Federal Register Vol. 82, No.63,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 63 (April 4, 2017)

Page Range16287-16508
FR Document

82_FR_63
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 16297 - Connect America Fund; Universal Service Reform-Mobility FundPDF
82 FR 16372 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Taiwan: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
82 FR 16445 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 16447 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 16382 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
82 FR 16331 - Review of the 2016 Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified SourcesPDF
82 FR 16407 - National Maritime Security Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 16340 - Lynn Canal-Icy Strait Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 16339 - Black Hills National Forest Advisory BoardPDF
82 FR 16467 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Mark John Taylor, aka Mark Taylor, aka Mohammad Daniel, aka Muhammad Daniel, aka Abu Abdul Rahman, aka Mark John al-Rahman as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
82 FR 16422 - Office of Government Information Services (OGIS); Annual Open MeetingPDF
82 FR 16415 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget for Approval; Incidental Take of Marine Mammals During Specified ActivitiesPDF
82 FR 16466 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Shane Dominic Crawford, aka Asadullah, aka Abu Sa'd at-Trinidadi, aka Shane Asadullah Crawford, aka Asad, as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
82 FR 16467 - Notice of Issuance of a Presidential Permit to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P.PDF
82 FR 16429 - In the Matter of Homestake Mining Company of California; Grants Reclamation ProjectPDF
82 FR 16306 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
82 FR 16473 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Comment Request; Assessment of FeesPDF
82 FR 16408 - Mortgagee Review Board: Administrative ActionsPDF
82 FR 16334 - Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 16337 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin VaccinePDF
82 FR 16336 - Animal Disease Traceability System; Public MeetingsPDF
82 FR 16381 - Defense Business Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 16417 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Products; Commission Determination With Respect to the Procedure for the April 20, 2017, Oral ArgumentPDF
82 FR 16469 - Norfolk Southern Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Dayton, Montgomery County, OhioPDF
82 FR 16466 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
82 FR 16366 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Austria: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
82 FR 16435 - Information Collection: Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power PlantsPDF
82 FR 16341 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Negative Critical Circumstances DeterminationPDF
82 FR 16369 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From the Republic of Korea: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Critical Circumstances DeterminationPDF
82 FR 16345 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Italy: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
82 FR 16349 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Japan: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 16360 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Federal Republic of Germany: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 16363 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 16378 - Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Belgium: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, in PartPDF
82 FR 16436 - Tennessee Valley Authority; Clinch River Nuclear Site Early Site Permit Application and Associated Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Safeguards InformationPDF
82 FR 16340 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Delaware Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 16442 - Actuarial Advisory Committee With Respect to the Railroad Retirement Account; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 16356 - Silicon Metal From Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 16352 - Silicon Metal From Australia, Brazil and Norway: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 16418 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate ProcedurePDF
82 FR 16348 - Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Partial Rescission of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
82 FR 16469 - Electronic Logging Device Technical Specification Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 16323 - Repeal of Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation ReformPDF
82 FR 16389 - Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group MeetingPDF
82 FR 16387 - GEL Texas Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
82 FR 16389 - Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation; Notice of Request for Temporary WaiverPDF
82 FR 16386 - Playa Solar 2, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 16387 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 16386 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 16385 - Odyssey Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 16384 - Redbed Plains Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 16387 - Quilt Block Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 16384 - Meadow Lake Wind Farm V LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 16385 - Arkwright Summit Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 16392 - Dynegy Marketing and Trade, LLC Illinois Power Marketing Company v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
82 FR 16390 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
82 FR 16391 - Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
82 FR 16388 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 16390 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 16325 - Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal ValuationPDF
82 FR 16470 - Agency Information Collection; Activity Under OMB Review; Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space-BTS Form 251PDF
82 FR 16474 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13224PDF
82 FR 16392 - Notice of Requests for Approval of an Alternative Means of Emission Limitation at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LPPDF
82 FR 16399 - Appraisal Subcommittee; Proposed Revised Policy StatementsPDF
82 FR 16327 - Safety Zone; Fireworks Displays, Sector Key West, FloridaPDF
82 FR 16338 - Information Collection Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on the Farm Service Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 16418 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Heterogeneous System Architecture FoundationPDF
82 FR 16298 - Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2017 SeasonPDF
82 FR 16478 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Final Amendment 5bPDF
82 FR 16419 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety IIPDF
82 FR 16418 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Shipbuilding Research ProgramPDF
82 FR 16419 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Open Platform for NFV Project, Inc.PDF
82 FR 16420 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on ROS-Industrial Consortium-AmericasPDF
82 FR 16420 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium, Inc.PDF
82 FR 16419 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on Consortium for NASGRO Development and SupportPDF
82 FR 16335 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 16321 - Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Homes Collaborative, Health Justice Project of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Breast Cancer Fund, Improving Kids' Environment, Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumer Federation of America, Learning Disabilities Association, Maricel Maffini, and Howard Mielke; Filing of Color Additive PetitionPDF
82 FR 16466 - Nevada Disaster #NV-00048PDF
82 FR 16287 - VA Dental Insurance ProgramPDF
82 FR 16332 - Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation To Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles (VAAR Case 2014-V002-Parts 816, 828)PDF
82 FR 16403 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
82 FR 16435 - In the Matter of Waste Control Specialists LLC; Consolidated Interim Storage FacilityPDF
82 FR 16475 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Presidential Memorial Certificate FormPDF
82 FR 16474 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Income VerificationPDF
82 FR 16475 - Conflicting Interests Certification for Proprietary Schools Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 16442 - Order Granting Application by C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated for an Exemption Pursuant to Section 36(a) of the Exchange Act From the Rule Filing Requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act With Respect to Certain Rules Incorporated by ReferencePDF
82 FR 16464 - Order Granting Application by MIAX PEARL, LLC for an Exemption Pursuant to Section 36(a) of the Exchange Act From the Rule Filing Requirements of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act With Respect to Certain Rules Incorporated by ReferencePDF
82 FR 16459 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt New Equities Trading Rules To Transition Trading on the Exchange From a Floor Based Market With a Parity Allocation Model to Fully Automated Price-Time Priority Model on the Exchange's New Trading Technology Platform, PillarPDF
82 FR 16447 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Market Makers Applicable When the Exchange Transitions Trading to Pillar, the Exchange's New Trading Technology PlatformPDF
82 FR 16458 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 98PDF
82 FR 16456 - Self-Regulatory Organizations: Investors Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Correct Typographical Errors in SR-IEX-2017-06PDF
82 FR 16447 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 925.1NY Regarding Market Maker Quotations, Including To Adopt a Market Maker Light Only QuotationPDF
82 FR 16443 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 6.37B Regarding Market Maker Quotations, Including To Adopt a Market Maker Light Only QuotationPDF
82 FR 16461 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Reporting DutiesPDF
82 FR 16449 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule G-3, on Professional Qualification Requirements, and Rule G-8, on Books and Records, To Establish Continuing Education Requirements for Municipal Advisors and Accompanying Recordkeeping RequirementsPDF
82 FR 16460 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Mercury, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Rename the Exchange as Nasdaq MRX, LLCPDF
82 FR 16445 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Rename the Exchange as Nasdaq ISE, LLCPDF
82 FR 16322 - Intercountry AdoptionsPDF
82 FR 16288 - Amendments to Regulations Governing Service Contracts and NVOCC Service ArrangementsPDF
82 FR 16401 - DaVita, Inc., RV Management Corp., Renal Ventures Partners, LLC, Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, and Renal Ventures Management, LLC; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
82 FR 16420 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: XceliencePDF
82 FR 16341 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Tennessee Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 16405 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 16407 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 16406 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 16407 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 16471 - Proposed Information Collections; Comment Request (No. 63)PDF
82 FR 16421 - Notice of Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 16405 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Development and Commercialization of Peptides Promoting Lipid Efflux for the Treatment of Hypertriglyceridemia, With or Without Concomitant Metabolic SyndromePDF
82 FR 16406 - Prospective Grant of Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option Patent License: “The Development and Use of Diazeniumdiolated and Hybrid Diazeniumdiolated Compounds for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer in Humans”PDF
82 FR 16403 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
82 FR 16404 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
82 FR 16329 - Review of the Clean Power PlanPDF
82 FR 16330 - Review of the Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Generating UnitsPDF
82 FR 16383 - Agency Information Collection ExtensionPDF
82 FR 16375 - Amendment to the Privacy Shield Cost Recovery FeesPDF
82 FR 16422 - Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Safeguards InformationPDF
82 FR 16307 - Amendments to Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) Ethnicity and Race Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 16399 - Solicitation of Applications for Membership on the Community Advisory CouncilPDF

Issue

82 63 Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16334-16335 2017-06641 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16335-16336 2017-06582
Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16471-16473 2017-06549 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Determinations of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension: Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine, 16337-16338 2017-06640 Meetings: Animal Disease Traceability System, 16336 2017-06639 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Cooperative Research Group on Consortium for NASGRO Development and Support, 16419 2017-06584 National Shipbuilding Research Program, 16418 2017-06589 Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium, Inc., 16420 2017-06585 ROS-Industrial Consortium-Americas, 16420 2017-06586 Membership Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation, 16418-16419 2017-06593 Open Platform for NFV Project, Inc., 16419 2017-06587 Southwest Research Institute: Cooperative Research Group on Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety II, 16419 2017-06590 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) Ethnicity and Race Information Collection, 16307-16321 2017-06195 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16403-16404 2017-06577 Meetings: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel; Initial Review, 16403-16405 2017-06536 2017-06537 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Delaware Advisory Committee, 16340-16341 2017-06624 Tennessee Advisory Committee, 16341 2017-06554 Coast Guard Coast Guard PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Fireworks Displays, Sector Key West, FL, 16327-16329 2017-06595 NOTICES Meetings: National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, 16407-16408 2017-06656 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assessment of Fees, 16473-16474 2017-06643 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Meetings: Defense Business Board, 16381-16382 2017-06638 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 16382-16383 2017-06659 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Xcelience, 16420 2017-06555 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Information Administration

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Energy Information Energy Information Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16383-16384 2017-06501 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES 2016 Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources; Review, 16331-16332 2017-06658 Clean Power Plan; Review, 16329-16330 2017-06522 Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units, 16330-16331 2017-06519 NOTICES Requests for Approval of an Alternative Means of Emission Limitation: Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LP, 16392-16399 2017-06597 Farm Service Farm Service Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on Farm Service Agency Service Delivery, 16338-16339 2017-06594 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Connect America Fund: Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund, 16297 C1--2017--05665 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 16390-16391 2017-06604 Florida Gas Transmission Co., LLC, 16391-16392 2017-06603 Combined Filings, 16386-16390 2017-06601 2017-06602 2017-06611 2017-06612 Complaints: Dynegy Marketing and Trade, LLC; Illinois Power Marketing Co. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., 16392 2017-06605 Declaratory Orders; Petitions: GEL Texas Pipeline, LLC, 16387 2017-06615 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Arkwright Summit Wind Farm, LLC, 16385-16386 2017-06606 Meadow Lake Wind Farm V, LLC, 16384 2017-06607 Odyssey Solar, LLC, 16385 2017-06610 Playa Solar 2, LLC, 16386-16387 2017-06613 Quilt Block Wind Farm, LLC, 16387 2017-06608 Redbed Plains Wind Farm, LLC, 16384-16385 2017-06609 Meetings: Electric Quarterly Report Users Group, 16389 2017-06616 Requests for Waivers: Whiting Oil and Gas Corp., 16389-16390 2017-06614 Federal Financial Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council NOTICES Appraisal Subcommittee Proposed Revised Policy Statements, 16399 2017-06596 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission RULES Amendments to Regulations Governing Service Contracts and Non-vessel-operating Common Carriers Service Arrangements, 16288-16297 2017-06557 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Meetings: Electronic Logging Device Technical Specification, 16469-16470 2017-06618 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Community Advisory Council, 16399-16400 2017-06021 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreements: DaVita, Inc., RV Management Corp., Renal Ventures Partners, LLC, Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, and Renal Ventures Management, LLC; Analysis to Aid Public Comment, 16401-16403 2017-06556 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska: Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During 2017 Season, 16298-16306 2017-06592 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Incidental Take of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities, 16415-16416 2017-06649 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Color Additive Petitions: Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group, Center for Environmental Health, et al., 16321-16322 2017-06581 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 16474 2017-06598 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board, 16339-16340 2017-06654 Lynn Canal-Icy Strait Resource Advisory Committee, 16340 2017-06655 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Administrative Actions: Mortgagee Review Board, 16408-16414 2017-06642 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Republic of Korea; Final Negative Critical Circumstances Determination, 16341-16344 2017-06632 Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from People's Republic of China, 16348-16349 2017-06619 Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil and Norway, 16352-16356 2017-06621 Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan, 16356-16360 2017-06622 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria; Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 16366-16369 2017-06634 Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Belgium; Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 16378-16381 2017-06626 Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Federal Republic of Germany, 16360-16363 2017-06628 Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from France, 16363-16366 2017-06627 Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Italy; Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 16345-16348 2017-06630 Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Japan, 16349-16351 2017-06629 Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Republic of Korea; Final Negative Critical Circumstances Determination, 16369-16372 2017-06631 Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Taiwan, 16372-16375 2017-06703 Privacy Shield Cost Recovery Fees; Amendments, 16375-16378 2017-06437 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Products, 16417-16418 2017-06637 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure, 16418 2017-06620 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16421-16422 2017-06547 2017-06548 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration See

Office of Government Information Services

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Cancer Institute, 16407 2017-06550 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 16406-16407 2017-06551 National Institute on Aging, 16405, 16407 2017-06552 2017-06553 Proposed Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Patent Licenses: Development and Use of Diazeniumdiolated and Hybrid Diazeniumdiolated Compounds for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer in Humans, 16406 2017-06545 Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent Licenses: Development and Commercialization of Peptides Promoting Lipid Efflux for Treatment of Hypertriglyceridemia, With or Without Concomitant Metabolic Syndrome, 16405-16406 2017-06546 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Final Amendment 5b, 16478-16508 2017-06591 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Reallocation of Pacific Cod in Central Regulatory Area of Gulf of Alaska, 16306 2017-06644 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants, 16435-16436 2017-06633 Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 16422-16429 2017-06384 Confirmatory Orders: Homestake Mining Co. of California; Grants Reclamation Project, 16429-16435 2017-06645 License Applications: Waste Control Specialists, LLC; Consolidated Interim Storage Facility, 16435 2017-06575 Permit Applications: Tennessee Valley Authority; Clinch River Nuclear Site; Public Hearings, 16436-16442 2017-06625 OGIS Office of Government Information Services NOTICES Meetings: Annual Open Meeting, 16422 2017-06650 Natural Resources Office of Natural Resources Revenue PROPOSED RULES Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation, 16325-16327 2017-06600 Repeal of Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform, 16323-16325 2017-06617 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Meetings: Actuarial Advisory Committee, 16442 2017-06623 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Exemption Applications: C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 16442-16443 2017-06571 MIAX PEARL, LLC, 16464-16466 2017-06570 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 16445, 16447 2017-06690 2017-06691 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 16461-16464 2017-06563 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 16445-16447 2017-06560 Investors Exchange, LLC, 16456-16458 2017-06566 ISE Mercury, LLC, 16460-16461 2017-06561 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 16449-16456 2017-06562 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 16458-16459 2017-06567 NYSE Arca, Inc., 16443-16445 2017-06564 NYSE MKT, LLC, 16447-16449, 16459-16460 2017-06565 2017-06568 2017-06569 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16466 2017-06635 Major Disaster Declarations: Nevada, 16466 2017-06580 State Department State Department PROPOSED RULES Intercountry Adoptions; Withdrawal, 16322 2017-06558 NOTICES Designations as Global Terrorists: Mark John Taylor, aka Mark Taylor, aka Mohammad Daniel, aka Muhammad Daniel, aka Abu Abdul Rahman, aka Mark John al-Rahman, 16467 2017-06652 Shane Dominic Crawford, aka Asadullah, aka Abu Sa'd at-Trinidadi, aka Shane Asadullah Crawford, aka Asad, 16466-16467 2017-06648 Presidential Permits: TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP, 16467-16469 2017-06646 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: Norfolk Southern Railway Co. in Dayton, Montgomery County, OH, 16469 2017-06636 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Transportation Statistics Bureau

Transportation Statistics Transportation Statistics Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space, 16470-16471 2017-06599 Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Dental Insurance Program, 16287-16288 2017-06579 PROPOSED RULES Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation to Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles; Correction, 16332-16333 2017-06578 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Conflicting Interests Certification for Proprietary Schools; Correction, 16475 2017-06572 Income Verification, 16474-16475 2017-06573 Presidential Memorial Certificate Form, 16475-16476 2017-06574 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 16478-16508 2017-06591 Reader Aids

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

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82 63 Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AP91 VA Dental Insurance Program AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document revises Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical regulations to reflect the codification of the authority for the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a program through which VA contracts with private dental insurers to offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans. The VA Dental Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2016 codified the authority of the VADIP, and this final rulemaking accordingly revises the authority citation in the VA medical regulations that implement VADIP.

DATES:

Effective Date: This rule is effective April 4, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bridget Souza, Deputy Director, Business Policy, Office of Community Care (10D), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 382-2537. (This is not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 510 of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Public Law 111-163, required VA to carry out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing a dental insurance plan to veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans, known as the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP). Under VADIP and as required by law, VA contracts with private insurers to offer the dental insurance, and the private insurer is then responsible for the actual administration of the dental insurance plans and the provision of dental benefits. VA's role under VADIP is primarily to form the contract with the private insurer and to verify the eligibility of veterans, survivors, and dependents. VA establishes VADIP criteria related to eligibility, benefits, enrollment, and other program elements as required by law, in 38 CFR 17.169 (78 FR 32126, 79 FR 62441).

The VA Dental Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2016, Public Law 114-218, codified the VADIP authority at 38 U.S.C. 1712C and established a sunset date for VADIP of December 31, 2021. Public Law 114-218 did not otherwise make any substantive changes to the VADIP established in section 510 of Public Law 111-163 and implemented in 38 CFR 17.169. Therefore, the only regulatory change required by Public Law 114-218 is the revision of the authority citation for § 17.169 to read 38 U.S.C. 1712C, and we make this revision in this final rule. While we recognize that the authority to operate the VADIP expires on December 31, 2021, we do not revise § 17.169 to include this date.

Effect of Rulemaking

Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as revised by this final rulemaking, represents VA's implementation of its legal authority on this subject. Other than future amendments to this regulation or governing statutes, no contrary guidance or procedures are authorized. All existing or subsequent VA guidance must be read to conform with this rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance is superseded by this rulemaking.

Administrative Procedure Act

The VA Secretary finds under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) that there is good cause to publish this rule without prior opportunity for public comment, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) that there is good cause to publish this rule with an immediate effective date. This rulemaking makes a non-substantive change to update the authority citation for 38 CFR 17.169 (Pub. L. 114-218). Notice and public comment are unnecessary because they could not result in any change to this provision. Further, since Public Law 114-218 became effective on its date of enactment and is already in effect, VA finds good cause to make this change effective on the date of its publication.

Unfunded Mandates

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3507) requires that VA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a), an agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number (5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3)(vi)). This action contains no new or revised collections of information.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The VA Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-12). This final rule merely updates the authority citation for 38 CFR 17.169; it does not revise any substantive criteria in the regulation, and this rulemaking will not affect any small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt from the regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of section 604.

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health, and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this final rule have been examined and determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.”

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this rule are 64.009 Veterans Medical Care Benefits and 64.011 Veterans Dental Care.

Signing Authority

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on March 29, 2017, for publication.

Dated: March 30, 2017. Janet Coleman, Chief, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 17

Administrative practice and procedure, Dental health, Government contracts, Health care, Health professions, Health records, Veterans.

For the reasons set forth in the supplementary information of this rulemaking, the Department of Veterans Affairs amends 38 CFR part 17 as follows:

PART 17—MEDICAL 1. The authority citation for part 17 is amended by adding an entry for § 17.169 in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 501, and as noted in specific sections.

Section 17.169 also issued under 38 U.S.C. 1712C.

§ 17.169 [Amended]
2. Amend § 17.169 by removing the sectional authority citation.
[FR Doc. 2017-06579 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION 46 CFR Parts 530 and 531 [Docket No. 16-05] RIN 3072-AC53 Amendments to Regulations Governing Service Contracts and NVOCC Service Arrangements AGENCY:

Federal Maritime Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC or Commission) amends its rules governing Service Contracts and NVOCC Service Arrangements. The rule is intended to update and modernize the Commission's regulations and reduce the regulatory burden.

DATES:

Effective Date: May 5, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical questions, contact: Florence A. Carr, Director, Bureau of Trade Analysis, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001. Phone: (202) 523-5796. Email: [email protected]. For legal questions, contact: Tyler J. Wood, General Counsel, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001. Phone: (202) 523-5740. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

In 1984, Congress passed the Shipping Act of 1984 (the Shipping Act or the Act), 46 U.S.C. 40101 et seq., which introduced the concept of carriage under service contracts filed with the Federal Maritime Commission. The pricing of liner services via negotiated contracts, rather than exclusively by public tariffs, was a change that had profound effects on the liner industry. FMC regulations require all ocean freight rates, surcharges, and accessorial charges in liner trades be published in ocean common carrier tariffs or agreed to in service contracts filed with the Commission. Contemporaneous with the filing of service contracts, carriers are also required to make available to the public a concise statement of essential terms in tariff format.

In 1998, Congress passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), amending the Shipping Act of 1984 relating to service contracts. To facilitate compliance and minimize the filing burdens on the oceanborne commerce of the United States, service contracts and amendments effective after April 30, 1999, are required by FMC regulations to be filed with the Commission in electronic format. This eliminated the regulatory burden of filing in paper format, thereby saving ocean carriers both time and money. In addition, OSRA reduced the essential terms that had to be made publicly available.1 Service contracts and amendments continue to be filed in the Commission's electronic filing system, SERVCON.

1 Prior to OSRA, contract rates were published in the essential terms tariff publication, thereby allowing similarly situated shippers to request and obtain similar terms. In enacting OSRA, Congress limited the essential terms publication to the following terms: The origin and destination port ranges, the commodities, the minimum volume or portion, and the duration.

In 2005, the Commission issued a rule exempting non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) from certain tariff publication requirements of the Shipping Act, pursuant to section 16 of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C. 40103. 69 FR 75850 (Dec. 20, 2004) (final rule). Under the exemption, NVOCCs are relieved from certain Shipping Act tariff requirements, provided that the carriage in question is performed pursuant to an NVOCC Service Arrangement (NSA) filed with the Commission and that the essential terms are published in the NVOCC's tariff. 46 CFR 531.1, 531.5, and 531.9.

This rulemaking is the first comprehensive review of the FMC's service contract regulations in part 530 since the Commission promulgated implementing rules pursuant to OSRA and the first substantive revisions to the NSA regulations in part 531 since NSAs were introduced by rule in 2005. Given the industry changes that have transpired since these rules were last revised, the Commission has sought extensive public comment throughout this rulemaking process. Most recently, the Commission published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend parts 530 and 531, and received six comments. 81 FR 56559-56571 (Aug. 22, 2016). Previously, the Commission sought public input through the publication of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) 81 FR 10198-10204 (Feb. 29, 2016), and received twelve comments. In addition, public comments were received earlier from the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) and a group of major ocean common carriers in response to the Commission's Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Rules.2 All the aforementioned comments are available on the Commission's Web site under Docket No. 16-05 through the Electronic Reading Room link at: http://www.fmc.gov/16-05.

2 The commenting carriers consisted of 30 ocean carriers participating in the following agreements active at that time: The 14 members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement; 10 members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement; the 6 members of the Central America Discussion Agreement; the 11 members of the West Coast of South America Discussion Agreement; the 5 members of the Venezuela Discussion Agreement; the 3 members of the ABC Discussion Agreement; the 6 members of the United States Australasia Discussion Agreement; and the 3 members of the Australia and New Zealand-United States Discussion Agreement.

The six comments filed specifically in response to the NPRM were submitted by Crowley Latin America Services, LLC and Crowley Caribbean Services, LLC (jointly, Crowley); NCBFAA; the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL); UPS Ocean Freight Services, Inc., UPS Europe SPRL, UPS Asia Group Pte. Ltd. and UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. (collectively, UPS); the World Shipping Council (WSC), and one anonymous commenter purporting to be an export trading company that trades agricultural products.

The commenters in this proceeding represent a broad cross-section of industry stakeholders, including vessel-operating common carriers (VOCCs), major trade associations, licensed NVOCCs and freight forwarders, registered foreign-based NVOCCs, beneficial cargo owners, a shippers' association, and a tariff publishing and contract management firm. The Commission has benefited from the wide public participation of stakeholders in this rulemaking and carefully considered their perspectives.

II. Discussion

The Commission's primary focus in this rulemaking has been to identify areas appropriate for possible regulatory relief, as well as opportunities to streamline both FMC and industry business processes and leverage Commission technology to facilitate compliance, while maintaining the Commission's ability to carry out its oversight responsibilities. In addition, recent Executive Orders have highlighted the benefits of reducing unnecessary and costly regulations.3 Although these Executive Orders may not directly apply to the Commission,4 the Commission respects the purpose of the Executive Orders and is committed to reducing regulatory burdens where feasible. Accordingly, the Commission has carefully considered the appropriate regulatory relief that will allow parties to commercial shipping transactions to more efficiently engage in the movement of U.S. import and export cargo on the high seas, while protecting shippers from potential financial harm. While this rule is deregulatory in nature, the rule preserves the Commission's ability to carry out its mission under the Shipping Act of 1984.

3 Executive Order (EO) 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Jan. 30, 2017); EO 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda (February 24, 2017).

4See Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” (Feb. 2, 2017).

Below, on a section-by-section basis, is a discussion of the regulations governing service contracts and NSAs in 46 CFR parts 530 and 531, respectively. In some instances, the Commission has determined that proposed changes in the NPRM do not necessarily decrease regulatory burdens on the industry and is thus not adopting those changes in the final rule. The Commission is deferring these changes for the time being but may reconsider them in a future rulemaking.

Part 530—Service Contracts Subpart A—General Provisions Section 530.3 Definitions Section 530.3 Affiliate

The current regulations regarding service contracts do not define the term “affiliate,” and the Commission periodically receives requests from ocean carriers for guidance regarding the criteria used to determine affiliation with respect to the shipper party to service contracts. Whether an entity is determined to be an affiliate of the contract shipper is an important matter because affiliates, as parties to the service contract, have full access to the rates, terms and conditions of the otherwise confidential contract. In contrast, the Commission's regulations governing NSAs at § 531.3(b) and NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) at § 532.3(e) define the term affiliate, to mean: “two or more entities which are under common ownership or control by reason of being parent and subsidiary or entities associated with, under common control with, or otherwise related to each other through common stock ownership or common directors or officers.” To the extent that a lack of clarity regarding service contract shipper party affiliates stems from the absence of a definition of affiliate in part 530, the Commission sought to address this inconsistency by proposing to adopt the same definition currently published in parts 531 and 532.

The Commission's NPRM requested comment on this issue. In its comments, Crowley supported the addition of the definition “subject to the understanding that carriers would remain free to adopt alternative definitions (e.g., by requiring a minimum level of common ownership).” To this point, WSC, in its earlier comment on the ANPRM, asked the Commission to clarify that the adoption of the definition “does not preclude more specific definitions of that term in service contracts or tariffs, so long as those more specific definitions fall within the scope of the Commission's definition.” WSC cited as an example the inclusion in an individual carrier's service contract of a minimum level of ownership between two shipper entities to be considered affiliates. The Commission confirms that the inclusion of the definition of affiliate in part 530 does not preclude an individual carrier adopting a more narrow definition of affiliate in its service contracts.

UPS raised a separate concern regarding affiliates in its NPRM comments, stating that global logistics companies commonly employ non-affiliated overseas agents to facilitate the movement of cargo and that those agents have historically been listed as the NVOCC's “affiliates” under service contracts with VOCCs. This enables the local agent to originate bookings under the service contract. In connection with such shipments, UPS states that the overseas agent is listed as the “shipper” on the VOCC's master bill of lading, with the FMC licensed or registered NVOCC listed as the “consignee.” UPS asks the Commission to “consider and address” whether this practice is still compliant as long as the non-affiliated booking agent clearly acts as the agent for the NVOCC and/or the NVOCC appears on the VOCC's master bill of lading as the consignee or notify party.

Given the concerns in the comments about the effect of this change on current industry practices and the Commission's determination, as noted above, to only adopt in this final rule those changes that will immediately reduce regulatory burdens, the Commission has determined not to add a definition of affiliate to Part 530.

Section 530.3(i) Effective date

Pursuant to Commission rules, a service contract or amendment cannot become effective prior to its filing with the Commission. Carriers and shippers have asserted that the service contract effective date requirement is overly restrictive, given current commercial practices, particularly with respect to service contract amendments. Further, carriers aver that the majority of amendments are for minor revisions to commercial terms, such as a revised rate or the addition of a new origin/destination or commodity. Carriers have cited instances in which the parties have agreed to amend the contract, however, due to unavoidable circumstances, the cargo was received before the carrier filed the amendment with the Commission. In such cases, the amendment's rates and terms may not be applied to that cargo pursuant to the Commission's rules, leading the parties to effect a commercial remedy in a future amendment to compensate the shipper for the financial harm resulting from the carrier's failure to timely file the amendment. In their comments, carriers and shippers requested that the Commission consider introducing regulatory flexibility by allowing up to 30 days for the filing of service contract amendments after agreement is reached between the parties.

As noted, during this regulatory review the Commission has carefully weighed the extent to which the regulatory burden imposed on the ocean transportation industry could potentially be reduced, given the FMC's mission, strategic goals and oversight responsibilities. In the NPRM, the Commission sought additional comment on a proposal to allow the filing of sequential service contract amendments in the SERVCON system within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement reached between the shipper and carrier. NCBFAA, NITL, WSC, UPS and Crowley all supported this change for service contract amendments in their NPRM comments.

While NCBFAA supports a 30-day period for filing both service contract amendments and NSA amendments, it tempers its support with a note of caution. NCBFAA advises that VOCCs often announce General Rate Increases (GRIs) and Peak Season Surcharges that are later mitigated prior to their effective dates. NCBFAA requests that the Commission “ensure that any retroactive amendment reflects the actual agreement between the parties at the time that agreement is reached.” The Commission believes that adherence to the agreed upon terms of a service contract provides the shipper with important protections. Carrier abuse of those protections is a serious matter under the Shipping Act and such carrier behavior will be subject to close scrutiny by the Commission, with appropriate Commission action if violations of the Act are found. In addition, a shipper that believes a carrier has breached the agreed-upon terms of a contract may bring an action in the appropriate court or in another forum agreed to by the contract parties.5

5See 46 U.S.C. 40502(f).

The Commission also sought comment in the NPRM regarding the concerns of Global Maritime Transportation Services, Inc. (GMTS) regarding the impact of a 30-day period for filing service contract amendments on carrier compliance with § 530.6 and § 515.27, which require carriers to obtain proof that an NVOCC has complied with the Shipping Act and prohibit carriers from serving noncompliant NVOCCs. In its comments to the ANPRM, GMTS asserted that the current requirement for filing a service contract amendment on or before its effective date ensures that full compliance with the tariff, contract, and amendments are determined prior to filing with the FMC. In its comments to the NPRM, WSC maintains that, from both a regulatory and commercial perspective, carriers and shippers are incentivized to manage service contract documentation carefully.

The Commission has carefully considered the request for regulatory relief by both carriers and shippers to allow amendments to service contracts to become effective prior to their being filed with the Commission. The Commission notes the inherent commercial difficulties when a service contract rate cannot be applied to a given shipment due to a delay in filing. Additionally, the Commission has considered the impact of this change on the carriers' associated filing burden. Ocean carriers have cited the regulatory burden associated with filing more than 550,000 service contract amendments annually with the Commission as the largest administrative burden for both carriers and their customers. For example, under the current filing requirements, during a 30-day period, a service contract amendment can only be processed and filed on or before its effective date. The proposed relief would allow the processing and filing of multiple service contract amendments initiated during a 30-day period at a set or scheduled time during that period as determined by the carrier.

The Commission has also weighed the need to fulfill its regulatory responsibilities to ensure shipper protections and the impact this relief would have on its ability to successfully maintain those protections. On balance, the Commission believes that this change will reduce the filing burdens on the shipping industry while maintaining the Commission's ability to protect the shipping public. Further, by adjusting the date on which amendments can become effective, this change reduces the commercial harm from delayed filings by allowing the parties to apply the rates and terms agreed to in a service contract amendment to the intended shipments. The Commission has therefore determined to amend the definition of “effective date” to mean the date upon which a service contract amendment is scheduled to go into effect by the parties, so long as that date is no more than 30 days prior to the amendment being filed with the Commission.

Section 530.5 Duty To file

The Commission sought comment in the NPRM regarding its proposal to amend the regulations to ensure that ocean carriers are aware of the availability of the automated web services process for filing original service contracts and amendments. No comments were received in response to the NPRM on this issue. The Commission has determined not to adopt its proposal to amend the regulations to provide notice of the availability of the automated web services process because it does not appear to immediately reduce regulatory burdens.

Section 530.6 Certification of Shipper Status

Shippers entering into service contracts must certify their status, and VOCCs are required to obtain proof of an NVOCC's compliance with tariff and financial responsibility requirements. Section 530.6(b) currently allows carriers to obtain such proof by any of the methods in 46 CFR 515.27. Many carriers routinely utilize one of the prescribed methods, consulting the FMC's Web site, www.fmc.gov, to verify whether an NVOCC contract holder or affiliate is in good standing, while other carriers employ more rigorous standards by requiring copies of the NVOCC's bond and the title page of its published tariff.6 In addition, many VOCCs incorporate the NVOCC's 6-digit FMC Organization Number into the service contract, indicating that the VOCC validated its compliance with the requirements of § 530.6 for shipper parties that are NVOCCs. A carrier that meets the requirements in § 530.6(a) and (b) is also deemed to be in compliance with 46 U.S.C. 41104(12) (section 10(b)(12) of the Shipping Act), which prohibits carriers from knowingly and willfully entering into service contracts with ocean transportation intermediaries that do not meet the Act's tariff and financial responsibility requirements.7

6 In addition to permitting carriers to consult the FMC Web site to obtain proof NVOCC compliance with the tariff financial responsibility requirements, § 515.27 permits carriers to use any other appropriate procedure to obtain such proof, provided that the procedure is set forth in the carrier's tariff.

7 46 CFR 530.6(d).

In response to regular queries from carriers about the capability of FMC's electronic systems to automatically determine the status of an NVOCC party in a service contract and to verify compliance with § 530.6, Commission staff explored potential options that would leverage technology and the FMC's databases. The Commission asked for comments in its NPRM on whether the FMC should move forward in requiring filings to include the 6-digit FMC Organization Number of any NVOCC parties to a service contract in a new data field created on the SERVCON filing screen. This would reduce a carrier's need to consult the Commission's Web site or use other methods to obtain proof of NVOCC compliance with the relevant requirements before filing service contracts.

The Commission received comments to the NPRM regarding this proposal from WSC, Crowley and UPS, all of which supported an additional dedicated field in SERVCON for entry of an NVOCC's Organization Number to validate whether the NVOCC is in good standing. UPS's comments sought assurance that the practice of reliance on the NVOCC's certification and the FMC's Web site information would continue to provide a “safe harbor” under § 530.6(d) with respect to 46 U.S.C. 41104(12). WSC's support was based on their understanding that “carriers could continue to rely upon existing compliance procedures outside of SERVCON if they so choose.”

The Commission has further investigated the technical feasibility of adding the proposed Organization Number entry and verification capabilities to SERVCON and has determined that the necessary improvements would take well over a year to make to the system. In addition, the comments suggest a preference by some VOCCs to continue to use current methods to certify NVOCC compliance, rather than relying on verification from SERVCON in response to the entry of the NVOCC's Organization Number. Given the time and resources necessary to reprogram SERVCON, and the uncertainty raised by the comments regarding the benefit to the industry from the change, the Commission is not adopting the requirement that VOCCs input an NVOCC's 6-digit FMC Organization Number in a new data field in the SERVCON system, when an NVOCC is the contract holder or affiliate. The Commission may reconsider this requirement in a future rulemaking.

Subpart B—Filing Requirements Section 530.8 Service Contracts

For the reasons discussed above, the Commission is permitting the filing of service contract amendments up to 30 days after the effective date of the agreement. Accordingly, as proposed in the NPRM, the Commission is revising § 530.8(a) to reflect this change. The Commission believes that permitting immediate implementation of changes to service contracts upon agreement by the parties rather than delaying implementation until the contract amendment is filed with the FMC, will result in positive benefits affecting the business processes of shippers, carriers, and the maritime industry supply chain as a whole by expediting the flow of commerce. This assertion is also supported by comments in this rulemaking record received by both ocean carriers and shippers.

The Commission sought comment in the NPRM on two options for allowing service contract amendments to be filed up to 30 days after agreement: (1) Filing each service contract amendment individually and sequentially within 30 days of its effectiveness; or (2) consolidating any number of service contract amendments into a single document, to be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the earliest of all amendments contained in the document. The Commission engaged in a detailed explanation in the NPRM of the manner in which service contract amendments are presently filed into the SERVCON system, and described considerations that filers should take into account when evaluating and commenting on the two approaches.

Option 1 closely reflects current filing procedures, and therefore, requires minimal, if any, reprogramming of SERVCON. Under this sequential amendment filing procedure, SERVCON would process the initial service contract as Amendment “0,” with subsequent amendments to the contract numbered sequentially, beginning with Amendment No. “1.” Each amendment filing would require the filer to enter the effective date of that amendment. Under this option, the only difference from the present process would be that the effective date of the contract entered into the SERVCON system could be up to 30 days prior to the filing date.

Option 2 would allow the consolidation of multiple service contract amendments into a single “batch” filing. This option was considered based on an earlier carrier proposal to aggregate several contract amendments into a single document to effect a monthly filing. As explained in the NPRM, SERVCON is not currently capable of processing multiple amendments consolidated into a single filing, e.g., Amendment Nos. 2 through 10, with multiple effective dates. Thus, this approach would require a substantial amount of reprogramming and considerable expense to enable the system to capture multiple effective dates and multiple amendment numbers. Consolidating several service contract amendments would also prevent carriers from using the Commission's web services technology in accordance with § 530.5, thereby offsetting the advantages of web services, which requires no manual data entry and is intended to streamline processes and reduce the burden of filing.

In this regard, the WSC's NPRM comments stated:

In light of the programming changes that would be required in SERVCON (and the possible programming requirements that might be required by carriers), WSC at this stage accepts the Commission's proposal not to change the SERVCON system to accept multiple amendments in a single document. Simplicity, not additional complexity, should be the guiding principle. If it becomes possible for the Commission to process multiple amendments in a single document, then the Commission should accept such filing when the capability becomes available.

Crowley further commented:

Moreover, given a choice between a prompt implementation of the proposals contained in the NPR and delaying implementation of those proposals until the SERVCON system can be reprogrammed to accommodate batch-type filings, Crowley would prefer prompt implementation of the proposals. However, having said this Crowley does not believe that reprogramming of the SERVCON system is necessary to accommodate batch-type filings.

NITL also commented on this issue, stating that in light of the technical difficulties associated with filing “batches” of amendments, it agreed with the Commission's sequential filing approach. While Crowley suggests that reprogramming of the SERVCON system would not be required to accommodate “batch” filing of multiple service contract amendments in a single document, the Commission's Office of Information Technology disagrees with Crowley's assessment.

The Commission's current service contract filing system requires filers to specify the effective date when uploading an original service contract or a contract amendment. The Commission's rules do not prohibit the inclusion in an original service contract or amendment of rates and terms that become effective on a date that is later than the contract or amendment's overall effective date. Carriers are reminded, however, of their obligations under 46 CFR 530.12(b) to provide “certainty of terms” in service contracts, including clearly designating all effective dates and the specific terms to which such dates have application. Based on the comments received, the Commission has determined to maintain its existing protocol requiring sequentially numbered amendments to service contracts, i.e., Option 1.

Section 530.10 Amendment, Correction, Cancellation, and Electronic Transmission Errors

This section of the regulations addresses how service contracts may be amended, corrected, cancelled, and how to treat electronic transmission errors. VOCCs' earlier comments noted that current service contract correction procedures are outdated, and maintained that these procedures are “ill suited” to the manner in which service contracts are employed today. The carriers requested a number of revisions to these requirements. The NPRM sought comment regarding service contract correction requests and corrected transmissions. An item by item discussion follows.

Electronic Transmission Errors

Pursuant to § 530.10(d), carriers may file a “Corrected Transmission” (CT) within forty-eight (48) hours of filing a service contract or amendment into SERVCON, but only to correct a purely technical data transmission error or a data conversion error that occurred during uploading. A CT may not be used to make changes to rates, terms or conditions and, accordingly, its application is limited.

Most service contract filings are uploaded into the Commission's SERVCON system without encountering problems. When electronic transmission errors do occur, however, carriers often do not discover the error until after the initial 48-hour period has passed. Generally, these types of mistakes are attributable to data entry errors on the SERVCON upload screen (e.g., a typographical error is made when entering the amendment number, service contract number or effective date, or the incorrect contract or amendment is attached during uploading).

The Commission believes that allowing additional time to correct technical data transmission errors would provide regulatory relief to a narrow category of service contract filing problems without hampering the Commission's regulatory responsibilities. Consequently, in the NPRM, the Commission proposed extending the time permitted to file a Corrected Transmission from 48 hours after the service contract or amendment filing to 30 days. None of the commenters objected to this proposal and WSC, Crowley, and NCBFAA expressly supported the change.

The Commission recognizes that purely technical data transmission errors occur when service contracts and amendments are uploaded into the SERVCON system and has determined to provide regulatory relief by substantially extending the time period to correct such errors. While the industry has not submitted data quantifying the cost savings of this relief, the Commission anticipates that this change will allow service contract filers additional flexibility in conjunction with the 30-day amendment process, further streamlining their business processes. Accordingly, the Commission hereby amends its regulations to allow the filing of Corrected Transmissions within 30 days of the service contract or amendment filing.

Extend Filing Period for Correction Requests to 180 Days

The Commission's rules at § 530.10(c) permit the retroactive correction of a clerical or administrative error in a service contract if the request for correction is filed in accordance with the Commission's requirements and is submitted within 45 days of service contract filing. Current practices in ocean shipping can result in long transit times due to carriers' global pendulum services or slow steaming, at times leading to the shipper's discovery of a discrepancy between the rate quoted and that filed in its service contract long after cargo has been moved and invoiced on the bill of lading. These administrative or clerical errors therefore might not be detected within 45 days of the cargo being tendered for transportation. In other cases, shippers may initiate internal or outsourced audits of their bills of lading, which detect errors in filed service contracts that differ from rates offered. These audits may occur well after the 45-day period.

The Commission recognizes that the discovery of a clerical or administrative error in a service contract which is contrary to the agreement of the parties may not occur within 45 days of filing. The Commission frequently responds to inquiries from carriers asking to correct a service contract error which was not discovered until after the current 45-day time limit for correction requests has expired. In such cases, no regulatory remedy exists and the parties must make a commercial accommodation in the service contract to address the problem.

Given the foregoing, the Commission's NPRM proposed extending the period in which to file a service contract correction request from 45 days after the contract's filing to 180 days. None of the commenters objected to this proposal, and WSC, Crowley, and NCBFAA support extending the time to file a service contract correction request to 180 days. The Commission believes that extending the time period to file service contract correction requests provides a more efficient solution to address a service contract administrative or clerical error than the costly commercial “work arounds” described by carriers and used to address an error to remain in compliance with existing regulations.

The Commission recognizes that ocean carriers and shippers can avoid the potentially costly consequences of such errors if they have more time to file a service contract correction request. Increasing the time to file by four-fold will not only better align the Commission's filing requirements with industry business processes used to identify and correct errors, it will eliminate costly and inefficient commercial solutions used to comply with the current regulations.

Therefore, the Commission is hereby amending its regulations to allow a service contract correction request to be filed within 180 days of the contract's filing with the Commission.

Eliminate Carrier Affidavit and Significantly Reduce Filing Fee

Ocean carriers requested that the Commission eliminate the affidavit requirement for a service contract correction request and reduce the filing fee, previously set at $315. NITL supported the elimination of the affidavit requirement terming it “unduly burdensome.” If the affidavit requirement were eliminated, however, Commission time spent researching and verifying information would lengthen considerably, and concomitantly, the filing fee would increase commensurate with the additional time required for research and analysis. The Commission has determined that eliminating the carrier affidavit requirement would not be beneficial to the service contract correction process, as the filing party is required to attest with specificity to the factual circumstances surrounding the clerical or administrative error. With respect to the request to lower the filing fee, in the Commission recently reduced the fee in a separate rulemaking, from $315 to $95, to reflect the Commission's streamlined internal processes, which rely upon the affidavits submitted with the requests.8 The Commission has therefore determined to maintain the existing affidavit requirement as it provides clarity and certainty to the corrections process and results in a lower filing fee for correction requests.

8See FMC Docket No. 16-06, Update of Existing and Addition of New User Fees, 81 FR 59141-59145 (Aug. 29, 2016). The reduced fee became effective October 1, 2016.

Extend the Service Contract Correction Procedure To Include Unfiled Contracts and Amendments

Prior to the initiation of this rulemaking and in response to the Commission's request for comments on its Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Rules, the ocean carriers requested that the Commission allow the correction process to also be used for unfiled service contracts and service contract amendments. That is, they wanted to use the process for correcting clerical or administrative errors to fix the error of failing to file a service contract or amendment in the first place. In response to the ANPRM, GMTS indicated its support for this proposal, provided that the Commission maintain the requirement that an entity seeking a correction file an affidavit supporting the correction. In the NPRM, the Commission did not propose extending the correction process for clerical or administrative errors to situation in which a carrier failed to file the contract. The Commission explained that extending the correction process in this manner would undermine the Shipping Act's filing requirements and shippers' reliance thereon.

None of the commenters to the NPRM directly sought to revive the carriers' proposal. NITL did, however, mention it in its comment and stated that “[t]he failure to file a contract or contract amendment that is agreed upon between the shipper and carrier can have serious adverse consequences for the shipper.” NITL further noted that “[w]ithout a contract on file the tariff must apply which is often higher.” NITL accordingly emphasized that “there should be a process available to ensure that a shipper is not penalized for a carrier's error in failing to file” a service contract or amendment thereto.

To the extent that the “process” NITL seeks is the carriers' proposal to extend the correction process to include failing to file a service contract or amendment, the Commission reiterates that the Shipping Act requires that service contracts be filed with the Commission. In the past, shippers have expressed confidence in knowing that both the shipper and carrier will honor those commitments found in service contracts filed with the FMC. As discussed above, the Commission recognizes that some flexibility in filing is needed and is allowing amendments to service contracts to be filed within 30 days of the agreement between the parties.

The potential for abuse of the correction process by allowing the submission of unfiled contracts and amendments as much as 180 days after shipments have commenced, however, raises significant concerns of potential harm to shippers. As noted supra, commenters such as NCBFAA have raised concerns that retroactive filings may lead shipper parties to learn of GRIs or other additional charges only when the retroactive filing is made with the Commission; such changes, in effect, deprive the shipper of the opportunity to negotiate the mitigation of any new or previously uncommunicated charges. In the case of original service contracts, shipper protections at the time of contracting and for the ensuing contract term are best assured by requiring that the agreement be contemporaneously filed as the best evidence of the actual agreement between the parties when first reached. Such a change could also compromise the Commission's ability to conduct its investigatory and enforcement duties if unfiled contracts were submitted on such a delayed basis through the correction process. Unlike those limited and modest revisions to accommodate industry needs for correction of contract amendments, failure to file the original contract may conceal the very existence of a contractual arrangement in a given trade lane or lanes, avoiding early detection of market-distorting practices by individual carriers. For competing carriers and NVOCCs, extension of the correction process to unfiled original service contracts also may serve to conceal or delay recognition of another VOCC's failure to adequately distinguish between NVOCCs lawfully entitled to contract with VOCCs, and those unlicensed or unregistered entities who are completely barred under the statute from so contracting.

Given the foregoing considerations, the Commission is not expanding the service contract correction process to include unfiled service contracts and amendments.

Subpart C—Publication of Essential Terms Section 530.12 Publication

During discussions with stakeholders held prior to the initiation of this rulemaking, several advised that essential terms publications were no longer accessed by the public or useful. The Commission did not propose modifying its rules regarding the publication of essential terms. NITL, however, commented:

In our view, the publication of essential terms of service contracts has likely now outlived its commercial value. We do not believe that shippers or other primary stakeholders engaged in the ocean shipping market rely on their publication any longer; it is likely a regulatory burden without any benefit, and we encourage the Commission to eliminate the requirement for publication of essential terms in a service contract.

However, other stakeholders indicated that they rely on them for various purposes, such as during a grievance proceeding under collective bargaining agreements. Given that some stakeholders have indicated they still find them of value, the Commission is not eliminating this requirement.

UPS commented that it supports the “concept of allowing amendments to be filed and essential terms publication to be completed within a reasonable time after the effective date, rather than in advance.” In this regard, 46 CFR 530.12(h) provides that when the published statement of essential terms is affected by filed amendments, corrections or cancellations, the current terms shall be changed and published as soon as possible. We interpret that to mean the essential terms publication associated with an amendment should be contemporaneous with the filing of the amendment with the Commission.

Subpart D—Exceptions and Implementation Section 530.13 Exceptions and Exemptions Section 530.13(a) Statutory Exceptions

Section 530.13(a) of the Commission's regulations exempts certain commodities from the tariff publication and service contract filing requirements of the Shipping Act. See 46 U.S.C. 40501(a)(1) and 40502(b)(1). Commodities currently exempt pursuant to the Act are bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, new assembled motor vehicles, and waste paper or paper waste.

WSC and Crowley supported expanding the list of exempt commodities in their comments on the ANPRM. Concerns regarding expansion of the list of exempt commodities centered around shipper experiences pertaining to currently exempt commodities. Of note, two of the commodities proposed for exemption by WSC and the ocean carriers are commodities for which shippers pay some of the highest freight rates in the U.S. export trade, namely, refrigerated cargoes and cattle hides. Exporters of currently exempt commodities have expressed frustration regarding the ocean carrier practice of offering exempt commodity tariff rates with periods of limited duration, in some cases for only 30 to 60 days, rather than for the longer periods that are customary in service contracts. Further, exempt commodity tariffs are not published and do not provide shippers with 30 days' notice prior to implementation of rate increases. Whereas service contracts allow shippers to negotiate rates and terms with carriers to tailor services and terms to the shipper's specific needs, many exporters advise that shippers of exempt commodities are not afforded this opportunity.

Only two parties commented on the issue of expanding the exempt commodity list. NITL stated that it “believes this matter merits further examination and public dialogue.” NITL did not elaborate or provide any additional information regarding the nature of the dialogue it suggests. Nor did it suggest that this matter be addressed in the current rulemaking.

A second, anonymous commenter identifying itself as an export trading company which trades agricultural products and ships approximately 5,000 TEUs annually, opposes expanding the current exempt list of commodities, citing “the business struggles it would create for ourselves and our customers that would arise if we did not have a service contracts [sic] with carriers.” 9 The company explains that the contracts they enter into with their customers “contain many requirements that are also guaranteed in our service contracts with ocean carriers” and expresses “fear” that without service contracts, rates may only be offered to them on a 30-day basis. As this export trading company's sales timeline is usually 90 days or more forward, they anticipate that the ocean carriers would “gouge” them on price, assessing GRIs and raising rates without notice.

9 Although exempting additional commodities from the tariff publication and service contract filing requirements would not prevent shippers and carriers from entering into service contracts for those commodities, it appears that the commenter is echoing our concern, stated above, that carriers often do not afford shippers of exempt commodities the opportunity to enter into service contracts.

Given the potential disadvantage to shippers in negotiating with ocean carriers for transportation of exempt commodities, and the lack of shipper support for exempting additional commodities, the Commission will not exercise its exemption authority under 46 U.S.C. 40103 (section 16 of the Shipping Act) at this time to add new commodities to the list of those exempted from the FMC's tariff publication and service contract filing requirements. Opening a dialogue on whether to expand the exempt commodity list could significantly delay this rulemaking, and the Commission notes that concerned stakeholders with compelling reasons to request an exemption may petition the Commission at any time.

Section 530.14 Implementation

As the Commission will allow up to 30 days for filing service contract amendments after the agreement of the parties, corresponding changes will be made in this section to address when performance may commence under a service contract amendment. No comments were received regarding these changes.

Part 531—NVOCC Service Arrangements Subpart A—General Provisions

In response to the NPRM, NCBFAA reiterated its earlier comments in response to the Commission's Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Rules, and NCBFAA's petition for rulemaking in FMC Docket No. P2-15.10 NCBFAA supported the Commission's consideration of regulatory changes focused on reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens and easing compliance by potentially allowing more time to process amendments to service contracts and NSAs, and to correct technical or substantive errors made in filings. More specifically, NCBFAA supports the filing of amendments for NSAs to be delayed up to 30 days after an amendment is agreed to by the parties. UPS also supports the concept of allowing NSA amendments to be filed “within a reasonable time after the effective date,” as does NITL.

10 NCBFAA filed a petition for rulemaking on April 18, 2015. See Docket No. P2-15, Petition of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. for Initiation of Rulemaking (NCBFAA Petition). The Commission has accepted the NCBFAA Petition and, as previously announced, will address the proposals presented therein in a subsequent rulemaking proceeding.

NCBFAA also proposes, both in its comments to the NPRM and in its P2-15 petition, to “eliminate NSA filing and publication requirements and broaden the utility of NVOCC Negotiated Rate Agreements (`NRAs').” UPS strongly opposes “phasing out” NSAs in favor of unfiled NRAs. And NITL believes that the Commission “has correctly deferred a decision on proposing more fundamental changes in the NVOCC regulatory realm to a future proceeding.”

The Commission will address the requests to eliminate the NSA filing and publication requirements in a separate rulemaking in response to NCBFAA's petition. Accordingly, the Commission takes no position at this time on the comments supporting or opposing such a change, and the Commission hereby implements those amendments to part 531, described in detail below, specific to this rulemaking.

Section 531.3 Definitions Section 531.3(k) Effective Date

The Commission's regulations presently require that an NSA or amendment be filed on or before the date it becomes effective. The majority of commenters addressing NSA amendments supported the Commission granting NVOCCs the same flexibility in filing NSA amendments that it is granting to carriers in filing service contract amendments. As described in detail above, the Commission has determined to allow the filing of service contract amendments up to 30 days after an amendment is agreed to by the contract parties. The Commission believes that it is appropriate to extend the same regulatory relief to NVOCCs and hereby allow amendments to NSAs to become effective on the date specified by the parties, so long as the amendment is filed no later than 30 days after agreement is reached.

Section 531.5 Duty To File

The Commission is adding regulatory language in § 530.5 to apprise service contract filers of the option to use the automated web services when filing contracts and their corresponding amendments. As larger volume filers of NSAs may find web services advantageous, the Commission wishes to avail NVOCCs of this option as well. Therefore, the Commission is adding language to this section to alert NSA filers of their ability to use web services to file NSAs and amendments, should they so choose.

Subpart B—Filing Requirements Section 531.6 NVOCC Service Arrangements

Currently, the Commission's regulations require that an NSA or amendment be filed on or before the date it becomes effective. As discussed above, the Commission will allow up to 30 days for filing NSA amendments after their effective date, and will make corresponding changes to § 531.6. As with service contracts, amendments are to be filed sequentially rather than in “batches.”

Section 531.6(d) Other Requirements

Pursuant to § 531.6(d)(4), an NVOCC may not knowingly and willfully enter into an NSA with another NVOCC that is not in compliance with the Commission's tariff and proof of financial responsibility requirements. As more fully discussed above with respect to the revisions in § 530.6, the industry frequently refers to the Commission's Web site, www.fmc.gov, to verify whether an NVOCC contract holder or affiliate is compliant with these requirements.

The NPRM requested comment on different options that, upon development, would allow the FMC's SERVCON system to alert filers at the time of uploading service contracts, NSAs, and amendments thereto, if an NVOCC contract signatory or affiliate is not in good standing. The system-generated alert notifying the filer that an NVOCC is not in good standing is intended to leverage technology to assist filers with compliance. It does not result in the rejection of an NSA filing.

The Commission has further investigated the technical feasibility of adding the proposed Organization Number entry and verification capabilities to SERVCON and has determined that the necessary improvements would take well over a year to make to the system. As with the corresponding review of allowing VOCCs to check the status of an NVOCC, the Commission has determined not to proceed with regulatory modifications at this time. The Commission may take up this issue in future rulemaking proceedings.

Section 531.6(d)(5) Certification of Shipper Status

As noted above, shipper parties to service contracts must certify their status under the current service contract regulations in part 530. The Commission sought comment on whether to make this requirement consistent and uniform for both service contracts and NSAs. No comments were filed that directly addressed certification of shipper status in NSAs. Because this proposal would not result in immediate deregulatory impacts, the Commission has determined not to adopt an amendment to this requirement.

Section 531.8 Amendment, Correction, Cancellation, and Electronic Transmission Errors

Under the Commission's regulations, both VOCC service contracts and NSAs are agreements between a common carrier and a shipper for the carriage of cargo. Given these congruencies, the Commission plans to treat NSAs in a similar manner as service contracts regarding the correction procedures. A complete discussion of the changes requested by commenters concerning service contract amendment, correction, cancellation, and electronic transmission errors is included above. NCBFAA and NITL supported applying the regulatory relief extended to VOCCs to NVOCCs as well.

Therefore, the Commission is: (1) Extending the period to file a Corrected Transmission to remedy an NSA electronic transmission error under § 531.8(c) from 48 hours to 30 days after the NSA or amendment's filing; and (2) extending the period to file an NSA correction request under § 531.8(b) from 45 days to 180 days after the NSA or amendment's filing.

Subpart C—Publication of Essential Terms Section 531.9 Publication

As noted previously, NCBFAA's comments requested that the Commission consider whether the NSA filing and the essential term publication requirements are necessary, and proposed eliminating those requirements. Similarly, NITL expressed that, in their view, the publication of essential terms has likely outlived its commercial value.

The Commission will address the request to eliminate all NSA publication requirements in the future rulemaking regarding NCBFAA's petition, No. P2-15.

Subpart D—Exceptions and Implementation Section 531.10 Excepted and Exempted Commodities

The Commission sought comment on whether to treat VOCC service contracts and NSAs, as well as the tariffs of both VOCCs and NVOCCs, in a similar fashion with respect to exempted commodities. No comments were filed addressing this issue in the context of NVOCCs. As the Commission is not exercising its exemption authority under 46 U.S.C. 40103 (section 16 of the Shipping Act to exempt additional commodities for VOCCs, it will not do so for NVOCCs under this section.

Section 531.11 Implementation

Changes regarding the effective date of service contract amendments have been adopted by the Commission under part 530. The Commission is adopting similar requirements for NSA amendments in part 531.

III. Regulatory Notices and Analysis Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. 601-612) provides that whenever an agency promulgates a final rule after being required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553), the agency must prepare and make available a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) describing the impact of the rule on small entities, unless the head of the agency certifies that the rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 604-605. The Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Commission has determined that VOCCs generally do not qualify as small under the guidelines of the Small Business Administration (SBA),11 while the majority of NVOCCs and some shippers do qualify as small under the SBA guidelines. The Commission concludes, however, that the final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

11See FMC Policy and Procedures Regarding Proper Considerations of Small Entities in Rulemakings 4 (Feb. 7, 2003), available at http://www.fmc.gov/assets/1/Page/SBREFA_Guidelines_2003.pdf.

In this regard, the final rule would affect the filing of service contracts and NSAs, both of which may have small NVOCCs or shippers as parties. This final rule will increase the flexibility of these arrangements by allowing service contract and NSA amendments to become effective before being filed with the Commission and by extending the time period in which parties can file Corrected Transmissions and correction requests with respect to service contracts and NSAs. Accordingly, this final rule will not have a significant impact on small NVOCCs or small shippers.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (PRA) requires an agency to seek and receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before collecting information from the public. 44 U.S.C. 3507. The agency must submit collections of information in proposed rules to OMB in conjunction with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking. 5 CFR 1320.11.

The information collection requirements in part 530, Service Contracts, and part 531, NVOCC Service Arrangements, are currently authorized under OMB Control Numbers 3072-0065 and 3072-0070, respectively.

In compliance with the PRA, the Commission submitted the proposed revised information collections to the Office of Management and Budget. Notice of the revised information collections was published in the Federal Register and public comments were invited. See 81 FR 51446 (August 22, 2016). Comments received regarding the proposed changes, as well as the Commission's responses, are discussed above. No comments specifically addressed the revised information collections in part 530 and part 531.

As noted above, this final rule will increase the flexibility of these arrangements by allowing service contract and NSA amendments to become effective before being filed with the Commission and by extending the time period in which parties can file Corrected Transmissions and correction requests with respect to service contracts and NSAs. In addition, the Commission is not adopting the proposed requirement that carrier parties to service contracts and NSAs enter into SERVCON an NVOCC's 6-digit FMC Organization Number in a new data field in the SERVCON system, when an NVOCC is the contract holder or affiliate. Accordingly, the Commission has determined that this rule will not increase the burdens associated with the relevant information collections.

Congressional Review Act

The rule is not a “major rule” as defined by the Congressional Review Act, codified at 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq. The rule will not result in: (1) An annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies. 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

National Environmental Policy Act

The Commission's regulations categorically exclude rulemakings related to the receipt of service contracts from any requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because they do not increase or decrease air, water or noise pollution or the use of fossil fuels, recyclables, or energy. 46 CFR 504.4(a)(5). This rule falls within the categorical exclusion, and no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is required.

Regulation Identifier Number

The Commission assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Unified Agenda). The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda, available at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain.

List of Subjects 46 CFR Part 530

Freight, Maritime carriers, Report and recordkeeping requirements.

46 CFR Part 531

Freight, Maritime carriers, Report and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons stated in the supplementary information, the Federal Maritime Commission amends 46 CFR parts 530 and 531 as follows:

PART 530—SERVICE CONTRACTS 1. The authority citation for part 530 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 553; 46 U.S.C. 305, 40301-41306, 40501-40503, 41307.

2. Amend § 530.3 by revising paragraph (i) to read as follows:
§ 530.3 Definitions.

(i) Effective date means the date upon which a service contract or amendment is scheduled to go into effect by the parties to the contract. For an original service contract, the effective date cannot be prior to the filing date with the Commission. For a service contract amendment, the effective date can be no more than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the filing date with the Commission. A service contract or amendment thereto becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on the beginning of the effective date.

3. Amend § 530.8 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 530.8 Service contracts.

(a) Authorized persons shall file with BTA, in the manner set forth in appendix A of this part, a true and complete copy of:

(1) Every service contract before any cargo moves pursuant to that service contract; and

(2) Every amendment to a filed service contract no later than thirty (30) days after any cargo moves pursuant to that service contract amendment.

4. Amend § 530.10 by revising the introductory text of paragraph (c) and the first sentence of paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 530.10 Amendment, correction, cancellation, and electronic transmission errors.

(c) Corrections. Requests shall be filed, in duplicate, with the Commission's Office of the Secretary within one-hundred eighty (180) days of the contract's filing with the Commission, accompanied by remittance of a $95 service fee and shall include:

(d) Electronic transmission errors. An authorized person who experiences a purely technical electronic transmission error or a data conversion error in transmitting a service contract filing or amendment thereto is permitted to file a Corrected Transmission (“CT”) of that filing within 30 days of the date and time of receipt recorded in SERVCON. * * *

5. Amend § 530.14 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 530.14 Implementation.

(a) Generally. Performance under an original service contract may not begin before the day it is effective and filed with the Commission. Performance under a service contract amendment may not begin until the day it is effective, provided that the amendment is filed with the Commission no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the effective date.

PART 531—NVOCC SERVICE ARRANGEMENTS 6. The authority citation for part 531 continues to read as follows: Authority:

46 U.S.C. 40103.

7. Amend § 531.3 by revising paragraph (k) to read as follows.
§ 531.3 Definitions.

(k) Effective date means the date upon which an NSA or amendment is scheduled to go into effect by the parties to the contract. For an original NSA, the effective date cannot be prior to the filing date with the Commission. For an NSA amendment, the effective date can be no more than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the filing date with the Commission. An NSA or amendment thereto becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on the beginning of the effective date.

8. Amend § 531.6 by revising paragraphs (a) and (d)(1) to read as follows:
§ 531.6 NVOCC Service Arrangements.

(a) Authorized persons shall file with BTA, in the manner set forth in appendix A of this part, a true and complete copy of:

(1) Every NSA before any cargo moves pursuant to that NSA; and

(2) Every amendment to a filed NSA no later than thirty (30) days after any cargo moves pursuant to that NSA amendment.

(d) * * *

(1) For service pursuant to an NSA, no NVOCC may, either alone or in conjunction with any other person, directly or indirectly, provide service in the liner trade that is not in accordance with the rates, charges, classifications, rules and practices contained in an effective NSA.

9. Amend § 531.8 by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and (c) to read as follows:
§ 531.8 Amendment, correction, cancellation, and electronic transmission errors.

(b) * * *

(1) Requests shall be filed, in duplicate, with the Commission's Office of the Secretary within one-hundred eighty (180) days of the NSA's filing with the Commission, accompanied by remittance of a $95 service fee.

(c) Electronic transmission errors. An authorized person who experiences a purely technical electronic transmission error or a data conversion error in transmitting an NSA or an amendment thereto is permitted to file a Corrected Transmission (“CT”) of that filing within 30 days of the date and time of receipt recorded in SERVCON. This time-limited permission to correct an initial defective NSA filing may not be used to make changes in the original NSA rates, terms or conditions that are otherwise provided for in § 531.6(b). The CT tab box in SERVCON must be checked at the time of resubmitting a previously filed NSA, and a description of the correction made must be stated at the beginning of the corrected NSA in a comment box. Failure to check the CT box and enter a description of the correction will result in the rejection of a file with the same name, since documents with duplicate file names or NSA and amendment numbers are not accepted by SERVCON.

10. Revise § 531.11 to read as follows.
§ 531.11 Implementation.

Generally. Performance under an original NSA may not begin before the day it is effective and filed with the Commission. Performance under an NSA amendment may not begin until the day it is effective, provided that the amendment is filed no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the effective date.

By the Commission.

Rachel Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2017-06557 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1 and 54 [WC Docket No. 10-90, WT Docket No. 10-208; FCC 17-11] Connect America Fund; Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund Correction

In rule document 2017-05665 appearing on page 15422 in the issue of Tuesday, March 28, 2017, make the following corrections:

§ 54.1016 Letter of credit (a)(2) [Corrected]
1. On page 15452, in the third column, in the 51st through 54th line, paragraph (2) should read:

“(2) The bank issuing the letter of credit shall be acceptable to the Commission. A bank that is acceptable to the Commission is:”

§ 54.1019 Annual reports (f) [Corrected]
2. On page 15455, in the second column, in the 56th through 64th line, paragraph (f) should read:

“(g) A mobile eligible telecommunications carrier that submits the annual reporting information required by this section within three (3) days of the July 1 deadline will not receive a reduction in support if the mobile eligible telecommunications carrier has not missed the July 1 deadline in any prior year.”

§ 54.1020 Milestone reports (2)(g) [Corrected]
3. On pages 15455 and 15456, § 54.1020(2)(g) should read:

“(f) A mobile eligible telecommunications carrier that submits the milestone reporting information required by this section within three (3) days of the deadline will not receive a reduction in support if the mobile eligible telecommunications carrier has not missed the deadline in any prior year.”

[FR Doc. C1-2017-05665 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 92 [Docket No. FWS-R7-MB-2016-0136; FF09M21200-156-FXMB1231099BPP0] RIN 1018-BB71 Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2017 Season AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) is establishing migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations in Alaska for the 2017 season. These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a co-management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives. The rulemaking is necessary because the regulations governing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska are subject to annual review. This rulemaking establishes region-specific regulations that go into effect on March 31, 2017, and expire on August 31, 2017.

DATES:

This is rule is effective March 31, 2017 through August 31, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donna Dewhurst, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Road, Mail Stop 201, Anchorage, AK 99503; (907) 786-3499.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Why is this rulemaking necessary?

This rulemaking is necessary because, by law, the migratory bird harvest season is closed unless opened by the Secretary of the Interior, and the regulations governing subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska are subject to public review and annual approval. This rule establishes regulations for the taking of migratory birds for subsistence uses in Alaska during the spring and summer of 2017. This rule also sets forth a list of migratory bird season openings and closures in Alaska by region.

How do I find the history of these regulations?

Background information, including past events leading to this rulemaking, accomplishments since the Migratory Bird Treaties with Canada and Mexico were amended, and a history, were originally addressed in the Federal Register on August 16, 2002 (67 FR 53511) and most recently on April 1, 2016 (81 FR 18781).

Recent Federal Register documents and all final rules setting forth the annual harvest regulations are available at http://www.fws.gov/alaska/ambcc/regulations.htm or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

What is the process for issuing regulations for the subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is establishing migratory bird subsistence-harvest regulations in Alaska for the 2017 season. These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a co-management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives.

The Alaska Migratory Bird Co-management Council (Co-management Council) held meetings on April 6-7, 2016, to develop recommendations for changes that would take effect during the 2017 harvest season. The Co-management Council also amended the consent agenda package of carry-over regulations to request a limited emperor goose harvest for 2017; these recommended changes were presented first to the Pacific Flyway Council and then to the Service Regulations Committee (SRC) for approval at the SRC meeting on July 31, 2015.

On February 10, 2017, we published in the Federal Register a proposed rule (82 FR 10316) to amend 50 CFR part 92 to establish regulations for the 2017 spring and summer subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska at subpart D, and to make certain changes to the permanent regulations at subpart C. We accepted public comments on the proposed rule for 30 days, ending March 13, 2017. A summary of the comments we received, and our responses to them, is provided below, under Summary of Comments and Responses.

This Final Rule

This rule contains no changes from the proposed regulation amendments published in the February 10, 2017, proposed rule (82 FR 10316).

Who is eligible to hunt under these regulations?

Eligibility to harvest under the regulations established in 2003 was limited to permanent residents, regardless of race, in villages located within the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Archipelago, the Aleutian Islands, and in areas north and west of the Alaska Range (50 CFR 92.5). These geographical restrictions opened the initial migratory bird subsistence harvest to about 13 percent of Alaska residents. High-populated, roaded areas such as Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna and Fairbanks North Star boroughs, the Kenai Peninsula roaded area, the Gulf of Alaska roaded area, and Southeast Alaska were excluded from eligible subsistence harvest areas.

In response to petitions requesting inclusion in the harvest in 2004, we added 13 additional communities consistent with the criteria set forth at 50 CFR 92.5(c). These communities were Gulkana, Gakona, Tazlina, Copper Center, Mentasta Lake, Chitina, Chistochina, Tatitlek, Chenega, Port Graham, Nanwalek, Tyonek, and Hoonah, with a combined population of 2,766. In 2005, we added three additional communities for glaucous-winged gull egg gathering only in response to petitions requesting inclusion. These southeastern communities were Craig, Hydaburg, and Yakutat, with a combined population of 2,459, according to the latest census information at that time.

In 2007, we enacted the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's request to expand the Fairbanks North Star Borough excluded area to include the Central Interior area. This action excluded the following communities from participation in this harvest: Big Delta/Fort Greely, Healy, McKinley Park/Village, and Ferry, with a combined population of 2,812.

In 2012, we received a request from the Native Village of Eyak to include Cordova, Alaska, for a limited season that would legalize the traditional gathering of gull eggs and the hunting of waterfowl during spring. This request resulted in a new, limited harvest of spring waterfowl and gull eggs starting in 2014.

What is different in the regulations for 2017? Subpart C

Under subpart C, General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest, we are amending § 92.22, the list of birds open to subsistence harvest, by adding emperor goose (Chen canagica) and by amending cackling goose to allow egg gathering.

The Co-management Council proposed a new emperor goose limited subsistence hunt for the 2016 season. Since 2012, the Co-management Council has received regulatory proposals from the Sun'aq Tribe of Kodiak, the Kodiak-Aleutians Subsistence Regional Advisory Council, the Yaquillrit Keutisti Council (Bristol Bay), and the Bering Strait/Norton Sound Migratory Bird Council (Kawerak) to open the harvest of emperor geese for the subsistence season. Since the hunting season has been closed since 1987 for emperor geese, the Co-management Council created a subcommittee to address these proposals. The emperor goose harvest was guided by the 2006 Pacific Flyway Management Plan and the 2005-2006 Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Goose Management Plan. Between 80 and 90 percent of the emperor goose population breeds on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of Alaska, and most emperor geese winter in remote western Alaska, with the remainder wintering in Russia.

Two studies were conducted concurrently by the Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The first study provided a comprehensive evaluation of all available emperor goose survey data and assessed harvest potential of the population. The second study developed a Bayesian state space population model to improve estimates of population size by integrating current population assessment methods using all available data sets. The model provides a framework from which to make inferences about survival rates, age structure, and population size. The results of these studies will assist in amending the management plans.

The 2016 spring emperor goose survey was conducted April 21-24, 2016. The spring index was 79,348 birds, which represented a 19.2 percent decrease from the previous count in 2015. The current 3-year (2014-2016) average count of 85,795 is 4.8 percent above the previous 3-year (2012-2015 [no survey in 2013]) average of 81,875. Further, it is above the threshold for consideration of an open hunting season on emperor geese as specified in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Goose Management Plan and the Pacific Flyway Council Management Plan for emperor geese.

As a result of this new information, the Co-management Council amended their motion of the consent agenda to add an allowance for a limited emperor goose harvest in 2016. The Pacific Flyway Council met in July 2015, and supported the Co-management Council's recommendation to work with the State of Alaska and the Service to develop harvest regulations and monitoring for a limited emperor goose harvest in 2016. On July 31, 2015, the SRC supported the Co-management Council's proposed limited harvest of emperor geese for the 2016 Alaska spring and summer subsistence season. However, the approval was provisional based upon the following:

(1) A limited harvest of 3,500 emperor geese to ensure that population growth continues toward the Flyway management plan objective;

(2) A harvest allocation (e.g., an individual, family, or Village quota or permit hunt) that ensures harvest does not exceed 3,500;

(3) Agreement on a monitoring program to index abundance of the emperor goose population; and

(4) A revised Pacific Flyway Emperor Goose Management Plan, including harvest allocation among all parties (including spring/summer and fall/winter), population objective, population monitoring, and thresholds for season restriction or closure.

The harvest allocation design and harvest monitoring plan were to be completed by November 1, 2016. Additionally, there was an explicit statement that the limited, legalized harvest of 3,500 birds was not in addition to existing subsistence harvest (approximately 3,200 emperor geese). The 3,500-bird allowable harvest was to be allocated to subsistence users during the spring and summer subsistence season. The SRC suggested that the allowable harvest should be monitored to ensure it does not exceed 3,500 birds.

On August 13-14, and September 21, 2015, the Co-management Council Native Caucus met separately and with all partners to discuss options available to limit and monitor the harvest, as well as options to allocate the 3,500 birds across the six regions where emperor geese occur. Given the limited time provided to address the four conditions placed on this new harvest by the SRC, all partners agreed that the best course of action would be to spend additional time working together to develop a culturally sensitive framework tailored to each participating region that conserves the population and adequately addresses the data needs of all partners. In support of this recommendation, the Co-management Council took action to: Postpone an emperor goose harvest until 2017; work with all partners to develop the harvest framework; and work with their Emperor Goose Subcommittee and the Pacific Flyway Council on updating the Pacific Flyway Emperor Goose Management Plan.

In 2016, work continued on the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-management Council draft Management Plan for emperor geese. The Co-management Council's Management Plan was the first of its kind developed cooperatively for managing the emperor goose population of Alaska and was signed by the Co-management Council on September 1, 2016. Adoption of the Co-management Council's Emperor Goose Management Plan was contingent on the adoption of the Pacific Flyway Emperor Goose Management Plan by the Pacific Flyway Council. The Pacific Flyway Council adopted the 2016 Pacific Flyway Emperor Goose Management Plan on September 30, 2016. The Co-management Council's Management Plan specifies regulations for the spring/summer subsistence hunt period and will serve as a companion to the 2016 revision of the Pacific Flyway Management Plan for the Emperor Goose, which specifies regulations for the fall/winter harvest of emperor geese. The Co-management Council's Management Plan supersedes the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Goose Management Plan for emperor goose management. In both management plans, the spring survey index was been replaced by a summer survey index of indicated total birds (total bird index) derived from aerial surveys of emperor goose abundance on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD Coastal Zone Survey). The total bird index is less biased and more precise than the spring survey index and is based on statistical sampling theory. The 2016 survey index was 34,109 (SE = 2,490) emperor geese, which equates to a total rangewide population of about 177,000 geese. The most recent 3-year (2014-2016) average population index is 30,965 emperor geese, representing a total rangewide population of about 161,000 geese. The Co-management Council's Plan for the emperor goose establishes a population objective consistent with the abundance achieved in 2016 (i.e., abundance index = 34,109) after about 30 years of hunting season closures.

The total bird index and population objective are viewed as interim strategies that will be reevaluated after 3 years of the Co-management Council's Management Plan implementation, while other population-assessment models are further evaluated and refined, and an agreement developed on the most appropriate short- and long-term survey protocols.

The Co-management Council's Management Plan outlines an emperor goose harvest strategy based on using a total bird index from the YKD Coastal Zone Survey to assess population status relative to a regulatory harvest threshold. The total bird index is a relative measure of population size based on the number of geese detected from aerial surveys on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta during the early nesting period. The Co-management Council's Plan allows for an open subsistence harvest when the YKD Coastal Zone Survey index equals or exceeds 28,000 geese, which equates to a total rangewide population size of about 146,000 geese based on current model-based estimates. A more restrictive harvest quota will be considered if the population index declines below 28,000 geese to help reduce the probability for a subsequent closed season. The harvest season will be closed if the population index declines below 23,000 emperor geese, which equates to a total rangewide population size of about 120,000 geese. The decision to restrict the harvest quota when the population is between 23,000 and 28,000 geese depends on Co-management Council recommendations to the Service after review of current year population status relative to the objective, trends, and other information. The Service maintains authority to establish a more conservative quota for allowable take if determined appropriate.

The population thresholds for consideration of hunting season restrictions and closure represent about 80 percent and 70 percent of the population objective (i.e., abundance level achieved in 2016; 34,109 geese). Selection of these thresholds by the Service and the Co-management Council were informed by an analysis conducted by the Service. The Service's analysis derived the hunting season restrictions and closure thresholds given conservation and harvest objectives, uncertainty in abundance and harvest estimation, and a predictive demographic model (E. Osnas and C. Frost, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, unpublished report).

The term of this harvest strategy is 5 years. However, during the 3-year period (2017-2019) following implementation, the Subcommittee will annually review available data (e.g., harvest survey data, population status and trend, and other relevant information) and consider the need for conservation measures. After the 3-year period, the Subcommittee will conduct a thorough analysis of the available data to determine efficacy of the harvest strategy and will consider alternative strategies if warranted. Alternatives will be considered as amendments to the management plan and be effective for the remainder of the 5-year term. The spring/summer subsistence harvest-strategy is complementary to the fall/winter harvest strategy included in the Pacific Flyway Emperor Goose Management Plan. In recognition that emperor geese are a shared resource, the Co-Management Council has established the following spring/summer subsistence-harvest guidelines:

(1) The harvest strategy seeks to maintain a population of emperor geese above an index of 23,000 birds based on the total bird index from the most recent YKD Coastal Zone Survey;

(2) If the total bird index from the previous year is greater than 23,000 birds, then spring/summer subsistence harvest of emperor geese will be open to customary and traditional practices;

(3) If the total bird index from the previous year drops below 28,000 birds, the Co-management Council will consider implementing conservation measures that include: Increased outreach and education programs, reduced season length (e.g., 2-week harvest season), extension of the 30-day closure, cessation of egg collection, limiting hunting to elder and ceremonial harvest only, or other measures as identified by the parties to the management plan; and

(4) If the total bird index from the previous year is less than 23,000 birds, then emperor goose hunting will be closed.

The Service finds that this approach will provide for the preservation and maintenance of emperor geese in Alaska. See 16 U.S.C. 712(1).

The Association of Village Council Presidents' Waterfowl Conservation Committee submitted a proposal to open egg gathering of the cackling goose subspecies of Canada goose (Branta canadensis) in the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta Region of Alaska. Currently all of the cackling geese nest on the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta. The 2016 fall cackling Canada goose population index is 327,453 ± 21,104 (SE) birds and the 3-year (2014-2016) average is 320,658 birds. These estimates are 5.7 percent below and 0.9 percent above, respectively, those reported in 2015, and above the population objective threshold of 250,000 birds. The Co-management Council voted in April 2016 to support the proposal with the modification that the dates for egg collecting would be lumped with the existing harvest season that is announced annually by the Service's Regional Director or his designee, after consultation with field biologists and the Association of Village Council Presidents' Waterfowl Conservation Committee. This season would include a 30-day closure to protect nesting birds. Likewise, we find that this approach will provide for the preservation and maintenance of the subspecies population of cackling geese.

Subpart D

The regulations in subpart D, Annual Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest, include changes from our 2016 regulations for the Prince William Sound East and Northwest Arctic regions as discussed below.

The Chugach Regional Resource Commission submitted a proposal to open the Cordova subsistence harvest, on the barriers islands of Prince William Sound, to include residents of Tatitlek and Chenega Bay. This would allow residents of these two small communities also to be able to take advantage of this limited harvest opportunity in their area. The number of participants from Cordova is much smaller than originally anticipated; thus, it is likely that added eligibility for these two small communities would not pose a significant increase in harvest. The Co-management Council supported this proposal with the provision that registration would be available in each community, and that outreach would be provided on the regulations.

The Northwest Arctic Regional Council submitted a proposal to amend hunting season dates to reflect a trend for earlier spring migration and to be able to hunt molting geese that stage in their area. In subsequent meetings between the Service and the Regional Council, dates were adjusted and clarified to have waterfowl harvest, including hunting and egg gathering, from April 2 through June 14, which would resume July 16, after the required 30-day nesting closure. The harvest of nonbreeding, molting geese would run July 1 through July 15. The Co-management Council unanimously supported the amended dates at their Statewide meeting in April 2016.

How will the service ensure that the subsistence migratory bird harvest complies with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and will not threaten the conservation of endangered and threatened species?

We have monitored subsistence harvest for the past 25 years through the use of household surveys in the most heavily used subsistence harvest areas, such as the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. In recent years, more intensive surveys combined with outreach efforts focused on species identification have been added to improve the accuracy of information gathered from regions still reporting some subsistence harvest of listed or candidate species.

Based on our monitoring of the migratory bird species and populations taken for subsistence, we find that this regulation will provide for the preservation and maintenance of migratory bird stocks as required by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712). The Act's 16 U.S.C. 712(1) provision states that the Service, “is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to assure that the taking of migratory birds and the collection of their eggs, by the indigenous inhabitants of the State of Alaska, shall be permitted for their own nutritional and other essential needs, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, during seasons established so as to provide for the preservation and maintenance of stocks of migratory birds.” Communication and coordination between the Service, the Co-management Council, and the Pacific Flyway Council have allowed us to set harvest regulations to ensure the long-term viability of the migratory bird stocks. In addition, Alaska migratory bird subsistence harvest rates have continued to decline since the inception of the subsistence-harvest program, reducing concerns about the program's consistency with the preservation and maintenance of stocks of migratory birds.

As for the ensuring the conservation of Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species, spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri) and the Alaska-breeding population of Steller's eiders (Polysticta stelleri) are listed as threatened species. Their migration and breeding distribution overlap with areas where the spring and summer subsistence migratory bird hunt is open in Alaska. Both species are closed to hunting, although harvest surveys and Service documentation indicate both species are taken in several regions of Alaska. We have determined that this final rule complies with the ESA (see Endangered Species Act Consideration discussion, below).

The Service has dual objectives and responsibilities for authorizing a subsistence harvest while protecting migratory birds and threatened species. Although these objectives continue to be challenging, they are not irreconcilable, provided that: (1) Regulations continue to protect threatened species, (2) measures to address documented threats are implemented, and (3) the subsistence community and other conservation partners commit to working together. With these dual objectives in mind, the Service, working with North Slope partners, developed measures in 2009 to further reduce the potential for shooting mortality or injury of closed species. These conservation measures included: (1) Increased waterfowl hunter outreach and community awareness through partnering with the North Slope Migratory Bird Task Force; and (2) continued enforcement of the migratory bird regulations that are protective of listed eiders.

This rule continues to focus on the North Slope from Barrow to Point Hope because Steller's eiders from the listed Alaska breeding population are known to breed and migrate there, and harvest survey data and direct observations indicate take during subsistence harvest has occurred there. These regulations are designed to address several ongoing eider-management needs by clarifying for subsistence users that (1) Service law enforcement personnel have authority to verify species of birds possessed by hunters, and (2) it is illegal to possess any species of bird closed to harvest. This rule also describes how the Service's existing authority of emergency closure would be implemented, if necessary, to protect Steller's eiders. We are always willing to discuss regulations with our partners on the North Slope to ensure protection of closed species while providing subsistence hunters an opportunity to maintain the culture and traditional migratory bird harvest of the community. These regulations pertaining to bag checks and possession of illegal birds are deemed necessary to monitor take of closed eider species during the subsistence hunt.

In collaboration with North Slope partners, a number of conservation efforts have been implemented to raise awareness and educate hunters on Steller's eider conservation via the bird fair, meetings, radio shows, signs, school visits, and one-on-one contacts. Limited intermittent monitoring on the North Slope, focused primarily at Barrow, found no evidence that listed eiders were shot in 2009 through 2012; one Steller's eider and one spectacled eider were found shot during the summer of 2013; one Steller's eider was found shot in 2014; and no listed eiders were found shot in 2015 or 2016. Elsewhere in Alaska, one spectacled eider that appeared to have been shot was found dead on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in 2015. The Service acknowledges progress made with the other eider conservation measures, including partnering with the North Slope Migratory Bird Task Force, for increased waterfowl-hunter awareness, continued enforcement of the regulations, and in-season verification of the harvest. To reduce the threat of shooting mortality of threatened eiders, we continue to work with North Slope partners to conduct education and outreach. In addition, the emergency-closure authority provides another level of assurance if an unexpected number of Steller's eiders are killed by shooting (50 CFR 92.21 and 50 CFR 92.32).

In-season harvest-monitoring information will be used to evaluate the efficacy of regulations, conservation measures, and outreach efforts. Conservation measures are being continued by the Service, with the amount of effort and emphasis being based on regulatory adherence.

The longstanding general emergency-closure provision at 50 CFR 92.21 specifies that the harvest may be closed or temporarily suspended upon finding that a continuation of the regulation allowing the harvest would pose an imminent threat to the conservation of any migratory bird population. With regard to Steller's eiders, the regulations at 50 CFR 92.32, carried over from the past 6 years, clarify that we will take action under 50 CFR 92.21 as is necessary to prevent further take of Steller's eiders, and that action could include temporary or long-term closures of the harvest in all or a portion of the geographic area open to harvest. When and if mortality of threatened eiders is documented, we will evaluate each mortality event by criteria such as cause, quantity, sex, age, location, and date. We will consult with the Co-management Council when we are considering an emergency closure. If we determine that an emergency closure is necessary, we will design it to minimize its impact on the subsistence harvest.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1536) requires the Secretary of the Interior to “review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of the Act” and to “insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out * * * is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat. * * *” We conducted an intra-agency consultation with the Service's Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Field Office on this harvest as it will be managed in accordance with this final rule and the conservation measures. The consultation was completed with a biological opinion dated March 13, 2017, that concluded the final rule and conservation measures are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of Steller's and spectacled eiders or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat.

Summary of Comments and Responses

On February 10, 2017, we published in the Federal Register a proposed rule (82 FR 10316) to amend 50 CFR part 92 to establish regulations in Alaska for the 2017 subsistence season. We accepted public comments on the proposed rule for 30 days, ending March 13, 2017. We posted an announcement of the comment-period dates for the proposed rule, as well as the rule itself and related historical documents, on the Co-management Council's Internet homepage. By facsimile (fax), we issued a press release, announcing our request for public comments and the pertinent deadlines for such comments, to the media Statewide in Alaska. Additionally, we made all relevant documents available on http://www.regulations.gov. In response to the proposed rule, the Service received seven comments. The comments are addressed below by topic.

Comments (1 and 2): We received one general comment on the overall regulations that expressed strong opposition to the concept of allowing any hunting of migratory birds in Alaska; another commenter read the above-mentioned comment online and rebutted it, defending waterfowl hunting and its sustainability.

Service Response: For centuries, indigenous inhabitants of Alaska have harvested migratory birds for subsistence purposes during the spring and summer months. The Canada and Mexico migratory bird treaties were amended for the express purpose of allowing subsistence hunting for migratory birds during the spring and summer. The amendments indicate that the Service should issue regulations allowing such hunting as provided in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; see 16 U.S.C. 712(1). See also Statutory Authority, below, for more details.

Comment (3): We received two comments on the opening of the emperor goose harvest that expressed support for the renewed hunt, stating that a properly managed hunt may actually help the birds by putting more money into management of the species. Also, one commenter stated that they were pleased this co-management effort will give Alaskans the opportunity to hunt emperor geese again.

Service Response: The Service appreciates the support on this conservation success story for emperor geese. Additional information is provided in our response to Comments (4) and (5).

Comment (4): We received two comments on opening the emperor goose harvest that expressed concern that the way the upcoming open subsistence hunt is structured poses a risk to the emperor goose population. Both commenters suggested lowering the number of emperor geese allowed to be taken.

Service Response: The harvestable quotas were arrived at via a co-management process that involved the Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native Peoples from all regions supporting emperor geese. The term of this harvest strategy is 5 years. However, during the 3-year period (2017-2019) following implementation, available harvest-related data (e.g., harvest survey data, population status and trend, and other relevant information) will be examined and the need for conservation measures will be considered. Further, the harvest strategy adopted by the Pacific Flyway Council and the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council includes specific population indices associated with customary and traditional harvest, restricted harvest, and closure.

Comment (5): We received one comment on the upcoming emperor goose harvest that suggested limiting the hunt to a narrower geographical region to protect the nesting grounds.

Service Response: The majority of emperor geese nest on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The Pacific Flyway Council and Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Plans incorporate the use of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Coastal Zone Breeding Pair Survey to monitor this population and the potential effects of harvest, thereby ensuring the increased likelihood of detecting any negative impacts to the breeding population. Finally, as agreed upon in the amendment of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Japan Treaty), the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region is required to identify and enforce a 30-day closure period during the nesting season.

The structure of the emperor goose subsistence harvest in Alaska was developed in a co-management process that provides equal access to all qualified subsistence users. However, Alaska Native peoples living in this region have primarily relied on Pacific white-fronted geese and cackling Canada geese. While important from cultural and traditional aspects, emperor geese have not comprised a substantive proportion of migratory bird harvest in this region, and we do not expect high levels of subsistence hunting activities on nesting grounds requiring that we adopt the commenter's suggestion.

Statutory Authority

We derive our authority to issue these regulations from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, at 16 U.S.C. 712(1), which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, in accordance with the treaties with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia, to “issue such regulations as may be necessary to assure that the taking of migratory birds and the collection of their eggs, by the indigenous inhabitants of the State of Alaska, shall be permitted for their own nutritional and other essential needs, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, during seasons established so as to provide for the preservation and maintenance of stocks of migratory birds.”

Effective Date of This Rule

The amendments to subparts C and D of 50 CFR part 92 will take effect on March 31, 2017 (see DATES, above). If there was a delay in the effective date of these regulations after this final rulemaking, subsistence hunters would not be able to take full advantage of their subsistence hunting opportunities. We therefore find that “good cause” exists justifying the earlier start date, within the terms of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act, and under authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (July 3, 1918), as amended (16 U.S.C. 703-712).

Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Department of the Interior certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Accordingly, a Small Entity Compliance Guide is not required. This rule legalizes a pre-existing subsistence activity, and the resources harvested will be consumed.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

(a) Will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. It legalizes and regulates a traditional subsistence activity. It will not result in a substantial increase in subsistence harvest or a significant change in harvesting patterns. The commodities that will be regulated under this rule are migratory birds. This rule deals with legalizing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds and, as such, does not involve commodities traded in the marketplace. A small economic benefit from this rule derives from the sale of equipment and ammunition to carry out subsistence hunting. Most, if not all, businesses that sell hunting equipment in rural Alaska qualify as small businesses. We have no reason to believe that this rule will lead to a disproportionate distribution of benefits.

(b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic regions. This rule does not deal with traded commodities and, therefore, will not have an impact on prices for consumers.

(c) Will not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This rule deals with the harvesting of wildlife for personal consumption. It will not regulate the marketplace in any way to generate substantial effects on the economy or the ability of businesses to compete.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

We have determined and certified under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) that this rule will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local, State, or tribal governments or private entities. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required. Participation on regional management bodies and the Co-management Council requires travel expenses for some Alaska Native organizations and local governments. In addition, they assume some expenses related to coordinating involvement of village councils in the regulatory process. Total coordination and travel expenses for all Alaska Native organizations are estimated to be less than $300,000 per year. In a notice of decision (65 FR 16405; March 28, 2000), we identified 7 to 12 partner organizations (Alaska Native nonprofits and local governments) to administer the regional programs. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game also incurs expenses for travel to Co-management Council and regional management body meetings. In addition, the State of Alaska will be required to provide technical staff support to each of the regional management bodies and to the Co-management Council. Expenses for the State's involvement may exceed $100,000 per year, but should not exceed $150,000 per year. When funding permits, we make annual grant agreements available to the partner organizations and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to help offset their expenses.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this rule will not have significant takings implications. This rule is not specific to particular land ownership, but applies to the harvesting of migratory bird resources throughout Alaska. A takings implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

Under the criteria in Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. We discuss effects of this rule on the State of Alaska in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act section, above. We worked with the State of Alaska to develop these regulations. Therefore, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

The Department, in promulgating this rule, has determined that it will not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments

Consistent with Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249; November 6, 2000), “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”, and Department of Interior policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes (December 1, 2011), in February 2016, we sent letters via electronic mail to all 229 Alaska Federally recognized Indian tribes. Consistent with Congressional direction (Pub. L. 108-199, div. H, Sec. 161, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 452, as amended by Pub. L. 108-447, div. H, title V, Sec. 518, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3267), we also sent letters to approximately 200 Alaska Native corporations and other tribal entities in Alaska soliciting their input if they would like the Service to consult with them on the 2017 migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations. We received no requests for consultation.

We implemented the amended treaty with Canada with a focus on local involvement. The treaty calls for the creation of management bodies to ensure an effective and meaningful role for Alaska's indigenous inhabitants in the conservation of migratory birds. According to the Letter of Submittal, management bodies are to include Alaska Native, Federal, and State of Alaska representatives as equals. They develop recommendations for, among other things: Seasons and bag limits, methods and means of take, law enforcement policies, population and harvest monitoring, education programs, research and use of traditional knowledge, and habitat protection. The management bodies involve village councils to the maximum extent possible in all aspects of management. To ensure maximum input at the village level, we required each of the 11 participating regions to create regional management bodies consisting of at least one representative from the participating villages. The regional management bodies meet twice annually to review and/or submit proposals to the Statewide body.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA)

This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has reviewed and approved our collection of information associated with:

• Voluntary annual household surveys that we use to determine levels of subsistence take (OMB Control Number 1018-0124, expires October 31, 2019).

• Permits associated with subsistence hunting (OMB Control Number 1018-0075, expires June 30, 2019).

• Emperor Goose Spring Subsistence Harvest Survey (to include number of geese harvested, age, sex, and mass of birds harvested associated) (OMB Control Number 1090-0011, expires August 31, 2018).

National Environmental Policy Act Consideration (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

The annual regulations and options are considered in a December 2016 environmental assessment, “Managing Migratory Bird Subsistence Hunting in Alaska: Hunting Regulations for the 2017 Spring/Summer Harvest.” Copies are available from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at http://www.regulations.gov.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211)

Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This is not a significant regulatory action under this Executive Order; it allows only for traditional subsistence harvest and improves conservation of migratory birds by allowing effective regulation of this harvest. Further, this rule is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action under Executive Order 13211, and a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 92

Hunting, Treaties, Wildlife.

Regulation Promulgation

For the reasons set out in the preamble, we amend title 50, chapter I, subchapter G, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 92—MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA 1. The authority citation for part 92 continues to read as follows: Authority:

16 U.S.C. 703-712.

Subpart C—General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest 2. Amend § 92.22 by: a. Redesignating paragraph (a)(3) as paragraph (a)(4); b. Adding a new paragraph (a)(3); and c. Revising paragraph (a)(6).

The addition and revision read as follows:

§ 92.22 Subsistence migratory bird species.

(a) * * *

(3) Emperor goose (Chen canagica).

(6) Canada goose, subspecies cackling goose.

Subpart D—Annual Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest 3. Amend subpart D by adding § 92.31 to read as follows:
§ 92.31 Region-specific regulations.

The 2017 season dates for the eligible subsistence-harvest areas are as follows:

(a) Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Region.

(1) Northern Unit (Pribilof Islands):

(i) Season: April 2-June 30.

(ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

(2) Central Unit (Aleutian Region's eastern boundary on the Alaska Peninsula westward to and including Unalaska Island):

(i) Season: April 2-June 15 and July 16-August 31.

(ii) Closure: June 16-July 15.

(iii) Special Black Brant Season Closure: August 16-August 31, only in Izembek and Moffet lagoons.

(iv) Special Tundra Swan Closure: All hunting and egg gathering closed in Game Management Units 9(D) and 10.

(3) Western Unit (Umnak Island west to and including Attu Island):

(i) Season: April 2-July 15 and August 16-August 31.

(ii) Closure: July 16-August 15.

(b) Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta Region.

(1) Season: April 2-August 31.

(2) Closure: 30-day closure dates to be announced by the Service's Alaska Regional Director or his designee, after consultation with field biologists and the Association of Village Council President's Waterfowl Conservation Committee. This 30-day period will occur between June 1 and August 15 of each year. A press release announcing the actual closure dates will be forwarded to regional newspapers and radio and television stations.

(3) Special Black Brant and Cackling Canada Goose Season Hunting Closure: From the period when egg laying begins until young birds are fledged. Closure dates to be announced by the Service's Alaska Regional Director or his designee, after consultation with field biologists and the Association of Village Council President's Waterfowl Conservation Committee. A press release announcing the actual closure dates will be forwarded to regional newspapers and radio and television stations.

(c) Bristol Bay Region.

(1) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31 (general season); April 2-July 15 for seabird egg gathering only.

(2) Closure: June 15-July 15 (general season); July 16-August 31 (seabird egg gathering).

(d) Bering Strait/Norton Sound Region.

(1) Stebbins/St. Michael Area (Point Romanof to Canal Point):

(i) Season: April 15-June 14 and July 16-August 31.

(ii) Closure: June 15-July 15.

(2) Remainder of the region:

(i) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31 for waterfowl; April 2-July 19 and August 21-August 31 for all other birds.

(ii) Closure: June 15-July 15 for waterfowl; July 20-August 20 for all other birds.

(e) Kodiak Archipelago Region, except for the Kodiak Island roaded area, which is closed to the harvesting of migratory birds and their eggs. The closed area consists of all lands and waters (including exposed tidelands) east of a line extending from Crag Point in the north to the west end of Saltery Cove in the south and all lands and water south of a line extending from Termination Point along the north side of Cascade Lake extending to Anton Larsen Bay. Marine waters adjacent to the closed area are closed to harvest within 500 feet from the water's edge. The offshore islands are open to harvest.

(1) Season: April 2-June 30 and July 31-August 31 for seabirds; April 2-June 20 and July 22-August 31 for all other birds.

(2) Closure: July 1-July 30 for seabirds; June 21-July 21 for all other birds.

(f) Northwest Arctic Region.

(1) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31 (hunting in general); waterfowl egg gathering April 2-June 14 only; seabird egg gathering May 20-July 12 only; hunting molting/non-nesting waterfowl July 1-July 15 only.

(2) Closure: June 15-July 15, except for the taking of seabird eggs and molting/non-nesting waterfowl as provided in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(g) North Slope Region.

(1) Southern Unit (Southwestern North Slope regional boundary east to Peard Bay, everything west of the longitude line 158°30′ W. and south of the latitude line 70°45′ N. to the west bank of the Ikpikpuk River, and everything south of the latitude line 69°45′ N. between the west bank of the Ikpikpuk River to the east bank of Sagavinirktok River):

(i) Season: April 2-June 29 and July 30-August 31 for seabirds; April 2-June 19 and July 20-August 31 for all other birds.

(ii) Closure: June 30-July 29 for seabirds; June 20-July 19 for all other birds.

(iii) Special Black Brant Hunting Opening: From June 20-July 5. The open area consists of the coastline, from mean high water line outward to include open water, from Nokotlek Point east to longitude line 158°30′ W. This includes Peard Bay, Kugrua Bay, and Wainwright Inlet, but not the Kuk and Kugrua river drainages.

(2) Northern Unit (At Peard Bay, everything east of the longitude line 158°30′ W. and north of the latitude line 70°45′ N. to west bank of the Ikpikpuk River, and everything north of the latitude line 69°45′ N. between the west bank of the Ikpikpuk River to the east bank of Sagavinirktok River):

(i) Season: April 2-June 6 and July 7-August 31 for king and common eiders; April 2-June 15 and July 16-August 31 for all other birds.

(ii) Closure: June 7-July 6 for king and common eiders; June 16-July 15 for all other birds.

(3) Eastern Unit (East of eastern bank of the Sagavanirktok River):

(i) Season: April 2-June 19 and July 20-August 31.

(ii) Closure: June 20-July 19.

(4) All Units: yellow-billed loons. Annually, up to 20 yellow-billed loons total for the region inadvertently entangled in subsistence fishing nets in the North Slope Region may be kept for subsistence use.

(5) North Coastal Zone (Cape Thompson north to Point Hope and east along the Arctic Ocean coastline around Point Barrow to Ross Point, including Iko Bay, and 5 miles inland).

(i) No person may at any time, by any means, or in any manner, possess or have in custody any migratory bird or part thereof, taken in violation of subparts C and D of this part.

(ii) Upon request from a Service law enforcement officer, hunters taking, attempting to take, or transporting migratory birds taken during the subsistence harvest season must present them to the officer for species identification.

(h) Interior Region.

(1) Season: April 2-June 14 and July 16-August 31; egg gathering May 1-June 14 only.

(2) Closure: June 15-July 15.

(i) Upper Copper River Region (Harvest Area: Game Management Units 11 and 13) (Eligible communities: Gulkana, Chitina, Tazlina, Copper Center, Gakona, Mentasta Lake, Chistochina and Cantwell).

(1) Season: April 15-May 26 and June 27-August 31.

(2) Closure: May 27-June 26.

(3) The Copper River Basin communities listed above also documented traditional use harvesting birds in Game Management Unit 12, making them eligible to hunt in this unit using the seasons specified in paragraph (h) of this section.

(j) Gulf of Alaska Region.

(1) Prince William Sound Area West (Harvest area: Game Management Unit 6[D]), (Eligible Chugach communities: Chenega Bay, Tatitlek):

(i) Season: April 2-May 31 and July 1-August 31.

(ii) Closure: June 1-30.

(2) Prince William Sound Area East (Harvest area: Game Management Units 6[B]and [C]—Barrier Islands between Strawberry Channel and Softtuk Bar), (Eligible Chugach communities: Cordova, Tatitlek, and Chenega Bay):

(i) Season: April 2-April 30 (hunting); May 1-May 31 (gull egg gathering).

(ii) Closure: May 1-August 31 (hunting); April 2-30 and June 1-August 31 (gull egg gathering).

(iii) Species Open for Hunting: greater white-fronted goose; snow goose; gadwall; Eurasian and American wigeon; blue-winged and green-winged teal; mallard; northern shoveler; northern pintail; canvasback; redhead; ring-necked duck; greater and lesser scaup; king and common eider; harlequin duck; surf, white-winged, and black scoter; long-tailed duck; bufflehead; common and Barrow's goldeneye; hooded, common, and red-breasted merganser; and sandhill crane. Species open for egg gathering: Glaucous-winged, herring, and mew gulls.

(iv) Use of Boats/All-Terrain Vehicles: No hunting from motorized vehicles or any form of watercraft.

(v) Special Registration: All hunters or egg gatherers must possess an annual permit, which is available from the Cordova offices of the Native Village of Eyak and the U. S. Forest Service.

(3) Kachemak Bay Area (Harvest area: Game Management Unit 15[C] South of a line connecting the tip of Homer Spit to the mouth of Fox River) (Eligible Chugach Communities: Port Graham, Nanwalek):

(i) Season: April 2-May 31 and July 1-August 31.

(ii) Closure: June 1-30.

(k) Cook Inlet (Harvest area: portions of Game Management Unit 16[B] as specified below) (Eligible communities: Tyonek only):

(1) Season: April 2-May 31—That portion of Game Management Unit 16(B) south of the Skwentna River and west of the Yentna River, and August 1-31—That portion of Game Management Unit 16(B) south of the Beluga River, Beluga Lake, and the Triumvirate Glacier.

(2) Closure: June 1-July 31.

(l) Southeast Alaska.

(1) Community of Hoonah (Harvest area: National Forest lands in Icy Strait and Cross Sound, including Middle Pass Rock near the Inian Islands, Table Rock in Cross Sound, and other traditional locations on the coast of Yakobi Island. The land and waters of Glacier Bay National Park remain closed to all subsistence harvesting (50 CFR part 100.3(a)):

(i) Season: Glaucous-winged gull egg gathering only: May 15-June 30.

(ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

(2) Communities of Craig and Hydaburg (Harvest area: Small islands and adjacent shoreline of western Prince of Wales Island from Point Baker to Cape Chacon, but also including Coronation and Warren islands):

(i) Season: Glaucous-winged gull egg gathering only: May 15-June 30.

(ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

(3) Community of Yakutat (Harvest area: Icy Bay (Icy Cape to Point Riou), and coastal lands and islands bordering the Gulf of Alaska from Point Manby southeast to and including Dry Bay):

(i) Season: Glaucous-winged gull egg gathering: May 15-June 30.

(ii) Closure: July 1-August 31.

4. Amend subpart D by adding § 92.32 to read as follows:
§ 92.32 Emergency regulations to protect Steller's eiders.

Upon finding that continuation of these subsistence regulations would pose an imminent threat to the conservation of threatened Steller's eiders (Polysticta stelleri), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska Regional Director, in consultation with the Co-management Council, will immediately under § 92.21 take action as is necessary to prevent further take. Regulation changes implemented could range from a temporary closure of duck hunting in a small geographic area to large-scale regional or Statewide long-term closures of all subsistence migratory bird hunting. These closures or temporary suspensions will remain in effect until the Regional Director, in consultation with the Co-management Council, determines that the potential for additional Steller's eiders to be taken no longer exists.

Dated: March 28, 2017. Maureen D. Foster, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2017-06592 Filed 3-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866-7167-02] RIN 0648-XF332 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; reallocation.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the A season apportionment of the 2017 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.

DATES:

Effective March 31, 2017 through 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), June 10, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The A season allowance of the 2017 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 6,933 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017).

The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that catcher vessels using trawl gear will not be able to harvest 1,500 mt of the A season apportionment of the 2017 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(12)(i)(B)(4). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(12)(ii)(B) the Regional Administrator has also determined that vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA currently have the capacity to harvest this excess allocation and reallocates 1,500 mt to vessels using pot gear. Therefore, NMFS apportions 1,500 mt of Pacific cod from the A season apportionments for catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.

The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 26, 2017) are revised as follows: 5,433 mt to the A season apportionment and 12,141 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels using trawl gear and 7,349 mt to the A season apportionment and 10,621 mt to the annual amount to vessels using pot gear.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from catcher vessels using trawl gear to vessels using pot gear. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 29, 2017.

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

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

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: March 30, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-06644 Filed 3-30-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
82 63 Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Proposed Rules BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1002 [Docket No. CFPB-2017-0009] RIN 3170-AA65 Amendments to Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) Ethnicity and Race Information Collection AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Proposed rule with request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) proposes amendments to Regulation B to permit creditors additional flexibility in complying with Regulation B in order to facilitate compliance with Regulation C, to add certain model forms and remove others from Regulation B, and to make various other amendments to Regulation B and its commentary to facilitate the collection and retention of information about the ethnicity, sex, and race of certain mortgage applicants.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before May 4, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2017-0009 or RIN 3170-AA65, by any of the following methods:

Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. CFPB-2017-0009 or RIN 3170-AA65 in the subject line of the email.

Electronic: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552. Include CFPB-2017-0009 or RIN 3170-AA65 in a reference line at the top of the submission.

Hand Delivery/Courier: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002. Include CFPB-2017-0009 or RIN 3170-AA65 in a reference line at the top of the submission.

Instructions: All submissions should include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning (202) 435-7275.

All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included. Comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kathryn Lazarev or James Wylie, Counsels, Office of Regulations, at 202-435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Summary of the Proposed Rule

Regulation B implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and, in part, prohibits a creditor from inquiring about the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of a credit applicant except under certain circumstances.1 One of those circumstances is a requirement for creditors to collect and retain certain information about applicants for certain dwelling-secured loans under Regulation B § 1002.13. Another circumstance is the applicant information required to be collected and reported under Regulation C by financial institutions. Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).2 Regulation B also includes certain optional model forms for use in complying with certain Regulation B requirements. One of those forms is a 2004 version of the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (collectively, the Enterprises).

1 15 U.S.C. 1691, 12 CFR part 1002.

2 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

The Bureau issued a final rule in October of 2015 amending Regulation C (2015 HMDA final rule), which included changes to the collection of applicants' ethnicity and race information.3 The Enterprises recently issued a new version of the URLA (2016 URLA).4 The Bureau proposes to amend various sections of Regulation B to further the purposes of ECOA including to promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract) and other protected characteristics. The proposed amendments to § 1002.13 would permit a creditor additional flexibility in how it collects applicant ethnicity and race information in order to better align with Regulation C, as amended in the 2015 HMDA final rule. The proposed amendments to Appendix B would remove the URLA dated January 2004 (2004 URLA) from Regulation B and add additional sample forms to Regulation B to facilitate compliance. The proposed amendments to § 1002.5 would permit creditors to collect applicant information in certain circumstances when they would not otherwise be required to do so. The proposed amendments to § 1002.12 would address retention of information about certain applicants.

3 Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C); 80 FR 66128 (Oct. 28, 2015).

4See Fannie Mae, Guide Forms (2016), available at, https://www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/selling-servicing-guide-forms (listing all selling and servicing guide forms); see also Freddie Mac, Forms and Documents (2016) http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/guide/ (same).

II. Background A. Regulation B and Ethnicity and Race Information Collection

With some exceptions, Regulation B § 1002.5(b) prohibits a creditor from inquiring about the race, color, religion, national origin, or sex of an applicant or any other person (protected applicant-characteristic information) in connection with a credit transaction. Section 1002.5(a)(2) provides an exception to that prohibition for information that creditors are required to request for certain dwelling-secured loans under § 1002.13, and for information required by a regulation, order, or agreement issued by or entered into with a court or an enforcement agency to monitor or enforce compliance with ECOA, Regulation B, or other Federal or State statutes or regulations, including Regulation C.

Section 1002.13 sets forth the scope, required information, and manner for collecting information about an applicant's ethnicity, race, sex, marital status, and age under Regulation B (In this notice, “applicant demographic information” refers to information about an applicant's ethnicity, race, or sex information collected under § 1002.13 or, as discussed below, Regulation C, while “certain protected applicant-characteristic information” refers to all information collected under § 1002.13, including age and marital status.) Under § 1002.13(a)(1), creditors that receive an application for credit primarily for the purchase or refinancing of a dwelling occupied (or to be occupied) by the applicant as a principal residence, where the extension of credit will be secured by the dwelling, must collect certain protected applicant-characteristic information, including specified race and ethnicity categories. These race and ethnicity categories correspond to the OMB standards for the classification of Federal data on ethnicity and race minimum standards.5 Certain of these categories include several more specific race, heritage, nationality, or country of origin groups. For example, Hispanic or Latino as defined by OMB for the 2010 Census refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin.6 Section 1002.13(b) through (c) provides instructions on the manner of collection. Unlike financial institutions covered by Regulation C, creditors subject to § 1002.13 but not to Regulation C are required only to collect and retain, but not to report, the required protected applicant-characteristic information.

5 Office of Mgmt. and Budget, Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, 62 FR 58782-90 (Oct. 30, 1997).

6See U.S. Census Bureau, C2010BR-02, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010, at 2 (2011), available at http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf.

B. 2015 HMDA Final Rule

The Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority for HMDA to the Bureau, effective July 2011.7 It also amended HMDA to add new data points and authorized the Bureau to require additional information from covered institutions. Regulation C implements HMDA and sets out specific requirements for the collection, recording, reporting, and disclosure of mortgage lending information, including a requirement to collect and report information about an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex (applicant demographic information).

7 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

In July 2014, the Bureau proposed amendments to Regulation C to implement the Dodd-Frank Act changes to require collection, recording, and reporting of additional information to further HMDA's purposes, and to modernize the manner in which covered institutions report HMDA data.8 The Bureau published a final rule on October 28, 2015, amending Regulation C, with many of the amendments taking effect January 1, 2018.9 (In this notice, “current Regulation C” refers to Regulation C prior to January 1, 2018, and “revised Regulation C” refers to Regulation C as it will be in effect on or after January 1, 2018, as amended by the 2015 HMDA final rule.) For data collected in or after 2018, the 2015 HMDA final rule amends the requirement for collection and reporting of applicant demographic information. Specifically, covered institutions must permit applicants to self-identify their ethnicity and race using certain disaggregated ethnic and racial subcategories. Covered institutions will report the disaggregated information provided by applicants. However, revised Regulation C will not require or permit covered institutions to use the disaggregated subcategories when collecting and reporting the applicant's ethnicity and race based on visual observation or surname.10

8 Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C), 79 FR 51731 (Aug. 29, 2014).

9 80 FR 66128 (Oct. 28, 2015).

10Id. at 66314 (amendments to appendix B to Regulation C, effective January 1, 2018).

Revised Regulation C § 1003.2(g)(1)(v) and 1003.2(g)(2)(ii) also introduces an exemption to the requirement to report information for financial institutions that originated fewer than 25 closed-end mortgage loans or fewer than 100 open-end lines of credit in either of the two prior years. As a result, when revised Regulation C takes effect, an institution's obligation to collect and report information under Regulation C may change over time based on its prior loan volume.

C. Uniform Residential Loan Application

The Enterprises, currently under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), prepare and periodically revise a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) used by many lenders for certain dwelling-related loans. A mortgage loan application must be documented using the URLA in the mortgage loan file for the loan to be eligible for sale to the Enterprises.11 A version of the URLA dated January 2004 (2004 URLA) is included in appendix B to Regulation B as a model form for use in complying with § 1002.13. Appendix B provides that the use of its model forms is optional under Regulation B but that, if a creditor uses an appropriate appendix B model form, or modifies a form in accordance with instructions provided in appendix B, that creditor shall be deemed to be acting in compliance with § 1002.5(b) through (d).12

11 Fannie Mae, Selling Guide: Single Family Seller Servicer (Dec. 16, 2016), § B1-1-01, available at https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b1/1/01.html; Freddie Mac, Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide (Sep. 21, 2016), § 3401.7, available at http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/guide/bulletins/snapshot.html.

12 Comment app. B-1 provides that a previous version of the URLA, dated October 1992, may be used by creditors without violating Regulation B. In addition, comment app. B-2 provides that the home-improvement and energy loan application form prepared by the Enterprises, dated October 1986, complies with the requirements of Regulation B for some creditors but not others, depending on whether the creditor is governed by § 1002.13(a) or subject to a substitute monitoring program under § 1002.13(d). The Enterprises no longer offer the home-improvement and energy loan application form identified in comment app. B-2 See Fannie Mae, Guide Forms (2016), available at https://www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/selling-servicing-guide-forms (listing all current selling and servicing guide forms); see also Freddie Mac, Forms and Documents (2016) available at http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/guide/ (same).

The Enterprises, under the conservatorship of the FHFA, issued a revised and redesigned URLA on August 23, 2016 (2016 URLA).13 This issuance was part of the effort of these entities to update the Uniform Loan Application Dataset (ULAD). Among other changes, the 2016 URLA includes a Demographic Information section (section 7) that addresses the requirements in revised Regulation C for collecting applicant demographic information, including the requirement that financial institutions permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnicity and race categories beginning January 1, 2018. The Enterprises also made available a Demographic Information Addendum, which is identical in form to section 7 of the 2016 URLA.14 The Enterprises have advised that the Demographic Information Addendum may be used by lenders at any time on or after January 1, 2017, as a replacement for section X (Information for Government Monitoring Purposes) in the current URLA, dated 7/05 (revised 6/09).15 The Enterprises have not yet provided a date when lenders may begin using the 2016 URLA (the effective date) or the date lenders are required to use the 2016 URLA (the cutover date), but have stated their intention to collaborate with industry stakeholders to help shape the implementation timeline for the 2016 URLA, with a goal to provide lenders with more precise information in 2017 regarding the cutover date.16

13 Fannie Mae, Uniform Residential Loan Application (Aug. 2016), https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide_form/urla-borrower-information.pdf; see also Press Release, Uniform Mortgage Data Program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the direction of the FHFA, The Redesigned URLA and ULAD Mapping Document Are Here! (Aug. 23, 2016), available at https://www.fanniemae.com/content/news/urla-announcement-august-2016.pdf.

14 Fannie Mae, Demographic Information Addendum (Aug. 2016), available at https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide_form/urla-demographic-addendum.pdf.

15 Press Release, Uniform Mortgage Data Program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the direction of the FHFA, URLA Implementation Guidance and Update (Nov. 1, 2016), available at https://www.fanniemae.com/content/news/urla-announcement-november-2016.pdf; Uniform Mortgage Data Program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the direction of the FHFA, Uniform Residential loan Application (URLA)/Uniform Loan Application Dataset (ULAD) FAQs, ¶ 6 (Nov. 1, 2016), available at https://www.fanniemae.com/content/faq/urla-ulad-faqs.pdf.

16 Press Release, Uniform Mortgage Data Program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the direction of the FHFA, URLA Implementation Guidance and Update (Nov. 1, 2016), available at https://www.fanniemae.com/content/news/urla-announcement-november-2016.pdf.

D. Bureau Approval Notice

On September 23, 2016, the Bureau issued a notice concerning the collection of expanded information about ethnicity and race in 2017 (Bureau Approval Notice).17 Under current Regulation C § 1003.4(a)(10), covered financial institutions are required to collect, record, and report applicant demographic information. Revised Regulation C will require financial institutions to permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnic and racial categories beginning January 1, 2018.18 However, before that date, such inquiries are not required by current Regulation C and would not have been allowed under Regulation B § 1002.5(a)(2), and therefore creditors would have been prohibited by Regulation B § 1002.5(b) from requesting applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnic and racial categories before January 1, 2018.

The Bureau Approval Notice provided that, anytime from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, a creditor may, at its option, permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnic and racial categories as instructed in appendix B to revised Regulation C. During this period, a creditor adopting the practice of permitting applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnic and racial categories as instructed in appendix B to revised Regulation C shall be deemed to be in compliance with Regulation B § 1002.13(a)(i).

In the same notice, the Bureau also determined that the relevant language in the 2016 URLA is in compliance with the regulatory provisions of Regulation B § 1002.5(b) through (d), regarding requests for protected applicant-characteristic information and certain other information. The notice provides that, although the use of the 2016 URLA by creditors is not required under Regulation B, a creditor that uses the 2016 URLA without any modification that would violate § 1002.5(b) through (d) acts in compliance with § 1002.5(b) through (d).

III. Outreach

As part of the Bureau's outreach to financial institutions, vendors, and other mortgage industry participants to prepare for the implementation of the 2015 HMDA final rule, the Bureau has received questions about the requirement to permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnicity and race categories and how that requirement intersects with compliance obligations under Regulation B. The Bureau also received questions related to the Bureau Approval Notice about whether the approval for collecting disaggregated ethnicity and race categories under Regulation B in 2017 would be extended to 2018. In light of these inquiries, the Bureau determined that it would be beneficial to establish through rulemaking appropriate standards in Regulation B concerning the collection of an applicant's ethnicity and race information similar to those in revised Regulation C. Because many of the financial institutions most affected by this proposed rule are supervised by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Bureau conducted outreach to these agencies. The Bureau specifically sought input from these prudential regulators concerning their use of applicant ethnicity and race information collected under § 1002.13 but not reported or anticipated to be reported under current or revised Regulation C and their views on appropriate standards for collection and retention of this information. The Bureau also conducted outreach with other Federal agencies, including Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Treasury, concerning this proposed rule.

IV. Legal Authority

The Bureau is issuing this proposed rule pursuant to its authority under section 703 of ECOA, as amended by section 1085 of the Dodd-Frank Act.19 ECOA authorizes the Bureau to issue regulations to carry out the purposes of ECOA.20 These regulations may contain but are not limited to such classifications, differentiations, or other provisions, and may provide for such adjustments and exceptions for any class of transactions, as in the judgment of the Bureau are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of ECOA, to prevent circumvention or evasion of ECOA, or to facilitate or substantiate compliance with ECOA.21 A purpose of ECOA is to promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract) and other protected characteristics.22 ECOA section 703 serves as a source of authority to establish rules concerning the taking and evaluation of credit applications, collection and retention of applicant demographic information concerning the applicant or co-applicant, use of designated model forms, and substantive requirements to carry out the purposes of ECOA.

19 15 U.S.C. 1691b; Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, 2083-84 (2010).

20 15 U.S.C. 1691b(a).

21Id.

22 12 CFR 1002.1(b).

The Bureau is also issuing this proposed rule pursuant to its authority under sections 1022 and 1061 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Under Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b)(1), the Bureau has authority to prescribe rules as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws and to prevent evasions thereof.23 Section 1061 of the Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Bureau consumer financial protection functions previously vested in certain other Federal agencies, including the authority to prescribe rules or issue orders or guidelines pursuant to any Federal consumer financial law and perform appropriate functions to promulgate and review such rules, orders, and guidelines.24 Both ECOA and title X of the Dodd-Frank Act are consumer financial laws.25 Accordingly, the Bureau has authority to issue regulations to administer ECOA.

23 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1375, 1980 (2010) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1)).

24 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1375, 2035-39 (2010) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5581).

25 12 U.S.C. 5481(12), (14).

V. Proposed Implementation Period

Except as set forth below, the Bureau proposes an effective date of January 1, 2018, for any final rule based on this proposal to align with the effective dates of the relevant provisions of the 2015 HMDA final rule. As an effective date for any final rule removing the 2004 URLA from appendix B of Regulation B, the Bureau proposes the cutover date designated by the Enterprises for the mandatory use of the 2016 URLA or January 1, 2022, whichever occurs first.

VI. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 1002.5 Rules Concerning Requests for Information

Section 1002.5 provides rules concerning requests for information. In general, § 1002.5(b) prohibits a creditor from inquiring about protected applicant-characteristic information in connection with a credit transaction, except under certain circumstances. The Bureau is proposing to add proposed § 1002.5(a)(4), to authorize creditors to collect such information under certain additional circumstances. The Bureau is proposing to make conforming changes to comment 5(a)(2)-2 to reference the types of loans covered by revised Regulation C and provide a citation to Regulation C. The Bureau is also proposing to add proposed comment 5(a)(4)-1 to provide guidance on proposed § 1002.5(a)(4).

5(a) General Rules 5(a)(4) Other Permissible Collection of Information

Section 1002.5(a)(2) provides that, notwithstanding the limitations in § 1002.5(b) through (d) on collecting protected applicant-characteristic information and other applicant information, a creditor shall request information for monitoring purposes as required by § 1002.13. Section 1002.5(a)(2) further provides that a creditor may obtain information required by a regulation, order, or agreement issued by, or entered with, a court or an enforcement agency to monitor or enforce compliance with ECOA, Regulation B, or other Federal or State statutes and regulations. However, § 1002.5(a)(2) does not authorize collection of information beyond what is required by law. The Bureau is proposing to add § 1002.5(a)(4) to authorize a creditor to obtain information in certain additional specified circumstances other than information required as described in § 1002.5(a)(2). Proposed § 1002.5(a)(4) would provide that, notwithstanding § 1002.5(b), a creditor may collect information under the circumstances included under that section, provided that the creditor collects the information in compliance with appendix B to revised Regulation C.

The Bureau understands that certain creditors who will be excluded from reporting under revised Regulation C in a given reporting year may want to continue to collect or report applicant demographic information during that time to maintain consistent compliance standards from year-to-year. The Bureau also understands that certain creditors who are not subject to revised Regulation C in a given calendar year but may become subject to reporting in the next calendar year may want to collect applicant demographic information for applications that may become revised Regulation C covered loans if the creditor becomes subject to reporting and final action is taken on the application in the next calendar year. Therefore, the Bureau believes that it is appropriate to permit creditors to collect such information in the specifically permitted circumstances explained below. The Bureau believes that permitting creditors to collect information without interruption or break from year-to-year would further the purposes of ECOA by easing overall burden on creditors and improving the quality and reliability of the data that are used to promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants. The Bureau also believes that permitting creditors to collect certain protected applicant-characteristic information in these circumstances provides a narrow exception to the general limitations in § 1002.5(b) through (d) that preserves the protection and respects the purposes of those prohibitions.

Under proposed § 1002.5(a)(4)(i) a creditor that is a financial institution under revised Regulation C § 1003.2(g) may collect information regarding the applicant demographic information of an applicant for a closed-end mortgage loan that is an excluded transaction under revised Regulation C § 1003.3(c)(11) if it submits HMDA data concerning those applications and loans or if it submitted HMDA data concerning closed-end mortgage loans in any of the preceding five calendar years. The proposal would permit a financial institution that voluntarily reports HMDA data concerning closed-end mortgage loans to collect applicant demographic information for such reporting in compliance with Regulation B. The proposal would also permit a financial institution to collect applicant demographic information for closed-end mortgage loans for up to five years after it fell below the loan volume threshold for closed-end mortgage loans in revised Regulation C § 1003.3(c)(11). The Bureau believes that creditors in this latter situation may not want to incur the burden of altering their compliance process, particularly when they may become subject to reporting again in the near future. The Bureau believes that permitting such collection for five years provides an appropriate time frame under which a financial institution should be permitted to continue collecting the information without having to change its compliance processes; the Bureau believes the period is long enough that it would provide a creditor a strong indication that its present business trend is unlikely to subject it to reporting in the near future, but the period would not be so long as to permit a creditor to collect protected applicant-characteristic information for a period of time that is too attenuated from the previous Regulation C legal requirement and associated compliance process. The Bureau invites comment on this proposal to permit collection of applicant demographic information in these circumstances and the proposed five-year time frame.

Under proposed § 1002.5(a)(4)(ii), a creditor that is a financial institution under Regulation C § 1003.2(g) may collect information regarding the applicant demographic information of an applicant for an open-end line of credit that is an excluded transaction under revised Regulation C § 1003.3(c)(12) if it submits HMDA data concerning those applications and open-end lines of credit or if it submitted HMDA data concerning open-end lines of credit in any of the preceding five calendar years. Similar to proposed § 1002.5(a)(4)(i), the proposal would permit a financial institution that voluntarily reports HMDA data concerning open-end lines of credit to collect applicant demographic information for such reporting in compliance with Regulation B. The proposal would also permit a financial institution to collect applicant demographic information for open-end lines of credit for up to five years after it fell below the loan volume threshold for open-end lines of credit in revised Regulation C § 1003.3(c)(12). The Bureau believes that the proposal is justified for similar reasons and provides similar benefits to proposed § 1002.5(a)(4)(i) discussed above. The Bureau invites comment on this proposal to permit collection of applicant demographic information in these circumstances and the proposed five-year time frame.

Under proposed § 1002.5(a)(4)(iii), a creditor that submitted HMDA data for any of the preceding five calendar years but is not currently a financial institution under revised Regulation C § 1003.2(g) may collect information regarding the applicant demographic information of an applicant for a loan that would otherwise be a covered loan under revised Regulation C § 1003.2(e) if not excluded by Regulation C §§ 1003.3(c)(11) or (12). This proposal would permit a creditor that falls below the loan-volume threshold 26 and is therefore no longer required to collect and report information under revised Regulation C to continue to collect applicant demographic information. The Bureau believes that the proposal is justified for similar reasons and provides similar benefits to proposed § 1002.5(a)(4)(i) discussed above. The Bureau invites comment on this proposal to permit collection of applicant demographic information in these circumstances and the proposed five-year time frame.

26 The loan-volume thresholds in revised Regulation C are 25 or more closed-end mortgage loans originated in each of the two proceeding calendar years and 100 open-end lines of credit in each of the two proceeding calendar years. Revised Regulation C § 1003.2(g)(1)(v), (g)(2)(ii).

Under proposed § 1002.5(a)(4)(iv), a creditor that exceeded a loan volume threshold in the first year of a two-year threshold period provided in revised Regulation C §§ 1003.2(g), 1003.3(c)(11), or 1003.3(c)(12) may, in the subsequent year, collect the applicant demographic information of an applicant for a loan that would otherwise be a covered loan under Regulation C § 1003.2(e) if not excluded by revised Regulation C § 1003.3(c)(11) or (12). The proposal would benefit creditors in certain situations in which the creditor is uncertain whether it will be required to report information under revised Regulation C in a future calendar year. For example, where a creditor meets the closed-end mortgage loan coverage threshold or open-end line of credit coverage threshold in revised Regulation C § 1003.2(g)(1)(v) and (g)(2)(ii) for the first time in a given calendar year, it may wish to begin collecting certain protected applicant-characteristic information for applications received in the next calendar year (second calendar year) so as to be prepared to report that information if final action is taken in the following calendar year (third calendar year), when the creditor would be required to report the information under revised Regulation C if it exceeded the applicable two-year threshold at the end the second calendar year. The Bureau believes that a creditor would benefit from being able to collect applicant demographic information concerning such applications with assurance of compliance with § 1002.5 regardless of whether or not it becomes subject to HMDA reporting at the end of the two-year threshold period. The Bureau invites comment on this proposal to permit collection of applicant demographic information in these circumstances.

The Bureau is also proposing to add new comment 5(a)(4)-1 which provides that applicant demographic information that is not required to be collected pursuant to Regulation C may nevertheless be collected under the circumstances set forth in § 1002.5(a)(4) without violating § 1002.5(b) and highlights that, as discussed below, such information should be retained pursuant to § 1002.12. The Bureau also invites comment on whether there are other specific, narrowly tailored circumstances not described in § 1002.5(a)(2) or proposed § 1002.5(a)(4) under which a creditor would benefit from being able to collect applicant demographic information for mortgage loan applicants.

Section 1002.12 Record Retention

Section 1002.12 provides rules concerning permissible and required record retention. In light of proposed § 1002.5(a)(4), the Bureau is also proposing to amend § 1002.12(b)(1)(i) to require retention of certain protected applicant-characteristic information obtained pursuant to proposed § 1002.5(a)(4).

12(a) Retention of Prohibited Information 12(b) Preservation of Records 12(b)(1) Applications 12(b)(1)(i)

Section 1002.12(b)(1) provides that a creditor must retain certain records for 25 months. Under § 1002.12(b)(1)(i), these records include any information required to be obtained concerning characteristics of the applicant to monitor compliance with ECOA and Regulation B or other similar law. The Bureau is proposing to amend § 1002.12(b)(1)(i) to include within its preservation requirements any information obtained pursuant to proposed § 1002.5(a)(4). The Bureau believes that, if a creditor voluntarily collects applicant demographic information pursuant to proposed § 1002.5(a)(4), the creditor should be required to maintain those records in the same manner as protected applicant-characteristic information it is required to collect. This would allow the information to be available for its primary purpose of monitoring and enforcing compliance with ECOA, Regulation B, and other Federal or State statutes or regulations. Without a corresponding record retention requirement, a creditor could collect but not retain the information, thus preventing the use of the information for these purposes. The Bureau is also proposing to amend comment 12(b)-2 to require retention of applicant demographic information obtained pursuant to proposed § 1002.5(a)(4). The Bureau invites comment on the proposed amendment.

Section 1002.13 Information for Monitoring Purposes

Section 1002.13 sets forth the scope, required information, and manner for the mandatory collection of certain protected applicant-characteristic information under Regulation B. Section 1002.13(a)(1) requires creditors to collect information about the applicant, including ethnicity and race information, for certain dwelling-related loans. Among other revisions to § 1002.13 and its commentary, the Bureau proposes to amend § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) to provide that, for applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), a creditor must collect the applicant's information using either aggregate ethnicity and race categories or the ethnicity and race categories and subcategories set forth in appendix B to revised Regulation C, which provide disaggregated ethnicity and race categories.

13(a) Information To Be Requested 13(a)(1) 13(a)(1)(i)

Under § 1002.13(a)(1), creditors that receive an application for credit primarily for the purchase or refinancing of a dwelling occupied or to be occupied by the applicant as a principal residence, where the extension of credit will be secured by the dwelling, must collect certain information about the applicant, including ethnicity and race information. Specifically, under current § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) creditors must collect information regarding the applicant's ethnicity using the categories Hispanic or Latino and not Hispanic or Latino, and the applicant's race using the categories American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White. Under Regulation B, creditors are required to collect and retain such data, but have no obligation to report the data to a regulator.27

27 12 CFR 1002.12 and 1002.13.

As set forth above, in 2015 the Bureau issued the 2015 HMDA final rule, which adopted certain revisions to Regulation C.28 Under current Regulation C, financial institutions are required to collect and report an applicant's or borrower's information using aggregate ethnicity and race categories that are identical to the ethnicity and race categories set forth under current § 1002.13(a)(1)(i). In contrast, under revised Regulation C, financial institutions are required to permit applicants or borrowers to self-identify using disaggregated ethnicity and race categories.29 Once revised Regulation C goes into effect on January 1, 2018, the race and ethnicity categories financial institutions use to collect information under revised Regulation C will no longer correspond with the race and ethnicity categories a creditor uses to collect information under current § 1002.13(a)(1)(i). Many creditors are subject to both § 1002.13 and revised Regulation C. The Bureau believes that such creditors should not be subject to differing collection requirements, and that aligning the two requirements furthers the purposes of ECOA by facilitating practices that promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants.30

28 80 FR 66127 (Oct. 28, 2015).

29See also revised Regulation C § 1003.4(a)(10)(i) and comment 4(a)(10)(i)-1 (requiring financial institution to report information about the applicant's or borrower's ethnicity and race using the instructions in appendix B to Regulation C).

30 Because of the differences between revised Regulation C and current § 1002.13, some creditors may be uncertain whether compliance with revised Regulation C also satisfies compliance with current § 1002.13 or whether additional collection to satisfy current § 1002.13 would also be required. The Bureau believes that resolving this issue through rulemaking will provide certainty to such creditors.

Accordingly, the Bureau proposes to revise § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) to provide that, for applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), a creditor must collect an applicant's information using either the aggregate or disaggregated ethnicity and race categories (creditors subject to revised Regulation C will be required to use the disaggregated race and ethnicity categories for applications subject to revised Regulation C). Specifically, the Bureau proposes to amend § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) to allow a creditor to comply with either § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) or § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B). Under proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A), a creditor may collect information regarding the applicant using the aggregate ethnicity and race categories set forth in current § 1002.13(a)(1)(i). Under proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B), a creditor may collect an applicant's ethnicity and race information using the categories and subcategories set forth in appendix B to revised Regulation C, which provides disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. Thus, under the proposal, a creditor subject to collection requirements under both § 1002.13(a)(1) and revised Regulation C that collects information pursuant to the requirements of appendix B to revised Regulation C would also satisfy § 1002.13(a)(1)(i).

For applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), the Bureau believes there are compelling reasons for permitting a creditor to collect an applicant's information using disaggregated ethnicity and race categories, even if the creditor is not required to submit HMDA data concerning the application under revised Regulation C (Regulation B-only creditors or transactions). As discussed in the preamble to the 2015 HMDA final rule, among other reasons, the Bureau revised Regulation C to require financial institutions to allow applicants to self-identify using the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories based on the conclusion that it would further HMDA's purpose to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns, encourage self-reporting by applicants and borrowers, and more accurately reflect the nation's ethnic and racial diversity.31 The Bureau believes these same benefits will also further the purpose of ECOA, which, similar to HMDA, seeks to promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants without regard to protected characteristics, such as national origin and race.

31 80 FR 66127, 66190 (Oct. 28, 2015).

The Bureau believes that optional collection of disaggregated ethnicity and race information under proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) is also appropriate given that the 2016 URLA provides for the collection of disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. As noted above, the Enterprises have indicated their intent to mandate use of the 2016 URLA at some point in the future for all loans eligible for purchase by the Enterprises. Given the widespread use of the current URLA among lenders, the Bureau expects that on or prior to the cutover date, many creditors will want to adopt the 2016 URLA irrespective of whether the creditor or transaction is subject to the collection and reporting requirements in revised Regulation C. Accordingly, the Bureau believes that the proposed revisions will facilitate the transition to the 2016 URLA for all creditors seeking to use the updated form.

The Bureau also considered the alternative, for all applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), of requiring creditors to use the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. The Bureau is not proposing this approach for several reasons. First, the Bureau believes that the creditors that would be most affected by such a change would primarily be small creditors that will not meet the loan-volume thresholds, asset-size thresholds, or location test under revised Regulation C.32 Creditors within the scope of revised Regulation C would be minimally affected as they will already be required to use the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories under revised Regulation C. Regulation B-only creditors, however, would incur various costs and heightened compliance burdens as a result of adopting this alternative option, including updating application forms, revising policies and procedures, and providing additional training. Second, these small creditors would potentially have a short timeframe to come into compliance with any requirement to use the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. To resolve the differences between Regulation B and revised Regulation C in a timely manner, the proposed revisions to § 1002.13(a)(1) would ideally take effect on or prior to January 1, 2018. While the Bureau could impose a staggered effective date for Regulation B-only creditors, the Bureau believes such an approach would create additional complexity that the Bureau would like to avoid. Thus, the burden of this alternative option on affected creditors would likely be compounded by the short implementation timeline available. Third, the Bureau believes the benefits of requiring (rather than permitting) creditors to use the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories would be limited, as most creditors will likely adopt the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories under the proposed optional approach, eventually if not immediately. Many will be required to use the disaggregated information under revised Regulation C, and many that are not subject to revised Regulation C are nevertheless likely to adopt the 2016 URLA at some point because of business considerations unrelated to Regulations B and C.

32 Revised Regulation C § 1003.2(g)(i), (ii), and (v); see also id. § 1003.3(c)(11) and (12).

On the other hand, the Bureau acknowledges that requiring creditors to use the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories under § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) may maximize the benefits of disaggregation by affecting all applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1). The Bureau also acknowledges that under this alternative option, Regulation B-only creditors would incur the costs of collecting disaggregated ethnicity and race information, and would not incur the more costly burdens of also reporting such data.

Despite these considerations, the Bureau believes the potential incremental benefits of requiring creditors to use disaggregated ethnicity and race categories for applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1) do not outweigh the burdens of such a proposal on Regulation B-only creditors.

In addition to the alternative approach discussed above, the Bureau also considered eliminating altogether the requirement in § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) that creditors collect information on an applicant's ethnicity and race. While there is significant overlap between § 1002.13 and revised Regulation C, the transactions covered under the two regulations are not identical and, as discussed above, many creditors are not subject to Regulation C. Based on outreach to other regulators, including the FDIC, OCC, FRB, and NCUA, the Bureau understands that a substantial percentage of supervised entities are expected to be Regulation B-only creditors and that the protected-applicant characteristic information collected under § 1002.13 is frequently relied upon by such regulators to monitor compliance with fair lending laws. Accordingly, the Bureau believes that the collection of applicant race and ethnicity information under § 1002.13 serves the important function of monitoring and enforcing compliance with ECOA and other antidiscrimination laws and therefore continues to serve the purposes of ECOA.

For the reasons discussed above, the Bureau proposes to revise § 1002.13(a)(1)(i), including adding § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) and § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) to set forth the two options available to creditors. Under the proposal, for any applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), a creditor must seek to collect information concerning the applicant using, at its option, either aggregate race and ethnicity categories (proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A)) or disaggregated race and ethnicity categories (proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B)).

Proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) is intended to mirror the ethnicity and race categories set forth in existing § 1002.13(a)(1)(i). The addition of the word “aggregate” in proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) is not a substantive revision but, rather, is included to clarify that the enumerated categories in proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) differ from the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories under proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B).

Proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) provides that a creditor may alternatively collect information regarding the applicant using the categories and subcategories for the collection of race and ethnicity set forth in appendix B to revised Regulation C. Proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) cross-references the ethnicity and race categories and subcategories set forth in appendix B to revised Regulation C; the proposed provision does not recite those categories and subcategories. Thus, a creditor would comply with proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) so long as it collects information concerning an applicant's ethnicity and race using all of the same categories and subcategories as then in effect under appendix B to revised Regulation C. For example, if appendix B to revised Regulation C is amended at a later date to require a financial institution to collect, for example, additional or different ethnicity and race categories or subcategories, then a creditor seeking to comply with proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) must also allow an applicant to select such amended categories or subcategories. The Bureau solicits comment on this proposal.

The Bureau also proposes to add comment 13(a)-8 to clarify that a creditor may choose, on an application-by-application basis, whether to collect aggregate information pursuant to proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) or disaggregated information pursuant to proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B). The Bureau solicits comment on proposed comment 13(a)-8.

In addition, the Bureau proposes to revise comment 13(a)-7 to provide, for applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), that a creditor that collects information about the ethnicity, race, and sex of an applicant in compliance with the requirements of appendix B to revised Regulation C will be acting in compliance with § 1002.13 concerning the collection of an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex information. Section 1002.13(b) through (c) provides instructions on how to collect an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex information, including directions on how to obtain the required information, required disclosures concerning the collection, and instructions on when to collect the information on the basis of visual observation or surname. As discussed above, many applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1) will also be subject to collection and reporting under revised Regulation C. While the instructions for the collection of applicant demographic information in appendix B to revised Regulation C impose similar requirements as those set forth in § 1002.13(b) through (c), the Bureau acknowledges that the two sets of instructions are not identical and that revised Regulation C sometimes provides additional instructions absent from § 1002.13. For example, paragraph 12 of appendix B to revised Regulation C provides that, if an applicant begins an application by mail, Internet, or telephone and does not provide the requested applicant information but does not check or select the “I do not wish to provide this information” box on the application, and the applicant then meets in person with the financial institution and the financial institution requests the information but the applicant does not provide the information during the in-person meeting, the financial institution must collect the information on the basis of visual observation or surname. Current § 1002.13, on the other hand, is silent on whether a creditor is required to collect applicant demographic information if the application is initiated by mail, internet, and telephone, and the applicant subsequently meets in-person with the creditor.

While the Bureau believes that the instructions in § 1002.13 for the collection of applicant demographic information are not inconsistent with revised Regulation C, to eliminate any uncertainty, the Bureau proposes to revise comment 13(a)-7 to provide that for applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), a creditor that collects an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex information in compliance with the instructions set forth in appendix B to revised Regulation C is acting in compliance with § 1002.13 concerning the collection of an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex information. The Bureau believes this clarification will also reduce the compliance burden on creditors subject to both § 1002.13(a)(1) and revised Regulation C by allowing such creditors to follow a single set of instructions.

The Bureau solicits comment on proposed comment 13(a)-7.

13(b) Obtaining Information

Section 1002.13(b) provides rules and instructions for obtaining applicant information required under § 1002.13(a). The Bureau is proposing to amend § 1002.13(b) to provide that, when a creditor collects ethnicity and race information pursuant to proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B), the creditor must comply with any restrictions on the collection of an applicant's ethnicity or race on the basis of visual observation or surname set forth in appendix B to revised Regulation C.

Among other instructions, current § 1002.13(b) provides that, if an applicant chooses not to provide some or all of the requested applicant demographic information, the creditor shall, to the extent possible, note on the form the ethnicity, race, and sex of the applicant on the basis of visual observation or surname. Instruction 10 in appendix B to revised Regulation C provides, however, that when a financial institution collects an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex on the basis of visual observation or surname, the financial institution must select from the aggregate ethnicity and race categories.

In light of the revisions to proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i), the Bureau proposes to amend § 1002.13(b) to restrict the collection of applicant demographic information where collected on the basis of visual observation or surname. The Bureau believes that a creditor that wishes to collect an applicant's ethnicity and race information under proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) should be subject to the same restrictions as set forth in appendix B to revised Regulation C. The Bureau further believes that keeping the requirements aligned is appropriate given the similar requirements and to promote regulatory consistency. The Bureau invites comment on this amendment.

Comment 13(b)-1 provides guidance on the forms a creditor may use to collect applicant information under § 1002.13(a). The Bureau is proposing to amend the comment to reference the data collection model forms the Bureau proposes to provide in appendix B of Regulation B, as further discussed below. The Bureau is also proposing to amend comment 13(b)-1. First proposed comment 13(b)-1 would reiterate the current interpretation that when a creditor collects only aggregate ethnicity and race information pursuant to proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) (current § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)), the applicant must be offered the option to select more than one racial designation. Proposed comment 13(b)-1 would also provide that when a creditor collects applicant information pursuant to § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B), the applicant must be offered the option to select more than one ethnicity and more than one racial designation. The Bureau invites comment on these proposed amendments.

13(c) Disclosure to Applicant(s)

Section 1002.13(c) sets forth the required disclosures a creditor must provide to applicants when collecting the required protected applicant-characteristic information. Current comment 13(c)-1 provides, among other things, that appendix B contains a sample disclosure and that a creditor may devise its own disclosure so long as it is substantially similar. In light of the proposed amendments to appendix B described below, the Bureau is proposing to amend comment 13(c)-1 to reference the two data collection model forms provided for in proposed appendix B. While the Bureau acknowledges that the disclosures in the two data collection model forms are slightly different from each other, the Bureau concludes that use of either form complies with § 1002.13(c) and that the two forms are substantially similar. The Bureau invites comment on this proposed amendment.

Appendix B to Part 1002—Model Application Forms

Regulations B and C both contain an appendix B that provides model forms for use when collecting applicant demographic information required under the regulations. Current appendix B to Regulation B (Regulation B appendix) includes the 2004 URLA, which provides for the same ethnicity and race categories as required under current § 1002.13. Appendix B to current and revised Regulation C (current Regulation C appendix or revised Regulation C appendix, as applicable) includes instructions and a data collection model form for collecting applicant demographic information. In light of the proposed revisions to § 1002.13(a)(1)(i), the Bureau also proposes to amend the Regulation B appendix.

The current Regulation B appendix includes five model forms, each designated for use in a particular type of consumer credit transaction. The fifth model form, the 2004 URLA, is described in the Regulation B appendix as appropriate for residential mortgage transactions and contains a model disclosure for use in complying with current § 1002.13. While use of the model forms is optional, if a creditor uses the appropriate model form, or modifies a form in accordance with the instructions provided in the Regulation B appendix, that creditor is deemed to be acting in compliance with § 1002.5(b) through (d).33 The section in the 2004 URLA used to collect an applicant's ethnicity and race information (section X) conforms with the aggregate ethnicity and race categories set forth in current § 1002.13(a)(1)(i). The most current version of the URLA (prior to the 2016 URLA) used by the Enterprises is dated July 2005 and was revised in June 2009.

33 Appendix B to part 1002 ¶¶ 1, 3.

On September 23, 2016, the Bureau issued the Bureau Approval Notice, which approved, pursuant to section 706(e) of ECOA, use of the 2016 URLA.34 In the Bureau Approval Notice, the Bureau determined that, while a creditor is not required to use the 2016 URLA, a creditor that uses the form without any modification that would violate § 1002.5(b) through (d) would act in compliance with § 1002.5(b) through (d).35 Unlike prior versions of the URLA, the 2016 URLA permits the applicant to select disaggregated ethnicity and race categories, as required under revised Regulation C.

34Status of New Uniform Residential Loan Application and Collection of Expanded Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Information About Ethnicity and Race in 2017, 81 FR 66930 (Sep. 23, 2016).

35Id.

As explained above, the Bureau proposes to revise § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) to provide that, for applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), a creditor must collect information concerning the applicant using, at its option, either aggregate or disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. In light of this revision, the Bureau proposes to revise the Regulation B appendix to reflect these alternative approaches in proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i). Given the release of the 2016 URLA and the Bureau's approval of that form in the Bureau Approval Notice, the Bureau also proposes to remove the 2004 URLA from the Regulation B appendix, effective upon the Enterprises' cutover date for the 2016 URLA or January 1, 2022, whichever comes first. Each of these proposed revisions is discussed in depth below.

Model Forms for Complying With Proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)

Under proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) a creditor may request information concerning the applicant using disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. In light of this revision, the Bureau believes it is appropriate to provide creditors a model form to use when complying with proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B). Specifically, the Bureau proposes to cross-reference the data collection model form included in the revised Regulation C appendix and thereby establish it as a model form for complying with proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B). The Bureau proposes to cross-reference this form, rather than create a new model form, based on the belief that doing so will ease the compliance burden on creditors by providing them a single form that may be used with both revised Regulation C and proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B). The Bureau believes cross-referencing the data collection model form in revised Regulation C is also appropriate because it will avoid the possibility of inconsistent forms.

The Bureau considered the alternative approach of including the 2016 URLA as a model form for use in complying with proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B). The Bureau is not proposing this alternative for several reasons. As discussed above, the Bureau approved use of the 2016 URLA under section 706(e) of ECOA through the Bureau Approval Notice and believes that including the 2016 URLA as a model form is unnecessary given the approvals already provided to the 2016 URLA in that notice. The Bureau also believes that a model form designated for use in complying with § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) is properly limited to include only information relevant to the collection applicant demographic information and that inclusion of unrelated sections of the 2016 URLA is not necessary to further the purposes of ECOA or provide relevant guidance to creditors. Moreover, the Bureau anticipates that the Enterprises may update the 2016 URLA in the future. By maintaining approval of the 2016 URLA in a freestanding notice, the Bureau avoids the risk that the model form will become outdated or that the Bureau will need to make ongoing revisions and updates within Regulation B. Although the Bureau does not propose to include the 2016 URLA in Regulation B as a model form, the Bureau notes that the substance and form of section 7 of the 2016 URLA is substantially similar to the data collection model form the Bureau proposes to designate for use in complying with revised § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B). The Bureau does not intend to convey disapproval of the 2016 URLA and has no plans at this time to revise or withdraw the Bureau Approval Notice currently in effect.

The Bureau also proposes to add a model form to the Regulation B appendix to be used for the collection of an applicant's ethnicity and race information in compliance with proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A). The text of the proposed model form substantially mirrors both section X in the 2004 URLA and the data collection model form contained in the current Regulation C appendix. Given these similarities, the Bureau believes that a creditor can comply with revised § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) without modifying its existing forms for the collection of an applicant's ethnicity and race information. Like the proposed model form that may be used in compliance with § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B), the Bureau's proposed model form for § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) is one-page in length and limited to information concerning the applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex.

The Bureau solicits comment on this proposal to provide alternative model forms for compliance with revised § 1002.13(a)(1)(i).

Removal of the 2004 URLA as a Model Form

As discussed above, the current Regulation B appendix includes the 2004 URLA as a model form for use in complying with § 1002.13. In light of the proposed revisions to § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) and the proposal to provide two additional model forms for use in complying with revised § 1002.13(a)(1)(i), the Bureau proposes to remove the 2004 URLA as a model form in Regulation B. The Bureau proposes that the 2004 URLA be removed on the cutover date the Enterprises designate for use of the 2016 URLA or January 1, 2022, whichever comes first.

As noted above, the Bureau expects the Enterprises will designate in 2017 a cutover date for mandatory use of the 2016 URLA. The Bureau expects that the vast majority of creditors that use the URLA either currently do not use the already outdated 2004 URLA or will cease using the 2004 URLA on or prior to the 2016 URLA cutover date. Accordingly, the Bureau believes that removal of the 2004 URLA from appendix B upon the cutover date designated by the Enterprises will successfully eliminate an outdated form without imposing an appreciable burden on creditors. Alternatively, if the cutover date is after January 1, 2022, the Bureau proposes an effective date of January 1, 2022; the Bureau believes that five years provides creditors ample time to update their forms if they wish to.

The Bureau further believes that removal of the 2004 URLA is appropriate because it would be duplicative of the form the Bureau proposes to provide for use in complying with proposed § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A). As discussed above, the proposed one-page data collection model form is substantially similar to section X of the 2004 URLA. The Bureau believes that retention of the 2004 URLA in Regulation B is therefore unnecessary and could create uncertainty as to the purpose of the two forms.

Finally, the Bureau believes that removal of the 2004 URLA from Regulation B is appropriate in light of the proposal not to include the 2016 URLA as a model form. The Bureau is concerned that maintaining the 2004 URLA as a model form in Regulation B, while not including the 2016 URLA, may discourage some creditors from using the 2016 URLA or the disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. The Bureau further believes that removal of the 2004 URLA from Regulation B is appropriate for many of the same reasons the Bureau identified above for not proposing to include the 2016 URLA, including that the 2004 URLA contains numerous sections that are irrelevant to compliance with § 1002.13. In proposing to remove the 2004 URLA, however, the Bureau does not intend to suggest that the content and wording of the form no longer complies with § 1002.5(b) through (d) or § 1002.13(a)(1)(i).

In light of these considerations, the Bureau proposes to remove the 2004 URLA as a model form in the Regulation B appendix, effective upon the cutover date designated by the Enterprises for use of the 2016 URLA or January 1, 2022, whichever comes first. The Bureau solicits comment on this proposal.

Removal of the Official Commentary to Appendix B

As discussed above, commentary to appendix B includes a discussion of two forms created by the Enterprises that are no longer in use: A 1992 version of the URLA and a 1986 home-improvement and energy loan application form. Given that neither form discussed in the commentary to the Regulation B appendix is currently used by the Enterprises, the Bureau believes that few, if any, creditors continue to use the referenced forms. Accordingly, the Bureau proposes to remove in its entirety the commentary to the Regulation B appendix based on the belief that it no longer provides useful guidance to creditors. While the Bureau acknowledges that the commentary in the Regulation B appendix instructs creditors to delete, strike, or modify the data-collection section on the referenced forms when using the forms for transaction not covered by § 1002.13(a), the Bureau believes that this language is unnecessary and duplicative of appendix B itself, which provides that a creditor may alter the model forms by deleting any information request. The Bureau solicits comment on this proposal, including specifically whether any portion of the current commentary to appendix B should be retained.

VII. Dodd-Frank Act Section 1022(b) Analysis A. Overview

In developing the proposed rule, the Bureau has considered the potential benefits, costs, and impacts.36 The Bureau requests comment on the preliminary analysis presented below as well as submissions of additional data that could inform the Bureau's analysis of the benefits, costs, and impacts. The Bureau has consulted, or offered to consult with, the prudential regulators (the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Treasury, including regarding consistency with any prudential, market or systematic objectives administered by such agencies.

36 Specifically, section 1022(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act calls for the Bureau to consider the potential costs of a regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of access by consumers to consumer financial products or services; the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and the impact on consumers in rural areas.

The purpose of ECOA, as implemented by Regulation B, is to promote access to credit by all creditworthy applicants without regard to protected characteristics. The proposal would make three substantive changes to Regulation B, along with other clarifications, minor changes, and technical corrections to align the language of Regulation B with Regulation C as amended by the 2015 HMDA Final Rule. The first would give persons who collect and retain race and ethnicity information in compliance with ECOA as implemented in Regulation B the option of permitting applicants to self-identify using the disaggregated race and ethnicity categories required by the 2015 HMDA Final Rule. In practice, this would allow entities that report race and ethnicity in accordance with the 2015 HMDA Final Rule and Regulation C to comply with Regulation B without further action, while entities that do not report under HMDA but record and retain race and ethnicity data under Regulation B would have the option of recording data either using the existing aggregated categories or the new disaggregated categories.

The Bureau believes that, absent this change, entities which currently report race and ethnicity data under the HMDA could conclude that they have different obligations under Regulation B and Regulation C once the 2015 HMDA Final Rule goes into effect on January 1, 2018. This would lead to unnecessary burden from collecting both aggregated and disaggregated data. By making disaggregated collection an option under Regulation B, entities who will report race and ethnicity information under the HMDA final rule will also be in compliance with Regulation B with certainty. The Bureau believes that making collection of disaggregated race and ethnicity an option for all entities covered by Regulation B will pose little or no additional burden on those entities who are not HMDA reporters. The proposed amendment may have some benefits to non-HMDA reporting entities, as the current language of Regulation B would not allow these entities to use the 2016 version of the Enterprises' Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) for the purpose of collecting race and ethnicity data, as the 2016 URLA uses the disaggregated race and ethnicity categories matching the 2015 HMDA Final Rule and not the specific categories required by current Regulation B. Thus, the proposed amendment has the added benefit that it will allow non-HMDA reporting entities to use the 2016 URLA as an instrument to collect race and ethnicity information.

The second substantive change would remove the outdated 2004 URLA as a model form, concurrent with the date that the Enterprises have announced they will cease accepting that form or on January 1, 2022, whichever occurs first. The Bureau issued an Approval Notice under its authority in section 706(e) of ECOA on September 23, 2016, that a creditor that uses the 2016 URLA without any modification that would violate § 1002.5(b) through (d) would act in compliance with § 1002.5(b) through (d). The Bureau is not proposing to add the 2016 URLA as a model form in place of the 2004 version. Instead, the Bureau is proposing to provide for two alternative data collection model forms for the purpose of collecting ethnicity and race information. The Bureau believes this practice of acknowledging future versions of the URLA via a Bureau Approval Notice rather than a revision to Regulation B will avoid the risk that the model form included in Regulation B will become outdated in the future.

Finally, the Bureau proposes amending Regulation B and the associated commentary to allow creditors to collect ethnicity, race and sex from mortgage applicants in certain cases where the creditor is not required to report under HMDA and Regulation C. These cases include creditors that submit HMDA data even though not required to do so, and creditors that submitted HMDA data in any of the preceding five calendar years. This change would primarily benefit institutions that may be near the loan volume reporting threshold, such that they may be required to report under HMDA and Regulation C in some years and not others, or may be uncertain about their reporting status. The Bureau believes that allowing voluntary collection will reduce the burden of compliance with Regulation C on some entities and provide certainty regarding Regulation B compliance over time.

B. Potential Benefits and Costs to Consumers and Covered Persons Providing an Option To Collect Disaggregated Race and Ethnicity for Regulation B

Relative to the state of Regulation B and Regulation C following the effective date of the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, the proposed amendment provides clear benefits to entities that will be required to collect and report race and ethnicity data under HMDA. Currently the disaggregated race and ethnicity categories required by the amendments to Regulation C in the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, effective January 1, 2018, do not match the categories specified in current Regulation B. Because of the differences between the categories, some creditors required to collect and report race and ethnicity using the disaggregated categories set forth in Regulation C may be uncertain whether additional collection using aggregated categories would also be required to satisfy current Regulation B. Complying with both Regulations would require burdensome and duplicative collection of race and ethnicity data at both the aggregated and disaggregated level. In practice, the proposal simply makes clear that the existing collection that will be required for Regulation C is sufficient for compliance with Regulation B.

The proposal may have small benefits to consumers, to the extent that lending entities voluntarily choose to collect disaggregated race and ethnicity information. As discussed in the section 1022 analysis for the 2015 HMDA Final Rule, collection of disaggregated race and ethnicity data can enhance the ability of regulators to conduct fair lending analysis. These benefits are limited for three reasons, however. First, non-HMDA reporters will not be required to permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnicity and race categories. Second, many Regulation B-only creditors will be exempt from reporting under Regulation C because they originate fewer than 25 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years, which means both that few consumers would be affected and that the resulting data would likely be too sparse for statistical analysis even of the aggregated race and ethnicity data. Finally, demographic data retained by Regulation B-only creditors is not reported under Regulation C. Consequently, most oversight and analysis of demographic data retained by Regulation B-only creditors will be done only by regulators, whereas researchers and community groups also conduct analysis of HMDA data reported under Regulation C. The Bureau believes the proposal will not impose any costs on consumers.

The proposal may have benefits to some Regulation B-only creditors. Although these entities need not make any changes to their race and ethnicity collection procedures, they may desire to do so in the future by adopting the 2016 URLA for non-HMDA reportable loan applications. The Enterprises have announced that they will cease accepting older versions of the URLA at a date to be determined and require firms that sell to the Enterprises to use the 2016 URLA form. Some Regulation B-only creditors sell mortgages to the Enterprises, and would benefit from being able to use the 2016 URLA. Because the policy change on the part of the Enterprises is not a part of the rule, the Bureau believes any operational costs from adopting the 2016 URLA are part of the normal course of business and are not a cost of the proposed rule change.

In addition to the proposed change, the Bureau considered two alternatives to address the differing race and ethnicity requirements of Regulation B and Regulation C. The Bureau considered requiring all persons subject to the collection and retention requirement of Regulation B to permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated race and ethnicity categories. To the extent that consumers would benefit from disaggregated race and ethnicity collection, this alternative would provide greater benefits than the Bureau's proposal. However, of the three limitations to consumer benefits listed above, only the first (that disaggregated categories would be optional) is alleviated by requiring the use of disaggregated race and ethnicity categories under Regulation B. It is still the case that due to the low volume of mortgages by many affected entities and the lack of reporting, disaggregated race and ethnicity data may have limited benefits. Finally, the Bureau believes many entities will adopt the 2016 URLA as part of the course of business and thus permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated race and ethnicity categories.

At the same time, mandatory use of disaggregated collection of race and ethnicity categories would impose greater costs on firms than the Bureau's proposal, particularly on smaller entities. These costs include greater operational costs and one-time database upgrades. Unlike adoption of the 2016 URLA, these costs would not be incurred in the normal course of business. The Bureau does not have data available to estimate these costs, but given the small marginal benefits of mandatory use of disaggregated race and ethnicity categories, the Bureau is not proposing making disaggregated race and ethnicity categories mandatory for compliance with Regulation B. The Bureau requests comments on both the costs and benefits associated with this alternative approach.

The Bureau also considered eliminating entirely the collection and retention requirement of Regulation B. Although this alternative would reduce burden to firms who do not report under HMDA, the Bureau believes it may impose costs on consumers. The prudential regulators confirm that data collected and retained by entities subject to Regulation B but not Regulation C may be used for fair lending supervision and enforcement. Institutions subject to Regulation B but not Regulation C include, for example, institutions that do not have a branch or home office in a Metropolitan Statistical Area, do not meet an applicable asset threshold, or do not meet an applicable loan volume threshold.

For instance, the 2015 NCUA Call Report and the 2015 Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) Mortgage Call Report data include 489 credit unions and 161 non-depository institutions that originated at least 25 closed-end mortgages that are not found in the 2015 HMDA data.37 In addition, many community banks in rural areas are already exempt from HMDA reporting because they do not have a branch or home office in a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).38 Demographic information collected under Regulation B by those institutions with larger loan volumes may be used in statistical analysis that supports fair lending supervision and enforcement. Removing the Regulation B requirement altogether would make detection of any discrimination by these entities more difficult, with potentially large costs to consumers where such discrimination exists. Even for institutions with very small volumes of originations that may not be subject to HMDA reporting because they do not meet an applicable loan volume threshold, the retained information may be useful for comparative file reviews. In 2015 there were 1,178 institutions that reported HMDA data but had fewer than 25 originations and therefore would likely be exempt under the 2015 HMDA Final Rule if they continue to originate loans at a similar volume. Although the loan volumes of most of these institutions would be too sparse for statistical analysis, the ability to conduct comparative file reviews using data retained under Regulation B has some benefit. Accordingly, the Bureau does not propose removing the Regulation B requirement to collect and retain race and ethnicity information.

37 The criteria for being a financial institution and reporting transactions under HMDA are different in some ways from the criteria for reporting under the NMLS Mortgage Call Report and reporting transactions under it. It is possible that the NMLS omits some non-depository institutions that originated at least 25 closed-end mortgages, did not report HMDA data, and are subject to Regulation B. Some or all of these institutions may also not have been required to report HMDA data.

38 The Bureau does not have an estimate of the number of rural community banks that are currently exempt from HMDA reporting and originate at least 25 loans per year. The FFIEC call report for banks does not report originations for depository institutions that do not report to HMDA.

Model Forms for Collecting Race and Ethnicity Data

The Bureau believes that the proposal to change the model forms for collecting race and ethnicity data will have modest benefits to firms collecting these data, by providing updated model forms, and reducing confusion regarding the outdated 2004 URLA. The proposal does not impose any new costs on firms, nor does the Bureau believe that consumers will experience any cost or benefit from the proposal. The Bureau requests comment regarding the costs and benefits associated with this proposal.

Allowing Voluntary Collection of Applicant Information

Regarding the proposal to allow certain creditors to voluntarily collect demographic information, the Bureau believes the financial institutions that will most likely exercise such options would be low-volume, low-complexity institutions that have made a one-time investment in HMDA collection and reporting and would like to utilize that collection process already in place. The Bureau believes the proposed provision will provide modest benefits to such institutions, by saving on one-time adjustment costs required to shift in and out of collection. The Bureau expects that institutions will only exercise this option if voluntary collection provides a net benefit. The Bureau does not believe that consumers will experience any cost or benefit from the proposal. The Bureau requests comment regarding the costs and benefits associated with this proposal, particularly data on the number of firms that might be interested in voluntary collection under this provision.

C. Impact on Depository Institutions and Credit Unions With $10 Billion or Less in Assets, As Described in Dodd-Frank Section 1026

The Bureau believes that depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in assets will not be differentially affected by the substantive proposed amendments. The primary benefit to lenders from the proposed rule is the reduced uncertainty and compliance burden from allowing the disaggregated race and ethnicity information collected under Regulation C to be used to comply with Regulation B. Both certain depository institutions and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets and covered persons with more than $10 billion in assets currently report data under HMDA and thus will receive these benefits. The benefits may be somewhat larger for depository institutions and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets because the relative costs of duplicative collection would be greater for these entities.

D. Impact on Access to Credit

The Bureau does not believe that there will be an adverse impact on access to credit resulting from any of the proposed provisions.

E. Impact on Consumers in Rural Areas

The Bureau believes that rural areas might benefit from the provision to allow collection of disaggregated race and ethnicity information more than urban areas. One of the exceptions to the reporting requirements under HMDA is for entities which do not have a branch or home office located in an MSA. Such entities likely serve primarily customers in rural areas. To the extent that the proposed provision benefits firms and consumers, consumers in rural areas will see the largest benefits.

VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small business, small governmental units, and small nonprofit organizations. The RFA defines a “small business” as a business that meets the size standard developed by the Small Business Administration pursuant to the Small Business Act.

The RFA generally requires an agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) of any rule subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Bureau also is subject to certain additional procedures under RFA involving the convening of a panel to consult with small business representatives prior to proposing a rule for which an IRFA is required.

An IRFA is not required for this proposal because the proposal, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on any small entities. The Bureau does not expect the proposal to impose costs on covered persons. All methods of compliance under current law will remain available to small entities if the proposal is adopted. Thus, a small entity that is in compliance with current law need not take any additional action if the proposal is adopted, save those already required by the 2015 HMDA Final Rule.

Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this proposal, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

IX. Paperwork Reduction Act

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies are generally required to seek the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. The collections of information related to Regulation B and Regulation C have been previously reviewed and approved by OMB and assigned OMB Control Number 3170-0013 (Regulation B) and 3170-0008 (Regulation C). Under the PRA, the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless the information collection displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

The Bureau has determined that this Proposed Rule would not impose any new or revised information collection requirements (recordkeeping, reporting or disclosure requirements) on covered entities or members of the public that would constitute collections of information requiring OMB approval under the PRA. Although some entities subject to Regulation B but not Regulation C may choose to voluntarily begin collecting disaggregated race and ethnicity information, the Bureau believes the most likely reason for this to occur is through adoption of the 2016 URLA, which is not part of the proposed rule.

The Bureau welcomes comments on this determination, which may submitted to the Bureau at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552, or by email to [email protected] All Comments are matters of Public Record.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1002

Aged, Banks, Banking, Civil rights, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Discrimination, Fair lending, Marital status discrimination, National banks, National origin discrimination, Penalties, Race discrimination, Religious discrimination, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Sex discrimination.

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth above, the Bureau proposes to amend Regulation B, 12 CFR part 1002, as set forth below:

PART 1002—EQUAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITY ACT (REGULATION B) 1. The authority citation for part 1002 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 5512, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1691b.

2. Section 1002.5 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:
§ 1002.5 Rules concerning requests for information.

(a) * * *

(4) Other permissible collection of information. Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this section, a creditor may collect information under the following circumstances provided that the creditor collects the information in compliance with appendix B to Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003:

(i) A creditor that is a financial institution under 12 CFR 1003.2(g) may collect information regarding the ethnicity, race, and sex of an applicant for a closed-end mortgage loan that is an excluded transaction under 12 CFR 1003.3(c)(11) if it submits HMDA data concerning such closed-end mortgage loans and applications or if it submitted HMDA data concerning closed-end mortgage loans for any of the preceding five calendar years;

(ii) A creditor that is a financial institution under 12 CFR 1003.2(g) may collect information regarding the ethnicity, race, and sex of an applicant for an open-end line of credit that is an excluded transaction under 12 CFR 1003.3(c)(12) if it submits HMDA data concerning such open-end lines of credit and applications or if it submitted HMDA data concerning open-end lines of credit for any of the preceding five calendar years;

(iii) A creditor that submitted HMDA data for any of the preceding five calendar years but is not currently a financial institution under 12 CFR 1003.2(g) may collect information regarding the ethnicity, race, and sex of an applicant for a loan that would otherwise be a covered loan under 12 CFR 1003.2(e) if not excluded by 12 CFR 1003.3(c)(11) or (12); and

(iv) A creditor that exceeded an applicable loan volume threshold in the first year of the two-year threshold period provided in 12 CFR 1003.2(g), 1003.3(c)(11), or 1003.3(c)(12) may, in the subsequent year, collect information regarding the ethnicity, race, and sex of an applicant for a loan that would otherwise be a covered loan under 12 CFR 1003.2(e) if not excluded by 12 CFR 1003.3(c)(11) or (12).

3. Section 1002.12 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(i) to read as follows:
§ 1002.12 Record retention.

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) Any application that it receives, any information required to be obtained concerning characteristics of the applicant to monitor compliance with the Act and this part or other similar law, any information obtained pursuant to § 1002.5(a)(4), and any other written or recorded information used in evaluating the application and not returned to the applicant at the applicant's request.

4. Section 1002.13 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (b) to read as follows:
§ 1002.13 Information for monitoring purposes.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) Ethnicity and race using either:

(A) For ethnicity, the aggregate categories Hispanic or Latino and not Hispanic or Latino; and, for race, the aggregate categories American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White; or

(B) The categories and subcategories for the collection of ethnicity and race set forth in appendix B to Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003.

(b) Obtaining information. Questions regarding ethnicity, race, sex, marital status, and age may be listed, at the creditor's option, on the application form or on a separate form that refers to the application. The applicant(s) shall be asked but not required to supply the requested information. If the applicant(s) chooses not to provide the information or any part of it, that fact shall be noted on the form. The creditor shall then also note on the form, to the extent possible, the ethnicity, race, and sex of the applicant(s) on the basis of visual observation or surname. When a creditor collects ethnicity and race information pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B), the creditor must comply with any restrictions on the collection of an applicant's ethnicity or race on the basis of visual observation or surname set forth in appendix B to Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003.

5. Appendix B to Part 1002—Model Application Forms is amended by revising paragraph (1) and adding a Data Collection Model Form to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 1002—Model Application Forms

1. This appendix contains five model credit application forms, each designated for use in a particular type of consumer credit transaction as indicated by the bracketed caption on each form. The first sample form is intended for use in open-end, unsecured transactions; the second for closed-end, secured transactions; the third for closed-end transactions, whether unsecured or secured; the fourth in transactions involving community property or occurring in community property States; and the fifth in residential mortgage transactions which contains a model disclosure for use in complying with § 1002.13 for certain dwelling-related loans. This appendix also contains a data collection model form for collecting information concerning an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex that complies with the requirements of § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) and (ii). Appendix B to Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, provides a data collection model form for collecting information concerning an applicant's ethnicity, race and sex that complies with the requirements of § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) and (ii). All forms contained in this appendix are models; their use by creditors is optional.

BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P EP04AP17.000 BILLING CODE 4810-AM-C 6. Appendix B to Part 1002—Model Application Forms is amended by revising paragraph 1 and under paragraph 3 removing the form “Uniform Residential Loan Application”.

The revision reads as follows:

Appendix B to Part 1002—Model Application Forms

1. This appendix contains four model credit application forms, each designated for use in a particular type of consumer credit transaction as indicated by the bracketed caption on each form. The first sample form is intended for use in open-end, unsecured transactions; the second for closed-end, secured transactions; the third for closed-end transactions, whether unsecured or secured; and the fourth in transactions involving community property or occurring in community property States. This appendix also contains a data collection model form for collecting information concerning an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex that complies with the requirements of § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) and (ii). Appendix B to Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, provides a data collection model form for collecting information concerning an applicant's ethnicity, race and sex that complies with the requirements of § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) and (ii). All forms contained in this appendix are models; their use by creditors is optional.

7. Supplement I to Part 1002—Official Interpretations: a. Under Section 1002.5—Rules concerning requests for information: i. Under Paragraph 5(a)(2), paragraph 2 is revised. ii. New heading Paragraph 5(a)(4) is added, and under Paragraph 5(a)(4) new paragraph 1 is added. b. Under Section 1002.12—Record retention: i. Under Paragraph 12(b), paragraph 2 is revised. c. Under Section 1002.13—Information for monitoring purposes: i. Under Paragraph 13(a) —Information to be requested, paragraph 7 is revised and paragraph 8 is added. ii. Under Paragraph 13(b)—Obtaining of information, paragraph 1 is revised. iii. Under Paragraph 13(c)—Disclosure to applicants, paragraph 1 is revised. d. The heading Appendix B—Model Application Forms and paragraphs 1 and 2 thereunder are removed.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

Supplement I to Part 1002—Official Interpretations Section 1002.5—Rules Concerning Requests for Information 5(a) General Rules Paragraph 5(a)(2)

2. Information required by Regulation C. Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, generally requires creditors covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) to collect and report information about the race, ethnicity, and sex of applicants for certain dwelling-secured loans, including some types of loans not covered by § 1002.13.

Paragraph 5(a)(4).1. Other permissible collection of information. Information regarding ethnicity, race, and sex that is not required to be collected pursuant to Regulation C may nevertheless be collected under the circumstances set forth in § 1002.5(a)(4) without violating § 1002.5(b). The information must be retained pursuant to the requirements of § 1002.12.

Section 1002.12—Record Retention 12(b) Preservation of Records

2. Computerized decisions. A creditor that enters information items from a written application into a computerized or mechanized system and makes the credit decision mechanically, based only on the items of information entered into the system, may comply with § 1002.12(b) by retaining the information actually entered. It is not required to store the complete written application, nor is it required to enter the remaining items of information into the system. If the transaction is subject to § 1002.13 or the creditor is collecting information pursuant to § 1002.5(a)(4), however, the creditor is required to enter and retain the data on personal characteristics in order to comply with the requirements of that section.

Section 1002.13—Information for Monitoring Purposes 13(a) Information To Be Requested

7. Data collection under Regulation C. For applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), a creditor that collects information about the ethnicity, race, and sex of an applicant in compliance with the requirements of appendix B to Regulation C, 12 CFR part 1003, is acting in compliance with § 1002.13 concerning the collection of an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex information. See also comment 5(a)(2)-2.8. Application-by-application basis. For applications subject to § 1002.13(a)(1), a creditor may choose on an application-by-application basis whether to collect aggregate information pursuant to § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A) or disaggregated information pursuant to § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B) about the ethnicity and race of the applicant.

13(b) Obtaining of information. 1. Forms for collecting data. A creditor may collect the information specified in § 1002.13(a) either on an application form or on a separate form referring to the application. Appendix B to this part provides for two alternative data collection model forms for use in complying with the requirements of § 1002.13(a)(1)(i) and (ii) to collect information concerning an applicant's ethnicity, race, and sex. When a creditor collects ethnicity and race information pursuant to § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(A), the applicant must be offered the option to select more than one racial designation. When a creditor collects ethnicity and race information pursuant to § 1002.13(a)(1)(i)(B), the applicant must be offered the option to select more than one ethnicity designation and more than one racial designation.

13(c) Disclosure to applicants. 1. Procedures for providing disclosures. The disclosure to an applicant regarding the monitoring information may be provided in writing. Appendix B provides data collection model forms for use in complying with § 1002.13 and that comply with § 1002.13(c). A creditor may devise its own disclosure so long as it is substantially similar. The creditor need not orally request the monitoring information if it is requested in writing.

Dated: March 24, 2017. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2017-06195 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FDA-2017-C-1951] Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Homes Collaborative, Health Justice Project of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Breast Cancer Fund, Improving Kids' Environment, Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumer Federation of America, Learning Disabilities Association, Maricel Maffini, and Howard Mielke; Filing of Color Additive Petition AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice of petition.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that we have filed a petition, submitted by the Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Homes Collaborative, Health Justice Project of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Breast Cancer Fund, Improving Kids' Environment, Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumer Federation of America, Learning Disabilities Association, Maricel Maffini, and Howard Mielke, proposing that FDA repeal the color additive regulation providing for the use of lead acetate in cosmetics intended for coloring hair on the scalp.

DATES:

The color additive petition was filed on February 24, 2017. Submit either electronic or written comments by June 5, 2017. Late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before June 5, 2017. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of June 5, 2017. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments as follows:

Electronic Submissions

Submit electronic comments in the following way:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comment, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

• If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

Written/Paper Submissions

Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

• For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2017-C-1951 for “Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Homes Collaborative, Health Justice Project of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Breast Cancer Fund, Improving Kids' Environment, Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumer Federation of America, Learning Disabilities Association, Maricel Maffini, and Howard Mielke; Filing of Color Additive Petition.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see DATES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comment only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” We will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in our consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Molly A. Harry, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1075.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Under section 721(d)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 379e(d)(1)), we are giving notice that we have filed a color additive petition (CAP 7C0309), submitted by the Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Homes Collaborative, Health Justice Project of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Breast Cancer Fund, Improving Kids' Environment, Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumer Federation of America, Learning Disabilities Association, Maricel Maffini, and Howard Mielke, c/o Thomas Neltner, 1875 Connecticut Ave. NW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20009. The petition proposes that we repeal the color additive regulation for lead acetate in § 73.2396 (21 CFR 73.2396), which permits the use of lead acetate in cosmetics intended for coloring hair on the scalp only, subject to certain restrictions.

II. Repeal of § 73.2396

In accordance with the procedure in section 721(d) of the FD&C Act for issuance, amendment, or repeal of regulations, the petition asks us to repeal § 73.2396 to no longer provide for the use of lead acetate in cosmetics intended for coloring hair on the scalp. Specifically, the petitioners contend that new data, available since we issued § 73.2396 in 1980 (45 FR 72112, October 31, 1980), demonstrate that lead acetate: (1) Is readily absorbed through human skin; (2) once absorbed, is transported to various organs, including the brain, and into extracellular fluid compartments; (3) has been designated as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals; (4) has other adverse health effects including neurotoxicity; and (5) there is no safe level of exposure to lead. The petitioners cite, as evidence, conclusions by the National Toxicology Program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and decisions related to lead and lead compounds by other national regulatory agencies, including Health Canada. The petitioners claim that there is no longer a reasonable certainty of no harm from the use of lead acetate for coloring hair on the scalp.

We invite comments and additional scientific data and other information related to the issues raised by this petition. If we determine that the available data justify repealing § 73.2396 to no longer provide for the use of lead acetate, we will publish our decision in the Federal Register in accordance with 21 CFR 71.20.

We also are reviewing the potential environmental impact of the petitioners' requested action. The petitioners claim a categorical exclusion from preparing an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under 21 CFR 23.32(m). In accordance with regulations issued under the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1506.6(b)), we are placing the environmental document submitted with the subject petition on public display at the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) so that interested persons may review the document. If we determine that the petitioners' claim of categorical exclusion is warranted and that neither an environmental assessment nor environmental impact statement is required, we will announce our determination in the Federal Register if this petition results in the repeal of § 73.2396. If we determine that the claim of categorical exclusion is not warranted, we will place the environmental assessment on public display at the Division of Dockets Management and provide notice in the Federal Register announcing its availability for review and comment.

Dated: March 29, 2017. Dennis M. Keefe, Director, Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
[FR Doc. 2017-06581 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 96 [Public Notice: 9940] RIN 1400-AD91 Intercountry Adoptions AGENCY:

Department of State.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; notice of withdrawal.

SUMMARY:

The Department of State (Department) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on September 8, 2016, proposing to amend its regulations implementing the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000. 81 FR 62322. The Department hereby withdraws that action. The comments provided in response to the NPRM will be considered in drafting a new rule, which is expected to be published later this year.

DATES:

September 8, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Trish Maskew, (202) 485-6024.

Theodore “Ted” R. Coley Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Overseas Citizen Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2017-06558 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Natural Resources Revenue 30 CFR Parts 1202 and 1206 [Docket No. ONRR-2017-0001; DS63644000 DR2000000.CH7000 178D0102R2] RIN 1012-AA20 Repeal of Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform AGENCY:

Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Interior.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) proposes to repeal the Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform Rule that was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2016 (“2017 Valuation Rule”).

Repeal of the 2017 Valuation Rule would maintain the current regulatory status quo by keeping the longstanding pre-existing regulations in effect.

DATES:

You must submit comments on or before May 4, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments to ONRR on this proposed rulemaking by any of the methods listed below. Please reference the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1012-AA20 in your comments. See also Public Availability of Comments under Procedural Matters.

Electronically: Go to www.regulations.gov. In the entry titled “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter “ONRR-2017-0002,” and then click “Search.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments. We will post all comments.

• Εmail comments to Armand Southall, Regulatory Specialist, at [email protected]

• Hand-carry or mail comments, using an overnight courier service, to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Building 53, Entrance E-20, Denver Federal Center, West 6th Ave. and Kipling St., Denver, Colorado 80225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For comments or questions on procedural issues, contact Armand Southall, ONRR, at (303) 231-3221, or email to [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On July 1, 2016, ONRR published in the Federal Register the Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform Rule, which was effective on January 1, 2017 (2017 Valuation Rule). 81 FR 43338. The 2017 Valuation Rule changes how Federal oil and gas and Federal and Indian coal lessees value production for royalty purposes. It also revises revenue-reporting requirements.

On December 29, 2016, three different sets of petitioners filed three separate petitions challenging the 2017 Valuation Rule in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. In those lawsuits the petitioners allege that certain provisions of the 2017 Valuation Rule are arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to the law. The petitioners raise serious questions concerning the validity or prudence of certain provisions of the 2017 Valuation Rule, such as the expansion of the “default provision” and the use of the sales price of electricity to value coal.

In addition to initiating litigation, on February 17, 2017, the petitioners sent a joint letter to the ONRR Director. In that letter the petitioners asserted that the 2017 Valuation Rule's new reporting and payment requirements would be difficult or impossible to comply with by the royalty reporting-deadline, a problem that would be exacerbated by the fact that non-compliant lessees may be exposed to significant civil penalties.

The petitioners' lawsuits and correspondence echoed the concerns voiced by many industry representatives in workshops during the public comment period that preceded the 2017 Valuation Rule's promulgation. Records of those workshops, industry comments, and other public comments may be viewed at https://onrr.gov/Laws_R_D/FRNotices/AA13.htm.

On February 27, 2017, in response to the petitioners' lawsuits and their request to ONRR to stay implementation of the 2017 Valuation Rule, ONRR postponed implementation of the 2017 Valuation Rule, pending judicial review, by notice published in the Federal Register. 82 FR 11823.

ONRR is now proposing to repeal the 2017 Valuation Rule in its entirety. Repeal would be consistent with the President's January 30, 2017, Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. It would (a) preserve the regulatory status quo while ONRR reconsiders whether revisions are appropriate or needed to the pre-existing regulations governing royalty values; (b) avoid the costs to both government and industry of converting to controversial new royalty reporting and payment systems while the reconsideration takes place; (c) eliminate the need for continued and uncertain litigation over the validity of the 2017 Valuation Rule, and (d) enhance the lessees' ability to timely and accurately report and pay royalties, because they would continue to use a well-known system that has been in place for decades.

ONRR's original intent behind the 2017 Rule was to offer greater simplicity, certainty, clarity, and consistency in product valuation and reporting for mineral lessees. But ONRR has since identified several areas in the rule that warrant reconsideration to meet policy and implementation objectives, including but not limited to, how to value coal production in certain non-arm's length transactions, how to value coal when the first arm's-length sale of the coal is electricity, how to value gas in certain no-sale situations, and under what circumstances, and on whom, ONRR's valuation determinations are binding. The repeal would allow ONRR to reconsider whether the changes made by the 2017 Valuation Rule are needed, while providing certainty and clarity to the regulated community during that reconsideration by continuing to require compliance with lawful, longstanding, and well known procedures. Absent repeal, ONRR would also be required to continue litigation over the 2017 Valuation Rule, even though that Rule may not reflect ONRR's current conclusions on how best to value production for royalty purposes. Concurrently with this notice, ONRR is publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comments on whether revisions are appropriate or needed to the pre-existing regulations governing royalty values, including comments on whether the 2017 Valuation Rule should ultimately be retained or repromulgated, in whole or in part.

ONRR's pre-existing valuation rules are still authorized by, and consistent with, applicable law, including 5 U.S.C. 301 et seq., 25 U.S.C. 396 et seq., 396a et seq., 2101 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 181 et seq., 351 et seq., 1001 et seq., 1701 et seq.; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq., 1331 et seq., and 1801 et seq.

II. Explanation of Proposed Amendments

ONRR proposes to repeal the 2017 Valuation Rule in its entirety. If, following public comment, ONRR publishes a final rule repealing the 2017 Valuation Rule in its entirety, then 30 CFR parts 1202 and 1206 would revert to read as they did before ONRR promulgated the 2017 Valuation Rule. Part 1202 would read as published in the July 1, 2015, edition of title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which is at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title30-vol3/pdf/CFR-2015-title30-vol3-part1202.pdf. Part 1206 would read as published in the July 1, 2015, edition of title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which is at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title30-vol3/pdf/CFR-2015-title30-vol3-part1206.pdf.

III. Section-by-Section Analysis

The proposed and final rules for the 2017 Valuation Rule, including their section-by-section analyses, are at https://onrr.gov/Laws_R_D/FRNotices/AA13.htm. A repeal of the 2017 Valuation Rule would return each section to its reading prior to the July 1, 2016, publication of the 2017 Valuation Rule. With repeal, the section-by-section analyses may be found in the preambles for ONRR's and its predecessors' prior rulemakings as published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register volume and page number citations for those prior rulemakings, including their preambles, may be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, 30 CFR parts 1202 and 1206, as they existed before the July 1, 2016, publication of the 2017 Valuation Rule. For part 1202 the Federal Register citations are at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title30-vol3/pdf/CFR-2015-title30-vol3-part1202.pdf. For part 1206, the Federal Register citations are at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title30-vol3/pdf/CFR-2015-title30-vol3-part1206.pdf.

IV. Procedural Matters 1. Summary Cost and Royalty Impact Data

Repeal would negate the cost and royalty impact of the 2017 Valuation Rule. That cost and royalty impact is described in the final 2017 Valuation Rule, under Procedural Matters, item 1, starting at 81 FR 43359.

2. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and Executive Order 13771 on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs Dated January 30, 2017)

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866, while calling for improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The Executive Order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We developed this proposed rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

The President's January 30, 2017, Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, as implemented under February 2, 2017, Interim Guidance issued by OIRA, imposes certain requirements for every rule considered significant under E.O. 12866. First, every new significant rule requires the repeal of two rules. Second, an agency must fully offset the total incremental cost of significant new regulations, including repealed regulations, finalized in fiscal year 2017. Since this proposed rule—which is itself a repeal of an existing rule—is not a significant rule under E.O. 12866, it does not require the repeal of two other existing rules, and the agency is not required to offset its cost against the cost of other fiscal year 2017 rules.

3. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Department of the Interior certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). See the 2017 Valuation Rule, Procedural Matters, item 1, starting at 81 FR 43359, and item 3, starting at 81 FR 43367.

4. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This proposed rule:

a. Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. We estimate the maximum effect as a reverse of the impacts described in the 2017 Valuation Rule, under Procedural Matters, item 1, starting at 81 FR 43359, and item 4, 81 FR 43368.

b. Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions. See the 2017 Valuation Rule, under Procedural Matters, item 1, starting at 81 FR 43359, and item 4, 81 FR 43368.

c. Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This proposed rule would benefit U.S.-based enterprises.

5. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

This proposed rule would not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or Tribal governments, or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. This proposed rule would not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or Tribal governments, or the private sector. Therefore, we are not required to provide a statement containing the information set out in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.). See the 2017 Valuation Rule, under Procedural Matters, item 1, starting at 81 FR 43359, and item 5 at 81 FR 43368.

6. Takings (E.O. 12630)

Under the criteria in E.O. 12630, this proposed rule would not have significant takings implications. This proposed rule would apply to Federal oil, Federal gas, Federal coal, and Indian coal leases only. This proposed rule would not be a governmental action capable of interference with constitutionally protected property rights. This proposed rule does not require a Takings Implication Assessment.

7. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

Under the criteria in E.O. 13132, this proposed rule would not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The management of Federal oil and gas leases and Federal and Indian coal leases is the responsibility of the Secretary of the Interior. This proposed rule would not impose administrative costs on States or local governments. This proposed rule also does not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and State governments. Because this rule, if promulgated as a final rule, would not alter that relationship, it does not require a Federalism summary impact statement.

8. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

This proposed rule would comply with the requirements of E.O. 12988, for the reasons we outline in the following paragraphs. Specifically, this proposed rule:

a. Would meet the criteria of § 3(a), which requires that we review all regulations to eliminate errors and ambiguity and to write them to minimize litigation.

b. Would meet the criteria of § 3(b)(2), which requires that we write all regulations in clear language using clear legal standards.

9. Consultation With Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175)

The Department strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with the Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with the Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and Tribal sovereignty. Under the Department's consultation policy and the criteria in E.O. 13175, we evaluated this proposed rule and determined that it would potentially affect Federally-recognized Indian Tribes. We determined that this rule would restore the historical valuation methodology for coal produced from Indian leases. Our previous and planned activities include:

(a) As described in the 2017 Valuation Rule under Procedural Matters, item 9, at 81 FR 43368, we consulted with the affected Tribes on a government-to-government basis in preparing the 2017 Valuation Rule. We also will consult with the affected Tribes about potential repeal of the 2017 Valuation Rule.

(b) We will fully consider Tribal views in the final rule.

10. Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed rule:

(a) Does not contain any new information collection requirements.

(b) Does not require a submission to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq). See 5 CFR 1320.4(a)(2).

This proposed rule, if promulgated as a final rule, will leave in tack the information collection requirements that OMB already approved under OMB Control Numbers 1012-0004, 1012-0005, and 1012-0010.

11. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

This proposed rule would not constitute a major Federal action, significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. We are not required to provide a detailed statement under NEPA because this rule qualifies for categorically exclusion under 43 CFR 46.210(i) in that this is “. . . of an administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature. . . .” This rule also qualifies for categorically exclusion under Departmental Manual, part 516, section 15.4.(C)(1) in that its impacts are limited to administrative, economic, or technological effects. We also have determined that this rule is not involved in any of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further analysis under NEPA. The procedural changes resulting from the repeal of the 2017 Valuation Rule would have no consequences on the physical environment. This proposed rule would not alter, in any material way, natural resources exploration, production, or transportation.

12. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

This proposed rule would not be a significant energy action under the definition in E.O. 13211, and, therefore, would not require a Statement of Energy Effects.

13. Clarity of This Regulation

Executive Orders 12866 (section 1(b)(12)), 12988 (section 3(b)(1)(B)), and 13563 (section 1(a)), and the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, would require us to write all rules in Plain Language. This means that each rule that we publish must: (a) Have logical organization; (b) use the active voice to address readers directly; (c) use clear language rather than jargon; (d) use short sections and sentences; and (e) use lists and tables wherever possible.

If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send your comments to [email protected] To better help us revise this rule, make your comments as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that you think we wrote unclearly, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

14. Public Availability of Comments

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us, in your comment, to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Parts 1202 and 1206

Coal, Continental shelf, Government contracts, Indian lands, Mineral royalties, Natural gas, Oil, Oil and gas exploration, Public lands—mineral resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: March 30, 2017. Amy Holley, Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.
[FR Doc. 2017-06617 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4335-30-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Natural Resources Revenue 30 CFR Parts 1202 and 1206 [Docket No. ONRR-2017-0002; DS63644000 DR2000000.CH7000 178D0102R2] RIN 1012-AA21 Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation AGENCY:

Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), Interior.

ACTION:

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).

SUMMARY:

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) requests comments and suggestions from affected parties and the interested public on whether revisions to the regulations governing the valuation, for royalty purposes, of oil and gas produced from Federal onshore and offshore leases and coal produced from Federal and Indian leases, are needed and, if so, what specific revisions should be considered. On July 1, 2016, ONRR published a final rule, Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform (2017 Valuation Rule). ONRR subsequently stayed the effective date of that rule pending resolution of litigation. As a result of the stay, the regulations in effect prior to January 1, 2017 (“pre-existing regulations”) remain in effect. In a separate notice, ONRR is seeking comments on a proposed rule to repeal the 2017 Valuation Rule to maintain the status quo in which the pre-existing regulations remain in effect while ONRR reconsiders whether changes made by the 2017 Valuation Rule are needed or appropriate.

DATES:

You must submit your comments by May 4, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments to ONRR on this ANPRM by any of the following methods. Please reference the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1012-AA21 in your comments.

Electronically: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the entry titled “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter “ONRR-2017-0002,” then click “Search.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments. We will post all comments.

• Email comments to Luis Aguilar, Regulatory Specialist, at [email protected]

• Hand-carry or mail comments, using an overnight courier service, to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Building 53, Entrance E-20, Denver Federal Center, West 6th Ave. and Kipling St., Denver, Colorado 80225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For questions on procedural issues, contact Luis Aguilar, Regulatory Specialist, ONRR, at (303) 231-3418 or email to [email protected] For questions on technical issues, contact Michael DeBerard, Asset Valuation, ONRR, at (303) 231-3884 or email to [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Secretary of the Interior's authority to establish the value of Federal oil and gas production through regulations is contained in the mineral leasing statutes (43 U.S.C. 1334; 30 U.S.C. 189 and 359). Likewise, the Secretary of the Interior's authority to establish the value of Federal and Indian coal production through regulations is contained in the Indian Mineral Leasing Act of 1938, the Mineral Leasing Act, and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands (25 U.S.C. 396d; 30 U.S.C. 189 and 359). In addition, virtually all Federal oil and gas and Federal and Indian coal leases expressly reserve to the Secretary the authority to establish the reasonable value of production or provide that the royalty value be set by regulation.

The 2017 Valuation Rule addressed Federal oil and gas and Federal and Indian coal valuation in one rulemaking. The 2017 Valuation Rule sought to (1) offer greater simplicity, certainty, clarity, and consistency in product valuation for mineral lessees and mineral revenue recipients; (2) ensure that Indian mineral lessors receive the maximum revenues from coal resources on their land, consistent with the Secretary's trust responsibility and lease terms; (3) decrease lessees' cost of compliance and ONRR's cost to ensure compliance; and (4) provide early certainty to ONRR and stakeholders. Whether the 2017 Valuation Rule is repealed or retained, ONRR seeks to accomplish the goals outlined in that rulemaking. For additional information, see 81 FR 43338, dated July 1, 2016.

This ANPRM is intended to solicit comments and suggestions for two possible scenarios. If the 2017 Valuation Rule is repealed, ONRR seeks comments regarding whether a new valuation rule is needed and, if so, what particular issues the new valuation rule should address. Alternatively, if the 2017 Valuation Rule is not repealed, ONRR is seeking comments as to what changes should be made to ONRR's valuation regulations in 30 CFR parts 1202 and 1206, as amended by the 2017 Valuation Rule. Please segregate comments to each of these two scenarios.

Soliciting comments and involving all affected stakeholders early in the rulemaking process are the hallmarks of good government and smart business practice. The purpose of this rulemaking process is to provide regulations that would (1) offer greater simplicity, certainty, clarity, and consistency in production valuation for mineral lessees and mineral revenue recipients; (2) be easy to understand; (3) decrease industry's cost of compliance; and (4) provide early certainty to industry, ONRR, and stakeholders.

II. Public Comment Procedures

ONRR is not obligated to consider comments that we receive after the close of the comment period for this ANPRM, or comments that are delivered to an address other than those listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. After the comment period for this ANPRM closes, ONRR will review all comment submissions. Upon consideration, ONRR may publish a notice of proposed rulemaking.

A. Written Comment Guidelines

We are particularly interested in receiving comments and suggestions about the topics identified in section III, Description of Information Requested. Your written comments should: (1) Be specific; (2) explain the reason for your comments and suggestions; (3) address the issues outlined in this notice; and (4) where possible, refer to the specific provision, section, or paragraph of statutory law, case law, lease term, or existing regulations that you are addressing.

The comments and recommendations that are most useful and have greater likelihood of influencing decisions on the content of a possible future proposed rule are: (1) Comments and recommendations supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) comments that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws, lease terms, and regulations.

B. Public Availability of Comments

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

III. Description of Information Requested

We are interested in submission of proposals that will lead to improved efficiencies for lessees, ONRR, and other stakeholders. In considering proposed changes to the existing Federal oil and gas royalty valuation regulations at 30 CFR parts 1202 and 1206, we have three goals in mind, as follows:

• Provide clear regulations that are understandable and consistent with fulfilling the Secretary's responsibility to ensure fair value for the public's resources.

• Provide valuation methods that are as efficient as practicable for lessees to use.

• Provide early certainty that correct payment has been made.

As discussed above, ONRR requests comments on two possible scenarios pending the outcome of the proposed rule to repeal the 2017 Valuation Rule. We recognize the outcome of the proposed rule to repeal the 2017 Valuation Rule may not be known by the closing date of this ANPRM. Therefore, we encourage commenters to consider both of the two possible outcomes of that rulemaking when preparing their submissions as follows.

1. If the 2017 Valuation Rule is repealed, ONRR requests comments regarding whether a new rulemaking would be beneficial or is necessary. If commenters believe that a new rulemaking would be beneficial, ONRR requests comments regarding specific changes to the Federal oil and gas and Federal and Indian coal valuation regulations.

2. If the 2017 Valuation Rule is not repealed, ONRR requests comments regarding whether potential changes to the 2017 Valuation Rule are needed. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• Whether ONRR should have one rule addressing Federal oil and gas and Federal and Indian coal valuation, or separate rulemakings.

• How best to value non-arm's-length coal sales and/or sales between affiliates.

• Whether ONRR should update the valuation regulations governing non-arm's-length dispositions of Federal gas, and if so, how.

• Whether ONRR should address marketable condition and/or unbundling, and if so, how.

• Whether ONRR should have a default provision clarifying how ONRR will exercise Secretarial authority to determine value for royalty purposes in cases where there is misconduct, breach of duty to market, or ONRR cannot otherwise verify value. Other potential valuation methods or necessary changes to ONRR valuation regulations.

ONRR appreciates your participation and looks forward to receiving your comments.

Dated: March 30, 2017. Amy Holley, Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.
[FR Doc. 2017-06600 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4335-30-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0983] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Fireworks Displays, Sector Key West, Florida AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to establish safety zones for certain waters within the Sector Key West Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone. This action would establish safety zones around firework platforms, structures, or barges during the storage, preparation, and launching of fireworks. The proposed rule is necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, participant vessels, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the fireworks displays. This proposed rule would allow the Coast Guard to restrict persons and vessels, except those participating in the event, from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the COTP Key West 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 4, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0983 using the Federale-Rulemaking 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 rulemaking, call or email Lieutenant Scott Ledee, Waterways Management Division Chief, Sector Key West, FL, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (305) 292-8768, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations COTP Captain of the Port 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 proposed rule would establish safety zones around firework platforms, structures or barges within the Sector Key West COTP Zone during the storage, preparation, and launching of fireworks. Hazards from firework displays include accidental discharge of fireworks, dangerous projectiles, and falling hot embers or other debris. The COTP Key West has determined that potential hazards associated with fireworks are a safety concern for anyone within a 500-yard radius of the firework platforms, structures, or barges.

The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters within a 500-yard radius of all firework platforms, structures, or barges during the storage, preparation, and launching of fireworks. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to establish safety zones on navigable waters around firework platforms, structures, or barges within the COTP Zone Key West, Florida. The safety zones would include all waters within a 500-yard radius of all fireworks launching platforms, structures, or barges while engaged in the storage, preparation, and launching of fireworks.

The proposed rule seeks to enhance navigation safety and marine environmental protection, reduce the potential for the loss of lives and property, and ensure the safety of vessel and workers from hazards associated with fireworks operations in the regulated area.

No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP Key West or a designated representative. The proposed regulatory text appears at the end of this document.

Notice of enforcement and suspension of enforcement will be made by all appropriate means to affect the widest distribution among the affected segments of the public. Such means of notification may include, but are not limited to, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners, or notices on the U. S. Coast Guard Homeport Web site.

IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

Although this proposed rule may restrict access to small portions of the waterway within the Sector Key West COTP Zone, the effect of this regulation would not be significant for the following reasons: (1) The safety zones would only be enforced during limited time intervals while firework display operations present a hazard; (2) vessels may be authorized to enter the regulated areas with permission of the COTP Key West or a designated representative; and (3) advanced notification of closures will be made via Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast to Mariners, and the U. S. Coast Guard Homeport Web site.

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 safety zones may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves the establishment of safety zones. 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 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 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.785 to read as follows:
§ 165.785 Safety Zone; Fireworks Displays, Sector Key West, Florida.

(a) Regulated area. The following area is established as a safety zone during the specified conditions: All waters within the Sector Key West COTP Zone within a 500-yard radius of all firework platforms, structures or barges during the storage, preparation, and launching of fireworks. COTP Key West or a designated representative may reduce the 500-yard zone based on prevailing conditions and enforcement needs.

(1) The Coast Guard realizes that some large scale events, such as those with many participants or spectators, or those that could severely restrict navigation pose a significant hazard, may still require separate special local regulations or safety zones that address the specific peculiarities of the event. In those situations, the Coast Guard will create special local regulations or safety zones specifically for the event, and those regulations will supersede the proposed regulations in this rule.

(2) All firework platforms, structures, or barges will display a sign on both the port and starboard sides labeled, “FIREWORKS—STAY AWAY”. This sign will consist of 10-inch high by 1.5-inch wide red lettering on a white background. Shore fireworks sites that affect navigable waterways will also display signs with the aforementioned specifications.

(b) Definition. 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 COTP Key West in the enforcement of the regulated area.

(c) Regulations.

(1) In accordance with § 165.23, entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the safety zone during periods of enforcement is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP Key West or a designated representative.

(2) During periods of enforcement, upon being hailed by a Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator must proceed as directed.

(3) Vessel operators desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain or operate within the regulated area during the enforcement period shall contact the COTP Key West or the designated on-scene representative via VHF channel 16 or call the Sector Key West Command Center at (305) 292-8727 to obtain permission.

(d) Notice of enforcement or suspension of enforcement. The safety zone established by this section will be enforced only upon notice of the Captain of the Port. The Captain of the Port will cause notice of enforcement of the safety zone established by this section to be made by all appropriate means to the affected segments of the public including publication in the Federal Register as practicable, in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7(a). Such means of notification may also include, but are not limited to Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners.

Dated: March 28, 2017. J.A. Janszen, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Key West.
[FR Doc. 2017-06595 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 60 [FRL-9961-11-OAR] Review of the Clean Power Plan AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Announcement of review.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces that it is reviewing and, if appropriate will initiate proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind the Clean Power Plan.

DATES:

April 4, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Peter Tsirigotis, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D205-01), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (888) 627-7764; email address: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

By this notice, EPA announces it is reviewing the Clean Power Plan, 80 FR 64662 (October 23, 2015) (CPP), including the accompanying Legal Memorandum, and, if appropriate, will as soon as practicable and consistent with law, initiate proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind this rule. The CPP established emission guidelines for state plans to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants.

I. Background

The CPP was promulgated under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. 42 U.S.C. 7411. Section 111 of the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to issue nationally applicable New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) limiting air pollution from “new sources” in source categories that cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. 42 U.S.C. Section 7411(b)(1). Under this authority, the EPA had long regulated new fossil fuel-fired power plants to limit air pollution other than carbon dioxide, including particulate matter (PM); nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). See 40 CFR part 60 subparts D, Da. In 2015, the EPA issued a rule that for the first time set carbon dioxide emission limits for new fossil fuel-fired power plants. Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units, 80 FR 64510 (October 23, 2015). Under certain circumstances, when the EPA issues standards for new sources under Section 111(b), the EPA has the authority under Section 111(d), to prescribe regulations under which each State is to submit a plan to establish standards for existing sources in the same category. The EPA relied on that authority to issue the CPP, which, for the first time, required States to submit plans specifically designed to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. As part of the promulgation of the CPP, EPA prepared a legal memorandum that supplemented the legal analysis provided by the Agency in the preamble to the final CPP.

Due to concerns about EPA's legal authority and record, 27 States and a number of other parties sought judicial review of the CPP in the D.C. Circuit. State of West Virginia v. EPA, No. 15-1363 (and consolidated cases) (D.C. Cir.). On February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the CPP pending judicial review. Following full merits briefing, oral argument was held before the D.C. Circuit, sitting en banc, on September 27, 2016. That case is currently pending in the D.C. Circuit.

II. Initiation of Review of CPP

On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order establishing a national policy in favor of energy independence, economic growth, and the rule of law. The purpose of that Executive Order is to facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources—including oil and gas—and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources. The President has directed agencies to review existing regulations that potentially burden the development of domestic energy resources, and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind regulations that unduly burden the development of U.S. energy resources beyond what is necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law. The Executive Order also directs agencies to take appropriate actions, to the extent permitted by law, to promote clean air and clean water while also respecting the proper roles of Congress and the States. This Executive Order specifically directs EPA to review and, if appropriate, initiate reconsideration proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind this Rule, including the accompanying Legal Memorandum.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, EPA is initiating its review of the CPP, including the accompanying legal memorandum, and providing advanced notice of forthcoming rulemaking proceedings consistent with the President's policies. If EPA's review concludes that suspension, revision or rescission of this Rule may be appropriate, EPA's review will be followed by a rulemaking process that will be transparent, follow proper administrative procedures, include appropriate engagement with the public, employ sound science, and be firmly grounded in the law.

As part of the review of the CPP that EPA is initiating today, EPA will be reviewing the compliance dates that were set in the CPP. Under the Supreme Court's stay of the CPP, states and other interested parties have not been required nor expected to work towards meeting the compliance dates set in the CPP. Indeed, some compliance dates have passed or will likely pass while the CPP continues to be stayed. For these reasons, the compliance dates in the CPP will need to be re-evaluated. Once EPA completes its review and decides what further action to take on the CPP, EPA will ensure that any and all remaining compliance dates will be reasonable and appropriate in light of the Supreme Court stay of the CPP and other factors.

EPA's ability to revisit existing regulations is well-grounded in the law. Specifically, the agency has inherent authority to reconsider past decisions and to rescind or revise a decision to the extent permitted by law when supported by a reasoned explanation. FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U.S. 502, 515 (2009) (“Fox”); Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Ass'n of the United States, Inc., et al., v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., 463 U.S. 29, 42 (1983) (“State Farm”). Moreover, the Clean Air Act itself authorizes EPA to reconsider its rulemakings. 42 U.S.C. 7607(b)(1), (d)(7)(B). The Clean Air Act complements the EPA's inherent authority to reconsider prior rulemakings by providing the agency with broad authority to prescribe regulations as necessary. 42 U.S.C. 7601(a). The authority to reconsider prior decisions exists in part because EPA's interpretations of statutes it administers “are not carved in stone” but must be evaluated “on a continuing basis,” Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 857-58 (1984). This is true when—as is the case here—review is undertaken “in response to . . . a change in administrations.” National Cable & Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967, 981 (2005). Importantly, such a revised decision need not be based upon a change of facts or circumstances. Rather, a revised rulemaking based “on a reevaluation of which policy would be better in light of the facts” is “well within an agency's discretion,” and “[a] change in administration brought about by the people casting their votes is a perfectly reasonable basis for an executive agency's reappraisal of the costs and benefits of its programs and regulations.” National Ass'n of Home Builders v. EPA, 682 F.3d 1032, 1038 & 1043 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (citing Fox, 556 U.S. at 514-15; quoting State Farm, 463 U.S. at 59 (Rehnquist, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part)).

In conducting this review, EPA will follow each of the principles and policies set forth in the Executive Order, as consistent with EPA's statutory authority. The Agency will reevaluate whether this Rule and alternative approaches are appropriately grounded in EPA's statutory authority and consistent with the rule of law. EPA will assess whether this Rule or alternative approaches would appropriately promote cooperative federalism and respect the authority and powers that are reserved to the states. EPA will also examine whether this Rule and alternative approaches effect the Administration's dual goals of protecting public health and welfare while also supporting economic growth and job creation. EPA will review whether this Rule or alternative approaches appropriately maintain the diversity of reliable energy resources and encourage the production of domestic energy sources to achieve energy independence and security. Additionally, EPA will assess this Rule and alternative approaches to determine whether they will provide benefits that substantially exceed their costs. In taking any actions subsequent to this review, EPA will use its appropriated funds and agency resources wisely by firmly grounding in the statute its actions to protect public health and welfare.

Dated: March 28, 2017. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-06522 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 60 [FRL-9961-10-OAR] Review of the Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Announcement of review.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces that it is reviewing and, if appropriate, will initiate proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind the Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units.

DATES:

April 4, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Peter Tsirigotis, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D205-01), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (888) 627-7764; email address: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

By this notice, EPA announces it is reviewing the Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units (New Source Rule), 80 FR 64510 (October 23, 2015) and, if appropriate, will as soon as practicable and consistent with law, initiate reconsideration proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind this rule. The New Source Rule established national emission standards to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new fossil fuel-fired power plants.

I. Background

The New Source Rule was promulgated under the authority of Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. 42 U.S.C. 7411. That Section authorizes EPA to issue nationally applicable New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) limiting air pollution from “new sources” in source categories that cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. 42 U.S.C. Section 7411(b)(1). Under this authority, EPA had long regulated new fossil fuel-fired power plants to limit air pollution other than carbon dioxide, including particulate matter (PM); nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). See 40 CFR part 60 subparts D, Da. In the New Source Rule, EPA for the first time used Section 111(b) to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

Due to concerns about EPA's legal authority and record, 24 States and a number of other parties sought judicial review of the New Source Rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. State of North Dakota v. EPA, No. 15-1381 (and consolidated cases) (D.C. Cir.). The case has been fully briefed, and oral argument in the D.C. Circuit is currently scheduled for April 17, 2017.

II. Initiation of Review of New Source Rule

On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order establishing a national policy in favor of energy independence, economic growth, and the rule of law. The purpose of that Executive Order is to facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources. The President has directed agencies to review existing regulations that potentially burden the development of domestic energy resources, and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind regulations that unduly burden the development of U.S. energy resources beyond what is necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law. The Executive Order also directs agencies to take appropriate actions, to the extent permitted by law, to promote clean air and clean water while also respecting the proper roles of Congress and the States. The Executive Order specifically directs EPA to review and, if appropriate, initiate reconsideration proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind the New Source Rule.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, EPA is initiating its review of the New Source Rule and providing advanced notice of forthcoming rulemaking proceedings consistent with the President's policies. If EPA's review concludes that suspension, revision or rescission of the New Source Rule may be appropriate, EPA's review will be followed by a rulemaking process that will be transparent, follow proper administrative procedures, include appropriate engagement with the public, employ sound science, and be firmly grounded in the law.

EPA's ability to revisit existing regulations is well-grounded in the law. Specifically, the agency has inherent authority to reconsider past decisions and to rescind or revise a decision to the extent permitted by law when supported by a reasoned explanation. FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U.S. 502, 515 (2009) (“Fox”); Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Ass'n of the United States, Inc., et al, v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al, 463 U.S. 29, 42 (1983) (“State Farm”). Moreover, the Clean Air Act itself authorizes EPA to reconsider its rulemakings. 42 U.S.C. 7607(b)(1), (d)(7)(B). The Clean Air Act complements the EPA's inherent authority to reconsider prior rulemakings by providing the agency with broad authority to prescribe regulations as necessary. 42 U.S.C. 7601(a). The authority to reconsider prior decisions exists in part because EPA's interpretations of statutes it administers “are not carved in stone” but must be evaluated “on a continuing basis,” Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 857-58 (1984). This is true when—as is the case here—review is undertaken “in response to . . . a change in administrations.” National Cable & Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967, 981 (2005). Importantly, such a revised decision need not be based upon a change of facts or circumstances. Rather, a revised rulemaking based “on a reevaluation of which policy would be better in light of the facts” is “well within an agency's discretion,” and “[a] change in administration brought about by the people casting their votes is a perfectly reasonable basis for an executive agency's reappraisal of the costs and benefits of its programs and regulations.” National Ass'n of Home Builders v. EPA, 682 F.3d 1032, 1038 & 1043 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (citing Fox, 556 U.S. at 514-15; quoting State Farm, 463 U.S. at 59 (Rehnquist, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part)).

In conducting this review, EPA will follow each of the principles and policies set forth in the Executive Order, consistent with EPA's statutory authority. The Agency will reevaluate whether this Rule and alternative approaches are appropriately grounded in EPA's statutory authority and consistent with the rule of law. EPA will assess whether this Rule or alternative approaches would appropriately promote cooperative federalism and respect the authority and powers that are reserved to the States. EPA will also examine whether this Rule or alternative approaches effect the Administration's dual goals of protecting public health and welfare while also supporting economic growth and job creation. EPA will review whether this Rule or alternative approaches appropriately maintain the diversity of reliable energy resources and encourage the production of domestic energy sources to achieve energy independence and security. Additionally, EPA will assess this Rule and alternative approaches to determine whether they will provide benefits that substantially exceed their costs. In taking any actions subsequent to this review, EPA will use its appropriated funds and agency resources wisely by firmly grounding in the statute its actions to protect public health and welfare.

Dated: March 28, 2017. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-06519 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 60 [FRL-9961-09-OAR] Review of the 2016 Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Announcement of review.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces it is reviewing the 2016 Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards and, if appropriate, will initiate reconsideration proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind this rule.

DATES:

April 4, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Peter Tsirigotis, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D205-01), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (888) 627-7764; email address: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The EPA announces it is reviewing the 2016 Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards (Rule) 81 FR 35,824 (June 3, 2016), and, if appropriate, will initiate proceedings to suspend, revise, or rescind it.

I. Background

Section 111 of the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to issue nationally applicable New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) limiting air pollution from “new sources” in source categories that cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. 42 U.S.C. 7411(b)(1). Under this authority, the EPA had regulated sulfur dioxide emissions from natural gas processing and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) from a number of equipment and operations at oil and gas facilities. 40 CFR part 60 subpart OOOO. In 2016, the EPA promulgated this Rule, which expanded the existing NSPS by requiring methane reductions from previously regulated sources and limiting methane and VOCs from other types of new oil and gas facilities never before regulated under Section 111.

Several state and industry petitioners challenged this Rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia alleging, inter alia, that EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously, and in excess of statutory authority. See, e.g., West Virginia v. EPA, 16-1264, State Petitioners' Nonbinding Statement of the Issues to be Raised. These cases have been consolidated and are pending before the court. Many of these parties also submitted petitions for reconsideration of this Rule to EPA. The Agency has not yet acted on these petitions.

II. Initiation of Review of This Rule

On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order establishing a national policy in favor of energy independence, economic growth, and the rule of law. The purpose of that Executive Order is to facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources—including oil and gas—and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources. The President has directed agencies to review existing regulations that potentially burden the development of domestic energy resources, and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind regulations that unduly burden the development of U.S. energy resources beyond what is necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law. The Executive Order also directs agencies to take appropriate actions, to the extent permitted by law, to promote clean air and clean water while also respecting the proper roles of Congress and the States. This Executive Order specifically directs EPA to review and, if appropriate, initiate proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind this Rule.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, EPA is initiating its review of this Rule and providing advanced notice of forthcoming rulemaking proceedings consistent with the President's policies. If EPA's review concludes that suspension, revision or rescission of this Rule may be appropriate, EPA's review will be followed by a rulemaking process that will be transparent, follow proper administrative procedures, include appropriate engagement with the public, employ sound science, and be firmly grounded in the law.

EPA's ability to revisit existing regulations is well-grounded in the law. Specifically, the agency has inherent authority to reconsider past decisions and to rescind or revise a decision to the extent permitted by law when supported by a reasoned explanation. FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U.S. 502, 515 (2009) (“Fox”); Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Ass'n of the United States, Inc., et al., v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., 463 U.S. 29, 42 (1983) (“State Farm”). Moreover, the Clean Air Act itself authorizes EPA to reconsider its rulemakings. 42 U.S.C. 7607(b)(1), (d)(7)(B). The Clean Air Act complements the EPA's inherent authority to reconsider prior rulemakings by providing the agency with broad authority to prescribe regulations as necessary. 42 U.S.C. 7601(a). The authority to reconsider prior decisions exists in part because EPA's interpretations of statutes it administers “are not carved in stone” but must be evaluated “on a continuing basis,” Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 857-58 (1984). This is true when—as is the case here—review is undertaken “in response to . . . a change in administrations.” National Cable & Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967, 981 (2005). Importantly, such a revised decision need not be based upon a change of facts or circumstances. Rather, a revised rulemaking based “on a reevaluation of which policy would be better in light of the facts” is “well within an agency's discretion,” and “[a] change in administration brought about by the people casting their votes is a perfectly reasonable basis for an executive agency's reappraisal of the costs and benefits of its programs and regulations.” National Ass'n of Home Builders v. EPA, 682 F.3d 1032, 1038 & 1043 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (citing Fox, 556 U.S. at 514-15; quoting State Farm, 463 U.S. at 59 (Rehnquist, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part)).

In conducting this review, EPA will follow each of the principles and policies set forth in the Executive Order, consistent with the EPA's statutory authority. The Agency will reevaluate whether this Rule or alternative approaches are appropriately grounded in EPA's statutory authority and consistent with the rule of law. The EPA will assess whether this Rule or alternative approaches would appropriately promote cooperative federalism and respect the authority and powers that are reserved to the States. EPA will also examine whether this Rule or alternative approaches effect the Administration's dual goals of protecting public health and welfare while also supporting economic growth and job creation. EPA will review whether this Rule or alternative approaches appropriately maintain the diversity of reliable energy resources and encourage the production of domestic energy sources to achieve energy independence and security.

Additionally, EPA will assess this Rule and alternative approaches to determine whether they will provide benefits that substantially exceed their costs. In taking any actions subsequent to this review, EPA will use its appropriated funds and agency resources wisely by firmly grounding in the statute its actions to protect public health and welfare.

Dated: March 28, 2017. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-06658 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 48 CFR Parts 816, 828 and 852 RIN 2900-AP82 Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation To Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles (VAAR Case 2014-V002—Parts 816, 828) AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is correcting a proposed rule regarding Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles. This correction addresses minor technical errors in the proposed rule.

DATES:

April 4, 2017. The comments due date remains May 12, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to the Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AP82-Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation to Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1068, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Ricky Clark, Senior Procurement Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services (003A2A), 425 I Street NW., Washington DC 20001, (202) 632-5276. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

VA is correcting its proposed rule, “Revise and Streamline VA Acquisition Regulation to Adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation Principles (VAAR Case 2014-V002—parts 816, 828)” that published March 13, 2017, in the Federal Register at 82 FR 13418.

Corrections

1. On page 13420, third column, List of Subjects revise all references to “38 CFR” to read “48 CFR”.

816.504 [Corrected]

2. On page 13421, second column, amendatory instruction 4, remove “Subpart”, and add, in its place, “Section”.

816.505 [Corrected]

3. On page 13421, second column, amendatory instruction 5, remove “803.505”, and add in its place, “816.505”.

852.216-74 [Corrected]

4. On page 13425, in the third column, remove the heading “Economic Price Adjustment—State Nursing Home Care for Veterans (Alt #1)”, and add in its place, “Economic Price Adjustment—Medicaid Labor Rates (Alt #2)”.

852.228-73 [Corrected]

5. On page 13427, in the third column, immediately following paragraph (d)(2) add, “(End of clause)”.

Janet J. Coleman Chief, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2017-06578 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
82 63 Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No. AMS-ST-17-0021] Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection “Laboratory Approval Programs.”

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by June 5, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

Additional Information or Comments: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposal to Grace Vaillant, Laboratory Approval and Testing Division, Science and Technology, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0272, Washington, DC 20250-0272; Phone 202-690-0621, Fax 202-720-4631. Comments should be submitted in triplicate. Comments may also be submitted electronically through http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should reference the docket number and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments received will be made available for public inspection at the above address during regular business hours and may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Laboratory Approval Programs.

OMB Number: 0581-0251.

Expiration Date of Approval: September 30, 2017.

Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: Under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627), AMS' Laboratory Approval Service (LAS) approves, or accredits, laboratories to perform testing services in support of domestic and international trades. At the request of industry, other Federal agencies, or foreign governments, AMS develops and administers laboratory approval programs (LAPs) to verify that the analysis of food and agricultural products meet country or customer-specified requirements. LAS ensures the testing of products marketed is conducted by qualified and approved laboratories. LAPs requirements include good laboratory, quality assurance and control practices; applicable domestic and international standards (such as ISO/IEC 17025:2005); established methods and accepted equipment; and on-site audits. Laboratories voluntarily participate in the program and pay program fees. Currently, LAS administers four overarching LAPs with over 70 laboratories.

The information collection includes submission of a letter of intent and analyses related documentation. These requirements are essential to examine laboratories for entrance into and continued participation in the following programs:

(1) Aflatoxin Program—laboratories perform aflatoxin testing in support of domestic and/or export trade of almonds, peanuts, and pistachio nuts. (a) Almond. At the request of the Almond Board of California (ABC), AMS administers the program for aflatoxin testing of almonds destined for export to the European Union (EU) through the Pre-Export Certification program of ABC. (b) Peanuts. AMS administers Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States (7 CFR 996 Parts 996.1—996.75). The regulation requires domestically marketed peanuts for human consumption to be analyzed for aflatoxin by a USDA or USDA-approved laboratory. AMS consults with the Peanut Standards Board on program requirements. (c) Pistachio Nuts. AMS administers mandatory domestic and import aflatoxin requirements for pistachio nuts under Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico (7 CFR part 983) and Specialty Crops, Import Regulations (7 CFR part 999, Section 999.600), respectively. All domestic and import shipments of pistachio nuts intended for human consumption must be tested for aflatoxin contamination. At the request of the Administrative Committee for Pistachios, laboratories may also participate in the program for pistachio nuts destined for EU.

(2) Export Program—this program ensures the testing of meat and poultry products offered for export certification by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is conducted by qualified and approved laboratories. LAS collaborates with FSIS, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the meat and poultry industries to administer a flexible and comprehensive program to provide reliable analyses of pesticide residues, environmental contaminants, veterinary drug residues, antibiotic residues, microorganisms, and parasites.

(3) Microbiological Testing for the Federal Purchase Program (FPP)—testing is limited to the analysis of aerobic plate counts, coliform counts, coagulase positive Staphylococcus aureus, generic Escherichia coli, Salmonella species, and Listeria monocytogenes in frozen, cooked, and diced chicken procured for the FPP. This is a new program added to the LAPs since the last OMB information collection approval.

(4) Any additional programs which may be requested in the future to facilitate the marketing of U.S. agricultural products.

All LAPs will follow the similar general procedures. Applicants would submit a letter of intent, provide related documentation on analyses they intend to perform, participate in proficiency testing (PT) sample analyses, and be audited by AMS auditors. The time required for information collection will depend on the complexity of the methodology and the time necessary to perform the analysis. The burden hours incurred for these laboratories to submit the initial letter requesting entrance and completion of analyses documentation is a one-time occurrence. Once a laboratory is accepted into the program, the information collection burden will decrease and will be based on the number of PT samples analyzed by the laboratory throughout the year in order to maintain its program status.

Form ST-212 (Alternate Payment Form) is an option applicant/approved laboratories may use to pay for participation in AMS LAPs. Interested parties can obtain a copy of the form (ST-212) by calling or writing to the point of contact listed above.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 10.94 hours per response.

Respondents: Laboratories.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 56.

Estimated Total Annual Responses: 380.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 7.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,157.30.

Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including completion of analyses related documentation; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Grace Vaillant, Laboratory Approval and Testing Division, Science and Technology, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0272, Washington, DC 20250-0272; Phone 202-690-0621, Fax 202-720-4631. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

Dated: March 30, 2017. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-06641 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 30, 2017.

The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments regarding this information collection received by May 4, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Title: Sanitation SOP's Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).

OMB Control Number: 0583-0103.

Summary of Collection: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as provided in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by verifying that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. FSIS has established requirements applicable to meat and poultry establishments designed to reduce the occurrence and numbers of pathogenic microorganisms on meat and poultry products, reduce the incidence of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of those products, and provide a new framework for modernization of the current system of meat and poultry inspection.

Need and Use of the Information: FSIS will collect information to ensure that (1) establishments have developed and maintained an standard operating plan for sanitation that is used by inspection personnel in performing monitoring regulations; (2) establishments have developed written procedures outlining specimen collection and handling for E.coli process control verification testing; (3) establishments developed written HAACP plans; (4) establishments will keep records for measurements during slaughter and processing, corrective action, verification check results, and related activities that contain the identify of the product, the product code or slaughter production lot, and the date the record was made; (5) establishments may have prerequisite programs that are designed to provide the basic environmental and operating conditions necessary for the production of safe, wholesome food; and (6) establishment maintain and are able to supply upon request the following information concerning the suppliers of source materials; the name, point of contact, and phone number for the establishment supplying the source materials for the lot of ground beef sampled; and the supplier lot numbers, production dates, and other information that would be useful to know about suppliers.

Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 6,087.

Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion; Other (daily).

Total Burden Hours: 7,045,283.

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Title: Procedures for the Notification of New Technology.

OMB Control Number: 0583-0127.

Summary of Collection: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as provided in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. FSIS established flexible procedures to actively encourage the development and use of new technologies in meat and poultry establishments and egg products plants. These procedures facilitate notification to the Agency of any new technology that is intended for use in meat and poultry establishments and egg products plants so that the Agency can decide whether the new technology requires a pre-use review. A pre-use review often includes an in-plant trail.

Need and Use of the Information: FSIS will collect information to determine if a pre-use review is needed, FSIS will request that the firm submit a protocol for an in-plant trial of the new technology. The firm then must submit a protocol that is designed to collect relevant data to support the use of the new technology. To not collect this information would reduce the effectiveness of the meat, poultry, and egg products inspection program.

Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 210.

Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion.

Total Burden Hours: 12,800.

Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2017-06582 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2017-0016] Animal Disease Traceability System; Public Meetings AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of public meetings.

SUMMARY:

This is to inform the public of upcoming meetings regarding the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) system. These regional meetings will let the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service hear from the public, particularly from the cattle and bison sectors, about the successes and challenges of the current ADT framework and provide a venue for the exchange of ideas about ways to overcome these challenges and fill gaps in the existing system.

DATES:

The meetings will be held on April 11, 13, and 20 and May 2, 4, 11, and 24, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (local time) each day. We will accept written statements regarding the ADT system until May 31, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

The public meetings will be held in the following locations:

• April 11: Tower Hotel Oklahoma City, 3233 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK.

• April 13: USDA Center at Riverside, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD.

• April 20: Renaissance Nashville Hotel, 611 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN.

• May 2: Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport, 7901 34th Avenue South, Bloomington, MN.

• May 4: Doubletree by Hilton Denver, 3203 Quebec Street, Denver, CO.

• May 11: Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova, 11211 Point East Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA.

• May 24: Hilton Garden Inn Billings, 2465 Grant Road, Billings, MT.

You may also submit written statements using one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0016.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0016, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Sunny Geiser-Novotny, Cattle Health Staff/ADT Veterinarian, Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response Services, VS, APHIS, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building B, Mailstop 3E13, Room 3E97, Fort Collins, CO 80526, (970) 494-7372.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to hold public meetings to receive input, particularly from the cattle and bison sectors, on enhancing the current Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) system. The original ADT framework, as described in the January 6, 2013, final rule 1 establishing the program, provided specific performance requirements for an intentionally flexible ADT system. This let States and individual producers use personally efficient methods to meet requirements to move their livestock between States.

1 See https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2009-0091.

These meetings will let APHIS hear from the public about the successes and challenges of the current ADT framework and let attendees brainstorm ideas about overcoming these challenges and finding ways to fill gaps in the existing system. Although APHIS is especially interested during these sessions to hear from cattle and bison industry members, we welcome participation from all members of the public.

Each meeting will start with an overview of the basic principles of ADT and progress made to date given by APHIS employees and a panel of State and industry representatives. A comment/question and answer session will follow. After a break for lunch, attendees will split off into breakout sessions to discuss challenge areas and come up with solutions. The entire group will reconvene to receive the highlights of the breakout sessions, and the meeting will end after some discussion of next steps and closing remarks.

If you are planning to attend a meeting, we ask that you register in advance by visiting http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal-health/adt-meeting-registrations. Same-day registration will also be available at each meeting site. If you require special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, please call or write the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Written statements about the current ADT system may be filed at the meetings or by using one of the methods described under ADDRESSES above.

For the April 13, 2017, meeting in Riverdale, MD, picture identification will be required to gain access to the USDA Center at Riverside. Free parking is available next to the building. The nearest Metro station is the College Park station on the Green Line, which is within walking distance (about 2/3 of a mile). For the May 4, 2017, meeting in Denver, CO, there will be a free hotel shuttle to and from Denver International Airport.

Done in Washington, DC, this 30th day of March 2017. Jere L. Dick, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-06639 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0115] Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined the regulatory review period for Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine and is publishing this notice of that determination as required by law. We have made this determination in response to the submission of an application to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Department of Commerce, for the extension of a patent that claims that veterinary biologic.

DATES:

We will consider all requests for revision of the regulatory review period determination that we receive on or before May 4, 2017. We will consider all due diligence petitions that we receive on or before October 2, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit revision requests and due diligence petitions by either of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0115.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your request or petition to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0115, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

A copy of the regulatory review period determination and any revision requests or due diligence petitions that we receive on this determination may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0115 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Donna Malloy, Operational Support Section, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3426.

For information concerning the regulatory review period determination contact Dr. Patricia L. Foley, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 1920 Dayton Avenue, P.O. Box 844, Ames, IA 50010; (515) 337-6100.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 156, ” Extension of patent term,” provide, generally, that a patent for a product may be extended for a period of up to 5 years as long as the patent claims a product that, among other things, was subject to a regulatory review period before its commercial marketing or use. (The term “product” is defined in that section as “a drug product” [which includes veterinary biological products] or “any medical device, food additive, or color additive subject to regulation under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”) A product's regulatory review period forms the basis for determining the amount of extension an applicant may receive.

The regulations in 9 CFR part 124, “Patent Term Restoration” (referred to below as the regulations), set forth procedures and requirements for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS') review of applications for the extension of the term of certain patents for veterinary biological products pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 156. As identified in the regulations, the responsibilities of APHIS include:

• Assisting Patent and Trademark Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce in determining eligibility for patent term restoration;

• Determining the length of a product's regulatory review period;

• If petitioned, reviewing and ruling on due diligence challenges to APHIS' regulatory review period determinations; and

• Conducting hearings to review initial APHIS findings on due diligence challenges.

The regulations are designed to be used in conjunction with regulations issued by the Patent and Trademark Office concerning patent term extension, which may be found at 37 CFR 1.710 through 1.791.

A regulatory review period consists of two periods of time: A testing phase and an approval phase. For veterinary biologics, the testing phase begins on the date the authorization to prepare an experimental veterinary biologic became effective and runs until the approval phase begins. The approval phase begins on the date an application for a license was initially submitted for approval and ends on the date such license was issued. Although only a portion of a regulatory review period may count toward the actual amount of extension that the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks may award, APHIS' determination of the length of a regulatory review period for a veterinary biologic will include all of the testing phase and approval phase as specified in 35 U.S.C. 156(g)(5)(B).

APHIS recently licensed for production and marketing the veterinary biologic Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine. Subsequent to this approval, the Patent and Trademark Office received a patent term restoration application for Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine (U.S. Patent No. 5,610,059) from Intervet Inc., a subsidiary of Merck Animal Health, and the Patent and Trademark Office requested APHIS' assistance in determining this patent's eligibility for patent term restoration. In a letter dated February 19, 2016, APHIS advised the Patent and Trademark Office that this veterinary biologic had undergone a regulatory review period and that the approval of Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine represented the first permitted commercial licensing or use of the product. Subsequently, the Patent and Trademark Office requested that APHIS determine the product's regulatory review period.

APHIS has determined that the applicable regulatory review period for Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine is 1,544 days. Of this time, 186 days occurred during the testing phase of the regulatory review period, and 1,358 days occurred during the approval phase. These periods were derived from the following dates:

1. The date that APHIS started confirmatory testing on the master seed for use in products containing Lawsonia intracellularis: June 20, 2011. APHIS has verified the applicant's claim that the master seed to be used in the Lawsonia Intracellularis Bacterin Vaccine was first put on test by APHIS on June 20, 2011.

2. The date the application for a license was initially submitted for approval under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act: December 23, 2011. APHIS has verified the applicant's claim that the application was initially submitted on December 23, 2011.

3. The date the license was issued: September 11, 2015. APHIS has verified the applicant's claim that the license for the commercial marketing of the vaccine was issued on September 11, 2015.

This determination of the regulatory review period establishes the maximum potential length of a patent extension. However, the Patent and Trademark Office applies several statutory limitations in its calculations of the actual period for patent extension. In its application for patent extension, this applicant seeks 1,544 days of patent term extension.

Section 124.22 of the regulations provides that any interested person may request a revision of the regulatory review period determination within 30 days of the date of this notice (see DATES above). The request must specify the following:

• The identity of the product;

• The identity of the applicant for patent term restoration;

• The docket number of this notice; and

• The basis for the request for revision, including any documentary evidence.

Further, under § 124.30 of the regulations, any interested person may file a petition with APHIS, no later than 180 days after the date of this notice (see DATES above), alleging that a license applicant did not act with due diligence in seeking APHIS approval of the product during the regulatory review period. The filing, format, and content of a petition must be as described in the regulations in “Subpart D-Due Diligence Petitions” (§§ 124.30 through 124.33).

Authority:

35 U.S.C. 156; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

Done in Washington, DC, this 30th day of March 2017. Jere L. Dick, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-06640 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Information Collection Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on the Farm Service Agency Service Delivery AGENCY:

Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension with a revision of a currently approved information collection associated with the Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on FSA Service Delivery. This option is a fast track for approval to streamline the timing to implement certain types of surveys and related collection of information. FSA uses the approval to cover the instruments of collection (such as a survey, a window pop-up survey, a focus group, or a comment card), which are designed to get customer feedback on FSA service delivery for various programs. This request for approval broadly addresses FSA's need for information about what our customers think of our services so that we can improve service delivery; specific information collection activities will be incorporated into the approval as the need for the information is identified. For example, when we implement a new program and provide information about the services for the program on our Web site, we may provide a voluntary customer service questionnaire about how well the program is working for our customers, specifically within the area of customer service. FSA is requesting to increase the number of respondents in the fast track approval due to an anticipated increase in the number of customer respondents responding to customer service surveys that will be sent to a broader scope and greater number of FSA customers.

DATES:

We will consider comments that we receive by June 5, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your comments, include the date, volume, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register, the OMB control number and the title of the information collection. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

Mail: Mary Ann Ball, USDA, Farm Service Agency, Room 3754-S, 1400 Independence Ave SW., Washington, DC 20250-0572.

You may also send comments to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.

Copies of the information collection instruments may be requested by contacting Mary Ann Ball at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mary Ann Ball, (202) 720-4283.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on Farm Service Agency Service Delivery.

OMB Control Number: 0560-0286.

Type of Request: Extension with a revision.

Abstract: FSA program staff have created several feedback instruments (customer surveys) and submitted them to the FSA information collection coordinator for approval under the current approved information collection of 0560-0286, Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on Farm Service Agency Service Delivery. FSA program staff continue to use the fast track approval to submit a new customer instruments to the FSA information collection coordinator for approval, which takes less time rather than going through a regular Paperwork Reduction Act process. As a result, program staff are able to quickly implement certain types of surveys and related collection of information using OMB control number of 0560-0286. For example, when we implement a new program and provide information about the programs on our Web site, FSA may provide a voluntary customer service questionnaire about how well the program is working for our customers, specifically within the area of customer service. The information collection provides a means to gather qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner that is consistent with FSA's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback, we mean information, generally from customers, that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions based on experiences with FSA service delivery. Such information does not include statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population. The qualitative feedback will:

• Provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences, and expectations,

• Provide an early warning of issues with service, and

• Focus attention on areas where communication, training, or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services.

The collection will allow for ongoing, collaborative, and actionable communication between FSA and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

The solicitation of feedback will target areas such as: Timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses will be assessed to plan and inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public. If this information is not collected, vital feedback from customers and stakeholders on FSA's services will be unavailable.

FSA will only submit a collection for approval under this generic clearance if it meets the following conditions:

• The collections are voluntary;

• The collections are low-burden for respondents (based on considerations of total burden hours, total number of respondents, or burden-hours per respondent) and are low-cost for both the respondents and the Federal Government;

• The collections are non-controversial and do not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies;

• The collections are targeted to the solicitation of opinions from respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the near future;

• Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected only to the extent necessary and is not retained;

• Information gathered will be used only internally for general service improvement and program management purposes and is not intended for release outside of FSA;

• Information gathered will not be used for the purpose of substantially informing influential policy decisions; and

• Information gathered will yield qualitative information; the collections will not be designed or expected to yield statistically reliable results or used as though the results are generalizable to the population of study.

As a general matter, information collections will not result in any new system of records containing privacy information and will not ask questions of a sensitive nature, such as religious beliefs, sexual behavior and attitudes, and other matters that are commonly considered private.

The estimated total annual burden hours are being amended due to an increase in the number of FSA customers that will respond to the customer survey, which therefore increased the information collection requirements. Annual responses have increased by 590,000, with a resulting increase of 295,000 burden hours in the request.

For the following estimated total annual burden on respondents, the formula used to calculate the total burden hours is the estimated average time per response multiplied by the estimated total annual number of responses.

Estimate of Average Time to Respond: Public reporting burden for collecting information under this notice is estimated to average 30 minutes (0.50 hours) per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

Respondents: Individuals and Households; Businesses; Organizations; and State, Local, or Tribal government.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 600,000.

Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

Estimated Total Annual Responses: 600,000.

Estimated Average Time per Response: 30 minutes (0.50 hours).

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 300,000 hours.

We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to:

(1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Evaluate the quality, utility, and clarity of the information technology; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who respond through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses where provided, will be made a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection.

Chris P. Beyerhelm, Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
[FR Doc. 2017-06594 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board AGENCY:

Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of meeting.

SUMMARY:

The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Board is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App. II), the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et. seq.), the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1612), and the Federal Public Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Pub. L. 108-447). Additional information concerning the Board, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Board's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/blackhills/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

DATES:

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 1:00 p.m.

All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held at the Forest Service Center, 8221 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City, South Dakota.

Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Black Hills National Forest Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Scott Jacobson, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 605-440-1409 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 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The purpose of the meeting is to provide:

(1) Annual Ethics Training;

(2) Black Hills Resilient Landscapes (BHRL) Project update;

(3) 2016 Forest Health Report;

(4) Black Hills Invasive Plant Partnership presentation;

(5) Non-motorized Trails—Working Group update;

(6) Recreation Site Analysis (RSA)—Working Group update;

(7) Fire Season Outlook—2017;

(8) Orientation Topic—Road Maintenance; and

(9) Election update—Chairman/Vice Chairman.

The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should submit a request in writing by April 10, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Board may file written statements with the Board's staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Scott Jacobson, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor's Office, 1019 North Fifth Street, Custer, South Dakota 57730; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 605-673-9208.

Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

Dated: March 13, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2017-06654 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Lynn Canal-Icy Strait Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of meeting.

SUMMARY:

The Lynn Canal-Icy Strait Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Juneau, Alaska. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcwQAAS.

DATES:

The meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., on the following dates:

• April 25, 2017, and

• April 26, 2017.

All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held at the Forest Service Regional Office building, Conference room 541A, 709 West 9th Street, Juneau, Alaska. Participants who would like to attend by teleconference please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Admiralty National Monument. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lydia Mills, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 907-789-6216 or via 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 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The purpose of the meeting is to:

1. Review proposed projects, and

2. Allocate funds to approved projects.

The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by April 19, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Lydia Mills, RAC Coordinator, Admiralty National Monument, 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, Alaska 99801; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 907-586-8808.

Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

Dated: March 13, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2017-06655 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Delaware Advisory Committee AGENCY:

Commission on Civil Rights.

ACTION:

Announcement of monthly planning meetings.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the Delaware State Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call, on Monday, April 17 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The purpose of the meeting is to make preparations for a briefing meeting on Policing and Implicit Bias in Delaware.

DATES:

Monday, April 17, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. (EDT).

Public Call-In Information: Conference call number: 1-888-737-3705 and conference call ID: 5272563#.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ivy L. Davis, at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call number: 1-888-737-3705 and conference call ID: 5272563#. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator may ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number herein.

Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-888-364-3109 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call number: 1-888-737-3705 and conference call ID: 5272563#.

Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=240; click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

Agenda I. Welcome and Introductions Rollcall Planning Meeting Discuss project planning. II. Other Business Adjournment Dated: March 30, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
[FR Doc. 2017-06624 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Tennessee Advisory Committee AGENCY:

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

ACTION:

Notice of meeting.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Tennessee (State) Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 for discussing hearing dates for a committee project on municipal fees and fines.

DATES:

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be by teleconference. Toll-free call-in number: 888-523-1191, conference ID: 8007351.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeff Hinton, DFO, at [email protected] or (404) 562-7006.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-523-1191, conference ID: 8007351. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by May 14, 2017. Written comments may be mailed to the Southern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 61 Forsyth Street, Suite 16T126, Atlanta, GA 30303. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (404) 562-7005, or emailed to Regional Director, Jeffrey Hinton at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Southern Regional Office at (404) 562-7000.

Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Southern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Tennessee Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Southern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

Agenda Welcome and Call to Order Diane DiIanni, Tennessee SAC Chairman Jeff Hinton, Regional Director Regional Update—Jeff Hinton New Business: Discussion of Project Proposal/Hearing Dates/Locations: Diane DiIanni, Tennessee SAC Chairman/Staff/Advisory Committee Public Participation Adjournment Dated: March 29, 2017. David Mussatt Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
[FR Doc. 2017-06554 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-580-888] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Negative Critical Circumstances Determination AGENCY:

Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers/exporters of certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from the Republic of Korea (Korea). In addition, we continue to find that critical circumstances do not exist with respect to POSCO, POSCO-Daewoo Corporation, and all-other producers/exporters from Korea. The period of investigation is January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination and Suspension of Liquidation” section of this notice.

DATES:

Effective April 4, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Yasmin Bordas or John Corrigan, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3813 and (202) 482-7438, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The Department published the Preliminary Determination on September 14, 2016.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Negative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 81 FR 63168 (September 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

2See Memorandum to Ronald K. Lorentzen, from Gary Taverman, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by this investigation is CTL plate from Korea. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

The subsidy programs under investigation, and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs submitted by the parties, are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues that parties raised, and to which we responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, is attached to this notice at Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Use of Adverse Facts Available

In making this final determination, the Department relied in part on facts available. Because POSCO Chemtech and POSCO M-Tech, which are cross-owned affiliates of POSCO, and Hyundai Corporation, a trading company unaffiliated with POSCO, did not act to the best of their ability in responding to the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.3 For further information, see the section “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

3See Sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act; see also 19 CFR 351.525(b)(6)(iv) and 19 CFR 351.525(c).

Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

Based on our analysis of the comments received from parties and the minor corrections presented, as well as additional items discovered at verification, we made certain changes to the respondent's subsidy rate calculations. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and POSCO's Final Calculation Memorandum.4

4See Issues and Decision Memorandum; see also Memorandum from John Corrigan to Brian C. Davis, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the Republic of Korea: POSCO Final Determination Calculation Memorandum,” dated March 29, 2017 (POSCO's Final Calculation Memorandum).

Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances

On July 26, 2016, Petitioners 5 timely filed a critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 703(e)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of CTL plate from Korea.6 The Department preliminarily determined that critical circumstances did not exist with respect to POSCO, POSCO-Daewoo Corporation, and all-other producers/exporters from Korea.7 Our analysis and conclusion concerning critical circumstances remain unchanged for our final determination.8

5 Petitioners are ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, and SSAB Enterprises, LLC.

6See Letter from Petitioners, “Re: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey: Critical Circumstances Allegations,” dated July 26, 2016.

7See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations: Preliminary Determinations of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 61666 (September 7, 2016).

8See Issues and Decision Memorandum at Section III, “Final Determination of Critical Circumstances.”

All-Others Rate

In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a rate for POSCO, the exporter/producer of subject merchandise selected for individual examination in this investigation.

In accordance with sections 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not individually investigated, we apply an “all-others” rate, which is normally calculated by weighting the subsidy rates of the individual companies selected as respondents with those companies' export sales of the subject merchandise to the United States. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that the all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any rates that are zero or de minimis or any rates determined entirely on facts available. However, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act states that if the countervailable subsidy rates for all exporters and producers individually investigated are zero or de minimis rates, or are determined entirely under section 776 of the Act, the Department may use any reasonable method to establish an all-others rate for exporters and producers not individually investigated, including averaging the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates determined for the exporters and producers individually investigated.

POSCO is the only mandatory respondent in the instant investigation. We, therefore, are applying the countervailable subsidy rate calculated for POSCO to all-other producers/exporters not individually investigated. The Department has taken this approach to calculating the all-others rate in other countervailing duty (CVD) investigations.9 In accordance with the scope of this investigation, this application of POSCO's subsidy rate to all-other producers/exporters applies only to subject CTL plate not within the physical description of cut-to-length carbon quality steel plate in the 1999 Korea CVD Order.10

9See, e.g., Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 79 FR 59221 (October 1, 2014) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at 12.

10See Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate from the Republic of Korea, 64 FR 6587 (December 29, 1999), as amended, 65 FR 6587 (February 10, 2000) (1999 Korea CVD Order).

Final Determination

The final subsidy rates are as follows:

Producer/exporter Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • POSCO 4.31 All-Others 4.31
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In the Preliminary Determination, the total net countervailable subsidy rates for the individually examined respondents were de minimis and, therefore, we did not suspend liquidation of entries of CTL plate from Korea. However, as the estimated subsidy rates for the examined company is above de minimis in this final determination, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of CTL plate from Korea that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above, pursuant to section 705(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act. The suspension of liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and instruct CBP to continue to require a cash deposit of estimated CVDs for such entries of subject merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    ITC Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1,250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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 unless the product is already covered by an order existing on that specific country (i.e., Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil and the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Orders, 81 FR 67960 (October 3, 2016)); and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560,

    • MIL-DTL-12560H,

    • MIL-DTL-12560J,

    • MIL-DTL-12560K,

    • MIL-DTL-32332,

    • MIL-A-46100D,

    • MIL-DTL-46100-E,

    • MIL-46177C,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100,

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80;

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115,

    except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined and vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.20,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.60,

    • Nickel not greater than 1.0,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.007,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-2.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW,

    (ii) 290-320 HBW, or

    (iii) 320-350HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined and vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.15,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.50,

    • Nickel not greater than 0.4,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.20-1.50,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95 ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined and vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30,

    • Silicon not greater than 0.25,

    • Manganese not greater than 0.50,

    • Nickel 3.0-3.5,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-1.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9,

    • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145 ksi or more and UTS 160 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    At the time of the filing of the petition, there was an existing countervailing duty order on certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate from Korea. See Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate From the Republic of Korea, 64 FR 73176 (Dep't Commerce Dec. 29, 1999), as amended, 65 FR 6587 (Dep't Commerce Feb. 10, 2000) (1999 Korea CVD Order). The scope of the countervailing duty investigation with regard to cut-to-length plate from Korea covers only (1) subject cut-to-length plate not within the physical description of cut-to-length carbon quality steel plate in the 1999 Korea CVD Order regardless of producer or exporter, and (2) cut-to-length plate produced and/or exported by those companies that were excluded or revoked from the 1999 Korea CVD Order as of April 8, 2016. The only revoked or excluded company is Pohang Iron and Steel Company, also known as POSCO.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Final Determination of Critical Circumstances IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Scope Comments VI. Subsidies Valuation Information VII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences VIII. Calculation of the All-Others Rate IX. Analysis of Programs X. Analysis of Comments Comment 1: Whether the Department Should Consider POSCO Energy's Sales of Electricity under the Government of Korea's Purchases of Electricity for More Than Adequate Remuneration Program Comment 2: Whether the Department Should Find That the Provision of Electricity for Less Than Adequate Remuneration (LTAR) is a Countervailable Subsidy Comment 3: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to POSCO Chemtech's Unreported Port Usage Grants Comment 4: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to POSCO M-Tech's Unreported Subsidies Comment 5: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to POSCO Chemtech's Research & Development Grant Program Comment 6: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA with Respect to Hyundai Corporation's Unreported Tax Exemption Comment 7: Whether the Department Should Find Have Initiated Nucor's Allegation that the GOK Provides the Provision of Natural Gas in All Forms for LTAR Comment 8: Whether the Department Should Revise its Calculation Regarding Benefit to POSCO under Restriction of Special Taxation Act Article 9 Comment 9: Whether the Department Verified that POSCO Did Not Receive any Benefit under the Free Economic Zone Programs Comment 10: Whether the Department Finds Tax Programs de facto Specific XI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06632 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-475-834] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Italy: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from Italy is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). In addition, we determine that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of the subject merchandise. The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alice Maldonado or Blaine Wiltse, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4682 and (202) 482-6345, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from Italy.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Italy: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 79423 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Italy,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from Italy. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, (the Act) in November 2016, we conducted verification of the sales and cost information submitted by Officine Tecnosider s.r.l. (OTS) for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by OTS.3

    3 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Officine Tecnosider S.R.L. in the Antidumping Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Italy,” dated January 17, 2017; and Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of Officine Tecnosider S.r.l. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Italy,” dated January 23, 2017.

    In addition, as provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in November 2016 and January 2017, we also attempted to verify the sales and cost information submitted by NLMK Verona SpA (NVR), using standard verification procedures. However, as explained in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, the Department was unable to validate the accuracy of NVR's reporting.4 As a consequence, we find that NVR's reported data are unverifiable, and, thus, cannot serve as a reliable basis for reaching a determination in this investigation. Specifically, because we encountered so many errors within NVR's reported data at verification, and the submitted sales and cost information is integral to the proper evaluation of its margin calculation, we find that all of the information submitted by NVR is unverifiable. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comments 1-4.

    4 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of NLMK Verona SpA in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length (CTL) Plate from Italy,” dated January 11, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of NLMK North America Plate in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length (CTL) Plate from Italy,” dated January 25, 2017; and Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of NLMK Verona SpA in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Italy,” dated January 18, 2017.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for OTS. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculations” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    For the Preliminary Determination, the Department found that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of CTL plate from Marcegaglia, NVR, and OTS, and do not exist with respect to companies covered by the “all others” rate.5 We modified our critical circumstances findings for the final determination and now determine that critical circumstances exist for “all others.” For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at “Critical Circumstances.” Thus, pursuant to section 735(a)(3)(B) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.206(h)(1)-(2), we find that critical circumstances exist with respect to subject merchandise produced or exported by Marcegaglia, NVR, OTS, and “all others.”

    5See Preliminary Determination, and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum, at 5-8.

    Adverse Facts Available

    In the Preliminary Determination, because mandatory respondent Marcegaglia SpA (Marcegaglia) failed to respond to the Department's questionnaire and informed the Department that it would not participate in this investigation,6 we applied adverse facts available (AFA) to these respondents, in accordance with sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308. We were able to corroborate the petition dumping margin of 130.63 percent to the extent practicable within the meaning of section 776(c) of the Act using the highest transaction-specific dumping margins calculated for NVR 7 and, thus, we assigned this dumping margin to Marcegaglia as AFA.

    6See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Marcegaglia “Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Italy, Antidumping Investigation, Case No. A-475-834: Letter Regarding Respondent Selection and Initial Antidumping Questionnaire” (June 15, 2016).

    7Id., at 25.

    The Department received no comments regarding its preliminary application of the AFA dumping margin to Marcegaglia. For the final determination, the Department has not altered its analysis or its decision to apply the AFA to Marcegaglia, but for the reasons explained below, the petition margin can no longer be corroborated and, thus, we assigned to Marcegaglia a different dumping margin.

    Additionally, due to its failures at verification, we determine that NVR's data cannot serve as a reliable basis for reaching a determination in this investigation and that NVR did not act to the best of its ability to comply with our requests for information. Therefore, we also find it appropriate to apply the AFA dumping margin to NVR. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comments 1-4.

    Finally, for the final determination, because NVR's information is no longer available for use in corroborating the petition rate, as AFA, we assigned to Marcegaglia and NVR the highest transaction-specific dumping margin calculated for OTS. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 4.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. OTS is the only respondent for which the Department calculated a company-specific margin that is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available. Therefore, for purposes of determining the “all-others” rate and pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the dumping margin calculated for OTS, as referenced in the “Final Determination” section below.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • NLMK Verona SpA 22.19 Officine Tecnosider s.r.l. 6.08 Marcegaglia SpA 22.19 All Others 6.08
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Italy, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. For entries made by Marcegaglia, NVR, and OTS, in accordance with section 735(c)(4)(B) of the Act, because we continue to find that critical circumstances exist, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Italy which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after August 16, 2016, which is 90 days prior to the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Additionally, for entries made by the companies covered by the “all others” rate, in accordance with section 735(c)(4)(B) of the Act, because we find that critical circumstances exist, we will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Italy which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after August 16, 2016, which is 90 days prior to the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register.

    Further, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from Italy no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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; and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560,

    • MIL-DTL-12560H,

    • MIL-DTL-12560J,

    • MIL-DTL-12560K,

    • MIL-DTL-32332,

    • MIL-A-46100D,

    • MIL-DTL-46100-E,

    • MIL-46177C,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100,

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80;

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115,

    except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.20,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.60,

    • Nickel not greater than 1.0,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.007,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-2.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW,

    (ii) 290-320 HBW, or

    (iii) 320-350 HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.15,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.50,

    • Nickel not greater than 0.4,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.20-1.50,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30,

    • Silicon not greater than 0.25,

    • Manganese not greater than 0.50,

    • Nickel 3.0-3.5,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-1.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9,

    • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Use of Adverse Facts Available IV. Critical Circumstances V. Scope of the Investigation VI. Scope Comments VII. Margin Calculations VIII. Discussion of the Issues NVR 1. Date of Sale for NVR's U.S. Direct Shipments 2. Product Characteristics and Control Numbers for NVR 3. Misreported Quantities for NVR 4. AFA 5. Other NVR Adjustments OTS 6. Differential Pricing Methodology 7. Weight Basis for OTS 8. OTS's Home Market Commissions 9. U.S. Short-Term Borrowing Rate 10. Home Market Freight Expenses 11. Disregarding Sales Where OTS Provided Only Tolling Services 12. Ministerial Error in the Cost Test for OTS 13. Cost Recovery Test 14. Financial Expense Ratio 15. Foreign Exchange Offset to Reported Direct Material Costs 16. Trasteel's Stab Acquisition Cost IX. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06630 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-912] Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Partial Rescission of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On November 9, 2016, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) initiated an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (“OTR Tires”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) for ten companies. Based on timely withdrawal of requests for review, we are now rescinding this administrative review with respect to three of these companies: Weifang Jintongda Tyre Co., Ltd. (“Jintongda”); Trelleborg Wheel Systems (Xingtai) Co., Ltd. (“TWS China”); and Zhongce Rubber Group Company Limited (“Zhongce”).

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alex Rosen, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7814.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 8, 2016, the Department published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on OTR Tires from the PRC.1 In September 2016, the Department received multiple timely requests to conduct an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on OTR Tires from the PRC. Based on these requests, on November 9, 2016, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”), the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of an administrative review covering the period September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016, with respect to ten companies: Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Ltd.; Guizhou Tyre Co., Ltd.; Guizhou Tyre Import and Export Co., Ltd.; Qingdao Milestone Tyres Co. Ltd.; Qingdao Qihang Tyre Co. Ltd.; Shandong Zhentai Group Co., Ltd.; Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co., Ltd.; TWS China; Jintongda; and Zhongce.2 On November 24, 2016, December 13, 2016, and February 7, 2017, Jingtongda,3 Zhongce,4 and TWS China,5 timely withdrew their respective requests for an administrative review.

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 81 FR 62096 (September 8, 2016).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 78778 (November 9, 2016).

    3See Letter from Jingtongda, “Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated November 24, 2016.

    4See Letter from Zhongce, “New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review—2015-16 Review Period,” dated December 13, 2016.

    5See Letter from TWS China, “Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review of Trelleborg Wheel Systems (Xingtai) Co., Ltd.,” dated February 7, 2017.

    Partial Rescission

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party who requested the review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Jingtongda, Zhongce, and TWS China timely withdrew their requests for an administrative review; no other party requested a review of these companies. Accordingly, we are rescinding this review, in part, with respect to these companies, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. For Jingtongda, Zhongce, and TWS China, the companies for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping and/or countervailing duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice serves as a final reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under an APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305, which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Date: March 29, 2017. Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06619 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-588-875] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Japan: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from Japan is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kabir Archuletta or Ryan Mullen, 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 and (202) 482-5260, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from Japan.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Japan: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 79427 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Japan,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from Japan. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in November and December 2016, we verified the sales and cost information submitted by Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Tokyo Steel) for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by Tokyo Steel.3

    3 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum to the File through Catherine Bertrand, Program Manager, Office V, from Kabir Archuletta, Senior International Trade Analyst, and Ryan Mullen, International Trade Analyst, entitled “Verification of Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd., in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Japan,” dated January 17, 2017; Memorandum to the File through Neal M. Halper, Director, Office of Accounting and Michael P. Martin, Lead Accountant, Office of Accounting from Kristin L. Case, Senior Accountant, entitled “Verification of the Cost Response of Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in the Less-Than-Fair Value Investigation of Certain Alloy and Carbon Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Japan,” dated January 9, 2017.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for Tokyo Steel. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculations” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Adverse Facts Available

    In the Preliminary Determination, because mandatory respondents JFE Steel Corporation (JFE) and Shimabun Corporation (Shimabun) failed to respond to the Department's questionnaire and informed the Department that they would not participate in this investigation,4 we applied adverse facts available (AFA) to these respondents, in accordance with sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308. Because we could not corroborate the petition dumping margin of 179.2 percent, we assigned to JFE and Shimabun, as AFA, a dumping margin based on the highest transaction-specific dumping margin calculated for Tokyo Steel.5

    4See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from JFE “Advisement of Non-Participation in Investigation” (June 20, 2016); Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Shimabun “Shimabun's Notification of Non-Participation” (July 29, 2016).

    5See Preliminary Determination.

    The Department received no comments regarding its preliminary application of the AFA dumping margin to JFE and Shimabun. For the final determination, the Department has not altered its analysis or its decision to apply the AFA dumping margin to JFE and Shimabun.

    In making this final determination, the Department relied, in part, on facts available for Tokyo Steel. Furthermore, because Tokyo Steel did not act to the best of its ability in responding to certain of the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference, where appropriate, in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.6 For further information, see the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    6See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Tokyo Steel is the only respondent for which the Department calculated a company-specific margin. Therefore, for purposes of determining the “all-others” rate and pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the dumping margin calculated for Tokyo Steel, as referenced in the “Final Determination” section below.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 14.79 JFE Steel Corporation 48.67 Shimabun Corporation 48.67 All Others 14.79
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Japan, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register.

    Further, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    International Trade Comission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from Japan no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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 unless the product is already covered by an order existing on that specific country (i.e., Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Australia, Brazil, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Republic of Turkey, and the United Kingdom: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determinations for Australia, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey and Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 67962 (October 3, 2016).); and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560,

    • MIL-DTL-12560H,

    • MIL-DTL-12560J,

    • MIL-DTL-12560K,

    • MIL-DTL-32332,

    • MIL-A-46100D,

    • MIL-DTL-46100-E,

    • MIL-46177C,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100,

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80;

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115,

    except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.20,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.60,

    • Nickel not greater than 1.0,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.007,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-2.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW,

    (ii) 290-320 HBW, or

    (iii) 320-350 HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.15,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.50,

    • Nickel not greater than 0.4,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.20-1.50,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30,

    • Silicon not greater than 0.25,

    • Manganese not greater than 0.50,

    • Nickel 3.0-3.5,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-1.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9,

    • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Scope Comments V. Margin Calculations VI. Discussion of Issues a. Comment 1: Unreported Bank Transfer Fees b. Comment 2: Cost Adjustments Based on Verification Findings c. Comment 3: Expenses Identified at Verification VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06629 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-602-810, A-351-850, A-403-805] Silicon Metal From Australia, Brazil and Norway: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective March 28, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Smith at (202) 482-1766 (Australia); Robert James at (202) 482-0649 (Brazil); and Andrew Medley at (202) 482-4987 (Norway), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petitions

    On March 8, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received antidumping duty (AD) petitions (the Petitions) concerning imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway, filed in proper form on behalf of Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. (the petitioner).1 The Petitions also included countervailing duty (CVD) petitions on silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan.2 The petitioner is a domestic producer of silicon metal.3

    1See Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petition, dated March 8, 2017 (the Petitions).

    2Id.

    3See Volume I of the Petitions, at 1 and Exhibit I-1.

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway 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 such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed these Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry, because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigations that the petitioner is requesting.4

    4See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions” section below.

    Period of Investigations

    Because the petitions were filed on March 8, 2017, the period of investigation (POI) for each investigation is, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigations

    The product covered by these investigations is silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see the “Scope of the Investigations,” at Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigations

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations, 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 determinations. 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 April 17, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (also limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 27, 2017, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments. All such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently believes that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. As stated above, all such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).5 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 and 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.

    5See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) 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 will provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the appropriate physical characteristics of silicon metal to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant 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 silicon metal, 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 questionnaires, all product characteristics comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 17, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 27, 2017. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above, on the records of the Australia, Brazil, and Norway less-than-fair-value investigations.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions

    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,6 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.7

    6See section 771(10) of the Act.

    7See 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 investigations. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that silicon metal, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.8

    8 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Silicon Metal from Australia (Australia AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway (Attachment II); Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Silicon Metal from Brazil (Brazil AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; and Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Silicon Metal from Norway (Norway AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II. These checklists are dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, 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 Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I of this notice. The petitioner provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2016, as well as estimated 2016 production data of the domestic like product by the entire U.S. industry.9 The petitioner also provided a letter from the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW), stating that the USW represents the workers at the petitioner's Alloy, WV and Niagara Falls, NY silicon metal plants and it supports the Petitions.10 In addition, the petitioner provided a letter of support for the Petitions from the Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America (IEU-CWA), stating that the IEU-CWA represents the workers at the petitioner's Selma, AL plant and it supports the Petitions.11 To establish industry support, the petitioner compared its production to the total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.12 We relied on the data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.13

    9See Volume I of the Petitions, at 1, 3-4 and Exhibits I-1 and I-2.

    10See Volume I of the Petitions, at 4 and Exhibit I-5.

    11Id., at 4 and Exhibit I-6.

    12Id., at 3-4 and Exhibit I-2.

    13Id. For further discussion, see Australia AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Norway AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petitions and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support.14 First, the Petitions 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).15 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 Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.16 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 Petitions 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 Petitions.17 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    14See Australia AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Norway AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    15See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Australia AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Norway AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    16See Australia AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Norway AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigations that it is requesting that the Department initiate.18

    18Id.

    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.19

    19See Volume I of the Petitions, at 38-39 and Exhibit I-45.

    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; declines in production, production capacity, capacity utilization, and U.S. shipments; increase in inventories; declines in average number of workers, hours worked, and wages paid; and declines in financial performance.20 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.21

    20See Volume I of the Petitions, at 25-53 and Exhibits I-1, I-2, I-11—I-16, I-20, I-21, and I-30—I-60; see also Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petition: Revised Exhibit I-46, dated March 14, 2017.

    21See Australia AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway (Attachment III); see also Brazil AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; and Norway AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III.

    Allegations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegations of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate investigations of imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the country-specific initiation checklists.

    Export Price

    For Brazil, the petitioner based export price (EP) on transaction-specific average unit values (AUVs) for shipments of silicon metal from Brazil entered under the relevant Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading for three entries during one month of the POI into three specific ports.22 The petitioner linked port arrival data from an independent source to U.S. port-specific import statistics obtained from the ITC's Dataweb.23 The petitioner linked imports of silicon metal entered under the relevant HTSUS subheading to shipments from producers in Brazil to ensure the Dataweb statistics were specific to subject merchandise.24 Because the AUVs are based on the reported customs values, which reflect FOB foreign port prices, the petitioner made an adjustment for foreign inland freight from the production facility to the port of export.25 The petitioner made no other adjustments to EP.

    22See Brazil AD Initiation Checklist.

    23Id.; see also Volume IV of the Petitions at BR-AD 2C.

    24See Brazil AD Initiation Checklist.

    25Id.; see also Volume IV of the Petitions at 4-5, and Exhibit BR-AD 2A.

    Constructed Export Price

    For Australia and Norway, the petitioner had reason to believe that sales are made through U.S. affiliates. Therefore, the petitioner based constructed export price (CEP) on actual sales prices for silicon metal produced in, and exported from, those countries.26 The petitioner made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses consistent with the delivery terms.27 The petitioner also deducted from U.S. price operating expenses incurred by the U.S. affiliate.28

    26See Australia AD Initiation Checklist and Norway AD Initiation Checklist.

    27Id.

    28 See Volume II of the Petitions at 1-3 and Exhibit AU-AD 2A and Volume VII of the Petitions at 1-4 and Exhibit NO-AD 2A; and Australia AD Initiation Checklist and Norway AD Initiation Checklist.

    Normal Value Based on Home Market Prices

    For Australia, Brazil, and Norway, the petitioner provided home market price information based on sales, or offers for sale, of merchandise identical or similar to the product being imported into the United States during the POI.29 As the prices obtained for Brazil were on an ex-factory basis, the petitioner made no adjustment for movement expenses.30 For Australia and Norway, the petitioner made certain adjustments to the prices, including deductions for inland freight charges (where applicable).31 The petitioner made no other adjustments to home market prices.

    29See Volume II of the Petitions, at 3-5 and Exhibit AU-AD 3A; Volume IV of the Petitions at 5 and Exhibit BR-AD 3A; Volume VII of the Petitions at 4-5 and Exhibit NO-AD 3A; see also Australia AD Initiation Checklist, Brazil AD Initiation Checklist, and Norway AD Initiation Checklist.

    30See Brazil AD Initiation Checklist.

    31See Australia AD Initiation Checklist and Norway AD Initiation Checklist.

    For Australia and Brazil, the petitioner provided information indicating that sales of silicon metal in the home market were made at prices below the cost of production (COP) and, as a result, also calculated NV based on constructed value (CV).32 For further discussion of COP and NV based on CV, see below.33

    32 Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD law were made. See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015). See also 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 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 these AD investigations. See Applicability Notice, 80 FR at 46794-95.

    33 In accordance with section 505(a) of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, amending section 773(b)(2) of the Act, for these investigations, the Department will request information necessary to calculate the CV and COP to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales of the foreign like product have been made at prices that represent less than the COP of the product. The Department no longer requires a COP allegation to conduct this analysis.

    Normal Value Based on Constructed Value

    Pursuant to section 773(b)(3) of the Act, COP consists of the cost of manufacturing (COM); selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses; financial expenses; and packing expenses.

    For Australia, the petitioner relied on the 2015 financial statements of Australian producer Simcoa Operations Pty Ltd. (Simcoa) to calculate the COP.34 The petitioner adjusted Simcoa's 2015 COP data to the POI using Australian producer price index information obtained from International Financial Statistics. 35

    34See Australia AD Initiation Checklist.

    35Id.

    For Brazil, the petitioner calculated COM based on its own experience during the POI, adjusted for known differences based on information available to the petitioner.36 The petitioner valued material inputs using publicly available data for the prices of these inputs, where possible. The petitioner used its own cost for one material input, as it was unable to find a publicly-available price for this input. The petitioner valued labor and energy inputs for silicon metal using publicly available data multiplied by the product-specific usage rates.37 The petitioner relied on the 2015 financial statements of Brazilian silicon metal producer Rima Industrial, S.A. (Rima) to calculate SG&A and depreciation.38 Because Rima's financial statements do not contain any data on other fixed overhead costs or variable overhead costs, the petitioner valued these overhead items using its own fixed and variable manufacturing overhead costs to produce silicon metal during the POI.39

    36See Brazil AD Initiation Checklist.

    37Id.

    38Id.

    39Id.

    For Australia and Brazil, because certain home market prices fell below COP in the petitioner's allegation, pursuant to sections 773(a)(4), 773(b), and 773(e) of the Act, as noted above, the petitioner also calculated NVs based on CV.40 Pursuant to section 773(e) of the Act, CV consists of the COM, SG&A, financial expenses, packing expenses, and profit. The petitioner calculated CV using the same COP described above, adding an amount for profit.41 For Australia, the petitioner based profit on Simcoa's above-cost home market sales during the POI. For Brazil, the petitioner calculated the profit rate based on Rima's financial statements. These rates were applied to the corresponding total COM, SG&A, and financial expenses calculated above to derive CV.42

    40See Australia AD Initiation Checklist and Brazil AD Initiation Checklist.

    41Id.

    42Id.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on comparisons of EP or CEP to NV, in accordance with sections 772 and 773(a) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for silicon metal are as follows: 28.58 to 52.81 percent for Australia; 43 15.41 to 28.24 percent for Brazil; 44 and 32.25 and 45.66 percent for Norway.45 Based on comparisons of EP or CEP to CV in accordance with sections 772 and 773(e) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins are as follows: 42.33 and 45.77 percent for Australia,46 and 121.79 to 134.92 percent for Brazil.47

    43See Volume II of the Petitions, at 7 and Exhibit AU-AD1, and Australia AD Initiation Checklist.

    44See Volume IV of the Petitions, at 8-9 and Exhibit BR-AD1, and Brazil AD Initiation Checklist.

    45See Volume VII of the Petitions, at 5 and Exhibit NO-AD1, and Norway AD Initiation Checklist.

    46See Volume II of the Petitions, at 7 and Exhibit AU-AD1, and Australia AD Initiation Checklist.

    47See Volume IV of the Petitions, at 8-9 and Exhibit BR-AD1, and Brazil AD Initiation Checklist.

    Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petitions, we find that they meet the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating AD investigations to determine whether imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway 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 will make our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    Based on information from independent sources, the petitioner identified one company in Australia, five companies in Brazil, and two companies in Norway, as producers/exporters of silicon metal.48 With respect to Brazil, following standard practice in AD investigations involving market economy countries, in the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large, the Department intends to review U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports under the appropriate HTSUS numbers listed with the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I, below; and if it determines that it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, then the Department will select respondents based on that data. We also intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO. Comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection should be submitted seven calendar days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of the investigation. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five calendar days after the deadline for the initial comments.

    48See Volume I of the Petitions, at 15-21.

    Although the Department normally relies on the number of producers/exporters identified in the petition and/or import data from CBP to determine whether to select a limited number of producers/exporters for individual examination in AD investigations, the petitioner identified only one company as a producer/exporter of silicon metal in Australia: Simcoa, and two companies in Norway: Elkem AS and Wacker Chemicals Norway AS.49 We currently know of no additional producers/exporters of merchandise under consideration from these countries and the petitioner provided information from independent sources as support.50 Accordingly, the Department intends to examine all known producers/exporters in the investigations for Australia and Norway (i.e., the companies cited above for each respective investigation). Parties wishing to comment on respondent selection for Australia and Norway must do so within five days of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    49Id.

    50See Volume I of the Petitions at Exhibits I-17 and I-20.

    Comments for the above-referenced investigations must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5:00 p.m. ET by the dates noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petitions

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petitions have been provided to the Governments of Australia, Brazil, and Norway via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each exporter named in the Petitions, as provided under 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 Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and/or Norway are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.51 A negative ITC determination for any country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country; 52 otherwise, these investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    51See section 733(a) of the Act.

    52Id.

    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 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 these investigations.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 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 351.301. 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. 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 these investigations.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.53 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. 54 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    53See section 782(b) of the Act.

    54See 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 these investigations 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 and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: March 28, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigations

    The scope of these investigations covers all forms and sizes of silicon metal, including silicon metal powder. Silicon metal contains at least 85.00 percent but less than 99.99 percent silicon, and less than 4.00 percent iron, by actual weight. Semiconductor grade silicon (merchandise containing at least 99.99 percent silicon by actual weight and classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 2804.61.0000) is excluded from the scope of these investigations.

    Silicon metal is currently classifiable under subheadings 2804.69.1000 and 2804.69.5000 of the HTSUS. While HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope remains dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-06621 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-351-851; C-602-811; C-834-808] Silicon Metal From Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective March 28, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Johnson at (202) 482-4929 (Australia); Bob Palmer at (202) 482-9068 (Brazil); and Terre Keaton Stefanova at (202) 482-1280 (Kazakhstan), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petitions

    On March 8, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received countervailing duty (CVD) petitions concerning imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan, filed in proper form on behalf of Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. (the petitioner). With the exception of Kazakhstan, the remaining CVD petitions were accompanied by antidumping duty (AD) petitions concerning imports of silicon metal from the above countries and Norway.1 The petitioner is a domestic producer of silicon metal.2

    1See “Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petition,” dated March 8, 2017 (Petitions).

    2Id., Volume I at 1.

    On March 9, 2017, and March 13, 2017, the Department requested supplemental information pertaining to certain areas of the Petitions with respect to Australia 3 and Brazil. 4 The petitioner filed responses to these requests on March 14, 2017, and March 15, 2017.5 6

    3See Letter from the Department, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Silicon Metal from Australia: Supplemental Questions,” March 13, 2017.

    4See Letter from the Department “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Silicon Metal from Brazil: Supplemental Questions,” March 9, 2017; see also Memorandum to the File from Bob Palmer, “Countervailing Duty Investigation on Silicon Metal from Brazil: Phone Call with Petitioner,” March 15, 2017.

    5See Letter from the petitioner, re: “Silicon Metal from Brazil; Countervailing Duty Investigation; Response to Deficiency Questionnaire,” dated March 14, 2017, and Letter from the petitioners, re: “Silicon Metal from Australia; Countervailing Duty Investigation; Response to Deficiency Questionnaire,” dated March 15, 2017.

    6 The petitioner also submitted information regarding the average useful life of assets used to produced silicon metal on the record of the Kazakhstan proceeding. See Letter from the petitioner, re: “Silicon Metal from Kazakhstan; Countervailing Duty Investigation; Information on Useful Lives of Assets,” dated March 15, 2017.

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan received countervailable subsidies from the Governments of Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan, respectively, within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, for those alleged programs on which we are initiating CVD investigations, the Petitions are accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigations that the petitioner is requesting.7

    7See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions” section, below.

    Period of Investigations

    Because the petitions were filed on March 8, 2017, the period of investigation (POI) for each investigation is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.8

    8See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2).

    Scope of the Investigations

    The product covered by these investigations is silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan. For a full description of the scope of these investigations, see Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigations

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations, 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 determinations. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. 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 April 17, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (also limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET (Eastern Time) on April 27, 2017, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments. All such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of these investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently believes that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigations may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. As stated above, all such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).9 An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and 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.

    9See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011), 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 Governments of Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan of the receipt of the Petitions. Also, following invitations extended in accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act, on March 16, 20 and 24, 2017, respectively, consultations with the Governments of Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan at the Department's main building. Memoranda regarding these consultations are available electronically via ACCESS.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petitions

    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,10 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.11

    10See section 771(10) of the Act.

    11See 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).

    Regarding the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of these investigations. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that silicon metal, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.12

    12 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Silicon Metal from Australia (Australia CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway (Attachment II); Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Silicon Metal from Brazil (Brazil CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II; and Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Silicon Metal from Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II. These checklists are 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 Petitions with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I of this notice. The petitioner provided its own production of the domestic like product in 2016, as well as estimated 2016 production data of the domestic like product by the entire U.S. industry.13 The petitioner also provided a letter from the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW), stating that the USW represents the workers at the petitioner's Alloy, WV and Niagara Falls, NY silicon metal plants and it supports the Petitions.14 In addition, the petitioner provided a letter of support for the Petitions from the Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America (IEU-CWA), stating that the IEU-CWA represents the workers at the petitioner's Selma, AL plant and it supports the Petitions.15 To establish industry support, the petitioner compared its production to the total 2016 production of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.16 We relied on the data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.17

    13See Petitions, Volume I at 1, 3-4 and Exhibits I-1 and I-2.

    14See Petitions, Volume I at 4 and Exhibit I-5.

    15Id., at 4 and Exhibit I-6.

    16Id., at 3-4 and Exhibit I-2.

    17Id. For further discussion, see Australia CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Kazakhstan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petitions and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support.18 First, the Petitions 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).19 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 Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.20 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 Petitions 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 Petitions.21 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petitions were filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    18See Australia CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Kazakhstan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also Australia CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Kazakhstan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    20See Australia CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; Brazil CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II; and Kazakhstan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    21Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petitions on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigations that it is requesting the Department initiate.22

    22Id.

    Injury Test

    Because Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan are “Subsidies Agreement Countries” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to these investigations. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from these countries 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 thresholds provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.23 The petitioner also demonstrates that subject imports from Brazil, which has been designated as a developing country under section 771(36)(A) of the Act, exceed the negligibility threshold of four percent provided for under section 771(24)(B) of the Act.24

    23See Petitions, Volume I at 38-39 and Exhibit I-45.

    24Id.

    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; declines in production, production capacity, capacity utilization, and U.S. shipments; increase in inventories; declines in average number of workers, hours worked, and wages paid; and declines in financial performance.25 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.26

    25See Petitions, Volume I at 25-53 and Exhibits I-1, I-2, I-11—I-16, I-20, I-21, and I-30—I-60; see also Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petition: Revised Exhibit I-46, dated March 14, 2017.

    26See Australia CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway (Attachment III); see also Brazil CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III; and Kazakhstan CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III.

    Initiation of CVD Investigations

    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 the 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 petitioner supporting the allegations.

    The petitioner alleges that producers/exporters of silicon metal in Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan benefit from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the governments of these countries, respectively. The Department examined the Petitions and finds that they comply 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 these CVD investigations to determine whether manufacturers, producers, and/or exporters of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan receive countervailable subsidies from the governments of these countries, respectively.

    Under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws were made.27 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 these CVD investigations.28

    27See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015). See also, 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).

    28See Applicability Notice, 80 FR at 46794-95.

    Australia

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on all three alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see the Australia CVD Initiation Checklist.

    Brazil

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on all six alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see the Brazil CVD Initiation Checklist.

    Kazakhstan

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on five of the six alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the Kazakhstan CVD Initiation Checklist.

    A public version of the initiation checklist for each 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 determinations no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    Based on information from independent sources, the petitioner identified one company in Australia,29 five companies in Brazil,30 and two companies in Kazakhstan as producers/exporters of silicon metal.31 With respect to Brazil, following standard practice in CVD investigations, in the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large, the Department intends to review U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports under the appropriate HTSUS numbers listed with the “Scope of the Investigations,” in Appendix I, below; and if it determines that it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, then the Department will select respondents based on those data. We also intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO. Comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection should be submitted seven calendar days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of the investigation. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five calendar days after the deadline for the initial comments.

    29See Petitions, Volume I at 15-16 and Exhibit I-19 and 20.

    30See Petitions, Volume I at 16-19 and Exhibit I-20 and 21.

    31See Petitions, Volume I at 19 and Exhibit I-20.

    Although the Department normally relies on the number of producers/exporters identified in the petition and/or import data from CBP to determine whether to select a limited number of producers/exporters for individual examination in CVD investigations, the petitioner identified only one company as a producer/exporter of silicon metal in Australia: Simcoa Operations Pty Ltd., and two companies in Kazakhstan: (1) LLP Tau-Ken Temir, and; (2) LLP Metallurgical Combine Kaz Silicon. We currently know of no additional producers/exporters of merchandise under consideration from Australia and Kazakhstan and the petitioner provided information from independent sources as support.32 Accordingly, the Department intends to examine all known producers/exporters in the investigations for Australia and Kazakhstan (i.e., the companies cited above for each respective investigation). Parties wishing to comment on respondent selection for Australia and Kazakhstan must do so within five days of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    32See Petitions, Volume I at Exhibits I-17 and I-20.

    Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully, in its entirety, by ACCESS no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petitions

    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 Petitions have been provided to the Governments of Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petitions to each known exporter (as named in the Petitions), 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 Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petitions were filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and/or Kazakhstan are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.33 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country.34 Otherwise, these investigations will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    33See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    34See 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). Any party, when submitting factual information, must 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 these investigations.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    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. 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. 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 these investigations.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.35 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. 36 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    35See section 782(b) of the Act.

    36See 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 these investigations 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 Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigations

    The scope of these investigation covers all forms and sizes of silicon metal, including silicon metal powder. Silicon metal contains at least 85.00 percent but less than 99.99 percent silicon, and less than 4.00 percent iron, by actual weight. Semiconductor grade silicon (merchandise containing at least 99.99 percent silicon by actual weight and classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 2804.61.0000) is excluded from the scope of these investigations.

    Silicon metal is currently classifiable under subheadings 2804.69.1000 and 2804.69.5000 of the HTSUS. While HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope remains dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-06622 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-428-844] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Federal Republic of Germany: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ross Belliveau or David Goldberger, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4952 and (202) 482-4136, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from Germany.1 On November 29, 2016, we amended our Preliminary Determination.2 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.3

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Federal Republic of Germany: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 79446 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Federal Republic of Germany: Amended Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 85930 (November 29, 2016) (Amended Preliminary Determination).

    3See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Germany,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from Germany. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in November and December 2016, we conducted verification of the sales and cost information submitted by AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger) and Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH, Salzgitter Mannesmann Grobblech GmbH, Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH, and Salzgitter Mannesmann International GmbH (collectively, Salzgitter) for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by Dillinger and Salzgitter.4

    4 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Germany,” dated December 20, 2016; Memorandum, “Verification of Berg Steel Pipe Corp. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Germany,” dated January 4, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of Salzgitter AG in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Federal Republic of Germany,” dated January 4, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Berg Steel Pipe Corp. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from the Federal Republic of Germany,” dated January 25, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Home Market Sales Response of Salzgitter Mannesmann Grobblech GmbH in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Federal Republic of Germany,” dated January 31, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Salzgitter Mannesmann International GmbH in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Federal Republic of Germany,” dated February 1, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Salzgitter Mannesmann Stahlhandel GmbH International GmbH in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Federal Republic of Germany,” dated February 1, 2017.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for Dillinger and Salzgitter. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculations” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.

    For the final determination, the Department calculated the all-others rate based on a weighted average of Dillinger's and Salzgitter's margins using publicly-ranged quantities of their sales of subject merchandise.5

    5See Memorandum, “Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Germany: Calculation of the Final Margin for All Other Companies,” dated March 29, 2017. With two respondents, we normally calculate (A) a weighted-average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents; (B) a simple average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents; and (C) a weighted-average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents using each company's publicly-ranged values for the merchandise under consideration. We compare (B) and (C) to (A) and select the rate closest to (A) as the most appropriate rate for all other companies. See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Review, and Revocation of an Order in Part, 75 FR 53661, 53663 (September 1, 2010).

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke 5.38 Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH, Salzgitter Mannesmann Grobblech GmbH, Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH, and Salzgitter Mannesmann International GmbH 22.90 All Others 21.03
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Germany, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register.

    Further, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from Germany no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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; and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560, • MIL-DTL-12560H, • MIL-DTL-12560J, • MIL-DTL-12560K, • MIL-DTL-32332, • MIL-A-46100D, • MIL-DTL-46100-E, • MIL-46177C, • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80, • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100, • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80; • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115, except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28, • Silicon 0.05-0.20, • Manganese 1.20-1.60, • Nickel not greater than 1.0, • Sulfur not greater than 0.007, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.0-2.5, • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80, • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW, (ii) 290-320 HBW, or (iii) 320-350HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28, • Silicon 0.05-0.15, • Manganese 1.20-1.50, • Nickel not greater than 0.4, • Sulfur not greater than 0.010, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.20-1.50, • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55, • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30, • Silicon not greater than 0.25, • Manganese not greater than 0.50, • Nickel 3.0-3.5, • Sulfur not greater than 0.010, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.0-1.5, • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9, • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12 • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Scope Comments V. Margin Calculations VI. Discussion of the Issues 1. Differential Pricing Methodology 2. Application of Adverse Facts Available to Salzgitter 3. Excluding Sales Produced by an Unaffiliated Manufacturer for Salzgitter 4. Shipment Date for Salzgitter's Export Price Sales 5. Level of Trade for Salzgitter 6. Capping Freight Revenue for Berg Steel Pipe Corp.'s (BSPC's) Sales 7. Capping BSPC's Revenues for Further Manufacturing by Associated Expenses 8. Salzgitter's Short-Term Euro-Denominated Interest Rate 9. Treatment of Salzgitter Home Market Resales of Further-Processed CTL Plate 10. Adding a Fabrication Product Characteristic for Salzgitter 11. Salzgitter Credit Expense Revisions at Verification 12. Salzgitter Home Market Revenue Items 13. MGB Underreported Costs 14. MGB Scrap Offset 15. Cost Adjustments for Other Salzgitter Manufacturing Entities 16. MGB's G&A Ratio Denominator 17. Further Manufacturing General and Administrative (G&A) Ratio Denominator 18. Further Manufacturing Scrap Offset 19. Further Manufacturing Verification Minor Corrections 20. Home Market Affiliated Service Center Sales for Dillinger 21. Level of Trade for Dillinger 22. Reassignment of Quality Codes for Dillinger 23. Descaling Product Characteristic for Dillinger 24. Interest Rate for Dillinger's U.S. Credit Expenses 25. Excluding Sales of Military Grade Plate for Dillinger 26. Payment Dates for Certain of Dillinger's Home Market and U.S. Sales 27. Corrections from Verification for Dillinger 28. Currency Conversions for Certain Movement Expenses Reported for Dillinger's U.S. Sales 29. Inclusion of Interest Rate in the Affiliated Input Cost of Production for Dillinger 30. Non-Prime Plate Product Costs for Dillinger 31. Blast Furnace Coke Adjustment for Dillinger 32. Dillinger's Reported Affiliated Party Costs 33. G&A Expense Ratio Adjustment Related to Services Obtained from an Affiliated Party for Dillinger 34. Cost Reconciliation Adjustments for Dillinger VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06628 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-427-828] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from France is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brandon Custard or Terre Keaton Stefanova, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1823 and (202) 482-1280, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from France.1 On December 2, 2016, we amended our Preliminary Determination. 2 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.3

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 79437 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France: Amended Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 87019 (December 2, 2016) (Amended Preliminary Determination). See also Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France: Correction to the Amended Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 90780 (December 15, 2016).

    3See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from France. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in November and December 2016, we conducted verification of the sales and cost information submitted by Dillinger France S.A. (Dillinger France) and Industeel France S.A. (Industeel) for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by Dillinger France and Industeel.4

    4 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Dillinger France S.A. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated December 22, 2016; Memorandum, “Verification of Berg Steel Pipe Corp. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated December 30, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of Dillinger France S.A. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated January 12, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of Industeel France S.A. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated January 17, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Industeel France S.A. (Industeel France) in the Antidumping Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated January 19, 2017; and Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Berg Steel Pipe Corp. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated January 25, 2017.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculation for Dillinger France. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculation” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Adverse Facts Available

    Due to its failures at verification, we determine that Industeel's data cannot serve as a reliable basis for reaching a determination in this investigation and that Industeel did not act to the best of its ability to comply with our requests for information. Therefore, we find it appropriate to apply adverse facts available (AFA), in accordance with sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 2.

    We are able to corroborate the highest petition dumping margin of 148.02 percent to the extent practicable within the meaning of section 776(c) of the Act using the highest transaction-specific dumping margin calculated for Dillinger France and, thus, we assigned this dumping margin to Industeel as AFA. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 2.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Dillinger France is the only respondent for which the Department calculated a company-specific margin. Therefore, for purposes of determining the “all-others” rate and pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the dumping margin calculated for Dillinger France, as referenced in the “Final Determination” section below.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-average dumping margins
  • (percent)
  • Dillinger France S.A. 8.62 Industeel France S.A. 148.02 All Others 8.62
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from France, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register.

    Further, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from France no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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; and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560,

    • MIL-DTL-12560H,

    • MIL-DTL-12560J,

    • MIL-DTL-12560K,

    • MIL-DTL-32332,

    • MIL-A-46100D,

    • MIL-DTL-46100-E,

    • MIL-46177C,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100,

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80;

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115,

    except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.20,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.60,

    • Nickel not greater than 1.0,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.007,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-2.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW,

    (ii) 290-320 HBW, or

    (iii) 320-350HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.15,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.50,

    • Nickel not greater than 0.4,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.20-1.50,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30,

    • Silicon not greater than 0.25,

    • Manganese not greater than 0.50,

    • Nickel 3.0-3.5,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-1.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9,

    • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Use of Adverse Facts Available IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Scope Comments VI. Margin Calculations VII. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Differential Pricing Methodology Comment 2: Application of Adverse Facts Available for Industeel Comment 3: Moot Arguments for Induststeel Comment 4: Level of Trade for Dillinger France Comment 5: Home Market Affiliated Service Center Sales for Dillinger France Comment 6: Resale of Canceled U.S. Sale for Dillinger France Comment 7: Capping Freight Revenue for Berg Steel Pipe Corp.'s (BSPC's) Sales Comment 8: Capping BSPC's Revenues for Further Manufacturing by Associated Expenses Comment 9: Corrections to Dillinger France's Data to Account for Verification Findings Comment 10: Provision Expenses for Dillinger France Comment 11: Non-Prime Product Costs for Dillinger France Comment 12: Cost of Production for Inputs Purchased from Affiliates for Dillinger France Comment 13: Income Offsets to General and Administrative (G&A) Expenses for Dillinger France Comment 14: Further Manufacturing Verification Corrections for BSPC Comment 15: Further Manufacturing Scrap Offset for BSPC Comment 16: Further Manufacturing G&A Ratio Denominator for BSPC Comment 17: Further Manufacturing G&A Expense Ratio Calculation and Application for BSPC VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06627 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-433-812] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Austria: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from Austria is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). In addition, we determine that critical circumstances exist with respect to voestalpine, but not for all-other Austrian producers, imports, or exports of the subject merchandise. The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edythe Artman or Madeline Heeren, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3931 and (202) 482-9179, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from Austria.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of the Final Determination, 81 FR 79416 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from Austria. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in November 2016 through January 2017 we verified the sales and cost information submitted by voestalpine 3 for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by voestalpine.4

    3 In a Memorandum to Scot Fullerton, Director, Office VI, on the subject of the “Less Than Fair Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Austria: Preliminary Affiliation and Collapsing Memorandum for voestalpine,” dated November 4, 2016, we preliminarily determined that the following companies were affiliated and should be treated as a single entity for purposes of the investigation, pursuant to section 771(33)(F) of the Act: voestalpine Grobblech and voestalpine Steel Service Center GmbH, which are producers of carbon plate; Bohler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG and Bohler Bleche GmbH & Co KG, producers of alloy plate; and Bohler International GmbH, a home-market sales affiliate (collectively voestalpine). The finding has not changed for the final determination and we refer to the collapsed entity as “voestalpine” throughout this notice.

    4 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum to the File from Madeline Heeren and Chelsey Simonovich, Analysts, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, entitled “Verification of the Sales Response of voestalpine Steel and Service Center GmbH (SSC) and Bohler Bleche GmbH & Co. KG (BBG) in the Antidumping Duty Investigation from Austria,” dated February 9, 2017; Memorandum to the File from Edythe Artman, Madeline Heeren, and Chelsey Simonovich, Analysts, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, entitled “Verification of Bohler-Uddeholm Corporation in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria,” dated February 9, 2017; Memorandum to the File from Milton Koch, Accountant, and Taija A. Slaughter, Supervisory Accountant, Office of Accounting, entitled “Verification of the Cost Response of voestalpine AG in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria,” dated January 30, 2017; and Memorandum to the File from Milton Koch, Accountant, and Taija A. Slaughter, Supervisory Accountant, entitled “Verification of the Cost Response of voestalpine AG in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria,” dated February 1, 2017.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for voestalpine. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculations” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    For the Preliminary Determination, the Department found that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of CTL plate from voestalpine and do not exist with respect to imports of CTL plate from the companies that are covered by the “all others” rate.5 Our analysis and conclusion concerning critical circumstances remain unchanged for our final determination. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and Final Critical Circumstances Data Memo.6

    5See Preliminary Determination, and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 23.

    6See Memorandum to the File, “Calculations for Final Determination of Critical Circumstances in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria,” dated March 29, 2017 (Final Critical Circumstances Data Memo).

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. voestalpine is the only respondent for which the Department calculated a specific margin. Therefore, for purposes of calculating the “all-others” rate, and pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the dumping margin calculated for voestalpine as the all-others rate, as referenced in the “Final Determination” section below.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Bohler Bleche GmbH & Co KG 53.72 Bohler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG Bohler International GmbH voestalpine Grobblech GmbH voestalpine Steel Service Center GmbH All Others 53.72
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Austria, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. For entries made by voestalpine, in accordance with section 735(c)(4)(A) of the Act, because we continue to find that critical circumstances exist, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Austria which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after August 16, 2016, which is 90 days prior to the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Further, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    International Trade Comission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(A) and (d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from Austria no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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; and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560,

    • MIL-DTL-12560H,

    • MIL-DTL-12560J,

    • MIL-DTL-12560K,

    • MIL-DTL-32332,

    • MIL-A-46100D,

    • MIL-DTL-46100-E,

    • MIL-46177C,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100,

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80;

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115,

    except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.20,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.60,

    • Nickel not greater than 1.0,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.007,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-2.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW,

    (ii) 290-320 HBW, or

    (iii) 320-350 HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.15,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.50,

    • Nickel not greater than 0.4,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.20-1.50,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30,

    • Silicon not greater than 0.25,

    • Manganese not greater than 0.50,

    • Nickel 3.0-3.5,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-1.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9,

    • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Critical Circumstances IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Scope Comments VI. Margin Calculations VII. Discussion of the Issues 1. Product Characteristic and Model Matching Methodology 2. Collapsing of Companies by Division 3. Changes to Level of Trade Analysis 4. Use of Actual Weight Bases 5. Adjustment to Home Market Sales for Hub Fee 6. Calculation of U.S. Indirect Selling Expenses for Non-Further-Manufactured Products 7. Use of Revised Databases to Calculate Final Dumping Margin 8. Implementation of Verification Findings a. Reported Weight for a CEP Sale b. Cost Variances 9. BBG's Purchases from Affiliated Suppliers 10. Grobblech and SSC's Affiliated Supplier Purchases 11. Record Keeping Based on Country of Origin 12. Differential Pricing VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06634 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-887] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From the Republic of Korea: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Critical Circumstances Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from the Republic of Korea is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael J. Heaney or Erin Kearney, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4475 and (202) 482-0167, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from the Republic of Korea.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from the Republic of Korea: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 79441 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination and Final Negative Critical Circumstances Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from the Republic of Korea. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in December 2016 and February 2017, we verified the sales and cost information submitted by POSCO and POSCO Daewoo (collectively POSCO) for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by POSCO.3

    3 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum to the File from Kalsang Dorjee, Staff Accountant, Through Ernest Z. Gziryan, Lead Accountant to Neal Halper Director, Office of Accounting, Office II, entitled “Verification of the Cost Response of POSCO and Daewoo International Corporation in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Korea,” dated January 12, 2016; Memorandum to the File from Michael J. Heaney, and Moses Song, Analysts, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, entitled “Verification of the Sales Response of POSCO/Daewoo International Corporation in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate (CTL Plate) from the Republic of Korea,” dated February 14, 2017; Memorandum from Michael J. Heaney to the File entitled “Verification of the Sales Response of Daewoo Corporation America (DWA) in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate (CTL Plate) from the Republic of Korea,” dated February 14, 2017.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for POSCO. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculations” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    On July 26, 2016, the petitioners 4 timely filed a critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of CTL plate from Korea.5 The Department preliminarily determined that critical circumstances did not exist with respect to POSCO and all-other producers/exporters from Korea.6 We received no comments concerning our Preliminary Critical Circumstances Determination. Accordingly, our analysis and conclusion concerning critical circumstances remain unchanged for our final determination.

    4 The petitioners are ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, and SSAB Enterprises, LLC.

    5See Letter from the petitioners, “Re: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey: Critical Circumstances Allegations,” dated July 26, 2016.

    6See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations: Preliminary Determinations of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 61666 (September 7, 2016) (Preliminary Critical Circumstances Determination).

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. POSCO is the only respondent for which the Department calculated a company-specific margin. Therefore, for purposes of determining the “all-others” rate and in accordance with section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the dumping margin calculated for POSCO, as referenced in the “Final Determination” section below.7

    7 In accordance with the scope of this investigation, the application of POSCO's antidumping rate to all-other producers/exporters applies only to subject CTL plate not within the physical description of cut-to-length carbon quality steel plate in the Notice of Amendment of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and the Republic of Korea 65 FR 6585 (February 10, 2000) (1999 Korea AD Order).

    Also, as indicated by the scope of the investigation, at the time of the filing of the petition, there was an existing antidumping duty order on certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate from Korea.8 The scope of the instant investigation covers only: (1) Subject CTL plate not within the physical description of cut-to-length carbon quality steel plate in the 1999 Korea AD Order regardless of producer or exporter; and (2) CTL plate produced and/or exported by those companies that were excluded or revoked from the 1999 Korea AD Order as of April 8, 2016. The only revoked or excluded company is POSCO.

    8See 1999 Korea AD Order.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • POSCO 7.39 All Others 7.39
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from the Republic of Korea, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register.

    Further, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    International Trade Comission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from the Republic of Korea no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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 unless the product is already covered by an order existing on that specific country (i.e., Certain Hot Rolled Steel Flat Products from Australia, Brazil, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Republic of Turkey, and the United Kingdom: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determination for Australia, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Turkey and Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 67962 (October 3, 2016), and (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560, • MIL-DTL-12560H, • MIL-DTL-12560J, • MIL-DTL-12560K, • MIL-DTL-32332, • MIL-A-46100D, • MIL-DTL-46100-E, • MIL-46177C, • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80, • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100, • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80, • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115. except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28, • Silicon 0.05-0.20, • Manganese 1.20-1.60, • Nickel not greater than 1.0, • Sulfur not greater than 0.007, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.0-2.5, • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80, • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW,

    (ii) 290-320 HBW, or

    (iii) 320-350HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28, • Silicon 0.05-0.15, • Manganese 1.20-1.50, • Nickel not greater than 0.4, • Sulfur not greater than 0.010, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.20-1.50, • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55, • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30, • Silicon not greater than 0.25, • Manganese not greater than 0.50, • Nickel 3.0-3.5, • Sulfur not greater than 0.010, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.0-1.5, • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9, • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12, • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at -40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    At the time of the filing of the petition, there was an existing antidumping duty order on certain cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate products from Korea. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cut-To-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from Korea, 64 FR 73,196 (Dep't Commerce Dec. 29, 1999), as amended, 65 FR 6,585 (Dep't Commerce Feb 10, 2000) (1999 Korea AD Order). The scope of the antidumping duty investigation with regard to cut-to-length plate from Korea covers only (1) subject cut-to-length plate not within the physical description of cut-to-length carbon quality steel plate in the 1999 Korea AD Order, regardless of producer or exporter; and (2) cut-to-length plate produced and/or exported by those companies that were excluded or revoked from the 1999 Korea AD Order as of April 8, 2016. The only revoked or excluded company is Pohang Iron and Steel Company, also known as POSCO.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Scope Comments V. Margin Calculations VI. Discussion of the Issues 1. Differential Pricing 2. Whether POSCO Cost Reporting Merits Use of Adverse Facts Available 3. Expenses Related to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program 4. Investment Activities 5. Litigation Expenses 6. POSCO Sales of CONNUM Used in Line Pipe Applications 7. Collapsing 8. Calculation of POSCO Freight Cap 9. Whether to Grant POSCO a CEP Offset VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06631 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-858] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Taiwan: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from Taiwan is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). In addition, we determine that critical circumstances do not exist with respect to imports of the subject merchandise. The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Davina Friedmann or Tyler Weinhold, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0698 and (202) 482-1121, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from Taiwan.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 79420 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Taiwan,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from Taiwan. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in November and December 2016, and in January 2017, we verified the sales and cost information submitted by China Steel Corporation (China Steel) and Shang Chen Steel Co., Ltd. (Shang Chen) for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by China Steel and Shang Chen.3

    3 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: For China Steel, see Memorandum to the File from Tyler Weinhold, Davina Friedmann, and Tom Bellhouse, Case Analysts, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, entitled “Verification of the Sales Responses of China Steel corp. in the Investigation on Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From France,” dated February 15, 2017 (China Steel Sales Verification Report); and Memorandum to Neal Halper from Gary Urso, Senior Accountant, Office of Accounting, entitled “Verification of the Cost Response of China Steel Corporation in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Taiwan,” dated February 9, 2017 (China Steel Cost Verification Report). For Shang Chen, see Memorandum to the File from Davina Friedmann, Tyler Weinhold, and Tom Bellhouse, Case Analysts, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, entitled “Verification of the Sales Responses of Shang Chen Steel Co., Ltd. in the Investigation on Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Taiwan,” dated February 9, 2017 (Shang Chen Sales Verification Report); Memorandum to Neal Halper File, Director of Accounting, from Lakshmi Jones Accountant, Office of Accounting, entitled “Verification of the Cost of Production (COP) and Constructed Value (CV) Response of Shang Chen Steel Co. Ltd. (SCS) in the antidumping duty investigation of Cut-to-Length Plate from Taiwan,” dated January 26, 2017 (Shang Chen Cost Verification Report).

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for China Steel and Shang Chen. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculations” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Determination of Negative Critical Circumstances

    For the Preliminary Determination, the Department found that critical circumstances existed with respect to imports of CTL plate from China Steel and the companies that are covered by the “all others” rate, but did not exist for imports from Shang Chen.4 We modified our critical circumstances findings for China Steel and the companies that are covered by the “all others” rate for the final determination. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 11. Thus, pursuant to section 735(a)(3) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, we find that critical circumstances do not exist with respect to subject merchandise produced or exported by China Steel, Shang Chen, or the companies that are covered by the “all others” rate.

    4See Preliminary Determination, and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 4 to 5.

    Adverse Facts Available

    In making this final determination, the Department relied, in part, on facts available for China Steel and Shang Chen. Furthermore, because China Steel and Shang Chen did not act to the best of their ability in responding to certain of the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.5 For further information, see the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    5See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. For the final determination, the Department calculated the “all others” rate based on a simple average of China Steel's and Shang Chen's margins.6

    6 Because we did not have useable publicly-ranged data on the record, we based the all others rate on the simple average of the mandatory respondents' margins.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • China Steel Corporation 6.95 Shang Chen Steel Co., Ltd 3.62 All Others 5.29
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Taiwan, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. The Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price as shown above.

    Further, because our final critical circumstances determination is negative, in accordance with section 735(c)(3) of the Act, we will instruct CBP to terminate the retroactive suspension of liquidation ordered at the Preliminary Determination for China Steel and “all other” companies and to release any bond or security and refund any cash deposits required with respect to entries covered by the retroactive suspension of liquidation.

    International Trade Comission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from France no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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; and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560, • MIL-DTL-12560H, • MIL-DTL-12560J, • MIL-DTL-12560K, • MIL-DTL-32332, • MIL-A-46100D, • MIL-DTL-46100-E, • MIL-46177C, • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80, • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100, • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80; • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80, • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115, except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28, • Silicon 0.05-0.20, • Manganese 1.20-1.60, • Nickel not greater than 1.0, • Sulfur not greater than 0.007, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.0-2.5, • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80, • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW, (ii) 290-320 HBW, or (iii) 320-350HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28, • Silicon 0.05-0.15, • Manganese 1.20-1.50, • Nickel not greater than 0.4, • Sulfur not greater than 0.010, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.20-1.50, • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,
    • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30, • Silicon not greater than 0.25, • Manganese not greater than 0.50, • Nickel 3.0-3.5, • Sulfur not greater than 0.010, • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020, • Chromium 1.0-1.5, • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9, • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12 • Boron 0.002-0.004, • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm, • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II

    List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Use of Adverse Facts Available a. China Steel b. Shang Chen IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Scope Comments VI. Affiliations and Collapsing VII. Margin Calculations VIII. Discussion of Issues a. China Steel 1. Whether to Apply Total Adverse Facts Available to China Steel 2. China Steel Excluded Operating Costs 3. China Steel Under-Reported Prime Merchandise 4. China Steel Under-Reported G&A Expenses 5. China Steel Under-Reported Interest Expenses 6. China Steel Improperly Reduced COGS 7. China Steel Date of Sale 8. China Steel Home Market Post-Sale Price Adjustments 9. China Steel Destination Codes 10. China Steel Packing Expenses 11. Critical Circumstances 12. Alleged Errors in China Steel Verification Report b. Shang Chen 13. Total Adverse Facts Available for Shang Chen 14. Adjustments to the Reported Per-Unit Cost of Manufacturing 15. Shang Chen General and Administrative Expenses 16. Shang Chen Scrap Offset 17. Quarterly Cost Data 18. Shang Chen Differential Pricing Analysis 19. Shang Chen Date of Sale 20. Shang Chen Sales-Related Revenues 21. Shang Chen Reported Packing Cost 22. Alleged Error in Shang Chen's Margin Calculation Program IX. Recommendation [FR Doc. 2017-06703 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Docket No.: 170301219-7219-01] RIN 0625-XC029 Amendment to the Privacy Shield Cost Recovery Fees AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of amendment to the Privacy Shield cost recovery program fees, with request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Consistent with the guidelines in OMB Circular A-25, the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) is revising the fee schedule implemented on August 1, 2016. On January 12, 2017, the Swiss Government announced the approval of the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework as a valid legal mechanism to comply with Swiss requirements when transferring personal data from Switzerland to the United States. For more detailed information on the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the announcement, please see https://www.privacyshield.gov/Program-Overview.

    This notice revises the Privacy Shield fee structure to incorporate the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework in addition to the existing EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. This is to support the operation of both the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks (Privacy Shield).

    DATES:

    These fees are effective April 12, 2017. Comments must be received by May 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.Regulations.gov. The identification number is ITA-2017-0001.

    • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery to Joshua Blume, Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Room 11022, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC and reference “Privacy Shield Fee Structure, ITA-2017-0001” in the subject line.

    Instructions: You must submit comments by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received and considered. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. ITA will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/ ITA-2017-0001.

    More information regarding the Privacy Shield can be found at https://www.privacyshield.gov/Program-Overview.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information regarding the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks should be directed to Joshua Blume, Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Room 11022, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, tel. 202-482-0988 or 202-482-1512 or via email at [email protected] Additional information on ITA fees is available at trade.gov/fees.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background:

    In the revised fee structure, there will be one annual fee applied to U.S. organizations to participate in either the Swiss-U.S. or EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks. Should a U.S. organization opt to self-certify for both programs, they will be provided a reduced rate for the second Framework and be required to synchronize their recertifications to both Frameworks to maximize efficiency. Additionally, a fee will be applied annually to organizations that withdraw from the Privacy Shield and continue to maintain data received while they participated in the Privacy Shield. The cost recovery program will support the administration and supervision of the Privacy Shield and support Privacy Shield services including education and outreach. The revised Privacy Shield fee structure will become effective on April 12, 2017, when ITA will begin accepting certifications to the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield.

    While the revised fees will be effective April 12, 2017, ITA is providing the public with the opportunity to comment on these revised fees. ITA will then review all comments and reassess the Privacy Shield fees after August 1, 2017, a full year from initial implementation of Privacy Shield, as originally discussed in the Cost Recovery Fee Schedule for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, published September 30, 2016. The review will recur at least every two years thereafter, in accordance with OMB Circular A-25.

    Consistent with the guidelines in OMB Circular A-25, federal agencies are responsible for implementing cost recovery program fees. The role of ITA is to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promote trade and investment, and ensure fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements. ITA works to promote privacy policy frameworks to facilitate the flow of data across borders and support international trade.

    The United States, the European Union (EU), and Switzerland share the goal of enhancing privacy protection but take different approaches to protecting personal data. Given those differences, the Department of Commerce (DOC) developed the Privacy Shield Frameworks in consultation with the European Commission, the Swiss Government, and with industry and other stakeholders, to provide organizations in the United States with a reliable mechanism for personal data transfers to the United States from the European Union and Switzerland while ensuring the data is protected in a manner consistent with EU and Swiss law.

    As referenced in the Cost Recovery Fee Schedule for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, published September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67293), the European Commission approved the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework on July 12, 2016. More recently, on January 12, 2017, the Swiss government approved the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, which is based on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The published Privacy Shield is available at https://www.privacyshield.gov/. The DOC has issued the Privacy Shield Framework Principles under its statutory authority to foster, promote, and develop international commerce (15 U.S.C. 1512).

    ITA administers and supervises the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, including by maintaining and making publicly available an authoritative list of U.S. organizations that have self-certified to the DOC. U.S. organizations submit information to ITA to self-certify their compliance with Privacy Shield. ITA similarly will administer and supervise the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. ITA will accept self-certification submissions for the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield beginning on April 12, 2017. Consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act, ITA published proposed information collections as described in the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks for public notice and comment (81 FR 78775 and 82 FR 7796; and 82 FR 6492, respectively).

    U.S. organizations considering self-certifying to the Privacy Shield should review the Privacy Shield Frameworks. In summary, to enter either the EU or Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, an organization must (a) be subject to the investigatory and enforcement powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Department of Transportation; (b) publicly declare its commitment to comply with the Privacy Shield Framework Principles through self-certification to the DOC; (c) publicly disclose its privacy policies in line with the Privacy Shield Framework Principles; and (d) fully implement them.

    Self-certification to the DOC is voluntary. However, an organization's failure to comply with the Privacy Shield Framework Principles after its self-certification is enforceable under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts in or affecting commerce (15 U.S.C. 45(a)) or other laws or regulations prohibiting such acts.

    ITA implemented a cost recovery program to support the operation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and is revising that fee schedule to additionally support the operation of the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. The fee a given organization will be charged will be based on the organization's annual revenue. A separate fee will be applied annually to organizations that withdraw from the Privacy Shield and continue to maintain data received while they participated in the Privacy Shield. The cost recovery program will support the administration and supervision of the Privacy Shield program and support the provision of Privacy Shield-related services, including education and outreach.

    The Cost Recovery Fee Schedule for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, published September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67293), describes the fees implemented by ITA to cover the administration and supervision of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. Under this revision to the fee structure, organizations that join only one Privacy Shield Framework, whether EU or Swiss, will pay the same single fee when initially self-certifying or re-certifying. Organizations that join both Frameworks will pay an additional 50 percent of that single fee when self-certifying or re-certifying for the second Framework, reflecting the efficiency savings in administering the Program for organizations that participate in both Frameworks.

    These efficiency savings are maximized if organizations self-certify to both Frameworks simultaneously, reducing the required staff time and resources for reviewing materials. Accordingly, organizations that join both Frameworks will be required to synchronize recertification between the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks by renewing their certifications to both Frameworks simultaneously.

    In addition, in order to allow organizations to set their own annual schedules, organizations that participate in one or both Frameworks may adjust their annual recertification date by re-certifying early to one or both Frameworks.

    For example, organizations that already have joined the EU Framework and wish to join the Swiss Framework as well will have three options for timing the synchronized recertification. Such organizations may (a) self-certify to the Swiss Framework before the EU renewal comes due and re-certify early to the EU Framework at the same time; (b) wait until their certification to the EU Framework is up for renewal and self-certify to the Swiss Framework at the same time as they renew their certification to the EU Framework; or (c) self-certify to the Swiss Framework separately (without waiting for their recertification to the EU Framework to come due), and then re-certify to both Frameworks when their recertification to the EU Framework comes due.

    Finally, a fixed annual fee of $200 will be charged for organizations that withdraw from the Privacy Shield and maintain data received under Privacy Shield. This fee has been set to cover staff costs for reviewing the questionnaires of organizations withdrawing from the program, as well as the necessary Web site infrastructure to facilitate submission of the proper documents. Additionally, this fee is set to be less than any organization would be required to pay for recertification. These fees are set forth below:

    Revised Annual Fee Schedule for the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks Organization's annual revenue Single
  • framework
  • Both
  • frameworks
  • $0 to $5 million $250 $375 Over $5 million to $25 million 650 975 Over $25 million to $500 million 1,000 1,500 Over $500 million to $5 billion 2,500 3,750 Over $5 billion 3,250 4,875

    Annual Fee for Retaining Data after Withdrawal: $200.

    Organizations will have additional direct costs associated with participating in the Privacy Shield. For example, Privacy Shield organizations must provide a readily available independent recourse mechanism to hear individual complaints at no cost to the individual. Furthermore, organizations will be required to pay contributions in connection with the arbitral model, as described in Annex I to the Principles.

    Method for Determining Fees

    ITA collects, retains, and expends user fees pursuant to delegated authority under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act as authorized in its annual appropriations acts. The Privacy Shield was developed to provide organizations in the United States with a reliable mechanism for personal data transfers that underpin the trade and investment relationships between the United States and (1) the EU, and (2) Switzerland. As one of only several valid data transfer mechanisms, Privacy Shield operates in a way that provides strong consumer protection as well as a more effective and efficient service to corporations at a lower cost than other options, including standard contractual clauses or binding corporate rules.

    Fees are set taking into account the operational costs borne by ITA to administer and supervise the Privacy Shield program. As described in the Cost Recovery Fee Schedule for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, published September 30, 2016 (81 FR 267293), the Privacy Shield program requires a significant commitment of resources and staff. These costs include broad programmatic costs to run the Privacy Shield as well as costs specific to each of the Privacy Shield Frameworks and to the program that allows Participants to retain data after withdrawal from Privacy Shield. The Privacy Shield includes commitments from ITA to:

    • Maintain, upgrade, and update a Privacy Shield Web site;

    • verify self-certification requirements submitted by organizations to participate in the Privacy Shield;

    • expand efforts to follow up with organizations that have been removed from the Privacy Shield List and ensure, where applicable, that questionnaires are correctly filed and processed;

    • search for and address false claims of participation;

    • conduct periodic compliance reviews and assessments of the program;

    • provide information regarding the program to targeted audiences;

    • increase cooperation with EU and Swiss data protection authorities;

    • facilitate resolution of complaints about non-compliance;

    • hold annual meetings with the European Commission, Swiss government, and other authorities to review the program; and

    • provide an update of laws relevant to Privacy Shield.

    In setting these revised Privacy Shield fees, ITA determined that the services provided offer special benefits to an identifiable recipient beyond those that accrue to the general public. ITA calculated the actual cost of providing its services in order to provide a basis for setting each fee. This actual cost incorporates direct and indirect costs, including operations and maintenance, overhead, and charges for the use of capital facilities. ITA also took into account additional factors, including adequacy of cost recovery, affordability, and costs associated with alternative options available to U.S. organizations for the receipt of personal data from the EU and Switzerland. Furthermore, ITA considered the cost-savings and efficiencies gained in staff hours through simultaneous review of self-certifications for both the Swiss-U.S. and EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks. This analysis balanced these cost savings with projected expenses, including, but not limited to, Web site development, further negotiations with the EU and Switzerland, an annual review, certification review, and facilitating complaint resolutions.

    ITA will continue to use the established five-tiered fee schedule (81 FR 267293) that has promoted participation of small organizations in Privacy Shield, while implementing a reduced rate for organizations self-certifying to both the Swiss-U.S. and EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks. A multiple-tiered fee schedule allows ITA to offer organizations with lower revenue a lower fee. In setting the five tiers, ITA considered, in conjunction with the factors mentioned above: (1) The Small Business Administration's guidance on identifying small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in various industries most likely to participate in the Privacy Shield, such as computer services, software and information services; (2) the likelihood that small companies would be expected to receive less personal data and thereby use fewer government resources; and (3) the likelihood that companies with higher revenue would have more customers whose data they process, which would use more government resources dedicated to administering and overseeing Privacy Shield. For example, if a company holds more data it could reasonably produce more questions and complaints from consumers and EU and Swiss Data Protection Authorities (DPAs). ITA has committed to facilitating the resolution of individual complaints and to communicating with the FTC and the DPAs regarding consumer complaints. Lastly, the fee increases between the tiers are based in part on projected program costs and estimated participation levels among companies within each tier.

    As noted above, the revised fee schedule recoups the costs to ITA for operating and maintaining Privacy Shield. Organizations seeking to join the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework may do so beginning on April 12, 2017, through Privacyshield.gov. ITA has taken into account efficiencies and economies of scale experienced when organizations participate in both Frameworks by providing a 50 percent discount off the second Framework and requiring organizations to synchronize their recertifications. The added cost of joining a second Framework reflects the additional expenses incurred, including, but not limited to, for communications with DPAs and Web site infrastructure and development, as well as the additional costs of cooperating and communicating separately with the EU and Swiss representatives and governments.

    The fee applied to organizations that withdraw from Privacy Shield but maintain data is meant to cover the programmatic costs associated with ITA's processing of such organizations' annual affirmation of commitment to continue to apply the Privacy Shield Framework Principles to the personal information they received while participating in the Privacy Shield. The flat fee is based on the expectation that government resources required to process this annual affirmation will be similar for all companies, regardless of size.

    Conclusion

    Based on the information provided above, ITA believes that the revised Privacy Shield cost recovery fees are consistent with the objective of OMB Circular A-25 to “promote efficient allocation of the nation's resources by establishing charges for special benefits provided to the recipient that are at least as great as the cost to the U.S. Government of providing the special benefits . . .” OMB Circular A-25(5)(b). ITA is providing the public with the opportunity to comment on the fee schedule, and it will consider these comments when it next reassesses the fee schedule. As noted in the Cost Recovery Fee Schedule for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, published September 30, 2016 (81 FR 267293), ITA will conduct its next fee reassessment after August 1, 2017, at the conclusion of the first year of implementation of the Privacy Shield. ITA will continue to conduct reassessments thereafter at least every two years, in accordance with OMB Circular A-25.

    Dated: March 28, 2017. Alysha Taylor, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, Industry & Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06437 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-423-812] Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate From Belgium: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from Belgium is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). In addition, we determine that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of the subject merchandise. The period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016. The final dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective April 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Medley or David Crespo, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4987 and (202) 482-3693, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 14, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV of CTL plate from Belgium.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2

    1See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Belgium: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 79431 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Belgium,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers CTL plate from Belgium. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. 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 https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), in November and December 2016, we verified the sales and cost information submitted by Industeel Belgium S.A. (Industeel), for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by Industeel.3

    3 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum, “Less Than Fair Value Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Belgium: Verification of the Sales Responses of Industeel Belgium S.A.,” dated January 18, 2017 and Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of Industeel Belgium S.A. (Industeel) in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Belgium,” dated January 23, 2017.

    In addition, as provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in December 2016 and January 2017, we also attempted to verify the sales and cost information submitted by NLMK Belgium,4 using standard verification procedures. However, as explained in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, the Department was unable to validate the accuracy of NLMK Belgium's reporting.5 As a consequence, we find that NLMK Belgium's reported data are unverifiable, and, thus, cannot serve as a reliable basis for reaching a determination in this investigation. Specifically, because we encountered so many errors within NLMK Belgium's reported data at verification, and the submitted sales and cost information is integral to the proper evaluation of its margin calculation, we find that all of the information submitted by NLMK Belgium is unverifiable. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comments 8-12.

    4 In the preliminary determination, the Department determined to collapse, and treat as a single entity, NLMK Clabecq S.A., NLMK Plate Sales S.A., NLMK Sales Europe S.A., NLMK Manage Steel Center S.A., and NLMK La Louviere S.A. (collectively, NLMK Belgium). No party has challenged this determination. Thus, we continue to find, for the final determination, that the five NLMK companies should be collapsed and treated as a single entity, NLMK Belgium.

    5 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of NLMK Belgium in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Belgium,” dated January 30, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of North America Plate LLC in the Antidumping Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-To-Length Plate from Belgium,” dated January 30, 2017; and Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of NLMK Clabecq SA in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Belgium,” dated January 11, 2017.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations for Industeel. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    For the Preliminary Determination, the Department found that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of CTL plate from Industeel and NLMK Belgium, and do not exist with respect to companies covered by the “all others” rate.6 We modified our critical circumstances findings for the final determination. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at “Critical Circumstances.” Thus, pursuant to section 735(a)(3)(B) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.206(h)(1)-(2), we find that critical circumstances exist with respect to subject merchandise produced or exported by NLMK Belgium and for “all others,” but not for Industeel.

    6See Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey; Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations: Preliminary Determinations of Critical Circumstances, 81 FR 61666 (September 7, 2016).

    Adverse Facts Available

    Due to its failures at verification, we determine that NLMK Belgium's data cannot serve as a reliable basis for reaching a determination in this investigation and that NLMK Belgium did not act to the best of its ability to comply with our requests for information. Therefore, we find it appropriate to apply adverse facts available (AFA), in accordance with sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308, to NLMK Belgium. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 11.

    We are able to corroborate the highest petition dumping margin of 51.78 percent to the extent practicable within the meaning of section 776(c) of the Act using the highest transaction-specific dumping margins calculated for Industeel and, thus, we assigned this dumping margin to NLMK Belgium as AFA. For further discussion, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at “Use of Adverse Facts Available.”

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Industeel is the only respondent for which the Department calculated a company-specific margin. Therefore, for purposes of determining the “all-others” rate and pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the dumping margin calculated for Industeel, as referenced in the “Final Determination” section below.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/manufacturer Weighted-average dumping margins
  • (percent)
  • Industeel Belgium S.A 5.40 NLMK Clabecq S.A., NLMK Plate Sales S.A., NLMK Sales Europe S.A., NLMK Manage Steel Center S.A., and/or NLMK La Louviere S.A 51.78 All Others 5.40
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Belgium, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. For entries made by NLMK Belgium, in accordance with section 735(c)(4)(B) of the Act, because we continue to find that critical circumstances exist, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Belgium which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after August 16, 2016, which is 90 days prior to the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Additionally, for entries made by the companies covered by the “all others” rate, in accordance with section 735(c)(4)(B) of the Act, because we find that critical circumstances exist, we will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of CTL plate from Belgium which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after August 16, 2016, which is 90 days prior to the date of publication of the preliminary determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Because the Department did not find critical circumstances to exist for Industeel, we will instruct CBP to liquidate all entries, without regard to duties, which entered prior to November 14, 2016, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination.

    Further, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amount by which the normal value exceeds the U.S. price, as shown above.

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of CTL plate from Belgium no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain carbon and alloy steel hot-rolled or forged flat plate products not in coils, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances (cut-to-length plate). Subject merchandise includes plate that is produced by being cut-to-length from coils or from other discrete length plate and plate that is rolled or forged into a discrete length. The products covered include (1) Universal mill plates (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4 mm, which are not in coils and without patterns in relief), and (2) hot-rolled or forged flat steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness, and which are not in coils, whether or not with patterns in relief. The covered products described above may be rectangular, square, circular or other shapes and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such non-rectangular cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges).

    For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above, the following rules apply:

    (1) Except where otherwise stated where the nominal and actual thickness or width measurements vary, a product from a given subject country 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; and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less by weight.

    Subject merchandise includes cut-to-length plate that has been further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to pickling, oiling, levelling, annealing, tempering, temper rolling, skin passing, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, beveling, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cut-to-length plate.

    All products that meet the written physical description, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded or covered by the scope of an existing order. The following products are outside of, and/or specifically excluded from, the scope of this investigation:

    (1) Products clad, plated, or coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastic or other non-metallic substances;

    (2) military grade armor plate certified to one of the following specifications or to a specification that references and incorporates one of the following specifications:

    • MIL-A-12560,

    • MIL-DTL-12560H,

    • MIL-DTL-12560J,

    • MIL-DTL-12560K,

    • MIL-DTL-32332,

    • MIL-A-46100D,

    • MIL-DTL-46100-E,

    • MIL-46177C,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY80,

    • MIL-S-16216K Grade HY100,

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-80;

    • MIL-S-24645A HSLA-100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HY100,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA80,

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Grade HSLA100, and

    • T9074-BD-GIB-010/0300 Mod. Grade HSLA115,

    except that any cut-to-length plate certified to one of the above specifications, or to a military grade armor specification that references and incorporates one of the above specifications, will not be excluded from the scope if it is also dual- or multiple-certified to any other non-armor specification that otherwise would fall within the scope of this investigation;

    (3) stainless steel plate, containing 10.5 percent or more of chromium by weight and not more than 1.2 percent of carbon by weight;

    (4) CTL plate meeting the requirements of ASTM A-829, Grade E 4340 that are over 305 mm in actual thickness;

    (5) Alloy forged and rolled CTL plate greater than or equal to 152.4 mm in actual thickness meeting each of the following requirements:

    (a) Electric furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed and having a chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.20,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.60,

    • Nickel not greater than 1.0,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.007,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-2.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.80,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) With a Brinell hardness measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness falling within one of the following ranges:

    (i) 270-300 HBW,

    (ii) 290-320 HBW, or

    (iii) 320-350 HBW;

    (c) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.0, C not exceeding 0.5, D not exceeding 1.5; and

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 2 mm flat bottom hole;

    (6) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, Ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.23-0.28,

    • Silicon 0.05-0.15,

    • Manganese 1.20-1.50,

    • Nickel not greater than 0.4,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.20-1.50,

    • Molybdenum 0.35-0.55,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm;

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.5, B not exceeding 1.5, C not exceeding 1.0, D not exceeding 1.5;

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties:

    (i) With a Brinell hardness not more than 237 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 75ksi min and UTS 95ksi or more, Elongation of 18% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −75 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 15 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens) and conforming to the requirements of NACE MR01-75; or

    (ii) With a Brinell hardness not less than 240 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 90 ksi min and UTS 110 ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 30% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the longitudinal direction equal or greater than 21 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 31 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301;

    (7) Alloy forged and rolled steel CTL plate over 407 mm in actual thickness and meeting the following requirements:

    (a) Made from Electric Arc Furnace melted, ladle refined & vacuum degassed, alloy steel with the following chemical composition (expressed in weight percentages):

    • Carbon 0.25-0.30,

    • Silicon not greater than 0.25,

    • Manganese not greater than 0.50,

    • Nickel 3.0-3.5,

    • Sulfur not greater than 0.010,

    • Phosphorus not greater than 0.020,

    • Chromium 1.0-1.5,

    • Molybdenum 0.6-0.9,

    • Vanadium 0.08 to 0.12,

    • Boron 0.002-0.004,

    • Oxygen not greater than 20 ppm,

    • Hydrogen not greater than 2 ppm, and

    • Nitrogen not greater than 60 ppm.

    (b) Having cleanliness in accordance with ASTM E45 method A (Thin and Heavy): A not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), B not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h), C not exceeding 1.0(t) and 0.5(h), and D not exceeding 1.5(t) and 1.0(h);

    (c) Having the following mechanical properties: A Brinell hardness not less than 350 HBW measured in all parts of the product including mid thickness; and having a Yield Strength of 145ksi or more and UTS 160ksi or more, Elongation of 15% or more and Reduction of area 35% or more; having charpy V at −40 degrees F in the transverse direction equal or greater than 20 ft. lbs (single value) and equal or greater than 25 ft. lbs (average of 3 specimens);

    (d) Conforming to ASTM A578-S9 ultrasonic testing requirements with acceptance criteria 3.2 mm flat bottom hole; and

    (e) Conforming to magnetic particle inspection in accordance with AMS 2301.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7225.40.1110, 7225.40.1180, 7225.40.3005, 7225.40.3050, 7226.20.0000, and 7226.91.5000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7208.40.6060, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.19.1500, 7211.19.2000, 7211.19.4500, 7211.19.6000, 7211.19.7590, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, 7214.10.0000, 7214.30.0010, 7214.30.0080, 7214.91.0015, 7214.91.0060, 7214.91.0090, 7225.11.0000, 7225.19.0000, 7225.40.5110, 7225.40.5130, 7225.40.5160, 7225.40.7000, 7225.99.0010, 7225.99.0090, 7226.11.1000, 7226.11.9060, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.91.0500, 7226.91.1530, 7226.91.1560, 7226.91.2530, 7226.91.2560, 7226.91.7000, 7226.91.8000, and 7226.99.0180.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Use of Adverse Facts Available IV. Critical Circumstances V. Scope of the Investigation VI. Scope Comments VII. Margin Calculations VIII. Discussion of Issues Industeel 1. Differential Pricing Methodology 2. Industeel's Misreported International Freight Expenses 3. Whether Certain of Industeel's U.S. sales were Made Outside the Course of Ordinary Trade 4. Date of Sale for Industeel's U.S. Sales and Application of Partial AFA 5. Industeel's Correction Presented During the Cost Verification 6. Affiliated Party Transactions 7. Including Interest Expense in the Minor Input Calculation NLMK Belgium 8. Date of Sale for NLMK Belgium's U.S. Direct Shipments 9. Product Characteristics and Control Numbers for NLMK Belgium 10. Sales by Manage 11. Total AFA for NLMK Belgium 12. Other NLMK Belgium Adjustments IX. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-06626 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Business Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Deputy Chief Management Officer, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Defense Business Board will take place.

    DATES:

    Open to the public Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The address for the open meeting is Room 3E863 in the Pentagon, Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roma Laster, (703) 695-7563 (Voice), (703) 614-4365 (Facsimile), [email protected] (Email). Mailing address is Defense Business Board, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Room 5B1088A, Washington, DC 20301-1155, Web site: http://dbb.defense.gov/. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting agenda can be found on the Web site.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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 102-3.140 and 102-3.150. For meeting information please contact Mr. Steven Cruddas, Defense Business Board, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Room 5B1088A, Washington, DC 20301-1155, [email protected], (703) 697-2168. For submitting written comments or questions to the Board, send via email to mailbox address: [email protected] A copy of the public agenda and the terms of reference for the Task Group study may be obtained from the Board's Web site at http://dbb.defense.gov/meetings.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The mission of the Board is to examine and advise the Secretary of Defense on overall DoD management and governance. The Board provides independent advice which reflects an outside private sector perspective on proven and effective best business practices that can be applied to DoD. The Board will hear an update from its Task Group on “Implications of Technology on the Future Workforce.”

    Agenda:

    10:30 a.m.-10:35 a.m.—DFO Comments to Public Attendees. 10:35 a.m.-11:05 a.m.—DBB Study Update on “Implications of Technology on the Future Workforce.” 11:05 a.m.-11:15 a.m.—Public Comments (if time permits).

    Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to FACA and 41 CFR 102-3.140, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis. All members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting must contact Mr. Steven Cruddas at the number listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 2017 to register and make arrangements for a Pentagon escort, if necessary. Public attendees requiring escort should arrive at the Pentagon Metro Entrance with sufficient time to complete security screening no later than 10:00 a.m. on April 20. To complete security screening, please come prepared to present two forms of identification of which one must be a pictured identification card.

    Special Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact Mr. Cruddas at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Written Statements: Written comments should be received by the DFO at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date so that the comments may be made available to the Board for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments should be submitted via email to the email address for public comments given in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section in either Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word format. Please note that since the Board operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all submitted comments and public presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including, but not limited to, being posted on the Board's Web site.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06638 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2017-OS-0015] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary of Defense, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Rescindment of a System of Records notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense is rescinding a system of records, Private Relief Legislation File, DGC 02. These files were used by the attorneys in the Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of Defense and personnel in the Department of Defense to produce working papers in development of a department position.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before May 4, 2017. This proposed action will be effective the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination. The specific date for when this system ceased to be a Privacy Act System of Records is unknown; however, no actions involving private relief legislation have been processed by the DoD Office of General Counsel since 2010.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

    * Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    * Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To submit general questions about the rescinded system, please contact Mrs. Luz D. Ortiz, Chief, Records, Privacy and Declassification Division (RPDD), 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155, or by phone at (571) 372-0478.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Based on a recent review, it was determined that the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel no longer maintains a Privacy Act system of records for private relief legislation. Legislative bills are tracked by bill number, rather than personal identifier.

    The Office of the Secretary systems of records notices subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at the Defense Privacy, Civil Liberties and Transparency Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The proposed changes to the record system being amended are set forth in this notice. The proposed amendment is not within the purview of subsection (r) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, which requires the submission of a new or altered system report.

    DGC 02 SYSTEM NAME AND NUMBER:

    Private Relief Legislation File, DGC 02.

    HISTORY:

    February 22, 1993, 58 FR 10227.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06659 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Energy Information Administration Agency Information Collection Extension AGENCY:

    U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Agency information collection activities: information collection extension; notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The EIA, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, intends to recertify the information collection request for Form EIA-914 “Monthly Crude Oil, Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report” with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). EIA is requesting a three year extension to this form with changes and to solicit comments from the public.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before June 5, 2017. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to Jessica Biercevicz. The mailing address is U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Attn: Jessica Biercevicz, EI-24, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. To ensure receipt of the comments by the due date, submission by email ([email protected]) is recommended. Alternatively, Jessica Biercevicz may be contacted by telephone at 202-586-4299.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Jessica Biercevicz at the contact information given above. Form EIA-914 and its instructions are also available on the internet.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other types of information technology.

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. 1905-0205.

    (2) Information Collection Request Title: Monthly Crude Oil and Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report.

    (3) Type of Request: Extension, with changes, of a currently approved collection.

    (4) Purpose: Form EIA-914, “Monthly Crude Oil and Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report,” collects monthly data on natural gas production, crude oil and lease condensate production, and crude oil and lease condensate sales by API gravity category in 21 state/areas (Alabama, Arkansas, California (including State Offshore), Colorado, Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, Federal Offshore Pacific, Kansas, Louisiana (including State Offshore), Michigan, Mississippi (including State Offshore), Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas (including State Offshore), Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Other States (defined as all remaining states, except Alaska)). The data appears in the “Monthly Crude Oil and Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report,” on EIA's Web site and in the EIA publications, Monthly Energy Review, Petroleum Supply Annual volume 1, Petroleum Supply Annual volume 2, Petroleum Supply Monthly, Natural Gas Annual, and Natural Gas Monthly.

    (4a) The proposed changes include changing the title from “Monthly Crude Oil, Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report,” to “Monthly Crude Oil and Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report.”

    EIA is proposing to add Part 5 to Form EIA-914 regarding stabilizer activity. Part 5 will collect state-level volumes of crude oil and lease condensate going into stabilizer units. A stabilizer processes lighter gravity crude oil and condensate and removes the gaseous portion from the crude oil. The requested data will be reported as three new data elements: volume of oil and condensate as inputs to a stabilizer; outlet volume of stabilized oil; and outlet volume of natural gas liquids (NGL). Respondents only need to report the total volume of NGLs as a single category and do not need to provide separate estimates for each separate NGL. The reporting unit of measurement is in barrels per day (bpd).

    The increase in the production of light crude oils and condensate in the crude oil production industry is the main reason that EIA is proposing changes to Form EIA-914 to include the collection of state-level volumes of crude oil and lease condensate going into stabilizer units. Stabilizers lower the Reed Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the crude oil and make it safe to transport and store. EIA is also proposing minor changes to Parts 2, 3, and 4. Currently, a respondent is limited to selecting only one pre-existing comment in the comments box drop down menu. EIA is proposing to allow respondents to select multiple frequently-used default comments, as well as the option to record specific comments in the text box. This facilitates a respondent's ability to provide a more complete and accurate explanation for the data reported on the form.

    For Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5, EIA also proposes to increase the number of states/areas for which production will be separately collected and reported from 17 to 22 states/areas. EIA proposes to add the following states/areas: Alabama, federal offshore Pacific, Michigan, Mississippi, and Virginia will be reported separately and no longer included in the “Other States” group. Separately reporting for these five states/areas reduces the number of states that are included in the “Other States” reporting category from 19 (including federal Pacific) to 14. Removing these five states/areas from the “Other States” category reduces the “Other States” category's oil production by approximately 75% and gas production by 80%. EIA believes these proposed changes will reduce reporting burden for respondents, reduce reporting errors in the “Other States” category, and make it easier for respondents to answer any follow up questions for “Other States.” Production for these 5 states/areas will be estimated more accurately using the weighted least squares method rather than using the calendar year average ratio applied to the “Other States” group. The 14 states remaining in the “Other States” group account for approximately 1% or less of the Lower 48 oil and gas production. EIA is proposing these changes to Form EIA-914 to increase the precision of its collection of information on crude oil and natural gas production activities in the United States.

    The burden hours per response will increase from 4.0 hours to 4.5 hours due to the addition of Part 5 regarding the reporting of information on stabilizer activity. The proposal to add five states in Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 will not affect total burden because it only involves adding approximately nine more respondents to the sampling frame and the total budgeted sample is being reduced from 600 to 500 respondents.

    EIA proposes a permanent change in the confidentiality pledge to respondents to Form EIA-914. EIA revised its confidentiality pledge to EIA-914 survey respondents under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 (note)) (CIPSEA) in an emergency Federal Register notice released on January 12, 2017 in 82 FR 3764. These revisions are required by provisions of the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-11, Division N, Title II, Subtitle B, Sec. 223). This law permits and requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide Federal civilian agencies' information technology systems with cybersecurity protection for their Internet traffic. Federal statistics provide key information that the Nation uses to measure its performance and make informed choices about budgets, energy, employment, health, investments, taxes, and a host of other significant topics. Strong and trusted confidentiality and exclusive statistical use pledges under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) and similar statistical confidentiality pledges are effective and necessary in honoring the trust that businesses, individuals, and institutions place in statistical agencies. In this notice EIA proposes to permanently revise the confidentiality pledge to EIA-914 respondents as follows:

    The information you provide on Form EIA-914 will be used for statistical purposes only and is confidential by law. In accordance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 and other applicable Federal laws, your responses will not be disclosed in identifiable form without your consent. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, Federal information systems are protected from malicious activities through cybersecurity screening of transmitted data. Every EIA employee, as well as every agent, is subject to a jail term, a fine, or both if he or she makes public ANY identifiable information you reported.

    (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 500 respondents with 12 responses each.

    (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: The annual number of total responses is 6,000.

    (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: The annual estimated burden is 27,000 hours.

    (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: Additional costs to respondents are not anticipated beyond costs associated with response burden hours. The information is maintained in the normal course of business. The cost of the burden hours is estimated to be $1,988,820 (27,000 burden hours times $73.66 per hour). Other than the cost of burden hours, EIA estimates that there are no additional costs for generating, maintaining and providing the information.

    Statutory Authority:

    Section 13(b) of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, Pub. L. 93-275, codified at 15 U.S.C. 772(b).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 27, 2017. Nanda Srinivasan, Director, Office of Survey Development and Statistical Integration, U. S. Energy Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06501 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-1315-000] Meadow Lake Wind Farm V LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Meadow Lake Wind Farm V LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is April 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06607 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-1318-000] Redbed Plains Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Redbed Plains Wind Farm LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is April 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06609 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-1320-000] Odyssey Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Odyssey Solar, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is April 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06610 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-1314-000] Arkwright Summit Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Arkwright Summit Wind Farm LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is April 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06606 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Number: PR17-36-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: COH SOC effective 3-1-2017; Filing Type: 980.

    Filed Date: 3/17/17.

    Accession Number: 20170317-5036.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-547-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rates—Sundance—Duke Energy Progress to be effective 5/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/22/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170322-5049.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 03, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-548-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 154.601: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update (Pioneer Apr-Jun 2017) to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/22/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170322-5053.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 03, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-549-000.

    Applicants: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Fuel Tracker—2017 to be effective 5/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/22/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170322-5203.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 03, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1173-002.

    Applicants: First ECA Midstream LLC.

    Description: First ECA Midstream LLC submits tariff filing per 154.203: Compliance to 104 to be effective 3/23/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/24/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170324-5303.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 05, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-550-000.

    Applicants: Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Annual Revenue Crediting Filing of Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Filed Date: 03/24/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170324-5169.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 05, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-551-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Neg Rate 2017-03-23 Encana to be effective 3/23/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/24/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170324-5294.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 05, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-552-000.

    Applicants: Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, L.

    Description: Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Update Fuel for 6th Revised Tariff to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/24/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170324-5315.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 05, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-553-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: GT&C Section 46—Failure of Electronic Equipment to be effective 4/23/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/24/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170324-5319.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 05, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-554-000.

    Applicants: KO Transmission Company.

    Description: KO Transmission Company submits tariff filing per 154.204: Motion to Place Interim Rates into Effect April 1 to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/24/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170324-5320.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 05, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 27, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06611 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-1324-000] Playa Solar 2, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Playa Solar 2, LLC`s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is April 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06613 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-1316-000] Quilt Block Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Quilt Block Wind Farm LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is April 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06608 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR17-10-000] GEL Texas Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on March 28, 2017, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2016), GEL Texas Pipeline, LLC, a subsidiary of Genesis Energy, L.P. (Petitioner), filed a petition for declaratory order (petition) seeking approval of the overall rate structure and terms of service for 23-mile crude oil pipeline consisting of a combination of new and existing facilities that will connect origins in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to markets in Webster and Texas City, TX, as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible online at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on April 18, 2017.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06615 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-470-001.

    Applicants: KO Transmission Company.

    Description: KO Transmission Company submits tariff filing per 154.205(b): Amended 2017 Transportation Retainage Adjustment to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170301-5289.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-560-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. submits tariff filing per 154.204: 03/28/17 Negotiated Rates—ENI Trading & Shipping (RTS) 7825-02 to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5071.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-561-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: Kern River Gas Transmission Company submits tariff filing per 154.204: 2017 Period Two Election Deadline to be effective 4/27/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5153.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-562-000.

    Applicants: Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Description: Annual Incidental Purchases and Sales Report of Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC.

    Filed Date: 03/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5162.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-563-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Annual Incidental Purchases and Sales Report of Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Filed Date: 03/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5163.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-564-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rates—Cherokee AGL—Replacement Shippers—Apr 2017 to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5230.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06612 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2181-033.

    Applicants: Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, LLC.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-3861-013; ER10-3079-012; ER10-3078-003; ER11-2539-005; ER11-2540-005; ER11-2542-005.

    Applicants: Empire Generating Co, LLC, Tyr Energy, LLC, Plains End II, LLC, Rathdrum Power, LLC, Commonwealth Chesapeake Company, LLC, Plains End LLC.

    Description: Notice of change in status of Empire Generating Co, LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 3/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5309.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-253-002.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amended Filing in ER17-253-Omaha Public Power District Formula Rate Revisions to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5295.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-772-002.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Deficiency Response in ER17-772-Order No. 825 Compliance Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5131.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-927-001.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to Assignment—Ancillary Services & Wholesale Distribution Agmt. to be effective 2/4/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5264.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1325-000.

    Applicants: PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PPL Electric Utilities Corporation submits revised IA SA No. 941 to be effective 3/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170328-5273.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1326-000.

    Applicants: Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Attachment J—Municipal Underground Surcharge Revision to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5000.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1327-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 607R30 Westar Energy, Inc. NITSA and NOA to be effective 3/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1328-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SCE Amendments to WDAT to be effective 5/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5133.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1329-000.

    Applicants: J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Change in Seller Category to be effective 3/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1330-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DSA Caliente #2 Project SA No. 957 to be effective 3/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5137.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1331-000.

    Applicants: Utility Contract Funding, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Change in Seller Category to be effective 3/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5138.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1332-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-03-29_Revisions to MISO-SPP JOA to implement EARs to be effective 6/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1333-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SPP-MISO JOA Congestion Management Process Revisions to be effective 6/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5159.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1334-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Waynesville-DEP NITSA Amendment SA No. 303 to be effective 3/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 3/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170329-5174.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/19/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06602 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group Meeting Docket Nos. Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements RM01-8-000 Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act RM10-12-000 Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process RM12-3-000 Electric Quarterly Reports ER02-2001-000

    Take notice that on May 16, 2017, staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) will hold an Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) Users Group meeting. The meeting will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST), in the Commission Meeting Room at 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. All interested persons are invited to attend. For those unable to attend in person, access to the meeting will be available via webcast.

    This meeting will provide a forum for dialogue between Commission staff and EQR users to discuss potential improvements to the EQR program and the EQR filing process. Please note that matters pending before the Commission and subject to ex parte limitations cannot be discussed at this meeting. An agenda of the meeting will be provided in a subsequent notice.

    Due to the nature of the discussion, those interested in actively participating in the discussion are encouraged to attend in person. All interested persons (whether attending in person or via webcast) are asked to register online at https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/05-16-17-form.asp. There is no registration fee. Anyone with Internet access who wants to listen to the meeting can do so by navigating to www.ferc.gov's Calendar of Events, locating the EQR Users Group Meeting on the Calendar, and clicking on the link to the webcast. The webcast will allow persons to listen to the technical conference and they can email questions during the meeting to [email protected]

    Those who would like to participate in the discussion by telephone during the meeting should send a request for a telephone line to [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on May 9, 2017 with the subject line: EQR Users Group Meeting Teleconference Request.

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-866-208-3372 (voice) or 202-502-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about the EQR Users Group meeting, please contact Don Callow of the Commission's Office of Enforcement at (202) 502-8838, or send an email to [email protected]

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06616 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR17-9-000] Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation; Notice of Request for Temporary Waiver

    Take notice that on March 14, 2017, Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation (Whiting or Requestor) filed a request for temporary waiver of the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), section 6 and section 20, and FERC oil pipeline tariff and reporting requirements thereunder at 18 CFR parts 341 and 357, with respect to Whiting's Redtail crude petroleum gathering system in Weld County, Colorado, as more fully explained in the request.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214. Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on Requestor.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible online at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on April 14, 2017.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06614 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-555-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP submits tariff filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rates—NJR Energy—contract 911403 to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170327-5073.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-556-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: Kern River Gas Transmission Company submits tariff filing per 154.204: 2017 Adjusted P2 and Alt P2 Rates to be effective 5/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170327-5142.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-557-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: Equitrans, L.P. submits tariff filing per 154.204: Reservation Charge Credit Update to be effective 4/27/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170327-5201.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-558-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. submits tariff filing per 154.204: 03/27/17 Negotiated Rates—KeySpan Gas East dba National Grid (RTS) 550-14 to be effective 3/27/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170327-5208.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-559-000.

    Applicants: Alliance Pipeline L.P.

    Description: Alliance Pipeline L.P. submits tariff filing per 154.204: Seasonal Service Apr-Oct 2017 to be effective 4/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 03/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170327-5225.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 10, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 28, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06601 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-80-000] Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on March 15, 2017, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia), 700 Louisiana Street, Suite 700, Houston, Texas 77002-2700, filed an application under section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations, requesting authorization to implement its Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project. The project as proposed will consist of the construction of a new 8-inch diameter pipeline and appurtenances extending approximately 3.37 miles from Columbia's 20-inch diameter Line 1804 and 24-inch diameter Line 10240 in Fulton County, Pennsylvania in order to provide 47,500 Dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of firm transportation service. The new 8-inch diameter line will end at the project shipper's Point of Delivery (POD) site in Morgan County, West Virginia, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open for public inspection.

    The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding the proposed project should be directed to Richard Bralow, Legal Counsel, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 700 Louisiana Street, Suite 700, Houston, Texas 77002-2700, or by calling (832) 320-5177 (telephone) or email at [email protected]

    Pursuant to Section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 7 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenters will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 19, 2017.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06604 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-79-000] Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on March 16, 2017, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC (FGT) 1300 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002, filed in Docket No. CP17-79-000, an application pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations, for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate its Wekiva Parkway Relocation Project located in Lake and Seminole Counties, Florida. The purpose of the Wekiva Parkway Relocation Project is to resolve conflicts with the Florida Department of Transportation construction of State Road 429, part of a new toll road known as the Wekiva Parkway which conflicts with portions of FGT's existing 12-inch and 26-inch Sanford Laterals and appurtenant facilities. Specifically, FGT requests to relocate/replace approximately 4.60 miles of 12-inch Sanford Lateral pipe and approximately 3.16 miles of 26-inch Sanford Lateral Loop pipeline with approximately 4.56 miles of 12-inch Sanford Lateral pipe and 3.12 miles of 26-inch Sanford Later Loop pipeline facilities used to render transportation services. FGT is proposing to abandon, relocate, and replace portions of the affected Sanford Laterals by installing the replacement lines adjacent to each other in new right of way, all as more fully set forth in the application, which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding this application should be directed to Blair Lichtenwalter, Senior Director of Regulatory, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC, 1300 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone: (713) 989-2605, or by fax: (713) 989-1205 or by email: [email protected]

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 7 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 19, 2017.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06603 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL17-54-000] Dynegy Marketing and Trade, LLC Illinois Power Marketing Company v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on March 28, 2017, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act,1 and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure,2 Dynegy Marketing and Trade, LLC and Illinois Power Marketing Company (collectively, Complainants), filed a formal complaint against Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., (MISO or Respondent) alleging that MISO has violated its tariff by charging Complainants duplicative congestion and losses costs for pseudo-tied resources through Financial Schedules, as more fully explained in the complaint.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824e and 825e (2012).

    2 18 CFR 385.206 (2016).

    Complainants certify that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for Respondent, as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 17, 2017.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06605 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738; FRL-9960-13-OAR] Notice of Requests for Approval of an Alternative Means of Emission Limitation at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This action provides public notice and solicits comment on the alternative means of emission limitation (AMEL) request from Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (CP Chem), requested under the Clean Air Act (CAA), to operate a multi-point ground flare (MPGF) at their new ethylene plant in Baytown, Texas, and an MPGF at their new polyethylene plant in Old Ocean, Texas.1 In this action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting comment on all aspects of this request for an AMEL and the alternative operating conditions that would be sufficient to achieve a reduction in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and hazardous air pollutants (HAP) at least equivalent to the reduction in emissions required by various standards in 40 CFR parts 60, 61, and 63 that apply to emission sources controlled by these MPGFs. These standards incorporate the design and operating requirements for flares in the General Provisions to parts 60 and 63, respectively, as part of the emission reduction requirements. The proposed MPGF designs cannot meet the velocity requirements in these General Provisions; however, CP Chem's request for an alternative means of emission limit demonstrates that the alternative proposed would achieve at least equivalent emissions reductions as flares that meet the standards in the General Provisions.

    1 The MPGF at both the ethylene plant and polyethylene plant will utilize pressure-assisted burners on all the high pressure stages; however, the first two stages on the MPGF at the polyethylene plant will also be steam-assisted.

    DATES:

    Comments. Comments must be received on or before May 4, 2017, unless a public hearing is requested by April 10, 2017. If a public hearing is requested on this action, written comments must be received by May 19, 2017.

    Public Hearing. If a public hearing is requested by April 10, 2017, we will hold a public hearing on April 19, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. [Central Daylight Time] to 5:00 p.m. [Central Daylight Time] in the Houston, Texas, area. We will provide details on the public hearing, if one is requested, on our Web site at: https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/atw/groundflares/groundflarespg.html. The EPA does not intend to publish another notice in the Federal Register announcing any updates on the request for a public hearing, so please be sure to check the Web site above for updates. Again, a public hearing will not be held unless someone specifically requests that the EPA hold a public hearing regarding these requests. Please contact Ms. Virginia Hunt, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-01), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-0832; email address: [email protected]; to request a public hearing, to register to speak at the public hearing or to inquire as to whether a public hearing will be held. The last day to pre-register in advance to speak at the public hearing will be April 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from 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, 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.

    Instructions. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the 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 the EPA without going through http://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, the 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 the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should not include special characters or any form of encryption and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Docket. The EPA has established a docket for this rulemaking under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738. All documents in the docket are listed in the 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 material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in Regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, Room 3334, EPA WJC West Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the EPA Docket Center is (202) 566-1742.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about this action, contact Mr. Andrew Bouchard, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-01), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-4036; fax number: (919) 541-0246; and email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Acronyms and Abbreviations. We use multiple acronyms and terms in this notice. While this list may not be exhaustive, to ease the reading of this notice and for reference purposes, the EPA defines the following terms and acronyms here:

    AMEL alternative means of emission limitation Btu/scf British thermal units per standard cubic foot CAA Clean Air Act CBI confidential business information CFR Code of Federal Regulations CP Chem Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP EPA Environmental Protection Agency Eqn equation HAP hazardous air pollutants HP high pressure LFL lower flammability limit LFL cz lower flammability limit of combustion zone gas LFL vg lower flammability limit of flare vent gas MPGF multi-point ground flares NESHAP national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants NHV net heating value NHV cz net heating value of combustion zone gas NHV vg net heating value of flare vent gas NSPS new source performance standards OAQPS Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards scf standard cubic feet VOC volatile organic compounds

    Organization of This Document. The information in this notice is organized as follows:

    I. Background A. Regulatory Flare Requirements and CP Chem's AMEL Request II. Requests for AMEL A. CP Chem's Ethylene Plant B. CP Chem's Polyethylene Plant C. Information Supporting CP Chem's MPGF AMEL Requests III. AMEL for the Proposed MPGFs IV. Request for Comments I. Background A. Regulatory Flare Requirements and CP Chem's AMEL Request

    CP Chem submitted a complete MPGF AMEL request, following the MPGF AMEL framework that was published in the Federal Register (see 81 FR 23480, April 21, 2016), to the EPA on November 28, 2016. CP Chem is seeking an AMEL to operate an MPGF for use during limited high-pressure maintenance, startup, and shutdown events, as well as during upset events at their ethylene plant in Baytown, Texas. In addition, CP Chem is seeking an AMEL to operate an MPGF during certain routine operations (i.e., the first two stages only), as well as during periods of maintenance, startup, shutdown, and upset at their polyethylene plant in Old Ocean, Texas (see section II.B. below for more details). In their request, CP Chem cited various regulatory requirements in 40 CFR parts 60, 61, and 63 that will apply to the flare vent gas streams that will be collected and routed to their MPGF at each of these two plants. See Table 1 for a list of regulations, by subparts, that CP Chem has identified as applicable to the two plants described above. These new source performance standards (NSPS) and national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) require that flares subject to these subparts meet the flare design and operating requirements in the General Provisions of part 60 and 63, respectively (i.e., 40 CFR 60.18(b) and 63.11(b)). CP Chem is requesting that the EPA approve an AMEL for the flare requirements in these subparts.

    Table 1—Summary of Applicable Rules That May Apply To Vent Streams Controlled by Multi-Point Ground Flares Applicable rules with vent streams going to control
  • device(s)
  • CP Chem ethylene plant CP Chem
  • polyethylene plant
  • Rule citation from Title 40 CFR that allow for use of a flare Provisions for alternative means of emission limitation
    NSPS Subpart VV X 60.482-10(d) 60.484(a)-(f). NSPS Subpart VVa X 60.482-10a(d) 60.484a(a)-(f). NSPS Subpart DDD X 60.562-1(a)(1)(i)(C) CAA section 111(h)(3). NSPS Subpart NNN X 60.662(b) CAA section 111(h)(3). NSPS Subpart RRR X 60.702(b) CAA section 111(h)(3). NESHAP Subpart FF X 61.349(a)(2) 61.353(a); also see 61.12(d). NESHAP Subpart SS X 63.982(b) CAA section 112(h)(3). NESHAP Subpart UU X 63.1034 63.1021(a)-(d). NESHAP Subpart XX X 63.1091
  • * Note—This subpart cross-references to NESHAP subpart FF above
  • 63.1097(b)(1).
    NESHAP Subpart YY X Table 7 to § 63.1103(e) cross-references to NESHAP subpart SS above 63.1113. NESHAP Subpart FFFF X 63.2450(e)(2) 63.2545(b)(1); also see 63.6(g).

    The provisions in each NSPS and NESHAP cited above that ensure flares meet certain specific requirements when used to satisfy the requirements of the NSPS or NESHAP were established as work practice standards pursuant to CAA sections 111(h)(1) or 112(h)(1). For standards established according to these provisions, CAA sections 111(h)(3) and 112(h)(3) allow the EPA to permit the use of an AMEL by a source if, after notice and opportunity for comment,2 it is established to the Administrator's satisfaction that such an AMEL will achieve emissions reductions at least equivalent to the reductions required under the CAA section 111(h)(1) or 112(h)(1) standard. As noted in Table 1, many of the NSPS and NESHAP also include specific regulatory provisions allowing sources to request an AMEL.

    2 CAA section 111(h)(3) specifically requires that the EPA provide an opportunity for a hearing.

    CP Chem submitted an AMEL request because their MPGFs are designed to operate above the maximum permitted velocity requirements for flares in the General Provisions in 40 CFR parts 60 and 63. CP Chem provided information that the MPGF designs they propose to use at both sites will achieve a reduction in emissions at least equivalent to the reduction in emissions for flares complying with these General Provisions requirements. For further information on CP Chem's specific AMEL request, see supporting materials from CP Chem at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738.

    II. Requests for AMEL A. CP Chem's Ethylene Plant

    CP Chem indicates in their MPGF AMEL request that they plan to construct and operate an MPGF at their Cedar Bayou ethylene plant in Baytown, Texas. This new ethylene plant will use ethane as a feedstock and be able to produce approximately 1.5 million metric tons per year of ethylene. CP Chem is proposing to use a staged flare design to control emissions of VOC and HAP from various process vents during normal operations, as well as during maintenance, startup, shutdown, and upset operating conditions. During normal operation and most of the routine maintenance activities, CP Chem will operate a low pressure steam-assisted ground flare consisting of eight Callidus MP4U burners. This low pressure stage of the flare is not specifically part of the AMEL request, because this flare can comply with the General Provisions requirements of 40 CFR 60.18(b) and 63.11(b), which are cross-referenced in the applicable NSPS and NESHAP provisions. CP Chem has submitted an AMEL request to operate the 17 high pressure (HP) stages (i.e., 16 stages plus one spare stage) of the MPGF because the designed flaring scenarios for when this portion of the MPGF will be used (i.e., during limited HP maintenance, startup, and shutdown events, as well as during upset events) will exceed the maximum permitted velocity requirements in the General Provisions at 40 CFR 60.18(b) and 40 CFR 63.11(b). The HP stages will also use Callidus MP4U burners and have anywhere from 6 to 62 burners per stage (see supporting materials from CP Chem at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738 for more details).

    B. CP Chem's Polyethylene Plant

    CP Chem indicates in their MPGF AMEL request that they also plan to construct and operate an MPGF at their new polyethylene plant that will be located adjacent to their Sweeny Chemical and Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Fractionation Plant in Old Ocean, Texas. The polyethylene plant consists of two polyethylene units, each capable of producing 500,000 metric tons per year of polyethylene products. CP Chem is also proposing to use a staged flare design scheme to control emissions of VOC and HAP from various process vents during normal operations, as well as during maintenance, startup, shutdown, and upset operating conditions; however, the design, burner type and configuration of this flare differ from that of the MPGF at the ethylene plant in a few key ways. First, the low pressure stage of the flare will have four steam-assisted Callidus LP-Expert tip burners. Similar to the design of CP Chem's ethylene plant MPGF, this low pressure stage is not specifically part of the AMEL request as it can comply with the flare General Provisions requirements of 40 CFR 60.18(b) and 40 CFR 63.11(b). Second, the MPGF will consist of 10 HP stages (i.e., nine stages plus one spare stage), with each stage using Callidus MP4U burners. Lastly, unlike CP Chem's ethylene plant MPGF, the first two stages of the HP side of this MPGF will operate pressure-assisted burners that will also be steam-assisted and control emissions during certain routine operations, as well as during periods of startup, shutdown, maintenance, and upset conditions. CP Chem indicates in their AMEL request that this particular control scheme was chosen due to insufficient area in the plot plan to add additional flare burners on the low pressure side that could comply with the maximum permitted velocity requirements of 40 CFR 60.18(b) and 40 CFR 63.11(b). Thus, in order to account for all potential routine flaring operation scenarios, CP Chem will operate the first two stages of the HP side of the MPGF as flexible, or “swing” stages that can operate in both a low pressure capacity as well as high pressure capacity. These first two stages will have a total of 18 burners, which account for approximately 10 percent of the total number of flare burners on the HP side of the MPGF being proposed for use by CP Chem (see supporting materials from CP Chem at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738 for more details).

    C. Information Supporting CP Chem's MPGF AMEL Requests

    CP Chem provided all the information specified in the MPGF AMEL framework finalized on April 21, 2016 (see 81 FR 23480), to support their AMEL request. This information includes, but is not limited to: (1) Details on the project scope and background; (2) information on regulatory applicability; (3) MPGF test data on destruction efficiency/combustion efficiency; (4) MPGF stability testing data, (5) MPGF cross-light testing data; (6) information on flare reduction considerations; and (7) information on appropriate MPGF monitoring and operating conditions. In addition, because the MPGF AMEL framework did not specifically address an MPGF design that would utilize pressure-assisted burners and that would also be steam-assisted (i.e., HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF), CP Chem conducted additional performance testing on an n-butane/nitrogen vent gas mixture over a range of combustion zone net heating values (NHV cz), vent gas exit velocity regimes, and steam flow rate regimes in order to establish where the burners can achieve a destruction efficiency of n-butane of 98 percent or greater.3 An n-butane vent gas mixture was tested because CP Chem indicated in their AMEL request that a cooling water failure would be their worst case upset design scenario from an MPGF perspective and that the vent gas sent to the flare would be predominantly isobutane. However, given that n-butane was more readily available than isobutane and given that they both have the same molecular formula (C4H10), the same lower flammability limits, and have almost identical net heating values, n-butane was tested in lieu of isobutane (see Table 2 in section III. below for more details). In addition, each of the valid destruction efficiency test runs conducted lasted for a minimum of 10 minutes and none of these runs displayed any characteristics of flame instability (for further information on the supporting materials provided by CP Chem, see the docket at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738).

    3 The EPA has previously concluded that flares operating in accordance with the General Provisions flare requirements of part 60 and 63 destroy VOC and HAP with a destruction efficiency of 98 percent or greater. Standard of Performance for New Stationary Sources: General Provisions; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories: General Provisions, 63 FR 24436, 24437 (May 4, 1998).

    III. AMEL for the Proposed MPGFs

    We are seeking the public's input on CP Chem's request that the EPA approve an AMEL for the two MPGFs proposed to be used at CP Chem's ethylene plant in Baytown, Texas, and CP Chem's polyethylene plant in Old Ocean, Texas. Specifically, the EPA seeks the public's input on the requirements that will ensure that the AMEL will achieve emission reductions at least equivalent to the emission reductions achieved under the applicable NESHAP and NSPS identified in Table 1, all of which require compliance with 40 CFR 63.11(b) or 40 CFR 60.18(b), respectively, when using a flare.3 Based upon our review of the completed AMEL request and the available emissions test data submitted by CP Chem,4 we believe that, by complying with the following list of requirements, the two proposed MPGFs will achieve emission reductions at least equivalent to emission reductions achieved under 40 CFR 63.11(b) and 40 CFR 60.18(b), as required by the applicable NESHAP and NSPS identified in Table 1:

    4 For further information on the test data submitted by CP Chem to support their AMEL request, see “CP Chemical AMEL Request for Multi-Point Ground Flares September 2015” at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738-0048, as well as “CP Chemical Response to EPA November 2016” at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0738-0052.

    (1) The MPGF system for all HP stages at CP Chem's ethylene plant and for all HP stages excluding stage 1 and 2 for CP Chem's polyethylene plant must be designed and operated such that the net heating value of the combustion zone gas (NHV cz) is greater than or equal to 800 British thermal units per standard cubic foot (Btu/scf) or lower flammability limit of the combustion zone gas (LFL cz) is less than or equal to 6.5 percent by volume. The MPGF system for HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethlene plant must be designed and operated such that the NHV cz is greater than or equal to 600 Btu/scf or the LFL cz is less than or equal to 8.0 percent by volume. Owners or operators must demonstrate compliance with the NHV cz or LFL cz metric by continuously complying with a 15-minute block average. Owners or operators must calculate and monitor for the NHV cz or LFL cz according to the following:

    (a) Calculation of NHV cz

    (i) The owner or operator shall determine the net heating value of flare vent gas (NHV vg) by following the requirements of (1)(d)-(1)(e) below. If an owner or operator elects to use a monitoring system capable of continuously measuring (i.e., at least once every 15 minutes), calculating, and recording the individual component concentrations present in the flare vent gas, NHV vg shall be calculated using the following equation:

    EN04AP17.001 where: NHV vg = Net heating value of flare vent gas, Btu/scf. Flare vent gas means all gas found just prior to the MPGF. This gas includes all flare waste gas (i.e., gas from facility operations that is directed to a flare for the purpose of disposing of the gas), flare sweep gas, flare purge gas and flare supplemental gas, but does not include pilot gas. i = Individual component in flare vent gas. n = Number of components in flare vent gas. x i = Concentration of component i in flare vent gas, volume fraction. NHV i = Net heating value of component i determined as the heat of combustion where the net enthalpy per mole of offgas is based on combustion at 25 degrees Celsius (°C) and 1 atmosphere (or constant pressure) with water in the gaseous state from values published in the literature, and then the values converted to a volumetric basis using 20 °C for “standard temperature.” Table 2 summarizes component properties including net heating values.

    (ii) For all MPGF HP stages at CP Chem's ethylene plant and for all MPGF HP stages, excluding stage 1 and 2 for CP Chem's polyethylene plant, NHV vg = NHV cz.

    (iii) For HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethlene plant MPGF, NHV cz shall be calculated using the following equation:

    EN04AP17.002 where: NHV cz = Net heating value of combustion zone gas, Btu/scf. NHV vg = Net heating value of flare vent gas for the 15-minute block period as determined according to (1)(a)(i) above, Btu/scf. Q vg = Cumulative volumetric flow of flare vent gas during the 15-minute block period, standard cubic feet (scf). Q s = Cumulative volumetric flow of total assist steam during the 15-minute block period, scf.

    (b) Calculation of LFL cz

    (i) The owner or operator shall determine LFL cz from compositional analysis data by using the following equation:

    EN04AP17.003 where: LFL vg = Lower flammability limit of flare vent gas, volume percent (vol %). n = Number of components in the vent gas. i = Individual component in the vent gas. χ i = Concentration of component i in the vent gas, vol %. LFL i = Lower flammability limit of component i as determined using values published by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (Zabetakis, 1965), vol %. All inerts, including nitrogen, are assumed to have an infinite LFL (e.g., LFL N2 = ∞, so that χ N2 / LFL N2 = 0). LFL values for common flare vent gas components are provided in Table 2.

    (ii) For all MPGF HP stages at CP Chem's ethylene plant and for all MPGF HP stages excluding stages 1 and 2 for CP Chem's polyethylene plant, LFL vg = LFL cz.

    (iii) For HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethlene plant MPGF, LFL cz shall be calculated using the following equation:

    EN04AP17.004 where: LFL cz = lower flammability limit of combustion zone gas, vol %. LFL vg = Lower flammability limit of flare vent gas, vol %. Q vg = Cumulative volumetric flow of flare vent gas during the 15-minute block period, scf. Q s = Cumulative volumetric flow of total assist steam during the 15-minute block period, scf.

    (c) The operator of an MPGF system shall install, operate, calibrate, and maintain a monitoring system capable of continuously measuring the volumetric flow rate of flare vent gas (Q vg) and the volumetric flow rate of total assist steam (Q s).

    (i) The flow rate monitoring systems must be able to correct for the temperature and pressure of the system and output parameters in standard conditions (i.e., a temperature of 20 °C (68 °F) and a pressure of 1 atmosphere).

    (ii) Mass flow monitors may be used for determining volumetric flow rate of flare vent gas provided the molecular weight of the flare vent gas is determined using compositional analysis so that the mass flow rate can be converted to volumetric flow at standard conditions using the following equation:

    EN04AP17.005 where: Q vol = Volumetric flow rate, scf per second. Q mass = Mass flow rate, pounds per second. 385.3 = Conversion factor, scf per pound-mole. MW t = Molecular weight of the gas at the flow monitoring location, pounds per pound-mole.

    (iii) Mass flow monitors may be used for determining volumetric flow rate of total assist steam. Use Equation 5 to convert mass flow rates to volumetric flow rates. Use a molecular weight of 18 pounds per pound-mole for total assist steam.

    (d) The operator shall install, operate, calibrate, and maintain a monitoring system capable of continuously measuring (i.e., at least once every 15 minutes), calculating, and recording the individual component concentrations present in the flare vent gas or the owner or operator shall install, operate, calibrate, and maintain a monitoring system capable of continuously measuring, calculating, and recording NHV vg (in BTU/scf).

    (e) For each measurement produced by the monitoring system used to comply with (1)(d) above, the operator shall determine the 15-minute block average as the arithmetic average of all measurements made by the monitoring system within the 15-minute period.

    (f) The operator must follow the calibration and maintenance procedures according to Table 3. Maintenance periods, instrument adjustments, or checks to maintain precision and accuracy and zero and span adjustments may not exceed 5 percent of the time the flare is receiving regulated material.

    Table 2—Individual Component Properties Component Molecular
  • formula
  • MW i
  • (pounds per pound-mole)
  • NHV i
  • (British
  • thermal
  • units per standard
  • cubic foot)
  • LFL i
  • (volume %)
  • Acetylene C2H2 26.04 1,404 2.5 Benzene C6H6 78.11 3,591 1.3 1,2-Butadiene C4H6 54.09 2,794 2.0 1,3-Butadiene C4H6 54.09 2,690 2.0 iso-Butane C4H10 58.12 2,957 1.8 n-Butane C4H10 58.12 2,968 1.8 cis-Butene C4H8 56.11 2,830 1.6 iso-Butene C4H8 56.11 2,928 1.8 trans-Butene C4H8 56.11 2,826 1.7 Carbon Dioxide CO2 44.01 0 Carbon Monoxide CO 28.01 316 12.5 Cyclopropane C3H6 42.08 2,185 2.4 Ethane C2H6 30.07 1,595 3.0 Ethylene C2H4 28.05 1,477 2.7 Hydrogen H2 2.02 274 4.0 Hydrogen Sulfide H2S 34.08 587 4.0 Methane CH4 16.04 896 5.0 Methyl-Acetylene C3H4 40.06 2,088 1.7 Nitrogen N2 28.01 0 Oxygen O2 32.00 0 Pentane+ (C5+) C5H12 72.15 3,655 1.4 Propadiene C3H4 40.06 2,066 2.16 Propane C3H8 44.10 2,281 2.1 Propylene C3H6 42.08 2,150 2.4 Water H2O 18.02 0
    Table 3—Accuracy and Calibration Requirements Parameter Accuracy requirements Calibration requirements Flare Vent Gas Flow Rate ±20 percent of flow rate at velocities ranging from 0.1 to 1 foot per second Performance evaluation biennially (every 2 years) and following any period of more than 24 hours throughout which the flow rate exceeded the maximum rated flow rate of the sensor, or the data recorder was off scale. Checks of all mechanical connections for leakage monthly. Visual inspections and checks of system operation every 3 months, unless the system has a redundant flow sensor. ±5 percent of flow rate at velocities greater than 1 foot per second Select a representative measurement location where swirling flow or abnormal velocity distributions due to upstream and downstream disturbances at the point of measurement are minimized. Flow Rate for All Flows Other Than Flare Vent Gas ±5 percent over the normal range of flow measured or 1.9 liters per minute (0.5 gallons per minute), whichever is greater, for liquid flow Conduct a flow sensor calibration check at least biennially (every two years); conduct a calibration check following any period of more than 24 hours throughout which the flow rate exceeded the manufacturer's specified maximum rated flow rate or install a new flow sensor. ±5 percent over the normal range of flow measured or 280 liters per minute (10 cubic feet per minute), whichever is greater, for gas flow At least quarterly, inspect all components for leakage, unless the continuous parameter monitoring system has a redundant flow sensor. ±5 percent over the normal range measured for mass flow Record the results of each calibration check and inspection. Locate the flow sensor(s) and other necessary equipment (such as straightening vanes) in a position that provides representative flow; reduce swirling flow or abnormal velocity distributions due to upstream and downstream disturbances. Pressure ±5 percent over the normal range measured or 0.12 kilopascals (0.5 inches of water column), whichever is greater Review pressure sensor readings at least once a week for straight-line (unchanging) pressure and perform corrective action to ensure proper pressure sensor operation if blockage is indicated. Performance evaluation annually and following any period of more than 24 hours throughout which the pressure exceeded the maximum rated pressure of the sensor, or the data recorder was off scale. Checks of all mechanical connections for leakage monthly. Visual inspection of all components for integrity, oxidation and galvanic corrosion every 3 months, unless the system has a redundant pressure sensor. Select a representative measurement location that minimizes or eliminates pulsating pressure, vibration, and internal and external corrosion. Net Heating Value by Calorimeter ±2 percent of span Calibration requirements should follow manufacturer's recommendations at a minimum. Temperature control (heated and/or cooled as necessary) the sampling system to ensure proper year-round operation. Where feasible, select a sampling location at least 2 equivalent diameters downstream from and 0.5 equivalent diameters upstream from the nearest disturbance. Select the sampling location at least 2 equivalent duct diameters from the nearest control device, point of pollutant generation, air in-leakages, or other point at which a change in the pollutant concentration or emission rate occurs. Net Heating Value by Gas Chromatograph As specified in Performance Specification (PS) 9 of 40 CFR part 60, appendix B Follow the procedure in PS 9 of 40 CFR part 60, appendix B, except that a single daily mid-level calibration check can be used (rather than triplicate analysis), the multi-point calibration can be conducted quarterly (rather than monthly), and the sampling line temperature must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 60 °C (rather than 120 °C).

    (2) The MPGF system shall be operated with a flame present at all times when in use. Each burner on HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF must have a pilot with a continuously lit pilot flame. Additionally, each HP stage of CP Chem's ethylene plant MPGF and all HP stages excluding stages 1 and 2 for CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF must have at least two pilots with a continuously lit pilot flame. Each pilot flame must be continuously monitored by a thermocouple or any other equivalent device used to detect the presence of a flame. The time, date, and duration of any complete loss of pilot flame on any of the individual MPGF burners on HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF, on any of the HP stages of CP Chem's ethylene plant MPGF and on any of the HP stages excluding stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF must be recorded. Each monitoring device must be maintained or replaced at a frequency in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

    (3) The MPGF system shall be operated with no visible emissions except for periods not to exceed a total of 5 minutes during any 2 consecutive hours. A video camera that is capable of continuously recording (i.e., at least one frame every 15 seconds with time and date stamps) images of the flare flame and a reasonable distance above the flare flame at an angle suitable for visible emissions observations must be used to demonstrate compliance with this requirement. The owner or operator must provide real-time video surveillance camera output to the control room or other continuously manned location where the video camera images may be viewed at any time.

    (4) The operator of an MPGF system shall install and operate pressure monitor(s) on the main flare header, as well as a valve position indicator monitoring system capable of monitoring and recording the position for each staging valve to ensure that the MPGF operates within the range of tested conditions or within the range of the manufacturer's specifications. The pressure monitor shall meet the requirements in Table 3. Maintenance periods, instrument adjustments or checks to maintain precision and accuracy, and zero and span adjustments may not exceed 5 percent of the time the flare is receiving regulated material.

    (5) Recordkeeping Requirements

    (a) All data must be recorded and maintained for a minimum of 3 years or for as long as required under applicable rule subpart(s), whichever is longer.

    (6) Reporting Requirements

    (a) The information specified in section III (6)(b) and (c) below must be reported in the timeline specified by the applicable rule subpart(s) for which the MPGF will control emissions.

    (b) Owners or operators shall include the following information in their initial Notification of Compliance status report:

    (i) Specify flare design as a pressure-assisted MPGF. CP Chem's polyethylene plant shall also clearly note that HP stages 1 and 2 are also steam-assisted.

    (ii) All visible emission readings, NHV cz and/or LFL cz determinations, and flow rate measurements. For MPGF, exit velocity determinations do not need to be reported as the maximum permitted velocity requirements in the General Provisions at 40 CFR 60.18(b) and 40 CFR 63.11(b) are not applicable.

    (iii) All periods during the compliance determination when a complete loss of pilot flame on any stage of MPGF burners occurs, and, for HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF, all periods during the compliance determination when a complete loss of pilot flame on an individual burner occurs.

    (iv) All periods during the compliance determination when the pressure monitor(s) on the main flare header show the MPGF burners operating outside the range of tested conditions or outside the range of the manufacturer's specifications.

    (v) All periods during the compliance determination when the staging valve position indicator monitoring system indicates a stage of the MPGF should not be in operation and is or when a stage of the MPGF should be in operation and is not.

    (c) The owner or operator shall notify the Administrator of periods of excess emissions in their Periodic Reports. These periods of excess emissions shall include:

    (i) Records of each 15-minute block for all HP stages of CP Chem's ethylene plant MPGF and for all HP stages excluding stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF during which there was at least 1 minute when regulated material was routed to the MPGF and a complete loss of pilot flame on a stage of burners occurred, and, for HP stages 1 and 2 of CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF, records of each 15-minute block during which there was at least 1 minute when regulated material was routed to the MPGF and a complete loss of pilot flame on an individual burner occurred.

    (ii) Records of visible emissions events (including the time and date stamp) that exceed more than 5 minutes in any 2-hour consecutive period.

    (iii) Records of each 15-minute block period for which an applicable combustion zone operating limit (i.e., NHV cz or LFL cz) is not met for the MPGF when regulated material is being combusted in the flare. Indicate the date and time for each period, the NHV cz and/or LFL cz operating parameter for the period and the type of monitoring system used to determine compliance with the operating parameters (e.g., gas chromatograph or calorimeter). For CP Chem's polyethylene plant MPGF, also indicate which HP stages were in use.

    (iv) Records of when the pressure monitor(s) on the main flare header show the MPGF burners are operating outside the range of tested conditions or outside the range of the manufacturer's specifications. Indicate the date and time for each period, the pressure measurement, the stage(s) and number of MPGF burners affected, and the range of tested conditions or manufacturer's specifications.

    (v) Records of when the staging valve position indicator monitoring system indicates a stage of the MPGF should not be in operation and is or when a stage of the MPGF should be in operation and is not. Indicate the date and time for each period, whether the stage was supposed to be open, but was closed or vice versa, and the stage(s) and number of MPGF burners affected.

    IV. Request for Comments

    We solicit comments on all aspects of CP Chem's request for approval of an AMEL for the standards specified in Table 1. We specifically seek comment regarding whether or not the alternative operating requirements listed in section III above will achieve emission reductions at least equivalent to the provisions in the NSPS and NESHAP presented in Table 1 that require flares to meet the requirements in 40 CFR 63.11(b) and 40 CFR 60.18(b).

    Dated: March 14, 2017. Stephen Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06597 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINATION COUNCIL [Docket No. AS17-03] Appraisal Subcommittee; Proposed Revised Policy Statements AGENCY:

    Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

    ACTION:

    Suspension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (ASC) is suspending the public comment period for the Proposed Revised Policy Statements effective April 4, 2017. The ASC published the Proposed Revised Policy Statements on January 10, 2017, under Docket Number AS17-01. The comment period was scheduled to close on April 10, 2017. The suspension of the comment period will allow the President's appointees the opportunity to review and consider this action.

    DATES:

    The comment period is indefinitely suspended effective April 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For access to the docket to read background documents and comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for accessing the docket.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James R. Park, Executive Director, at (202) 595-7575, or Alice M. Ritter, General Counsel, at (202) 595-7577, Appraisal Subcommittee, 1401 H Street NW., Suite 760, Washington, DC 20005.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Arthur Lindo, Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06596 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM [Docket No. OP-1561] Solicitation of Applications for Membership on the Community Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) established the Community Advisory Council (the “CAC”) as an advisory committee to the Board on issues affecting consumers and communities. This Notice advises individuals who wish to serve as CAC members of the opportunity to be considered for the CAC.

    DATES:

    Applications received on or before June 5, 2017, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time will be considered for selection to the CAC for terms beginning January 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Individuals who are interested in being considered for the CAC may submit an application via the Board's Web site or via email. The application can be accessed at https://www.federalreserve.gov/secure/CAC/Application/. Emailed submissions can be sent to [email protected] The information required for consideration is described below.

    If electronic submission is not feasible, submissions may be mailed to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Attn: Community Advisory Council, Mail Stop N-805, 20th Street and Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Fernandez, Community Development Analyst, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20551, or (202) 912-4386, or [email protected] Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board created the Community Advisory Council (CAC) as an advisory committee to the Board on issues affecting consumers and communities. The CAC is composed of a diverse group of experts and representatives of consumer and community development organizations and interests, including from such fields as affordable housing, community and economic development, labor and workforce development, financial technology, small business, and asset and wealth building. CAC members meet semiannually with the members of the Board in Washington, DC to provide a range of perspectives on the economic circumstances and financial services needs of consumers and communities, with a particular focus on the concerns of low- and moderate-income consumers and communities. The CAC complements two of the Board's other advisory councils—the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) and the Federal Advisory Council (FAC)—whose members represent depository institutions.

    The CAC serves as a mechanism to gather feedback and perspectives on a wide range of policy matters and emerging issues of interest to the Board of Governors and aligns with the Federal Reserve's mission and current responsibilities. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, banking supervision and regulatory compliance (including the enforcement of consumer protection laws), systemic risk oversight and monetary policy decision-making, and, in conjunction with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), responsibility for implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

    This Notice advises individuals of the opportunity to be considered for appointment to the CAC. To assist with the selection of CAC members, the Board will consider the information submitted by the candidate along with other publicly available information that it independently obtains.

    Council Size and Terms

    The CAC consists of at least 15 members. The Board will select four members in the fall of 2017 to replace current members whose terms will expire on December 31, 2017. The newly appointed members will serve three-year terms that will begin on January 1, 2018. If a member vacates the CAC before the end of the three-year term, a replacement member will be appointed to fill the unexpired term.

    Application

    Candidates may submit applications by one of three options:

    Online: Complete the application form on the Board's Web site at https://www.federalreserve.gov/secure/CAC/Application/.

    Email: Submit all required information to [email protected]

    Postal Mail: If electronic submission is not feasible, submissions may be mailed to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Attn: Community Advisory Council, Mail Stop N-805, 20th Street and Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    Below are the application fields. Asterisks (*) indicate required fields. • Full Name * • Email Address * • Phone Number * • Postal Mail Street Address * • Postal Mail City * • Postal Zip Code * • Organization * • Title * • Organization Type (select one) * ○ For Profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Non-CDFI Financial Institution Financial Services Professional Services Other ○ Non-Profit Advocacy Association Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Educational Institution Foundation Service Provider Think Tank/Policy Organization Other ○ Government • Primary Area of Expertise (select one) * ○ Civil rights ○ Community development finance ○ Community reinvestment and stabilization ○ Consumer protection ○ Economic and small business development ○ Labor and workforce development ○ Financial technology ○ Household wealth building and financial stability ○ Housing and mortgage finance ○ Rural issues ○ Other (please specify) • Secondary Area of Expertise (select one) ○ Civil rights ○ Community development finance ○ Community reinvestment and stabilization ○ Consumer protection ○ Economic and small business development ○ Labor and workforce development ○ Financial technology ○ Household wealth building and financial stability ○ Housing and mortgage finance ○ Rural issues ○ Other (please specify) • Resume * ○ The resume should include information about past and present positions you have held, dates of service for each, and a description of responsibilities. • Cover Letter * ○ The cover letter should explain why you are interested in serving on the CAC as well as what you believe are your primary qualifications. • Additional Information ○ At your option, you may also provide additional information about your qualifications. Qualifications

    The Board is interested in candidates with knowledge of fields such as affordable housing, community and economic development, labor and workforce development, financial technology, small business, and asset and wealth building, with a particular focus on the concerns of low- and moderate-income consumers and communities. Candidates do not have to be experts on all topics related to consumer financial services or community development, but they should possess some basic knowledge of these areas and related issues. In appointing members to the CAC, the Board will consider a number of factors, including diversity in terms of subject matter expertise, geographic representation, and the representation of women and minority groups.

    CAC members must be willing and able to make the necessary time commitment to participate in organizational conference calls and prepare for and attend meetings two times per year (usually for two days). The meetings will be held at the Board's offices in Washington, DC The Board will provide a nominal honorarium and will reimburse CAC members only for their actual travel expenses subject to Board policy.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, acting through the Director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs under delegated authority, March 22, 2017. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06021 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 151 0204] DaVita, Inc., RV Management Corp., Renal Ventures Partners, LLC, Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, and Renal Ventures Management, LLC; Analysis To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/davitarenalconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “In the Matter of DaVita, Inc., RV Management Corp., Renal Ventures Partners, LLC, Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, and Renal Ventures Management, LLC., File No. 151-0204” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/davitarenalconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of DaVita, Inc., RV Management Corp., Renal Ventures Partners, LLC, Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, and Renal Ventures Management, LLC., File No. 151-0204” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa DeMarchi Sleigh (202-326-2535), Bureau of Competition, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent orders to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for March 28, 2017), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before April 27, 2017. Write “In the Matter of DaVita, Inc., RV Management Corp., Renal Ventures Partners, LLC, Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, and Renal Ventures Management, LLC., File No. 151-0204” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/davitarenalconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of DaVita, Inc., RV Management Corp., Renal Ventures Partners, LLC, Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, and Renal Ventures Management, LLC., File No. 151-0204” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before April 27, 2017. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (“Consent Agreement”) from DaVita, Inc. (“DaVita”). The purpose of the Consent Agreement is to remedy the anticompetitive effects resulting from DaVita's purchase of Renal Ventures Management, LLC from Renal Ventures Limited, LLC, which is owned by RV Management Corp. and Renal Ventures Partners, LLC (together, “Renal Ventures”). Under the terms of the Consent Agreement, DaVita is required to divest seven dialysis clinics in seven markets across the United States.

    The Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for 30 days to solicit comments from interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After 30 days, the Commission will again review the Consent Agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the Consent Agreement, modify it, or make final the Decision and Order (“Order”).

    The Transaction

    Pursuant to an agreement dated August 17, 2015, DaVita proposes to acquire all issued and outstanding equity interests in Renal Ventures in a transaction valued at approximately $358 million. The Commission's Complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition, if consummated, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 18, and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by substantially lessening competition for the provision of outpatient dialysis services in seven markets.

    The Respondents

    Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, DaVita is the second-largest provider of outpatient dialysis services in the United States. DaVita operates or manages 2,251 outpatient dialysis clinics in forty-six states and the District of Columbia at which approximately 180,000 end stage renal disease (“ESRD”) patients receive treatment. In 2015, DaVita's revenues were approximately $13.8 billion.

    Renal Ventures, headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is a privately held company and the seventh-largest provider of outpatient dialysis services in the United States. Renal Ventures operates thirty-six dialysis centers, providing dialysis services to approximately 2,300 patients in six states. In 2015, Renal Ventures' revenues were approximately $161 million.

    The Relevant Product and Structure of the Markets

    Outpatient dialysis services is the relevant product market in which to assess the effects of the proposed transaction. For patients suffering from ESRD, dialysis treatments are a life-sustaining therapy that replaces the function of the kidneys by removing toxins and excess fluid from the blood. Kidney transplantation is the only alternative to dialysis for ESRD patients. However, the wait-time for donor kidneys—during which ESRD patients must receive dialysis treatments—can exceed five years. Additionally, many ESRD patients are not viable transplant candidates. As a result, ESRD patients have no alternative to dialysis treatments. Unless hospitalized, ESRD patients must obtain dialysis treatments from outpatient dialysis clinics.

    Because most ESRD patients receive outpatient dialysis treatment three times per week in sessions lasting between three and five hours the relevant geographic markets are local and limited by the travel distance from patients' homes. ESRD patients are often very ill and suffer from multiple health problems, making travel further than thirty miles or thirty minutes very difficult. As a result, competition among dialysis clinics occurs at a local level, corresponding to metropolitan areas or subsets thereof. The exact contours of each market vary depending on traffic patterns, local geography, and the patients' proximity to the nearest center.

    Competitive Effects of the Acquisition

    Each of the seven geographic markets identified in the Complaint is highly concentrated. In each of the affected markets, the proposed acquisition would cause the number of providers to drop from three to two or cause a merger to monopoly, and the post-acquisition HHI levels to exceed 5,000, and in the three-to-two provider markets, changes in their HHIs greater than 200. The high post-acquisition concentration levels, along with the elimination of the head-to-head competition between DaVita and Renal Ventures, suggest the proposed combination likely would result in higher prices for outpatient dialysis services in each geographic market. In addition, market participants compete for patients on a number of quality measures—including quality of facilities, wait times, operating hours, and location. The proposed combination likely also would result in diminished service and quality for patients in each market.

    Entry

    Entry into the outpatient dialysis services markets identified in the Commission's Complaint is not likely to occur in a timely manner at a level sufficient to deter or counteract the likely anticompetitive effects of the proposed transaction. By law, each dialysis clinic must have a nephrologist medical director, and most dialysis clinics have long-term (seven to ten year) contracts with nephrologist medical directors, that also include non-competes. As a practical matter, medical directors also serve as the primary source of referrals and are essential to a clinic's success. The relative shortage and lack of available nephrologists, particularly those with an established referral stream, is a significant barrier to entry into each of the relevant markets. These obstacles make entry in the affected markets more challenging and less likely to avert the anticompetitive effects of the transaction.

    The Consent Agreement

    The Consent Agreement remedies the proposed acquisition's anticompetitive effects in seven markets where both DaVita and Renal Ventures operate dialysis clinics by requiring DaVita to divest seven outpatient dialysis clinics to PDA-GMF Holdco LLP, a joint venture between Physicians Dialysis and GMF Capital LLC (“PDA”). Physicians Dialysis has been in business since 1990 and currently operates several outpatient dialysis clinics. The Commission is satisfied that PDA is a qualified acquirer of the divested assets.

    As part of the divestitures, DaVita is required to obtain the agreement of the medical director affiliated with each divested clinic to continue providing physician services after the transfer of ownership to the buyer. Similarly, the Consent Agreement requires DaVita to obtain the consent of all lessors necessary to assign the leases for the real property associated with the divested clinics to the buyer. These provisions ensure that the buyer will have the assets necessary to operate the divested clinics in a competitive manner.

    The Consent Agreement contains several additional provisions designed to help ensure the continued competitiveness of the divested clinics. First, the Consent Agreement provides the buyer with the opportunity to interview and hire employees affiliated with the divested clinics and prevents DaVita from offering these employees incentives to decline the buyer's offer of employment. This helps ensure the buyer has access to patient care and supervisory staff familiar with the clinics' patients and the local physicians. Second, the Consent Agreement prevents DaVita from contracting with the medical directors affiliated with the divested clinics for three years, to prevent DaVita from potentially limiting the competitiveness of the divested clinics. Third, to ensure continuity of patient care and records as the buyer implements its quality care, billing, and supply systems, the Consent Agreement requires DaVita to provide transition services for a period up to twenty-four months. Firewalls and confidentiality agreements will prevent the exchange of competitively sensitive information. Fourth, the Consent Agreement requires DaVita to provide the buyer with a license to Renal Ventures' policies, procedures, and medical protocols, as well as the option to obtain and use DaVita's medical protocols, policies, and procedures, to help with continuity of care for the divested clinics' patients.

    The Consent Agreement requires DaVita to provide notice to the Commission prior to any acquisitions of dialysis clinics in the markets addressed by the Consent Agreement to ensure that subsequent acquisitions do not adversely impact competition in those markets or undermine the remedial goals of the proposed order. Finally, the Consent Agreement allows the Commission to appoint a monitor to oversee DaVita's compliance with the Consent Agreement.

    The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the Consent Agreement, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Decision and Order, or to modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06556 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) GH17-002, Program Development and Research to Establish and Evaluate Innovative and Emerging Best Practices in Clinical and Community Services through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); GH17-003, Conducting Public Health Research in South Africa; and GH17-004, Conducting Public Health Research Activities in Egypt.

    Times and Dates: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., EDT, April 25, 2017 (Closed), 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., EDT, April 26, 2017 (Closed).

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c)(4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Program Development and Research to Establish and Evaluate Innovative and Emerging Best Practices in Clinical and Community Services through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), FOA GH17-002; “Conducting Public Health Research in South Africa”, FOA GH17-003,; and “Conducting Public Health Research Activities in Egypt”, FOA GH17-004.

    Contact Person for More Information: Hylan Shoob, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Global Health (CGH) Science Office, CGH, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., Mailstop D-69, Atlanta, Georgia 30033, Telephone: (404) 639-4796.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06537 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-17-17AX] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted 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. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Mobile Messaging Intervention to Present New HIV Prevention Options for Men Who have Sex with Men (MSM) Study—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Public health approaches to HIV prevention and control are increasingly complex for men who have sex with men (MSM), a population with a disproportionately high burden of HIV infection. In addition to the established biomedical treatments for HIV-positive MSM, and behavioral strategies to reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting HIV, current recommendations incorporate the breakthrough biomedical risk reduction strategy of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV-negative MSM who are at high risk of contracting HIV. For maximum efficacy, health communications about HIV prevention and control should be delivered to MSM according to their HIV serostatus and risk category.

    The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention is requesting approval to evaluate the efficacy of a smartphone-based HIV prevention intervention for MSM, known as M3(M-Cubed) that has been designed to deliver targeted messages in six intervention domains: HIV testing, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, PrEP, antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, Condoms, and Engagement in Care. The smartphone and tablet application includes 36 core messages and 12 videos that were developed based on CDC-sponsored iterative formative research (OMB No. 0920-0840) and a review of HIV health communications literature. Messages will be delivered to each participant's device. The proposed study will assess whether exposure to the message-delivery platform results in improvements in participants' self-reported sexual health and HIV prevention behaviors, beliefs and attitudes. Information will be collected at baseline and 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month follow-ups.

    The study population will include 1,206 adult MSM living in Atlanta, GA, Detroit, MI and New York City, NY. These study sites were selected not only because they have high rates of HIV, but also because significant disparities in HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) have been observed by race/ethnicity and age. Study participants will be sexually active MSM at least 18 years in age who own and use and Android and iOS smartphone. Study participants will be stratified by risk category: HIV positive (one third) and HIV negative (one third each: condomless anal sex in past three months; no condomless anal sex past three months). Across the three sites, we will ensure that at least 40% of participants are people of color (non-white or Hispanic) by quota sampling. Participants will be recruited to the study through a combination of approaches, including online advertisement, traditional print advertisement, referral, in-person outreach, and through word of mouth. Participants will be randomly assigned to an intervention group or a waitlist control group. The control group will receive the intervention after the study has been completed.

    A quantitative assessment questionnaire will be administered online at four points in time. The assessment will be used to measure changes in condom use behavior, number of sex partners, HIV testing, sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing, health care engagement, pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake and adherence, and antiretroviral therapy uptake and adherence following completion of the intervention. Participants will complete the assessment in-person at baseline and 9-months, using a computer in a private location, and remotely via their personal computer or tablet device at the 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. The same information will be collected from all participants. The burden per response for each assessment is 1.5 hours.

    It is expected that 50% of men screened will meet study eligibility and provide contact information, that 75 percent will schedule and show up for an in-person appointment, and that 95 percent of these men will remain eligible after reverification. We expect the initial screening to take approximately four minutes to complete, that providing contact information will take 1 minute, and the rescreening prior to study enrollment to take another four minutes.

    OMB approval is requested for two years. Participation is voluntary and there are no costs to the respondents other than their time. The total estimated annual burden is 3,787 hours.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Men ≥ 18 Years of Age Who Have Sex With Men Participant Screening (Eligibility) 1,693 1 4/60 Contact Information Form 847 1 1/60 Participant Screening (Verification) 635 1 4/60 Assessment 603 4 1.5
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06577 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DP17-001, Community Characteristics Associated with Geographic Disparities in Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Health.

    Times and Dates:

    10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., EDT, April 25, 2017 (Closed) 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., EDT, April 26, 2017 (Closed)

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c) (4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Community Characteristics Associated with Geographic Disparities in Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Health”, DP17-001.

    Contact Person for More Information: Jaya Raman Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, Mailstop F80, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, Telephone: (770) 488-6511, [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06536 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; 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 on Aging Initial Review Group, Biological Aging Review Committee.

    Date: May 30-31, 2017.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, 3635 Fashion Way, Torrance, CA 90503.

    Contact Person: Bita Nakhai, Ph.D., Scientific Review Branch, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Bldg., 2C212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-402-7701, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group, Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee,

    Date: June 1-2, 2017.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, 3635 Fashion Way, Torrance, CA 90503.

    Contact Person: Jeannette L. Johnson, Ph.D., Deputy Review Branch Chief, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-7705, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group, Clinical Aging Review Committee.

    Date: June 1-2, 2017.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, 3635 Fashion Way, Torrance, CA 90503.

    Contact Person: Alicja L. Markowska, Ph.D., Dsc., National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Gateway Building 2C212, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-496-9666, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 29, 2017. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06553 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Development and Commercialization of Peptides Promoting Lipid Efflux for the Treatment of Hypertriglyceridemia, With or Without Concomitant Metabolic Syndrome AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), an institute of the National Institutes of Health; an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of an exclusive patent license to commercialize the invention(s) embodied in the intellectual property estate stated in the Summary Information section of this notice to Corvidia Therapeutics Inc. (Corvidia) located in Waltham, MA and incorporated under the laws of Delaware.

    DATES:

    Only written comments and/or applications for a license which are received by the NHLBI Office of Technology Transfer and Development on or before April 19, 2017 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patent application, inquiries, and comments relating to the contemplated exclusive license should be directed to: Cristina Thalhammer-Reyero, Ph.D., MBA, Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager, NHLBI Office of Technology Transfer and Development, 31 Center Drive Room 4A29, MSC2479, Bethesda, MD 20892-2479; Telephone: +1-301-435-4507; Fax: +1-301-594-3080; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following represents the intellectual property to be licensed under the prospective agreement:

    U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/045,213, filed 04/15/2008; PCT Application No. PCT/US2009/040560, filed 04/14/2009; U.S. Patent Application Serial No.12/937,974, issued as 8,936,787 on 01/20/2015; Titled “Peptides Promoting Lipid Efflux” (NIH Reference No. E-138-2008/0).

    With respect to persons who have an obligation to assign their right, title and interest to the Government of the United States of America, the patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the Government of the United States of America.

    The prospective exclusive license territory may be worldwide and the field of use may be limited to: “Treatment of Hypertriglyceridemia, with or without concomitant metabolic syndrome”.

    The invention pertains to compositions and methods of use of ApoC-II mimetic peptides with multiple amphipathic alpha helical domains that have the dual ability to promote lipid efflux from cells and stimulate lipoprotein lipase activity, without inducing toxicity. This notice is made in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404. The prospective Exclusive Patent License will be royalty bearing and may be granted unless within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, the NHLBI Office of Technology Transfer and Development receives written evidence and argument that establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.

    Complete applications for a license in the prospective field of use that are timely filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated Exclusive Patent License. Comments and objections to this notice submitted will not be made available for public inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: March 21, 2017. Cristina Thalhammer-Reyero, Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager, Office of Technology Transfer and Development, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06546 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option Patent License: “The Development and Use of Diazeniumdiolated and Hybrid Diazeniumdiolated Compounds for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer in Humans” AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Cancer Institute, an institute of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of a Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option License to practice the inventions embodied in the Patents and Patent Applications listed in the Supplementary Information section of this notice to Tar Meta Biosciences, Inc. (“TarMeta”) located in King of Prussia, PA, USA.

    DATES:

    Only written comments and/or applications for a license which are received by the National Cancer Institute's Technology Transfer Center on or before April 19, 2017 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patent application, inquiries, and comments relating to the contemplated Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option License should be directed to: Kathleen Higinbotham, Senior Technology Transfer Manager, NCI Technology Transfer Center, Riverside 5, Suite 400, 8490 Progress Dr., Frederick, MD 21701, Telephone: (301)-624-8775; Facsimile: (301)-631-3027 Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Intellectual Property

    (1) E-025-2010/0 entitled “Nitric Oxide-based Cancer Therapeutic Agents For Lung Cancers With Elevated Levels Of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) And/or Low Levels Of Antioxidant Defense/DNA Repair Mechanisms.”

    (a) United States Provisional Patent Application No. 61/261,175 filed November 13, 2009;

    (b) PCT Application No. PCT/US2010/056446 filed November 12, 2010;

    (c) United States Patent Application No. 13/509,431 filed June 01, 2012, US Patent 9,205,091 issued December 08, 2015;

    (d) Australian Patent Application No. 2010319398 filed May 09, 2012;

    (e) Canadian Patent Application No. 2,780,633 filed May 10, 2012;

    (f) European Patent Application No. 10778814.3 filed May 14, 2012;

    (2) E-220-2011/0 entitled “Hybrid Diazeniumdiolated Compounds, Pharmaceutical Compositions, And Method Of Treating Cancer.”

    (a) United States Provisional Patent Application No. 61/549,862, filed October 21, 2011;

    (b) PCT Application No. PCT/US2012/060785 filed October 18, 2012;

    (c) United States Patent Application No. 14/352,096 filed April 16, 2014, US Patent 9,168,266 issued October 27, 2015;

    (d) Australian Patent Application No. 2012326105 filed April 14, 2014;

    (e) Canadian Patent Application No. 2,852,682 filed April 14, 2014;

    (f) European Patent Application No. 12841601.3 filed April 14, 2014, European Patent 2768824 issued December 07, 2016;

    (i) German Patent 602012026435.7 issued December 07, 2016;

    (ii) French Patent 2768824 issued December 07, 2016; and

    (iii) UK Patent 2768824 issued December 07, 2016.

    The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the government of the United States of America.

    The prospective exclusive license territory may be worldwide and the field of use may be limited to “The development and use of diazeniumdiolated and hybrid diazeniumdiolated compounds for the treatment of ovarian cancer in humans.”

    The present inventions describe the use of diazeniumdiolate-based nitric oxide (NO)-releasing compounds wherein the cancer cell has an elevated level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as well as the use of hybrid prodrug molecules that combine a diazeniumdiolated compound and a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor in cancer cells to produce synergistic effects, whether alone or as an adjuvant for other therapies. The hybrid prodrug is expected to enhance cytotoxicity by creating DNA damage with NO and preventing its repair with the PARP inhibitor. The prodrug and the hybrid are activated by glutathione S-transferase and are predicted to be effective in cancers with reactive oxygen species (ROS), both of which are elevated in many cancers. In addition, the prodrug and hybrid may have synergy with therapeutics (such as proteasome inhibitor bortezomib and doxorubicin) which act through generation of ROS. Taken together, these features suggest that the prodrug and hybrid may have therapeutic applications in cancer patients whose tumors include high levels of ROS.

    This notice is made in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404. The prospective Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option License will be royalty bearing, and the prospective exclusive license may be granted unless within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, the National Cancer Institute receives written evidence and argument that establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.

    Complete applications for a license in the prospective field of use that are filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement. Comments and objections submitted to this notice will not be made available for public inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: March 21, 2017. Richard U. Rodriguez, Associate Director, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06545 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    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 meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Molecular Mechanisms of Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury.

    Date: April 27, 2017.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7206, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Shelley S Sehnert, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7206, Bethesda, MD 20892-7924, 301-435-0303, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.233, National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; 93.837, Heart and Vascular Diseases Research; 93.838, Lung Diseases Research; 93.839, Blood Diseases and Resources Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 29, 2017. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06551 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee to the National Cancer Institute.

    The meeting will be open to the public, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting. The meeting will also be videocast and can be accessed from the NIH Videocasting and Podcasting Web site (http://videocast.nih.gov/).

    Name of Committee: Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee to the National Cancer Institute.

    Date: May 8, 2017.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Ongoing and new activities at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 31 Center Drive, Building 31, Wing C; 6th Floor, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Caron A. Lyman, Ph.D., Executive Secretary, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W-126, Bethesda, MD 20892, 240-276-6348, [email protected].

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    In the interest of security, NIH has instituted stringent procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel, and airport shuttles will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/fac/fac.htm, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 29, 2017. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06550 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed 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 on Aging Special Emphasis Panel, Developmental Programming and Aging.

    Date: May 2, 2017.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, Suite 2W200C, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Greg Bissonette, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Gateway Building, Suite 2W200, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-1622, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panel, Translational Bioinformatics and Alzheimer's Disease.

    Date: May 18, 2017.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, Suite 2W200C, 7201 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Greg Bissonette, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health,Gateway Building, Suite 2W200, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-1622, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.866, Aging Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 29, 2017. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06552 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2017-0203] National Maritime Security Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee will meet in Norfolk, Virginia, to review and discuss various issues relating to national maritime security. All meetings will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, from 12 Noon to 4:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon. This meeting may close early if all business is finished.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Port of Virginia Conference Room on the 6th floor of the World Trade Center, 600 World Trade Center; Norfolk, Virginia 23510. The Port of Virginia's Web site is: http://www.portofvirginia.com/.

    This meeting will be broadcast via a web enabled interactive online format and teleconference line. To participate via teleconference, dial 1-855-475-2447; the pass code to join is 764 990 20#. Additionally, if you would like to participate in this meeting via the online web format, please log onto https://share.dhs.gov/nmsac/ and follow the online instructions to register for this meeting. If you encounter technical difficulties, contact Mr. Ryan Owens at (202) 302-6565.

    For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities, or to request special assistance at the meetings, contact the individual listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below as soon as possible.

    Instructions: You are free to submit comments at any time, including orally at the meetings, but if you want committee members to review your comment before the meetings, please submit your comments no later than April 20, 2017. We are particularly interested in comments on the issues in the “Agenda” section below. You must include “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number [USCG-2017-0203] in your submission. Written comments should be submitted using the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. If you encounter technical difficulties, contact Mr. Ryan F. Owens. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov including any personal information provided. 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).

    Docket Search: For access to the docket to read documents or comments related to this notice, go to http://www.regulations.gov, and use “USCG-2017-0203” in the “Search” box, press Enter, and then click on the item you wish to view.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ryan Owens, Alternate Designated Federal Officer of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593, Stop 7581, Washington, DC 20593-7581; telephone 202-372-1108 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of this meeting is in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, (Title 5, United States Code, Appendix). The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee operates under the authority of 46 U.S.C. 70112. The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee provides advice, consults with, and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security, via the Commandant of the Coast Guard, on matters relating to national maritime security.

    A copy of all meeting documentation will be available at https://homeport.uscg.mil/NMSAC by April 25, 2017. Alternatively, you may contact Ryan Owens as noted in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    Agenda of Meeting Day 1

    The Committee will meet to review, discuss and formulate recommendations on the following issues:

    (1) Security and Partnerships in the Port Of Virginia. The Committee will receive a presentation from the Port of Virginia providing review of how the Port of Virginia is partnering to implement security strategies.

    (2) Container Security, Non-Intrusive Inspection/Radiation Portal Monitors. The Committee will discuss, receive a briefing and provide recommendations on Customs and Border Protections efforts to implement non-intrusive inspection in US ports.

    (3) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The increase in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles within ports has introduced the need to provide guidance on how to identify and report potential suspicious activity associated with these vehicles. The Committee will discuss, receive a briefing and provide guidance.

    (4) Seafarer Access. The Committee will receive a follow-on brief from a discussion at the last October 2016 public meeting.

    (5) Regulatory Update. The Committee will receive an update brief on regulatory efforts to date.

    (6) Public Comment period.

    Day 2

    The Committee will meet to review, discuss and formulate recommendations on the following issues:

    (1) Extremely Hazardous Cargo Strategy. In July, the Coast Guard tasked the Committee to work with the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee to assist in the development of an Extremely Hazardous Cargo Strategy Implementation Plan. The Committee will discuss and receive an update from the Extremely Hazardous Cargo Working Group on their efforts.

    (2) Cyber Security. The Committee will discuss and receive a brief on the current efforts to implement cyber security strategies.

    (3) Cascadia Horizon. The Committee will discuss and receive a brief on the results of the Coast Guard's participation in the Cascadia Rising National Level exercise.

    (4) Public comment period.

    Public comments or questions will be taken throughout the meeting as the Committee discusses the issues and prior to deliberations and voting. There will also be a public comment period at the end of the meeting. Speakers are requested to limit their comments to 5 minutes. Please note that the public comment period may end before the period allotted, following the last call for comments. Contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above to register as a speaker.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. V.B. Gifford, Jr. Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Inspections and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06656 Filed 4-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-6025-N-01] Mortgagee Review Board: Administrative Actions AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with Section 202(c)(5) of the National Housing Act, this notice advises of the cause and description of administrative actions taken by HUD's Mortgagee Review Board against HUD-approved mortgagees.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy A. Murray, Secretary to the Mortgagee Review Board, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room B-133/3150, Washington, DC 20410-8000; telephone (202) 708-2224 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Service at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 202(c)(5) of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1708(c)(5)) requires that HUD “publish a description of and the cause for administrative action against a HUD-approved mortgagee” by HUD's Mortgagee Review Board (“Board”). In compliance with the requirements of Section 202(c)(5), this notice advises of actions that have been taken by the Board in its meetings from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

    I. Civil Money Penalties, Withdrawals of FHA Approval, Suspensions, Probations, Reprimands, and Administrative Payments 1. AmCap Mortgage, Ltd., Houston, TX [Docket No. 15-1889-MR]

    Action: On June 16, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with AmCap Mortgage, Ltd. (“AmCap”) that required AmCap to (a) pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $262,500; (b) pay an additional $75,000; and (c) refrain from making any claim for insurance benefits and/or indemnify HUD/FHA for all losses associated with three HUD/FHA insured loans. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on the following violations of HUD/FHA requirements alleged by HUD: AmCap (a) falsely certified to HUD/FHA that it had complied with all HUD/FHA regulations in its 2013 and 2014 annual certifications; (b) failed to timely notify HUD of four incidents in which AmCap and its employees were sanctioned by the states of Utah and Oklahoma; (c) failed to ensure the correct branch identification number was used when originating four HUD/FHA insured mortgage loans; (d) failed to perform quality control reviews for 43 loans that had early payment defaults; (e) failed to perform the HUD/FHA required management response to address material appraisal deficiencies identified in the quality control report for one loan; (f) failed to include all of the borrower's liabilities in determining the debt to income ratio for one loan; (g) failed to properly document the source of closing funds for two loans; and (h) failed to question the appraiser's use of properties as comparables that were not of the same quality as the subject modular home for one loan.

    2. BancFirst, Oklahoma City, OK [Docket No. 16-1736]

    Action: On August 25, 2016, the Board voted to seek civil money penalties against BancFirst. The Board entered into a settlement agreement with BancFirst that required BancFirst to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $17,000 without admitting fault or liability.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on the following violations of HUD/FHA requirements alleged by HUD: BancFirst (a) failed to properly notify HUD/FHA it had acquired CSB Bancshares, Inc. and its subsidiary bank, Bank of Commerce; and (b) falsely certified to HUD/FHA that it had complied with all HUD/FHA regulations in its March 1, 2016 annual certification.

    3. Bank of England, Little Rock, AR [Docket No. 16-1669-MR]

    Action: On August 25, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with Bank of England (“BOE”). Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, BOE was required to (a) pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $6,500; and (b) refrain from making any claim for insurance benefits and/or indemnify HUD/FHA for the life of the loan on all losses associated with one HUD/FHA insured loan. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on BOE's alleged violation of HUD/FHA requirements by its failure to verify and adequately document the borrowers' source of funds for closing for two loans.

    4. Branch Banking and Trust Company, Greensboro, NC [Docket No. 16-0075-FC]

    Action: On September 9, 2016, the Board voted to release Branch Banking and Trust Company (“BB&T”) from any civil money penalties or administrative actions as part of a settlement between BB&T and the United States that required BB&T to pay the United States $83,000,000. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on BB&T's alleged failure to properly originate, underwrite and conduct quality control reviews for HUD/FHA insured loans in violation of HUD/FHA requirements.

    5. City First Mortgage Services, LLC, Bountiful, UT [Docket No. 15-1657-MR]

    Action: On March 10, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with City First Mortgage Services, LLC (“City First”) that required City First to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $35,000 without admitting fault or liability.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on the following violations of HUD/FHA requirements alleged by HUD: City First (a) failed to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles by inappropriately placing two real estate properties, and the mortgage loans secured by those properties, on its 2012 and 2013 balance sheets; (b) falsely certified to HUD/FHA that City First had complied with all HUD/FHA regulations in its 2014 annual certification; (c) failed to notify HUD that City First entered into a consent order with and paid a fine to the State of Illinois, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking; and (d) failed to notify HUD that City First entered into a settlement agreement with and paid a penalty to the Department of Business Oversight for the State of California.

    6. First Heritage Financial, LLC., Trevose, PA [Docket No. 16-0000-MR]

    Action: On August 25, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with First Heritage Financial, LLC (“First Heritage”). The settlement agreement required First Heritage to (a) pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $120,500; and (b) refrain from making any claim for insurance benefits and/or indemnify HUD/FHA for the life of the loan on all losses associated with 36 HUD/FHA insured loans. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault and the Board executed the settlement agreement on January 3, 2017.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on the following violations of HUD/FHA requirements alleged by HUD: First Heritage (a) falsely certified to HUD/FHA that First Heritage had complied with all HUD/FHA regulations in its 2015 annual certification; (b) failed to notify HUD that First Heritage entered into a consent agreement and order with and paid a fine to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking, Securities Compliance office; and (c) submitted false loan certifications for 36 loan files by allowing an individual whose mortgage loan license had been suspended and cancelled to process the origination of HUD/FHA insured loans.

    7. First Mortgage Company, Oklahoma City, OK [Docket No. 16-1823]

    Action: On August 25, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with First Mortgage Company (“First Mortgage”). Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, First Mortgage was required to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $5,000 without admitting fault or liability.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on First Mortgage's alleged violation of HUD/FHA requirements by its failure to notify HUD that First Mortgage entered into a consent order with and paid fine to the State of Washington's Department of Financial Institutions.

    8. Franklin American Mortgage Company, Franklin, IN [Docket No. 15-0094-FC]

    Action: On November 29, 2015, the Board voted to release Franklin American Mortgage Company (“FAMC”) from any civil money penalties or administrative actions as part of a settlement between FAMC and the United States that required FAMC to pay the United States $70,000,000. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on FAMC's alleged failure to properly originate, underwrite, and conduct quality control reviews for HUD/FHA insured loans in violation of HUD/FHA requirements.

    9. Freedom Mortgage Corporation, Mount Laurel, NJ [Docket No. 16-0034-FC]

    Action: On March 10, 2016, the Board voted to release Freedom Mortgage Corporation (“FMC”) from any civil money penalties or administrative actions as part of a settlement between FMC and the United States that required FMC to pay the United States $113,000,000. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on FMC's alleged failure to properly originate, underwrite, and conduct quality control reviews for HUD/FHA insured loans in violation of HUD/FHA requirements.

    10. Golden Empire Mortgage, Inc., Bakersfield, CA [Docket No. 16-1670-MR]

    Action: On August 25, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with Golden Empire Mortgage, Inc. (“GEMI”). Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, GEMI was required (a) to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $128,000; and (b) refrain from making any claim for insurance benefits and/or indemnify HUD/FHA for all losses associated with six HUD/FHA insured loans. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on the following violations of HUD/FHA requirements alleged by HUD: GEMI (a) employed a branch manager who was indicted for bank fraud during his tenure with GEMI; (b) continued to originate HUD/FHA loans that were ineligible for insurance due to GEMI's continued employment of the indicted manager; and (c) failed to promptly notify HUD that GEMI's branch manager had been indicted for bank fraud.

    11. HSBC Bank USA NA, Depew, NY [Docket No. 16-0076-FC]

    Action: On January 29, 2016, the Board voted to release HSBC Bank USA NA (“HSBC”) from any civil money penalties or administrative actions as part of a settlement between HSBC and the United States that required HSBC to pay the United States $100,000,000. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on HSBC's alleged failure to properly service HUD/FHA insured loans in violation of HUD/FHA requirements.

    12. Liberty Bank, Middletown, CT [Docket No. 16-1690 MRT]

    Action: On August 25, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with Liberty Bank. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Liberty Bank was required to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $8,500 without admitting fault or liability.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on Liberty Bank's alleged violation of HUD/FHA requirements by its failure to comply with HUD/FHA merger notification requirements.

    13. Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, Buffalo, NY [Docket No. 16-0040-FC]

    Action: On March 10, 2016, the Board voted to release Manufacturers and Traders Company (“M&T”) from any civil money penalties or administrative actions as part of a settlement between M&T and the United States that required M&T to pay the United States $64,000,000. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on M&T's alleged failure to properly originate, underwrite, and conduct quality control reviews for HUD/FHA insured loans in violation of HUD/FHA requirements.

    14. Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers Corporation, Garden City, NY [Docket No. 16-1661-MR]

    Action: On August 25, 2016, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers Corporation (“MFMBC”) that required MFMBC to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $5,000.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on MFMBC's alleged violation of HUD/FHA requirements by its improper approval of an HUD/FHA insured mortgage for an ineligible co-borrower as the co-borrower was a non-permanent resident alien and was not going to occupy the property as a principal residence.

    15. Mortgage Services III, Bloomington, IL [Docket No. 15-1814-MR]

    Action: On October 22, 2015, the Board voted to accept the terms of a settlement agreement with Mortgage Services III, LLC (“MSIII”) that required MSIII to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $3,500 without admitting fault or liability.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on MSIII's alleged violation of HUD/FHA requirements by its failure to obtain a payoff statement for a subordinate lien that was to be paid off with the proceeds of a HUD/FHA insured mortgage.

    16. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, West Palm Beach, FL [Docket No. 15-1636-MR]

    Action: On June 2, 2016, the Board entered into a settlement agreement with Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (“Ocwen”) that required Ocwen to (a) pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $604,000; (b) reimburse HUD in the amount of $225,875 for losses HUD incurred on three HUD/FHA insured loans; and (c) reimburse HUD in the amount of $2,000 for loss mitigation incentive fees with respect to two HUD/FHA insured loans. The settlement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault.

    Cause: The Board took this action based on the following violations of HUD/FHA requirements alleged by HUD: Ocwen (a) failed to comply with HUD's loss mitigation requirements with respect to seven loans; (b) failed to send letters to borrowers' attorneys notifying them of the availability of loss mitigation for four loans; (c) failed to conduct and document that it performed a management committee review prior to referring loans to foreclosure for 37 loans; (d) failed to complete foreclosures within the required time frames, without seeking an extension of time from HUD for 18 loans; (e) failed to timely disburse escrow funds for insurance and taxes, resulting in penalties or late fees accruing to the borrower, for five loans; (f) improperly charged borrowers fees that were not in accordance with HUD/FHA requirements for 52 loans; (g) failed to check the Limited Denial of Participation and System for Award Management (“LDP/SAM”) exclusion lists prior to approving a Home Affordable Modification Program (“HA