian Federation, provided that the underlying project is located wholly within the Russian Federation, and none of the transactions otherwise violate Executive Order (E.O.) 13685 of December 19, 2014. Any questions regarding to the scope of this general license should be directed to OFAC.

    In light of OFAC's General License No. 11, BIS makes a conforming change by modifying the listing for FAU `Glavgosekspertiza Rossii' on the Entity List under the destination of Russia (the term used in the EAR for the Russian Federation). This final rule modifies the license requirement column for this entity to specify that the Entity List's license requirements do not apply to items subject to the EAR that are related to transactions authorized by OFAC pursuant to new General License No. 11 (transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to requesting, contracting for, paying for, receiving or utilizing a project design review or permit from this listed entity's office(s) in Russia, so long as the underlying project occurs wholly within Russia and no transactions otherwise violate E.O. 13685). The listing for Ukraine on the Commerce Country Chart, Supp. No. 1 to part 738 of the EAR, includes a footnote that defines the “Crimea region of Ukraine” consistent with section 8(d) of E.O. 13685. FAU `Glavgosekspertiza Rossii' continues to be listed under both Russia and the Crimea region of Ukraine on the Entity List. This final rule amends only the entry under Russia; it does not make any change to the entry listed under the Crimea region of Ukraine. The license requirement for FAU `Glavgosekspertiza Rossii' listed under the destination of the Crimea region of Ukraine continues to apply to all items subject to the EAR.

    Conforming Changes for an Approved Removal From the Entity List

    This final rule revises four entries in the Entity List for the entity Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., Veteran Airline, under the destinations of Armenia, Greece, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. As described above, the ERC approved the removal of Veteran Avia LLC (India). Therefore, this final rule makes conforming changes to the remaining four entries for the entity to remove the cross references to India. This final rule does not make any other changes to these four entries, except for revising the Federal Register citation column to reflect this conforming change being made to these four entities. The license requirement for the four entries remains all items subject to the EAR, and the license application review policy remains a presumption of denial.

    This final rule makes the following revisions to five entries on the Entity List:

    Armenia

    (1) Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Veteran Airline.

    64, Baghramyam Avenue, Apt 16, Yerevan 0033, Armenia; and 1 Eervand Kochari Street Room 1, 375070 Yerevan, Armenia (See also addresses under Greece, Pakistan, and U.K.).

    Greece

    (1) Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Veteran Airline.

    24, A. Koumbi Street, Markopoulo 190 03, Attika, Greece (See also addresses under Armenia, Pakistan, and U.K.).

    Pakistan

    (1) Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Veteran Airline.

    Room No. 1, ALC Building, PIA Cargo Complex Jiap, Karachi, Pakistan (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, and U.K.).

    Russia

    (1) FAU `Glavgosekspertiza Rossii', a.k.a., the following three aliases:

    —Federal Autonomous Institution `Main Directorate of State Examination'; —General Board of State Expert Review; and —Glavgosekspertiza.

    Furkasovskiy Lane, building 6, Moscow 101000, Russia (See alternate address under Crimea region of Ukraine).

    Note:

    As described above, the changes this final rule makes to this Russian entity are limited to the License requirement column for this entry.

    United Kingdom

    (1) Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Veteran Airline.

    1 Beckett Place, South Hamptonshire, London, U.K. (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, and Pakistan).

    Savings Clause

    Shipments of items removed from eligibility for a License Exception or export or reexport without a license (NLR) as a result of this regulatory action that were en route aboard a carrier to a port of export or reexport, on January 10, 2017, pursuant to actual orders for export or reexport to a foreign destination, may proceed to that destination under the previous eligibility for a License Exception or export or reexport without a license (NLR).

    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 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016), 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.

    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 five 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 comment and a delay in effective date are inapplicable because this regulation involves a military or foreign affairs function of the United States. (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). BIS implements this rule 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 and would create an incentive for these persons to either 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, and/or to take 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 was 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.

    5. For the one entry removed from the Entity List in this final rule, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), BIS finds good cause to waive requirements that this rule be subject to notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest.

    In determining whether to grant a request for removal from the Entity List, a committee of U.S. Government agencies (the End-User Review Committee (ERC)) evaluates information about and commitments made by listed persons requesting removal from the Entity List, the nature and terms of which are set forth in 15 CFR part 744, Supplement No. 5, as noted in 15 CFR 744.16(b). The information, commitments, and criteria for this extensive review were all established through the notice of proposed rulemaking and public comment process (72 FR 31005 (June 5, 2007) (proposed rule), and 73 FR 49311 (August 21, 2008) (final rule)). This one removal has been made within the established regulatory framework of the Entity List. If the rule were to be delayed to allow for public comment, U.S. exporters may face unnecessary economic losses as they turn away potential sales to the entity removed by this rule because the customer remained a listed person on the Entity List even after the ERC approved the removal pursuant to the rule published at 73 FR 49311 on August 21, 2008. By publishing without prior notice and comment, BIS allows the applicant to receive U.S. exports immediately since the applicant already has received approval by the ERC pursuant to 15 CFR part 744, Supplement No. 5, as noted in 15 CFR 744.16(b).

    Removals from the Entity List granted by the ERC involve interagency deliberation and result from review of public and non-public sources, including sensitive law enforcement information and classified information, and the measurement of such information against the Entity List removal criteria. This information is extensively reviewed according to the criteria for evaluating removal requests from the Entity List, as set out in 15 CFR part 744, Supplement No. 5 and 15 CFR 744.16(b). For reasons of national security, BIS is not at liberty to provide to the public detailed information on which the ERC relied to make the decisions to remove this entity. In addition, the information included in the removal request is information exchanged between the applicant and the ERC, which by law (section 12(c) of the Export Administration Act of 1979), BIS is restricted from sharing with the public. Moreover, removal requests from the Entity List contain confidential business information, which is necessary for the extensive review conducted by the U.S. Government in assessing such removal requests.

    Section 553(d) of the APA generally provides that rules may not take effect earlier than thirty (30) days after they are published in the Federal Register. BIS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) because this rule is a substantive rule which relieves a restriction. This rule's removal of one person from the Entity List removes a requirement (the Entity-List-based license requirement and limitation on use of license exceptions) on this person being removed from the Entity List. The rule does not impose a requirement on any other person for the removal from the Entity List.

    In addition, the Department finds that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requiring prior notice and the opportunity for public comment for the five conforming changes included in this rule because they are either unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. These five conforming changes are limited to ensure consistency with a removal included in this rulemaking or consistency with OFAC's General License No. 11, and thus prior notice and the opportunity for public comment are unnecessary. The conforming change to the listing for FAU `Glavgosekspertiza Rossii' is intended to ensure consistent treatment of this entity under both the EAR and OFAC's sanctions regime. The other four conforming changes are limited to reflecting the removal of Veteran Avia LLC (India). These four changes are needed to correct the cross-referencing parenthetical phrase included in each of these four entries.

    No other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this final rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required under the APA or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable. As a result, no final 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 15 CFR part 744 continues 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 November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015); Notice of January 20, 2016, 81 FR 3937 (January 22, 2016); Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016); Notice of September 15, 2016, 81 FR 64343 (September 19, 2016); Notice of November 8, 2016, 81 FR 79379 (November 10, 2016).

    2. Supplement No. 4 to part 744 is amended: a. By revising, under Armenia, one Armenian entity “Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:—Veteran Airline. 64, Baghramyam Avenue, Apt 16, Yerevan 0033, Armenia; and 1 Eervand Kochari Street Room 1, 375070 Yerevan, Armenia (See also addresses under Greece, India, Pakistan, and U.K.)” ; b. By revising, under Greece, one Greek entity “Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:—Veteran Airline. 24, A. Koumbi Street, Markopoulo 190 03, Attika, Greece (See also addresses under Armenia, India, Pakistan, and U.K.)” ; c. By removing, under India, one Indian entity, “Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:—Veteran Airline. A-107, Lajpat Nagar—I, New Delhi 110024, India; and Room No. 34 Import Cargo, IGI Airport Terminal—II, New Delhi 110037, India; and 25B, Camac Street 3E, Camac Court Kolkatta, 700016, India; and Ali's Chamber #202, 2nd Floor Sahar Cargo Complex Andheri East Mumbai, 400099, India (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, Pakistan, and U.K.).” ; d. By revising, under Pakistan, one Pakistani entity, “Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:—Veteran Airline. Room No. 1, ALC Building, PIA Cargo Complex Jiap, Karachi, Pakistan (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, India, U.A.E., and U.K.)”; e. By revising, under Russia, one Russian entity “FAU `Glavgosekspertiza Rossii', a.k.a., the following three aliases:—Federal Autonomous Institution `Main Directorate of State Examination';—General Board of State Expert Review; and—Glavgosekspertiza. Furkasovskiy Lane, building 6, Moscow 101000, Russia (See alternate address under Crimea region of Ukraine).”; f. By adding, under Turkey, in alphabetical order, five Turkish entities; and g. By revising, under the United Kingdom, one British entity “Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:—Veteran Airline. 1 Beckett Place, South Hamptonshire, London, U.K. (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, India, and Pakistan).”

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    Supplement No. 4 to Part 744—Entity List Country Entity License requirement License
  • review policy
  • Federal Register citation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * ARMENIA  *         *         *         *         *         * Veteran Avia LLC a.k.a., the following alias:
  • —Veteran Airline.
  • 64, Baghramyam Avenue, Apt 16, Yerevan 0033, Armenia; and 1 Eervand Kochari Street Room 1, 375070 Yerevan, Armenia (See also addresses under Greece, Pakistan, and U.K.).
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 79 FR 44683, 8/1/14. 81 FR 8829, 2/23/16. 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * GREECE  *         *         *         *         *         * Veteran Avia LLC a.k.a., the following alias:
  • —Veteran Airline.
  • 24, A. Koumbi Street, Markopoulo 190 03, Attika, Greece (See also addresses under Armenia, Pakistan, and U.K.).
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 79 FR 56003, 9/18/14. 81 FR 8829, 2/23/16. 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * PAKISTAN  *         *         *         *         *         * Veteran Avia LLC, a.k.a., the following one alias:
  • —Veteran Airline.
  • Room No. 1, ALC Building, PIA Cargo Complex Jiap, Karachi, Pakistan (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, and U.K.).
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 79 FR 56003, 9/18/14. 81 FR 8829, 2/23/16. 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * RUSSIA  *         *         *         *         *         * FAU `Glavgosekspertiza Rossii', a.k.a., the following three aliases:
  • —Federal Autonomous Institution ‘Main Directorate of State Examination’;
  • —General Board of State Expert Review; and
  • —Glavgosekspertiza.
  • Furkasovskiy Lane, building 6, Moscow 101000, Russia (See alternate address under Crimea region of Ukraine).
  • For all items subject to the EAR (see § 744.11 of the EAR), apart from items that are related to transactions that are authorized by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control pursuant to General License No. 11 of December 20, 2016. Russia does not include the “Crimea region of Ukraine,” as that term is defined in section 8(d) of E.O. 13685. Presumption of denial 81 FR 61601, 9/7/16. 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * TURKEY  *         *         *         *         *         * AR Kompozit Kimya, a.k.a., the following two aliases:
  • —AR Composites Company Ltd; and
  • —AR Kompozit Kimya Muhendislik Taah Dis Tic Ltd.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
    Kuyumcukent 2, Plaza Kat 5, No 9, Yenibosna, Istanbul, Turkey.  *         *         *         *         *         * Fulya Kalafatoglu Oguzturk, a.k.a., the following one alias:
  • —Macide Fulya Kalafatoglu.
  • Barajyolu Cd Yenisehir Mh Sinpas Koruk Konutlari No 40 Sogut Blok D1 Istanbul, Turkey.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
     *         *         *         *         *         * Murat Taskiran, Kuyumcukent 2, Plaza Kat 5, No 9, Yenibosna, Istanbul, Turkey. For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.  *         *         *         *         *         * Ramor Group, a.k.a., the following four aliases:
  • —Ramor Construction Food and Furniture Incorporation;
  • —Ramor Ins;
  • —Ramor Company; and
  • —Ramor Ltd. Co.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
    Unit 42, Gardenya Plaza 7/1, 12th Floor, No: 77, Atasehir, Istanbul, Turkey 34758; and 1st.End. ve.Tic.Serbest Bol.Sub. Kopuzlar Cad.No.8 Solingen Zemin Kat Tuzla/Istanbul, Turkey. Resit Tavan, Turgotozl CD Agaoglu MySkyTowers, A Blok D 12, Istanbul, Turkey 34758. For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17. *         *         *         *         *         *         * UNITED KINGDOM  *         *         *         *         *         * Veteran Avia LLC a.k.a., the following alias:
  • —Veteran Airline.
  • 1 Beckett Place, South Hamptonshire, London, U.K. (See also addresses under Armenia, Greece, and Pakistan).
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial 79 FR 56003, 9/18/14. 81 FR 8829, 2/23/16. 82 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER] 1/10/17.
     *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: December 28, 2016. Alexander K. Lopes, Jr., Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-31833 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 121 [Public Notice: 9688] RIN 1400-AD33 International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XV AGENCY:

    Department of State.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department published an interim final rule on May 13, 2014 that revised Category XV (Spacecraft and Related Articles) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML). After reviewing comments to the interim final rule, the Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to further revise Category XV of the USML to describe more precisely the articles warranting control in that category.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on January 15, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. C. Edward Peartree, Director, Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, Department of State, telephone: (202) 663-2792; email: [email protected]. ATTN: Regulatory Change, USML Category XV.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), U.S. Department of State, administers the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR parts 120-130). The items subject to the jurisdiction of the ITAR, i.e., “defense articles” and “defense services,” are identified on the ITAR's U.S. Munitions List (USML) (22 CFR 121.1). With few exceptions, items not subject to the export control jurisdiction of the ITAR are subject to the jurisdiction of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR,” 15 CFR parts 730-774, which includes the Commerce Control List (CCL) in Supplement No. 1 to part 774), administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce. Both the ITAR and the EAR impose license requirements on exports and reexports. Items not subject to the ITAR or to the exclusive licensing jurisdiction of any other set of regulations are subject to the EAR.

    All references to the USML in this rule are to the list of defense articles controlled for the purpose of export or temporary import pursuant to the ITAR, and not to the defense articles on the USML that are controlled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the purpose of permanent import under its regulations. See 27 CFR part 447. Pursuant to section 38(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), all defense articles controlled for export or import are part of the USML under the AECA. For the sake of clarity, the list of defense articles controlled by ATF for the purpose of permanent import is the U.S. Munitions Import List (USMIL). The transfer of defense articles from the ITAR's USML to the EAR's CCL for the purpose of export control does not affect the list of defense articles controlled on the USMIL under the AECA for the purpose of permanent import.

    The Department published an interim final rule revising USML Category XV on May 13, 2014 (79 FR 27180) and received 11 public comments on the proposed changes to the ITAR. The interim final rule became effective November 10, 2014, and this final rule is making changes in response to the previously received comments received on the interim final rule.

    Changes in This Rule

    Paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(10), (a)(11), (a)(12), (e)(4), (e)(5), (e)(11)(iv), (e)(12), (e)(20), and Note 3 to paragraph (a) and Note 3 to paragraph (f) are amended to better reflect the intended scope of control with regard to autonomous tracking systems, logistics, propulsion systems, cryocoolers and vibration suppression systems. Paragraphs (a)(7)(i) and (e)(2) are amended to clarify the size of the respective aperture dimension of specific electro-optical remote sensing capabilities and space qualified optics.

    Three commenters stated that the aperture dimensions in paragraph (a)(7)(i) (electro-optical satellite systems) should be raised from 0.35m to at or below 1.1m to reflect the commercial market for satellite imagery and account for technical advances in apertures and ground resolution capabilities. The Department acknowledges this comment and that aperture technology is evolving, and has revised (a)(7)(i) to 0.50m to reflect the current status of technology that provides the United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage and warrants control on the USML.

    Two commenters stated that (a)(12) should be revised to include a definition of “spaceflight,” or an inclusion of the word “human” in front of “spaceflight,” as well as to clarify that the provision does not control satellites subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce. The Department disagrees with this comment because the word “spaceflight” was removed from paragraph (a) in a November 10, 2014 clean-up rule (79 FR 66608). In addition, the revisions to paragraph (a)(12) herein clarify that the rule does not control satellites subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce.

    Two commenters suggested that (c)(4) be amended to better reflect the controls imposed by both the EAR and Missile Technology Control Regime, and to avoid any regulatory confusion caused by the fact that drones and UAVs are already controlled under Category VIII of the ITAR. The Department acknowledges the comments, and proposed removal of paragraph (c) to Category XII (Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical and Guidance and Control Equipment) (see 81 FR 8438, Feb. 18, 2016). All public comments pertaining to (c) will be addressed in that final rule.

    One commenter stated that the aperture dimensions in paragraph (e)(2) should be raised from 0.35m to 1.1m to reflect the commercial market for satellite imagery. The Department acknowledges this comment and that aperture technology is evolving, and has revised the dimension in (e)(2)(ii) to 0.50m to reflect the current status of technology that provides the United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage and warrants control on the USML.

    One commenter noted that paragraph (e)(4), which concerns space qualified mechanical cryocoolers, uses the term “specially designed” to describe the electronics captured in that provision, but that the words “specially designed” are omitted from (e)(5), resulting in certain commercial control electronics being inadvertently caught under the ITAR. The Department agrees with this comment, and has added the words “specially designed” to (e)(5).

    One commenter expressed concern with possible unintended consequences of the interim final rule on space qualified laser radar, or light detection and ranging (LIDAR). Specifically, while the interim final rule clarified that (e)(7) does not control space qualified LIDAR, the commenter expressed concern that it could still be caught by paragraph (e)(3). The Department clarifies that paragraph (e)(3) could not inadvertently catch space qualified LIDAR, because note 2 to paragraph (e) makes clear that when the articles described in Category XV(e) are “integrated into and included as an integral part” of an item subject to the EAR, they are subject to the EAR. A space qualified focal plane array by itself would be caught by (e)(3), but once integrated and integral to an item subject to the EAR, such as an EAR-controlled space qualified LIDAR, the space qualified focal plane array would be subject to the EAR.

    One commenter stated that Note 3 to paragraph (f) should be amended to clarify that “housekeeping” data from spacecraft are not subject to the ITAR or EAR, and that the ITAR should be updated to reflect the language of Note 2 to Product Group E, Category 9 of the Commerce Control List (CCL). The Department accepts this comment and aligns note 3 to paragraph (f) with the corresponding Note 2 published in Product Group E, Category 9 of the CCL for the purpose of consistency between the USML and CCL.

    Two commenters asserted that ITAR § 124.15 imposes “special export controls” over and above the standard licensing controls without a corresponding national security consideration, and the provisions should be amended to reflect that the additional scrutiny imposed would only be used in limited and particular circumstances. In addition, the commenters stated that the Departments of State and Commerce should jointly revise the regulatory requirements to remove the de facto pre-licensing requirement for satellite exports subject to the EAR intended for launch in NATO and major non-NATO allied countries. The Department does not accept these comments as § 124.15 only applies to satellites and related items controlled by Category XV of the USML. These controls do not apply to the EAR, which has its own analogous form of controls.

    Additional Changes

    The Department also makes a number of other revisions to Category XV to limit the controls to those items that provide a critical military or intelligence advantage to the United States and warrant controls on the USML, which are detailed below.

    This final rule amends paragraph (a)(2) to clarify that the control applies to spacecraft that perform real-time autonomous detection and tracking of moving objects, other than celestial bodies. The control does not include systems that can track fixed points to determine their own movement based on the relative position of the fixed points over time.

    This final rule amends paragraphs (a)(10) and (11) to clarify the nature of the technology and defense articles controlled. Paragraph (a)(10) is revised to control spacecraft that autonomously perform collision avoidance. Paragraph (a)(11) is revised to control sub-orbital craft that incorporate a propulsion system described in either paragraph (e) or Category IV(d)(1)-(6), and are specially designed for atmospheric entry or re-entry. The Department also makes a corresponding change to paragraph (e)(20) to reflect the forms of propulsion controlled in paragraph (a)(11). The Department also removes the Note 3 paragraph (a) regarding attitude control. A new Note 3 to paragraph (a) is added to remove the James Webb Space Telescope from the jurisdiction of the USML and transfer its control to the EAR. A new sentence is also to Note 2 to paragraph (e)(17) removing the primary and secondary payloads of the James Webb Space Telescope from the jurisdiction of the USML and transferring their control to the EAR. Any parts and components of the James Webb Space Telescope that are controlled in other entries of paragraph (e) remain on the USML, except as described in Note 2 to paragraph (e).

    This final rule amends paragraphs (e)(4) and (e)(5) to clarify the type of systems controlled. Specifically, the word “systems” is added to both provisions to make it clear that the provisions are designed to control “cold finger systems” in (e)(4) and “vibration suppression systems” and “active dampening systems” in (e)(5).

    This final rule amends paragraphs (e)(11)(iv) and (e)(12) to clarify the type of propulsions systems controlled. Paragraph (e)(11)(iv) is revised to control electric propulsion systems, such as plasma and ion based systems, that provide greater than 300 milli-Newtons of thrust and a specific impulse greater than 1,500 sec; or that operate at an input power of more than 15kW. Paragraph (e)(12) is revised to control bi-propellants or mono-propellant rocket engines with which provide greater than 150 lbf (i.e., 667.23 N) vacuum thrust.

    Regulatory Analysis and Notices Administrative Procedure Act

    The import and export of defense articles and services is a foreign affairs function of the United States government and that rules implementing this function are exempt from §§ 553 (rulemaking) and 554 (adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Although this rule is exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the APA and without prejudice to the Department's determination that controlling the import and export of defense services is a foreign affairs function, the Department allowed a 45-day public comment period for the interim final rule. The Department has made additional refinements to what was proposed based on the public comments received, which helps to further the objectives described in the interim final rule that is published as a final rule today. This final rule will be effective on January 15, 2017.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Since this final rule is exempt from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, there is no requirement for an analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rulemaking does not involve a mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rulemaking is not a major rule as defined in 5 U.S.C. 804.

    Executive Orders 12372 and 13132

    This rulemaking will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rulemaking does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this rulemaking.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 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, distributed impacts, and equity). These executive orders stress the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rulemaking has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Executive Order 12988

    The Department of State reviewed this rulemaking in light of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

    Executive Order 13175

    The Department of State determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not preempt tribal law. Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements subject the Paperwork Reduction Act 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 121

    Arms and munitions, Classified information, Exports,Technical assistance.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, title 22, chapter I, subchapter M, part 121 is amended as follows:

    PART 121—THE UNITED STATES MUNITIONS LIST 1. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 2, 38, and 71, Pub. L. 90-629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2797); 22 U.S.C. 2651a; Pub. L. 105-261, 112 Stat. 1920; Section 1261, Pub. L. 112-239; E.O. 13637, 78 FR 16129.

    2. In § 121.1, under Category XV: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(7)(i), and (a)(10) through (12). b. Add Note to paragraph (a)(12). c. Revise Note 3 to paragraph (a). d. Revise paragraphs (e)(2), (4), and (5), (e)(11)(iv), and (e)(12). e. Revise Note 2 to paragraph (e)(17). f. Revise paragraph (e)(20). g. Revise Note 3 to paragraph (f).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 121.1 The United States Munitions List. Category XV—Spacecraft and Related Articles

    (a) * * *

    * (2) Autonomously detect and track moving ground, airborne, missile, or space objects other than celestial bodies, in real-time using imaging, infrared, radar, or laser systems;

    (7) * * *

    (i) Electro-optical visible and near infrared (VNIR) (i.e., 400nm to 1,000nm) or infrared (i.e., greater than 1,000nm to 30,000nm) with less than 40 spectral bands and having a clear aperture greater than 0.50m;

    (10) Autonomously perform collision avoidance;

    (11) Are sub-orbital, incorporate propulsion systems described in paragraph (e) of this category or Category IV(d)(1)-(6) of this section, and are specially designed for atmospheric entry or re-entry;

    (12) Are specially designed to provide inspection or surveillance of another spacecraft, or service another spacecraft via grappling or docking; or

    Note to paragraph (a)(12):

    This paragraph does not control spacecraft that dock exclusively via the NASA Docking System (NDS), which are controlled by ECCN 9A515.a.4.

    Note 3 to paragraph (a):

    This paragraph does not control the James Webb Space Telescope, which is subject to the EAR.

    (e) * * *

    (2) Space-qualified optics (i.e., lens, mirror or membrane) having one of the following:

    (i) Active properties (e.g., adaptive, deformable) with a largest lateral clear aperture dimension greater than 0.35m; or

    (ii) A largest lateral clear aperture dimension greater than 0.50m;

    (4) Space-qualified mechanical (i.e., active) cryocooler or active cold finger systems, and associated control electronics specially designed therefor;

    (5) Space-qualified active vibration suppression systems, including active isolation and active dampening systems, and associated control electronics specially designed therefor;

    (11) * * *

    (iv) Electric (Plasma/Ion) propulsion systems that provide a thrust greater than 300 milli-Newtons and a specific impulse greater than 1,500 sec; or that operate at an input power of more than 15kW;

    (12) Thrusters (e.g., spacecraft or rocket engines) using bi-propellants or mono-propellant that provide greater than 150 lbf (i.e., 667.23 N) vacuum thrust (MT for rocket motors or engines having a total impulse capacity equal to or greater than 8.41 × 105 newton seconds);

    Note 2 to paragraph (e)(17):

    An ECCN 9A004 or ECCN 9A515.a spacecraft remains a spacecraft subject to the EAR even when incorporating a hosted payload performing a function described in paragraph (a) of this category. All spacecraft that incorporate primary or secondary payloads that perform a function described in paragraph (a) of this category are controlled by that paragraph. This paragraph does not control primary or secondary payloads of the James Webb Space Telescope, which are subject to the EAR.

    (20) Equipment modules, stages, or compartments that incorporate propulsion systems described in paragraph (e) of this category or Category IV(d)(1)-(6) of this section, and can be separated or jettisoned from another spacecraft; or

    Note 3 to paragraph (f):

    Paragraph (f) and ECCNs 9E001, 9E002 and 9E515 do not control the data transmitted to or from a satellite or spacecraft, whether real or simulated, when limited to information about the health, operational status, or measurements or function of, or raw sensor output from, the spacecraft, spacecraft payload(s), or its associated subsystems or components. Such information is not within the scope of information captured within the definition of technology in the EAR for purposes of Category 9 Product Group E. Examples of such information, which are commonly referred to as “housekeeping data,” include (i) system, hardware, component configuration, and operation status information pertaining to temperatures, pressures, power, currents, voltages, and battery charges; (ii) spacecraft or payload orientation or position information, such as state vector or ephemeris information; (iii) payload raw mission or science output, such as images, spectra, particle measurements, or field measurements; (iv) command responses; (v) accurate timing information; and (vi) link budget data. The act of processing such telemetry data—i.e., converting raw data into engineering units or readable products—or encrypting it does not, in and of itself, cause the telemetry data to become subject to the ITAR or to ECCN 9E515 for purposes of 9A515, or to ECCNs 9E001 or 9E002 for purposes of 9A004. All classified technical data directly related to items controlled in USML Category XV or ECCNs 9A515, and defense services using the classified technical data, remains subject to the ITAR. This note does not affect controls in USML XV(f), ECCN 9D515, or ECCN 9E515 on software source code or commands that control a spacecraft, payload, or associated subsystems for purposes of 9A515. This note also does not affect controls in ECCNs 9D001, 9D002, 9E001, or 9E002 on software source code or commands that control a spacecraft, payload, or associated subsystems for purposes of 9A004.

    Dated: December 22, 2016. Tom Countryman, Acting Under Secretary, Arms Control and International Security, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-31751 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 16 [Docket No. TTB-2017-0001; Notice No. 170] Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment—Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notification of civil monetary penalty adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document informs the public that the maximum penalty for violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act (ABLA) is being adjusted in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended. Prior to the publication of this document, any person who violated the provisions of the ABLA was subject to a civil penalty of not more than $19,787, with each day constituting a separate offense. This document announces that this maximum penalty is being increased to $20,111.

    DATES:

    The new maximum civil penalty for violations of the ABLA takes effect on January 10, 2017 and applies to penalties that are assessed after that date.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew L. Malone, Public Guidance Program Manager, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 453-1039, ext. 188.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background Statutory Authority for Federal Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments

    The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act), Public Law 101-410, 104 Stat. 890, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, requires the regular adjustment and evaluation of civil monetary penalties to maintain their deterrent effect and helps to ensure that penalty amounts imposed by the Federal Government are properly accounted for and collected. A “civil monetary penalty” is defined in the Inflation Adjustment Act as any penalty, fine, or other such sanction that is: (1) For a specific monetary amount as provided by Federal law, or has a maximum amount provided for by Federal law; (2) assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to Federal law; and (3) assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in the Federal courts.

    The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (the Improvement Act of 1996), Public Law 104-134, section 31001(s), 110 Stat. 1321, enacted on April 26, 1996, amended the Inflation Adjustment Act by requiring civil monetary penalties to be adjusted for inflation.

    The Inflation Adjustment Act was further amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the Improvements Act of 2015), Public Law 114-74, section 701, 129 Stat. 584, enacted on November 2, 2015. The Improvements Act of 2015 changed the method agencies use to calculate inflation adjustments to civil monetary penalties, as well as the method and frequency of future adjustments. The Improvements Act of 2015 also instructed agencies to apply its method of calculating the inflation adjustment to the original statutory penalty, rather than to penalties as they were adjusted under the Improvement Act of 1996. To account for inflation that took place between the enactment of the original penalties and the enactment of the Improvements Act of 2015, agencies must make a “catch-up” first adjustment through an interim final rulemaking that is published no later than July 1, 2016, and takes effect no later than August 1, 2016. Agencies shall adjust civil monetary penalties by the inflation adjustment described in section 5 of the Inflation Adjustment Act no later than January 15 of every year thereafter. The Improvements Act of 2015 also provides that any increase in a civil monetary penalty shall apply only to civil monetary penalties, including those whose associated violation predated such an increase, which are assessed after the date the increase takes effect.

    As amended, the Inflation Adjustment Act provides that the inflation adjustment does not apply to civil monetary penalties under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or the Tariff Act of 1930.

    Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013, (superseding Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of this law.

    The FAA Act contains the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act (ABLA) of 1988, Public Law 100-690, 27 U.S.C. 213-219a, which was enacted on November 18, 1988. Section 204 of the ABLA, codified in 27 U.S.C. 215, requires that a health warning statement appear on the labels of all containers of alcoholic beverages manufactured, imported, or bottled for sale or distribution in the United States, as well as on containers of alcoholic beverages that are manufactured, imported, bottled, or labeled for sale, distribution, or shipment to members or units of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those located outside the United States.

    The health warning statement requirement applies to containers of alcoholic beverages manufactured, imported, or bottled for sale or distribution in the United States on or after November 18, 1989. The statement reads as follows:

    GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.

    Section 204 of the ABLA also specifies that the Secretary of the Treasury shall have the power to ensure the enforcement of the provisions of the ABLA and issue regulations to carry out them out. In addition, section 207 of the ABLA, codified in 27 U.S.C. 218, provides that any person who violates the provisions of the ABLA is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000, with each day constituting a separate offense.

    Most of the civil monetary penalties administered by TTB are imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and thus are not subject to the inflation adjustment mandated by the Inflation Adjustment Act. The only civil monetary penalty enforced by TTB that is subject to the inflation adjustment is the penalty imposed by the ABLA at 27 U.S.C. 218.

    TTB Regulations

    The TTB regulations implementing the ABLA are found in 27 CFR part 16, and the regulations implementing the Inflation Adjustment Act with respect to the ABLA penalty are found in 27 CFR 16.33. This section indicates that the ABLA provides that any person who violates the provisions of this part shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000, but also states that, pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended, this civil penalty is subject to periodic cost-of-living adjustment. Accordingly, any person who violates the provisions of 27 CFR part 16 shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than the amount listed at https://www.ttb.gov/regulation_guidance/ablapenalty.html. Each day shall constitute a separate offense.

    To adjust the penalty, § 16.33(b) indicates that TTB will provide notice in the Federal Register and at the Web site mentioned above of cost-of-living adjustments to the civil penalty for violations of this part.

    In this document, TTB is publishing its yearly adjustment to the maximum ABLA penalty, as required by the Inflation Adjustment Act, as amended.

    TTB made the initial adjustment to the ABLA penalty required by the Inflation Adjustment Act, as amended, in an interim final rule that was published and effective on July 1, 2016 (T.D. TTB-138, 81 FR 43062). Subsequent to the initial adjustment, the Improvements Act of 2015 provides that, not later than January 15 of each year after the initial adjustment, the head of each agency shall adjust each civil monetary penalty subject to the Inflation Adjustment Act, as amended, by the inflation adjustment described in section 5 of the Act.

    As mentioned earlier, the ABLA contains a maximum civil monetary penalty, rather than a range of minimum and maximum civil monetary penalties. For such penalties, Section 5 indicates that the inflation adjustment shall be determined by increasing the maximum penalty by the cost-of-living adjustment. The cost-of-living adjustment means the percentage (if any) by which the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers (CPI-U) for the month of October preceding the date of the adjustment exceeds the CPI-U for the month of October 1 year before the month of October preceding the date of the adjustment.

    The CPI-U in October 2015 was 237.838, and the CPI-U in October 2016 was 241.729. The rate of inflation between October 2015 and October 2016 is therefore 1.636 percent. When applied to the current ABLA penalty of $19,787, this rate of inflation yields a raw (unrounded) inflation adjustment of $323.72. Rounded to the nearest dollar, the inflation adjustment is $324, meaning that the new maximum civil penalty for violations of the ABLA will be $20,111.

    The new maximum civil penalty will apply to all penalties that are assessed after January 10, 2017. TTB has also updated its Web page at https://www.ttb.gov/regulation_guidance/ablapenalty.html to reflect the adjusted penalty.

    Signed: January 3, 2017. John J. Manfreda, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00082 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 110 [Docket Number USCG-2014-0142] RIN 1625-AA01 Anchorage Regulations: Special Anchorage Areas; Marina del Rey Harbor, Marina del Rey, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is amending the shape and reducing the size of the special anchorage area in Marina del Rey Harbor, Marina del Rey, California. Additionally, the Coast Guard is clarifying the language in the note section of the existing regulation. This action is necessary as it will create sufficient navigable water around the anchorage allowing vessels to traffic the Marina del Rey channel without undue maritime safety concerns.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective February 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2014-0142. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on the Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room w12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation, West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Amber Napralla, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard District 11, telephone (510) 437-2978, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking SNPRM Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    In 1967, the Coast Guard placed the regulation for a special anchorage area in the main channel of Marina del Rey in 33 CFR after anchorage regulations were transferred from the Army Corps of Engineers to the Coast Guard (32 FR 17726, 17737, December 12, 1967.) The specific regulations and boundaries for this special anchorage area are defined by coordinates found in 33 CFR 110.111.

    On May 28, 2014, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Anchorage Regulations; Special Anchorage Area, Marina del Rey, California” in the Federal Register (79 FR 30509, May 28, 2014) to disestablish the anchorage. The stated purpose of the NPRM was to align the regulations with the main channel and docking facilities in Marina del Rey harbor. Existing docks located in the northern section of the harbor were built into the pre-existing anchorage area at some point with no record of Coast Guard comment on the construction or its impact on anchorage.

    On November 4, 2014, the Coast Guard published notice for a public meeting (79 FR 65361, November 4, 2014) to hear concerns regarding the proposed rulemaking. The meeting was held in Marina del Rey, CA on November 20, 2014. The Coast Guard heard from six speakers. To ensure maximum public input was considered, comments to the public docket were kept open and considered through January 5, 2015. In addition to the six speakers at the public meeting, 44 written submissions were made to the docket. The speakers input and written submissions were reviewed and taken into consideration.

    On February 29, 2016, based on the comments received, the Coast Guard published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) (81 FR 10156, February 29, 2016) that proposed to maintain the special anchorage area, but amend the boundaries and reduce the size of the anchorage.

    On April 12, 2016, a public meeting was held in Marina del Rey, CA and comments were open and considered on the docket until April 30, 2016. There was no public representation at the meeting and no comments were submitted to the docket regarding the SNPRM.

    On July 14, 2016, the docket was reopened for comment (81 FR 45428, July 14, 2016) for 30 days to provide additional opportunity for public feedback on the SNPRM. During this period four written comments were submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal and three comments were sent directly to the Coast Guard via email.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The legal basis for the final rule is: 33 U.S.C. 471, 1221 through 1236, and 2071; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. These authorities collectively authorize the Coast Guard to define anchorage areas. A special anchorage area is a designated water area within which vessels less than 65 feet (20 meters) in length are not required to sound signals required by Rule 35 of the Inland Navigation Rules (33 CFR 83.35) or exhibit the white anchor lights or shapes required by Rule 30 of the Inland Navigation Rules (33 CFR 83.30.) By regulation, special anchorage areas should be well removed from the fairways and be located where general navigation will not endanger or be endangered by unlighted vessels (33 CFR 109.10.) The purpose of this rule is to improve navigation safety by clearly delineating between the designated anchorage and the navigation channel, and by accommodating vessel traffic on all sides of the anchorage.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    The Coast Guard received a total of 51 written comments and recorded six speakers at a public meeting since the inception of this rulemaking from November, 2014. The public docket for this rulemaking includes all written submissions made through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, the recorded transcripts of the public meetings and all other documents pertaining to this topic. This correspondence can be found where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    The original NPRM (USCG-2014-0142) was placed on May 28, 2014 and the Coast Guard received a total of 32 written submissions to the docket following this publication. Of the 32 submissions, 12 comments requested a public hearing and additional time for public comment. As a result, the Coast Guard held a public meeting in Marina del Rey on November 20, 2014 and extended the online comment period to January 5, 2015. The Coast Guard heard from six speakers at the public meeting on November 20, 2014 and received 12 additional written comments to the docket, resulting in 44 total written comments to the docket. Of the 44 submissions, 32 comments requested to keep the anchorage as is or to establish an alternate anchorage at another location in the harbor. The Coast Guard understood the concerns of the comment submitters regarding the need for a safe refuge for recreational vessels during storms or other dangerous conditions and thus proposed a smaller anchorage at the same site as an option for mariners in the SNPRM. The Coast Guard received seven comments in support of removing the anchorage. Some comments indicated that vessels anchoring in the existing anchorage site in the main channel create an unsafe situation. Other comments indicated that mariners rarely use the anchorage and that there is little knowledge of its existence. The special anchorage area in question is clearly marked on the chart with reference to the applicable regulation. A copy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey chart number 18744 has been posted to the docket for reference. In addition, Coast Pilot 7 contains information regarding the special anchorage area in Marina Del Rey. Some comments expressed concern regarding the administration of the special anchorage area by the Marina del Rey Harbormaster, indicating that the Harbor Master does not allow vessels to anchor in the area for other than emergency reasons. Local regulations administered by the Harbor Master are outside the scope of Coast Guard authority, and are not addressed in this rulemaking. At the public meeting, the Coast Guard received two comments and questions concerning proposed projects located in other areas within the harbor. The Coast Guard responded to these comments and questions by indicating that these comments addressed areas outside the anchorage area being discussed. The Coast Guard indicated to the attendees that projects in other areas within the harbor would not impact the existing anchorage and were beyond the scope of the proposed rulemaking.

    The Coast Guard determined that the existing configuration of the special anchorage area in Marina del Rey poses a safety concern because it occupies the entire channel width at the north end of the harbor. The SNPRM published on February 29, 2016 proposed a smaller special anchorage area that allows vessel traffic to pass safely on all sides of the designated anchorage and also amends the note to update authority to the Marina del Rey Harbor Master for prescribing local regulation for mooring and boating activities in the area. A public meeting regarding the revised proposal in the SNPRM was held on April 12, 2016. No members of the public attended this meeting. The Federal Register announcement for the meeting was delayed due to administrative errors and was not available for review until after the meeting. However, the meeting was advertised locally and through direct outreach. The online comments for the docket were open until April 30, 2016; no comments were made to the docket during this time period. In light of the delayed announcement by the Federal Register, the Coast Guard reopened the docket for comments on July 15, 2016 to allow for an extended period of public comment. Seven comments were received during this time; four via the online docket and three via email bringing the total number to 51 written submissions to the docket. Two comments were identical and appear to have been incorrectly filed in the docket, as they addressed concerns with a proposed anchorage on the east coast and were unrelated to the anchorage in Marina del Rey. One comment supported the proposal, citing safety concerns due to the increasing number of waterway users. One comment to the docket and three email comments opposed disestablishment of the Marina del Rey anchorage due to there not being an alternate anchorage site for safe harbor in the area and the comments also expressed concern regarding future development. These comments appear to reference the original NPRM, proposing removal of the anchorage, not the most recent SNPRM, proposing retention of the anchorage area with an amended size and shape of the anchorage. The Coast Guard is retaining the anchorage but is changing the shape and size of the anchorage area to allow for safer transit around the anchorage for recreational traffic. The reconfiguration of the anchorage area does not accommodate further development as it more clearly delineates the navigation channel on either side of the anchorage. Nothing in this regulation prevents vessels from anchoring due to emergency situations.

    This final rule will decrease the size of the current anchorage in Marina del Rey Harbor. The anchorage is currently a trapezoid-shaped anchorage of approximately 0.48 square nautical miles. The Coast Guard is changing the shape of the anchorage from a trapezoid to a rectangular shape and reducing the size from 0.48 to 0.11 square nautical miles. The revised anchorage will be moved to the middle of the channel across from Burton Chace Park with its northern boundary line extending from approximately the midpoint of Basin G south to the midpoint of Basin H. The anchorage dimensions will be 1,154 feet in length by 365 feet in width. The distance from the closest shore-side dock to the anchorage boundary will be approximately 243 feet. The anchorage boundaries are described, using precise coordinates, in the final regulatory text at the end of this document.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and Executive Orders.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders.

    The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposed rule will not be significant to the maritime and local community. The existing anchorage is currently used only in emergency circumstances and this final rule will not significantly reduce the number of vessels using the anchorage.

    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. This final rule may affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: Owners or operators of recreational vessels that have a need to anchor in Marina del Rey special anchorage area.

    This final rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although this rule will decrease the size of the special anchorage area, the dimensions provide sufficient room for vessels to anchor without presenting a hazard to vessels transiting in the channel.

    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.

    This rule has no tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969.42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f, and have concluded that this action is one of the category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the amendment of a currently-existing anchorage area. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(f) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction M16475.1D. A final environmental analysis checklist and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are 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 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 110

    Anchorage grounds.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 110 as follows:

    PART 110—ANCHORAGE REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 471, 1221 through 1236, 2071; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.01.

    2. Revise §  110.111 to read as follows:
    §  110.111 Marina del Rey Harbor, Calif.

    An area in the main channel encompassed within the following described boundaries: Beginning at the northeasterly corner in position latitude 33°58′41.6″ N., longitude 118°26′50.8″ W.; thence southerly to latitude 33°58′30.2″ N., longitude 118°26′50.8″ W.; thence westerly to latitude 33°58′30.2″ N., longitude 118°26′55.1″ W.; thence northerly to latitude 33°58′41.6″ N., longitude 118°26′55.1″ W.; thence easterly to the point of origin. All coordinates referenced North American Datum 1983.

    Note to 110.111:

    The Marina del Rey Harbor Master, Los Angeles County, prescribes local regulations for mooring and boating activities in this area.

    Dated: December 2, 2016 T.A. Sokalzuk Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-31996 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    POSTAL SERVICE 39 CFR Part 265 Production or Disclosure of Material or Information AGENCY:

    Postal Service.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Postal Service® (Postal Service) is responding to public comments regarding the amendment of its regulations concerning compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to implement the changes to the procedures for the disclosure of records and for engaging in dispute resolution required by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. Upon review and evaluation of such comments, the Postal Service has found that one change to the regulations is necessary.

    DATES:

    Effective date: January 10, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Natalie A. Bonanno, Chief Counsel, Federal Compliance, natalie.a.bon[email protected], (202) 268-2944.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On November 30, 2016 (81 FR 86270), the Postal Service published notice of amendments to 39 CFR part 265 to implement changes required by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (FOIAIA), Public Law 114-185 (June 30, 2016). These changes were effective on December 27, 2016.

    In response to this notice, we received comments that generally supported the amendments to the regulations, but questioned the definition of a “representative of the news media” in the regulations. The Postal Service has reviewed these comments, and has concluded that one change should be made to the definition in question.

    Our responses to the comments received, as grouped and categorized for convenience, are as follows.

    Question 1: Why did the Postal Service fail to eliminate the “organized and operated” standard from the definition of a representative of the news media in 39 CFR part 265.9(b)(8) in accordance with 5 U.S.C. part 552(a)(4)(a), recent case law, and the Open Government Act of 2007?

    Answer: Thank you for bringing this our attention. We will eliminate the “organized and operated” standard from the definition of a representative of the news media in 39 CFR 265.9(b)(8).

    Question 2: Why did the Postal Service fail to eliminate the requirement that a news media requester use “editorial skills” to turn “raw materials” into a “distinct work” as a “simple press release commenting on records” would satisfy this criterion?

    Answer: Such a change would be inconsistent with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(a), and the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy's template regulations for agencies. In addition, eliminating the “editorial skills” requirement would extend the definition from representatives of the news media with a minimal degree of professionalism to almost anyone.

    Question 3: Why did the Postal Service fail to indicate that its list of examples of news media entities is non-exhaustive in contemplation of alternative media and evolving news media formats that may include posting content to a Web site?

    Answer: Such a change would be inconsistent with the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy's template regulations for agencies. Please note that the Postal Service accounted for “news organizations that disseminate solely on the Internet” in contemplation of evolving news media formats in 39 CFR 265.9(b)(8).

    List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 265

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Freedom of information, Government employees.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Postal Service amends 39 CFR part 265 as follows:

    PART 265—PRODUCTION OR DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL OR INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 265 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. App. 3; 39 U.S.C. 401, 403, 410, 1001, 2601; Pub. L. 114-185.

    2. Revise the first sentence of § 265.9(b)(8) to read as follows:
    § 265.9 Fees.

    (b) * * *

    (8) Representative of the news media is any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. * * *

    Stanley F. Mires, Attorney, Federal Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00106 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0487; FRL-9954-53] Butanedioic Acid, 2-Methylene-, Telomer With Sodium Phosphinate (1:1), Acidified, Potassium Salts; Tolerance Exemption AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation. Itaconix submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts on food or feed commodities.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective January 10, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before March 13, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0487, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. Can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0487 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before March 13, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0487, 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 CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets. II. Background and Statutory Findings

    In the Federal Register of October 18, 2016 (Vol. 81, 71668) (FRL-9952-19), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, announcing the receipt of a pesticide petition (PP 10922) filed by Itaconix, 2 Marin Way, Stratham, NH 03885. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.960 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts; CAS Reg. No. 1663489-14-2. That document included a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner and solicited comments on the petitioner's request. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing. Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the exemption is “safe.” Section 408(c)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and use in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue . . .” and specifies factors EPA is to consider in establishing an exemption.

    III. Risk Assessment and Statutory Findings

    EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only in those cases where it can be shown that the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable circumstances will pose no appreciable risks to human health. In order to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the inert in conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to determine that a finite tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance may be established.

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action and considered its validity, completeness and reliability and the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. In the case of certain chemical substances that are defined as polymers, the Agency has established a set of criteria to identify categories of polymers expected to present minimal or no risk. The definition of a polymer is given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and the exclusion criteria for identifying these low-risk polymers are described in 40 CFR 723.250(d). Butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts conforms to the definition of a polymer given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and meets the following criteria that are used to identify low-risk polymers.

    1. The polymer is not a cationic polymer nor is it reasonably anticipated to become a cationic polymer in a natural aquatic environment.

    2. The polymer does contain as an integral part of its composition the atomic elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

    3. The polymer does not contain as an integral part of its composition, except as impurities, any element other than those listed in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(2)(ii).

    4. The polymer is neither designed nor can it be reasonably anticipated to substantially degrade, decompose, or depolymerize.

    5. The polymer is manufactured or imported from monomers and/or reactants that are already included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory or manufactured under an applicable TSCA section 5 exemption.

    6. The polymer is not a water absorbing polymer with a number average molecular weight (MW) greater than or equal to 10,000 daltons.

    Additionally, the polymer also meets as required the following exemption criteria specified in 40 CFR 723.250(e).

    7. The polymer's number average MW is greater than 1,000 and less than 10,000 daltons. The polymer contains less than 10% oligomeric material below MW 500 and less than 25% oligomeric material below MW 1,000, and the polymer does not contain any reactive functional groups.

    Thus, butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts meets the criteria for a polymer to be considered low risk under 40 CFR 723.250. Based on its conformance to the criteria in this unit, no mammalian toxicity is anticipated from dietary, inhalation, or dermal exposure to butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts.

    IV. Aggregate Exposures

    For the purposes of assessing potential exposure under this exemption, EPA considered that butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts could be present in all raw and processed agricultural commodities and drinking water, and that non-occupational non-dietary exposure was possible. The minimum number average MW of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salt is 3800 daltons. Generally, a polymer of this size would be poorly absorbed through the intact gastrointestinal tract or through intact human skin. Since butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salt conforms to the criteria that identify a low-risk polymer, there are no concerns for risks associated with any potential exposure scenarios that are reasonably foreseeable. The Agency has determined that a tolerance is not necessary to protect the public health.

    V. Cumulative Effects From Substances With a Common Mechanism of Toxicity

    Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    EPA has not found butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    VI. Additional Safety Factor for the Protection of Infants and Children

    Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the data base unless EPA concludes that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. Due to the expected low toxicity of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts, EPA has not used a safety factor analysis to assess the risk. For the same reasons the additional tenfold safety factor is unnecessary.

    VII. Determination of Safety

    Based on the conformance to the criteria used to identify a low-risk polymer, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts.

    VIII. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes since the Agency is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance without any numerical limitation.

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established a MRL for butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts.

    IX. Conclusion

    Accordingly, EPA finds that exempting residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salts from the requirement of a tolerance will be safe.

    X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes a tolerance under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    XI. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: November 18, 2016. Michael Goodis, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In § 180.960, add alphabetically the polymer in the table to read as follows:
    §  180.960 Polymers; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance. Polymer CAS No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, telomer with sodium phosphinate (1:1), acidified, potassium salt minimum number average molecular weight (in amu), 3800 1663489-14-2 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-31830 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0695; FRL-9955-74] Tetraconazole; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of tetraconazole in or on vegetable, fruiting (Crop Group 8-10) at 0.30 parts per million (ppm) and vegetable, cucurbit (Crop Group 9) at 0.15 ppm and revises the tolerance for residues on beet, sugar, root; beet, sugar, dried pulp; and beet, sugar molasses. Isagro S.P.A. (d/b/a Isagro USA, Inc.) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective January 10, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before March 13, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0695, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0695 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before March 13, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0695, 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 CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14030) (FRL-9942-86), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5F8400) by Isagro S.P.A. (d/b/a Isagro USA, Inc.), 430 Davis Drive, Suite 240, Morrisville, NC 27560. That document provided notice that the petition requested that 40 CFR 180.557 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the fungicide tetraconazole, in or on Vegetable, Fruiting (Crop Group 8-10) at 0.30 parts per million (ppm) and Vegetable, Cucurbit (Crop Group 9) at 0.15 ppm. In the Federal Register of August 29, 2016 (81 FR 59165) (FRL-9950-22), EPA issued another document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the remainder of that petition requesting revision of the existing tolerances for tetraconazole residues on beet, sugar, root to 0.15 ppm; beet, sugar, dried pulp to 0.20 ppm; and beet, sugar molasses to 0.25 ppm. Those documents referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Isagro S.P.A. (d/b/a Isagro USA, Inc.), the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to these notices of filing.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for tetraconazole including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with tetraconazole follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. The liver and kidney are the primary target organs of tetraconazole in all species in oral toxicity studies of sub-chronic and chronic durations. Following long-term oral exposure, tetraconazole caused liver tumors in mice in both sexes. In the acute neurotoxicity study, loss of motor activity in both sexes, and clinical signs including hunched posture, decreased defecation, and/or red or yellow material on various body surfaces were observed in females. There was no evidence of immunotoxicity or neurotoxicity following sub-chronic exposure. There were no systemic effects observed in the 21-day dermal toxicity study up to the highest dose tested. Tetraconazole did not show evidence of mutagenicity in in vitro or in vivo studies.

    Oral rat and rabbit developmental toxicity studies showed no increased susceptibility of fetuses to tetraconazole. Maternal toxicity (decreased body weight gain and food consumption, increased water intake and increased liver and kidney weights) and developmental toxicity (increased incidence of small fetuses, supernumerary ribs and hydroureter and hydronephrosis) occurred at the same dose level in the rat study. No developmental toxicity was seen in the rabbit study, whereas maternal toxicity (decreased body weight gain) was noted at the highest dose tested. Similarly, there was no evidence of increased susceptibility of offspring in the 2-generation rat reproduction study.

    In contrast to the oral studies where the most sensitive effects were in the liver and kidney, inhalation exposure of tetraconazole to rats resulted in portal-of-entry effects including; squamous cell metaplasia of the laryngeal mucous, mono-nuclear cell infiltration, goblet cell hyperplasia, hypertrophy of the nasal cavity and nasopharyngeal duct, and follicular hypertrophy of the thyroid in males. At the highest concentration tested, there were treatment-related increases in absolute lung weights in both sexes. Since the last risk assessment, a 28-day in vivo cancer mode-of-action study in mice was submitted and reviewed leading to the re-evaluation of tetraconazole's cancer potential and classification. EPA has now classified tetraconazole as “Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans at levels that do not cause increased cell proliferation in the liver.” Quantification of carcinogenic potential is not required.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by tetraconazole as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document “Human Health Risk Assessment for the Section 3 Registration for Application to Fruiting Vegetables (Crop Group 8) and Cucurbit Vegetables (Crop Group 9) and Amending the Sugar Beet Application Scenario and Tolerance” in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0695.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for tetraconazole used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Tetraconazole for Use in Human Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure
  • and uncertainty/
  • safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for
  • risk assessment
  • Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (Females 13-50 years of age) NOAEL = 22.5 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 0.225 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 0.225 mg/kg/day
  • Developmental toxicity study (rat).
  • Developmental LOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day based on increased incidence of small fetuses, supernumerary ribs, and hydroureter and hydronephrosis.
  • Acute dietary (General population including infants and children) NOAEL = 50 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 0.5 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 0.5 mg/kg/day
  • Acute neurotoxicity (rat).
  • LOAEL = 200 mg/kg/day due to decreased motor activity on day 0 in both sexes, and clinical signs in females including hunched posture, decreased defecation, and/or red or yellow material on various body surfaces.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL = 0.73 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.0073 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.0073 mg/kg/day
  • Chronic oral toxicity (dog).
  • LOAEL = 2.95/3.33 (M/F) mg/kg/day, based on absolute and relative kidney weights and histopathological changes in the male kidney.
  • Dermal short-term (1 to 30 days) and dermal intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) No hazard identified and therefore quantification is not required. There are no developmental concerns via the dermal route and no systemic toxicity was seen following dermal exposure. Inhalation short-term (1 to 30 days) and inhalation intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) * NOAEL not established
  • UFA = 3x
  • UFH = 10x
  • UFL = 10x
  • LOC = 300 28-Day Inhalation toxicity—rat.
  • LOAEL = 1.3 mg/kg/day (0.0048 mg/kg/L, 0.0548 mg/L (rat)) for males and females, based on squamous cell metaplasia of laryngeal mucous, mononuclear cell infiltration, goblet hyperplasia and hypertrophy of nasal cavity and nasopharyngeal duct and follicular hypertrophy of thyroid in males.
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) Classification: “Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans at levels that do not cause increased cell proliferation in the liver.” Quantification of carcinogenic potential is not required (TXR #0056628, J. Rowland et al., 2-Apr-2013). FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies). UFL = use of a LOAEL to extrapolate a NOAEL.
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to tetraconazole, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing tetraconazole tolerances in 40 CFR 180.557. EPA assessed dietary exposures from tetraconazole in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure. Such effects were identified for tetraconazole. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). This dietary survey was conducted from 2003 to 2008. As to residue levels in food, EPA utilized the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model software with the Food Commodity Intake Database DEEM-FCID, Version 3.16 default processing factors and tolerance-level residues and 100 percent crop treated (PCT) for all commodities.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA NHANES/WWEIA dietary survey conducted from 2003 to 2008. As to residue levels in food, EPA utilized residue data from field trials and feeding studies to obtain average residues and assumed the PCT figures provided below. Empirically derived processing factors were used in these assessments when available

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that tetraconazole does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

    iv. Anticipated Residues and Percent Crop Treated (PCT) information. Section 408(b)(2)(E) of FFDCA authorizes EPA to use available data and information on the anticipated residue levels of pesticide residues in food and the actual levels of pesticide residues that have been measured in food. If EPA relies on such information, EPA must require pursuant to FFDCA section 408(f)(1) that data be provided 5 years after the tolerance is established, modified, or left in effect, demonstrating that the levels in food are not above the levels anticipated. For the present action, EPA will issue such data call-ins as are required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(E) and authorized under FFDCA section 408(f)(1). Data will be required to be submitted no later than 5 years from the date of issuance of these tolerances.

    100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities for the acute analysis. The chronic analysis used percent crop treated for new uses (PCTn).

    Section 408(b)(2)(F) of FFDCA states that the Agency may use data on the actual percent of food treated for assessing chronic dietary risk only if:

    • Condition a: The data used are reliable and provide a valid basis to show what percentage of the food derived from such crop is likely to contain the pesticide residue.

    • Condition b: The exposure estimate does not underestimate exposure for any significant subpopulation group.

    • Condition c: Data are available on pesticide use and food consumption in a particular area, the exposure estimate does not understate exposure for the population in such area.

    In addition, the Agency must provide for periodic evaluation of any estimates used. To provide for the periodic evaluation of the estimate of PCT as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(F), EPA may require registrants to submit data on PCT.

    The Agency estimated the PCT for existing uses as follows:

    Sugarbeet, 70%; field corn, 9%; and soybean, 5%.

    In most cases, EPA uses available data from United States Department of Agriculture/National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS), proprietary market surveys, and the National Pesticide Use Database for the chemical/crop combination for the most recent 6-7 years. EPA uses an average PCT for chronic dietary risk analysis. The average PCT figure for each existing use is derived by combining available public and private market survey data for that use, averaging across all observations, and rounding to the nearest 5%, except for those situations in which the average PCT is less than one. In those cases, 1% is used as the average PCT and 2.5% is used as the maximum PCT.

    The Agency believes that the three conditions discussed in Unit III.C.1.iv. have been met. With respect to Condition a, PCT estimates are derived from Federal and private market survey data, which are reliable and have a valid basis. The Agency is reasonably certain that the percentage of the food treated is not likely to be an underestimation. As to Conditions b and c, regional consumption information and consumption information for significant subpopulations is taken into account through EPA's computer-based model for evaluating the exposure of significant subpopulations including several regional groups. Use of this consumption information in EPA's risk assessment process ensures that EPA's exposure estimate does not understate exposure for any significant subpopulation group and allows the Agency to be reasonably certain that no regional population is exposed to residue levels higher than those estimated by the Agency. Other than the data available through national food consumption surveys, EPA does not have available reliable information on the regional consumption of food to which tetraconazole may be applied in a particular area.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for tetraconazole in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of tetraconazole. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

    Based on the Pesticide Root Zone Model/Exposure Analysis Modeling System (PRZM/EXAMS) and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW), the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of tetraconazole for acute exposures are estimated to be 11 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 120 ppb for ground water. The estimated EDWCs of tetraconazole for chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 5.5 ppb for surface water and 118 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model.

    For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 120 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 118 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). Tetraconazole is not registered for any specific use patterns that would result in residential exposure.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    Tetraconazole is a member of the triazole-containing class of pesticides. Although conazoles act similarly in plants (fungi) by inhibiting ergosterol biosynthesis, there is not necessarily a relationship between their pesticidal activity and their mechanism of toxicity in mammals. Structural similarities do not constitute a common mechanism of toxicity. Evidence is needed to establish that the chemicals operate by the same, or essentially the same, sequence of major biochemical events (EPA, 2002). In the case of conazoles, however, a variable pattern of toxicological responses is found. Some are hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogenic in mice. Some induce thyroid tumors in rats. Some induce developmental, reproductive, and neurological effects in rodents. Furthermore, the conazoles produce a diverse range of biochemical events including altered cholesterol levels, stress responses, and altered DNA methylation. It is not clearly understood whether these biochemical events are directly connected to their toxicological outcomes. Thus, there is currently no evidence to indicate that tetraconazole shares a common mechanism of toxicity with any other conazole pesticide, and EPA is not following a cumulative risk approach for this tolerance action. For information regarding EPA's procedures for cumulating effects from substances found to have a common mechanism of toxicity, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

    Tetraconazole is a triazole-derived pesticide. This class of compounds can form the common metabolite 1,2,4-triazole and two triazole conjugates (triazolylalanine and triazolylacetic acid). To support existing tolerances and to establish new tolerances for triazole-derivative pesticides, including tetraconazole, EPA conducted a human health risk assessment for exposure to 1,2,4-triazole, triazolylalanine, and triazolylacetic acid resulting from the use of all current and pending uses of any triazole-derived fungicide. The risk assessment is a highly conservative, screening-level evaluation in terms of hazards associated with common metabolites (e.g., use of a maximum combination of uncertainty factors) and potential dietary and non-dietary exposures (i.e., high end estimates of both dietary and non-dietary exposures). The Agency retained a 3X for the LOAEL to NOAEL safety factor when the reproduction study was used. In addition, the Agency retained a 10X for the lack of studies including a developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) study. The assessment includes evaluations of risks for various subgroups, including those comprised of infants and children. The Agency's complete risk assessment is found in the propiconazole reregistration docket at http://www.regulations.gov/, Docket Identification (ID) Number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0497.

    An updated dietary exposure and risk analysis for the common triazole metabolites 1,2,4-triazole (T), triazolylalanine (TA), triazolylacetic acid (TAA), and triazolylpyruvic acid (TP) was completed on April 9, 2015, in association with registration requests for several triazole fungicides, propiconazole, difenoconazole, and flutriafol. The requested new uses of tetraconazole did not significantly change the dietary exposure estimates for free triazole or conjugated triazoles. Therefore, an updated dietary exposure analysis was not conducted. The April 9, 2015 update for triazoles may be found in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0788.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. There are no residual uncertainties for pre- and post-natal toxicity. There is no evidence of increased quantitative susceptibility of rat or rabbit fetuses to in utero exposure to tetraconazole. There is evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility to fetuses in the rat prenatal developmental toxicity study (increased incidences of supernumerary ribs, and hydroureter and hydronephrosis). The LOC is low however because the fetal effects were seen at the same dose as the maternal effects, a clear NOAEL was established, the developmental NOAEL from a study in rats is being used as the POD for the acute dietary endpoint (females 13-49 years of age), and there were no developmental effects in the rabbit study. There is also no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility to offspring in the two-generation reproduction study.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1X. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for tetraconazole is complete.

    ii. There were effects indicative of neurotoxicity in the acute neurotoxicity study in rats. However, the level of concern (LOC) is low since a clear NOAEL was established which is being used in endpoint selection. Furthermore, the dose at which these neurotoxic effects were observed is 2 to 100-fold higher than the primary effects seen in the other studies in the database (liver and kidney). After preliminary review, a sub-chronic neurotoxicity study has shown no evidence for neurotoxicity. Finally, there are no other signs of neurotoxicity in any of the other studies in the database. Therefore, there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional uncertainty factors (UFs) to account for neurotoxicity.

    iii. There is no evidence that tetraconazole results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study. There is evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility to fetuses in the rat prenatal developmental toxicity study (increased incidences of supernumerary ribs, and hydroureter and hydronephrosis). The LOC is low however because:

    • The fetal effects were seen at the same dose as the maternal effects,

    • a clear NOAEL was established,

    • the developmental NOAEL from a study in rats is being used as the POD for the acute dietary endpoint (females 13-49 years of age), and

    • there were no developmental effects in the rabbit study. There is also no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility to offspring in the two-generation reproduction study.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. There are no residual uncertainties identified for pre- and post-natal toxicity in the exposure databases. Tolerance-level residues, 100 PCT, and modeled water estimates were incorporated into the acute dietary exposure analysis. Therefore, the acute analysis is highly conservative. The chronic and cancer dietary exposure analyses utilized empirical processing factors, average field trial residues, average residues from the feeding studies, percent crop treated estimates, and modeled drinking water estimates. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to tetraconazole in drinking water. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by tetraconazole.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to tetraconazole will occupy 4.6% of the aPAD for all infants (<1 year old), the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to tetraconazole from food and water will utilize 92% of the cPAD for all infants (<1 year old) the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for tetraconazole

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). A short-term adverse effect was identified; however, tetraconazole is not registered for any use patterns that would result in short-term residential exposure. Short-term risk is assessed based on short-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no short-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess short-term risk), no further assessment of short-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating short-term risk for tetraconazole.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). An intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, tetraconazole is not registered for any use patterns that would result in intermediate-term residential exposure. Intermediate-term risk is assessed based on intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess intermediate-term risk), no further assessment of intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating intermediate-term risk for tetraconazole.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. As discussed in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that tetraconazole is “Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans at levels that do not cause increased cell proliferation in the liver.” Because the chronic endpoint is protective of cell proliferation in the liver, there is not likely to be a cancer risk from exposure to tetraconazole.

    6. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to tetraconazole residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate analytical methods are available to enforce the currently established tetraconazole plant and livestock tolerances (D280006, W. Donovan, 10-Jan-2002, D267481, 12-Oct-2000; D278236, W. Donovan, 22-Oct-2001). Isagro has also submitted adequate method validation and independent laboratory validation (ILV) data which indicates that the QuEChERS multi-residue method L00.00-115 (48135104.der) is capable of quantifying tetraconazole residues in/on a variety of fruit, cereal grain, root, oilseed, and livestock commodities.

    The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established a MRL for tetraconazole.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-for Tolerances

    EPA revised two commodity definitions for vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 and vegetable, cucurbit, group 9.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of tetraconazole, in or on vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 0.30 ppm and vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 at 0.15 ppm and revised for beet, sugar, root; beet, sugar, dried pulp; and beet, sugar, molasses.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    VII. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 14, 2016. Daniel J. Rosenblatt, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In the table in paragraph (a) of § 180.557: a. Revise the commodities of “Beet, sugar, dried pulp”, “Beet, sugar, molasses”, and “Beet, sugar, root”; and b. Add alphabetically the commodities of “Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9” and “Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10” to read as follows:
    § 180.557 Tetraconazole; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per million *    *    *    *    *     Beet, sugar, dried pulp 0.20 Beet, sugar, molasses 0.25 Beet, sugar, root 0.15 *    *    *    *    *     Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 0.15 Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 0.30
    [FR Doc. 2016-31824 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management 43 CFR Part 3160 [WO-300-L13100000.PP0000] RIN 1004-AE37 Onshore Oil and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; Onshore Oil and Gas Order Number 1, Approval of Operations AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hereby amends its existing Onshore Oil and Gas Order Number 1 (Onshore Order 1) to require the electronic filing (or e-filing) of all Applications for Permit to Drill (APD) and Notices of Staking (NOS). Previously, Onshore Order 1 stated that an “operator must file an APD or any other required documents in the BLM Field Office having jurisdiction over the lands described in the application,” but allowed for e-filing of such documents as an alternative. This change makes e-filing the required method of submission, subject to limited exceptions. The BLM is making this change to improve the efficiency and transparency of the APD and NOS processes.

    DATES:

    The final Order is effective on February 9, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Wells, Division Chief, Fluid Minerals Division, 202-912-7143 for information regarding the substance of the final Order or information about the BLM's Fluid Minerals Program. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individuals during normal business hours. The Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to leave a message or question with the above individuals. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background II. Discussion of Final Order, Section-by-Section Analysis, and Response to Comments III. Procedural Matters I. Background

    The BLM regulations governing onshore oil and gas operations are found at 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 3160, Onshore Oil and Gas Operations. Section 3164.1 provides for the issuance of Onshore Oil and Gas Orders to implement and supplement the regulations found in part 3160. Onshore Order 1 has been in effect since October 21, 1983, and was most recently revised in 2007 (see 72 FR 10308 (March 7, 2007)) as part of a joint effort with the Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service (FS), in response to new requirements imposed under Section 366 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

    On July 29, 2016, the BLM published in the Federal Register a proposed Order that would revise sections III.A., III.C., III.E., and III.I. in Onshore Order 1. The Order proposed to require e-filing of all APDs and NOSs. The comment period for the proposed Order closed on August 28, 2016. This final Order adopts all of the revisions identified in the proposed Order.

    Through this change, the BLM modifies Onshore Order 1 to require operators to submit NOSs and APDs through the e-filing system, Automated Fluid Mineral's Support System (AFMSS II), as opposed to the previous system, which allowed either hardcopy or electronic submission. Under the final Order, the BLM will consider granting waivers to the e-filing requirement for individuals who request a waiver because they would experience hardship if required to e-file (e.g., if an operator is prevented from e-filing or is in a situation that would make e-filing so difficult to perform that it would significantly delay an operator's APD submission).

    The change to Onshore Order 1 that the BLM is implementing in this final Order will not affect other provisions of Onshore Order 1 that are not discussed in this preamble or this final rulemaking, including the Onshore Order 1 provisions relating to the roles and responsibilities of the FS that are outlined in the 2007 rule. As a matter of practice, the FS will have the same access to the BLM's e-filing system and the same user privileges as BLM employees to process APDs and NOSs electronically for wells proposed on National Forest Service (NFS) lands.

    An APD is a request to drill an oil or gas well on Federal or Indian lands. An operator must have an approved APD prior to drilling. Prior to submitting an APD, an applicant may file an NOS requesting the BLM to conduct an onsite review of an operator's proposed oil and gas drilling project. The purpose of an NOS is to provide the operator with an opportunity to gather information and better address site-specific resource concerns associated with a project while preparing its APD package. Operators are not required to submit an NOS prior to filing an APD.

    The BLM has recently experienced a decrease in the number of APDs received due to changes in market conditions. Since 2009, the BLM received an average of about 5,000 APDs per year for wells on Federal and Indian lands, of which Indian lands account for about 16%. In FY 2015, the BLM received approximately 4,500 APDs. From October 1, 2015, through the end of September 2016 (FY 2016), the BLM estimates that it received only approximately 1,600 APDs. In coming years, due to the recent drop in oil prices and persistently low natural gas prices, the BLM conservatively estimates that an average of 3,000 APDs will be submitted per year. The BLM anticipates these market conditions to continue for the near term.

    The available data show that use of the BLM's e-filing system for APDs and NOSs is common and broad-based among operators, and therefore is not a novel concept. Specifically, over the last few years, roughly half of the APDs submitted to the BLM were submitted using the e-filing system (Well Information System, or WIS). The other half of the APDs were submitted in hard copy. More importantly, the data show that the use of e-filing has increased over time, with the rate nearly doubling from 26 percent in FY 2010 to 51 percent in FY 2014. As of 2014, approximately 411 operators had used the BLM's WIS to e-file NOSs, APDs, well completion reports, sundry notices, and other application materials. Those operators represent an estimated 85 percent of the operators that conduct drilling and completion operations on Federal and Indian leases nationwide.

    The BLM's WIS system is a web-based application that operators could use to submit permit applications and other types of information electronically over the Internet. This includes APDs and NOSs, but also well completion reports and sundry notices. The WIS system is an extension of the BLM's current Automated Fluid Minerals Support System (AFMSS), which the BLM uses to track various types of oil and gas information on Federal and Indian lands, including the processing of NOSs and APDs.

    Automated Fluid Minerals Support System II

    Since 2013, the BLM has been developing and deploying updates to its Automated Fluid Minerals Support System in order to gain efficiencies for both government and industry users of the system. The updated system, known as AFMSS II, is being implemented based on modules that will manage different types of data for the BLM's oil and gas program, such as NOSs and APDs, well completion reports, sundry notices, and inspection and enforcement-related operations. The NOS/APD module is the first module developed as part of the update, which phased in beginning in December 2015. As part of the phase in, the BLM conducted training for its staff and operators in order to understand how to use the new module. The NOS/APD module within AFMSS II replaces that portion of the WIS system that allowed operators to submit NOSs and APDs electronically over the internet. Once all the modules that will manage data from the existing system have been deployed for AFMSS II, the old version of AFMSS will be decommissioned. As of the date of this final Order, the NOS/APD module is fully operational with the NOS/APD component of WIS now phased out. The NOS/APD module is ready to meet the demand of an increase in APD e-filing that is likely to result from this final Order.

    Efficiency and Transparency

    The goal of the AFMSS II system and the amendments to Onshore Order 1 is to improve operational efficiency and transparency in the processing of APDs and NOSs by requiring operators to use BLM's updated e-filing system as the default approach to APD and NOS filing. Although data show that voluntary use of the e-filing system has increased over time, this Order is necessary to move towards 100 percent electronic APD and NOS submission.

    This shift to e-filing presents potential advantages to operators, including operators owned by individual Indian tribes,1 because the new AFMSS II system is expected to streamline the APD and NOS application process. The system will expedite processing and enhance transparency, resulting in savings to both operators and the U.S. Government by:

    1 In some cases, operators are companies owned by individual Indian tribes. Such companies are usually established to produce the minerals owned by the tribe and, thus, are operated for the benefit of the tribe.

    • Reducing the number of applications with deficiencies by providing users the ability to identify and correct errors through automatic error notifications generated prior to the submission process;

    • Automatically populating data fields based on users' previously submitted information;

    • Allowing operators to electronically track the progress of their application throughout the BLM review process; and

    • Facilitating the use of pre-approved plans, such as Master Development Plans and Master Leasing Plans that have already been input into the system.

    The AFMSS II system was developed in response to the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) and the Department of the Interior Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) recommendations in GAO report 13-572 (GAO-13-572) and OIG report CR-EV-MOA-0003-2013 (Report No. CR-EV-MOA-0003-2013). Both reports recommended that the BLM ensure that all key dates associated with the processing of APDs are completely and accurately entered and retained in AFMSS, and in any new system that replaces AFMSS, to help assess whether the BLM is meeting applicable processing deadlines and identify ways to improve the efficiency of the APD review process. Additionally, the OIG report recommends that the BLM: (1) Develop, implement, enforce, and report performance timelines for APD processing; (2) Develop outcome-based performance measures for the APD process that help enable management to improve productivity; and (3) Ensure that the modifications to AFMSS enable accurate and consistent data entry, effective workflow management, efficient APD processing, and APD tracking at the BLM Field Office level. The NOS/APD module developed for AFMSS II addresses these recommendations from the GAO and OIG.

    II. Discussion of Final Order, Section-by-Section Analysis, and Response to Comments

    This final order revises existing Onshore Order 1, which primarily supplements 43 CFR 3162.3 and 3162.5. Section 3162.3 covers conduct of operations, section 3162.3-1 covers applications to drill on a lease, section 3162.3-2 covers subsequent well operations, section 3162.3-3 covers other lease operations, and section 3162.3-4 covers well abandonment. Section 3162.5 covers environment and safety obligations.

    The BLM received 5 comments on the proposed Order, from trade organizations, members of industry, and non-governmental organizations.

    This section of the preamble describes the changes that the BLM is making to three existing provisions of Order 1. The BLM is making only slight modifications to these sections. However, to provide context for the changes, we have included the three complete sections, which are entitled, Where to File an APD, Where to File an NOS, and APD Posting. This Order does not make any changes to these subsections beyond those detailed below.

    Where to File an APD

    The final order modifies subsection III.A. to require operators to file APDs using the BLM's electronic commerce application, AFMSS II, for oil and gas permitting and reporting. Through this revision, the BLM will move toward an electronic submission rate of 100 percent. In the past, the BLM has received a portion of the APDs electronically and a portion in hard copy, which introduced a number of inefficiencies and necessitated multiple records management systems. This process change will help to eliminate those problems. In addition, the BLM believes that requiring submission through the e-filing system will improve processing times, public participation, and transparency. The BLM did not make any changes to this section between the proposed and final Order because it did not receive any comments on section III.A., and the agency did not have any independent reason to make a change as part of the final Order.

    Where to File an NOS

    Likewise, if an operator chooses to file an NOS, final Section III.C. requires operators to file NOSs using the BLM's e-filing system, the APD module of AFMSS II, for oil and gas permitting and reporting. As with APDs, receiving a portion of the NOSs electronically and a portion in hard copy introduced a number of inefficiencies that necessitated multiple records management systems. The BLM hopes that moving towards a 100-percent electronic submission rate for NOSs will eliminate those inefficiencies.

    The BLM received one comment on section III.C. that suggested that the BLM increase the time allowed for operators to submit an APD after completing an on-site inspection for an associated NOS. Under the existing requirements of section III.C. of Order 1, if an operator elects to submit an NOS prior to submitting an APD and conducts an on-site inspection based on the NOS, the operator must submit the APD associated with that NOS within 60 days after conducting the onsite inspection. Failure to submit the APD within 60 days of the onsite inspection will result in the NOS being returned to the operator. The commenter recommended extending this timeframe from 60 days to 90 days, because previous analyses conducted by the commenter indicated that 60 days did not afford enough time to complete the APD submission process. This comment is outside the scope of the revisions to Order 1, which pertain only to the e-filing of APDs and NOSs.

    APD Posting

    Section III.E.1. of the pre-existing Onshore Order 1 already required the BLM to post information about the APD or NOS in an area of the local BLM Field Office that is readily accessible to the public. The pre-existing section III.E.1 also called for that information to be posted on the Internet when possible, though it was not required. Some offices were already posting information about APDs and NOSs on their local BLM Field Office Web sites. Final section III.E.1. of the final Order continues to require the BLM to post information about the APD or NOS in a publicly accessible area of the local BLM Field Office having jurisdiction. Final section III.E.1., also provides that the BLM will post information about the APD or NOS for Federal oil and gas leases on the Internet. This change will increase consistency, transparency, and efficiency for both operators who file APD submissions and the public. The information that the BLM posts online about APDs and NOSs will be consistent with what is already identified in 43 CFR 3162.3-1(g) and will not conflict with the BLM's statutory obligations to protect confidential business information.

    In accordance with 43 CFR 3162.3-1(g), information that will be posted online about APDs and NOSs includes: The company/operator name; the well name/number; and the well location described to the nearest quarter-quarter section (40 acres), or similar land description in the case of lands described by metes and bounds, or maps showing the affected lands and the location of all tracts to be leased, and of all leases already issued in the general area. Where the inclusion of maps in such posting is not practicable, the BLM provides maps of the affected lands available to the public for review. This posting requirement only applies to APDs or NOSs proposing to drill into and produce Federal minerals. The posting requirement derives from the Mineral Leasing Act, and does not apply to APDs or NOSs for Indian minerals, which are not made publicly available. The BLM received one comment on section III.E.1. The commenter provided a list of information that it believes the BLM should make publicly available on the Internet: Waiver applications and approvals for the e-filing requirement; APD and Master Development Plan packages (in their entirety); Geographical Information Systems data for each APD; well completion or recompletion reports; sundry notices; and a variety of other information related to the BLM's oil and gas program. Furthermore, the commenter recommended that a public portal be set up in AFMSS II to facilitate posting of this information.

    The BLM did not make a change in response to this comment because it is beyond the scope of the proposed amendments to the Order.

    Waiver From Electronic Submissions

    Section III.E.1. of the pre-existing Onshore Order 1 already required the BLM to post information about the APD or NOS in an area of the local BLM Field Office that was readily accessible to the public. The pre-existing section III.E.1 also called for that information to be posted on the Internet when possible, though it was not required. Consequently, some BLM Field Offices were already posting information about APDs and NOSs on their local BLM Field Office Web sites. Section III.I. is a new section that allows operators to request a waiver from the requirements in sections III.A. and III.C. of this Order. This section is different from section X., which addresses the requirements for requesting a variance from this Order. Unlike a variance from the other provisions or standards of Order 1, a waiver under this section is limited to the means of submission of an APD (electronic or hardcopy). A waiver under section III.I. is also different from a waiver under section XI., which addresses lease stipulations. Unlike a waiver from the requirement(s) of a lease stipulation, a waiver under this Order is not a permanent exemption from the BLM's requirement to file applications electronically.

    When submitting a waiver request under section III.I, the applicant must explain what prevents them from using the e-filing system, plans for complying with the Order's electronic submission requirement in the future, and a timeframe for compliance, all of which is subject to BLM approval. If the applicant would like the waiver to apply to a particular set of APDs or NOSs, then the request must identify the APDs or NOSs to which the waiver request applies. Otherwise, the waiver would apply to all submissions made during the compliance timeframe identified as part of the BLM's approval. The BLM will not consider an APD or NOS that the operator did not submit through the e-filing system, unless the BLM approves a waiver from the e-filing requirement under section III.I.

    Changes to Section III.I—Waiver From Electronic Submissions

    As part of the final Order, the BLM made four changes to this section in response to comments and additional internal reviews, all of which are discussed in the following paragraphs. Two changes are worth noting at the outset. First, in addition to the proposed Order's requirement to explain what prevents an operator from using the e-filing system, the final Order now also requires operators to identify what their plans are for complying with the electronic submission requirement in the future, and a timeframe for achieving compliance. Second, recognizing that it would be helpful to provide operators time after the effective date of the Order to determine whether or not they need to submit a waiver request, the BLM has delayed the compliance date for the electronic submission requirement in this Order by 30 days. During the interim period, APDs and NOSs may be submitted using existing procedures.

    The BLM received a few substantive comments on the waiver section of the proposed Order. One commenter disagreed with the need for operators to make a waiver request for every APD or NOS they file, particularly if the operator was granted a waiver from a prior request. The commenter said chances are that the same circumstances will exist with subsequent APD and NOS waiver requests. The commenter recommended that after the BLM grants a waiver, then that waiver needs to remain in force until no longer needed. The BLM did not entirely accept the commenter's recommendation because it would inject needless uncertainty as to when the applicant will start to use the electronic system. Such a provision would run counter to the BLM's efforts to bring efficiency and modernization to its permitting process. The BLM recognizes that an applicant may need to request a waiver for multiple APDs or NOSs, which is why a waiver request applies to all applications identified in the waiver request. However, the BLM also recognizes that there could be instances when not all APDs and NOSs could be identified at the time an applicant submits a waiver request. Therefore, the BLM modified this section of the final Order. Unlike the proposed Order, which required that the waiver request identify all covered applications, the final Order makes this an option for the applicant. If an applicant does not identify any specific APDs or NOSs in their waiver request, then the waiver request will apply to all submissions made by the applicant until such time as the applicant is able to come into compliance with the electronic submission requirement. The timeframe required to come into compliance is subject to BLM review as part of the waiver approval process, which addresses the BLM's concerns about open-ended waiver approvals. The options provided through this modification are expected to help eliminate delays associated with submitting multiple waiver applications.

    Another commenter stated that the Order should define the term “hardship” in order to promote consistency in the application of the waiver provision across BLM Field Offices and limit the amount of unwarranted waiver approvals. The commenter suggested that the BLM adopt language from the proposed Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation rule (Waste Prevention rule) (81 FR 6616) that states that an exemption will be approved if “compliance with this requirement would impose such costs as to cause the operator to cease production and abandon significant recoverable oil reserves under the lease.”

    The BLM did not make a change in response to the commenter's recommendation. The language cited from the proposed Waste Prevention rule, which also appears in the final Waste Prevention rule, (see 81 FR 83008 (November 18, 2016)), is meant to address circumstances in which new BLM requirements are being applied to existing well operations. In the case of these revisions to Order 1, the electronic submission requirement pertains to applications of wells not yet drilled. Moreover, we do not believe an electronic submission requirement under this rulemaking will deter an operator from deciding to drill a well or group of wells.

    However, we do believe there are conditions or circumstances that may prevent an operator from e-filing or would make e-filing so difficult to perform that it would significantly delay an operator's APD submission. For example, an operator could encounter technical problems, such as network or operating system failures, that are delaying or preventing use of the e-filing system. The BLM would evaluate such a case, and the circumstances associated with it, and determine whether it qualifies as a hardship. As previously stated in the proposed Order, however, the BLM cannot conceive of every scenario that may qualify as a hardship, which is why the Order's criteria are broad.

    Miscellaneous Comments

    The BLM received several comments expressing concern with AFMSS II's current state of implementation, noting the need for more industry training and correction of issues experienced by some users. The commenters stated that the technical problems being experienced are not necessarily significant, but are an indication that the system is not yet fully operational. While these commenters are supportive of AFMSS II and do not object to 100 percent e-filing of APDs and NOSs, they believe there is too much at stake (additional delays in approval of drilling permits) to make the use of AFMSS II a requirement right now. The commenters recommended that the BLM should transition the implementation of the APD and NOS e-filing requirement through AFMSS II for at least one year to allow for more agency staff and end-user training and until all technical flaws have been resolved.

    The BLM assessed whether the technical problems identified by the commenters related to the functionality of the system, and determined that the cases were instead related to user error rather than system error. After receiving this comment, the BLM contacted its field offices and none reported having this issue with operators under their jurisdiction. A revision to the final Order was not made in response to this comment.

    With regard to the commenter's recommendation to phase in the requirement to use the e-filing system, the BLM has in fact phased in AMFSS II over the past year and conducted numerous training for operators and BLM staff. The following table illustrates the steps taken to phase out the operation of the previous electronic permitting system, WIS, and phase in AFMSS II.

    WIS Phase-Out Schedule BLM Office transitioned out of WIS Dates Farmington, Vernal, Dickinson, Meeker, Grand Junction, Pinedale, Miles City, Great Falls Jan-Feb 2016. Durango, Canon City, Roswell, Buffalo, Newcastle, Moab, Price, Kemmerer, Salt Lake, Rawlins, Lander, Rock Springs, Anchorage, Milwaukee, Jackson, Casper, Worland, Tulsa, Bakersfield, Reno Apr-May 2016. Carlsbad/Hobbs May-Jun 2016.

    As noted in the proposed Order, the BLM has already provided training opportunities to its staff and to operators on how to use the APD module for AFMSS II. The following table outlines when that training was provided:

    Completed Training Sessions Location Dates Operator/Agent Participation Operator WebEx: BLM National Training Center Dec 2015 Over 110 operators trained/47 companies. BLM Offices Jan-May 2016 Over 230 BLM employees trained. Operator WebEx: BLM National Operations Center Mar-May 2016 Over 150 operators trained.

    Because this training captured only a specific group of individuals, the BLM also provides permanent training materials for external users that are available at all times. Operators may access materials at: http://www.ntc.blm.gov/krc/viewresource.php?courseID=869. In addition, the BLM will provide one-on-one training (delivered through Webex, demonstrations, or classroom training) whenever requested. The BLM has provided ample opportunities for AFMSS II training and will continue to do so. Therefore, the BLM did not make changes to the Order in response to this comment.

    One commenter expressed frustration with a limitation in the BLM's electronic system for paying APD fees. If an operator prefers to make payments electronically and not by check to the BLM, then operators must make their payments through pay.gov. After making a payment, the operator receives a receipt number that is generated and must be entered into AFMSS II when an APD is submitted. AFMSS II will not accept an APD unless the receipt number is entered into the system. The problem encountered when making electronic payments is that pay.gov is currently able to accept credit card payments only. A $24,999 daily limit is placed on payments made to the Federal Government using a credit card. At a cost of $9,500 per APD, operators are able to pay the fee for only two APDs per day. This could present a delay for operators that typically submit APDs in bulk—20 to 50 APDs in some cases. The commenter recommended that the BLM provide a means to accept other forms of payment commonly used by industry, in particular Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments.

    The BLM recognizes this as a valid concern, but it cannot address this issue in this rulemaking. However, we are in the process of evaluating how our current billing systems can be modified to accept ACH payments through pay.gov.

    III. Procedural Matters Considerations

    The final Order requires that all operators e-file NOSs and APDs. As a practical matter, however, it will have a greater impact on operators that do not currently use the BLM's e-filing system, as these changes do not alter the requirements related to the content of an APD or NOS. Thus, operators that already use the e-filing system will likely continue to use the system, regardless of the Order, and therefore will not be impacted by the changes.

    The requirements are estimated to pose relatively small compliance costs (see discussion in the Affected Entities section) associated with administrative compliance and access to the BLM's e-filing system. In particular, operators that have not purchased access to the Internet or cannot access the Internet due to the remoteness of their location are likely to have to hire a permit agent to e-file their APDs, acquire Internet access depending on the coverage and the availability of service providers, or find another work-around solution. The requirements may also result in cost savings to impacted operators by reducing the amount of time spent correcting deficiencies in APDs. The filing of APDs through the modernized AFMSS II is expected to reduce the number of APD submissions that have deficiencies, and reduce the time it takes operators to correct any deficiencies that occur. Reduced APD processing times will benefit impacted operators in that they will be able to commence drilling and develop the mineral resources sooner. On Indian lands, this will benefit tribes and Indian allottees since they are the direct recipients of the royalties generated from the minerals they own.

    There will also be improved transparency during the application and review process for APDs that are e-filed. With the transition to AFMSS II, the operator is able to check the status of the APD, and the public is able to find and access information, all in one online location. Until all operators are able to e-file, the BLM will continue to maintain hard copy records for APDs submitted in hard copy, consistent with records management and retention requirements.

    Affected Entities

    All entities involved in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas resources on Federal and Indian leases and that submit APDs or NOSs after the effective date of the final Order will be subject to its requirements.

    We estimate that the amendments will impact about 484 operators,2 and that these operators might experience a small increase in administrative costs associated with submitting an APD and NOS to the BLM through the new APD module, due to the newness of the system. Operators that comply by submitting a waiver request that is accepted by the BLM might also experience a small increase in costs associated with preparing the waiver request. We estimate the annual average costs per operator to be approximately $3,920 per operator during the Order's initial implementation period; however, we expect those costs to decrease quickly over time as operators become familiar with the new AFMSS II. In total, we estimate that the amendments might pose annual administrative costs of $2.2 million (about $1.9 million per year to the industry and $315,000 per year to the BLM) during the initial phases. We believe this is a generous estimate of costs given the relatively high proportion of APDs already submitted using BLM's existing e-filing systems.

    2 We examined AFMSS data over a 5-year period (from 2008 to 2012) and found that there were 484 operators that completed wells on Federal and Indian leases. We believe that this pool of operators is a good basis for an estimate about the entities that are likely to file APDs in the future and are, therefore, subject to the requirements.

    In addition, we estimate that the amendments will pose additional costs for those operators that currently do not use the BLM's e-filing system. Specifically, those 73 entities 3 might face additional compliance costs of $1,200 per operator per year for Internet access, using the conservative assumption that they do not already have such access. In total, these compliance costs could be about $90,000 per year for all 73 affected operators. The increased e-filing rates that the BLM has observed during the rollout of the AFMSS II APD module suggest, however, that some of these operators would choose to e-file even without the Order.

    3 According to BLM records, as of 2014, there were approximately 411 WIS users, representing 85 percent of the operators that would be subject to the requirements. By extension, we estimate that there are 73 entities that did not use WIS, representing 15 percent of the operators that would be subject to the requirements. These 73 entities were not users of the e-filing system and will be most impacted by the Order.

    We estimate that the amendments will also benefit operators, since operators are expected to receive cost savings from more expedited APD processing. We estimate that submitting an APD via the e-filing system rather than in hard-copy will reduce processing time by 27 percent or 60 days. Furthermore, we estimate the cost savings to the operator of that increased efficiency to be $6,195 per APD. Given that the Order will impact about 1,500 APDs per year, we estimate that the total cost savings could be about $9.3 million per year.

    Together, the total benefits are expected to exceed the total costs, and the Order is expected to result in total cost savings of about $7 million per year on aggregate. We expect these aggregate benefits to translate to individual operators. To illustrate, even if we assume an individual operator incurs costs as a result of the amendments because they do not currently use BLM's existing e-filing system and have to learn the new system, such an operator would still be expected to receive a net cost savings on a per-APD basis, given that the cost savings will exceed the combined administrative and other compliance costs. On a per APD basis, we expect increased costs of $1,716 per year—$516 in administrative burden/compliance costs, plus $1,200 in other compliance costs. Those costs are expected to be offset, however, by cost savings of $6,195 per APD. Therefore, on net, an operator submitting one APD per year would be expected to realize a net reduction in costs of $4,479 ($6,195 minus $1,716). That expected net benefit would increase as an operator's familiarity with the new e-filing system increases, as administrative costs would be reduced by such familiarity.

    As noted elsewhere in the preamble, some operators are owned by individual Indian tribes. Those operators typically develop the minerals owned by and for the benefit of the tribe. We expect the impacts and benefits of these Order revisions to apply to these operators to the same extent and in the same manner as to other entities operating on Federal or Indian lands. On net, we anticipate that the benefits of permitting-time efficiencies associated with 100% e-filing, will significantly outweigh any costs, especially as operators become more familiar with AFMSS II.

    Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act and Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (see 5 U.S.C. 601-612). Congress enacted the RFA to ensure that government regulations do not unnecessarily or disproportionately burden small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small governmental jurisdictions, and small not-for-profit enterprises.

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has developed size standards to carry out the purposes of the Small Business Act and those size standards can be found in 13 CFR 121.201. The BLM reviewed the SBA classifications and found that the SBA specifies different size standards for potentially affected industries. The SBA defines a small business in the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry (North American Industry Classification System or NAICS code 211111) as one with 1,250 or fewer employees. However, for the natural gas liquid extraction industry (NAICS code 211112), it defines a small business as one with 750 or fewer employees.

    The BLM reviewed the SBA size standards for small businesses and the number of entities fitting those size standards as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in the 2012 Economic Census. The data show the number of firms with fewer than 100 employees and those with 100 employees or more (well below the SBA size standards for the respective industries). According to the available data, over 95% and 91% of firms in the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry and the natural gas liquid extraction industry, respectively, have fewer than 100 employees. Therefore, we would expect that an even higher percentage of firms will be considered small according to the SBA size standards. Thus, based on the available information, the BLM believes that the vast majority of potentially affected entities will meet the SBA small business definition.

    We examined the potential impacts of the final Order and determined that up to 484 small entities will be subject to the Order's requirements and could face administrative burdens of about $3,920 per entity per year. In addition, up to 73 small entities could face other compliance costs of $1,200 per entity per year. However, we estimate that the administrative and other compliance costs will be offset as a result of improved APD processing times. We estimate that cost savings from faster APD processing could be $6,195 per APD. Moreover, we expect that the administrative burdens of the final Order will lessen over time as operators become more familiar with the BLM's new e-filing system.

    Based on this review, we have determined that, although the revisions to the Order will impact a substantial number of small entities, it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    This Order is also not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2) of the RFA, as amended by the SBREFA. This Order will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. In fact, the BLM estimates that the benefits will exceed the costs, and that the rulemaking could result in net savings of $7 million per year. Similarly, the revisions to the Order will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, tribal, or local government agencies, or geographic regions, nor do the revisions have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. The revisions to the Order are administrative in nature and only affect the method for submitting APDs and NOSs. The BLM prepared an economic threshold analysis as part of the record, which is available for review.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), agencies must prepare a written statement about benefits and costs before issuing a proposed or final rule that may result in aggregate expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year.

    The revisions to the Order do not contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or for the private sector, in any one year. Thus, the revisions to the Order are also not subject to the requirements of sections 202 or 205 of UMRA. This Order is also not subject to the requirements of section 203 of UMRA because the revisions contain no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments, because the revisions contain no requirements that apply to such governments, nor do they impose obligations on them.

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

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the BLM has determined that the revisions to the Order will not have significant takings implications. The revisions to the Order are not a governmental action capable of interfering with constitutionally protected property rights. Therefore, the revisions to the Order will not cause a taking of private property or require a takings implication assessment under the Executive Order.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The revisions to the Order will not have federalism implications. The revisions will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, a Federalism Assessment is not required.

    Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    The BLM evaluated possible effects of the revisions to the Order on federally recognized Indian tribes. Since the BLM approves proposed operations on all Indian onshore oil and gas leases (other than those of the Osage Tribe), the Order has the potential to affect Indian tribes, particularly those tribes with tribally-owned and -operated oil and gas drilling or exploration companies, which currently submit APDs and/or NOSs.

    In conformance with the Secretary's policy on tribal consultation, the BLM extended an invitation to consult on the proposed Order to affected tribes, including tribes that either: (i) Own an oil and gas company; or (ii) Own minerals for which the BLM has recently received an APD. Over the years, oil and gas development on Indian and allotted lands has been focused in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. Based on BLM records, the BLM anticipates that there are nearly 40 tribes for which the BLM has received or will foreseeably receive APDs or NOSs in connection with the development of tribal or allotted mineral resources. In advance of issuing the proposed Order, the BLM sent letters to these 40 tribes extending an invitation to consult on this rulemaking. When the BLM published the proposed Order, BLM also sent letters of invitation to consult to the larger group of tribes who own minerals, but do not play a direct role in the development of those resources. The BLM received one comment from a tribe recommending that the BLM consider creating a similar e-filing system for the tribes for the development of tribal or allotted mineral resources. The current e-filing system is not restricted to the filing of APDs on Federal lands. The system also allows for the submission of APDs on Tribal or allotted lands. Therefore, there already is a system in place to do what the tribe requested. Multiple attempts were made to contact the Tribal representative, but were unsuccessful.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This Order complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. Specifically, the revisions to the Order do not unduly burden the Federal court system and meet the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Executive Order. The BLM has reviewed the Order to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity and the Order has been written to minimize litigation and provide clear legal standards.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Overview

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 4 provides that 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. Collections of information include requests and requirements that an individual, partnership, or corporation obtain information, and report it to a Federal agency. See 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and (k).

    4 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521.

    This Order contains information collection activities that require approval by the OMB under the PRA. The BLM included an information collection request in the proposed Order. OMB has approved the information collection for the final Order under control number 1004-0213.

    The BLM plans to seek OMB approval to incorporate the burdens of this Order into control number 1004-0137 after this Order becomes effective. For reference, the current burdens for control number 1004-0137 (920,464 hours and $32.5 million in non-hour costs) can be viewed at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/. After the Order goes into effect, the BLM intends to ask OMB to combine the requirements and burdens of the Order with control number 1004-0137.

    Summary of Information Collection Requirements

    Title: Approval of Operations (43 CFR part 3160).

    Forms: Form 3160-3, Application for Permit to Drill or Reenter; and Sample Format for Notice of Staking (Attachment 1 to 2007 Onshore Order 1, 72 FR at 10338).

    OMB Control Number: 1004-0213.

    Description of Respondents: Holders of Federal and Indian (except Osage Tribe) oil and gas leases.

    Respondents' Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Abstract: The Order will improve the efficiency and transparency of the APD and NOS processes via e-filing, and provide for waivers from e-filing when appropriate.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 3,450 responses.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 29,400 hours.

    Compliance with the new collection of information is required to obtain or retain a benefit for the operators of Federal and Indian onshore oil and gas leases, or units or communitization agreements that include Federal and Indian leases (except on the Osage Reservation or the Crow Reservation, or in certain other areas). The frequency of the collection is “on occasion.”

    Discussion of the Collection Activities

    APDs: As revised here, section III.A. of Onshore Order 1 requires an operator to file an APD and associated documents using the BLM's electronic commerce application for oil and gas permitting and reporting.

    NOSs: Section III.C. of Onshore Order 1 continues to provide that an NOS may be submitted voluntarily. Section III.C. also requires an operator who chooses to file an NOS to use the BLM's electronic commerce application for oil and gas permitting and reporting. Except for the new e-filing requirement, this is an existing collection in use without a control number. The purpose of submitting an NOS is to provide an operator an opportunity to gather information and better address site-specific resource concerns associated with a project while preparing an APD package.

    Waiver Requests: Section III.I. is a new provision that allows operators to request a waiver from the requirements in final sections III.A. and III.C. The request must be supported by an explanation of why the operator is not able to use the e-filing system, the operator's plans for complying with the electronic submission requirement, and a timeframe for achieving compliance. If the operator would like the waiver to apply to a particular set of APDs or NOSs, then the request must identify the APDs or NOSs to which the waiver applies. If the request does not specify a particular set of APDs or NOSs, the waiver will apply to all submissions made by the operator during the compliance timeframe included as part of the BLM's waiver approval. In those exceptional cases, the BLM will review the operator's request and determine whether a waiver allowing the operator to submit hard copies is warranted.

    Between the proposed and the final Order, the BLM added requirements for operators to submit their plans for complying with the electronic submission requirement and a timeframe for achieving compliance, both of which are in addition to the requirement from the proposed Order for operators to explain why they are unable to use the e-filing system. In the final Order, the BLM is also providing an option for operators to request that its waiver approval apply to a specific set of APDs or NOSs. The operator's waiver request would need to identify which APDs or NOSs that the BLM's approval would apply.

    As previously discussed, the BLM made these changes in response to a commenter's recommendation that after the Bureau grants a waiver, that waiver needs to remain in force until no longer needed. The BLM did not accept the commenter's recommended change because it would inject needless uncertainty as to when the applicant will start to use the electronic system and would run counter to the Bureau's efforts to bring efficiency and modernization to its permitting process. However, the BLM also recognizes that there could be instances when not all APDs and NOSs could be identified at the time an applicant submits a waiver request, which could lead to the operator submitting another waiver request at a later time if they are still prevented from using the e-filing system. The BLM believes this change will help eliminate the commenter's concerns about delays associated with submitting multiple waiver applications and, at the same time, addresses the Bureau's concerns about open-ended waiver approvals.

    Although the BLM is requiring the submission of this additional information, we do not believe this will result in additional burden hours. If an operator is prevented from using the e-filing system and requests a waiver, the operator likely understands and has a reasonable idea as to what steps it needs to take and the length of time necessary to overcome the challenges that prevent its use of the system. Therefore, assessing those steps will not impose any additional burden hours.

    Although the final Order directs the method by which operators must submit an APD or NOS, it does not direct operators to obtain, maintain, retain, or report any more information than what is already required by the existing Onshore Order 1. The BLM recognizes operators may encounter a learning curve as they familiarize themselves with the database system, like any new software system to which users must adapt. For that reason, the BLM intends to adjust the existing 80 hours per response for APDs upwards to 88 hours per response. However, any costs or delays in adapting to the e-filing system will be temporary, and may be subject to a downward adjustment sometime in the future.

    The BLM has sponsored multiple outreach strategies and training forums for its AFMSS clients, which should further mitigate the extent of industry's learning curve. These outreach efforts include:

    • Easily accessible Internet-based resources, including user-guides, audiovisual modules, user toolkits, and FAQs that are available to operators or their agents, and

    • Live trainings provided to users to allow for a more robust discussion with the BLM on how to use the system.

    The previously discussed table entitled, “Completed Training Sessions” outlines the locations where the BLM has sponsored these trainings.

    The following table itemizes the estimated burdens of APDs, NOSs, and waivers as a result of this Order. In the case of APDs, these burdens are in addition to the 80 burden-hours per response estimated under OMB control number 1004-0137, and the number of responses (3,000 per year) is less than the 5,000 responses currently authorized under OMB control number 1004-0137. Both the number of responses and the burden hours will be adjustments to that control number.

    For NOSs and waiver requests, these burdens are new, and will be program changes for control number 1004-0137.

    Type of
  • response
  • Number of
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total hours
    A. B. C. D. Application to Drill or Re-Enter 43 CFR 3162.3-1 and Section III.A. of Onshore Order 1 Form 3160-3 5 3,000 8 24,000 Notice of Staking Section III.C. of Onshore Order 1 6 300 16 4,800 Waiver Request Section III.I. of Onshore Order 1 7 150 4 600 Totals 3,450 28 29,400 5 This will be an adjustment in the number of responses for APDs in control number 1004-0137. At present, control number 1004-0137 authorizes the BLM to collect 5,000 APDs annually. 6 Estimated as 10 percent of the roughly 3,000 APDs filed annually. 7 Estimated as 10 percent of the 1,500 APDs likely to be impacted by the final Order. BLM data show that half of APDs were already e-filed through the WIS.
    National Environmental Policy Act

    The revisions to the Order do not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The BLM has analyzed the revisions to the Order and determined it meets the criteria set forth in 43 CFR 46.210(i) for a Departmental Categorical Exclusion in that the revisions to the Order are “. . . of an administrative, financial, legal, technical or procedural nature . . ..” Therefore, it is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act, pursuant to 43 CFR 46.205 and 46.210(c) and (i). The BLM also has analyzed this Order to determine if it involves any of the extraordinary circumstances that would require an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement, as set forth in 43 CFR 46.215, and concluded that this Federal action does not involve any extraordinary circumstances.

    Data Quality Act

    In developing this Order, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554, app. C 515, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A-153 to 154).

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

    Under Executive Order 13211, agencies are required to prepare and submit to OMB a Statement of Energy Effects for significant energy actions. This Statement is to include a detailed statement of “any adverse effects of energy supply, distribution, or use (including a shortfall in supply, price increases, and increase use of foreign supplies)” for the action and reasonable alternatives and their effects.

    Section 4(b) of Executive Order 13211 defines a “significant energy action” as “any action by an agency (normally published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices of proposed rulemaking: (1) (i) That is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 or any successor Order, and (ii) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) as a significant energy action.” The revisions to the Order will not be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 as they will not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The revisions to the Order have also not been designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action.

    Executive Order 13352, Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation

    The BLM determined that this Order involves changes to BLM processes. In accordance with Executive Order 13352, this Order will not impede facilitating cooperative conservation. The Order takes appropriate account of and respects the interests of persons with ownership or other legally recognized interests in land or other natural resources; properly accommodates local participation in the Federal decision-making process; and provides that the programs, projects, and activities are consistent with protecting public health and safety.

    Authors

    The principal authors of this final Order are Cathy Cook and Michael Riches, Division of Fluid Minerals, and Bryce Barlan and James Tichenor, Division of Business Management, assisted by Mark Purdy and Jean Sonneman, Division of Regulatory Affairs, Dylan Fuge, Counselor to the Director, and the Department of the Interior's Office of the Solicitor.

    List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 3160

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government contracts, Indian-lands, Mineral royalties, Oil and gas exploration, Penalties, Public lands—mineral resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 21, 2016. Amanda Leiter, Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management. For reasons set out in the preamble, the Bureau of Land Management amends the appendix following the regulatory text of the final rule published in the Federal Register at 72 FR 10308 at 10328 (March 7, 2007), corrected on March 9, 2007 (72 FR 10608), effective March 7, 2007, as follows: Note:

    This appendix does not appear in the BLM regulations in 43 CFR part 3160.

    Appendix—Text of Oil and Gas Onshore Order

    Amend the Onshore Oil and Gas Order Number 1 by revising sections III.A, III.C, and III.E, and adding section III.I to read as follows:

    Onshore Oil and Gas Order Number 1 III. Application for Permit to Drill A. Where to File

    On or after March 13, 2017, the operator must file an APD and associated documents using the BLM's electronic commerce application for oil and gas permitting and reporting. The operator may contact the local BLM Field Office for information on how to gain access to the electronic commerce application. Prior to March 13, 2017, an operator may file an APD and associated documents in the BLM Field Office having jurisdiction over the application.

    C. Notice of Staking Option

    Before filing an APD or Master Development Plan, the operator may file a Notice of Staking with the BLM. The purpose of the Notice of Staking is to provide the operator with an opportunity to gather information to better address site-specific resource concerns while preparing the APD package. This may expedite approval of the APD. On or after March 13, 2017, if an operator chooses to file an NOS, the operator must file the Notice of Staking using the BLM's electronic commerce application for oil and gas permitting and reporting. Attachment I, Sample Format for Notice of Staking, provides the information required for the Notice of Staking option. Prior to March 13, 2017, an operator may file a Notice of Staking in the BLM Field Office having jurisdiction.

    For Federal lands managed by other Surface Managing Agencies, the BLM will provide a copy of the Notice of Staking to the appropriate Surface Managing Agency office. In Alaska, when a subsistence stipulation is part of the lease, the operator must also send a copy of the Notice of Staking to the appropriate Borough and/or Native Regional or Village Corporation.

    Within 10 days of receiving the Notice of Staking, the BLM or the FS will review it for required information and schedule a date for the onsite inspection. The onsite inspection will be conducted as soon as weather and other conditions permit. The operator must stake the proposed drill pad and ancillary facilities, and flag new or reconstructed access routes, before the onsite inspection. The staking must include a center stake for the proposed well, two reference stakes, and a flagged access road centerline. Staking activities are considered casual use unless the particular activity is likely to cause more than negligible disturbance or damage. Off-road vehicular use for the purposes of staking is casual use unless, in a particular case, it is likely to cause more than negligible disturbance or damage, or otherwise prohibited.

    On non-NFS lands, the BLM will invite the Surface Managing Agency and private surface owner, if applicable, to participate in the onsite inspection. If the surface is privately owned, the operator must furnish to the BLM the name, address, and telephone number of the surface owner if known. All parties who attend the onsite inspection will jointly develop a list of resource concerns that the operator must address in the APD. The operator will be provided a list of these concerns either during the onsite inspection or within 7 days of the onsite inspection. Surface owner concerns will be considered to the extent practical within the law. Failure to submit an APD within 60 days of the onsite inspection will result in the Notice of Staking being returned to the operator.

    E. APD Posting and Processing 1. Posting

    The BLM and the Federal Surface Managing Agency, if other than the BLM, must provide at least 30 days public notice before the BLM may approve an APD or Master Development Plan on a Federal oil and gas lease. Posting is not required for an APD for an Indian oil and gas lease or agreement. The BLM will post information about the APD or Notice of Staking for Federal oil and gas leases to the Internet and in an area of the BLM Field Office having jurisdiction that is readily accessible to the public. Posting to the Internet under this provision will not be required until after March 13, 2017. If the surface is managed by a Federal agency other than the BLM, that agency also is required to post the notice for at least 30 days. This would include the BIA where the surface is held in trust but the mineral estate is federally owned. The posting is for informational purposes only and is not an appealable decision. The purpose of the posting is to give any interested party notification that a Federal approval of mineral operations has been requested. The BLM or the FS will not post confidential information.

    Reposting of the proposal may be necessary if the posted location of the proposed well is:

    a. Moved to a different quarter-quarter section;

    b. Moved more than 660 feet for lands that are not covered by a Public Land Survey; or

    c. If the BLM or the FS determine that the move is substantial.

    2. Processing

    The timeframes established in this subsection apply to both individual APDs and to the multiple APDs included in Master Development Plans and to leases of Indian minerals as well as leases of Federal minerals.

    If there is enough information to begin processing the application, the BLM (and the FS if applicable) will process it up to the point that missing information or uncorrected deficiencies render further processing impractical or impossible.

    a. Within 10 days of receiving an application, the BLM (in consultation with the FS if the application concerns NFS lands) will notify the operator as to whether or not the application is complete. The BLM will request additional information and correction of any material submitted, if necessary, in the 10-day notification. If an onsite inspection has not been performed, the applicant will be notified that the application is not complete. Within 10 days of receiving the application, the BLM, in coordination with the operator and Surface Managing Agency, including the private surface owner in the case of split estate minerals, will schedule a date for the onsite inspection (unless the onsite inspection has already been conducted as part of a Notice of Staking). The onsite inspection will be held as soon as practicable based on participants' schedules and weather conditions. The operator will be notified at the onsite inspection of any additional deficiencies that are discovered during the inspection. The operator has 45 days after receiving notice from the BLM to provide any additional information necessary to complete the APD, or the APD may be returned to the operator.

    b. Within 30 days after the operator has submitted a complete application, including incorporating any changes that resulted from the onsite inspection, the BLM will:

    1. Approve the application, subject to reasonable Conditions of Approval, if the appropriate requirements of the NEPA, National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, and other applicable law have been met and, if on NFS lands, the FS has approved the Surface Use Plan of Operations;

    2. Notify the operator that it is deferring action on the permit; or

    3. Deny the permit if it cannot be approved and the BLM cannot identify any actions that the operator could take that would enable the BLM to issue the permit or the FS to approve the Surface Use Plan of Operations, if applicable.

    c. The notice of deferral in paragraph (b)(2) of this section must specify:

    1. Any action the operator could take that would enable the BLM (in consultation with the FS if applicable) to issue a final decision on the application. The FS will notify the applicant of any action the applicant could take that would enable the FS to issue a final decision on the Surface Use Plan of Operations on NFS lands. Actions may include, but are not limited to, assistance with:

    (A) Data gathering; and

    (B) Preparing analyses and documents.

    2. If applicable, a list of actions that the BLM or the FS need to take before making a final decision on the application, including appropriate analysis under NEPA or other applicable law and a schedule for completing these actions.

    d. The operator has 2 years from the date of the notice under paragraph (c)(1) of this section to take the action specified in the notice. If the appropriate analyses required by NEPA, National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, and other applicable laws have been completed, the BLM (and the FS if applicable), will make a decision on the permit and the Surface Use Plan of Operations within 10 days of receiving a report from the operator addressing all of the issues or actions specified in the notice under paragraph (c)(1) of this section and certifying that all required actions have been taken. If the operator has not completed the actions specified in the notice within 2 years from the operator's receipt of the paragraph (c)(1) notice, the BLM will deny the permit.

    e. For APDs on NFS lands, the decision to approve a Surface Use Plan of Operations or Master Development Plan may be subject to FS appeal procedures. The BLM cannot approve an APD until the appeal of the Surface Use Plan of Operations is resolved.

    I. Waiver From Electronic Submission Requirements

    The operator may request a waiver from the electronic submission requirement for an APD or Notice of Staking if compliance would cause hardship or the operator is unable to file these documents electronically. In the request, the operator must explain the reason(s) that prevent its use of the electronic system, plans for complying with the electronic submission requirement, and a timeframe for compliance. If the request applies to a particular set of APDs or Notices of Staking, then the request must identify the APDs or Notices of Staking to which the waiver applies. The waiver request is subject to BLM approval. If the request does not specify a particular set of APDs or Notices of Staking, then the waiver will apply to all submissions made by the operator during the compliance timeframe included as part of the BLM's waiver approval. The BLM will not consider an APD or Notice of Staking that the operator did not submit through the electronic system, unless the BLM approves a waiver.

    [FR Doc. 2016-31752 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-84-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 383 and 384 [FMCSA-2007-27748] RIN 2126-AB66 Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA is correcting a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of December 8, 2016 (81 FR 88732), regarding the establishment of new minimum training standards for certain individuals applying for their commercial driver's license (CDL) for the first time; an upgrade of their CDL (e.g., a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL); or a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P), or school bus (S) endorsement for the first time.

    DATES:

    The effective date of this correction is February 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Richard Clemente, Driver and Carrier Operations (MC-PSD) Division, FMCSA, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at 202-366-4325, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FMCSA makes minor corrections to fix errors in the final rule published on December 8, 2016. In instruction 10, amending § 383.73, the Agency corrects “(b)(10)” to read “(b)(11)” in both the instruction and associated regulatory text. Additionally in § 383.73, FMCSA changes paragraph “(e)(8)” to read “(e)(9)” in both the instruction and associated regulatory text. In instruction 13, amending Part 383, the Agency changes “§ 384.235” to read “§ 384.236.” These changes are required because as written, the instruction and associated regulatory text would have deleted the recent changes published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2016, in the final rule titled “Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse” (Clearinghouse) (81 FR 87686, RIN 2126-AB18, Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0031). FMCSA makes these corrections in this document to ensure the original language in the Clearinghouse final rule remains in effect.

    Therefore, in FR Doc. 2016-28012 appearing on page 88803 in the Federal Register of December 8, 2016, the following corrections are made:
    § 383.73 [Corrected]
    1. On page 88803, in the first column, in Part 383, amendatory instruction 10 is corrected to read as follows:

    “10. Amend § 383.73 by revising paragraph (b)(3) introductory text and paragraph (b)(3)(ii) and by adding paragraphs (b)(11), (e)(9), and (p) to read as follows:”

    The corrected paragraphs (b)(11) and (e)(9) read as follows”

    § 383.73 State procedures.

    (b) * * *

    (11) Beginning on February 7, 2020, not conduct a skills test of an applicant for a Class A or Class B CDL, or a passenger (P) or school bus (S) endorsement until the State verifies electronically that the applicant completed the training prescribed in subpart F of part 380 of this subchapter.

    (e) * * *

    (9) Beginning on February 7, 2020, not issue an upgrade to a Class A or Class B CDL, or a passenger (P), school bus (S), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement, unless the applicant has completed the training required by subpart F of part 380 of this subchapter.

    § 384.235 [Corrected]
    2. On page 88803, in the third column, in Part 384, amendatory instruction 13 is corrected to read as follows:

    “13. Add § 384.236 to subpart B to read as follows:”

    The corrected section reads as follows:

    § 384.236 Entry-level driver training provider notification.

    The State must meet the entry-level driver training provider notification requirement of § 383.73(p) of this chapter.

    Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: December 27, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator of Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-31784 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150916863-6211-02] RIN 0648-XF108 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2017 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 2017 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 not be in effect for 2017, and TACs in this inseason adjustment will apply for 2017. 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 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 9, 2017, until the effective date of the final 2017 and 2018 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 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0118, 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-2015-0118, 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 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) set the 2017 Aleutian Island (AI) pollock TAC at 19,000 metric tons (mt), the 2017 Bering Sea (BS) pollock TAC at 1,340,643 mt, the 2017 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC at 55,000 mt, the 2017 BS Pacific cod TAC at 238,680 mt, and the AI Pacific cod TAC at 12,839 mt. Also set was an AI pollock ABC of 36,664 and a Western Aleutian Island limit for Pacific cod at 26.3 percent of the AI Pacific cod TAC. In December 2016, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended a 2017 BS pollock TAC of 1,345,000 mt, which is more than the 1,340,643 mt TAC established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. The Council also recommended decreasing the AI pollock ABC to 36,061 mt from 36,664 mt. This in turn reduces some area and seasonal limits for AI pollock. The Council also recommended a 2017 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC of 65,000 mt, which is more than the 55,000 mt TAC established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. Furthermore, the Council recommended a 2017 BS Pacific cod TAC of 223,704 mt, and an AI Pacific cod TAC of 15,695 mt, which is less than the BS Pacific cod TAC of 238,680 mt, and more than the AI Pacific cod TAC of 12,839 mt established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI. In addition to changes in TACs, the Council recommended changing the percentage limit of Western Aleutian Island Pacific cod to 25.6 percent of the AI Pacific cod ABC, from the 26.3 percent of the AI Pacific cod TAC. The Council's recommended 2017 TACs, and the area and seasonal apportionments, are based on the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report (SAFE), dated November 2016, 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 2017. NMFS received notification from Adak and Atka that neither will be processing Aleutian Islands Pacific cod in 2017. Therefore, the Pacific cod TACs in Table 9 of this inseason adjustment will be effective for 2017 and the harvest limits in Table 8A (81 FR 84434, November 23, 2016) will not apply in 2017.

    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 2016 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 2017 BS pollock TAC to 1,345,000 mt, the 2017 BSAI Atka mackerel TAC to 65,000, the 2017 BS Pacific cod TAC to 223,704 mt, and the AI Pacific cod TAC to 15,695 mt. Therefore, Table 2 of the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) is revised consistent with this adjustment.

    Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i), Table 5 of the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) is revised for the 2017 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 2017 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 30 percent, or 10,818 mt, of the AI ABC of 36,061 mt. In Area 542, the 2017 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 15 percent, or 5,409 mt, of the AI ABC of 36,061 mt. In Area 543, the 2017 A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 5 percent, or 1,803 mt, of the AI pollock ABC of 36,061 mt.

    Table 5—Final 2017 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 2017 allocations 2017 A season 1 A season DFA SCA harvest limit 2 2017 B season 1 B season DFA Bering Sea subarea TAC 1 1,345,000 n/a n/a n/a CDQ DFA 134,500 60,525 37,660 73,975 ICA 1 47,210 n/a n/a n/a Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA 1,163,291 523,481 325,721 639,810 AFA Inshore 581,645 261,740 162,861 319,905 AFA Catcher/Processors 3 465,316 209,392 130,289 255,924 Catch by C/Ps 425,764 191,594 n/a 234,170 Catch by CVs 3 39,552 17,798 n/a 21,754 Unlisted C/P Limit 4 2,327 1,047 n/a 1,280 AFA Motherships 116,329 52,348 32,572 63,981 Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 203,576 n/a n/a n/a Excessive Processing Limit 6 348,987 n/a n/a n/a Aleutian Islands subarea ABC 36,061 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 12,464 n/a 2,236 Area harvest limit 7 541 10,818 n/a n/a n/a 542 5,409 n/a n/a n/a 543 1,803 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 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) is revised for the 2017 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 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 1,000 75 20 Jig 6 Total 149 0 0 BSAI trawl limited access Total 2,966 1,600 0 A 1,483 800 0 Critical Habitat n/a 480 0 B 1,483 800 0 Critical Habitat n/a 480 0 Amendment 80 sectors Total 26,694 14,399 11,143 A 13,347 7,200 5,571 B 13,347 7,200 5,571 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative Total 6 15,191 8,552 6,853 A 7,596 4,276 3,427 Critical Habitat n/a 2,566 2,056 B 7,596 4,276 3,427 Critical Habitat n/a 2,566 2,056 Alaska Seafood Cooperative Total 6 11,502 5,847 4,290 A 5,751 2,924 2,145 Critical Habitat n/a 1,754 1,287 B 5,751 2,924 2,145 Critical Habitat n/a 1,754 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 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 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) is revised for the 2017 gear shares and seasonal allowances of the BSAI Pacific cod TAC consistent with this adjustment.

    TABLE 9—Final 2017 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] Gear sector Percent 2017 share of
  • gear sector
  • total
  • 2017 share of
  • sector total
  • 2017 seasonal apportionment Seasons Amount
    BS TAC n/a 223,704 n/a n/a n/a BS CDQ n/a 23,936 n/a see § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) n/a BS non-CDQ TAC n/a 199,768 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 1 100 213,783 n/a n/a n/a Total hook-and-line/pot gear 60.8 129,980 n/a n/a n/a Hook-and-line/pot ICA 2 n/a 500 n/a see § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) n/a Hook-and-line/pot sub-total n/a 129,480 n/a n/a n/a Hook-and-line catcher/processor 48.7 n/a 103,712 Jan 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Dec 31
  • 52,893
  • 50,819
  • Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥60 ft LOA 0.2 n/a 426 Jan 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Dec 31
  • 217
  • 209
  • Pot catcher/processor 1.5 n/a 3,194 Jan 1-Jun 10
  • Sept 1-Dec 31
  • 1,629
  • 1,565
  • Pot catcher vessel ≥60 ft LOA 8.4 n/a 17,889 Jan 1-Jun 10
  • Sept 1-Dec 31
  • 9,123
  • 8,765
  • Catcher vessel <60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear 2 n/a 4,259 n/a n/a Trawl catcher vessel 22.1 47,246 n/a Jan 20-Apr 1
  • Apr 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Nov 1
  • 34,962
  • 5,197
  • 7,087
  • AFA trawl catcher/processor 2.3 4,917 n/a Jan 20-Apr 1
  • Apr 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Nov 1
  • 3,688
  • 1,229
  • 0
  • Amendment 80 13.4 28,647 n/a Jan 20-Apr 1
  • Apr 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Nov 1
  • 21,485
  • 7,162
  • 0
  • Alaska Groundfish Cooperative n/a n/a 4,522 Jan 20-Apr 1
  • Apr 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Dec 31
  • 3,392
  • 1,131
  • 0
  • Alaska Seafood Cooperative n/a n/a 24,125 Jan 20-Apr 1
  • Apr 1-Jun 10
  • Jun 10-Dec 31
  • 18,094
  • 6,031
  • 0
  • Jig 1.4 2,993 n/a Jan 1-Apr 30
  • Apr 30-Aug 31
  • Aug 31-Dec 31
  • 1,796
  • 599
  • 599
  • 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 500 mt for 2017 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely 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, 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, 2016, 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 25, 2017.

    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: January 4, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00260 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 6 Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Proposed Rules BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 5 CFR Part 9401 [Docket No. CFPB-2016-0050] RIN 3209-AA15 Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule with request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB or Bureau), with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), is issuing this notice of proposed rulemaking for employees of the Bureau. This proposal would amend the existing Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB Ethics Regulations) involving: Outside employment for covered employees; Bureau employees' ownership or control of certain securities; restrictions on seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness; and disqualification requirements based on existing credit or indebtedness. Additionally, the proposed regulation would clarify and make minor revisions to certain definitions.

    DATES:

    Comments are invited and must be received on or before February 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2016-0050 or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) number 3209-AA15, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2016-0050 or RIN number 3209-AA15 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this rulemaking. Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. eastern time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning (202) 435-7275.

    All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included. Comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Vail, Senior Ethics Counsel, at (202) 435-7305 or Amy Mertz Brown, Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official, at (202) 435-7256 at the Legal Division, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Section 2635.105 of the OGE Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees (OGE Standards) authorizes an agency, with the concurrence of OGE, to adopt agency-specific supplemental regulations that are necessary to properly implement its ethics program. On April 27, 2012, the Bureau, with OGE's concurrence, published in the Federal Register an interim final rule to establish the CFPB Ethics Regulations (77 FR 25019, April 27, 2012), effective June 27, 2012. The Bureau received one comment on the interim final rule, which did not prompt a change, and the interim final rule went into effect as proposed. The Bureau, with OGE's concurrence, now proposes to amend the CFPB Ethics Regulations.

    II. Description of Proposed Amended Sections of the CFPB Ethics Regulations Proposed Amended § 9401.102—Definitions

    Section 9401.102 defines terms and phrases used throughout the CFPB Ethics Regulations. The Bureau proposes to amend the definitions section to add and revise certain useful definitions and delete others.

    The proposed regulation replaces the phrase “debt and equity interest” with the term “security” throughout the CFPB Ethics Regulations. The Bureau has found that the term “debt interest” has caused confusion among some employees. This revision would help distinguish between those instances when an individual owns or controls a debt ownership interest in an entity (e.g., owns a corporate bond) from those in which an individual is indebted to an entity (e.g., has a loan or existing credit). The term “security” would have the same definition as the phrase “debt and equity interest” in the current regulations.

    The proposed regulation amends the term “employee” to exclude special Government employees (SGEs). During CFPB's initial stand-up period, the Bureau appointed several CFPB executives, subject matter experts, and other Bureau officials with significant policy-making authority to short-term SGE positions. At that time, the Bureau determined it was essential that the CFPB Ethics Regulations apply to these employees to assure the public that the Bureau created and administered the Bureau's programs in an impartial and objective manner. It is no longer the practice for the Bureau to fill such positions with SGEs, and the Bureau currently does not have any employees designated as SGEs. As a result, the Bureau has determined this provision is no longer needed. Therefore, the proposed regulation excludes SGEs from the definition of “employee.” This treatment of SGEs is consistent with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, both of which exclude SGEs from the definition of “employee” in their supplemental standards of ethical conduct. The proposed regulation would not relax or otherwise affect how the criminal conflict of interest statutes and OGE Standards apply to SGEs. The Bureau will continue to provide ethics guidance and assistance to SGEs on compliance with the conflict of interest statutes and OGE Standards. In addition, the Bureau's Office of Human Capital will continue to identify and designate individuals as SGEs at the time the individual is appointed or retained, and will continue to maintain an internal tracking system of individuals who are designated as SGEs.

    The proposed regulation also adds the phrase “practice of law” to the definitions section. The Bureau has received multiple inquiries from employees as to whether a proposed outside activity would fall within the prohibition in § 9401.105. To ensure consistency and for the ease of administration, the phrase “practice of law” would have the same meaning as in Rule 49 of the Rules of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals as of November 2016. The Bureau opted to borrow the definition utilized by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals because the majority of attorneys employed by the Bureau have a duty station located in the District of Columbia.

    The proposed regulation also amends the term “spouse” by removing the reference to “legally” in the phrase “legally separated.” The current definition explains that for purposes of the CFPB Ethics Regulations, an individual is not considered to be an employee's spouse if: (1) The employee and the employee's spouse are legally separated; (2) the employee and the employee's spouse live apart; (3) there is an intention to end the marriage or separate permanently; and (4) the employee has no control over the legally separated spouse's debt or equity interests. On several occasions the Bureau encountered confusion as to what constituted a “legal separation” because this is a standard defined by State law and varies depending on the State in which an employee resides. The proposed revision to the definition of “spouse” eliminates the reference to “legally” in the phrase “legally separated.” This proposed amendment is consistent with how OGE determines whether an employee is required to report information concerning a spouse from whom the employee is separated for purposes of the financial disclosure reporting requirements at 5 CFR 2634.309(c)(2). OGE does not require a reporting individual to report any information about a spouse from whom the reporting individual is “permanently separated.” OGE only requires the employee to be “permanently separated” from the employee's spouse and does not require the two individuals to be “legally separated.”

    The proposed regulation also adds the phrase “vested legal or beneficial interest” to the definitions section to clarify several provisions. This new definition is meant to help interpret the proposed amendments in §§ 9401.106, 9401.108, and 9401.109, where the Bureau proposes to narrow the disqualification and reporting requirements with respect to trusts in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child has a vested legal or beneficial interest. A vested legal or beneficial interest in a trust means that the individual has a present legal right to its property or income, even though the right to possession or enjoyment may be postponed to some unknown time in the future. In defining this phrase, the Bureau relied upon 5 CFR 2634.310, where OGE explains what constitutes a vested beneficial interest in the principal or income of an estate or trust.

    The Bureau is republishing all the definitions in this section, including those not proposed for revision, for ease of reference.

    Proposed Amended § 9401.104—Additional Rules Concerning Outside Employment for Covered Employees

    The proposed amendments to § 9401.104 are designed to balance several important ethical principles against an employee's right to engage in outside activities. Proposed § 9401.104 would retain the existing prohibition that precludes a covered employee from engaging in compensated outside employment for any entity supervised by the Bureau or for any officer, director, or employee of such entity. The proposed rule adds a new prohibition on covered employees using a professional license related to real estate, mortgage brokerage, property appraisals, or property insurance for compensation. The proposed amendment would permit covered employees to retain these professional licenses but would prohibit them from engaging in outside compensated employment as real estate agents, mortgage brokers, property appraisers, real property insurance agents, or in other similar positions.

    The Bureau has determined this new prohibition is necessary to ensure that a reasonable person would not question the impartiality and objectivity with which covered employees perform their official Bureau duties in connection with financial institutions that are involved in real estate-related transactions. Continuing to allow covered employees to use these licenses for compensation would hinder CFPB in fulfilling its mission if members of the public question whether these employees are using their public office or Bureau connections for private gain by advancing their outside real estate-related business activities.

    The proposed rule authorizes the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO), in consultation with senior management in the Division in which the employee works, to grant a limited waiver to this prohibition based on a written determination that a specific transaction requiring the use of the license would not create an appearance of loss of impartiality or use of public office for private gain.

    The proposed regulation expands the term “covered employee” to include all employees who work in a Bureau office where employees participate in the examination, investigation, or supervision of entities offering or providing a consumer financial product or service. For example, all employees in the Division of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending (SEFL) would be “covered employees” under the proposed rule, whereas only certain SEFL positions are covered under the current definition.

    Proposed Amended § 9401.106—Prohibited Financial Interests

    This proposed rule would amend 5 CFR 9401.106, which provides in paragraph (a), with certain exceptions set forth in paragraph (b), that no CFPB employee, or an employee's spouse or minor child, may own or control a security in an entity supervised by the Bureau. The proposed amendment of this section would clarify the scope of the prohibited financial interests by more clearly defining the types of financial interests covered by this prohibition and the exceptions to the general rule. The intent of the proposed amendment is to make this section easier for employees to understand and follow.

    The prohibited financial interests are defined in paragraph (a). The proposed regulation would not change the scope of financial interests that currently are prohibited under this section. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to more clearly define prohibited financial interests by dividing the prohibited holdings into two categories. The first would refer to a security in, or bonds issued by, an entity supervised by the Bureau. The second would refer to securities in a collective investment fund, such as a mutual fund, if the fund has a stated policy of concentrating its investments in the financial services or banking industry. The Bureau always has interpreted the current rule to prohibit employees, as well as their spouses and minor children, from owning or controlling these collective investment funds (i.e., sector mutual funds), and is proposing to amend the rule to make this prohibition more explicit.

    The exceptions to the general prohibition are listed in paragraph (b). The purpose of the exceptions is to ease the restrictions on the financial interests of employees and their spouses and minor children by permitting interests of a character unlikely to raise questions regarding the objective and impartial performance of employees' official duties or the possible misuse of their positions. In promulgating the exemptions to the financial conflict of interest statute in 5 CFR part 2640, subpart B, OGE determined that certain financial interests are unlikely to affect an employee's official actions. The Bureau proposes to revise the exceptions in paragraph (b) to more closely conform to certain exemptions to the financial conflict of interest statute (18 U.S.C. 208) promulgated by OGE. The Bureau determined that these newly proposed exceptions will make it easier for Bureau employees to understand and comply with the CFPB Ethics Regulations, as well as the financial conflict of interest statutes.

    In paragraph (b)(1), the Bureau proposes to change the name of the first exception to “collective investment funds” to conform with the language of that exception but no substantive change is intended. Proposed paragraph (b)(2) replaces the current description for the widely held, diversified pension plan exception with new language that the Bureau intends to have the same meaning as OGE's regulatory exemption found at 5 CFR 2640.201(c)(iii) for diversified employee benefit plans. Proposed paragraph (b)(4) adds an exception for an interest held within a State pension plan. This exception would have the same meaning as OGE's exemption in 5 CFR 2640.201(c)(ii) for State government pension plans.

    In new paragraph (c), the proposed regulation would provide specific time frames for employees to notify the DAEO and divest a prohibited financial interest after: (1) An individual commences employment with the Bureau; (2) the Bureau adds a new financial institution to the list of entities supervised by the Bureau (i.e., the prohibited holdings list); or (3) an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child acquires a prohibited interest without specific intent, such as via inheritance. The proposed amendment would provide a uniform 30-day period for notifying the DAEO, and consistent with 5 CFR 2635.403(d), a uniform 90-day period for divestiture in each instance.

    Proposed paragraph (d) requires employees to immediately disqualify themselves if they or their spouses or minor children own or control a security prohibited by paragraph (a). Proposed paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) explain the different disqualification standards for securities prohibited under proposed paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2), respectively. Proposed paragraph (d)(1) describes the disqualification requirements that apply when an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child owns or controls a security in an entity supervised by the Bureau. Whereas, proposed paragraph (d)(2) describes the more extensive disqualification requirements that apply when an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child owns or controls a security in a collective investment fund that has a stated policy of concentrating its investments in the financial services or banking industry.

    Proposed paragraph (e)(4) provides an additional factor for the DAEO to consider when an employee requests a waiver from the general prohibition in paragraph (a). It is expected that the DAEO will grant a waiver of the prohibitions in § 9401.106 only in limited circumstances based on a case-by-case analysis, and only when the granting of the waiver would not unduly undermine the public's confidence in the impartiality and objectivity with which: (1) The employee performs his or her official duties; and (2) the Division in which the employee works executes its functions. Towards this end, proposed paragraph (e)(4) specifically includes public confidence and the appearance of impartiality as a factor for the DAEO to consider in granting a waiver.

    The CFPB Ethics Regulations currently require an employee to notify the DAEO in writing if a trust in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child has a legal or beneficial interest contains a security that the employee would be prohibited from owning or controlling under paragraph (a). The Bureau proposes to amend paragraph (f)(3) to clarify that the employee's reporting requirement only applies to trusts in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child has a vested legal or beneficial interest. The Bureau has determined that the reporting requirement in this section should apply only to those financial interests in which an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child has a present legal right to the property or income in the trust. As noted previously, the proposed rule would add a definition of “vested legal or beneficial interest” in § 9401.102.

    The Bureau has determined, under its authority in section 2635.403(a) of the OGE Standards, that these proposed regulations are needed so that a reasonable person will not question the impartiality and objectivity with which the Bureau administers its agency programs.

    Proposed Amended § 9401.107—Prohibition on Acceptance of Credit or Indebtedness on Preferential Terms From an Entity Supervised by the Bureau

    The proposed rule would amend § 9401.107, which provides that employees may accept credit, become indebted, or enter into other financial relationships with entities supervised by the Bureau, only if the credit, indebtedness or other financial service is offered on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public. The proposed amendment is not intended to change the scope of this prohibition. The proposed rule is meant to clarify that the standard for entering into financial relationships with entities supervised by the Bureau as articulated in this section is the same standard that is referenced in §§ 9401.108(b) and (e) and 9401.109(b). The proposed rule also states that an employee or the employee's spouse or minor child may not accept credit from, become indebted to, or enter into a financial relationship with an entity supervised by the Bureau, if the credit, indebtedness, or financial relationship is otherwise prohibited by the Federal conflict of interest statutes, the OGE Standards, or the CFPB Ethics Regulations. This proposed language is intended to remind employees there are other government ethics rules that may affect their ability to secure credit or indebtedness or to enter into financial relationships.

    Proposed Amended § 9401.108—Restrictions on Seeking, Obtaining, or Renegotiating Credit From an Entity That Is or Represents a Party to a Matter to Which an Employee Is Assigned or May Be Assigned

    The proposed revision to 5 CFR 9401.108 would retain the existing general prohibitions on seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness, the disqualification provisions, and the exemptions from the disqualification requirements. The Bureau proposes to restructure this section to clarify the prohibitions and to incorporate new exemptions.

    Under the proposed new paragraph (b), an employee or the employee's spouse or minor child would be permitted to seek, obtain, or renegotiate credit or indebtedness secured by a principal residence subject to five conditions. First, the credit or indebtedness must be secured by residential real property that is or will be the principal residence of the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child. Second, a minimum of three months must have elapsed since the employee stopped participating in each particular matter involving specific parties in which the entity from which the credit or indebtedness will be sought, obtained, or renegotiated was or represented a party to the matter. Third, the employee would be disqualified from participating in any particular matter involving specific parties in which the lender or creditor is or represents a party while the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child is actively seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating the loan or credit. Fourth, the party seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating the credit or indebtedness would have to satisfy all financial requirements that apply to applicants for the same type of credit or indebtedness for a residential real property. Fifth, the credit or indebtedness would have to be obtained on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public.

    The Bureau determined that a different standard for a residential home loan or credit on the principal residence is necessary because the Bureau's general prohibition in paragraph (a) against seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness has been a significant burden on certain employees. The current prohibition substantially reduces the number of lending options available to employees when they attempt to secure funding for a principal residence and prevents them from full access to the competitive consumer financial marketplace. The five conditions upon which seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating a residential home loan or credit are contingent reduce the possibility that: (1) The employee is using the employee's public office for private gain; (2) a reasonable person would question the impartiality and objectivity with which the Bureau administers its programs; and (3) the borrower has obtained the loan or credit on more favorable terms due to the employee's work on a Bureau matter involving that lender.

    The Bureau notes that other financial regulatory agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, have similar exemptions for a home loan for an employee's principal residence. Additionally, this proposed amendment is consistent with the intent of the Preserving Independence of Financial Institution Examinations Act of 2003 (PIFIEA), which amended sections 212 and 213 of title 18 of the United States Code. These sections generally impose criminal penalties on national examiners borrowing from banks they examine. The PIFIEA modified those rules by decriminalizing extensions of credit to examiners for principal residential home loans from institutions that they examine or have authority to examine, if these loans are made on the same terms and conditions as are available to other borrowers. In amending sections 212 and 213, Congress explained that several factors supported the blanket residential loan exception, but most importantly, consolidation within the banking industry made it increasingly difficult for examiners to obtain nationally available mortgage loans and for the banking agencies to assign examiners work. Although Bureau employees are not subject to sections 212 and 213, the rationale for allowing Bureau employees, as well as their spouses and minor children, the ability to secure a residential home loan for their principal residence is the same.

    For the same reasons as stated in § 9401.106, amended § 9401.108(d)(4) would limit the trust disqualification requirement to only those trusts in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child has a vested legal or beneficial interest.

    The exemptions to the general prohibition are listed in new paragraph (e). The proposed rule would modify the two existing exemptions by deleting the limitation related to insured depository institutions or credit unions. As a result, all consumer credit or charge cards regardless of the issuer, and all checking or similar accounts regardless of where held, would fall within an exemption.

    The proposed rule also would add a new exemption involving certain utility services. Under the current regulation, an employee and the employee's spouse and minor child are prohibited from seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness with any entity that is or was a party to a particular matter involving specific parties in which the employee: (1) Is currently participating; (2) is aware of the matter and believes it is likely the employee will participate; or (3) participated within the last two years. For purposes of this prohibition, the term “credit” includes “the right granted by a person to a consumer to purchase property or services and defer payment of such.” A number of courts have determined that this definition of “credit” includes when a consumer receives gas, electricity, water, and cellular telephone services and receives periodic bills for the services used.1 When the Bureau originally promulgated the CFPB Ethics Regulations, it was not anticipated that the prohibition in this section would limit Bureau employees' ability to have these basic utility services and still be able to work on Bureau matters.

    1See, e.g., Murray v. New Cingular Wireless Servs., Inc., 523 F.3d 719, 722 (7th Cir. 2008); Mays v. Buckeye Rural Elec. Coop., 277 F.3d 873, 879 (6th Cir. 2002); Williams v. AT&T Wireless Servs., Inc., 5 F. Supp. 2d 1142, 1145 (W.D. Wash. 1998).

    Under proposed paragraph (e)(3), the Bureau would exempt certain types of basic utility services used by consumers from the prohibition in paragraph (a) and the disqualification requirement in paragraph (d). Specifically, the proposed rule would add an exemption for the provision of telephone, cable, gas, electricity, water, or other similar utility services provided on credit. The Bureau has determined that there is no need to limit an employee's ability to work on matters while holding these forms of credit because they tend to involve fairly standardized agreements and low credit amounts. The Bureau also has concluded that permitting employees to have adequate access to sources of credit involving these types of utility services to meet their personal needs outweighs the incremental benefit that may be gained by covering these forms of credit.

    Proposed Amended § 9401.109—Disqualification of Employees From Particular Matters Involving Existing Creditors

    In addition, the proposed rule would amend 5 CFR 9401.109, which generally provides that an employee is disqualified from participating in a particular matter involving specific parties if the employee is aware that the employee, the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child, or a specified third party has credit with or is indebted to an entity that is or represents a party to the matter. The Bureau proposes to narrow the disqualification requirement regarding trusts and to incorporate new exemptions.

    For the same reasons as stated in §§ 9401.106 and 9401.108, amended § 9401.109(a)(5) would impose a disqualification requirement regarding a trust only if the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child has a vested legal or beneficial interest in the trust.

    The existing regulation in paragraph (b) exempts five forms of credit and indebtedness from the general disqualification requirement as long as the person with the credit or indebtedness is not in an adversarial position with the entity that extended the credit or to which the indebtedness is owed, and the credit or indebtedness was offered on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public. The current exemptions include: (1) Revolving consumer credit or charge cards issued by insured depository institutions or insured credit unions; (2) overdraft protection on checking accounts and similar accounts at insured depository institutions or insured credit unions; (3) educational loans; (4) loans on residential homes; and (5) amortizing indebtedness on consumer goods (e.g., automobile loans). The proposed rule would modify the first two existing exemptions by deleting the limitation related to insured depository institutions or insured credit unions. As a result, all consumer credit or charge cards regardless of the issuer, and all checking or similar accounts regardless of where held, would fall within an exemption.

    The proposed amendment also would add two new exemptions. The proposed amendment at paragraph (b)(4) would create an exemption for automobile leases for primarily personal (consumer) use vehicles. The Bureau has determined that there is no need to limit an employee's ability to work on matters while holding this form of credit because automobile leases tend to involve fairly standardized agreements and automobile leases are similar in nature to automobile loans, which are already exempted. For the same reasons as stated for § 9401.108, amended § 9401.109 also would create a new exemption for the provision of telephone, cable, gas, electricity, water, or other similar utility services on credit.

    Proposed Amended § 9401.111—Restrictions on Participating in Matters Involving Covered Entities

    The proposed rule would amend § 9401.111 by reorganizing this section and expanding the definition of “covered entity.” Proposed paragraph (b)(1) would expand the definition to include any person for whom the employee is serving or seeking to serve, or has served within the last year, as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, or employee. This proposal builds on OGE's impartiality rule at 5 CFR 2635.502(b)(iv), and is based on the Bureau's presumption that a reasonable person likely would question an employee's impartiality when the employee is participating in a particular matter involving specific parties in which a covered entity is a party or represents a party. Disqualification of the employee eliminates the potential for an appearance of preferential treatment in those instances where the employee's connection to a covered entity would likely raise questions regarding the appropriateness of actions taken by the employee or the Bureau.

    The current definition of “covered entity” includes, among others, a person for whom the employee is aware that the employee's parent, child, or sibling is serving or seeking to serve as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, or employee. Employees have questioned whether this restriction extends to stepfamily members and half siblings. The proposed regulation in paragraph (b)(2) extends the restriction to stepfathers, stepmothers, stepsons, stepdaughters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, half-brothers, and half-sisters. The Bureau has determined that this proposed regulation is needed so that a reasonable person will not question the impartiality and objectivity with which the Bureau administers its agency programs.

    III. Matters of Regulatory Procedure Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (the RFA), requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and small not-for-profit organizations, unless the head of the agency certifies that the rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Director of the Bureau so certifies. The rule does not impose any obligations or standards of conduct for purposes of analysis under the RFA, and it therefore does not give rise to a regulatory compliance burden for small entities.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Bureau has determined that this proposed rule does not impose any new recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements on members of the public that would be collections of information requiring approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 9401

    Conflict of interests, Government employees.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau, in concurrence with OGE, proposes to amend part 9401 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:

    PART 9401—SUPPLEMENTAL STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 1. The authority citation for part 9401 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 7301; 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159 (April 12, 1989); 3 CFR, 1898 Comp., p.215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547 (October 17, 1990); 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306; 5 CFR 2635.105, 2635.403, 2635.502 and 2635.803.

    2. Section 9401.102 is revised to read as follows:
    § 9401.102 Definitions.

    For purposes of this part:

    CFPB Ethics Regulations means the supplemental ethics standards set forth in this part.

    Control means the possession, direct or indirect, of the power or authority to manage, direct, or oversee.

    Credit has the meaning set forth in 12 U.S.C. 5481(7) and as further defined in regulations promulgated by the Bureau to implement that statute. A person may have credit without any outstanding balance owed.

    Dependent child has the meaning set forth in 5 CFR 2634.105(d). It includes an employee's son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter if:

    (1) Unmarried, under the age of 21, and living in the employee's household; or

    (2) Claimed as a “dependent” on the employee's income tax return.

    Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) means the official within the Bureau that the Director has appointed to coordinate and manage the ethics program at the Bureau, under 5 CFR 2638.202(b). For purposes of this part, the term “DAEO” also includes the Alternate DAEO appointed under 5 CFR 2638.202(b), and a designee of the DAEO or Alternate DAEO unless a particular provision says an authority is reserved to the DAEO.

    Director means the Director of the Bureau.

    Domestic partner means a person with whom a Bureau employee:

    (1) Has a close and committed personal relationship and both parties are at least 18 years of age, are each other's sole domestic partner and intend to remain in the relationship indefinitely, and neither is married to, in a civil union with, or partnered with any other spouse or domestic partner;

    (2) Is not related by blood in a manner that would bar marriage under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the employee resides;

    (3) Is in a financially interdependent relationship in which both agree to be responsible for each other's common welfare and share in financial obligations; and

    (4) Has shared for at least six months the same regular and permanent residence in a committed relationship and both parties intend to do so indefinitely, or would maintain a common residence but for an assignment abroad or other employment-related, financial, or similar obstacle.

    Employee means an employee of the Bureau, other than a special Government employee.

    Entity supervised by the Bureau means a person that is subject to the Bureau's supervision authority pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 5514(a)(1) or 5515(a) and in regulations promulgated thereunder, as identified on a list to be maintained by the Bureau.

    Indebted or indebtedness means a legal obligation under which an individual or borrower received money or assets on credit, and currently owes payment.

    Indebted to an entity means an obligation to make payments to an entity as a result of an indebtedness, whether originally made with that entity or with another entity. This includes without limitation, a servicer on a mortgage to whom payments are made.

    OGE Standards mean the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch contained in 5 CFR part 2635.

    Participate means personal and substantial participation and has the meaning set forth in 5 CFR 2635.402(b)(4). An employee participates when, for example, he or she makes a decision, gives approval or disapproval, renders advice, provides a recommendation, conducts an investigation or examination, or takes an official action in a particular matter, and such involvement is of significance to the matter. It requires more than official responsibility, knowledge, perfunctory involvement, or involvement on an administrative or peripheral issue.

    Particular matter has the meaning set forth in 5 CFR 2635.402(b)(3). The term includes a matter that involves deliberation, decision, or action and is focused upon the interests of specific persons or a discrete and identifiable class of persons. It may include governmental action such as legislation, regulations, or policy-making that is narrowly focused on the interest of a discrete and identifiable class of persons.

    Particular matter involving specific parties has the meaning set forth in 5 CFR 2641.201(h). Such a matter typically involves a specific proceeding affecting the legal rights of the parties or an isolatable transaction or related set of transactions between identified parties. The term includes without limitation, a contract, audit, enforcement action, examination, investigation, litigation proceeding, or request for a ruling.

    Person has the same meaning set forth in 5 CFR 2635.102(k). It includes without limitation, an individual, corporation and subsidiaries it controls, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other organization or institution.

    Practice of law means the provision of legal advice or services where there is a client relationship of trust or reliance. One is presumed to be practicing law when engaging in any of the following conduct on behalf of another:

    (1) Preparing any legal document, including any deeds, mortgages, assignments, discharges, leases, trust instruments, or any other instruments intended to affect interests in real or personal property, wills, codicils, instruments intended to affect the disposition of property of decedents' estates, other instruments intended to affect or secure legal rights, and contracts except routine agreements incidental to a regular course of business;

    (2) Preparing or expressing legal opinions;

    (3) Appearing or acting as an attorney in any tribunal;

    (4) Preparing any claims, demands or pleadings of any kind, or any written documents containing legal argument or interpretation of law, for filing in any court, administrative agency, or other tribunal;

    (5) Providing advice or counsel as to how any of the activities described in subparagraphs (1) through (4) might be done, or whether they were done, in accordance with applicable law; or

    (6) Furnishing an attorney or attorneys, or other persons, to render the services described in subparagraphs (1) through (5) above.

    Security means an interest in debt or equity instruments. The term includes without limitation, secured and unsecured bonds, debentures, notes, securitized assets, commercial papers, and preferred and common stock. The term encompasses both current and contingent ownership interests; a beneficial or legal interest derived from a trust; a right to acquire or dispose of any long or short position in debt or equity interests; interests convertible into debt or equity interests; and options, rights, warrants, puts, calls, straddles, derivatives, and other similar interests. It does not include deposits; credit union shares; a future interest created by someone other than the employee or the employee's spouse or dependent child; or a right as a beneficiary of an estate that has not been settled.

    Special Government employee has the meaning set forth in 5 CFR 2635.102(l).

    Spouse means an employee's husband or wife by lawful marriage, but does not include an employee's spouse if:

    (1) The employee and the employee's spouse are separated;

    (2) The employee and the employee's spouse live apart;

    (3) There is an intention to end the marriage or separate permanently; and

    (4) The employee has no control over the separated spouse's securities.

    Vested legal or beneficial interest means a present right or title to property, which carries with it an existing right of alienation, even though the right to possession or enjoyment may be postponed to some uncertain time in the future. This includes a future interest when one has a right, defeasible or indefeasible, to immediate possession or enjoyment of the property, upon the ceasing of another's interest.

    3. Section 9401.104 is revised to read as follows:
    § 9401.104 Additional rules concerning outside employment for covered employees.

    (a) Prohibited outside employment with an entity supervised by the Bureau. A covered employee shall not engage in compensated outside employment for an entity supervised by the Bureau or for an officer, director, or employee of such entity. For purposes of this section, “employment” has the same meaning as set forth in § 9401.103(b) of this part.

    (b) Use of professional licenses related to real estate. A covered employee who holds a license related to real estate, mortgage brokerage, property appraisals, or real property insurance is prohibited from using such license for the production of income. The DAEO, in consultation with senior management in the Division in which the employee works, may grant a limited waiver to this prohibition based on a written finding that the specific transaction which requires use of the license will not create an appearance of loss of impartiality or use of public office for private gain.

    (c) Definition of covered employee. For purposes of this section, “covered employee” means:

    (1) An employee in the Division of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending;

    (2) An employee serving in an attorney position;

    (3) An employee in the Office of Research, serving as a section chief at Bureau pay band 71 or above or as a senior economist in the Compliance Analytics and Policy Section;

    (4) An employee serving in the Office of Consumer Response in an investigations position;

    (5) An employee required to file a Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e) under 5 CFR part 2634; or

    (6) Any other Bureau employee specified in a Bureau order or directive whose duties and responsibilities, as determined by the DAEO, require application of the prohibition on outside employment contained in this section to ensure public confidence that the Bureau's programs are conducted impartially and objectively.

    4. Section 9401.105 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(1), (b)(1), and (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 9401.105 Additional rules concerning outside employment for Bureau attorneys.

    (a) Prohibited outside practice of law. In addition to the prior approval requirements under § 9401.103 and the outside employment restrictions under § 9401.104 of this part, an employee serving in an attorney position shall not engage in the practice of law outside the employee's official Bureau duties that might require the attorney to:

    (1) Take a position that is or appears to be in conflict with the interests of the Bureau; or

    (b) * * *

    (1) In those matters in which the attorney has participated personally and substantially as a Government employee; or

    (2) In those matters which are the subject of the attorney's official responsibility.

    5. Section 9401.106 is revised to read as follows:
    § 9401.106 Prohibited financial interests.

    (a) Prohibited interests. Except as permitted by this section, an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child shall not own or control a security in:

    (1) An entity supervised by the Bureau; or

    (2) A collective investment fund that has a stated policy of concentrating its investments in the financial services or banking industry. A collective investment fund includes, without limitation, mutual funds, unit investment trusts (UITs), exchange traded funds (ETFs), real estate investment trusts (REITs), and limited partnerships.

    (b) Exceptions. Interests prohibited in paragraph (a) of this section do not include the ownership or control of a security in:

    (1) Collective investment funds. A publicly traded or publicly available collective investment fund if:

    (i) The fund does not have a stated policy of concentrating its investments in the financial services or banking industry; and

    (ii) Neither the employee nor the employee's spouse or minor child exercises or has the ability to exercise control over or selection of the financial interests held by the fund.

    (2) Diversified employee benefit plans. A pension or other retirement fund, trust, or plan established or maintained by an employer or an employee organization, or both, to provide its participants with medical, disability, death, unemployment, or vacation benefits, training programs, day care centers, scholarship funds, prepaid legal services, deferred income, or retirement income (employee plan), provided:

    (i) The employee plan does not have a stated policy of concentrating its investments in any industry, business, single country other than the United States, or bonds of a single State within the United States;

    (ii) The investments of the employee plan are administered by an independent trustee;

    (iii) The employee plan's trustee has a written policy of varying the plan investments;

    (iv) Neither the employee nor the employee's spouse or minor child participates in the selection of the employee plan's investments or designates specific plan investments (except for directing that contributions be divided among several different categories of investments, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, which are available to plan participants); and

    (v) The employee plan is not a profit-sharing or stock bonus plan.

    (3) Federal retirement and thrift savings plans. Funds administered by the Thrift Plan for Employees of the Federal Reserve System, the Retirement Plan for Employees of the Federal Reserve System, the Thrift Savings Plan, or a Federal government agency.

    (4) State pension plans. A pension plan established or maintained by a State government or any political subdivision of a State government for its employees.

    (c) Reporting and divestiture of prohibited interests—(1) New employees. Within 30 calendar days from the start of employment with the Bureau, an employee must notify the DAEO in writing of a financial interest prohibited under paragraph (a) of this section that the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child acquired prior to the start of the employee's employment with the Bureau. The employee or the employee's spouse or minor child shall divest prohibited securities within 90 days after the start of the employee's employment at the Bureau.

    (2) Newly prohibited interest. Within 30 days after the Bureau updates and internally publishes a new list of entities supervised by the Bureau, an employee who owns or controls, or whose spouse or minor child owns or controls, a security in an entity newly added to that list must notify the DAEO in writing. The employee or the employee's spouse or minor child shall divest prohibited securities within 90 days after internal publication of the new list.

    (3) Interests acquired without specific intent. If an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child acquires a financial interest prohibited under paragraph (a) of this section as a result of marriage, inheritance, or otherwise without specific intent to acquire, the employee must notify the DAEO in writing within 30 days of the acquisition. The employee or the employee's spouse or minor child shall divest prohibited securities within 90 days of the acquisition.

    (d) Disqualification and divestiture—(1) Securities in entities supervised by the Bureau. If an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child owns or controls a security in an entity that is prohibited under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the employee shall immediately disqualify himself or herself from participating in all particular matters affecting that entity, unless and until the security is divested or the employee is granted a waiver pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section and the waiver includes an authorization allowing the employee to participate in such matters.

    (2) Securities in collective investment funds. If an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child owns or controls a security in a collective investment fund that is prohibited under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the employee shall immediately disqualify himself or herself from participating in all particular matters affecting one or more holdings of the collective investment fund if the affected holding is invested in the financial services or banking industry, unless and until the collective investment fund is divested or the employee is granted a waiver pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section and the waiver includes an authorization allowing the employee to participate in such matters.

    (e) Waivers. Upon request by the employee, the DAEO in the DAEO's sole discretion has the authority to grant an individual waiver under this paragraph. The DAEO's authority to grant an individual waiver under this paragraph may not be delegated to any person except the Alternate DAEO. The DAEO, in consultation with senior management in the Division in which the employee works, may issue a written waiver permitting the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child to own or control a particular security that otherwise would be prohibited by this section, after considering all relevant factors. Relevant factors include, without limitation, whether:

    (1) Mitigating circumstances exist due to the way the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child acquired ownership or control of the security. Mitigating circumstances may include without limitation:

    (i) The employee or the employee's spouse or minor child acquired the security through inheritance, merger, acquisition, or other change in corporate structure, or otherwise without specific intent on the part of the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child; or

    (ii) The employee's spouse received the security as part of a compensation package in connection with employment or prior to marriage to the employee;

    (2) The employee makes a prompt and complete written disclosure of the security to the DAEO;

    (3) The disqualification of the employee from participating in particular matters pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, as specified in the written waiver, would not unduly interfere with the full performance of the employee's duties; and

    (4) The granting of the waiver would not unduly undermine the public's confidence in the impartiality and objectivity with which:

    (i) The employee performs the employee's official Bureau duties; and

    (ii) The Division in which the employee works executes its programs and functions.

    (f) Covered third party entities. Immediately after becoming aware that a covered third party entity owns or controls a security that an employee would be prohibited from owning or controlling under paragraph (a) of this section, the employee shall report the interest in writing to the DAEO. The DAEO may require the employee to terminate the relationship with the covered third party entity, disqualify himself or herself from certain particular matters, or take other action as necessary to avoid a statutory violation, a violation of the OGE Standards, or the CFPB Ethics Regulations, including an appearance of misuse of position or loss of impartiality. For purposes of this paragraph, “covered third party entity” includes:

    (1) A partnership in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child is a general partner;

    (2) A partnership or closely held corporation in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child individually or jointly holds more than a 10 percent equity interest;

    (3) A trust in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child has a vested legal or beneficial interest;

    (4) An investment club or similar informal investment arrangement between the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child, and others;

    (5) A qualified profit sharing, retirement, or similar plan in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child has an interest; or

    (6) An entity in which the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child individually or jointly holds more than a 25 percent equity interest.

    6. Section 9401.107 and the section heading are revised to read as follows:
    § 9401.107 Prohibition on acceptance of credit or indebtedness on preferential terms from an entity supervised by the Bureau.

    An employee or the employee's spouse or minor child may not accept credit from, become indebted to, or enter into a financial relationship with an entity supervised by the Bureau, unless the credit, indebtedness, or other financial relationship:

    (1) Is offered on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public; and

    (2) Is not otherwise prohibited by law or inconsistent with the OGE Standards or the CFPB Ethics Regulations.

    7. Section 9401.108 is revised to read as follows:
    § 9401.108 Restrictions on seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit from an entity that is or represents a party to a matter to which an employee is assigned or may be assigned.

    (a) General rules regarding seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness—(1) Prohibition. While an employee is assigned to participate in a particular matter involving specific parties, the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child shall not seek, obtain, or renegotiate credit or indebtedness with an entity that is a party or represents a party to the matter. This prohibition also applies to a particular matter involving specific parties pending at the Bureau in which the employee is not currently participating but of which the employee is aware and believes it is likely that the employee will participate.

    (2) Cooling off period. The prohibition in paragraph (a)(1) of this section continues for two years after the employee's participation in the particular matter has ended.

    (b) Rules regarding credit or indebtedness secured by principal residence. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child may seek, obtain, or renegotiate credit or indebtedness secured by residential real property with an entity, subject to the following conditions:

    (1) The residential real property is or will be the principal residence of the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child;

    (2) A minimum of three months have passed since the end of the employee's participation in each particular matter involving specific parties in which that entity was a party or represented a party;

    (3) The employee is disqualified from participating in particular matters involving specific parties in which that entity is a party or represents a party while the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child is seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating the credit or indebtedness;

    (4) The employee or the employee's spouse or minor child seeking, obtaining, or negotiating the credit or indebtedness must satisfy all financial requirements generally applicable to all applicants for the same type of credit or indebtedness for residential real property; and

    (5) The credit or indebtedness is obtained on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public.

    (c) Specific rules for employee's spouse and minor child. The prohibitions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section do not apply when the employee's spouse or minor child is seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness and:

    (1) The credit or indebtedness is supported only by the income or independent means of the spouse or minor child;

    (2) The credit or indebtedness is obtained on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public; and

    (3) The employee does not participate in the negotiating for the credit or indebtedness or serve as co-maker, endorser or guarantor of the credit or indebtedness.

    (d) Disqualification requirement for credit sought by person related to an employee. An employee shall disqualify himself or herself from participating in a particular matter involving specific parties as soon as the employee learns that any of the following persons are seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness with an entity that is or represents a party to the matter:

    (1) The employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child;

    (2) A partnership in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child is a general partner;

    (3) A partnership or closely held corporation in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child individually or jointly owns or controls more than a 10 percent equity interest;

    (4) A trust in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child has a vested legal or beneficial interest;

    (5) An investment club or similar informal investment arrangement between the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child, and others;

    (6) A qualified profit sharing, retirement, or similar plan in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child has an interest; or

    (7) An entity in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child individually or jointly holds more than a 25 percent equity interest.

    (e) Exemptions. The following forms of credit are exempted from the prohibitions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section and the disqualification requirement in paragraph (d) of this section, provided the credit is offered on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public:

    (1) Revolving consumer credit or charge cards;

    (2) Overdraft protection on checking accounts and similar accounts; and

    (3) The provision of telephone, cable, gas, electricity, water, or other similar utility services provided on credit (i.e., the service is provided before payment is due such that consumers incur debt as they use the service and receive periodic bills for the services used).

    (f) Waivers. The DAEO, after consultation with senior management in the Division in which the employee works, may grant a written waiver from the prohibition in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section or the disqualification requirement in paragraph (d) of this section, based on a determination that participation in matters otherwise prohibited by this section would not be prohibited by law (18 U.S.C. 208) or create an appearance of loss of impartiality or use of public office for private gain, and would not otherwise be inconsistent with the OGE Standards or the CFPB Ethics Regulations.

    8. Section 9401.109 is amended by: a. Revising the section heading; b. Revising paragraphs (a)(5) and (b)(1) through (5); and c. Adding paragraphs (b)(6) and (7).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 9401.109 Disqualification of employees from particular matters involving existing creditors.

    (a) * * *

    (5) A trust in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child has a vested legal or beneficial interest;

    (b) * * *

    (1) Revolving consumer credit or charge cards;

    (2) Overdraft protection on checking accounts and similar accounts;

    (3) Amortizing indebtedness on consumer goods (e.g., automobiles);

    (4) Automobile leases for primarily personal (consumer) use vehicles;

    (5) The provision of telephone, cable, gas, electricity, water, or other similar utility services provided on credit (i.e., the service is provided before payment is due such that consumers incur debt as they use the service and receive periodic bills for the services used);

    (6) Educational loans (e.g., student loans; loans taken out by a parent or guardian to pay for a child's education costs); and

    (7) Loans on residential homes (e.g., home mortgages; home equity lines of credit).

    9. Section 9401.110 is revised to read as follows:
    § 9401.110 Prohibited recommendations.

    An employee shall not make recommendations or suggestions, directly or indirectly, concerning the acquisition or sale or other divestiture of a security in an entity supervised by the Bureau, or an entity that is or represents a party to a particular matter involving specific parties to which the employee is assigned.

    10. Section 9401.111 is revised to read as follows:
    § 9401.111 Restriction on participating in matters involving covered entities.

    (a) Disqualification required. Absent an authorization pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, an employee shall not participate in a particular matter involving specific parties if a covered entity is or represents a party to the matter.

    (b) “Covered entity” defined. For purposes of this section, a “covered entity” includes:

    (1) Any person for whom the employee is serving or seeking to serve, or has served with the last year, as officer, director, trustee, general partner, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, or employee; or

    (2) Any person for whom the employee is aware the employee's spouse, domestic partner, fiancé, child, parent, sibling, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or member of the employee's household is serving or seeking to serve as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, or employee.

    (c) Waivers. The DAEO may authorize the employee to participate in a matter that would require disqualification under paragraph (a) of this section, using the authorization process set forth in 5 CFR 2635.502(d) of the OGE Standards. The DAEO will consult with senior management in the Division in which the employee works before issuing such an authorization.

    Dated: December 15, 2016. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Director, Office of Government Ethics.
    [FR Doc. 2016-31596 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2014-0715] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Mavericks Surf Competition, Half Moon Bay, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to revise a special local regulation in the navigable waters of Half Moon Bay, CA, near Pillar Point in support of the Mavericks Surf Competition, an annual invitational surf competition held at the Mavericks Break. We are proposing this revision to improve the regulation by making it clearer and to have it better reflect the natural conditions that must be met for this surf competition to take place. This regulation is necessary to provide for the safety of life on the navigable waters immediately prior to, during, and immediately after the surfing competition, which is held only one day between November 1 of each year and March 31 of the following year. This proposed revision would temporarily restrict vessel traffic in the vicinity of Pillar Point and prohibit vessels and persons not participating in the surfing event from entering the dedicated surfing area and a designated no-entry area. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before February 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-0427 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 Marcia Medina, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco; telephone (415) 399-7443, email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations ATON Aids to Navigation CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OCMI Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection PATCOM Patrol Commander § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    The Mavericks Surf Competition has grown in popularity within the past several years. Due to the inherent dangers of the competition and the disruption to the normal uses of the waterways in the vicinity of Pillar Point, the Coast Guard issues a Marine Event Permit to the event sponsor. Following the collapse of the Cliffside viewing area in 2011, the Coast Guard became concerned that the loss of shore-side viewing would result in a larger than expected number of spectator vessels in the vicinity of the event.

    The Coast Guard considered promulgating a safety zone which would prevent spectator vessels from encroaching on the competition area to preserve the safety of both the surfers and the spectators. Because it proved impossible to reliably predetermine the exact location of breaking surf, the Coast Guard did not establish a safety zone for subsequent events, but has continued to maintain a presence at the event to protect the competitors from encroaching spectator vessels and vice versa.

    This proposed rulemaking would formalize the scheme employed during the 2013, 2014, and 2015 competitions, which proved to be an effective means of separating competitors from spectators. The two zones and associated regulations contained in this proposed rule are intended to ensure the safety of competitors from spectator vessels, and to enhance safety of spectator vessels by creating a designated area in which the Coast Guard may direct the movement of such vessels. Because of the dangers posed by the surf conditions during the Mavericks Surf Competition, the special local regulation is necessary to provide for the safety of event participants, spectators, and other vessels transiting the event area. For the safety concerns noted, it is in the public interest to have these regulations in effect during the event.

    On October 15, 2014, the Coast Guard published an interim rule and request for comments in the Federal Register (79 FR 61762) establishing the special local regulation 33 CFR 100.1106. We received no comments during the comment period on the interim rule. Although the event was not held during the 2014-2015 season, the planning process proved to be vital in identifying updates to the rule as proposed here.

    On November 3, 2015, we published a temporary final rule (80 FR 67635) for the Mavericks Surf Competition which was most recently held on February 12, 2016. That temporary rule was needed to keep spectators and vessels a safe distance away from the event participants and the hazardous waters surrounding Pillar Point. Past competitions have demonstrated the importance of restricting access to the competition area to only vessels in direct support of the competitors. In the Coast Guard's assessment, that temporary final rule provided an effective scheme for ensuring the safety of life during the Mavericks Surf Competition.

    We are proposing the following changes based on lessons learned during the multi-agency planning process. The name of this event has changed over the years based on the sponsor. The Coast Guard decided to propose this rule using the event name “Mavericks Surf Competition” to remove any affiliation with past or future sponsors and to keep the name of the event generic in order to apply to any future sponsor. In addition, this proposed rule would clarify that the maintenance of the buoy placement throughout the course of the event is a requirement for the event sponsor. The definition of “support vessels” has been updated to specifically include jet skis and to clarify that they must be pre-designated and approved to serve as such for this event by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) prior to the competition. Due to the temperamental nature of buoy locations with regards to swing circles, the proposed definition for “Zone 1” and “Zone 2” would both amend the ATON buoy reference of “Pillar Point Entrance Lighted Gong Buoy 1” to only reference a latitude and longitude position. Finally, the definition of “spectator vessel” was expanded to specifically include human-powered craft.

    Under 33 CFR 100.35, the Coast Guard District Commander has authority to promulgate certain special local regulations deemed necessary to ensure the safety of life on the navigable waters immediately before, during, and immediately after an approved regatta or marine parade. The Commander of Coast Guard District 11 has delegated to the Captain of the Port (COTP) San Francisco the responsibility of issuing such regulations.

    The Mavericks Surf Competition is a one-day “Big Wave” surfing competition between the top big wave surfers as chosen by the event organizer. The competition only occurs when 15-20 foot waves are sustained for over 24 hours and are combined with mild easterly winds of no more than 5-10 knots. The rock and reef ridges that make up the sea floor of the Pillar Point area, combined with optimal weather conditions, create the large waves for which Mavericks is known. Due to the hazardous waters surrounding Pillar Point at the time of the surfing competition, the Coast Guard is proposing to modify § 100.1106 which establishes a special local regulation in the vicinity of Pillar Point that restricts navigation in the area of the surf competition and in neighboring hazardous areas. This proposed rule is intended to ensure the safety of competitors by delineating a specific competition area, and to provide for the safety of spectators by imposing operating restrictions on those vessels.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to revise a regulated area for the Mavericks Surf Competition. The Mavericks Surf Competition will take place on a day that presents favorable surf conditions between November 1 of each year and March 31 of the following year, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. The Mavericks Surf Competition can only occur when 15-20 foot waves are sustained for over 24 hours and are combined with mild easterly winds of no more than 5-10 knots. Unpredictable weather patterns and the event's narrow operating window limit the Coast Guard's ability to notify the public of the event. The Coast Guard would issue notice of the event as soon as practicable, but no later than 24 hours before Competition day via the Broadcast Notice to Mariners and issue a written Boating Public Safety Notice at least 24 hours in advance of Competition day. Also, the zones that would be established by this proposed rule will be prominently marked by at least 8 buoys throughout the course of the event.

    The Mavericks Surf Competition will occur in the navigable waters of Half Moon Bay, CA, in the vicinity of Pillar Point as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18682 (http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/18682.shtml). The Coast Guard will enforce a regulated area defined by an arc extending 1000 yards from Sail Rock (37°29′34″ N., 122°30′02″ W.) excluding the waters within Pillar Point Harbor. All proposed restrictions would apply only between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the day of the actual competition.

    The effect of this regulation would be to restrict navigation in the vicinity of Pillar Point during the Mavericks Surf Competition. During the enforcement period, the Coast Guard would direct the movement and access of all vessels within the regulated area. The regulated area will be divided into two zones. Zone 1 will be designated as the competition area, and the movement of vessels within Zone 2 will be controlled by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    This regulation is needed to keep spectators and vessels a safe distance away from the event participants and the hazardous waters surrounding Pillar Point. Past competitions have demonstrated the importance of restricting access to the competition area to only vessels in direct support of the competitors. Failure to comply with the lawful directions of the Coast Guard could result in additional vessel movement restrictions, citation, or both.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 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 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    We expect the economic impact of this rule does not rise to the level of necessitating a full Regulatory Evaluation. The regulated area and associated regulations are limited in duration, and are limited to a narrowly tailored geographic area. In addition, although this rule restricts access to the waters encompassed by the regulated area, the local waterway users will be notified via public Broadcast Notice to Mariners to ensure the regulations will result in minimum impact. The entities most likely to be affected are small commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    The Coast Guard did not receive any comments from the Small Business Administration on the Interim rule published on October 15, 2014. Also, while some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator. If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would 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 above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an 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 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 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 a regulated area of limited size and duration. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) and 35(b) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are 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.

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

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

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, 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 as being 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 Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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

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

    PART 100—REGATTAS AND MARINE PARADES 1. The authority citation for part 100 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233; 33 CFR 1.05-1.

    2. Revise § 100.1106 to read as follows:
    § 100.1106 Special Local Regulation; Mavericks Surf Competition.

    (a) Location. This special local regulation establishes a regulated area on the waters of Half Moon Bay, located in the vicinity of Pillar Point, excluding the waters within Pillar Point Harbor. This regulated area is defined in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (b) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Competition day, which if defined wave and wind conditions are met, will occur for one day between November 1 of each year and March 31 of the following year. Notice of the specific enforcement date of this section will be announced via Broadcast Notice to Mariners and issued in writing by the Coast Guard in a Boating Public Safety Notice at least 24 hours in advance of Competition day.

    (c) Definitions. As used in this section—

    Competition day means the one day between November 1 of each year and March 31 of the following year that Mavericks Surf Competition will be held. The Mavericks Surf Competition will only be held if 15 to 20 foot waves are sustained for over 24 hours and are combined with mild easterly winds of no more than 5 to 10 knots.

    Competitor means a surfer enrolled in the Mavericks Surf Competition.

    Patrol Commander or PATCOM means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer, or a Federal, State, or local officer designated by the Captain of the Port San Francisco (COTP), to assist in the enforcement of the special local regulation.

    Regulated area means the area in which the Mavericks Surf Competition will take place. This area is bounded by an arc extending 1000 yards from Sail Rock (37°29′34″ N., 122°30′02″ W.) excluding the waters within Pillar Point Harbor. All coordinates are North American Datum 1983. Within the regulated area, at least two zones will be established and marked by buoys on the day of the competition. Due to the dynamic and changing nature of the surf, the exact size and location of the zones will not be made public until the competition day. The zones will be prominently marked by at least 8 buoys, placed and maintained throughout the course of the event by the event sponsor in a pattern approved by the PATCOM. In addition, the Coast Guard will notify the public of the zone locations via Broadcast Notice to Mariners on the day of the event.

    Spectator vessel means any vessel or person, including human-powered craft, which is not designated by the sponsor as a support vessel.

    Support vessel means a vessel, including jet skis, which is designated and conspicuously marked by the sponsor to provide direct support to the competitors. Support vessels must be pre-designated and approved to serve as such for this event by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) prior to the competition.

    Zone 1 means the competition area within the regulated area. Zone 1 will generally be located to the northwest of a line drawn between Sail Rock (37°29′34″ N., 122°30′02″ W.) and 37°29′10.410″ N., 122°30′21.904″ W.

    Zone 2 means the area within the regulated area where the Coast Guard may direct the movement of all vessels, including restricting vessels from this area. Zone 2 will generally be located to the southeast of a line drawn between Sail Rock (37°29′34″ N., 122°30′02″ W.) and 37°29′10.410″ N., 122°30′21.904″ W.

    (d) Special local regulations. The following regulations apply between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the competition day.

    (1) Only support vessels may be authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM) to enter Zone 1 during the competition.

    (2) Entering the water in Zone 1 by any person other than the competitors is prohibited. Competitors may enter the water in Zone 1 from authorized support vessels only.

    (3) Spectator vessels and support vessels within Zone 2 must maneuver as directed by PATCOM. Given the changing nature of the surf in the vicinity of the competition, PATCOM may close Zone 2 to all vessels due to hazardous conditions. Due to weather and sea conditions, the Captain of the Port may deny access to Zone 2 and the remainder of the regulated area to all vessels other than competitors and support vessels on the day of the event

    (4) Entering the water in Zone 2 by any person is prohibited.

    (5) Rafting and anchoring of vessels are prohibited within the regulated area.

    (6) Only vessels authorized by the PATCOM will be permitted to tow other watercraft within the regulated area.

    (7) Spectator and support vessels in Zones 1 and 2 must operate at speeds which will create minimum wake, in general, 7 miles per hour or less.

    (8) If granted permission to enter the regulated area, when hailed or signaled by the PATCOM by a succession of sharp, short signals by whistle or horn, the hailed vessel must come to an immediate stop and comply with the lawful directions issued. Failure to comply with a lawful direction may result in additional operating restrictions, citation for failure to comply, or both.

    (9) During the events, vessel operators may contact the PATCOM on VHF-FM channel 16.

    Dated: December 13, 2016. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00175 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL 9957-79-OW] 40 CFR Part 35 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Applications for Credit Assistance Under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of funding availability.

    SUMMARY:

    In the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017, signed by the President on December 10, 2016, Congress provided $20 million in budget authority for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) program. This funding covers the Federal government's anticipated cost of providing a much larger amount of credit assistance. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that current budget authority may provide more than $1 billion in credit assistance and may finance over $2 billion in water infrastructure investment. The purpose of this notice of funding availability (NOFA) is to solicit letters of interest (LOIs) from prospective borrowers seeking credit assistance from EPA.

    EPA will evaluate and select proposed projects described in the LOIs using the selection criteria established in regulation at 40 CFR 35.10055,1 and further described in this NOFA as well as the WIFIA program handbook. This NOFA establishes relative weights that will be used in the current LOI submittal period for the selection criteria and outlines the process that applicants must follow to be considered for WIFIA credit assistance.

    1 81 FR 91822, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/19/2016-30194/credit-assistance-for-water-infrastructure-projects

    In addition, EPA reserves the right to make additional awards under this announcement, consistent with Agency policy and guidance, if additional funding is available after the original selections are made.

    DATES:

    EPA will collect LOIs in two selection rounds in FY 2017. The first LOI submittal period will begin on January 10, 2017, and end at midnight in the time zone of the prospective borrower on April 10, 2017. The second LOI submittal period, if needed, will begin on August 1, 2017 and end at midnight in the time zone of the prospective borrower on September 29, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Prospective borrowers should submit all LOIs electronically via email at: [email protected] Prospective borrowers will receive a confirmation email and are advised to request a return receipt to confirm transmission. Only LOIs received by email, as provided above, shall be considered for funding.

    Prospective borrowers can access additional information, including the WIFIA program handbook and application materials, on the WIFIA Web site: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the first selection round, EPA will make available the full $17 million of budget authority appropriated for the WIFIA program to provide credit assistance. This $17 million in Federal funding can help finance total project costs of more than $2 billion. If funding remains after the first selection round, EPA will hold a second round. The second LOI submittal period, if needed, will begin on August 1, 2017 and end at midnight in the time zone of the prospective borrower on September 29, 2017. Late proposals will not be considered for funding.

    EPA will announce the amount available in the second selection round through a notice in the Federal Register, as well as on EPA's WIFIA program Web site. In the event that EPA changes the application or selection process to incorporate best practices from the initial round, a new NOFA will be published.

    For a project to be considered during a selection round, EPA must receive a complete LOI electronically via email before the corresponding deadline listed above. EPA is only able to accept emails of 25 MB or smaller with unzipped attachments. If necessary due to size restrictions, prospective borrowers may submit attachments separately, as long as they are received by the deadline.

    When writing a LOI, prospective borrowers must also fill out the form and follow the guidelines contained on the WIFIA program Web site: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/. Prospective borrowers should provide the LOI and any attachments as searchable PDF files, whenever possible, to facilitate EPA's review. Additionally, prospective borrowers should ensure that financial information, including the pro forma financial statement, is in a formula-based Microsoft Excel document whenever possible. Section V of this NOFA provides additional details on the contents of the LOIs.

    EPA will invite final applications from prospective borrowers whose project proposals are selected for continuation in the application process. EPA must receive final applications within 365 days of the invitation to apply. If EPA does not receive an application within this timeframe, it is considered withdrawn and the prospective borrower will need to resubmit a LOI to be considered in any subsequent rounds of project selection.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Program Funding III. Eligibility Requirements IV. Types of Credit Assistance V. Letters of Interest and Applications VI. Fees VII. Selection Criteria I. Background

    Congress enacted WIFIA as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). Codified at 33 U.S.C. 3901-3914, as amended by sec. 5008 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, signed into law by the President on December 16, 2016, WIFIA establishes a new federal credit program for water infrastructure projects to be administered by EPA. WIFIA authorizes EPA to provide federal credit assistance in the form of secured (direct) loans or loan guarantees for eligible water infrastructure projects.

    The WIFIA program's mission is to accelerate investment in our nation's water and wastewater infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost, supplemental credit assistance under customized terms to creditworthy drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects of national and regional significance.

    II. Program Funding

    Congress appropriated $20 million in funding to cover the subsidy cost of providing WIFIA credit assistance. The subsidy cost represents the Federal government's risk that the loan may not be paid back, and since EPA anticipates that on average for the water industry, the risk is relatively low, this funding can be leveraged into a much larger amount of credit assistance. EPA estimates that this appropriation will allow it to provide approximately $1 billion 2 in long-term, low-cost financing to water and wastewater projects and accelerate more than $2 billion in infrastructure investment around the country.

    2 This estimated loan volume is provided for reference only. Consistent with the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 and the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget, the actual subsidy cost of providing credit assistance is based on individual project characteristics and calculated on a project-by-project basis. Thus, actual lending capacity may vary.

    Recognizing the need that exists in both small and large communities to invest in infrastructure, Congress stipulated in WIFIA that EPA set aside 15% of the budget authority appropriated each year for small communities, defined as systems that serve a population of less than 25,000. Of the funds set aside, any amount not obligated by June 1 of the fiscal year for which budget authority is set aside may be used for any size community. Regardless of whether EPA obligates these funds by June 1 of the fiscal year for which budget authority is set aside, EPA will endeavor to use 15% of its budget authority for small communities.

    In addition to assisting both large and small projects and communities, WIFIA will be an attractive borrowing mechanism for a variety of different borrower and credit types. EPA anticipates that WIFIA's low cost combined with the debt structuring flexibilities offered by the program will be of benefit to municipalities, private entities, project financings, and to the State Revolving Fund programs.

    III. Eligibility Requirements

    The WIFIA statute and implementing rules set forth eligibility requirements for prospective borrowers, projects, and project costs. The requirements outlined below are described in greater detail in the WIFIA program handbook.

    A. Eligible Applicants

    Prospective borrowers must be one of the following in order to be eligible for WIFIA credit assistance:

    (i) A corporation;

    (ii) A partnership;

    (iii) A joint venture;

    (iv) A trust;

    (v) A Federal, State, or local governmental entity, agency, or instrumentality;

    (vi) A tribal government or a consortium of tribal governments; or

    (vii) A State infrastructure financing authority.

    B. Eligible Projects

    The WIFIA statute authorizes EPA to provide credit assistance for a wide variety of projects. Projects must be one of the following in order to be eligible for WIFIA credit assistance:

    (i) One or more activities that are eligible for assistance under section 603(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1383(c)), notwithstanding the public ownership requirement under paragraph (1) of that subsection;

    (ii) One or more activities described in section 1452(a)(2) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j-12(a)(2));

    (iii) A project for enhanced energy efficiency in the operation of a public water system or a publicly owned treatment works;

    (iv) A project for repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of a treatment works, community water system, or aging water distribution or waste collection facility (including a facility that serves a population or community of an Indian reservation);

    (iv) A brackish or sea water desalination project, including chloride control, a managed aquifer recharge project, a water recycling project, or a project to provide alternative water supplies to reduce aquifer depletion;

    (v) A project to prevent, reduce, or mitigate the effects of drought, including projects that enhance the resilience of drought-stricken watersheds;

    (vi) Acquisition of real property or an interest in real property—

    (a) If the acquisition is integral to a project described in paragraphs (i) through (v); or

    (b) Pursuant to an existing plan that, in the judgment of the Administrator, would mitigate the environmental impacts of water resources infrastructure projects otherwise eligible for assistance under this section;

    (vii) A combination of projects, each of which is eligible under paragraph (i) or (ii), for which a State infrastructure financing authority submits to the Administrator a single application; or

    (viii) A combination of projects secured by a common security pledge, each of which is eligible under paragraph (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi), for which an eligible entity, or a combination of eligible entities, submits a single application.

    C. Eligible Costs

    As defined under 33 U.S.C. 3906 and described in the WIFIA program handbook, eligible project costs are costs associated with the following activities:

    (i) Development-phase activities, including planning, feasibility analysis (including any related analysis necessary to carry out an eligible project), revenue forecasting, environmental review, permitting, preliminary engineering and design work, and other preconstruction activities;

    (ii) Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and replacement activities;

    (iii) The acquisition of real property or an interest in real property (including water rights, land relating to the project, and improvements to land), environmental mitigation (including acquisitions pursuant to section 5026(7) of the statute), construction contingencies, and acquisition of equipment; and

    (iv) Capitalized interest necessary to meet market requirements, reasonably required reserve funds, capital issuance expenses, and other carrying costs during construction. Capitalized interest on WIFIA credit assistance may not be included as an eligible project cost.

    D. Threshold Requirements

    In order for a project to be considered for WIFIA credit assistance, a project must meet the following six criteria:

    (i) The project and obligor shall be creditworthy;

    (ii) A project shall have eligible project costs that are reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $20 million, or for a project eligible under paragraphs (2) or (3) of 33 U.S.C. 3905 serving a community of not more than 25,000 individuals, project costs that are reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $5 million;

    (iii) Project financing shall be repayable, in whole or in part, from State or local taxes, user fees, or other dedicated revenue sources that also secure the senior project obligations of the project; shall include a rate covenant, coverage requirement, or similar security feature supporting the project obligations; and may have a lien on revenues subject to any lien securing project obligations;

    (iv) In the case of a project that is undertaken by an entity that is not a State or local government or an agency or instrumentality of a State or local government, or a tribal government or consortium of tribal governments, the project that the entity is undertaking shall be publicly sponsored.

    (v) The applicant shall have developed an operations and maintenance plan that identifies adequate revenues to operate, maintain, and repair the project during its useful life.

    E. Federal Requirements

    All projects receiving WIFIA assistance must comply with Federal requirements and regulations, including (but not limited to):

    (i) American Iron and Steel Requirement, 33 U.S.C. 3914, https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf/state-revolving-fund-american-iron-and-steel-ais-requirement;

    (ii) Labor Standards, 33 U.S.C. 1372, https://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/dbra.htm;

    (iii) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., https://www.epa.gov/nepa;

    (iv) Floodplain Management, Executive Order 11988, 42 FR 26951, May 24, 1977, as amended by Executive Order 13690, 80 FR 6425, February 4, 2015, https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/11988.html, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/30/executive-order-establishing-federal-flood-risk-management-standard-and-https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/110377;

    (v) Archeological and Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 469-469c, https://www.nps.gov/archeology/tools/laws/ahpa.htm;

    (vi) Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq., https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview;

    (vii) Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-water;

    (viii) Coastal Barrier Resources Act, 16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., https://www.fws.gov/ecological-services/habitat-conservation/cbra/Act/index.html;

    (ix) Coastal Zone Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq., https://coast.noaa.gov/czm/about/;

    (x) Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., https://www.fws.gov/endangered/;

    (xi) Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, Executive Order 12898, 59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994, https://www.archives.gov/files/federal-register/executive-orders/pdf/12898.pdf;

    (xii) Protection of Wetlands, Executive Order 11990, 42 FR 26961, May 25, 1977, as amended by Executive Order 12608, 52 FR 34617, September 14, 1987, https://www.epa.gov/cwa-404;

    (xiii) Farmland Protection Policy Act, 7 U.S.C. 4201 et seq., https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/?cid=nrcs143_008275;

    (xiv) Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 U.S.C. 661-666c, as amended, https://www.fws.gov/;

    (xv) Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/laws_policies/msa/;

    (xvi) National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq., https://www.nps.gov/archeology/tools/laws/NHPA.htm;

    (xvii) Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq., https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water;

    (xviii) Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq., https://rivers.gov/;

    (xix) Debarment and Suspension, Executive Order 12549, 51 FR 6370, https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12549.html;

    (xx) Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act, 42 U.S.C. 3301 et seq., as amended, and Executive Order 12372, 47 FR 30959, http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning;

    (xxi) Drug-Free Workplace Act, 41 U.S.C. 8101 et seq., https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/screen4.htm;

    (xxii) New Restrictions on Lobbying, 31 U.S.C. 1352, https://www.epa.gov/grants/lobbying-and-litigation-information-federal-grants-cooperative-agreements-contracts-and-loans;

    (xxiii) Prohibitions relating to violations of the Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act with respect to Federal contracts, grants, or loans under 42 U.S.C. 7606 and 33 U.S.C. 1368, and Executive Order 11738, 38 FR 25161, September 12, 1973, https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/11738.html;

    (xxiv) The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2005-01-04/pdf/05-6.pdf;

    (xxv) Age Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq., https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adea.cfm;

    (xxvi) Equal Employment Opportunity, Executive Order 11246, 30 FR 12319, September 28, 1965, https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/ca_11246.htm;

    (xxvii) Section 13 of the Clean Water Act, Pub. L. 92-500, codified in 42 U.S.C. 1251, https://www.epa.gov/ocr/section-13-federal-water-pollution-control-act-amendments-1972;

    (xxviii) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 794, supplemented by Executive Orders 11914, 41 FR 17871, April 29, 1976 and 11250, 30 FR 13003, October 13, 1965, https://www.epa.gov/ocr/section-504-rehabilitation-act-1973;

    (xxix) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/title-vi-and-environmental-justice;

    (xxx) Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Procurement under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Financial Assistance Agreements, 73 FR 15904, https://www.epa.gov/resources-small-businesses.

    Detailed information about some of these requirements is outlined in the WIFIA program handbook. Further information can be found at the links above.

    IV. Types of Credit Assistance

    Under WIFIA, EPA is permitted to provide credit assistance in the form of secured (direct) loans or loan guarantees. The maximum amount of WIFIA credit assistance to a project is 49 percent of eligible project costs. Each prospective borrower will list the estimated total capital costs of the project, broken down by activity type and differentiating between eligible project costs and ineligible project costs in the LOI and application.

    V. Letters of Interest and Applications

    Each prospective borrower will be required to submit a LOI and, if invited, an application to EPA in order to be considered for approval. This section describes the LOI submission and application submission.

    A. Letter of Interest

    Applicants seeking a WIFIA loan must submit a LOI describing the project fundamentals and addressing the WIFIA selection criteria.

    The primary purpose of the LOI is to provide adequate information to EPA to: (i) Validate the eligibility of the prospective borrower and the prospective project, (ii) perform a preliminary creditworthiness assessment, (iii) perform a preliminary engineering feasibility assessment, and (iv) evaluate the project against the selection criteria and identify which projects EPA will invite to submit applications. Prospective borrowers are encouraged to review the WIFIA program handbook to help create the best justification possible for the project and a cohesive and comprehensive LOI submittal.

    Prospective applicants should utilize the LOI form on the WIFIA Web site and ensure that sufficient detail about the project is provided for EPA's review. EPA will notify a prospective applicant if a project is deemed ineligible as described in Section III of this NOFA and based on the information provided in the LOI.

    Below is guidance on what should be included in the LOI.

    A. Prospective Borrower Information. In this section, the prospective borrower describes its project's organizational structure, financial condition and experience, and project's readiness to proceed. Also, the prospective borrower provides basic information such as its address, Web site, Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number, and employer/taxpayer identification number numbers. As part of the description of its financial condition, the prospective borrower should include the year-end audited financial statements for the past three years, as available.

    In the case of a project that is undertaken by an entity that is not a State or local government or an agency or instrumentality of a State or local government, or a tribal government or consortium of tribal governments, the project that the entity is undertaking must be publicly sponsored. Public sponsorship means that the recipient can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the EPA, that the project applicant has consulted with the affected State, local, or tribal government in which the project is located, or is otherwise affected by the project and that such government supports the proposed project. A prospective borrower can show support by including a certified letter signed by the approving municipal department or similar agency, mayor or other similar designated authority, local ordinance, or any other means by which local government approval can be evidenced.

    B. Project Plan. The prospective borrower provides a general description of the project, including its location, population served, purpose, design features, estimated capital cost, and development schedule. The prospective borrower describes how the project can be categorized as one of the project types eligible for WIFIA assistance as described in the program handbook. The prospective borrower includes other relevant information that could affect the development of the project, such as community support, pending legislation, or litigation. In this section, the prospective borrower summarizes the status of the project's environmental review, engineering report, and other approvals or analyses that are integral to the project's development.

    C. Project Operations and Maintenance Plan. The prospective borrower describes its plan for operating, maintaining, and repairing the project post-completion, discusses the sources of revenue used to finance these activities, and provides an estimate of the useful life of the project.

    D. Financing Plan. The prospective borrower details the proposed sources and uses of funds for the project and states the type and amount of credit assistance it is seeking from the WIFIA program. The discussion of proposed financing should identify the source(s) of revenue or other security that would be pledged to the WIFIA assistance. Additionally, the prospective borrower describes the credit characteristics of the project and how the senior obligations of the project will achieve an investment-grade rating as well as the anticipated rating on the WIFIA instrument. It also includes a summary financial pro forma as well as revenue and expense projections for the life of the WIFIA debt.

    E. Selection Criteria. The prospective borrower describes the potential policy benefits achieved through the use of WIFIA assistance with respect to each of the WIFIA program selection criteria. These criteria and their weights are enumerated in Section VII of this NOFA and further explained in the program handbook.

    F. Contact Information.The prospective borower identifies the point of contact with whom the WIFIA program should communicate regarding the LOI. For the purpose of completing its evaluation, WIFIA program staff may contact a prospective borrower regarding specific information in the LOI.

    G. Certifications. The prospective borrower certifies that it will abide by all applicable laws and regulations, including NEPA, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the American Iron and Steel requirements, and Federal labor standards, among others if selected to receive funding.

    H. SRF Notification. The prospective borrower acknowledges that EPA will notify the State infrastructure financing authority in the State in which the project is located that it submitted a LOI and provide the submitted LOI and source documents to that authority. The prospective borrower may opt out of having its LOI and source documents shared.

    B. Application

    After the EPA concludes its evaluation of the LOIs, a selection committee will invite prospective borrowers to apply based on preliminary engineering feasibility findings, the preliminary creditworthiness assessment, the amount of budget authority necessary to provide WIFIA credit assistance, and the scoring of the selection criteria in accordance with Section VII of this NOFA.

    Applications must be submitted using the form provided on the WIFIA Web site: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/. The purpose of the application is to provide the WIFIA program with the materials necessary to underwrite the loan. Underwriting performed by the WIFIA team will include a thorough evaluation of the project's plan of finance and underlying economics, including a detailed assessment of the project's cash flow and proposed credit terms. The WIFIA team will review the inputs and assumptions in the financing plan, the revenue and expenditures in the financing plan, the project's ability to meet WIFIA loan repayment obligations, and project risks and mitigants, among other things. An application fee may be required, as determined by the final fee rule.

    EPA will require a preliminary rating opinion letter indicating that the project's senior debt obligations have the potential to attain an investment-grade rating, prior to approving a project for credit assistance. To demonstrate this potential, each application must include a preliminary rating opinion letter from a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) that addresses the creditworthiness of the senior debt obligations funding the project (i.e., debt obligations which have a lien senior to that of the WIFIA credit instrument on the pledged security) and the default risk of the WIFIA loan. The preliminary rating opinion letter must be based on the financing structure proposed by the prospective borrower, must conclude that there is a reasonable probability for the senior debt obligations to receive an investment grade rating, and should opine on the default risk of the WIFIA credit assistance itself. If the WIFIA credit assistance is proposed as the senior obligation, then it must receive the investment grade rating. A project that does not demonstrate the potential for its senior obligations to receive an investment grade rating will not be considered for a WIFIA loan.

    Finally, prior to execution of a WIFIA loan agreement, each prospective borrower must obtain two investment grade ratings on its project's senior debt obligations (which may be the WIFIA credit instrument) and revised opinions on the default risk of the WIFIA loan.

    Detailed information requirements for the application are listed in the application form, and are described in the WIFIA program handbook.

    VI. Fees

    There is no fee to submit a LOI. EPA has proposed in “Fees for Water Infrastructure Project Applications under WIFIA”, found at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0568 at http://www.regulations.gov, that each invited applicant must submit, concurrent with its application, a non-refundable Application Fee of $25,000 for projects serving communities of not more than 25,000 individuals or $100,000 for all other projects. Applications will not be evaluated until the Application Fee is paid. For successful applicants, this fee will be credited toward final payment of a Credit Processing Fee, assessed following financial close, to reimburse the EPA for actual engineering, financial, and legal costs. In the event a final credit agreement is not executed, the borrower is still required to reimburse EPA for the costs incurred. Typically, the amount of this credit processing fee is expected to range between $350,000 and $700,000, although it can be greater for projects that require complex financial structures and extended negotiations or lower for projects that require simpler financial structures and shorter negotiations.

    Borrowers may finance any of the fees described above with WIFIA credit assistance, in accordance with recent amendments to WIFIA found in section 5008 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. Borrowers may not finance any other expenses associated with the application process, such as charges associated with obtaining the required preliminary rating opinion letter, with WIFIA credit assistance.

    VII. Selection Process and Criteria

    This section specifies the criteria and process that EPA will use to evaluate and award applications for WIFIA assistance.

    After EPA concludes its evaluation of the LOIs, a selection committee will invite prospective borrowers to apply based on the scoring of the selection criteria, the initially estimated amount of budget authority consumed by the project, the preliminary creditworthiness assessment, and the preliminary engineering feasibility assessment. In addition, the selection committee will take into consideration geographic and project diversity when identifying which projects should be invited to submit complete applications.

    To maintain consistency throughout the evaluation process, the criteria will receive a score on the rating scale of 1-5, 1 being the lowest. Each criterion is weighted based upon EPA's mission and priorities as well as factors influencing the successful implementation of the WIFIA program. There is no threshold score that must be achieved in order to be selected. Rather, the selection committee will weigh each of the factors outlined above in making final determinations.

    An invitation to apply for WIFIA credit assistance does not guarantee EPA's approval, which remains subject to a project's continued eligibility, including creditworthiness, the successful negotiation of terms acceptable to EPA, and the availability of funds at the time at which all necessary recommendations and evaluations have been completed. However, the purpose of EPA's LOI review is to pre-screen prospective borrowers to the extent practicable. In doing this, it is expected that EPA will only invite projects to apply if it anticipates that those projects are able to obtain WIFIA credit assistance.

    The selection criteria incorporate statutory eligibility requirements as well as EPA priorities. EPA has identified the following project priorities for the LOI submittal period:

    (i) Adaptation to extreme weather and climate change including enhanced infrastructure resiliency, water recycling and reuse, and managed aquifer recovery;

    (ii) Enhanced energy efficiency of treatment works, public water systems, and conveyance systems, including innovative, energy efficient nutrient treatment;

    (iii) Green infrastructure; and

    (iv) Repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of infrastructure and conveyance systems.

    EPA's priorities reflect water sector challenges that require innovative tools to assist municipalities in managing and adapting to our most pressing public health and environmental challenges. These priorities are reflected in the relative weights of the thirteen selection criteria below, described in greater detail in the WIFIA program handbook.

    Listed in order of relative weight for this LOI submittal period, the WIFIA selection criteria are as follows:

    (i) The extent to which the project is nationally or regionally significant, with respect to the generation of economic and public health benefits: 10 percent.

    (ii) The likelihood that assistance under WIFIA would enable the project to proceed at an earlier date than the project would otherwise be able to proceed: 5 percent.

    (iii) The extent to which the project uses new or innovative approaches such as the use of energy efficient parts and systems, or the use of renewable or alternate sources of energy; green infrastructure; and the development of alternate sources of drinking water through desalination, aquifer recharge or water recycling: 10 percent.

    (iv) The extent to which the project protects against extreme weather events, such as floods or hurricanes, as well as the impacts of climate change: 10 percent.

    (v) The extent to which the project helps maintain or protect the environment or public health: 10 percent.

    (vi) The extent to which the project serves regions with significant energy exploration, development, or production areas: 5 percent.

    (vii) The extent to which the project serves regions with significant water resource challenges, including the need to address water quality concerns related to groundwater, surface water, or other resources, significant flood risk, water resource challenges identified in existing regional, state, or multistate agreements, and water resources with exceptional recreational value or ecological importance: 10 percent.

    (viii) The extent to which the project addresses identified municipal, state, or regional priorities: 5 percent.

    (ix) The readiness of the project to proceed towards development, including a demonstration by the prospective borrower that there is reasonable expectation that the contracting process for construction of the project can commence by not later than ninety days after the date on which a Federal credit instrument is obligated: 5 percent.

    (x) The extent to which the project financing plan includes public or private financing in addition to assistance under WIFIA: 5 percent.

    (xi) The extent to which assistance under WIFIA reduces the contribution of Federal assistance to the project: 5 percent.

    (xii) The extent to which the project addresses needs for repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of a treatment works, community water system, or aging water distribution or wastewater collection system: 10 percent.

    (xiii) The extent to which the project serves economically stressed communities, or pockets of economically stressed rate payers within otherwise non- communities: 10 percent.

    The scoring scales and guidance used to evaluate each project against the selection criteria are available in the WIFIA program handbook. Prospective borrowers considering WIFIA should review the WIFIA program handbook and discuss how the project addresses each of these selection criteria in the LOI submission.

    In the event that EPA changes the application or selection process to incorporate best practices from the initial round, a new NOFA will be published. Any updates will also be available on the WIFIA Web site: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/.

    Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 3901-3914; 40 CFR part 35.

    Dated: December 22, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-31828 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    82 6 Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Designation of Fremont Grain Inspection Department, Inc. To provide Class X or Class Y Weighing Services AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    GIPSA is announcing the designation of Fremont Grain Inspection Department, Inc. (Fremont) to provide Class X or Class Y weighing services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: November 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Lathrop, 816-891-0415, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the August 24, 2016, Federal Register (81 FR 57884), GIPSA announced the designation of Fremont to provide official services under the USGSA, effective July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2021. Subsequently, Fremont asked GIPSA to amend their designation to include official weighing services. The USGSA authorizes the Secretary to designate authority to perform official weighing to an agency providing official inspection services within a specified geographic area, if such agency is qualified under 7 U.S.C. 79. Under 7 U.S.C. 79(a), GIPSA evaluated information regarding the designation criteria in section 7 U.S.C. 79 and determined that Fremont is qualified to provide official weighing services in their currently assigned geographic area.

    Fremont's designation is amended to include Class X or Class Y weighing within their assigned geographic area, effective November 9, 2016, to June 30, 2021. Interested persons may obtain official services by contacting Fremont at (402) 721-1270.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Larry Mitchell, Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00203 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Opportunity for Designation in the Casa Grande, Arizona, Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This Area AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The designation of the official agency listed below will end on March 31, 2017. We are asking persons or governmental agencies interested in providing official services in the areas presently served by this agency to submit an application for designation. In addition, we are asking for comments on the quality of services provided by the following designated agency: Farwell Commodity Grain Services, Inc. (Farwell Southwest).

    DATES:

    Applications and comments must be received by February 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit applications and comments concerning this Notice using any of the following methods:

    Applying for Designation on the Internet: Use FGISonline (https://fgis.gipsa.usda.gov/default_home_FGIS.aspx) and then click on the Delegations/Designations and Export Registrations (DDR) link. You will need to obtain an FGISonline customer number and USDA eAuthentication username and password prior to applying.

    Submit Comments Using the Internet: Go to Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov). Instructions for submitting and reading comments are detailed on the site.

    Mail, Courier or Hand Delivery: Jacob Thein, Compliance Officer, USDA, GIPSA, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153

    Fax: Jacob Thein, 816-872-1257

    Email: [email protected]

    Read Applications and Comments: All applications and comments will be available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Thein, 816-866-2223 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 79(f) of the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)). Under section 79(g) of the USGSA, designations of official agencies are effective for no longer than five years, unless terminated by the Secretary, and may be renewed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in section 79(f) of the USGSA.

    Areas Open for Designation Farwell Southwest

    Pursuant to Section 79(f)(2) of the United States Grain Standards Act, the following geographic area in the States of Arizona and California is assigned to this official agency.

    In Arizona

    Maricopa, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma Counties.

    In California

    Imperial, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. Farwell Southwest's assigned geographic area does not include the export port locations inside Farwell Southwest's area which are serviced by GIPSA.

    Opportunity for Designation

    Interested persons or governmental agencies may apply for designation to provide official services in the geographic areas specified above under the provisions of section 79(f) of the USGSA and 7 CFR 800.196. Designation in the specified geographic areas in Arizona and California is for the period beginning April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2022. To apply for designation or to request more information, contact Jacob Thein at the address listed above.

    Request for Comments

    We are publishing this Notice to provide interested persons the opportunity to comment on the quality of services provided by the Farwell Southwest official agency. In the designation process, we are particularly interested in receiving comments citing reasons and pertinent data supporting or objecting to the designation of the applicant. Submit all comments to Jacob Thein at the above address or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    We consider applications, comments, and other available information when determining which applicants will be designated.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Larry Mitchell, Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00205 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA).

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), herein referred to as RUS or the Agency, announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. In addition, this NOSA announces the minimum and maximum Community Connect grant amounts, the funding priority, the application submission dates, the agency contact information, and the procedures for submission of paper and electronic applications.

    RUS will publish the amount of funding received in the final appropriations act on its Web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. Applicants can review the Community Connect Grant Program regulation at 7 CFR part 1739 (Subpart A).

    DATES:

    Submit completed paper or electronic grant applications by the following deadlines:

    Paper submissions: Paper submissions must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than March 13, 2017 to be eligible for FY 2017 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2017 grant funding.

    Electronic submissions: Electronic submissions must be received no later than March 13, 2017 to be eligible for FY 2017 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2017 grant funding.

    • If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the FY 2017 Application Guide and materials for the Community Connect Grant Program may be obtained through:

    (1) The Community Connect Web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants; and

    (2) The RUS Office of Loan Origination and Approval at 202-720-0800.

    Completed applications may be submitted the following ways:

    (1) Paper: Mail paper applications to the Rural Utilities Service, Telecommunications Program, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597. Mark address with “Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service.”

    (2) Electronic: Submit electronic applications through Grants.gov. Prospective applicants can access information on submitting electronic applications at any time, regardless of registration status, through the Grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov. However, in order to use the electronic submission option, applicants must register with Grants.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, telephone: (202) 720-0800.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

    Funding Opportunity Title: Community Connect Grant Program.

    Announcement Type: Initial announcement.

    Funding Opportunity Number: RDRUS-CC-2017.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.863.

    Dates: Applicants must submit the paper or electronic grant applications by the deadlines found in this section and Section D(5).

    A. Program Description

    The purpose of the Community Connect Grant Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all premises in currently unserved, lower-income, and extremely rural areas. RUS will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on the criteria contained herein.

    In addition to providing service to all premises, the program's “community-oriented connectivity” concept will stimulate practical, everyday uses and applications of broadband by cultivating the deployment of new broadband services that improve economic development and provide enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas. Such an approach will also give rural communities the opportunity to benefit from the advanced technologies that are necessary to achieve these goals. The regulation for the Community Connect Program can be found at 7 CFR part 1739.

    As in years past, the FY 2017 Community Connect Grant Application Guide has been updated based on program experience. All applicants should carefully review and prepare their applications according to instructions in the FY 2017 Application Guide and sample materials. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's own risk.

    B. Federal Award Information

    In accordance with 7 CFR 1739.2, the Administrator has established a minimum grant request amount of $100,000 and a maximum grant request amount of $3,000,000 per application for FY 2017.

    The standard grant agreement, which specifies the term of each award, is available at http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/UTP_Comm_ConnectGrantAgreement.pdf. The Agency will make awards, and successful applicants will be required to execute documents appropriate to the project before the Agency will advance funding.

    While prior Community Connect grants cannot be renewed, existing Community Connect awardees may submit applications for new projects. The Agency will evaluate project proposals from existing awardees as new applications. All grant applications must be submitted during the application window.

    C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants (See 7 CFR 1739.10)

    a. Only entities legally organized as one of the following are eligible for Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance:

    i. An incorporated organization.

    ii. An Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b.

    iii. A state or local unit of government.

    iv. Other legal entity, including a cooperative, private corporation, or limited liability company organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.

    b. Applicants must have the legal capacity and authority to enter into contracts, to comply with applicable federal statutes and regulations, and to own and operate the broadband facilities as proposed in their application.

    c. Applicants must have an active registration with current information in the System for Award Management (SAM) at https://www.sam.gov and have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Further information regarding SAM registration and DUNS number acquisition can be found in Sections D(3) and D(4) of this NOSA.

    2. Ineligible Applicants

    a. The following entities are not eligible for Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance:

    i. Individuals and partnerships.

    ii. Corporations that have been convicted of a Federal felony within the past 24 months. Any corporation that has been assessed to have any unpaid federal tax liability, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed and is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance.

    b. In accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Sections 743-4, no funds may be available “for a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with an entity that requires employees or contractors of such entity seeking to report fraud, waste, or abuse to sign internal confidentiality agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting such employees or contractors from lawfully reporting such waste, fraud, or abuse to a designated investigative or law enforcement representative of a Federal department or agency authorized to receive such information.”

    3. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The Community Connect Grant Program requires matching contributions for grants. See 7 CFR 1739.14 and the FY 2017 Application Guide for information on required matching contributions.

    a. Grant applicants must demonstrate matching contributions in cash of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the requested grant amount. Matching contributions must be used solely for the Project and shall not include any financial assistance from federal sources unless there is a federal statutory exception specifically authorizing the federal financial assistance to be considered as such as discussed in 7 CFR 1739.14.

    b. Applications that do not provide sufficient documentation of the required fifteen percent match will be declared ineligible.

    4. Funding Restrictions

    a. Eligible grant purposes.

    Grant funds may be used to finance:

    i. The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, including spectrum, land or buildings to deploy service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all participating Critical Community Facilities and all required facilities needed to offer such service to all residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area;

    ii. The improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a Community Center that furnishes free internet access at the Broadband Grant Speed and provides Computer Access Points. Grant funds provided for such costs shall not exceed the lesser of ten percent (10%) of the grant amount requested or $150,000; and

    iii. The cost of bandwidth to provide service free of charge at the Broadband Grant Speed to Critical Community Facilities for the first two (2) years of operation.

    b. Ineligible grant purposes.

    Grant funds may not be used to finance:

    i. The duplication of any existing Broadband Service provided by another entity.

    ii. Operating expenses other than the cost of providing bandwidth at the Broadband Grant Speed to the Critical Community Facilities for two (2) years.

    iii. Any other operating expenses not specifically permitted in 7 CFR 1739.12.

    c. Other. For more information, see 7 CFR 1739.3 for definitions, 7 CFR 1739.12 for eligible grant purposes, and 7 CFR 1739.13 for ineligible grant purposes.

    5. Other

    Eligible projects must propose to fulfill the following requirements (see 7 CFR 1739.11 for more information):

    a. Minimum Broadband Service. RUS uses this measurement to determine whether a proposed funded service area is served or unserved. Until otherwise revised in the Federal Register, the minimum rate-of-data transmission that qualifies as Minimum Broadband Service is four (4) megabits per second downstream and one (1) megabit per second upstream for both fixed and mobile broadband service. RUS will determine that Broadband Service does not exist for areas with no broadband access or whose access is less than 4 Mbps downstream plus 1 Mbps upstream.

    b. Minimum Broadband Grant Speed. The minimum bandwidth that an applicant must propose to deliver to every customer in the proposed funded service area. Until otherwise revised in the Federal Register, the minimum rate-of-data transmission that qualifies as Minimum Broadband Grant Speed is ten (10) megabits downstream and one (1) megabit upstream for both fixed and mobile service to the customer.

    c. Rural Area. A Rural Area refers to any area, as confirmed by the most recent decennial Census of the United States, which is not located within:

    i. A city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; or

    ii. An urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants. For purposes of the definition of Rural Area, an urbanized area means a densely populated territory as defined in the most recent decennial Census.

    d. Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA). Applicants must define a contiguous geographic area within an eligible Rural Area, in which Broadband Service does not currently exist, and where the applicant proposes to offer service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all residential and business customers. A PFSA must not overlap with Service Areas of current RUS borrowers and grantees.

    e. Critical Community Facilities. Applicants must propose to offer service, free of charge to users, at the Broadband Grant Speed to all Critical Community Facilities located within the Proposed Funded Service Area for at least two (2) years.

    f. Community Center. Applicants must propose to provide a Community Center, within the PFSA, with at least two (2) Computer Access Points and wireless access at the Broadband Grant Speed free of charge to users for at least two (2) years.

    D. Application and Submission Information

    The FY 2017 Application Guide provides specific detailed instructions for each item in a complete application. The Agency emphasizes the importance of including every required item and strongly encourages applicants to follow the instructions carefully, using the examples and illustrations in the FY 2017 Application Guide. Applications submitted by the application deadline, but have critical missing items will be returned as ineligible. The Agency will not solicit or consider scoring or eligibility information that is submitted after the application deadline. However, depending on the specific scoring criteria, applications that do not include all items necessary for scoring may still be eligible applications, but may not receive full or any credit if the information cannot be verified. See the FY 2017 Application Guide for a full discussion of each required item. For a comprehensive list of all information required in a grant application, refer to 7 CFR 1739.15.

    1. Address To Request Application Package

    The FY 2017 Application Guide, copies of necessary forms and samples, and the Community Connect Grant Program Regulation are available in the following locations:

    a. Community Connect Grant Program Web page at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants.

    b. The Office of Loan Origination and Approval in RUS; call 202-720-0800.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    a. Carefully review the Community Connect Application Guide and the 7 CFR part 1739, which detail all necessary forms and worksheets. A table summarizing the necessary components of a complete application can be found in Section D(2)(d).

    b. Submission of Application Items. Given the high volume of program interest, applicants should submit the required application items in the order indicated in the FY 2017 Application Guide. Applications that are not assembled and tabbed in the specified order impede timely determination of eligibility. For applications with inconsistencies among submitted copies, the Agency will base its evaluation on the original signed application received.

    c. Additional Information. The Agency may ask for additional or clarifying information for applications submitted by the deadline which appear to meet the eligibility requirements, but require further review.

    d. Table of Required Information in a Complete Grant Application. This table summarizes and categorizes the items required in a grant application.

    Application item Regulation Comments A Application for Federal Assistance Form Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. SF-424 Standard Form A-2 SAM Registration Information Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. A-3 State Director Notification Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. A-4 Equal Opportunity Survey Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. B Executive Summary of the Project Narrative. C Scoring Criteria Documentation Narrative & Documentation. Special Considerations Documentation. D System Design Narrative & Documentation. Network Diagram Documentation. Environmental Questionnaire 7 CFR part 1970 Narrative & Documentation. E Service Area Map Provided in RUS web-based Mapping Tool. Service Area Demographics Documentation. F Scope of Work Narrative & Documentation. Construction Build-out and Project Milestones Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Project Budget Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. G Community-oriented Connectivity Plan Narrative. H Financial Information and Sustainability Narrative & Documentation. I Statement of Experience Narrative. J Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence Documentation. K Additional Funding Narrative & Documentation. L Compliance with Other Statutes and Regulations Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination 7 CFR part 15 (Subpart A) Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 49 CFR Part 24 and 7 CFR Part 21 Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters 7 CFR Part 3017 Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Lobbying for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements 7 CFR Part 3018 Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Drug-Free Workplace 7 CFR Part 3017 Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Architectural Barriers Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Flood Hazard Area Precautions 7 CFR 1970 Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Non-Duplication of Services Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Federal Collection Policies for Commercial Debt Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide. Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants Form provided in FY 2017 Application Guide (corporate applicants-only).

    e. Number of copies of submitted applications.

    i. Applications submitted on paper. Submit the original application and two (2) copies to RUS.

    ii. Applications submitted electronically through Grants.gov. Submit the electronic application once. Carefully read the FY 2017 Application Guide for guidance on submitting an electronic application. Applicants should identify and number each page in the same manner as the paper application.

    3. Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number

    The grant applicant must supply a DUNS number as part of the application. The Standard Form 424 (SF-424) contains a field for the DUNS number. The applicant can obtain the DUNS number free of charge by calling Dun and Bradstreet. Go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform for more information on DUNS number acquisition or confirmation.

    4. System for Award Management (SAM)

    Prior to submitting a paper or an electronic application, the applicant must register in SAM at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. SAM registration must be active with current data at all times, from the application review throughout the active Federal grant funding period. To maintain active SAM registration, the applicant must review and update the information in the SAM database annually from the date of initial registration or from the date of the last update. The applicant must ensure that the information in the database is current, accurate, and complete.

    5. Submission Dates and Times

    a. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than March 13, 2017 to be eligible for FY 2017 grant funding. Late applications, applications which do not include proof of mailing or shipping, and incomplete applications are not eligible for FY 2017 grant funding. If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day. In the event of an incomplete application, the Agency will notify the applicant in writing, return the application, and terminate all further action.

    i. Address paper applications to the Telecommunications Program, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597. Applications should be marked, “Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval.”

    ii. Paper applications must show proof of mailing or shipping by the deadline with one of the following:

    A. A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark.

    B. A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the USPS.

    C. A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    iii. Due to screening procedures at the USDA, packages arriving via regular mail through the USPS are irradiated, which can damage the contents and delay delivery to the office. RUS encourages applicants to consider the impact of this procedure when selecting their application delivery method.

    b. Electronic grant applications submitted through Grants.gov must be received no later than March 13, 2017 to be eligible for FY 2017 funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2017 grant funding.

    i. Applications will not be accepted via fax or electronic mail.

    ii. Electronic applications for grants must be submitted through the federal government's Grants.gov initiative at http://www.grants.gov/. Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required passwords, credentialing, and software.

    iii. Grants.gov requires some credentialing and online authentication procedures. These procedures may take several business days to complete. Therefore, the applicant should complete the registration, credentialing, and authorization procedures at Grants.gov before submitting an application.

    iv. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). The grant applicant must supply a DUNS number as part of the application. See Section D(3) of this NOSA for more information.

    v. System for Award Management (SAM). Grants.gov requires that the applicant's organization is registered in SAM. Be sure to obtain the organization's SAM listing well in advance of the application deadline. See Section D(4) of this NOSA for more information.

    vi. RUS encourages applicants who wish to apply through Grants.gov to submit their applications in advance of the deadline.

    vii. If system errors or technical difficulties occur, use the customer support resources available at the Grants.gov Web site.

    E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria

    Grant applications are scored competitively and are subject to the criteria listed below. The maximum number of points possible is 115. See 7 CFR 1739.17 and the FY 2017 Application Guide for more information on the scoring criteria.

    a. Needs Category. The Agency analyzes the challenges related to the following criteria and the ways in which the project proposes to address these issues (up to 50 points):

    i. Economic characteristics.

    ii. Educational challenges.

    iii. Health care needs.

    iv. Public safety issues.

    b. Stakeholder Involvement Category. The Agency analyzes the extent of the project planning, development, and support from local residents, institutions, and Critical Community Facilities (up to 40 points).

    c. Experience Category. The Agency analyzes the management team's level of experience and past success of broadband systems operation (up to 10 points).

    d. Special Consideration Areas Category. In accordance with 7 CFR 1739.1(a), applicants may receive special consideration if they submit documentation demonstrating that they will provide service at the Broadband Grant Speed within the following areas (15 points):

    i. Tribal jurisdiction or trust areas.

    ii. Promise Zone (for further information, see the Promise Zone Web site at http://www.hud.gov/promisezones/).

    iii. Strike Force area (for further information, see the Strikeforce Web site at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usda?navid=STRIKE_FORCE).

    e. In making a final selection among and between applications with comparable rankings and geographic distribution, the Administrator may take into consideration the characteristics of the Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA), as identified in 7 CFR 1739.17(d).

    2. Review and Selection Process

    Grant applications are ranked according to their final scores. RUS selects applications based on those rankings, subject to the availability of funds and consistent with 7 CFR 1739.17. In addition, it should be noted that an application receiving fewer points can be selected over an application receiving more points in the event that there are insufficient funds available to cover the costs of the higher scoring application, as stated in 7 CFR 1739.16(f).

    a. In addition to the scoring criteria that rank applications against each other, the Agency evaluates grant applications on the following items, in accordance with 7 CFR 1739.16:

    i. Financial feasibility. A proposal that does not indicate financial feasibility or that is not sustainable will not be approved for an award.

    ii. Technical considerations. An application that contains flaws that would prevent the successful implementation, operation, or sustainability of the project will not be approved for an award.

    b. Applications conforming with this part will then be evaluated competitively and ranked by a panel of RUS employees that the Administrator of RUS selects, and will be awarded points as described in the scoring criteria in 7 CFR 1739.17. Applications will be ranked and grants awarded in order until all grant funds are expended.

    c. The Agency reserves the right to offer the applicant a lower amount than the amount proposed in the application, as stated in 7 CFR 1739.16(g).

    F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices

    a. Successful applications. RUS notifies applicants whose projects are selected for awards by mailing or emailing a copy of the award letter. The receipt of an award letter does not authorize the applicant to commence performance under the award.

    b. After sending the award letter, the Agency will send an agreement that contains all the terms and conditions, as referenced in 7 CFR 1739.18 and Section B of this NOSA. A copy of the standard agreement is posted on the RUS Web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants. RUS recognizes that each funded project is unique, and therefore may attach additional conditions to individual award documents. An applicant must execute and return the grant agreement with any additional items required by the agreement within the number of days specified in the selection notice letter.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    The items listed in this NOSA, the Community Connect Grant Program regulation, the FY 2017 Application Guide, and accompanying materials implement the appropriate administrative and national policy requirements, which include, but are not limited to:

    a. Executing a Community Connect Grant Agreement.

    b. Using Form SF 270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement,” to request reimbursements (along with the submission of receipts for expenditures, timesheets, and any other documentation to support the request for reimbursement).

    c. Providing annual project performance activity reports until the expiration of the award.

    d. Ensuring that records are maintained to document all activities and expenditures utilizing Community Connect grant funds and matching funds (receipts for expenditures are to be included in this documentation).

    e. Providing a final project performance report.

    f. Complying with policies, guidance, and requirements as described in the following applicable Code of Federal Regulations, and any successor regulations:

    i. 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards).

    ii. 2 CFR part 417 (Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension).

    iii. 2 CFR part 180 (Government-wide Debarment and Suspension).

    g. Signing Form AD-3031 (“Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants”) (for corporate applicants only).

    h. Complying with Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.” For information on limited English proficiency and agency-specific guidance, go to http://www.LEP.gov.

    3. Reporting

    a. Performance reporting. All recipients of Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance must provide annual performance activity reports to RUS until the project is complete and the funds are expended. A final performance report is also required. This report may serve as the last annual report. The final report must include an evaluation of the success of the project in meeting the Community Connect Grant Program objectives. See 7 CFR 1739.19 and 2 CFR 200.328 for additional information on these reporting requirements.

    b. Financial reporting. All recipients of Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance must provide an annual audit, beginning with the first year in which a portion of the financial assistance is expended. Audits are governed by USDA audit regulations. See 7 CFR 1739.20 and 2 CFR part 200 (Subpart F) for a description of the financial reporting requirements.

    c. Recipient and Sub-recipient Reporting. The applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements for first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 in the event the applicant receives funding unless such applicant is exempt from such reporting requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 170.110(b). The reporting requirements under the Transparency Act pursuant to 2 CFR 170 are as follows:

    i. First Tier Sub-Awards of $25,000 or more (unless they are exempt under 2 CFR part 170) must be reported by the Recipient to https://www.fsrs.gov no later than the end of the month following the month the obligation was made. Please note that currently underway is a consolidation of eight federal procurement systems, including the Federal Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS), into one system, the System for Award Management (SAM). As a result, the FSRS will soon be consolidated into and accessed through https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.

    ii. The Total Compensation of the Recipient's Executives (the five most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the Recipient (if the Recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/ by the end of the month following the month in which the award was made.

    iii. The Total Compensation of the Sub-recipient's Executives (the five most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the Sub-recipient (if the Sub-recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to the Recipient by the end of the month following the month in which the sub-award was made.

    d. Record Keeping and Accounting. The contract will contain provisions related to record keeping and accounting requirements.

    G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    1. Web site: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants. This site maintains up-to-date resources and contact information for the Community Connect Grant Program;

    2. Telephone: 202-720-0800;

    3. Email: [email protected]; and

    4. Main Point of Contact: Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    H. Other Information 1. USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    USDA prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

    2. How To File a Complaint

    a. Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint. Individuals who wish to file an employment complaint must contact their Agency's EEO Counselor within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act, event, or in the case of a personnel action. Additional information can be found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_file.html.

    b. Program Discrimination Complaint. Individuals who wish to file a Program Discrimination Complaint must complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. A letter may also be written containing all of the information requested in the form. Send the completed complaint form or letter by mail to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or email at [email protected]

    3. Persons With Disabilities

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 (English) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

    Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact USDA by mail or email. Individuals who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) may contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Dated: December 6, 2016. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00194 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    CHEMICAL SAFETY AND HAZARD INVESTIGATION BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    January 25, 2017, 1:00 p.m. EST

    PLACE:

    U.S. Chemical Safety Board, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20006.

    STATUS:

    Open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on January 25, 2017, starting at 1:00 p.m. EST in Washington, DC, at the CSB offices located at 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 910. The Board will discuss open investigations, the status of audits from the Office of the Inspector General, financial and organizational updates, and review the agency's action plan. The Board will also review safety video animation related to the CSB Williams Olefins investigation. An opportunity for public comment will be provided.

    Additional Information

    The meeting is free and open to the public. If you require a translator or interpreter, please notify the individual listed below as the “Contact Person for Further Information,” at least three business days prior to the meeting.

    A conference call line will be provided for those who cannot attend in person. Please use the following dial-in number to join the conference: (888) 466-9863 Confirmation Number 5690151#.

    The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating accidents and hazards that result, or may result, in the catastrophic release of extremely hazardous substances. The agency's Board Members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents and hazards, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

    Public Comment

    The time provided for public statements will depend upon the number of people who wish to speak. Speakers should assume that their presentations will be limited to three minutes or less, but commenters may submit written statements for the record.

    Contact Person for Further Information:

    Hillary Cohen, Communications Manager, at [email protected] or (202) 446-8094. Further information about this public meeting can be found on the CSB Web site at: www.csb.gov.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Kara A. Wenzel, Acting General Counsel, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00403 Filed 1-6-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6350-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: 2018 End-to-End Census Test—Address Canvassing Operation.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-xxxx.

    Form Number(s):

    DH-31(E/S) Confidentiality Notice.

    Listing and Mapping Application Screenshots—screenshots are taken from the legacy tool, LiMA. Screens for the new, in-development tool (ECaSE-ALM) will be comparable.

    Type of Request: New Collection.

    Number of Respondents: 43,965.

    Average Hours Per Response: 5 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 3,664 hours.

    Needs and Uses:

    During the years preceding the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is pursuing its commitment to reducing the cost of conducting the census while maintaining the quality of the results. The 2018 End-to-End Census Test is the last major test before the 2020 Census and will validate that the 2020 Census design is ready for production from a system, operational and architectural perspective. The Address Canvassing operation is the first operation in the 2018 End-to-End Census Test, with field activity beginning in the summer of 2017. The purpose of the Address Canvassing operation is (1) to deliver a complete and accurate address list and spatial database for enumeration and tabulation, and (2) to determine the type and address characteristics for each living quarter. The Address Canvassing operation consists of two major components: In-Office Address Canvassing and In-Field Address Canvassing. Only the latter component involves collection of information from residents at their living quarters.

    The following objectives are crucial to a successful Address Canvassing operation:

    • Test the listing and mapping capabilities required by In-Field Address Canvassing

    • Validate the creation of In-Field Address Canvassing workload by In-Office Address Canvassing.

    • Conduct a listing quality control operation during In-Field Address Canvassing.

    The results of this test will inform the Census Bureau's final preparations for the Address Canvassing Operation in advance of the 2020 Census.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Frequency: One time.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Sheleen Dumas, PRA Departmental Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00196 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-134-2016] Approval of Subzone Status, Jos. A. Bank Manufacturing Company, Hampstead and Eldersburg, Maryland

    On October 13, 2016, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the Maryland Aviation Administration, on behalf of the Maryland Department of Transportation, grantee of FTZ 73, requesting subzone status subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 73, on behalf of Jos. A. Bank Manufacturing Company in Hampstead and Eldersburg, Maryland.

    The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (81 FR 72037-72038, October 19, 2016). The FTZ staff examiner reviewed the application and determined that it meets the criteria for approval. Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to establish Subzone 73D is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 73's 67-acre activation limit.

    Dated: January 4, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00303 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-870] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From India: Final Affirmative Determination, and Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (off road tires) from India. For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination” section of this notice. The period of investigation is January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective January 10, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Spencer Toubia or Gene Calvert, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-0123 or (202) 482-3586, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department published the Preliminary Determination on June 20, 2016.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 The Issues and 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 is 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 Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

    1Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from India: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, Preliminary Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part, and Alignment of Final Determination with Final Antidumping Determination 81 FR 39903 (June 20, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from India,” (Issues and Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the Preliminary Determination, the Department set aside a period of time for parties to address scope issues in case briefs or other written comments on scope issues.3 In the Preliminary Determination, we did not modify the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.4 No interested party submitted scope comments in case or rebuttal briefs. Therefore, the scope of this investigation remains unchanged for this final determination.5

    3See Preliminary Determination at 81 FR 39903, and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at “Scope Comments.”

    4Id.

    5 The Department has added two additional subheadings from the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to the list included for convenience and customs purposes since the Preliminary Determination. No revisions were made to the written description of the subject merchandise.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires from India. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

    The subsidy programs under investigation and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues that parties raised, and to which we responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, is attached to this notice at Appendix II.

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    The Department, in making these findings, relied, in part, on facts available and, because one or more respondent companies failed to cooperate to the best of their ability in responding to the Department's requests for information, we made adverse inferences.6 Further, because the Government of India did not cooperate to the best of its ability in this investigation, we also determine that adverse inferences are warranted, pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act. A full discussion of our decision to rely on adverse facts available is presented in the “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    6See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our review and analysis of the comments received from parties, and minor corrections presented at verification, we made certain changes to the respondents' subsidy rate calculations set forth in the Preliminary Determination. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and the Final Analysis Memoranda.7

    7See Issues and Decision Memorandum; see also Memoranda, “Final Determination Analysis for ATC Tires Private Limited.,” and “Final Determination Analysis for Balkrishna Industries Limited,” both dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    In the Preliminary Determination, the Department found that critical circumstances exist with respect to off road tires from India for All Other exporters or producers not individually examined, but did not exist for ATC Tires Private Limited (ATC) and Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT).8 Upon further analysis of the data and comments submitted by interested parties following the Preliminary Determination, we are modifying our findings for the Final Determination. 9 Specifically, in accordance with section 705(a)(2) of the Act, we find that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports from ATC, and All Other producers or exporters, but do not exist for BKT.

    8See Preliminary Determination, 81 FR at 39903.

    9 For a full description of the methodology and results of our analysis, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Determination

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) of the Act, we determined a countervailable subsidy rate for each individually investigated exporter/producer of the subject merchandise (i.e., ATC and BKT). Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that for companies not individually investigated, we will determine an “all-others” rate equal to the weighted average of the countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any de minimis countervailable subsidy rates and rates determined entirely by adverse facts available, under section 776 of the Act. Accordingly, in this final determination, we have calculated the “all-others” rate by weight-averaging the calculated subsidy rates of the two individually investigated respondents, using the respondents' publicly-ranged sales data for exports of subject merchandise to the United States.10

    10See Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from India: Final Determination Margin Calculation for All-Others,” dated concurrently with this memorandum.

    We determine the estimated net countervailable subsidy rates are as follows.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent ad valorem)
  • ATC Tires Private Limited 4.90 Balkrishna Industries Limited 5.36 All-Others 5.06
    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose to parties in this proceeding the calculations performed for this final determination within five days of the date of public announcement of our final determination, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension Liquidation

    As a result of our Preliminary Determination, and pursuant to section 703(d) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of merchandise under consideration from India that were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after June 20, 2016, which is the publication date in the Federal Register of the Preliminary Determination. In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we issued instructions to CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after October 17, 2016, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries of subject merchandise from March 22, 2016, through October 16, 2016.

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and will reinstate the suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act and will require a cash deposit of estimated CVDs for such entries of subject merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    ITC Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    In the event the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation that is subject to sanction.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: January 3, 2017. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation is certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (certain off road tires). Certain off road tires are tires with an off road tire size designation. The tires included in the scope may be either tube-type 11 or tubeless, radial, or non-radial, regardless of whether for original equipment manufacturers or the replacement market.

    11 While tube-type tires are subject to the scope of this proceeding, tubes and flaps are not subject merchandise and therefore are not covered by the scope of this proceeding, regardless of the manner in which they are sold (e.g., sold with or separately from subject merchandise).

    Subject tires may have the following prefix or suffix designation, which appears on the sidewall of the tire:

    Prefix designations:

    DH—Identifies a tire intended for agricultural and logging service which must be mounted on a DH drop center rim.

    VA—Identifies a tire intended for agricultural and logging service which must be mounted on a VA multipiece rim.

    IF—Identifies an agricultural tire to operate at 20 percent higher rated load than standard metric tires at the same inflation pressure.

    VF—Identifies an agricultural tire to operate at 40 percent higher rated load than standard metric tires at the same inflation pressure.

    Suffix designations:

    ML—Mining and logging tires used in intermittent highway service.

    DT—Tires primarily designed for sand and paver service.

    NHS—Not for Highway Service.

    TG—Tractor Grader, off-the-road tire for use on rims having bead seats with nominal +0.188” diameter (not for highway service).

    K—Compactor tire for use on 5° drop center or semi-drop center rims having bead seats with nominal minus 0.032 diameter.

    IND—Drive wheel tractor tire used in industrial service.

    SL—Service limited to agricultural usage.

    FI—Implement tire for agricultural towed highway service.

    CFO—Cyclic Field Operation.

    SS—Differentiates tires for off-highway vehicles such as mini and skid-steer loaders from other tires which use similar size designations such as 7.00-15TR and 7.00-15NHS, but may use different rim bead seat configurations.

    All tires marked with any of the prefixes or suffixes listed above in their sidewall markings are covered by the scope regardless of their intended use.

    In addition, all tires that lack any of the prefixes or suffixes listed above in their sidewall markings are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in the following sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set forth below. The sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book listing numerical size designations of covered certain off road tires include:

    The table of mining and logging tires included in the section on Truck-Bus tires;

    The entire section on Off-the-Road tires;

    The entire section on Agricultural tires; and

    The following tables in the section on Industrial/ATV/Special Trailer tires:

    • Industrial, Mining, Counterbalanced Lift Truck (Smooth Floors Only);

    • Industrial and Mining (Other than Smooth Floors);

    • Construction Equipment;

    • Off-the-Road and Counterbalanced Lift Truck (Smooth Floors Only);

    • Aerial Lift and Mobile Crane; and

    • Utility Vehicle and Lawn and Garden Tractor.

    Certain off road tires, whether or not mounted on wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported mounted on a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope. Subject merchandise includes certain off road tires produced in the subject countries whether mounted on wheels or rims in a subject country or in a third country. Certain off road tires are covered whether or not they are accompanied by other parts, e.g., a wheel, rim, axle parts, bolts, nuts, etc. Certain off road tires that enter attached to a vehicle are not covered by the scope.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are passenger vehicle and light truck tires, racing tires, mobile home tires, motorcycle tires, all-terrain vehicle tires, bicycle tires, on-road or on-highway trailer tires, and truck and bus tires. Such tires generally have in common that the symbol “DOT” must appear on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Such excluded tires may also have the following prefixes and suffixes included as part of the size designation on their sidewalls:

    Prefix letter designations:

    AT—Identifies a tire intended for service on All-Terrain Vehicles;

    P—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on passenger cars;

    LT—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on light trucks;

    T—Identifies a tire intended for one-position “temporary use” as a spare only; and

    ST—Identifies a special tire for trailers in highway service.

    Suffix letter designations:

    TR—Identifies a tire for service on trucks, buses, and other vehicles with rims having specified rim diameter of nominal plus 0.156” or plus 0.250”;

    MH—Identifies tires for Mobile Homes;

    HC—Identifies a heavy duty tire designated for use on “HC” 15” tapered rims used on trucks, buses, and other vehicles. This suffix is intended to differentiate among tires for light trucks, and other vehicles or other services, which use a similar designation.

    Example: 8R17.5 LT, 8R17.5 HC;

    LT—Identifies light truck tires for service on trucks, buses, trailers, and multipurpose passenger vehicles used in nominal highway service;

    ST—Special tires for trailers in highway service; and

    M/C—Identifies tires and rims for motorcycles.

    The following types of tires are also excluded from the scope: Pneumatic tires that are not new, including recycled or retreaded tires and used tires; non-pneumatic tires, including solid rubber tires; aircraft tires; and turf, lawn and garden, and golf tires. Also excluded from the scope are mining and construction tires that have a rim diameter equal to or exceeding 39 inches. Such tires may be distinguished from other tires of similar size by the number of plies that the construction and mining tires contain (minimum of 16) and the weight of such tires (minimum 1500 pounds).

    The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.20.1025, 4011.20.1035, 4011.20.5030, 4011.20.5050, 4011.61.0000, 4011.62.0000, 4011.63.0000, 4011.69.0050, 4011.92.0000, 4011.93.4000, 4011.93.8000, 4011.94.4000, 4011.94.8000, 8431.49.9038, 8431.49.9090, 8709.90.0020, and 8716.90.1020. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.4550, 4011.99.8550, 8424.90.9080, 8431.20.0000, 8431.39.0010, 8431.49.1090, 8431.49.9030, 8432.90.0005, 8432.90.0015, 8432.90.0030, 8432.90.0080, 8433.90.5010, 8503.00.9560, 8708.70.0500, 8708.70.2500, 8708.70.4530, 8716.90.5035, 8716.90.5055, 8716.90.5056 and 8716.90.5059. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Scope Comments V. Subsidies Valuation Information VI. Benchmarks and Interest Rates VII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences VIII. Analysis of Programs IX. Analysis of Comments Comment 1: Whether Tax and Import Duty Exemptions Under the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Export-Oriented Unit (EOU) Programs are Countervailable Comment 2: Whether the Department Must Eliminate Certain Duties Regarding ATC's Tamil Nadu SEZ Location in the Final Determination Comment 3: Whether the Advance Authorization Scheme (AAP) Is a Countervailable Program Comment 4: Whether the Department Should Apply Adverse Facts Available (AFA) to Determine if the Government of Gujarat's (GOG) Provision of Land to BKT from the “Land Bank” was Specific Comment 5: Whether the Department May Use Land Purchased by BKT from Private Parties as Benchmarks and Whether They Show the GOG, through the “Land Bank” Did Not Provide Land to BKT at LTAR Comment 6: Whether ATC Benefited from the Provision of Land for LTAR for its SEZ/EOU Locations and Whether the Provision of Land to ATC is Contingent upon Export Performance Comment 7: Whether the Department Should Revise the Benchmark for the Provision of Land Provided to ATC for its SEZ/EOU Locations Comment 8: Whether the Department Should Revise the Discount Rate Used to Allocate ATC's Land-Use Rights Benefits for its SEZ/EOU Locations Comment 9: Whether the Income Tax Deductions for Research and Development Expenditures Is a Specific Subsidy Comment 10: Whether the Department Should Use a Six-Month Comparison Period for Its Final Critical Circumstances Determination Comment 11: Whether the Department Should Correct Calculation Errors regarding ATC's Preliminary Determination Calculations Comment 12: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA because of Information Obtained at Verification Comment 13: Whether the Department Should Subtract BKT's Sales of its Paper Division from its Total Sales and Total Export Sales Denominators Comment 14: Whether the Department Should Subtract Sales from BKT's Wind Divisions from its Total Sales and Total Export Sales Denominators Comment 15: Whether the Department Should Use Total Sales Instead of Export Sales as the Denominator when Calculating the Rate for the Export Promotion of Capital Goods Scheme (EPCGS). X. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-00264 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-542-801] Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From Sri Lanka: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, and Final Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (off road tires) from Sri Lanka. The period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective January 10, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    E. Whitley Herndon, Office II, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6274.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The petitioners in this investigation are Titan Tire Corporation and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC. In addition to the Government of Sri Lanka, the mandatory respondent in this investigation is Camso Loadstar (Private) Ltd. (Camso Loadstar).

    The events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination1 on June 20, 2016, are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2 The Issues and Decision Memorandum also details the changes we made since the Preliminary Determination to the subsidy rates calculated for the mandatory respondent and all other producers/exporters. The Issues and 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 is 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 Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from Sri Lanka: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, Preliminary Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination with Final Antidumping Determination, 81 FR 39900 (June 20, 2016) (Preliminary Determination), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from Sri Lanka,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers off road tires, which are tires with an off road tire size designation. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

    The subsidy programs under investigation and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues that parties raised, and to which we responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, is attached to this notice as Appendix II.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our review and analysis of the comments received from parties, and minor corrections presented at verification, we made certain changes to Camso Loadstar's subsidy rate calculations since the Preliminary Determination. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and the Final Analysis Memorandum.3

    3See Memorandum “Final Determination Calculation Memorandum for Camso Loadstar (Private) Ltd. and Loadstar (Private) Ltd. (collectively Camso Loadstar),” dated concurrently with this notice (Final Analysis Memorandum).

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    On May 24, 2016, the petitioners filed a timely critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 703(e)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of off road tires from Sri Lanka.4 We preliminarily determined that critical circumstances exist for Camso Loadstar and the companies covered by the “all others” rate. For this final determination, in accordance with section 705(a) of the Act, we continue to find that critical circumstances exist for Camso Loadstar and the companies covered by the “all others” rate. For a discussion, see the “Critical Circumstances” section and “Comment 7” of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    4See Letter from Petitioners, regarding Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from Sri Lanka—Petitioners' Critical Circumstances Allegation, dated May 24, 2016.

    Final Determination

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) of the Act, we calculated a rate for Camso Loadstar (the only individually investigated exporter/producer of subject merchandise). Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that, for companies not individually investigated, we will determine an “all others” rate equal to the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis countervailable subsidy rates, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Where the rates for investigated companies are zero or de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act instructs the Department to establish an “all others” rate using “any reasonable method.”

    Because the only individually calculated rate is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, in accordance with 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, the rate calculated for Camso Loadstar is assigned as the all-others rate. We determine the total estimated net countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Camso Loadstar (Private), Ltd. 2.18 All Others 2.18
    Suspension of Liquidation

    As a result of our affirmative Preliminary Determination and our affirmative critical circumstances determination, pursuant to sections 703(d) and 703(e)(2)(A) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise from Sri Lanka which were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 22, 2016, which is 90 days before the date of the publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register.5

    5See Preliminary Determination.

    In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we later issued instructions to CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after October 18, 2016, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries from March 22, 2016, through October 17, 2016, as appropriate.

    We will issue a CVD order and reinstate the suspension of liquidation in accordance with our final determination and under section 706(a) of the Act if the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, and we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit of estimated countervailing duties for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded.

    ITC Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

    In the event that the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to the APO of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: January 3, 2017. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation is certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (certain off road tires). Certain off road tires are tires with an off road tire size designation. The tires included in the scope may be either tube-type 6 or tubeless, radial, or non-radial, regardless of whether for original equipment manufacturers or the replacement market.

    6 While tube-type tires are subject to the scope of this proceeding, tubes and flaps are not subject merchandise and therefore are not covered by the scope of this proceeding, regardless of the manner in which they are sold (e.g., sold with or separately from subject merchandise).

    Subject tires may have the following prefix or suffix designation, which appears on the sidewall of the tire:

    Prefix designations:

    DH—Identifies a tire intended for agricultural and logging service which must be mounted on a DH drop center rim.

    VA—Identifies a tire intended for agricultural and logging service which must be mounted on a VA multipiece rim.

    IF—Identifies an agricultural tire to operate at 20 percent higher rated load than standard metric tires at the same inflation pressure.

    VF—Identifies an agricultural tire to operate at 40 percent higher rated load than standard metric tires at the same inflation pressure.

    Suffix designations:

    ML—Mining and logging tires used in intermittent highway service.

    DT—Tires primarily designed for sand and paver service.

    NHS—Not for Highway Service.

    TG—Tractor Grader, off-the-road tire for use on rims having bead seats with nominal +0.188” diameter (not for highway service).

    K—Compactor tire for use on 5° drop center or semi-drop center rims having bead seats with nominal minus 0.032 diameter.

    IND—Drive wheel tractor tire used in industrial service.

    SL—Service limited to agricultural usage.

    FI—Implement tire for agricultural towed highway service.

    CFO—Cyclic Field Operation.

    SS—Differentiates tires for off-highway vehicles such as mini and skid-steer loaders from other tires which use similar size designations such as 7.00-15TR and 7.00-15NHS, but may use different rim bead seat configurations.

    All tires marked with any of the prefixes or suffixes listed above in their sidewall markings are covered by the scope regardless of their intended use.

    In addition, all tires that lack any of the prefixes or suffixes listed above in their sidewall markings are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in the following sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set forth below. The sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book listing numerical size designations of covered certain off road tires include:

    The table of mining and logging tires included in the section on Truck-Bus tires;

    The entire section on Off-the-Road tires;

    The entire section on Agricultural tires; and

    The following tables in the section on Industrial/ATV/Special Trailer tires:

    • Industrial, Mining, Counterbalanced Lift Truck (Smooth Floors Only);

    • Industrial and Mining (Other than Smooth Floors);

    • Construction Equipment;

    • Off-the-Road and Counterbalanced Lift Truck (Smooth Floors Only);

    • Aerial Lift and Mobile Crane; and

    • Utility Vehicle and Lawn and Garden Tractor.

    Certain off road tires, whether or not mounted on wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported mounted on a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope. Subject merchandise includes certain off road tires produced in the subject countries whether mounted on wheels or rims in a subject country or in a third country. Certain off road tires are covered whether or not they are accompanied by other parts, e.g., a wheel, rim, axle parts, bolts, nuts, etc. Certain off road tires that enter attached to a vehicle are not covered by the scope.

    Specifically excluded from the scope are passenger vehicle and light truck tires, racing tires, mobile home tires, motorcycle tires, all-terrain vehicle tires, bicycle tires, on-road or on-highway trailer tires, and truck and bus tires. Such tires generally have in common that the symbol “DOT” must appear on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Such excluded tires may also have the following prefixes and suffixes included as part of the size designation on their sidewalls:

    Prefix letter designations:

    AT—Identifies a tire intended for service on All-Terrain Vehicles;

    P—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on passenger cars;

    LT—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on light trucks;

    T—Identifies a tire intended for one-position “temporary use” as a spare only; and

    ST—Identifies a special tire for trailers in highway service.

    Suffix letter designations:

    TR—Identifies a tire for service on trucks, buses, and other vehicles with rims having specified rim diameter of nominal plus 0.156” or plus 0.250”;

    MH—Identifies tires for Mobile Homes;

    HC—Identifies a heavy duty tire designated for use on “HC” 15” tapered rims used on trucks, buses, and other vehicles. This suffix is intended to differentiate among tires for light trucks, and other vehicles or other services, which use a similar designation.

    Example: 8R17.5 LT, 8R17.5 HC;

    LT—Identifies light truck tires for service on trucks, buses, trailers, and multipurpose passenger vehicles used in nominal highway service;

    ST—Special tires for trailers in highway service; and

    M/C—Identifies tires and rims for motorcycles.

    The following types of tires are also excluded from the scope: Pneumatic tires that are not new, including recycled or retreaded tires and used tires; non-pneumatic tires, including solid rubber tires; aircraft tires; and turf, lawn and garden, and golf tires. Also excluded from the scope are mining and construction tires that have a rim diameter equal to or exceeding 39 inches. Such tires may be distinguished from other tires of similar size by the number of plies that the construction and mining tires contain (minimum of 16) and the weight of such tires (minimum 1500 pounds).

    The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.20.1025, 4011.20.1035, 4011.20.5030, 4011.20.5050, 4011.61.0000, 4011.62.0000, 4011.63.0000, 4011.69.0050, 4011.92.0000, 4011.93.4000, 4011.93.8000, 4011.94.4000, 4011.94.8000, 8431.49.9038, 8431.49.9090, 8709.90.0020, and 8716.90.1020. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.4550, 4011.99.8550, 8424.90.9080, 8431.20.0000, 8431.39.0010, 8431.49.1090, 8431.49.9030, 8432.90.0005, 8432.90.0015, 8432.90.0030, 8432.90.0080, 8433.90.5010, 8503.00.9560, 8708.70.0500, 8708.70.2500, 8708.70.4530, 8716.90.5035 and 8716.90.5055. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. List of Issues IV. Subsidies Valuation Information V. Critical Circumstances VI. Analysis of Programs VII. Analysis of Comments Comment 1: Whether Camso Loadstar Benefited from Exemptions/Concessions for Fiscal Levies on Imports of Spare Parts Comment 2: Whether the Provision of Tax Concession for Exporters of Non-Traditional Products Program is Countervailable Comment 3: Whether the Nation Building Tax Preferences Program is Specific and Constitutes a Financial Contribution Comment 4: Whether Camso Loadstar Benefited from the Guaranteed Price Scheme for Rubber Comment 5: Whether to Use U.S. Dollar Amounts Recorded by Camso Loadstar to Determine Subsidy Rates Comment 6: Whether to Use Camso Loadstar's Revised FOB Sales Data for Denominator Comment 7: Whether the Department Should Continue to Find Critical Circumstances Comment 8: Whether to Terminate the Investigation VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-00266 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after January 2017, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity To Request a Review: Not later than the last day of January 2017,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in January for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping Duty Proceedings Brazil: Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand A-351-837 1/1/16-12/31/16 India: Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand A-533-828 1/1/16-12/31/16 Mexico: Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand A-201-831 1/1/16-12/31/16 Republic of Korea: Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand A-580-852 1/1/16-12/31/16 South Africa: Ferrovanadium A-791-815 1/1/16-12/31/16 Thailand: Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand A-549-820 1/1/16-12/31/16 The People's Republic of China: Calcium Hypochlorite A-570-008 1/1/16-12/31/16 Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod A-570-012 1/1/16-12/31/16 Crepe Paper Products A-570-895 1/1/16-12/31/16 Ferrovanadium A-570-873 1/1/16-12/31/16 Folding Gift Boxes A-570-866 1/1/16-12/31/16 Potassium Permanganate A-570-863 1/1/16-12/31/16 Wooden Bedroom Furniture A-570-890 1/1/16-12/31/16 Countervailing Duty Proceedings Calcium Hypochlorite C-570-009 1/1/16-12/31/16 Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod C-570-013 1/1/16-12/31/16 Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods C-570-944 1/1/16-12/31/16 Circular Welded Carbon Quality Steel Line Pipe C-570-936 1/1/16-12/31/16 Suspension Agreements Mexico: Fresh Tomatoes A-201-820 1/1/16-12/31/16 Russia: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel A-821-808 1/1/16-12/31/16

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011), the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    Further, as explained in Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013), the Department clarified its practice with regard to the conditional review of the non-market economy (NME) entity in administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders. The Department will no longer consider the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.3 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity).

    3 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov. 4 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    4See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of January 2017. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of January 2017, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: January 3, 2017. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00252 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Council on Trade Enforcement and Compliance AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of establishment of the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Council on Trade Enforcement and Compliance.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), having determined that it is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the Department of Commerce by law, and with the concurrence of the General Services Administration, announces establishment of the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Council on Trade Enforcement and Compliance (ACTEC). The ACTEC shall advise the Secretary on laws and government policies that deal with trade enforcement; identify and recommend programs, policies, and actions to help the Department in its efforts to ensure that U.S. trading partners comply with their trade agreement commitments; and recommend ways that the Department's trade enforcement and compliance policies and programs can better support a strong trade and manufacturing agenda and enhance the commercial competitiveness of the United States. The ACTEC shall act as a liaison with the stakeholders represented by the membership, and shall provide a forum for stakeholder input regarding current and emerging issues in trade enforcement and compliance matters. The Department of Commerce will publish a notice in January soliciting nominations for membership on the ACTEC.

    DATES:

    Effective January 10, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Meredith Rutherford, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 3089, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202 482 6199; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Authority

    The ACTEC is established in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., to advise the Secretary on matters relating to relating to the Department's statutory missions to enforce U.S. trade remedy laws and seek foreign government compliance with trade agreements. The Department affirms that the creation of the ACTEC is necessary and in the public interest. The Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, shall serve as the Executive Director of the ACTEC. The Executive Director shall designate both the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) and a Secondary DFO from among the employees of the International Trade Administration's Enforcement and Compliance unit. The DFO serves as the ACTEC Executive Secretary.

    The ACTEC shall advise the Secretary on laws and government policies that deal with trade enforcement; identify and recommend programs, policies, and actions to help the Department in its efforts to ensure that U.S. trading partners comply with their trade agreement commitments; and recommend ways that the Department's enforcement and compliance activities can better support a strong trade and manufacturing agenda and advance the commercial competitiveness of U.S. firms and workers.

    The ACTEC shall act as a liaison with the stakeholders represented by the membership, and shall provide a forum for stakeholders on current and emerging issues concerning trade enforcement and compliance matters.

    The ACTEC shall report to the Secretary on its activities and recommendations regarding the Department's trade enforcement and compliance efforts. In creating its reports, the ACTEC should survey and evaluate the trade enforcement and compliance concerns of its stakeholders, should identify and examine specific trade problems that require attention, and should examine the needs in this area to inform the ACTEC's efforts. The ACTEC should recommend specific solutions to the problems and needs it identifies.

    II. Structure, Membership, and Operation

    The ACTEC shall consist of no more than twenty members appointed by the Secretary. Members shall represent U.S. entities involved in and significantly affected by imports and/or those that heavily export to, or operate in, countries with which the United States has trade agreements.

    All members must be U.S. Nationals and shall be selected based on their ability to carry out the objectives of the ACTEC, in accordance with applicable Department of Commerce guidelines, in a manner that ensures the ACTEC is balanced in terms of points of view, demographics, industry sector, geography of both production infrastructure and product inputs, and company size. Members shall also represent a broad range of products and services and shall be drawn from large, medium, and small enterprises, private sector organizations, and other entities, such as, non-governmental organizations, associations, and economic development organizations. Members shall serve in a representative capacity, representing the views and interests of their sponsoring entities and those of their particular industrial and regional sector (as applicable); they are, therefore, not Special Government Employees. Appointments to the ACTEC shall be made without regard to political affiliation.

    Members serve for a term of two years and will serve at the pleasure of the Secretary. The Secretary may at his/her discretion reappoint any member to an additional term or terms, provided that the member proves to work effectively on the ACTEC and his/her knowledge and advice are still needed.

    The Secretary shall designate the ACTEC chair and vice chair or vice chairs from among the members of the ACTEC. The Executive Director may establish subcommittees from among the ACTEC members, in order to perform specific functions within the jurisdiction of the ACTEC, subject to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the FACA implementing regulations, and applicable Department of Commerce guidance. Subcommittees must report back to the parent committee and do not provide advice or work product directly to the Secretary.

    III. Compensation

    Members will not be compensated for their services or reimbursed for their travel expenses.

    Dated: January 4, 2017. Steven Presing, Executive Director for Trade Agreements Policy and Negotiations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00254 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE909 Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed Issuance of Permit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), are proposing to issue a permit for a period of three years to authorize the incidental, but not intentional, take of two stocks of marine mammals listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), by the California (CA) thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>14 inch mesh) and the Washington (WA)/Oregon (OR)/CA sablefish pot fishery. In accordance with the MMPA, NMFS issues this permit provided that it can make the determination that: The incidental take will have a negligible impact on the affected stocks; a recovery plan for all affected stocks of threatened or endangered marine mammals has been developed or is being developed; and as required by the MMPA, a take reduction plan and monitoring program have been implemented, and vessels in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>14 inch mesh) and the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fisheries are registered. We have made a preliminary determination that incidental taking from commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the ESA-listed humpback whale (CA/OR/WA stock) and sperm whale (CA/OR/WA stock). Recovery plans have been completed for humpback and sperm whales. We solicit public comments on the draft negligible impact determination (NID) and on the proposal to issue a permit to vessels that operate in these fisheries for the taking of affected endangered stocks of marine mammals.

    DATES:

    Comments on this action and supporting documents must be received by February 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document and the draft negligible impact determination, which are available on the Internet at the following address: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/fisheries_interactions.html. Recovery plans for these two species are available on the Internet at the following address: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/plans.htm#mammals.

    You may submit comments on this document or the draft negligible impact determination, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0129, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0129, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Send written comments to: Chris Yates, Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, West Coast Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200; Long Beach, CA 90802. Comments may also be faxed to (562) 980-4027. Include the identifier “NOAA-NMFS-2016-0129” in the comments.

    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, etc.), 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:

    Christina Fahy, NMFS West Coast Region, (562) 980-4023 or [email protected]; or Shannon Bettridge, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8402 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(E) of the MMPA, 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., states that NMFS, as delegated by the Secretary of Commerce, shall for a period of up to three years allow the incidental taking of marine mammal species listed under the ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., by persons using vessels of the United States and those vessels which have valid fishing permits issued by the Secretary in accordance with section 204(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1824(b), while engaging in commercial fishing operations, if NMFS makes certain determinations. NMFS must determine, after notice and opportunity for public comment, that: (1) Incidental mortality and serious injury (M/SI) will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stock; (2) a recovery plan has been developed or is being developed for such species or stock under the ESA; and (3) where required under section 118 of the MMPA, a monitoring program has been established, vessels engaged in such fisheries are registered in accordance with section 118 of the MMPA, and a take reduction plan has been developed or is being developed for such species or stock.

    We propose to issue a permit under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) to vessels registered in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>14 inch mesh) to incidentally take individuals from two stocks of endangered marine mammals: The CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the CA/OR/WA stock of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus); and to vessels registered in WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery to incidentally take individuals from the CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whales. A history of MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) permits related to these stocks was included in previous notices for other permits to take threatened or endangered marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing (e.g., 72 FR 60814, October 26, 2007; 78 FR 54553, September 4, 2013) and is not repeated here. The data for considering these authorizations were reviewed coincident with the 2016 MMPA List of Fisheries (LOF; 81 FR 20550, April 8, 2016), the final 2015 U.S. Pacific Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Report (SAR) (Carretta et al. 2016), Carretta and Moore (2014), Moore and Barlow (2014), the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS), recovery plans for these species (available on the Internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/plans.htm#mammals), the best available scientific information and available data, and other relevant sources.

    Based on observer data and marine mammal injury reporting forms, vessels operating in the Category I CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>14 inch mesh) and the Category II WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery are the two Federally-managed Category I and II fisheries that operate in the ranges of affected stocks, namely the CA/OR/WA stocks of humpback whale and sperm whale, and are currently considered for authorization. A brief description of these fisheries can be found below. The CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>14 inch mesh), is the only Federally-managed Category I fishery operating off the coast of California. The WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery is the only Federally-managed Category II fishery operating off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. All other Category II fisheries that may interact with the marine mammal stocks observed off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington are state-managed and are not considered for authorization under this permit; however, M/SI related to these fisheries and all other human sources was evaluated in the draft NID. Participants in Category III fisheries are not required to obtain incidental take permits under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) but are required to report any mortality or injury of marine mammals incidental to their operations.

    Basis for Determining Negligible Impact

    Prior to issuing a permit to take ESA-listed marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing, NMFS must determine if the M/SI incidental to commercial fisheries will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks of marine mammals. NMFS satisfies this requirement through completion of a NID. We clarify that for purposes of the draft negligible impact analysis, incidental M/SI from commercial fisheries includes M/SI from entanglement in fishing gear or ingestion of fishing gear. Indirect effects, such as the effects of removing prey from habitat, are not included in this analysis. A biological opinion prepared under ESA section 7 considers direct and indirect effects of Federal actions (available at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/), and thus, contains a broader scope of analysis than is required by MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E).

    Although the MMPA does not define “negligible impact,” NMFS has issued regulations providing a qualitative definition of “negligible impact” (50 CFR 216.103), and through scientific analysis, peer review, and public notice developed a quantitative approach for determining negligible impact. As it applies here, the definition of “negligible impact” is “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” The development of the approach is outlined in detail in the current draft NID made available through this notice and was described in previous notices for other permits to take threatened or endangered marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing (e.g., 72 FR 60814, October 26, 2007; 78 FR 54553, September 4, 2013).

    Criteria for Determining Negligible Impact

    In 1999 NMFS adopted criteria for making NIDs for MMPA 101(a)(5)(E) permits (64 FR 28800, May 27, 1999). In applying the 1999 criteria to determine whether M/SI incidental to commercial fisheries will have a negligible impact on a listed marine mammal stock, Criterion 1 is whether total human-related M/SI is less than 10 percent of the stock's potential biological removal level (PBR). If total human-related M/SI is less than 10 percent of PBR, the analysis would be concluded, and the impact would be determined to be negligible. If Criterion 1 is not satisfied, NMFS may use one of the other criteria as appropriate. The remaining criteria describe alternatives under certain conditions. Criterion 2 is satisfied if the total human-related M/SI is greater than PBR, but commercial fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10 percent of PBR. If Criterion 2 is satisfied, vessels operating in individual fisheries may be permitted if management measures are being taken to address non-fisheries-related mortality and serious injury. Criterion 3 is satisfied if total commercial fisheries-related M/SI is greater than 10 percent of PBR and less than PBR, and the population is stable or increasing. Fisheries may then be permitted subject to individual review and certainty of data. Criterion 4 stipulates that if the population abundance of a stock is declining, the threshold level of 10 percent of PBR will continue to be used. Criterion 5 states that if total commercial fisheries-related M/SI is greater than PBR, permits may not be issued for that species or stock.

    We considered two time frames for this analysis: 5 years (2010-2014) and 14 years (2001-2014). The first time frame we considered for both stocks of whales is the most recent five-year period for which data are available and have been analyzed (here, January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014) and is typically used for NID analyses. A five-year time frame in many cases provides enough data to adequately capture year-to-year variations in take levels, while reflecting current environmental and fishing conditions, as they may change over time. However, NMFS' Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks (GAMMS) suggest that mortality estimates could be averaged over as many years as necessary to achieve a coefficient of variation of less than or equal to 0.3.

    In addition, Carretta and Moore (2014) recommend pooling longer time series of data when bycatch is a rare event. For example, pooling 10 years of fishery data resulted in bycatch estimates within 25 percent of the true bycatch rate over 50 percent of the time (i.e., estimates were within 25 percent of the true value more often than not). Key to this approach was that the fishery must have had sufficiently constant characteristics (e.g., effort, gear, locations) to support the inference of consistent results across years such as with the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh). Rare bycatch events typically involve smaller populations paired with low observer coverage in a fishery. If true bycatch mortality is low, but near PBR, then estimation bias needs to be reduced to allow reliable evaluation of the bycatch estimate against a low removal threshold.

    Currently, the humpback whale and the sperm whale stocks are the only ESA-listed marine mammal species interacting with the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) that meet the conditions described in Carretta and Moore (2014): These stocks have relatively small minimum population estimates and have been recorded as having been incidentally killed or seriously injured in rare events (in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh). The CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whale has also been recorded as having been rarely incidentally killed or seriously injured in the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery.

    In 2001, a time/area closure of the drift gillnet fishery off central and northern California/southern Oregon to protect leatherback sea turtles was implemented through regulations, and resulted in a decrease in overall fishing effort and a shift in effort to southern California. Therefore, the post-2000 time period best represents the current spatial state of the fishery, so we used the 14-year period post-2000 to calculate mean annual mortality estimate for these two stocks of whales, based on recommendations contained in the GAMMS and Carretta and Moore (2014). This time frame also provides a comprehensive look at the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery, given changes in oceanographic conditions, fishing practices, and reporting and stranding records.

    A conservative, or precautionary, approach is taken in these analyses for evaluating the negligible impact of fisheries and other sources of injury or mortality, such as recreational fisheries and ship strikes, on these stocks. In certain cases, the maximum estimate of M/SI was used for the calculations. For example, if a ship strike occurred, but M/SI was not observed on scene or confirmed by necropsy of the stranded animal, and if further review of reports and other sources then confirmed M/SI, it was assumed for purposes of this analysis, that M/SI occurred. Additionally, M/SI from unknown or unidentified fisheries was conservatively considered to be from commercial fisheries. Furthermore, in using two time frames for the negligible impact analyses (2001-2014 and 2010-2014), we took a precautionary approach by ensuring that a NID could be made for both time frames considered.

    Negligible Impact Determinations

    Below is a summary of our application of the negligible impact criteria and determination regarding the effects of commercial fisheries off the U.S. west coast on the CA/OR/WA stocks of humpback whale and sperm whale.

    Criterion 1 Analysis

    Criterion 1 would be satisfied if the total human-related M/SI is less than 10 percent of PBR.

    The 5-year (2010-2014) average annual human-related M/SI to the CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whales is 6.8 or 62.0 percent of the PBR (11.0). The 14-year (2001-2014) average annual human-related M/SI to the CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whales is 5.1 or 46.4 percent of the PBR. The total annual human-related M/SI for this stock of humpback whales is not less than 10 percent of PBR for both time frames considered.

    The 5-year (2010-2014) average annual human-related M/SI of the CA/OR/WA stock of sperm whales is 0.6 or 22.2 percent of the PBR (2.7). The 14-year (2001-2014) average annual human-related M/SI to the CA/OR/WA stock of sperm whales from all human sources is 0.9 or 33.3 percent of the PBR. The total annual human-caused M/SI for this stock of sperm whales is not less than 10 percent of the PBR for both time frames considered.

    Criterion 1 was not satisfied because the total annual human-related M/SI for these stocks is not less than 10 percent of PBR for the time periods considered. As a result, the other criteria must be examined.

    Criterion 2 Analysis

    Criterion 2 would be satisfied if total human-related M/SI is greater than PBR and the total fisheries-related mortality is less than 10 percent of PBR. This criterion was not satisfied because total human-related M/SI (detailed above) is less than PBR, and total fisheries-related mortality (detailed below) is greater than 10 percent of PBR for each stock (both time frames analyzed). As a result, the other criteria were examined.

    Criterion 3 Analysis

    Unlike Criteria 1 and 2, which examine total human-related M/SI relative to PBR, Criterion 3 compares total fisheries-related M/SI to PBR. Criterion 3 would be satisfied if the total commercial fisheries-related M/SI (including state and Federal fisheries) is greater than 10 percent of and less than 100 percent of PBR for each stock for the respective time frame considered, and the populations of these stocks are considered to be stable or increasing. If the Criterion is met, vessels may be permitted subject to individual review and certainty of data.

    Criterion 3 was satisfied for the CA/OR/WA humpback whale stock as the annual average fishery-related M/SI from all commercial fisheries is greater than 10 percent of and less than 100 percent of PBR, and the population is increasing (6-7 percent per year). The 5-year (2010-2014) average annual fishery-related M/SI from all commercial fisheries for the CA/OR/WA humpback whale stock is estimated at 5.6 or 51.0 percent of PBR and 4.1 or 37.3 percent of PBR for the 14-year period (2001-2014), which is between 10 percent and 100 percent of PBR. In addition, the stock has experienced a positive growth rate (6-7 percent per year). Accordingly, Criterion 3 is satisfied in determining that M/SI of the CA/OR/WA humpback whale stock incidental to commercial fishing would have a negligible impact on the stock.

    In 2015, there was a significant increase in reports of entangled humpback whales off the U.S. west coast, primarily in the state-managed pot/trap fisheries. In addition, there were two fatal ship strikes of humpback whales. We evaluated the 2015 preliminary raw entanglement and ship strike data to understand how future data may impact this type of analysis. Serious injury determinations for 2015 will be completed in early 2017. If not all entanglements or ship strikes are determined to be M/SI, it is possible to conclude there is a negligible impact under Criterion 3 for both the 15-year and five-year time frames. Based on past humpback whale injury determinations from 2007 through 2014, 84 percent were determined to be M/SI.

    Criterion 3 was satisfied for the CA/OR/WA sperm whale stock as the total fishery-related M/SI is greater than 10 percent of and less than 100 percent of PBR, and the population is stable. The 5-year (2010-2014) annual average fishery-related M/SI from all commercial fisheries for the CA/OR/WA sperm whale stock is estimated at 0.4 or 14.8 percent of PBR and 0.6 or 22.2 percent of PBR for the 14-year average (2001-2014), which is between 10 percent and 100 percent of PBR. The population is considered to be stable.

    In 2015, there were no reports of entangled or ship-struck sperm whales. Therefore, the addition of one more year of data would not change the conclusion reached in the draft NID.

    Accordingly, Criterion 3 is satisfied in determining that M/SI of the CA/OR/WA sperm whale stock incidental to commercial fishing would have a negligible impact on the stock.

    In conclusion, based on the criteria outlined in 1999 (64 FR 28800), the final 2015 U.S. Pacific SAR (Carretta et al,. 2016), Carretta and Moore (2014), Moore and Barlow (2014), and the best available scientific information, available data and other sources, NMFS has determined that the M/SI incidental to the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) and the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery will have a negligible impact on the CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whales and the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) will have a negligible impact on the CA/OR/WA stock of sperm whales. NMFS therefore proposes to issue the MMPA 101(a)(5)(E) permit. Specifically, NMFS proposes that vessels operating in these identified commercial fisheries within the range of the CA/OR/WA humpback and sperm whale stocks may be permitted subject to individual review of the fishery and the certainty of relevant data, and provided that the other provisions of section 101(a)(5)(E) are met.

    Description of Fisheries

    The following is an individual review of the two Federally-authorized fisheries classified as Category I and II in the 2016 LOF (81 FR 20550) which are known through observer records, fisher self-reports, and confirmed entanglement reports to kill or seriously injure ESA-listed marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing operations. Detailed descriptions of those fisheries can be found in the NMFS (2011) Biological Opinion on the operation of the Pacific groundfish fishery, which includes the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery; the NMFS (2013) Biological Opinion for the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh); the 2015 SAR (Carretta et al. 2016); and the draft NID.

    California Thresher Shark/Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery (>14 Inch Mesh)

    Participants in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) are required to have a valid permit issued annually by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In accordance with MMPA section 118(c), only those vessels participating in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) that have registered with the Marine Mammal Authorization Program are authorized to take marine mammals incidental to their fishing operations. Vessels holding this authorization must comply with the Pacific Offshore Cetacean Take Reduction Plan and implementing regulations. Any vessel that violates regulations will be subject to enforcement action. The estimated number of vessels in the fishery is based upon the number of vessels that indicated intent to participate in the fishery according to historical reference and may not be an accurate estimate of the number of vessels actively engaged in fishing in any given year. The CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (14 inch mesh) is a limited entry program, managed with gear, seasons, and area closures. The number of vessels participating in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (14 inch mesh) has decreased from 148 permits issued and 98 active vessels in 1998 to 72 permits issued and 18 active vessels in 2016. Information on the number of active permit holders was obtained from the “Status of the U.S. west coast fisheries for HMS through 2004; Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation” report, available from the Pacific Fishery Management Council Web site (www.pcouncil.org).

    The fishery targets swordfish and thresher shark. It operates outside of state waters to about 150 nautical miles (nm) offshore ranging from the U.S./Mexico border in the south to the Oregon border in the north, depending on sea surface temperature conditions. Regulations restrict the fishery to waters outside 200 nm from February 1 through April 30, and outside 75 nm from May 1 through August 14, while allowing fishing inside 75 nm from August 15 through January 31. Vessels in this fishery targeting swordfish tend to set on warm ocean water temperature breaks, which do not appear along the California coast until late summer. Because of these restrictions, vessels are not active during February, March, and April, and very little fishing effort occurs during the months of May, June, and July.

    In 2001, a seasonal (15 August-15 November) area closure was implemented in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) north of Point Conception, to protect leatherback turtles that feed in the area and were observed entangled in previous fishing seasons. Additional seasonal/area closures in southern California have been established in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery to protect loggerhead turtles during a forecast or occurring El Niño event during the months of June, July and/or August.

    The NMFS West Coast Region has operated an at-sea observer program in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) since July 1990 to the present. The objectives of the NMFS observer program are to record, among other things, information on non-target fish species and protected species interactions. NMFS typically targets 20 percent observer coverage of the annual sets by the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) fleet, with close to 100 percent of net retrievals monitored on observed trips for, among other things, species identification and enumeration.

    WA/OR/CA Sablefish Pot Fishery

    The WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery targets sablefish using trapezoid, conical, or rectangular steel frame traps, wrapped with ≥2 inch nylon webbing. The fishery generally sets gear at depths between 80 and 300 fathoms off the west coast of the U.S. The fishery is managed under regulations implementing the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. There are four distinct segments of the Pacific coast groundfish fishery where sablefish may be harvested, by some or all of the participants, with pot gear: Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery and daily trip limit fishery; the trawl individual fishing quota (IFQ) fishery when vessels are “gear switching” (allowed since 2011); and the open access sablefish daily trip limit fishery. Further information about each of these segments of the groundfish fishery that may harvest sablefish with pot gear is provided below.

    The limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery occurs between 36° N. latitude (lat.) and the U.S.—Canada border and requires at least one limited entry permit, with both a fixed gear endorsement and a sablefish endorsement, be registered to a vessel. The primary fishery is composed of a three-tier system of cumulative landing quotas within a restricted season, from April 1 to October 31. Permits were assigned to a tier based on landing history when the system originally began in 1998. There are 32 Limited Entry Permits issued for the sablefish trap fishery on the West Coast. Fishing outside of the primary season or after fulfillment of tier quota is allowed, subject to limited entry fixed gear weekly and two-month cumulative limits. The limited entry permits are currently associated with vessels spread throughout the Pacific Northwest from Northern California through Washington, and some vessels registered to limited entry permits also fish in waters off Alaska. Up to three sablefish-endorsed permits may be stacked for cumulative landings on one vessel and may include both trap and longline gear endorsements.

    The limited entry fixed gear daily trip limit fishery occurs coast wide, year-round. Vessels registered to limited entry permits with pot/trap gear endorsements may harvest sablefish with pot/trap gear year round, according to the applicable weekly and two-month cumulative limits, applicable to their time/area. Accounting for stacking of permits, there were 41 vessels using traps only and five using a combination of traps and longline to harvest sablefish in 2014.

    The vessels participating in the limited entry trawl Shore-based IFQ Program may choose to harvest their sablefish quota with non-trawl gear, including pot gear, under provisions of the Program that allow for an activity called “gear switching.” Vessels fishing in the Shore-based IFQ Program under gear switching provisions are subject to most of the same requirements as those vessels fishing trawl gear to harvest their groundfish quota, including 100 percent observer coverage, fishing on their own individual quota, etc. However, regulations that apply specifically to non-trawl gears, like gear-specific area and depth restrictions, apply to vessels gear switching.

    The open access fishery is comprised of vessels not registered to limited entry permits, is available to fishermen year round, and managed throughout the year with daily, weekly, and two-month trip limits. NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center estimates 204 fishermen (number of state-issued permits, not reflective of number of active fishermen), participating in the open access sector in 2014 based on a query, conducted on June 17, 2014 of the NMFS groundfish Web site (https://www.webapps.nwfsc.noaa.gov/apex_ifq/f?p=112:23).

    Participants in the sablefish fishery are required to keep daily logs of fishing activities. Depending on the area of the coast, fishing for sablefish with non-trawl gear (e.g. pot gear, etc.) is prohibited in certain depths by the Groundfish Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Area. Specific depth restrictions vary, and may be modified during the year, but generally prohibit setting sablefish pots between 30 fathoms and 100 fathoms (from Washington to central California) and between 60 fathoms and 150 fathoms (southern California). Federal regulations pertaining to depth-based closures for limited entry fixed gear can be found in Table 2 (North and South) of 50 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 660, subpart E, and open access closures can be found in Table 3, 50 CFR part 660, subpart F. The state management agencies may close additional areas. For example, south of Point Arguello, near Santa Barbara, the minimum depth for setting traps targeting sablefish is 200 fathoms. Multiple traps are connected to a common ground line made of nylon or nylon blend and 5/16th or 3/8th inch wide. Limited entry permit holders commonly fish 20 to 50 traps per string, as opposed to open access fishermen who generally fish several smaller strings; up to eight strings with one to four traps per string, each with a float line and buoy stick.

    Conclusions for Proposed Permit

    Based on the individual review of the fisheries and the certainty of relevant data, and as described in the accompanying draft NID, NMFS concludes that the M/SI incidental to the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (14 inch mesh) and the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery will have a negligible impact on the CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whales and the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) will have a negligible impact on the CA/OR/WA stock of sperm whales.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to evaluate the impacts of alternatives for their actions on the human environment. The impacts on the human environment of continuing and modifying the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) (as part of the HMS fisheries) and the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery (as part of the West Coast groundfish fisheries), including the taking of threatened and endangered species of marine mammals, were analyzed in: the Pacific Fishery Management Council Highly Migratory Species FMP final environmental impact statement (August 2003); the Pacific Fishery Management Council Proposed Harvest Specifications and Management Measures for the 2013-2014 Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery and Amendment 21-2 to the Pacific Coast FMP (September 2012); Risk assessment of U.S. West Coast groundfish fisheries to threatened and endangered marine species (NWFSC, 2012); and in the Final Biological Opinion prepared for the West Coast groundfish fisheries (NMFS, 2011) and the Biological Opinion for the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) (NMFS, 2013), pursuant to the ESA. Because this proposed permit would not modify any fishery operation and the effects of the fishery operations have been evaluated fully in accordance with NEPA, no additional NEPA analysis is required for this permit. Issuing the proposed permit would have no additional impact to the human environment or effects on threatened or endangered species beyond those analyzed in these documents. NMFS now reviews the remaining requirements to issue a permit to take the subject listed species incidental to the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) and WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fisheries.

    Recovery Plans

    Recovery Plans for humpback whales and sperm whales have been completed (see http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/plans.htm#mammals). Accordingly, the requirement to have recovery plans in place or being developed is satisfied.

    Vessel Registration

    MMPA section 118(c) requires that vessels participating in Category I and II fisheries register to obtain an authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fishing activities. Further, section 118(c)(5)(A) provides that registration of vessels in fisheries should, after appropriate consultations, be integrated and coordinated to the maximum extent feasible with existing fisher licenses, registrations, and related programs. Participants in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) and WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fisheries provide the information needed by NMFS to register their vessels for the MMPA incidental take authorization through the Federal limited entry permit process. Therefore, vessel registration for an MMPA authorization is integrated through those programs in accordance with MMPA section 118.

    Monitoring Program

    The CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) has been observed by NMFS since 1990. Levels of observer coverage vary over years but are adequate to produce reliable estimates of M/SI of listed species (e.g., from 2001-2014, coverage ranged from approximately 12.0 to 37 percent). As part of the West Coast groundfish fishery and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act objectives, the WA/OR/CA limited entry sablefish pot fishery, as managed under the groundfish FMP, has been observed between 13 percent and 57 percent between 2002 and 2014. Accordingly, as required by MMPA section 118, a monitoring program is in place for both fisheries.

    Take Reduction Plans

    Subject to available funding, MMPA section 118 requires the development and implementation of a Take Reduction Plan (TRP) in cases where a strategic stock interacts with a Category I or II fishery. The two stocks considered for this permit are designated as strategic stocks under the MMPA because they are listed as endangered under the ESA (MMPA section 3(19)(C)).

    In 1996, NMFS convened a take reduction team (TRT) to develop a TRP to address the incidental taking of several strategic marine mammal stocks, including CA/OR/WA stocks of sperm whales and humpback whales, in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh). The Pacific Offshore Cetacean TRP was implemented through regulations in October, 1997 (62 FR 51813) and has been in place ever since. Although a TRP is in place for the gillnet fishery, there is currently not one in place for the sablefish pot fishery.

    The short- and long-term goals of a TRP are to reduce mortality and serious injury of marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing to levels below PBR and to a zero mortality rate goal, defined by NMFS as 10 percent of PBR. MMPA section 118(b)(2) states that fisheries maintaining such M/SI levels are not required to further reduce their M/SI rates. However, the obligations to develop and implement a TRP are subject to the availability of funding. MMPA section 118(f)(3) (16 U.S.C. 1387(f)(3)) contains specific priorities for developing TRPs. NMFS has insufficient funding available to simultaneously develop and implement TRPs for all strategic stocks that interact with Category I or Category II fisheries. As provided in MMPA section 118(f)(6)(A) and (f)(7), NMFS uses the most recent SAR and LOF as the basis to determine its priorities for establishing TRTs and developing TRPs. Through this process for developing TRTs, in 2015, NMFS evaluated the CA/OR/WA stock of humpback whales and the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery and identified it as a lower priority compared to other marine mammal stocks and fisheries for establishing TRTs, based on population trends of the stock and M/SI levels incidental to that commercial fishery. In addition, NMFS continues to collect data to categorize fixed gear fisheries and assess their risk to large whales off the U.S. west coast. Accordingly, given these factors and NMFS' priorities, implementation of a TRP for the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot trap fishery and other similar Category II fisheries will be currently deferred under section 118 as other stocks/fisheries are a higher priority for any available funding for establishing new TRPs.

    As noted in the summary above, all of the requirements to issue a permit to the following Federally-authorized fisheries have been satisfied: the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 inch mesh) and WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery. Accordingly, NMFS proposes to issue a permit to participants in these Category I and II fisheries for the taking of CA/OR/WA humpback whales and CA/OR/WA sperm whales incidental to the fisheries' operations. As noted under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E)(ii), no permit is required for vessels in Category III fisheries. For incidental taking of marine mammals to be authorized in Category III fisheries, any mortality or serious injury must be reported to NMFS. NMFS solicits public comments on the proposed permit and the preliminary determinations supporting the permit.

    Dated: January 4, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00265 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF128 Nominations for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Permanent Advisory Committee AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, is seeking nominations for the advisory committee established under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (Act). The Permanent Advisory Committee, composed of individuals from groups concerned with the fisheries covered by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention (Convention), will be given the opportunity to provide input to the United States Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (Commission) regarding the deliberations and decisions of the Commission.

    DATES:

    Nominations must be received no later than February 24, 2017. Nominations received after the deadline will not be accepted.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations should be directed to Michael Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, and may be submitted by any of the following means:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line the following document identifier: “Permanent Advisory Committee nominations”. Email comments, including attachments, are limited to 5 megabytes.

    Mail or hand delivery: 1845 Wasp Boulevard, Bldg 176, Honolulu, HI 96818

    Facsimile: 808-725-5215.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zora McGinnis, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office; telephone: 808-725-5037 facsimile: 808-725-5215; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Convention and the Commission

    The objective of the Convention is to ensure, through effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS) and the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the UNCLOS Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. The Convention establishes the Commission, the secretariat of which is based in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.

    The Convention applies to all highly migratory fish stocks (defined as all fish stocks of the species listed in Annex I of the UNCLOS occurring in the Convention Area, and such other species of fish as the Commission may determine), except sauries.

    The United States actively supported the negotiations and the development of the Convention and signed the Convention when it was opened for signature in 2000. It participated as a cooperating non-member of the Commission since it became operational in 2005. The United States became a Contracting Party to the Convention and a full member of the Commission when it ratified the Convention in January 2007. Under the Act, the United States is to be represented on the Commission by five United States Commissioners, appointed by the President.

    Permanent Advisory Committee

    The Act (16 U.S.C. 6902) provides (in section 6902(d)) that the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the United States Commissioners to the Commission, will appoint individuals as members of the advisory committee established under the Act, referred to here as the “Permanent Advisory Committee”.

    The appointed members of the Permanent Advisory Committee are to include not less than 15 or more than 20 individuals selected from the various groups concerned with the fisheries covered by the Convention, providing, to the extent practicable, an equitable balance among such groups. On behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, NMFS is now seeking nominations for these appointments.

    In addition to the 15-20 appointed members, the Permanent Advisory Committee includes the chair of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council's Advisory Committee (or designee), and officials of the fisheries management authorities of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands (or their designees).

    Members of the Permanent Advisory Committee will be invited to attend all non-executive meetings of the United States Commissioners to the Commission and at such meetings will be given opportunity to examine and be heard on all proposed programs of investigation, reports, recommendations, and regulations of the Commission.

    Each appointed member of the Permanent Advisory Committee will serve for a term of 2 years and is eligible for reappointment. This request for nominations is for the term to begin on August 3, 2017, and is for a term of 2 consecutive years.

    The Secretaries of Commerce and State will furnish the Permanent Advisory Committee with relevant information concerning fisheries and international fishery agreements.

    NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, will provide to the Permanent Advisory Committee administrative and technical support services as are necessary for its effective functioning.

    Appointed members of the Permanent Advisory Committee will serve without pay, but while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the advisory committee will be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703 of title 5, United States Code. They will not be considered Federal employees while performing service as members of the advisory committee except for the purposes of injury compensation or tort claims liability as provided in chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code and Chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code.

    Procedure for Submitting Nominations

    Nominations for the Permanent Advisory Committee should be submitted to NMFS (see ADDRESSES). This request for nominations is for first-time nominees as well as previous and current Permanent Advisory Committee members. Self nominations are acceptable. Nominations should include the following information: (1) Full name, address, telephone, and email address of nominee; (2) nominee's organization(s) or professional affiliation(s) serving as the basis for the nomination, if any; and (3) a background statement, not to exceed one page in length, describing the nominee's qualifications, experience and interests, specifically as related to the fisheries covered by the Convention.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 6902.

    Dated: January 4, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00259 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF139 List of Foreign Fisheries AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is seeking information on foreign commercial fishing operations that export fish and fish products to the United States and the level of incidental and intentional mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in those fisheries. NMFS will use this information to identify harvesting nations with commercial fishing operations that export fish and fish products to the United States and classify those fisheries based on their frequency of marine mammal interactions as either “exempt” or “export” fisheries.

    DATES:

    Information should be received on or before March 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Information may be submitted by mail to: NMFS Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, Attn: MMPA List of Foreign Fisheries Information, F/IS 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or electronically to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nina Young, phone 301-427-8383, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 54390, August 15, 2016) implementing the import provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This rule establishes conditions for evaluating a harvesting nation's regulatory program to address incidental and intentional mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in fisheries that export fish and fish products to the United States.

    Under this rule, fish and fish products from fisheries identified by the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries in the List of Foreign Fisheries can only be imported into the United States if the harvesting nation has applied for and received a comparability finding from NMFS. The rule establishes procedures that a harvesting nation must follow and conditions to meet to receive a comparability finding for a fishery. The rule also establishes provisions for intermediary nations to ensure that intermediary nations do not import and re-export to the United States fish or fish products subject to an import prohibition.

    NMFS will identify harvesting nations with commercial fishing operations that export fish and fish products to the United States and classify those fisheries based on the frequency of marine mammal interactions. NMFS will classify foreign commercial fishing operations exporting fish and fish products to the United States as either an “exempt fishery” or “export fishery” based on the reliable information provided by the harvesting nation or other readily available information.

    NMFS defines “exempt fishery” as a foreign commercial fishing operation determined by the Assistant Administrator to be the source of exports of commercial fish and fish products to the United States that have a remote likelihood of, or no known, incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in the course of commercial fishing operations. A commercial fishing operation that has a remote likelihood of causing incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals is one that collectively with other foreign fisheries exporting fish and fish products to the United States causes the annual removal of:

    (1) Ten percent or less of any marine mammal stock's bycatch limit, or

    (2) More than 10 percent of any marine mammal stock's bycatch limit, yet that fishery by itself removes 1 percent or less of that stock's bycatch limit annually, or

    (3) Where reliable information has not been provided by the harvesting nation on the frequency of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals caused by the commercial fishing operation, the Assistant Administrator may determine whether the likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury is “remote” by evaluating information concerning factors such as fishing techniques, gear used, methods used to deter marine mammals, target species, seasons and areas fished, qualitative data from logbooks or fisher reports, stranding data, the species and distribution of marine mammals in the area, or other factors at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator.

    A foreign fishery will not be classified as an exempt fishery unless the Assistant Administrator has reliable information from the harvesting nation, or other information to support such a finding.

    Commercial fishing operations that NMFS determines meet the definition of an exempt fishery would still be required to obtain a comparability finding by having the harvesting nation demonstrate that it has either prohibited the intentional mortality or serious injury of marine mammals in the course of commercial fishing operations in these exempt fisheries, unless the intentional mortality or serious injury of a marine mammal is imminently necessary in self-defense or to save the life of a person in immediate danger; or that it has procedures to reliably certify that exports of fish and fish products to the United States are not the product of an intentional killing or serious injury of a marine mammal unless the intentional mortality or serious injury of a marine mammal is imminently necessary in self-defense or to save the life of a person in immediate danger.

    Exempt fisheries would not have to meet the comparability finding requirement to have a regulatory program for incidental mortality and serious injury comparable in effectiveness to the U.S. regulatory program.

    NMFS defines “export fishery” as a foreign commercial fishing operation determined by the Assistant Administrator to be the source of exports of commercial fish and fish products to the United States and to have more than a remote likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals (as defined in the definition of an “exempt fishery”) in the course of its commercial fishing operations. Where reliable information has not been provided by the harvesting nation on the frequency of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals caused by the commercial fishing operation, the Assistant Administrator may determine whether the likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury is more than “remote” by evaluating information concerning factors such as fishing techniques, gear used, methods used to deter marine mammals, target species, seasons and areas fished, qualitative data from logbooks or fisher reports, stranding data, and the species and distribution of marine mammals in the area, or other factors at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator that may inform whether the likelihood of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals caused by the commercial fishing operation is more than “remote.”

    Commercial fishing operations not specifically identified in the current List of Foreign Fisheries as either exempt or export fisheries are deemed to be export fisheries until the next List of Foreign Fisheries is published unless the Assistant Administrator has reliable information from the harvesting nation to classify the foreign commercial fishing operation. Additionally, the Assistant Administrator may request additional information from the harvesting nation and may consider other relevant information about such commercial fishing operations and the frequency of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals, to properly classify the foreign commercial fishing operation.

    NMFS will publish in the Federal Register a List of Foreign Fisheries by harvesting nation, their fisheries, and their classifications. NMFS will publish a proposed List of Foreign Fisheries for public comment and a subsequent final List. To develop this list, NMFS has notified each harvesting nation with fisheries that export to the United States and requested that within 90 days of notification the harvesting nation submit reliable information about the commercial fishing operations identified, including the number of participants, number of vessels, gear type, target species, area of operation, fishing season, and any information regarding the frequency of marine mammal incidental mortality and serious injury, including programs to assess marine mammal populations.

    Harvesting nations will also be requested to submit copies of any laws, decrees, regulations, or measures to reduce incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in those fisheries or prohibit the intentional killing or injury of marine mammals.

    NMFS will evaluate each harvesting nation's submission, any readily available information, request additional information from the harvesting nations, as necessary, and use this information to classify the fisheries. In the absence of quantifiable information or reliable information from the harvesting nation, NMFS will classify fisheries by analogy with similar U.S. fisheries and gear types interacting with similar marine mammal stocks using readily available information or available observer or logbook information per the procedures outlined in 50 CFR 229.2. Where no information or analogous fishery or fishery information exists, NMFS will classify the commercial fishing operation as an export fishery until such time as the harvesting nation provides reliable information to classify the fishery or such information is readily available to the Assistant Administrator in the course of preparing the List of Foreign Fisheries.

    In revising the list, NMFS may reclassify a fishery if new substantive information indicates the need to re-examine and possibly reclassify a fishery. The List of Foreign Fisheries will be organized by harvesting nation and other defining factors including geographic location of harvest, gear-type, target species or a combination thereof. Based upon the List of Foreign Fisheries, the Assistant Administrator will consult with harvesting nations, informing them of the regulatory requirements for exempt and export fisheries to import fish and fish products into the United States. More information regarding this process can be found in the regulations codified at 50 CFR 216.24.

    NMFS is soliciting information from harvesting nations; other foreign, regional, and local governments; regional fishery management organizations; nongovernmental organizations; industry organizations; academic institutions; and citizens and citizen groups to identify commercial fishing operations with intentional or incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals. For each item we are requesting you identify the exporting nation as the harvesting nation, the processing or intermediary nation, or both. For fisheries exporting fish and fish products to the United States NMFS is requesting the following information:

    • Number of participants,

    • Number of vessels,

    • Gear type,

    • Target species,

    • Area of operation,

    • Fishing season, and

    • Information regarding the frequency of marine mammal incidental and intentional mortality and serious injury.

    Such information may include fishing vessel records; reports of on-board fishery observers; information from off-loading facilities, port-side government officials, enforcement agents, transshipment vessel workers and fish importers; government vessel registries; RFMO or intergovernmental agreement documents, reports, and statistical document programs; appropriate catch certification programs; and published literature and reports on commercial fishing operations with intentional or incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals.

    NMFS will consider all available information, as appropriate, when making a classification. Information should be as specific as possible as this will assist NMFS in its review. NMFS will consider several criteria when determining whether information is appropriate for use in making identifications, including:

    • Corroboration of information;

    • Whether multiple sources have been able to provide information in support of an identification;

    • The methodology used to collect the information;

    • Specificity of the information provided;

    • Susceptibility of the information to falsification and alteration; and

    • Credibility of the individuals or organization providing the information.

    Dated: January 4, 2017. John Henderschedt, Director, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00201 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Educational Partnership Program (EPP), Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, Recruitment, Training, and Research Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0568.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a current information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1,754.

    Average Hours per Response: Student Performance Achievement Reporting (SPAR) database form, 8; undergraduate application form, 600; reference forms, 1200; alumni update form, 200.

    Burden Hours: 7,822.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a current information collection.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Education (OEd) collects, evaluates and analyzes student data for the purpose of selecting successful candidates, and for generating reports and news articles to communicate the success of its program. The OEd requires applicants to its undergraduate scholarship programs to complete an application in order to be considered. The application package requires two faculty and/or academic advisors to complete a NOAA student scholar reference form in support of the scholarship application. NOAA OEd student scholar alumni are also requested to provide information to NOAA for internal tracking purposes. NOAA OEd grant recipients are required to update the student tracker database with the required student information. There is also a revised alumni form whose use has extended to two more of the programs. The collected student data supports NOAA OEd's program performance measures. The Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program and the NMFS Recruiting, Training, and Research Program also collect student data for their programs and are also covered by this notice.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Frequency: Annually and on occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00276 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-00-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before February 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to OMB within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0025. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0025 found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments also may be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 and to Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, or by Hand Deliver/Courier at the same address; or through the Agency's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bianca Gomez, Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5627; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0025.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Practice by Former Members and Employees of the Commission (OMB Control No. 3038-0025). This is a request for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Commission Rule 140.735-6 governs the practice before the Commission of former members and employees of the Commission and is intended to ensure that the Commission is aware of any existing conflict of interest. The rule generally requires former members and employees who are employed or retained to represent any person before the Commission within two years of the termination of their CFTC employment, to file a brief written statement with the Commission's Office of the General Counsel. The proposed rule was promulgated pursuant to the Commission's rulemaking authority contained in Section 8a(5) of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(5) (1994), as amended.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the CFTC's regulations were published on December 30, 1981. See 46 FR 63035 (Dec. 30, 1981). The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on December 11, 2013 (78 FR 75333).

    Burden statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to average 0.10 hours per response to file the brief written statement. This estimate includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Former Employees and their employers.

    Estimated number of respondents: 30.

    Estimated annual burden hours per respondent: 0.10 hours.

    Estimated total annual responses: 30.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 3 hours.

    Frequency of collection: On occasion.

    (Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) Dated: January 5, 2017. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00281 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary National Intelligence University Board of Visitors; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    National Intelligence University, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the National Intelligence University Board of Visitors has been scheduled. The meeting is closed to the public.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017 (7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) and Wednesday, January 25, 2017 (7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.).

    ADDRESSES:

    Defense Intelligence Agency, 7400 Pentagon, ATTN: NIU, Washington, DC 20301-7400.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. David R. Ellison, President, DIA National Intelligence University, Bethesda, MD 20816, Phone: (301) 243-2120.

    Purpose: The Board will discuss several current critical intelligence issues and advise the Director, DIA, as to the successful accomplishment of the mission assigned to the National Intelligence University.

    Agenda: The following topics are listed on the National Intelligence University Board of Visitors meeting agenda: Welcome/Tour of New Campus; Accreditation Update; Faculty Conversation; Strategic Initiatives; Faculty Performance/Workload; Programing, Budgeting, and Faculty Hiring; Certificate Program Review; NIU President Search; Board Business; Executive Session; Working Lunch with IC Senior Leaders.

    The entire meeting is devoted to the discussion of classified information as defined in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1) and therefore will be closed. Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140, and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the National Intelligence University Board of Visitors about its mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of a planned meeting of the National Intelligence University Board of Visitors. All written statements shall be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer for the National Intelligence University Board of Visitors, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration. Contact information for the Designated Federal Officer can be obtained from the GSA's FACA Database—http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00253 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-71] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, DSCA/SA&E-RAN, (703) 697-9107.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-71 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN10JA17.000 Transmittal No. 16-71 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Government of the Philippines

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $20 million Other $ 5 million TOTAL $25 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Two (2) AN/SPS-77 Sea Giraffe 3D Air Search Radars Non-Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Support services, including installation services, operator training, system operational testing, and documentation.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy (LFK)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any:

    PI-P-SBV—$4.7M, Excess Defense Article (EDA) transfer of ex-USCG cutter Hamilton, now PF-15, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar PI-P-SBW—$15.1M, EDA transfer of ex-USCG cutter Dallas, PF-16, now BRP Ramon Alcaraz

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Annex Attached.

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: December 12, 2016

    *as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    Policy Justification The Philippines—AN/SPS-77 Sea Giraffe 3D Air Search Radars

    The Government of the Philippines has requested a possible sale of two (2) AN/SPS-77 Sea Giraffe 3D Air Search Radars, support services, including installation services, operator training, system operational testing, and documentation. The total estimated program cost is $25 million.

    The Philippines seeks to increase its Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) capabilities in order to improve monitoring of its vast territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). An effective Philippine MDA capability strengthens its self-defense capabilities and supports regional stability and U.S. national interests. This sale is consistent with U.S. regional objectives and will further enhance interoperability with the U.S. Navy, build upon a longstanding cooperative effort with the United States, and provide an enhanced capability with a valued partner in a geographic region of critical importance to the U.S. government.

    The AN/SPS-77 Air Search Radars will be used to provide an enhanced ability to detect and track air contacts. The radars will be installed on two Hamilton-class cutters acquired through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. The Philippines will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The principal contractor will be VSE and Saab. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any U.S. or contractor representatives to the Philippines. U.S. contractors, under U.S. government oversight, will be in the Philippines for installation and associated support of this new radar on these Philippine Navy ships.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 16-71 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(l) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. A completely assembled AN/SPS-77 radar, which is a commercial product that is outfitted on USN LCS class ships, will be tailored for release to the Philippine Navy under this program. The operating characteristics and capability of this system as it will be delivered to the Philippines Navy will be UNCLASSIFIED.

    2. AN/SPS-77 operation and maintenance documentation, software, and support is UNCLASSIFIED.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures that might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    4. A determination has been made that the Philippines can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal are have been authorized for release and export to the Government of the Philippines.

    [FR Doc. 2017-00241 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Amendment of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Amendment of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is amending the charter for the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee's charter is being amended in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The amended charter and contact information for the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be obtained at http://www.facadatabase.gov/. The DoD is amending the charter for the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors previously announced in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 (81 FR 40679). Specifically, the DoD is amending the charter to update the estimated number of annual meetings of the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00239 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-57] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, DSCA/SA&E-RAN, (703) 697-9107.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-57 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN10JA17.002 Transmittal No. 16-57 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Government of Norway

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $1.40 billion Other $ .35 billion TOTAL $1.75 billion

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Five (5) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, each includes: Commercial Engines, Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS), Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IO) MX-20HD, AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System, AN/APY-10 Radar, ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures Eleven (11) Multifunctional Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS JTRS) Eight (8) Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA) for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N Eight (8) System Processors for AN/AAQ-24(V)N Forty-two (42) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N Fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) Two thousand (2,000) AN/SSQ-125 Multi-Static Active Coherent (MAC) Source Sonobuoys

    Non-MDE includes: Spares, spare engine, support equipment, operational support systems for Tactical Operations Center and Mobile Tactical Operations Center (ToC/MToC), training, maintenance trainer/classrooms, publications, software, engineering and logistics technical assistance, Foreign Liaison Officer support, contractor engineering technical services, repair and return, transportation, aircraft ferry, and other associated training and support.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy (SAN)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: This would be Norway's first purchase of the P-8A Patrol Aircraft. Norway has one related P-8A case, NO-P-GEN, which provides P-8A study and technical analysis support.

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Annex Attached

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: December 20, 2016

    *as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    Policy Justification Norway—P-8A Aircraft and Associated Support

    Norway has requested a possible sale of up to five (5) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, each includes: Commercial Engines, Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS), Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IO) MX-20HD, AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System, AN/APY-10 Radar, ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures. Also included are eleven (11) Multifunctional Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS JTRS); eight (8) Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA) for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; eight (8) System Processors for AN/AAQ-24(V)N; forty-two (42) AN/AAR- 54 Missile Warning Sensors for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGIs); and two thousand (2,000) AN/SSQ-125 Multi-Static Active Coherent (MAC) Source Sonobouys; spares; spare engine; support equipment; operational support systems; training; maintenance trainer/classrooms; publications; software; engineering and logistics technical assistance; Foreign Liaison Officer support; contractor engineering technical services; repair and return; transportation; aircraft ferry; and other associated training and support. The total estimated program cost is $1.75 billion.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability throughout the world. The proposed sale will allow Norway to maintain its Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) capability following retirement of its P-3C MPA. This sale will strengthen collective NATO defense and enhance Norway's regional and global allied contributions.

    Norway has procured and operated U.S. produced P-3 Orion MPAs for over 40 years, providing critical capabilities to NATO and coalition maritime operations. Norway has maintained a close MPA acquisition and sustainment relationship with the U.S. Navy over this period. The proposed sale will allow Norway to recapitalize, modernize, and sustain its MPA capability for the next 30 years. As a long-time P-3 operator, Norway will have no difficulty transitioning its MPA force to the P-8A and absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor involved in this sale is The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA. Additional contractors include: Air Cruisers Co, LLC; Arnprior Aerospace, Canada; AVOX Zodiac Aerospace; BAE; Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)/EMS; Compass David Clark; DLS/ViaSat, Carlsbad, CA; DRS; Exelis, McLean, VA; GC Micro, Petaluma, CA; General Electric, UK; Harris; Joint Electronics; Martin Baker; Northrop Grumman Corp, Falls Church, VA; Pole Zero, Cincinnati, OH; Raytheon, Waltham, MA; Raytheon, UK; Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA; Spirit Aero, Wichita, KS; Symmetries Telephonies, Farmingdale, NY; Terma, Arlington, VA; Viking; and WESCAM. Norway does require an offset agreement. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the prime contractor.

    Implementation of the proposed sale will require approximately five (5) contractor personnel to support the program in Norway.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 16-57 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The P-8A aircraft is a militarized version of the Boeing 737-800 Next Generation (NG) commercial aircraft. The P-8A is replacing the P-3C as the Navy's long-range anti submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime, and littoral operations. The overall highest classification of the P-8A weapon system is SECRET. The P-8A mission systems hardware is largely unclassified, while individual software elements (mission systems, acoustics, ESM, etc.) are classified up to SECRET.

    2. P-8A mission systems include:

    a. Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS). TOMS functions include environment planning, tactical aids, weapons planning aids, and data correlation. TOMS includes an algorithm for track fusion which automatically correlates tracks produced by on board and off board sensors.

    b. Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) MX-20HD. The EO/IR system processes visible EO and IR spectrum to detect and image objects.

    c. AN/AQQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System. The Acoustic sensor system is integrated within the mission system as the primary sensor for the aircraft ASW missions. The system has multi-static active coherent (MAC) 64 sonobuoy processing capability and acoustic sensor prediction tools.

    d. AN/APY-10 Radar. The aircraft radar is a direct derivative of the legacy AN/APS- 137(V) installed in the P-3C. The radar capabilities include GPS selective availability anti-spoofing, SAR and ISAR imagery resolutions, and periscope detection mode.

    e. ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures (ESM). This system provides real time capability for the automatic detection, location, measurement, and analysis of RF-signals and modes. Real time results are compared with a library of known emitters to perform emitter classification and specific emitter identification (SEI).

    f. Electronic Warfare Self Protection (EWSP). The aircraft EWSP consists of the ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System (EWMS), ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing System (CMDS), and the AN/AAQ-24 Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM)/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors (MWS). The EWSP includes threat information.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary was to obtain access of the P-SA specific hardware and software elements, systems could be reverse engineered to discover USN capabilities and tactics. The consequences of the loss of this technology, to a technologically advanced or competent adversary, could result in the development of countermeasures or equivalent systems, which could reduce system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar advanced capabilities.

    4. A determination has been made that the recipient government can provide substantially the same degree of protection, for the technology being released as the U.S. Government. Support of the P-8A Patrol Aircraft to the Government of the Norway is necessary in the furtherance of U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Government of Norway.

    [FR Doc. 2017-00248 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0058] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by February 9, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Improving Caregiver Outcomes through Structured Support Via Military Caregiver Peer Forums; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Type of Request: New.

    Number of Respondents: 90.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 90.

    Average Burden per Response: 1 hour.

    Annual Burden Hours: 90.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to assess how participants are using the Military Caregiver PEER (Personalized Experiences, Engagement and Resources) Forums, how participating in the PEER Forums benefits them, and the role that PEER Forums play in the landscape of social support services available to caregivers. Military Caregiver PEER Forums are located on military bases across the country where caregivers can convene, converse among their peers, share resources and best practices, and provide support for the challenges they face. The results will be used to determine how the PEER Forums are currently improving and might better continue to improve caregiver well-being by reducing caregiver burden and addressing caregiver isolation. DoD will use the information gathered by this project to assess the implementation of PEER Forums and implement improvements, if needed. A complementary objective is to use the information gathered by this project to provide DoD with a framework for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of PEER Forums.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Dod Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00267 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-66] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, DSCA/SA&E-RAN, (703) 697-9107.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-66 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: January 5, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN10JA17.001 Transmittal No. 16-66 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Government of Kuwait

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $ .04 billion Other $1.66 billion TOTAL $1.70 billion

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Two hundred and forty (240) .50 Cal M2A1 Machine Guns Four hundred and eighty (480) 7.62mm M240 Machine Guns Two hundred and forty (240) AN/VRC-92E SINCGARS Radios One thousand and eight five (1,085) AN/PVS-7B Night Vision Goggles

    Non-MDE includes: Incorporation of cooling system/thermal management systems; Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station (CROWS) II—Low Profile Stabilized Weapon Stations; special armor; 120mm gun tubes; 2nd generation Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sights; embedded diagnostics; gunner's primary sights; Counter Sniper and Anti-Materiel Mount (CSAMM) hardware; upgrade/maintenance of engines and transmissions; depot level support; training devices; spare and repair parts; support equipment; tools and test equipment; technical data and publications; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

    (iv) Military Department: Army (UXA)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: FMS Case KU-B-JAT (9 July 1993, $1.9 billion), FMS Case KU-B-UKO (20 July 2001, $44.3 million), FMS Case KU-B-UKN (23 July 2001, $42 million), FMS Case KU-B-ULB (19 May 2006, $36.8 million), FMS Case KU-B-ULX (20 July 2011, $34.8 million).

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed To Be Sold: See Annex Attached

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: December 12, 2016

    *as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    Policy Justification Government of Kuwait—Recapitalization of 218 M1A2 Tanks and Related Equipment and Support

    The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale in support of its recapitalization of 218 M1A2 tanks, to include two hundred and forty (240) .50 Cal M2A1 machine guns; four hundred and eighty (480) 7.62mm M240 machine guns; two hundred and forty (240) AN/VRC-92E SINCGARS radios; and one thousand and eight five (1,085) AN/PVS-7B Night Vision Goggles. Also included is the incorporation of cooling system/thermal management systems; Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station (CROWS) II—Low Profile Stabilized Weapon Stations; special armor; 120mm gun tubes; 2nd generation Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sights; embedded diagnostics; gunner's primary sights; Counter Sniper and Anti-Materiel Mount (CSAMM) hardware; upgrade/maintenance of engines and transmissions; depot level support; training devices; spare and repair parts; support equipment; tools and test equipment; technical data and publications; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. Total estimated program cost is $1.7 billion.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

    Kuwait intends to use this equipment to recapitalize its fleet of M1A2 full track tanks in order to modernize and extend the service of the tanks. Kuwait will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The principal contractors involved in this program are: General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, MI; Joint Services Manufacturing Center (JSMC), Lima, OH; Konsberg Defense Systems, Alexandria, VA, and Johnstown, PA; Raytheon, McKinney, TX; Meggitt Defense Systems, Irvine, CA; Palomar, Carlsbad, CA; Northrop Grumman, West Falls Church, VA; DRS Technologies, Arlington, VA; Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, MD; Honeywell, Morristown, NJ; Miltope, Hope Hull, AL. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connect with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale is estimated to require five to seven contractors and twenty-five to thirty U.S. Government representatives to Kuwait.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 16-66 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. Components considered to contain sensitive technology in the proposed sale are as follows:

    a. M1A2 Thermal Imaging System (TIS)—The TIS constitutes a target acquisition system which, when operated with other tank systems gives the tank crew a substantial advantage over the potential threat. The TIS provides the crew with the ability to effectively aim and fire the tank main armament system under a broad range of adverse battlefield conditions. The hardware itself is UNCLASSIFIED. The engineering design and manufacturing data associated with the detector and infrared (IR) optics and coatings are considered sensitive. The technical data package is UNCLASSIFIED with the exception of the specifications for target acquisition range which is CONFIDENTIAL and hardening data is classified up to SECRET. The consequences of such compromise would increase potential enemy capabilities to neutralize effectiveness of the tank main armament system by denying the crew ability to acquire targets.

    b. Special Armor—Major components of special armor are fabricated in sealed modules and in serialized removable subassemblies. Special armor vulnerability data for both chemical and kinetic energy rounds are classified SECRET. Engineering design and manufacturing data related to special armor are also classified SECRET. The consequences of such compromise of classified information would be the capability to neutralize or defeat the armor. The sale or transfer of armor modules are done on a government-to-government basis. This serves to minimize, but not eliminate, the danger of compromise.

    c. 120mm Gun—the gun is composed of a 120mm smoothbore gun (cannon) manufactured at Watervliet Arsenal; “long rod” APFSDS warheads; and combustible cartridge case ammunition. There may be a need to procure/produce new gun cannon tubes from Watervliet Arsenal. New cannons inducted at Anniston Army Depot would be inspected according to established criteria and shipped to Lima Army Tank Plant for tank upgrade process. Gun production and technology are generally known. Disclosure of gun production and technology specific to the 120mm (advance materials and tolerances) would degrade the advantage.

    d. AGT-1500 Gas Turbine Propulsion System—The use of a gas turbine propulsion system in the M1A2 is a unique application of armored vehicle power pack technology. The hardware is composed of the AGT-1500 engine and transmission and is not UNCLASSIFIED. Manufacturing processes associated with the production of turbine blades, recuperator, bearings and shafts, and hydrostatic pump and motor are propriety and therefore commercially competition sensitive. Unauthorized release and exploitation of sensitive propulsion information would adversely impact U.S. commercial interests. Acquisition of production data by a potential enemy could enhance its ability to design and produce gas turbine engine propulsion system with application to land vehicles.

    e. Compartmentation—A major survivability feature of the M1 tank is the compartmentation of fuel and ammunition. Compartmentation is the positive separation of the crew and critical components from combustible materials such that in the event that the fuel or ammunition is ignited or deteriorated by an incoming threat round, the crew is fully protected. Sensitive information includes the performance of the ammunition compartments as well as the compartment design parameters. The design of the compartments cannot be protected, however the guidelines, parametric inductions and test data used to develop the compartments do not have to be disclosed to permit a sale.

    f. Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station—Low Profile (CROWS-LP)—The CROWS-LP (M153A2E1) is a commanders' weapon station. It allows for under armor operation of weapons—M2HB, M2A1, M250B, and M240. The CROWS-LP is an updated version of the M153A2 CROWS that is approximately 10 inches shorter; the CROWS-LP M153A2E1 increases visibility over the weapon station. The fire control system of the CROWS-LP allows the “first-burst” on target capability from stationary and moving platforms. The CROWS-LP ingratiates a day camera (VIM-C), thermal camera (TIM 1500), and laser range finder (STORM/STORM-PI). Engineering design and manufacturing data would provide potential enemy with the means to increase small arms fire control from under armor. The consequences of this would be improved enemy equipment in the field and decrease technological fire control advantages.

    2. The M1 tank will include the following communications suite: Defense Advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) Receiver (DAGR); AN/VAS-5 Driver's Vision Enhancer (DVE) and Rear View Sensor System (RVSS); and Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS).

    a. Defense Advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) Receiver (DAGR)—DAGR is a lightweight (less than two pounds) hand-held or host platform-mounted, dual frequency, Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) based, Precise Positioning Service (PPS) device. The DAGR provides real-time positioning, velocity (ground speed), navigation, and timing (PVNT) information, in stand-alone (dismounted) and mounted (ground facilities, sea, air, and land vehicles) configurations. The DAGR can support missions involving land-based war-fighting and non-war fighting operations. The DAGR can also be used as a secondary or supplemental aid to aviation-based missions which involve operations in low-dynamic aircraft, and as an aid to navigation in water-borne operations. DAGR AN/PSN-13(A) is fitted with the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) 3.7 and can accept cryptographic keys for increased PVNT accuracy and protection from intentional false or spoofed satellite signals. The AN/PSN-13(A) DAGR does not output classified information. If a technology advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to identify ways of countering the detection capabilities of the DAGR or improve the performance of their GPS receivers; however, information available for the SAASM would not be obtainable. SAASM is a tamper-resistant security module. The remaining hardware used in the DAGR is considered mature and available in other industrial nation's comparable performance thresholds.

    b. Drivers Vision Enhancer (DVE) AN/VAS-5 and Rear View Sensor System (RVSS)—The AN/VAS-5 and RVSS are un-cooled thermal imaging systems developed for use while driving Combat Vehicles and Tactical Wheeled Vehicles. DVE and RVSS allow for tactical vehicle movement in support of operational missions in all environment conditions (day/night and all weather) and provides enhanced driving capability during limited visibility conditions (darkness, smoke, dust, fog, etc.). The DVE program provides night vision targeting capabilities for armored vehicles and long-range night vision reconnaissance capability to the warfighter. Engineering design and manufacturing data would provide a potential enemy with the means to upgrade the quality of efficiency of thermal devices production. The consequences of this would be improved enemy equipment of the field. Technical information regarding DVE and RVSS, including UNCLASSIFIED information, should generally not be considered for release. The highest level of information that must be disclosed for production, operation or sale of the end item is UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.

    c. Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS)—The AN/VRC-92E and RT-1702 SINCGARS provides war-fighting commanders and troops with a highly reliable, secure, easily maintained Combat Net Radio (CNR) that has both voice and data handling capability in support of command and control operations. SINCGARS, with the Internet Controller, provides the communications link for the digitized force. SINCGARS is a radio fielded to tactical field elements. It facilitates the transmission of voice and/or data information, which allows for the conducting of a myriad of missions across the operational continuum. SINCGARS is available for the dismounted soldier, ground and aviation platforms. Training will vary for the radio (RT-1702) and spare and repair parts for the RT-1702 model are not supported by the Standard Army Supply Systems. There is sensitive or restricted information contained in the AN/VRC-92E or software. There would be adverse consequences of the AN/VRC-92E and software were to be lost to a technically advanced adversary. If a technology advances adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to identify ways of countering the Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM). The hardware used in the AN/VRC-92E and RT-1702 is considered mature.

    3. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification. Moreover, the benefits to be derived from this sale, as outlined in the Policy Justification, outweigh the potential damage that could result if the sensitive technology were revealed to unauthorized persons.

    4. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Government of Kuwait.

    [FR Doc. 2017-00246 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity Meeting AGENCY:

    National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the agenda, time, and location for the February 22-24, 2017 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), and provides information to members of the public on requesting to make oral comments and submitting written statements at the meeting. The notice of this meeting is required under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended.

    DATES:

    The NACIQI meeting will be held on February 22, 23, and 24, 2017, each day from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Hilton Alexandria Old Town Hotel, 1767 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Hong, Executive Director/Designated Federal Official, NACIQI, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 6W250, Washington, DC 20202, telephone: (202) 453-7805, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NACIQI's Statutory Authority and Function: NACIQI is established under § 114 of the HEA. NACIQI advises the Secretary of Education with respect to:

    • The establishment and enforcement of the standards of accrediting agencies or associations under subpart 2, part G, Title IV of the HEA, as amended.

    • The recognition of specific accrediting agencies or associations.

    • The preparation and publication of the list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies and associations.

    • The eligibility and certification process for institutions of higher education under Title IV of the HEA and part C, subchapter I, chapter 34, Title 42, together with recommendations for improvement in such process.

    • The relationship between (1) accreditation of institutions of higher education and the certification and eligibility of such institutions, and (2) State licensing responsibilities with respect to such institutions.

    • Any other advisory function relating to accreditation and institutional eligibility that the Secretary of Education may prescribe by regulation.

    Meeting Agenda: Agenda items for the February 2017 are below.

    Agencies Applying for Renewal of Recognition 1. American Podiatric Medical Association

    Scope of Recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Provisional Accreditation”) throughout the United States of freestanding colleges of podiatric medicine and programs of podiatric medicine, including first professional programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.

    2. Commission on English Language Program Accreditation

    Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of postsecondary, non-degree-granting English language programs and institutions in the United States.

    3. The Council on Chiropractic Education

    Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of programs leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree and single-purpose institutions offering the Doctor of Chiropractic program.

    4. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

    Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of education programs in radiography, magnetic resonance, radiation therapy, and medical dosimetry, including those offered via distance education, at the certificate, associate, and baccalaureate levels.

    Agency Seeking Review of Compliance Report

    Western Association for Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Compliance report includes the following: (1) Findings identified in the April 5, 2016 letter from the senior Department official following the December 2015 NACIQI meeting available at: https://opeweb.ed.gov/aslweb/finalstaffreports.cfm, (2) Findings identified in the January 4, 2016 Secretary's appeal decision available at: http://oha.ed.gov/secretarycases/2014-10-O.pdf, (3) The limitation on ACCJC's authority to approve single baccalaureate programs within the scope of accreditation of previously accredited institutions, as outlined in the April 5, 2016 letter from the senior Department official, (4) Review under 34 CFR 602.33 of complaints filed against the agency and analyzed by the staff.

    Requested Scope of Recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of community and other colleges with a primarily pre-baccalaureate mission located in California, Hawaii, the United States territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which offer certificates, associate degrees, and the first baccalaureate degree by means of a substantive change review offered by institutions that are already accredited by the agency, and such programs offered via distance education and correspondence education at these colleges. This recognition also extends to the Committee on Substantive Change of the Commission, for decisions on substantive changes, and the Appeals Panel.

    Agency Applying for an Expansion of Scope Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

    Current Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of private, postsecondary institutions in the United States offering predominantly allied health education programs and the programmatic accreditation of medical assistant, medical laboratory technician and surgical technology programs, leading to a certificate, diploma, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Occupational Science, Academic Associate degree, or Baccalaureate degree, including those offered via distance education. This scope extends to the Substantive Change Committee, jointly with the Commission, for decisions on substantive changes.

    Requested Scope of Recognition: The accreditation of private, postsecondary institutions in the United States offering predominantly allied health education programs and the programmatic accreditation of medical assistant, medical laboratory technician, and surgical technology programs, leading to a certificate, diploma, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Occupational Science, Academic Associate degree, Baccalaureate degree, and Master's degree, including those offered via distance education. The scope extends to the Substantive Change Committee, jointly with the Commission, for decisions on substantive change.

    Application for Renewal of Recognition—State Agency for the Approval of Nurse Education

    Missouri State Board of Nursing.

    Election of a New Chairperson and Vice Chairperson

    NACIQI will elect a new Chairperson and Vice Chairperson to serve three-year terms on the Committee.

    Panel on Outcome Measures

    Representatives from accrediting agencies and associations will be invited to discuss current initiatives regarding the consideration and review of outcome measures in the accreditation process.

    National Coordinating Center Accreditation Workgroup

    The National Coordinating Center for comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities is established under § 777 of the HEA. Section 777(b)(5)(J) of the HEA requires the convening of a workgroup to develop and recommend model criteria, standards, and components of comprehensive transition programs for students with intellectual disabilities, and further requires a NACIQI member to serve on the workgroup. Section 777(b)(6) of the HEA requires a report to the Secretary, the authorizing committees, and NACIQI, on the recommendations of the workgroup not later than five years after the date of the establishment of the coordinating center which was in 2010. Members of the workgroup will provide a summary of their report to NACIQI and a new NACIQI representative to the workgroup will be selected.

    NACIQI Policy Agenda

    NACIQI will continue discussion regarding its policy agenda, and revisit how it will proceed in its review of accrediting agencies at future meetings, to include the Committee's use of a consent agenda for agencies undergoing review.

    Meeting Discussion

    In addition to following the HEA, the FACA, implementing regulations, and the NACIQI charter, as well as its customary procedural protocols, NACIQI inquiries will include the questions and topics listed in the pilot plan it adopted at its December 2015 meeting. A document entitled “June 2016 Pilot Plan” and available at: http://sites.ed.gov/naciqi/files/naciqi-dir/2016-spring/pilot-project-march-2016.pdf, outlines this pilot and provides further explanation and context framing NACIQI's work. As noted in this document, NACIQI's reviews of accrediting agencies will include consideration of data and information available on the accreditation data dashboards, http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditor-dashboards.pdf. Accrediting agencies that will be reviewed for renewal of recognition will not be on the consent agenda and are advised to come prepared to answer questions related to the following:

    • Decision activities of and data gathered by the agency.

    ○ NACIQI will inquire about the range of accreditation activities of the agency since its prior review for recognition, including discussion about the various favorable, monitoring, and adverse actions taken. Information about the primary standards cited for the monitoring and adverse actions that have been taken will be sought.

    ○ NACIQI will also inquire about what data the agency routinely gathers about the activities of the institutions it accredits and about how that data is used in their evaluative processes.

    • Standards and practices with regard to student achievement.

    ○ How does your agency address “success with respect to student achievement” in the institutions it accredits?

    ○ Why was this strategy chosen? How is this appropriate in your context?

    ○ What are the student achievement challenges in the institutions accredited by your agency?

    ○ What has changed/is likely to change in the standards about student achievement for the institutions accredited by your agency?

    ○ In what ways have student achievement results been used for monitoring or adverse actions?

    • Agency activities in improving program/institutional quality.

    ○ How does this agency define “at risk?”

    ○ What tools does this agency use to evaluate “at risk” status?

    ○ What tools does this agency have to help “at risk” institutions improve?

    ○ What can the agency tell us about how well these tools for improvement have worked?

    To the extent NACIQI's questions go to improvement of institutions and programs that are not at risk of falling into noncompliance with agency requirements, the responses will be used to inform NACIQI's general policy recommendations to the Department rather than its recommendations regarding recognition of any individual agency.

    The discussions and issues described above regarding the pilot are in addition to, rather than substituting for, exploration by Committee members of any topic relevant to recognition.

    Submission of requests to make an oral comment or to provide a written statement regarding a specific accrediting agency or state approval agency under review: Oral comments and written statements made will become part of the official record and will be considered by the Department and NACIQI in their deliberations. No individual in attendance or making oral presentations may distribute written materials at the meeting. Oral comments may not exceed three minutes.

    Comments and statements about an agency's recognition after review of a compliance report must relate to issues identified in the compliance report and the criteria for recognition cited in the senior Department official's letter that requested the report, or in the Secretary's appeal decision, if any. Comments and statements about an agency seeking expansion of scope must be directed to the agency's ability to serve as a recognized accrediting agency with respect to the kinds of institutions or programs requested to be added. Comments and statements about the renewal of an agency's recognition based on a review of the agency's petition must relate to its compliance with the Criteria for the Recognition of Accrediting Agencies, or the Criteria and Procedures for Recognition of State Agencies for Approval of Nurse Education, as appropriate, which are available at http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html.

    There are two methods the public may use to request to make a third-party oral comment of three minutes concerning one of the agencies scheduled for review at the February 22-24, 2017 meeting. To submit a written statement to NACIQI, please follow Method One.

    Method One: Submit a request by email to the [email protected] mailbox. Please do not send material directly to NACIQI members. Written statements and requests to make oral comment must be received by February 15, 2017, and include the subject line “Oral Comment Request: (agency name),” or “Written Statement: (agency name).” The email must include the name(s), title, organization/affiliation, mailing address, email address, telephone number, of the person(s) submitting a written statement or requesting to speak, and a brief summary (not to exceed one page) of the principal points to be made during the oral presentation, if applicable. All individuals submitting an advance request in accordance with this notice will be afforded an opportunity to speak.

    Method Two: Register at the meeting location on February 22, 2017, from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m., to make an oral comment during NACIQI's deliberations concerning a particular agency or institution scheduled for review. The requestor must provide his or her name, title, organization/affiliation, mailing address, email address, and telephone number. A total of up to fifteen minutes during each agency review will be allotted for oral commenters who register on February 22, 2017 by 8:30 a.m. Individuals will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. If selected, each commenter may not exceed three minutes.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: The Department will post the official report of the meeting on the NACIQI Web site within 90 days after the meeting. Pursuant to the FACA, the public may also inspect the materials at 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC, by emailing [email protected] or by calling (202) 453-7110 to schedule an appointment.

    Reasonable Accommodations: The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this notice at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although we will attempt to meet a request received after that date, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

    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 Adobe 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.

    Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1011c.

    Gail McLarnon, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Policy, and Innovation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00306 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES [Public Notice: 2017-3001] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 92-29 Export-Import Bank Report of Premiums Payable for Exporters Only

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The application tool can be reviewed at: http://exim.gov/sites/default/files/pub/pending/eib92-29.pdf

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before February 9, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20038, Attn: OMB 3048-0017.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Export Import Bank of the United States, pursuant to the Export Import Bank Act of 1945, as amended (12 U.S.C. 635, et.seq.), facilitates the finance of the export of U.S. goods and services. The “Report of Premiums Payable for Exporters Only” form will be used by exporters to report and pay premiums on insured shipments to various foreign buyers.

    Title and Form Number: EIB 92-29 Export-Import Bank Report of Premiums Payable for Exporters Only.

    OMB Number: 3048-0017.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Need and Use: The “Report of Premiums Payable for Exporters Only” form is used by exporters to report and pay premiums on insured shipments to various foreign buyers under the terms of the policy and to certify that premiums have been correctly computed and remitted. The `Report of Premiums Payable for Exporters Only' is used by EXIM to determine the eligibility of the shipment(s) and to calculate the premium due to EXIM Bank for its support of the shipment(s) under its insurance program.

    Affected Public: This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual number of respondents: 2,200.

    Estimated time per respondent: 15 minutes.

    Annual burden hours: 6,600 hours.

    Frequency of reporting or use: Monthly.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing time per year: 6,600 hours.

    Average wages per hour: $42.50.

    Average cost per year: $280,500 (time * wages).

    Benefits and overhead: 20%.

    Total government cost: $336,600.

    Bassam Doughman, IT Program Manager, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-00187 Filed 1-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINATION [Docket No. AS17-01] Appraisal Subcommittee; Proposed Revised Policy Statements AGENCY:

    Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

    ACTION:

    Proposed revised Policy Statements.

    SUMMARY:

    The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council requests public comment on a proposal to revise ASC Policy Statements (proposed Policy Statements). The proposed Policy Statements provide guidance to ensure State appraiser regulatory programs comply with Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, as amended, and the rules promulgated thereunder. The proposed Policy Statements would supersede the current ASC Policy Statements.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 10, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Commenters are encouraged to submit comments by the Federal eRulemaking Portal or email, if possible. You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number AS17-01, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for submitting public comments.

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

    Fax: (202) 289-4101. Include docket number on fax cover sheet.

    Mail: Address to Appraisal Subcommittee, Attn: Lori Schuster, Management and Program Analyst, 1401 H Street NW., Suite 760, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: 1401 H Street NW., Suite 760, Washington, DC 20005.

    In general, the ASC will enter all comments received into the docket and publish those comments on the Federal eRulemaking (Regulations.gov) Web site without change, including any business or personal information that you provide, such as name and address information, email addresses, or phone numbers. Comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not enclose any information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure. At the close of the comment period, all public comments will also be made available on the ASC's Web site at https://www.asc.gov (follow link in “What's New”) as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons.

    You may review comments by any of the following methods:

    Viewing Comments Electronically: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID AS17-01” in the Search box and click “Search.” Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for viewing public comments, viewing other supporting and related materials, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period.

    Viewing Comments Personally: You may personally inspect comments at the ASC office, 1401 H Street NW., Suite 760, Washington, DC 20005. To make an appointment, please call Lori Schuster at (202) 595-7578.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James R. Park, Executive Director, at (202) 595-7575, or Alice M. Ritter, General Counsel, at (202) 595-7577, Appraisal Subcommittee, 1401 H Street NW., Suite 760, Washington, DC 20005.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, as amended (Title XI), established the ASC.1 The purpose of Title XI is to provide protection of Federal financial and public policy interests by upholding Title XI requirements for appraisals performed for federally related transactions.2 Pursuant to Title XI, one of the ASC's core functions is to monitor the requirements established by the States 3 for certification and licensing of appraisers qualified to perform appraisals in connection with federally related transactions. This is accomplished through periodic ASC Compliance Reviews of each State appraiser regulatory program (Appraiser Program) to determine compliance or lack thereof with Title XI, and to assess implementation of minimum requirements for credentialing of appraisers as adopted by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (The Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria or AQB Criteria).

    1 The ASC Board is comprised of seven members. Five members are designated by the heads of the FFIEC agencies (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System [Board], Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB], Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC], Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [OCC], and National Credit Union Administration [NCUA]). The other two members are designated by the heads of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

    2 Refers to any real estate related financial transaction which: (a) A federal financial institutions regulatory agency engages in, contracts for, or regulates; and (b) requires the services of an appraiser. (Title XI § 1121(4), 12 U.S.C. 3350.)

    3 The 50 States, the District of Columbia, and four Territories, which are the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and United States Virgin Islands.

    Title XI as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) 4 expanded the ASC's core functions to include monitoring of the requirements established by States that elect to register and supervise the operations and activities of appraisal management companies 5 (AMCs). States electing to register and supervise AMCs must implement minimum requirements in accordance with the AMC Rule.6 As a result, States with an AMC regulatory program (AMC Program) will be evaluated during the ASC's Compliance Review to determine compliance or lack thereof with Title XI, and to assess implementation of the minimum requirements for State registration and supervision of AMCs as established by the AMC Rule. The amendments to Title XI by the Dodd-Frank Act also allow States with an AMC Program to add information about AMCs in their State to the National Registry of AMCs (AMC Registry). The proposed Policy Statements include guidance to the States regarding how AMC Programs will be evaluated during ASC Compliance Reviews.

    4 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

    5 Title XI § 1103(a)(1)(B), 12 U.S.C. 3332.

    6 The Dodd-Frank Act added section 1124 to Title XI, Appraisal Management Company Minimum Requirements, which required the OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, CFPB, and FHFA to establish, by rule, minimum requirements for the registration and supervision of AMCs by States that elect to register and supervise AMCs pursuant to Title XI and the rules promulgated thereunder. (Title XI § 1124(a), 12 U.S.C. 3353(a)). Those rules were finalized and published on June 9, 2015, at 80 Federal Register 32658 with an effective date of August 10, 2015. (12 CFR 34.210-34.216; 12 CFR 225.190-225.196; 12 CFR 323.8-323.14; 12 CFR 1222.20-1222.26)

    II. Overview of Proposed Policy Statements

    The ASC is issuing these proposed Policy Statements 7 in three parts to provide States with the necessary information to maintain their Appraiser Programs and AMC Programs in compliance with Title XI and the rules promulgated thereunder:

    7 These Policy Statements, adopted [date to be inserted when final], supersede all previous Policy Statements adopted by the ASC.

    ➢ Part A, Appraiser Program—Policy Statements 1 through 7 correspond with the categories that are: (a) Evaluated during the Appraiser Program Compliance Review; and (b) included in the ASC's Compliance Review Report of the Appraiser Program.

    ➢ Part B, AMC Program—Policy Statements 8 through 11 correspond with the categories that are: (a) Evaluated during the AMC Program Compliance Review; and (b) included in the ASC's Compliance Review Report of the AMC Program.

    ➢ Part C, Interim Sanctions—Policy Statement 12 sets forth required procedures in the event that interim sanctions are imposed against a State by the ASC for non-compliance in either the Appraiser Program or the AMC Program.

    The proposal also includes two appendices:

    1. Appendix A provides an overview of the Compliance Review process; and

    2. Appendix B provides a glossary of terms.

    III. Statement-by-Statement

    The following provides a section by section highlight of changes presented in the proposed Policy Statements.

    Introduction and Purpose

    The ASC proposes to expand the introduction to include the monitoring of States that elect to register and supervise the operations and activities of AMCs, and to include an explanation of the proposed Policy Statements' three parts and appendices.

    Part A: Appraiser Program Policy Statement 1: Statutes, Regulations, Policies and Procedures Governing State Appraiser Programs

    The ASC proposes modify Policy Statement 1 to include a definition of trainee appraiser to better reflect how changes to Title XI affect Appraiser Programs with trainee requirements.

    Policy Statement 2: Temporary Practice

    The ASC proposes to modify Policy Statement 2 to clarify requirements for temporary practice and includes requirements to track temporary practice permits and maintain documentation.

    Policy Statement 3: National Registry of Appraisers

    The ASC proposes to modify Policy Statement 3 to clarify requirements regarding States' submission of registry fees and eligibility of appraisers for the Appraiser Registry.

    Policy Statement 4: Application Process

    The ASC proposes to modify Policy Statement 4 to include additional guidance to States implementing AQB Criteria regarding the background of applicants for credentials and requires States to document applicant files with evidence supporting decisions made regarding individual appraisers. Policy Statement 4 as proposed also provides additional guidance on requirements for States to validate renewal requirements for appraisers and provides parameters for auditing education-related affidavits. Finally, Policy Statement 4 as proposed clarifies the requirement that States engage analysts who are knowledgeable about the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and document how the analysts are qualified.

    Policy Statement 5: Reciprocity

    The ASC proposes to modify Policy Statement 5 to include a requirement that States obtain and maintain sufficient relevant documentation pertaining to an application for issuance of a credential by reciprocity.

    Policy Statement 6: Education

    The ASC proposes to modify Policy Statement 6 to clarify that States may not continue to accept AQB approved courses after the AQB's expiration date unless the course content is reviewed and approved by the State.

    Policy Statement 7: Enforcement

    The ASC proposes to modify Policy Statement 7 to clarify the requirement that States consider USPAP violations when investigating a complaint whether or not USPAP violations were the basis for the complaint.

    Part B: AMC Program

    As proposed, Policy Statements 8, 9 & 10 duplicate the provisions of Policy Statements 1, 3 & 7 to every extent possible. The standard language is intentional and will create better understanding of the Policy Statements by the States as they will be able to anticipate how to comply based on their understanding of the Policy Statements they have been following. Differences are discussed below.

    Policy Statement 8: Statutes, Regulations, Policies and Procedures Governing State AMC Programs

    The ASC proposes a new Policy Statement 8 to reflect the statutory provision that States are not required to establish an AMC Program, but clarify for those States that establish AMC Programs the ASC oversight during ASC Compliance Reviews. As proposed, Policy Statement 8 reiterates that States with an AMC Program must: (1) Establish and maintain an AMC Program with the legal authority and mechanisms consistent with the AMC Rule; (2) impose requirements on AMCs consistent with the AMC Rule; and (3) enforce and document ownership limitations for State-registered AMCs. As proposed, Policy Statement 8 informs States that while they may have a more expansive definition of an AMC in their State statute, only AMCs that meet the federal definition in Title XI may be included on the AMC Registry.

    Policy Statement 9: National Registry of AMCs (AMC Registry)

    The ASC proposes a new Policy Statement 9 to clarify requirements for States with an AMC Program to maintain the AMC Registry in the same way they maintain the Appraiser Registry.

    Policy Statement 10: State Agency Enforcement

    The ASC proposes a new Policy Statement 10 to clarify requirements for States' AMC enforcement programs in those States with an AMC Program.

    Policy Statement 11: Statutory Implementation Period

    The ASC proposes a new Policy Statement 11 to clarify the statutory implementation period and any extensions that may be granted.

    Part C: Interim Sanctions Policy Statement 12: Interim Sanctions

    The ASC proposes a new Policy Statement 12 which modifies existing Policy Statement 8 to clarify interim sanctions which may be imposed on State Programs when those programs fail to be effective. The proposed procedures include due process provisions and rules of evidence, and would establish timeliness for proceedings.

    IV. Request for Comment

    The ASC seeks comment on all aspects of the proposed Policy Statements. In addition, the ASC requests comments on whether the proposed Policy Statements provide State Programs with the necessary information to understand the ASC's expectations during a Compliance Review.

    The text of the proposed Policy Statements is as follows:

    Contents Introduction and Purpose Part A: Appraiser Program Policy Statement 1 Statutes, Regulations, Policies and Procedures Governing State Appraiser Programs A. State Regulatory Structure B. Funding and Staffing C. Minimum Criteria D. Federally Recognized Appraiser Classifications E. Non-Federally Recognized Credentials F. Appraisal Standards G. Exemptions H. ASC Staff Attendance at State Board Meetings I. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 2 Temporary Practice A. Requirement for Temporary Practice B. Excessive Fees or Burdensome Requirements C. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 3 National Registry of Appraisers A. Requirements for the National Registry of Appraisers B. Registry Fee and Invoicing Policies C. Access to Appraiser Registry Data D. Information Sharing E. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 4 Application Process A. Processing of Applications B. Qualifying Education for Initial or Upgrade Applications C. Continuing Education for Reinstatement and Renewal Applications D. Experience for Initial or Upgrade Applications E. Examination F. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 5 Reciprocity A. Reciprocity Policy B. Application of Reciprocity Policy C. Appraiser Compliance Requirements D. Well-Documented Application Files E. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 6 Education A. Course Approval B. Distance Education C. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 7 State Agency Enforcement A. State Agency Regulatory Program B. Enforcement Process C. Summary of Requirements Part B: AMC Program Policy Statement 8 Statutes, Regulations, Policies and Procedures Governing State AMC Programs A. Participating States and ASC Oversight B. Relation to State Law C. Funding and Staffing D. Minimum Requirements for Registration and Supervision of AMCs as Established by the AMC Rule E. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 9 National Registry of AMCs (AMC Registry) A. Requirements for the AMC Registry B. Registry Fee and Invoicing Policies C. Reporting Requirements D. Access to AMC Registry Data E. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 10 State Agency Enforcement A. State Agency Regulatory Program B. Enforcement Process C. Summary of Requirements Policy Statement 11 Statutory Implementation Period Part C: Interim Sanctions Policy Statement 12 Interim Sanctions A. Authority B. Opportunity To Be Heard or Correct Conditions C. Procedures Appendices Appendix A—Compliance Review Process Appendix B—Glossary of Terms Introduction and Purpose

    Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 as amended (Title XI) established the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (ASC).8 The purpose of Title XI is to provide protection of Federal financial and public policy interests by upholding Title XI requirements for appraisals performed for federally related transactions. Specifically, those appraisals shall be performed in writing, in accordance with uniform standards, by individuals whose competency has been demonstrated and whose professional conduct will be subject to effective supervision.

    8 The ASC board is made up of seven members. Five members are designated by the heads of the FFIEC agencies (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and National Credit Union Administration). The other two members are designated by the heads of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    Pursuant to Title XI, one of the ASC's core functions is to monitor the requirements established by the States 9 for certification and licensing of appraisers qualified to perform appraisals in connection with federally related transactions.10 Title XI as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) 11 expanded the ASC's core functions to include monitoring of the requirements established by States that elect to register and supervise the operations and activities of appraisal management companies 12 (AMCs).13

    9 See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “State.”

    10 See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “federally related transaction.”

    11 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

    12 Title XI § 1103(a)(1)(B), 12 U.S.C. 3332.

    13 See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “appraisal management company” or AMC.

    The ASC performs periodic Compliance Reviews 14 of each State appraiser regulatory program (Appraiser Program) to determine compliance or lack thereof with Title XI, and to assess implementation of minimum requirements for credentialing of appraisers as adopted by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (The Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria or AQB Criteria). As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act amendments to Title XI, States with an AMC regulatory program (AMC Program) will be evaluated during the Compliance Review to determine compliance or lack thereof with Title XI, and to assess implementation of the minimum requirements for State registration and supervision of AMCs as established by the AMC Rule.15

    14 See Appendix A, Compliance Review Process.

    15 The Dodd-Frank Act required the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; National Credit Union Administration; Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection; and Federal Housing Finance Agency to establish, by rule, minimum requirements to be imposed by a participating State appraiser certifying and licensing agency on AMCs doing business in the State. (Title XI § 1124(a), 12 U.S.C. 3353(a)). Those rules were finalized and published on June 9, 2015, at 80 Federal Register 32658 with an effective date of August 10, 2015. (12 CFR 34.210-34.216; 12 CFR 225.190-225.196; 12 CFR 323.8-323.14; 12 CFR 1222.20-1222.26.)

    The ASC is issuing these revised Policy Statements 16 in three parts to provide States with the necessary information to maintain their Appraiser Programs and AMC Programs in compliance with Title XI:

    16 These Policy Statements, adopted [date to be inserted when final], supersede all previous Policy Statements adopted by the ASC.

    ➢ Part A, Appraiser Program—Policy Statements 1 through 7 correspond with the categories that are: (a) Evaluated during the Appraiser Program Compliance Review; and (b) included in the ASC's Compliance Review Report of the Appraiser Program.

    ➢ Part B, AMC Program—Policy Statements 8 through 11 correspond with the categories that are: (a) Evaluated during the AMC Program Compliance Review; and (b) included in the ASC's Compliance Review Report of the AMC Program.

    ➢ Part C, Interim Sanctions—Policy Statement 12 sets forth required procedures in the event that interim sanctions are imposed against a State by the ASC for non-compliance in either the Appraiser Program or the AMC Program.

    Part A: Appraiser Program Policy Statement 1 Statutes, Regulations, Policies and Procedures Governing State Appraiser Programs A. State Regulatory Structure

    Title XI requires the ASC to monitor each State appraiser certifying and licensing agency for the purpose of determining whether each such agency has in place policies, practices and procedures consistent with the requirements of Title XI.17 The ASC recognizes that each State may have legal, fiscal, regulatory or other factors that may influence the structure and organization of its Appraiser Program. Therefore, a State has flexibility to structure its Appraiser Program so long as it meets its Title XI-related responsibilities.

    17 Title XI § 1118(a), 12 U.S.C. 3347.

    States should maintain an organizational structure for appraiser certification, licensing and supervision that avoids conflicts of interest. A State agency may be headed by a board, commission or an individual. State board 18 or commission members, or employees in policy or decision-making positions, should understand and adhere to State statutes and regulations governing performance of responsibilities consistent with the highest ethical standards for public service. In addition, Appraiser Programs using private entities or contractors should establish appropriate internal policies, procedures and safeguards to promote compliance with the State agency's responsibilities under Title XI and these Policy Statements.

    18See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “State board.”

    B. Funding and Staffing

    The Dodd-Frank Act amended Title XI to require the ASC to determine whether States have sufficient funding and staffing to meet their Title XI requirements. Compliance with this provision requires that a State must provide its Appraiser Program with funding and staffing sufficient to carry out its Title XI-related duties. The ASC evaluates the sufficiency of funding and staffing as part of its review of all aspects of an Appraiser Program's effectiveness, including the adequacy of State boards, committees, or commissions responsible for carrying out Title XI-related duties.

    C. Minimum Criteria

    Title XI requires States to adopt and/or implement all relevant AQB Criteria. Requirements established by a State for certified residential or certified general appraisers, as well as requirements established for licensed appraisers, trainee appraisers and supervisory appraisers must meet or exceed applicable AQB Criteria.

    D. Federally Recognized Appraiser Classifications State Certified Appraisers

    “State certified appraisers” means those individuals who have satisfied the requirements for residential or general certification in a State whose criteria for certification meet or exceed the applicable minimum AQB Criteria. Permitted scope of practice and designation for State certified residential or certified general appraisers must be consistent with State and Federal laws, including regulations and supplementary guidance.

    State Licensed Appraisers

    “State licensed appraisers” means those individuals who have satisfied the requirements for licensing in a State whose criteria for licensing meet or exceed the applicable minimum AQB Criteria. The permitted scope of practice and designation for State licensed appraisers must be consistent with State and Federal laws, including regulations and supplementary guidance.

    Trainee Appraisers

    “Trainee appraisers” means those individuals who have satisfied the requirements for credentialing in a State whose criteria for credentialing meet or exceed the applicable minimum AQB Criteria. Any minimum qualification requirements established by a State for individuals in the position of “trainee appraiser” or “supervisory appraiser” must meet or exceed the applicable minimum AQB Criteria. ASC staff will evaluate State designations such as “registered appraiser,” “apprentice appraiser,” “provisional appraiser,” or any other similar designation to determine if, in substance, such designation is consistent with a “trainee appraiser” designation and, therefore, administered to comply with Title XI. The permitted scope of practice and designation for trainee appraisers must be consistent with State and Federal laws, including regulations and supplementary guidance.

    Any State or Federal agency may impose additional appraiser qualification requirements for trainee, State licensed, certified residential or certified general classifications, if they consider such requirements necessary to carry out their responsibilities under Federal and/or State statutes and regulations, so long as the additional qualification requirements do not preclude compliance with AQB Criteria.

    E. Non-Federally Recognized Credentials

    States using non-federally recognized credentials or designations 19 must ensure that they are easily distinguished from the federally recognized credentials.

    19See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “non-federally recognized credentials or designations.”

    F. Appraisal Standards

    Title XI and the Federal financial institutions regulatory agencies' regulations mandate that all appraisals performed in connection with federally related transactions be in written form, prepared in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards as promulgated by the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), and be subject to appropriate review for compliance with USPAP.20 States that have incorporated USPAP into State law should ensure that statutes or regulations are updated timely to adopt the current version of USPAP, or if State law allows, automatically incorporate the latest version of USPAP as it becomes effective. States should consider ASB Advisory Opinions, Frequently Asked Questions, and other written guidance issued by the ASB regarding interpretation and application of USPAP.

    20See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms for the definition of “Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.”

    Any State or Federal agency may impose additional appraisal standards if they consider such standards necessary to carry out their responsibilities, so long as additional appraisal standards do not preclude compliance with USPAP or the Federal financial institutions regulatory agencies' appraisal regulations for work performed for federally related transactions.

    The Federal financial institutions regulatory agencies' appraisal regulations define “appraisal” and identify which real estate-related financial transactions require the services of a State certified or licensed appraiser. These regulations define “appraisal” as a “written statement independently and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser setting forth an opinion as to the market value of an adequately described property as of a specific date(s) supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information.” Per these regulations, an appraiser performing an appraisal review which includes the reviewer providing his or her own opinion of value constitutes an appraisal. Under these same regulations, an appraisal review that does not include the reviewer providing his or her own opinion of value does not constitute an appraisal. Therefore, under the Federal financial institutions regulatory agencies' regulations, only those transactions that involve appraisals for federally related transactions require the services of a State certified or licensed appraiser.

    G. Exemptions

    Title XI and the Federal financial institutions regulatory agencies' regulations specifically require the use of State certified or licensed appraisers in connection with the appraisal of certain real estate-related financial transactions.21 A State may not exempt any individual or group of individuals from meeting the State's certification or licensing requirements if the individual or group member performs an appraisal when Federal statutes and regulations require the use of a certified or licensed appraiser. For example, an individual who has been exempted by the State from its appraiser certification or licensing requirements because he or she is an officer, director, employee or agent of a federally regulated financial institution would not be permitted to perform an appraisal in connection with a federally related transaction.

    21 Title XI § 1112, 12 U.S.C. 3341; Title XI § 1113, 12 U.S.C. 3342; Title XI § 1114, 12 U.S.C. 3343.

    H. ASC Staff Attendance at State Board Meetings

    The efficacy of the ASC's Compliance Review process rests on the ASC's ability to obtain reliable information about all areas of a State's Appraiser Program. ASC staff regularly attends open State board meetings as part of the on-site Compliance Review process. States are expected to make available for review by ASC staff minutes of closed meetings and executive sessions. States are encouraged to allow ASC staff to attend closed and executive sessions of State board meetings where such attendance would not violate State law or regulation or be inconsistent with other legal obligations of the State board. ASC staff is obligated to protect information obtained during the Compliance Review process concerning the privacy of individuals and any confidential matters.

    I. Summary of Requirements

    1. States must require that appraisals be performed in accordance with the latest version of USPAP.22

    22 Title XI § 1101, 12 U.S.C. 3331; Title XI § 1118(a), 12 U.S.C. 3347; AQB Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria.

    2. States must, at a minimum, adopt and/or implement all relevant AQB Criteria.23

    23 Title XI §§ 1116(a), (c) and (e), 12 U.S.C. 3345; Title XI § 1118(a), 12 U.S.C. 3347.

    3. States must have policies, practices and procedures consistent with Title XI.24

    24 Title XI § 1118(a), 12 U.S.C. 3347.

    4. States must have funding and staffing sufficient to carry out their Title XI-related duties.25

    25Id; Title XI § 1118(b), 12 U.S.C. 3347.

    5. States must use proper designations and permitted scope of practice for certified residential; certified general; licensed; and trainee classifications.26

    26 Title XI §§ 1116(a), (c) and (e), 12 U.S.C. 3345; Title XI § 1118(a), 12 U.S.C. 3347; Title XI § 1113, 12 U.S.C. 3342; AQB Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria.

    6. State board members, and any persons in policy or decision-making positions, must perform their responsibilities consistent with Title XI.27

    27 Title XI § 1118(a), 12 U.S.C. 3347.

    7. States' certification and licensing requirements must meet the minimum requirements set forth in Title XI.28

    28 Title XI §§ 1116(a), (c) and (e), 12 U.S.C. 3345.

    8. State requirements for trainee appraisers and supervisory appraisers must meet or exceed the AQB Criteria.

    9. State agencies must be granted adequate authority by the State to maintain an effective regulatory Appraiser Program in compliance with Title XI.29

    29 Title XI § 1118(b), 12 U.S.C. 3347.

    Policy Statement 2 Temporary Practice A. Requirement for Temporary Practice

    Title XI requires State agencies to recognize, on a temporary basis, the certification or license of an out-of-State appraiser entering the State for the purpose of completing an appraisal assignment 30 for a federally related transaction. States are not, however, required to grant temporary practice permits to trainee appraisers. The out-of-State appraiser must register with the State agency in the State of temporary practice (Host State). A State may determine the process necessary for “registration” provided such process complies with Title XI and does not impose “excessive fees or burdensome requirements,” as determined by the ASC.31 Thus, a credentialed appraiser 32 from State A has a statutory right to enter State B (the Host State) to perform an assignment concerning a federally related transaction, so long as the appraiser registers with the State agency in State B prior to performing the assignment. Though Title XI contemplates reasonably free movement of credentialed appraisers across State lines, an out-of-State appraiser must comply with the Host State's real estate appraisal statutes and regulations and is subject to the Host State's full regulatory jurisdiction. States should utilize the National Registry of Appraisers to verify credential status on applicants for temporary practice.

    30See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “assignment.”

    31 Title XI § 1122(a)(2), 12 U.S.C. 3351.

    32See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “credentialed appraisers.”

    B. Excessive Fees or Burdensome Requirements

    Title XI prohibits States from imposing excessive fees or burdensome requirements, as determined by the ASC, for temporary practice.33 Adherence by State agencies to the following mandates and prohibitions will deter the imposition of excessive fees or burdensome requirements.

    33 Title XI § 1122(a) (2), 12 U.S.C. 3351.

    Host State agencies must:

    a. Issue temporary practice permits on an assignment basis;

    b. issue temporary practice permits within five business days of receipt of a completed application, or notify the applicant and document the file as to the circumstances justifying delay or other action;

    c. issue temporary practice permits designating the permit's effective date;

    d. take regulatory responsibility for a temporary practitioner's unethical, incompetent and/or fraudulent practices performed while in the State;

    e. notify the appraiser's home State agency 34 in the case of disciplinary action concerning a temporary practitioner;

    34 See Appendix B, Glossary of Terms, for the definition of “home State agency.”

    f. allow at least one temporary practice permit extension through a streamlined process;

    g. track all temporary practice permits using a permit log which includes the name of the applicant, date application received, date completed application received, date of issuance, and date of expiration, if any (States are strongly encouraged to maintain this information in an electronic, sortable format); and

    h. maintain documentation sufficient to demonstrate compliance with this Policy Statement.

    Host State agencies may not:

    a. limit the valid time period of a temporary practice permit to less than 6 months (unless the applicant requests a specific end date and the applicant is allowed an extension if required to complete the assignment, the applicant's credential is no longer in active status during that period of time);

    b. limit an appraiser to one temporary practice permit per calendar year; 35

    35 State agencies may establish by statute or regulation a policy that places reasonable limits on the number of times an out-of-State certified or licensed appraiser may exercise his or her temporary practice rights in a given year. If such a policy is not established, a State agency may choose not to honor an out-of-State certified or licensed appraiser's temporary practice rights if it has made a determination that the appraiser is abusing his or her temporary practice rights and is regularly engaging in real estate appraisal services within the State.

    c. charge a temporary practice permit fee exceeding $250, including one extension fee;

    d. impose State appraiser qualification requirements for education, experience and/or exam upon temporary practitioners;

    e. require temporary practitioners to obtain a certification or license in the State of temporary practice;

    f. require temporary practitioners to affiliate with an in-State licensed or certified appraiser;

    g. refuse to register licensed or certified appraisers seeking temporary practice in a State that does not have a licensed or certified level credential; or

    h. prohibit temporary practice.

    Home State agencies may not:

    a. delay the issuance of a written “letter of good standing” or similar document for more than five business days after receipt of a request; or

    b. fail to consider and, if appropriate, take disciplinary action when one of its certified or licensed appraisers is disciplined by another State.

    C. Summary of Requirements

    1. States must recognize, on a temporary basis, appraiser credentials issued by another State if the property to be appraised is part of a federally related transaction.36

    36 Title XI § 1122(a)(1), 12 U.S.C. 3351.

    2. State agencies must adhere to mandates and prohibitions as determined by the ASC that deter the imposition of excessive fees or burdensome requirements for temporary practice.37

    37 Title XI § 1122(a)(2), 12 U.S.C. 3351.

    Policy Statement 3 National Registry of Appraisers A. Requirements for the National Registry of Appraisers

    Title XI requires the ASC to maintain a National Registry of State certified and licensed appraisers who are eligible to perform appraisals in federally related transactions (Appraiser Registry).38 Title XI further requires the States to transmit to the ASC: (1) A roster listing individuals who have received a State certification or license in accordance with Title XI; (2) reports on the issuance and renewal of licenses and certifications, sanctions, disciplinary actions, revocations and suspensions; and (3) the registry fee as set by the ASC 39 from individuals who have received certification or licensing. States must notify the ASC as soon as practicable if a credential holder listed on the Appraiser Registry does not qualify for the credential held.

    38 Title XI § 1103(a) (3), 12 U.S.C. 3332.

    39 Title XI § 1109, Roster of State certified or licensed appraisers; authority to collect and transmit fees, requires the ASC to consider at least once every 5 years whether to adjust the dollar amount of the registry fees to account for inflation. (Title XI § 1109(a), 12 U.S.C. 3338.)

    Roster and registry fee requirements apply to all individuals who receive State certifications or licenses, originally or by reciprocity, whether or not the individuals are, in fact, performing or planning to perform appraisals in federally related transactions. If an appraiser is certified or licensed in more than one State, the appraiser is required to be on each State's roster of certified or licensed appraisers, and a registry fee is due from each State in which the appraiser is certified or licensed.

    Only AQB-compliant certified and licensed appraisers in active status on the Appraiser Registry are eligible to perform appraisals in connection with federally related transactions. Only those appraisers whose registry fees have been transmitted to the ASC will be eligible to be on the Appraiser Registry for the period subsequent to payment of the fee.

    Some States may give State certified or licensed appraisers an option to not pay the registry fee. If a State certified or licensed appraiser chooses not to pay the registry fee, then the Appraiser Program must ensure that any potential user of that appraiser's services is aware that the appraiser is not eligible to perform appraisals for federally related transactions. The Appraiser Program must place a conspicuous notice directly on the face of any evidence of the appraiser's authority to appraise sta