Federal Register Vol. 82, No.60,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 60 (March 30, 2017)

Page Range15607-15979
FR Document

82_FR_60
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 15709 - Draft Current Intelligence Bulletin: The Occupational Exposure Banding Process: Guidance for the Evaluation of Chemical Hazards; Notice of Public Meeting; Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 15688 - Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
82 FR 15691 - Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationPDF
82 FR 15607 - Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive OrdersPDF
82 FR 15718 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 15699 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
82 FR 15702 - First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter-Ecological CriteriaPDF
82 FR 15701 - Notification of a Public Meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC); Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and SulfurPDF
82 FR 15722 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Subcommittee on Planning and ProceduresPDF
82 FR 15705 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Compliance Assurance Monitoring ProgramPDF
82 FR 15704 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for the Graphic Arts Industry (Renewal)PDF
82 FR 15683 - Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5PDF
82 FR 15685 - White River National Forest; Eagle County; Colorado; Golden Peak Improvements ProjectPDF
82 FR 15717 - NuScale Power, LLCPDF
82 FR 15722 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Annex and Radwaste Building ChangesPDF
82 FR 15719 - PSEG Nuclear LLC; Salem Nuclear Generating Station, Unit No. 2PDF
82 FR 15724 - Submission for Review: It's Time To Sign Up for Direct Deposit or Direct Express, OPM Form RI 38-128PDF
82 FR 15699 - Board of Visitors (BOV) of the U.S. Air Force Academy; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 15642 - Designation of BeneficiaryPDF
82 FR 15779 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed RequestPDF
82 FR 15791 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons Pursuant to Executive Order 13391PDF
82 FR 15789 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 15790 - Proposed Renewal Without Change; Comment Request; Anti-Money Laundering Programs; Due Diligence Programs for Correspondent Accounts for Foreign Financial InstitutionsPDF
82 FR 15711 - Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2017; RevisedPDF
82 FR 15637 - Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola Bay, East Bay, St. Andrew Bay and St. Andrew Sound at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida; Restricted AreasPDF
82 FR 15785 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
82 FR 15612 - IFR Altitudes; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 15783 - Public Notice for Waiver of Aeronautical Land-Use AssurancePDF
82 FR 15630 - Qualified Financial Contracts Recordkeeping Related to Orderly Liquidation AuthorityPDF
82 FR 15635 - Safety Zones; San Francisco, CAPDF
82 FR 15697 - Honey From the People's Republic of China: Final Rescission of the New Shipper Review of Shanghai Sunbeauty Trading Co., Ltd.PDF
82 FR 15793 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project CommitteePDF
82 FR 15724 - Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Liability for Termination of Single-Employer PlansPDF
82 FR 15698 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 15707 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 15664 - Special Local Regulation; Cumberland River, Mile 189.0 to 193.0; Nashville, TNPDF
82 FR 15611 - Special Conditions: General Electric Company, GE9X Engine Models; Incorporation of Composite Fan BladesPDF
82 FR 15781 - 30-Day Notice of Intent To Seek Approval of an Existing Collection in Use Without an OMB Control Number: Dispute Resolution Procedures Under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act of 2015PDF
82 FR 15716 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) ProgramPDF
82 FR 15716 - Aluminum Extrusions From China DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 15686 - Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Idaho; John Wood Forest Management ProjectPDF
82 FR 15787 - Agency Information Collection Activity; Notice of Request for Approval To Continue To Collect Information: Barrier Failure Reporting in Oil and Gas Operations on the Outer Continental ShelfPDF
82 FR 15786 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Implantable Cardioverter DefibrillatorsPDF
82 FR 15615 - Safety Standard for Infant Bath TubsPDF
82 FR 15785 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 15784 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 15633 - Security Zone; USCGC MUNRO Commissioning Ceremony Elliott Bay; Seattle, WAPDF
82 FR 15630 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Barnegat Bay, Seaside Heights, NJPDF
82 FR 15706 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
82 FR 15793 - List of Countries Requiring Cooperation With an International BoycottPDF
82 FR 15706 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 15660 - Special Local Regulation; Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WIPDF
82 FR 15630 - Safety Zone; Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SCPDF
82 FR 15782 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 15714 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget for Approval; Injurious Wildlife; Importation Certification for Live Fish and Fish EggsPDF
82 FR 15741 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Partial Amendment No. 4 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 Through 4, To Amend the Co-Location Services Offered by the Exchange To Add Certain Access and Connectivity FeesPDF
82 FR 15763 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc; Notice of Filing of Partial Amendment No. 4 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 Through 4, To Amend the Co-Location Services Offered by the Exchange To Add Certain Access and Connectivity FeesPDF
82 FR 15725 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Partial Amendment No. 4 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 Through 4, To Amend the Co-Location Services Offered by the Exchange To Add Certain Access and Connectivity FeesPDF
82 FR 15687 - Foreign-Trade Zone 53-Tulsa, Oklahoma; Application for Subzone; Premier Logistics, LLC, Tulsa, OklahomaPDF
82 FR 15687 - Foreign-Trade Zone 87-Lake Charles, Louisiana Application for Expansion of Subzone 87F; Westlake Chemical Corporation, Sulphur, LouisianaPDF
82 FR 15687 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 134-Chattanooga, Tennessee; Authorization of Production Activity (Passenger Motor Vehicle Production), Chattanooga, TennesseePDF
82 FR 15710 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 15709 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 15710 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 15774 - Transamerica Life Insurance Company, et al.PDF
82 FR 15771 - Transamerica Advisors Life Insurance Company, et al.PDF
82 FR 15735 - Transamerica Life Insurance Company, et al.PDF
82 FR 15738 - Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, et al.PDF
82 FR 15778 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Exchange's Pricing Schedule at Section VII(A)PDF
82 FR 15733 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, To Revise the ICE Clear Europe Clearing Rules Relating to the Application of Default Provisions in the Event of a Resolution ProceedingPDF
82 FR 15749 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Centrally Cleared Institutional Triparty Service and Make Other ChangesPDF
82 FR 15791 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8655 and Revenue Procedure 2012-32PDF
82 FR 15792 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project CommitteePDF
82 FR 15792 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8866PDF
82 FR 15791 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Special Projects CommitteePDF
82 FR 15793 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project CommitteePDF
82 FR 15662 - Special Local Regulation; Breakers to Bridge Paddle Festival, Lake Superior; Keweenaw Waterway, MIPDF
82 FR 15707 - Supplemental Evidence and Data Request on Physiologic Predictors of the Need for Trauma Center Care: A Systematic ReviewPDF
82 FR 15716 - Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From China; DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 15666 - Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones UpdatePDF
82 FR 15700 - Defense Science Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 15780 - Imposition of Nonproliferation Measures Against Foreign Persons, Including a Ban on U.S. Government ProcurementPDF
82 FR 15671 - Air Plan Approval; VT; Infrastructure State Implementation Plan RequirementsPDF
82 FR 15627 - Requirements To Submit Prior Notice of Imported Food; Technical AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 15643 - Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility License RenewalPDF
82 FR 15900 - Joint Report to Congress: Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction ActPDF
82 FR 15704 - Proposed Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent, Quartz Hill Tailings Pile Within the Central City/Clear Creek Superfund Site, Central City, Gilpin County, ColoradoPDF
82 FR 15609 - Revision of Regulations Governing Freedom of Information Act Requests and AppealsPDF
82 FR 15796 - Hazardous Materials: Harmonization With International Standards (RRR)PDF

Issue

82 60 Thursday, March 30, 2017 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Supplemental Evidence and Data Requests: Physiologic Predictors of Need for Trauma Center Care: Systematic Review, 15707-15709 2017-06232 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: Board of Visitors of U.S. Air Force Academy, 15699-15700 2017-06305 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Draft Current Intelligence Bulletin: Occupational Exposure Banding Process; Guidance for Evaluation of Chemical Hazards, 15709 C1--2017--05115 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Barnegat Bay, Seaside Heights, NJ, 15630 2017-06266 Safety Zones: Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC, 15630-15632 2017-06261 San Francisco, CA, 15635-15637 2017-06287 Security Zones: USCGC MUNRO Commissioning Ceremony Elliott Bay; Seattle, WA, 15633-15634 2017-06267 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update, 15666-15671 2017-06230 Special Local Regulations: Breakers to Bridge Paddle Festival, Lake Superior; Keweenaw Waterway, MI, 15662-15664 2017-06233 Cumberland River, Mile 189.0 to 193.0; Nashville, TN, 15664-15666 2017-06278 Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior, Chequamegon Bay, WI, 15660-15662 2017-06262 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 15699 2017-06362 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission RULES Safety Standard for Infant Bath Tubs, 15615-15627 2017-06270 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Meetings: Defense Science Board; Federal Advisory Committee, 15700-15701 2017-06229
Engineers Engineers Corps RULES Restricted Areas: Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola Bay, East Bay, St. Andrew Bay and St. Andrew Sound at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL, 15637-15641 2017-06296 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Idaho Portion of Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area; Proposed Further Delay of Effective Date, 15683-15684 2017-06311 Vermont; Infrastructure State Implementation Plan Requirements, 15671-15683 2017-06206 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Compliance Assurance Monitoring Program, 15705-15706 2017-06314 NSPS for Graphic Arts Industry (Renewal), 15704-15705 2017-06313 CERCLA Administrative Settlement Agreements and Orders on Consent: Quartz Hill Tailings Pile within Central City/Clear Creek Superfund Site, Central City, Gilpin County, CO, 15704 2017-06118 First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria, 15702-15704 2017-06317 Meetings: Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee; Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur, 15701-15702 2017-06316 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Instrument Flight Rules Altitudes, 15612-15615 2017-06294 Special Conditions: General Electric Company, GE9X Engine Models; Incorporation of Composite Fan Blades, 15611-15612 2017-06277 NOTICES Exemption Petitions; Summaries, 15782-15786 2017-06260 2017-06268 2017-06269 Meetings: Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, 15785 2017-06295 Waivers of Aeronautical Land-Use Assurance, 15783-15784 2017-06292 2017-06293 Federal Financial Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council NOTICES Joint Report To Congress: Economic Growth And Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act, 15900-15979 2017-06131 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15706 2017-06263 Agreements Filed, 15706-15707 2017-06265 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators, 15786-15787 2017-06271 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 15707 2017-06279 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board PROPOSED RULES Designation of Beneficiary, 15642 2017-06304 Financial Crimes Financial Crimes Enforcement Network NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Due Diligence Programs for Correspondent Accounts for Foreign Financial Institutions, 15790-15791 2017-06300 Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 15789-15790 2017-06301 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Injurious Wildlife; Importation Certification for Live Fish and Fish Eggs, 15714-15716 2017-06259 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Requirements to Submit Prior Notice of Imported Food; Technical Amendments, 15627-15630 2017-06201 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 15791 2017-06302 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Passenger Motor Vehicle Production, Foreign-Trade Zone 134, Chattanooga, TN, 15687 2017-06251 Subzone Applications: Premier Logistics, LLC; Foreign-Trade Zone 53; Tulsa, OK, 15687 2017-06253 Subzone Expansions; Applications: Westlake Chemical Corp.; Foreign-Trade Zone 87; Lake Charles, LA, 15687-15688 2017-06252 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Golden Peak Improvements Project; White River National Forest; Eagle County, CO, 15685-15686 2017-06310 John Wood Forest Management Project; Caribou-Targhee National Forest, ID, 15686-15687 2017-06273 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Final Fair Market Rents: Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2017; Revised, 15711-15714 2017-06298 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15791-15793 2017-06238 2017-06240 Meetings: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project Committee, 15793 2017-06284 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Special Projects Committee, 15791 2017-06236 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project Committee, 15793 2017-06235 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project Committee, 15792 2017-06239 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Aluminum Foil from People's Republic of China, 15688-15691 2017-06390 Honey from People's Republic of China, 15697-15698 2017-06286 Determinations of Sales at Less than Fair Value: Certain Aluminum Foil from People's Republic of China, 15691-15697 2017-06389 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Aluminum Extrusions from China, 15716 2017-06274 Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip from China, 15716 2017-06231 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Firearm Inquiry Statistics Program, 15716-15717 2017-06275 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 15710 2017-06248 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 15709-15710 2017-06249 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 15710 2017-06250 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Meetings: New England Fishery Management Council, 15698-15699 2017-06280 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal, 15643-15660 2017-06162 NOTICES Exemption and Combined Licenses; Amendments Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Annex and Radwaste Building Changes, 15722-15724 2017-06308 License Application; Amendments PSEG Nuclear, LLC; Salem Nuclear Generating Station, Unit No. 2, 15719-15722 2017-06307 License Applications: NuScale Power, LLC, 15717-15718 2017-06309 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures, 15722 2017-06315 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 15718-15719 2017-06374 Office Special Office of the Special Counsel RULES Freedom of Information Act Requests and Appeals, 15609-15610 2017-06047 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Liability for Termination of Single-Employer Plans, 15724 2017-06283 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: It's Time to Sign Up for Direct Deposit or Direct Express, 15724-15725 2017-06306 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RULES Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with International Standards, 15796-15897 2017-04565 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Government Agencies and Employees: Federal Government Contracting; Revocation of Certain Executive Orders (EO 13782), 15607 2017-06382 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Transamerica Advisors Life Insurance Co., et al., 15771-15774 2017-06246 Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Co., et al., 15738-15741 2017-06244 Transamerica Life Insurance Co., et al., 15735-15738, 15774-15778 2017-06245 2017-06247 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 15749-15763 2017-06241 ICE Clear Europe, Ltd., 15733-15735 2017-06242 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 15778-15779 2017-06243 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 15741-15749 2017-06258 NYSE Arca, Inc., 15763-15771 2017-06257 NYSE MKT, LLC, 15725-15733 2017-06256 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15779-15780 2017-06303 State Department State Department NOTICES Imposition of Nonproliferation Measures Against Foreign Persons, Including Ban on U.S. Government Procurement, 15780-15781 2017-06225 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Dispute Resolution Procedures under Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, 15781-15782 2017-06276 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Transportation Statistics Bureau

Transportation Statistics Transportation Statistics Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Barrier Failure Reporting in Oil and Gas Operations on Outer Continental Shelf, 15787-15789 2017-06272 Treasury Treasury Department See

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

RULES Qualified Financial Contracts Recordkeeping Related to Orderly Liquidation Authority, 15630 2017-06288 NOTICES List of Countries Requiring Cooperation with International Boycott, 15793 2017-06264
Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Transportation Department, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 15796-15897 2017-04565 Part III Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, 15900-15979 2017-06131 Reader Aids

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

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

82 60 Thursday, March 30, 2017 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL 5 CFR Part 1820 Revision of Regulations Governing Freedom of Information Act Requests and Appeals AGENCY:

U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The rule updates the U.S. Office of Special Counsel's (OSC's) FOIA regulations to reflect substantive and procedural changes to the FOIA. In addition, in response to comments received on a different rulemaking, this final rule clarifies that our consultation procedures may include consultation with other offices prior to OSC responding to a FOIA request, incorporates existing records retention obligations, and updates the definition of representatives of the news media.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on March 30, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amy Beckett, Senior Litigation Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, by telephone at (202) 254-3600, by facsimile at (202) 254-3711, or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Public Law 114-185, 130 Stat. 538 (the Act) mandated several changes to agency FOIA programs, and it required agencies to review and update relevant FOIA regulations. In addition, OSC is updating its regulations in response to comments received during a recent rulemaking. At that time, OSC made a few additional mechanical changes responsive to the comments, but stated it would consider the comments proposing broader changes pending OSC's regulatory review required by the Act.

OSC has now considered the remaining comments, and has adopted some of them including a suggestion that § 1820.6 refer to the statutory 20-day appeal response window. In response to a comment that OSC include language regarding existing records retention obligations, OSC added provisions at §§ 1820.5(d) and 1820.6(d) that address the requirement to retain FOIA-related federal records. In addition, OSC updated the definition of “news media” in § 1820.7. In response to a comment regarding the consultation provision at § 1820.3, OSC clarified the circumstances under which it would consult with non-OSC offices prior to OSC issuing a FOIA response. When consulting on records responsive to an OSC-received FOIA request, OSC retains the responsibility for responding to the request.

Accordingly, OSC updates its FOIA regulations as follows:

FOIA Regulations. In accordance with the Act, OSC extends the time period for submitting appeals from 45 to 90 days; codifies OSC's existing practice of informing requesters of the availability of the Agency's Public Liaison and the dispute resolution services of the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Office of Government Information Services (OGIS); and notifies requesters of FOIA's intent to offer dispute resolution services at every stage of the FOIA process. OSC clarifies its FOIA consultation provisions relating to the need to sometimes consult with other offices when preparing its response to a FOIA request. OSC also updates its definition of “representative of the news media” to conform to current statutory language. This updated definition also responds to ongoing changes in the gathering and delivery of news.

OSC adds language to 5 CFR 1820.5 to establish OSC's FOIA dispute resolution program, including requiring OSC to notify requesters of the availability of dispute resolution services and language emphasizing that dispute resolution is available to requesters at every phase of the FOIA request and appeals process. OSC also adds language regarding records retention for FOIA-related federal records.

The existing language of 5 CFR 1820.6 is changed to notify requesters of their new statutory 90-day time limit to appeal. OSC also adds language regarding records retention for FOIA-related federal records.

The revisions to 5 CFR 1820.7 update language requiring that a member of the news media be a “person actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public,” removing the “organized and operated” standard previously included. The change also includes a non-exhaustive list of entities that meet the updated definition of “member of the news media.”

Procedural Determinations

Administrative Procedure Act (APA): OSC finds that good cause exists, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b), that notice and public comment on this rule-making would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest because most of these revisions to OSC's FOIA regulations are mandated by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 and OSC is not exercising any discretion in issuing these revisions; and also because the additional changes respond to previously considered comments on a recent rulemaking. This action is taken under the Special Counsel's authority at 5 U.S.C. 1212(e) to publish regulations in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined in section 3.f of Executive Order 12866.

Congressional Review Act (CRA): The rule is not subject to the reporting requirement of 5 U.S.C. 801 because it does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties and therefore is not a “rule” as that term is used by the Congressional Review Act (Subtitle E of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1998).

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA): Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA): This revision does not impose any federal mandates on state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector within the meaning of the UMRA.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): This rule will have no physical impact upon the environment and therefore will not require any further review under NEPA.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA): This rule does not impose any new recordkeeping, reporting, or other information collection requirements on the public.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This revision does not have new federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform): This rule meets applicable standards of 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1820

Administrative practice and procedure, Dispute resolution, Freedom of information, Government employees, Touhy regulations.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, OSC amends 5 CFR part 1820 as follows:

PART 1820—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS; PRODUCTION OF RECORDS OR TESTIMONY 1. The authority citation for 5 CFR part 1820 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552 and 1212(e).

2. Section 1820.3 is revised to read as follows:
§ 1820.3 Consultations and referrals.

When OSC receives a FOIA request for a record in the agency's possession, it may determine that another office is better able to decide whether or not the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. If so, OSC will either:

(a) Respond to the request for the record after consulting with the other office that has a substantial interest in the record; or

(b) Refer the responsibility for responding to the request to another Federal agency deemed better able to determine whether to disclose it. Consultations and referrals will be handled according to the date that the FOIA request was initially received by the first agency or Federal government office.

3. Section 1820.5 is amended by adding paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
§ 1820.5 Responses to requests.

(c) Dispute resolution program. OSC shall inform FOIA requesters at all stages of the FOIA process of the availability of dispute resolution services. In particular, OSC's FOIA acknowledgement letters shall notify requesters that the FOIA Liaison is available to assist them with requests. The acknowledgment letter and any agency response will include a notice that the FOIA Public Liaison may provide dispute resolution services, and will also notify the requester of the dispute resolution services provided by the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).

(d) Maintenance of files. OSC must preserve federal record correspondence and copies of requested records until disposition is authorized pursuant to Title 44 of the United States Code and the relevant approved records retention schedule.

4. Section 1820.6 is revised to read as follows:
§ 1820.6 Appeals.

(a) Appeals of adverse determinations. A requester may appeal a determination denying a FOIA request in any respect to the Office of General Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, 1730 M Street NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505. The appeal must be in writing, and must be submitted either by:

(1) Regular mail sent to the address listed in this subsection, above; or

(2) By fax sent to the FOIA Officer at, (202) 254-3711, or the number provided on the FOIA page of OSC's Web site https://osc.gov/Pages/FOIAResources.aspx; or

(3) By email to [email protected], or other electronic means as described on the FOIA page of OSC's Web site, https://osc.gov/Pages/FOIAResources.aspx.

(b) Submission and content. The Office of General Counsel must receive the appeal within 90 days of the date of the letter denying the request. For the quickest possible handling, the appeal letter and envelope or any fax cover sheet or email subject line should be clearly marked “FOIA Appeal.” The appeal letter must clearly identify the OSC determination (including the assigned FOIA request number, if known) being appealed. OSC will not ordinarily act on a FOIA appeal if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

(c) Responses to appeals. Ordinarily, OSC shall have 20 business days from receipt of the appeal to issue an appeal decision. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(ii). OSC's decision on an appeal will be in writing. A decision affirming a denial in whole or in part shall inform the requester of the provisions for judicial review of that decision. If the denial is reversed or modified on appeal, in whole or in part, OSC will notify the requester in a written decision and OSC will reprocess the request in accordance with that appeal decision. OSC will notify the requester of the availability of dispute resolution services provided by the FOIA Public Liaison and the dispute resolution services provided by the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).

(d) Maintenance of files. OSC must preserve federal record correspondence and copies of requested records until disposition is authorized pursuant to Title 44 of the United States Code and the relevant approved records retention schedule.

5. Section 1820.7(b)(6) is revised to read as follows:
§ 1820.7 Fees.

(b) * * *

(6) “Representative of the news media” or “news media requester” means 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. A non-exhaustive list of news media entities could include, in addition to television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals (but only in those instances where they can qualify as disseminators of “news”), electronic outlets for print newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations, and web-only outlets or other alternative media as methods of news delivery evolve. For “freelance” journalists to be regarded as working for a news organization, they must demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through that organization, whether print or electronic. A publication contract would be the clearest proof, but OSC may also look to the past publication record of a requester in making this determination. To be in this category, a requester must not be seeking the requested records for a commercial use. A request for records supporting the news-dissemination function of the requester shall not be considered to be for a commercial use.

Dated: March 21, 2017. Bruce Gipe, Chief Operating Officer.
[FR Doc. 2017-06047 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7405-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 33 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0171; Special Conditions No. 33-018-SC Special Conditions: General Electric Company, GE9X Engine Models; Incorporation of Composite Fan Blades AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the General Electric (GE) GE9X turbofan engine models. These engine models will have novel or unusual design features associated with composite fan blades. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

The effective date of these special conditions is April 14, 2017. We must receive your comments by May 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0171 using any of the following methods:

Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

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

Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical questions concerning these special conditions, contact Jay Turnberg, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts, 01803-5213; telephone (781) 238-7755; facsimile (781) 238-7199; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions is impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay issuance of the Type Certificate approval and thus, delivery of the affected engines.

In addition, the substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances, and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the engine, which is imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions.

Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On January 29, 2016, GE applied for a type certificate for their new GE9X turbofan engine models. The High-Bypass-Ratio GE9X engine models incorporate composite fan blades, a novel or unusual design feature. These fan blades have significant material property characteristics differences from conventional, single load path, metallic fan blades. Additionally, they have multiple load path features and/or crack arresting feature capabilities that, during the blade life, may prevent delamination, crack propagation, and/or blade failure.

Because of their novel or unusual design, these fan blades require additional airworthiness standards for GE9X engine type certification, to account for material property and failure mode differences with conventional fan blades. The applicable airworthiness regulations that exist do not contain appropriate safety standards for these new blades. The FAA may allow for application of different fan blade containment requirements, if GE demonstrates improved load path features and/or crack arresting feature capabilities of the new blade design, below the inner annulus flow path line.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, GE must show that the GE9X engine models meet the applicable provisions of part 33, “Airworthiness Standards, Aircraft Engines,” dated February 1, 1965, as amended by Amendments 33-1 through 33-34, dated January 5, 2015. The FAA has determined that the applicable airworthiness regulations in part 33 do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the GE9X engine models because of their novel and unusual fan blade design features. Therefore, these special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of 14 CFR 11.19 and 21.16, and will become part of the type certification basis for GE9X engine models in accordance with § 21.17(a)(2).

Special conditions are initially applicable to the engine models for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that engine model be amended later to include any other engine models that incorporate the same novel or unusual design features, the special conditions would also apply to the other engine models under § 21.101.

In addition to complying with the applicable product airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the GE9X engine models must comply with the fuel venting and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34.

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The GE9X engine models will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: Composite fan blades. These fan blades will have significant differences in material property characteristics as compared to conventionally designed fan blades using non-composite metallic materials. Composite material designs can incorporate multiple load paths and/or crack arresting features that prevent delamination or crack propagation that could result in blade failure during the blade service life. These blades require additional airworthiness standards for type certification of the GE9X engine models.

Discussion

As discussed in the summary section, the GE9X engine models incorporate composite fan blades instead of conventional, single load path, metallic fan blades, which is a novel or unusual design feature for aircraft engines. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the GE9X engine models. Should GE apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model on the same type certificate incorporating the same novel or unusual design features, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on GE9X engine models. It is not a rule of general applicability and applies only to GE, who requested FAA approval of this engine feature.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 33

Aircraft, Engines, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for GE9X engine models.

1. Special Conditions: General Electric Company, GE9X Engine Models; Incorporation of Composite Fan Blades. In lieu of the fan blade containment test with the fan blade failing at the outermost retention groove as specified in § 33.94(a)(1), complete the following requirements:

(a) Conduct an engine fan blade containment test with the fan blade failing at the inner annulus flow path line instead of at the outermost retention groove.

(b) Substantiate by test and analysis, or other methods acceptable to the FAA, that a fan disk and fan blade retention system with minimum material properties can withstand, without failure, a centrifugal load equal to two times the maximum load the retention system could experience within approved engine operating limitations. The fan blade retention system includes the portion of the fan blade from the inner annulus flow path line inward to the blade dovetail, the blade retention components, and the fan disk and fan blade attachment features.

(c) Using a procedure approved by the FAA, establish an operating limitation that specifies the maximum allowable number of start-stop stress cycles for the fan blade retention system. The life evaluation must include the combined effects of high-cycle and low-cycle fatigue. If the operating limitation is less than 100,000 cycles, that limitation must be specified in Chapter 5 of the Engine Manual Airworthiness Limitation Section. The procedure used to establish the maximum allowable number of start-stop stress cycles for the fan blade retention system will incorporate the integrity requirements specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of these special conditions for the fan blade retention system.

(1) An engineering plan which establishes and maintains that the combinations of loads, material properties, environmental influences, and operating conditions, including the effects of parts influencing these parameters, are well known or predictable through validated analysis, test, or service experience.

(2) A manufacturing plan that identifies the specific manufacturing constraints necessary to consistently produce the fan blade retention system with the attributes required by the engineering plan.

(3) A service management plan that defines in-service processes for maintenance and repair of the fan blade retention system, which will maintain attributes consistent with those required by the engineering plan.

(d) Substantiate by test and analysis, or other methods acceptable to the FAA, that the blade design below the inner annulus flow path line provides multiple load paths and/or crack arresting features that prevent delamination or crack propagation to blade failure during the life of the blade.

(e) Substantiate that, during the service life of the engine, the total probability of the occurrence of a hazardous engine effect defined in § 33.75 due to an individual blade retention system failure resulting from all possible causes will be extremely improbable, with (a cumulative calculated probability of failure of less than 10−9) per engine flight hour.

(f) Substantiate by test or analysis that not only will the engine continue to meet the requirements of § 33.75 following a lightning strike on the composite fan blade structure, but that the lightning strike will not cause damage to the fan blades that would prevent continued safe operation of the affected engine.

(g) Account for the effects of in-service deterioration, manufacturing variations, minimum material properties, and environmental effects during the tests and analyses required by paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of these special conditions.

(h) Propose fleet leader monitoring and field sampling programs that will monitor the effects of engine fan blade usage on fan blade retention system integrity. The programs must be approved by the FAA prior to certification of the GE9X engine models.

(i) Mark each fan blade legibly and permanently with a part number and a serial number.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on March 23, 2017. Robert J. Ganley, Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-06277 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 95 [Docket No. 31129; Amdt. No. 532] IFR Altitudes; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts miscellaneous amendments to the required IFR (instrument flight rules) altitudes and changeover points for certain Federal airways, jet routes, or direct routes for which a minimum or maximum en route authorized IFR altitude is prescribed. This regulatory action is needed because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace under instrument conditions in the affected areas.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, April 27, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas J Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AMCAFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This amendment to part 95 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 95) amends, suspends, or revokes IFR altitudes governing the operation of all aircraft in flight over a specified route or any portion of that route, as well as the changeover points (COPs) for Federal airways, jet routes, or direct routes as prescribed in part 95.

The Rule

The specified IFR altitudes, when used in conjunction with the prescribed changeover points for those routes, ensure navigation aid coverage that is adequate for safe flight operations and free of frequency interference. The reasons and circumstances that create the need for this amendment involve matters of flight safety and operational efficiency in the National Airspace System, are related to published aeronautical charts that are essential to the user, and provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace. In addition, those various reasons or circumstances require making this amendment effective before the next scheduled charting and publication date of the flight information to assure its timely availability to the user. The effective date of this amendment reflects those considerations. In view of the close and immediate relationship between these regulatory changes and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure before adopting this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and that good cause exists for making the amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Conclusion

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 95

Airspace, Navigation (air).

Issued in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2017. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, part 95 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 95) is amended as follows effective at 0901 UTC, April 27,2017.

1. The authority citation for part 95 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44719, 44721.

2. Part 95 is amended to read as follows: Revisions to IFR Altitudes and Changeover Point [Amendment 532 effective date April 27, 2017] From To MEA § 95.6001 Victor Routes—U.S. § 95.6012 VOR Federal Airway V12 Is Amended To Read in Part PANHANDLE, TX VORTAC MITBEE, OK VORTAC 5500 § 95.6014 VOR Federal Airway V14 Is Amended To Read in Part HOBART, OK VORTAC CARFF, OK FIX 3700 CARFF, OK FIX *DATTA, OK FIX 3000 *3500—MRA *DATTA, OK FIX WILL ROGERS, OK VORTAC 3000 *3500—MRA § 95.6017 VOR Federal Airway V17 Is Amended To Read in Part CAMAR, OK FIX MITBEE, OK VORTAC W BND 4300 E BND 4900 § 95.6096 VOR Federal Airway V96 Is Amended To Read in Part FORT WAYNE, IN VORTAC *ILLIE, OH FIX **5000 *16000—MCA ILLIE, OH FIX, NE BND **2300—MOCA ILLIE, OH FIX *ANNTS, OH FIX **16000 *16000—MCA ANNTS, OH FIX, SW BND **2100—MOCA ANNTS, OH FIX DETROIT, MI VOR/DME *3000 *2100—MOCA § 95.6140 VOR Federal Airway V140 Is Amended By Adding PANHANDLE, TX VORTAC BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC 5300 BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC *HISLA, OK FIX 3600 *4000—MRA *HISLA, OK FIX KINGFISHER, OK VORTAC **3600 *4000—MRA **3000—MOCA Is Amended To Delete PANHANDLE, TX VORTAC ZESUS, TX FIX 5800 *3000—MOCA ZESUS, TX FIX SAYRE, OK VORTAC W BND *5000 E BND *5800 SAYRE, OK VORTAC ODINS, OK FIX 4000 ODINS, OK FIX KINGFISHER, OK VORTAC *3500 *3100—MOCA § 95.6272 VOR Federal Airway V272 Is Amended To Read in Part BORGER, TX VORTAC BRISC, TX FIX 5000 Is Amended By Adding BRISC, TX FIX BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC *5000 *4500—MOCA BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC WILL ROGERS, OK VORTAC 4500 Is Amended To Delete BRISC, TX FIX SAYRE, OK VORTAC *5500 *4500—MOCA SAYRE, OK VORTAC SERTS, OK FIX 3900 SERTS, OK FIX LIONS, OK FIX *4500 *3100—MOCA *3700—GNSS MEA LIONS, OK FIX WILL ROGERS, OK VORTAC 3300 § 95.6280 VOR Federal Airway V280 Is Amended To Read in Part PANHANDLE, TX VORTAC MITBEE, OK VORTAC 5500 § 95.6440 VOR Federal Airway V440 Is Amended By Adding BRISC, TX FIX BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC *5000 *4500—MOCA BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC CARFF, OK FIX 3600 Is Amended To Delete BRISC, TX FIX SAYRE, OK VORTAC *5500 *4500—MOCA SAYRE, OK VORTAC CARFF, OK FIX 4000 Airway segment From To Changeover points Distance From § 95.8003 VOR Federal Airway Changeover Point V140 Is Amended To Modify Changeover Point PANHANDLE, TX VORTAC BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC 56 PANHANDLE. V272 Is Amended To Add Changeover Point BORGER, TX VORTAC BURNS FLAT, OK VORTAC 51 BORGER. Is Amended To Delete Changeover Point SAYRE, OK VORTAC WILL ROGERS, OK VORTAC 40 SAYRE.
[FR Doc. 2017-06294 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 1112 and 1234 [Docket No. CPSC-2015-0019 Safety Standard for Infant Bath Tubs AGENCY:

Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

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

DATES:

This rule will become effective October 2, 2017. The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 2, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Keysha Walker, Compliance Officer, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone: 301-504-6820; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Statutory Authority

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

The term “durable infant or toddler product” is defined in section 104(f)(1) of the CPSIA as “a durable product intended for use, or that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age of 5 years.” Section 104(f)(2) of the CPSIA lists examples of durable infant or toddler products, including products such as “bath seats” and “infant carriers.” Although section 104(f)(2) does not specifically identify infant bath tubs, the Commission has defined an infant bath tub as a “durable infant or toddler product” in the Commission's product registration card rule under CPSIA section 104(d).1

1 Requirements for Consumer Registration of Durable Infant or Toddler Products; Final Rule, 74 FR 68668, 68669 (Dec. 29, 2009); 16 CFR 1130.2(a)(16).

On August 14, 2015, the Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for infant bath tubs. 80 FR 48769. The NPR proposed to incorporate by reference the voluntary standard, ASTM F2670-13, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bath Tubs, with several modifications to strengthen the standard, as a mandatory consumer product safety rule. In this document, the Commission is issuing a mandatory consumer product safety standard for infant bath tubs. As required by section 104(b)(1)(A), the Commission consulted with manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, consumer advocacy groups, consultants, and the public to develop this proposed standard, largely through the ASTM process. Based on modifications to the voluntary standard since the NPR published, the final rule incorporates by reference the most recent voluntary standard, developed by ASTM International, ASTM F2670-17, without modification.

Additionally, the final rule amends the list of NORs issued by the Commission in 16 CFR part 1112 to include the standard for infant bath tubs. Under section 14 of the CPSA, the Commission promulgated 16 CFR part 1112 to establish requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies (or testing laboratories) to test for conformity with a children's product safety rule. Amending part 1112 adds an NOR for the infant bath tub standard to the list of children's product safety rules.

II. Product Description A. Definition of Infant Bath Tub

Paragraph 3.1.2 of ASTM F2670-17 defines an “infant bath tub” as a “tub, enclosure, or other similar product intended to hold water and be placed into an adult bath tub, sink, or on top of other surfaces to provide support or containment, or both, for an infant in a reclining, sitting, or standing position during bathing by a caregiver.” Paragraph 1.1 of the voluntary standard specifically excludes “products commonly known as bath slings, typically made of fabric or mesh” from the scope of the standard.

Infant bath tubs within the scope of the final rule include products of various designs, such as “bucket style” tubs that support a child sitting upright, tubs with an inclined seat for infants too young to sit unsupported, inflatable tubs, folding tubs, and tubs with spa features, such as handheld shower attachments and even whirlpool settings. Paragraph 6.1 of ASTM F2670-17 permits infant bath tubs to have “a permanent or removable passive crotch restraint as part of their design,” but does not permit “any additional restraint system(s) which requires action on the part of the caregiver to secure or release.”

B. Market Description

Typically, infant bath tubs are produced and/or marketed by juvenile product manufacturers and distributors. Currently, at least 25 manufacturers and importers supply infant bath tubs to the U.S. market, including 22 domestic firms: 14 are domestic manufacturers, seven are domestic importers, and one firm has an unknown supply source. Three foreign companies export directly to the United States via Internet sales or to U.S. retailers.2

2 Staff made these determinations using information from Dun & Bradstreet and Reference USAGov, as well as firm Web sites.

According to preliminary data collected with the CPSC's 2013 Durable Products Nursery Exposure Survey, households with children under 6 years old own approximately 8.9 million infant bath tubs. Of those, approximately 4.4 million are currently in use.

III. Incident Data A. Overview of Incident Data

The Commission is aware of a total of 247 incidents (31 fatal and 216 nonfatal) related to infant bath tubs that were reported to have occurred from January 2004 through December 2015. This total includes 45 new infant bath tub-related incidents reported since the NPR 3 (collected between May 20, 2015 and December 31, 2015). None of the newly reported incidents is a fatality. All of the new incidents fall within the hazard patterns identified in the NPR. Just over half (146 out of 247 or 59 percent) of the reports were submitted to the CPSC by retailers and manufacturers through the CPSC's “Retailer Reporting System.” The remaining 101 incident reports were submitted to the CPSC from various sources, such as the CPSC Hotline, Internet reports, newspaper clippings, medical examiners, and other state/local authorities.

3 Data discussed in the NPR was collected from January 1, 2004 through May 20, 2015.

More recently, staff also reviewed the incident data for 2016 and identified an additional 34 incidents with no fatalities. Staff did not identify any new hazard patterns in the 2016 data. The more detailed discussion of incident data that follows does not include year 2016 incidents.

1. Fatalities

Of the 31 decedents in the fatal incidents, 29 of the victims were between the ages of 4 months and 11 months old; the other two fatalities were a 23-month-old and a 3-year-old. The fatalities were evenly split with 16 males and 15 females. In 30 of the 31 fatalities, a parent or guardian was not present at the time the incident occurred. Drowning was the cause of death reported for 30 of the 31 fatalities. The remaining fatality involved a child with ventricular septal defect, and the coroner listed that the immediate cause of death was attributed to pneumonia.

2. Nonfatal Incidents

Thirty-two injuries were reported among the 216 nonfatal incidents. Eight of nine hospitalizations were due to near-drowning, and one was due to a scalding water burn. In all eight near-drowning hospitalizations, the parent or guardian had left the child alone for at least a short period of time when the incident occurred. Five additional near-drowning incidents required emergency department treatment. The remaining incidents ranged from rashes, upper respiratory infections due to mold on the product, slip and fall injury, laceration by sharp edge, a hit on head by toy accessory, and a concussion from falling from a tub.

3. National Injury Estimates 4

4 The source of the injury estimates is the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a statistically valid injury surveillance system. NEISS injury data is gathered from emergency departments of hospitals that are selected as a probability sample of all the U.S. hospitals with emergency departments. The surveillance data gathered from the sample hospitals enable CPSC staff to make timely national estimates of the number of injuries associated with specific consumer products.

Commission staff estimates a total of 2,300 injuries (sample size = 89, coefficient of variation = 0.18) related to infant bath tubs occurred from 2004 to 2015, which were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments.5 The injury estimates for individual years are not reportable because they fail to meet publication criteria.6

5 National injury estimates for 2004-2014 were presented in the NPR.

6 According to the NEISS publication criteria, an estimate must be 1,200 or greater, the sample size must be 20 or greater, and the coefficient of variation must be 33 percent or smaller.

One drowning death was reported through the NEISS and is included in the fatality counts for infant bath tubs. About 94 percent of the estimated emergency department visits during the 11-year period involved infants 12 months of age or younger, and all but three cases involved children 24 months of age or younger. The cases involving children older than 2 years of age included: A 5-year-old who received a laceration while playing with the infant bath tub, a 3-year-old falling off an infant tub, and a 6-year-old landing in a straddle position on an infant tub while getting out of a bathtub.

The estimated emergency department visits were split almost evenly among male (48%) and female (52%) children. For the emergency department-treated injuries related to infant bath tubs, the following characteristics occurred most frequently:

• Hazard—falls (35%); a majority of the reports did not specify the manner or cause of fall;

• Injured body part—head (37%), all/over half of body (20%), and face (18%);

• Injury type—internal organ injury (included closed head injuries) (29%), drowning or nearly drowning (20%), and contusions/abrasions (18%);

• Disposition—treated and released (83%) and admitted or transferred to a hospital (14%).

B. Hazard Pattern Characterization Based on Incident Data

Figure 1 shows the distribution of hazard patterns for infant bath tubs by frequency.

ER30MR17.040

Drowning/Near-Drownings account for 17 percent (43 of 247) of reported incidents. Of the 43 drowning or near-drowning incidents, 30 were fatalities and 13 were near-drowning incidents. Because no one witnessed most of the incidents, Commission staff cannot determine a pattern that led to the submersions. However, in 38 of 43 incidents, the parent or guardian was not present at the time the incident occurred. Frequently, the child was found floating. In the other five incidents in which the parent or guardian was present, four of the children survived. Only one reported fatality was not ruled a drowning; this incident is included in the miscellaneous category.

Protrusion/Sharp/Laceration issues account for 19 percent (48 of 247) of reported incidents. A protrusion is commonly a part of the product that sticks out or has a rough surface; and in the incidents reported, the child rubbed against the protruding part in some way, which caused red marks, cuts, or bruising. The injured body parts reportedly included toes, feet, bottom, genitalia, and back. In 29 of 39 incidents, the part of the infant bath tub described as a “bump” or “hump” caused a red mark on the infant's back or discomfort to the infant in the bath tub. Typically, the bath tub “hammock/sling” attachment was involved in this type of protrusion incident. One incident required a hospital visit, and the remaining 47 incidents involved no injury or a minor injury. The incident requiring a hospital visit involved a scratch to the child's back, caused by a screw that penetrated the tub wall.

Product Failures account for 34 percent (85 of 247) of reported incidents. Fifty-nine incidents reported the bath tub “hammock/sling” attachment collapsing, and eight additional incidents of the locking mechanism failing or breaking. The remaining 18 incidents involved various tub parts breaking. Of the 85 product failures, two incidents required a trip to the hospital, and the remaining incidents reported either no injury or a minor injury. The two children who required hospital trips were treated and released. One of these incidents was due to a toy breaking off from the tub and causing a deep cut to the victim's forehead. The second incident was due to a leg collapsing on a tub placed on a counter top; as a result, the child fell from the counter top to the floor and suffered a concussion.

Entrapment issues account for 8 percent (20 of 247) of reported incidents. Entrapment incidents involve body parts caught or stuck on parts of the tub, mostly in a pinching manner. The body parts reportedly injured were fingers, arms, feet, legs, and genitalia. Many of these injuries occurred in tubs that fold. The most common components of the tubs causing injury were the hinges, holes, and foot area inside the tub. No reported incident required a hospital visit. All of the entrapment-related reports involved either no injury or a minor injury.

Slippery tub surface issues account for 6 percent (15 out of 247) of reported incidents. Common reported incidents and concerns include scratches to the body or protrusions that contact the body, or potential submersions, including the head. One emergency room visit was due to a child slipping under water and swallowing some water; the rest of the reports involved either no injury or a minor injury.

Mold/Allergy issues account for 5 percent (12 of 247) of reported incidents. Of the 12 incidents, eight were due to mold, and four were due to allergy. Reported issues included a variety of symptoms: Itching, rashes, foul odor, respiratory concerns, and a urinary tract infection. Eight incidents involved a single tub make and model, including six with mold issues and two with allergy issues. Two of the 12 incidents involved emergency room visits: One child may have developed an upper respiratory issue and one child broke out in a rash throughout the child's back. Seven additional incidents required medical treatment: Four reported itching and rashes, one reported a urinary tract infection, and one reported mold spores on the genitalia.

Miscellaneous issues account for the remaining 10 percent (24 of 247) of the reported incidents. The incidents included a fall from the tub, an unstable tub, missing pieces, leaking or overheating batteries, rust, and scalding. One incidental fatality and one hospital visit fall in this miscellaneous category. The fatality involved a child with a ventricular septal defect, with the death attributed to pneumonia. A scalding incident in which a parent poured hot water from the stove onto the foam cushion in the infant bath tub and then placed the child in the tub resulted in the hospital visit. The remaining reports were either an incident with no injury or a minor injury, including six battery-related complaints.

IV. Overview and Assessment of ASTM F2670

ASTM F2670, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bath Tubs, is the voluntary standard that was developed to address the identified hazard patterns associated with the use of infant bath tubs. The standard was first approved by ASTM in 2009, and then revised in 2010, twice in 2011, 2012, 2013, twice in 2016, and the newest version was approved on January 1, 2017. The NPR referenced ASTM F2670-13, with the following modifications to the ASTM standard to adequately address hazard patterns identified in the incident data:

1. Revised latching or locking mechanism testing protocol.

2. Revised static load testing protocol.

3. Revised content of the warnings, markings, and instructions:

(a) Changed the text in the drowning warnings, and

(b) added fall hazard warning.

4. Specified a standard format (including black text on a white background, table design, bullet points, and black border) for the warnings on the product, on the packaging, and in the instructions.

5. Required that the safety alert symbol and the word “WARNING” on the drowning hazard label be “at least 0.4 in. (10mm) high unless stated otherwise, shall be the same size, and shall be in bold capital letters. The remainder of the text shall be in characters whose upper case shall be at least 0.2 in. (5 mm) high unless stated otherwise.”

In the time since the NPR was published, ASTM approved and published three more versions of the voluntary standard. The most recent version, ASTM F2670-17, was approved and published on January 1, 2017. As explained below, ASTM F2670-17 addresses all of the Commission's proposed modifications and concerns described in the NPR, allowing the Commission to adopt ASTM F2670-17, without modification, as the mandatory safety standard for infant bath tubs.

A. Revised Latching or Locking Mechanism Requirements

The NPR proposed a modification to F2670-13 to allow more time for the latching or locking mechanism testing to accommodate more complicated mechanisms. Through the ASTM process, the wording and rationale for the latching or locking mechanism durability testing in paragraph 7.1.2 of F2670 evolved. The language is consistent with the language in the NPR and is now incorporated into ASTM F2670-17. For the final rule, the Commission is adopting the language in 7.1.2 of F2670-17, without modification.

B. Revised Static Load Requirements

The NPR proposed a modification to paragraph 7.4.2 of F2670-13 to change the static load test apparatus to a shot bag, which was recommended by the ASTM subcommittee, but not yet balloted through ASTM at the time of the NPR. ASTM has now balloted the revision, which is included in F2670-17. The revised language is consistent with the modifications in the NPR, and thus, the Commission adopts paragraph 7.4.2 of F2670-17 for the final rule, without modification.

C. Revised Content of the Warnings, Markings, and Instructions

The NPR proposed that the drowning and fall hazard warnings state:

Drowning Hazard: Babies have drowned while using infant bath tubs.

• Stay in arm's reach of your baby.

• Use in empty adult tub or sink.

• Keep drain open.

Fall Hazard: Babies have suffered head injuries falling from infant bath tubs.

• Place tub only [insert manufacturer's intended locations(s) for safe use (e.g., in adult tub, sink or on floor; in adult tub or on floor)].

• Never lift or carry baby in tub.

Although ASTM F2670-13 contained warning statements for both drowning and fall hazards, the warning header only identified drowning as the hazard. The Commission proposed in the NPR to separate the warnings to identify more clearly the drowning hazard and fall hazard and to provide guidance on how to avoid these hazards. Additionally, the NPR proposed warning language that was more personal by use of the word “baby.” For example, the NPR used the word “babies” as opposed to “infant” and the phrase “stay in arm's reach of your baby” as opposed to “ALWAYS keep infant within adult's reach.”

After the NPR, the warning content in the voluntary standard was revised to be consistent with the modifications in the NPR, except for one statement. ASTM F2670-17 contains a revision to the hazard statement “Keep drain open,” clarifying that caregivers should keep the drain in an adult tub open during bathing, stating “Keep drain open in adult tub or sink.” The Commission agrees that the added statement clarifies the direction to caregivers. Accordingly, the final rule adopts the revised warning content in ASTM F2670-17, without modification.

D. Warning Label Format

At the time of the NPR, F2670-13 did not require any specific formatting for warning statements. The NPR proposed specific changes to the format of warning statements consistent with ANSI Z535.4, American National Standard for Product Safety Signs and Labels. CPSC staff regularly cites ANSI Z535.4 as a baseline in developing warning materials. Since the NPR was published, ASTM convened a task group, the ASTM Ad Hoc Wording Task Group (Ad Hoc TG), which consists of members of the various durable nursery product voluntary standards committees, including CPSC staff. The purpose of the Ad Hoc TG is to harmonize the wording, as well as warning format, across durable infant and toddler product ASTM voluntary standards. CPSC's Human Factors Division hazard communication subject matter expert, who also is the CPSC staff representative on the ANSI Z535 committee, represents CPSC staff on this task group. ASTM's Ad Hoc TG recommendations related to the format of warning statements were published as a reference document entitled, “Ad Hoc Wording—May 4, 2016,” as part of the F15 Committee Documents. The approved Ad Hoc Wording guidance document recommends formatting requirements that are similar to the ANSI Z535.4 requirements, with modifications intended to make the Ad Hoc TG's recommendations more stringent.

After publication of the Ad Hoc Wording recommendation, the ASTM committee for infant bath tubs balloted and approved incorporation of the Ad Hoc Wording guidance recommendations into ASTM F2670-17. Commission staff states that adopting the Ad Hoc Wording guidance document recommendations provides noticeable and consistent warning labels, including warning formatting, on infant bath tubs and across juvenile products. Therefore, for the final rule, the Commission adopts the warning formatting requirements incorporated into ASTM F2670-17, without modification.

E. Warning Label Font Size

The NPR proposed to increase the font size of the safety alert symbol, and the word “WARNING,” to be not less than 0.4 in. (10 mm) high and the remainder of the text with upper case characters not less than 0.2 in. (5 mm) high.7 The Commission proposed this revision to align the font size for infant bath tub labeling with ASTM F1967, Standard Consumer Safety Specifications for Infant Bath Seats, which is already incorporated into a federal standard. Similar to bath tub incidents, bath seat incidents also include drownings associated with caregivers leaving children unattended. Currently, increased font size for warning statements is unique to the infant bath seats voluntary and mandatory standards. The Ad Hoc Wording guidance document does not include this modification. The Ad Hoc Wording guidance document recommends that the font size of the safety alert symbol, and the word “WARNING,” be not less than 0.2 in. (5 mm) high and the remainder of the text with upper case characters be not less than 0.1 in. (2.5 mm) high. ASTM F2670-17 follows the Ad Hoc Wording guidance document, and does not include the increased font size that the Commission proposed in the NPR.

7 This requirement applies to a separate drowning hazard label and if the drowning and fall hazard labels are displayed together. If the fall hazard label is separate, smaller text size applies.

The Commission recognizes that the Ad Hoc Wording guidance document improves the warning label format, and therefore, the effectiveness of the warning statements. ASTM F2670-17 contains all of the Ad Hoc Wording guidance document recommendations. As stated above, the specific formatting changes in the AD Hoc Wording guidance follow the guidance of ANSI Z535.4, differing from what was proposed in the NPR only in terms of the specific size exception that had been proposed for the drowning warning label. The warning label changes in F2670-17 bring the formatting and language of the warning label into close alignment with the NPR proposal, except for the size requirements. The Commission concludes that all of the formatting and wording revisions incorporated into ASTM F2670-17 improve the labeling over the labeling in F2670-13, referenced in the NPR. The Commission cannot state definitively that increasing the font size of this particular warning statement will influence caregiver behavior more than the totality of formatting changes already incorporated into ASTM F2670-17. However, in an August 10, 2016 letter to ASTM,8 CPSC staff encouraged further exploration of the increased size of the warnings to determine whether these additional changes will provide even greater effect. Therefore, the final rule incorporates by reference ASTM F2670-17, without any modifications.

8https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CPSC-2015-0019-0023.

F. Infant Bath Slings

Updated incident data for the final rule demonstrates that 59 of the 85 “product failure” incidents involve the infant bath hammock or sling collapsing. No injuries or minor injuries resulted from the bath hammock/sling incidents. In October 2016, CPSC recalled the infant bath tub with a sling accessory that was involved in the majority of infant bath sling incidents.9

9https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/Summer-Infant-Recalls-Infant-Bath-Tubs (viewed on Web site 11/22/2016.)

Currently, ASTM F2670-17 does not include provisions that will specifically address the incidents involving bath hammocks/slings. Staff advises that the ASTM subcommittee on bath tubs is working to evaluate this issue, but has not yet completed its work. CPSC staff continues to work with two ASTM task groups formed to address the risks of bath slings. One group is developing performance requirements for infant bath slings that only can be used with infant bath tubs. A second group is developing requirements for infant bath slings that are used separately or as tub accessories, which will be addressed under a new, separate standard. CPSC staff states that new requirements for bath hammocks/slings that can be used with an infant bath tub will be added to the voluntary standard in the near future, as the task group is preparing to present recommendations to the larger subcommittee during an April 2017 ASTM meeting, and anticipates balloting of the new provisions shortly after the meeting. Therefore, the Commission is proceeding with a final rule on infant bath tubs and urges the ASTM subcommittee to finalize the inclusion of infant bath hammock/sling requirements to the ASTM standard.

If the voluntary standard for infant bath tubs is revised to include requirements for infant bath slings used with an infant bath tub and the Commission is notified of the revised standard by ASTM, CPSC staff will assess the revised voluntary standard. Staff will then make a recommendation to the Commission regarding whether to revise the mandatory standard for infant bath tubs to incorporate new provisions on infant bath slings, using the process for updating durable infant and toddler product rules pursuant to section 104 of the CPSIA. Similarly, if ASTM creates a new voluntary standard related to infant bath slings that are used separately or as tub accessories, CPSC staff will assess the ASTM standard and make a recommendation to the Commission whether to create a new mandatory durable infant and toddler standard under section 104 of the CPSIA for such products.

V. Response to Comments

The August 14, 2015 NPR solicited information and comments concerning all aspects of the NPR, and specifically asked about the cost of compliance with, and testing to, the proposed mandatory infant bath tub standard, the proposed 6-month effective date for the new mandatory rule and the amendment to part 1112. The Commission received 12 comments related to the NPR. Seven commenters expressed general support of the NPR, along with additional, more specific, comments. Five commenters either requested more time for the ASTM committee to consider the NPR proposals and revise the voluntary standard, as appropriate, or disagreed with some of the proposed requirements in the NPR. Comments and other supporting documentation, such as summaries of ASTM meetings, are available on: www.Regulations.gov, by searching Docket No. CPSC-2015-0019.

We summarize the comments received on the NPR and CPSC's responses below.

A. Test Requirements

(Comment 1) Two commenters recommended that the text of the static load test protocol match the ASTM F2670 standard language. The commenters noted that wording in the NPR was similar to what was balloted and approved by ASTM, but not exact.

(Response 1) At the time of the NPR, staff recommended using the exact wording that the ASTM subcommittee was proposing. After the NPR, the ASTM subcommittee chairman made editorial changes to the proposal, which resulted in slight differences between the ASTM wording and the NPR wording. The Commission agrees that the static load test protocol language reflected in ASTM F2670-17 is nearly the same as the language proposed in the NPR, and will accept the ASTM F2670-17 language in the final rule, without modification.

(Comment 2) Two commenters recommended including the revised static load test protocol rationale (X1.2 Section 7.4.2) in the final rule.

(Response 2) Consistent with the response to comment 1, the Commission agrees that the rationale for the static load test protocol language reflected in ASTM F2670-17 be included in the final rule, without modification.

(Comment 3) Two commenters stated that the Latching or Locking Mechanism Durability test protocol in the NPR is identical to what has been balloted and approved for a revision to F2670. The commenters requested that the final rule accept this language.

(Response 3) The Commission agrees with the Latching or Locking Mechanism Durability test language in ASTM F2670-17 Section 7.1 and will incorporate this revision into the final rule, without modification.

(Comment 4) Two commenters recommended including the revised Latching or Locking Mechanism Durability test language rationale (X1.1 Section 7.1.2) in the final rule.

(Response 4) The Commission agrees. The final rule incorporates the rationale for the Latching or Locking Mechanism Durability test protocol language reflected in ASTM F2670-17.

(Comment 5) One commenter recommended that stands for bath tubs be included in the final rule. The commenter indicated that the current voluntary standard does not include stands, but stated a concern about an influx into the U.S. market of European-designed products that have matching stands.

(Response 5) The Commission is aware that infant bath tub stands are not covered by the current voluntary standard, ASTM F2670-17. CPSC staff advised that staff is not aware of any incident data involving bath tub stands. CPSC staff will monitor incident data and the retail market for use of these products. Currently, however, based on the lack of incident data, the Commission is not including bath tub stands in the final rule.

B. Incident Data

(Comment 6) One commenter questioned whether CPSC staff shared all of CPSC's incident data with ASTM. The NPR referenced 202 incidents related to infant bath tubs, while CPSC staff reported to ASTM an awareness of 156 incidents that occurred from 2004 to 2014. The commenter questioned whether CPSC had included “sling” data in its incident review for the NPR, noting that sling accessories are not included in the scope of the current ASTM standard.

(Response 6) CPSC staff included bath slings data in its incident review for the NPR and provided such data to ASTM. Inclusion of this data prompted ASTM to form two task groups to address incidents related to bath slings. One group is developing performance requirements for infant bath slings that only can be used with infant bath tubs. ASTM intends to include these requirements in ASTM F2670. A second group is developing requirements for infant bath slings that are used separately or as tub accessories, which will be addressed under a new, separate voluntary standard.

With regard to data discrepancies between CPSC and ASTM, such discrepancies may exist for several reasons. First, the scope of the data sets may be different. For example, the NPR data included incidents reported to CPSC involving infant bath tubs received from January 1, 2004, through May 20, 2015. The data delivered to ASTM for the fall 2014 meetings included data received by CPSC through July 24, 2014. CPSC provided an additional update to ASTM for the spring 2016 meeting.

Second, CPSC cannot share confidential data with ASTM. The CPSC rulemaking packages include all data received by staff; this includes data received through the Retailer Reporting Program (RRP). Tab A to the staff's briefing package for the final rule on infant bath tubs demonstrates that CPSC received a sizeable portion of the nonfatal incident data through RRP; the same was true for the NPR. Because RRP information is submitted confidentially, CPSC provides a general summary of RRP data for rulemaking packages, but cannot share incident details received through the RRP with ASTM, unless CPSC completes a follow-up in-depth investigation, or such reports were also received from other sources.

Third, the Infant Bath Tub subcommittee appears to maintain data in a manner that does not match identically to incident data supplied by CPSC staff nor to the incident data in the NPR. Incident data maintained by the ASTM subcommittee is described by the commenter. CPSC staff provided 167 infant bath tub-related incidents to ASTM in fall 2014. Thirty incidents involved a fatality and 137 reports described a nonfatal incident. When the ASTM subcommittee prepared its data, 12 nonfatal incidents provided by CPSC staff were not included in the subcommittee's spreadsheet. CPSC document numbers for these 12 incidents (some have been investigated) are: H0430279A, I07B0418A, I1170518A, I1210049A, H1330201A, I1380526A, I1390145A, I13B0030A, I1430085A, I1430327A, I1450108A, 60318884. Of the 12 incidents, 11 involved slings, and one involved a faucet adapter, which was later determined to be out of scope for this product category.

(Comment 7) One commenter stated that incidents related to infant bath tubs have declined significantly over the years. The commenter stated that no urgency for a rule on infant bath tubs exists because of this decline.

(Response 7) CPSC is issuing the final rule for infant bath tubs to fulfill a congressional mandate under section 104 of the CPSIA to create mandatory standards for durable infant and toddler products. Moreover, NPR data consisted of incidents received by CPSC on or before May 20, 2015. Accordingly, any comparison of the number of incidents reported to CPSC that occurred in 2015 to any past years is inappropriate because the data from past years do not represent the full year of 2015 data. In the NPR, of the overall 31 fatalities, four deaths were reported in each of 2010 and 2011; two deaths were reported in 2012; and one each was reported in 2013 and 2014. In the most current infant bath tub Epidemiology memorandum, Tab A of the staff briefing package for a final rule on infant bath tubs, staff states that as of February 17, 2016, CPSC has not received any fatal incident reports for infant bath tubs. CPSC generally does not expect completed reporting of fatal incidents for a particular year for 2 to 3 years later, due to lag time of the many ways fatal incidents are reported to CPSC. For instance, CPSC does not expect all reported 2014 fatalities to be received by CPSC until around late 2016, or sometime in 2017. Because of the lag time in receiving incident data, CPSC does not publish or draw conclusions using the number of fatalities reported in the most recent years. It is possible, and would not be unexpected, for additional infant bath tub fatalities that occurred in 2014 or 2015, to be reported to CPSC in the future.

Recent data collection on infant bath tub incidents reported to CPSC on or before February 17, 2016 reflect an increase in the number of nonfatal incidents related to infant bath tubs for the years 2013 (26 reports), 2014 (31 reports), and 2015 (44 reports). CPSC also experiences a lag time between the date of a nonfatal incident and CPSC receiving the reports.

C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act (IRFA)

(Comment 8) One commenter, a domestic manufacturer of inflatable infant bathtubs, stated that it would be adversely affected by defining “inflatable bathtubs” to be durable products falling within the scope of a mandatory rule. The commenter stated that the proposed rule would require the manufacturer to provide consumers with prepaid product registration cards and to provide an option for consumers to register products via the Internet. The commenter asserted that this would increase its costs by 1.5 to 2.0 percent on an ongoing basis.

(Response 8) The requirement that manufacturers of durable infant or toddler products provide each consumer with a product registration card was established by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, and not by the this rule on infant bath tubs. In 16 CFR part 1130, the Commission determined that infant bath tubs are durable infant or toddler products. No exclusion was made for inflatable bath tubs. Therefore, the statutory and regulatory requirements concerning the provision of product registration cards to consumers already apply to manufacturers of inflatable infant bath tubs and will be unaffected by the final rule.

(Comment 9) One commenter stated: “in order to ensure that the lifespan of our inflatable tub would match that of the hard plastic tubs and folding tubs . . . ., the thickness of the vinyl used would have to be increased to the point where the cost of manufacturing and subsequent retail price of the item would be more than the market would bear.” The commenter estimated that this would increase the cost of the product by 10 to 15 percent.

(Response 9) The commenter may misunderstand some of the requirements of the proposed rule and the voluntary standard. Although inflatable infant bath tubs are classified as durable infant or toddler products, ASTM F2670 does not require the products to have a minimum expected life. The standard contains requirements that, among other things, are intended to ensure that the bath tub will not collapse or break during use and that any latching or locking mechanisms on the product are durable.

(Comment 10) One commenter stated that the cost of labelling is not as small as indicated in the NPR. Although the commenter agreed that the labelling costs are one-time costs, the commenter said it would take “multiple years to recoup the loss in margin.” The commenter did not provide an estimate of the labelling costs. The commenter stated that the commenter would likely “cease manufacturing inflatable infant bathtubs for sale in the U.S” if the standard is codified as it is currently written.

(Response 10) Although the commenter asserted that the labelling cost would be greater than indicated, the commenter did not provide any specific estimates of the expected labelling costs. Without more information, the Commission cannot provide a specific response to this comment.

D. Performance and Labelling Requirements

(Comment 11) Two commenters requested that CPSC in the mandatory rule require a maximum water fill line on infant bath tubs. One commenter suggested that the “fill line demarcation be specified at depths of no greater than 2 inches.” The other commenter suggested the manufacturer be responsible for providing a maximum fill line that is in a “suitable position.”

(Response 11) A similar suggestion to require a water fill line was raised in the rulemaking for infant bath seats. For the same reason we gave in that rulemaking, the Commission will not include a water fill line in the infant bath tubs final rule. CPSC staff has voiced concern that a water fill line on infant bath tubs could imply a safe water level, even though staff is aware that children have drowned in very little water. Staff advises, and the Commission agrees, that the ASTM wording required in the user instruction, “Babies can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. Use as little water as possible to bathe your baby,” accurately describes the risk associated with any level of water. CPSC staff will continue to monitor this issue.

(Comment 12) A commenter indicated that icons for key safety messages were clearer to consumers, but the commenter did not specifically recommend that CPSC require use of icons and pictograms in the final rule for infant bath tubs.

(Response 12) The Commission acknowledges that icons and pictograms can be used to convey a hazard more effectively, especially for consumers with limited or no English literacy. However, CPSC staff advises that the design of effective graphics can be difficult. For example, some seemingly obvious graphics are poorly understood and can give rise to consumer interpretations that are opposite of what the message of the graphic is intended to convey (deemed “critical confusions” in human factors literature). Use of icons and pictograms generally require a consumer study to ensure that the intended message is conveyed. However, if revised warning statements prove to be inadequate to address safety hazards associated with infant bath tubs, CPSC staff may recommend developing graphic symbols in the future to further reduce the risk of injury. Currently, however, the Commission is not mandating use of graphics for warning labels in the infant bath tubs final rule.

(Comment 13) A commenter stated: “any safety wording should be equally visible in Spanish as well as English.”

(Response 13) The NPR states that the warning label shall appear, at a minimum, in the English language. The Commission does not dismiss the usefulness of providing warnings in Spanish and other non-English languages, and recognizes that adding Spanish versions of the warnings most likely would improve warning readability among the U.S. population more than adding any other language. Nevertheless, the Commission's incident data analyses for infant bath tubs have not revealed a pattern of incidents involving people who speak Spanish. Accordingly, the final rule does not require warnings to be in English and Spanish, but does not prohibit manufacturers from providing the required warnings in another language, in addition to English.

(Comment 14) Two commenters urged CPSC to monitor ASTM's work on including infant bath sling accessories to the infant bath tub standard.

(Response 14) CPSC staff has been an active participant in the ASTM task group work regarding infant bath sling accessories sold with and used with infant bath tubs. Staff will continue this work. We encourage the infant bath sling task group to finalize recommended sling requirements so that the ASTM subcommittee can discuss this progress and vote for inclusion of bath sling requirements in the voluntary standard for infant bath tubs. Once this work is complete, CPSC staff will assess whether any revised voluntary standard adequately addresses incident data on bath slings and make a recommendation to the Commission. The Commission will consider whether to incorporate such revisions into an amendment to the mandatory bath tubs standard through the revision process described in section 3 of Public Law 112-28.

(Comment 15) One commenter recommended that, based on the incident data, CPSC restrict the scope of the rule to cover only infant bath tubs for infants under 24 months of age.

(Response 15) The Commission is not including an age limit in the final rule for infant bath tubs. Section 104(f) of the CPSIA defines “durable infant or toddler products” as “durable products intended for use, or that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age of 5 years.” Although infant bath tubs are considered durable infant or toddler products, no age requirement or age cut-off for use of the product is included in the ASTM standard. Depending on the manufacturer's design, infant bath tubs can accommodate users from newborns to preschoolers. Safety requirements included in the ASTM standard, and incorporated into the final rule for bath tubs, benefit infants and toddlers across all intended ages of foreseeable users.

(Comment 16) One commenter stated support for the “new wording as it is clearer,” and stated that the “new FALLING HAZARD is a good addition.” The commenter suggested adding an additional warning to “NOT USE ON RAISED SURFACES, SUCH AS TABLES OR WORKTOPS.”

(Response 16) One incident involved a skull fracture sustained when a bath tub fell from a kitchen counter. Based on the incident data, staff advises that the fall warnings included in ASTM F2670-17 adequately and succinctly convey the message of where the infant bath tub can be used safely based on the manufacturer's intended use. Specifically, section 8.5.2.2 of the voluntary standard states:

Additional warning statements shall address the following:

• Place tub only [insert manufacturer's intended location(s) for safe use (e.g., in adult tub, sink, or on floor)].

• Never lift or carry baby in tub.

Staff will continue to monitor incidents for use of bath tubs on elevated surfaces.

(Comment 17) One commenter stated: “the requirement in 16 CFR 1234.2(b)(6)(i)(C) previously proposed by CPSC was discussed by the task group; it was considered too nebulous, subjective and virtually unenforceable, and therefore was recommended to be deleted.”

(Response 17) Proposed 16 CFR 1234.2(b)(6)(i)(C) states: “9.3 In addition to the warnings, the instructional literature shall emphasize and reinforce the safe practices stated in the warnings.” The intent of the statement was to ensure that the instructional statements in section 9 of the voluntary standard remain consistent with the warning statements in section 8. Current wording in section 9 of ASTM F2670-17 meets this objective. Accordingly, for the final rule, the Commission adopts the wording in section 9 of ASTM F2670-17, without modification.

E. General and Legal

(Comment 18) Two commenters recommended delaying publication of the final rule until major warnings format and content revisions proposed in the NPR can be properly reviewed, balloted through the ASTM process, and then implemented into F2670.

(Response 18) Since the NPR was published, ASTM's subcommittee for infant bath tubs reviewed, balloted, and published a new standard (F2670-17) with improved warning formatting and content revisions in alignment with the NPR, except for the font size of certain warning statements. For the final rule, the Commission incorporates by reference ASTM F2670-17, without modification.

(Comment 19) One commenter noted that the NPR contains several errors when referring to figures that show example warning labels. The Commenter stated:

• Figure 1 is missing from the NPR. The NPR starts with Figure 2;

• A reference to Figure 3 is missing in proposed section 1234.2(b)(4)(i)(F);

• A reference to Figure 3 in proposed section 1234.2(b)(6)(i)(B)(3) is inaccurate and should instead reference Figure 4; and

• A reference to Figure 4 in proposed section 1234.2(b)(6)(i)(B)(3) is inaccurate and should reference a different example warning label similar to Figure 3.

(Response 19) The omission of Figure 1 from the NPR was intentional. Figure 1 is referenced in paragraph 5.6 of ASTM F2670-13, which the Commission proposed to incorporate by reference without modification. The NPR only discussed sections of the proposed rule that differed from ASTM F2670-13. Reusing Figure 1 in the NPR would have created two “Figure 1” designations in the final rule. Otherwise, we agree with the comment and references to figures are corrected in the final rule by incorporation of ASTM F2670-17 without modification.

(Comment 20) A commenter stated that, while they appreciated CPSC staff's work on the proposed rule, they were concerned about staff's “ability to seemingly be able to arbitrarily change language or standards without any justification.” In addition the commenter stated: “[i]t is the role of the Commission, not professional staff to dictate changes in policy.” (Emphasis in original).

(Response 20) The Commission does not agree that staff “arbitrarily” changes language in a standard “without any justification.” In fact, staff ensures that each package for proposed and final rules contains ample explanation and thorough documentation of the appropriate engineering and/or scientific analysis to support staff's recommendations. By voting to issue the NPR, the Commission expressed its policy decisions. Furthermore, at ASTM meetings, CPSC staff is not speaking for the Commission, but is expressing staff's views, based on staff's expertise.

Moreover, since the proposed rule was published, CPSC staff continued participating on the ASTM Ad Hoc TG on warning labels. The Ad Hoc TG discussed labeling issues, including formatting, and a best-practices approach for ASTM juvenile products standards warning labels moving forward. The latest version of the voluntary standard, ASTM F2670-17, incorporates the Ad Hoc TG's recommendations. For the final rule, the Commission incorporates by reference ASTM F2670-17, without modification.

(Comment 21) A commenter stated that the text of the rule for infant bath tubs should be available for free and in the public domain, rather than incorporating by reference an ASTM standard that is subject to copyright restrictions. The commenter made several arguments supporting this contention, including:

• Citizens have the right “without limitation, to read, speak, and disseminate the laws that we are required to obey, including laws that are critical to public safety and commerce”;

• the right to freedom of speech is “imperiled” if citizens cannot freely communicate provisions of law with each other;

• equal protection and due process are “jeopardized” if only citizens that can afford to purchase the law have access;

• the cost of obtaining standards incorporated by reference into current CPSC regulations would be in the hundreds of dollars to purchase, and would require consultation of other agencies regulations;

• public access to the law is crucial to CPSC's mission: “rationing access to the law hurts trade, it hurts public safety, and it makes it much more difficult for the CPSC to carry out its congressionally-mandated mission.”; and

• prohibiting the wide dissemination of the mandatory rules for durable infant standards makes the public less safe.

The commenter argued that, based on fundamental principles in the Constitution and judicial opinions, as reviewed by the commenter, it is unlawful and unreasonable for the Commission to make voluntary standards mandatory without providing free access to the law.

(Response 21) The infant bath tub standard is authorized by Congress under section 104 of the CPSIA. This CPSIA provision directs the Commission to issue standards for durable infant or toddler products that are “substantially the same as,” or more stringent than, applicable voluntary standards. Thus, unless the Commission determines that more stringent requirements are needed, the Commission's rule must be nearly the same as the voluntary standard. ASTM's voluntary standards are protected by copyright, which the Commission (and the federal government generally) must observe. The United States may be held liable for copyright infringement. 28 U.S.C. 1498. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has established procedures for incorporation by reference that seek to balance the interests of copyright protection and public accessibility of material. 1 CFR part 51. The CPSC complies with these requirements whenever incorporating material by reference. In addition, when the Commission proposes a section 104 rule, ASTM's copyrighted voluntary standards are available for free during the comment period.

The Commission's process for developing section 104 rules is open and transparent. CPSC staff works with stakeholders through the ASTM process, specifically the ASTM subcommittee responsible for each product type, to evaluate each voluntary standard and its ability to address the injuries found in CPSC's incident data. The ASTM subcommittee includes representatives from government, manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, and consumer advocacy groups, as well as consultants and members of the public. CPSC staff that participates in ASTM meetings are required to place such meetings on the Commission's public calendar, draft a meeting summary, and provide such summary to the Commission's Office of the Secretary, pursuant to 16 CFR 1031.11(f) and 1012. Once rulemaking commences, staff also places meeting summaries on the rulemaking docket. As required, the Commission's section 104 rulemakings follow notice and comment procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) with an NPR and a final rule that explain the substance of the proposed and final requirements.

We disagree that the public is less safe because final rules under section 104 of the CPSIA are based on a voluntary standard. Voluntary standards generally can be updated more frequently than a traditionally enacted mandatory standard to respond to changing products and emerging hazards. Durable infant and toddler products, in particular, are subject to frequent product changes, including design modifications. Section 104 of the CPSIA also includes a mechanism allowing the CPSC to update the mandatory standard when voluntary standard modifications occur.

(Comment 22) A commenter objected to the process for promulgating rules related to durable infant and toddler products under section 104 of the CPSIA. More specifically, the commenter objected to the lack of availability and accessibility of the voluntary standard that the Commission proposes to incorporate by reference. The commenter stated that although ASTM made a copy of the voluntary standard that CPSC proposes to incorporate by reference into the rule available for viewing on ASTM's Web site:

• A redline of CPSC's modifications to the voluntary standard was not made available;

• the standard was “read only”;

• the standard was displayed with a legal warning restricting use;

• the standard did not allow for copy and paste of the text in the standard; and

• the document is difficult for people with visual impairments to use.

(Response 22) The Freedom of Information Act requires that the text of the material being incorporated by reference be “reasonably available.” 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1)(E); 1 CFR part 51. As set forth in response to comment 21, the Commission complies with this requirement. Nothing in the law requires the specific enhancements to text of the proposed mandatory standard articulated by the commenter.

(Comment 23) A commenter suggested that a conflict of interest occurs when a government entity relies on a voluntary standards body, such as ASTM, that profits from the sale of what essentially becomes the law. The commenter stated that many government agencies have joined ASTM as organizational members, and that 44 CPSC employees are members of ASTM. The commenter also noted that the ASTM standard for infant bath tubs is five pages long and that when CPSC's proposed edits to the standard are incorporated, the standard is six to seven pages long. The commenter asserted that based on this: “the government is clearly an author of this work.”

(Response 23) CPSC staff did not author the voluntary standard on infant bath tubs. ASTM began working on the voluntary standard for infant bath tubs in 2006, well before the congressional mandate to issue mandatory standards based on the voluntary standards for durable infant and toddler products. CPSC staff contributed, as it always has, to the development of the voluntary standard to address incident data, along with all stakeholders who participate on the relevant subcommittee. Through the rulemaking process, the Commission assesses each voluntary standard for its ability to adequately address injuries found in CPSC's incident data. If the voluntary standard should be more stringent, the Commission proposes modifications for the mandatory rule. In the case of infant bath tubs, based on modifications made in the voluntary standard since issuance of the NPR, the Commission incorporates by reference the most recent voluntary standard, ASTM F2670-17, as the final rule for infant bath tubs, without modification.

(Comment 24) A commenter argued that CPSC's Voluntary Standards Coordinator, by serving on the board of ANSI, has been placed in the position of “serving two masters,” as the person has a fiduciary responsibility to ANSI, as well as to his employer, the U.S. government. The commenter criticized the CPSC for not “clearly delineat[ing] the roles government employees will take when assuming fiduciary responsibilities for private organizations.” The commenter stated that although CPSC's Voluntary Standards Coordinator served on the board of ANSI, the CPSC had no memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ANSI regarding this relationship; and instead, CPSC asserted its reliance on the Commission's regulation at 16 CFR part 1031. The commenter stated that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has provided the guidance on government employees serving on the boards of external nonprofits, and the OGE recommends an MOU among the agency, employee and the nonprofit organization to avoid violation of 18 U.S.C. 208(a).

(Response 24) CPSC does not rely on a unique MOU among the agency, employee, and each voluntary standards organization. Because CPSC employees, based on job description, participate in different capacities with different organizations, the Commission has regulations (16 CFR part 1031) setting forth best practices and ethical responsibilities of employees involved in voluntary standards activities.

VI. Incorporation by Reference

Section 1234.2(a) of the final rule provides that infant bath tubs must comply with ASTM F2670-17. The OFR has regulations concerning incorporation by reference. 1 CFR part 51. These regulations require that, for a final rule, agencies must discuss in the preamble to the rule the way in which materials that the agency incorporates by reference are reasonably available to interested persons, and how interested parties can obtain the materials. Additionally, the preamble to the rule must summarize the material. 1 CFR 51.5(b).

In accordance with the OFR's requirements, the discussion in section VII of this preamble summarizes the provisions of ASTM F2670-17. Interested persons may purchase a copy of ASTM F2670-17 from ASTM, either through ASTM's Web site, or by mail at the address provided in the rule. A copy of the standard may also be inspected at the CPSC's Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or at NARA, as discussed above. Note that the Commission and ASTM arranged for commenters to have “read only” access to ASTM F2670-13 during the NPR's comment period.

VII. Description of the Final Rule A. Final Safety Standard for Infant Bath Tubs

For the final rule for infant bath tubs, the Commission will incorporate by reference ASTM F2670-17, without modification. ASTM F2670-17 contains both general and product-specific requirements to address the hazards associated with infant bath tubs. ASTM F2670-17 includes the following key provisions: Scope, Terminology, General Requirements, Performance Requirements, Test Methods, Marking and Labeling, and Instructional Literature.

Scope. Section 1 of ASTM F2670-17 provides the scope of products covered by the standard, which: “establishes performance requirements, test methods, and labeling requirements to promote the safe use of infant bath tubs.” As stated in section II.A. of this preamble, ASTM F2670-17 defines an “infant bath tub” as a “tub, enclosure, or other similar product intended to hold water and be placed into an adult bath tub, sink, or on top of other surfaces to provide support or containment, or both, for an infant in a reclining, sitting, or standing position during bathing by a caregiver.” This description includes “bucket style” tubs that support a child sitting upright, tubs with an inclined seat for infants too young to sit unsupported, inflatable tubs, folding tubs, and tubs with more elaborate designs including handheld shower attachments and even whirlpool settings. ASTM F2670-17 excludes from its scope “products commonly known as bath slings, typically made of fabric or mesh.”

Terminology. Section 3 of ASTM F2670-17 provides definitions of terms specific to the infant bath tub standard.

General Requirements. Section 5 of ASTM F2670-17 sets forth general requirements for infant bath tubs, including:

• Sharp Edges or Points (referencing 16 CFR 1500.48 and 1500.49);

• Small Parts (referencing 16 CFR 1501);

• Lead in Paint and Surface Coatings (referencing 16 CFR 1303);

• Resistance to Collapse;

• Scissoring, Shearing, and Pinching;

• Openings;

• Protective Components;

• Requirements for Toys (incorporating ASTM F963); and

• Labeling.

Performance Requirements and Test Methods. Section 6 of ASTM F2670-17 contains performance requirements for restraint systems, static load, and suction cups. Section 7 of the standard sets forth test methods for the performance requirements set forth in sections 5 and 6 of the standard.

Marking and Labeling. Section 8 of ASTM F2670-17 contains requirements for marking products, including warnings that must be applied to the product and the product packaging. Section 8 sets forth the substance, format, and prominence requirements for warning information.

Instructional Literature. Section 9 of ASTM F2670-17 requires that instructions provided with infant bath tubs be easy to read and understand. Additionally, the section contains requirements for instructional literature contents and format, as well as prominence of certain language.

B. Amendment to 16 CFR Part 1112 to Include NOR for Infant Bath Tubs Standard

The final rule amends part 1112 to add a new § 1112.15(b)(41) that lists 16 CFR part 1234, Safety Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bath Tubs, as a children's product safety rule for which the Commission has issued an NOR. Section XIII of the preamble provides additional background information regarding certification of infant bath tubs and issuance of an NOR.

VIII. Effective Date

The APA generally requires that the effective date of a rule be at least 30 days after publication of the final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). CPSC generally considers 6 months to be sufficient time for suppliers of durable infant and toddler products to come into compliance with a new standard under section 104 of the CPSIA, and the Commission proposed a 6-month effective date in the NPR for infant bath tubs. We received no comments on the proposed effective date. Accordingly, the final rule will have a 6-month effective date. We note that two recent versions of the voluntary standard, ASTM F2670-16 and ASTM F2670-16a, both contain a majority of changes that align with the NPR, so manufacturers that comply with the voluntary standard will have had a year to prepare production to the new federal regulation.

IX. Regulatory Flexibility Act A. Introduction

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, requires that agencies review a proposed rule and a final rule for the rule's potential economic impact on small entities, including small businesses. Section 604 of the RFA generally requires that agencies prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) when promulgating final rules, unless the head of the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As discussed in this analysis, adopting ASTM F2670-17 without modification would not be expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

For the final rule, the Commission is incorporating by reference the voluntary standard for infant bath tubs, ASTM F2670-17, without modification. As set forth in section IX.B below, six of the 10 small manufacturers and four of the five small importers are already believed to be in compliance with the requirements of the voluntary standard. Because the products are not complex, modifications required to bring the remaining products into compliance should be minor. All firms will need to make changes to their product's warning labels and use different equipment in the static load test. CPSC expects the cost of these modifications to be low. Firms will incur additional costs associated with third party testing. However, CPSC does not expect the impact of third party testing to be economically significant for most firms. Accordingly, the Commission certifies that the final rule for infant bath tubs will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

B. Impact on Small Businesses

Under U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines, a manufacturer of infant bath tubs is small if it has 500 or fewer employees, and importers and wholesalers are considered small if they have 100 or fewer employees. Based on these guidelines, 16 of the 22 domestic firms known to be supplying infant bath tubs to the U.S. market are small firms—10 manufacturers, five importers, and one firm with an unknown supply source.

1. Small Domestic Manufacturers

The impact of the final rule on small manufacturers will differ, based on whether manufacturers' infant bath tubs are already compliant with F2670-16. Six domestic manufacturers are in compliance with ASTM F2670-16 and are likely to continue to comply with the new voluntary standard approved in Janury 2017, ASTM F2670-17. Firms in compliance with the voluntary standard will not need to make physical modifications to their products, but still will need to make some modifications to the warning labels on their products. However, the costs of modifying an existing label are usually small.

Four domestic manufacturers appear to be noncompliant with ASTM F2607-16 and will need to modify their products in order to meet ASTM F2607-17. The Commission expects product modifications to be minor because the products are not complex; the products are generally composed of one or two pieces of hard or soft plastic molded together. Modifications to meet the standard primarily involve adjusting the size of grooves or openings on the side of the product to avoid finger entrapment. All firms will need to modify their warning labels to meet the mandatory standard. Staff believes 6 months is sufficient time to make the necessary changes and the costs associated with doing so are low. Therefore, the impact of the final rule is likely to be small for most producers who do not comply with ASTM F2607-16.

Under section 14 of the CPSA, infant bath tubs are also subject to third party testing and certification. Once the new requirements become effective, all manufacturers will be subject to the additional costs associated with the third party testing and certification requirements under the testing rule, Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification (16 CFR part 1107). Third party testing will include physical and mechanical test requirements specified in the infant bath tub final rule; lead and phthalates testing is already required. Third party testing costs are in addition to the direct costs of meeting the infant bath tub standard.

Based on testing costs for similar juvenile products, staff estimates that testing to the ASTM voluntary standard could cost approximately $500-$600 per model sample. On average, each small domestic manufacturer supplies three different models of infant bath tubs to the U.S. market annually. Therefore, if third party testing were conducted every year on a single sample for each model, third party testing costs for each manufacturer would be about $1,500-1,800 annually. Based on a review of firms' revenues and products, the impact of third party testing to ASTM F2670-17 would not exceed one percent of revenues. Thus, it seems unlikely that the impacts of the rule will be economically significant for most small producers.

2. Small Domestic Importers

Most importers will not experience significant impacts as a result of the final rule. The Commission believes that four of the five small importers are compliant with the ASTM F2670-16 voluntary standard, and therefore only would need to assure that their suppliers make the label modifications to comply with the final rule. Complying with the final rule could be more difficult for the remaining importer because changes beyond simple modifications to the warning label are probably necessary. The remaining importer, who is likely not in compliance with the voluntary standard, might need to find an alternate source of infant bath tubs if their existing suppliers do not come into compliance with the requirements of the final rule. Alternatively, this firm may discontinue importing infant bath tubs altogether or perhaps substitute another product.

As is the case with manufacturers, all importers will be subject to third party testing and certification requirements, and consequently, they will experience the associated costs, if their supplying foreign firm(s) does not perform third party testing. However, based on firms' revenues and on the number of samples that would be required, it is unlikely that there will be a significant economic impact due to the testing requirements.

As mentioned above, one small domestic firm has an unknown supply source. However, the firm has a diverse product line and claims compliance with various standards for several of its other infant products. It is possible that the firm's infant bath tub is compliant with the current bath tub standard and the firm would only need to modify existing warning labels. In any case, this firm should not experience large impacts because infant bath tubs are only one of many products it supplies. The labeling requirements also apply to importers. However, as described above, staff believes firms can easily meet this requirement.

X. Environmental Considerations

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

XI. Paperwork Reduction Act

The final rule for infant bath tubs contains information collection requirements that are subject to public comment and review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The preamble to the proposed rule (80 FR at 48776-77) discussed the information collection burden of the proposed rule and specifically requested comments on the accuracy of our estimates. OMB has assigned control number 3041-0171 to this information collection. We did not receive any comment regarding the information collection burden of the proposal. However, the final rule makes modifications regarding the information collection burden because the number of estimated manufacturers subject to the information collection burden is now estimated at 25 manufacturers rather than the 26 manufacturers initially estimated in the proposed rule.

Accordingly, the estimated burden of this collection of information is modified as follows:

Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 16 CFR Section Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of responses Total annual responses Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden hours
    1234 25 3 75 1 75

    Our estimate is based on the following:

    Section 8.1 of ASTM F2670-17 requires that all infant bath tubs and their retail packaging be permanently marked or labeled as follows: The manufacturer, distributor, or seller name, place of business (city, state, mailing address, including zip code), and telephone number; and a code mark or other means that identifies the date (month and year as a minimum) of manufacture.

    CPSC is aware of 25 firms that supply infant bath tubs in the U.S. market. For PRA purposes, we assume that all 25 firms use labels on their products and on their packaging already. All firms will need to make some modifications to their existing labels. We estimate that the time required to make these modifications is about 1 hour per model. Each of the 25 firms supplies an average of three different models of infant bath tubs. Therefore, we estimate the burden hours associated with labels to be 75 hours annually (1 hour × 25 firms × 3 models per firm = 75 hours annually).

    We estimate the hourly compensation for the time required to create and update labels is $33.30 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation,” September 2016, Table 9, total compensation for all sales and office workers in goods-producing private industries: http://www.bls.gov/ncs/). Therefore, we estimate the annual cost to industry associated with the labeling requirements in the final rule to be approximately $2,498 ($33.30 per hour × 75 hours = $2,497.5). This collection of information does not require operating, maintenance, or capital costs.

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), we have submitted the information collection requirements of this final rule to the OMB.

    XII. Preemption

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

    XIII. Amendment to 16 CFR Part 1112 To Include a Notice of Requirement for the Infant Bath Tub Standard

    Section 14(a) of the CPSA imposes the requirement that products subject to a consumer product safety rule under the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban, standard, or regulation under any other Act enforced by the Commission, must be certified as complying with all applicable CPSC-enforced requirements. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a). Section 14(a)(2) of the CPSA requires that certification of children's products subject to a children's product safety rule be based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted, third party conformity assessment body. Section 14(a)(3) of the CPSA requires the Commission to publish an NOR for the accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies (or laboratories) to assess conformity with a children's product safety rule to which a children's product is subject. The Safety Standard for Infant Bath Tubs, to be codified at 16 CFR part 1234, is a children's product safety rule that requires the issuance of an NOR.

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

    Laboratories applying for acceptance as a CPSC-accepted third-party conformity assessment body to test to the new standard for infant bath tubs would be required to meet the third-party conformity assessment body accreditation requirements in 16 CFR part 1112, Requirements Pertaining to Third-Party Conformity Assessment Bodies. When a laboratory meets the requirements as a CPSC-accepted third-party conformity assessment body, the laboratory can apply to the CPSC to have 16 CFR part 1234, Safety Standard for Infant Bath Tubs, included in its scope of accreditation of CPSC safety rules listed for the laboratory on the CPSC Web site at: www.cpsc.gov/labsearch.

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

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

    List of Subjects 16 CFR Part 1112

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

    16 CFR Part 1234

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission amends Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

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

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

    2. Amend § 1112.15 by adding paragraph (b)(41) to read as follows:
    § 1112.15 When can a third party conformity assessment body apply for CPSC acceptance for a particular CPSC rule and/or test method?

    (b) * * *

    (41) 16 CFR part 1234, Safety Standard for Infant Bath Tubs.

    3. Add part 1234 to read as follows: PART 1234—SAFETY STANDARD FOR INFANT BATH TUBS Sec. 1234.1 Scope. 1234.2 Requirements for infant bath tubs. Authority:

    The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-314, 104, 122 Stat. 3016 (August 14, 2008); Pub. L. 112-28, 125 Stat. 273 (August 12, 2011).

    § 1234.1 Scope.

    This part establishes a consumer product safety standard for infant bath tubs.

    § 1234.2 Requirements for infant bath tubs.

    Each infant bath tub must comply with all applicable provisions of ASTM F2670-17, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bath Tubs, approved on January 1, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy from ASTM International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box 0700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428; http://www.astm.org/. You may inspect a copy at the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federalregulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Dated: March 27, 2017. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06270 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1 [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-0011] Requirements To Submit Prior Notice of Imported Food; Technical Amendments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is amending the prior notice of imported food regulations to reflect a change in the electronic data interchange system and its expanded capabilities, to correct inaccurate number designations in section headings, and to reflect a change in an office's name. This action is ministerial or editorial in nature.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Thomas, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2094.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Section 801(m) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 381(m)) requires that FDA establish regulations requiring that those persons importing articles of food or offering articles of food for import into the United States submit certain information about imported foods before the products' arrival in the United States. We have established the regulations at title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 1, subpart I (21 CFR 1.276 to 1.285). Section 801(m) of the FD&C Act also provides that an article of food imported or offered for import is subject to refusal of admission into the United States if adequate prior notice has not been provided to FDA. Our regulations in 21 CFR part 1, subpart I, include information on when to submit prior notice, how to submit prior notice, and what information is required in a prior notice.

    II. Description of the Technical Amendments

    We are making technical amendments in our prior notice regulations in part 1, subpart I (§§ 1.276 to 1.285), to:

    • Reflect the change in an electronic data interchange system and its expanded capabilities;

    • correct paragraph number designations in certain introductory text paragraphs; and

    • revise the name of an FDA office receiving certain information.

    The technical amendments are ministerial or editorial in nature and are not intended to modify any substantive requirements.

    A. Revising an Electronic Data Interchange System and Recognizing Its Expanded Capabilities

    Our current regulations, at §§ 1.279, 1.280, 1.281, and 1.282, refer to the “Automated Broker Interface/Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS)” or “Automated Broker Interface of the Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS).” We are amending these regulations to reflect the change of the electronic data interchange system from “Automated Broker Interface/Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS)” or “Automated Broker Interface of the Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS)” to “Automated Broker Interface/Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System (ABI/ACE/ITDS).” In the Federal Register of May 16, 2016 (81 FR 30320), the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice announcing that the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) will be the sole electronic data interchange (EDI) system authorized by the Commissioner of CBP for processing electronic entries and entry summaries associated with the entry types specified in the notice, for merchandise that is subject to our import requirements. The notice also announced that the Automated Commercial System (ACS) will no longer be a CBP-authorized EDI system for purposes of processing these electronic filings. Therefore, we are revising our regulations at §§ 1.279, 1.280, 1.281, and 1.282 by replacing all references to the “Automated Broker Interface/Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS)” and “Automated Broker Interface of the Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS)” with “Automated Broker Interface/Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System (ABI/ACE/ITDS)” to accurately identify the current EDI system. We note, however, that there is no change in the FDA Prior Notice System Interface (FDA PNSI).

    Additionally, current § 1.280 states that, for purposes of submitting prior notice, prior notice for articles that have been refused under section 801(m)(1) of the FD&C Act and our regulations must be submitted through the FDA PNSI until such time as we and CBP issue a determination that ACS or its successor system can accommodate such transactions. In addition, current § 1.281 describes what information must be provided in the prior notice and states that, until such time as we and CBP issue a determination that ACS can accommodate such transactions, the tracking number may not be submitted in lieu of other certain information if the prior notice is submitted via ABI/ACS. Furthermore, if an article of food is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier, our current regulations state that the tracking number can only be submitted in certain circumstances when neither the submitter nor transmitter is the express consignment operator or carrier, and the prior notice is submitted via the FDA PNSI. We are revising the regulations to remove these limitations because the new ACE EDI system can accommodate such transactions. These faster, streamlined, and automated processes allow traders to submit tracking numbers much more easily. Therefore, we are removing the limitation that the tracking number may not be submitted in lieu of certain other information throughout the prior notice regulations.

    Furthermore, with the tracking number, we can learn the information we need to make entry determinations, such as port, date and time of arrival, airway bill, bill of lading, and vessel name and voyage or flight number. Removing the condition that the transmitter or submitter cannot be the operator or carrier gives submitters more options for providing the information we require. Accordingly, the technical amendment provides greater flexibility to industry while also allowing us to screen imported food articles adequately.

    These changes are deregulatory in nature because they lessen the burden imposed on traders without impairing our ability to ensure the safety of imported food. The expanded capabilities of the new ACE EDI system allow for additional flexibility in submitting certain information. Because of technical limitations of the former system, in certain cases the prior notice information could be submitted only via FDA PNSI because ACS could not accommodate such transactions. For example, ACS could not accept the tracking number in lieu of other certain information such as port, date and time of arrival, airway bill, bill of lading, vessel name, and voyage or flight number.

    The new ACE EDI system can accommodate these transactions, which results in additional flexibility to industry. Some filers no longer have to use two systems to file prior notice information for the same food import line. In addition, FDA staff will be able to more efficiently process import entry submissions and more quickly make the initial import entry determination for food imports, in furtherance of our goal to ensure the safety of imported food.

    B. Correcting Number Designations in Headings and Changing an FDA Office's Title

    The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) (Pub. L. 111-353) was signed into law on January 4, 2011. Section 304 of FSMA amended section 801(m)(1) of the FD&C Act to require that a person submitting prior notice of imported food, in addition to other information already required, report “any country to which the article has been refused entry.” On May 5, 2011, we issued an interim final rule (2011 IFR) (76 FR 25542) implementing section 304 of FSMA. Specifically, the 2011 IFR amended § 1.281 by adding a new requirement to paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) that any person submitting prior notice of imported food report the name of any country to which the article has been refused entry. However, the 2011 IFR neglected to make corresponding edits to change the paragraph number designations in the introductory text for paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) in § 1.281 to reflect the additional data element as added by the 2011 IFR and affirmed in a final rule published on May 30, 2013 (78 FR 32359). The technical amendment corrects those designations.

    Furthermore, current § 1.285(i)(2) refers to the “FDA Prior Notice Center.” The office is now named the “FDA Division of Food Defense Targeting,” so we are amending § 1.285(i)(2) accordingly.

    III. The Administrative Procedure Act

    Publication of this document constitutes final action of these changes under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553). Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) of the APA, an Agency may, for good cause, find (and incorporate the finding and a brief statement of reasons in the rules issued) that notice and public comment procedure on a rule is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. We have determined that notice and public comment are unnecessary because these amendments only make technical or non-substantive, ministerial changes to reflect the change in an electronic data interchange system and its expanded capabilities, correct number designations in headings as a result of the FSMA amendments to prior notice, and amend the name of an FDA office. For these reasons we have determined that publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking and providing opportunity for public comment is unnecessary.

    In addition, we find good cause for these amendments to become effective on the date of publication of this action. The APA allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication as “provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule” (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). A delayed effective date is unnecessary in this case because the amendments do not impose any new regulatory requirements on affected parties. As a result, affected parties do not need time to prepare before the rule takes effect. Therefore, we find good cause for this correction to become effective on the date of publication of this action.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final rule refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR part 1, subpart I, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0520.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1

    Cosmetics, Drugs, Exports, Food labeling, Imports, Labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

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

    15 U.S.C. 1333, 1453, 1454, 1455, 4402; 19 U.S.C. 1490, 1491; 21 U.S.C. 321, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335a, 342, 343, 350c, 350d, 350e, 350j, 350k, 352, 355, 360b, 360ccc, 360ccc-1, 360ccc-2, 362, 371, 373, 374, 379j-31, 381, 382, 384a, 384b, 384d, 387, 387a, 387c, 393; 42 U.S.C. 216, 241, 243, 262, 264, 271; Pub. L. 107-188, 116 Stat. 594, 668-69; Pub. L. 111-353, 124 Stat. 3885, 3889.

    2. Amend § 1.279 by revising paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 1.279 When must prior notice be submitted to FDA?

    (b) * * *

    (1) If prior notice is submitted via the Automated Broker Interface/Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System (ABI/ACE/ITDS), you may not submit prior notice more than 30-calendar days before the anticipated date of arrival.

    3. Amend § 1.280 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 1.280 How must you submit prior notice?

    (a) * * *

    (1) The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Automated Broker Interface/Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System (ABI/ACE/ITDS); or

    (2) The FDA PNSI at https://www.access.fda.gov/. You must submit prior notice through the FDA Prior Notice System Interface (FDA PNSI) for articles of food imported or offered for import by international mail, and other transaction types that cannot be made through ABI/ACE/ITDS.

    (b) If a customhouse broker's or self-filer's system is not working or if the ABI/ACE/ITDS interface is not working, prior notice must be submitted through the FDA PNSI.

    4. Amend § 1.281 by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(11)(iv), (a)(17)(i) and (iii), (b) introductory text, (c) introductory text, (c)(11)(iii), and (c)(17)(i) and (iii) to read as follows:
    § 1.281 What information must be in a prior notice?

    (a) General. For each article of food that is imported or offered for import into the United States, except by international mail, you must submit the information for the article that is required in paragraphs (a)(1) through (18) of this section:

    (11) * * *

    (iv) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(11) introductory text and (a)(11)(i) through (iii) of this section, if the article of food is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the information required in paragraphs (a)(11) introductory text and (a)(11)(i) through (iii) of this section.

    (17) * * *

    (i) The Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as applicable. This information is not required for an article of food when carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual when entering the United States. If the article of food is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may by submitted in lieu of the Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as applicable;

    (iii) For food arriving by air carrier, the flight number. If the article of food is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the flight number;

    (b) Articles arriving by international mail. For each article of food that is imported or offered for import into the United States by international mail, you must submit the information for the article that is required in paragraphs (b)(1) through (12) of this section:

    (c) Refused articles. If the article of food has been refused under section 801(m)(1) of the act and under this subpart, you must submit the information for the article that is required in paragraphs (c)(1) through (19) of this section. However, if the refusal is based on § 1.283(a)(1)(iii) (Untimely Prior Notice), you do not have to resubmit any information previously submitted unless it has changed or the article has been exported and the original prior notice was submitted through ABI/ACE/ITDS. If the refusal is based on § 1.283(a)(1)(ii), you should cancel the previous submission per § 1.282(b) and (c).

    (11) * * *

    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(11) introductory text and (c)(11)(i) and (ii) of this section, if the article of food arrived by express consignment operator or carrier, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the information required in paragraphs (c)(11) introductory text and (c)(11)(i) and (ii) of this section.

    (17) * * *

    (i) The Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as applicable; however, this information is not required for an article of food when carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual when entering the United States. If the article of food arrived by express consignment operator or carrier, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as applicable;

    (iii) For food that arrived by air carrier, the flight number. If the article of food arrived by express consignment operator or carrier, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the flight number;

    5. Amend § 1.282 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 1.282 What must you do if information changes after you have received confirmation of a prior notice from FDA?

    (c) If you submitted the prior notice via ABI/ACE/ITDS, you should cancel the prior notice via ACE by requesting that CBP cancel the entry.

    6. Amend § 1.285 by revising the first sentence in paragraph (i)(2) to read as follows:
    § 1.285 What happens to food that is imported or offered for import from unregistered facilities that are required to register under subpart H of this part?

    (i) * * *

    (2) The FDA Division of Food Defense Targeting must be notified of the applicable registration number in writing.* * *

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06201 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 31 CFR Part 148 Qualified Financial Contracts Recordkeeping Related to Orderly Liquidation Authority AGENCY:

    Department of the Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notification.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 31, 2016, the Secretary of the Treasury, as Chairperson of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, published a final rule in consultation with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) to implement the qualified financial contract recordkeeping requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This notification provides the means by which records entities and top-tier financial companies may submit the required point of contact information.

    DATES:

    March 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Smith, Director, Office of Capital Markets (202) 622-0157; Peter Nickoloff, Financial Economist, Office of Capital Markets, (202) 622-1692; Steven D. Laughton, Assistant General Counsel (Banking & Finance), (202) 622-8413; or Stephen T. Milligan, Attorney-Advisor, (202) 622-4051.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 148.3(a)(2) of the rule (see 81 FR 75624 (Oct. 31, 2016)) requires each records entity and top-tier financial company to provide a point of contact who is responsible for recordkeeping under the rule by written notice to its primary financial regulatory agency or agencies and the FDIC.1 Each records entity and top-tier financial company is also required to provide written notice to its primary financial regulatory agency or agencies and the FDIC within 30 days of any change in its point of contact.

    1 31 CFR 148.3(a)(2).

    Records entities and top-tier financial companies may provide such point of contact information to each of the following primary financial regulatory agencies by email at the addresses listed below:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, [email protected] Commodity Futures Trading Commission, [email protected] Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, [email protected] Securities and Exchange Commission, [email protected] Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 5390(c)(8)(H).

    Dated: March 27, 2017. Monique Y.S. Rollins, Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06288 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0251 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Barnegat Bay, Seaside Heights, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the S37 Bridge across the Barnegat Bay, mile 14.1, New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, at Seaside Heights, NJ. This deviation is necessary to perform bridge maintenance and repairs. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 8 p.m. on March 31, 2017, to 8 p.m. on April 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2017-0251] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6222, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The New Jersey Department of Transportation, that owns and operates the S37 Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations to continue performing a maintenance and repair project on the bridge that commenced at 8 a.m. on December 1, 2016, and was scheduled to cease at 8 p.m. on March 31, 2017. The bridge is a bascule draw bridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 30 feet above mean high water.

    The current operating schedule as set out in 33 CFR 117.733(c) allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to- navigation position from 8 a.m. on December 1, 2016, until 8 p.m. on March 31, 2017. Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will continue to remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 8 p.m. on March 31, 2017, to 8 p.m. on April 21, 2017.

    The Barnegat Bay on the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway is used by a variety of vessels including small government and public vessels, small commercial vessels, and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully considered the nature and volume of vessel traffic on the waterway in publishing this temporary deviation.

    Vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transit to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06266 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0023] RIN 1625-AA-08 Safety Zone; Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone on the waters of the Charleston Harbor in Charleston, SC during the Charleston Race Week from April 20, 2017 through April 23, 2017. Charleston Race Week is a series of sail boat races in the Charleston Harbor. The safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and the general public during the event. This regulation prohibits persons and vessels from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the safety zones unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April 20, 2017 through April 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0023 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule call or email Lieutenant Commander John Downing, Sector Charleston Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (843) 740-3184, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code COTP Captain of the Port II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because insufficient time remains to publish an NPRM and to receive public comments, as the Charleston Race Week event will occur before the rulemaking process would be completed. Because of the dangers posed by the proximity of the races to the navigable waters of the Charleston Harbor, the safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of event participants, spectators, and vessels transiting the event area. For those reasons, it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to publish an NPRM.

    For the reason discussed above, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The legal basis for this rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish regulated safety zones and other limited access areas is 33 U.S.C. 1231. The purpose of the rule is to ensure the safety of the event participants, the general public, vessels and the navigable waters during Charleston Race Week.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone on the waters of the Charleston Harbor in Charleston, South Carolina during Charleston Race Week. The races are scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 20, 2017 through April 23, 2017. Approximately 250 sailboats are anticipated to participate in the races, and approximately 30 spectator vessels are expected to attend the event. Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone may contact the Captain of the Port Charleston by telephone at (843) 740-7050, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone is granted by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative. The Coast Guard will provide notice of the safety zone by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    E.O.s 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. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, the rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. 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 economic impact of this rule is not significant for the following reasons: (1) Although persons and vessels may not enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone without authorization from the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative, they may operate in the surrounding area during the enforcement period; and (2) the Coast Guard will provide advance notification of the safety zone to the local maritime community by Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    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” comprised of small businesses and 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 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone that will prohibit persons and vessels from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within a limited area on the waters of the Charleston Harbor. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An 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 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 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add a temporary § 165.T07-0023 to read as follows:
    § 165.T07-0023 Safety Zone; Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC.

    (a) Location. The rule consists of the following four race areas.

    (1) Race Area #1. All waters encompassed within a 700 yard radius of position 32°46′10″ N., 79°55′15″ W.

    (2) Race Area #2. All waters encompassed within a 700 yard radius of position 32°46′02″ N., 79°54′15″ W.

    (3) Race Area #3. All waters encompassed within a 700 yard radius of position 32°45′55″ N., 79°53′39″ W.

    (4) Race Area #4. All waters encompassed within a 600 yard radius of position 32°47′50″ N., 79°56′80″ W.

    (b) Definition. The term “designated representative” means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Charleston in the enforcement of the regulated areas.

    (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port Charleston by telephone at 843-740-7050, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, or remain within the regulated area is granted by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives.

    (d) Enforcement period. This rule will be enforced daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from April 20 through April 23, 2017.

    Dated: March 21, 2017. G.L. Tomasulo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Charleston.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06261 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0261] RIN 1625-AA87 Security Zone; USCGC MUNRO Commissioning Ceremony Elliott Bay; Seattle, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a 300 yard temporary security zone in the navigable waters of Elliott Bay, Seattle, WA, around the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter MUNRO at Pier 91 within the Sector Puget Sound Captain of the Port Zone. The security zone is necessary to ensure the security of the USCGC MUNRO from sabotage or other subversive acts during its commissioning ceremony at Pier 91. The safety zone will prohibit any person or vessel from entering or remaining in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or her Designated Representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. on April 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0261 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Zachary Spence, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 206-217-6051, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because publishing an NPRM would be impracticable as delayed promulgation may jeopardize the security of the commissioning ceremony.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable because the commissioning ceremony will occur on April 1, 2017, and this rule must be effective to ensure the security of this high profile event.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1 which collectively authorizes the Coast Guard to establish security zones. The Captain of the Port, Puget Sound has determined that potential threats of sabotage and other subversive acts associated with the USCGC MUNRO commissioning ceremony on April 1, 2017, will be a security concern for anyone within a 300 yard radius of USCGC MUNRO at Pier 91 in Seattle, WA. This rule is needed to protect personnel and vessels in the navigable waters within the security zone while the commissioning ceremony takes place.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary security zone that will be enforced from 6 a.m. though 6 p.m. on April 1, 2017. The security zone will cover all navigable waters within 300 yards of USCGC MUNRO at Pier 91 in Seattle, WA. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel and vessels in these navigable waters while the commissioning ceremony takes place. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the security zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative while the zone is subject to enforcement. Vessels wishing to enter the security zone must request permission to do so from the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound by contacting the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001 or the on-scene patrol craft, if any, via VHF-FM Channel 16.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the security zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this security zone which will impact a small designated area of the Elliott Bay in Seattle, WA for 12 hours and during a time of year when vessel traffic is normally low. Public, commercial, and privately owned vessels impacted by the security zone may request Captain of the Port, Puget Sound or his Designated Representative permission to transit through the security zone by contacting the Joint Harbor Operation Center 206-217-6001 or the on-scene patrol craft on VHF Ch. 16. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a security zone lasting 12 hours that will prohibit entry within 300 yards of USCGC MUNRO at Pier 91 in Seattle, WA. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An 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 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 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T13-0261 to read as follows:
    § 165.T13-0261 Security Zone; USCGC MUNRO Commissioning Ceremony Elliott Bay, Seattle, WA.

    (a) Location. The following area is a security zone: All navigable waters of Elliott Bay within 300 yards of the USCGC MUNRO while moored at Pier 91.

    (b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

    Designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Puget Sound (COTP) in the enforcement of the security zone identified in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (c) Regulations. The general regulations governing security zones contained in §  165.33 apply to the security zone identified in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (1) During the enforcement period, entry into, transit through, remaining within, or movement within this temporary zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Puget Sound or her designated representative.

    (2) To seek permission to enter the security zone contact the Captain of the Port or her designated representative via the Joint Harbor Operations Center at (206) 217-6001 or the on-scene patrol craft on VHF Ch 16 to obtain permission to do so.

    (3) Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the security zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or her designated representatives.

    (4) The Coast Guard may be assisted by other federal, state, or local agencies in patrol and notification of this regulation.

    (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 1, 2017.

    Dated: March 24, 2017. L.A. Sturgis, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06267 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0836] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; San Francisco, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is adding, amending, and deleting several permanent safety zones located in the Captain of the Port San Francisco zone that are established to protect public safety during annual firework displays. These changes will update listed events to accurately reflect the firework display locations. This regulation prohibits the movement of vessels within the established firework display areas unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) San Francisco or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0836 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Christina Ramirez, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco; telephone 415-399-2001, email [email protected]

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

    On January 18, 2017 we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Safety Zones; San Francisco, CA, in the Federal Register (83 FR 5482). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to the amended fireworks safety zones. We received no adverse comments on the NPRM nor did we receive a request for public meeting. A public meeting was not held.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port San Francisco (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the current outdated fireworks events, if not updated, pose safety concerns for event crew, spectators, participants of the event, participating vessels, and other users and vessels of the waterway. One of the published annual fireworks events that requires safety zones does not currently reflect the accurate location of the respective display sites. Three annual fireworks events that require safety zones are not published in 33 CFR 165.1191 and one published fireworks event has not occurred since 2009. Safety zones which accurately reflect the location of each event are necessary to provide for the safety of the crew, spectators, participants of the event, participating vessels, and other users and vessels of the waterway from the hazards associated with firework displays. The effect of these proposed safety zones will be to restrict general navigation in the vicinity of the events, from the start of each event until the conclusion of that event. Except for the persons or vessels authorized by the COTP San Francisco or a designated representative, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the regulated area. These regulations are needed to keep spectators and vessels a safe distance away from the fireworks displays to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and transiting vessels.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received no adverse comments on our NPRM published on January 18, 2017. We received one comment supporting the Coast Guard's efforts to safeguard vessels. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

    This rule amends Table 1 in § 1191 to update one event to reflect the current event location, delete one event fireworks event which has not occurred since 2009, and permanently publish three annual events. These events are listed numerically in Table 1 of this section: Respectively items (9), (2), and the addition of (28), (29), and (30).

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed it.

    As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of each safety zone. Vessel traffic would be able to safely transit around each safety zone which would impact a small designated area of the COTP San Francisco zone for less than 1 hour during the evening when vessel traffic is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue a Local Notice to Mariner and Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow vessels to seek permission to enter the zones.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

    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 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 rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it 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 rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have 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 rule involves a safety zones lasting less than 1 hour that would prohibit entry within a radial distance of no more than 1,000 feet of a fireworks barge. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist and 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 165

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

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

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

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. In § 165.1191, in Table 1 to § 165.1191, remove and reserve item 2, revise item 9, and add items 28, 29, and 30 to read as follows:
    § 165.1191 Northern California and Lake Tahoe Area Annual Fireworks Events. Table 1 to § 165.1191 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2. [Reserved] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 9. Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Richmond Sponsor Various Sponsors. Event Description Fireworks Display. Date Week of July 4th. Location A barge located in Richmond Harbor in approximate position 37°54′40″ N., 122°21′05″ W., Richmond, CA. Regulated Area 100-foot radius around the fireworks barge during the loading, transit, setup, and until the commencement of the scheduled display. Increases to a 560-foot radius upon commencement of the fireworks display. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 28. Execpro Services Fourth of July Fireworks Sponsor Execpro Services Inc. Event Description Fireworks Display. Date Week of July 4th. Location Off-shore from Incline Village, NV. Regulated Area 100-foot radius around the fireworks barge during the loading, transit, setup, and until the commencement of the scheduled display. Increases to a 1,000-foot radius upon commencement of the fireworks display. 29. Monte Foundation Fireworks, Lake Tahoe Sponsor Monte Foundation. Event Description Fireworks Display. Date Week of Labor Day. Location Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA. Regulated Area 100-foot radius around the fireworks barge during the loading, transit, setup, and until the commencement of the scheduled display. Increases to a 1,000-foot radius upon commencement of the fireworks display. 30. Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade Fireworks Sponsor Various Sponsors. Event Description Fireworks Display. Date A Saturday or Sunday in December. Location Off-shore from Sausalito Point, Sausalito, CA. Regulated Area 100-foot radius around the fireworks barge during the loading, transit, setup, and until the commencement of the scheduled display. Increases to a 1,000-foot radius upon commencement of the fireworks display.
    Dated: March 9, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port of San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06287 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers 33 CFR Part 334 Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola Bay, East Bay, St. Andrew Bay and St. Andrew Sound at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida; Restricted Areas AGENCY:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is amending its regulations by revising an existing restricted area regulation and establishing a new restricted area along portions of the Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) facility shoreline that will be activated on a temporary basis. The duration of temporary restricted area activations will be limited to those periods where it is warranted or required by specific and credible security threats and will be inactive at all other times. The restricted area will be partitioned using 23 pairs of coordinates to facilitate quick geographic recognition. Tyndall AFB is surrounded on three sides by water with approximately 129 miles of unprotected coastline. This includes several areas where the lack of security or lack of restriction on access to these areas leaves Tyndall AFB personnel and resources vulnerable to security threats. This amendment is necessary to implement an enhanced threat security plan for Tyndall AFB which will allow temporary activation of one or more portions of the restricted area as necessary to provide the appropriate level of security required to address the specific and credible threat triggering the need for activation.

    DATES:

    Effective: May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO (David B. Olson), 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314-1000.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. David Olson, Headquarters, Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice, Washington, DC at 202-761-4922 or Mr. Ed Sarfert, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, Regulatory Division, at 850-439-9533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary

    External reviews of security at Tyndall AFB identified the lack of jurisdiction to respond to threats from the waterways as a major weakness. Tyndall AFB does not currently have the authority to restrict access to the shoreline of Tyndall AFB if needed to respond to a security threat. The purpose of this regulatory action is to establish a restricted area in the waters surrounding portions of Tyndall AFB that will only be activated on a temporary basis in response to specific and credible security threats. Additionally this amendment provides an administrative correction to the existing regulation at 33 CFR 334.660.

    The Corps' authority to establish the restricted area is Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat. 892; 33 U.S.C. 3).

    Background

    Pursuant to its authorities in Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat 892; 33 U.S.C. 3) the Corps is amending the regulations at 33 CFR part 334 by adding § 334.665 and revising § 334.660. Adding § 334.665 will establish a restricted area in the waters surrounding Tyndall AFB. This amendment will allow the Installation Commander, Tyndall AFB to temporarily restrict the passage of persons, watercraft, and vessels in waters contiguous to this facility when a specific and credible security threat is identified, providing greater security for personnel and equipment during those periods. The administrative correction at 33 CFR 334.660(b)(3) will clarify who is responsible for enforcing the provisions of § 334.660.

    A proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2013 (78 FR 27126). One hundred seventy-one comments were submitted in response to that proposed rule. As a result of the comments received in response to the May 9, 2013, proposed rule, substantial revisions were made to the proposed restricted area to address the concerns of the commenters. A revised proposed rule was published in the September 14, 2015, issue of the Federal Register (80 FR 55052). The regulations.gov docket number for these proposed rules is COE-2013-0030. In response to the publication of the second proposed rule, forty six (46) comments were received. Many of the comments expressed concern about loss of use of waterways and beaches, particularly around Shell Island and Crooked Island. Many commenters also stated their belief that the restricted areas would not be activated temporarily in response to elevated security threats, but would be made permanent. Several commenters stated that the regulation should expire in five years. One commenter objected to the rule because they do not believe there is a threat.

    The Corps determined that due to the temporary nature of the restrictions, and the removal of the most popular areas used for recreational water sports from the originally proposed restricted area, the restricted area will have no more than minimal detrimental impact on the continued utilization of the overall waterway by the public. The impact will be further mitigated because the restrictions will be limited to those specific areas necessary to address security threats. Restrictions will only be activated when security threats are identified that dictate a need for the restrictions, and after the security threats are no longer present, the restrictions will be lifted to allow the public to use the waterway. Given the existing security environment, it is not expected that all threats will be eliminated within five years. In consideration of this, and since restrictions will be only temporarily activated due to specific and credible threats, resulting in no more than minimal detrimental impact on the continued public utilization of the overall waterway, an expiration provision is not warranted. The restricted area does not affect Shell Island, and only covers limited portions of Crooked Island.

    Many commenters expressed concern about harassment by United States Air Force (USAF) personnel, and the belief that federal control and police powers do not extend into these waters. Other commenters stated that Tyndall AFB was using this rule to increase its control over these waters and the public. Some commenters said that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has authority in these waters, and that Tyndall AFB should rely on the USCG or local boaters to observe the area and provide security. One commenter stated that Tyndall AFB personnel will impact seagrass beds while patrolling, and should be held to the same standards for seagrass impacts as the public.

    The River and Harbor Act of 1917 (33 U.S.C. 1) provides the Corps with the authority to issue regulations that govern the use, administration, and navigation of the navigable waters of the United States that are necessary for the protection of life and property. United States Air Force personnel do not have authority to enforce federal, state or local laws on the water. This rule does not change that. Law enforcement actions by USAF personnel related to implementation of this rule will be in the form of issuance of a trespassing ticket if an individual violated the regulation and refused to leave; any further action will be referred to the USCG. Impacts to seagrass that might occur during patrols by USAF personnel are outside the scope of this rule. The purpose of this rule is to establish a restricted area to protect Tyndall AFB personnel and resources from security threats.

    Several commenters expressed concern that small businesses, particularly those associated with the boating industry, would be adversely impacted. Some commenters also stated that Executive Order 12866 requires an economic impact statement and Office of Management and Budget review of the proposed rule. Another commenter stated that Executive Order 13422 has similar requirements and applies here as well.

    The Corps has complied with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. As discussed below, the Corps has determined that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Corps does not anticipate any small entities will be significantly impacted by the rule because the restricted areas will only be activated based on specific local or national intelligence information, the geographic scope of the activation will be limited to providing the level of security required in response to specific and credible threats, and the duration of any activation will be limited to those periods where it is warranted by such threats. In addition, the removal from the proposed restricted area of the most popular areas for recreational water sports—Shell Island and portions of Crooked Island—further supports the determination that the rule will have no more than minimal detrimental impact on small entities. The provisions of Executive Orders 12866 and 13422 do not apply because this rule is issued with respect to a military function of the Department of Defense (see section 3(d)(2) of Executive Order 12866).

    Many commenters stated that rather than create a restricted area over water, Tyndall AFB should enhance its security on land, using methods such as smaller perimeters, cameras, sensors, fencing, and expanded foot and vehicle patrols. Several commenters expressed opposition to language referencing the restrictions being necessary to protect the public from potentially hazardous conditions that may develop as a result of military use of the area.

    Tyndall AFB has approximately 129 miles of coastline, portions of which are difficult for security personnel to access from land and require a marine patrol to monitor. While activation of temporary restrictions will not create significant costs for Tyndall AFB, the alternative security measures suggested were found by Tyndall AFB to incur significant costs. Since any activation of the restricted area will be only temporary, and only those portions of the restricted area required in response to a specific and credible threat will be activated, the rule ensures no more than minimal impacts on the public use of the overall waterway. The language regarding hazardous conditions and military use is not part of § 334.665 itself, but was included in the Procedural Requirements section of the notice as part of the Corps' description of how it reviewed the proposed rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The term “hazardous conditions and military use” was intended only to relate to the modifications of the restricted area provisions in § 334.660 for the existing drone recovery area. Since those existing restricted area provisions in § 334.660 are only being administratively modified in terms of the enforcement provision, we have removed the statement in the Regulatory Flexibility Act section referencing “hazardous conditions and military use.”

    One commenter expressed concern about the restricted area extending 500 yards from the shoreline and its effects on fishing. Another commenter stated that additional buoys and markers in the water would be unappealing and/or disregarded by boaters. A commenter asked if oysters from manmade beds in nearshore areas of East Bay would now belong to Tyndall AFB. One commenter said that this rulemaking requires a consistency determination under the Coastal Zone Management Act.

    The restricted area will only be activated when security threats are identified that dictate a need for the restrictions, and after the security threats are no longer present, the restrictions will be lifted to allow the public to use the waterway, including for fishing. If activated, the restricted area will encompass the area up to 500 feet waterward of the shoreline, not 500 yards. No buoys or markers are authorized by this rule. This rule will not alter who may harvest oysters from East Bay. In a letter dated May 17, 2016, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection stated that the proposed rule is consistent with the Florida Coastal Management Program.

    Two commenters stated that the Corps should complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this rule. One commenter stated that language in the rule about contiguous inland waterways could be viewed as applying to large areas of water outside of the restricted area, and should be changed or deleted.

    An EIS is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for certain federal actions that are determined to “significantly affect the quality of the human environment.” An EIS is not required if the federal agency prepares an environmental assessment and determines that the proposed federal action will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. The Corps completed an environmental assessment for this rule and determined the rule will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and will have no more than minimal adverse impact on the public's use of the waterway. The rule clearly describes the waters that are part of the restricted area, including providing coordinates and measurements. The language used in the rule states the restricted area “shall encompass all navigable waters of the United States as defined at 33 CFR part 329 within the area described and includes all contiguous inland navigable waters which lie within the land boundaries of Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB)”. The restricted area is limited to the navigable waters identified in the rule text, and does not extend to areas of navigable waters outside of the designated area.

    Some commenters stated that the procedures for notifying the public about restricted area activation would not be effective, and that there was no procedure for early deactivation. One commenter said that one portion of the restricted area should be renamed to correspond with the United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System.

    In response to these comments received and at the Corps' request, Tyndall AFB agreed to expand its restricted area notification procedures for both activation and early deactivation, and modify the name of the pair of coordinates originally entitled Little Cedar Lake to Little Cedar Bayou for clarity and consistency.

    Procedural Requirements

    a. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13771. The rule is issued with respect to military and national security functions of the Department of Defense and the provisions of Executive Orders 12866 and 13771 do not apply.

    b. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This rule has been reviewed under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354). The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to the notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (i.e., small businesses and small governments). Tyndall AFB has approximately 129 miles of unprotected shoreline, including several areas where the lack of security or restriction on access leaves Tyndall AFB personnel and resources vulnerable to security threats. Therefore, the restricted area regulation is necessary to implement an enhanced threat security plan for Tyndall AFB which will allow for the temporary activation of one or more portions of the restricted area as necessary to provide the appropriate level of security required to address the specific and credible threats that are identified by Tyndall AFB. When the restricted area is activated, small entities can continue to use the navigable waters surrounding Tyndall AFB that are outside of the restricted area. After considering the economic impacts of this restricted area regulation on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    c. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act. This regulation will not have a significant impact to the quality of the human environment and, therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement will not be required. An environmental assessment has been prepared. It may be reviewed at the district office listed at the end of FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    d. Unfunded Mandates Act. This regulation does not impose an enforceable duty among the private sector and, therefore, is not a Federal private sector mandate and is not subject to the requirements of Section 202 or 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Pub. L. 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.). We have also found under Section 203 of the Act, that small governments will not be significantly or uniquely affected by this regulation.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 334

    Danger zones, Navigation (water), Restricted areas, Waterways.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Corps amends 33 CFR part 334 as follows:

    PART 334—DANGER ZONE AND RESTRICTED AREA REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 334 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 Stat. 266 (33 U.S.C. 1) and 40 Stat. 892 (33 U.S.C. 3).

    2. Revise § 334.660(b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 334.660 Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay south of Apalachicola, Fla., Drone Recovery Area, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

    (b) * * *

    (3) The federal regulations in this section shall be enforced by the Installation Commander, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and such other agencies as he/she may designate.

    3. Add § 334.665 to read as follows:
    § 334.665 East Bay, St. Andrew Bay and St. Andrew Sound, enhanced threat restricted area, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

    (a) The area. (1) The coordinates provided herein are approximations obtained using a commercial mapping program which utilizes simple cylindrical projection with a WGS84 datum for its imagery base and imagery dated February 15 and May 3, 2014.

    (2) Each portion of the temporary restricted area described in paragraphs (a)(4)(i) through (xxiii) of this section shall encompass all navigable waters of the United States as defined at 33 CFR part 329 within the area described and includes all contiguous inland navigable waters which lie within the land boundaries of Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB).

    (3) Because of the dynamic nature of these geographic features near barrier islands, the coordinate points provided may not reflect the current situation regarding the location of a point at the mean high water line or 500 feet waterward of the mean high water line. Even if the landform has shifted through erosion or accretion, the intent of the area description will be enforced from the existing point at the mean high water line that is closest to the shoreline point provided herein out to a point located 500 feet waterward of the mean high water line.

    (4) The restricted area will be partitioned using 23 pairs of coordinates to facilitate quick geographic recognition. The first point in each pair of coordinates is located on the shoreline, and the second point is a point 500 feet waterward of the shoreline. From the first point in each pair of coordinates, a line meanders irregularly following the shoreline and connects to the first point in the next pair of coordinates. From the second point in each pair of coordinates, a line beginning 500 feet waterward of the shoreline meanders irregularly following the shoreline at a distance of 500 feet waterward of the shoreline and connects to the second point in the next pair of coordinates. The restricted area shall encompass all navigable waters of the United States as defined at 33 CFR part 329 within the area bounded by lines connecting each of the following pairs of coordinates:

    (i) Farmdale Bayou: 30°1.156′ N., 85°26.915′ W. to 30°1.238′ N., 85°26.915′ W.

    (ii) Baker Bayou: 30°1.325′ N., 85°29.008′ W. to 30°1.402′ N., 85°28.977′ W.

    (iii) Blind Alligator Bayou: 30°2.094′ N., 85°29.933′ W. to 30°2.151′ N., 85°29.864′ W.

    (iv) Little Oyster Bay Point: 30°3.071′ N., 85°30.629′ W. to 30°3.133′ N., 85°30.568′ W.

    (v) Goose Point South: 30°3.764′ N., 85°31.874′ W. to 30°3.719′ N., 85°31.795′ W.

    (vi) Goose Point North: 30°4.599′ N., 85°31.577′ W. to 30°4.650′ N., 85°31.503′ W.

    (vii) Little Cedar Bayou: 30°4.974′ N., 85°33.476′ W. to 30°5.024′ N., 85°33.401′ W.

    (viii) Chatters on Bayou: 30°5.729′ N., 85°34.632′ W. to 30°5.811′ N., 85°34.625′ W.

    (ix) Fred Bayou: 30°5.992′ N., 85°35.296′ W. to 30°6.071′ N., 85°35.325′ W.

    (x) Pearl Bayou: 30°6.039′ N., 85°36.651′ W. to 30°6.043′ N., 85°36.557′ W.

    (xi) Military Point: 30°7.394′ N., 85°37.153′ W. to 30°7.459′ N., 85°37.096′ W.

    (xii) Freshwater Bayou: 30°7.425′ N., 85°38.655′ W. to 30°7.473′ N., 85°38.578′ W.

    (xiii) Smack Bayou: 30°7.826′ N., 85°39.654′ W. to 30°7.838′ N., 85°39.560′ W.

    (xiv) Redfish Point: 30°8.521′ N., 85°40.147′ W. to 30°8.598′ N., 85°40.113′ W.

    (xv) Davis Point: 30°7.348′ N., 85°41.224′ W. to 30°7.364′ N., 85°41.317′ W.

    (xvi) Tyndall Marina: 30°5.827′ N., 85°39.125′ W. to 30°5.762′ N., 85°39.184′ W.

    (xvii) Heritage Bayou: 30°3.683′ N., 85°35.823′ W. to 30°3.743′ N., 85°35.887′ W.

    (xviii) NCO Beach North: 30°4.209′ N., 85°37.430′ W. to 30°4.272′ N., 85°37.368′ W. The restricted Area will end on the west side of the land bridge that extends into Shell Island. The Restricted Area resumes on the east side of the land bridge that extends into St. Andrew Sound.

    (xix) St. Andrew Sound west: 30°1.327′ N., 85°33.756′ W. to 30°1.377′ N., 85°33.681′ W.

    (xx) St. Andrew Sound northwest: 30°1.921′ N., 85°33.244′ W. to 30°1.869′ N., 85°33.317′ W.

    (xxi) St. Andrew Sound northeast: 30°0.514′ N., 85°31.558′ W. to 30°0.452′ N., 85°31.619′ W.

    (xxii) Wild Goose Lagoon: 29°59.395′ N., 85°30.178′ W. to 29°59.319′ N., 85°30.216′ W.

    (xxiii) Crooked Island North: 29°59.003′ N., 85°30.396′ W. to 29°59.082′ N., 85°30.371′ W.

    (b) The regulations. (1) Unless one or more portions of the restricted area identified in paragraphs (a)(4)(i) through (xxiii) of this section is activated, all persons, vessels and other craft are permitted access to all of the navigable waters described in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (2) During times when the restricted area defined in paragraphs (a)(4)(i) through (xxiii) of this section is not active, U.S. Air Force boat patrols may operate in the waters adjacent to Tyndall AFB's shoreline to observe the shoreline in order to identify any threats to the installation or personnel. U.S. Air Force personnel will not have any authority to enforce federal, state, or local laws on the water.

    (3) Due to the nature of security threats, restricted area activation may occur with little advance notice. Activation will be based on local or national intelligence information related to threats against military installations and/or resources common to Tyndall AFB in concert with evaluations conducted by the Tyndall AFB Threat Working Group and upon direction of the Installation Commander, Tyndall AFB. The Installation Commander activates only those portions of the restricted area identified in paragraphs (a)(4)(i) through (xxiii) of this section that are necessary to provide the level of security required in response to the specific and credible threat(s) triggering the activation. The duration of activation for any portion(s) of the restricted area defined in paragraph (a) of this section, singularly or in combination, will be limited to those periods where it is warranted or required by security threats. Activated portions of the restricted area will be reevaluated every 48 hours to determine if the threat(s) triggering the activation or related threats warrant continued activation. The activated portion(s) of the restricted area expire if no reevaluation occurs or if the Installation Commander determines that activation is no longer warranted.

    (4) Public notification of a temporary waterway restricted area activation by the Installation Commander will be made by the 325 Fighter Wing Public Affairs office using all available mediums (marine VHF broadcasts [channels 13 and 16], local notices to mariners, local news media releases, social media postings on both the Tyndall official Web page [www.tyndall.af.mil] and Facebook [www.facebook.com/325FWTyndall], radio beepers through locally broadcasting stations, and the Tyndall Straight Talk [recorded telephone line 1-478-222-0011]). These mediums will be updated should the waterway restriction be extended beyond the initial 48 hour activation and/or terminated upon direction of the Installation Commander.

    (5) During times when the Installation Commander activates any portion(s) of the temporary restricted area defined in paragraph (a) of this section all entry, transit, drifting, anchoring or attaching any object to the submerged sea-bottom within the activated portion(s) of the restricted area is not allowed without the written permission of the Installation Commander, Tyndall AFB, Florida or his/her authorized representative. Previously affixed mooring balls established to support watercraft during intense weather conditions (i.e., tropical storms, hurricanes, etc.) may remain within the activated portion(s) of the restricted area, however watercraft should not be anchored to the mooring balls without the permission of the Installation Commander, Tyndall AFB, Florida or his/her authorized representative.

    (c) Enforcement. The regulations in this section shall be enforced by the Installation Commander, Tyndall AFB and/or such persons or agencies as he/she may designate.

    Dated: March 27, 2017. Susan Whittington, Acting Chief, Operations and Regulatory Division, Directorate of Civil Works.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06296 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    82 60 Thursday, March 30, 2017 Proposed Rules FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD 5 CFR Part 1651 Designation of Beneficiary AGENCY:

    Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Agency) proposes to amend its death benefits regulations to modify the requirements necessary in order for a designation of beneficiary form to be valid.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments using one of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov at Docket ID number FRTIB-2017-0003. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Office of General Counsel, Attn: Megan G. Grumbine, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, 77 K Street NE., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20002.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: The address for sending comments by hand delivery or courier is the same as that for submitting comments by mail.

    Facsimile: Comments may be submitted by facsimile at (202) 942-1676.

    The most helpful comments explain the reason for any recommended change and include data, information, and the authority that supports the recommended change.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Austen Townsend at (202) 864-8647.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Agency administers the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which was established by the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERSA), Public Law 99-335, 100 Stat. 514. The TSP provisions of FERSA are codified, as amended, largely at 5 U.S.C. 8351 and 8401-79. The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan for Federal civilian employees, members of the uniformed services, and spouse beneficiaries. The TSP is similar to cash or deferred arrangements established for private-sector employees under section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 401(k)).

    Designation of Beneficiary Validity Requirements

    The Agency proposes to amend its regulations to modify the requirements necessary in order for a designation of beneficiary form to be valid. The Agency's guiding statute provides that a designation of beneficiary form need only be signed, witnessed, and received by the Agency on or before the participant's date of death in order to be valid. See 5 U.S.C. 8424(d). More detailed validity requirements are set forth in the Agency's regulations at 5 CFR 1651.3(c). Section 1651.3(c) currently requires a TSP beneficiary designation form to be witnessed by two people and also requires each page of the form to be dated by the participant and both witnesses. The Agency proposes to amend section 1651.3(c) to require that all pages of a TSP beneficiary designation form be signed and dated by the participant and only one witness.

    The proposed amendment would reduce the number of witnesses required. The other validity requirements, including the requirement that the same witness sign and date all pages of the beneficiary designation form, remain unchanged.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This regulation will affect Federal civilian employees and spouse beneficiaries who participate in the Thrift Savings Plan, which is a Federal defined contribution retirement savings plan created under the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERSA), Public Law 99-335, 100 Stat. 514, and which is administered by the Agency.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    I certify that these regulations do not require additional reporting under the criteria of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 602, 632, 653, 1501-1571, the effects of this regulation on state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector have been assessed. This regulation will not compel the expenditure in any one year of $100 million or more by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 1532 is not required.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1651

    Claims, Government employees, Pensions, Retirement.

    Gregory T. Long, Executive Director, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Agency proposes to amend 5 CFR chapter VI as follows:

    PART 1651—DEATH BENEFITS 1. The authority citation for part 1651 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 8424(d), 8432d, 8432(j), 8433(e), 8435(c)(2), 8474(b)(5) and 8474(c)(1).

    2. Amend § 1651.3 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:
    § 1651.3 Designation of beneficiary.

    (c) * * *

    (3) Be signed and properly dated by the participant and signed and properly dated by one witness;

    (i) The participant must either sign the form in the presence of the witness or acknowledge his or her signature on the form to the witness;

    (ii) All submitted and attached pages of the form must be signed and dated by the participant;

    (iii) All submitted and attached pages of the form must be signed and dated by the same witness;

    [FR Doc. 2017-06304 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 2, 50, and 51 [NRC-2011-0087] RIN 3150-AI96 Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend its regulations that govern the license renewal process for non-power reactors, testing facilities, and other production or utilization facilities, licensed under the authority of Section 103, Section 104a, or Section 104c of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (AEA), that are not nuclear power reactors. In this proposed rule, the NRC collectively refers to these facilities as non-power production or utilization facilities (NPUFs). The NRC is proposing to: Eliminate license terms for licenses issued under the authority of Sections 104a or 104c of the AEA, other than for testing facilities; define the license renewal process for licenses issued to testing facilities or under the authority of Section 103 of the AEA; require all NPUF licensees to submit final safety analysis report (FSAR) updates to the NRC every 5 years; and provide an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sievert (Sv)) total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) for NPUFs other than testing facilities. The proposed rule also includes other changes, as described in Section III, “Discussion,” of this document. The NRC is issuing concurrently draft Regulatory Guide (DG-2006), “Preparation of Updated Final Safety Analysis Reports for Non-power Production or Utilization Facilities,” for review and comment. The NRC anticipates the proposed rule and associated draft implementing guidance would result in reduced burden on both licensees and the NRC, and would create a more responsive and efficient regulatory framework that will continue to protect public health and safety, promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment. During the public comment period, the NRC plans to hold a public meeting to promote a full understanding of the proposed rule and facilitate the public's ability to submit comments on the proposed rule.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by June 13, 2017. Submit comments specific to the information collections aspects of this proposed rule by May 1, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0087. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Duane Hardesty, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-3724, email: [email protected]; and Robert Beall, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-3874, email: [email protected] Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary A. Need for the Regulatory Action

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend its regulations related to the license renewal process for non-power reactors, testing facilities, and other production or utilization facilities, licensed under the authority of Section 103, Section 104a, or Section 104c of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, that are not nuclear power reactors. In this proposed rule, the NRC collectively refers to these facilities as non-power production or utilization facilities (NPUFs). To establish a more efficient, effective, and focused regulatory framework, the NRC proposes revisions to parts 2, 50, and 51 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR).

    B. Major Provisions

    In addition to administrative changes and clarifications, the proposed rule includes the following major changes:

    • Creates a definition for “non-power production or utilization facility,” or “NPUF;”

    • Eliminates license terms for facilities, other than testing facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c);

    • Defines the license renewal process for testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) and NPUFs licensed under 10 CFR 50.22;

    • Requires all NPUF licensees to submit final safety analysis report updates to the NRC every 5 years;

    • Amends the current timely renewal provision under 10 CFR 2.109, allowing facilities to continue operating under an existing license past its expiration date if the facility submits a license renewal application at least 2 years (currently 30 days) before the current license expiration date;

    • Provides an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sievert) total effective dose equivalent for NPUFs other than testing facilities;

    • Extends the applicability of 10 CFR 50.59 to NPUFs regardless of their decommissioning status;

    • Clarifies an applicant's requirements for meeting the existing provisions of 10 CFR 51.45 for submitting an environmental report; and

    • Eliminates the requirement for NPUFs to submit financial qualification information with license renewal applications under 10 CFR 50.33(f)(2).

    C. Costs and Benefits

    The NRC prepared a draft regulatory analysis to determine the expected quantitative costs and benefits of the proposed rule and the draft implementing guidance, as well as qualitative factors to be considered in the NRC's rulemaking decision. The analysis concluded that the proposed rule would result in net savings to licensees and the NRC (i.e., be cost beneficial). The analysis examined the benefits and costs of the proposed rule requirements and the draft implementing guidance relative to the baseline for the current license renewal process (i.e., the no action alternative). Relative to the no action baseline, the NRC estimates that total net benefits to NPUFs (i.e., cost savings minus costs) would be $3.8 million ($1.5 million using a 7 percent discount rate and $2.5 million using a 3 percent discount rate) over a 20-year period. The average NPUF would incur net benefits ranging from approximately $54,000 to $167,000 over a 20-year period. The NRC would incur total net benefits of $9.4 million ($3.8 million using a 7 percent discount rate and $6.4 million using a 3 percent discount rate) over a 20-year period.

    The draft regulatory analysis also considered, in a qualitative fashion, additional benefits of the proposed rule and the draft implementing guidance associated with regulatory efficiency, protection of public health and safety, promotion of the common defense and security, and protection of the environment.

    The draft regulatory analysis concluded that the proposed rule and the draft implementing guidance are justified because of the cost savings incurred by both licensees and the NRC while public health and safety is maintained. For a detailed discussion of the methodology and complete results, see Section VII, “Regulatory Analysis,” of this document.

    Table of Contents: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information B. Submitting Comments II. Background III. Discussion IV. Specific Requests for Comments V. Section-by-Section Analysis VI. Regulatory Flexibility Certification VII. Regulatory Analysis VIII. Backfitting IX. Cumulative Effects of Regulation X. Plain Writing XI. Environmental Assessment and Proposed Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact XII. Paperwork Reduction Act XIII. Criminal Penalties XIV. Availability of Guidance XV. Public Meeting XVI. Availability of Documents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2011-0087 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0087.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided in Section XVI, “Availability of Documents,” of this document.

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2011-0087 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

    II. Background

    Sections 103 (for facilities used for commercial or industrial purposes) and 104a and c (for facilities used for medical therapy and useful for research and development activities, respectively) of the AEA establish the NRC's authority to license NPUFs. The section of the AEA that provides licensing authority for the NRC corresponds directly to the class of license issued to a facility (i.e., Section 104a of the AEA authorizes the issuance of a “class 104a” license). Sections 104a and c of the AEA require that the Commission impose only the minimum amount of regulation needed to promote the common defense and security, protect the health and safety of the public, and permit, under Section 104a, the widest amount of effective medical therapy possible and, under Section 104c, the conduct of widespread and diverse research and development.

    The NRC regulates 36 NPUFs, of which 31 are currently operating. The other five facilities are in the process of decommissioning (i.e., removing a facility or site safely from service and reducing residual radioactivity to a level that permits release of the site for unrestricted use or use under restricted conditions, and termination of the license). Most NPUFs are located at universities or colleges throughout the United States. The NRC regulates one operating testing facility.

    A. License Terms

    The AEA dictates an initial license term of no more than 40 years for class 103 facilities, which the NRC licenses under § 50.22 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), but the AEA does not specify license terms for class 104a or c facilities, which are licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c). The regulation that implements this statutory authority, § 50.51(a), currently specifies that the NRC may grant an initial license for NPUFs for no longer than a 40-year license term. If the NRC initially issues a license for a shorter period, then it may renew the license by amendment for a maximum aggregate period not to exceed 40 years. An NPUF license is usually renewed for a term of 20 years. If the requested renewal would extend the license beyond 40 years from the date of issuance, the original license may not be amended. Rather, the NRC issues a superseding renewed license.

    Any application for license renewal or a superseding renewed license must include an FSAR describing: (1) Changes to the facility or facility operations resulting from new or amended regulatory requirements, and (2) changes and effects of changes to the facility or procedures and new experiments. The FSAR must include the elements specified in § 50.34 and should be augmented by the guidance of NUREG-1537, Part 1, “Guidelines for Preparing and Reviewing Applications for the Licensing of Non-Power Reactors, Format and Content.” The NRC reviews NPUF initial and renewal license applications according to NUREG-1537, Part 2, “Guidelines for Preparing and Reviewing Applications for the Licensing of Non-Power Reactors, Standard Review Plan and Acceptance Criteria.”

    As a license term nears its end, a licensee must submit an application in order to continue operations. Per 10 CFR 2.109(a), referred to as the “timely renewal provision,” if, at least 30 days before the expiration of an existing license, the licensee files an application for a renewal or for a new license for the authorized activity, the existing license will not be deemed to have expired until the application has been finally determined.

    B. Environmental Analysis

    Part of the license renewal process involves the NRC's environmental analysis of the license renewal action. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) (NEPA), requires all Federal agencies to evaluate the impacts of proposed major actions on the human environment. The NRC complies with NEPA through regulations in 10 CFR part 51, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions.” The regulations in 10 CFR part 51 implement Section 102(2) of NEPA in a manner that is consistent with the NRC's domestic licensing and related regulatory authority under the AEA, the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, and the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978. This reflects the Commission's announced policy as cited in § 51.10(a) to voluntarily take account of the 1978 Council on Environmental Quality final regulations for implementing NEPA, “National Environmental Policy Act—Regulations,” subject to certain conditions. For various licensing actions specified under 10 CFR part 51, applicants are required to submit environmental documentation in the form of an environmental report, or a supplement to an environmental report, as applicable, as part of license applications. This documentation assists the NRC in performing its independent environmental review of the potential environmental impacts of the licensing action in support of meeting the NRC's obligations under NEPA and the NRC's regulations for implementing NEPA under 10 CFR part 51. For all licensing actions, as specified in 10 CFR part 51, the NRC must prepare either an environmental impact statement or an environmental assessment, as appropriate, pursuant to §§ 51.20 or 51.21.

    C. Ongoing Oversight Activities

    In the period of time between license applications, NPUFs are required under § 50.59(d)(1) and (2) to maintain records of changes in the facility, changes in procedures, and tests and experiments. For changes, experiments, or tests not requiring a license amendment, § 50.59 requires licensees to maintain written evaluations that provide the bases of the determinations that the change, test, or experiment does not require a license amendment. Licensees currently submit a report to the NRC annually summarizing all changes, tests, and experiments, but are not required to submit updated FSARs other than at the time of license renewal.

    In addition, the NRC periodically inspects each operating NPUF using a graded approach that prioritizes higher-power facilities. The NRC completes an annual inspection of NPUFs licensed to operate at power levels of 2 megawatts thermal (MWt) or greater. For NPUFs operating under 2 MWt, the NRC completes an inspection once every 2 years. Inspections can include reviews of organizational structure, reactor operator qualifications, design and design control, radiation and environmental protection, maintenance and surveillance activities, transportation, material control and accounting, operational activities, review and audit functions, experiments, fuel handling, procedural controls, emergency preparedness, and security.

    III. Discussion

    The NRC is proposing to amend the NRC's regulations that govern the license renewal process for NPUFs. This proposed rulemaking would: (1) Create a definition for “non-power production or utilization facility,” or “NPUF;” (2) eliminate license terms for facilities, other than testing facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c); (3) define the license renewal process for testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) and NPUFs licensed under 10 CFR 50.22; (4) require all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR updates to the NRC every 5 years; (5) amend the current timely renewal provision under 10 CFR 2.109, allowing facilities to continue operating under an existing license past its expiration date if the facility submits a license renewal application at least 2 years (currently 30 days) before the current license expiration date; (6) provide an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs other than testing facilities; (7) extend the applicability of 10 CFR 50.59 to NPUFs regardless of their decommissioning status; (8) clarify an applicant's requirements for meeting the existing provisions of 10 CFR 51.45; and (9) eliminate the requirement to submit financial qualification information with license renewal applications under 10 CFR 50.33(f)(2). This section describes the need for improvements in the current license renewal process and the changes the NRC proposes to make to the license renewal process to address these needs.

    A. Need for Improvement in the License Renewal Process

    In 2008, the NRC identified a need to identify and implement efficiencies in the NPUF license renewal process to streamline the process while ensuring that adequate protection of public health and safety is maintained. This need for improvement in the reliability and efficiency of the process was primarily driven by four issues:

    1. Historic NRC Staffing and Emergent Issues

    Non-power production or utilization facilities were some of the first reactors licensed by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the first reactors to face license renewal. Most of these reactors were initially licensed in the late 1950s and 1960s for terms from 10 to 40 years. The AEC started renewing these licenses in the 1960s. License renewal was primarily an administrative activity until 1976, when the NRC decided to conduct a technical review for license renewal equivalent to initial licensing. The licenses with initial 20-year terms were due for renewal during this timeframe. As the NRC started developing methods for conducting these technical reviews, an accident occurred at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant.

    The NRC's focus on post-TMI activities resulted in a suspension of NPUF license renewal activities for several years. After license renewal activities were restarted, the NRC issued a number of renewals in a short period of time primarily by relying on generic evaluations. These were 20-year renewals that expired starting in the late 1990s. Original 40-year licenses also started expiring in the late 1990s. These two groups of renewals coming due in a short period of time created a new surge of license renewal applications.

    In response to the security initiatives identified following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the NRC redirected its staff from processing the license renewal applications that were received in the late 1990s to addressing security items. In addition, the NRC was focused on implementing 10 CFR 50.64 to convert NPUF licensees to the use of low-enriched uranium.

    2. Limited Licensee Resources

    Many NPUF licensees have limited staff resources available for licensing. The number of NPUF staff available for licensing can range from one part-time employee for some low-power facilities to four or five people for higher-power facilities. The NPUF staff that perform the licensing function typically do so in addition to their normal organizational responsibilities, which often results in delays (particularly in responding to the NRC's requests for additional information (RAI)) in the license renewal process.

    3. Inconsistent Existing License Infrastructure

    The NPUFs licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c) primarily comprise college and university sites. Staff turnover and limited staffing resources at an NPUF often contribute to a lack of historical knowledge of the development of the licensee's FSAR and changes to the FSAR. During the most recent round of license renewals, the NRC found that some of the submitted FSARs did not adequately reflect the current licensing basis for the respective licensees. Because the only required FSAR submission comes at license renewal, which can be at 20-year or greater intervals, submitted FSARs often contain varying levels of completeness and accuracy. Consequently, the NRC must issue RAIs to obtain missing information, seek clarifications and corrections, and document the current licensing bases.

    4. Regulatory Requirements and Broad Scope of the Renewal Process

    For power reactors, license renewal reviews have a defined scope, primarily focused on aging management, as described in 10 CFR part 54. For NPUFs, there are no explicit requirements on the scope of issues to be addressed during license renewal. Therefore, the scope of review for license renewal is the same as that for an original license.

    In addition, in response to Commission direction in the Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) to SECY-91-061, “Separation of Non-Reactor and Non-Power Reactor Licensing Activities from Power Reactor Licensing Activities in 10 CFR part 50,” the NRC developed licensing guidance for the first time since many NPUF applicants were originally licensed. In that guidance (NUREG-1537, Parts 1 and 2), the NRC provides detailed descriptions of the scope, content, and format of FSARs and the NRC's process for reviewing initial license applications and license renewal applications. However, at the time of the first license renewals using NUREG-1537, some license renewal applications had varying levels of consistency with NUREG-1537. These licensees did not propose an acceptable alternative to the guidance.

    NRC Response to These Issues

    Once a backlog of NPUF license renewal applications developed and persisted, the Commission and other stakeholders voiced concerns not only about the backlog, but also about the burdensome nature of the process itself. The Commission issued SRM-M080317B, “Briefing on State of NRC Technical Programs” in April 2008, which directed the NRC staff to “examine the license renewal process for non-power reactors and identify and implement efficiencies to streamline this process while ensuring that adequate protection of public health and safety are maintained.”

    In October 2008, the NRC staff provided the Commission with plans to improve the review process for NPUF license renewal applications in SECY-08-0161, “Review of Research and Test Reactor License Renewal Applications.” In SECY-08-0161, the NRC staff discussed stakeholder feedback on the current process, including ways it could be improved and the options the NRC staff was considering for improving the review process. The NRC staff provided a detailed description of five options for streamlining the NPUF license renewal process:

    • The “alternate safety review approach” would limit the review of license renewal applications to changes to the facility since the previous license review occurred, compliance with the current regulations, and the inspection process.

    • The “graded approach” would base the areas of review on the relative risk associated with the facility applying for a renewed license. The graded approach would ensure safe operation by properly identifying the inherent risk associated with the facility and ensuring those risks are minimized.

    • The “generic analysis approach” would require the NRC to review and approve a generic reactor design similar to the NRC topical report process. The NRC would rely on the previously approved generic analysis and would not reanalyze those items for each licensee.

    • The “generic siting analysis approach” would require the NRC to develop a generic communication that contains information related to each of the licensee sites. The licensees could then reference this generic communication in their license renewal submittals.

    • The “extended license term approach” would permit extended or indefinite terms for NPUF licenses. The NRC staff described this approach in SECY-08-0161:

    In order to permit an extended term (including possibly an indefinite term), the NRC staff would have to explain why it is appropriate and, more importantly, demonstrate that there are no aging concerns. Environmental conditions such as temperature, pressure and radiation levels in most [research and test reactors (RTRs)] are not significant. With surveillance, maintenance and repair, RTRs can have indefinite lives. For a facility to be eligible for an extended license term, the NRC staff would complete a detailed renewal with a licensing basis reviewed against NUREG-1537. To maintain the licensing basis over time, the NRC staff would propose a license condition or regulation that requires licensees to revise their SARs on a periodic basis such as every 2 years. The inspection program would be enhanced to place additional focus on surveillance, maintenance and repair, and changes to the facility made under 10 CFR 50.59. The licensee would still be required to adhere to changes in the regulations.

    The Commission issued SRM-SECY-08-0161, “Review of Research and Test Reactor License Renewal Applications,” in March 2009, which instructed the NRC staff to proceed with several actions. The Commission directed NRC staff to: (1) Immediately implement short-term program initiatives to address the backlog of license renewal applications; (2) work with the regulated community and other stakeholders to develop an interim streamlining process to focus the review on the most safety-significant aspects of the license renewal application; and (3) streamline the review process to ensure that it becomes more efficient and consistent, thereby reducing uncertainties in the process while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

    As part of its direction to develop the program initiatives, the Commission instructed the NRC staff to implement a graded approach commensurate with the risk posed by each facility, incorporate elements of the alternate safety review approach, and use risk insights from security assessments to inform the dose threshold. In addition, the Commission told the NRC staff to develop an interim staff guidance (ISG) document that employs the graded approach to streamline the license renewal application process.

    Lastly, the Commission instructed the NRC staff to submit a long-term plan for an enhanced NPUF license renewal process. The Commission directed that the plan include development of a basis for redefining the scope of the process as well as a recommendation regarding the need for rulemaking and guidance development.

    The NRC staff responded to Commission direction by implementing short-term actions to address the license renewal application backlog and developing the “Interim Staff Guidance on Streamlined Review Process for License Renewal for Research Reactors,” hereafter referred to as the ISG. The ISG called for employing a graded approach to streamline the license renewal application process. Since October 2009, the NRC has reviewed license renewal applications according to the streamlined review process presented in the ISG. The ISG identified the three most safety-significant sections of an FSAR: reactor design and operation, accident analysis, and technical specifications. The NRC also has reviewed the licensees' radiation protection and waste management programs, and compliance with financial requirements. The ISG divided facilities into two groups: (1) Those facilities with licensed power of less than 2 MWt, which would undergo a limited review focusing on the safety-significant aspects, considering the decisions and precedents set by past NRC reviews; and (2) those facilities with licensed power of 2 MWt and greater, which would undergo a full review using NUREG-1537, Part 2. The process outlined in the ISG facilitated the NRC's review of license renewal applications and enabled the NRC to review applications in a more timely manner.

    In addition, the NRC staff issued SECY-09-0095, “Long-Term Plan for Enhancing the Research and Test Reactor License Renewal Process and Status of the Development and Use of the Interim Staff Guidance,” in June 2009 to provide the Commission with a long-term plan for enhancing the NPUF license renewal process. In the long-term plan, the NRC staff proposed to develop a draft regulatory basis to support proceeding with rulemaking to streamline and enhance the NPUF license renewal process. The Commission issued SRM-M090811, “Briefing on Research and Test Reactor (RTR) Challenges,” in August 2009, which directed NRC staff to accelerate the rulemaking to establish a more efficient, effective, and focused regulatory framework.

    In August 2012, the NRC staff completed the “Regulatory Basis to Support Proceeding with Rulemaking to Streamline and Enhance the Research and Test Reactor (RTR) License Renewal Process,” hereafter referred to as the regulatory basis.1

    1 At the time of publication of the regulatory basis, the rulemaking title was the “Non-Power Reactor (NPR) License Renewal Rulemaking.” During the development of the proposed rule, the scope of the rulemaking expanded to include recent license applicants (e.g., medical radioisotope irradiation and processing facilities) that are not reactors. In order to encompass all affected entities, the NRC has changed the title of the rulemaking to the “Non-power Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal Rulemaking.”

    The regulatory basis analyzed the technical, legal, and policy issues; impacts on public health, safety, and security; impacts on licensees; impacts on the NRC; stakeholder feedback; as well as other considerations, and concluded that a rulemaking was warranted. In developing the regulatory basis for rulemaking, the NRC staff considered lessons learned as a result of implementation of the streamlined review process outlined in the ISG. A public meeting was held on August 7, 2014, to discuss the regulatory basis and rulemaking options. The NRC held another public meeting on October 7, 2015, to afford stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback and comment on preliminary proposed rule concepts. The participants provided comments and questions to the NRC that focused on the potential impacts of eliminating license terms, the scope of reviews under the new process, and how this new change in regulation would work compared to the current license renewal process. The NRC considered those comments in developing this proposed rule.

    B. Proposed Changes

    The proposed amendments are intended to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the NPUF license renewal process, consistent with the AEA's criterion for imposing minimum regulation on facilities of these types. This proposed rule would:

    1. Create a definition for “non-power production or utilization facility,” or “NPUF.”

    The proposed rule would address inconsistencies in definitions and terminology associated with NPUFs in §§ 50.2 and 50.22 and 10 CFR part 170.3, which result in challenges in determining the applicability of the regulations. In an October 2014 direct final rule, “Definition of a Utilization Facility,” the NRC amended its regulations to add SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc.'s (SHINE) proposed accelerator-driven subcritical operating assemblies to the NRC's definition of a “utilization facility” in § 50.2. The existing definitions for non-power facilities (e.g., non-power reactor, research reactor, testing facility) do not adequately cover new entities like SHINE or other medical radioisotope irradiation and processing facilities. The NRC is proposing to add a specific definition for “non-power production or utilization facility” to § 50.2 to establish a term that is flexible enough to capture all non-power facilities licensed under § 50.22 or § 50.21(a) or (c). This action will ensure clarity and consistency for the applicability of the associated regulations for NPUFs. The proposed rule also would make conforming changes in other sections to refer to this new definition.

    2. Eliminate license terms for facilities, other than testing facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c).

    The AEA does not establish license terms for Section 104a or c facilities. These licenses, however, are subject to § 50.51(a), which states that a license “will be issued for a fixed period of time to be specified in the license but in no case to exceed 40 years from date of issuance.” The NRC currently issues licenses under § 50.21(a) or (c) for a term of 20 years. The NRC intends to reduce the burden on licensees associated with license terms by requiring periodic submittals of updated FSARs instead of periodic license renewal applications.

    Currently, license renewal offers both the NRC and the public the opportunity to re-evaluate the licensing basis of the NPUF. The purpose of the license renewal is to assess the likelihood of continued safe operation of the facility to ensure the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment and ensuring the common defense and security. For several reasons that are unique to NPUFs, the NRC believes that this objective can be achieved through other forms of regulatory oversight. The NRC can continue to protect public health and safety, promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment through regular, existing oversight activities and the proposed addition of requirements for periodic FSAR submittals. This approach also would be consistent with the NRC's overall program to make licensing more efficient and effective and would implement and reflect lessons learned from decades of processing license renewal applications. The NRC has reached this conclusion based on the following three considerations.

    First, NPUFs licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), other than testing facilities, operate at low power levels, temperatures, and pressures, and have a small inventory of fission products in the fuel, as compared to power reactors, therefore presenting a lower potential radiological risk to the environment and the public. Additionally, the consequences of the maximum hypothetical accidents (MHAs) for these facilities fall below the standards in 10 CFR part 20 for protecting the health and safety of the public.

    Twenty-seven 2 of the 31 currently licensed facilities' cores are submerged in a tank or pool of water. These volumes of water, ranging from 5,000 to more than 100,000 gallons, provide a built-in heat sink for decay heat. Twenty-five of these 27 licensed facilities are not required to have emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) because analysis has shown that air cooling is sufficient to remove decay heat if the water was not present. These NPUFs do not have significant decay heat, even after extended maximum licensed power operation, to be a risk for overheating, failure of a fission product barrier, or posing a threat to public health and safety, even under a loss of coolant accident where water levels drop below the core. Additionally, many of the facilities monitor for leaks in the form of routine inspections, track and trend water inventory, and perform surveillances on installed pool level instrumentation and sensors. Licensees perform analyses for radioisotope identification of primary and, if applicable, secondary coolant by sampling the water periodically. Many facilities sample weekly for gross radioactive material content, which is also used to establish trends to quickly identify fuel or heat exchanger failure. Most of these licensees analyze, in their FSARs, pool and heat exchanger failures and the potential consequences for the safety of the reactor, workers, and public. In general, the radioisotope concentrations in pool or tank water at NPUFs are within the effluent concentration limits specified in Appendix B to 10 CFR part 20, and thus are not radiologically significant.

    2 The three Aerojet-General Nucleonics (AGN) reactors (University of New Mexico (Docket No. 50-252), Idaho State University (Docket No. 50-284), and Texas A&M University (Docket No. 50-59)), each rated at 5-watts, and the University of Florida Argonaut reactor (Docket No. 50-83), rated at 100 kilowatts, are not considered tank or pool reactors.

    Only two of the NPUFs licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), other than the one testing facility, are required by their safety analyses to have an ECCS. For these NPUFs,3 the ECCS is only needed to direct flow into the top of the tank or pool to provide cooling for a limited period of time after reactor shutdown. This period of time is dependent on the recent operational history of the reactor, which determines the decay heat present at reactor shutdown. After this relatively brief time, air cooling is adequate to remove decay heat even without the ECCS. Additionally, performance of the ECCS is ensured through required surveillance and testing on the system at these facilities. Operation of the facility is not permitted if the ECCS has not been verified operational prior to reactor startup or if the system is deemed non-operational during reactor operation. In the unlikely event that the ECCS is not available after an operational history that would require ECCS, core damage will not occur if the core is uncovered as long as a small amount of cooling flow is directed to the core, which is available from multiple sources.

    3 The two facilities are Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Docket No. 50-20) and the University of California-Davis (Docket No. 50-607).

    Second, these facilities' simple design and operation yield a limited scope of aging-related concerns. The NRC has found no significant aging issues that need evaluation at the time of license renewal because the NRC currently imposes aging-related surveillance requirements on NPUFs via technical specifications, as needed. Aging related issues are specifically addressed in the standard review plan and acceptance criteria used for evaluating license renewal applications (i.e., NUREG-1537, Part 2). Parts 1 and 2 of NUREG-1537 document lessons learned and known aging issues from prior reviews. Since NUREG-1537 was published in 1996, NRC reviews and assessments have not revealed any additional issues or need to update the NUREG. Specifically, based on operating experience over the past 60 years and review of license renewal applications over the past 40 years, and as documented in NUREG-1537, Parts 1 and 2, the NRC has determined that for NPUFs, there are two main areas related to aging that need surveillance because of potential safety concerns: (1) Fuel cladding and (2) instrumentation and control features.

    With regard to fuel cladding, the NRC currently requires NPUFs to perform periodic fuel inspections. Through years of operational experience, the NRC has found that fuel failures either do not occur or do not release significant amounts of fission products and are quickly detected by existing monitoring systems and surveillances. If fuel failures are detected, licensees are able to take the facility out of service without delay and remove any failed assemblies from service.

    With regard to instrumentation and control, the NRC has found that failures in this area result in automatic facility shutdown. Failures reveal themselves to the licensee and do not prevent safe shutdown. Over the past 60 years of operation of these facilities, the potential occurrence of age-related degradation has been successfully mitigated through inspection, surveillance, monitoring, trending, recordkeeping, replacement, and refurbishment. In addition, licensees are required to report preventive and corrective maintenance activities in their annual reports, which are reviewed by the NRC. This allows the NRC to identify new aging issues if they occur. Therefore, the NRC has concluded that existing requirements and facility design and operational features would address concerns over aging-related issues during a non-expiring license term.

    Third, the design bases of these facilities evolve slowly over time. The NRC receives approximately five license amendment requests from all NPUF licensees combined each year. Further, on average, each of these licensees reports only five § 50.59 evaluations per year for changes to its facility that do not require prior NRC approval. Lastly, changes to regulations that would impact the licensing bases of power reactor facility operations rarely apply to NPUFs.

    Given these technical considerations, the elimination of license terms for NPUFs licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), other than testing facilities, combined with the proposed addition of requirements for periodic FSAR submittals, should have a positive effect on safety. Ending license renewal for these licensees would allow agency resources to be shifted to enhance oversight of these facilities through increased interactions with licensees related to ongoing oversight activities, such as conducting routine inspection activities and reviewing annual reports and updated FSARs. The NRC would enhance ongoing safe operations of licensed facilities, regardless of license duration, by requiring facilities to submit FSAR updates every 5 years (see discussion on proposed § 50.71(e) in Section III.B.4, “Require all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR updates to the NRC every 5 years,” of this document). Recurring FSAR reviews by the NRC would provide for maintenance of the facility's licensing basis and provide reasonable assurance that a facility will continue to operate without undue risk to public health and safety or to the environment and without compromising the facility's security posture. Should the NRC identify potential issues with the facility's continued safe operation in its reviews of FSAR updates, the Commission can undertake regulatory actions specified in § 2.202 to modify, suspend, or revoke a license. In addition, the public would remain informed about facility operations through the publicly available FSAR submittals and would continue to have opportunities for participation through licensing actions and the § 2.206 petition process. By eliminating license terms and replacing them with required periodic FSAR update submittals coupled with existing oversight processes, the NRC would reduce the burden on facilities licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), other than testing facilities, which is consistent with the AEA and supports the NRC's efforts to make licensing more efficient and effective.

    As described in Section V, “Section-by-Section Analysis,” of this document, the proposed rule language does not specifically address the timing of initial FSAR updates for existing NPUF licensees. The NRC intends to issue orders following the publication of the final rule to define how the proposed revisions would impact current licensees. The NRC considered incorporating these requirements into its regulations but determined that orders would be a more efficient and effective approach. This is because: (1) Invoking the initial FSAR submittal requirements for currently operating NPUFs would be a one-time requirement that would result in obsolete rule text after implementation; (2) a regulatory requirement would have compelled licensees to request and NRC to issue a license amendment to remove existing license terms; and (3) to facilitate licensee and NRC workload management, the initial FSAR submittals need to be staggered, and issuing orders allows the agency to assign licensees an appropriate implementation schedule to achieve this goal.

    Specifically, the orders would remove license terms from each license as of the effective date of the final rule. The facilities would be grouped by whether they have undergone license renewal using NUREG-1537, Part 2 and the ISG. In addition, the orders would dictate when the licensee's initial FSAR update would be due to the NRC. The NRC would issue these orders for the purposes of staggering initial and ongoing FSAR updates. For that purpose, licensees would be placed in three groups based on the following:

    (1) Group 1 licensees would each be required to submit an updated FSAR 1 year following the effective date of the final rule. This group would consist of licensees that completed the license renewal process using the ISG. The NRC would require these licensees to submit an updated FSAR first because, with a recent license renewal, the FSARs should require minimal updates.

    (2) Group 2 licensees would each be required to submit an updated FSAR 2 years following the effective date of the final rule. This group would consist of licenses that last completed license renewal prior to the issuance of the ISG (i.e., license renewal was reviewed per NUREG-1537, Part 2). The NRC would allow these licensees more time to submit an updated FSAR than Group 1 licensees because more time has passed since Group 2's most recent license renewals, so additional time may be needed to update their FSARs.

    (3) Group 3 would consist of the remaining NPUF licensees, each of which would need to submit a license renewal application consistent with the format and content guidance in NUREG-1537, Part 1. The NRC would review the application using NUREG-1537, Part 2, and the ISG, as appropriate. If the NRC were to conclude that a licensee meets the standard for issuing a renewed license, then the licensee would receive a non-expiring renewed license.

    The proposed rule also would make conforming changes to requirements for facilities that are decommissioning by revising § 50.82(b) and (c). These provisions address license termination applications and collection periods for shortfalls in decommissioning funding for NPUFs. The proposed rule would clarify that NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) are the only NPUFs with license terms, which the NRC uses to determine when an application for license termination is needed. The NPUFs licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c) would need to submit an application for license termination within 2 years following permanent cessation of operations, as is currently required.

    3. Define the license renewal process for testing facilities and NPUFs licensed under 10 CFR 50.22.

    For NPUF licenses issued under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c), the NRC proposes a set of regulations explicitly defining the license renewal process in proposed § 50.135 that would consolidate in one section existing regulatory requirements (i.e., requirements regarding written communications, application filing, application contents, and the issuance of renewed licenses) for current and future licensees. The proposed rule would not impose new regulations on these facilities. The NRC also would make a conforming change to § 50.8 to reflect the approved information collection requirement of proposed § 50.135.

    Section 103 of the AEA establishes a license term of no more than 40 years for § 50.22 facilities. Although the AEA does not establish a fixed license term for testing facilities, these facilities are currently subject to additional license renewal requirements (e.g., siting subject to 10 CFR part 100, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards [ACRS] review and environmental impact statements) due to higher power levels or other safety-significant design features as compared to other class 104a or c licensees. Therefore, the NRC is proposing that licensees under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) would continue to prepare a complete license renewal application.

    The NRC is proposing to make renewed operating licenses for these facilities effective 30 days after the date of issuance, replacing the previous operating license. The 30 days is intended to allow the facility to make any necessary and conforming changes to the facility processes and procedures to the extent that they are required by the applicable conditions of the renewed license. If administrative or judicial appeal affects the renewed license, then the previous operating license would be reinstated unless its term has expired and the facility has failed to submit a license renewal application in a timely manner according to proposed § 50.135(c)(2).

    4. Require all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR updates to the NRC every 5 years.

    Under the current license renewal process, the NRC found that licensees were not always able to provide documentation describing the details of their licensing basis, including their design basis calculations, in license renewal applications. Some licensees had difficulty documenting the necessary updates to licensing bases when they were called upon to do so between initial licensing and license renewal. Consequently, the license renewal application review process was overly burdensome for both licensees and the NRC because the NRC had incomplete information regarding changes to design and operational characteristics of the facility. From a safety perspective, an updated FSAR is important for the NRC's inspection program and for effective licensee operator training and examination.

    The proposed rule would require all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR updates to the NRC every 5 years. By requiring periodic submittals of FSAR updates, the NRC anticipates that licensees will document changes in licensing bases as they occur, which would maintain the continuity of knowledge both for the licensee and the NRC and the understanding of changes and effects of changes on the facility. The NRC anticipates that these changes would result in minimal additional burden on licensees and the NRC, largely because licensees are currently required by § 50.59 to keep FSARs up to date. The proposed rule would impose a new requirement for licensees to submit an updated FSAR to the NRC according to proposed § 50.71(e).

    The proposed rule also would correct an existing grammatical error in footnote 1 to § 50.71(e). Currently the footnote states, “Effects of changes includes appropriate revisions of descriptions in the FSAR such that the FSAR (as updated) is complete and accurate.” The proposed rule would change “includes” to “include” so that the plural subject is followed by a plural verb.

    5. Amend the current timely renewal provision under 10 CFR 2.109, allowing facilities to continue operating under an existing license past its expiration date if the facility submits a license renewal application at least 2 years before the current license expiration date.

    The requirements in § 2.101(a) allow the NRC to determine the acceptability of an application for review by the NRC. However, the current provision in § 2.109 allows an NPUF licensee to submit its license renewal application as late as 30 days before the expiration of the existing license. Historical precedent indicates that 30 days is not a sufficient period of time for the NRC to adequately assess the sufficiency of a license renewal application for review. As a result, the NRC has accepted license renewal applications and addressed their deficiencies through the license renewal process, largely through submitting RAIs to the licensee to supplement the application. This approach increases the burden of the license renewal process on both licensees and the NRC.

    To address this issue, the NRC is proposing revisions to the timely renewal provision for NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) to establish a length of time adequate for the NRC to review the sufficiency of a license renewal application. Specifically, revisions to § 2.109 would amend the current timely renewal provision, allowing NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) to continue operating under an existing license past its expiration date if the facility submits a sufficient license renewal application at least 2 years before the current license expiration date. In such cases, the existing license would not be deemed to have expired until the application has been finally determined by the NRC, as indicated in § 2.109. The proposed revision would ensure that the NRC has adequate time to review the sufficiency of license renewal applications while the facility continues to operate under the terms of its current license. The NRC also is proposing to eliminate this provision for facilities, other than testing facilities, licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), as these facilities will no longer have license expiration dates.

    6. Provide an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs other than testing facilities.

    The standards in 10 CFR part 20 for protection against ionizing radiation provide a limit on the maximum yearly radiation dose a member of the public can receive from the operation of any NRC-licensed facility. Licensees are required to maintain programs and facility design features to ensure that these limits are met. In addition to the dose limits in 10 CFR part 20, accident dose criteria are also applied to determine the acceptability of the licensed facility. The accident dose criteria are not dose limits; they inform a licensee's accident analyses and the development of successive safety measures (i.e., defense-in-depth) so that in the unlikely event of an accident, no acute radiation-related harm will result to any member of the public. Currently, the accident dose criterion for NPUFs other than testing facilities is the 10 CFR part 20 dose limit to a member of the public. For testing facilities, accident dose criteria are found in 10 CFR part 100.

    Since January 1, 1994, for NPUF licensees (other than testing facilities) applying for initial or renewed licensees, the NRC applies the accident dose criterion by comparing the results from the initial or renewed license applicant's accident analyses with the standards in 10 CFR part 20. Prior to that date, the NRC had generally found acceptable accident doses that were less than 0.5 rem (0.005 Sv) whole body and 3 rem (0.03 Sv) thyroid for members of the public. On January 1, 1994, the NRC amended 10 CFR part 20 to lower the dose limit to a member of the public to 0.1 rem (0.001 Sv) TEDE.

    The NRC has determined that the public dose limit of 0.1 rem (0.001 Sv) TEDE is unduly restrictive to be applied as accident dose criteria for NPUFs, other than those NPUFs subject to 10 CFR part 100.4 However, the NRC considers the accident dose criteria in 10 CFR part 100 (25 rem whole body and 300 rem to the thyroid) applicable to accident consequences for power reactors, which have greater potential consequences resulting from an accident, to be too high for NPUFs other than testing facilities. For these reasons, the NRC is proposing to amend its regulations in § 50.34 to add an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs not subject to 10 CFR part 100.

    4 The NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Appeal Board stated that the standards in 10 CFR part 20 are unduly restrictive as accident dose criteria for research reactors (Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, ALAB-50, 4 AEC 849, 854-855 (May 18, 1972)).

    The accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE is based on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Protection Action Guides (PAGs), which were published in EPA 400-R-92-001, “Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear Incidents.” The EPA PAGs are dose guidelines to support decisions that trigger protective actions such as staying indoors or evacuating to protect the public during a radiological incident. The PAG is defined as the projected dose to an individual from a release of radioactive material at which a specific protective action to reduce or avoid that dose is recommended. Three principles considered in the development of the EPA PAGs include: (1) Prevent acute effects; (2) balance protection with other important factors and ensure that actions result in more benefit than harm; and (3) reduce risk of chronic effects. In the early phase (i.e., the beginning of the nuclear incident, which may last hours to days), the EPA PAG that recommends the protective action of sheltering-in-place or evacuation of the public to avoid inhalation of gases or particulates in an atmospheric plume and to minimize external radiation exposures, is 1 rem (0.01 Sv) to 5 rem (0.05 Sv). So, if the projected dose to an individual from an incident is less than 1 rem (0.01 Sv), then no protective action for the public is recommended. In light of this understanding of the early phase EPA PAG, the NRC's proposed accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs, other than testing facilities would provide reasonable assurance of adequate protection of the public from unnecessary exposure to radiation.

    7. Extend the applicability of 10 CFR 50.59 to NPUFs regardless of their decommissioning status.

    Section 50.59(b) of the Commission's regulations does not apply § 50.59 to NPUFs whose licenses have been amended to reflect permanent cessation of operations and that no longer have fuel on site (e.g., they have returned all of their fuel to the U.S. Department of Energy [DOE]). The current language states that § 50.59 is applicable to licensees “whose license has been amended to allow possession of nuclear fuel, but not operation of the facility.” Therefore, § 50.59 is no longer applicable to NPUF licensees that no longer possess nuclear fuel. For these licensees, the NRC adds license conditions identical to those of § 50.59 to allow the licensee to make changes in its facility or changes in its procedures that would not otherwise require obtaining a license amendment pursuant to § 50.90. Because most NPUFs promptly return their fuel to the DOE after permanent shutdown, in contrast to decommissioning power reactors, these licensees must request the addition of the license conditions. This imposes an administrative burden on the licensees and the NRC. This burden would be eliminated with the proposed regulatory change to revise the wording of § 50.59(b) to extend the applicability of § 50.59 to NPUFs regardless of their decommissioning status.

    8. Clarify an applicant's requirements for meeting the existing provisions of 10 CFR 51.45.

    The NRC is required to prepare either an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment, as appropriate, for all licensing actions pursuant to 10 CFR part 51. For most types of licenses, 10 CFR part 51 specifies that an applicant must submit environmental documentation in the form of an environmental report, or a supplement to a previously submitted environmental report, to assist the NRC's review. However, the NRC does not currently have explicit requirements under 10 CFR part 51 with respect to the nature of the environmental documentation that must accompany applications for initial licenses and renewed licenses for NPUFs. This fact was recently highlighted in association with the NRC's review of a construction permit application for a new NPUF to be licensed under the authority of Section 103 of the AEA.

    The proposed rule would add a new section to 10 CFR part 51 to clarify NPUF environmental reporting requirements. Proposed § 51.56 would clarify an applicant's existing requirements for meeting the provisions of § 51.45. This change would improve consistency throughout 10 CFR part 51 with respect to environmental report submissions required from applicants for licensing actions. The NRC also would make a conforming change to 10 CFR 51.17 to reflect the approved information collection requirement of proposed 10 CFR 51.56.

    9. Eliminate the requirement for NPUFs to submit financial qualification information with license renewal applications under 10 CFR 50.33(f)(2).

    The proposed rule would eliminate license renewal financial qualification requirements for NPUFs. Currently, § 50.33(f) requires NPUF license applicants to provide information sufficient to demonstrate their financial qualifications to carry out the activities for which the license is sought. Because the regulatory requirements for the content of an application for a renewed NPUF license are the same as those for an original license, NPUF licensees requesting license renewal must submit the same financial information that is required in an application for an initial license. In addition, the NRC has found that the financial qualification information does not have a significant impact on the NRC's determination on the license renewal application. The elimination of NPUF license renewal financial qualification requirements reduces the burden associated with license renewal applications while still enabling the NRC to obtain the information necessary to conduct its review of license renewal applications.

    Similar to the current proposal for NPUFs, the 2004 rulemaking, “Financial Information Requirements for Applications to Renew or Extend the Term of an Operating License for a Power Reactor,” discontinued financial qualification reviews for power reactors at the license renewal stage except in very limited circumstances. The Commission stated that “[t]he NRC believes that its primary tool for evaluating and ensuring safe operations at nuclear power reactors is through its inspection and enforcement programs . . . .” Further, the Commission stated that “[t]he NRC has not found a consistent correlation between licensees' poor financial health and poor safety performance. If a licensee postpones inspections and repairs that are subject to NRC oversight, the NRC has the authority to shut down the reactor or take other appropriate action if there is a safety issue.”

    At NPUF sites, the NRC's inspection and enforcement programs serve as important tools for evaluating licensee performance and ensuring safe operations. The NRC performs routine NPUF program inspections and special and reactive inspections. In addition, the NRC manages the NPUF operator license examination program. The NRC also manages the review of NPUF emergency and security plans and develops and implements policy and guidance concerning the NPUF licensing program. These programs provide, in part, the NRC's safety oversight of these licensees.

    The elimination of financial qualification requirements for power reactor licensees at the time of license renewal supports the NRC's basis for eliminating NPUF financial qualification requirements at the time of license renewal. The NRC is not aware of any connection between an NPUF's financial qualifications at license renewal and safe operation of the facility. Moreover, because NPUFs have significantly smaller fission product inventory and potential for radiological consequences than do power reactors, the NPUF financial qualification reviews appear to be of less value in ensuring safety than reviews previously required of power reactors.

    IV. Specific Requests for Comments

    The NRC is seeking public comment on the proposed rule. We are particularly interested in comments and supporting rationale from the public on the following:

    • As discussed in Section III, “Discussion,” of this document, the NRC is proposing that license terms for NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c) would be removed from existing licenses via order. Are there any unintended consequences associated with removing license terms in this manner? Provide the basis for your answer.

    • Proposed § 50.71 would require all NPUFs to submit an update to the FSAR originally submitted with the facility's license application every 5 years. The NRC staff plans to specify the first submittal date in orders issued to each facility. Should the NRC specify the date by which each facility or category of facility must submit its first updated FSAR in the rule language instead of using site-specific orders? Are there any unintended consequences of establishing the first submittal dates through orders? Please provide the basis for your answer.

    • Proposed § 50.135 outlines the license renewal process for facilities licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c). Should any elements of the process be removed from or added to the NRC proposal? Please provide specific examples.

    • The NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 are those facilities that are used for industrial or commercial purposes. For example, a facility used primarily for the production and sale of radioisotopes other than for use in research and development would be considered a commercial production or utilization facility and therefore would be licensed under § 50.22. Currently, license applications for such NPUFs pass through additional steps in the licensing process (e.g., mandatory public hearings). These additional steps are required even though many such facilities have the same inherent low risk profile as low-power NPUFs licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c) which are not required to proceed through these additional steps. Are these additional steps necessary for all NPUFs licensed under § 50.22, or would it be more efficient and effective to differentiate low-power NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 from high-power NPUFs licensed under § 50.22? Elaborate on requirements that could be tailored for low-power, low-risk NPUFs licensed under § 50.22, including recommended criteria (e.g., power level or other measure) for establishing reduced requirements.

    • As discussed in Section III, “Discussion,” of this document, the NRC is proposing that license terms would not expire for NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), whereas testing facilities would continue to have fixed license terms that would require periodic license renewal. While the AEA does not establish a fixed license term for testing facilities, these facilities are currently subject to additional regulatory requirements due to higher power levels (e.g., mandatory public hearings, ACRS review, and preparation of environmental impact statements). Is a fixed license term necessary for testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) or would it be more efficient and effective to also grant testing facilities non-expiring licenses? Provide the basis for revising NRC requirements to account for the higher risk of testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) relative to other NPUFs licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), including recommended criteria for establishing eligibility for a non-expiring license.

    • For NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c), does the revision to the timely renewal provision from 30 days to 2 years provide an undue burden on licensees? If so, in addition to your response, please provide information supporting an alternate provision for timely renewal.

    • The NRC is considering requiring each NPUF licensee, other than testing facilities, to demonstrate in its accident analysis that an individual located in the unrestricted area following the onset of a postulated accidental release of licensed material, including consideration of experiments, would not receive a dose in excess of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for the duration of the accident. Is the accident dose criterion 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE in proposed § 50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(2) appropriate for NPUFs, other than testing facilities? If not, what accident dose criterion is appropriate? Please provide the basis for your answer.

    V. Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following paragraphs describe the specific changes proposed by this rulemaking.

    Proposed § 2.109 Effect of Timely Renewal Application

    The NRC is proposing to revise 10 CFR 2.109(a) to exclude NPUFs from the 30-day timely renewal provision because 30 days does not provide the NRC with adequate time to assess license renewal applications.

    In addition to this exception from the 30-day timely renewal provision, the NRC is proposing to add a new subparagraph defining a new timely renewal provision for NPUFs with license terms (i.e., facilities licensed under 10 CFR 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c)). The NRC is proposing to add paragraph (e) to § 2.109 to require an NPUF with a license term to submit a license renewal application at least 2 years prior to license expiration. This will permit adequate time for the NRC to determine the acceptability of the application before expiration of the license term.

    Proposed § 50.2 Definitions

    The proposed rule would add a definition to § 50.2 for a “non-power production or utilization facility,” or “NPUF.” An NPUF would be defined as a non-power reactor, testing facility, or other production or utilization facility, licensed under the authority of Section 103, Section 104a, or Section 104c of the AEA that is not a nuclear power reactor or fuel reprocessing plant.

    Proposed § 50.8 Information Collection Requirements: OMB Approval

    The NRC is proposing to revise § 50.8(b) to include proposed § 50.135 as an approved information collection requirement in 10 CFR part 50. This is a conforming change to existing regulations to account for the new information collection requirement.

    Proposed § 50.33 Contents of Applications; General Information

    The NRC is proposing to revise § 50.33(f)(2) to remove the requirement for NPUFs to submit with license renewal applications the same financial information that is required for initial license applications. These NPUFs (i.e., facilities licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities) would not be required to submit any financial information with license renewal applications.

    Proposed § 50.34 Contents of Applications; Technical Information

    The NRC is proposing to revise § 50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D) to clarify the section's applicability to NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 or § 50.21(a) or (c). Paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(D) would be modified to create § 50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(1) and (2) to clearly distinguish these requirements between applicants for power reactor construction permits and applicants for NPUF construction permits. Section 50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(1) would describe the requirements applicable to power reactor construction permit applicants. The proposed rule would not change the existing requirements for these applicants.

    Proposed § 50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(2) would specify an accident dose criterion for NPUFs, other than testing facilities subject to 10 CFR part 100. The proposed regulation would set an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs other than testing facilities.

    Proposed § 50.51 Continuation of License

    The NRC is proposing to revise § 50.51(a) to exempt from license terms NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c). Testing facilities and NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 would continue to have fixed license terms and undergo license renewal as described in proposed § 50.135. The NRC is proposing to add § 50.51(c) to clarify that NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c) after the effective date of the final rule, would have non-expiring license terms. The implementing change to applicable existing NPUF licensees would be instituted by order to remove license terms.

    Proposed § 50.59 Changes, Tests and Experiments

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (b) of § 50.59 to extend the section's applicability to NPUFs that have permanently ceased operations and that no longer have fuel on site (e.g., have returned all of their fuel to the DOE).

    Proposed § 50.71 Maintenance of Records, Making of Reports

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (e) of § 50.71 to require NPUFs to submit an update to the FSAR originally submitted with the facility's license application, as is currently required for nuclear power reactor licensees and applicants for a combined license under 10 CFR part 52. Updates should reflect the changes and effects of changes to the facility's design basis and licensing basis, including any information documented in annual reports, § 50.59 evaluations, license amendments, and other submittals to the NRC since the previous FSAR update submittal. The NRC also is proposing to revise footnote 1 in paragraph (e) of § 50.71 to change the word “includes” to “include” to correct an existing grammatical error.

    In addition to extending the applicability of the requirements specified in § 50.71(e), the proposed rule would establish supporting requirements in § 50.71(e)(3) and (e)(4). The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (e)(3)(i) of § 50.71 to make explicit the applicability of the FSAR requirements therein to only power reactor licensees. This change would not modify the underlying requirements in § 50.71 that currently apply to power reactor licensees.

    The NRC also would add § 50.71(e)(3)(iv) to set forth FSAR requirements similar to those in proposed § 50.71(e)(3)(i) specifically for NPUFs. The NRC is proposing to require NPUFs licensed after the effective date of the final rule to submit initial FSAR revisions within 5 years of the date of issuance of the operating license. Each revision would reflect all changes made to the FSAR up to a maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing the revision.

    The NRC is proposing to restructure and revise paragraph (e)(4) of § 50.71. New paragraph (e)(4)(i) would make explicit that the FSAR update requirements therein apply to nuclear power reactor licensees only. This administrative change would not modify the underlying requirements of existing § 50.71(e)(4) that currently apply to power reactor licensees. In addition, the NRC would add § 50.71(e)(4)(ii) to establish similar FSAR update requirements for NPUFs. Specifically, the NRC is proposing to require NPUF licensees to file subsequent FSAR updates at intervals not to exceed 5 years. Each update must reflect all changes made to the FSAR up to a maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing the update. The orders described under Section III.B, “Proposed Changes,” of this document would also establish the requirement for currently licensed NPUFs to submit recurring FSAR updates on a 5-year periodicity.

    Proposed § 50.82 Termination of License

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (b) of § 50.82 to replace the term “non-power reactor licensees” with “non-power production or utilization facility licensees” in order to ensure that all NPUFs are subject to the relevant termination and decommissioning regulations.

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (b)(1) of § 50.82 to clarify that only NPUFs holding a license issued under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) would need to submit an application for license termination.

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (c) of § 50.82 to clarify when the collection period for shortfalls in funding would be determined. Currently, § 50.82(c) refers to a facility ceasing operation before the expiration of its license. Under the proposed rule, licenses for NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c) would not expire. Therefore, for NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c), the NRC proposes to revise § 50.82(c) to remove references to the expiration of the license. The requirements for all other licensees (i.e., the holders of a license issued under § 50.22—including power reactor licenses—and testing facilities) have been renumbered, but the underlying requirements remain unchanged.

    Proposed § 50.135 License Renewal for Non-Power Production or Utilization Facilities Licensed Under § 50.22 and Testing Facility Licensees

    The NRC is proposing to add § 50.135 to 10 CFR part 50 to clearly define the license renewal process for NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c). This section would consolidate existing regulatory requirements related to the NPUF license renewal process in one section and would not modify the underlying requirements that currently apply to NPUFs seeking license renewal.

    Proposed § 50.135(a) would specify the section's applicability to NPUFs licensed under § 50.22 and testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c).

    Proposed § 50.135(b) would require that all applications, correspondence, reports, and other written communications be filed in accordance with § 50.4.

    Proposed § 50.135(c)(1) would require license renewal applications be prepared in accordance with subpart A of 10 CFR part 2 and all applicable sections of 10 CFR part 50. Proposed § 50.135(c)(2) would allow licensees to submit applications for license renewal up to 10 years before the expiration of the current operating license.

    Proposed § 50.135(d)(1) would require licensees to provide the information specified in §§ 50.33, 50.34, and 50.36, as applicable, in license renewal applications. Proposed § 50.135(d)(2) would require applications to include conforming changes to the standard indemnity agreement under 10 CFR part 140. Proposed § 50.135(d)(3) would require licensees to submit a supplement to the environmental report with the license renewal application, consistent with the requirements of proposed § 51.56.

    Proposed § 50.135(e) would specify the terms of renewed operating licenses. Proposed paragraph (e)(1) would require that the renewed license would be for the same facility class as the previous license. Proposed paragraph (e)(2) would establish the terms of a renewed license. Renewed licenses would be issued for a fixed period of time, which would be the sum of the remaining amount of time on the current operating license plus the additional amount of time beyond the current operating license expiration (not to exceed 30 years) that the licensee requests in its renewal application. Terms would not exceed 40 years in total. Proposed paragraph (e)(3) would make a renewed license effective 30 days after the date of issuance, replacing the previous operating license. Proposed paragraph (e)(4) would specify that a renewed license may be subsequently renewed following the requirements in § 50.135 and elsewhere in 10 CFR part 50.

    Proposed § 51.17 Information Collection Requirements; OMB Approval

    The NRC is proposing to revise § 51.17(b) to include proposed § 51.56 as an approved information collection requirement in 10 CFR part 51. This is a conforming change to existing regulations to account for the new information collection requirement.

    Proposed § 51.45 Environmental Report

    The NRC is proposing to revise § 51.45(a) to add a cross reference to proposed new § 51.56. This is a conforming change to existing regulations to clarify the environmental report requirements for NPUFs.

    Proposed § 51.56 Environmental Report—Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility Licenses

    The NRC is proposing to add a new section, § 51.56, to clarify existing requirements for the submittal and content of environmental reports by applicants seeking a permit to construct, or a license to operate, an NPUF, or to renew an existing license as otherwise prescribed by § 50.135 of this proposed rule. This section would clarify existing regulatory requirements related to environmental reports and would not modify the underlying requirements that currently apply to NPUFs.

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the Commission certifies that this rule will not, if adopted, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule affects only the licensing and operation of NPUFs. The companies, universities, and government agencies that own and operate these facilities do not fall within the scope of the definition of “small entities” set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the size standards established by the NRC (10 CFR 2.810).

    VII. Regulatory Analysis

    The NRC has prepared a draft regulatory analysis on this proposed regulation and the draft implementing guidance. The analysis examines the costs and benefits of the alternatives considered by the NRC. The NRC requests public comment on the draft regulatory analysis. The draft regulatory analysis is available as indicated in Section XVI, “Availability of Documents,” of this document. Comments on the draft regulatory analysis may be submitted to the NRC as indicated under the ADDRESSES caption of this document.

    VIII. Backfitting

    The NRC's backfitting provisions for reactors are found in 10 CFR 50.109. The regulatory basis for § 50.109 was expressed solely in terms of nuclear power reactors. For example, the NRC's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Policy Statement, Proposed Rule, and Final Rule for § 50.109 each had the same title: “Revision of Backfitting Process for Power Reactors.” As a result, the NRC has not applied § 50.109 to research reactors, testing facilities, and other non-power facilities licensed under 10 CFR part 50 (e.g., “Final Rule; Limiting the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Domestically Licensed Research and Test Reactors”; “Final Rule; Clarification of Physical Protection Requirements at Fixed Sites”). In a 2012 final rule concerning non-power reactors, the NRC stated, “The NRC has determined that the backfit provisions in § 50.109 do not apply to test, research, or training reactors because the rulemaking record for § 50.109 indicates that the Commission intended to apply this provision to only power reactors, and NRC practice has been consistent with this rulemaking record” (“Final Rule; Requirements for Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Records Checks for Individuals Seeking Unescorted Access to Non-Power Reactors”).

    Under proposed § 50.2, “NPUFs” would include non-power reactors, testing facilities, or other non-power production or utilization facilities licensed in accordance with §§ 50.21(a) or (c) (Section 104a or c of the AEA) or § 50.22 (Section 103 of the AEA). Because the term “NPUFs” would include licensees that are excluded from the scope of § 50.109, NPUFs would not fall within the scope of § 50.109. Because § 50.109 does not apply to NPUFs, and this proposed rule would apply exclusively to NPUFs, the NRC did not apply § 50.109 to this proposed rule.

    Although NPUF licensees are not protected by § 50.109, for those NPUFs licensed under the authority of Section 104 of the AEA, the Commission is directed to impose the minimum amount of regulation on the licensee consistent with its obligations under the AEA to promote the common defense and security, protect the health and safety of the public, and permit the conduct of widespread and diverse research and development and the widest amount of effective medical therapy possible.

    IX. Cumulative Effects of Regulation

    The NRC is following its Cumulative Effects of Regulation (CER) process by engaging extensively with external stakeholders throughout this rulemaking and related regulatory activities. Public involvement has included: (1) A request for comment on a preliminary draft regulatory basis document on June 29, 2012, and (2) three public meetings (held on September 13, 2011; December 19, 2011; and March 27, 2012) that supported the development of the draft regulatory basis document. During the development of the proposed rule language, the NRC held two public meetings with stakeholders on August 7, 2014 and October 7, 2015 and will be issuing the draft implementing guidance with the proposed rule to support more informed external stakeholder feedback. Section XIV, “Availability of Guidance,” of this document describes how the public can access the draft implementing guidance for which the NRC seeks external stakeholder feedback.

    Finally, the NRC is requesting CER feedback on the following questions:

    1. In light of any current or projected CER challenges, does the proposed rule's effective date provide sufficient time to implement the new proposed requirements, including changes to programs, procedures, and facilities?

    2. If CER challenges currently exist or are expected, what should be done to address them? For example, if more time is required for implementation of the new requirements, what period of time is sufficient?

    3. Do other (NRC or other agency) regulatory actions (e.g., orders, generic communications, license amendment requests, inspection findings of a generic nature) influence the implementation of the proposed rule's requirements?

    4. Are there unintended consequences? Does the proposed rule create conditions that would be contrary to the proposed rule's purpose and objectives? If so, what are the unintended consequences, and how should they be addressed?

    5. Please comment on the NRC's cost and benefit estimates in the draft regulatory analysis that supports the proposed rule. The draft regulatory analysis is available as indicated in Section XVI, “Availability of Documents,” of this document.

    X. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998. The NRC requests comment on this document with respect to the clarity and effectiveness of the language used.

    XI. Environmental Assessment and Proposed Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact

    The Commission has determined under NEPA and the Commission's regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, that this rule, if adopted, would not be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Consequently, an environmental impact statement is not required. The basis of this determination reads as follows: The proposed rule to eliminate license terms for NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under § 50.21(a) or (c) would result in no additional radiological or non-radiological impacts because of existing surveillance and oversight and the minimal consequences of MHAs for these facilities. In addition, the implementation of the proposed rulemaking would not affect the NEPA environmental review requirements of new facilities and facilities applying for license renewal. The NRC concludes that this proposed rule would not cause any additional radiological or non-radiological impacts on the human environment.

    The determination of this environmental assessment (EA) is that there will be no significant effect on the quality of the human environment from this action. Public stakeholders should note, however, that comments on any aspect of the EA may be submitted to the NRC. The EA is available as indicated in Section XVI, “Availability of Documents,” of this document. The NRC has sent a copy of the EA and this proposed rule to every State Liaison Officer and has requested comments.

    XII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains new or amended collections of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This proposed rule has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval of the information collections.

    Type of submission, new or revision: Revision.

    The title of the information collection: 10 CFR part 50, Non-power Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal, Proposed Rule.

    The form number if applicable: Not applicable.

    How often the collection is required or requested: Once and annually.

    Who will be required or asked to respond: NPUF licensees.

    An estimate of the number of annual responses: 58 (27 reporting responses + 31 recordkeepers).

    The estimated number of annual respondents: 31.

    An estimate of the total number of hours needed annually to comply with the information collection requirement or request: 1,551.

    Abstract: The proposed rule would result in incremental changes in recordkeeping and reporting burden relative to existing rules by eliminating license terms for class 104a or c NPUFs, other than testing facilities, and defining the license renewal process for class 103 NPUFs and testing facilities; and requiring the periodic submittal of updates to the FSAR. The NRC anticipates that, overall, the proposed rule would result in reduced burden on licensees and the NRC, and would create a more responsive and efficient licensing process that would continue to protect public health and safety, promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment.

    Currently, NPUF licensees are not required to submit to the NRC updated FSARs. During the recent round of license renewals, the NRC found that some FSARs submitted with license renewal applications often did not reflect a facility's current licensing basis. The lack of ongoing FSAR updates added burden to the license renewal process for NPUF licensees and the NRC in order to re-establish each facility's licensing basis. Periodic submittals of updates to FSARs would create a mechanism for incorporating design and operational changes into the licensing basis as they occur. As a result, NPUFs would routinely update their licensing bases and the NRC would be made aware of changes to the licensing bases more frequently.

    The NRC has determined that the proposed information collection requirements are necessary to ensure that: (1) Licensee procedures are up-to-date and are consistent with the NRC's requirements, (2) licensing bases are not lost over time, and (3) the NRC is made aware of changes to facilities more frequently.

    The NRC is seeking public comment on the potential impact of the information collections contained in this proposed rule and on the following issues:

    1. Is the proposed information collection necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the NRC, including whether the information will have practical utility?

    2. Is the estimate of burden of the proposed information collection accurate?

    3. Is there a way to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected?

    4. How can the burden of the proposed information collection on respondents be minimized, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology?

    A copy of the OMB clearance package and proposed rule is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17068A077 or may be viewed free of charge at the NRC's PDR, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Room O-1 F21, Rockville, MD 20852. You may obtain information and comment submissions related to the OMB clearance package by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2011-0087.

    You may submit comments on any aspect of these proposed information collection(s), including suggestions for reducing the burden and on the previously stated issues, by the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0087.

    Mail comments to: Information Services Branch, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Mail Stop: T-2 F43, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001 or to Aaron Szabo, Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (3150-AI96), NEOB-10202, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503; telephone: 202-395-3621, email: [email protected]

    Submit comments by May 1, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    Public Protection Notification

    The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the document requesting or requiring the collection displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    XIII. Criminal Penalties

    For the purposes of Section 223 of the AEA, the NRC is issuing this proposed rule that would amend 10 CFR 2.109, 50.2, 50.33, 50.34, 50.51, 50.59, 50.71, 50.82, and 51.45 and create 10 CFR 50.135 and 51.56 under one or more of Sections 161b, 161i, or 161o of the AEA. Willful violations of the rule would be subject to criminal enforcement.

    XIV. Availability of Guidance

    The NRC is issuing DG-2006, “Preparation of Updated Final Safety Analysis Reports for Non-power Production or Utilization Facilities,” in accordance with 10 CFR 50.71(e), for the implementation of the proposed requirements in this rulemaking. The DG is available as indicated in Section XVI, “Availability of Documents,” of this document. You may obtain information and comment submissions related to the DG by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2011-0087.

    The draft implementing guidance defines multiple terms found in 10 CFR part 50 and other documents relevant to the preparation of FSARs, including aging; aging management; change; design bases; effects of changes; facility; FSAR (as updated); historical information; licensing basis; NPUFs; obsolete information, and safety related items. The NRC recognizes that changes to facilities may be necessary during the course of operations due to facilities' dynamic designs and operations; however, licensees must justify and implement any changes to the design basis and licensing basis in accordance with NRC regulations. The updated FSAR provides the NRC with the most current design and licensing bases for a licensee and provides the general public with a description of the facility and its operation. Section 50.34 and NUREG-1537, Part 1 provide the scope and format of an updated FSAR. Content should include changes to the facility or its operations resulting from new or amended regulatory requirements as well as changes and the effects of changes to the facility, its procedures, or experiments. The NRC Facility Project Manager reserves the right to conduct an inspection related to changes reported in the updated FSAR.

    You may submit comments on the DG by the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0087. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected]

    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    XV. Public Meeting

    The NRC will conduct a public meeting on the proposed rule for the purpose of describing the proposed rule to the public and answering questions from the public to assist the public in providing informed comments on the proposed rule during the comment period.

    The NRC will publish a notice of the location, time, and agenda of the meeting on the NRC's public meeting Web site at least 10 calendar days before the meeting. In addition, the NRC will post the meeting notice on Regulations.gov under NRC-2011-0087. Stakeholders should monitor the NRC's public meeting Web site for information about the public meeting at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm.

    XVI. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons as indicated.

    Document ADAMS accession No./Web link/
  • Federal Register citation
  • SECY-16-0048, “Proposed Rulemaking: Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal” ML16019A048. SRM-SECY-16-0048, “Proposed Rulemaking: Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal” ML17045A543. NUREG-1537, Part 1, “Guidelines for Preparing and Reviewing Applications for the Licensing of Non-Power Reactors, Format and Content” ML042430055. NUREG-1537, Part 2, “Guidelines for Preparing and Reviewing Applications for the Licensing of Non-Power Reactors, Standard Review Plan and Acceptance Criteria” ML042430048. Interim Staff Guidance on Streamlined Review Process for License Renewal for Research Reactors ML091420066. Non-Power Reactor License Renewal: Preliminary Draft Regulatory Basis; Request for Comment 77 FR 38742; June 29, 2012. Regulatory Basis to Support Proceeding with Rulemaking to Streamline and Enhance the Research and Test Reactor (RTR) License Renewal Process ML12240A677. Federal Register Notice: Final Regulatory Basis for Rulemaking to Streamline Non-Power Reactor License Renewal; Notice of Availability of Documents ML12250A658. SECY-08-0161, “Review of Research and Test Reactor License Renewal Applications” ML082550140. SRM-SECY-08-0161, “Review of Research and Test Reactor License Renewal Applications” ML090850159. SRM-M080317B, “Briefing on State of NRC Technical Programs” ML080940439. SECY-09-0095, “Long-Term Plan for Enhancing the Research and Test Reactor License Renewal Process and Status of the Development and Use of the Interim Staff Guidance” ML092150717. SRM-SECY-91-061, “Separation of Non-Reactor and Non-Power Reactor Licensing Activities from Power Reactor Licensing Activities in 10 CFR Part 50” ML010050021. SRM-M090811, “Briefing on Research and Test Reactor (RTR) Challenges” ML092380046. Draft Regulatory Guide DG-2006, “Preparation of Updated Final Safety Analysis Reports for Non-Power Production or Utilization Facilities” ML17068A041. Draft Regulatory and Backfit Analysis ML17068A038. EPA 400-R-92-001, “Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear Incidents” http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-11/documents/00000173.pdf. Summary of August 7, 2014 Public Meeting to Discuss the Rulemaking for Streamlining Non-power Reactor License Renewal ML15322A400. Summary of October 7, 2015 Public Meeting to Discuss the Rulemaking for Streamlining Non-Power Reactor License Renewal ML15307A002. Summary of September 13, 2011 Public Meeting to Discuss Streamlining Non-Power Reactor License Renewal ML112710285. Summary of December 19, 2011 Public Meeting to Discuss the Regulatory Basis for Streamlining Non-Power Reactor License Renewal and Emergency Preparedness ML113630166. Summary of March 27, 2012 Public Meeting: Briefing on License Renewal for Research and Test Reactors ML120930333. Draft OMB Supporting Statement ML17068A077. Draft Environmental Assessment ML17068A035. Final Rule; Financial Information Requirements for Applications to Renew or Extend the Term of an Operating License for a Power Reactor 69 FR 4439; January 30, 2004. Final Rule; 10 CFR Part 50—Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities 33 FR 9704; July 4, 1968. Final Rule; Elimination of Review of Financial Qualifications of Electric Utilities in Licensing Hearings for Nuclear Power Plants 47 FR 13750; March 31, 1982. Final Rule; Elimination of Review of Financial Qualifications of Electric Utilities in Operating License Reviews and Hearings for Nuclear Power Plants 49 FR 35747; September 12, 1984. Final Regulations; National Environmental Policy Act—Regulations 43 FR 55978; November 29, 1978. Direct Final Rule; Definition of a Utilization Facility 79 FR 62329; October 17, 2014. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Revision of Backfitting Process for Power Reactors 48 FR 44217; September 28, 1983. Policy Statement; Revision of Backfitting Process for Power Reactors 48 FR 44173; September 28, 1983. Proposed Rule; Revision of Backfitting Process for Power Reactors 49 FR 47034; November 30, 1984. Final Rule; Revision of Backfitting Process for Power Reactors 50 FR 38097; September 20, 1985. Final Rule; Limiting the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Domestically Licensed Research and Test Reactors 51 FR 6514; March 27, 1986. Final Rule; Clarification of Physical Protection Requirements at Fixed Sites 58 FR 13699; March 15, 1993. Final Rule; Requirements for Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Record Checks for Individuals Seeking Unescorted Access to Non-Power Reactors 77 FR 27561, 27572; May 11, 2012. Plain Language in Government Writing 63 FR 31885; June 10, 1998.

    Throughout the development of this rule, the NRC may post documents related to this rule, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2011-0087. The Federal rulemaking Web site allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2011-0087); (2) click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and (3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Byproduct material, Classified information, Confidential business information; Freedom of information, Environmental protection, Hazardous waste, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sex discrimination, Source material, Special nuclear material, Waste treatment and disposal.

    10 CFR Part 50

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Classified information, Criminal penalties, Education, Fire prevention, Fire protection, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reactor siting criteria, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Whistleblowing.

    10 CFR Part 51

    Administrative practice and procedure, Environmental impact statements, Hazardous waste, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is proposing to adopt the following amendments to 10 CFR parts 2, 50, and 51:

    PART 2—AGENCY RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 29, 53, 62, 63, 81, 102, 103, 104, 105, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 189, 191, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2039, 2073, 2092, 2093, 2111, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2239, 2241, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 206 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5846); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 114(f), 134, 135, 141 (42 U.S.C. 10134(f), 10154, 10155, 10161); Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 552, 553, 554, 557, 558); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    Section 2.205(j) also issued under 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    2. In § 2.109, revise paragraph (a) and add paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 2.109 Effect of timely renewal application.

    (a) Except for the renewal of an operating license for a nuclear power plant under 10 CFR 50.21(b) or 50.22, a non-power production or utilization facility, an early site permit under subpart A of part 52 of this chapter, a manufacturing license under subpart F of part 52 of this chapter, or a combined license under subpart C of part 52 of this chapter, if at least 30 days before the expiration of an existing license authorizing any activity of a continuing nature, the licensee files an application for a renewal or for a new license for the activity so authorized, the existing license will not be deemed to have expired until the application has been finally determined.

    (e) If the licensee of a non-power production or utilization facility licensed under 10 CFR 50.22, or testing facility, files a sufficient application for renewal at least 2 years before the expiration of the existing license, the existing license will not be deemed to have expired until the application has been finally determined.

    PART 50—DOMESTIC LICENSING OF PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION FACILITIES 3. The authority citation for part 50 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 108, 122, 147, 149, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2138, 2152, 2167, 2169, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2235, 2236, 2237, 2239, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, sec. 306 (42 U.S.C. 10226); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note; Sec. 109, Pub. L. 96-295, 94 Stat. 783.

    4. In § 50.2, add, in alphabetical order, the definition for non-power production or utilization facility to read as follows:
    § 50.2 Definitions.

    Non-power production or utilization facility means a non-power reactor, testing facility, or other production or utilization facility, licensed under § 50.21(a), § 50.21(c), or § 50.22, that is not a nuclear power reactor or fuel reprocessing plant.

    5. In § 50.8, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 50.8 Information collection requirements: OMB approval.

    (b) The approved information collection requirements contained in this part appear in §§ 50.30, 50.33, 50.34, 50.34a, 50.35, 50.36, 50.36a, 50.36b, 50.44, 50.46, 50.47, 50.48, 50.49, 50.54, 50.55, 50.55a, 50.59, 50.60, 50.61, 50.61a, 50.62, 50.63, 50.64, 50.65, 50.66, 50.68, 50.69, 50.70, 50.71, 50.72, 50.74, 50.75, 50.80, 50.82, 50.90, 50.91, 50.120, 50.135, 50.150, and appendices A, B, E, G, H, I, J, K, M, N, O, Q, R, and S to this part.

    6. In § 50.33, revise paragraph (f)(2) to read as follows:
    § 50.33 Contents of applications; general information.

    (f) * * *

    (2) If the application is for an operating license, the applicant shall submit information that demonstrates the applicant possesses or has reasonable assurance of obtaining the funds necessary to cover estimated operation costs for the period of the license. The applicant shall submit estimates for total annual operating costs for each of the first 5 years of operation of the facility. The applicant shall also indicate the source(s) of funds to cover these costs. An applicant seeking to renew or extend the term of an operating license need not submit the financial information that is required in an application for an initial license.

    7. In § 50.34, revise paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(D) to read as follows:
    § 50.34 Contents of applications; technical information.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (D) The safety features that are to be engineered into the facility and those barriers that must be breached as a result of an accident before a release of radioactive material to the environment can occur. Special attention must be directed to design features intended to mitigate the radiological consequences of accidents.

    (1) In performing this assessment for a nuclear power reactor, an applicant shall assume a fission product release 6 from the core into the containment assuming that the facility is operated at the ultimate power level contemplated. The applicant shall perform an evaluation and analysis of the postulated fission product release, using the expected demonstrable containment leak rate and any fission product cleanup systems intended to mitigate the consequences of the accidents, together with applicable site characteristics, including site meteorology, to evaluate the offsite radiological consequences. Site characteristics must comply with part 100 of this chapter. The evaluation must determine that:

    6 The fission product release assumed for this evaluation should be based upon a major accident, hypothesized for purposes of site analysis or postulated from considerations of possible accidental events. Such accidents have generally been assumed to result in substantial meltdown of the core with subsequent release into the containment of appreciable quantities of fission products.

    (i) An individual located at any point on the boundary of the exclusion area for any 2-hour period following the onset of the postulated fission product release, would not receive a radiation dose in excess of 25 rem 7 total effective dose equivalent (TEDE).

    7 A whole body dose of 25 rem has been stated to correspond numerically to the once in a lifetime accidental or emergency dose for radiation workers which, according to NCRP recommendations at the time could be disregarded in the determination of their radiation exposure status (see NBS Handbook 69 dated June 5, 1959). However, its use is not intended to imply that this number constitutes an acceptable limit for an emergency dose to the public under accident conditions. Rather, this dose value has been set forth in this section as a reference value, which can be used in the evaluation of plant design features with respect to postulated reactor accidents, in order to assure that such designs provide assurance of low risk of public exposure to radiation, in the event of such accidents.

    (ii) An individual located at any point on the outer boundary of the low population zone, who is exposed to the radioactive cloud resulting from the postulated fission product release (during the entire period of its passage) would not receive a radiation dose in excess of 25 rem TEDE.

    (2) All holders of operating licenses issued to non-power production or utilization facilities, and applicants for renewed licenses for non-power production or utilization facilities under § 50.135 of this chapter not subject to 10 CFR part 100, shall provide an evaluation of the applicable radiological consequences in the facility safety analysis report that demonstrates with reasonable assurance that any individual located in the unrestricted area following the onset of a postulated accidental release of licensed material, including consideration of experiments, would not receive a radiation dose in excess of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for the duration of the accident.

    8. In § 50.51, revise paragraph (a) and add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 50.51 Continuation of license.

    (a) Except as noted in § 50.51(c), each license will be issued for a fixed period of time to be specified in the license but in no case to exceed 40 years from date of issuance. Where the operation of a facility is involved, the Commission will issue the license for the term requested by the applicant or for the estimated useful life of the facility if the Commission determines that the estimated useful life is less than the term requested. Where construction of a facility is involved, the Commission may specify in the construction permit the period for which the license will be issued if approved pursuant to § 50.56. Licenses may be renewed by the Commission upon the expiration of the period. Renewal of operating licenses for nuclear power plants is governed by 10 CFR part 54. Application for termination of license is to be made pursuant to § 50.82.

    (c) Each non-power production or utilization facility license, other than a testing facility license, issued under § 50.21(a) or (c) after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE] will be issued with no fixed license term.

    9. In § 50.59, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 50.59 Changes, tests and experiments.

    (b) This section applies to each holder of an operating license issued under this part or a combined license issued under part 52 of this chapter, including the holder of a license authorizing operation of a nuclear power reactor that has submitted the certification of permanent cessation of operations required under § 50.82(a)(1) or § 50.110, or a reactor licensee whose license has been amended to allow possession of nuclear fuel but not operation of the facility, or a non-power production or utilization facility that has permanently ceased operations.

    10. In § 50.71, revise paragraph (e) introductory text and paragraph (e)(3)(i), add paragraph (e)(3)(iv), and revise paragraph (e)(4) to read as follows:
    § 50.71 Maintenance of records, making of reports.

    (e) Each person licensed to operate a nuclear power reactor, or non-power production or utilization facility, under the provisions of § 50.21 or § 50.22, and each applicant for a combined license under part 52 of this chapter, shall update periodically, as provided in paragraphs (e)(3) and (4) of this section, the final safety analysis report (FSAR) originally submitted as part of the application for the license, to assure that the information included in the report contains the latest information developed. This submittal shall contain all the changes necessary to reflect information and analyses submitted to the Commission by the applicant or licensee or prepared by the applicant or licensee pursuant to Commission requirement since the submittal of the original FSAR, or as appropriate, the last update to the FSAR under this section. The submittal shall include the effects 1 of all changes made in the facility or procedures as described in the FSAR; all safety analyses and evaluations performed by the applicant or licensee either in support of approved license amendments or in support of conclusions that changes did not require a license amendment in accordance with § 50.59(c)(2) or, in the case of a license that references a certified design, in accordance with § 52.98(c) of this chapter; and all analyses of new safety issues performed by or on behalf of the applicant or licensee at Commission request. The updated information shall be appropriately located within the update to the FSAR.

    1 Effects of changes include appropriate revisions of descriptions in the FSAR such that the FSAR (as updated) is complete and accurate.

    (3)(i) For nuclear power reactor licensees, a revision of the original FSAR containing those original pages that are still applicable plus new replacement pages shall be filed within 24 months of either July 22, 1980, or the date of issuance of the operating license, whichever is later, and shall bring the FSAR up to date as of a maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing the revision.

    (iv) For non-power production or utilization facility licenses issued after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], a revision of the original FSAR must be filed within 5 years of the date of issuance of the operating license. The revision must bring the FSAR up to date as of a maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing the revision.

    (4)(i) For nuclear power reactor licensees, subsequent revisions must be filed annually or 6 months after each refueling outage provided the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 months. The revisions must reflect all changes up to a maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing. For nuclear power reactor facilities that have submitted the certifications required by § 50.82(a)(1), subsequent revisions must be filed every 24 months.

    (ii) Non-power production or utilization facility licensees shall file subsequent FSAR updates at intervals not to exceed 5 years. Each update must reflect all changes made to the FSAR up to a maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing the update.

    11. In § 50.82, revise paragraph (b) introductory text and paragraphs (b)(1) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 50.82 Termination of license.

    (b) For non-power production or utilization facility licensees—

    (1) A licensee that permanently ceases operations must make application for license termination within 2 years following permanent cessation of operations, and for testing facilities licensed under § 50.21(c) or holders of a license issued under § 50.22, in no case later than 1 year prior to expiration of the operating license. Each application for termination of a license must be accompanied or preceded by a proposed decommissioning plan. The contents of the decommissioning plan are specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

    (c) The collection period for any shortfall of funds will be determined, upon application by the licensee, on a case-by-case basis taking into account the specific financial situation of each holder of the following licenses:

    (1) A non-power production or utilization facility license issued under § 50.21(a) or § 50.21(c), other than a testing facility, that has permanently ceased operations.

    (2) A license issued under § 50.21(b) or § 50.22, or a testing facility, that has permanently ceased operation before the expiration of its license.

    12. Add § 50.135 to read as follows:
    § 50.135 License renewal for non-power production or utilization facilities licenses issued under § 50.22 and testing facility licensees.

    (a) Applicability. The requirements in this section apply to applicants for renewed non-power production or utilization facility operating licenses issued under § 50.22 and to applicants for renewed testing facility operating licenses issued under § 50.21(c).

    (b) Written communications. All applications, correspondence, reports, and other written communications must be filed in accordance with applicable portions of § 50.4.

    (c) Filing of application. (1) The filing of an application for a renewed license must be in accordance with subpart A of 10 CFR part 2 and all applicable sections of this part.

    (2) An application for a renewed license may not be submitted to the Commission earlier than 10 years before the expiration of the operating license currently in effect.

    (d) Contents of application. (1) Each application must provide the information specified in §§ 50.33, 50.34, and 50.36, as applicable.

    (2) Each application must include conforming changes to the standard indemnity agreement, under 10 CFR part 140 to account for the expiration term of the proposed renewed license.

    (3) Contents of application—environmental information. Each application must include a supplement to the environmental report that complies with the requirements of 10 CFR 51.56.

    (e) Issuance of a renewed license. (1) A renewed license will be of the class for which the operating license currently in effect was issued.

    (2) A renewed license will be issued for a fixed period of time, which is the sum of the additional amount of time beyond the expiration of the operating license (not to exceed 30 years) that is requested in a renewal application plus the remaining number of years on the operating license currently in effect. The term of any renewed license may not exceed 40 years.

    (3) A renewed license will become effective 30 days after its issuance, thereby superseding the operating license previously in effect. If a renewed license is subsequently set aside upon further administrative or judicial appeal, the operating license previously in effect will be reinstated unless its term has expired and the renewal application was not filed in a timely manner.

    (4) A renewed license may be subsequently renewed in accordance with all applicable requirements.

    PART 51—ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION REGULATIONS FOR DOMESTIC LICENSING AND RELATED REGULATORY FUNCTIONS 13. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 161, 193 (42 U.S.C. 2201, 2243); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332, 4334, 4335); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 144(f), 121, 135, 141, 148 (42 U.S.C. 10134(f), 10141, 10155, 10161, 10168); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    14. In § 51.17, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 51.17 Information collection requirements; OMB approval.

    (b) The approved information collection requirements in this part appear in §§ 51.6, 51.16, 51.41, 51.45, 51.49, 51.50, 51.51, 51.52, 51.53, 51.54, 51.55, 51.56, 51.58, 51.60, 51.61, 51.62, 51.66, 51.68, and 51.69.

    15. In § 51.45, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 51.45 Environmental report.

    (a) General. As required by §§ 51.50, 51.53, 51.54, 51.55, 51.56, 51.60, 51.61, 51.62, or 51.68, as appropriate, each applicant or petitioner for rulemaking shall submit with its application or petition for rulemaking one signed original of a separate document entitled “Applicant's” or “Petitioner's Environmental Report,” as appropriate. An applicant or petitioner for rulemaking may submit a supplement to an environmental report at any time.

    16. Add § 51.56 to read as follows:
    § 51.56 Environmental report—non-power production or utilization facility licenses.

    Each applicant for a non-power production or utilization facility license or other form of permission, or renewal of a non-power production or utilization facility license or other form of permission issued pursuant to §§ 50.21(a) or (c) or § 50.22 of this chapter shall submit a separate document, entitled “Applicant's Environmental Report” or “Supplement to Applicant's Environmental Report,” as appropriate, with its application to: ATTN: Document Control Desk, Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. The environmental report or supplement shall contain the information specified in § 51.45. If the application is for a renewal of a license or other form of permission for which the applicant has previously submitted an environmental report, the supplement, to the extent applicable, shall include an analysis of any environmental impacts resulting from operational experience or a change in operations, and an analysis of any environmental impacts that may result from proposed decommissioning activities. The supplement may incorporate by reference the previously submitted environmental report, or portions thereof.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of March, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06162 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0169] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a permanent special local regulation on Lake Superior within Chequamegon Bay for the annual Washburn Board Across the Bay racing event. This annual event historically occurs within the last 2 weeks of July and lasts for 1 day. This action is necessary to safeguard the participants and spectators on the water in a portion of Chequamegon Bay between Washburn, WI and Ashland, WI. This regulation would functionally restrict all vessel speeds while within a designated no-wake zone, unless otherwise specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Duluth or a designated representative. The area forming the subject of this permanent special local regulation is described below. We invite your comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-USCG-2017-0169 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 Junior Grade John Mack, Waterways management, MSU Duluth, Coast Guard; telephone 218-725-3818, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations COTP Captain of the Port, Duluth CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    This annual event will consist of a series of races of varying lengths that utilize stand up paddleboards, sea kayaks, and canoes and will take place in Lake Superior within Chequamegon Bay between Washburn, WI and Ashland, WI. Due to the race course spanning across the entire bay it is anticipated that a significant number of recreational and commercial vessels attempting to transit across the course would pose a significant safety hazard to race participants and safety observers.

    The Captain of the Port, Duluth, believes a permanent special local regulation for Chequamegon Bay is needed to restrict the speed of vessels through the use of a no-wake zone within Chequamegon Bay before, during, and after the scheduled event to safeguard persons and vessels during the races. The statutory basis for this rulemaking is 33 U.S.C. 1233, which give the Coast Guard, under a delegation from the Department of Homeland Security, regulatory authority to enforce the Ports and Waterways Safety Act.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would create a permanent special local regulation in Chequamegon Bay for the annual Washburn Board Across the Bay racing event that historically takes place in the third or fourth week of July. The no-wake zone would be enforced on all vessels entering into 100 yards of either side of an imaginary line beginning in Washburn, WI at position 46°36′52″ N., 090°54′24″ W.; thence southwest to position 46°38′44″ N., 090°54′50″ W.; thence southeast to position 46°37′02″ N., 090°50′20″ W.; and ending southwest at position 46°36′12″ N., 090°51′51″ W. All vessels transiting through the no-wake zone would be required to travel at an appropriate rate of speed that does not create a wake except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative. The precise times and date of enforcement for this special local regulation will be determined annually.

    The Captain of the Port, Duluth, would use all appropriate means to notify the public when the special local regulation in this proposed rule will be enforced. Such means may include publication in the Federal Register a Notice of Enforcement, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and Local Notice to Mariners. The proposed regulatory text appears at the end of this document.

    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

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

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed it.

    As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the Special Local Regulation. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit through the no-wake zone which will be 200 yards wide and will impact only a small designated area of Lake Superior in Chequamegon Bay between Washburn, WI and Ashland, WI during a time of year when commercial vessel traffic is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16.

    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.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit through the no-wake zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.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 proposed 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 proposed 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 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 proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this 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 no-wake zone being enforced for no more than 5 hours along a prescribed route between Washburn & Ashland, Wisconsin. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist and 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 proposed to amend 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for Part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. Add § 100.0169 to read as follows:
    § 100.0169 Special Local Regulation; Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WI.

    (a) Location. All waters of Chequamegon Bay within 100 yards of either side of an imaginary line beginning in Washburn, WI at position 46°36′52″ N., 090°54′24″ W.; thence southwest to position 46°38′44″ N., 090°54′50″ W.; thence southeast to position 46°37′02″ N., 090°50′20″ W.; and ending southwest at position 46°36′12″ N., 090°51′51″ W.

    (b) Effective period. This annual event historically occurs within the third or fourth week of July. The Captain of the Port Duluth, will establish enforcement dates that will be announced by Notice of Enforcement, Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, on-scene designated representatives, or other forms of outreach.

    (c) Regulations. Vessels transiting within the regulated area shall travel at a no-wake speed except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Duluth or a designated on-scene representative. Additionally, vessels shall yield right-of-way for event participants and event safety craft and shall follow directions given by event representatives during the event.

    (d) Penalties. Vessels or persons violating this rule may be subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1233.

    Dated: March 23, 2017. E.E. Williams, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Duluth.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06262 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0170] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Breakers to Bridge Paddle Festival, Lake Superior; Keweenaw Waterway, MI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a permanent special local regulation on Lake Superior within the Keweenaw Waterway for the annual Breakers to Bridge Paddle Festival. This annual event historically occurs within the first 2 weeks of September and lasts for 1 day. This action is necessary to safeguard the participants and spectators on the water in a portion of the Keweenaw Waterway between the North Entry and the Portage Lake Lift Bridge located in Houghton, MI. This regulation would functionally restrict all vessel speeds while within a designated no-wake zone, unless otherwise specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Duluth or a designated representative. The area forming the subject of this permanent special local regulation is described below. We invite your comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0170 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 Junior Grade John Mack, Waterways management, MSU Duluth, Coast Guard; telephone 218-725-3818, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This annual event will consist of a series of races and non-competitive events of varying lengths that utilize stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes that take place entirely within the Keweenaw Waterway between the North Entry and the Portage Lake Lift Bridge located in Houghton, MI. Due to the race course spanning a significant portion of the Keweenaw Waterway it is anticipated that a significant number of recreational and commercial vessels attempting to transit near the paddle craft would pose a significant safety hazard to event participants and safety observers.

    The Captain of the Port, Duluth, believes a special local regulation for the Keweenaw Waterway restricting the speed of vessels through the use of a no-wake zone before, during, and after the scheduled event is needed to safeguard persons and vessels during the races. The statutory basis for this rulemaking is 33 U.S.C. 1233, which give the Coast Guard, under a delegation from the Department of Homeland Security, regulatory authority to enforce the Ports and Waterways Safety Act.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would create a permanent special local regulation in the Keweenaw Waterway for the annual Breakers to Bridge Paddle Festival that historically takes place in the within the first two weeks of September. The no-wake zone would be enforced on all vessels entering a portion of the Keweenaw Waterway beginning at the North Entry at position 47°14′03″ N., 088°37′53″ W.; and ending at the Portage Lake Lift Bridge at position 47°07′25″ N., 088°34′26″ W. All vessels transiting through the no-wake zone would be required to travel at an appropriate rate of speed that does not create a wake except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative. The precise times and date of enforcement for this special local regulation would be determined annually.

    The Captain of the Port, Duluth, will use all appropriate means to notify the public when the special local regulation in this proposed rule will be enforced. Such means may include publication in the Federal Register a Notice of Enforcement, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and Local Notice to Mariners. The proposed regulatory text appears at the end of this document.

    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

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

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed it.

    As this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rulemaking is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the Special Local Regulation. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit through the no-wake zone which will impact only a portion of the Keweenaw Waterway between the North Entry and the Portage Lake Lift Bridge located in Houghton, MI during a time of year when commercial vessel traffic is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16.

    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 rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit through the no-wake zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this proposed rule will 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 rulemaking 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 rulemaking 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 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 proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this 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 no-wake zone being enforced for no more than 5 hours along a prescribed route between Washburn & Ashland, Wisconsin. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist and 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—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. Add § 100.0170 to read as follows:
    § 100.0170 Special Local Regulation; Breakers to Bridge Paddle Festival, Lake Superior; Keweenaw Waterway, MI.

    (a) Location. All waters of the Keweenaw Waterway beginning at the North Entry at position 47°14′03″ N., 088°37′53″ W.; and ending at the Portage Lake Lift Bridge at position 47°07′25″ N., 088°34′26″ W.

    (b) Effective period. This annual event historically occurs within the first or second week of September. The Captain of the Port Duluth, will establish enforcement dates that will be announced by Notice of Enforcement, Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, on-scene designated representatives, or other means of outreach.

    (c) Regulations. Vessels transiting within the regulated area shall travel at a no-wake speed except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Duluth or a designated on-scene representative. Additionally, vessels shall yield right-of-way for event participants and event safety craft and shall follow directions given by event representatives during the event.

    (d) Penalties. Vessels or persons violating this rule may be subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1233.

    Dated: March 23, 2017. E.E. Williams, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Duluth.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06233 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0012] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Cumberland River, Mile 189.0 to 193.0; Nashville, TN AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a special local regulation for all waters of the Cumberland River beginning at mile marker 189.0 and ending at mile marker 193.0 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 13, 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 14, and 4 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 15, 2017. This proposed special regulation is necessary to provide safety for the participants in the “ACRA Henley” marine event. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from being in the special local regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0012 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 Petty Officer Ashley Schad, MSD Nashville, Nashville, TN, at 615-736-5421 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    On September 1, 2016, Vanderbilt Rowing notified the Coast Guard that it will be conducting a rowing race from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 13, 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 14, and 4 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 15, 2017. The event will consist of at least 125 participants on various sized rowing shells on the Cumberland River. The Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that additional safety measures are necessary to protect participants, spectators, and waterway users during this event. Therefore, the Coast Guard proposes to establish a special local regulation on specified waters of the Cumberland River. This proposed regulation would be in effect from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 13, 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 14, and 4 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 15, 2017.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and participants of the navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled event. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233, which authorizes the Coast Guard to establish and define special local regulations under 33 CFR 100.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a special local regulated area from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 13, 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 14, and 4 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 15, 2017 for all waters of the Cumberland River beginning at mile marker 189.0 and ending at mile marker 193.0. The duration of the special local regulated area is intended to ensure the safety of vessels, participants, and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled event. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the special local regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    E.O.s 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. E.O. 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 E.O. 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the special local regulated area.

    This proposed special local regulation restricts transit on the Cumberland River from mile 189.0 to 193.0, for 32 hours over three days. Broadcast Notices to Mariners and Local Notices to Mariners will also inform the community of this special local regulation so that they may plan accordingly for this short restriction on transit. Vessel traffic may request permission from the COTP Ohio Valley or a designated representative to enter the restricted area.

    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.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the special local regulated area 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 E.O. 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 E.O. 13132.

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 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 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 special local regulated area that would prohibit entry to unauthorized vessels. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist and 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, and Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERWAYS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. Add § 100.35T08-0012 to read as follows:
    § 100.35T08-0012 Special Local Regulation; Cumberland River Mile 189.0 to Mile 193.0; Nashville, TN.

    (a) Location. All waters of the Cumberland River beginning at mile marker 189.0 and ending at mile marker 193.0 at Nashville, TN.

    (b) Enforcement periods. This section will be enforced from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 13, 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. on May 14, and 4 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 15, 2017. The Captain of the Port Ohio Valley or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notice to mariners of the enforcement period for this special local regulation.

    (c) Special Local Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 100.801 of this part, entry into this area is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage through the area must request permission from the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley or a designated representative. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley may be contacted on VHF Channel 13 or 16, or at 1-800-253-7465.

    Dated: March 13, 2017. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06278 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0011] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend and update its list of recurring safety zone regulations that take place in the Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley area. This informs the public of regularly scheduled events that require additional safety measures through establishing a safety zone. Through this the current list of recurring safety zones is proposed to be updated with revisions, additional events, and removal of events that no longer take place. When these safety zones are enforced, vessel traffic is restricted from the specified areas. Additionally, this proposed rulemaking project reduces administrative costs involved in producing separate proposed rules for each individual recurring safety zone and serves to provide notice of the known recurring safety zones throughout the year. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0011 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 on this proposed rule, call or email Petty Officer James Robinson, Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (502) 779-5347, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port Ohio Valley DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking §  Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    The Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) proposes to amend 33 CFR 165.801 to update our regulations for annual fireworks displays and other events in the Eighth Coast Guard District requiring safety zones with respect to those in Sector Ohio Valley

    The current list of annual and recurring safety zones occurring in Sector Ohio Valley's is published under 33 CFR 165.801 in Table no. 1 for annual safety zones in the COTP Ohio Valley zone. The most recent list was created June 14, 2016 through the rulemaking 81 FR 38595.

    The Coast Guard proposed to amend and update the safety zone regulations under 33 CFR part 165 to include the most up to date list of recurring safety zones for events held on or around navigable waters within Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. These events include air shows, fireworks displays, and other marine related events requiring a limited access area restricting vessel traffic for safety purposes. The current list in 33 CFR 165.801 needs to be amended to provide new information on existing safety zones, and to include new safety zones expected to recur annually or biannually, and to remove safety zones that are no longer required. Issuing individual regulations for each new safety zone, amendment, or removal of an existing safety zone creates unnecessary administrative costs and burdens. This single proposed rulemaking will considerably reduce administrative overhead and provide the public with notice through publication in the Federal Register of the upcoming recurring safety zone regulations.

    The Coast Guard encourages the public to participate in this proposed rulemaking through the comment process so that any necessary changes can be identified and implemented in a timely and efficient manner. The Coast Guard will address all public comments accordingly, whether through response, additional revision to the regulation, or otherwise. Additionally, these recurring events are provided to the public through local avenues and planned by the local communities.

    III. Discussion of the Proposed Rule

    Part 165 of 33 CFR contains regulations establishing limited access areas to restrict vessel traffic for the safety of persons and property. Section 165.801 establishes recurring safety zones to restrict vessel transit into and through specified areas to protect spectators, mariners, and other persons and property from potential hazards presented during certain events taking place in Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. This section requires amendment from time to time to properly reflect the recurring safety zone regulations in Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. This proposed rule amends and updates § 165.801 by revising the current table for Sector Ohio Valley.

    Additionally, this proposed rule adds 5 new recurring safety zones and removes 1 safety zone as follows:

    Five added under the revised table for Sector Ohio Valley.

    Date Event/sponsor Ohio Valley
  • location
  • Regulated area
    1 day—During the first two weeks of July City of Maysville Fireworks Maysville, KY Ohio River, Mile 408-409 (Kentucky). 1 day—Saturday before Memorial Day Venture Outdoors/Venture Outdoors Festival Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.0-0.25; Monongahela River, Mile 0.0-0.25 (Pennsylvania). 1 day—Third Saturday in July Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club/St. Brendan's Cup Currach Regatta Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 7.0-9.0 (Pennsylvania). 1 day—July 4th Wellsburg 4th of July Committee/Wellsburg 4th of July Freedom Celebration Wellsburg, WV Ohio River, Mile 73.5-74.5 (West Virginia). 1 day—During the first week of July Newburgh Fireworks Display Newburgh, IN Ohio River, Mile 777.3-778.3 (Indiana).

    This proposed rule removes the following safety zone regulation from § 165.801:

    Date Event/sponsor Ohio Valley
  • location
  • Regulated area
    1 day—Last weekend in August Swiss Wine Festival/Swiss Wine Festival Fireworks Show Ghent, KY Ohio River, Mile 537 (Kentucky).

    The effect of this proposed rule would be to restrict general navigation in the safety zone during the events. Vessels intending to transit the designated waterway through the safety zone will only be allowed to transit the area when COTP, or a designated representative, has deemed it safe to do so or at the completion of the event. The proposed annually recurring safety zones are necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the events.

    IV. 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 a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Regulatory Costs” (February 2, 2017). A regulatory analysis (RA) follows. E.O.s 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. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposed rule to be minimal, therefore a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary. This proposed rule establishes safety zones limiting access to certain areas under 33 CFR 165 within Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. The effect of this proposed rulemaking will not be significant because these safety zones are limited in scope and duration. Additionally, the public is given advance notification through local forms of notice, the Federal Register, and/or Notices of Enforcement and, thus, will be able to plan operations around the safety zones in advance Broadcast Notices to Mariners and Local Notices to Mariners will also inform the community of these safety zones. Vessel traffic may request permission from the COTP or a designated representative to enter the restricted area.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator. Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the proposed 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 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 E.O. 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 E.O. 13132.

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this 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 (NEPA) (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 is categorically excluded under section 2.B.2, figure 2-1, paragraph 34(g) of the Instruction because it involves the establishment of safety zones. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in 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 165

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the U.S. Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 165.801, revise the first table to read as follows:
    § 165.801 Annual Fireworks displays and other events in the Eighth Coast Guard District recurring safety zones. Table 1 of § 165.801—Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Date Sponsor/name Sector Ohio Valley
  • location
  • Safety zone
    1. Multiple days—April through November Pittsburgh Pirates/Pittsburgh Pirates Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.2-0.9 (Pennsylvania). 2. Multiple days—April through November Cincinnati Reds/Cincinnati Reds Season Fireworks Cincinnati, OH Ohio River, Mile 470.1-470.4; extending 500 ft. from the State of Ohio shoreline (Ohio). 3. 2 days—Third Friday and Saturday in April Thunder Over Louisville/Thunder Over Louisville Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 602.0-606.0 (Kentucky). 4. Last Sunday in May Friends of Ironton Ironton, OH Ohio River, Mile 326.7-327.7 (Ohio). 5. 1 day—A Saturday in July Paducah Parks and Recreation Department/Cross River Swim Paducah, KY Ohio River, Mile 934.0-936.0 (Kentucky). 6. 1 day—First or second weekend in June Bellaire All-American Days Bellaire, OH Ohio River, Mile 93.5-94.5 (Ohio). 7. 2 days—Second weekend of June Rice's Landing Riverfest Rices Landing, PA Monongahela River, Mile 68.0-68.8 (Pennsylvania). 8. 1 day—First Sunday in June West Virginia Symphony Orchestra/Symphony Sunday Charleston, WV Kanawha River, Mile 59.5-60.5 (West Virginia). 9. 1 day—Saturday before 4th of July Riverfest Inc./Saint Albans Riverfest St. Albans, WV Kanawha River, Mile 46.3-47.3 (West Virginia). 10. 1 day—4th July Greenup City Greenup, KY Ohio River, Mile 335.2-336.2 (Kentucky). 11. 1 day—4th July Middleport Community Association Middleport, OH Ohio River, Mile 251.5-252.5 (Ohio). 12. 1 day—4th July People for the Point Party in the Park South Point, OH Ohio River, Mile 317-318 (Ohio). 13. 1 day—Last weekend in June or first weekend in July Riverview Park Independence Festival Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 618.5-619.5 (Kentucky). 14. 1 day—Third or fourth week in July Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival/Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival Fireworks Wheeling, WV Ohio River, Mile 90.0-90.5 (West Virginia). 15. 1 day—4th or 5th of July City of Cape Girardeau July 4th Fireworks Show on the River Cape Girardeau, MO Upper Mississippi River, Mile 50.0-52.0. 16. 1 day—Third or fourth of July Harrah's Casino/Metropolis Fireworks Metropolis, IL Ohio River, Mile 942.0-945.0 (Illinois). 17. 1 day—During the first week of July Louisville Bats Baseball Club/Louisville Bats Firework Show Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 603.0-604.0 (Kentucky). 18. 1 day—July 4th Waterfront Independence Festival/Louisville Orchestra Waterfront 4th Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 603.0-604.0 (Kentucky). 19. 1 day—During the first week of July Celebration of the American Spirit Fireworks/All American 4th of July Owensboro, KY Ohio River, Mile 755.0-759.0 (Kentucky). 20. 1 day—During the first week of July Riverfront Independence Festival Fireworks New Albany, IN Ohio River, Mile 602.0-603.5 (Indiana). 21. 1 day—July 4th Shoals Radio Group/Spirit of Freedom Fireworks Florence, AL Tennessee River, Mile 255.0-257.0 (Alabama). 22. 1 day—Saturday before July 4th Town of Cumberland City/Lighting up the Cumberlands Fireworks Cumberland City, TN Cumberland River, Mile 103.0-105.0 (Tennessee). 23. 1 day—July 4th Knoxville office of Special Events/Knoxville July 4th Fireworks Knoxville, TN Tennessee River, Mile 647.0-648.0 (Tennessee). 24. 1 day—July 4th NCVC/Music City July 4th Nashville, TN Cumberland River, Mile 190.0-192.0 (Tennessee). 25. 1 day—Saturday before July 4th, or Saturday after July 4th Grand Harbor Marina/Grand Harbor Marina July 4th Celebration Counce, TN Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Mile 450.0-450.5 (Tennessee). 26. 1 day—Second Saturday in July City of Bellevue, KY/Bellevue Beach Park Concert Fireworks Bellevue, KY Ohio River, Mile 468.2-469.2 (Kentucky and Ohio). 27. 1 day—Sunday before Labor Day Cincinnati Bell, WEBN, and Proctor and Gamble/Riverfest Cincinnati, OH Ohio River, Mile 469.2-470.5 (Kentucky and Ohio) and Licking River Mile 0.0-3.0 (Kentucky). 28. 1 day—July 4th Summer Motions Inc./Summer Motion Ashland, KY Ohio River, Mile 322.1-323.1 (Kentucky). 29. 1 day—Last weekend in June or First weekend in July City of Point Pleasant/Point Pleasant Sternwheel Fireworks Point Pleasant, WV Ohio River, Mile 265.2-266.2, Kanawha River Mile 0.0-0.5 (West Virginia). 30. 1 day—July 3rd or 4th City of Charleston/City of Charleston Independence Day Celebration Charleston, WV Kanawha River, Mile 58.1-59.1 (West Virginia). 31. 1 day—July 4th Civic Forum/Civic Forum 4th of July Celebration Portsmouth, OH Ohio River, Mile 355.5-356.5 (Ohio). 32. 1 day—Second Saturday in August Guyasuta Days Festival/Borough of Sharpsburg Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 005.5-006.0 (Pennsylvania). 33. 1 day— Second or third week of August Pittsburgh Foundation/Bob O'Connor Cookie Cruise Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.5 (Pennsylvania). 34. 1 day—Second full week of August PA FOB Fireworks Display Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.8-1.0 (Pennsylvania). 35. 1 day—Third week of August Beaver River Regatta Fireworks Beaver, PA Ohio River, Mile 25.2-25.8 (Pennsylvania). 36. 1 day—December 31 Pittsburgh Cultural Trust/Highmark First Night Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River Mile, 0.5-1.0 (Pennsylvania). 37. 1 day—Friday before Thanksgiving Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership/Light Up Night Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.0-1.0 (Pennsylvania). 38. Multiple days—April through November Pittsburgh Riverhounds/Riverhounds Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Monongahela River, Mile 0.22-0.77 (Pennsylvania). 39. 3 days—Second or third weekend in June Hadi Shrine/Evansville Freedom Festival Air Show Evansville, IN Ohio River, Miles 791.0-795.0 (Indiana). 40. 1 day—Second or third Saturday in June, the last day of the Riverbend Festival Friends of the Festival, Inc./Riverbend Festival Fireworks Chattanooga, TN Tennessee River, Mile 463.5-464.5 (Tennessee). 41. 2 days—Second Friday and Saturday in June City of Newport, KY/Italianfest Newport, KY Ohio River, Miles 469.6-470.0 (Kentucky and Ohio). 42. 1 day—Last Saturday in June City of Aurora/Aurora Firecracker Festival Aurora, IN Ohio River Mile, 496.7; 1400 ft. radius from the Consolidated Grain Dock located along the State of Indiana shoreline at (Indiana and Kentucky). 43. 1 day—second weekend in June City of St. Albans/St. Albans Town Fair St. Albans, WV Kanawha River, Mile 46.3-47.3 (West Virginia). 44. 1 day—Last week of June or first week of July PUSH Beaver County/Beaver County Boom Beaver, PA Ohio River, Mile 25.2-25.6 (Pennsylvania). 45. 1 day—4th of July (Rain date—July 5th) Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce/Monongahela 4th of July Celebration Monongahela, PA Monongahela River, Mile 032.0-033.0 (Pennsylvania). 46. 1 day—Saturday Third or Fourth full week of July (Rain date—following Sunday) Oakmont Yacht Club/Oakmont Yacht Club Fireworks Oakmont, PA Allegheny River, Mile 12.0-12.5 (Pennsylvania). 47. 1 day—Week of July 4th Three Rivers Regatta Fireworks/EQT 4th of July Celebration Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.5, Allegheny River, Mile 0.0-0.5, and Monongahela River, Mile 0.0-0.5 (Pennsylvania). 48. 1 day—3rd or 4th of July City of Paducah, KY Paducah, KY Ohio River, Mile 934.0-936.0; Tennessee River, mile 0.0-1.0 (Kentucky). 49. 1 day—3rd or 4th of July City of Hickman, KY Hickman, KY Lower Mississippi River, Mile 921.0-923.0 (Kentucky). 50. 1 day—During the first week of July Evansville Freedom Celebration/4th of July Fireworks Evansville, IN Ohio River, Miles 791.0-795.0 (Indiana). 51. 1 day—One of the first two weekends in July Madison Regatta, Inc./Madison Regatta Madison, IN Ohio River, Miles 555.0-560.0 (Indiana). 52. 1 day—July 4th Cities of Cincinnati, OH and Newport, KY/July 4th Fireworks Newport, KY Ohio River, Miles 469.6-470.2 (Kentucky and Ohio). 53. 2 days—second weekend in July Marietta Riverfront Roar/Marietta Riverfront Roar Marietta, OH Ohio River, Mile 171.6-172.6 (Ohio). 54. 1 day—1st weekend in July Gallia County Chamber of Commerce/Gallipolis River Recreation Festival Gallipolis, OH Ohio River, Mile 269.5-270.5 (Ohio). 55. 1 day—July 4th Kindred Communications/Dawg Dazzle Huntington, WV Ohio River, Mile 307.8-308.8 (West Virginia). 56. Multiple days-September through January University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department/University of Pittsburgh Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River mile 0.0-0.1, Monongahela River mile 0.0-0.1, Allegheny River mile 0.0-0.25 (Pennsylvania). 57. Sunday, Monday, or Thursday from August through February Pittsburgh Steelers Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River mile 0.0-0.25, Ohio River mile 0.0-0.1, Monongahela River mile 0.0-0.1. 58. 3 days—Third week in September Wheeling Heritage Port Sternwheel Festival Foundation/Wheeling Heritage Port Sternwheel Festival Wheeling, WV Ohio River, Mile 90.2-90.7 (West Virginia). 59. 1 day—Second Saturday in September Ohio River Sternwheel Festival Committee fireworks Marietta, OH Ohio River, Mile 171.5-172.5 (Ohio). 60. 1 day—Second weekend of October Leukemia and Lymphoma Society/Light the Night Walk Fireworks Nashville, TN Cumberland River, Mile 190.0-192.0 (Tennessee). 61. 1 day—Saturday during the first week of October West Virginia Motor Car Festival Charleston, WV Kanawha River, Mile 58-59 (West Virginia). 62. 1 day—Friday before Thanksgiving Kittanning Light Up Night Firework Display Kittanning, PA Allegheny River, Mile 44.5-45.5 (Pennsylvania). 63. 1 day—First week in October Leukemia & Lymphoma Society/Light the Night Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.4 (Pennsylvania). 64. 1 day—Friday before Thanksgiving Duquesne Light/Santa Spectacular Pittsburgh, PA Monongahela River, Mile 0.00-0.22, Allegheny River, Mile 0.00-0.25, and Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.3 (Pennsylvania). 65. 1 day—During the first two weeks of July City of Maysville Fireworks Maysville, KY Ohio River, Mile 408-409 (Kentucky). 66. 1 day—Saturday before Memorial Day Venture Outdoors/Venture Outdoors Festival Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.0-0.25; Monongahela River, Mile 0.0-0.25 (Pennsylvania). 67. 1 day—Third Saturday in July Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club/St. Brendan's Cup Currach Regatta Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 7.0-9.0 (Pennsylvania). 68. 1 day—July 4th Wellsburg 4th of July Committee/Wellsburg 4th of July Freedom Celebration Wellsburg, WV Ohio River, Mile 73.5-74.5 (West Virginia). 69. 1 day—During the first week of July Newburgh Fireworks Display Newburgh, IN Ohio River, Mile 777.3-778.3 (Indiana). 70. 3 days—Third or Fourth weekend in April Henderson Tri-Fest/Henderson Breakfast Lions Club Henderson, KY Ohio River, Mile 803.5-804.5 (Kentucky).
    Dated: March 23, 2017. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06230 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0604; FRL-9958-73-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; VT; Infrastructure State Implementation Plan Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from Vermont regarding the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 1997 fine particle matter (PM2.5), 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 lead (Pb), 2008 ozone, 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). We also are proposing to approve two statutes and one Executive Order submitted by Vermont in support of its demonstration that the infrastructure requirements of the CAA have been met. In addition, we are conditionally approving certain elements of Vermont's submittals relating to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) requirements. Last, we are proposing to update the classification for two of Vermont's air quality control regions for SO2 based on recent air quality monitoring data collected by the state, which will grant the state an exemption from the infrastructure SIP contingency plan obligation for SO2. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2014-0604, at www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, Air Programs Branch, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, Massachusetts. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. The interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alison C. Simcox, Air Quality Planning Unit, Air Programs Branch (Mail Code OEP05-02), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts 02109-3912; (617) 918-1684; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? II. What is the background of these SIP submissions? A. What Vermont SIP submissions does this rulemaking address? B. Why did the state make these SIP submissions? C. What is the scope of this rulemaking? III. What guidance is EPA using to evaluate these SIP submissions? IV. What is the result of EPA's review of these SIP submissions? A. Section 110(a)(2)(A)—Emission Limits and Other Control Measures. B. Section 110(a)(2)(B)—Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System. C. Section 110(a)(2)(C)—Program for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources. D. Section 110(a)(2)(D)—Interstate Transport. E. Section 110(a)(2)(E)—Adequate Resources. F. Section 110(a)(2)(F)—Stationary Source Monitoring System. G. Section 110(a)(2)(G)—Emergency Powers. H. Section 110(a)(2)(H)—Future SIP Revisions. I. Section 110(a)(2)(I)—Nonattainment Area Plan or Plan Revisions Under Part D. J. Section 110(a)(2)(J)—Consultation With Government Officials; Public Notifications; Prevention of Significant Deterioration; Visibility Protection. K. Section 110(a)(2)(K)—Air Quality Modeling/Data. L. Section 110(a)(2)(L)—Permitting Fees. M. Section 110(a)(2)(M)—Consultation/Participation by Affected Local Entities. N. Vermont Statute and Executive Order Submitted for Incorporation Into the SIP V. What action is EPA taking? VI. Incorporation by Reference VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    When submitting comments, remember to:

    1. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date, and page number).

    2. Follow directions—EPA may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

    3. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    4. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    5. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    6. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    7. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    8. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. What is the background of these SIP submissions? A. What Vermont SIP submissions does this rulemaking address?

    This rulemaking addresses submissions from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC). The state submitted its infrastructure SIP for each NAAQS on the following dates: 1997 PM2.5 1 —February 18, 2009; 1997 ozone—February 18, 2009; 2006 PM2.5—May 21, 2010; 2008 Pb—July 29, 2014; 2008 ozone—November 2, 2015; 2010 NO2—November 2, 2015; and 2010 SO2—November 2, 2015.

    1 PM2.5 refers to particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in diameter, often referred to as “fine” particles.

    B. Why did the state make these SIP submissions?

    Under sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA, states are required to submit infrastructure SIPs to ensure that their SIPs provide for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the NAAQS, including the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. These submissions must contain any revisions needed for meeting the applicable SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2), or certifications that their existing SIPs for the NAAQS already meet those requirements.

    EPA highlighted this statutory requirement in an October 2, 2007, guidance document entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (2007 Memo). On September 25, 2009, EPA issued an additional guidance document pertaining to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (2009 Memo), followed by the October 14, 2011, “Guidance on Infrastructure SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (2011 Memo). Most recently, EPA issued “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)” on September 13, 2013 (2013 Memo). The SIP submissions referenced in this rulemaking pertain to the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(1) and (2) and address the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    C. What is the scope of this rulemaking?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submissions from Vermont that address the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2). Pursuant to these sections, each state must submit a SIP that provides for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each primary or secondary NAAQS. States must make such SIP submission “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS.” This requirement is triggered by the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS and is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any other action. Section 110(a)(2) includes the specific elements that “each such plan” must address.

    EPA commonly refers to such SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA.

    This rulemaking will not cover three substantive areas that are not integral to acting on a state's infrastructure SIP submission: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions during periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction at sources (“SSM” emissions) that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that purport to permit revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits with limited public process or without requiring further approval by EPA, that may be contrary to the CAA (“director's discretion”); and, (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final New Source Review (NSR) Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Instead, EPA has the authority to address each one of these substantive areas separately. A detailed history, interpretation, and rationale for EPA's approach to infrastructure SIP requirements can be found in EPA's May 13, 2014, proposed rule entitled, “Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS” in the section, “What is the scope of this rulemaking?” See 79 FR 27241 at 27242-45.

    III. What guidance is EPA using to evaluate these SIP submissions?

    EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate. Historically, EPA has elected to use non-binding guidance documents to make recommendations for states' development and EPA review of infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements. EPA guidance applicable to these infrastructure SIP submissions is embodied in several documents. Specifically, attachment A of the 2007 Memo (Required Section 110 SIP Elements) identifies the statutory elements that states need to submit in order to satisfy the requirements for an infrastructure SIP submission. The 2009 Memo provides additional guidance for certain elements regarding the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and the 2011 Memo provides guidance specific to the 2008 Pb NAAQS. Lastly, the 2013 Memo identifies and further clarifies aspects of infrastructure SIPs that are not NAAQS specific.

    IV. What is the result of EPA's review of these SIP submissions?

    EPA is soliciting comment on our evaluation of Vermont's infrastructure SIP submissions in this notice of proposed rulemaking. In each of Vermont's submissions, a detailed list of Vermont Laws and, previously SIP-approved Air Quality Regulations, show precisely how the various components of its EPA-approved SIP meet each of the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS, as applicable. The following review evaluates the state's submissions in light of section 110(a)(2) requirements and relevant EPA guidance.

    A. Section 110(a)(2)(A)—Emission Limits and Other Control Measures

    This section (also referred to in this action as an element) of the Act requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques, schedules for compliance, and other related matters. However, EPA has long interpreted emission limits and control measures for attaining the standards as being due when nonattainment planning requirements are due.2 In the context of an infrastructure SIP, EPA is not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, EPA is only evaluating whether the state's SIP has basic structural provisions for the implementation of the NAAQS.

    2See, e.g., EPA's final rule on “National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead.” 73 FR 66964, 67034 (Nov. 12, 2008).

    Vermont's infrastructure submittals for this element cite Vermont Statutes Annotated (V.S.A) and several Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations (VT APCR) as follows: Vermont's 10 V.S.A. § 554, “Powers,” authorizes the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) to “[a]dopt, amend and repeal rules, implementing the provisions” of Vermont's air pollution control laws set forth in 10 V.S.A. chapter 23. It also authorizes the Secretary to “conduct studies, investigations and research relating to air contamination and air pollution” and to “[d]etermine by appropriate means the degree of air contamination and air pollution in the state and the several parts thereof.” Ten V.S.A. § 556, “Permits for the construction or modification of air contaminant sources,” requires applicants to obtain permits for constructing or modifying air contaminant sources, and 10 V.S.A. § 558, “Emission control requirements,” authorizes the Secretary “to establish emission control requirements . . . necessary to prevent, abate, or control air pollution.”

    The Vermont submittals cite more than 20 specific rules that the state has adopted to control the emissions of Pb, SO2, PM2.5, volatile organic compounds 3 (VOCs), and NOX. A few, with their EPA approval citation 4 are listed here: § 5-201—Open Burning Prohibited (63 FR 19825; April 22,1998); § 5-251—Control of Nitrogen Oxides Emissions (81 FR 50342; August 1, 2016); § 5-252—Control of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions (81 FR 50342; August 1, 2016); § 5-253.5—Stage I Vapor Recovery Controls at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (81 FR 23164; April 20, 2016); § 5-253.14—Solvent Metal Cleaning (63 FR 19825; April 22, 1998); § 5-261—Control of Hazardous Air Contaminants (47 FR 6014; February 10, 1982); § 5-502—Major Stationary Sources and Major Modifications (81 FR 50342; August 1, 2016); § 5-702—Excessive Smoke Emissions from Motor Vehicles (45 FR 10775; February 19, 1980).

    3 VOCs and NOX contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.

    4 The citations reference the most recent EPA approval of the stated rule, or of revisions to the rule. For example, § 5-252 was initially approved on February 4, 1977 (42 FR 6811), with various revisions being approved since then, with the most recent approval of revisions to the applicability section occurring on August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342).

    On July 25, 2014, VT DEC submitted a SIP revision that contained provisions that revise the state's Ambient Air Quality Standards for the criteria air pollutants. On August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342), EPA approved the following sections within VT APCR Subchapter III, Ambient Air Quality Standards: Section 5-301, “Scope,” Section 5-302, “Sulfur oxides (sulfur dioxide),” Section 5-304, “Particulate Matter PM2.5,” Section 5-306, “Particulate Matter PM10,” Section 5-307, “Carbon Monoxide,” Section 5-308, “Ozone,” Section 5-309, “Nitrogen Dioxide,” and Section 5-310, “Lead.” Because the state adopted these standards in 2014, Vermont's regulations do not contain an ambient air quality standard for ozone that is equivalent to the federal 2015 ozone standard. However, the ozone standard that EPA approved on August 1, 2016 is consistent with the 2008 federal ozone standard.

    The VT regulations listed above were previously approved into the VT SIP by EPA. See 40 CFR 52.2370. In addition, VT DEC requests in its November 2, 2015 submittals that 10 V.S.A. § 554 be included in the SIP, which is discussed further below and EPA proposes to approve. Based upon EPA's review of the submittals, EPA proposes that Vermont meets the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    As previously noted, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state provisions or rules related to SSM or director's discretion in the context of section 110(a)(2)(A).

    B. Section 110(a)(2)(B)—Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System

    This section requires SIPs to include provisions to provide for establishing and operating ambient air quality monitors, collecting and analyzing ambient air quality data, and making these data available to EPA upon request. Each year, states submit annual air monitoring network plans to EPA for review and approval. EPA's review of these annual monitoring plans includes our evaluation of whether the state: (i) Monitors air quality at appropriate locations throughout the state using EPA-approved Federal Reference Methods or Federal Equivalent Method monitors; (ii) submits data to EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) in a timely manner; and (iii) provides EPA Regional Offices with prior notification of any planned changes to monitoring sites or the network plan.

    State law authorizes the Secretary of ANR, or her authorized representative, to “conduct studies, investigations and research relating to air contamination and air pollution” and to “[d]etermine by appropriate means the degree of air contamination and air pollution in the state and the several parts thereof.” See 10 V.S.A. § 554(8) and (9).5 Vermont DEC, one of several departments within ANR, operates an air quality monitoring network, and EPA approved the state's 2016 Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan for PM2.5, Pb, ozone, NO2, and SO2 on September 12, 2016.6 Furthermore, VT DEC populates AQS with air quality monitoring data in a timely manner, and provides EPA with prior notification when considering a change to its monitoring network or plan. EPA proposes that VT DEC has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    5 As noted earlier, EPA proposes in this action to approve 10 V.S.A. § 554 into the SIP.

    6See EPA approval letter located in the docket for this action.

    C. Section 110(a)(2)(C)—Program for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources

    States are required to include a program providing for enforcement of all SIP measures and the regulation of construction of new or modified stationary sources to meet NSR requirements under PSD and nonattainment new source review (NNSR) programs. Part C of the CAA (sections 160-169B) addresses PSD, while part D of the CAA (sections 171-193) addresses NNSR requirements.

    The evaluation of each state's submission addressing the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) covers the following: (i) Enforcement of SIP measures; (ii) PSD program for major sources and major modifications; and (iii) a permit program for minor sources and minor modifications. A discussion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions permitting and the “Tailoring Rule” 7 is included within our evaluation of the PSD provisions of Vermont's submittals.

    7 In EPA's April 28, 2011 proposed rulemaking for infrastructure SIPs for the 1997 ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS, we stated that each state's PSD program must meet applicable requirements for evaluation of all regulated NSR pollutants in PSD permits (See 76 FR 23757 at 23760). This view was reiterated in EPA's August 2, 2012 proposed rulemaking for infrastructure SIPs for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS (See 77 FR 45992 at 45998). In other words, if a state lacks provisions needed to adequately address Pb, NOX as a precursor to ozone, PM2.5 precursors, PM2.5 and PM10 condensables, PM2.5 increments, or the Federal GHG permitting thresholds, the provisions of section 110(a)(2)(C) requiring a suitable PSD permitting program must be considered not to be met irrespective of the NAAQS that triggered the requirement to submit an infrastructure SIP, including the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    Sub-Element 1: Enforcement of SIP Measures

    State law provides the Secretary of ANR with the authority to enforce air pollution control requirements, including 10 V.S.A. § 554, which EPA is proposing to approve into the SIP, and which authorizes the Secretary of ANR to “[i]ssue orders as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of [the state's air pollution control laws] and enforce the same by all appropriate administrative and judicial proceedings.” In addition, Vermont's SIP-approved regulations VT APCR § 5-501, “Review of Construction or Modification of Air Contaminant Sources,” and VT APCR § 5-502, “Major Stationary Sources and Major Modifications,” establish requirements for permits to construct, modify or operate major air contaminant sources.

    EPA proposes that Vermont has met the enforcement of SIP measures requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    Sub-Element 2: PSD Program for Major Sources and Major Modifications

    Prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) applies to new major sources or modifications made to major sources for pollutants where the area in which the source is located is in attainment of, or unclassifiable with regard to, the relevant NAAQS. Vermont DEC's EPA-approved PSD rules, contained at VT APCR Subchapters I, IV, and V, contain provisions that address applicable requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants, including GHGs.

    EPA's “Final Rule to Implement the 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Phase 2; Final Rule To Implement Certain Aspects of the 1990 Amendments Relating to New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration as They Apply in Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matter, and Ozone NAAQS; Final Rule for Reformulated Gasoline” (Phase 2 Rule) was published on November 29, 2005 (70 FR 71612). Among other requirements, the Phase 2 Rule obligated states to revise their PSD programs to explicitly identify NOX as a precursor to ozone. See 70 FR 71679, 71699-700. This requirement was codified in 40 CFR 51.166, and requires that states submit SIP revisions incorporating the requirements of the rule, including provisions that would treat NOX as a precursor to ozone provisions. These SIP revisions were to have been submitted to EPA by states by June 15, 2007. See 70 FR 71683.

    Vermont has amended its VT APCR § 5-101 to include NOX and VOC as precursor pollutants to ozone in defining a “significant” increase in actual emissions from a source of air contaminants. In a letter dated November 21, 2016, VT DEC committed to submit its revised regulation to EPA for approval into the Vermont SIP by no later than one year after the effective date of EPA's final action on the pending infrastructure SIPs (I-SIPs).

    Therefore, we are proposing to conditionally approve the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C), as obligated by the Phase 2 Rule, for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    On May 16, 2008 (73 FR 28321), EPA issued the Final Rule on the “Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)” (2008 NSR Rule). The 2008 NSR Rule finalized several new requirements for SIPs to address sources that emit direct PM2.5 and other pollutants that contribute to secondary PM2.5 formation. One of these requirements is for NSR permits to address pollutants responsible for the secondary formation of PM2.5, otherwise known as precursors. In the 2008 rule, EPA identified precursors to PM2.5 for the PSD program to be SO2 and NOX (unless the state demonstrates to the Administrator's satisfaction or EPA demonstrates that NOX emissions in an area are not a significant contributor to that area's ambient PM2.5 concentrations). The 2008 NSR Rule also specifies that VOCs are not considered to be precursors to PM2.5 in the PSD program unless the state demonstrates to the Administrator's satisfaction or EPA demonstrates that emissions of VOCs in an area are significant contributors to that area's ambient PM2.5 concentrations.

    The explicit references to SO2, NOX, and VOCs as they pertain to secondary PM2.5 formation are codified at 40 CFR 51.166(b)(49)(i)(b) and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(50)(i)(b). As part of identifying pollutants that are precursors to PM2.5, the 2008 NSR Rule also required states to revise the definition of “significant” as it relates to a net emissions increase or the potential of a source to emit pollutants. Specifically, 40 CFR 51.166(b)(23)(i) and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(23)(i) define “significant” for PM2.5 to mean the following emissions rates: 10 tons per year (tpy) of direct PM2.5; 40 tpy of SO2; and 40 tpy of NOX (unless the state demonstrates to the Administrator's satisfaction or EPA demonstrates that NOX emissions in an area are not a significant contributor to that area's ambient PM2.5 concentrations). The deadline for states to submit SIP revisions to their PSD programs incorporating these changes was May 16, 2011. See 73 FR 28321 at 28341.8

    8 EPA notes that on January 4, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 706 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir.), held that EPA should have issued the 2008 NSR Rule in accordance with the CAA's requirements for PM10 nonattainment areas (Title I, Part D, subpart 4), and not the general requirements for nonattainment areas under subpart 1 (Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, No. 08-1250). As the subpart 4 provisions apply only to nonattainment areas, EPA does not consider the portions of the 2008 rule that address requirements for PM2.5 attainment and unclassifiable areas to be affected by the court's opinion. Moreover, EPA does not anticipate the need to revise any PSD requirements promulgated by the 2008 NSR rule in order to comply with the court's decision. Accordingly, EPA's approval of Vermont's infrastructure SIP as to Elements C, D(i)(II), or J with respect to the PSD requirements promulgated by the 2008 implementation rule does not conflict with the court's opinion.

    The Court's decision with respect to the nonattainment NSR requirements promulgated by the 2008 implementation rule also does not affect EPA's action on the present infrastructure action. EPA interprets the CAA to exclude nonattainment area requirements, including requirements associated with a nonattainment NSR program, from infrastructure SIP submissions due three years after adoption or revision of a NAAQS. Instead, these elements are typically referred to as nonattainment SIP or attainment plan elements, which would be due by the dates statutorily prescribed under subpart 2 through 5 under part D, extending as far as 10 years following designations for some elements.

    On August 1, 2016, EPA approved revisions to Vermont's PSD program at VT APCR § 5-101 that identify SO2 and NOX as precursors to PM2.5 and revise the state's regulatory definition of “significant” for PM2.5 to mean 10 tpy or more of direct PM2.5 emissions, 40 tpy or more of SO2 emissions, or 40 tpy or more of NOX emissions. (81 FR 50342). Consequently, EPA proposes that Vermont's SIP incorporates the necessary changes obligated by the 2008 NSR Rule with respect to provisions that explicitly identify precursors to PM2.5.

    The 2008 NSR Rule did not require states to immediately account for gases that could condense to form particulate matter, known as condensables, in PM2.5 and PM10 emission limits in NSR permits. Instead, EPA determined that states had to account for PM2.5 and PM10 condensables for applicability determinations and in establishing emissions limitations for PM2.5 and PM10 in PSD permits beginning on or after January 1, 2011. See 73 FR 28321 at 28334. This requirement is codified in 40 CFR 51.166(b)(49)(i)(a) and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(50)(i)(a). Revisions to states' PSD programs incorporating the inclusion of condensables were required be submitted to EPA by May 16, 2011. See 73 FR 28321 at 28341.

    Vermont's SIP-approved PSD program defines “PM2.5 direct emissions” and “PM10 emissions” to include “gaseous emissions from a source or activity which condense to form particulate matter at ambient temperature.” See VT APCR § 5-101. EPA approved these definitions into the SIP on August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342). Consequently, we propose that the state's PSD program adequately accounts for the condensable fraction of PM2.5 and PM10.

    Therefore, we are proposing that Vermont has met this set of requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS regarding the requirements obligated by the 2008 NSR Rule.

    On October 20, 2010 (75 FR 64864), EPA issued the final rule on the “Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC)” (2010 NSR Rule). This rule established several components for making PSD permitting determinations for PM2.5, including a system of “increments,” which is the mechanism used to estimate significant deterioration of ambient air quality for a pollutant. PM2.5 increment values are codified in 40 CFR 51.166(c) and 40 CFR 52.21(c). On September 14, 2016 (81 FR 63102), EPA approved Vermont's codification of these increments in Table 2 of the VT APCR.

    The 2010 NSR Rule also established a new “major source baseline date” for PM2.5 as October 20, 2010, and a new trigger date for PM2.5 of October 20, 2011 in the definition of “minor source baseline date.” These revisions are codified in 40 CFR 51.166(b)(14)(i)(c) and (b)(14)(ii)(c), and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(14)(i)(c) and (b)(14)(ii)(c). Lastly, the 2010 NSR Rule revised the definition of “baseline area” to include a level of significance (SIL) of 0.3 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3), annual average, for PM2.5. This change is codified in 40 CFR 51.166(b)(15)(i) and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(15)(i).

    On August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342) and September 14, 2016 (81 FR 63102), EPA approved revisions to the Vermont SIP that address certain aspects of EPA's 2010 NSR rule. However, the state has not defined a method for determining the amount of PSD increments available to a new or modified major source. In a letter dated November 21, 2016, VT DEC committed to revising its NSR regulations to address the methodology for determining available increment, and to submitting the revised regulations to EPA for approval into the Vermont SIP no later than one year after the effective date of EPA's final action on the I-SIPs.

    Therefore, we are proposing to conditionally approve this part of sub-element 2 of section 110(a)(2)(C) relating to requirements for state NSR regulations outlined within our 2010 NSR regulation.

    With respect to Elements (C) and (J), EPA interprets the Clean Air Act to require each state to make an infrastructure SIP submission for a new or revised NAAQS that demonstrates that the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program meeting the current requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. The requirements of Element D(i)(II) may also be satisfied by demonstrating the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program correctly addressing all regulated NSR pollutants. Vermont has shown that it currently has a PSD program in place that covers all regulated NSR pollutants, including GHGs.

    On June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision addressing the application of PSD permitting requirements to GHG emissions. See Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S.Ct. 2427. The Supreme Court said that EPA may not treat GHGs as an air pollutant for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source required to obtain a PSD permit. The Court also said that EPA could continue to require that PSD permits, otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs, contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT).

    In accordance with the Supreme Court decision, on April 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the D.C. Circuit) issued an amended judgment vacating the regulations that implemented Step 2 of the EPA's PSD and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule, but not the regulations that implement Step 1 of that rule. Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule covers sources that are required to obtain a PSD permit based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs. Step 2 applied to sources that emitted only GHGs above the thresholds triggering the requirement to obtain a PSD permit. The amended judgment preserves, without the need for additional rulemaking by EPA, the application of the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) requirement to GHG emissions from Step 1 or “anyway” sources. With respect to Step 2 sources, the D.C. Circuit's amended judgment vacated the regulations at issue in the litigation, including 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v), “to the extent they require a stationary source to obtain a PSD permit if greenhouse gases are the only pollutant (i) that the source emits or has the potential to emit above the applicable major source thresholds, or (ii) for which there is a significant emission increase from a modification.”

    On August 19, 2015, EPA amended its PSD and title V regulations to remove from the Code of Federal Regulations portions of those regulations that the D.C. Circuit specifically identified as vacated. EPA intends to further revise the PSD and title V regulations to fully implement the Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit rulings in a separate rulemaking. This future rulemaking will include revisions to additional definitions in the PSD regulations.

    Some states have begun to revise their existing SIP-approved PSD programs in light of these court decisions, and some states may prefer not to initiate this process until they have more information about the additional planned revisions to EPA's PSD regulations. EPA is not expecting states to have revised their PSD programs in anticipation of EPA's additional actions to revise its PSD program rules in response to the court decisions for purposes of infrastructure SIP submissions. Instead, EPA is only evaluating such submissions to assure that the state's program addresses GHGs consistent with both the court decision, and the revisions to PSD regulations that EPA has completed at this time.

    On October 5, 2012, EPA approved revisions to the Vermont SIP that modified Vermont's PSD program to establish appropriate emission thresholds for determining which new stationary sources and modification projects become subject to Vermont's PSD permitting requirements for their GHG emissions (77 FR 49404). Therefore, EPA has determined that Vermont's SIP is sufficient to satisfy Elements (C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) with respect to GHGs. The Supreme Court decision and subsequent D.C. Circuit judgment do not prevent EPA's approval of Vermont's infrastructure SIP as to the requirements of Elements (C), (as well as sub-elements (D)(i)(II), and (J)(iii)).

    For the purposes of the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIPs, EPA reiterates that NSR Reform is not in the scope of these actions.

    In summary, we are proposing to conditionally approve Vermont's submittals for this sub-element with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    Sub-Element 3: Preconstruction Permitting for Minor Sources and Minor Modifications

    To address the pre-construction regulation of the modification and construction of minor stationary sources and minor modifications of major stationary sources, an infrastructure SIP submission should identify the existing EPA-approved SIP provisions and/or include new provisions that govern the minor source pre-construction program that regulate emissions of the relevant NAAQS pollutants. EPA approved revisions to Vermont's minor NSR program on August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342). Vermont and EPA rely on the existing minor NSR program to ensure that new and modified sources not captured by the major NSR permitting programs, VT APCR § 5-502, do not interfere with attainment and maintenance of the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    We are proposing to find that Vermont has met the requirement to have a SIP-approved minor new source review permit program as required under Section 110(a)(2)(C) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    D. Section 110(a)(2)(D)—Interstate Transport

    This section contains a comprehensive set of air quality management elements pertaining to the transport of air pollution with which states must comply. It covers the following five topics, categorized as sub-elements: Sub-element 1, Contribute to nonattainment, and interference with maintenance of a NAAQS; Sub-element 2, PSD; Sub-element 3, Visibility protection; Sub-element 4, Interstate pollution abatement; and Sub-element 5, International pollution abatement. Sub-elements 1 through 3 above are found under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the Act, and these items are further categorized into the four prongs discussed below, two of which are found within sub-element 1. Sub-elements 4 and 5 are found under section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) of the Act and include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.

    Sub-Element 1: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—Contribute to Nonattainment (Prong 1) and Interfere With Maintenance of the NAAQS (Prong 2)

    Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) addresses any emissions activity in one state that contributes significantly to nonattainment, or interferes with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. The EPA sometimes refers to these requirements as prong 1 (significant contribution to nonattainment) and prong 2 (interference with maintenance). Vermont's February 18, 2009 infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 PM2.5 and 1997 ozone NAAQS that is the subject of today's proposed rulemaking did not address prong 1 and 2 (also called “transport elements”). Vermont did, however, make a subsequent submittal for this sub-element on April 15, 2009. EPA proposed approval of this submittal on December 15, 2016 (81 FR 90758). Therefore, we are not taking action on these elements for these two NAAQS in this notice.

    Vermont's May 21, 2010 infrastructure SIP submission for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS addressed section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA proposed approval of this submittal as meeting the transport elements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS on December 15, 2016 (81 FR 90758).

    With respect to the 2008 Pb NAAQS, the 2011 Memo notes that the physical properties of Pb prevent it from experiencing the same travel or formation phenomena as PM2.5 or ozone. Specifically, there is a sharp decrease in Pb concentrations as the distance from a Pb source increases. Accordingly, although it may be possible for a source in a state to emit Pb at a location and in such quantities that contribute significantly to nonattainment in, or interference with maintenance by, any other state, EPA anticipates that this would be a rare situation, e.g., sources emitting large quantities of Pb in close proximity to state boundaries. The 2011 Memo suggests that the applicable interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to Pb can be met through a state's assessment as to whether or not emissions from Pb sources located in close proximity to its borders have emissions that impact a neighboring state such that they contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance in that state.

    Vermont's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 Pb NAAQS states that Vermont has no lead sources that exceed the 0.5 ton/year monitoring threshold to identify lead emission sources which should be monitored. No single source of Pb, or group of sources, anywhere within the state emits enough Pb to cause ambient concentrations to approach the Pb NAAQS. Our review of the Pb emissions data from Vermont sources, which the state has entered into the EPA National Emissions Inventory (NEI) database, confirms this, and therefore, EPA agrees with Vermont and proposes that Vermont has met this set of requirements related to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    Vermont's November 2, 2015 infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 ozone NAAQS includes a demonstration that no source or sources within Vermont contribute significantly to non-attainment in, or interfere with maintenance by, any other state with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA approved this infrastructure requirement for the 2008 ozone NAAQS on October 13, 2016 (81 FR 70631).

    Vermont's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS addressed section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). The submission notes that on January 20, 2012, EPA designated all areas of the country as “unclassifiable/attainment” for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS because design values for the 2008-2010 period at all monitored sites met the NAAQS. Measurements from 2013-2015 indicate continued attainment of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS in Vermont and throughout the country. The Vermont submittal notes that Vermont NOX emissions are among the lowest of any state and have been declining for several decades, with total statewide NOX emissions dropping from 37,744 tons in 2002 to 19,352 tons in 2011. Our review of NOX emissions data from Vermont sources, which Vermont has entered into the EPA National Emissions Inventory (NEI) database, confirms this and, therefore, EPA agrees with Vermont and proposes that Vermont has met requirements related to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    Vermont's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS includes a demonstration that no source or sources within Vermont contribute significantly to non-attainment in, or interfere with maintenance by, any other state with respect to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. EPA will act on this infrastructure requirement for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in a separate action.

    EPA is proposing to find that Vermont has met requirements for sub-element 1 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 Pb and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. EPA previously approved Vermont's submittals addressing this sub-element for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (81 FR 70631) and previously proposed approval of Vermont's submittal for this element for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and will address Vermont's submittal for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in a subsequent notice.

    Sub-Element 2: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—PSD (Prong 3)

    One aspect of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to be in any other state's SIP under Part C of the Act to prevent significant deterioration of air quality. One way for a state to meet this requirement, specifically with respect to those in-state sources and pollutants that are subject to PSD permitting, is through a comprehensive PSD permitting program that applies to all regulated NSR pollutants and that satisfies the requirements of EPA's PSD implementation rules. For in-state sources not subject to PSD, this requirement can be satisfied through a fully-approved nonattainment new source review (NNSR) program with respect to any previous NAAQS. EPA's latest approval of some revisions to Vermont's NNSR regulations was on August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342).

    To meet requirements of Prong 3, Vermont cites 10 V.S.A § 556, and VT APCR § 5-501, Review of Construction or Modification of Air Contaminant Sources, and VT APCR § 5-502, Major Stationary Sources and Major Modifications, which set forth requirements for permits to construct, modify or operate major air contaminant sources. Specifically, § 5-501 and § 5-502 provide for nonattainment and PSD permitting for major sources. As noted above in our discussion of Element C, Vermont's PSD program does not fully satisfy the requirements of EPA's PSD implementation rules. However, in a letter dated November 21, 2016, VT DEC committed to submit the required provisions for EPA approval into the Vermont SIP by no later than one year after the effective date of EPA's final action on the pending I-SIPs. Therefore, we are proposing to conditionally approve this sub-element for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS related to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for the reasons discussed under Element C.

    Sub-Element 3: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—Visibility Protection (Prong 4)

    With regard to the applicable requirements for visibility protection of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA (which includes sections 169A and 169B). The 2009 Memo, the 2011 Memo, and 2013 Memo state that these requirements can be satisfied by an approved SIP addressing reasonably attributable visibility impairment, if required, or an approved SIP addressing regional haze. A fully approved regional haze SIP meeting the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308 will ensure that emissions from sources under an air agency's jurisdiction are not interfering with measures required to be included in other air agencies' plans to protect visibility. Vermont's Regional Haze SIP was approved by EPA on May 22, 2012 (77 FR 30212). Accordingly, EPA proposes that Vermont has met the visibility protection requirements of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    Sub-Element 4: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii)—Interstate Pollution Abatement

    One aspect of section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires each SIP to contain adequate provisions requiring compliance with the applicable requirements of section 126 relating to interstate pollution abatement.

    Section 126(a) requires new or modified sources to notify neighboring states of potential impacts from the source. The statute does not specify the method by which the source should provide the notification. States with SIP-approved PSD programs must have a provision requiring such notification by new or modified sources. A lack of such a requirement in state rules would be grounds for disapproval of this element. On August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342), EPA approved revisions to VT APCR § 5-501, which includes a provision that satisfies the requirement for Vermont's EPA-approved PSD program to provide notice to neighboring states of a determination to issue a draft PSD permit. See VT APCR § 5-501(7)(c). Therefore, we propose to approve Vermont's compliance with the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 126(a) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Vermont has no obligations under any other provision of section 126.

    Sub-Element 5: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii)—International Pollution Abatement

    One portion of section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires each SIP to contain adequate provisions requiring compliance with the applicable requirements of section 115 relating to international pollution abatement. Vermont does not have any pending obligations under section 115 for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, or 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Therefore, EPA is proposing that Vermont has met the applicable infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) related to section 115 of the CAA (international pollution abatement) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    E. Section 110(a)(2)(E)—Adequate Resources

    This section requires each state to provide for adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law to carry out its SIP and related issues. Additionally, Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires each state to comply with the requirements with respect to state boards under section 128. Finally, section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii) requires that, where a state relies upon local or regional governments or agencies for the implementation of its SIP provisions, the state retain responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of SIP obligations with respect to relevant NAAQS. This sub-element, however, is inapplicable to this action, because Vermont does not rely upon local or regional governments or agencies for the implementation of its SIP provisions.

    Sub-Element 1: Adequate Personnel, Funding, and Legal Authority Under State Law to Carry out its SIP, and Related Issues

    Vermont, through its infrastructure SIP submittals, has documented that its air agency has the requisite authority and resources to carry out its SIP obligations. Vermont cites 10 V.S.A. § 553, which designates ANR as the air pollution control agency of the state, and 10 V.S.A § 554, which provides the Secretary of ANR with the power to “[a]dopt, amend and repeal rules, implementing the provisions” of 10 V.S.A. Chapter 23, Air Pollution Control, and to “[a]ppoint and employ personnel and consultants as may be necessary for the administration of” 10 V.S.A. Chapter 23. Section 554 also authorizes the Secretary of ANR to “[a]ccept, receive and administer grants or other funds or gifts from public and private agencies, including the federal government, for the purposes of carrying out any of the functions of” 10 V.S.A. Chapter 23. Additionally, 3 V.S.A. § 2822 provides the Secretary of ANR with the authority to assess air permit and registration fees, which fund state air programs. In addition to Federal funding and permit and registration fees, Vermont notes that the Vermont Air Quality and Climate Division (AQCD) receives state funding to implement its air programs.9

    9 VT ANR's authority to carry out the provisions of the SIP identified in 40 CFR 51.230 is discussed in the sections of this document assessing elements A, C, F, and G, as applicable.

    EPA proposes that Vermont has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of this portion of section 110(a)(2)(E) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    Sub-Element 2: State Board Requirements Under Section 128 of the CAA

    Section 110(a)(2)(E) also requires each SIP to contain provisions that comply with the state board requirements of section 128 of the CAA. That provision contains two explicit requirements: (1) That any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under this chapter shall have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permits and enforcement orders under this chapter, and (2) that any potential conflicts of interest by members of such board or body or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed.

    In Vermont, no board or body approves permits or enforcement orders; these are approved by the Secretary of Vermont ANR. Thus, with respect to this sub-element, Vermont is subject only to the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of section 128 of the CAA (regarding conflicts of interest). Accordingly, Vermont indicated in its November 2, 2015 infrastructure SIP submittals for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS that it was submitting the Vermont Executive Code of Ethics, Executive Order 09-11, for incorporation into the SIP.10 However, Exhibits A and B of Executive Order 09-11 were inadvertently omitted from the November 2, 2015 I-SIP submittal. To address this omission, VT DEC submitted these exhibits in a November 21, 2016 letter that provided additional information and clarification in support of its November 2015 I-SIP submittal.

    10 Vermont also referenced incorporation of the Vermont Executive Code of Ethics into the SIP in its July 29, 2014 infrastructure SIP submittal for the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    The Vermont Executive Code of Ethics prohibits all Vermont Executive Branch appointees (including the ANR Secretary) from taking “any action in any particular matter in which he or she has either a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, until such time as the conflict is resolved.” Among other things, the code requires an appointee to “take all reasonable steps to avoid any action or circumstances, whether or not specifically prohibited by this code, which might result in (1) [u]ndermining his or her independence or impartiality or action; (2) [t]aking official action on the basis of unfair considerations; (3) [g]iving preferential treatment to any private interest on the basis of unfair considerations; (4) [g]iving preferential treatment to any family member or member of the appointee's household; (5) [u]sing public office for the advancement of personal interest; (6) [u]sing public office to secure special privileges or exemptions; or (7) [a]ffecting adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of state government.” The code further requires that every appointee earning $30,000 or more per year, which includes the ANR Secretary, annually file with the Vermont Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs an “Ethics Questionnaire” identifying “significant personal interests” that “might conflict with the best interests of the state.” EPA is proposing to approve the Vermont Executive Code of Ethics, Vermont Executive Order 09-11, into the Vermont SIP. We are also proposing to remove § 52.2382(a)(5) from the Vermont SIP, which previously took no action on conflict-of-interest requirements.

    EPA proposes that, with the inclusion of Executive Order 09-11 into the Vermont SIP, Vermont has met the applicable infrastructure SIP requirements for this sub-element for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    F. Section 110(a)(2)(F)—Stationary Source Monitoring System

    States must establish a system to monitor emissions from stationary sources and submit periodic emissions reports. Each plan shall also require the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources. The state plan shall also require periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources, and correlation of such reports by each state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this chapter. Lastly, the reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection.

    Vermont's infrastructure submittals reference existing state regulations previously approved by EPA that require sources to monitor emissions and submit reports. In particular, VT APCR § 5-405, Required Air Monitoring, (45 FR 10775, Feb. 19, 1980), provides that ANR “may require the owner or operator of any air contaminant source to install, use and maintain such monitoring equipment and records, establish and maintain such records, and make such periodic emission reports as [ANR] shall prescribe.” Moreover, section 5-402, Written Reports When Requested (81 FR 50342; Aug. 1, 2016), authorizes ANR to “require written reports from the person operating or responsible for any proposed or existing air contaminant source, which reports shall contain,” among other things, information concerning the “nature and amount and time periods or durations of emissions and such other information as may be relevant to the air pollution potential of the source. These reports shall also include the results of such source testing as may be required under Section 5-404 herein.” Section 5-404, Methods for Sampling and Testing of Sources (45 FR 10775 Feb. 19, 1980) in turn authorizes ANR to “require the owner or operator of [a] source to conduct tests to determine the quantity of particulate and/or gaseous matter being emitted” and requires a source to allow access, should ANR have reason to believe that emission limits are being violated by the source, and allows ANR “to conduct tests of [its] own to determine compliance.” In addition, operators of sources that emit more than five tons of any and all air contaminants per year are required to register the source with the Secretary of ANR and to submit emissions data annually, pursuant to § 5-802, Requirement for Registration, and § 5-803, Registration Procedure (60 FR 2524 Jan. 10, 1995). Vermont also certifies that nothing in its SIP would preclude the use, including the exclusive use, of any credible evidence or information, relevant to whether a source would have been in compliance with applicable requirements if the appropriate performance or compliance test or procedure had been performed. See 40 CFR 51.212(c).

    Vermont's infrastructure SIP submittals for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS provide for correlation by VT DEC of emissions reports by sources with applicable emission limitations or standards, as required by CAA § 110(a)(2)(F)(iii). As explained in a letter from VT DEC dated November 21, 2016, and included in the docket for this action, Vermont receives emissions data through its annual registration program. Currently VT DEC analyzes a portion of these data manually to correlate a facility's actual emissions with permit conditions, NAAQS, and, if applicable, hazardous air contaminant action levels. VT DEC is in the process of setting up an integrated electronic database that will merge all air contaminant source information across permitting, compliance and registration programs, so that information concerning permit conditions, annual emissions data, and compliance data will be accessible in one location for a particular air contaminant source. VT DEC stated in its November 2016 letter that the database will be capable of correlating certain emissions data with permit conditions and other applicable standards electronically where feasible to allow VT DEC to complete this correlation more efficiently and accurately.

    Regarding the section 110(a)(2)(F) requirement that the SIP provide for the public availability of emission reports, Vermont certified in its November 2, 2015 submittals for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS that the Vermont Public Records Act, 1 V.S.A. §§ 315-320, provides for the free and open examination of public records, including emissions reports. Vermont further noted that it was “pursuing amendments to 10 V.S.A. § 563” that “will require [ANR] to make public all emissions and emissions monitoring data submitted to the Agency by owners and operators of air contaminant sources” and that it expected these amendments to become law in 2016. When EPA approved Vermont's original SIP in 1972, the Agency found that Vermont did not “have the authority to make emissions data available to the public since 10 V.S.A. section 363 11 would require the data to be held confidential if a source certified that it related to production or sales figures, unique processes, or would tend to affect adversely the competitive position of the owner.” See 40 CFR 52.2373(a). Accordingly, EPA found that Vermont's plan did not provide for public availability of emission data as required by 40 CFR 51.116(c). See 40 CFR 52.2374. Newly revised § 563, however, which became effective July 1, 2016, now provides that the ANR “Secretary shall not withhold emissions data and emission monitoring data from public inspection or review” and that the ANR “Secretary shall keep confidential any record or other information furnished to or obtained by the Secretary concerning an air contaminant source, other than emissions data and emission monitoring data, that qualifies as a trade secret pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(9).” (emphasis added). By letter dated November 21, 2016, Vermont submitted revised § 563 to EPA for inclusion in the SIP. Consequently, EPA is proposing to approve Vermont's submittals for this requirement of section 110(a)(2)(F) for the 1997 ozone, 1997 PM2.5, 2006 PM2.5, 2006 ozone, 2008 lead, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    11 Vermont also referenced incorporation of the Vermont Executive Code of Ethics into the SIP in its July 29, 2014 infrastructure SIP submittal for the 2008 Pb NAAQS.

    G. Section 110(a)(2)(G)—Emergency Powers

    This section requires that a plan provide for state authority analogous to that provided to the EPA Administrator in section 303 of the CAA, and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Section 303 of the CAA provides authority to the EPA Administrator to seek a court order to restrain any source from causing or contributing to emissions that present an “imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare, or the environment.” Section 303 further authorizes the Administrator to issue “such orders as may be necessary to protect public health or welfare or the environment” in the event that “it is not practicable to assure prompt protection . . . by commencement of such civil action.”

    We propose to find that Vermont's submittals and certain state statutes and regulations provide for authority comparable to that in section 303. Vermont's submittals cite 10 V.S.A. § 560, which authorizes the Secretary of ANR to order the immediate discontinuation of air emissions causing imminent danger to human health or safety. In addition, 10 V.S.A. § 554 authorizes the Secretary to enforce orders issued pursuant to § 560 “by all appropriate administrative and judicial proceedings.” The submittals also cite 10 V.S.A. § 8009, which authorizes the issuance of an emergency administrative order when a violation presents, or an activity will or is likely to result in, an immediate threat to the public health or an immediate threat of substantial harm to the environment. Newly adopted VT APCR § 5-407, which became effective December 15, 2016, prohibits any person from emitting such quantities of air contaminants that will result in a condition of air pollution. “Air pollution” is defined in § 5-101 as “the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants in such quantities, and duration as is or tends to be injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life, or property, or would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life, or property. Such effects may result from direct exposure to air contaminants, from deposition of air contaminants to other environmental media, or from alterations caused by air contaminants to the physical or chemical properties of the atmosphere.” VT DEC interprets 10 V.S.A. § 8009 and VT APCR § 5-407 as allowing the Secretary to issue an emergency administrative order when air pollution is causing an imminent threat to public health, welfare, or the environment. Furthermore, an order issued pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 8009 is presented to the Environmental Division of Vermont Superior Court and, if no hearing is requested, becomes a judicial order when signed by the Court. See 10 V.S.A. § 8008(d). If a hearing is requested, the order is reviewed by the court. Id. §§ 8009(d), 8012(b).

    We propose to find that this combination of state statutory and regulatory provisions provides the Secretary with authority comparable to that given the Administrator in section 303 of the CAA. Therefore, we are proposing to approve the state's submittals with respect to this requirement of Section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(2)(G) also requires that, for any NAAQS, Vermont have an approved contingency plan for any Air Quality Control Region (AQCR) within the state that is classified as Priority I, IA, or II. See 40 CFR 51.152(c). A contingency plan is not required if the entire state is classified as Priority III for a particular pollutant. Id. The entire state of Vermont is classified as Priority III for ozone and NO2 pursuant to 40 CFR 52.2371.

    With regard to SO2 and PM, however, two air quality control regions (“AQCR”) in Vermont—Champlain Valley Interstate and Vermont Intrastate—are classified as Priority II areas. However, EPA's last update to the priority classifications for Vermont occurred in 1980. See 45 FR 10782. Vermont indicated in its November 2, 2015, submittal for the 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS that it wishes to update its SO2 priority classifications for both AQCRs, and that SO2 concentrations in Vermont have been below Priority II area levels for more than 35 years. There are currently no SO2 monitors in the Champlain Valley Interstate and Vermont Intrastate AQCRs. EPA has reviewed the SO2 monitoring data that the state has certified, and agrees that the SO2 levels are significantly below the threshold of a Priority I, IA, or II level.

    Vermont SO2 emissions are among the lowest of any state, with 2011 National Emission Inventory (NEI) point-source emissions totaling less than 500 tons from all Vermont point-sources combined. Ambient Vermont SO2 concentrations at Vermont's highest concentration site have declined by 75 percent in the past 10 years, with a 2012-2014 1-hour design value of 13 parts per billion (ppb).12 The only 1-hour SO2 nonattainment area in a state adjacent to Vermont, in central New Hampshire, has recently experienced dramatic reductions in SO2 emissions and ambient concentrations following the 2012 installation of a scrubber at the Merrimack Station in Bow, NH.

    12 The 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS is 75 ppb.

    Therefore, we are proposing to revise Vermont's priority classification for the Champlain Valley Interstate and Vermont Intrastate areas from Priority II to Priority III for SO2. Accordingly, a contingency plan for SO2 is not required. See 40 CFR 51.152(c). As emission levels change, states are encouraged to periodically evaluate the priority classifications and propose changes to the classifications based on the three most recent years of air quality data. See 40 CFR 51.153.

    We note that PM2.5 and Pb are not explicitly included in the contingency plan requirements of 40 CFR subpart H. According to EPA's 2011 NEI, there are no Pb sources within Vermont that exceed EPA's reporting threshold of 0.5 tons per year. The largest source is reported to be 260 pounds per year (0.13 tons per year).

    With respect to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA's 2009 Memo recommends that states develop emergency episode plans for any area that has monitored and recorded 24-hour PM2.5 levels greater than 140 µg/m3 since 2006. In its May 21, 2010, submittal, Vermont certified that the highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentration recorded in the state in the previous three years was 36.7 µg/m3. Furthermore, EPA's review of Vermont's certified air quality data in AQS indicates that the highest 24-hour PM2.5 level since that time (i.e., data through December 31, 2015) was 43.5 µg/m3 µg/m3, which occurred in 2015.

    Although not expected, if Pb or PM2.5 conditions were to change, Vermont does have general authority, as noted previously (i.e., 10 V.S.A. § 560 and 10 V.S.A. § 8009), to order a source to cease operations if it is determined that emissions from the source pose an imminent danger to human health or safety or an immediate threat of substantial harm to the environment.

    In addition, as stated in Vermont's infrastructure SIP submittals under the discussion of public notification (Element J), Vermont posts near real-time air quality data, air quality predictions and a record of historical data on the VT DEC Web site and distributes air quality alerts by email to a large number of parties, including the media. Alerts include information about the health implications of elevated pollutant levels and list actions to reduce emissions and to reduce the public's exposure. In addition, daily forecasted fine particle levels are also made available on the internet through the EPA AirNow and EnviroFlash systems. Information regarding these two systems is available on EPA's Web site at www.airnow.gov. Notices are sent out to EnviroFlash participants when levels are forecast to exceed the current 24-hour PM2.5 standard.

    EPA proposes that Vermont has met the applicable infrastructure SIP requirements for section 110(a)(2)(G) with respect to contingency plans for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We also are proposing to update the classifications for two of Vermont's air quality control regions from Priority II to Priority III for SO2 based on recent air quality monitoring data collected by the state.

    H. Section 110(a)(2)(H)—Future SIP Revisions

    This section requires that a state's SIP provide for revision from time to time as may be necessary to take account of changes in the NAAQS or availability of improved methods for attaining the NAAQS and whenever the EPA finds that the SIP is substantially inadequate. To address this requirement, Vermont's infrastructure submittals reference 10 V.S.A § 554, which provides the Secretary of Vermont ANR with the power to “[p]repare and develop a comprehensive plan or plans for the prevention, abatement and control of air pollution in this state” and to “[a]dopt, amend and repeal rules, implementing the provisions” of Vermont's air pollution control laws set forth in 10 V.S.A. chapter 23. Vermont has submitted this statute for inclusion into the SIP. EPA proposes that Vermont has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(H) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    I. Section 110(a)(2)(I)—Nonattainment Area Plan or Plan Revisions Under Part D

    The CAA requires that each plan or plan revision for an area designated as a nonattainment area meet the applicable requirements of part D of the CAA. Part D relates to nonattainment areas. EPA has determined that section 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable to the infrastructure SIP process. Instead, EPA takes action on part D attainment plans through separate processes.

    J. Section 110(a)(2)(J)—Consultation With Government Officials; Public Notifications; Prevention of Significant Deterioration; Visibility Protection

    The evaluation of the submissions from Vermont with respect to the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) are described below.

    Sub-Element 1: Consultation With Government Officials

    States must provide a process for consultation with local governments and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements.

    Vermont's 10 V.S.A § 554 specifies that the Secretary of Vermont ANR shall have the power to “[a]dvise, consult, contract and cooperate with other agencies of the state, local governments, industries, other states, interstate or interlocal agencies, and the federal government, and with interested persons or groups.” Vermont has submitted this statute for inclusion into the SIP. In addition, VT APCR § 5-501(7)(c) requires VT ANR to provide notice to local governments and federal land managers of a determination by ANR to issue a draft PSD permit for a major stationary source or major modification. On August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50342), EPA approved VT APCR § 5-501(7)(c) into Vermont's SIP.

    EPA proposes to approve 10 V.S.A § 554 into the SIP and proposes that Vermont has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of this portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    Sub-Element 2: Public Notification

    Section 110(a)(2)(J) also requires states to: Notify the public if NAAQS are exceeded in an area; advise the public of health hazards associated with exceedances; and enhance public awareness of measures that can be taken to prevent exceedances and of ways in which the public can participate in regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality.

    Vermont's 10 V.S.A § 554 authorizes the Secretary of Vermont ANR to “[c]ollect and disseminate information and conduct educational and training programs relating to air contamination and air pollution.” In addition, the VT DEC Air Quality and Climate Division Web site includes near real-time air quality data, and a record of historical data. Air quality forecasts are distributed daily via email to interested parties. Air quality alerts are sent by email to a large number of affected parties, including the media. Alerts include information about the health implications of elevated pollutant levels and list actions to reduce emissions and to reduce the public's exposure. Also, Air Quality Data Summaries of the year's air quality monitoring results are issued annually and posted on the VT DEC Air Quality and Climate Division Web site. Vermont is also an active partner in EPA's AirNow and EnviroFlash air quality alert programs.

    EPA proposes that Vermont has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of this portion of section 110(a)(2)(J) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    Sub-Element 3: PSD

    States must meet applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) related to PSD. Vermont's PSD program in the context of infrastructure SIPs has already been discussed in the paragraphs addressing sections 110(a)(2)(C) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) and, as we have noted, does not fully satisfy the requirements of EPA's PSD implementation rules.

    Consequently, we are proposing to conditionally approve the PSD sub-element of section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS, consistent with the actions we are proposing for sections 110(a)(2)(C) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Sub-Element 4: Visibility Protection

    With regard to the applicable requirements for visibility protection, states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA (which includes sections 169A and 169B). In the event of the establishment of a new NAAQS, however, the visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C do not change. Thus, as noted in EPA's 2013 Memo, we find that there is no new visibility obligation “triggered” under section 110(a)(2)(J) when a new NAAQS becomes effective. In other words, the visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) are not germane to infrastructure SIPs for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    K. Section 110(a)(2)(K)—Air Quality Modeling/Data

    To satisfy Element K, the state air agency must demonstrate that it has the authority to perform air quality modeling to predict effects on air quality of emissions of any NAAQS pollutant and submission of such data to EPA upon request. Vermont reviews the potential impact of major sources consistent with 40 CFR part 51, appendix W, “Guidelines on Air Quality Models.” See VT APCR § 5-406(2).

    In its submittals, Vermont cites to VT APCR § 5-406, Required Air Modeling, which authorizes “[t]he Air Pollution Control Officer [to] require the owner or operator of any proposed air contaminant source . . . to conduct . . . air quality modeling and to submit an air quality impact evaluation to demonstrate that operation of the proposed source . . . will not directly or indirectly result in a violation of any ambient air quality standard, interfere with the attainment of any ambient air quality standard, or violate any applicable prevention of significant deterioration increment . . . .” Vermont also cites to VT APCR § 5-502, Major Stationary Sources and Major Modifications, which requires the submittal of an air quality impact evaluation or air quality modeling to ANR to demonstrate impacts of new and modified major sources. The modeling data are sent to EPA along with the draft major permit.

    The state also collaborates with the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association and EPA in order to perform large-scale urban air shed modeling for ozone and PM, if necessary. EPA proposes that Vermont has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(K) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    L. Section 110(a)(2)(L)—Permitting Fees

    This section requires SIPs to mandate that each major stationary source pay permitting fees to cover the cost of reviewing, approving, implementing, and enforcing a permit.

    Vermont implements and operates a Title V permit program. See Subchapter X of VT APCR, which was approved by EPA on November 29, 2001 (66 FR 59535). To gain this approval, Vermont demonstrated the ability to collect sufficient fees to run the program. Vermont also notes in its submittals that the costs of all CAA permitting, implementation, and enforcement for new or modified sources are covered by Title V fees, and that Vermont state law provides for the assessment of application fees from air emissions sources for permits for the construction or modification of air contaminant sources, and sets forth permit fees. See 10 V.S.A § 556, and 3 V.S.A § 2822(j).

    EPA proposes that Vermont has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(L) for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We also are proposing to remove § 52.2382(a)(1) from the CFR, which states that EPA has taken no action to approve or disapprove permitting fees.

    M. Section 110(a)(2)(M)—Consultation/Participation by Affected Local Entities

    To satisfy Element M, states must consult with, and allow participation from, local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. Vermont's infrastructure submittals reference 10 V.S.A § 554, which in today's action is being proposed for approval into the SIP, and which authorizes the Secretary of Vermont ANR to “[a]dvise, consult, contract and cooperate with other agencies of the state, local governments, industries, other states, interstate or interlocal agencies, and the federal government, and with interested persons or groups.” EPA proposes that Vermont has met the infrastructure SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2)(M) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    N. Vermont Statutes for Inclusion Into the Vermont SIP

    As noted above in the discussion of several elements, Vermont submitted, and EPA is proposing to approve 10 V.S.A. § 554 (Powers), 10 V.S.A. § 563 (Confidential records; penalty), and Vermont Executive Order 09-11 (Executive Code of Ethics) into the SIP.

    V. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve most elements of the infrastructure SIPs submitted by Vermont for the 1997 PM2.5, 1997 ozone, 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS, with the exception of three aspects of these SIPs relating to PSD which we are proposing to conditionally approve.

    The state submitted these SIPs on the following dates: 1997 PM2.5—February 18, 2009; 1997 ozone—February 18, 2009; 2006 PM2.5—May 21, 2010; 2008 Pb—July 29, 2014; 2008 ozone—November 2, 2015; 2010 NO2—November 2, 2015; and 2010 SO2—November 2, 2015.

    Specifically, EPA's proposed actions regarding each infrastructure SIP requirement are contained in Table 1 below.

    Table 1—Proposed Action on Vermont's Infrastructure SIP Submittals Element 1997 PM2.5 and 1997 ozone 2006
  • PM2.5
  • 2008
  • Pb
  • 2008 Ozone 2010
  • NO2
  • 2010
  • SO2
  • (A): Emission limits and other control measures A A A A A A (B): Ambient air quality monitoring and data system A A A A A A (C)1: Enforcement of SIP measures A A A A A A (C)2: PSD program for major sources and major modifications A* A* A* A* A* A* (C)3: PSD program for minor sources and minor modifications A A A A A A (D)1: Contribute to nonattainment/interfere with maintenance of NAAQS NI A A NT A NT (D)2: PSD A* A* A* A* A* A* (D)3: Visibility Protection A A A A A A (D)4: Interstate Pollution Abatement A A A A A A (D)5: International Pollution Abatement A A A A A A (E)1: Adequate resources A A A A A A (E)2: State boards A A A A A A (E)3: Necessary assurances with respect to local agencies NA NA NA NA NA NA (F): Stationary source monitoring system A A A A A A (G): Emergency power A A A A A A (H): Future SIP revisions A A A A A A (I): Nonattainment area plan or plan revisions under part D + + + + + + (J)1: Consultation with government officials A A A A A A (J)2: Public notification A A A A A A (J)3: PSD A* A* A* A* A* A* (J)4: Visibility protection + + + + + + (K): Air quality modeling and data A A A A A A (L): Permitting fees A A A A A A (M): Consultation and participation by affected local entities A A A A A A

    In the above table, the key is as follows:

    A Approve. A* Conditionally approve. + Not germane to infrastructure SIPs. NI Not included in the submittals which are the subject of today's action. NA Not applicable. NT Not taking action at this time.

    In addition, EPA is proposing to approve, and incorporate into the Vermont SIP, the following Vermont statutes which were included for approval in Vermont's infrastructure SIP submittals: 10 V.S.A. §§ 554 and 563, and Vermont Executive Order 09-11, Executive Code of Ethics. EPA is further proposing to remove the following provisions from Title 40 of the CFR: sections 52.2373, 52.2374, and 52.2382(a)(1), (2), (4), and (5), for the reasons discussed below.

    As noted in the discussion of section 110(a)(2)(F) above, in 1972, EPA found Vermont's SIP inadequate with respect to the requirement to make emission data available to the public as required by the Act. See 40 CFR 52.2373, and 52.2374(a); 37 FR 10842 (May 31, 1972). Consequently, EPA promulgated regulations setting forth procedures for the release of emission data. See 52.2374(b); 37 FR 11826 (June 14, 1972). EPA is proposing in today's notice, however, to approve Vermont's infrastructure SIP submittals with respect to this section 110(a)(2)(F) requirement as discussed above. Consequently, EPA proposes to remove sections 52.2373 and 52.2374 from Title 40 of the CFR.

    In 1980, EPA, acting on SIP revisions submitted by Vermont relating mainly to Part D of the Act (Plan Requirements for Nonattainment Areas), determined that, for various reasons, it would not act on a handful of what it termed “Non-Part D Measures” submitted by the State but required by other parts of the Act. See 40 CFR 52.2382(a); 45 FR 10775 (Feb. 19, 1980). More specifically, EPA took no action on revisions related to certain requirements of section 121 (relating to intergovernmental consultation), section 126 (relating to interstate pollution notification), and section 128 (relating to conflict of interest). See 40 CFR 52.2382(a); 45 FR 10775 (Feb. 19, 1980). As discussed earlier, these three sections of the Act are made applicable to infrastructure SIPs pursuant to sections 110(a)(2)(J), (D)(ii), and (E)(ii), respectively. In addition, EPA took no action on the requirements of erstwhile section 110(a)(2)(K) (relating to permit fees), which was later recodified at 110(a)(2)(L). Since, in today's action we are proposing to approve or conditionally approve Vermont's infrastructure SIP submittals with respect to the relevant requirements in 110(a)(2)(D)(ii), (E)(ii), (J), and (L), we propose to remove 52.2382(a)(1), (2), (4), and (5) from Title 40 of the CFR as legally obsolete.

    As noted in Table 1, we are proposing to conditionally approve portions of Vermont's infrastructure SIP submittals pertaining to PSD-related elements (C)(2), (D)(2), and (J)(3).

    Under section 110(k)(4) of the Act, EPA may conditionally approve a plan based on a commitment from the State to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain, but not later than 1 year from the date of approval. If EPA conditionally approves the commitment in a final rulemaking action, the State must meet its commitment to submit an update to its PSD program that fully remedies the deficiencies mentioned above under element C. If the State fails to do so, this action will become a disapproval one year from the date of final approval. EPA will notify the State by letter that this action has occurred. At that time, this commitment will no longer be a part of the approved Vermont SIP. EPA subsequently will publish a document in the Federal Register notifying the public that the conditional approval automatically converted to a disapproval. If the State meets its commitment, within the applicable time frame, the conditionally approved submission will remain a part of the SIP until EPA takes final action approving or disapproving the new submittal. If EPA disapproves the new submittal, the conditionally approved infrastructure SIP elements for all affected pollutants will be disapproved. In addition, a final disapproval triggers the Federal Implementation Plan requirement under section 110(c). If EPA approves the new submittal, the PSD program and relevant infrastructure SIP elements will be fully approved and replace the conditionally approved program in the SIP.

    Additionally, we are proposing to update the 40 CFR 52.2371 classifications for two of Vermont's air quality control regions for sulfur dioxide based on recent air quality monitoring data collected by the state, which removes state's infrastructure SIP contingency plan obligation for sulfur dioxide.

    EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this proposal or on other relevant matters. These comments will be considered before EPA takes final action. Interested parties may participate in the Federal rulemaking procedure by submitting written comments to the EPA New England Regional Office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register, or by submitting comments electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier following the directions in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference two Vermont statutes and one Vermont Executive Order, all referenced in Section V above. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: March 16, 2017. Deborah A. Szaro, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA New England.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06206 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0067; FRL-9960-99-Region 10] Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area; Proposed Further Delay of Effective Date AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; further delay of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Presidential directive as expressed in the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” and the Federal Register document published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) on January 26, 2017, the EPA is proposing to further delay the effective date for Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area for up to 90 days.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the proposed rule must be received by April 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0067, online at www.regulations.gov. For comments submitted at www.regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hunt, Air Planning Unit, Office of Air and Waste (OAW-150), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101; telephone number: (206) 553-0256; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 26, 2017, the EPA published a document in the Federal Register entitled “Delay of Effective Date for 30 Final Regulations Published by the Environmental Protection Agency Between October 28, 2016 and January 17, 2017” (82 FR 8499). In that document, the EPA delayed the effective date of Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area to March 21, 2017, as requested in the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” (January 20 Memo). That memo directed the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies to temporarily postpone for 60 days from the date of the January 20 Memo the effective dates of all regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but had not yet taken effect.

    The January 20 Memo also states: “Where appropriate and as permitted by applicable law, [agencies] should consider proposing for notice and comment a rule to delay the effective date for regulations beyond that 60-day period.” The EPA subsequently proposed (82 FR 11517) and then finalized (82 FR 14463) an action on March 21, 2017 to further delay the effective date for Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area until April 20, 2017. The EPA is proposing this additional delay of up to 90 days to give Agency officials the opportunity to decide whether they would like to conduct a substantive review of this rule. If Agency officials decide to conduct a substantive review of Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area, the EPA will take appropriate actions to conduct such a review, including, but not limited to, issuing a document in the Federal Register addressing any further delays of the effective date of Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area or extensions of compliances dates in the rule. If Agency officials decide not to conduct a substantive review of Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area, it will become effective no later than July 19, 2017.

    The EPA solicits comment only on its proposal to further delay the effective date and the length of the delay of Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area. The EPA is not soliciting and will not consider comments on any other aspect of the rule itself.

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Michelle L. Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06311 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    82 60 Thursday, March 30, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service White River National Forest; Eagle County; Colorado; Golden Peak Improvements Project AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    Vail Ski Resort (Vail) has submitted a proposal to the White River National Forest (WRNF) for improvements to ski/snowboard racing facilities within its Forest Service-administered Special User Permit (SUP) area. The WRNF has accepted this proposal, and is initiating a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis to document and disclose potential impacts. The Proposed Action includes: Developing 42 acres of new terrain with associated snowmaking; installing one lift, two lift operation shelters, one restroom facility, snowmaking infrastructure, multiple small race event buildings, one equipment storage facility, one fuel storage facility, and one maintenance building; and constructing one access road and multiple drainage management structures.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by May 1, 2017. The draft environmental impact statement is expected October 2017 and the final environmental impact statement is expected April 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Max Forgensi, Mountain Sports/Special Uses Administrator, White River National Forest, P.O. Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645. Comments may also be sent via FAX (970) 827-9343. Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=47937.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Additional information related to the proposed project can be found on the project Web site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47937, or obtained from: Max Forgensi, Mountain Sports/Special Uses Administrator, Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District. Mr. Forgensi can be reached by phone at (970) 827-5157 or by email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose and Need for Action

    Golden Peak is the primary ski/snowboard racing and training venue for Vail and the Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV), and provides a world-class venue for local athletes and international events. As local, regional, national, and international groups continue to seek areas devoted specifically to ski/snowboard racing and training, providing a contained venue with adequate facilities to serve high-caliber events is needed.

    Currently, the limited training and racing space on Golden Peak is unable to accommodate all users, and many activities must be held at other locations on the mountain, resulting in a disruption to the public's skiing experience. There is a need for:

    • Developed racing and training terrain at Vail that meets international racing standards for women's Downhill and men's Super G courses, a moguls course, and skier cross course to adequately meet demand.

    • Adequate separation between ski/snowboard racing and training terrain and terrain used by the general public at Vail to improve the quality of both the training venue and the guest experience.

    Proposed Action

    The Proposed Action includes the following elements:

    • Lift and Terrain—construction of one lift (either surface or aerial) and approximately 42 acres of new ski trails for women's Downhill and men's Super G courses, moguls course and skier cross course • Facilities—construction of lift operating buildings, race start buildings, an equipment storage building, a fuel storage facility, and a maintenance building • Snowmaking and Infrastructure—construction of infrastructure to support snowmaking on new ski trails • Construction Maintenance and Access—access road for construction of new lift and ski trails • Clearing, Grading and Surface Smoothing—vegetation removal and surface smoothing/grading for new ski trails and drainage management Responsible Official

    The Responsible Official is the WRNF Forest Supervisor.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Given the purpose and need, the Responsible Official will review the proposed action, the other alternatives, and the environmental consequences in order to decide the following:

    • Whether to approve, approve with modifications, or deny the application for additional ski area improvements and associated activities.

    • Whether to prescribe conditions needed for the protection of the environment on NFS lands.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. The Forest Service is soliciting comments from Federal, State and local agencies and other individuals or organizations that may be interested in or affected by implementation of the proposed projects. One public open house regarding this proposal will be held on April 6, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Forest Service Holy Cross Office, 24747 US Highway 24, Minturn, Colorado 81645. Representatives from the WRNF and Vail Resort will be present to answer questions and provide additional information on this project.

    To be most helpful, comments should be specific to the project area and should identify resources or effects that should be considered by the Forest Service. Submitting timely, specific written comments during this scoping period or any other official comment period establishes standing for filing objections under 36 CFR parts 218 A and B.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Glenn P. Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06310 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Idaho; John Wood Forest Management Project AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Soda Springs Ranger District proposes to conduct forest vegetation management activities and road work in a 5,590-acre project area within the Wood Canyon and Johnson Creek drainages located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, approximately six miles east of Soda Springs, Idaho. The project area has a forest vegetation management emphasis designated in the Caribou Revised Forest Plan (RFP) (2003). Overall, the landscape in which the project area is located has been identified as being outside of desired conditions outlined in the RFP with respect to forest structure and species composition.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by May 1, 2017. The draft environmental impact statement is expected August 2017 and the final environmental impact statement is expected October 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Soda Springs Ranger District, 410 East Hooper Avenue, Soda Springs, ID 83276. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected] or via facsimile to (208) 547-2235.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wayne Beck, Project Leader, (208) 847-8941. A public scoping letter with more details is posted on the forest Web site (https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/ctnf/landmanagement/ projects). In addition, a copy of the Caribou RFP is available on the forest Web site (https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ctnf/landmanagement/planning).

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the project proposal is to improve the overall composition, health and resilience of the forest within the project area, utilize and improve timber resources, and improve the Forest transportation system.

    The project proposal is needed because a fire regime condition class assessment of the forested landscape indicated that the landscape qualifies as Condition Class 2. This means that the vegetation composition, structure and fuels have moderate departure from the natural regime and predispose the system to risk of loss of key ecosystem components. Also, the project area is within a Caribou RFP 5.2 prescription area. The emphasis in this prescription area is on scheduled wood-fiber production, timber growth and yield, while maintaining or restoring forested ecosystems (RFP at 4-71). This prescription area also sets the following guidelines: [p]ractices to prevent or control natural disturbances, such as insects and disease losses and wildfire, are emphasized. (RFP at 4-72) and where aspen exists, it should be maintained or enhanced as a component through restoration treatments (RFP at 4-72). Many of the stands in the project area that were previously harvested are becoming overly dense, which impacts growth and yield and increases risk to forest pests such as the western spruce budworm. Finally, there is a need to address the poor condition and resource concerns of the existing transportation system within the project area.

    Proposed Action

    A combination of vegetation management activities would occur on approximately 760 acres. More specifically, approximately 395 acres are proposed for selection harvest, which would require approximately 1.6 miles of temporary road construction to facilitate the harvest. Additionally, approximately 365 acres are proposed for non-harvest stand-tending treatments (pre-commercial thinning, piling, pile burning, jackpot burning and chopping).

    Several different types of road work are also proposed. The road work is proposed to meet transportation system needs for timber removal, resource needs, and public safety. It is proposed to reconstruct and improve the condition of approximately 5.1 miles of roads within the project area. This would include activities such as blading and shaping the road bed, spot graveling, culvert replacements, and other minor repairs. Approximately, 2.3 miles of road has been identified as needing to be relocated to address resource concerns. These roads will be located in the same general area, but large portions will be moved to a new foot print. Additionally, it is proposed to construct Road 574 in a more sustainable location (1.6 miles new construction), obliterate the previous location along with several other short segments of road (2.1 miles), and close 0.3 miles. Development of a gravel pit within the project area is also be considered.

    Possible Alternatives

    The Forest Service would develop alternatives to the proposed action based on internal and public scoping comments and analyze any viable alternatives in a draft environmental impact statement.

    Responsible Official

    Soda Springs District Ranger, Bryan K. Fuell, is the responsible official.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The decisions to be made include whether to implement the proposed action, as designed; whether there are other alternatives capable of satisfying the purpose and need; and whether any mitigation measures or monitoring is required to implement the proposed action or alternatives. These decisions would be made in the record of decision, which would be issued following the publication of a final environmental impact statement and completion of the Forest Service objection process (36 CFR part 218, subparts A and B).

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. At this time, no public meeting will be held. This decision may be reconsidered depending on the outcome of scoping. In addition to this notice of intent, a legal notice will be published in the Idaho State Journal, newspaper of record, to ensure wide distribution of this notice.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. Per 36 CFR 218, only those who provide specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity will be eligible to file an objection. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however, anonymous comments will not provide the Agency with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents.

    An additional opportunity for public participation will occur during the public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement, which will be initiated by the publication of a notice of availability in the Federal Register.

    Dated: March 22, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06273 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-48-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone 53—Tulsa, Oklahoma; Application for Subzone; Premier Logistics, LLC, Tulsa, Oklahoma

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority, grantee of FTZ 53, requesting subzone status for the facility of Premier Logistics, LLC, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on March 24, 2017.

    The proposed subzone (10 acres) is located at 4937 South 45th West Avenue in Tulsa. The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 53. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time.

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Camille Evans of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is May 9, 2017. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to May 24, 2017.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected] or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06253 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-81-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 134—Chattanooga, Tennessee; Authorization of Production Activity (Passenger Motor Vehicle Production), Chattanooga, Tennessee

    On November 25, 2016, Volkswagen Group of America—Chattanooga Operations, LLC (VW) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facility within FTZ 134—Site 3, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (81 FR 88210-88211, December 7, 2016). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06251 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-17-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone 87—Lake Charles, Louisiana Application for Expansion of Subzone 87F; Westlake Chemical Corporation, Sulphur, Louisiana

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, grantee of FTZ 87, requesting an expansion of Subzone 87F on behalf of Westlake Chemical Corporation. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on March 24, 2017.

    Subzone 87F was approved on October 25, 2016 (Board Order 2016, 81 FR 76915, November 4, 2016). The subzone currently consists of the following sites: Site 1 (583.88 acres)—Petro Operations, 900 Highway 108, Sulphur; Site 2 (70.83 acres)—Poly Operations, 3525 Cities Services Highway, Sulphur; and, Site 3 (691.78 acres)—Marine Terminal Operations, 1820 PAK Tank Road, Sulphur. The subzone also includes several pipelines.

    The applicant is requesting authority to expand the subzone to include two additional sites: Site 4 (39.52 acres)—North Plant, 1600 VCM Plant Road, Westlake; and, Site 5 (1,633 acres, 2 parcels)—South Plant, 1300 PPG Drive, Westlake. The proposed expansion would also include several pipelines. A notification of proposed production activity has been submitted and is being processed under 15 CFR 400.37 (Doc. B-87-2016).

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Camille Evans of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is May 9, 2017. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to May 24, 2017.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected] or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06252 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-054] Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective March 28, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Maloof at (202) 482-5649, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION The Petition

    On March 9, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Department) received a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition concerning imports of certain aluminum foil (aluminum foil) from the People's Republic of China (PRC), filed in proper form on behalf of the Aluminum Trade Enforcement Working Group (the petitioner).1

    1See the Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China,” dated March 9, 2017 (the Petition), at Volumes I and III.

    On March 14, 2017, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.2 The petitioner filed its response to this request on March 16, 2017, and March 22, 2017.3 In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that the Government of the PRC (GOC) is providing countervailable subsidies (within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act) with respect to imports of aluminum foil from the PRC, and that imports of aluminum foil from the PRC are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry producing aluminum foil in the United States. Also, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, for those alleged programs on which we are initiating a CVD investigation, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.

    2See Letters from the Department to the petitioner entitled, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” dated March 14, 2017 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire).

    3See Letter from the petitioner to the Department entitled, “Re: Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Responses to Department's Questions on General Injury Volume of Petition and Amendment to Petition to Modify Scope Language,” dated March 16, 2017 (General Issues Supplement); see also Letter from the petitioner, “Re: Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Second Amendment to Petition to Modify Scope Definition,” dated March 22, 2017 (Scope Revision).

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigation that the petitioner is requesting.4

    4See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on March 9, 2017, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2), the period of investigation is January 1, through December 31, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is aluminum foil from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, we issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.5 As a result of the responses submitted by the petitioner, we have revised the original scope.6

    5See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire and Scope Revision.

    6See Appendix I.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,7 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The Department will consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, the Department requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 28, 2017.

    7See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must also be filed on the record of the concurrent antidumping duty (AD) investigation.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement & Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).8 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement & Compliance's Administrative Protective Order (APO)/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    8See 19 CFR 351.303 (describing general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) and Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the GOC of the receipt of the Petition. Also, in accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act, the Department provided representatives of the GOC the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD Petition.9 In response to the Department's letter, the GOC requested that consultations be held. Such consultations were held on March 27, 2017.10

    9See Letter of invitation from the Department regarding, “Countervailing Duty Petition Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China,” dated March 10, 2017 (CVD Petition).

    10See Department Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Petition on Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: GOC Consultations,” dated March 27, 2017.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that aluminum foil, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China (PRC CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, “Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China,” (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice. The petitioner provided 2016 domestic like product production data for U.S. producers that are known to support the Petition. The petitioner also estimated total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the remaining producers in the U.S. industry. To establish industry support, the petitioner compared the production of companies supporting the Petition to the total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.14 We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.15

    14See Volume I of the Petition, at 4-6 and Exhibits GEN-1A and GEN-8.

    15Id. For further discussion, see PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.16 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).17 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.18 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.19 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    16See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that it is requesting that the Department initiate.20

    20Id.

    Injury Test

    Because the PRC is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from the PRC materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.21

    21See Volume I of the Petition, at 11 and Exhibit GEN-7.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; decreasing U.S. shipment and production trends, as well as low capacity utilization rates; declines in production-related workers and wages paid; and deterioration in financial performance.22 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.23

    22Id., at 9-23 and Exhibits GEN-4 and GEN-7 through GEN-10.

    23See PRC CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China (Attachment III).

    Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that: (1) Alleges elements necessary for an imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act; and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioners supporting the allegations.

    The petitioner alleges that producers/exporters of aluminum foil in the PRC benefit from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the GOC. The Department examined the Petition and finds that it complies with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether manufacturers, producers, or exporters of aluminum foil from the PRC receive countervailable subsidies from the GOC and various authorities thereof.

    Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws were made.24 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.25 The amendments to sections 776 and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this CVD investigation.26

    24See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    25See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice). The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    26Id., at 46794-95.

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 26 of the 27 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see the PRC CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named 232 companies as producers/exporters of aluminum foil in the PRC.27 Following standard practice in CVD investigations, the Department will, where appropriate, select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of aluminum foil during the period of investigation. For this investigation, the Department intends to release U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of subject merchandise during the period of investigation under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States numbers: 7607.11.3000, 7607.11.6000, 7607.11.9030, 7607.11.9060, 7607.11.9090, and 7607.19.6000. We intend to release the CBP data under APO to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of the announcement of this Federal Register notice. Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo/.

    27See Volume I of the Petition at Exhibit GEN-4.

    Interested parties may submit comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection by 5:00 p.m. ET on the seventh calendar day after publication of this notice. Comments must be filed in accordance with the filing requirements stated above. If respondent selection is necessary, we intend to base our decision regarding respondent selection upon comments received from interested parties and our analysis of the record information within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the GOC via ACCESS. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition, the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the government of the PRC, consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of aluminum foil from the PRC are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.28 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 29 otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    28See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    29See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extension of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.30 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 31 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    30See section 782(b) of the Act.

    31See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: March 28, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is aluminum foil having a thickness of 0.2 mm or less, in reels exceeding 25 pounds, regardless of width. Aluminum foil is made from an aluminum alloy that contains more than 92 percent aluminum. Aluminum foil may be made to ASTM specification ASTM B479, but can also be made to other specifications. Regardless of specification, however, all aluminum foil meeting the scope description is included in the scope.

    Excluded from the scope of this investigation is aluminum foil that is backed with paper, paperboard, plastics, or similar backing materials on only one side of the aluminum foil, as well as etched capacitor foil and aluminum foil that is cut to shape.

    Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above. The products under investigation are currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7607.11.3000, 7607.11.6000, 7607.11.9030, 7607.11.9060, 7607.11.9090, and 7607.19.6000. Further, merchandise that falls within the scope of this proceeding may also be entered into the United States under HTSUS subheadings 7606.11.3060, 7606.11.6000, 7606.12.3045, 7606.12.3055, 7606.12.3090, 7606.12.6000, 7606.91.3090, 7606.91.6080, 7606.92.3090, and 7606.92.6080. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-06390 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-053] Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective March 28, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Bellhouse at (202) 482-2057 or Steve Bezirganian at (202) 482-1131, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On March 9, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of certain aluminum foil (aluminum foil) from the People's Republic of China (PRC), filed in proper form on behalf of The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group (the petitioner).1 The AD petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) petition for aluminum foil from the PRC.2 The petitioner is a producer of aluminum foil.3

    1See Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties, dated March 9, 2017 (the Petition), at Volumes I and II.

    2Id., at Volume III.

    3Id., at Volume I.

    On March 14, 2017, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.4 The petitioner filed responses to these requests on March 16, 2017, March 17, 2017, and March 22, 2017.5

    4See Letters from the Department to the petitioner entitled, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” dated March 14, 2017 (General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire); see also “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions,” dated March 14, 2017 (AD Supplemental Questionnaire), and Letter from the petitioner, “Re: Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Second Amendment to Petition to Modify Scope Definition,” dated March 22, 2017 (Scope Revision).

    5See Letter from the petitioner to the Department entitled, “Petitioners' Responses to Department's Questions on General and Injury Volume of Petition and Amendment to Petition to Modify Scope Language,” dated March 16, 2017 (General Issues Supplement); see also Letter from the petitioner to the Department entitled, “Petitioners' Response to the Department's Supplemental Questionnaire Relating to Antidumping Duty Petition,” dated March 17, 2017 (AD Supplemental Response).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of aluminum foil from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that imports of aluminum foil from the PRC are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry producing aluminum foil in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that the petitioner is requesting.6

    6See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on March 9, 2017, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is aluminum foil from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, we issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7 As a result of the responses submitted by the petitioner, we have revised the original scope.8

    7See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement at 3-6 and Exhibit GEN-Supp. 1, and Scope Revision.

    8See Appendix I.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,9 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The Department will consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, the Department requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 28, 2017.

    9See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must also be filed on the record of the concurrent CVD investigation.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement & Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).10 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement & Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    10See 19 CFR 351.303 (describing general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) and Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaires

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of aluminum foil to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise in order to report the relevant factors and costs of production accurately as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe aluminum foil, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, all comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the record of this less-than-fair-value investigation.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that aluminum foil, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China (PRC AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China, (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice. The petitioner provided 2016 domestic like product production data for U.S. producers that are known to support the Petition. The petitioner also estimated total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the remaining producers in the U.S. industry. To establish industry support, the petitioner compared the production of companies supporting the Petition to the total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.14 We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.15

    14See Volume I of the Petition, at 4-6 and Exhibits GEN-1A and GEN-8.

    15Id. For further discussion, see PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.16 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).17 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.18 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.19 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    16See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(E) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is requesting that the Department initiate.20

    20Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.21

    21See Volume I of the Petition, at 11 and Exhibit GEN-7.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; decreasing U.S. shipment and production trends, as well as low capacity utilization rates; declines in production-related workers and wages paid; and deterioration in financial performance.22 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.23

    22Id., at 9-23 and Exhibits GEN-4 and GEN-7 through GEN-10.

    23See PRC AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China (Attachment III).

    Allegation of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate an investigation of imports of aluminum foil from the PRC. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the initiation checklist.

    Export Price

    The petitioner based U.S. price on two offers by PRC producers for sales of aluminum foil produced in the PRC.24 The petitioner made deductions from U.S. price, as appropriate and consistent with sale and delivery terms, for unrebated value added tax, foreign inland freight expenses, foreign brokerage and handling expenses, ocean freight expenses, marine insurance expenses, U.S. duties, merchandise processing fees, harbor maintenance fees, and U.S inland freight expenses.25

    24See Volume II of the Petition, at 3-4 and Exhibit AD-1A, Exhibit AD-1B; see also AD Supplemental Response at 2, 4-6, and Exhibit AD-Supp. 1A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 7C.

    25See Volume II of the Petition, at 4-6 and Exhibit AD-3A, Exhibit AD-3B, Exhibit AD-4, Exhibit AD-5, Exhibit AD-6, Exhibit AD-7A; see also AD Supplemental Response, at 2-4 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 4, Exhibit AD-Supp. 5, Exhibit AD-Supp. 7B.

    Normal Value

    The petitioner stated that the Department has identified the PRC as a non-market economy (NME) country as recently as the week before the petitioner filed the petition, and the Department has not since that time published any determination concluding the PRC is a market economy.26 In accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, the presumption of NME status remains in effect until revoked by the Department. The presumption of NME status for the PRC has not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, remains in effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, the NV of the product is appropriately based on factors of production (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market economy country, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    26See Volume II of the Petition at 1.

    The petitioner claims that South Africa is an appropriate surrogate country because it is a market economy country that is at a level of economic development comparable to that of the PRC, it is a significant producer of comparable merchandise, and public information from South Africa is available to value all material input factors.27

    27See Volume II of the Petition at 1-2, 7 and Exhibit AD-2A, Exhibit AD-2B.

    Based on the information provided by the petitioner, we determine that it is appropriate to use South Africa as a surrogate country for initiation purposes. Interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i), will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.

    Factors of Production

    The petitioner based the FOPs for materials, labor, and energy on the consumption rates of certain producers of aluminum foil in the United States.28 The petitioner asserts that the production process for aluminum foil is similar regardless of whether the product is produced in the United States or in the PRC.29 The petitioner valued the estimated factors of production using surrogate values from South Africa, as discussed below.30

    28See Volume II of the Petition at 1-2, 7-10, and Exhibit AD-8A, Exhibit AD-8B, and AD Supplemental Response, at 6-9 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 9B.

    29See Volume II of the Petition, at 7 and Exhibit AD-8A, Exhibit AD-8B.

    30Id. at 2 and 7. See also AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 9B.

    Valuation of Raw Materials

    The petitioner valued the FOPs for certain raw materials (i.e., aluminum ingot and aluminum scrap) using public import data for South Africa obtained from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) applicable for the POI.31 The petitioner excluded all import values from countries previously determined by the Department to maintain broadly available, non-industry-specific export subsidies and from countries previously determined by the Department to be NME countries.32 In addition, in accordance with the Department's practice, the petitioner excluded imports that were labeled as originating from an unidentified country.33 For aluminum ingots, the petitioner added international freight charges (i.e., ocean freight and other shipment charges) and inland freight charges,34 but did not make any such additions for aluminum scrap.35 For one of the two sale offer products, the petitioner added the cost of additives used in the melting and casting of aluminum.36 Finally, the petitioner made offsets to cost for estimated scrap generated by the production process.37 The Department determines that the surrogate values used by the petitioner are reasonably available and, thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation.

    31See Volume II of the Petition at 8-9 and AD Supplemental Response, at Exhibit AD-Supp. 10. The petitioner explained that the data for the months June 2016 through November 2016 were used for these inputs, rather than those of the actual POI (i.e., July 2016 through December 2016), to conform with industry practices regarding the timing of the pricing of inputs used for production. See AD Supplemental Response, at 6-7, citing Exhibit AD-Supp. 1A and Exhibit AD-1B of Volume II of the Petition.

    32See AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit AD-Supp. 10B, Exhibit AD-Supp. 10C.

    33Id.

    34See Volume II of the Petition at 8, and AD Supplemental Response at 7-8 and Exhibit AD-10B, Exhibit AD-10C.

    35See Volume II of the Petition at 9.

    36See Volume II of the Petition at 9, and AD Supplemental Response at 9 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A. The petitioner did not make any addition for cost of additives for the other sale offer product, noting the cost of additives for that product was not significant. See Volume II of the Petition at 9.

    37See Volume II of the Petition at 9 and AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 9B.

    Valuation of Energy

    The petitioner valued natural gas using the average unit value of imports of liquid natural gas into South Africa.38 The petitioner valued electricity using electricity rates reported by Eskom, South Africa's electricity public utility.39

    38See Volume II of the Petition at 9 and Exhibit AD-11, and AD Supplemental Response at 8 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 11.

    39See Volume II of the Petition at 10 and Exhibit AD-12.

    Valuation of Labor

    The petitioner valued labor using the most-recently-available labor data published by the International Labour Organization (ILO).40 Specifically, the petitioner relied on the most recently available data pertaining to average monthly earnings in the “manufacturing industries” sector of the South African economy, indexed to the POI using South African consumer price information available from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).41

    40See Volume II of the Petition at 10 and Exhibit AD-13.

    41Id.; see also AD Supplemental Response at 8 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 13.

    Valuation of Packing Materials

    The petitioner determined the FOPs for packing materials based on their experience in packing their own products as well as on their knowledge of how PRC producers typically pack aluminum foil for export to the United States.42 For one sale offer product, the petitioner indicated the packing materials would be wooden crates and wooden pallets, and valued them based on South Africa import values.43 For the other sale offer product, the petitioner indicated that the packing material would be steel racks, and valued them based on South Africa import values.44 For both sale offer products, the petitioner valued labor expenses for packing based on the hourly rates derived from the aforementioned ILO earnings data.45

    42See Volume II of the Petition at 10, and AD Supplemental Response at 9 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 9B, Exhibit AD-Supp. 9C.

    43See Volume II of the Petition at 10 and AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A. See also AD Supplemental Response at 9 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 9C.

    44See Volume II of the Petition at 10-11 and AD Supplemental Response at 9 and Exhibit AD-Supp. 9B.

    45See AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 9B.

    Valuation of Factory Overhead, Selling, General and Administrative Expenses, and Profit

    The petitioner calculated ratios for factory overhead, selling, general and administrative expenses based on the 2015 consolidated financial statements of Hulamin, Ltd. (Hulamin), a South African producer of aluminum foil.46 Because Hulamin had net financial income rather than net financial expenses, the petitioner reported financial expenses as zero, in accordance with Department practice.47 The petitioner calculated a profit rate for Hulamin, and multiplied that rate by the cost of production of each of the two sale offer products to obtain profit values for each. Those profit values, in turn, were added to the cost of production of the respective sale offer products to obtain cost of production plus profit for each of the sale offer products.48

    46See Volume II of the Petition at 11-12 and Exhibit AD-14, Exhibit AD-15, Exhibit AD-16.

    47Id., at 11 and Exhibit AD-16.

    48Id., at 12 and Exhibit AD-16; see also AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit AD-Supp. 9A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 9B.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of aluminum foil from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less-than-fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV, in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for aluminum foil from the PRC are 38.40 percent and 140.21 percent.49

    49See AD Supplemental Response at Exhibit AD-Supp. 17A, Exhibit AD-Supp. 17B; see also PRC AD Initiation Checklist.

    Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petition on aluminum foil from the PRC, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of aluminum foil from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we intend to make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws were made.50 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.51 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this AD investigation.52

    50See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    51See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice).

    52Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Respondent Selection

    In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD cases involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value (Q&V) questionnaires to producers/exporters of merchandise subject to the investigation and base respondent selection on the responses received. For this investigation, the Department will request Q&V information from known exporters and producers identified, with complete contact information, in the Petition. In addition, the Department will post the Q&V questionnaire along with filing instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.

    Producers/exporters of aluminum foil from the PRC that do not receive Q&V questionnaires by mail may still submit a response to the Q&V questionnaire and can obtain a copy from the Enforcement & Compliance Web site. The Q&V response must be submitted by the relevant PRC exporters/producers no later than April 12, 2017. All Q&V responses must be filed electronically via ACCESS.

    Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate-rate status in an NME investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate-rate application.53 The specific requirements for submitting a separate-rate application in the PRC investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which is available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html. The separate-rate application will be due 30 days after publication of this initiation notice.54 Exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate-rate status only if they respond to all parts of the Department's AD questionnaire as mandatory respondents. The Department requires that companies from the PRC submit a response to both the Q&V questionnaire and the separate-rate application by the respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate-rate status. Companies not filing a timely Q&V response will not receive separate rate consideration.

    53See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005), available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf (Policy Bulletin 05.1).

    54 Although in past investigations this deadline was 60 days, consistent with 19 CFR 351.301(a), which states that “the Secretary may request any person to submit factual information at any time during a proceeding,” this deadline is now 30 days.

    Use of Combination Rates

    The Department will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:

    {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME Investigation will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of “combination rates” because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.55

    55See Policy Bulletin 05.1 at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the government of the PRC via ACCESS. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition, the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the government of the PRC, consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of aluminum foil from the PRC are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.56 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 57 otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    56See section 733(a) of the Act.

    57Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). Any party, when submitting factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 58 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.59 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    58See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    59See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.60 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petition filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 61 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    60See section 782(b) of the Act.

    61See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order (APO) in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008).

    Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: March 28, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is aluminum foil having a thickness of 0.2 mm or less, in reels exceeding 25 pounds, regardless of width. Aluminum foil is made from an aluminum alloy that contains more than 92 percent aluminum. Aluminum foil may be made to ASTM specification ASTM B479, but can also be made to other specifications. Regardless of specification, however, all aluminum foil meeting the scope description is included in the scope.

    Excluded from the scope of this investigation is aluminum foil that is backed with paper, paperboard, plastics, or similar backing materials on only one side of the aluminum foil, as well as etched capacitor foil and aluminum foil that is cut to shape.

    Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above. The products under investigation are currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7607.11.3000, 7607.11.6000, 7607.11.9030, 7607.11.9060, 7607.11.9090, and 7607.19.6000. Further, merchandise that falls within the scope of this proceeding may also be entered into the United States under HTSUS subheadings 7606.11.3060, 7606.11.6000, 7606.12.3045, 7606.12.3055, 7606.12.3090, 7606.12.6000, 7606.91.3090, 7606.91.6080, 7606.92.3090, and 7606.92.6080. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-06389 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-863] Honey From the People's Republic of China: Final Rescission of the New Shipper Review of Shanghai Sunbeauty Trading Co., Ltd. AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 6, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published its Preliminary Rescission for the new shipper review (NSR) of the antidumping duty order on honey from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The period of review is December 1, 2014, through November 30, 2015. As discussed below, we preliminarily determined to rescind this review because we found the new shipper sales of Shanghai Sunbeauty Trading Co., Ltd. (Sunbeauty) to be non-bona fide. Based on our analysis of the comments received, we make no changes to the Preliminary Rescission. Accordingly, we have determined to rescind this NSR with respect to Sunbeauty.

    DATES:

    Effective March 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kabir Archuletta or Carrie Bethea, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2593 or (202) 482-1491, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    For a complete description of the events that followed the publication of the Preliminary Rescission, 1 see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 A list of topics included in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is included as an Appendix to this notice. 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 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 and electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Honey from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Intent to Rescind New Shipper Review, 81 FR 87906, (December 6, 2016) (Preliminary Rescission).

    2See Memorandum to Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, from James Doyle, Director, Office V, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, entitled, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Rescission of the Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review of Honey from the People's Republic of China: Shanghai Sunbeauty Trading Co. Ltd.,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by this order are natural honey, artificial honey containing more than 50 percent natural honey by weight, preparations of natural honey containing more than 50 percent natural honey by weight and flavored honey. The subject merchandise includes all grades and colors of honey whether in liquid, creamed, comb, cut comb, or chunk form, and whether packaged for retail or in bulk form.

    The merchandise subject to this order is currently classifiable under subheadings 0409.00.00, 1702.90.90, and 2106.90.99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the Department's written description of the merchandise under order is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case briefs by parties are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.3 A list of the issues which parties raised is attached to this notice as an Appendix.

    3See Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Rescission of Sunbeauty's New Shipper Review

    In the Preliminary Rescission, we announced our preliminary intent to rescind this review, because we found that Sunbeauty's sales are non-bona fide and could not be relied upon to calculate a dumping margin. Based on the Department's complete analysis of all the information and comments on the record of this review, we make no changes to the Preliminary Rescission. Accordingly, we have determined to rescind this NSR with respect to Sunbeauty. For a complete discussion, see the Preliminary Bona Fides Memo,4 the Final Business Proprietary Memo,5 and the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    4See Memorandum to James C. Doyle, Director, Office V from Carrie Bethea, International Trade Compliance Analyst, Office V, entitled, “Bona Fides Analysis of Honey from the People's Republic of China for Shanghai Sunbeauty Trading Co., Ltd.,” dated November 30, 2016 (Preliminary Bona Fides Memo).

    5 Memorandum to the File, entitled, “Business Proprietary Information Memo for Shanghai Sunbeauty Trading Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently with the Memorandum to Ronald K. Lorentzen from Gary Taverman, entitled, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Rescission of the Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review of Honey from the People's Republic of China: Shanghai Sunbeauty Trading Co., Ltd.” (Final Business Proprietary Information Memo).

    Assessment

    As the Department is rescinding this NSR, we have not calculated a company-specific dumping margin for Sunbeauty. Sunbeauty's entries covered by this NSR will be assessed at the cash deposit rate required at the time of entry, which is the PRC-wide rate (i.e., $2.63 per kilogram).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Effective upon publication of this notice of the final rescission of the NSR of Sunbeauty, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to discontinue the option of posting a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit for entries of subject merchandise from Sunbeauty. The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of these final results for all shipments of subject merchandise from Sunbeauty entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act): (1) For subject merchandise produced and exported by Sunbeauty, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the PRC-wide rate (i.e., $2.63 per kilogram); (2) for subject merchandise exported by Sunbeauty but not manufactured by Sunbeauty, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the PRC-wide rate (i.e., $2.63 per kilogram); and (3) for subject merchandise manufactured by Sunbeauty, but exported by any other party, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the exporter. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notifications to Importers

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305, which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    The Department is issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(2)(B) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214 and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(5).

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of the Issues Issue: Bona Fide Nature of Sunbeauty's Sales V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06286 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF323 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council, NEFMC) will hold a three-day meeting to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, April 18, 19, and 20, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. on April 18, 8:30 a.m. on April 19, and 8:30 a.m. on April 20.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Mystic, 20 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT 06355; telephone: (860) 572-0731; online at http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/connecticut/hilton-mystic-MYSMHHF/index.html.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950; telephone: (978) 465-0492; www.nefmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492, ext. 113.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    After introductions and brief announcements, the meeting will begin with reports from the Council Chairman and Executive Director, NMFS's Regional Administrator for the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO), liaisons from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, representatives from NOAA General Counsel and the Office of Law Enforcement, and staff from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the U.S. Coast Guard. Following these reports, the Council will hear from its Scallop Committee, which will provide a progress report on 2017 work priorities. The Council also potentially may initiate a framework adjustment to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan to address Northern Gulf of Maine Management Area issues.

    After a lunch break, the Council will hear from its Skate Committee, which will provide a summary of comments received during recent scoping hearings for Amendment 5 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan. The Council also will review and may consider revising the existing control dates for the skate bait and skate non-bait (wing) fisheries. The Council will close out the day with a report from its Habitat Committee, which first will present an overview of input received during two mid-March coral workshops. These workshops were held in New Bedford, MA and Portsmouth, NH with active fishermen to help refine the alternatives in the Council's Draft Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. The Council then will identify preferred alternatives in the amendment to send to public hearing. Finally, the Council will receive a progress report on the Clam Dredge Exemption Area Framework Adjustment, which is under development.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    The second day of the meeting will begin with an Ecosystem Status Report by NEFSC staff to update the Council on the state of the Northeast Continental Shelf ecosystem. This report will be followed by an update from the Council's Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Committee on developing a worked example of harvest control rules for ecosystem management. Next, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center will provide a presentation on the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology and outline steps for improvement. GARFO staff will summarize the peer review that was conducted regarding in-season discard estimation methods, known as the Discard Methodology Review. Members of the public then will be able to speak during an open comment period on issues that relate to Council business but are not included on the published agenda for this meeting. The Council asks the public to limit remarks to 3-5 minutes.

    After a lunch break, the Whiting Committee will be up first. The Council will review and is expected to approve the range of limited access, permitting, and possession limit alternatives for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 22 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 22, referred to as “the whiting amendment,” is focused on small-mesh multispecies. After that, the Council will spend the remainder of the afternoon on research-related issues. First, the Council will receive a report from its Research Steering Committee regarding the committee's review of collaborative research projects funded by the Council. Next, the Council is expected to approve 2017-22 research priorities. Finally, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center will provide a review of its Cooperative Research Program.

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    The third day of the meeting will begin with a report from the Council Programmatic Review Steering Committee. The Council then is expected to approve a plan for conducting the review. Next, the Council will hear from its Atlantic Herring Committee, starting off with a presentation on the results of the mid-March Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) Peer Review. MSE is being used to develop an acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule for Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. The Council potentially may approve the range of alternatives for Amendment 8, including ABC control rule options and measures to address localized depletion and user conflicts. Following this discussion, the Council will review and approve comments on Addendum I to Amendment 3 of ASMFC's interstate Atlantic herring plan. Finally, the Council will receive an update from GARFO on its evaluation of incorporating portside data into herring catch cap quota monitoring.

    Following a lunch break, the Council may resume its herring discussion if necessary. Then, the Council will address the Industry-Funded Monitoring (IFM) Omnibus Amendment. The Council will review the preferred alternatives it selected during its January meeting for both the amendment itself and for IFM monitoring for the Atlantic herring fishery. The Council may make clarifications to and/or changes to the preferred alternatives for the Atlantic Herring Industry Funded Monitoring Program. The Council is expected to take final action and vote to submit its preferred alternatives to NMFS. The Council will close out the meeting with “other business.”

    Although non-emergency issues not contained on this agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency. The public also should be aware that the meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: March 27, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06280 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings Time and Date:

    11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 6, 2017.

    Place:

    Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room.

    Status:

    Closed.

    Matters to be Considered:

    Surveillance, enforcement, and examinations matters. In the event that the time, date, or location of this meeting changes, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date, and/or place of the meeting will be posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov.

    Contact Person for More Information:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Natise Allen, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06362 Filed 3-28-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Board of Visitors (BOV) of the U.S. Air Force Academy; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors.

    ACTION:

    Amended meeting notice (corrected dates).

    SUMMARY:

    On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the Department of the Air Force published a notice announcing a Board of Visitors of the Air Force Academy meeting. The announcement erroneously stated that the meeting dates were the 6th and 7th of April, 2017. The 7th of April will be the only day that the meeting will take place. All other information in the March 22, 2107 notice remains the same.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 13:45 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Polaris Hall, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80840.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Major James Kuchta, Accessions and Training Division, AF/A1PT, 1040 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330, (703) 695-4066, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Designated Federal Officer and the Department of Defense, the Board of Visitors of the United States Air Force Academy was unable to provide public notification amending its previously announced meeting notice on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 (82 FR 14699), as required by 41 CFR 102-3.150(a). Accordingly, the Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150(b), waives the 15-calendar day notification requirement.

    In accordance with 10 U.S.C. Section 9355, the U.S. Air Force Academy BoV will hold a meeting at Polaris Hall, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO on Friday, 7 April, 2017. The meeting will begin at 0900 and conclude at 1345. The purpose of this meeting is to review morale and discipline, social climate, strategic communication, infrastructure, and other matters relating to the Academy. Specific topics for this meeting include a Superintendent's Update; Capital Projects and Construction Update; Status of Discipline; Graduate Assessment Update.

    Public Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Registration of members of the public who wish to attend the meeting will begin upon publication of this meeting notice and end three business days (March 3) prior to the start of the meeting. All members of the public must contact Maj Kuchta at the phone number or email listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Seating is limited and is on a first-to-arrive basis. Attendees will be asked to provide their name, title, affiliation, and contact information to include email address and daytime telephone number to the POC listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Any interested person may attend the meeting, file written comments or statements with the committee, or make verbal comments from the floor during the public meeting, at the times, and in the manner, permitted by the BoV.

    Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the BoV about its mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Maj James Kuchta, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the email address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section in the following formats: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. The comment or statement must include the author's name, title, affiliation, address, and daytime telephone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the committee DFO at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that they may be made available to the BoV Chairman for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the BoV until its next meeting. Please note that because the BoV operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all written comments will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection.

    Verbal Comments: Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the meeting only at the time and in the manner allowed herein. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least three (3) business days in advance, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the email address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The BoV DFO will log each request to make a comment, in the order received, and the DFO and BoV Chairman will determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the BoV's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting.

    A period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described in this paragraph, will be allotted no more than five (5) minutes during this period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the DFO. For the benefit of the public, rosters that list the names of BoV members and any releasable materials presented during the open portions of this BoV meeting shall be made available upon request.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06305 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Science Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Science Board (DSB) 2017 Summer Study Task Force on Countering Anti-access Systems with Longer Range and Standoff Capabilities (“the Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force”) will meet in closed session on Thursday, March 23, 2017, from 7:50 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Pentagon, Room MD779, Washington, DC 20330 and Friday, March 24, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Strategic Analysis Inc., The Executive Conference Center, 4075 Wilson Blvd., Suite 350, Arlington, VA.

    DATES:

    Thursday, March 23, 2017, from 7:50 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Friday, March 24, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Pentagon, Room MD779, Washington, DC 20330 and Strategic Analysis Inc. Executive Conference Center, 4075 Wilson Blvd., Suite 350, Arlington, VA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Debra Rose, Executive Officer, Defense Science Board, 3140 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B888A, Washington, DC 20301-3140, via email at [email protected], or via phone at (703) 571-0084 or the Defense Science Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) Ms. Karen D.H. Saunders, Executive Director, Defense Science Board, 3140 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B888A, Washington, DC 20301, via email at [email protected] or via phone at (703) 571-0079.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Designated Federal Officer and the Department of Defense, the Defense Science Board was unable to provide public notification concerning its meeting on March 23 through 24, 2017, as required by 41 CFR 102-3.150(a). Accordingly, the Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150(b), waives the 15-calendar day notification requirement.

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    The mission of the DSB is to provide independent advice and recommendations on matters relating to the Department of Defense's (DoD) scientific and technical enterprise. The objective of the Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force is to explore new defense systems and technologies that will enable cost effective power projection that relies on the use of longer stand-off distances than current capabilities. System components may be deployed on manned or unmanned platforms with a range of potential autonomous capabilities. Use of cost reducing technology and advanced production practices from defense and commercial industry may be a major part of the strategy for deploying adequate numbers of weapons. The study should investigate and analyze all of these areas and recommend preferred system options. This two-day session will focus on future capabilities and architectures for the Department. Day One briefings will include opening remarks and expectations for the two-day session from Dr. David Whelan and Mr. Mark Russell, task force co-chairs; a briefing on the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Future Mission Concepts, including DoD capability and resource integration issues, from Mr. Steve Callicut, USSTRATCOM; a briefing on Future Naval Capabilities, including utilization of Navy resources to address adversary long range strike capabilities, from VADM John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy; a briefing on countering anti-access systems with longer range and standoff capabilities from Mr. James MacStravic, Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; a briefing from Mr. Barry Pike, Program Executive Officer, Missiles and Space, U.S. Army, on the utilization of Army resources to address adversary long range strike capabilities; a briefing on the Joint Force Special Operations Combatant Command Insights for the Pacific Region from Colonel William Nagel, Special Operations Command—Pacific; and a briefing on the operational programs and planning in the U.S. Pacific area of operations by Dr. George Ka'iliwai, U.S. Pacific Command. The Day Two briefing will be an overview of DoD's planning and development of strategic capabilities across DoD missions presented by Dr. William Roper, Director, Strategic Capabilities Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense. The remainder of this day will be the Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force's four panel break-out sessions: Architecture; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); Basing, Delivery, and Weapons; Command, Control, Communications, and Cyber. These panels will meet simultaneously to discuss topics to analyze in support of the study. The Day Two will close with discussion of the four panel's work.

    In accordance with section 10(d) of the FACA and 41 CFR 102-3.155, the DoD has determined that the Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force meeting will be closed to the public. Specifically, the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), in consultation with the DoD Office of General Counsel, has determined in writing that the meeting will be closed to the public because matters covered by 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1) will be considered. The determination is based on the consideration that it is expected that discussions throughout will involve classified matters of national security concern. Such classified material is so intertwined with the unclassified material that it cannot reasonably be segregated into separate discussions without defeating the effectiveness and meaning of the overall meetings. To permit the meeting to be open to the public would preclude discussion of such matters and would greatly diminish the ultimate utility of the DSB's findings and recommendations to the Secretary of Defense and to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

    In accordance with section 10(a)(3) of the FACA and 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140, interested persons may submit a written statement for consideration by the Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force members at any time regarding its mission or in response to the stated agenda of a planned meeting. Individuals submitting a written statement must submit their statement to the DSB's DFO—Ms. Karen D.H. Saunders, Executive Director, Defense Science Board, 3140 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B888A, Washington, DC 20301, via email at [email protected] or via phone at (703) 571-0079 at any point; however, if a written statement is not received at least 3 calendar days prior to the meeting, which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force until the next meeting of this task force. The DFO will review all submissions with the Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force Co-Chairs and ensure they are provided to Long Range Effects 2017 Summer Study Task Force members prior to the end of the two-day meeting on March 24, 2017.

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06229 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9960-25-OA] Notification of a Public Meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC); Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur to peer review EPA's Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria (First External Review Draft).

    DATES:

    The public meeting of the CASAC Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur will be held on Wednesday May 24, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) and Thursday, May 25, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).

    Location: The public meeting will be held at the Hilton Durham Hotel near Duke University, 3800 Hillsborough Road, Durham, North Carolina, 27705.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public wishing to obtain information concerning the public meeting may contact Dr. Thomas Armitage, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office (1400R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; by telephone at (202) 564-2155 or at [email protected] General information about the CASAC, as well as any updates concerning the meetings announced in this notice, may be found on the CASAC Web page at http://www.epa.gov/casac.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CASAC was established pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments of 1977, codified at 42 U.S.C. 7409(d)(2), to review air quality criteria and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and recommend any new NAAQS and revisions of existing criteria and NAAQS as may be appropriate. The CASAC is a Federal Advisory Committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App. 2. Section 109(d)(1) of the CAA requires that the Agency periodically review and revise, as appropriate, the air quality criteria and the NAAQS for the six “criteria” air pollutants, including oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and particulate matter (PM). EPA is currently reviewing the secondary (welfare-based) ambient air quality standards for oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and PM.

    Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the CASAC Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur will hold a public face-to-face meeting to review EPA's Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria (First External Review Draft). The CASAC Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards Review Panel for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies. The Panel will provide advice to the EPA Administrator through the chartered CASAC.

    Technical Contacts: Any technical questions concerning the Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria (First External Review Draft) should be directed to Dr. Tara Greaver ([email protected]), EPA Office of Research and Development.

    Availability of Meeting Materials: Prior to the meeting, the review documents, agenda and other materials will be available on the CASAC Web page at http://www.epa.gov/casac/.

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees and panels has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an EPA program office.

    Federal advisory committees and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide independent advice to EPA. Members of the public can submit relevant comments on the topic of this advisory activity, including the charge to the panel and the EPA review documents, and/or the group conducting the activity, for the CASAC to consider as it develops advice for EPA. Input from the public to the CASAC will have the most impact if it provides specific scientific or technical information or analysis for CASAC panels to consider or if it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information. Members of the public wishing to provide comment should follow the instructions below to submit comments.

    Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at a public meeting will be limited to five minutes. Each person making an oral statement should consider providing written comments as well as their oral statement so that the points presented orally can be expanded upon in writing. Interested parties should contact Dr. Thomas Armitage, DFO, in writing (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by May 17, 2017, to be placed on the list of public speakers.

    Written Statements: Written statements will be accepted throughout the advisory process; however, for timely consideration by CASAC members, statements should be supplied to the DFO (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by May 17, 2017. It is the SAB Staff Office general policy to post written comments on the Web page for the advisory meeting or teleconference. Submitters are requested to provide an unsigned version of each document because the SAB Staff Office does not publish documents with signatures on its Web sites. Members of the public should be aware that their personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted to the CASAC Web site. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder.

    Accessibility: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Dr. Armitage at (202) 564-2155 or [email protected] To request accommodation of a disability, please contact Dr. Armitage preferably at least ten days prior to each meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: March 10, 2017. Khanna Johnston, Acting Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Staff Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06316 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0620 and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0128; FRL-9959-72-ORD] First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a public comment period for the draft document titled, “First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria” (EPA/600/R-16/372). The draft document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) as part of the review of the secondary (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and particulate matter. The Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), in conjunction with additional technical and policy assessments, provides the scientific basis for EPA's decisions on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards. On January 28, 2016, EPA released a separate ISA as part of an independent review for the primary (health-based) NAAQS for oxides of nitrogen (EPA/600/R-15/068). In addition, EPA is currently developing separate ISAs to support the primary NAAQS review for oxides of sulfur and the primary and non-ecological secondary (e.g., visibility, climate, materials damage) NAAQS review for particulate matter.

    EPA is releasing this draft document to seek review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the public (meeting date and location to be specified in a separate Federal Register notice). This draft document is not final, as described in EPA's information quality guidelines, and it does not represent, and should not be construed to represent, Agency policy or views. When revising the document, EPA will consider any public comments submitted during the public comment period specified in this notice.

    DATES:

    The public comment period begins on March 30, 2017, and ends on May 24, 2017. Comments must be received on or before May 24, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The “First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria” will be available primarily via the internet on EPA's Integrated Science Assessment home page at https://www.epa.gov/isa/integrated-science-assessment-isa-oxides-nitrogen-and-sulfur-ecological or the public docket at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0620 and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0128. A limited number of CD-ROM copies will be available. Contact Ms. Marieka Boyd by phone: 919-541-0031; fax: 919-541-5078; or email: [email protected] to request a CD-ROM, and please provide your name, your mailing address, and the document title, “First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria” to facilitate processing of your request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the public comment period, contact the ORD Docket at the EPA Headquarters Docket Center; phone: 202-566-1752; fax: 202-566-9744; or email: [email protected]

    For technical information, contact Dr. Tara Greaver, NCEA; phone: 919-541-2435; fax: 919-541-1818; or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Information About the Document

    Section 108(a) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to identify certain pollutants which, among other things, “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare” and to issue air quality criteria for them. These air quality criteria are to “accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of all identifiable effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in the ambient air. . .” Under section 109 of the Act, EPA is then to establish NAAQS for each pollutant for which EPA has issued criteria. Section 109(d) of the Act subsequently requires periodic review and, if appropriate, revision of existing air quality criteria to reflect advances in scientific knowledge on the effects of the pollutant on public health or welfare. EPA is also required to review and, if appropriate, revise the NAAQS (for more information on the NAAQS review process, see https://www.epa.gov/naaqs).

    Oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and particulate matter are three of six criteria pollutants for which EPA has established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA reviews the scientific basis for these standards by preparing an ISA (formerly called an Air Quality Criteria Document). The ISA, in conjunction with additional technical and policy assessments, provides the scientific basis for EPA's decisions on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards. The CASAC, an independent science advisory committee whose review and advisory functions are mandated by Section 109(d)(2) of the Clean Air Act, is charged (among other things) with independent scientific review of the EPA's air quality criteria.

    On August 21, 2013 (78 FR 53452), EPA formally initiated its current review of the air quality criteria for the ecological effects of oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur, and the associated secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS, requesting the submission of recent scientific information on specified topics. Similarly, on December 3, 2014 (79 FR 71764), EPA formally initiated its current review of the air quality criteria for the particulate matter NAAQS. EPA conducted two workshops—the first on March 4 to 6, 2014, for oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur (79 FR 8644, February 13, 2014), and the second on February 11, 2015 (79 FR 71764, December 3, 2014), for particulate matter—to gather input from invited scientific experts, both internal and external to EPA, as well as from the public, regarding key science and policy issues relevant to the review of the these secondary NAAQS. These science and policy issues were incorporated into EPA's “Draft Integrated Review Plan for the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Oxides of Nitrogen and Oxides of Sulfur” as well as the “Integrated Review Plan for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter.” The Draft Integrated Review Plan (IRP) for oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur was available for public comment (80 FR 69220, November 9, 2015) and discussion by the CASAC via publicly accessible teleconference consultation (80 FR 65223, February 10, 2016). The Draft IRP for particulate matter was available for public comment (81 FR 2297, April 19, 2016) and discussion by the CASAC via publicly accessible teleconference consultation (81 FR 13362, March 14, 2016) prior to release of the final document (81 FR 87933, December 6, 2016). The final “Integrated Review Plan for the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter” will be announced by a separate Federal Register notice.

    Teleconference workshops with invited scientific experts, both internal and external to EPA, were held on August 25, 26, and 27, 2015 (80 FR 48316, August 12, 2015), and June 13, 2016 (81 FR 89262, May 11, 2016), to discuss initial draft materials prepared in the development of the draft ISA.

    The “First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria” will be discussed at a public meeting for review by CASAC and the public. In addition to the public comment period announced in this notice, the public will have an opportunity to address the CASAC. A separate Federal Register notice will inform the public of the exact date and time of the CASAC meeting and of the procedures for public participation.

    II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at www.regulations.gov

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0620 and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0128, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 202-566-9744.

    Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (ORD Docket), Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-566-1752.

    Hand Delivery: The ORD Docket is located in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The phone number for the Public Reading Room is 202-566-1744. Deliveries are only accepted during the docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. If you provide comments by mail or hand delivery, please submit three copies of the comments. For attachments, provide an index, number pages consecutively with the comments, and submit an unbound original and three copies.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0620 and Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0128. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the closing date will be marked “late,” and may only be considered if time permits. It is EPA's policy to include all comments it receives in the public docket without change and to make the comments available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless a comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information through www.regulations.gov or email that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at https://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Docket: Documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other materials, such as copyrighted material, are publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically on www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the ORD Docket in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center.

    Dated: February 14, 2017. Mary A. Ross, Deputy Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06317 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL 9959-89-Region 8] Proposed Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent, Quartz Hill Tailings Pile Within the Central City/Clear Creek Superfund Site, Central City, Gilpin County, Colorado AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed agreement; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”), notice is hereby given of the proposed administrative settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the City of Central, CO (“Settling Party”). Pursuant to the terms of the proposed settlement, the Settling Party will enact a land use ordinance and conduct operations and maintenance activities over the Quartz Hill Tailings Pile, within the Central City/Clear Creek Superfund Site. In exchange, the EPA will provide a covenant not to sue, and release certain liens against property owned by the Settling Party within the Central City/Clear Creek Superfund Site. The State of Colorado is also a signatory to the proposed agreement.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 1, 2017. For thirty (30) days following the date of publication of this notice, the Agency will receive written comments relating to the agreement. The Agency will consider all comments received and may modify or withdraw its consent to the agreement if comments received disclose facts or considerations that indicate that the agreement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Agency's response to any comments, the proposed agreement and additional background information relating to the agreement is available for public inspection at the EPA Superfund Record Center, 1595 Wynkoop, Denver, Colorado.

    Comments and requests for a copy of the proposed agreement should be addressed to Maureen O'Reilly, Enforcement Specialist, Environmental Protection Agency-Region 8, Mail Code 8ENF-RC, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-2466, and should reference the Central City/Clear Creek Superfund Site, Central City, Gilpin County, Colorado.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amelia Piggott, Enforcement Attorney, Legal Enforcement Program, Environmental Protection Agency-Region 8, Mail Code 8ENF-L, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-2466, (303) 312-6410.

    Dated: February 15, 2017. Suzanne J. Bohan, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06118 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0302; FRL-9957-76-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for the Graphic Arts Industry (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NSPS for the Graphic Arts Industry (40 CFR part 60, subpart QQ) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 0657.12, OMB Control No. 2060-0105), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through February 28, 2017. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (81 FR 26546) on May 3, 2016 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may neither conduct nor sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently-valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2013-0302, to: (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit: http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: Owners and operators of affected facilities are required to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements for the General Provisions (40 CFR part 60, subpart A), as well as the specific requirements at 40 CFR part 60, subpart QQ. This includes submitting initial notifications, performance tests and periodic reports and results, and maintaining records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. These reports are used by EPA to determine compliance with these standards.

    Form numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Graphics arts facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 60 Subpart QQ).

    Estimated number of respondents: 21 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally and semiannually.

    Total estimated burden: 1,920 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $198,000 (per year), which includes $0 annualized capital/startup and operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the estimates: There is an adjustment increase in the total estimated burden and cost as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. This increase is not due to any program changes. The change in the burden and cost estimates occurred for two reasons: (1) This ICR assumes all existing respondents will have to familiarize with the regulatory requirements each year; and (2) the burden has increased due an increase in the estimated number of sources subject to the standard. The number of sources has increased by one since the last ICR to account for industry growth in the past three years.

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06313 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0152; FRL 9960-27-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Compliance Assurance Monitoring Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Compliance Assurance Monitoring Program” (EPA ICR No. 1663.09, OMB Control No. 2060-0376) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through March 31, 2017. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (81 FR 44860) on July 11, 2016 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0152, to (1) the EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for the EPA.

    The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Barrett Parker, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D243-05), Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-5635; fax number: (919) 541-3207; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: The Clean Air Act (CAA) contains several provisions directing the EPA to require source owners to conduct monitoring to support certification as to their status of compliance with applicable requirements. These provisions are set forth in section 504 and section 114 of the CAA. Under CAA section 504(c), each operating permit must “set forth inspection, entry, monitoring, compliance, certification and reporting requirements to assure compliance with the permit terms and conditions.” See also CAA section 504(a) (each permit shall require reporting of monitoring and such other conditions as are necessary to assure compliance). CAA section 504(b) allows us to prescribe by rule, methods and procedures for determining compliance recognizing that continuous emissions monitoring systems need not be required if other procedures or methods provide sufficiently reliable and timely information for determining compliance. Section 114(a)(1) of the CAA provides additional authority concerning monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements. This section provides the Administrator with the authority to require any owner operator of a source to install and to operate monitoring systems and to record the resulting monitoring data. We promulgated the Compliance Assurance Monitoring rule, 40 CFR part 64, on October 22, 1997 (62 FR 54900), pursuant to these provisions. In accordance with CAA section 114(c) and CAA section 503(e), the monitoring information source owners must submit must also be available to the public except under circumstances set forth in section 114(c) of the CAA. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the EPA's regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are all facilities required to have an operating permit under Title V of the CAA. See section 502(a) of the CAA, which defines the sources required to obtain a Title V permit. See also 40 CFR 70.2 and 71.2.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory under Title V of the CAA. See section 502(a) of the CAA, which defines the sources required to obtain a Title V permit. See also 40 CFR 70.2 and 71.2.

    Estimated number of respondents: There are 24,121 pollutant specific emission units (PSEUs), where the number of respondents is the number of PSEUs subject to the compliance assurance monitoring rule, and 116 permitting authorities. Therefore, the estimated number of respondents is 24,237 (total).

    Frequency of response: At least every 6 months per Title V, 70.6(a)(3)(iii)(A) and (B).

    Total estimated burden: 51,080 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,998,453 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation and maintenance costs.

    Changes in the estimates: There is an increase of 607 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is due to adjustments to the estimates (e.g., to account for permit issuance increases). There is an increase of 1,114 respondents in the average annual number of respondents. This increase is due to an increased number of permitting authorities (four more) and to an estimated increase in the number of PSEUs (1,110 more).

    Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06314 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Maritime Commission (Commission) is giving public notice that the agency has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval the continuing information collection (extensions with no change) described in this notice. The public is invited to comment on the proposed information collection pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted at the addresses below on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to:

    Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Shannon Joyce, Desk Officer for Federal Maritime Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, [email protected], Fax (202) 395-5167 and to: Karen V. Gregory, Managing Director, Office of the Managing Director, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573, Telephone: (202) 523-5800, O[email protected]
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by contacting Donna Lee at 202-523-5800 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Request for Comment

    Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. On December 13, 2016, the Commission published a notice and request for comment in the Federal Register (81 FR 89940) regarding the agency's request for extension from OMB for information collections as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The Commission received no comments on the request for extension of OMB approval. The Commission has submitted the described information collection to OMB for approval.

    In response to this notice, comments and suggestions should address one or more of the following points: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Information Collection Open for Comment

    Title: 46 CFR part 540—Application for Certificate of Financial Responsibility/Form FMC-131.

    OMB Approval Number: 3072-0012 (Expires February 28, 2017).

    Abstract: Sections 2 and 3 of Public Law 89-777 (46 U.S.C. 44101-44106) require owners or charterers of passenger vessels with passenger berths or stateroom accommodations for at least 50 passengers and embarking passengers at United States ports to establish their financial responsibility to meet liability incurred for death or injury to passengers and other persons, and to indemnify passengers in the event of nonperformance of transportation. The Commission's Rules at 46 CFR part 540 implement Public Law 89-777 and specify financial responsibility coverage requirements for such owners and charterers.

    Current Actions: There are no changes to this information collection, and it is being submitted for extension purposes only.

    Type of Review: Extension.

    Needs and Uses: The information will be used by the Commission's staff to ensure that passenger vessel owners and charterers have evidenced financial responsibility to indemnify passengers and others in the event of nonperformance or casualty.

    Frequency: This information is collected when applicants apply for a certificate or when existing certificants change any information in their application forms.

    Affected Public Who Will Be Asked or Required to Respond: Respondents are owners, charterers and operators of passenger vessels with passenger berths or stateroom accommodations for at least 50 passengers that embark passengers from U.S. ports.

    Number of Annual Respondents: The Commission estimates the total number of respondents at 47 annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: The time per response ranges from 0.5 to 8 hours for reporting and recordkeeping requirements contained in the rules, and 8 hours for completing Application Form FMC-131.

    Total Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the total hour burden at 1,294 hours.

    Rachel Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06263 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreement under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (http://fmcinet/fmc.agreements.web/public) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 012475.

    Title: Tripartite Agreement.

    Parties: Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; and Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

    Filing Party: Jeffrey Lawrence and Joshua Stein; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the Parties to establish and operate a joint service for the transportation of containerized cargo in the trade between the United States and all countries worldwide, and to engage in cooperative working arrangements in preparation for the operation of the joint service.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: March 27, 2017. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06265 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than April 25, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Adam M. Drimer, Assistant Vice President) 701 East Byrd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23261-4528. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Old Line Bancshares, Inc., Bowie, Maryland; to acquire 100 percent of the voting securities of DCB Bancshares, Inc., Damascus, Maryland, and thereby indirectly acquire Damascus Community Bank, Damascus, Maryland.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 27, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06279 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Supplemental Evidence and Data Request on Physiologic Predictors of the Need for Trauma Center Care: A Systematic Review AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Request for Supplemental Evidence and Data Submissions.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking scientific information submissions from the public. Scientific information is being solicited to inform our review of Physiologic Predictors of the Need for Trauma Center Care: A Systematic Review, which is currently being conducted by the AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Program. Access to published and unpublished pertinent scientific information will improve the quality of this review.

    DATES:

    Submission Deadline on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Email submissions: [email protected]

    Print submissions:

    Mailing Address: Portland VA Research Foundation, Scientific Resource Center, ATTN: Scientific Information Packet Coordinator,PO Box 69539, Portland, OR 97239.

    Shipping Address (FedEx, UPS, etc.): Portland VA Research Foundation, Scientific Resource Center, ATTN: Scientific Information Packet Coordinator, 3710 SW., U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, Mail Code: R&D 71, Portland, OR 97239.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ryan McKenna, Telephone: 503-220-8262 ext. 51723 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has commissioned the Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Program to complete a review of the evidence for Physiologic Predictors of the Need for Trauma Center Care: A Systematic Review. AHRQ is conducting this systematic review pursuant to Section 902(a) of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 299a(a).

    The EPC Program is dedicated to identifying as many studies as possible that are relevant to the questions for each of its reviews. In order to do so, we are supplementing the usual manual and electronic database searches of the literature by requesting information from the public (e.g., details of studies conducted). We are looking for studies that report on Physiologic Predictors of the Need for Trauma Center Care: A Systematic Review, including those that describe adverse events. The entire research protocol, including the key questions, is also available online at: https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productid=2435

    This is to notify the public that the EPC Program would find the following information on Physiologic Predictors of the Need for Trauma Center Care: A Systematic Review helpful:

    A list of completed studies that your organization has sponsored for this indication. In the list, please indicate whether results are available on ClinicalTrials.gov along with the ClinicalTrials.gov trial number.

    For completed studies that do not have results on ClinicalTrials.gov, please provide a summary, including the following elements: Study number, study period, design, methodology, indication and diagnosis, proper use instructions, inclusion and exclusion criteria, primary and secondary outcomes, baseline characteristics, number of patients screened/eligible/enrolled/lost to follow-up/withdrawn/analyzed, effectiveness/efficacy, and safety results.

    A list of ongoing studies that your organization has sponsored for this indication. In the list, please provide the ClinicalTrials.gov trial number or, if the trial is not registered, the protocol for the study including a study number, the study period, design, methodology, indication and diagnosis, proper use instructions, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and primary and secondary outcomes.

    Description of whether the above studies constitute ALL Phase II and above clinical trials sponsored by your organization for this indication and an index outlining the relevant information in each submitted file.

    Your contribution will be very beneficial to the EPC Program. The contents of all submissions will be made available to the public upon request so materials submitted must be publicly available or able to be made public. Materials that are considered confidential; marketing materials; study types not included in the review; or information on indications not included in the review cannot be used by the EPC Program. This is a voluntary request for information, and all costs for complying with this request must be borne by the submitter.

    The draft of this review will be posted on AHRQ's EPC Program Web site and available for public comment for a period of 4 weeks. If you would like to be notified when the draft is posted, please sign up for the email list at: https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/join-the-email-list1/.

    The systematic review will answer the following questions. This information is provided as background. AHRQ is not requesting that the public provide answers to these questions.

    The Key Questions Key Question 1

    For patients with known or suspected trauma who are treated out-of-hospital by Emergency Medical System (EMS) personnel, what is the predictive utility of measures of circulatory compromise (e.g., systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, heart rate complexity/variability) or derivative measures (e.g., the shock index) for predicting serious injury requiring transport to the highest level trauma center available?

    I. How does the predictive utility of the studied measures of circulatory compromise vary across age groups (e.g., children or the elderly)? Specifically, what age ranges and values for the different age ranges are supported by the evidence?

    Key Question 2

    For patients with known or suspected trauma who are treated out-of-hospital by EMS personnel, what is the predictive utility of measures of respiratory compromise, (e.g., ventilatory support, respiration rate, tissue O2 saturation, respiratory effort, measures of acidemia such as end-tidal CO2, lactate, or base deficit) for predicting serious injury requiring transport to the highest level trauma center available?

    I. How does the predictive utility of the studied measures of respiratory compromise vary across age groups (e.g., children or the elderly)? Specifically, what age ranges and values for the different age ranges are supported by the evidence?

    Key Question 3

    For patients with known or suspected trauma who are treated out of the hospital by EMS personnel, what is the predictive utility for combinations of measures of respiratory and circulatory compromise together with or without measures of altered levels of consciousness (as defined by Glasgow coma scale or its components), for predicting serious injury requiring transport to the highest level trauma center available?

    I. How does the predictive utility of combinations of measures vary across age groups (e.g., children or the elderly)? Specifically, what age ranges and values for the different age ranges are supported by the evidence?

    Using the PICOTS (Populations, Interventions, Comparators, Outcomes, Timing, Settings) framework and a graphical analytic framework required adapting these tools as they were designed for and usually used for intervention studies. Our approach is informed by guidance related to frameworks in the Methods Guide for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Tests in addition to the Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews. We have included the standard PICOTS terms, but added detail to explain how we are using them for this review and we have added a legend and text to the graphical framework.

    PICOTS (Populations, Interventions, Comparators, Outcomes, Timing, Settings) Population(s)

    Population refers to the patients who are the subjects in the studies to be included.

    Include: Studies of patients of any age with known or suspected trauma who require assessment of physiologic compromise by EMS out of the hospital.

    Exclude: Studies of patients with nontrauma conditions or illnesses, patients with burns or chemical exposures, healthy people, and animal studies. Studies of patients in which other assessments are used (e.g., type of injury) or in which the patient population is limited to a subgroup of patients defined as seriously injured.

    • Studies in which the patient population is a priori restricted to patients with serious traumatic injuries.

    • Studies in which all patients have injuries that can be assessed or would be defined as serious based on direct observation (e.g., an amputation).

    Interventions (Physiologic Measures)

    The intervention is usually the treatment or health service of interest that is being evaluated in terms of its impact on the population. In this review the physiologic measures are what are evaluated. This review will include any measure of circulatory or respiratory compromise or combination measures. Examples are provided for each Key Question; however, additional measures may be identified by the search.

    Include:

    I. Key Question 1: Physiologic measures of circulatory compromise, including but not limited to systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, heart rate complexity/variability, or derivative measures such as the shock index.

    II. Key Question 2: Physiologic measures of respiratory compromise or effort, including but not limited to respiration rate, tissue O2 saturation, respiratory effort, measure of acidemia (e.g., end-tidal CO2, lactate, base deficit), or advanced out-of-hospital airway intervention.

    III. Key Question 3: Combinations of measures of respiratory and circulatory compromise with or without measures of altered levels of consciousness (as defined by Glasgow coma scale or its components).

    IV. All Key Questions: Additional measures may be identified during the search and included based on input from clinical experts. Studies of newer devices that provide these or other measurements will be included if available and relevant.

    In all cases measurement can be for a single point in time, change over time, or can be trends in the measure evaluated by a person or technology.

    Exclude: Clinical assessment or indicator of health status that is not a separate indicator or a combination indicator including a measure of circulatory or respiratory compromise (e.g., temperature, consciousness, eye tracking, musculoskeletal soundness, balance, blood glucose, orientation).

    Comparisons and Outcomes

    As this is not a review of intervention studies, the structure of the questions for the review as well as the questions posed by included studies are different. The Key Questions address how well measures of physiologic compromise identify trauma patients likely to have a serious injury requiring high-level trauma care.

    We include two types of evaluations of measures: (1) Studies of how well single measures predict severe injury; and (2) studies that compare the performance of two or more measures directly (head-to-head studies).

    The end points or “outcomes” of interest are the predictive utility of the measures. We include three different approaches to assessing predictive utility: (1) Adjusted risk estimates (e.g., odds ratio, relative risk, hazards ratio); (2) discrimination (e.g., area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUROC]); and (3) measures of diagnostic accuracy (e.g., sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values, and negative predictive values).

    The predictive utility is defined in terms of the physiologic measure's ability to identify patients who have severe injury. Defining and operationalizing what “severe injury” means is challenging for several reasons. Whether a patient had a serious injury at the time of field triage cannot be determined conclusively and we expect that clinical outcomes (e.g., death or disability) are affected by out-of-hospital and in-hospital treatment (i.e., a person can have a serious injury and recover). For this reason, we accept several indicators that a patient was seriously injured. These include outcomes, such as death, whether the patient required treatments and interventions used for serious injury, or whether the injury is rated as severe using accepted rating scales. It is possible the review will identify additional indicators that a patient had a severe injury; however the following list includes those that have been used in prior research.

    Indicators of Serious Injury

    I. In-hospital mortality.

    II. Resource use/intervention standards or lists.

    a. Published Consensus-Based Criterion Standard—This list defines need for trauma center care as any one of the following 10 specific indicators: Major surgery, advanced airway, blood products, admission for spinal cord injury, thoracotomy, pericardiocentesis, cesarean delivery, intracranial pressure monitoring, interventional radiology, and in-hospital death.

    b. Need For Life-Saving Interventions—Lists used by the U.S. military that include angioembolization, blood transfusion, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, chest tube, intubation, needle decompression, surgical cricothyrotomy or thoracotomy, pericardiocentesis, angiography with embolization, angiography without and surgical intervention.

    c. Major Surgery—Not including orthopedic surgery.

    d. Ratings of Injury Severity—Injury Severity Score (ISS) >15, as this is a commonly used threshold for high risk patients, but other cut-offs will be considered if used in included studies. The ISS score is based on an assessment that divides the body into nine regions, classifies the level of injury in each of the three most severely injured regions on a scale of 1 to 6, squares these values, and adds them together.

    Timing

    Physiological measures upon the arrival of EMS personnel to the scene of injury, during treatment in the field, and during transport (referred to as out-of-hospital or in the field). Studies with measures taken upon arrival at an emergency department will be considered. Details about timing of measurement will be recorded in data abstraction if they are reported.

    Settings

    Include:

    I. Studies measuring physiologic compromise in the field/out of hospital II. Studies of initial ED measurement as indirect evidence only if out of hospital evidence is not available and the measure is deemed clinically relevant III. Studies conducted in civilian or military settings

    Exclude:

    I. Inpatient, clinic, or emergency department (ED) II. Studies conducted in developing countries with out-of-hospital care systems that differ from those in the United States Study Designs

    Include:

    I. Any study that assesses the predictive utility of included measures either individually or that compares two or more measures. Designs may include trials and prospective and retrospective observational studies a. Systematic reviews

    Exclude:

    I. Nonsystematic reviews, commentaries, and letters II. Descriptions of the properties or performance of measures that do not include predictive utility Sharon B. Arnold, Acting Director.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06232 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC-2017-0028, Docket Number NIOSH-290] Draft Current Intelligence Bulletin: The Occupational Exposure Banding Process: Guidance for the Evaluation of Chemical Hazards; Notice of Public Meeting; Request for Comments Correction

    In notice document 2017-5115, beginning on page 13809, in the issue of Wednesday, March 15, 2017, make the following correction:

    On page 13809, in the third column, in the second line of the DATES paragraph, “Tuesday, May 23, 2016” should read, “Tuesday, May 23, 2017.”

    [FR Doc. C1-2017-05115 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel.

    Date: April 24, 2017.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6710 B Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Kimberly Lynette Houston, Scientific Review Officer, Division of Scientific Review, OD, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS, 6710B Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, 301.827.4902, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel; NICHD Genomic Clinical Variant Expert Curation Panels (U24) Review.

    Date: April 27, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Marriott Residence Inn, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Cathy J. Wedeen, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Scientific Review, OD, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS, 6710B Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, 301-435-6878, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.864, Population Research; 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children; 93.929, Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; 93.209, Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 24, 2017. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06249 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Rapid Assessment of Zika Virus (ZIKV) Complications (R21).

    Date: April 26, 2017.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Raymond R. Schleef, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3E61, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5019, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; NIAID Peer Review Meeting.

    Date: April 27, 2017.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Dharmendar Rathore, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G30; National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, Drive, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, 240-669-5058, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 24, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06248 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel; The Preconception Exposure Window and Health of the Offspring.

    Date: April 18, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hyatt Place Durham-Southpoint; 7840 NC 751 Hwy., Durham, NC 27713.

    Contact Person: Leroy Worth, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, Nat. Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-30/Room 3171, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (919) 541-0670, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel; Research Careers (K01,K22,K99/R00) in Environmental Health Sciences.

    Date: April 18, 2017.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Nat. Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Rodbell 101 ABC, 111 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Janice B Allen, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, Nat. Institute of Environmental Health Science, P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-30/Room 3170 B, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (919) 541-7556.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Special Emphasis Panel; Research Careers (K01) in Environmental Health Sciences.

    Date: April 19, 2017.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: NIEHS/National Institutes of Health, Keystone Building, 530 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: RoseAnne M McGee; Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research and Training, Nat. Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-30; Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (919) 541-0752; [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.115, Biometry and Risk Estimation—Health Risks from Environmental Exposures; 93.142, NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Health and Safety Training; 93.143, NIEHS Superfund Hazardous Substances—Basic Research and Education; 93.894, Resources and Manpower Development in the Environmental Health Sciences; 93.113, Biological Response to Environmental Health Hazards; 93.114, Applied Toxicological Research and Testing, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 24, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06250 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5962-N-03] Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2017; Revised AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Revised Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and Discussion of Comments on FY 2017 FMRs.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice updates the FY 2017 FMRs for Portland, ME HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA) and Vallejo-Fairfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), as requested by commenters. In addition to announcing these revised FY 2017 FMRs, this notice also includes HUD responses to the comments received regarding the FY 2017 FMRs.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The revised FY 2017 FMRs for Portland, ME, HMFA and Vallejo-Fairfield, CA, MSA are effective on May 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

    Questions on how to conduct FMR surveys or concerning further methodological explanations may be addressed to Marie L. Lihn or Peter B. Kahn, Economic and Market Analysis Division, Office of Economic Affairs, Office of Policy Development and Research, telephone 202-402-2409. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (toll-free).

    Questions related to use of FMRs or voucher payment standards should be directed to the respective local HUD program staff.

    For technical information on the methodology used to develop FMRs or a listing of all FMRs, please call the HUD USER information line at 800-245-2691 (toll-free) or access the information on the HUD USER Web site: http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html. FMRs are listed at the 40th or 50th percentile in Schedule B. For informational purposes, 40th percentile recent-mover rents for the areas with 50th percentile FMRs will be provided in the HUD FY 2017 FMR documentation system at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html#2017_query and 50th percentile rents for all FMR areas are published at http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/50per.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 26, 2016, HUD published the FY 2017 FMRs, requesting comments on the FY 2017 FMRs, and outlined procedures for requesting a reevaluation of an area's FY 2017 FMRs (81 FR 58952). This notice revises FY 2017 FMRs for two areas that requested reevaluation and provided data to HUD to allow for a reevaluation, and provides responses to the public comments HUD received on the previous notice referenced above.

    I. Revised FY 2017 FMRs

    The FMRs appearing in the following table supersede the use of the FY 2016 FMRs for Portland, ME HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA) and Vallejo-Fairfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The updated FY 2017 FMRs are based on surveys conducted in December 2016 by the area public housing agencies (PHAs) and reflect the estimated 40th percentile rent levels trended to April 1, 2017.

    The FMRs for the affected area are revised as follows:

    2017 fair market rent area FMR by number of bedrooms in unit 0 BR 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4 BR Portland, ME, HMFA 911 1028 1301 1755 1906 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA MSA 830 1035 1294 1884 2280

    The FMR Schedules are amended as shown in the Appendix to this notice and are available on the HUD USER Web site: http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html. The FMR Schedules will not be codified in 24 CFR part 888.

    II. Public Comments on FY 2017 FMRs

    A total of 29 comments were received and posted on regulations.gov, https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=HUD-2016-0093. Fourteen of these comments were requests for reevaluation of the FY 2017 FMRs for 11 FMR areas. HUD approved requests for nine metropolitan areas and declined them for two metropolitan areas (where the requester(s) did not administer more than 50 percent of the housing choice voucher families in the metropolitan area, as required) in a posting on October 3, 2016 available at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr2017/Areas-where-FY2016-FMRs-Remain-in-Effect.pdf. These nine areas were granted approval to continue to use FY 2016 FMRs until the reevaluation of the FY 2017 FMRs has occurred. Each metropolitan area was given until January 6, 2017 to provide HUD with the data to reevaluate the FY 2017 FMRs. One area, the Dallas, TX HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA), which uses Small Area FMRs under a court settlement, has already been reevaluated and its FY 2017 Small Area FMRs have been updated (81 FR 78177), effective December 7, 2016. This notice updates FY 2017 FMRs for two additional areas. The remaining six areas did not provide HUD data to complete a reevaluation, and their FY 2017 FMRs are unchanged from the amounts provided in the August 26, 2016 notice. In accordance with the reevaluation procedures outlined in the August 26, 2016 FY 2017 Fair Market Rent notice (81 FR 58952, Section V. Requests For FMR Reevaluations, item 4), HUD posted a listing of these six areas where data was not submitted and announced that the FY 2017 FMRs for these areas became effective on January 9, 2017 (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr2017/Areas-Where-FY2017-FMRs-become-effective.pdf).

    Most of the other comments discussed inaccuracies of the FMRs and a need for more current data. Several of the comments addressed HUD's specific request for public comment on “on what should be considered `material changes' in FMR estimation methods for purposes of triggering public notice and comment under HOTMA.” 1 In addition, there was a request for a change in a geographic area definition for a metropolitan area in which parts of the area are not contiguous. HUD has summarized the comments where possible and provides responses to these comment groups in greater detail below.

    1 HOTMA is the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-201, approved July 29, 2016).

    General Comments

    Comments: FMRs do not represent accurate on-the-ground rental market prices. The accuracy of FMRs is a function of the underlying data set and the methodology used to convert the data set to the FMRs, and the source of the data is unchanged from last year.

    HUD Response: The American Community Survey (ACS) continues to be the primary source of gross rent data used in the calculation of the FMRs as it is the only known statistically reliable data source that provides comprehensive information on gross rents paid collected in a consistent manner nationwide. The ACS data HUD acquires is adjusted for housing quality and calculated at the 40th percentile rent for the FMR areas. HUD does point out that the data used to calculate FY 2017 FMRs is one year more current than the data used to calculate FY 2016 FMRs. HUD uses the most current ACS data available when calculating the FMRs. As an example, consider the publication timeline for the FY 2017 FMRs. The FY 2017 FMRs were calculated in June and July of 2016 for publication in August 2016, but the 2015 ACS data was not released until September through December of 2016. Therefore, during calculation of FY 2017 FMRs, the 2014 ACS data was the most current available ACS data. HUD augments the most current available ACS data with the annual change in gross rents measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (measured between 2014 and 2015 in the FY 2017 FMR example), and a forecasted trend factor to align the calculated FMRs with the Fiscal Year for which the FMRs are effective.

    Comments: Inaccurate FMRs have strong negative impacts on PHAs' ability to serve Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participants. Low-income families that rely on the HCV program will feel the greatest impact in areas where the published FMRs are too low relative to actual costs. These low FMRs cause cost burdens for voucher-assisted households to increase, sometimes to the point of forcing low-income families to seek housing in areas with greater concentrations of poverty and lower-quality housing stock.

    HUD Response: HUD is aware of the impacts when FMRs are too high or too low and strives to limit inaccuracies and year-to-year fluctuations in FMRs. HUD continually reviews its methodology and expects to propose changes in a future Federal Register notice.

    Comments: HUD's previous statements about making further changes that would be reflected in its FY 2017 FMRs, were not acted upon. There are erratic fluctuations in FMR values within the same bedroom size in the same county, in opposite directions year over year, which do not accurately reflect many local housing markets. There are fluctuations in FMR values in opposite directions between different bedroom sizes within the same year and there are erratic fluctuations in opposite directions year over year that have had the effect of largely cancelling each other out over this three-year period, in a way that does not accurately reflect gross rent values in many rental housing markets. This commenter also expressed concern in the large variations in differences between the FY 2017 Unadjusted rents and the FY 2017 Final FMRs.

    HUD Response: HUD's initial plan for Proposed FY 2017 FMRs included several changes to the FMR calculation methods to address these criticisms of FMRs; however, with the enactment of the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) (Pub. L. 114-201, approved July 29, 2016) which changed the FMR publication process, there was insufficient time to publish a notice of proposed material change, review comments, and post FY 2017 FMRs with a 30-day delayed effective date (as is all now required), and still meet the mandated October 1, 2016 effective date for FY 2017 FMRs (which is unchanged). Therefore, HUD published FY 2017 FMRs with no methodology changes, and expects to propose them in a forthcoming notice.

    HUD implemented the state non-metropolitan minimum FMR standard to ensure that voucher holders have access to suitable rental housing units where the rent paid is sufficient to cover the long-term operating and capital requirements for the dwelling. Areas where the state non-metropolitan minimum rent is applied have ACS-based unadjusted rents that are below a reasonable level for these long-term commitments.

    State non-metropolitan minimum rents are calculated as the population weighted median 2 bedroom rent calculated from the data specific to each non-metropolitan county in a state. The Final 2 bedroom FMR for an area becomes the state non-metropolitan minimum if the rent calculated based on the county level data is below the minimum; therefore, depending on the distribution of county-level unadjusted rents, certain counties could have considerable differences between their unadjusted rent and their published FMR. Unadjusted rents are made available to PHAs solely for the purpose of setting flat rents for their public housing portfolios.

    Comments: FMRs are deeply flawed and the changes HUD has taken regarding annual adjustment factors are still insufficient. Actions taken by the Senate Appropriations Committee are an attempt to force HUD to make deeper and broader improvements to its FMRs. The Senate FY 2017 THUD-Appropriations bill (Pub. L. 114-223, approved on September 29, 2016) appropriates $41.5 million to HUD to pay for local rental market surveys of areas affected by changing economic conditions and natural disasters.

    HUD Response: The funds in the Senate appropriations bill referenced by the commenter are for the American Housing Survey, which focuses on housing quality and other demographic issues rather than rents. This is a longitudinal survey with limited local data and the funds cannot be redirected for rent surveys in areas affected by changing economic conditions and natural disasters. The HUD appropriations previously used to conduct rent surveys to adjust FMRs have not been made since 2012.

    Comments: Ever since HUD used its discretionary authority to adopt each new OMB area for FMR purposes, starting in FY 2006, HUD's rent estimates have gone haywire. To calculate the FY 2016 FMRs, HUD incorporated OMB's latest metropolitan area definition from 2013. As a result, there are counties previously designated by HUD as non-metro that HUD subsequently designated as metropolitan and vice-versa. HUD's FMR areas and SAFMR areas artificially inflate rent values in non-metropolitan areas and artificially deflate FMR values in metropolitan areas.

    HUD Response: In 2006, when HUD applied OMB's new metropolitan area definitions based on the 2000 Decennial Census to the FMRs, HUD was following longstanding past practice. HUD modified FMR areas in accordance with updated OMB area definitions after the 1980, and 1990 Decennial Censuses. HUD's incorporation of the 2010 Decennial Census-based area definitions into the FY 2016 FMRs continued HUD's longstanding past practices. The updated OMB area definitions' changes in area geography, and especially changes from non-metropolitan to metropolitan area designations, are important in providing consistency across all federal programs. HUD specifically considers the impact of area definition changes on Fair Market Rent levels and other program parameters when implementing metropolitan area definition changes, and specifically deviates from OMB definitions to prevent large changes when sufficient local data is available.

    Comments: HUD should use more timely data when calculating FMRs. HUD should work to develop a method to incorporate more recent data into its published FMRs rather than continue to rely on PHA-funded studies to correct inaccuracies in FMRs. The ACS five-year and one-year datasets do not possess adequate external validity for calculating current non-regulated rents for all FMR areas. Additionally, the ACS dataset fails to capture key data on housing quality to ensure that calculations are based on the relevant population. This omission greatly alters the FMR estimates and leads to underestimation of the current housing costs. PHAs are not well suited to conduct surveys and compile sophisticated statistical analyses. This is a function that would be better suited for HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).

    HUD Response: There is no other data on gross rents paid that is consistently collected on a nationwide basis, available to HUD, and more timely than the ACS dataset. HUD recognizes the housing quality data limitations of the ACS dataset and uses a combination of ACS survey responses and a public housing “cut-off” rent calculated from HUD administrative data to identify and eliminate these low rent units from the distribution of gross rents paid before a 40th percentile rent is calculated. The rationale for using this “cut-off” rent is that units with gross rents below these amounts are either of insufficient quality to meet the housing quality standards for units occupied by voucher holders, or are representative of an assisted tenant's out of pocket expenses and not a true measure of the market gross rent for the unit. Eliminating these units from the distribution before the 40th percentile rent is calculated raises the 40th percentile rent for the area. As discussed earlier, HUD currently lacks funding and the mechanisms necessary to collect rent data by a more specialized survey method.

    Comments: The effective date for new FMRs should be 60 days from publication, not 30 days. HUD has offered only a 30-day period for PHAs to submit a request for reevaluation of the FMR for their regions. HUD should provide at least 60 days for PHAs to make a reevaluation request. Further, PHAs should be able to choose to continue to use the prior year FMR or use the new FMR for which they requested a reevaluation. Otherwise, a PHA seeking reevaluation whose FMR has increased is, in effect, penalized for requesting reevaluation because it must continue to use the prior year's lower FMR.

    HUD Response: HOTMA requires that FMRs become effective no less than 30 days following their publication. In order to provide additional time for PHAs to implement newly effective FMRs, HUD's Small Area FMR rule (81 FMR 80567) provides that all PHAs have up to three months from the date when the new FMRs go into effect in which to update their payment standards if a change is necessary to fall within the basic range of the new FMRs. Regarding the timing of reevaluation requests, the FY 2017 FMRs were delayed due to the HOTMA-mandated changes in FMR publication requirements and procedures. Based on timing constraints, HUD provided the longest window possible for making the FY 2017 FMRs effective and for providing a request for FMR reevaluation. Finally, provisions within HOTMA govern the process for FMR reevaluation requests. Specifically, HOTMA states: “The Secretary shall establish a procedure for public housing agencies and other interested parties to comment on such fair market rentals and to request, within a time specified by the Secretary, reevaluation of the fair market rentals in a jurisdiction before such rentals become effective.” [emphasis added]. Therefore, HUD may not make the newly calculated FMRs effective when a valid reevaluation request is received. Practically speaking, allowing a PHA to use the higher of the previous year or current year FMR would also create significant issues for quality control and program audit activities.

    Comments: HUD should allow interested stakeholders to comment on the utility component of FMRs. We recommend that HUD provide PHAs with the utility data it gathers from the annual FMR calculations so that PHAs may evaluate the percentage change in the utility component from year to year.

    HUD Response: HUD receives ACS data on gross rents paid from the Census Bureau to determine FMRs. The utility component is embedded in this gross rent and not separately available. The inflation adjustments HUD applies to the ACS data includes indices for rent and utilities. While the rent and utility inflation indices can be found in the FMR documentation system, they only serve to inflate the gross rents HUD receives from the ACS, and are not separate estimates of the utility component of gross rent. Section 108 of HOTMA charges HUD with collecting data on utility consumption and costs in local areas to the extent that HUD can do so cost efficiently. HUD is reviewing what can be accomplished cost efficiently and will release these data when they become available.

    Comments: HUD should take an expansive view of what constitutes a “material change” in FMR estimation methods. It is unlikely that HUD can predict the impact of changes in FMR methodology for every FMR geography. The “material change” criteria should not be based on either the number of FMR areas impacted or a triggering threshold based on the number of areas whose FMRs would change by a certain percentage before HUD is required to get comments on a “material change”. Only changes that impact how a PHA can spend money (since PHA payment standards are based on FMRs) should be required to be considered material.

    HUD Response: HUD appreciates this comment and HUD is taking an expansive view on what constitutes a “material change” and intends to provide an opportunity for public comment on all FMR methodological changes in forthcoming proposed notices of material changes in FMR calculations. Moreover, HUD points out that most method changes do not occur in one direction and are not static. That is, FMRs in some areas will go up and some areas will go down as a result of calculation changes, and these changes may mean that an area that went up one year will go down the next year.

    Comments: HUD should consider smoothing-out the sharp swings in rents from the year-to-year caused by year-to-year changes in the determination of the recent mover factor. Such large changes affect planning and management efforts.

    HUD Response: HUD may assess the need to propose changes to the FMR estimation methodology related to data integrity in a forthcoming notice of Proposed Material Change that should reduce such large year-to-year swings that can arise from the one-year recent mover data.

    Comments: The bonuses for three-bedroom, four-bedroom and higher bedroom-count units, ostensibly to help the largest and most difficult-to-house families find units, should not be used without qualification. HUD's policy signals to every developer that a greater profit is to be found in the production of high bedroom-count units. The per-room rent differential offered by HUD for a three-bedroom unit is five times as attractive (per room) as the one offered for a single-bedroom unit, and thus hinders our ability to respond to local housing market conditions.

    HUD Response: The bonuses applied to the ratios used to calculate the FMRs for higher bedroom-count units have been an important means of serving the relatively small group of large-sized families dependent on vouchers. While HUD appreciate the comment, HUD does not believe the bonuses should be eliminated, even for certain areas.

    Comments Specific to Puerto Rico

    Comments: HUD should not use multiple non-contiguous geographical areas as an FMR Area nor apply a single FMR to non-adjacent geographical areas. HUD's use of non-contiguous county equivalents (municipios) in a metropolitan area does not conform to the adjacency standard governing the designation of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.

    HUD Response: The county removed from the Barranquitas Aibonito-Quebradillas FMR area was not removed because it is not a contiguous area, it was removed because OMB removed it from this metropolitan area. OMB kept the remaining non-contiguous county (municipio), Maunabo, in the metropolitan area, and did not follow the adjacency criteria for this metropolitan area. Both counties (municipios) have been in the metro area at least as far back as 2006. Functionally, removing Maunabo Municipio from the current FMR area will not change the effective FMR for the municipio as there is insufficient data to calculate a stand-alone FMR for the municipio and the state non-metropolitan minimum would still be used.

    Comments: The use of the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) heat use index as a proxy to adjust the “Rent of primary residence” statistic to remove the influence of utilities has a depressing effect in a tropical area.

    HUD Response: HUD's longstanding use of the CES heat use index helps HUD estimate the portion of gross rent attributable to shelter cost and the portion attributable to utility costs. The commenter suggests that HUD's methodology has the effect of lowering FMRs in tropical areas. However, given recent economic trends, increasing the influence of utility costs in the calculation of gross rents in Puerto Rico at this time would further depress rents, not raise them. More fundamentally, HUD's use of the heat use index to “remove” the influence of utilities from the “rent of primary residence component” of gross rents is necessary because the rent of primary residence index captures some utility costs for units where utilities are included in the rent payment. Therefore, HUD must determine how much utility costs are embedded in the rent of primary residence so as to not double count the influence of utility costs changes when constructing a gross rent inflation factor.

    To summarize how the CES heat use index is used in the calculation of FMRs: FMRs are gross rent estimates. Gross rents include the cost of the shelter plus the cost of the necessary utilities for the dwelling unit. In order to produce an FMR that comports with the statutory requirements of calculating the FMRs “based on the most recent available data trended so the rentals will be current for the year to which they apply,” HUD uses data from the American Community Survey on gross rents paid, updated by the change in gross rents measured through the CPI and trended using a national forecast of expected growth in gross rents. In order to calculate a gross rent increase factor using CPI data, HUD must determine how to combine the CPI's measurement of the “rent of primary residence” and the “fuels and utilities” component of Housing. This step is complicated by the fact that some of the rents reported in the survey used to generate the CPI data for “rent of primary residence” already include utility costs. To cleanly separate the two components of “rents” and “utilities,” it is necessary to factor out any utility costs reported as rents. HUD uses the CES heat use index to estimate this amount.

    Several years ago, HUD began using CPI “rent” and “utilities” components measured solely for Puerto Rico to calculate Puerto Rico's gross rent increase factor. However, because no local measure is known to exist that could serve as the equivalent of the CES heat use index, HUD uses the South Census Region CES information as a proxy in Puerto Rico. For the relevant time period (2014 to 2015), the “rent of primary residence” statistic measured across all of Puerto Rico increased by 0.47 percent while the “fuels and utilities” component of housing declined by 14.75 percent. Given the large decrease in fuels and utilities measured in Puerto Rico, every combination of the two CPI components to obtain a measurement of the change in gross rents where the weight on the “rent of primary residence” component is 95 percent or less for Puerto Rico yields an overall negative CPI update factor (less than 1). Therefore, as stated above, increasing the influence of utility costs in the calculation of gross rents in Puerto Rico in 2017 would further depress rents, not raise them.

    III. Environmental Impact

    This Notice makes changes in FMRs for two FMR areas and does not constitute a development decision affecting the physical condition of specific project areas or building sites. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(6), this Notice is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

    Dated: March 23, 2017. Matthew E. Ammon, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development & Research.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06298 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-FHC-2017-N033; FXFR131109WFHS0-167-FF09F10000] Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget for Approval; Injurious Wildlife; Importation Certification for Live Fish and Fish Eggs AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. We summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. This information collection is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2017. We 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. However, under OMB regulations, we may continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is pending at OMB.

    DATES:

    You must submit comments on or before May 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-5806 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail), or [email protected] (email). Please include “1018-0078” in the subject line of your comments. You may review the ICR online at http://www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to review Department of the Interior collections under review by OMB.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madonna Baucum, at [email protected] (email) or (703) 358-2503 (telephone).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42) (Act) prohibits the importation of any animal deemed to be and prescribed by regulation to be injurious to:

    • Human beings;

    • The interests of agriculture, horticulture, and forestry; or

    • Wildlife or the wildlife resources of the United States.

    The Department of the Interior is charged with implementation and enforcement of this Act. The 50 CFR 16.13 regulations allow for the importation of dead uneviscerated salmonids (family Salmonidae), live salmonids, live fertilized eggs, or gametes of salmonid fish into the United States. To effectively carry out our responsibilities and protect the aquatic resources of the United States, it is necessary to collect information regarding the source, destination, and health status of salmonid fish and their reproductive parts. In order to evaluate import requests that contain this data, it is imperative that the information collected is accurate. Those individuals who provide the fish health data and sign the health certificate must demonstrate professional qualifications, and be approved as Title 50 Certifiers by the Fish and Wildlife Service through an application process.

    We use three forms to collect this Title 50 Certifier application information:

    (1) FWS Form 3-2273 (Title 50 Certifying Official Form). New applicants and those seeking recertification as a title 50 certifying official provide information so that we can assess their qualifications.

    (2) FWS Form 3-2274 (U.S. Title 50 Certification Form). Certifying officials use this form to affirm the health status of the fish or fish reproductive products to be imported.

    (3) FWS Form 3-2275 (Title 50 Importation Request Form). We use the information on this form to ensure the safety of the shipment and to track and control importations.

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1018-0078.

    Title: Injurious Wildlife; Importation Certification for Live Fish and Fish Eggs (50 CFR 16.13).

    Service Form Number(s): FWS Forms 3-2273, 3-2274, and 3-2275.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Description of Respondents: Aquatic animal health professionals seeking to be certified title 50 inspectors; certified title 50 inspectors who have performed health certifications on live salmonids; and any entity wishing to import live salmonids or salmonid reproductive products into the United States.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Requirement Annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Completion
  • time per
  • response
  • Total
  • annual
  • burden
  • hours *
  • FWS Form 3-2273 (Title 50 Certifying Official Form) Private Sector 9 9 1 hour 9 Government 7 7 1 hour 7 FWS Form 3-2274 (U.S. Title 50 Health Certification Form) Private Sector 10 20 30 minutes 10 Government 15 30 30 minutes 15 FWS Form 3-2275 (Title 50 Importation Request Form) Private Sector 10 20 15 minutes 5 Government 15 30 15 minutes 8 Totals: 66 116 54 * Rounded.

    Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

    III. Comments

    On December 19, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 91944) a notice of our intent to request that OMB renew approval for this information collection. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 days, ending on February 17, 2017. We received one formal comment in response to that notice. That comment was critical of the 50 CFR 16.13 regulations generally, suggesting that no salmonid fishes be imported into the United States and that we utilize only domestic salmonids for propagation and aquaculture purposes. Although we allow importation of salmonids and their reproductive parts, we regulate their importation because they may carry harmful pathogens. The Service, however, agrees that the further development of a domestic salmonid fish trade could lessen the demand for imported fishes.

    We again invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. 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 OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    Authority

    The authorities for this action are the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42; Act), and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Dated: March 24, 2017. Tina A. Campbell, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06259 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-557 and 731-TA-1312 (Final)] Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From China; Determinations

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject investigations, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China, provided for in subheadings 7219.13.00, 7219.14.00, 7219.23.00, 7219.24.00, 7219.32.00, 7219.33.00, 7219.34.00, 7219.35.00, 7219.90.00, 7220.12.10, 7220.12.50, 7220.20.10, 7220.20.60, 7220.20.70, 7220.20.80, 7220.20.90, and 7220.90.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that have been found by the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) to be sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), and to be subsidized by the government of China.2

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    2 The Commission also finds that imports subject to Commerce's affirmative critical circumstances determination are not likely to undermine seriously the remedial effect of the countervailing and antidumping duty orders on stainless steel sheet and strip from China.

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to sections 705(b) and 735(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b) and 19 U.S.C. 1673d(b)), instituted these investigations effective February 12, 2016, following receipt of petitions filed with the Commission and Commerce by AK Steel Corp., West Chester, Ohio; Allegheny Ludlum, LLC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; North American Stainless, Inc., Ghent, Kentucky; and Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, Bannockburn, Illinois. The final phase of the investigations was scheduled by the Commission following notification of preliminary determinations by Commerce that imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China were subsidized within the meaning of section 703(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671b(b)) and sold at LTFV within the meaning of 733(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1673b(b)). Notice of the scheduling of the final phase of the Commission's investigations and of a public hearing to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register on October 6, 2016 (81 FR 69548). The hearing was held in Washington, DC, on January 31, 2017, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel.

    The Commission made these determinations pursuant to sections 705(b) and 735(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b) and 19 U.S.C. 1673d(b)). It completed and filed its determinations in these investigations on March 24, 2017. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4676 (March 2017), entitled Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip from China: Investigation Nos. 701-TA-557 and 731-TA-1312 (Final).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 24, 2017. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06231 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-475 and 731-TA-1177 (Review)] Aluminum Extrusions From China Determinations

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject five-year reviews, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that revocation of the countervailing and antidumping duty orders on aluminum extrusions from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), instituted these reviews on April 1, 2016 (81 FR 18884) and determined on July 5, 2016 that it would conduct full reviews (81 FR 45304, July 13, 2016). Notice of the scheduling of the Commission's reviews and of a public hearing to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register on October 5, 2016 (81 FR 69078). The hearing was held in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2017, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel.

    The Commission made these determinations pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)). It completed and filed its determinations in these reviews on March 27, 2017. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4677 (March 2017), entitled Certain Aluminum Extrusions from China: Investigation Nos. 701-TA-475 and 731-TA-1177 (Review).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 27, 2017. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06274 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Justice Statistics [OMB Number 1121-0314] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) Program AGENCY:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 8212 on January 24, 2017, allowing for a 60 day comment period. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 30 days until May 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Allina Lee, Statistical Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 810 Seventh Street NW., Washington, DC 20531 (phone: 202-305-2696).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    2. The Title of the Form/Collection: 2016 Firearm Inquiry Statistics Program: Annual Survey of Background Checks for Firearm Transfers and Permits.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection: There is no agency form number at this time. The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the Office of Justice Programs.

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Through the Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) Program, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) obtains information from state and local checking agencies responsible for maintaining records on the number of background checks for firearm transfers or permits that were issued, processed, tracked, or conducted during the calendar year. Specifically, state and local checking agencies are asked to provide information on the number of applications and denials for firearm transfers received or tracked by the agency, and reasons why an application was denied. BJS combines these data with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System transaction data to produce comprehensive national statistics on firearm application and denial activities resulting from the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (the Brady Act) and similar state laws governing background checks and firearm transfers. BJS also collects information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) on FBI denials screened and referred to ATF field offices for investigation and possible prosecution. BJS began the FIST program in 1995 and collects FIST data annually. BJS publishes FIST data on the BJS Web site in statistical tables and uses the information to respond to inquiries from Congress, federal, state, and local government officials, researchers, students, the media, and other members of the general public interested in in criminal justice statistics.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 1,044 checking agencies will take part in the 2016 FIST survey, including the 34 state agency reporters that provide complete statewide counts of applications of firearm transfers or permits and denials, a full census of local checking agencies in 9 states where the local agencies are the FIST points-of-contact, and a sample of agencies in 3 states where local checking agencies are responsible for conducting background checks. Based on testing of the current survey form and BJS's extensive history conducting the FIST collection, BJS estimates that the burden will vary depending on the number of permit or transfer types the respondent agency conducts background checks: 20 minutes for agencies that conduct background checks for 1 type; 30 minutes for agencies that conduct background checks for 2 types; and 30 minutes for state reporting agencies. The overall estimated burden is 25 minutes per respondent, which is consistent with the burden associated with the 3 most recent collections (2012, 2014, and 2015).

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated public burden associated with this collection is 435 hours annually. (This estimate assumes a 100% response rate). It is estimated that respondents will take 25 minutes to complete a questionnaire. The burden hours for collecting respondent data sum to 435 hours (1,044 respondents × 25 minutes = 435 hours).

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530. Dated: March 27, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06275 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-18-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Project No. 0769; NRC-2017-0043] NuScale Power, LLC AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License application; docketing.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has accepted for docketing an application for a design certification of a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) submitted by NuScale Power, LLC (NuScale).

    DATES:

    March 15, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0043 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0043. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. The entire NuScale application is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17013A229.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bruce Bavol, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6715, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By letter dated December 31, 2016, NuScale filed an application for a design certification of the NuScale SMR with the NRC, pursuant to Section 103 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and part 52 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), “Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.” A notice of receipt and availability of this application was previously published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2017 (82 FR 11372).

    The NRC staff has determined that NuScale has submitted information in accordance with 10 CFR part 2, “Rules of Practice for Domestic Licensing Proceedings and Issuance of Orders,” and 10 CFR part 52 that is acceptable for docketing. The docket number established for this application is 52-048.

    The NRC staff will perform a detailed technical review of the design certification application. Docketing of the design certification application does not preclude the NRC from requesting additional information from the applicant as the review proceeds, nor does it predict whether the Commission will grant or deny the application. A notice relating to the rulemaking pursuant to 10 CFR 52.51 for design certification, including provisions for participation of the public and other parties, will be published in the future.

    The NuScale SMR is a pressurized-water reactor (PWR). The design is based on the Multi-Application Small Light Water Reactor (MASLWR) developed at Oregon State University in the early 2000s. The NuScale SMR is a natural circulation light-water reactor with the reactor core and helical coil steam generator located in a common reactor vessel in a cylindrical steel containment. The NuScale power module is immersed in water in a safety-related pool. The reactor pool is located below grade and is designed to hold up to 12 power modules. Each NuScale SMR has a rated thermal output of 160 megawatts thermal (MWt) and electrical output of 50 megawatts electric (MWe). Each plant can hold up to 12 modules yielding a total capacity of 600 MWe.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of March, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Frank Akstulewicz, Director, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06309 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2017-0001] Sunshine Act Meeting Notice Date:

    Weeks of April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8, 2017.

    Place:

    Commissioners' Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland.

    Status:

    Public and Closed.

    Week of April 3, 2017—Tentative Tuesday, April 4, 2017 9:55 a.m. Affirmation Session (Public Meeting) (Tentative) Tennessee Valley Authority (Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Units 1, 2, and 3), Petitioner's Appeal of LBP-16-11 (Tentative)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    10:00 a.m. Meeting with the Organization of Agreement States and the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (Public Meeting) (Contact: Paul Michalak: 301-415-5804)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    Thursday, April 6, 2017 10:00 a.m. Meeting with Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (Public Meeting) (Contact: Mark Banks: 301-415-3718)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    Week of April 10, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of April 10, 2017.

    Week of April 17, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of April 17, 2017.

    Week of April 24, 2017—Tentative Wednesday, April 26, 2017 9:00 a.m. Briefing on the Status of Subsequent License Renewal Preparations (Public Meeting) (Contact: Steven Bloom: 301-415-2431)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:00 a.m. Meeting with the Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes (Public Meeting) (Contact: Douglas Bollock: 301-415-6609)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    Week of May 1, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of May 1, 2017.

    Week of May 8, 2017—Tentative Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:00 a.m. Briefing on Security Issues (Closed Ex. 1) 2:00 p.m. Briefing on Security Issues (Closed Ex. 1) Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:00 a.m. Briefing on Risk-Informed Regulation (Public Meeting) (Contact: Steve Ruffin: 301-415-1985)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice. For more information or to verify the status of meetings, contact Denise McGovern at 301-415-0681 or via email at [email protected]

    The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the Internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/schedule.html.

    The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in these public meetings, or need this meeting notice or the transcript or other information from the public meetings in another format (e.g., braille, large print), please notify Kimberly Meyer, NRC Disability Program Manager, at 301-287-0739, by videophone at 240-428-3217, or by email at [email protected] Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Members of the public may request to receive this information electronically. If you would like to be added to the distribution, please contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20555 (301-415-1969), or email [email protected] or [email protected]

    Dated: March 28, 2017. Denise L. McGovern, Policy Coordinator, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06374 Filed 3-28-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50-311 NRC-2017-0082] PSEG Nuclear LLC; Salem Nuclear Generating Station, Unit No. 2 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License amendment application; opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and petition for leave to intervene.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-75, issued to PSEG Nuclear LLC (PSEG or the licensee) for operation of the Salem Nuclear Generating Station (Salem), Unit No. 2. The amendment would extend the Salem, Unit No. 2, implementation period for Amendment No. 294 from the spring 2017 refueling outage to prior to restart from the fall 2018 refueling outage. Amendment No. 294, which was issued by the NRC staff on April 28, 2016, revised the Salem, Unit No. 2, Technical Specifications in support of replacement of the source range and intermediate range neutron monitoring systems.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by May 1, 2017. Requests for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be filed by May 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comment by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0082. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    For additional direction on accessing information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carleen J. Parker, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1603, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0082 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0082.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The license amendment request dated March 13, 2017, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17072A443.

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2017-0082 in the subject line of your comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your comment submission available to the public in this docket.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

    II. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-75, issued to PSEG for operation of Salem, Unit No. 2, located in Salem County, New Jersey.

    The proposed amendment would extend the Salem, Unit No. 2, implementation period for Amendment No. 294 from the spring 2017 refueling outage to prior to restart from the fall 2018 refueling outage. Amendment No. 294, which was issued by the NRC staff on April 28, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16096A419), revised the Salem, Unit No. 2, Technical Specifications in support of replacement of the source range and intermediate range neutron monitoring systems.

    Before any issuance of the proposed license amendment, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC's regulations.

    The NRC has made a proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the NRC's regulations in § 50.92 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Do the proposed changes involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed amendment implementation schedule revision is administrative in nature and does not require any modifications to or change in operation of plant systems or components. The change to the amendment implementation period does not increase the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated in the Updated Final Safety Analysis (UFSAR). Current Technical Specification (TS) requirements will continue to ensure the plant is operated consistent with the UFSAR accident analysis with the currently installed source range and intermediate range nuclear instrumentation.

    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

    2. Do the proposed changes create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed amendment implementation schedule revision is administrative in nature. The revision of the amendment implementation does not require any physical plant modifications, does not alter any plant systems or components, and does not change the operation of the plant.

    Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

    3. Do the proposed changes involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

    Response: No.

    Margin of safety is related to the confidence in the ability of the fission product barriers to perform their intended functions. These barriers include the fuel cladding, the reactor coolant system pressure boundary, and the containment. The proposed TS change is administrative in nature and does not affect any of these barriers. Current TS requirements will continue to ensure the plant is operated consistent with the UFSAR accident analysis with the currently installed source range and intermediate range nuclear instrumentation.

    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in the margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the license amendment request involves a no significant hazards consideration.

    The NRC is seeking public comments on this proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day notice period if the Commission concludes the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period if circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in prevention of either resumption of operation or of increase in power output up to the plant's licensed power level. If the Commission takes action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. If the Commission makes a final no significant hazards consideration determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

    III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any persons (petitioner) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and petition for leave to intervene (petition) with respect to the action. Petitions shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. Alternatively, a copy of the regulations is available at the NRC's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. If a petition is filed, the Commission or a presiding officer will rule on the petition and, if appropriate, a notice of a hearing will be issued.

    As required by 10 CFR 2.309(d) the petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following general requirements for standing: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner; (2) the nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest.

    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(f), the petition must also set forth the specific contentions which the petitioner seeks to have litigated in the proceeding. Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner must provide a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The petitioner must also provide references to the specific sources and documents on which the petitioner intends to rely to support its position on the issue. The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant or licensee on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions must be limited to matters within the scope of the proceeding. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to satisfy the requirements at 10 CFR 2.309(f) with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene. Parties have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that party's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence, consistent with the NRC's regulations, policies, and procedures.

    Petitions must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Petitions and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i) through (iii). The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document.

    If a hearing is requested, and the Commission has not made a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to establish when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of the amendment unless the Commission finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.

    A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof, may submit a petition to the Commission to participate as a party under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(1). The petition should state the nature and extent of the petitioner's interest in the proceeding. The petition should be submitted to the Commission by May 30, 2017. The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document, and should meet the requirements for petitions set forth in this section. Alternatively, a State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof may participate as a non-party under 10 CFR 2.315(c).

    If a hearing is granted, any person who is not a party to the proceeding and is not affiliated with or represented by a party may, at the discretion of the presiding officer, be permitted to make a limited appearance pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.315(a). A person making a limited appearance may make an oral or written statement of his or her position on the issues but may not otherwise participate in the proceeding. A limited appearance may be made at any session of the hearing or at any prehearing conference, subject to the limits and conditions as may be imposed by the presiding officer. Details regarding the opportunity to make a limited appearance will be provided by the presiding officer if such sessions are scheduled.

    IV. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene (petition), any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by interested governmental entities that request to participate under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 46562, August 3, 2012). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Detailed guidance on making electronic submissions may be found in the Guidance for Electronic Submissions to the NRC and on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to (1) request a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign submissions and access the E-Filing system for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a petition or other adjudicatory document (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit adjudicatory documents. Submissions must be in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additional guidance on PDF submissions is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/electronic-sub-ref-mat.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the document is submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the document on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before adjudicatory documents are filed so that they can obtain access to the documents via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC's Electronic Filing Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk is available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing stating why there is good cause for not filing electronically and requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing adjudicatory documents in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at https://adams.nrc.gov/ehd, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission or the presiding officer. If you do not have an NRC-issued digital ID certificate as described above, click cancel when the link requests certificates and you will be automatically directed to the NRC's electronic hearing dockets where you will be able to access any publicly available documents in a particular hearing docket. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or personal phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. For example, in some instances, individuals provide home addresses in order to demonstrate proximity to a facility or site. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(iii).

    For further details with respect to this action, see the application for license amendment dated March 13, 2017.

    Attorney for licensee: Jeffrie J. Keenan, PSEG Nuclear LLC—N21, P.O. Box 236, Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey 08038.

    NRC Branch Chief: James G. Danna.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of March 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    James G. Danna, Chief, Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06307 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures

    The ACRS Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures will hold a meeting on April 5, 2017, 11545 Rockville Pike, Room T-2B3, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    The meeting will be open to public attendance.

    The agenda for the subject meeting shall be as follows: Wednesday, April 5, 2017-12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m.

    The Subcommittee will discuss proposed ACRS activities and related matters. The Subcommittee will gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the Full Committee.

    Members of the public desiring to provide oral statements and/or written comments should notify the Designated Federal Official (DFO), Quynh Nguyen (Telephone 301-415-5844 or Email: [email protected]) five days prior to the meeting, if possible, so that arrangements can be made. Thirty-five hard copies of each presentation or handout should be provided to the DFO thirty minutes before the meeting. In addition, one electronic copy of each presentation should be emailed to the DFO one day before the meeting. If an electronic copy cannot be provided within this timeframe, presenters should provide the DFO with a CD containing each presentation at least thirty minutes before the meeting. Electronic recordings will be permitted only during those portions of the meeting that are open to the public. Detailed procedures for the conduct of and participation in ACRS meetings were published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2016, (81 FR 71543).

    Information regarding changes to the agenda, whether the meeting has been canceled or rescheduled, and the time allotted to present oral statements can be obtained by contacting the identified DFO. Moreover, in view of the possibility that the schedule for ACRS meetings may be adjusted by the Chairman as necessary to facilitate the conduct of the meeting, persons planning to attend should check with the DFO if such rescheduling would result in a major inconvenience.

    If attending this meeting, please enter through the One White Flint North building, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. After registering with Security, please contact Mr. Theron Brown at 240-888-9835 to be escorted to the meeting room.

    Dated: March 22, 2017. Mark L. Banks, Chief, Technical Support Branch, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06315 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52-025 and 52-026; NRC-2008-0252] Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Annex and Radwaste Building Changes AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Exemption and combined license amendment issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting exemption to allow a departure from the certification information of Tier 1 of the generic design control document (DCD) and is issuing License Amendment Nos. 73 and 72 to Combined Licenses (COL), NPF-91 and NPF-92, respectively. The COLs were issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., and Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC, MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC, MEAG Power SPVP, LLC, Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton, Georgia (the licensee); for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP) Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

    The granting of the exemption allows the changes to Tier 1 information that is requested in the amendment. Because the acceptability of the exemption was determined in part by the acceptability of the amendment, the exemption and amendment are being issued concurrently.

    DATES:

    The exemptions and amendments were issued on March 13, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. The request for the amendment and exemption was submitted by letter dated April 18, 2014, and is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML14108A096.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Kallan, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2809; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    The NRC is granting exemptions from paragraph B of section III, “Scope and Contents,” of appendix D, “Design Certification Rule for the AP1000,” to part 52 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), and issuing License Amendment Nos. 73 and 72 to COLs, NPF-1 and NPF-92, to the licensee. The exemptions are required by paragraph A.4 of section VIII, “Processes for Changes and Departures,” appendix D, to 10 CFR part 52 to allow the licensee to depart from Tier 1 information. With the requested amendment, the licensee sought proposed changes that would revise the Updated Final Safety Analysis report in the form of departures from the incorporated plant-specific Design Control Document Tier 2 information. The proposed amendment also involves related changes to plant-specific Tier 1 information, with corresponding changes to the associated COL Appendix C information. Specifically, the proposed license amendment request (LAR) would:

    (1) Update the Annex Building column line designations on affected Tier 1 Figures and Tier 2 Figure 3.7.2-19; and

    (2) Revise the Radwaste Building configuration including the shielding design and radiation area monitoring.

    Part of the justification for granting the exemptions was provided by the review of the amendments. Because the exemption is necessary in order to issue the requested license amendment, the NRC granted the exemptions and issued the amendments concurrently, rather than in sequence. This included issuing a combined safety evaluation containing the NRC staff's review of both the exemption request and the license amendment. The exemptions met all applicable regulatory criteria set forth in 10 CFR 50.12, 10 CFR 52.7, and Section VIII.A.4 of appendix D to 10 CFR part 52. The license amendments were found to be acceptable as well. The combined safety evaluation is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17072A262.

    Identical exemption documents (except for referenced unit numbers and license numbers) were issued to the licensee for VEGP Units 3 and 4 (COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92). The exemption documents for VEGP Units 3 and 4 can be found in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML17072A189 and ML17072A196, respectively. The exemption is reproduced (with the exception of abbreviated titles and additional citations) in Section II of this document. The amendment documents for COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92 are available in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML17072A162 and ML17072A173, respectively. A summary of the amendment documents is provided in Section III of this document.

    II. Exemption

    Reproduced below is the exemption documents issued to Vogtle Units 3 and Unit 4. It makes reference to the combined safety evaluation that provides the reasoning for the findings made by the NRC (and listed under Item 1) in order to grant the exemption:

    1. In a letter dated April 18, 2014, the licensee requested from the Commission an exemption from the provisions of 10 CFR part 52, appendix D, Section III.B, as part of license amendment request 13-019, “Annex and Radwaste Building Changes (LAR 13-019).”

    For the reasons set forth in Section 3.1, “Evaluation of Exemption,” of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation, which can be found in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17072A262, the Commission finds that:

    A. The exemption is authorized by law;

    B. the exemption presents no undue risk to public health and safety;

    C. the exemption is consistent with the common defense and security;

    D. special circumstances are present in that the application of the rule in this circumstance is not necessary to serve the underlying purpose of the rule;

    E. the special circumstances outweigh any decrease in safety that may result from the reduction in standardization caused by the exemption; and

    F. the exemption will not result in a significant decrease in the level of safety otherwise provided by the design.

    2. Accordingly, the licensee is granted an exemption from the certified DCD Tier 1 information, with corresponding changes to Appendix C of the Facility Combined Licenses as described in the licensee's request dated April 18, 2014, and supplemented by letters dated May 6, 2014, and January 11, 2017. These exemptions are related to, and necessary for, the granting of License Amendment Nos. 73 and 72, which is being issued concurrently with this exemption.

    3. As explained in Section 5.0, “Environmental Consideration,” of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation (ADAMS Accession No. ML17072A262), these exemptions meets the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment needs to be prepared in connection with the issuance of the exemption.

    4. These exemptions are effective as of the date of its issuance.

    III. License Amendment Request

    By letter dated April 18, 2014, the licensee requested that the NRC amend the COLs for VEGP, Units 3 and 4, COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92. The proposed amendment is described in Section I of this Federal Register notice.

    The Commission has determined for these amendments that the application complies with the standards and requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the Commission's rules and regulations. The Commission has made appropriate findings as required by the Act and the Commission's rules and regulations in 10 CFR chapter I, which are set forth in the license amendment.

    A notice of consideration of issuance of amendment to facility operating license or combined license, as applicable, proposed no significant hazards consideration determination, and opportunity for a hearing in connection with these actions, was published in the Federal Register on May 13, 2014 (79 FR 27345). No comments were received during the 30-day comment period.

    The Commission has determined that these amendments satisfy the criteria for categorical exclusion in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22. Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared for these amendments.

    IV. Conclusion

    Using the reasons set forth in the combined safety evaluation, the staff granted the exemptions and issued the amendments that the licensee requested on April 18, 2014. The exemptions and amendments were issued on March 13, 2017, as part of a combined package to the licensee (ADAMS Accession No. ML17072A116).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of March 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Jennifer Dixon-Herrity, Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06308 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Liability for Termination of Single-Employer Plans AGENCY:

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to request extension of OMB approval of collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) intends to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) extend approval, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, of a collection of information contained in its regulation on Liability for Termination of Single-Employer Plans (OMB control number 1212-0017; expires May 31, 2017). This notice informs the public of PBGC's intent and solicits public comment on the collection of information.

    DATES:

    Comments should be submitted by May 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 202-326-4224.

    Mail or Hand Delivery: Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026.

    PBGC will make all comments, including personal information provided, available on its Web site at www.pbgc.gov.

    Copies of the collection of information may be obtained without charge by writing to the Disclosure Division of the Office of the General Counsel of PBGC at the above address or by visiting that office or calling 202-326-4040 during normal business hours. TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4040.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jo Amato Burns [email protected]), Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026, 202-326-4400, ext. 3072, or Deborah C. Murphy ([email protected]), Assistant General Counsel, same address and phone number, ext. 3451. TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4400.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 4062 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, provides that the contributing sponsor of a single-employer pension plan and members of the sponsor's controlled group (“the employer”) incur liability (“employer liability”) if the plan terminates with assets insufficient to pay benefit liabilities under the plan. PBGC's statutory lien for employer liability and the payment terms for employer liability are affected by whether and to what extent employer liability exceeds 30 percent of the employer's net worth.

    Section 4062.6 of PBGC's employer liability regulation (29 CFR 4062.6) requires a contributing sponsor, or member of the contributing sponsor's controlled group, that believes employer liability exceeds 30 percent of the collective net worth of persons subject to liability in connection with a plan termination to so notify PBGC upon plan termination and to submit net worth information. This information is necessary to enable PBGC to determine whether, and to what extent, employer liability exceeds 30 percent of the collective net worth of the employer (which includes the contributing sponsor and all and members of the sponsor's controlled group).

    The collection of information under the regulation has been approved by OMB under control number 1212-0017 (expires May 31, 2017). PBGC intends to request that OMB extend its approval for another three years. 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.

    PBGC estimates that an average of thirty contributing sponsors or controlled group members per year will respond to this collection of information. PBGC further estimates that the average annual burden of this collection of information will be 12 hours and $4,400 per respondent, with an average total annual burden of 360 hours and $133,200.

    PBGC is soliciting public comments to:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Deborah Chase Murphy, Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06283 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT Submission for Review: It's Time To Sign Up for Direct Deposit or Direct Express, OPM Form RI 38-128 AGENCY:

    Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Retirement Services, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) offers the general public and other Federal agencies the opportunity to comment on an extension without change of a currently approved information collection (ICR), It's Time To Sign Up for Direct Deposit or Direct Express, OPM Form RI 38-128.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until May 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Services, 1900 E Street NW., Room 2347-E, Washington, DC 20415, Attention: Alberta Butler or sent via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by contacting the Retirement Services Publications Team, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Room 3316-L, Washington, DC 20415, Attention: Cyrus S. Benson or sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 606-0910.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35) as amended by the Clinger-Cohen Act (Pub. L. 104-106), OPM is soliciting comments for this collection (OBM No 3206-0226). The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    Form RI 38-128 is primarily used by OPM to give recent retirees the opportunity to waive Direct Deposit of their annuity payments. The form is sent only if the separating agency did not give the retiring employee this election opportunity. This form may also be used to enroll in Direct Deposit, which was its primary use before Public Law 104-134 was passed. This law requires OPM to make all recurring benefits payments electronically to beneficiaries who live where Direct Deposit is available. Beneficiaries who do not enroll in the Direct Deposit Program will be enrolled in Direct Express.

    Analysis

    Agency: Retirement Operations, Retirement Services, Office of Personnel Management.

    Title: It's Time To Sign Up for Direct Deposit or Direct Express.

    OMB Number: 3206-0226.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Number of Respondents: 20,000.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 30 minutes.

    Total Burden Hours: 10,000.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Kathleen M. McGettigan, Acting Director.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06306 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-38-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-80309; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-63] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Partial Amendment No. 4 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 Through 4, To Amend the Co-Location Services Offered by the Exchange To Add Certain Access and Connectivity Fees March 24, 2017. I. Introduction

    On August 16, 2016, NYSE MKT LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE MKT”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to amend the co-location services offered by the Exchange to add certain access and connectivity fees, applicable to Users 3 in the Exchange's data center in Mahwah, NJ (“Data Center”). The Exchange proposed to: (1) Provide additional information regarding access to the trading and execution systems of the Exchange and its affiliated SROs, and establish fees for connectivity to certain NYSE, NYSE Arca, and NYSE MKT market data feeds; and (2) provide and establish fees for connectivity to data feeds from third party markets and other content service providers (“Third Party Data Feeds”); access to the trading and execution services of Third Party markets and other content service providers (“Third Party Systems”); connectivity to Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”) services; connectivity to third party testing and certification feeds; and the use of virtual control circuits (“VCCs”).

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 For purposes of the Exchange's co-location services, a “User” means any market participant that requests to receive co-location services directly from the Exchange. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76009 (September 29, 2015), 80 FR 60213 (October 5, 2015) (SR-NYSEMKT-2015-67). As specified in the Price List and Fee Schedule, a User that incurs co-location fees for a particular co-location service pursuant thereto would not be subject to co-location fees for the same co-location service charged by the Exchange's affiliates New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) and NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70176 (August 13, 2013), 78 FR 50471 (August 19, 2013) (SR-NYSEMKT-2013-67).

    The Commission published the proposed rule change for comment in the Federal Register on August 26, 2016.4 The Commission received no comments in response to the proposed rule change.5 On October 4, 2016, the Commission extended the time period within which to approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change to November 24, 2016.6

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-78629 (August 22, 2016), 81 FR 58992 (“Notice”).

    5 The Commission notes that it received one comment letter on a related filing by NYSE (NYSE-2016-45, the “NYSE Companion Filing”), which is equally relevant to this filing. See letter to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, from John Ramsay, Chief Market Policy Officer, Investors Exchange LLC (IEX), dated September 9, 2016 (“IEX I Letter”).

    Responding to the IEX I Letter, see letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from Martha Redding, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, NYSE, dated September 23, 2016 (“Response Letter I”), available at https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nyse-2016-45/nyse201645-3.pdf. In note 3 of Response Letter I, the NYSE states that its response is also applicable to the Exchange's filing, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 78629 (August 22, 2016), 81 FR 58992 (August 26, 2016) (SR-NYSEMKT-2016-63). Accordingly, Response Letter I is referred to as the Exchange's response.

    6See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-78968 (September 28, 2016), 81 FR 68493.

    On November 2, 2016, the Exchange filed partial Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.7 On November 29, 2016, the Commission instituted proceedings (“Order Instituting Proceedings” or “OIP”) to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1.8 The proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, is referred to as the “Prior Proposal.”

    7 In partial Amendment No. 1 the Exchange addressed (1) the benefits offered by the Premium NYSE Data Products that are not present in the Included Data Products (2) how Premium NYSE Data Products are related to the purpose of co-location, (3) the similarity of charging for connectivity to Third Party Systems and DTCC and charging for connectivity to Premium NYSE Data Products and (4) the costs incurred by the Exchange in providing connectivity to Premium NYSE Data Products to Users in the Data Center. Amendment No. 1 is available on the Commission's Web site at https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysemkt-2016-63/nysemkt201663-1.pdf.

    8See Securities Exchange Act Release 34-79378 (November 22, 2016), 81 FR 86050.

    On December 9, 2016, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change and on December 13, 2016 also filed Amendment No. 3 to the proposed rule change.9 Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, which, together superseded and replaced the Prior Proposal in its entirety, were published for comment in the Federal Register on December 29, 2016.10

    9 The Commission notes that the Exhibit 5 filed with Amendment No. 2 contained erroneous rule text and therefore was corrected in Amendment No. 3. Amendment Nos. 2 and 3 are available at https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysemkt-2016-63/nysemkt201663.shtml.

    10See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-79672 (December 22, 2016), 81 FR 96080 (“Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3”).

    The Commission received additional comment letters following publication of the Order Instituting Proceedings.11 Some of these comment letters addressed only the Prior Proposal, and some addressed the Prior Proposal, as modified by Amendment Nos. 2 and 3. NYSE, on behalf of the Exchange, responded to the comment letters submitted after the OIP in letters dated January 17, 2017 and February 13, 2017.12 On February 7, 2017, the Exchange filed partial Amendment No. 4 to the proposed rule change.13 On February 27, 2017, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,14 the Commission designated a longer period for Commission action on proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 through 4.15 The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comment on partial Amendment No. 4 and, is approving the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 through 4, on an accelerated basis.

    11See letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from Melissa MacGregor, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, SIFMA, dated December 12, 2016 (“SIFMA I Letter”); letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from Joe Wald, Chief Executive Officer, Clearpool Group, dated December 16, 2016 (“Clearpool Letter”); letter to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, from John Ramsay, Chief Market Policy Officer, Investors Exchange LLC (IEX), dated December 21, 2016 (“IEX II Letter”); letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from Melissa MacGregor, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, SIFMA, dated February 6, 2017 (“SIFMA II Letter”). All comments received by the Commission on the proposed rule change are available on the Commission's Web site at: https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysemkt-2016-63/nysemkt201663.shtml.

    The Commission received additional comment letters on the NYSE Companion Filing which are equally relevant to this filing. See letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from Adam C. Cooper, Senior Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer, Citadel Securities, dated December 12, 2016 (“Citadel Letter”); letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from David L. Cavicke, Chief Legal Officer, Wolverine LLC (“Wolverine Letter”); letter to Bent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, from Stefano Durdic, Managing Director, R2G Services, LLC, dated January 21, 2017 (“R2G Letter”). All comments received by the Commission on the NYSE Companion Filing are available on the Commission's Web site at: https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nyse-2016-45/nyse201645.shtml.

    12See letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from Martha Redding, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, NYSE, dated January 17, 2017; letter to Brent J. Fields, Commission, from Martha Redding, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, NYSE, dated February 13, 2017 (“Response Letter II” and “Response Letter III,” respectively), available at https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysemkt-2016-63/nysemkt201663.shtml. In Response Letter II, note 4, and Response Letter III, note 2, respectively, the NYSE states that its response to comments on the NYSE Companion Filing are equally applicable to this filing. Accordingly, Response Letters II and III are referred to as the Exchange's response.

    13 In partial Amendment No. 4 the Exchange proposes to (1) remove reference to the National Stock Exchange from its list of Third Party Systems, and (2) provide and establish fees for connectivity to three additional Third Party Data Feeds—ICE Data Services Consolidated Feed, ICE Data Services PRD, and ICE Data Services PRD CEP, which are feeds owned by the Exchange's ultimate parent, but not by the Exchange or its affiliated self-regulatory organizations, NYSE MKT or NYSE. Partial Amendment No. 4, as filed by the Exchange, is available at https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysemkt-2016-63/nysemkt201663-1570727-131699.pdf.

    14 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    15See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-80077 (February 22, 2017), 82 FR 11959. The Commission designated April 23, 2017 as the date by which it should determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.

    II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 Through 4 A. Background: Prior Proposal and the Order Instituting Proceedings

    In the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 through 4 (also referred to as the “Current Proposal”), the Exchange proposes to amend the co-location services offered by the Exchange to add certain access and connectivity services and establish fees applicable to Users in the Data Center. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to provide and establish fees for connectivity to: (i) Third Party Data Feeds, (ii) Third Party Systems, (iii) DTCC services, (iv) third party testing and certification feeds; and for the use of VCCs.16

    16See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96081, and partial Amendment No. 4 supra note 13. A VCC is a unicast connection between two Users over dedicated bandwidth using the IP network. See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96081.

    In the Prior Proposal (i.e., prior to filing Amendment Nos. 2 and 3), the Exchange also had proposed to provide additional information about access to NYSE, NYSE Arca, and NYSE MKT trading and execution services, and to establish fees for connectivity to certain proprietary market data feeds.17 Specifically, the Exchange had proposed that connectivity to most of the Exchange's and its affiliated SROs' proprietary market data products would be included in the purchase price of an LCN/IP network connection in the Data Center, but that an additional connectivity fee (“Premium NYSE Product Connectivity Fee”) would apply to the NYSE Integrated Feed, NYSE Arca Integrated Feed, NYSE MKT Integrated Feed, and the NYSE Best Quote and Trades (BQT) feed (“Premium NYSE Data Products”).18 As a result, the purchase of access to NYSE, NYSE Arca, and NYSE MKT trading and execution services, would not include connectivity to every purchased proprietary data product; and whereas the Exchange would charge no additional fees for connectivity to most of the Exchange's and its affiliated SROs' data products, it would charge additional fees for connectivity to Premium NYSE Data Products.

    17 For a detailed description of the Prior Proposal, see the Notice, supra note 4, and the OIP, discussing Amendment No. 2, supra note 8.

    18See the Notice, supra note 4, and the OIP, discussing Amendment No. 1, supra note 8.

    The Commission specifically requested comment on this aspect of the Prior Proposal in the OIP. In particular, in the OIP, the Commission expressed concern that the Exchange had not identified a distinction between the provision of connectivity to Premium NYSE Data Products and the Exchange's and its affiliated SROs' other data products, and noted that the Premium NYSE Data Products are similar to such other data products.19 In addition, the Commission requested comment on whether charging fees for connectivity to Premium NYSE Data Products in a different manner from other Exchange and affiliated SRO proprietary market data products was consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act.20 The Commission also sought comment on whether Users would have viable alternatives to paying the Exchange a connectivity fee for the Premium NYSE Data Products.21 As discussed below, several commenters stated that it was inequitable for the Exchange to charge a separate and additional connectivity fee for some Exchange and affiliated SRO proprietary market data products and not others, and that receiving the Premium NYSE Data Products from an alternative source was not a viable option.22

    19See OIP, supra note 8, 81 FR at 86054.

    20See id.

    21See id.

    22See infra notes 69-71 and accompanying text.

    In Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, the Exchange eliminated the Premium NYSE Product Connectivity Fee from the Current Proposal, and that fee is therefore no longer presented to the Commission for consideration.

    B. Description of the Current Proposal

    As stated above and more fully described in the Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, as partially modified by Amendment No. 4, the Exchange proposes to provide and establish fees for connectivity to: (i) Third Party Data Feeds, (ii) Third Party Systems, (iii) DTCC services, (iv) third party testing and certification feeds; and for the use of VCCs.23

    23See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96081 and partial Amendment No. 4 supra note 13.

    Regarding Third Party Data Feeds, the Exchange proposes to offer Users the option to connect to Third Party Data Feeds in the Data Center for a monthly connectivity fee per feed.24 The Exchange states that it receives Third Party Data Feeds in the Data Center from multiple national securities exchanges and other content service providers which it then provides to requesting Users for a fee.25 The Exchange states that its proposal to charge Users a monthly fee for connectivity to Third Party Data Feeds is consistent with the monthly connectivity fee Nasdaq charges its co-location customers for connectivity to third party data.26 According to the Exchange, the proposed fees “allow the Exchange to defray or cover the costs associated with offering Users connectivity to Third Party Data Feeds while providing Users the convenience of receiving such Third Party Data Feeds within co-location.” 27 Additionally, the Exchange noted that some of the proposed fees vary depending on the bandwidth considerations and, in cases where the bandwidth requirements are the same as other proposed services such as Third Party Systems or VCCs, the prices reflect “the competitive considerations and the costs the Exchange incurs in providing such connections.” 28

    24See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96082.

    25See id.

    26See id. The Exchange notes that Nasdaq charges monthly fees of $1,500 and $4,000 for connectivity to BATS Y and BATS data feeds, respectively, and of $2,500 for connectivity to EDGA or EDGX. See id.

    27See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96085; partial Amendment No. 4, supra note 13.

    28See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96085; partial Amendment No. 4, supra note 13.

    To connect to a Third Party Data Feed, a User must enter into a contract with the relevant third party market or content service provider, under which the third party market or content service provider charges the User for the data feed.29 The Exchange receives these Third Party Data Feeds over its fiber optic network and, after the data provider and User enter into a contract and the Exchange receives authorization from the data provider, the Exchange re-transmits the data to the User's port.30 Users only receive, and are only charged for, the feed(s) for which they have entered into contracts.31 Additionally, the Exchange notes that Third Party Data Feeds do not provide access or order entry to its execution system or access to the execution system of the third party generating the feed.32 The Exchange proposes to charge a set monthly recurring connectivity fee per Third Party Data Feed, as set forth in its proposed Price List and Fee Schedule (“Fee Schedules”).33 A User is free to receive all or some of the feeds included in its Fee Schedules.34 The Exchange notes that Third Party Data Feed providers may charge redistribution fees, such as Nasdaq's Extranet Access Fees and OTC Markets Group's Access Fees, which the Exchange will pass through to the User in addition to charging the applicable connectivity fee.35

    29See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96082.

    30See id.

    31See id.

    32See id. The Exchange notes that there is one exception to this for the ICE feeds which include both market data and trading and clearing services. In order to receive the ICE feeds, a User must receive authorization from ICE to receive both market data and trading and clearing services. See id.

    33See id., as modified by partial Amendment No. 4, supra note 13 (adding additional Third Party Data Feeds).

    34See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96082.

    35See id.

    The Exchange represents that “as alternatives to using the [proposed connectivity to Third Party Data Feeds] provided by the Exchange, a User may access or connect to such . . . products through another User or through a connection to an Exchange access center outside the data center, third party access center, or third party vendor. The User may make such connection through a third party telecommunication provider, third party wireless network, the SFTI network, or a combination thereof.” 36

    36See id. at 96085.

    As more fully described in the Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, as modified by partial Amendment No. 4, the Exchange also proposes to provide and establish fees for connectivity (also referred to as “Access”) to Third Party Systems,37 to DTCC services,38 and to third party certification and testing feeds, and charge a monthly recurring fee.39 The Exchange proposes to amend its Fee Schedules to provide and establish fees for connectivity to these service providers and certification/testing feeds.40 The Exchange states that connectivity is dependent on a User meeting the necessary technical requirements, paying the applicable fees, and the Exchange receiving authorization from the relevant third party service provider to make the connection.41

    37 The Exchange states that it selects what connectivity to Third Party Systems to offer in the Data Center based on User demand. See id. at 96081. In partial Amendment No. 4, the Exchange removed the National Stock Exchange from the list of Third Party Systems, noting that it is now owned by the Exchange's parent. See partial Amendment No. 4, supra note 13. Establishing a User's access to a Third Party System does not give the Exchange any right to use the Third Party Systems; connectivity to a Third Party System does not provide access or order entry to the Exchange's execution system, and a User's connection to a Third Party System is not through the Exchange's execution system. See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96081.

    38 The Exchange states that connectivity to DTCC “is distinct from the access to shared data services for clearing and settlement services that a User receives when it purchases access to the LCN or IP network. The shared data services allow Users and other entities with access to the Trading Systems to post files for settlement and clearing services to access.” See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96083 n. 25.

    39 Certification feeds certify that a User conforms to any of the relevant content service providers' requirements for accessing Third Party Systems or receiving Third Party Data, whereas testing feeds provide Users an environment in which to conduct system tests with non-live data. See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96083.

    40See Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, supra note 10, 81 FR at 96081-96083.

    41See id.

    For each service, a User must execute a contract with the respective third party service provider pursuant to which a User pays each the associated fee(s) for their services.42 Once the Exchange receives authorization from the third party service provider, the Exchange will enable a User to connect to the service provider and/or third party certification and testing feed(s) over the IP Network.43 The proposed recurring monthly fees for connectivity to Third Party Systems and DTCC are based upon the bandwidth requirements per system.44

    42See id.

    43See id. For Third Party Systems, once the Exchange receives the authorization from the respective third party it establishes a unicast connection between the User and the relevant third party over the IP network. See id. at 96081. For the DTCC, “[t]he Exchange receives the DTCC feed over its fiber optic network and, after DTCC and the User enter into the services contract and the Exchange receives authorization from DTCC, the Exchange provides connectivity to DTCC to the User over the User's IP network port.” See id. at 96083.

    44See id. at 96081, 96083.

    The Exchange represents that as alternatives to using the proposed connectivity to Third Party Systems, to DTCC services, and to third party certification and testing feeds offered by the Exchange, “a User may access or connect to such services and products through another User or through a connection to an Exchange access center outside the data center, third party access center, or third party vendor. The User may make such connection through a third party telecommunication provider, third party wireless network, the SFTI network, or a combination thereof.” 45

    45See id. at 96084-96085.

    Finally, as more fully described in the Notice of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, as partially modified by partial Amendment No. 4, the Exchange also proposes to provide and establish fees for VCCs.46 A VCC (previously called a “peer to peer” connection) is a unicast connection through which two participants can establish a connection between two points over dedicated bandwidth using the IP network to be used for any purpose.47 The proposed recurring monthly fees for VCCs are based upon the bandwidth requirements per VCC connection between two Users.48 Connectivity to VCCs will similarly require permission from the other User before the Exchange will establish the connection.49 As an alternative to using a VCC, Users can connect to other Users through a cross-connect.50

    46See id. at 96083.

    47See id.

    48See id.

    49See id.

    50See id. at 96084.

    The Exchange states in reference to all of the proposed services that in adding the fees it seeks to defray or cover its costs in providing these voluntary services to Users, and that in order to provide these services it must, among other things, provide, maintain and operate the data center facility hardware and technology infrastructure; and handle the installation, administration, monitoring, support and maintenance of such services, including by responding to any production issues.51 The Exchange also states that the fees charged for co-location services are constrained by the active competition for the order flow and other business from such market participants,52 and that charging excessive fees would make it stand to lose not only co-location revenues but also the liquidity of the formerly co-located trading firms.53 Additionally, the Exchange states that Users have alternatives if they believe the fees are excessive.54 Specifically, the Exchange notes that a User could terminate its co-location arrangement with the Exchange “and adopt a possible range of alternative strategies, including placing their servers in a physically proximate location outside the exchange's [D]ata [C]enter (which could be a competing exchange), or pursuing strategies less dependent upon the lower exchange-to-participant latency associated with colocation.” 55

    51See id. at 96085.

    52See id. at 96084.

    53See id.

    54See id.

    55See id.

    III. Summary of Comments Received and Exchange Responses

    The Commission received four comment letters on the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 through 4, and an additional four comment letters on the NYSE Companion Filing.56 The Exchange submitted three letters in response to the comments.57

    56See supra notes 5 and 11. Because the additional letters on NYSE Companion Filing address the same issues, all eight letters are considered as submitted in response to the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 through 4, and are discussed herein. In addition, one commenter noted that it filed a denial of access petition on the proposal. See SIFMA I Letter at 1 and SIFMA II Letter at 3.

    57See Response Letters I, II, and III, supra notes 5 and 12.

    A. Comment Submitted Prior to the OIP

    The Commission received one comment letter prior to publication of the OIP.58 The initial commenter requested that the Exchange provide additional information on the history of all of the proposed fees (which the commenter believed were already in effect), and the relationship between the fees and the Exchange's costs to maintain the Data Center and provide co-location services.59 The commenter urged “additive transparency” to enable members to evaluate the fixed costs of exchange membership and whether fees were applied equitably.60 This commenter also stated that broker-dealers “may be practically required to buy and consume proprietary market data feeds directly from exchanges in order to provide competitive products for those clients, and that the trading environment “imposes a form of trading tax on all members by offering different methods of access to different members.” 61 The commenter questioned whether “there are any true alternatives that are practically available to various types of participants who are seeking to compete with those who are paying exchanges for co-location and data services,” and urged that the Exchange provide information and analysis on how its ability to set co-location fees is constrained by market forces for a “comparable product.” 62

    58See IEX I Letter, supra note 5.

    59See id. at 1-2.

    60See id.

    61See id. at 2.

    62See id.

    In response, the Exchange replied that historical information about the development of its product offerings is “not required by the Act and is not relevant to [] the substance of the Proposal-which is, by definition, forward looking . . . .” 63 The Exchange added that costs are not its only consideration in setting prices, but rather that prices “include the competitive landscape; whether Users would be required to utilize a given service; the alternatives available to Users; and, significantly, the benefits Users obtain from the services.” 64 In response to the commenter's argument regarding different methods of access to trading, the Exchange stated that “it is a vendor of fair and non-discriminatory access, and like any vendor with multiple product offerings, different purchasers may make different choices regarding which products they wish to purchase.” 65 The Exchange further stated that co-location fees are not fixed costs to members, but costs to any User who voluntarily chooses to purchase such services based upon “[t]he form and latency of access and connectivity that bests suits a User's needs.” 66 The Exchange added that Users do not require the Exchange's access or connectivity offerings in co-location to trade on the Exchange and can instead use alternative access and connectivity options for trading if they choose.67

    63See Response Letter I, supra note 5, at 3.

    64See id.

    65See id. at 5.

    66See id. at 4.

    67See id.

    B. Comments Following Publication of the OIP (i) Comments on the Premium NYSE Product Connectivity Fee and Cumulative Fees Generally

    As noted above, the Commission specifically requested comment on the Premium NYSE Product Connectivity Fee in the OIP.68 In response, some commenters objected to the establishment of a separate connectivity fee for Premium NYSE Data Products as duplicative of fees already charged for bandwidth and access to the market data product itself, and therefore that this fee would result in an inequitable allocation of fees, inconsistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act.69 Another commenter similarly objected to an additional connectivity/bandwidth charge for each Premium NYSE Data Product as an example of “double dipping,” and a fee having “no merit” on its own.70 Additionally, some commenters objected to the reasonableness of the proposed Premium NYSE Product Connectivity Fee on the basis that there was no viable alternative to paying the fee to obtain connectivity to the Premium NYSE Data Products.71

    68See OIP, supra note 8, and Section II.A. supra.

    69See Citadel Letter at 2; Clearpool Letter at 4.

    70See Wolverine Letter at 3. See also Citadel Letter at 2; R2G Letter at 3 (each expressing concern about cumulative fees).

    71See Citadel Letter at 3 (“there is no readily available substitute or equivalent means of access to the Premium NYSE Data Products”); Wolverine Letter at 3 (objecting to the statement “the Exchange is not the exclusive method to connect to Premium NYSE Data Products” noting that it is “misleading at best.”). See also R2G Letter at 1-2 (stating, its view that the Prior Proposal “raises serious concerns” under the Exchange Act, but that “Amendment No. 3 adequately addresses the original concerns,” and adding that it would, however, object if the Exchange similarly sought to apply the logic of Amendment No. 3 regarding Third Party Systems to any “NYSE Proprietary Product”).

    In response to comments on the Premium NYSE Product Connectivity Fee, the Exchange noted that it was no longer proposing that fee and that the questions posed in the OIP about that fee were moot.72

    72See Response Letter II at 4, 7-8. The Exchange also stated, as discussed further below, that it did not agree with commenters suggesting that a connectivity fee is indistinguishable from a market data fee.

    Some commenters opposed to the Premium NYSE Product Connectivity Fee also expressed broader concern about “layered” and cumulative fees charged by the Exchange to access market data.73 Some of these commenters believe that the rising costs related to the receipt of market data in co-location over time effectively impose a barrier to entry for smaller broker-dealers and new entrants, and are a burden on competition.74 For example, Wolverine stated that it has an aggregate cost of “$123,750 per month of fixed costs in co-location, port, and access fees today, solely for access to NYSE controlled markets,” which is “an amount which presents a steep barrier to entry for new participants.” 75 Wolverine also estimated that its NYSE market data costs have increased “over 700% over 8 years.” 76 Citadel similarly stated that “additive and layered fees are a persistent problem with exchange fees more generally,” and urged scrutiny of the aggregate impact of fees, “in particular with respect to market data products where exchanges have a monopoly as the initial distributors.” 77

    73See Wolverine Letter at 1-3; Clearpool Letter at 3; Citadel Letter at 3; R2G Letter 1, 3-6.

    74See Wolverine Letter at 1-3; Clearpool Letter at 3; Citadel Letter at 3.

    75See Wolverine Letter at 3.

    76See id. at 1 (also objecting to port and other charges (outside the scope of the Current Proposal) as unreasonable); see also R2G Letter at 3 (expressing agreement with Wolverine).

    77See Citadel Letter at 2.

    Clearpool stated, among other things, that market participants are beholden to the exchanges for market data; that it is not feasible for broker-dealers with best execution obligations to rely on SIP data as an alternative to exchange proprietary data feeds; and that the role and cost of using SIP and proprietary feeds should be considered in connection with Commission proposals to improve Regulation NMS Rules 605 and 606 reporting.78 Clearpool advocated for the Commission to “thoroughly review the issues around market data” and to ensure that it is priced more competitively and equitably for all market participants.79 Clearpool also stated that high costs prevent new innovative technology services, including order routing, risk management, and transaction cost analysis services, from entering the market, and further, that increasing fees significantly reduce the margin that smaller broker-dealers can earn on a transaction, putting them at a disadvantage to larger firms that can absorb these costs.80

    78See Clearpool Letter at 2-4.

    79See id. at 1, 4.

    80See id. at 3.

    In response to these comments, the Exchange challenged Wolverine's assessment that Exchange fees have increased by 700% over the past eight years, explaining that it was a mischaracterization and did not represent a true comparison of the fees paid for particular data feeds in 2008 as compared to fees paid for those specific feeds today.81 The Exchange also rejected Wolverine's argument that all of its costs-including the optional cage surrounding its cabinets, power, cross connects, network ports and connectivity—should be treated as costs related to market access.82 The Exchange stated, that “however self-servingly [Wolverine] tries to characterize them, these listed costs, like rent and employee compensation and benefits, are simply costs associated with Wolverine's business activities. These business activities and Wolverine's business judgment—not the Exchange—determine the most effective way for Wolverine to select the products and services it uses.” 83

    81See Response Letter II at 10 and n.27.

    82See id. at 10.

    83See id.

    Regarding comments about market data and co-location fees more generally, the Exchange responded that a User that chooses to receive market data within co-location will incur several costs in addition to the cost a market data provider will charge for its data, including the costs associated with the LCN or IP network port, power, cross connects, and connectivity, but the need for equipment and connections to enable receipt of a market data feed within co-location does not convert the costs of such equipment and connections into market data fees.84 The Exchange also stated that some commenters were using the Prior Proposal as a “departure point to discuss broader issues related to market data.” 85 The Exchange catalogued comments about exchange fees for proprietary market data products, the effect of Commission proposals to improve disclosure of order execution and order routing information under Rules 605 and 606 of Regulation NMS, and the payment of rebates for posted liquidity as comments beyond the scope of the Current Proposal, as well as the fees any one exchange might propose.86

    84See id. at 5.

    85See id.

    86See id. at 5-6. See also infra notes 114-127, discussing SIFMA's comments characterizing a variety of fees as market data fees and the Exchange's response.

    The Exchange also stated that market participants are not required to co-locate with or subscribe to proprietary market data products from an exchange, emphasizing that firms using exchange market data products in co-location “have chosen to build business models based on speed.” 87

    87See Response Letter II at 11-12.

    (ii) Comments Regarding Competition and Alternatives to the Proposed Co-Location Services

    Some commenters addressing both the Prior Proposal and Amendment Nos. 2 and 3 suggested that co-location services in general are not optional.88 In the context of whether the Current Proposal's connectivity fees are reasonable, some of these commenters argued that there is a lack of competition for the Exchange's co-location and data services generally, and suggested a lack of viable alternatives to the Current Proposal's proposed connectivity services and fees in particular.89 For instance, SIFMA argued that the Exchange's ability to set co-location fees is not constrained by market forces because there is “no comparable connectivity or product,” and low-latency alternatives to these services do not exist.90 SIFMA stated that “[a]ny alternative with severely increased latencies would not be a viable alternative.” 91 Similarly, IEX argued that if co-location services are optional, and therefore need not be purchased if the fees are excessive, then the Exchange should demonstrate how firms are not placed at a competitive disadvantage if they elect to not receive such services from the Exchange.92 In particular, IEX suggested that the Exchange provide data on the expected latency (or range of latencies) in receiving data or transmitting orders directly from the Exchange, compared to the equivalent latency (or range) for firms that rely on a third party access center.93 IEX requested that the NYSE “explain whether it believes that this difference would not affect the ability of electronic market makers and other trading firms and active agency brokers to compete with firms in the same businesses that have faster access, and if so how it reached this conclusion.” 94 IEX also disputed that competition for order flow constrains pricing of co-location services, arguing that NYSE often displays protected quotes for certain stocks, a status it achieves by paying a high number of rebates for liquidity, and firms are forced to interact with it to avoid trade-throughs.95 Both IEX and SIFMA argued that in the absence of competition for the proposed services and fees (which, in SIFMA's view are indistinguishable from market data fees), the Exchange should be required to discuss the relationship between the proposed fees and increasing Data Center costs, or detail how the fee increases relate to the costs of providing the service, in order to justify the proposed fees as reasonable.96

    88See IEX I Letter at 2 (best execution requires broker-dealer to have “effective access” to exchanges); SIFMA II Letter at 4 (“brokers are legally obligated to seek best execution for their customers. They are required to consider the likelihood that a trade will be executed and whether there is an opportunity to obtain a price better than what is currently quoted.”) See also Citadel Letter at 3 (stating that “competitive pressures oblige broker-dealers to seek the most efficient access to markets and market data to execute orders . . . ,” creating a risk for those firms that elect to trade with “slower and less efficient access.”); R2G Letter at 3 (referring to an “ever increasing need for speed”); Wolverine Letter at 1 (stating that it is “required to subscribe to the lowest latency NYSE market data products and services”).

    89See IEX I Letter at 2, IEX II Letter at 1-3, SIFMA I Letter at 2 and SIFMA II Letter at 2. Compare with comments alleging a lack of viable alternatives to connectivity to Premium NYSE Data Products, supra note 73.

    90See SIFMA I Letter at 2. According to SIFMA, “the mere presence of the IEX Letter in the comment file” evidences of a lack of competitive market forces to constrain pricing, because IEX is a competitor to the Exchange. See id. at 3.

    91See SIFMA I Letter at 3 (also stating “different fees are charged for the different types of connectivity, with no rational basis, [is] unfairly discriminatory between customers.”)

    92See IEX II Letter at 2.

    93See id.

    94See id.

    95See id. at 3. See also SIFMA II Letter at 2 (expressing general agreement); see also SIFMA I Letter at 3 (stating that the presence of a comment letter from IEX cuts against the argument that competition for order flow constrains fees). See also Citadel Letter at 2 (urging greater transparency regarding the Exchange's Data Center costs).

    96See IEX II Letter at 3; SIFMA II Letter at 2.

    In contrast, two commenters acknowledged the existence of alternatives to some Exchange co-location services.97 One of these commenters noted that alternatives are present for Third Party System connectivity as evidenced by the fact that it “finds NYSE's third part[y] system costs out of line and does not subscribe to this NYSE offering, instead implementing this connectivity internally using a proprietary network.” 98 Another commenter stated that it “directly competes with NYSE for these [Third Party Systems] services and does so at prices significantly lower than the fees NYSE has proposed.” 99

    97See Wolverine Letter at 3; R2G Letter at 1-2.

    98See Wolverine Letter at 3.

    99See R2G Letter at 1-2.

    In response to comments that competitive forces do not constrain co-location fees and that alternatives to co-location services are lacking, the Exchange defended its representations that the proposed services are offered as a convenience to Users, are voluntary, and that Users have viable alternatives to the proposed services.100 The Exchange stated that additional latency in an alternative means of connectivity does not negate the viability of that alternative,101 and that commenters arguing that only an “equivalent” latency alternative is a viable alternative are misguided.102 The Exchange stated that, “the Act does not require that there be at least one third party option available that has exactly the same characteristics as a proposed service before a national securities exchange can impose or change a fee for a service,” adding that such a requirement would be “untenable, as every exchange would have to have an exact duplicate before it could charge a fee.” 103 Rather, the relevant question is whether a proposed fee would be “an equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among Users in the data center; does not unfairly discriminate between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers; and does not impose a burden on competition which is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.” 104 The Exchange noted that it did not represent that the connectivity alternatives available to co-located Users (including alternatives for connectivity to Premium NYSE Data Products) are exactly the same as those proposed, but rather that the cited alternatives show that Users have the option “to receive the same market data, or make the same trades, in other manners.” 105 The Exchange added that its cited alternatives “offer distinct services and pricing structures that some Users may find more attractive than those proposed by the Exchange,” and that these alternatives are “real,” even if not all Users will find them equally attractive for their individual business model.106 The Exchange stated that the viability of alternatives is “underscored by the Wolverine Letter, which explicitly states that it does not object to the proposed fees for access to Third Party Systems in the Current Proposal on the basis that firms may contract with other parties or contract directly with network providers.” 107 The Exchange added that, “[I]t is the Exchange's understanding that a User could access Third Party Systems and connect to Third Party Data Feeds, third party testing and certification feeds, and DTCC using one or more of the listed alternatives without increasing its latency levels—and, in many cases, the alternatives would offer lower latency.” 108

    100See Response Letter II at 6.

    101See id. at 7-8.

    102See id. at 7.

    103See id. at 8.

    104See id.

    105See id. The Exchange also noted that Clearpool is not a co-location customer of the Exchange, which the Exchange believes illustrates that market participants can and do avail themselves of alternatives for connecting to NYSE market data products. See id.

    106See id. In addition, in response to IEX's suggestion that the Exchange provide data on the expected latency (or range of latencies) in receiving data or transmitting orders directly from the Data Center, compared to the expected latency (or range) for firms that rely on a third party access center, the Exchange stated it could not do so without having access to the latency data of third parties, or each User's specific system configuration and latency needs and therefore could not satisfy IEX's “deliberately impossible requirement.” See id. at 7.

    107See id. at 9. The Exchange did not similarly address the R2G Letter.

    108See id. at 9-10.

    Further, the Exchange emphasized that while some commenters focus exclusively on latency as the only relevant consideration, “Users with different investment strategies or business models may focus on other characteristics, including redundancy, resiliency, cost, and the services that third parties offer but the Exchange does not, such as managed services.” 109 The Exchange stated that alternatives exist as evidenced by the fact that “there are at least six Users within the co-location hall that offer other Users or hosted customers access to trading or connectivity to market data, including the two other exchanges that are co-located with the Exchange, as well as the fact that Users may contract with any of the 15 telecommunication providers—including five third party wireless networks—available to Users to connect to third party vendors.” 110 The Exchange also noted that the alternatives are possible in part because the Exchange voluntarily allows Users to provide services to other Users and third parties out of the Exchange's co-location facility—that is, to compete with the Exchange using the Exchange's own facilities.111 For example, according to the Exchange, “a User that wished to receive Nasdaq market data could connect directly to the Nasdaq server within co-location.” 112 Therefore, the Exchange believes that contrary to commenters' beliefs, the Exchange's cited alternatives offer comparable services that can be used in lieu of receiving Exchange offered services, and that there are competitive forces constraining pricing.113

    109See id. at 8 n.16.

    110See id. at 9.

    111See id.

    112See id. at 10 n.24.

    113See id. at 9.

    SIFMA raised additional arguments. SIFMA urged that “[t]he proposed connectivity fees should be reviewed in a manner consistent with the decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit” in NetCoalition v. SEC, because says SIFMA, they are market data fees.114 SIFMA took the position that under NetCoalition I (615 F.3d 525 (D.C. Cir. 2010)) an exchange's assertion that order flow competition constrains pricing of data is insufficient.115 More specifically, in SIFMA's view “port, power, cross connect, connectivity and cage fees, which are necessary in order to obtain the market data from NYSE,” “however labeled, are market data fees.” 116 SIFMA also noted that it had submitted a “properly filed 19(d) denial of access petition on the proposal,” but had requested that it be “held in abeyance pending the decision in the NetCoalition follow-on proceedings . . . .” 117 SIFMA urged however, that such petition, despite its abeyance, not be ignored.118

    114See SIFMA II Letter at 2-3 (citing NetCoalition I, 615 F.3d 525 (D.C. Cir. 2010); NetCoalition II, 715 F.3d 342 (D.C. Cir. 2013)).

    115 SIFMA I Letter at 3 (noting that “[t]he Court's NetCoalition decisions, the controlling law on this subject, rejected this order flow argument because, like here, there was no support for the assertion that order flow competition constrained the ability of the exchange to charge supracompetitive prices for data.”).

    116See SIFMA II Letter at 3. See also SIFMA I Letter at 4 (stating that market data fees, port fees, hardware fees and connectivity fees are all “within the ambit of the NetCoalition decisions.”)

    117See SIFMA I Letter at 1; SIFMA II Letter at 3.

    118See SIFMA II Letter at 3.

    In response to SIFMA on these points, the Exchange stated that, “NetCoalition addressed the standards governing proprietary market data fees,” and that it is “incorrect” to characterize the Current Proposal as establishing market data fees.119 The Exchange stated:

    119See Response Letter III at 3-4.

    the fact that a User needs to have a port, power, and connectivity in place in order to be able to receive a market data feed within co-location does not convert the costs of such equipment and connections into market data fees. Rather, they are costs associated with the User's business activities. If a User opts to put a cage around its servers in the colocation hall, the cage fee it pays is a cost it chooses to incur in connection with the way it has chosen to do business, not a market data fee.120

    120See id. at 4 (emphasis in original).

    The Exchange distinguished the services and fees proposed in the Current Proposal from market data fees, emphasizing that they are connectivity fees or access fees applicable when a User chooses to utilize connectivity or access services within co-location.121 The Exchange noted that two of the proposed fees are for services that facilitate Users' trading activities, and have nothing to do with market data: a proposed fee for access within co-location to the execution systems of third party markets and other content service providers, and a proposed fee for connectivity within co-location to DTCC services, such as clearing, fund transfer, insurance, and settlement services.122 The Exchange similarly distinguished the proposed connectivity fee for third party testing and certification feeds as not equivalent to providing a customer with market data.123 Addressing the proposed connectivity fee for Third Party Data Feeds within co-location, the Exchange noted that this proposed fee “has more often been mistaken for a market data fee,” but distinguished the service of providing a User with connectivity to Third Party Data Feeds from the service that the third party providing the market data provides by sending the data over the connection, noting that the third party content service provider charges the User the market data fee.124

    121See id. at 5-6. The Exchange noted that SIFMA did not address VCC fees. See id. at 5, n. 17.

    122See id. at 5-6 (also noting that fees for Third Party System and DTCC connectivity vary by bandwidth and are generally proportional to the bandwidth required).

    123See id. at 5 (also noting that fees for connectivity to third party testing and certification feeds reflect that bandwidth requirements are generally not large, and the relatively low fee may encourage Users to conduct tests and certify conformance, which the Exchange believes generally benefits the markets).

    124See id. at 5-6 (also noting that the fees for Third Party Data Feeds vary because Third Party Data Feeds vary in bandwidth; proximity to the Exchange, requiring different circuit lengths; fees charged by the third party provider, such as port feeds; and levels of User demand).

    The Exchange did not agree with SIFMA's contention that the Current Proposal would establish market data fees, nor agree that NetCoalition standard was applicable to the Current Proposal,125 but instead stated, “[t]here is significant competition for the connectivity relevant to the Current Proposal;” and “even if the NetCoalition standard did apply, the Current Proposal satisfies it.” 126

    125See id. at 3. See also Response Letter II at 13.

    126See Response Letter III at 3. See also Response Letter II at 13.

    Regarding SIFMA's denial of access petition, the Exchange responded that a denial of access petition is not a comment letter, and should not be treated as such given that SIFMA itself has requested that its denial of access petition on fee filings be held in abeyance pending a decision in the NetCoalition follow-on proceedings.127

    127See Response Letter III at 3. See also Response Letter II at 13; SIFMA Letter II at 3 (noting that “SIFMA's 19(d)s will be held in abeyance pending the decision in the NetCoalition follow-on proceedings . . .”).

    IV. Discussion and Commission Findings

    After careful consideration of the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 through 4, the comments received, and the Exchange's responses to the comments, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 through 4, is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange. In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,128 which requires that an exchange have rules that provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members, issuers and other persons using its facilities; Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,129 which requires that the rules of an exchange be designed, among other things, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest, and not be designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers or dealers; and Section 6(b)(8) of the Act,130 which prohibits any exchange rule from imposing any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the Act.131

    128 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    129 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    130 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(8).

    131 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    As discussed more fully above, some commenters oppose the proposed co-location fees on the basis that viable alternatives to the Exchange's co-location services are lacking, and particularly that similar low-latency alternatives to the Exchange's co-location services do not exist.132 According to these commenters, the lack of viable alternatives means that competitive forces do not constrain Exchange pricing of co-location services, and the Exchange's proposed fees should be subject to a cost-based assessment.133

    132See supra notes 62, 88-94, and accompanying text.

    133See supra notes 62, 96, 114-116 and accompanying text.

    In response to these comments, the Exchange counters that co-location Users have several alternatives to the Exchange's proposed services, both inside and outside the Data Center. The Exchange explains that as alternatives to using the access to Third Party Systems, and connectivity to Third Party Data Feeds, third party testing and certification feeds, and DTCC, provided by the Exchange, a User may access or connect to such services and products through an Exchange access center, third party access center, or a third party vendor outside the Data Center, and may do so using a third party telecommunication provider, a third party wireless network, the Secure Financial Transaction Infrastructure (SFTI) network, or a combination thereof.134 Furthermore, the Exchange points out that alternatives to the Exchange's access and connectivity services also exist inside the Data Center, as evidenced by the fact that “there are at least six Users within the co-location hall that offer other Users or hosted customers access to trading or connectivity to market data, including the two other exchanges that are co-located with the Exchange, as well as the fact that Users may contract with any of the 15 telecommunication providers—including five third party wireless networks—available to Users to connect to third party vendors.” 135 The Exchange notes that these alternatives are possible because the Exchange allows Users to provide services to other Users and third parties out of the Exchange's co-location facility—that is, to compete with the Exchange using the Exchange's own facilities.136

    134See Response Letter II at 6.

    135See id. at 9.

    136See id.

    The Commission has carefully considered the comments and the Exchange's response concerning the availability of alternatives to the Exchange's proposed access and connectivity services. In addition, the Commission notes that two commenters expressed the view that viable alternative means of accessing Third Party Systems are available.137 The Commission believes that viable alternatives to the Exchange's proposed co-location services are available which bring competitive forces to bear on the fees set forth in the Current Proposal.138

    137See supra notes 97-99. One of these commenters also stated its view that Amendment No. 3 addressed the concerns raised in the OIP. See supra note 71. Furthermore, the Exchange's proposal with respect to connectivity to Third Party Data Feeds is not novel, given that Nasdaq similarly charges connectivity fees for third party data feeds, as reflected on its co-location fee schedule. See Nasdaq Rule 7034.

    138See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-62397 (June 28, 2010); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-66013 (December 20, 2011), 76 FR 80992 (December 27, 2011) (noting “that members may choose not to obtain low latency network connectivity through the Exchange and instead negotiate connectivity options separately through other vendors on site”); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-76748 (finding the establishment of an exclusive wireless connection consistent with the Act because, among other reasons, the alternatives suggested provided the same or similar speeds as compared to the NYSE's wireless connectivity); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-68735 (finding the establishment of an exclusive wireless connection consistent with the Act because, among other reasons, the alternatives suggested provided the same or similar speeds as compared to Nasdaq's wireless connectivity).

    Also, as discussed above, some commenters expressed concern that the proposed fees would impose a barrier to entry on smaller broker-dealers and new entrants, and a burden on competition.139 The Commission does not believe that the Current Proposal would impose a burden on competition inconsistent with the Act because, as discussed above, viable alternatives to the Exchange's proposed services exist, both inside and outside the Data Center.

    139See supra notes 74-80 and accompanying text.

    Finally, the Commission notes that several commenters believed the originally proposed NYSE Premium Connectivity Fee to be duplicative and an inequitable allocation of fees.140 Because the Exchange eliminated that fee in Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, the Commission believes that these concerns have been addressed.141

    140See supra notes 69-70 and accompanying text.

    141 The Commission believes that comments expressing concerns about proprietary market data fees more generally are outside the scope of the Current Proposal.

    Accordingly, the Commission finds that the Current Proposal is consistent with the Act.

    V. Solicitation of Comments on Partial Amendment No. 4

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether partial Amendment No. 4 is consistent with the Exchange Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-63 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-63. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml).

    Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-63 and should be submitted on or before April 20, 2017.

    VI. Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1-4

    The Commission finds good cause to approve the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos 1-4, prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of notice of the amended proposal in the Federal Register. The revisions made to the proposal in partial Amendment No. 4 142 (1) removed reference to the National Stock Exchange (NSX) from its list of Third Party Systems, (2) added three additional Third Party Data Feeds—ICE Data Services Consolidated Feed, ICE Data Services PRD, and ICE Data Services PRD CEP, (3) added connectivity fees for each of the newly added Third Party Data feeds. With respect to NSX, the Exchange represents that NSX was acquired by the NYSE Group on January 31, 2017, making it no longer a Third Party System. The Commission believes this characterization is consistent with the NYSE Group's similarly situated affiliated exchanges, NYSEMKT and NYSE, which, like NSX are solely within the NYSE Group's control. Regarding the ICE Data Services feeds, the Exchange notes that it has an indirect interest in these feeds because ICE Data Services is owned by the Exchange's ultimate parent, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. As represented in partial Amendment No. 4, the Exchange considers the ICE Data Services Consolidated Feed (like the NYSE Global Index feed), a Third Party Data Feed because it includes third party market data rather than exclusively the proprietary market data of the Exchange and its affiliated SROs, NYSE and NYSE Arca.143 The Commission believes that partial Amendment No. 4 does not raise issues not previously raised in the proposed rule change, as modified Amendment Nos. 1-3, and addressed in Exchange Response Letters I, II, and III. Accordingly, the Commission finds good cause, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,144 to approve the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1-4, on an accelerated basis.

    142See partial Amendment No. 4, supra note 13.

    143See id.

    144 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    VII. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,145 that the proposed rule change (SR-NYSEMKT-2016-63) be, and hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis.

    145See id.

    146 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.146

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06256 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-80304; File No. SR-ICEEU-2017-002] Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, To Revise the ICE Clear Europe Clearing Rules Relating to the Application of Default Provisions in the Event of a Resolution Proceeding March 24, 2017. I. Introduction

    On January 25, 2017, ICE Clear Europe Limited (“ICE Clear Europe” or “Clearing House”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change (SR-ICEEU-2017-002) to amend the ICE Clear Europe Clearing Rules (“Rules”) relating to the application of default provisions in the event of a resolution proceeding.3 The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 15, 2017.4 On February 8, 2017, ICE Clear Europe filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change and on February 10, 2017, ICE Clear Europe filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change.5 The Commission received no comment letters regarding the proposed change. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comment on Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 from interested persons and, for the reasons stated below, is approving the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, on an accelerated basis.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 Capitalized terms used in this order, but not defined herein, have the meanings specified in ICE Clear Europe Clearing Rules.

    4 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-79999 (February 9, 2017), 82 FR 10848 (February 15, 2017) (SR-ICEEU-2017-002).

    5 Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 are technical amendments to ICE Clear Europe's filing with respect to comments on the proposed rule change received by ICE Clear Europe.

    In its filing on January 25, 2017, ICE Clear Europe represented that it had published a prior version of the proposed amendments for consultation with its clearing members, two clearing members had inquired about the regulatory process surrounding the proposed change, and one clearing member suggested that certain additional clarifications be made to limit the application of other aspects of the “Insolvency” definition in the Rules. ICE Clear Europe further represented its conclusion that these suggested clarifications were not necessary or appropriate and that ICE Clear Europe would not make these requested clarifications.

    In Amendment No. 1, on February 8, 2017, ICE Clear Europe amended the filing (1) to note that no written comments were received in response to its prior consultation publication (Circular C16/018, available at https://www.theice.com/clear-europe/circulars (February 22, 2016)), (2) to include Circular C16/018 as Exhibit 2, and (3) to add a footnote that “Capitalized terms used [in the notice] but not defined [t]herein have the meanings specified in the [ ] Rules.” However, Exhibit 2 was not referenced in Item 9 of ICE Clear Europe's amended filing. Subsequently, ICE Clear Europe filed Amendment No. 2 on February 10, 2017. In Amendment No. 2, ICE Clear Europe referenced Exhibit 2 in Item 9 of its filing and corrected a pagination error in Amendment No. 1.

    II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change

    The principal purpose of the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, is to amend the Rules to clarify that the default remedies enumerated in the Rules are not automatically triggered by certain resolution or insolvency proceedings brought under the special resolution regimes of the UK Banking Act 2009 or the national legislation of any European Economic Area jurisdiction implementing the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (Directive 2014/59/EU) (“BRRD”).

    Nevertheless, the proposed rule change preserves ICE Clear Europe's right under the Rules to declare an Event of Default or exercise default remedies in the event a clearing member (or other person) is not performing substantive obligations to the Clearing House. The proposed rule change also preserves ICE Clear Europe's right to declare an Event of Default or exercise all of the default remedies available in the Rules if applicable law, including special resolution regimes, does not prohibit doing so. Finally, the proposed rule change confirms that application of a special resolution regime with respect to ICE Clear Europe does not constitute an insolvency of ICE Clear Europe for purposes of the Rules.

    III. Discussion and Commission's Findings

    Section 19(b)(2)(C) of the Act 6 directs the Commission to approve a proposed rule change of a self-regulatory organization if it finds that such proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to such organization. Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act 7 requires, among other things, that the rules of a registered clearing agency be designed to promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions and, to the extent applicable, derivative agreements, contracts, and transactions and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C).

    7 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    The Commission finds that the proposed rule change, which clarifies the application of certain default provisions in the event of a resolution proceeding with respect to either the Clearing House, a clearing member, or other person, are consistent with the requirements of the requirements of Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act.8 The proposed change recognizes that other statutory resolution regimes could have an impact on ICE Clear Europe's rights and responsibilities in the event either ICE Clear Europe or one of its clearing members is subject to these regimes. Similarly, the proposed rule change clarifies the extent to which ICE Clear Europe's rights and responsibilities under its Rules are affected during the operation of a statutory resolution regime. ICE Clear Europe represents that the amendments are not intended to increase risk to ICE Clear Europe, and will not impact ICE Clear Europe's ability to take risk management measures under its Rules with respect to non-defaulting clearing members (including clearing members that may be subject to a Resolution Step that is not an Unprotected Resolution Step).

    8Id.

    The Commission finds that this explicit recognition and the additional clarity provided, should promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions and, to the extent applicable, derivative agreements, contracts, and transactions as well as promote the public interest when default circumstances arise. The Commission notes ICE Clear Europe's representation that the amendments are not intended to increase risk to ICE Clear Europe and will not impact ICE Clear Europe's ability to take risk management measures with respect to its non-defaulting clearing members (including clearing members that may be subject to a Resolution Step that is not an Unprotected Resolution Step). Moreover, the Commission finds that by clarifying legal limitations on ICE Clear Europe's ability to determine that a clearing member is in default during certain resolution proceedings, the proposed rule change is consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(1), which requires that a clearing house provide “a well-founded, clear, transparent and enforceable legal basis for each aspect of its activities in all relevant jurisdictions.” 9

    9 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(1).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-ICEEU-2017-002 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ICEEU-2017-002. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of ICE Clear Europe and on its Web site at https://www.theice.com/clear-europe/regulation#rule-filings.

    All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ICEEU-2017-002 and should be submitted on or before April 20, 2017.

    V. Accelerated Approval of the Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2

    The Commission finds good cause, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,10 to approve the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, prior to the 30th day after publication of Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 in the Federal Register. As described above, the proposed rule change clarifies that the default remedies enumerated in the Rules are not automatically triggered by certain resolution proceedings brought under the UK Banking Act 2009 or the BRRD (and related national implementing legislation). Nevertheless, the rule change preserves ICE Clear Credit's right under the Rules to declare an Event of Default and exercise default remedies in the event a clearing member (or other person) is not performing substantive obligations to the Clearing House. Also, as noted above, Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 are technical amendments to ICE Clear Europe's filing with respect to comments on the proposed rule change received by ICE Clear Europe.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    Thus, the proposed rule change is intended to comply with restrictions on ICE Clear Europe's exercise of its default remedies provided by applicable laws in other jurisdictions. Moreover, ICE Clear Europe represents that the proposed rule change has been filed at the request of regulatory authorities in the United Kingdom and the European Union. Finally, the Commission finds that implementation of the proposed rule change will not substantially affect the rights of members of the Clearing House as a practical matter because the proposed rule change clarifies restrictions that are already imposed on the Clearing House by applicable law in other jurisdictions. Accordingly, the Commission finds good cause for approving the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, on an accelerated basis pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act.

    VI. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act that the proposed rule change (SR-ICEEU-2017-002), as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, be, and hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis.11

    11 In approving the proposed rule change, the Commission considered the proposal's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    For the Commission by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.12

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.

    12 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    [FR Doc. 2017-06242 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 32572; File No. 812-14488] Transamerica Life Insurance Company, et al. March 24, 2017. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice of application for an order approving the substitution of certain securities pursuant to Section 26(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act” or “Act”).

    Applicants:

    Transamerica Life Insurance Company (“TLIC”), Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company (“TFLIC”) (each a “Company” and together, the “Companies”), Separate Account VA-2L, and Separate Account VA-2LNY (each, an “Account” and together, the “Accounts”). The Companies and the Accounts collectively are referred to herein as the “Applicants.”

    Summary of Application:

    Applicants seek an order pursuant to Section 26(c) of the 1940 Act, approving the substitution of shares issued by certain series of Transamerica Series Trust (the “Replacement Funds”) for shares of certain registered investment companies currently held by sub-accounts of the Accounts (the “Existing Funds”), to support certain variable annuity contracts (collectively, the “Contracts”) issued by the Companies.

    Filing Date:

    The application was filed on June 15, 2015, and was amended on December 8, 2015, July 1, 2016, and November 14, 2016.

    Hearing or Notification of Hearing:

    An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Secretary of the Commission and serving the Applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on April 18, 2017 and should be accompanied by proof of service on the Applicants in the form of an affidavit or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to Rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    Commission: Secretary, SEC, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090. Applicants: Alison C. Ryan, Associate General Counsel, Transamerica, 1150 South Olive Street T-27-01, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jill Ehrlich, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6819, or David J. Marcinkus, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's Web site by searching for the file number, or for an Applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm, or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Applicants' Representations:

    1. TLIC is the depositor of Account VA-2L. TFLIC is the depositor of Account VA-2LNY. Each Company is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of AEGON, N.V.

    2. Each Account is a “separate account” as defined by Rule 0-1(e) under the 1940 Act, and each is registered under the 1940 Act as a unit investment trust. Each Account is divided into sub-accounts, which reflect the investment performance of certain registered investment companies, including Transamerica Series Trust. The Accounts are administered and accounted for as part of the general business of the Companies. The application sets forth the registration statement file numbers for the security interests under the Contracts and the Accounts.

    3. The Contracts are individual and group variable annuity contracts. Each of the prospectuses for the Contracts discloses that the issuing Company reserves the right, subject to compliance with applicable law, to substitute shares of another registered open-end management investment company for shares of a registered open-end management investment company held by a sub-account of an Account.

    4. Transamerica Series Trust is an open-end management investment company of the series type that is registered with the Commission under the 1940 Act (File No. 811-04419).1 Shares of the series are registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (File No. 033-00507) and are sold to the separate accounts of life insurance companies to fund benefits under variable life policies or variable annuity contracts and to certain affiliated asset allocation funds.

    1 Effective May 1, 2008, Transamerica Series Trust changed its name from AEGON/Transamerica Series Trust.

    5. Transamerica Asset Management, Inc. (“TAM”), an investment adviser that is registered with the Commission, has overall responsibility for the management of each Transamerica Series Trust Replacement Fund. TAM delegates to a sub-adviser the responsibility for day-to-day management of the investments of each Transamerica Series Trust Replacement Fund, subject to TAM's oversight. TAM may, in the future, determine to provide the day-to-day management of any Transamerica Series Trust Replacement Fund without the use of a sub-adviser.

    6. Applicants propose, as set forth below, to substitute shares of the Replacement Funds for shares of the Existing Funds (“Substitutions”) to fund the Contracts:

    Existing fund Replacement fund Dreyfus Variable Investment Fund: Appreciation Portfolio (Service Shares) Transamerica WMC US Growth VP (Service Class). Dreyfus Variable Investment Fund: Quality Bond Portfolio (Service Shares) Transamerica JPMorgan Core Bond VP (Service Class). Dreyfus Investment Portfolios: Core Value Portfolio (Service Shares) Transamerica Barrow Hanley Dividend Focused VP (Initial Class). The Dreyfus Socially Responsible Growth Fund, Inc. (Service Shares) Transamerica WMC US Growth VP (Service Class).

    7. The Applicants believe that the Replacement Funds have investment objectives, policies and risk profiles, as described in their prospectuses, that are substantially the same as, or sufficiently similar to, the corresponding Existing Funds to make those Replacement Funds appropriate candidates as substitutes. Applicants also state that the investment objectives and investment strategies of each Replacement Fund are similar to the corresponding Existing Fund, or each Replacement Fund's underlying portfolio construction and investment results are similar to those of the Existing Fund, and therefore the fundamental objectives, risk, and performance expectations of those Contract owners with interests in sub-accounts of the Existing Funds will continue to be met after the Substitutions.

    8. The investment objectives of each Existing Fund and its corresponding Replacement Fund are set forth below. Additional information for each Existing Fund and Replacement Fund, including principal investment strategies, principal risks, and comparative performance history, can be found in the application.

    Existing fund Replacement fund Dreyfus Variable Investment Fund: Appreciation Portfolio seeks long-term capital growth consistent with the preservation of capital Transamerica WMC US Growth VP seeks to maximize long-term growth. Dreyfus Variable Investment Fund: Quality Bond Portfolio seeks to maximize total return, consisting of capital appreciation and current income Transamerica JPMorgan Core Bond VP seeks total return, consisting of current income and capital appreciation. Dreyfus Investment Portfolios: Core Value Portfolio seeks long-term growth of capital, with current income as a secondary objective Transamerica Barrow Hanley Dividend Focused VP seeks total return gained from the combination of dividend yield, growth of dividends and capital appreciation. The Dreyfus Socially Responsible Growth Fund, Inc. seeks to provide capital growth, with current income as a secondary goal Transamerica WMC US Growth VP seeks to maximize long-term growth.

    9. Applicants state that the Substitutions are designed to allow Contract owners to continue their investment in similar or better investment options without interruption and at no additional cost to them. Contract owners with sub-account balances invested through the Accounts in shares of the Replacemen