Federal Register Vol. 82, No.64,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 64 (April 5, 2017)

Page Range16509-16724
FR Document

82_FR_64
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 16723 - Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of JusticePDF
82 FR 16721 - Omnibus Report on Significant Trade DeficitsPDF
82 FR 16719 - Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs LawsPDF
82 FR 16717 - World Autism Awareness Day, 2017PDF
82 FR 16715 - National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 16713 - National Financial Capability Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 16711 - National Donate Life Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 16709 - National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 16707 - Cancer Control Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 16634 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
82 FR 16559 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Yellow LancePDF
82 FR 16633 - Division of Federal Employees' Compensation Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 16624 - Notice on Reallotment of Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I Formula Allotted Funds for Dislocated Worker Activities for Program Year (PY) 2016PDF
82 FR 16624 - Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; Native American Employment and Training CouncilPDF
82 FR 16581 - Chlorpyrifos; Order Denying PANNA and NRDC's Petition To Revoke TolerancesPDF
82 FR 16576 - Withdrawal of Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act ReviewsPDF
82 FR 16656 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 16627 - Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standards for Construction and General Industry and Electrical Protective Equipment Standards for Construction and General Industry; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Collections of InformationPDF
82 FR 16630 - MET Laboratories, Inc.: Grant of Expansion of Recognition and Modification to the NRTL Program's List of Appropriate Test StandardsPDF
82 FR 16629 - The Ethylene Oxide (EtO) Standard (Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Collections of Information (Paperwork) Requirements)PDF
82 FR 16602 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Cost SubmissionPDF
82 FR 16603 - Agency Information Collection Activities: CBP Regulations Pertaining to Customs BrokersPDF
82 FR 16655 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at the Sweetwater Municipal Airport in Sweetwater, Texas; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 16660 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Aircraft Registration and RenewalPDF
82 FR 16660 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Notice of Landing Area ProposalPDF
82 FR 16656 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Aging Aircraft Program (Widespread Fatigue Damage)PDF
82 FR 16658 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: National Flight Data Center Web PortalPDF
82 FR 16659 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter, and Part 91 Helicopter OperationsPDF
82 FR 16657 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Commercial Aviation Safety Team Safety EnhancementsPDF
82 FR 16659 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Aviation Research Grants ProgramPDF
82 FR 16657 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) Out Performance Requirements To Support Air Traffic Control (ATC) ServicePDF
82 FR 16658 - Permanent Closure of the St. Marys Airport, St. Marys, GeorgiaPDF
82 FR 16577 - Industry Information DayPDF
82 FR 16510 - Port Access Route Study: The Atlantic Coast From Maine to FloridaPDF
82 FR 16575 - Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 16635 - Consolidated Guidance About Materials Licenses: Program-Specific Guidance About Licenses of Broad ScopePDF
82 FR 16592 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
82 FR 16512 - Recreational Boat Flotation Standards-Update of Outboard Engine Weight Test RequirementsPDF
82 FR 16580 - Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Decision and Order Granting a Waiver to Dyson, Inc. From the Department of Energy Battery Charger Test ProcedurePDF
82 FR 16579 - Application To Export Electric Energy; DTE Energy Trading, Inc.PDF
82 FR 16593 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 16592 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 16573 - Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the People's Republic of China and From Taiwan: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order, in PartPDF
82 FR 16636 - Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water ReactorsPDF
82 FR 16636 - Request for a License To Export Radioactive Waste; UniTech Service Group, Inc.PDF
82 FR 16601 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 16540 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
82 FR 16661 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; HearingPDF
82 FR 16662 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
82 FR 16509 - Anti-Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records SystemPDF
82 FR 16550 - Expediting Rate CasesPDF
82 FR 16575 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Meeting of the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory PanelPDF
82 FR 16632 - Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker HealthPDF
82 FR 16621 - Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from Japan and Romania; Scheduling of Full Five-Year ReviewsPDF
82 FR 16623 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 16599 - Determination That CEDAX (Ceftibuten Dihydrate) for Oral Suspension, 90 Milligrams/5 Milliliters and 180 Milligrams/5 Milliliters, Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
82 FR 16597 - Antibody Mediated Rejection in Kidney Transplantation; Public Workshop; Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 16599 - Food and Drug Administration/Xavier University Medical Device Conference (MedCon)PDF
82 FR 16620 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension, Without Changes, of an Existing Information Collection; Comment Request; OMB Control No. 1653-0020PDF
82 FR 16621 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments for 1029-0091PDF
82 FR 16510 - Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events and Fireworks Displays Within the Fifth Coast Guard DistrictPDF
82 FR 16637 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 16578 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Migrant Education Program Regulations and Certificate of EligibilityPDF
82 FR 16648 - Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund and Winton Capital US LLCPDF
82 FR 16642 - Angel Oak Funds Trust and Angel Oak Capital Advisors, LLCPDF
82 FR 16665 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Application for Reimbursement of National Exam FeePDF
82 FR 16665 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Time Record (Work-Study Program)PDF
82 FR 16664 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Compliance Inspection ReportPDF
82 FR 16647 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To List and Trade Under BZX Rule 14.11(c)(4) the Shares of the VanEck Vectors AMT-Free National Municipal Index ETF of VanEck Vectors ETF TrustPDF
82 FR 16638 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To (1) Implement the Margin Proxy, (2) Modify the Calculation of the Coverage Charge in Circumstances Where the Margin Proxy Applies, and (3) Make Certain Technical CorrectionsPDF
82 FR 16651 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Nasdaq Rule 5710PDF
82 FR 16643 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Regarding Investments of the Janus Short Duration Income ETF Listed Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
82 FR 16644 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of No Objection to Advance Notice Filing To (1) Implement the Margin Proxy and (2) Modify the Calculation of the Coverage Charge in Circumstances Where the Margin Proxy AppliesPDF
82 FR 16634 - Legal Services Corporation Performance Criteria; Request for Comments on Performance Area 4PDF
82 FR 16613 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 16610 - Proposed Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 16608 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 16617 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 16605 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 16594 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
82 FR 16604 - Proposed Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 16595 - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for Million Hearts® Hypertension Control ChallengePDF
82 FR 16570 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Understanding the Anti-Fraud Measures of Large SNAP RetailersPDF
82 FR 16601 - National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 16601 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 16600 - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 16577 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B: 08/18) Field TestPDF
82 FR 16522 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Scarlet-Chested Parrot and the Turquoise Parrot From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened WildlifePDF
82 FR 16542 - Great Lakes Pilotage Rates-2017 Annual ReviewPDF
82 FR 16593 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 16668 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the West Indian Manatee From Endangered to ThreatenedPDF
82 FR 16653 - In the Matter of the Designation of Sami Bashur Bouras; Also Known as Wakrici; Also Known as Khadim; as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 16653 - In the Matter of the Designation of El Shafee Elsheikh; Also Known as Shaf; Also Known as Shafee; as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 16653 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Anjem Choudary, aka Abu Luqman as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
82 FR 16579 - Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the State Energy ProgramPDF
82 FR 16653 - Production of Tritium in Commercial Light Water ReactorsPDF

Issue

82 64 Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 16594-16595 2017-06673 Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 16594 2017-06674 2017-06675 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge; Requirements and Registration, 16595-16597 2017-06670 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Port Access Route Study: The Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida, 16510-16512 2017-06738 Recreational Boat Flotation Standards: Outboard Engine Weight Test Requirements; Update, 16512-16522 2017-06733 Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones: Recurring Marine Events and Fireworks Displays Within the Fifth Coast Guard District, 16510 2017-06696 PROPOSED RULES Great Lakes Pilotage Rates—2017 Annual Review, 16542-16550 2017-06662 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Council Environmental Council on Environmental Quality NOTICES Guidance: Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews; Withdrawal, 16576-16577 2017-06770 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Meetings: Industry Information Day, 16577 2017-06739 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond Field Test, 16577-16578 2017-06664 Migrant Education Program Regulations and Certificate of Eligibility, 16578-16579 2017-06694 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Meetings: Native American Employment and Training Council; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, 16624 2017-06778 Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Title I Formula Allotted Funds for Dislocated Worker Activities for Program Year 2016; Reallotment, 16624-16627 2017-06779 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Energy Program, 16579 2017-06478 Application to Export Electric Energy: DTE Energy Trading, Inc., 16579-16580 2017-06731
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Dyson, Inc., Waiver from the Battery Charger Test Procedure, 16580-16581 2017-06732 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency NOTICES Pesticide Tolerances: Chlorpyrifos, 16581-16592 2017-06777 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Aging Aircraft Program (Widespread Fatigue Damage), 16656-16657 2017-06746 Aircraft Registration and Renewal, 16660-16661 2017-06749 Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast Out Performance Requirements to Support Air Traffic Control Service, 16657-16658 2017-06741 Aviation Research Grants Program, 16659 2017-06742 Commercial Aviation Safety Team Safety Enhancements, 16657 2017-06743 Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter, and Part 91 Helicopter Operations, 16659-16660 2017-06744 National Flight Data Center Web Portal, 16658-16659 2017-06745 Notice of Landing Area Proposal, 16660 2017-06747 Airport Property Releases: South Texas Regional Airport, Hondo, TX; Correction, 16655-16656 2017-06755 Permanent Closures: St. Marys Airport, St. Marys, GA, 16658 2017-06740 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries, 16656 2017-06768 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 16605-16610, 16613-16620 2017-06676 2017-06677 2017-06678 2017-06680 Flood Hazard Determinations; Proposals, 16604-16605, 16610-16613 2017-06672 2017-06679 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 16592 2017-06734 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Hearing, 16661-16662 2017-06721 Vision, 16662-16664 2017-06720 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 16592-16593 2017-06660 2017-06729 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 16593-16594 2017-06661 2017-06730 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Reclassification of the West Indian Manatee from Endangered to Threatened, 16668-16704 2017-06657 Removal of the Scarlet-Chested Parrot and the Turquoise Parrot from the Federal List, 16522-16540 2017-06663 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Threatened Species Status for Yellow Lance, 16559-16569 2017-06783 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Determinations that Products Were not Withdrawn from Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: CEDAX (Ceftibuten Dihydrate) For Oral Suspension, 90 Milligrams/5 Milliliters and 180 Milligrams/5 Milliliters, 16599-16600 2017-06701 Meetings: Antibody Mediated Rejection in Kidney Transplantation; Public Workshop, 16597-16598 2017-06700 Food and Drug Administration/Xavier University Medical Device Conference (MedCon), 16599 2017-06699 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Understanding the Anti-Fraud Measures of Large SNAP Retailers, 16570-16573 2017-06669 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

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

See

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the People's Republic of China and from Taiwan, 16573-16575 2017-06727 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Height-Adjustable Desk Platforms and Components Thereof, 16623-16624 2017-06709 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from Japan and Romania, 16621-16622 2017-06713 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 16634-16635 2017-06876 Performance Criteria; Request for Comments on Performance Area 4, 16634 2017-06681 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 16600-16601 2017-06666 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 16601 2017-06667 National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 16601 2017-06668 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels using Trawl Gear in Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 16540-16541 2017-06723 NOTICES Meetings: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel, 16575 2017-06717 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Meetings: Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, 16575-16576 2017-06736 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Draft Regulatory Guides: Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water Reactors, 16636 2017-06726 Guidance: Program-Specific Guidance about Licenses of Broad Scope, 16635-16636 2017-06735 License to Export Radioactive Waste: UniTech Service Group, Inc., 16636-16637 2017-06725 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standards for Construction and General Industry and Electrical Protective Equipment Standards for Construction and General Industry, 16627-16629 2017-06767 The Ethylene Oxide Standard, 16629-16630 2017-06763 Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories: MET Laboratories, Inc., 16630-16632 2017-06765 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Cancer Control Month (Proc. 9581), 16705-16708 2017-06940 National Child Abuse Prevention Month (Proc. 9582), 16709-16710 2017-06944 National Donate Life Month (Proc. 9583), 16711-16712 2017-06945 National Financial Capability Month (Proc. 9584), 16713-16714 2017-06946 National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (Proc. 9585), 16715-16716 2017-06948 World Autism Awareness Day (Proc. 9586), 16717-16718 2017-06949 EXECUTIVE ORDERS Government Agencies and Employees: Justice, Department of; Order of Succession (EO 13787), 16723-16724 2017-06971 Trade: Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Laws; Enhanced Collection and Enforcement Efforts (EO 13785), 16719-16720 2017-06967 Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits (EO 13786), 16721-16722 2017-06968 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16637-16638 2017-06695 Applications: Angel Oak Funds Trust and Angel Oak Capital Advisors, LLC, 16642-16643 2017-06692 Winton Diversified Opportunities Fund and Winton Capital US LLC, 16648-16651 2017-06693 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 16647-16648 2017-06686 Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, 16638-16642, 16644-16647 2017-06682 2017-06685 NYSE Arca, Inc., 16643-16644 2017-06683 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 16651-16653 2017-06684 Social Social Security Administration RULES Anti-Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System, 16509-16510 2017-06719 State Department State Department NOTICES Designations as Global Terrorists: Anjem Choudary, aka Abu Luqman, 16653 2017-06647 El Shafee Elsheikh also known as Shaf also known as Shafee, 16653 2017-06651 Sami Bashur Bouras also known as Wakrici also known as Khadim, 16653 2017-06653 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16601-16602 2017-06724 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16621 2017-06697 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board PROPOSED RULES Expediting Rate Cases, 16550-16558 2017-06718 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Records of Decisions: Production of Tritium in Commercial Light Water Reactors, 16653-16655 2017-06463 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: CBP Regulations Pertaining to Customs Brokers, 16603-16604 2017-06757 Cost Submission, 16602-16603 2017-06758 Immigration U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Non-Immigrants Checkout Letter, 16620-16621 2017-06698 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Reimbursement of National Exam Fee, 16665-16666 2017-06689 Compliance Inspection Report, 16664-16665 2017-06687 Time Record (Work-Study Program), 16665 2017-06688 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 16633-16634 2017-06782 Meetings: Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, 16632-16633 2017-06714 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 16668-16704 2017-06657 Part III Presidential Documents, 16705-16718 2017-06940 2017-06944 2017-06945 2017-06946 2017-06948 2017-06949 Reader Aids

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

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

82 64 Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Rules and Regulations SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 20 CFR Part 401 [Docket No. SSA-2015-0014] RIN 0960-AH82 Anti-Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System AGENCY:

Social Security Administration.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is issuing a final rule to amend its Privacy Act regulation exempting portions of a system of records from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, entitled Anti-Harassment & Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System. Because this system will contain some investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, this rule will exempt those records within this new system of records from specific provisions of the Privacy Act.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on April 5, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Pamela J. Carcirieri, Supervisory Government Information Specialist, SSA, Office of Privacy & Disclosure, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401, Phone: (410) 965-0355, for information about this rule. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

We published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on December 2, 2016 (81 FR 86979).

In accordance with the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) we also issued a public notice of our intent to establish a new system of records entitled, Anti-Harassment & Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System (Anti-Harassment System) (60-0380). (81 FR 87119). In order to exercise reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any harassment, agencies must implement anti-harassment policies and procedures separate from the Equal Employment Opportunity process. Consequently, we are establishing the Anti-Harassment system to manage information regarding allegations of workplace harassment filed by SSA employees and SSA contractors alleging harassment by another SSA employee, as well as allegations of workplace harassment filed by SSA employees alleging harassment by an SSA contractor.

We are establishing the Anti-Harassment system as part of our compliance efforts under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); the ADA Amendments Act of 2008; the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act); and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA); and Executive Orders 11478, 11246, 13152, and 13087. These legal authorities prohibit discrimination, including harassment, based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or other protected basis.

The Anti-Harassment System will capture and house information regarding allegations of workplace harassment filed by SSA employees and SSA contractors alleging harassment by another SSA employee and any investigation, or response, we take because of the allegation. Due to the investigatory nature of information that will be maintained in this system of records, this rule adds the Anti-Harassment System to the list of SSA systems that are exempt from specific provisions of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2).

Public Comments

We provided 30 days for the public to comment on the NPRM. The comment period ran from December 2, 2016 through January 3, 2016. We received one comment, but did not publish it as part of the regulatory record because it was not within the subject matter of the proposed rule.

Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

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

We also determined that this final rule meets the plain language requirement of Executive Order 12866.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

This final rule was analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria established by Executive Order 13132, and SSA determined that the rule will not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism assessment. SSA also determined that this final rule will not preempt any State law or State regulation or affect the States' abilities to discharge traditional State governmental functions.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

The regulations effectuating Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this final rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 401

Privacy and disclosure of official records and information.

Nancy Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, we are amending subpart B of part 401 of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

PART 401—PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE OF OFFICIAL RECORDS AND INFORMATION Subpart B—[Amended]. 1. The authority citation for subpart B of part 401 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 205, 702(a)(5), 1106, and 1141 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405, 902(a)(5), 1306, and 1320b-11); 5 U.S.C. 552 and 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1360; 26 U.S.C. 6103; 30 U.S.C. 923.

2. Amend § 401.85 by adding paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(F) to read as follows:
§ 401.85 Exempt systems.

(b) * * *

(2) * * *

(ii) * * *

(F) Anti-Harassment & Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System, SSA.

[FR Doc. 2017-06719 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0854] Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events and Fireworks Displays Within the Fifth Coast Guard District AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone for the National Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks display taking place over the Washington Channel, Washington, DC, on April 15, 2017. The safety zone will include all waters within a 100 yard radius of the fireworks barge in approximate position latitude 38°52′43.67″ N., longitude 077°01′28.39″ W. This date and location is a change to those listed for the annually scheduled event, as indicated in U.S. Coast Guard regulations, because the event sponsor changed the scheduled date and location of this annual fireworks display. During the enforcement period, vessels may not enter, remain in, or transit through the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or designated Coast Guard patrol personnel on scene. This action is necessary to ensure safety of life on navigable waters during the event.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 165.506, listed as event (b.) 1, Washington Channel, Upper Potomac River, Washington, DC; Safety Zone, in the table to 33 CFR 165.506 will be enforced from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on April 15, 2017; and in the case of inclement weather enforcement will be from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on April 16, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Mr. Ron Houck, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region (WWM Division); telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On February 22, 2017, and March 8, 2017, the Coast Guard was notified by the National Cherry Blossom Festival firework display sponsor that a change of date and location was necessary to those previously listed for the annually scheduled event, as indicated in 33 CFR 165.506. The location of the annual fireworks display is changed to approximately 550 yards upstream and its size is reduced, to include all waters of the Washington Channel within 100 yards radius of the fireworks barge in approximate position latitude 38°52′43.67″ N., longitude 077°01′28.39″ W., located in Washington, DC. The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone in 33 CFR 165.506 from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on April 15, 2017, for the National Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks display. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for Recurring Marine Events and Fireworks Displays within the Fifth Coast Guard District, § 165.506, specifies the location of the regulated area for this safety zone as a circular shaped area that includes all waters of the Upper Potomac River, within 170 yard radius of the fireworks barge in approximate position latitude 38°52′20.3″ N., longitude 077°01′17.5″ W., located within the Washington Channel, at Washington Harbor, DC. As specified in § 165.506(d), during the enforcement period, vessels may not enter, remain in, or transit through the safety zone unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) or designated Coast Guard patrol personnel on scene. All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP, Coast Guard Patrol Commander or the designated on-scene-patrol personnel. Other Federal, State and local agencies may assist these personnel in the enforcement of the safety zone. If the COTP or his designated on-scene patrol personnel determines the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.506(d) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts.

Dated: March 30, 2017. Lonnie P. Harrison, Jr., Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region.
[FR Doc. 2017-06696 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 167 [USCG-2011-0351] Port Access Route Study: The Atlantic Coast From Maine to Florida AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notification.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard published a document on March 14, 2016, that announced the availability of the final report issued by the Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (ACPARS) workgroup. In addition, the Coast Guard requested comments concerning the final report. After a review of the comments received, the Coast Guard has determined that it is not necessary to revise the final report, and therefore considers it to be complete as published.

DATES:

April 5, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this notification, contact George Detweiler, Coast Guard, telephone (202) 372-1566 or email George.H.Detweil[email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Purpose. The Coast Guard commenced its work on the Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study by chartering a workgroup (WG) on May 11, 2011. The Coast Guard published the WG's Interim Report in the Federal Register (77 FR 55781; Sep. 11, 2012), which provided a status of efforts up to that date. Subsequently, the Coast Guard published a notification in the Federal Register (81 FR 13307; Mar. 14, 2016) that announced the availability of the final report issued by the ACPARS WG. This document discusses the comments received and provides the Coast Guard's response to those comments. The final report is available on the Federal Register docket and also on the ACPARS Web site at www.uscg.mil/lantarea/acpars.

Discussion of Comments

Comments were submitted by representatives of the maritime community, wind energy developers, non-government organizations, Federal and State government agencies, academic institutions and private citizens.

Topics covered by the comments included the Coast Guard's role and relationship with the Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Coast Guard-developed Marine Planning Guidelines and navigation corridors, protection of right whales and continued public outreach.

Coast Guard Cooperation With Stakeholders and the Marine Planning Process

Some commenters urged the Coast Guard to coordinate and consult more closely with the other agencies associated with the development of offshore wind, particularly the BOEM to finalize the ACPARS report, and to utilize the Regional Planning Bodies to obtain broad feedback in evaluating navigation safety issues. We generally agree with these comments, but must state that throughout the ACPARS process, we have worked closely with BOEM in conducting this study and developing the final report. Additionally, broad stakeholder consultation must still be conducted on a case-by-case basis for each particular project proposed, as each will present unique circumstances and navigational risks.

The Coast Guard has participated and will continue to participate in a lead permitting agency's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process as a subject matter expert for navigation safety, maritime security, maritime mobility (management of maritime traffic, commerce, and navigation), national defense, and protection of the marine environment. In the case of wind farms on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), BOEM is the NEPA lead permitting agency and is responsible for the evaluation of environmental impacts and preparation of associated environmental documentation. BOEM and the Coast Guard have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to identify their respective roles and responsibilities as members of BOEM/State Renewable Energy Task Forces for Wind Energy Area (WEA) identification, the issuance of leases and approval of Site Assessment Plans (SAPs), General Activity Plans (GAPs) and Construction and Operations Plans (COPs) for offshore renewable energy installations (OREIs). The Coast Guard will continue to work closely with BOEM in support of their Offshore Renewable Energy Program.

U.K. Marine Guidance Note 371 and Marine Planning Guidelines

Many commenters stated the Coast Guard premised its Marine Planning Guidelines (MP Guidelines) on Marine Guidance Note (MGN) 371, a United Kingdom (U.K.) publication that had been superseded, and further commented that the Coast Guard had misapplied MGN 371 in developing the MP Guidelines. Additionally, some of these comments suggested that the Coast Guard should revise the MP Guidelines to be consistent with MGN 543, which superseded MGN 371. As discussed below, we disagree with these comments.

The United Kingdom's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) published MGN 371 in August of 2008, well before we began the ACPARS process. Through the study, we determined that there was no single international standard for establishing safe navigation distances from permanent structures in the marine environment. With the development of European offshore wind farms, several different standards or guidelines evolved, and we considered each in development of the Coast Guard's MP Guidelines. In particular, we considered the guidance prepared by the Shipping Advisory Board Northsea, which was endorsed by the Confederation of European Shipmasters' Associations and used a formulaic approach that produces a 1.9 Nautical Mile (NM) distance from the side of a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) for a 400 meter vessel. The World Shipping Council recommended a minimum 2 NM safe distance from side of a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). We also considered the guidance prepared by the German Waterways and Shipping Directorate North West and North, which calls for a 2 NM setback to the side of a TSS, plus a 500 meter safety zone for each turbine. Last, we considered MGN 371, which throughout the study period reflected the current guidance of the U.K.'s MCA. Under MGN 371, the MCA considered a navigation buffer of 1 NM to 2 NM from the edge of a TSS to be medium risk, and greater than 2 NM to be low risk.

In January of 2016, after our work on the ACPARS was complete but before we released our final report for comment, the MCA published MGN 543, which superseded MGN 371. Through MGN 543, the MCA intended to simplify the Wind Farm Shipping Route Template (table, p. 13), which contained four columns and twelve defined distances associated with unique considerations (“Factors”) and degrees of risk ranging from very high to very low. The shipping route template in MGN 543 (p. 21) essentially consolidated the twelve safety distances to three, with less than 0.5 NM being “intolerable” and a range from 0.5 NM to 3.5 NM being “tolerable” if risks have been mitigated to a point termed “as low as reasonably possible” or ALARP. Last, the MGN 543 template considers distances beyond 3.5 NM to be “broadly acceptable.”

Although some commenters may view MGN 543's revised template to have relaxed the recommended safe distances in MGN 371, we do not agree. Through MGN 543, the MCA sought to both simplify the template, and also make clear that generally there is a range of possible safe setback distances, and that a particular distance for any given wind farm would be determined by the unique circumstances of the project, which must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Similarly, our MP Guidelines state that the Coast Guard will be a cooperating agency in the NEPA process wherein we will evaluate the Navigation Safety Risk Assessment unique to each proposed project, i.e., on a case-by-case basis. After consideration of several European guidelines, we determined that a 2 NM setback from the side of a TSS was the appropriate guidance for offshore wind farm developers. This distance is consistent with the MCA 371's demarcation for low risk, it is in the middle of MGN 543's range for “tolerable if ALARP” and also consistent with the other European guidance we considered. As such, we do not intend to revise the MP Guidelines at this time.

It is important to note that the distances set forth in MGN 371, MNG 543 and our MP Guidelines are not standards, regulations or requirements of any type, but rather are guidance for developers to consider at the outset of a proposal. For example, both MGN 371 and MGN 543 state “[t]his Guidance Note, as the name implies, is intended for the guidance of developers and others.” See p. 3 of both Notes. In similar language, the MP Guidelines states on p. 1 “[t]hese guidelines are provided to assist offshore developers and marine planners with their evaluation of the navigational impacts of any projects with multiple permanent fixed structures.” Furthermore, on p. 6 of the MP Guidelines, we state “[t]hese recommendations are based on generic deep draft vessel maneuvering characteristics and are consistent with existing European guidelines.”

As discussed above, the Coast Guard will evaluate each proposed project based upon the actual risks identified in the Navigation Safety Risk Assessment, and not by rigidly applying recommended distances from the MP Guidelines or any other similar guidance. Because our guidelines are neither regulations nor standards that must be applied, and because we view MGN 543 as a simplification of its predecessor, MGN 371, we do not believe it is necessary or prudent to revise our MP Guidelines at this time.

Navigation Corridors

Various comments were received concerning navigation corridors. Some commenters said the navigation corridors were too large, or simply not necessary, whereas others said they were essential to preserve clear shipping lanes. Prior to the advent of offshore wind development, there was no need for a coordinated routing system along the entire Atlantic seaboard, and existing traffic separation schemes at the entrances to major ports were adequate to manage collision risks for commercial vessel traffic. As the potential for conflicting uses of the Atlantic Ocean has increased, the Coast Guard must evaluate options to reduce associated risks to navigation and the environment. The ACPARS identified the routes typically used by tug and barge traffic and deep draft ocean-going vessels. The identified navigation corridors in the final report simply reflect areas historically used by commercial vessels. The ACPARS report recommends that the navigation corridors should be considered during marine planning activities and incorporated into Regional Ocean Plans to ensure appropriate consideration is given to shipping early in the project siting process. Some commenters have also suggested the Coast Guard apply the data and recommendations from the ACPARS to the marine planning process, and we agree with those comments.

The ACPARS report also recommended that the Coast Guard use the identified navigation corridors to establish shipping safety fairways (areas where permanent structures are not permitted) or other appropriate ships' routing measures. The Coast Guard is considering these recommendations, but has not yet determined if or how it may move forward on such routing measures. In the event the Coast Guard determines that shipping safety fairways or other routing measures must be further explored, it will engage all relevant stakeholders and ultimately commence a formal rulemaking process that will provide ample notice and opportunity for public and other stakeholder comment, and a thorough environmental review.

Protection of Right Whales

The Coast Guard received comments suggesting that offshore navigation corridors for deep draft traffic could endanger North Atlantic right whales if the corridors divert vessel traffic around wind farms into areas where these endangered whales tend to migrate. Although the offshore navigation corridors identified simply reflect existing vessel traffic patterns already in use, the Coast Guard would consult with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, interagency partners and other stakeholders through the NEPA and marine planning processes as a necessary part of any action to formally establish routing measures associated with the ACPARS or particular wind farm proposals.

Continued Public Outreach

Some commenters recommended that the Coast Guard continue outreach efforts with affected states and federal agencies, the marine shipping industry, the wind energy industry and the general public, which could include participation in stakeholder outreach activities, public meetings, workshops and industry meetings and conferences. The Coast Guard concurs with the recommendation and will continue its outreach program through the Regional Planning Bodies.

Summary

For the foregoing reasons, the Coast Guard considers the ACPARS report to be complete and will not make changes to it at this time.

This notification is issued under authority of 33 U.S.C. 1223(c) and 5 U.S.C. 552.

Dated: March 31, 2017. Michael D. Emerson, Director, Marine Transportation Systems, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2017-06738 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 183 [Docket No. USCG-2016-1012] RIN 1625-AC37 Recreational Boat Flotation Standards—Update of Outboard Engine Weight Test Requirements AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Interim rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is issuing this interim rule to update the table of outboard engine weights used in calculating safe loading capacities and required amounts of flotation material. The engine weight table was last updated in 1984, and the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 requires that we update the table to reflect a specific standard.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective on June 1, 2018. Comments and related material must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov, or reach the Docket Management Facility, on or before July 5, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-1012 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information about this document call or email Mr. Jeffrey Ludwig, Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1061, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble I. Abbreviations II. Basis and Purpose III. Regulatory History IV. Background V. Discussion of Rule VI. Regulatory Analyses A. Regulatory Planning and Review B. Small Entities C. Assistance for Small Entities D. Collection of Information E. Federalism F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act G. Taking of Private Property H. Civil Justice Reform I. Protection of Children J. Indian Tribal Governments K. Energy Effects L. Technical Standards M. Environment VII. Public Participation and Request for Comments I. Abbreviations ABYC American Boat and Yacht Council ABYC S-30 American Boat and Yacht Council S-30—Outboard Engines and Related Equipment Weights CGAA Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-120, 130 Stat. 27; Feb. 8, 2016) CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive Order FR Federal Register IRFA Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis MIC Manufacturer Identification Code NAICS North American Industry Classification System NBSAC National Boating Safety Advisory Council NMMA National Marine Manufacturers Association OMB Office of Management and Budget Pub. L. Public Law RA Regulatory analysis § Section symbol SBA Small Business Administration U.S.C. United States Code II. Basis and Purpose

Section 308 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-120, 130 Stat. 27) (CGAA) requires the Coast Guard to issue regulations, not later than 180 days after enactment, updating Table 4 of subpart H in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 183 to reflect the American Boat and Yacht Council S-30—Outboard Engines and Related Equipment Weights (ABYC S-30) standard.

Additionally, 46 U.S.C. 4302(b), which provides authority for 33 CFR part 183, requires the effective date for rules issued under that provision be delayed at least 180 days after publication, but not more than 2 years for cases involving major product design, retooling, or changes in the manufacturing process. It also requires consultation with the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC).1 Although this rule is issued pursuant to CGAA and not 46 U.S.C. 4302, it amends regulations issued pursuant to section 4302 and the 180-day delay is appropriate. The delay provides manufacturers with time to adjust their operations to comply with the new standard. We have implemented that delay of effective date in this rule.

1 The NBSAC recommended to the Coast Guard in 2000 that the weight table be updated (Resolution number 2000-66-05), and discussed the replacement of Table 4 with the ABYC standard at their April 2016 meeting.

III. Regulatory History

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking before this interim rule. The Coast Guard finds good cause to forgo prior notice and opportunity to comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because section 308 of CGAA provides the Coast Guard no discretion in adopting the specific industry standard for engine weights. The Coast Guard may not decline to update the engine weight standards, choose to adopt a different standard, or respond to public comments by modifying the substance of the rule. Because the Act does not allow for alternatives; the Coast Guard may not adopt a different standard or modify the substance of the rule in response to public comments. Therefore, it was unnecessary and impracticable to provide the public with notice and opportunity to comment before publishing this interim rule.

This rule also relocates the relevant table within the CFR, and makes similar administrative changes that have no substantive effect on the public. Because these changes do not create or change any rights or responsibilities for the public, prior notice and opportunity to comment are unnecessary under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). However, the Coast Guard is interested in the public's views on these changes.

In addition, we are delaying the effective date of this rule until June 1, 2018, for two reasons: (1) To meet the intent of 46 U.S.C. 4302(b), as described earlier in this rule, and (2) to align with the recreational boat model year so that requirements do not change during a model year production run. The delay in effective date allows time for a post-publication comment period and for non-substantive changes if needed.

Therefore, even though 5 U.S.C. 553 allows the Coast Guard to forgo notice and opportunity for comment prior to issuing this rule, we invite public comment on the interim rule. We will not have the authority to change the substance of the rule—for example, the specific weight standard used—in response to public comment, because that requirement is set in statute. However, we invite public comment on other aspects of the rule, such as changes we have made to cross-references, and we may make changes after considering those comments. We believe this strikes the best balance between satisfying the statute, putting a rule in place soon so that manufacturers can plan ahead, and allowing public comment to the extent we are permitted by CGAA.

IV. Background

Congress has authorized the Coast Guard to prescribe regulations establishing minimum safety standards for recreational vessels and associated equipment. In 1977, the Coast Guard established flotation requirements for boats less than 20 feet in length, and established a weight table (Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183) used to assist the boat manufacturer in determining the amount of flotation to be included in a boat's design and construction.

Table 4 was last updated in 1984, but the size and weight of outboard engines has evolved over the years to the point that Table 4 no longer accurately represents the weights of outboard engines available on the market.

The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) is a non-profit organization that develops voluntary safety standards for the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of recreational boats. Among the voluntary safety standards that ABYC develops and updates on a regular basis is S-30—Outboard Engines and Related Equipment Weights (ABYC S-30). This standard reflects the current state of marine outboard engine weights.

V. Discussion of Rule

This rulemaking adopts the current ABYC S-30 to replace Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183. The current ABYC S-30 is dated July 2012, and was the standard in effect on the date of enactment of the Act.

In the CFR, Table 4 applies to monohull outboard boats that are less than 20 feet in length, which includes recreational vessels as well as some commercial fishing vessels. It is also used indirectly for flotation requirements for survival craft covered by 46 CFR part 25 (uninspected vessels), 46 CFR part 117 (small passenger vessels carrying more than 150 passengers), 46 CFR part 141 (towing vessels) and 46 CFR part 180 (small passenger vessels under 100 gross tons). Changing the figures in Table 4, as required by the Act, will require more flotation in each new boat, to support the weight of heavier engines.

This rule removes Table 4 and replaces it with a new section in subpart E of part 183. That section contains the table of the ABYC S-30 standard and its corresponding footnotes. We made minor edits to the footnotes developed by ABYC to accommodate the location of the table in the CFR and to reflect the removal of Table 4. We also made conforming changes to several sections that referenced Table 4.

VI. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed it. As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017). A regulatory analysis (RA) follows.

This RA provides an evaluation of the economic impacts associated with this interim rule. The Coast Guard is issuing an interim rule to implement section 308 of the CGAA. The CGAA mandates that the Coast Guard issue regulations to amend Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183 to reflect the standards in ABYC S-30. Consequently, 100% of the costs of this rule are due to a Congressional mandate and the Coast Guard has no discretion to adopt a different standard that would lower the cost of this rule. Changes in the design and construction of modern outboard engines necessitate a change in the table of outboard engine weights used in calculating safe loading capacities and required amounts of flotation material in the Safe Loading and Flotation Standards found in 33 CFR part 183, subparts G and H.

Table 1 of this document provides a summary of the affected population, costs, and benefits of this rule.

Table 1—Summary of the Impacts of the Interim Rule Category Summary Applicability Update Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183 with ABYC S-30. Affected Population 1,427 manufacturers of monohull outboard boats of less than 20 feet in length. Costs to Industry ($, 7% discount rate) 10-year: $6,624,488.
  • Annualized: $943,178.
  • Unquantified Benefits Creates uniformity by aligning all boats to the same standard.
  • Brings those boats not currently in compliance with ABYC S-30 to a higher level of safety than the standard currently in regulation.
  • Affected Population

    This interim rule will adopt the current ABYC S-30 to replace Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183. Table 4 applies to monohull outboard boats that are less than 20 feet in length, including recreational vessels and some commercial fishing vessels.

    Table 4 is also used indirectly for flotation requirements for survival craft covered by 46 CFR part 25 (uninspected vessels), 46 CFR part 117 (small passenger vessels carrying more than 150 passengers), 46 CFR part 141 (towing vessels), and 46 CFR part 180 (small passenger vessels under 100 gross tons). Small passenger vessels are required to carry certain survival craft, depending on their route and construction, in order to have the capacity to evacuate a certain percentage of the number of people on board. These survival craft are generally life rafts or floats, which do not have engines and are not impacted by this interim rule. However, small passenger vessels could voluntarily carry a small boat that can be used to carry some of the passengers, thereby reducing the number of other survival craft they are required to carry (46 CFR 117.200(b) and 46 CFR 180.200(b)). Because this is a voluntary option available for these vessels, we do not include them in our analysis. However, we do note that if the uninspected vessels, small passenger vessels carrying more than 150 passengers, towing vessels, or small passenger vessels under 100 gross tons choose to carry a small boat on board that does not meet ABYC S-30 standard, they could be indirectly affected by this interim rule. Because this interim rule applies only to new boats manufactured after June 1, 2018, any small passenger vessels already carrying small boats subject to Table 4 of subpart H will not be affected. If they choose to replace their small boat with a boat built after June 1, 2018, they may be indirectly affected if the manufacturer passes the costs of this interim rule on to the consumers. We account for the direct costs to manufacturers in this analysis.

    The interim rule will affect manufacturers that produce monohull outboard boats that are less than 20 feet in length and that are not currently building boats to ABYC S-30 standard. The Coast Guard used the list of active Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC) holders, as required by 33 CFR part 181, subpart C, to determine the affected population. This list represents all recreational boat MICs that are currently active. We then removed any MICs that will not be affected by this rule from the list of manufacturers. This includes: (1) Manufacturers with multiple MICs; (2) MICs belonging to manufacturers that only build boats greater than 20 feet in length; (3) MICs belonging to manufacturers that do not build monohull outboard boats; and (4) MICs belonging to manufacturers that only produce boats exempted from this regulation by 33 CFR 183.201(b), including sailboats, canoes, kayaks, inflatable boats, submersibles, surface effect vessels, amphibious vessels, and raceboats. We found there are no more than 1,519 affected manufacturers that produce monohull outboard boats that are less than 20 feet in length.

    Some of these 1,519 monohull manufacturers are currently in compliance with ABYC S-30 standard, and therefore will not incur additional costs because of this rule. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) requires its members to build boats to the ABYC standard.2 These NMMA builders produce about 85 percent of the recreational boats built each year.3 We found 92 monohull manufacturers that are currently NMMA members and therefore we assume they are in compliance. We assume the remaining 1,427 monohull manufacturers are not compliant with the current voluntary standard and will be affected by this rule.

    2See Michael Vatalaro, What “NMMA-Certified” Really Means, BoatUS, Feb. 2014, http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2014/february/what-nnma-certified-means.asp.

    3Id.

    Costs to Industry

    This interim rule will adopt the current ABYC S-30, to replace Table 4 of subpart H. This change will increase costs to 1,427 monohull manufacturers that are assumed to be not in compliance. The increase in the weight table figures will require an additional 1 to 2 cubic feet of flotation to be added to each boat manufactured after the implementation date of June 1, 2018. We estimate the foam for the additional flotation will cost an average of $10 per boat.4 Some manufacturers may need to make minor adjustments such as enclosing an aft seat and adding foam under the seat to accommodate the additional foam in the boats. Therefore, Coast Guard uses an estimate of $50 per boat to account for the foam and any minor adjustments that may be necessary.5 Manufacturers could incur costs related to determining where to put the additional flotation on a vessel, but we believe redesign costs would not be needed as the additional flotation material is minimal and the placement of the material is fairly standard. The manufacturers are already required to add flotation to boats, so there will be no costs for new equipment, facilities, or retrofitting of facilities.

    4 The $10 estimate is based on 2 LB Density Urethane Foam estimates from US Composites (http://www.uscomposites.com/foam.html) and conversations with manufacturers. Foam prices vary based on the size of the kits. The cost of kits range from a 2 cubic foot kit cost of $22.50 ($11.25 per cubic foot) to $264 for a 40 cubic foot kit ($6.60 per cubic foot). Conversations with manufacturers confirmed $10 is a reasonable average estimate for adding 1 to 2 cubic feet of additional flotation, that takes into account the varying costs based on the size of kits purchased and that manufacturers may pay less than the listed prices based on their purchasing agreements with the suppliers.

    5 Based on discussions with manufacturers, the additional $40 estimate is to cover the cost of enclosing a rear seat to add flotation foam under it or to add small chambers, especially on open aluminum boats, to accommodate the additional flotation foam.

    To estimate the total cost to industry, we then estimated the total number of outboard boats less than 20 feet in length manufactured per year by the monohull manufacturers that are not in compliance. The Coast Guard used data from the NMMA's 2015 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract 6 to estimate the total affected outboard boats. The NMMA breaks down outboard boat sales by two hull materials: Fiberglass and aluminum. The NMMA estimates that in 2015, 51,300 fiberglass outboard boats and 104,500 aluminum outboard boats were sold. Of these boats sold, 42.7 percent of the fiberglass outboard boats and 60.4 percent of the aluminum outboard boats were less than 20 feet in length. Multiplying the percentage market share of boats less than 20 feet by the total sales of boats by material, we found there were 21,905 fiberglass boats and 63,118 aluminum outboard boats less than 20 feet sold in 2015 (see Table 2).

    6 A summary of the NMMA abstract is available at https://www.nmma.org/statistics/publications/statistical-abstract. The full report is available for purchase through NMMA. The Coast Guard used data from Powerboat Sales Trends, Table 1: Outboard boats: Estimated sales by hull market; Table 2: Fiberglass outboard boats: Estimated market share by length; and Table 3: Aluminum outboard boats: Estimated market share by length.

    Table 2—Total Sales and Market Share of Outboard Boats by Material Type Outboard boat by material Estimated
  • total sales
  • Percentage
  • market share
  • outboard boats
  • less than
  • 20 feet
  • Total outboard
  • boats less than
  • 20 feet sold
  • in 2015
  • Fiberglass 51,300 42.7 21,905 Aluminum 104,500 60.4 63,118 Total 155,800 85,023

    The total 85,023 outboard boats less than 20 feet that were sold in 2015 were produced by a mix of manufacturers that are already in compliance with the ABYC S-30 standard and manufacturers that are not in compliance and will be impacted by this rule. The NMMA estimates that around 85 percent of the boats sold in the United States are already in compliance with the ABYC S-30 standard. Therefore, the Coast Guard estimates 15 percent of the total outboard boats less than 20 feet sold were produced by manufacturers not in compliance with the ABYC standard. These 12,753 boats (15 percent of the 85,023 outboard boats less than 20 feet, rounded) will require $50 of additional flotation materials to align with the new standard.

    To estimate the affected outboard boats over our 10-year period of analysis, we used NMMA data to forecast future boat building production.7 The NMMA anticipates annual production will rise through at least 2018 before leveling off into at least early 2019. The NMMA does not have estimates for production past 2019. Since the NMMA anticipates production will plateau once it reaches the levels of production estimated in 2019, the Coast Guard assumes production will hold at 2019 levels. Production could decrease or increase, resulting in higher or lower industry costs, but for the purposes of this analysis we assume production remains constant past 2019. Table 3 shows our baseline affected population, the forecasted percentage increases over the previous year estimated by NMMA, and the resulting number of affected outboard boats.8

    7 Production forecasts are internal NMMA estimates that were provided to the Coast Guard on 9/7/2016.

    8 Forecasted percentages for 2016 and 2019 were given in NMMA data. Forecasted percentages for years 2017 and 2018 were calculated from NMMA's forecasted annual production index. For 2017, the affected outboard boats manufactured annually are calculated as [1 + ((170.1−147.6)/147.6)] * 14,232 = 16,402, rounded. For 2018, the affected outboard boats manufactured annually are calculated as [1 + (185.8−170.1)/170.1] * 16,402, rounded.

    Table 3—Forecasted Affected Outboard Boats Year Forecasted
  • percentage
  • increase
  • over previous year
  • Affected
  • outboard boats
  • manufactured annually
  • 2015 12,753 2016 11.6 14,232 2017 15.2 16,402 2018 9.2 17,916 2019 6.1 19,009 2020+ 0.0 19,009

    As this interim rule will be effective June 1, 2018, any outboard boats manufactured after this date will need to be in compliance with ABYC S-30 standard. The Coast Guard anticipates most manufacturers will begin making the necessary changes at the beginning of 2018. All manufacturers will be in compliance by June 1, 2018 of Year 1, which corresponds with the 2018 estimated affected outboard boats in Table 3. We estimate there will be 17,916 affected outboard boats in Year 1 and 19,009 affected outboard boats in Years 2 through 10. Table 4 summarizes the estimated affected population of outboard boats that we used to estimate the 10-year costs of this interim rule.

    Table 4—Ten-Year Projection of Affected Outboard Boats Year Affected
  • outboard boats
  • 1 17,916 2 19,009 3 19,009 4 19,009 5 19,009 6 19,009 7 19,009 8 19,009 9 19,009 10 19,009
    We then multiplied the projected number of affected outboard boats each year in Table 4 by the estimated cost per boat of $50. Table 5 shows the total costs of this interim rule on an undiscounted basis, and discounted at 7 and 3 percent. Table 5—Total Costs of Interim Rule Year Total undiscounted costs Total, discounted 7% 3% 1 $895,800 $837,196 $869,709 2 950,450 830,160 895,840 3 950,450 775,850 869,796 4 950,450 725,094 844,463 5 950,450 677,658 819,867 6 950,450 633,325 795,987 7 950,450 591,892 772,803 8 950,450 553,171 750,294 9 950,450 516,982 728,441 10 950,450 483,161 707,224 Total 9,449,850 6,624,488 8,054,473 Annualized 943,178 944,230 Note: Totals may not sum due to independent rounding. The total 10-year undiscounted cost of this interim rule is $9,449,850. The total 10-year discounted cost of this interim rule is $6,624,488 and the annualized cost is $943,178, both discounted at 7 percent. The manufacturers of outboard boats less than 20 feet in length not in compliance with ABYC S-30 standard will bear these costs. However, it is possible that manufacturers may pass these costs onto the recreational boat owners by incorporating the additional costs of this interim rule into the sales price. The sale price of the affected boats can range from $3,000 through $50,000. If we use an average of $26,500 per boat, the $50 average cost per boat represents 0.2 percent of the sales price. However, 85 percent of the boats sold in the United States are already in compliance and include this cost of floatation in the sales prices. Benefits

    This rule does not provide any quantitative benefits. However, it does have qualitative benefits. This rule will create uniformity by aligning all boats to the same standard. The ABYC S-30 provides a higher level of safety than that provided by the standard currently in the regulation. Requiring all boats less than 20 feet in length that currently do not meet ABYC S-30 standard weights to comply with that standard will improve the buoyancy of these boats, and therefore, improve their safety.

    B. Small Entities

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Coast Guard prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) that examines the impacts of the interim rule on small entities (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). We recognize that an IRFA is not required for an interim rule that was not preceded by a general notice of proposed rulemaking. We are including an analysis of the interim rule requirements on small entities for informational purposes.

    A small entity may be: a small independent business, defined as independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field per the Small Business Act (5 U.S.C. 632); a small not-for-profit organization (any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field); or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people) per the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    An IRFA addresses the following:

    (1) A description of the reasons why action by the agency is being considered;

    (2) A succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, the rule;

    (3) A description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule will apply;

    (4) A description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities that will be subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record;

    (5) An identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the rule; and

    (6) A description of any significant alternatives to the rule that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and that minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities.

    1. A description of the reasons why action by the agency is being considered.

    Congress has authorized the Coast Guard to prescribe regulations establishing minimum safety standards for recreational vessels and associated equipment. In 1977, the Coast Guard established flotation requirements for boats less than 20 feet in length, and established a weight table (Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183) used to assist the boat manufacturer in determining the amount of flotation to be included in a boat's design and construction.

    Table 4 was last updated in 1984, but the size and weight of outboard engines has evolved over the years to the point where Table 4 no longer accurately represents the weights of outboard engines available on the market. Changes in the design and construction of modern outboard engines necessitate a change in the table of outboard engine weights used in calculating safe loading capacities and required amounts of flotation material in the Safe Loading and Flotation Standards found in 33 CFR part 183, subparts G and H.

    2. A succinct statement of the objective of, and legal basis for, the rule.

    Congress has authorized the Coast Guard to prescribe regulations establishing minimum safety standards for recreational vessels and associated equipment. Section 308 of the CGAA requires the Coast Guard to issue regulations updating Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183 with ABYC S-30 not later than 180 days after enactment. This rulemaking will adopt the current ABYC S-30 to replace Table 4. The current ABYC S-30 is dated July 2012. Table 4 of subpart H applies to monohull outboard boats that are less than 20 feet in length, which includes recreational vessels as well as some commercial fishing vessels. It is also used indirectly for flotation requirements for survival craft covered by 46 CFR part 25 (uninspected vessels), 46 CFR part 117 (small passenger vessels carrying more than 150 passengers), 46 CFR part 141 (towing vessels), and 46 CFR part 180 (small passenger vessels under 100 gross tons).

    3. A description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule will apply.

    This interim rule will affect manufacturers that produce monohull outboard boats that are less than 20 feet in length that are not currently building boats to ABYC S-30 standard.

    Based on Coast Guard's list of active MIC holders, we estimate this interim rule will affect 1,427 U.S. companies. We researched the number of employees and revenue of these companies using proprietary and public business databases.9 We then measured company size data using the Small Business Administration's (SBA) business size standards to assess how many companies in this industry may be small entities.10 The SBA provides business size standards for all sectors of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).11

    9Data sources: ReferenceUSA (www.referenceusagov.com) and Manta (www.manta.com).

    10 “Small entities” include small businesses that meet the Small Business Administration size standard for small business concerns at 13 CFR 121.201, small governmental jurisdictions with a population of less than 50,000, and small organizations that are independently owned not-for-profit enterprises and which are not dominant in their field. See 5 U.S.C. 601(3)-(5).

    11 SBA size standards are matched to NAICS, effective February 26, 2016. See Contracting: Table of Small Business Size Standards, Small Business Administration, https://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-size-standards.

    Using a random sample of companies out of the total population of 1,427 affected U.S. companies, we researched 749 companies and found company-specific revenue and employment information and data on 388 of them.12 We assumed that the remaining 361 companies (for which the revenue and employment information was unavailable) are small entities for the purpose of this analysis. Of the 388 companies for which revenue and employment information was available, we found three entities that exceeded the small entity thresholds for their relevant NAICS code. The remaining 385 companies are small entities as defined by the SBA thresholds. Adding these small entities to the companies without revenue and employment information, we estimate a total of 746 of the companies are small entities. Using the results of this random sample, we calculated the fraction of small entities by dividing the total small entities by the sample size. Therefore, we estimate that 99.6 percent of all monohull companies not currently building to ABYC S-30 standard fall below the threshold for small businesses. Table 6 summarizes the findings of our small entity threshold analysis.

    12 Using a 95 percent confidence level, a sample size of 385 companies is sufficient. Our research started with a random sample of 749 companies that yielded 388 entities for which requisite information was found.

    Table 6—Number of Companies and Small Entities Researched Category Number of companies (a) Sample Size 749 (b) Without Revenue or Employment Data 361 (c ) With Revenue or Employee Data 388 (d) Exceeded Small Entity Threshold 3 (e) Below the Small Business Threshold 385 Total Small Entities, (b) + (e) 746 Total, (a) 749 Fraction Small Entities 99.6%

    Our analysis of the available company information revealed 64 primary NAICS codes. Table 7 displays the NAICS codes of the small entities found in our sample.

    Table 7—NAICS Codes of Identified Small Entities Title NAICS Code Count of
  • companies
  • SBA size
  • standard type
  • SBA size threshold
    Boat Building 336612 151 Employees 1,000 Boat Dealers 441222 56 Revenue $32,500,000 Other Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance 811490 32 Revenue $7,500,000 Marinas 713930 28 Revenue $7,500,000 All Other Support Services 561990 14 Revenue $11,000,000 Mineral Wool Manufacturing 327993 11 Employees 1,500 Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance 811310 8 Revenue $7,500,000 All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing 339999 5 Employees 500 Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturing 332312 4 Employees 500 New Single-family Housing Construction (Except For-Sale Builders) 236115 3 Revenue $36,500,000 All Other Plastics Product Manufacturing 326199 3 Employees 750 Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 423910 3 Employees 100 Other Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers 423990 3 Employees 100 Other Building Material Dealers 444190 3 Revenue $20,500,000 Engineering Services 541330 3 Revenue $15,000,000 All Other Business Support Services 561499 3 Revenue $15,000,000 Site Preparation Contractors 238910 2 Revenue $15,000,000 Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 332322 2 Employees 500 Special Die and Tool, Die Set, Jig and Fixture Manufacturing 333514 2 Employees 500 Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing 336214 2 Employees 1,000 Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 425120 2 Employees 100 All Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers (except Tobacco Stores) 453998 2 Revenue $7,500,000 Museums 712110 2 Revenue $27,500,000 Hunting and Trapping 114210 1 Revenue $5,500,000 Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 221310 1 Revenue $27,500,000 Commercial and Institutional Building Construction 236220 1 Revenue $36,500,000 Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 237990 1 Revenue $36,500,000 Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors 238220 1 Revenue $15,000,000 All Other Specialty Trade Contractors 238990 1 Revenue $15,000,000 Fabric Coating Mills 313320 1 Employees 1,000 Other Millwork (including Flooring) 321918 1 Employees 500 Plastics Material and Resin Manufacturing 325211 1 Employees 1,250 Fertilizer (Mixing Only) Manufacturing 325314 1 Employees 500 All Other Miscellaneous Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing 327999 1 Employees 500 Alumina Refining and Primary Aluminum Production 331313 1 Employees 1,000 Aluminum Sheet, Plate and Foil Manufacturing 331315 1 Employees 1,250 Other Aluminum Rolling, Drawing, and Extruding 331318 1 Employees 750 Plate Work Manufacturing 332313 1 Employees 750 Farm Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing 333111 1 Employees 1,250 Overhead Traveling Crane, Hoist and Monorail System Manufacturing 333923 1 Employees 1,250 All Other Miscellaneous General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing 333999 1 Employees 500 Other Communications Equipment Manufacturing 334290 1 Employees 750 Truck Trailer Manufacturing 336212 1 Employees 1,000 Motor Vehicle Steering and Suspension Components (except Spring) Manufacturing 336330 1 Employees 1,000 Ship Building and Repairing 336611 1 Employees 1,250 All Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing 336999 1 Employees 1,000 Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturing 339920 1 Employees 750 Hobby, Toy and Game Stores 451120 1 Revenue $27,500,000 Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water 487210 1 Revenue $7,500,000 Navigational Services to Shipping 488330 1 Revenue $38,500,000 Miscellaneous Intermediation 523910 1 Revenue $38,500,000 Recreational Goods Rental 532292 1 Revenue $7,500,000 Landscape Architectural Services 541320 1 Revenue $7,500,000 Industrial Design Services 541420 1 Revenue $7,500,000 Graphic Design Services 541430 1 Revenue $7,500,000 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services 541611 1 Revenue $15,000,000 Other Management Consulting Services 541618 1 Revenue $15,000,000 All Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 541990 1 Revenue $15,000,000 Landscaping Services 561730 1 Revenue $7,500,000 All Other Miscellaneous Schools and Instruction 611699 1 Revenue $11,000,000 Emergency and Other Relief Services 624230 1 Revenue $32,500,000 Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 713940 1 Revenue $7,500,000 RV (Recreational Vehicle) Parks and Campgrounds 721211 1 Revenue $7,500,000 Civic and Social Organizations 813410 1 Revenue $7,500,000

    Revenue Impacts of the Interim Rule. To determine the impacts of the interim rule on small monohull manufacturers, we used information on revenues or employee size as available on business directory Web sites.13

    13 As indicated by either the revenue or employee data for businesses, we use ReferenceUSA (www.referenceusagov.com) and Manta (www.manta.com).

    As discussed in the “Cost to Industry” section of the RA, we estimate that there are 17,916 outboard boats less than 20 feet produced by manufacturers annually that will require additional flotation materials to align with this interim rule in Year 1. Coast Guard does not have information on the market share of the small entity manufacturers and the number of boats they produce each year. Therefore, we assume each manufacturer consistently produces the same number of boats each year and that each manufacturer has the same market share. With 1,427 affected U.S. companies, this is an average of about 13 outboard boats per manufacturer (rounded). In Years 2 through 10, the Coast Guard estimates there are 19,009 outboard boats affected, at an average of about 13 outboard boats per manufacturer (19,009 boats divided by 1,427 manufacturers, rounded). At an estimated cost of $50 per outboard boat, the average total cost per manufacturer is $650 in Years 1 through 10. Table 8 summarizes the average costs per manufacturer of the interim rule by year.

    Table 8—Interim Rule Average Costs per Manufacturer Year(s) Affected
  • outboard
  • boats
  • Manufacturers
  • not in
  • compliance
  • Average
  • outboard
  • boats
  • produced by manufacturer
  • Cost per
  • outboard
  • boats
  • Average
  • cost per
  • manufacturer
  • 1 17,916 1,427 13 $50 $650 2-10 19,009 1,427 13 50 650

    Next, we compared the average cost per manufacturer to the revenue of the manufacturers in our sample. As shown in Table 6, we found revenue or company data for 385 small entities. We found revenue information for 371 of these small entities, and we were only able to find employee data for 14 entities. Therefore, we could not compare the cost per manufacturer to the revenues for the 14 entities with only employee data. Table 9 summarizes the results. In Years 1 through 10, 94.6 percent of the affected manufacturers will incur a cost of 1 percent or less of revenue in any given year, while 0.3 percent will incur a cost impact of greater than 10 percent of revenue.

    Table 9—Interim Rule Revenue Impacts Impact range Number of
  • affected
  • manufacturers
  • Percent of
  • affected
  • manufacturers
  • 0% < Impact ≤ 1% 352 94.9 1% < Impact ≤ 3% 17 4.6 3% < Impact ≤ 5% 1 0.3 5% < Impact ≤ 10% 0 0 ≥10% 1 0.3 Total 371 100%

    4. A description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities which will be subject to the requirements and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record.

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

    5. An identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal rules which may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the rule.

    There are no relevant Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this interim rule.

    6. A description of any significant alternatives to the rule which accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and which minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities.

    This interim rule implements section 308 of CGAA. The CGAA mandates the update of Table 4 in 33 CFR part 183. As such, the Coast Guard has no discretion to offer alternatives that minimize the impact on small entities while accomplishing the stated objective of the statute. To ease implementation of this requirement, the Coast Guard is delaying the effective date until June 1, 2018, so that the new requirements will apply only to boat manufacturers who build boats after that date.

    7. Conclusion.

    We are interested in the potential impacts from this interim rule on small businesses and we request public comment on these potential impacts. If you think that this interim rule will have a significant economic impact on you, your business, or your organization, please submit a comment to the docket at the address under ADDRESSES in the interim rule. In your comment, explain why, how, and to what degree you think this interim rule will have an economic impact on you.

    C. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, we offered to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).

    D. Collection of Information

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

    E. Federalism

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

    Congress directed the Coast Guard to “establish minimum safety standards for recreational vessels” (46 U.S.C. 4302). This regulation is issued pursuant to that statute and is preemptive of State law as specified in 46 U.S.C. 4306. Under 46 U.S.C. 4306, “a State or political subdivision of a State may not establish, continue in effect, or enforce a law or regulation establishing a recreational vessel or associated or equipment performance or other safety standard . . . that is not identical to a regulation prescribed under” 46 U.S.C. 4302. As a result, States or local governments are expressly prohibited from regulating within this category. Therefore, the rule is consistent with the principles of federalism and preemption requirements in Executive Order 13132.

    While it is well settled that States may not regulate in categories in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel's obligations, the Coast Guard recognizes the key role that State and local governments may have in making regulatory determinations. Additionally, for rules with implications and preemptive effect, Executive Order 13132 specifically directs agencies to consult with State and local governments during the rulemaking process. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    G. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630 (“Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights”).

    H. Civil Justice Reform

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988, (“Civil Justice Reform”), to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    I. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this rule under E.O. 13045 (“Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks”). This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

    J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175 (“Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”), because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    K. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this rule under E.O. 13211 (“Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”). We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under E.O. 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, codified as a note to 15 U.S.C. 272, directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

    This rule uses a voluntary consensus standard: the current ABYC S-30.

    M. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f, and have concluded that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination supporting this determination are available in the docket where indicated under the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” section of this preamble. This rule involves the safe loading capacity and required amount of flotation material for certain recreational boats, which concerns equipping of vessels, equipment and vessel operation safety standards. As such, this action is categorically excluded under section 2.B.2 and figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(d) and (e) of the Instruction and under section 6(a) of the “Appendix to National Environmental Policy Act: Coast Guard Procedures for Categorical Exclusions, Notice of Final Agency Policy” (67 FR 48243, July 23, 2002).

    VII. 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. Documents mentioned in this interim rule, and all public comments, are 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.

    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).

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 183

    Marine safety.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 183 as follows:

    PART 183—BOATS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT 1. The authority citation for part 183 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 4302; Pub. L. 103-206, 107 Stat. 2439; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, para. II, (92)(b). Subpart E is also authorized by Pub. L. 114-120, 130 Stat. 27.

    § 183.41 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 183.41 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove the text “from table 4 of subpart H of this part” and add, in its place, the text “required by § 183.75”; and b. In paragraph (a)(2)(ii), remove the text “shown in table 4 of subpart H of this part” and add, in its place, the text “required by § 183.75”. 3. Add subpart E to read as follows: Subpart E—Flotation and Safe Loading Requirements-Outboard Motor and Related Equipment Test Weights
    § 183.75 Applicability.

    Manufacturers of vessels to which this subpart applies must use test weights that are not less than the recommended weights set forth in Table 183.75. Table 183.75 details the weight (in pounds) of gasoline outboard engines and related equipment for various rated power (horsepower) ranges.

    Table 183.75—Weights (In Pounds) of Gasoline Outboard Engines and Related Equipment for Various Rated Power (Horsepower) Ranges Single engine installations Column number 1 Engine power range

  • (Horsepower)
  • 2 Dry
  • weight 12
  • 3 Running
  • weight 3
  • 4 Swamped
  • weight 4
  • 5 Controls &
  • rigging 5
  • 6 Battery
  • weight, dry
  • 7 Battery
  • weight
  • submerged
  • 8 Full
  • portable
  • fuel tank 6
  • 9 Total weight
  • (Sum of
  • columns 3,5,6,8)
  • 0.1-2.0 30 32 27 0 0 0 0 32 2.1-3.9 42 44 37 0 0 0 0 44 4.0-6.9 66 69 59 0 0 0 25 94 7.0-10.9 105 110 94 5 20 11 50 185 11.0-22.9 127 133 113 6 45 25 50 234 23.0-34.9 187 196 167 9 45 25 100 350 35.0-64.9 286 300 255 14 45 25 100 459 65.0-94.9 439 461 392 22 45 25 100 628 95.0-104.9 458 481 409 23 45 25 100 649 105.0-144.9 526 552 469 26 45 25 100 723 145.0-194.9 561 589 501 28 45 25 100 762 195.0-209.9 652 685 582 33 45 25 100 863 210.0-300.0 699 734 624 35 45 25 100 914 300.1-350.0 884 928 789 44 45 25 100 1,117 Notes: 1 Dry weight is the manufacturer's published weight for the shortest midsection increased by 10 percent to account for longer midsections and additional required hardware usually not included in published weights. This weight is intended to represent the heaviest model in each power category. For boats designed with a transom height of 20 inches or less, the weight in Column 2 may be reduced by 10 percent. Recalculate Columns 3, 4, and 9 as appropriate. 2 For diesel outboards, replace the value in Column 2 with the manufacturer's published dry weight + 10 percent. 3 Running weight is the dry weight plus fluids (including 2-stroke oil) and the heaviest recommended propeller. Calculated as 5 percent of dry weight. 4 Swamped weight is 85 percent of running weight. 5 Rigging and controls include engine related hardware required to complete the installation (e.g., controls, cables, hydraulic hoses, steering pumps and cylinders). Calculated as 5 percent of dry weight. 6 If the boat is equipped with a permanent fuel system and is not intended to use a portable tank, the portable fuel tank weight may be omitted.
    § 183.220 [Amended]
    4. Amend § 183.220 as follows: a. In paragraph (b)(2), remove the text “shown in Column 6 of Table 4” and add, in its place, the text “shown in Column 9 of Table 183.75”; and b. In paragraph (d), remove the text “specified in Columns 2 and 4 of Table 4 for the swamped weight of the motor and controls and for the submerged weight or” and add, in its place, the text “specified in Columns 4 and 7 of Table 183.75 for the swamped weight of the motor and controls and for the submerged weight of ”.
    § 183.320 [Amended]
    5. Amend § 183.320 as follows: a. In paragraph (b)(2), remove the text “shown in column 6 of Table 4” and add, in its place, the text, “shown in Column 9 of Table 183.75”; and b. In paragraph (d), remove the text “specified in Column 2 of Table 4” and add, in its place, the text “specified in Column 4 of Table 183.75”. Table 4 to Subpart H of Part 183 [Removed] 6. Remove Table 4 to Subpart H of Part 183. Dated: March 29, 2017. V.B. Gifford, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Inspections and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06733 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Parts 15 and 17 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0176; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB29 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Scarlet-Chested Parrot and the Turquoise Parrot From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are removing the scarlet-chested parrot (Neophema splendida) and the turquoise parrot (Neophema pulchella) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our review of the status of these parrots shows that the threats have been eliminated or reduced and populations of both species are stable, with potential increases noted for the turquoise parrot in some areas. These species are not currently in danger of extinction, and are not likely to again become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future in all or significant portions of their ranges. After the effective date of this final rule, the scarlet-chested and the turquoise parrots will remain protected under the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). To date, the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots remain on the Approved List of Captive-bred Species under the Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992 (WBCA).

    DATES:

    This rule becomes effective May 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and materials we received, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this rule, are available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0176. Comments, materials, and documentation that we considered in this rulemaking will be available by appointment during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone, 703-358-2171; facsimile, 703-358-1735. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Janine Van Norman, Chief, Branch of Foreign Species, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone, 703-358-2171; facsimile, 703-358-1735. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary

    This document contains a final rule to remove the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Purpose of the regulatory action—We are delisting the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot throughout their ranges due to recovery under the Act. Species experts now widely characterize populations of the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot as stable, with potential increases noted for the turquoise parrot in some areas. Trade in wild specimens is strictly regulated under Australia's national laws as well as through CITES, the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, as amended (16 U.S.C. 3371, et seq.), and the WBCA (16 U.S.C. 4901-4916).

    Basis for the regulatory action—Under the Act, a species may be determined to be an endangered species or threatened species because of any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We must consider the same factors in delisting a species. We may delist a species if the best scientific and commercial data indicate the species is neither endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons: (1) The species is extinct; (2) the species has recovered and is no longer threatened or endangered; or (3) the original scientific data used at the time the species was classified were in error. We consider both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots to be “recovered” because threats to these parrots have been reduced or eliminated, and populations of both species are now stable, with potential increases noted for the turquoise parrot in some areas.

    Peer review and public comment—We sought comments from independent specialists to ensure that our determination that these species have recovered is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We invited these peer reviewers to comment on our status reviews for the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot. We also considered all comments and information received during the reopening of the comment period (see Previous Federal Actions, below).

    Previous Federal Actions

    The scarlet-chested and the turquoise parakeets of the genus Neophema are listed under the Act, as endangered throughout their entire ranges. The scarlet-chested parakeet was listed on December 2, 1970 (35 FR 18319). The turquoise parakeet was listed on June 2, 1970 (35 FR 8491). Both species were originally listed under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91-135, 83 Stat. 275 (1969)) as part of a list of species classified as endangered. This list was retained and incorporated into the Act, and both species have remained listed as endangered under the Act since that time. In addition, both species were included by regulation in the Approved List of Captive-bred Bird Species under the WBCA in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 15.33. The WBCA Approved List includes bird species that are in the appendices of CITES, and which occur in international trade only as captive-bred specimens. (Both species are listed on the WBCA Approved List and in the CITES appendices as “parrots”; we use the term “parrots” in this final rule for reasons set forth below in Summary of Changes from the Proposed Rule.) Captive-bred individuals of species on the WBCA Approved List may be imported or exported without a WBCA permit. For additional information regarding protections under the Act and WBCA, please see Existing regulatory mechanisms, below.

    On September 22, 2000, we announced a review of all endangered and threatened foreign species in the Order Psittaciformes (parrots, parakeets, macaws, cockatoos, and others; also known as psittacine birds) listed under the Act (65 FR 57363). Section 4(c)(2) of the Act requires such a review at least once every 5 years. The purpose of the review is to ensure that the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List), found in 50 CFR 17.11, accurately reflects the most current status information for each listed species. We requested comments and the most current scientific or commercial information available on these species, as well as information on other species that may warrant future consideration for listing. If the current classification of a species is not consistent with the best scientific and commercial information available at the conclusion of a review, we may propose changes to the List accordingly. Based on the 2000 review, one commenter suggested that we reevaluate the listing of the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot and provided enough scientific information, including information and correspondence with Australian Government officials, to merit our further review of these species.

    On September 2, 2003, we published a proposed rule (68 FR 52169) to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the List under the Act because the endangered designation no longer correctly reflected the current conservation status of these birds. On January 21, 2016, we announced the reopening of the public comment period on our September 2, 2003, proposal to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the List (81 FR 3373). We took these actions to determine whether removing these species from the List is still warranted, and to ensure that we sought, received, and made our decision based on the best scientific and commercial information available regarding these species and their status and threats.

    Background

    This is a final rule to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This final rule contains updated information from the information presented in the proposed rule to remove these species from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (68 FR 52169, September 2, 2003) and is based on the best scientific and commercial information available regarding these species and their status and threats.

    Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule

    This final rule includes information summarized from status reviews we conducted in 2016-2017 for the scarlet-chested and the turquoise parrots. These status reviews are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as supporting documentation for Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0176.

    Sections from the status reviews were added (in part or entirely) to the preamble to this final rule. These new sections in the preamble are updates or additions to information that was presented in the 2003 proposal to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the list (68 FR 52169, September 2, 2003). We made changes to Previous Federal Actions, Summary of Status Review, and Significant Portion of Its Range Analysis. More detailed information about both parrots is in our 2016-2017 status reviews.

    In earlier rulemaking documents we used the common names “scarlet-chested parakeet” and “turquoise parakeet” for Neophema splendida and N. pulchella, respectively. However, both CITES and the WBCA use the common names “scarlet-chested parrot” and “turquoise parrot,” and these common names are also used widely in the range country of Australia, and in the scientific literature. Therefore, we have adopted the use of the term “parrot” instead of “parakeet” in the common name for these species in this final rule and in our 2016-2017 status reviews.

    When these two species were included in the Approved List of Captive-bred Bird Species under the WBCA, the Service footnoted the species that require an ESA permit under 50 CFR part 17 for importation or other prohibited acts to avoid any confusion for the public (59 FR 62255, 62261-63; December 2, 1994). With this final rule, these two species will no longer require an ESA permit under 50 CFR part 17. Accordingly, in order to avoid confusion, in this final rule we are also amending 50 CFR 15.33(a) simply to make technical corrections to delete the informational footnote superscripts from the entries for these two species and to reflect that the informational footnote now applies to only one species on the WBCA Approved List. These changes are being made with this final rule because they are noncontroversial actions necessary for clarity and consistency that are in the best interest of the public and should be undertaken in as timely a manner as possible.

    Scarlet-Chested Parrot Summary of Status Review Taxonomy

    Both the scarlet-chested (Neophema splendida) parrot and the turquoise parrot (N. pulchella) belong to the genus Neophema, which contains six species, all native to Australia. Both Birdlife International (BLI 2016 a&b, unpaginated) and the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS 2016 a&b, unpaginated) recognize the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots as distinct full species. We have reviewed the available information and conclude that the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are valid full species in a multispecies genus.

    Species Description

    The scarlet-chested parrot is a relatively small, very colorful parrot found in the dry central portions of southern Australia. Adult size is approximately 19-21 centimeters (cm) (7.5-8.3 inches (in)) in length (Higgins 1999, p. 585). The male scarlet-chested parrot is bright green above with yellow below. The face, throat, and cheeks are blue, and flight feathers are also edged in blue (BLA 2016a, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 585). Males are easily distinguished from females by their scarlet chest; the chest of the female is light green (BLA 2016a, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 585). Juvenile birds are similar in appearance to the female (del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 384), but colors are somewhat duller (BLA 2016a, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 585)

    Biology

    The scarlet-chested parrot inhabits open woodlands or shrublands among sand plains of the dry inland portions of the Australian “outback” or “rangelands.” Typical vegetation in these shrublands includes Eucalyptus species (mallee), Acacia aneura (mulga), or Eucalyptus salubris (gimlet), usually with sparse spinifex (Triodia species; hummock grass) ground cover (Collar 2016a, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 288; Jarman, 1968, p. 111). The term “mallee” can mean both: (1) The various low-growing shrubby Eucalyptus species and (2) areas of shrub that are dominated by mallee bushes, typical of some arid parts of Australia. Throughout this document, we use the term “mallee” to refer to the former and “mallee shrubland” to refer to the latter. Similarly, we use the term Acacia shrublands to refer to arid landscapes dominated by Acacia species.

    The scarlet-chested parrot is adapted to country that is usually waterless, with average annual rainfall less than 25 cm (10 in) (Jarman 1968, p. 111). It is frequently found far from water and is thought to obtain moisture by drinking dew or eating succulent (water-storing) plants (NSW 2014a, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 288; Jarman 1968, p. 111). The species feeds primarily on grass seeds (Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 367; del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 384) and seeds from Acacia species and herbaceous and succulent plants found near or on the ground (BLA 2016a, unpaginated; NSW 2014a, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 288; Jarman 1968, p. 111). The scarlet-chested parrot appears to favor areas that have been recently burned and are regenerating for forage (Collar 2016a, unpaginated; BLA 2012, unpaginated; del Hoyo et al. 1997 p. 384; Robinson et al. 1990, p. 11).

    The species is described as nomadic—birds will appear in an area, nest for several years, and then disappear again (Collar 2016a, unpaginated; Rowden pers. comm. 2016; Higgins 1999, p. 587; Juniper and Parr, 1998, p. 366; Forshaw 1989, p. 288; del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 384). The species is also described as “irruptive,” meaning that it is capable of building up large numbers in response to favorable environmental conditions (Andrew and Palliser 1993, as cited in Snyder et al. 2000, p. 57; Forshaw 1989, p. 288). However, in general, movements or patterns of abundance for the scarlet-chested parrot are not well understood (BLI 2016a, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 587).

    The scarlet-chested parrot is typically seen in isolated pairs or small groups of fewer than 10 birds (Forshaw 1989, p. 288), but larger flocks have been reported outside of the breeding season (NSW 2014a, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 588; Forshaw 1989, p. 288). Age at maturity is about 3 years (Garnett & Crowley 2000a, p. 346), and generation time is estimated at 4.9 years (BLI 2012a, p. 8). The species breeds mostly from August through January, but timing likely depends on rain events and resultant food availability (BLA 2016a, unpaginated; Collar 2016a, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 288).

    Woodland and shrubland tree hollows (e.g., hollows in Eucalyptus species) are important for nesting and may be a limiting habitat feature for the scarlet-chested parrot in some areas (see Competition for nesting hollows and food, below). The scarlet-chested parrot lays four to six eggs on a bed of wood dust or debris in tree hollows (BLA 2016a, unpaginated; Collar 2016a, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 288). The female incubates the eggs, but both the male and female rear the young (AFD 2014, unpaginated, Hutchins and Lovell, 1985 as cited in Higgins 1999, p. 589). Incubation lasts for about 18 days, and the nestling period is about 30 days (Forshaw 1989, p. 288). The species is thought to raise just one brood per season (Jarman 1968, p. 118) but may produce two broods under good conditions (Sindel and Gill undated as cited in Higgins 1999, p. 589), consistent with irruptive species population ecology.

    Distribution

    This species once had a wide distribution (Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366) within the drier portions of southern Australia from the west coast of Australia to the western portions of New South Wales (Higgins, 1999, pp. 585-586).

    Today, the population is sparsely distributed across the arid interior of southern Australia, ranging from approximately Kalgoorlie (Western Australia) to western portions of New South Wales in the east and as far north as southern portions of the Northern Territory (NSW 2014a, unpaginated). The species is primarily concentrated in the better vegetated areas of the Great Victoria Desert located in southwestern Australia (BLI 2016a, unpaginated; Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366).

    The estimated distribution of the scarlet-chested parrot is very large (262,000 km2 (101,159 mi2); BLI 2016a, unpaginated). However, there appears to be a reduction in the extent of the historical range in the west within the vicinity of the Western Australian goldfields, with just one record from the west coast since 1854 (Dymond in litt. 2001, as cited in BLI 2016a, unpaginated). Similarly, reductions have been noted in the east with fewer records from New South Wales in the 20th than in the 19th century (BLI 2016a, unpaginated), and no confirmed records from Victoria since 1995 (Clarke in litt. 2016).

    The scarlet-chested parrot at one point historically was thought to have gone extinct, as a result of no sightings of this species for upwards of 20 to 60 years (Jarman 1968, p. 111; Anon. 1932, p. 538). The current population has not been quantified, but it is estimated to be larger than 10,000 mature individuals (BLI 2012a, p. 1); and population trends appear to be stable, with no evidence of decline in the last 20 years (BLI 2016a, unpaginated; BLI 2012a, p. 4). The population does not appear to be fragmented, and subpopulations can travel great distances (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 57).

    Captive-Bred Specimens

    The scarlet-chested parrot is bred in captivity for the pet trade and may number between 10,000 and 25,000 held in captivity in Australia alone (Collar 2016a, unpaginated; Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366; del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 384), although estimates of the size of the captive population after the late 1990s could not be found.

    Conservation Status

    The scarlet-chested parrot was listed in CITES Appendix I in 1975, but transferred to Appendix II in 1977 (UNEP 2011a, unpaginated). The Order Psittaciformes was listed as a whole in Appendix II in 1981 (UNEP 2011a, unpaginated). Listing in CITES Appendix II allows for regulated international commercial trade based on certain findings.

    International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)—In 1988, the scarlet-chested parrot was listed as “Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species (BLI 2012a, p. 1). The species was recategorized as “Vulnerable” in 1994, to “Lower Risk” in 2000, and to “Least Concern” in 2004; the status remains at “Least Concern” (BLI 2012a, p. 1).

    Australia

    Commercial exports of the scarlet-chested parrot from Australia have been prohibited since 1962; these prohibitions are now codified in Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The scarlet-chested parrot is not included in the EPBC Act's List of Threatened Fauna (Australian DEE 2017a, unpaginated). Inclusion on EPBC Act's List of Threatened Fauna promotes recovery via: (1) Conservation advice, (2) recovery plans, and (3) the EPBC Act's assessment and approval provisions (Australian DEE 2017b). The scarlet-chested parrot was not included on the List of Threatened Fauna either because it was never nominated for consideration, or if it was nominated, it was found ineligible by a rigorous scientific assessment of the species' threat status (Australian DEE 2017b, unpaginated).

    Additionally, the 2000 Action Plan for Australian Birds (Garnett and Crowley 2000a, p. 346) listed the scarlet-chested parrot nationally as “Least Concern,” but this designation was removed in the 2010 Action Plan (Garnett et al. 2011, entire). As such, there is no national recovery plan for the scarlet-chested parrot, though recommended actions were outlined for the species in the 2000 Action Plan (Garnett and Crowley 2000a, p. 346). There was no justification provided for the removal of the scarlet-chested parrot from the 2010 Action Plan. Justification was provide for removal of the turquoise parrot form the 2010 Action Plan, which noted that the population was too large to be considered “near threatened” and that there was no evidence of a recent decline (Garnett et al. 2011, p. 429). We assume that similar criteria were considered for the removal of the scarlet-chested parrot from the 2010 Action Plan.

    At the state level, the scarlet-chested parrot is listed as “Near threatened” in the Northern Territory (NT GOV 2016, unpaginated), and “Rare” in South Australia (South Australia 2016, unpaginated). It does not appear on the list of threatened fauna in Western Australia (WAG 2015, unpaginated). Although sightings are rare in New South Wales, the State has listed the scarlet-chested parrot as “Vulnerable” and has identified management actions for its conservation (NSW 2014a, unpaginated). The species is currently listed as “Threatened” in Victoria under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act 2016, p. 3; Vic DSE 2013, p. 12), although there have been no confirmed records there since 1995 (Clarke in litt. 2016).

    Additionally, portions of suitable habitat for the scarlet-chested parrot are protected. For example, nearly 30 percent of the state of South Australia is now in the Natural Reserve System, which includes government reserves, indigenous protected areas, private protected areas, and jointly managed protected areas (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated). Reserve lands in South Australia include portions of the Great Victoria Desert, a primary concentration area for the scarlet-chested parrot. Also, nearly 22 percent of Western Australia, 19 percent of the Northern Territory, 9 percent of New South Wales, and 18 percent of Victoria are part of the Natural Reserve System (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated). Because we do not reliably know the degree to which the Natural Reserve System protects the scarlet-chested parrot and its habitat, we did not rely on these protected areas in our determination of whether or not the parrot meets the definition of threatened or endangered.

    Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot

    The following paragraphs provide a summary of the past, current, and potential future stressors for the scarlet-chested parrot and its habitats. In cases where the stressors were common to both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots, we discuss potential effects to both parrot species for efficiency.

    Land Clearing in Australia

    In this section, we consider the term “land clearing” to mean the removal of Australian native vegetation for agriculture, development, or other purposes (COAG 2012, p. 2). Thus, we consider clearing of the native habitats occupied by both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots as “land clearing,” including clearing of forests, woodlands, scrub- or shrublands, and grasslands. When Europeans began colonizing Australia in the late 18th century, approximately 30 percent of the continent was covered in forest (Barson et al. 2000 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 110). Since colonization, Australia has lost nearly 40 percent of its forests, and much of the remaining vegetation is highly fragmented (Bradshaw 2012, p. 109). In the late 18th and the early 19th centuries, deforestation occurred mainly on the most fertile soils closest to the coast (Bradshaw 2012, p. 109). Land clearing continues in more recent timeframes—with Australia having the sixth highest annual rate of land clearing in the world from 1990 to 2000 (Lindenmayer and Burgman 2005, p. 230).

    Although land clearing is listed as a “key threatening process” under the EPBC Act (Australian DEE 2016a, unpaginated), the Commonwealth has no jurisdiction over state actions (Lindenmayer and Burgman 2005, p. 233). Throughout this document, the term “key threatening process” means a “threatening process that threatens or may threaten the survival, abundance or evolutionary development of a native species or ecological community” (EPBC Act; Australian DEE 2016b, unpaginated).

    Land Clearing and the Scarlet-Chested Parrot

    Europeans settled Australia's semi-arid or arid landscapes (i.e., areas used by the scarlet-chested parrot) 150 years ago (Benson et al. 2001, p. 26). Determining impacts to the scarlet-chested parrot from land clearing is not straightforward, partly because the area known to be available to the parrot is large (BLI 2012, p. 1), and the parrot is capable of traveling great distances (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 57). Habitat clearing has caused major losses of the mallee shrublands used by the scarlet-chested parrot in some areas, such as in southern South Australia and northwestern Victoria, but large fragments remain (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated; Garnett and Crowley 2000a, p. 346). Overgrazing by exotic herbivores (i.e., cattle, sheep, and rabbits) and resultant vegetation modification is also attributed to the decline of many arid-zone birds (Reid and Fleming, 1992, pp. 65, 80), though trends for the scarlet-chested parrot are less discernible due, in part, to their use of remote desert regions (Garnett 1992 as cited in Reid and Fleming, 1992, p. 74). Clearance and harvesting of mallee shrublands and Acacia shrublands affects nest hollow availability (NSW 2014a, unpaginated; Joseph 1988, p. 273), although the extent of the impacts to the scarlet-chested parrot is unknown.

    Fire in Australia

    Fire is an essential component of Australia's natural environment. The indigenous people of Australia learned to live in a fire-prone environment and used fire as a primary land management tool (Whelan et al. 2006, p. 1). When early Europeans arrived, they feared and fought bushfires (wildfires) but used managed fires to clear native vegetation for agriculture (Whelan et al. 2006, p. 1). Today, land managers use fire for biodiversity conservation, to promote pasture production, and for the protection of life, property, and other assets (e.g., to manage fuel loads and prevent wildfire) (Whelan et al. 2006, p. 1). Fire is also an important process in the formation of tree hollows used for nesting species, such as the scarlet-chested parrot. Australia lacks primary tree excavator species, such as woodpeckers, so hollows are generally started by fire or limb loss, and hollow formation continues over long time periods via invertebrates, fungi, or bacteria (Haslem et al. 2012, p. 213).

    Altered Fire Regimes and the Scarlet-Chested Parrot

    Frequency, extent, and intensity of wildfires appear to be increasing across most of the scarlet-chested parrot's range (see Climate change in Australia, below). The role these increases play in the ecology of the scarlet-chested parrot is difficult to discern. The scarlet-chested parrot uses and prefers recently burned and regenerating areas for forage (Collar 2016a, unpaginated; BLA 2012, unpaginated; del Hoyo et al., 1997 p. 384; Robinson et al. 1990, p. 11). However, altered fire regimes (e.g., more frequent fire intervals) have probably been detrimental in some areas (BLI 2016a, unpaginated; Collar 2016a, unpaginated; NSW 2014a, unpaginated; Garnett and Crowley 2000a, p. 346). Woodland birds of the mallee shrublands, occupied by the scarlet-chested parrot in a large portion of its range, are sensitive to altered fire regimes (Clarke in litt. 2016). Time-since-fire (and resultant older vegetation stages) are important variables for species richness (Taylor et al. 2012, entire) and occupancy (Clarke in litt. 2016, Brown et al. 2009, entire; Clarke et al. 2005, pp. 174, 178, 179) in mallee shrublands.

    Long fire-free periods are important in the formation of tree hollows (Haslem et al. 2012, entire), which the parrots depend upon for breeding. Mid- to late-successional stages of vegetation (greater than 20 years) are important to many bird species in semi-arid shrublands in southeastern Australia (Watson et al. 2012, p. 685). More frequent fire intervals can prevent these stages from occurring.

    In summary, although habitat loss and degradation has occurred in the arid and semi-arid habitat occupied by the scarlet-chested parrot over the last 150 years, the degree to which land clearing for agriculture, overgrazing by introduced herbivores and altered fire regimes have acted on, are presently acting on, or will act on the scarlet-chested parrot in the foreseeable future, is difficult to assess. Mallee shrublands in southern South Australia and northwestern Victoria have been lost, but large fragments remain (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated; Garnett and Crowley 2000a, p. 346). Availability of nest hollows in the dwindling mallee shrublands is a concern over the long term (Joseph 1988, p. 273). Although habitat destruction and modification is a likely stressor for the scarlet-chested parrot, we do not consider it to be a major stressor to the species throughout its entire range now or in the foreseeable future because the scarlet-chested parrot has evolved in dynamic environmental conditions, the area available to the parrot is large, and the parrot is capable of traveling great distances.

    Illegal Collection and Trade (for Both Scarlet-Chested and Turquoise Parrots)

    Trapping or nest robbing of scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots for the caged bird industry may have been a significant stressor in the past (NSW 2014a&b, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, pp. 587 & 576), but current rates of trapping are unknown. It may no longer be much of a stressor because these species are readily captive-bred and kept in large numbers (Garnett 1992 as cited in Snyder et al. 2000, p. 57). However, if illegal trapping is still occurring, it could be significant in some areas if only a small number of birds are present (NSW 2014a, unpaginated). For example, the scarlet-chested parrot was the subject of illegal bird trappers at Gluepot Reserve in eastern South Australia in the 1970s, where there may be a small resident population (MacKenzie in litt. 2016). Additionally, practices used in illegal trapping can destroy nest hollows (NSW 2014b, unpaginated; Baker-Gabb 2011, p. 10). Both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are still thought to be illegally trapped at some level (NSW 2014a&b, unpaginated), but trapping is no longer thought to be a major stressor (Garnett 1992 as cited in Snyder et al. 2000, p. 57; Joseph 1988, p. 274).

    Legislation by the states within these species' range prohibits, or limits by permit, the capture of these species from the wild (See Existing regulatory mechanisms, below). Legitimate state permit holders (such as zoos, breeders, or pet shops) must prove that they are qualified to care for the animals and keep detailed records in a logbook (Barry 2011, unpaginated). However, the limited permissions for removal of wildlife and associated recordkeeping are, at times, abused. A practice called “leaving the book open” is a common way to launder wildlife—where permit holders sometimes head to the bush to replace a permitted animal that died, or pass off a wild animal as captive-bred (Barry 2011, unpaginated). Although there are thousands of state wildlife permit infringements and seizures each year in Australia, only a small number go to court (e.g., as few as 12 cases per year), and punishments across the states vary (Barry 2011, unpaginated). Under Australian Federal law, maximum fines for wildlife permit violations are $110,000 AUS ($83,194 US) and 10 years in prison, but across the states, penalties range from $220,000 AUS ($158,824 US) and 2 years jail in New South Wales to $10,000 AUS ($7,563 US) and no jail time in Western Australia (Barry 2011, unpaginated).

    International trade in wild-caught specimens is strictly limited by domestic regulation (in Australia) and through additional national and international treaties and laws (See Existing regulatory mechanisms, below). However, the fact that so many species of native Australian birds have appeared overseas during the years of prohibition is evidence that some smuggling has been successful (Parliament of Australia 2016, unpaginated).

    Despite domestic and international protections for wild birds, captive-bred scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are widely available, and their market value is relatively low compared to other species of parrots, especially for birds sold in Australia. Scarlet-chested parrots sold in Australia are valued at approximately $20 to $50 AUS ($15 to $38 US) (Findads.com 2016, unpaginated). Prices for scarlet-chested parrots in the United States are approximately five times higher, or more—approximately $99 to $165 AUS ($75 to $125 US) (Hoobly Classifieds 2016, unpaginated). Market value for turquoise parrots is lower—approximately $15 AUS ($11 US) for birds sold in Australia and $50 AUS ($38 US) for birds sold overseas (Parliament of Australia 2016, unpaginated).

    Levels of Legal International Trade (for the Scarlet-Chested Parrot)

    Between 1980 and 2014, there were very few wild scarlet-chested parrots in trade. There were 22,612 recorded exports of the species in international trade (19,337 recorded as imports). Of these, only 32 specimens were recorded as exports from Australia (7 recorded as imported). With few exceptions, specimens in trade were captive-bred for the pet trade. Within this same time period there were 295 recorded imports (and 168 recorded exports) to the United States. Of those imports, 23 specimens were confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (UNEP 2016a).

    In summary, poaching for the pet trade may be occurring at a low level that is not likely to affect wild populations. Small, possibly resident, subpopulations may face some risk from poaching, but we are not aware of any significant poaching since the 1970s. Nor are we aware of any information indicating that overutilization for recreational, scientific, or educational purposes is a stressor to the scarlet-chested parrot.

    Disease (for Scarlet-Chested and Turquoise Parrots)

    Information regarding diseases and their potential effect to wild scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots is limited. Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a viral disease that occurs in a fatal form and a chronic form in both old and new world parrots (Fogell et al. 2016, pp. 2059 and 2060). In 2001, PBFD was listed as a “key threatening process affecting endangered psittacine species” (Peters et al. 2014, p. 289; Australian DEH 2004, unpaginated). Cases of PBFD are pervasive in Australia, having been reported in more than 61 psittacine species (Australian DEH 2004, unpaginated).

    The virus particularly affects juveniles or young adults, but all ages are susceptible (Australian DEH 2004, unpaginated). The chronic form of PBFD results in feather, beak, and skin abnormalities, with most birds eventually dying (Australian DEH 2004, unpaginated). Symptoms of the acute form of PBFD include feather abnormalities and diarrhea, with death likely within 1 to 2 weeks (Australian DEH 2004, unpaginated). PBFD is readily transmitted through contact with contaminated feces, feather dust, crop secretions, surfaces, or objects (Gerlach 1994 as cited in Ritchie et al. 2003, p.109) and can also be passed directly from a female to her young (Fogell et al. 2016, p. 2060).

    PBFD can probably survive for many years in tree hollows and other nest sites (Australian DEH 2004, unpaginated). To date, the disease has not been reported for the scarlet-chested or turquoise parrots (Fogell et al. 2016, pp. 2063-2065), but recent phylogenetic analyses of the virus indicate that all endangered Australian psittacine birds are susceptible to, and equally likely to be infected by, the disease (Raidal et al. 2015, p. 466). PBFD may be less of a danger to larger, non-threatened populations of Australian psittacine species because they are generally better able to sustain losses to the disease, and individuals that survive infection develop immunity (Australian DEH 2004, unpaginated). Because PBFD is so pervasive in Australia, scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are likely susceptible, but population sizes (i.e., approximately 10,000 scarlet-chested and 20,000 turquoise parrots) may provide some resiliency from the disease.

    Predation From Non-Native Cats and Foxes in Australia

    Nonnative cats (Felis catus) were introduced and became established soon after European settlement and are now found throughout mainland Australia (Australian DEE 2015, p. 7). Predation by feral cats was identified as a key threatening process in 1999 (Australian DEE 2015, p. 5). In response, a feral cat threat abatement plan was developed by the Australian Government in 2008, and the most recent plan was published in 2015. It establishes a national framework for cat control, research, management, and other actions needed to ensure the long-term survival of native species and ecological communities affected by feral cats (Australian DEE 2015, p. 5).

    The non-native European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was introduced in the mid-1800s and now occupies much of mainland Australia (Australian DSEWP&C 2010, unpaginated), including the range of the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots. Predation by the European red fox is listed by the Australian Government as a key threatening process in 1999 (Australian DEE 2015, p. 5). In response, the Australian Government developed a threat abatement plan that outlines conventional control techniques such as shooting, poisoning, and fencing as well as research and management actions (Australian DSEWP&C 2010, unpaginated). To date, it is not known if these efforts are resulting in a reduction in these predators.

    Predation and the Scarlet-Chested Parrot

    Predation by feral cats and European red foxes could be a stressor for the scarlet-chested parrot, but the degree of predation is not known. Both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrot were assessed as “high risk” from these predators within the rangeland environment in the Western Division of New South Wales based on variables such as predator density, body weight, habitat use, and behavior (Dickman et al. 1996, p. 249). The Western Division of New South Wales represents the eastern edge of the current distribution of the scarlet-chested parrot. Additionally, the night parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis), which shares some habitat (Triodia grass) with the scarlet-chested parrot, may have experienced a decline partly due to nonnative predators such as foxes and cats (Joseph 1988, p. 274). Lastly, the provisioning of water for livestock has made some areas that were, perhaps, once too dry for these predators more hospitable. However, we did not find any information indicating that predation by foxes and cats is affecting the scarlet-chested parrot.

    Competition for Nesting Hollows and Food

    Competition for suitable nest hollows has the potential to limit reproductive success by limiting the number of pairs that can breed, or by causing nest mortality as a result of competitive interactions. All but four species of Australian parrots are dependent on tree hollows for nesting (Forshaw 1990, p. 58), and at least 14 species of parrots are known to use mallee shrublands (Schodde, 1990, p. 61). Availability of nest hollows in the dwindling mallee shrublands is a concern over the long term (Joseph 1988, p. 273). Additionally, the provisioning of water for livestock in semi-arid and arid rangelands may have caused increases and competitive advantage (e.g., for food and nest hollows) to more water-dependent parrots (Collar 2016a, unpaginated; Garnett and Crowley 2000a, p. 346; del Hoyo et al., 1997, p. 384). National legislation, policy, and strategic management plans are in place to protect hollow-bearing trees in Australia; however, prioritization and implementation of actions at the local level may be limited or lacking (Treby et al. 2014, entire).

    In summary, disease, predation, and competition are all potential stressors for the scarlet-chested parrot. Although PBFD has not been confirmed in the scarlet-chested parrot, it is likely susceptible to the disease at some level. We are not aware of other diseases or pathogens that affect the wild population. Predation and competition may be occurring at low levels. Disease, predation, and competition do not appear to be significant stressors to the species because populations of the scarlet-chested parrot appear to be stable with an estimated 10,000 individuals and no evidence of decline in the past 20 years.

    Existing Regulatory Mechanisms (for Both Scarlet-Chested and Turquoise Parrots)

    In Australia, legislation from all states within these species' range prohibits, or limits by permit, the capture of the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots from the wild. Commercial exports of these species from Australia have been banned since 1962. The prohibition is now codified under the EPBC Act. Individuals who violate this act, for example to export native species for commercial reasons, can face serious penalties, such as lengthy imprisonment and hefty fines.

    These species are listed in Appendix II of CITES (50 CFR 23.91). CITES, an international agreement between governments, ensures that the international trade of CITES-listed plants and animals does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild. Under this treaty, CITES Parties regulate the import, export, and reexport of specimens, parts, and products of CITES-listed plants and animals (CITES 2016, unpaginated). Trade must be authorized through a system of permits and certificates that are provided by the designated CITES Scientific and Management Authorities of each CITES Party (CITES 2016, unpaginated). The United States implements CITES through the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 23. It is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to engage in any trade in any specimens contrary to the provisions of CITES, or to possess any specimens traded contrary to the provisions of CITES, the Act, or part 23. Protections for CITES-listed species are provided independently of whether a species is a threatened species or endangered species under the Act.

    In the United States, the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are currently listed as endangered and protected by the Act. Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened under the Act include recognition, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness, and encourages and results in conservation actions by Federal and State governments, private agencies and interest groups, and individuals.

    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, and as implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 402, requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions that are to be conducted within the United States or upon the high seas, with respect to any species that is proposed to be listed or is listed as endangered or threatened. Specifically, section 7(a)(2) requires Federal agencies to ensure those actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or to destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. However, because foreign species are not native to the United States, critical habitat is not designated. Regulations implementing the interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402.

    Section 8(a) of the Act authorizes the provision of limited financial assistance for the development and management of programs that the Secretary of the Interior determines to be necessary or useful for the conservation of endangered or threatened species in foreign countries. Sections 8(b) and 8(c) of the Act authorize the Secretary to encourage conservation programs for foreign listed species, and to provide assistance for such programs, in the form of personnel and the training of personnel.

    Section 9(a)(1) of the Act and our implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered wildlife. These prohibitions, at 50 CFR 17.21, in part, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to “take” (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or to attempt any of these) within the United States or upon the high seas; import or export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce, by any means whatsoever, in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any endangered wildlife species. It also is illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken in violation of the Act. Certain exceptions apply to agents of the Service and State conservation agencies.

    Under section 10 of the Act, permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered species under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.22 for endangered species. With regard to endangered wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: for scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities.

    Two other laws in the United States apart from the Act provide protection from the illegal import of wild-caught birds into the United States: the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) and the Lacey Act. The WBCA was passed in 1992 to ensure that exotic bird species are not harmed by international trade and to encourage wild bird conservation programs in countries of origin. Under the WBCA and our implementing regulations (50 CFR 15.11), it is unlawful to import into the United States any exotic bird species listed under CITES except under certain circumstances. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may issue permits to allow import of listed birds for scientific research, zoological breeding or display, cooperative breeding, or personal pet purposes when the applicant meets certain criteria (50 CFR 15.22-15.25). All Neophema are protected under the WBCA (USFWS 2004). The WBCA allows import into the United States of captive-bred birds of certain species included in the WBCA Approved List (50 CFR 15.33), such as scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots, which meet the following criteria (50 CFR 15.31):

    (a) All specimens of the species known to be in trade (legal or illegal) must be captive bred;

    (b) No specimens of the species may be removed from the wild for commercial purposes;

    (c) Any importation of the species must not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild; and

    (d) Adequate enforcement controls must be in place to ensure compliance with paragraphs (a) through (c).

    The Lacey Act was originally passed in 1900 and was the first Federal law protecting wildlife. Today, it provides civil and criminal penalties for the illegal trade of animals and plants. Under the Lacey Act, in part, it is unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish, or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold: (1) In violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law, or (2) in interstate or foreign commerce any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law. Therefore, for example, because the take of wild-caught Australian parrots would be in violation of Australia's EPBC Act, the subsequent import of such parrots would be in violation of the Lacey Act. Similarly, under the Lacey Act it is unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase specimens of these species traded contrary to CITES.

    In this section, we reviewed the existing regulatory mechanisms governing collection and trade of wild scarlet-chested parrots. While we note the conservation measures that would no longer be in place under the Act as a result of a delisting, such as the prohibitions on take within the United States or on the high seas, and import, export, or re-export into or out of the United States, we did not rely on the conservation measures provided by a listing under the Act in reaching our determination of whether or not the species meets the definition of threatened or endangered. As described above, the EPBC Act (which controls commercial export), Lacey Act, CITES, and WBCA all provide protection to scarlet-chested parrots that minimize or eliminate threats from trade to the species independently of the listing of the species under the Act. Thus, we do not expect declines in the species due to the removal of the protections of the Act. As discussed under the other sections in Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, we do not find major stressors adversely affecting the species or its habitat. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the regulatory mechanisms addressing these potential stressors are adequate at protecting the species at a domestic and global level.

    Small Population Size

    We discussed the nomadic behavior and the irruptive species population ecology of the scarlet-chested parrot in the Biology section above and noted that the species can experience range contractions and low numbers (Runge et al. 2014, pp. 870, 874). Although the current population has not been quantified, it is estimated to be larger than 10,000 mature individuals (BLI 2012a, p. 1); and population trends appear to be stable, with no evidence of decline in the last 20 years (BLI 2016a, unpaginated; BLI 2012a, p. 4). Because the scarlet-chested parrot can experience large range contractions and low numbers, we considered whether small population size in combination with other stressors might act as a stressor to the species. Small populations are generally at greater risk of extinction from habitat loss, predation, disease, loss of genetic diversity, and stochastic (random) environmental events such as wildfire and floods.

    Species that naturally occur in low densities, however, are not necessarily in danger of extinction merely by virtue of their rarity. Many naturally rare species have persisted for long periods, and many naturally rare species exhibit traits (e.g., nomadic behavior and irruptive species population ecology of the scarlet-chested parrot) that allow them to persist despite their small population sizes. Consequently, the fact that a species is rare or has small populations alone does not indicate that it may be in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future. Additional information beyond rarity is needed to determine whether the species may warrant listing. In the absence of information identifying stressors to the species and linking those stressors to the rarity of the species or a declining status, we do not consider rarity alone to be a threat. Further, a species that has always had small population sizes or has always been rare, yet continues to survive, could be well-equipped to continue to exist into the future.

    We considered specific potential stressors that may affect or exacerbate rarity or small population size for the scarlet-chested parrot. Although low genetic diversity could occur with some small populations, the scarlet-chested parrot population is not known to be fragmented (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 57). We are not aware of any genetic studies on the scarlet-chested parrot and have no evidence that low genetic diversity is a problem for the species. Additionally, the scarlet-chested parrot is capable of building up large numbers in response to favorable environmental conditions, and has historically survived changes to its habitat, including wildfire and other stochastic events.

    In summary, the best available information does not indicate that lack of genetic variability and reduced fitness is acting on the scarlet-chested parrot now or will do so in the future.

    Global Climate Change

    Described in general terms, “climate” refers to the mean and variability of different types of weather conditions over a long period of time, which may be reported as decades, centuries, or thousands of years. The term “climate change” thus refers to a change in the mean or variability of one or more measures of climate (e.g., temperature, precipitation) that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer, whether the change is due to natural variability, human activity, or both (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; (IPCC 2007, p. 78). Various types of changes in climate can have direct or indirect effects on species, and these may be positive or negative depending on the species and other relevant considerations, such as the effects of interactions with non-climate conditions (e.g., habitat fragmentation). We use our expert judgment to weigh information, including uncertainty, in our consideration of various aspects of climate change that are relevant to the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots. Global climate change predictions include increases in intensity and/or duration of heat waves and droughts, as well as greater numbers of heavy precipitation events (IPCC 2013, p. 7).

    Climate Change in Australia

    Over the last century, Australia has experienced an average increase of 1.0 °C (1.8 °F), with the most pronounced and rapid warming occurring in eastern Australia from the 1950s to the present (Nicholls 2006 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116). Along with this warming, there has been an increased frequency of hot days and nights, and a decrease in cold days and nights (Deo 2011 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116). Rainfall patterns have shifted over this period, with decreased rainfall in the southeastern and southwestern regions and increases in the northwest (Nicholls and Lavery 1992 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116). An increase in annual total rainfall of approximately 15 percent was experienced in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, with little change in the other states (Hughes 2003, p. 424). In eastern Australia, since 1973, drought periods are becoming hotter (Nicholls 2004 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116).

    Climate change projections for Australia show significant vulnerability to changes in temperature and rainfall. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report identified agriculture and natural resources as two key sectors likely to be strongly affected (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41). Temperatures in Australia are projected to increase by 1-5 °C (1.8-9 °F), depending on location and the emissions scenarios. The most warming is projected for the dry interior of the continent, particularly for the northwest (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41). Accompanying these temperature increases will be an increase in the frequency of hot days and warm nights (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41).

    Rainfall projections for Australia are less reliable with some dryer and wetter trends predicted within a large range of uncertainty (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41). Projections focusing on median rainfall show a general pattern of drying across the continent, with the strongest drying trends in the southwest and the weakest in the east (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41). Seasonal rainfall is expected to be reduced in winter and spring in the south. Rainfall intensity is expected to increase in most of the country, particularly in the north (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41). Frequency in the incidence of drought is also expected to increase—with up to 40 percent more droughts predicted for eastern Australia and 80 percent more droughts in the southwest by 2070 (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41).

    Climate Change and the Scarlet-Chested Parrot

    Based on the information for Australia above, climate patterns over the last century within the known range of the scarlet-chested parrot included: (1) Increased average temperature of 1.0 °C (1.8 °F) (Nicholls 2006 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116); (2) increased frequency of hot days and warm nights (Deo 2011 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116); (3) decreased rainfall in the southeastern and southwestern regions (Nicholls and Lavery 1992 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116); and (4) increased annual total rainfall of approximately 15 percent in South Australia, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Victoria (Hughes 2003, p. 424). Similarly, a summary of climate projections for areas within the known range of the scarlet-chested parrot includes: (1) Temperature increase of 1-5 °C (1.8-9 °F) with most warming in the dry interior (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41); (2) increases in the frequency of hot days and warm nights (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41); (3) a large range of uncertainty for rainfall, but (using median rainfall) a general pattern of drying, with less rain in the spring and winter in the south, and increased intensity of rain, particularly in the north (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41); and (4) increased frequency and intensity of drought (up to 40 percent in eastern areas and 80 percent in the southwest by 2070) (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41).

    Habitats used by the scarlet-chested parrot will respond differently to projected warmer and drier conditions and the variable rain predictions. Habitats such as woodland areas used by the scarlet-chested parrot that do not receive adequate rain to produce needed fuels may actually see a decrease in fire frequency (Bradstock 2010, p. 145). However, fire frequency is likely to increase in areas with ample fuel and connectivity, such as hummock grasses interspersed with shrubs including mallee shrubland (Garnett et al. 2013a, p. 16).

    Although there is still some variability in climate change predictions for Australia, the increased warming and frequency and/or intensity of droughts are of concern for the scarlet-chested parrot and its habitats; however, the information at this time is too speculative for us to draw conclusions as to the scale and timing of any effects. Two recent studies analyzed the capacity of woodland birds in dry woodlands and riparian areas in southeastern Australia to resist the pressures of extended drought and then recover once drought conditions abated (Selwood et al. 2015, entire; Bennet et al. 2014, entire). Overall, these studies indicated long-term decline in the face of more frequent and extended droughts in southeastern Australia (Selwood et al. 2015, entire; Bennet et al. 2014, entire).

    A recent climate-change-adaptation model using a “Business as Usual” projection (i.e., the “worst-case” scenario with increasing greenhouse gasses through time), predicted that the distribution of climate, similar to that currently used by the species, may contract to approximately one third of its current range by 2085, shifting suitable habitat to more southerly portions of Western Australia and South Australia (Garnett et al. 2013b, interactive model results). Although the model does well to incorporate species-specific traits, it also includes a number of uncertainties that may limit its predictive power (Garnett et al. 2013, pp. 76-77). Basic model assumptions such as that trends into the future will follow simple linear extrapolations of existing relationships, and assumptions regarding (scaled down) projected climate change itself, may limit its accuracy (Garnett et al. 2013, pp. 76-77). Given the variability in the existing climate and uncertainties in modelling, it can be concluded that climate change does not pose a substantial threat to the species in the next 50 years based on current knowledge (Garnett in litt. 2016a).

    The scarlet-chested parrot has evolved in a landscape where environmental conditions are dynamic, and its nomadic strategies may help it to recover from periods of range contraction and low numbers (Runge et al. 2014, pp. 870, 874), but too rapid an environmental change (e.g., from climate change effects) may outpace the species' abilities to respond to spatial and temporal shifts (Runge et al. 2014, pp. 870, 874).

    In summary, effects from past and predicted climate change are difficult to assess for the scarlet-chested parrot. Because it is adapted to dry habitat, the parrot would likely fare better than more water-dependent birds in times of drought. However, within areas of increased rainfall, vegetation shifts may occur, fuel loads and wildfire risk may be altered, and competition with water-dependent species may increase. Although long-term range contraction was indicated in the climate-change-adaptation model (Garnett et al. 2013b, interactive model results), there are uncertainties in the model and variability in the climate data on which it relies. Due to species' adaptability to arid landscapes and ability to travel great distances, climate change is not likely to be a major stressor for the scarlet-chested parrot, within the next 50 years.

    Turquoise Parrot Summary of Status Review

    Taxonomy—Please see Taxonomy section above, which includes taxonomy for both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots.

    Species Description

    The turquoise parrot is a relatively small, colorful parrot found in eastern and southeastern Australia. Adult size is approximately 20-22 cm (7.9-8.7 in) in length (Higgins 1999, p. 573). Adult coloration is primarily bright green above with bright yellow below, with a bright blue face and shoulder patch. Males are distinguished from females by a small red shoulder band or patch and more blue on the face; the red shoulder patch and blue facial coloration of juvenile males is less extensive than that of adult males (BLA 2016b, unpaginated; NSW 2014b & 2009, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 573; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 3; Jarman 1973, p. 240).

    Biology

    The turquoise parrot occurs in many parts of eastern and southeastern Australia, particularly the foothills of the Great Dividing Range (NSW 2009, unpaginated; Garnett and Crowley 2000b, p. 345; Juniper and Parr 1988, p. 365). Typical habitat is hill country including woodlands, open forest, and timbered grasslands (Collar 2016b, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 286). Within this habitat, the parrot prefers the transition zones between open and closed areas, such as the edges of woodland adjoining grasslands and tree-lined creeks (Collar 2016, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 286).

    The turquoise parrot tends to feed on or near the ground (BLA 2016b, unpaginated; Higgins 1999b, p. 574; Quin and Reid 1996, p. 250), usually under the cover of trees (NSW 2014b, unpaginated; Higgins 1999b, p. 574). The species also feeds in farmland, mainly pasture with remnant trees (Higgins 1999, p. 574). The turquoise parrot must have access to drinking water (Jarman 1973, p. 239), and its habitat usually receives more than 38 cm (15 in) of annual rainfall (Jarman 1973, p. 240). The species feeds on a generalized diet of seeds from grasses, herbaceous plants, and shrubs; it also feeds on flowers, nectar, fruit, leaves, and scale-insects (NSW 2009, unpaginated; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 15). Turquoise parrots can exploit disturbed environments and use a variety of colonizing plants as food sources (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 27). The turquoise parrot eats from both native and non-native plants, and researchers credit its ability to partially adapt to modified habitats as contributing to its recovery (Quin 1990 as cited in Quin and Reid 1996, p. 253).

    Type and quality of the pasture land used for food is important. Although the species can use partially modified habitats, use of highly modified habitats, such as “highly improved” pasture, is less likely. Improved pastures, in general, are sown with a proportion of non-native plant species to promote productive growth of both the pasture and grazing animals. Introduced non-native pasture species are usually grasses, in combination with legumes. In a study of the species near Chiltern, a town bordering the hill country in northeast Victoria, almost all habitat types in forest and unimproved pasture were potentially useful for feeding in at least one season. However, use of highly improved pasture and cropped land was rare (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 15).

    The turquoise parrot is usually seen in pairs, in small groups, or, in flocks of up to 30 birds (NSW 2014b, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 574; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 16). Rarer sightings of larger flocks of 100 to 200 birds have also been reported (Higgins 1999, p. 574; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 16).The species is described as mainly sedentary or resident with some post-breeding movement from woodland to pastures (Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366), and some sporadic local movement, likely related to rainfall (del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 383). The turquoise parrot disperses mostly less than 10 kilometers (km) (6.2 miles (mi)), using the protection of treed corridors for dispersal (NSW 2009, unpaginated). The turquoise parrot reaches maturity at about 3 years of age (Garnett and Crowley 2000b, p. 345).

    The species breeds in pairs primarily from August to January with some nesting noted in February, and even from April to May (Collar 2016b, unpaginated; Quin in litt. 2016; Juniper and Parr 1988, p. 366; del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 383). Four to five eggs, and less commonly, six or seven eggs, are laid in hollows of trees, stumps, fallen logs, or even fence posts (Collar 2016b, unpaginated; Quin in litt. 2016; Garnett and Crowley 2000b, p. 345; del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 383; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 9; Forshaw 1989, p. 286; Juniper and Parr 1988, p. 366; Jarman, 1973, p. 241), often within approximately 1-2 meters (m) (3-6 feet (ft)) of the ground (NSW 2009, unpaginated; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 9). The female incubates the eggs and is fed by the male during incubation; both parents rear the chicks (BLA 2016b, unpaginated). In some areas, the species will have two clutches per year (BLA 2016b, unpaginated; NSW 2009, unpaginated; Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366). Incubation lasts about 18-20 days, followed by a nestling period of about 30 days (NSW 2009, unpaginated; Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366; del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 383). After fledging, juveniles remain dependent on their parents for at least 1 week, and continue to be fed by the male while the female begins a second clutch (NSW 2009, unpaginated). Breeding productivity is estimated at 2.8 young per successful nest (NSW 2009, unpaginated).

    Distribution

    A little more than a century ago, the turquoise parrot was common through many parts of eastern Australia, ranging from eastern Queensland to south-central Victoria (Higgins 1999, p. 575; Jarman 1973, p. 239), though it is unknown whether the historical range was continuous (Jarman 1973, p. 240). Between 1880 and 1920, the species went through a major population crash with associated contractions in its range (Quin and Reid 1966, p. 250; see below).

    Although the turquoise parrot is still not found in central Queensland, it is now distributed through much of its former range, from southeastern Queensland through eastern New South Wales and into Victoria (west to Bendigo, Victoria) (del Hoyo et al. 1997, p. 383; Juniper and Parr 1989, pp. 365-366). The species' distribution is not continuous but rather occurs in patches of suitable habitat throughout this broader range (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 286). Based on distribution and density information (Barret et al. 2003 as cited in NSW 2009, unpaginated), about 90 percent of the population is thought to occur in New South Wales (NSW 2009, unpaginated).

    The reasons for the turquoise parrot population crash between 1880 and 1920 are not fully understood. Likely contributing factors included: (1) Habitat loss from European settlement, including competition for food (grasses) from grazing livestock and rabbits, (2) an intense period of drought from 1895 to 1902, and (3) trapping for the pet trade (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated; del Hoyo 1997, p. 383; Juniper and Parr 1989, p. 365). Some have also suggested that disease may have played a role because of the steep decline in numbers (Collar 2016b, unpaginated, Tzaros 2016, unpaginated; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 3; Morse and Sullivan 1930, p. 289), but there is no evidence that disease was a factor. Other potential factors were predation by the non-native European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) and indiscriminate shooting (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated).

    The return of the turquoise parrot to portions of its former range was reported by the 1930s and 1940s (BLA 2016b, unpaginated; Higgins 1999, p. 575), though it did not reappear in Victoria until the 1950s (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated). By the time we listed the species as endangered under the Act in 1970, recovery was continuing and the parrot was generally considered rare (Smith 1978 and IUCN 1966 & 1981 as cited in Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 3). Further recovery during the 1970s and 1980s was, in part, attributed to the removal of livestock from reserve lands in northeastern Victoria (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 3). Increases in both numbers and range were apparent in Victoria by the mid to late 1980s, though the species was still regarded as rare (Traill 1988, p. 267). The global population of turquoise parrots is currently estimated at 20,000 individuals (BLI 2012b, p. 1; Garnet and Crowley 2000b, p. 345; Juniper and Parr, p. 366) and appears to be stable with increases reported in some areas (BLI 2016b, unpaginated; Garnett & Crowley 2000b, p. 345).

    Captive-Bred Specimens

    The turquoise parrot is bred in captivity for the pet trade with about 8,000 held in captivity in Australia (Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366); estimates of the size of the captive population after the late 1990s could not be found.

    Conservation Status

    The turquoise parrot was listed in CITES Appendix III in 1976, as part of a listing for the Family Psittacidae, and was later listed in Appendix II in 1981, along with all Psittaciformes (UNEP 2011b, unpaginated; see Conservation status for the scarlet-chested parrot above for more information on implications of listing in CITES Appendix II).

    International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)—The turquoise parrot was listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species in 1988 as “Lower Risk” and transferred to “Least Concern” in 2004; the status remains at “Least Concern” (BLI 2012b, p. 1).

    Australia

    Commercial exports of the turquoise parrot from Australia have been prohibited since 1962; these prohibitions are now codified in Australia's EPBC Act. The turquoise parrot is not included in the EPBC Act's List of Threatened Fauna (Australian DEE 2017a, unpaginated). Inclusion on the EPBC Act's List of Threatened Fauna promotes recovery via: (1) Conservation advice, (2) recovery plans, and (3) the EPBC Act's assessment and approval provisions (Australian DEE 2017b). The turquoise parrot was not included on the List of Threatened Fauna either because it was never nominated for consideration, or if it was nominated, it was found ineligible by a rigorous scientific assessment of the species' threat status (Australian DEE 2017b, unpaginated).

    Additionally, the 2000 Action Plan for Australian Birds (Garnett and Crowley 2000b, p. 345) listed it nationally as “Near Threatened,” but this designation was removed in the 2010 Action Plan for Australian Birds, which noted that the population was too large to be considered “near threatened” and that there was no evidence of a recent decline (Garnett et al. 2011, p. 429). As such, there is no national recovery plan for the turquoise parrot, though recommended actions were outlined for the species in the 2000 Action Plan (Garnett and Crowley 2000b, p. 345).

    At the state level, the species is currently listed as “Rare” in Queensland under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and “Threatened” in Victoria under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG; FFG 2016, p. 3). It was subsequently recommended for downlisting to “Near Threatened” by an FFG Scientific Advisory Committee in 2013; however, it is still officially “Threatened” in Victoria (Vic DSE 2013, p. 13; NSW 2009, unpaginated). In 2009, the New South Wales Scientific Committee determined that the turquoise parrot met criteria for listing as “Vulnerable” under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW 2009, unpaginated), and this classification is still in place (BLA 2016b, unpaginated).

    Additionally, portions of suitable habitat for the turquoise parrot are protected. For example, about 8 percent of Queensland is now in the Natural Reserve System that includes government reserves, indigenous protected areas, private protected areas, and jointly managed protected areas (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated). Approximately 9 percent of New South Wales and 18 percent of Victoria are also part of this Natural Reserve System (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated). Because we do not reliably know the degree to which the Natural Reserve System protects the turquoise parrot and its habitat, we did not rely on these protected areas in our determination of whether or not the parrot meets the definition of threatened or endangered.

    Factors Affecting the Turquoise Parrot

    The following sections provide a summary of the past, current, and potential future stressors for the turquoise parrot and its habitats. In cases where the stressors were common to both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots, we discuss potential effects to both parrot species in the section for the scarlet-chested parrot for the sake of efficiency.

    Land clearing—See Land clearing in Australia under Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, above.

    Land Clearing and the Turquoise Parrot

    Typical turquoise parrot habitat is hill country including woodlands, open forest, and timbered grasslands (Collar 2016b, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 286). Since the 1970s, southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales have experienced the greatest rates of deforestation in Australia, and Victoria is now the most deforested state or territory in Australia (Bradshaw 2012, p. 109).

    Unlike New South Wales and Victoria, most of the land clearing in Queensland has occurred in the last 50 years (Bradshaw 2012, p. 113; McAlpine et al. 2009, p. 22) with high rates of vegetation loss in the last several decades (Lindenmayer and Burgman 2005, p. 233). Clearing was predominantly in central and southern regions where native forests and woodlands were converted for intensive cropping and improved pastures for cattle (McAlpine et al. 2009, p. 23). In 2004, Queensland enacted clearance restrictions to phase out broad-scale clearing by the end of 2006 (Lindenmayer and Burgman 2005, p. 233). As of 2014, about 8.16 percent of Queensland's jurisdiction was in protected areas (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated).

    Victoria is heavily cleared (Lindenmayer 2007, as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 114), having lost an estimated 66 percent of its native vegetation (Victoria Department of Sustainability and the Environment 2011 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, pp. 113-114). Most of the clearance occurred prior to the 1890s when the wheat and livestock industries were developing (Lindenmayer 2007, as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 114). Land clearance was estimated to have continued at a slow, steady rate of about 1 percent per year until 1987, when anti-clearing legislation was introduced (Lindenmayer 2007, as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 114). Despite this legislation, proportional clearance rates from 1995-2005 remained high and even increased near the end of this decade (Bradshaw 2012, p. 114). Although Victoria is now the most cleared of the three states, it also contains the highest proportion of protected land. As of 2014, about 17.63 percent of Victoria's jurisdiction was in protected areas (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated).

    New South Wales was one of the first regions settled by Europeans and generally has a higher human population than other parts of Australia. Most of the land clearing and damage to forest ecosystems happened during the nineteenth century (Bradshaw 2012, p. 112). More than 50 percent of the forest and woodland in New South Wales has been cleared (Lunney 2004, Olsen et al. 2005 and Johnson et al. 2007 as cited in NSW 2009, unpaginated). As of 2014, about 9.10 percent of New South Wales' jurisdiction was in protected areas (CAPAD 2014, unpaginated).

    Forest fragmentation as a result of land clearing can also affect the turquoise parrot, which is mostly sedentary but capable of short-distance dispersal (generally less than 10 km (6.2 mi)) along treed corridors) (NSW 2009, unpaginated; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 16). Therefore, gaps between forest remnants may cause fragmentation of turquoise parrot populations in heavily cleared landscapes (NSW 2009, unpaginated).

    Altered fire regimes—see Fire in Australia under Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, above.

    Altered Fire Regimes and the Turquoise Parrot

    Prescribed fire and timber-cutting have negatively affected the turquoise parrot and its habitat (NSW 2009, unpaginated). Both practices have the potential to cause the loss of hollow-bearing trees, which can be a limiting habitat feature for the turquoise parrot (NSW 2014b). Similarly, firewood collection and selective removal of dead wood and dead trees reduce the availability of nest hollows (NSW 2014b, unpaginated; NSW 2009, unpaginated).

    In summary, land clearing for agriculture in combination with other stressors (i.e., drought, trapping) was likely a significant cause of the population crash between 1880 and 1920. While most of the land clearing occurred in the late 18th and the early 19th centuries, more recent forest clearance rates are of concern for the three states that support the turquoise parrot. Forest fragmentation as a result of clearing has the potential to isolate turquoise parrot populations, which are mostly sedentary but capable of short-distance dispersal (and population expansion) along treed corridors. Management actions such as prescribed fire, selective logging, and reforestation should be carefully applied and adapted to benefit parrot habitat. Managing for protection of nesting hollows is particularly important.

    The advent of anti-clearing legislation since approximately the 1990s (Bradshaw 2012, p. 116) and the growing proportion of lands in protected areas are positive signs for further turquoise parrot recovery, but researchers caution that conservation efforts such as reforestation should be carefully planned and implemented at the local level. The turquoise parrot population has continued to recover since the historic crash and through periods of subsequent deforestation, with no evidence of recent decline (Garnett et al. 2011, p. 429). While habitat destruction and modification is a likely stressor for the turquoise parrot, we do not consider it to be a major stressor to the species throughout its entire range now or in the foreseeable future.

    Removal From the Wild for Food

    About a century ago, turquoise parrots were shot for food for pie-filling (BLA 2016b, unpaginated; Seth-Smith 1909 as cited in Higgins 1999, p. 576) and, in some cases, were indiscriminately shot (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated). These are no longer reported as stressors for the turquoise parrot.

    Illegal collection and trade—see Illegal collection and trade (for both scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots) under Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, above.

    Levels of Legal International Trade (for the Turquoise Parrot)

    Between 1980 and 2014, there were very few wild turquoise parrots in trade. There were 44,244 turquoise parrot specimens exported in international trade (27,248 recorded imports). More than 99 percent of these were captive-bred live parrots (UNEP 2016b).

    In summary, use as food and poaching for the pet trade were noted as stressors in the past. Presently, poaching may be occurring at a low level that is not likely to affect wild populations. We are not aware of any information indicating that overutilization for recreational, scientific, or educational purposes are current stressors to the turquoise parrot.

    Disease—See Disease (for scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots) under Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, above.

    Predation—See Predation from non-native cats and foxes in Australia under Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, above.

    Predation and the Turquoise Parrot

    The turquoise parrot nests in tree hollows close to the ground, making it vulnerable to predation from introduced terrestrial predators such as feral cats and European red foxes (Rowden pers. comm. 2016; NSW 2014b and 2009, unpaginated; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, pp. 3, 26). Feral cat control and feral predator control are identified objectives in management plans for the turquoise parrot (NSW 2014b, unpaginated; Garnett and Crowley 2000b, p. 345; Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 26). Both feral cats and foxes were predators of the turquoise parrot at Chiltern in Victoria in the 1980s (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 26), and more fox control was likely needed in the area at that time (Quin in litt. 2016). Additionally, the turquoise parrot and the scarlet-chested parrot were assessed as “high risk” from these predators within the rangeland environment in the Western Division of New South Wales based on variables such as predator density, body weight, habitat use, and behavior (Dickman et al. 1996, p. 249). However, we could not find recent information regarding the predation rate of feral cats or foxes on the turquoise parrot.

    Foxes dig at active turquoise parrot nests and usually take the female and the nestlings, if they can be reached. Some predation of turquoise parrots by foxes can be mitigated by physically reinforcing degraded natural nest hollows to avoid digging out of these nests by foxes (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 22). Similarly, placement of artificial nesting material higher in the host tree can generally keep them out of reach of foxes (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 22). There are ongoing efforts to improve turquoise parrot nesting habitat, particularly in Victoria (see Competition for nesting hollows, below).

    Competition for Nesting Hollows

    Competition for suitable nest hollows has the potential to limit reproductive success of the turquoise parrot by limiting the number of pairs that can breed, or by causing nest mortality as a result of competitive interactions. All but four species of Australian parrots are dependent on tree hollows for nesting (Forshaw 1990, p. 58). Competition for nest hollows (both intraspecific and interspecific) was noted at Chiltern in Victoria, where limited nest hollows likely limited reproductive success of the turquoise parrot (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 12). National legislation, policy, and strategic management plans are in place to protect hollow-bearing trees in Australia; however, prioritization and implementation of actions at the local level may be limited or lacking (Treby et al. 2014, entire).

    Placing artificial nest hollows in areas that appear to be nest-hollow limited seems to be successful, and programs that construct and strategically place artificial nests are supported at the State level and appear to be ongoing. For example, early experimental efforts to hollow-out naturally occurring stumps in the Warby Ranges (in Victoria, near Chiltern) were successful but ended in the 1990s (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated). In 2010, Monash University researchers placed artificial nests around the Warby-Ovens State Park (also near Chiltern), and the hollows were readily occupied by turquoise parrots (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated). More recent efforts to improve habitat for turquoise parrots include those of two land-care networks in northeastern Victoria. The Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network has made and installed 200 potential nest sites for the species (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated), and the Ovens Land-care Network received a $4,600 AUS ($3,525 US) grant that aims to raise awareness of the increasing risk to hollow-dependent species by the non-native Indian (common) myna bird (Acridotheres tristis) (Quin in litt. 2016; Tzaros 2016, unpaginated).

    Competition for Food

    Grazing by livestock can directly affect available food resources for the turquoise parrot (NSW 2009, unpaginated). As livestock grazing ended in some protected areas of Victoria, numbers of turquoise parrots in those areas increased (Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 7; Juniper and Parr 1989, p. 366; Forshaw 1989, p. 286), indicating that a reduction in grazing may benefit the species' recovery.

    Competition for food by grazing sheep, cattle, and European wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was noted as a possible contributing factor in the crash of the turquoise parrot population between 1880 and 1920 (Collar 2016b, unpaginated, Quin and Baker-Gabb 1993, p. 3). Around the time of the parrot's population crash, rabbit numbers swelled to plague proportions, forcing some farmers out of business (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated). Turquoise parrot habitat and food sources were undoubtedly adversely affected by this plague, but the degree to which they were affected is unknown. Application of Myxomatosis, a disease that is spread by mosquitoes and affects only rabbits, has succeeded in keeping rabbit numbers at approximately 5 percent their former high abundance in wetter areas (Australian DSEWP&C 2011, unpaginated). Current rates of competition between rabbits and turquoise parrots for food are not well understood but are assumed to be much less than they were a century ago.

    In summary, disease, predation, and competition are all potential stressors for the turquoise parrot. Although PBFD has not been confirmed in the turquoise parrot, it is likely susceptible to the disease at some level. We are not aware of other diseases or pathogens that affect the wild population. Predation and competition may be occurring at low levels, but there are active plans in place to control feral cats, foxes, and rabbits. Use of artificial nests may be helping to mitigate fox predation and competition for nest hollows where this is a limiting habitat feature. While disease, predation, and competition may be affecting the turquoise parrot at low levels, they do not appear to be significant stressors to the species because populations of the turquoise parrot are stable with an estimated 20,000 individuals and may be increasing in some areas.

    Existing regulatory mechanisms—see Existing regulatory mechanisms (for both scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots) under Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, above.

    In this section, we reviewed the existing regulatory mechanisms governing collection and trade of wild turquoise parrots. As described above, the EPBC Act (which controls commercial export), the Lacey Act, CITES, and the WBCA all provide protection to turquoies parrots that minimize or eliminate threats from trade to the species. As discussed under the other sections in Factors Affecting the Turquoise Parrot, we do not find major stressors adversely affecting the species or its habitat. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the regulating mechanisms addressing these potential stressors are adequate at protecting the species at a domestic and global level.

    Climate change—see Global climate change and Climate change in Australia under Factors Affecting the Scarlet-Chested Parrot, above.

    Climate Change and the Turquoise Parrot

    Based on the information presented in Climate change in Australia above, a summary of climate patterns over the last century, within the known range of the turquoise parrot includes: (1) Increased average temperature of 1.0 °C (1.8 °F) with pronounced and rapid warming in eastern Australia since the 1950s (Nicholls 2006 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116); (2) increased frequency of hot days and warm nights (Deo 2011 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116); (3) decreased rainfall in the southeastern regions (Nicholls and Lavery 1992 as cited in Bradshaw 2012, p. 116); and (4) increased annual total rainfall of approximately 15 percent in New South Wales and Victoria (Hughes 2003, p. 424). Similarly, a summary of climate projections for areas within the known range of the turquoise parrot includes: (1) Temperature increase of 1-5 °C (1.8-9 °F) (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41); (2) increases in the frequency of hot days and warm nights (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41); (3) a large range of uncertainty for rainfall, but (using median rainfall) a general pattern of drying, with less rain in the spring and winter in the south, and increased intensity of rain (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41); and (4) increased frequency and intensity of drought (up to 40 percent in eastern areas by 2070) (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41).

    Climate change is projected to affect pasture habitat used by the turquoise parrot. Rainfall is expected to be the dominant influence on pasture growth; fewer, more intense rain events are anticipated as well as (from year to year) more frequent droughts (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41). Increased temperatures could benefit pasture growth and growing seasons in the cooler southern climates, but depletion of moisture in the soil due to this growth might adversely affect spring pasture growth (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 41).

    Increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) will affect rangeland function, with a projected increase in pasture production but potential loss in forage quality (e.g., declines in forage protein content) (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 42). Fire danger will increase over much of Australia (Hughes 2003, p. 427). Increased pasture growth will produce heavier fuel loads (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 42; Hughes 2003, p. 427). The risk of wildfires could increase and make prescribed burns more difficult to manage (Stokes et al. 2008, p. 42).

    Projections for more droughts could also negatively affect the turquoise parrot. A recent study analyzed the capacity of woodland bird species in north-central Victoria to resist the pressures of extended drought (i.e., the 13-year “Millennium drought” or the “Big Dry”) and then recover once drought conditions abated (i.e., the 2-year “Big Wet”) (Bennet et al. 2014, entire). Results indicated a substantial decline (42-62 percent) in the reporting rates of bird species between the early and late surveys in the Big Dry (Bennet et al. 2014, pp. 1321, 1326).

    Additionally, a recent climate-change-adaptation model using a “Business as Usual” projection (i.e., the “worst-case” scenario with increasing greenhouse gasses through time), predicted that the distribution of climate, similar to that currently used by the species, may contract by approximately one half to the southern part of its current range (i.e., dropping out of Queensland but remaining in portions of New South Wales and Victoria) by 2085 (Garnett et al. 2013c, interactive model results). Although the model does well to incorporate species-specific traits, it also includes a number of uncertainties that may limit its predictive power (Garnett et al. 2013, pp. 76-77). Basic model assumptions such as that trends into the future will follow simple linear extrapolations of existing relationships, and assumptions regarding (scaled down) projected climate change itself, may limit its accuracy (Garnett et al. 2013, pp. 76-77). Although there is much uncertainty in these trends (given the variability in the existing climate and uncertainties in modeling), effects from climate change may rise to the level of a stressor in the next 50 years based on our current knowledge (Garnett in litt. 2016b).

    Potential responses and adaptability of the parrot to the projected effects from climate change are difficult to predict. Since the parrot is mainly resident, it is not known if it would relocate if local conditions degrade (e.g., drought); however, one group of turquoise parrots did move into an area of central Victoria during the mid-1990s, probably in response to drought conditions elsewhere at this time (del Hoyo, p. 383; Quin and Reid 1996, p. 250).

    In summary, other than the projected increases in temperature and CO2 levels, there is a relatively high level of uncertainty associated with other projected climate change variables (particularly patterns of rainfall) for Australia and across the occupied range of the turquoise parrot. These uncertainties are a component of the climate-change-adaptation model for the turquoise parrot. Climate distribution modeling and a study of declines in woodland birds over a recent and extended drought period indicate that effects from climate change have the potential to become a stressor for parrots in the next 50 years (Bennet et al. 2014, pp. 1321, 1326; Garnett et al. 2013c, interactive model results). However, we found no information indicating that climate change is currently affecting the turquoise parrot specifically, coupled with the fact that it has shown some adaptability to drought conditions in the past. Stress to the species from climate change will likely occur within the next 50 years, but climate change variables in the area occupied by the parrot and the parrot's response to these variables are currently mostly speculative, and we cannot conclude that climate change is significant enough to result in the species being in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

    Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    We reviewed all comments we received from the public and peer reviewers for substantive issues and new information. All substantive information was incorporated into the status reviews for each species and into this final rule, as appropriate. The following section summarizes issues and information we consider to be substantive from peer review and public comments, and provides our responses.

    Peer Reviewer Comments

    In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinion from knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot and their habitats, biological needs, and threats. In all, we contacted eight individuals seeking peer review for the scarlet-chested parrot and five individuals for the turquoise parrot. We found that there were a limited number of individuals who had worked with these parrot species because: (1) They are not listed species in Australia and thus have not been the subject of many dedicated studies, and (2) scarlet-chested parrots are often difficult to find and study due to their nomadic behavior and irruptive species population ecology.

    We received responses from three peer reviewers for the scarlet-chested parrot and two peer reviewers for the turquoise parrot. We reviewed all the peer reviewers' comments for substantive issues and information regarding the status of and threats to these species. The peer reviewers generally concurred with our summaries and conclusions regarding these species and provided additional information, clarifications, and suggestions. We incorporated all peer reviewer information into the status reviews for each species, and the majority of the information provided in the peer review is also incorporated into this final rule, where appropriate. Status reviews and peer reviewer comments for the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrot are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as supporting documentation for Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0176.

    Comment: Two peer reviewers commented on our evaluation of the effects of altered fire regimes on the scarlet-chested parrot. They relayed that there is new information that altered fire regimes affect mallee shrublands used by the species and shared relevant literature.

    Our Response: Based on these peer reviewers' comments and the information provided, we updated the Altered fire regimes sections in the scarlet-chested parrot status review and this final rule.

    Comment: One peer reviewer noted that the scarlet-chested parrots observed at Gluepot Reserve may not actually be a resident population. Additionally, the same reviewer commented that, while the overlap of Bourke's parrot with the scarlet-chested parrot is considerable, the scarlet-chested parrot tends to be found at greater distances than the Bourke's parrot from the pastoral (better-watered) country.

    Our Response: We changed the text in the scarlet-chested parrot status review to reflect: (1) Uncertainty regarding whether or not the scarlet-chested parrots at Gluepot are resident; and (2) that the scarlet-chested parrot tends to be found at greater distances than the Bourke's parrot from the better-watered, pastoral areas.

    Comment: One peer reviewer noted that the climate change section in our status review for the scarlet-chested parrot contained outdated information and shared relevant literature. The same peer reviewer referred us to two publications that examine the capacity of woodland birds (in dry woodlands and riparian areas in southeastern Australia) to resist the pressures of drought and then recover once drought conditions are lifted. He suggested that these publications indicate a trend for long-term decline in the face of more frequent and extended droughts in southern Australia as predicted by recent climate modelling. A second peer reviewer referred us to a recent publication and interactive model that allowed us to project potential future reductions in “climate space” for both the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot.

    Our Response: We reviewed the information provided and updated our evaluation of climate change as a stressor to the scarlet-chested parrot and its habitat. Further, in our review of the new material, we found that one of the publications was also helpful in assessing extended drought as a potential stressor to the turquoise parrot. Therefore, we updated the Climate Change sections for both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots in both status reviews and this final rule.

    Comment: One peer reviewer noted that the percentages of protected lands for the scarlet-chested parrot were outdated and did not reflect the large proportion that is Aboriginal-held land.

    Our Response: We found updated information for proportions of protected land in the states and territories within the range of both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots and reflected these updates in our estimates in both status reviews and this final rule.

    Comment: One peer reviewer commented on distribution of the turquoise parrot, relaying that: (1) There are parts of the historical range in Victoria where the species has not returned, and (2) a small population of the species occurs at Bunyip State Park in West Gippsland, Victoria.

    The same peer reviewer provided the following observations regarding the population of turquoise parrots near Chiltern in northeastern Victoria: (1) The numbers of turquoise parrots currently in this area appear significantly fewer than the numbers that were there during the late 1980s to the early 1990s; (2) the decrease in numbers is likely due to a decrease in grass abundance either from the Millennium drought or an increase in herbivore abundance, or both; and (3) more fox control was likely needed in this area in the late 1980s.

    Lastly, this peer reviewer provided information on two ongoing land-care networks that are working to improve turquoise parrot habitat in northeastern Victoria and commented that more intensive surveys are needed to determine population size of the turquoise parrot in all the regions of Victoria where the turquoise parrot is found.

    Our Response: We added information about turquoise parrots in Victoria to the turquoise parrot status review and this final rule, where appropriate: (1) The decreases at Chiltern and likely causes; (2) the small population at Bunyip State Park; (3) the land-care networks; and (4) the recommendation for more extensive surveys.

    Public Comments

    We published a proposed rule to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the List on September 2, 2003 (68 FR 52169), and we requested that all interested parties submit written comments at that time. Additionally, because considerable time had passed since the 2003 proposal, we published a reopening of the public comment period in January 2016, which closed on February 22, 2016 (81 FR 3373, January 21, 2016). We took this action to ensure that we sought, received, and made our decision based on the best scientific and commercial information available on these species and their status and threats, in order to determine whether removing these species from the List is warranted. Comments summarized below are from our reopening of the public comment period in January 2016 (81 FR 3373).

    We received 18 public comments relating to the proposed delisting of scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets during the public comment period. More detailed information about the comments we received and our responses are below.

    Comment: Several commenters noted that the Act placed restrictions on trade in captive-bred individuals that have limited imports into the United States and, by extension, the genetic diversity of U.S. captive-bred populations.

    Our Response: Although we considered captive individuals in our review of both the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots, these comments fall outside the scope of our analysis. Removal of the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the List will eliminate the need for an import permit under the Act. Trade in captive-bred scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots will still be regulated under CITES, and, to date, import of captive-bred scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots into the United States is currently allowed under the WBCA Approved List (50 CFR 15.33) without requiring a permit.

    Comment: Several commenters stated that more information is needed on the status of populations, or that conservation measures were needed for these species before they can be removed from the List.

    Our Response: We have reviewed the status of and threats to both parrots, and the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that populations of the scarlet-chested parrot presently appear to be stable, with no evidence of decline in the last 20 years, and populations of the turquoise parrot are stable and may be increasing in some areas. Populations of both parrots are doing well despite the stressors noted in the Factors Affecting the Scarlet-chested Parrot and Factors Affecting the Turquoise Parrot sections, above. Although the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are not included in the EPBC Act's List of Threatened Fauna, Australia prohibits exports of wild specimens of these species under the EPBC Act, and removal of these species from the wild is strictly controlled. Additionally, there are numerous ongoing conservation efforts in Australia by Federal and state governments, indigenous peoples, and private organizations and landowners that likely benefit these species including, but not limited to: (1) Protected areas; (2) recent anti-clearing legislation; (3) protections and initiatives for nest hollows; (4) non-native predator and competitor control programs (e.g., feral cats, red foxes, rabbits); and (5) programs for construction and placement of artificial nest hollows for the turquoise parrot.

    Comment: Two commenters expressed their view that our listing proposal was procedurally invalid under the Act because finalizing a 12-year-old proposed delisting rule violates section 4(b)(6) and section 4(c) of the Act, which require that the Service finalize any proposed rule within 1 year of publication of the proposed rule unless narrow exceptions apply. These commenters opined that the Act requires the Service to withdraw the proposed rule if those exceptions do not apply.

    Our Response: We disagree. The Service's proposal has not been invalidated, and with this final rule, all procedural requirements under section 4(b) of the Act have been met. Further, consistent with our regulations at 50 CFR 424.17(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(3), the Act does not allow for withdrawal of a proposed listing determination solely because of the passage of time; any withdrawal must be based upon a finding that the available evidence does not justify the action proposed by the rule. Additionally, as explained above, the purpose of the scientific review under section 4(c) of the Act is to ensure that the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife accurately reflects the most current status information for each listed species. In our 2000 review, we requested comments and the most current scientific or commercial information available on these species, and based on that review, we reevaluated the listing of the scarlet-chested parrot and the turquoise parrot.

    On September 2, 2003, we published our review of the status of these species and a proposed rule (68 FR 52169) to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the List under the Act because the endangered designation no longer correctly reflected the current conservation status of these birds, as the best available information indicated that they had recovered. We explained that our review of the best available information showed that the wild populations of these species were stable with more than 20,000 turquoise parakeets and 10,000 scarlet-chested parakeets found throughout their range. Furthermore, trade in wild-caught specimens was strictly limited, and the species were protected through domestic regulation within the range country (Australia), as well as through additional national and international treaties and laws.

    On January 21, 2016, because considerable time had passed since the 2003 proposal, we published the reopening of the public comment period on our proposal to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the List (81 FR 3373). We took these actions to determine whether removing these species from the List is still warranted, and to ensure that we sought, received, and made our final decision based on the best scientific and commercial information available regarding these species and their status and threats. This final rule is based on the best scientific and commercial information available regarding these species and includes information summarized from status reviews we conducted in 2016-2017 for the scarlet-chested and the turquoise parrots. These status reviews are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as supporting documentation for Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0176. Sections from the status reviews were added (in part or entirely) to the preamble to this final rule. These new sections in the preamble are updates or additions to information that was presented in the 2003 proposal to remove the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the list (68 FR 52169, September 2, 2003).

    Finding

    Our regulations direct us to determine if a species is endangered or threatened due to any one or a combination of the five threat factors identified in the Act (50 CFR 424.11(c)). We examined the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats faced by the species. We reviewed information available in our files and other available published and unpublished information, and we consulted with recognized species and habitat experts and representatives of the range country (Australia).

    Scarlet-Chested Parrot

    We consider cumulative effects to be the potential stressors to the species in totality and combination, and the degree to which there might be any synergistic effects among any of the stressors (e.g., increased fire frequency and potential decline in nesting hollows). This finding constitutes our cumulative-effects analysis. In the discussions above, we evaluated the individual effects of the following potential stressors to the scarlet-chested parrot: Land clearing and altered fire regimes (Factor A); limited nest hollows (Factor A); illegal collection and trade (Factor B); Psittacine beak and feather disease (Factor C); predation from non-native species (Factor C); competition for nest hollows (Factor C); effects from small population size (Factor E); and effects from climate change (Factor E). Although one or some of these stressors may be acting on the species in some manner, we found no data to indicate that these stressors, individually or cumulatively, are causing the species to be in danger of extinction, either now or in the foreseeable future. In the face of these stressors, the population appears to be stable, with no evidence of decline in the last 20 years. We have concluded that this stability is not due to listing under the Act; thus, we do not expect declines due to the removal of the protections provided by the listing under the Act.

    The Australian Government does not include the scarlet-chested parrot in the EPBC Act's List of Threatened Fauna (Australian DEE 2017, unpaginated) either because it was never nominated for consideration, or if it was nominated, it was found ineligible by a rigorous scientific assessment of the species' threat status (Australian DEE 2017b, unpaginated). The 2000 Action Plan for Australian Birds listed it nationally as “Least Concern” and then did not list it in the 2010 Action Plan for Australian Birds. As such, there is no national recovery plan for the scarlet-chested parrot.

    The species is listed on the IUCN Red List as “Least Concern.” Domestic and international trade in wild-caught specimens is limited and strictly regulated. The species is protected through domestic regulation in Australia and through additional national and international treaties and laws.

    As with all species, the scarlet-chested parrot is subject to some stressors. As discussed above, however, we reviewed those stressors and conclude that individually and cumulatively they are currently not having a significant impact on the species. This determination is evidenced by the apparent stability of the population of the species for the last 20 years. Therefore we conclude, based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial data, that the scarlet-chested parrot is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. In addition, we considered whether the impact of any of the stressors is likely to significantly increase, individually or cumulatively, within the foreseeable future. We conclude, based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial data, that stressors are not likely to increase such that they would cause significant population declines within the foreseeable future, or otherwise to result in the species becoming in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all of its range.

    Turquoise Parrot

    We consider cumulative effects to be the potential stressors to the species in totality and combination, and the degree to which there might be any synergistic effects among any of the stressors (e.g., nest predation by foxes and the loss of nesting hollows); this finding constitutes our cumulative-effects analysis. In the discussions above, we evaluated the individual effects of the following potential stressors to the turquoise parrot: Land clearing and forest fragmentation (Factor A); altered fire regimes (Factor A); limited nest hollows (Factor A); removal from the wild for food (Factor B); illegal collection and trade (Factor B); Psittacine beak and feather disease (Factor C); predation from non-native species (Factor C); competition for food and nest hollows (Factor C); and effects from climate change (Factor E). Although one or some of these stressors may be acting on the turquoise parrot in some manner, we found no data to indicate that these stressors, individually or cumulatively, are causing the species to be in danger of extinction, either now or in the foreseeable future. In the face of these stressors, the population appears to be stable and may be increasing in some areas.

    The Australian Government does not include the turquoise parrot in the EPBC Act's List of Threatened Fauna (Australian DEE 2017, unpaginated), either because it was never nominated for consideration, or if it was nominated, it was found ineligible by a rigorous scientific assessment of the species' threat status (Australian DEE 2017b, unpaginated). The 2000 Action Plan for Australian Birds listed it nationally as “Near Threatened” but then did not list it in the 2010 Action Plan for Australian Birds because the population was too large to be considered “near threatened” and there was no evidence of a recent decline (Garnett et al. 2011, p. 429). As such, there is no national recovery plan for the turquoise parrot.

    The species is listed on the IUCN Red List as “Least Concern.” Domestic and international trade in wild-caught specimens is limited and strictly regulated. The species is protected through domestic regulation in Australia and through additional national and international treaties and laws.

    As with all species, the turquoise parrot is subject to some stressors. As discussed above, however, we reviewed those stressors and conclude that individually and cumulatively they are currently not having a significant impact on the species. This is evidenced by the apparent stable population of approximately 20,000 individuals with increases reported in some areas. Therefore, we conclude, based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial data, that the turquoise parrot is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. In addition, we considered whether the impact of any of the stressors is likely to significantly increase, individually or cumulatively, within the foreseeable future. We conclude, based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial data, that stressors are not likely to increase such that they would cause significant population declines within the foreseeable future, or otherwise to result in the species becoming in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all of its range.

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial data available and determined that the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are no longer in danger of extinction throughout all their respective ranges, nor are they likely to become so in the foreseeable future.

    Significant Portion of Its Range Analysis

    Having examined the status of the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots throughout all of their ranges, we next examine whether these species are in danger of extinction, or likely to become so, in a significant portion of their respective ranges. Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is in danger of extinction or likely to become so throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The Act defines “endangered species” as any species which is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” and “threatened species” as any species which is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The term “species” includes “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment [DPS] of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” We published a final policy interpreting the phrase “significant portion of its range” (SPR) (79 FR 37578; July 1, 2014).

    The final policy states that (1) if a species is found to be endangered or threatened throughout a significant portion of its range, the entire species is listed as an endangered or a threatened species, respectively, and the Act's protections apply to all individuals of the species wherever found; (2) a portion of the range of a species is “significant” if the species is not currently endangered or threatened throughout all of its range, but the portion's contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range; (3) the range of a species is considered to be the general geographical area within which that species can be found at the time the Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) makes any particular status determination; and (4) if a vertebrate species is endangered or threatened throughout an SPR, and the population in that significant portion is a valid DPS, we will list the DPS rather than the entire taxonomic species or subspecies.

    The SPR policy is applied to all status determinations, including analyses for the purposes of making listing, delisting, and reclassification determinations. The procedure for analyzing whether any portion is an SPR is similar, regardless of the type of status determination we are making. The first step in our analysis of the status of a species is to determine its status throughout all of its range. If we determine that the species is in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range, we list the species as an endangered (or threatened) species and no SPR analysis is required. If the species is neither in danger of extinction nor likely to become so throughout all of its range, we determine whether the species is in danger of extinction or likely to become so throughout a significant portion of its range. If it is, we list the species as an endangered or a threatened species, respectively; if it is not, we conclude that listing the species is not warranted.

    When we conduct an SPR analysis, we first identify any portions of the species' range that warrant further consideration. The range of a species can theoretically be divided into portions in an infinite number of ways. However, there is no purpose to analyzing portions of the range that are not reasonably likely to be significant and endangered or threatened. To identify only those portions that warrant further consideration, we determine whether there is substantial information indicating that (1) the portions may be significant and (2) the species may be in danger of extinction in those portions or likely to become so within the foreseeable future.

    We emphasize that answering these questions in the affirmative is not a determination that the species is endangered or threatened throughout a significant portion of its range—rather, it is a step in determining whether a more detailed analysis of the issue is required. In practice, a key part of this analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated in some way. If the threats to the species are affecting it uniformly throughout its range, no portion is likely to warrant further consideration. Moreover, if any concentration of threats applies only to portions of the range that clearly do not meet the biologically based definition of “significant” (i.e., the loss of that portion clearly would not be expected to increase the vulnerability to extinction of the entire species), those portions will not warrant further consideration. If we identify any portions that may be both (1) significant and (2) endangered or threatened, we engage in a more detailed analysis to determine whether these standards are indeed met. To determine whether a species is endangered or threatened throughout an SPR, we will use the same standards and methodology that we use to determine if a species is endangered or threatened throughout its range.

    Depending on the biology of the species, its range, and the threats it faces, it may be more efficient to address the “significant” question first, or the status question first. Thus, if we determine that a portion of the range is not “significant,” we do not need to determine whether the species is endangered or threatened there; if we determine that the species is not endangered or threatened in a portion of its range, we do not need to determine if that portion is “significant.”

    Scarlet-Chested Parrot

    Applying the process described above, we evaluated portions of the scarlet-chested parrot's range that may be significant, and examined whether any threats are geographically concentrated in some way that would indicate that those portions of the range may be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. The range available to the scarlet-chested parrot is very large (262,000 km2 (101,159 mi2); BLI 2016a, unpaginated). Within this range, the Great Victoria Desert, located in southwestern Australia, may be of biological or conservation importance to the scarlet-chested parrot, because the species is primarily concentrated in the better vegetated areas of this region (BLI 2016a, unpaginated; Juniper and Parr 1998, p. 366). Therefore, the Great Victoria Desert has the potential to be of greater biological or conservation importance than other areas and may constitute a significant portion of the parrot's range.

    We next examined whether any stressors are geographically concentrated in some way that would indicate the species could be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so, in this portion. We examined potential stressors, including land clearing, altered fire regimes, limited nest hollows, illegal collection and trade, Psittacine beak and feather disease, predation from non-native species, competition for food and nest hollows, small population size, and effects from climate change. All these stressors appeared to be uniform across the range of the species, with the exception of potential effects from climate change (See Climate change and the scarlet-chested parrot above). A recent climate-change-adaptation model indicated a long-term range contraction to the southern portion of its range (to an area that includes the Great Victoria Desert) (Garnett et al. 2013b, interactive model results). However, given the uncertainty in the modelling of future climate scenarios, particularly patterns of precipitation, we are unable to reliably discern if the areas projected to be lost will result in any significant threat. While regions of the Great Victoria Desert may be significant, information and analyses indicate that the species is unlikely to be in danger of extinction or become so in the foreseeable future in this portion.

    All other stressors appear to be uniform across the range of the species. The scarlet-chested parrot is adapted to arid landscapes and able to travel great distances. The population is not known to be fragmented (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 57) and appears to be stable, with no evidence of decline in the last 20 years (BLI 2016a, unpaginated; BLI 2012a, p. 4). Therefore, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, no portion warrants further consideration to determine whether the species may be endangered or threatened in a significant portion of its range.

    Turquoise Parrot

    We evaluated portions of the turquoise parrot's range that may be significant, and examined whether any threats are geographically concentrated in some way that would indicate that those portions of the range may be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. The turquoise parrot occurs in many parts of eastern and southeastern Australia, particularly the foothills of the Great Dividing Range (NSW 2009, unpaginated; Garnett and Crowley 2000b, p. 345; Juniper and Parr 1988, p. 365). The Great Dividing Range is formed from multiple mountain ranges that dominate the eastern Australia landmass. The species' distribution is not continuous but rather occurs in patches of suitable habitat throughout this broader range (Tzaros 2016, unpaginated; Forshaw 1989, p. 286), and about 90 percent of the population is thought to occur in New South Wales (NSW 2009, unpaginated). We did not identify any natural divisions within the range that may be of biological or conservation importance with the exception that the central portion of the parrot's current range (in New South Wales) could be considered significant based on the concentration of parrots there.

    We next examined whether any stressors are geographically concentrated in some way that would indicate the species could be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. We examined potential stressors, including land clearing, altered fire regimes, limited nest hollows, illegal collection and trade, Psittacine beak and feather disease, predation from non-native species competition for food and nest hollows, and effects from climate change. All these stressors appeared to be uniform across the range of the species, with the exception of potential effects from climate change (See Climate change and the turquoise parrot above).

    A recent climate-change-adaptation model indicated a long-term range contraction by about one half to the southern part of its current range (i.e., dropping out of Queensland but remaining in portions of New South Wales and Victoria) by 2085 (Garnett et al. 2013c, interactive model results). This reduced climate space includes developed regions near Sydney and in and around Melbourne (Garnett et al. 2013c, interactive model results). Currently, approximately 90 percent of the population is distributed in eastern portions of New South Wales. Based on the modeling, the species would experience a reduction in climate space in New South Wales that is approximately a little more than one half of what is currently modeled. The modeled climate space in Victoria may improve somewhat with more areas becoming suitable for the parrot. However, given the uncertainty in the modelling of future climate scenarios, particularly patterns of precipitation, we are unable to reliably discern if the areas projected to be lost will result in any significant threat. While areas in New South Wales may be significant to the parrot, information and analyses indicate that the species is unlikely to be in danger of extinction or become so in the foreseeable future in this portion.

    All other stressors appear to be uniform across the range of the species. The population of the turquoise parrot now numbers more than 20,000 individuals. The population appears to be stable and may be increasing in some areas. Therefore, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, no portion warrants further consideration to determine whether the species may be endangered or threatened in a significant portion of its range.

    Summary

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial data available and have determined that the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots are no longer in danger of extinction throughout all or significant portions of their respective ranges, nor are they likely to become so in the foreseeable future. As a consequence of this determination, we are removing these species from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Effects of the Rule

    This final rule revises 50 CFR 17.11(h) by removing the scarlet-chested and turquoise parakeets from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. As of the effective date of this rule (see DATES), the prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act, particularly through sections 7, 8 and 9, no longer apply to these species. The scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots will remain protected under the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). To date, the scarlet-chested and turquoise parrots remain on the Approved List of captive-bred species under the WBCA, which allows import or export of captive-bred individuals of these species without a WBCA permit.

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

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act, need not be prepared in connection with listing or reclassification of a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0176 or upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    This final rule was authored by staff of the Branch of Foreign Species, Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 15

    Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wildlife.

    50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we amend part 15 and part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 15—WILD BIRD CONSERVATION ACT 1. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 4901-4916.

    2. Amend § 15.33(a) by: a. Amending the entries in the table for “Neophema pulchella1 (Turquoise parrot.)” and “Neophema splendida1 (Scarlet-chested parrot.)” by removing the footnote superscripts; and b. Revising footnote 1 following the table to read as follows:
    § 15.33 Species included in the approved list.

    (a) * * *

    1Note: Permits are still required for this species under part 17 of this chapter.

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 3. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    § 17.11 [Amended]
    4. Amend § 17.11(h) by removing the entries for “Parakeet, scarlet-chested” and “Parakeet, turquoise” under BIRDS in the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Dated: March 3, 2017. James W. Kurth Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06663 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF334 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season apportionment of the 2017 Pacific cod total allowable catch allocated to catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), April 3, 2017, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The B season apportionment of the 2017 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI is 5,197 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017.

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the B season apportionment of the 2017 Pacific cod TAC allocated to trawl catcher vessels in the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 4,697 mt and is setting aside the remaining 500 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI.

    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    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 closure of directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 30, 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 31, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06723 Filed 3-31-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 64 Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 46 CFR Parts 401, 403, and 404 [USCG-2016-0268] RIN 1625-AC34 Great Lakes Pilotage Rates—2017 Annual Review AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify its calculations for hourly pilotage rates on the Great Lakes by accounting for the “weighting factor,” which is a multiplier that can increase the pilotage costs for larger vessels traversing areas in the Great Lakes by a factor of up to 1.45. While the weighting factor has existed for decades, it has never been included in any of the previous ratemaking calculations. We propose to add steps to our rate-setting methodology to adjust hourly rates downwards by an amount equal to the average weighting factor, so that when the weighting factor is applied, the cost to the shippers and the corresponding revenue generated for the pilot associations will adjust to what was originally intended. We note that until a final rule is produced, the 2016 rates will stay in effect, even if a final rule is not published by the start of the 2017 season.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be submitted to the online docket via www.regulations.gov on or before May 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0268 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information about this document, call or email Mr. Todd Haviland, Director, Great Lakes Pilotage, Commandant (CG-WWM-2), Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-2037, email [email protected], or fax 202-372-1914.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents for Preamble I. Public Participation and Request for Comments II. Abbreviations III. Executive Summary IV. Basis and Purpose V. Background VI. Discussion of Proposed Changes VII. Regulatory Analyses A. Regulatory Planning and Review B. Small Entities C. Assistance for Small Entities D. Collection of Information E. Federalism F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act G. Taking of Private Property H. Civil Justice Reform I. Protection of Children J. Indian Tribal Governments K. Energy Effects L. Technical Standards M. Environment I. 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 note that, in this supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM), we are only soliciting comments regarding the addition of the weighting factor adjustment into the Coast Guard's Great Lakes pilotage methodology. The Coast Guard is neither soliciting, nor are we considering, comments relating to any other part of the Great Lakes Pilotage rate setting methodology. Although we left all other items in the proposed October 2016 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) as if they were unchanged, we note that those items are still under consideration by the Coast Guard and may be amended in the final rule. Any changes in the final rule will be based only on (1) comments submitted prior to the December 19, 2016 deadline for the NPRM comment period, and (2) comments submitted in response to this SNPRM regarding the weighting factor adjustment.

    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. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are 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.

    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).

    We are not planning to hold a public meeting but will consider doing so if public comments indicate a meeting would be helpful. We would issue a separate Federal Register notice to announce the date, time, and location of such a meeting.

    II. Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations CPI Consumer Price Index FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OMB Office of Management and Budget SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking U.S.C. United States Code III. Executive Summary

    In this SNPRM, the Coast Guard proposes changes in its methodology to adjust for the weighting factor charged for larger vessels. The result of the adjustment would be a reduction in the hourly pilotage rates in the Great Lakes region from amounts proposed in the NPRM, published in October 2016 (81 FR 72011, October 19, 2016). This action does not change the total amount of projected revenue we deem necessary for the pilot associations to provide safe, efficient, and reliable service, but would have the practical effect of reducing the actual amount of money paid as pilotage fees by shippers by approximately 28 to 32 percent. The Coast Guard believes that this adjustment in hourly rates would allow us to more accurately project the amount of revenue to be collected that we consider necessary for the pilot associations to carry out their duties.

    We note that until a final rule is produced, the 2016 rates will stay in effect, even if a final rule is not published by the start of the 2017 season.

    Pursuant to the Great Lakes Pilotage Act, the Coast Guard sets hourly rates for pilot services on the Great Lakes. While all vessels must pay these base rates, larger vessels pay a higher rate, as a “weighting factor” multiplies the base rates they pay by a factor of 1.15 to 1.45. In past rate-settings, the methodology used to calculate hourly rates on the Great Lakes did not adjust the rates for the weighting factor. During the 2016 shipping season, under the revised methodology, preliminary estimates of actual revenues exceeded the projected revenues, even when adjusted for increased shipping traffic.

    Based on the 2016 data, we believe it is necessary to account for the weighting factors in the hourly rate calculation in the methodology in order for the U.S. Great Lakes pilot associations to more accurately generate total revenues. Our projections for total revenues are intended to ensure safe, efficient, and reliable pilotage service. One goal of our methodology is to produce revenues that reflect the level of actual pilotage demand. While we recognize that traffic varies from year to year, in years where traffic is higher than the 10-year rolling average, the rates should generate more revenue than our projections. In years where traffic is lower than the 10-year rolling average, the rates should generate less than our projections. The variance in actual demand for pilotage services should align with the variance in actual revenues.

    The preliminary information we have available to us after 1 year under the revised methodology indicates that not adjusting for the weighting factor in the calculation of hourly rates has contributed to actual revenues exceeding our projected revenues. We believe that revising the methodology to adjust hourly rates for the weighting factors would improve the ability of the methodology to more closely match projections of total revenue with the actual revenue generated.

    Table 1 shows the proposed changes in the pilotage charges per hour. The first column lists the current pilotage charges in force, the second column shows the rate increase that the Coast Guard proposed in October of 2016, and the third column shows the revised rates, which incorporate an adjustment for the weighting factors into the ratemaking methodology. We note that this rule does not change the weighting factors themselves, only the methodology used to calculate base hourly pilotage rates. Additionally, this does not change the overall revenue we project as necessary to provide safe, efficient, and reliable pilotage service. As this action does not change the amount of projected revenue we deem necessary for the pilot associations, the Regulatory Analyses remains unchanged from the NPRM.

    Table 1—Summary of Current and Proposed Pilotage Fees, From 46 CFR 401.405 Area Current
  • pilotage charges per hour
  • NPRM
  • proposed charges per hour
  • SNPRM
  • proposed charges per hour
  • St. Lawrence River $580 $757 $592 Lake Ontario 398 522 402 Navigable waters from Southeast Shoal to Port Huron, MI 684 720 546 Lake Erie 448 537 408 St. Mary's River 528 661 508 Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior 264 280 215
    IV. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis of this rulemaking is the Great Lakes Pilotage Act of 1960 (“the Act”), which requires U.S.-flagged and foreign-flagged vessels to use U.S. or Canadian registered pilots while transiting the U.S. waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes system. For the U.S. registered Great Lakes pilots, the Act requires the Secretary to “prescribe by regulation rates and charges for pilotage services, giving consideration to the public interest and the costs of providing the services.” The Act requires that rates be established or reviewed and adjusted each year, not later than March 1. Also, the Act requires the establishment of a full ratemaking at least once every 5 years, and in years when base rates are not established, they must be reviewed and, if necessary, adjusted. The Secretary's duties and authority under the Act have been delegated to the Coast Guard.

    In this SNPRM, the Coast Guard proposes to incorporate the weighting factor into its method of calculating pilotage rates set forth in the previously-published NPRM (81 FR 72011, October 19, 2016). This SNPRM does not propose to make any other adjustments to the methodology proposed in that NPRM.

    V. Background

    Because the Coast Guard is charged by statute with setting pilotage rates by regulation, taking into account the public interest and the cost of providing services, we have in the past used a methodology that attempts to determine the amount of traffic, the number of pilots needed to handle that traffic, allowable operating expenses, and a fair pilot compensation. It uses these calculations to set a mandatory cost of pilotage for each of six areas in the Great Lakes region.1 In the past, the Coast Guard's modeling efforts fell short, leaving pilots in the Great Lakes substantially undercompensated compared to their peers, and resulting in retention and attrition problems, as well as shipping delays, which led to a disruption of commerce. These revenue shortfalls also prevented the pilot associations from investing in infrastructure, obtaining educational opportunities, and acquiring the latest technological tools to improve service. In order to correct these problems, the Coast Guard undertook a major overhaul of its rate-setting program in 2016, substantially revising how it made those calculations and adjusting the per-hour pilotage rates accordingly.

    1 See 46 CFR 401.405.

    Because the Coast Guard sets pilotage rates on a yearly basis, we proposed changes to the 2016 methodology for 2017, issuing an NPRM in October 2016 that proposed various modifications to the 2016 methodology for the 2017 shipping season. In our NPRM, we proposed a substantial number of changes in how to determine operating expenses and the number of pilots needed. The proposed methodology is carried out in an eight-step process, separately for each area, as described briefly below. For a fuller explanation of the process, please refer to the NPRM, at 81 FR 72011 beginning on page 72013.

    Step 1: Recognize previous year's operating expenses. In this step, the Coast Guard would use audited financial information from the pilot's association to determine recognized operating expenses from the previous year. These include expenses such as insurance, administrative expenses, payroll taxes, and other items. However, they do not include pilot compensation or money for infrastructure projects.

    Step 2: Project next year's operating expenses. In this step, we would multiply the previous year's operating expenses by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Midwest region.

    Step 3: Determine the number of pilots needed. In this step, we would determine the number of pilots needed by dividing the total number of hours worked by the average pilot cycle (that is, the full cycle, including work time, travel time, and rest time). That number is multiplied by an “efficiency factor” to account for times of double pilotage as well as time spent waiting for ships.

    Step 4: Determine target pilot compensation. In this step, we would establish a goal for what an average pilot should earn over the course of the shipping season.

    Step 5: Determine working capital fund. In this step, we would determine the amount of money needed to fund future capital projects by multiplying the operating expenses and pilot compensation by the average annual rate of return for new issuances of high-grade corporate securities, currently set at 4.16 percent.

    Step 6: Project needed revenue for next year. In this step, we would add the projected operating expenses, the target pilot compensation, and the working capital fund to arrive at a total amount needed to cover the upcoming year's revenue needs.

    Step 7: Make initial base rate calculations. In this step, we would divide the revenue needed by the 10-year running average of hours worked, to arrive at preliminary hourly rate figures.

    Step 8: Review and finalize rates. This step would allow the Director of the Great Lakes Pilotage Office to impose surcharges for the training of new pilots and other unexpected expenses.

    Using this process, the Coast Guard produced the following proposed changes to the hourly pilotage rates, as summarized in Table 2. As shown by the figures in the table, the NPRM proposed increases of varying sizes for rates in each of the six regions.

    Table 2—Proposed Changes to the Hourly Pilotage Rates in the 2017 NPRM Area Current
  • pilotage charge per hour
  • NPRM
  • proposed charges per hour
  • St. Lawrence River (District One Designated) $580 $757 (District One Undesignated) Lake Ontario 398 522 (District Two Undesignated) Lake Erie 448 537 Navigable waters from Southeast Shoal to Port Huron, MI (District Two Designated) 684 720 District Three Undesignated Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior 264 280 St. Mary's River (District Three Designated) 528 661

    While we believe that the ratemaking calculations proposed in the NPRM are fairly comprehensive, there is one item that is currently not captured by that methodology. This item is the “weighting factor.” The weighting factor is a multiplier of between 1.0 and 1.45, which is applied to the total pilot costs for larger vessels. The weighting factor has been used to ensure that larger vessels, which can absorb more in pilotage costs than smaller ones, pay a larger percentage of the total costs of pilotage in the Great Lakes. However, while the weighting factor increases the total pilotage revenue generated, it is not used in the calculation of pilotage rates. Instead, as shown earlier in Step 7 of the rate-setting process, we use only the total number of hours to set pilotage rates, which is not adjusted to include additional revenues brought in due to the weighting factor.

    VI. Discussion of Proposed Changes

    In the NPRM, the Coast Guard did not propose to incorporate the weighting factors into the rate-setting methodology. We stated that we did not have sufficient data at the time of the NPRM to incorporate them into the calculations. While we discussed three options on how to proceed, we specifically stated that “we request public comment on which of three options should be implemented for future ratemakings.” The three options were as follows: (1) Maintain the status quo, by continuing to mandate the weighting factors while leaving them out of the ratemaking calculation; (2) remove the weighting factors completely and charge each vessel equally for pilotage service; and (3) incorporate weighting factors into the rulemaking through an additional step that examines and projects their impact on the revenues of the pilot associations. We note that this third option “might enable us to better forecast revenue, but it would add another variable to the projections in the rate methodology.” (81 FR at 72027)

    In the comments to the NPRM, the Coast Guard received data and commentary from both shippers and pilots regarding the weighting factors. One commenter, representing the pilots, stated that the Coast Guard has “correctly explained that the weighting factors are separate from the ratemaking calculation.” 2 The commenter noted that “over the last decade, the pilots have consistently failed to reach target compensation even with the weighting factors included. Changing this practice would exacerbate an already unfortunate situation and risk further contributing to the pilot attraction and retention difficulties.” The commenter also stated that although the final numbers for the 2016 season were not available at the time of the NPRM's publication, they believe there is nothing in this most recent shipping season that suggests the trend of failing to reach the target compensation level is abating.

    2 Commenter docket number (USCG-2016-0268-0028), p. 9, citing the NPRM at 81 FR 72027.

    Shippers, on the other hand, argued that the weighting factors should be included in the revenue calculations. The shipping industry commenters stated that revenue projections in the Coast Guard's regulations will not be accurate if they do not include some value reflecting vessel size, and that it is an “arithmetic certainty” that the revenue projections in the NPRM would overstate the rates needed to generate a given level of pilotage revenue.3 The shipping industry comments included data indicating that the average weighting factor applied to all ships over a period from 2010 through 2015 as 1.26.4 Similarly, comments from the Shipping Federation of Canada, included as an enclosure, stated that the weighting factor adds an average of over 20 percent to the pilotage invoice revenue.

    3 Commenter docket number (USCG-2016-0268-0033), pp. 29-30.

    4 Commenter docket number (USCG-2016-0268-0033, Exhibit I). While the commenter found some lower weighting factor averages in the years prior to 2014, we have focused on the later years because the classification parameters for weighting factors changed in 2013, producing overall lower values.

    Because the weighting factors were adjusted in 2014, we propose using the measured average of weighting factors from the years 2014 through 2016 to calculate an average weighting factor to use in the ratemaking calculations. We calculated the average multiplier by weighting each class of vessels according to the number of transits, for each district, and for designated and undesignated areas. We note this is a different method than used by the shipping industry in their comments, which we averaged by the number of ships. We believe our methodology is more accurate as some ships will transit multiple times per year, paying the weighted pilotage cost each time. The following tables show the calculations we used to determine proposed average weighting factors in both designated and undesignated waters for each district.

    Table 3a—Calculation of Average Weighting Factor for Designated Waters in District One Vessel class Number of transits Weighting
  • factor
  • Multiplier
    Class 1 103 1.00 103 Class 2 765 1.15 879.75 Class 3 128 1.30 166.4 Class 4 736 1.45 1,067.2 Total transits 1,732 2,216.35 Average weighting factor 1.28
    Table 3b—Calculation of Average Weighting Factor for Undesignated Waters in District One Vessel class Number of transits Weighting
  • factor
  • Multiplier
    Class 1 71 1.00 71 Class 2 670 1.15 770.5 Class 3 130 1.30 169 Class 4 780 1.45 1,131 Total 1,651 2,141.5 Average weighting factor 1.30
    Table 3c—Calculation of Average Weighting Factor for Designated Waters in District Two Vessel class Number of transits Weighting
  • factor
  • Multiplier
    Class 1 98 1.00 98 Class 2 1,090 1.15 1,253.5 Class 3 29 1.30 37.7 Class 4 1,664 1.45 2,412.8 Total 2,881 3,802 Average weighting factor 1.32
    Table 3d—Calculation of Average Weighting Factor for Undesignated Waters in District Two Vessel class Number of transits Weighting
  • factor
  • Multiplier
    Class 1 63 1.00 63 Class 2 678 1.15 779.7 Class 3 20 1.30 26 Class 4 980 1.45 1,421 Total 1,741 2,289.7 Average weighting factor 1.32
    Table 3e—Calculation of Average Weighting Factor for Designated Waters in District Three Vessel class Number of transits Weighting
  • factor
  • Multiplier
    Class 1 105 1.00 105 Class 2 540 1.15 621 Class 3 10 1.30 13 Class 4 757 1.45 1,097.65 Total 1,412 1,836.65 Average weighting factor 1.30
    Table 3f—Calculation of Average Weighting Factor for Undesignated Waters in District Three Vessel class Number of transits Weighting
  • factor
  • Multiplier
    Class 1 244 1.00 244 Class 2 1,237 1.15 1,422.55 Class 3 43 1.30 55.9 Class 4 1,801 1.45 2,611.45 Total 3,325 4,333.9 Average weighting factor 1.30
    Table 3g—Summary of Average Weighting Factors by Association Association Undesignated weighting
  • factor
  • Designated weighting
  • factor
  • Total weighting
  • factor
  • Saint Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association (District One) 1.28 1.30 1.29 Lakes Pilots Association (District Two) 1.32 1.32 1.32 Western Great Lakes Pilots Association (District Three) 1.30 1.30 1.30

    Using preliminary data from the pilot associations for the entire 2016 season with regard to revenues and surcharges, as well as internal Coast Guard systems, we examined disparities between the revenue raised from pilotage services and the total number of hours worked. We expect a relatively simple relationship between hours billed and total revenue raised.5 However, an examination of the relationship between traffic and revenue in each district appears to produce a significant disparity as shown in Table 4.

    5 We note that other factors can cause discrepancies in the ratio between the actual traffic and actual revenue raised. These other factors include shipping delays, a pilot being detained on the ship or overcarried for the convenience of the vessel, cancelled orders, and weather delays during certain times of the year. We believe that the impact of these factors is often small and we do not believe that they would cause discrepancies of the magnitude experienced in 2016.

    Table 4—Comparison of Actual 2016 Pilot Demand and Revenues Association Projected pilot demand
  • (hours)
  • Actual pilot
  • demand
  • (hours)
  • Projected
  • revenue
  • ($)
  • Actual
  • revenue
  • ($)
  • Saint Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association
  • (District One)
  • 10,987 11,651 5,804,945 7,718,852
    Lakes Pilots Association (District Two) 10,016 12,022 5,929,641 9,181,265 Western Great Lakes Pilots Association (District Three) 21,670 26,868 7,369,092 10,949,257

    Furthermore, the disparities between revenue and demand substantially correlate with the average weighting factors. Table 5 demonstrates this disparity.

    Table 5—Proportional Differences Between Demand and Revenue Association/district Measured
  • percent of
  • projected
  • revenue
  • Measured
  • percent of
  • projected
  • demand
  • Proportional difference Average weighting
  • factor
  • (From Table 3g)
  • Saint Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association
  • (District One)
  • 133 106 1.254 1.29
    Lakes Pilots Association
  • (District Two)
  • 155 120 1.29 1.32
    Western Great Lakes Pilots Association
  • (District Three)
  • 149 124 1.198 1.30

    For example, for District Two, actual pilot demand was above the pilot demand that the Coast Guard projected in the 2016 ratemaking at a ratio of 120 percent (12,022/10,016). Actual revenue generated was above projected revenue by 155 percent (9,181,265/5,929,641). The ratio of the increase in revenues to the increase in pilot demand is 1.29, compared to the average weighting factor of 1.32.

    Based on this analysis, we believe that there is a likelihood that the weighting factors are a factor in the difference between projected and a preliminary review of actual revenue experienced in 2016 under the revised methodology. In this SNPRM, we propose to incorporate the weighting factors into the ratemaking model. The practical result of this would be substantial net reductions in hourly pilotage fees, producing reductions of 28 to 32 percent, depending on the area. We request comments on both the new data introduced by the Coast Guard, as well as this specific proposal.

    We note that, given the above calculations (more detailed figures underpinning these calculations are available in the docket for this rulemaking), the proposed weighting factors are higher—particularly in the case of District Three 6 —than the measured disparity between traffic and revenue. As it is our goal that the methodology produces a close relationship between measured traffic and revenue, and gets as close as possible to the published target compensation, we seek comments on any factors that could have an effect on the relationship between those factors. Additionally, we specifically request comment on the validity of our calculations of the weighting factors for each area, as well as suggestions as to how it could be improved. We understand that in the past, the methodology did not produce the anticipated revenue and it is our goal to correct this issue.

    6 We believe that the provision, currently located in 46 CFR 404.107(b) (Step 7), limiting the pilotage rate in designated waters to twice the rate of the pilotage rate in undesignated waters, contributed to the particularly large disparity for District Three. In the NPRM, we proposed to eliminate that provision, and believe that this would help to lessen the future traffic-to-revenue disparity for District Three.

    Because the weighting factors were adjusted in 2014, we propose using the measured average of weighting factors from the years 2014 to 2016 to calculate an average weighting factor to use in the ratemaking calculations. We calculated the average multiplier by weighting each class of vessel according to the number of transits. We note this is a different method than used by the shipping industry in their comments, which averaged by number of ships. We believe our methodology is more accurate as some ships will transit multiple times per year, paying the weighted pilotage cost each time.

    Using these weighting factor averages, the Coast Guard proposes to add two additional steps to our rate making procedure. We propose renumbering existing step 8, the Director's discretion, to step 10, and adding new steps 8 and 9 to account for the influence the weighting factors have on total generated revenues.

    In Step 8, which would be codified as 404.108, “Calculate average weighting factors by Area,” the Coast Guard proposes to calculate the rolling average of the weighting factors for the designated and undesignated waters of each pilotage district. We propose using the same 10-year rolling average standard for this calculation as we use for historic pilotage demand. Since the current weighting factors came into place in 2013, we propose using the data between 2014 and 2016 and expand this data set until we reach our 10-year goal. Tables 3a through 3f featured earlier, show the data used in these calculations for this SNPRM.

    In Step 9, which would be codified as 404.109, “Calculation of Revised Base Rates,” the Coast Guard proposes to divide the initial rate calculation, from Step 7 (calculation of the initial base rates), by the average weighting factor calculated in Step 8.

    Table 6—Calculation of Revised Base Rates Area Initial base rate
  • (Step 7)
  • Average
  • weighting
  • factor
  • (Step 8)
  • Revised rate
  • (initial rate/weighting
  • factor)
  • District One: Designated (St. Lawrence River) $757 1.28 $592 District One: Undesignated (Lake Ontario) 522 1.30 402 District Two: Designated (Southeast Shoal to Port Huron, MI) 720 1.32 546 District Two: Undesignated (Lake Erie) 537 1.32 408 District Three: Designated (St. Mary's River) 661 1.30 508 District Three: Undesignated (Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior) 280 1.30 215

    Finally, we propose renaming the Director's Discretion as Step 10, but otherwise leave it unchanged.

    VII. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes or Executive orders.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    As this action does not change the amount of projected revenue we deem necessary for the pilot associations, the Regulatory Planning and Review remains unchanged from the NPRM.

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

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it. As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs'” (February 2, 2017).

    We developed an analysis of the costs and benefits of the NPRM to ascertain its probable impacts on industry. We consider all estimates and analysis in that Regulatory Analysis (RA) to be subject to change in consideration of public comments. As this SNPRM does not change the total required revenue or any other items that would alter the analysis of the impact of the proposed rule we have not included a separate regulatory analysis in this document. Instead, we refer you to the previously published NPRM to see the analysis of the costs and benefit of the proposed rule.

    B. Small Entities

    As this action does not change the amount of projected revenue we deem necessary for the pilot associations, the Small Entities analysis remains unchanged from the NPRM.

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, we have considered whether the proposed rule would have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. 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 people.

    Based on the analysis in the NPRM, we found this proposed rulemaking, if promulgated, would not affect a substantial number of small entities.

    Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES. In your comment, explain why you think it qualifies, as well as how and to what degree this proposed rule would economically affect it.

    C. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the proposed rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please consult Mr. Todd Haviland, Director, Great Lakes Pilotage, Commandant (CG-WWM-2), Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-2037, email [email protected], or fax 202-372-1914. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).

    D. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). This proposed rule would not change the burden in the collection currently approved by OMB under OMB Control Number 1625-0086, Great Lakes Pilotage Methodology.

    E. Federalism

    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. Our analysis follows.

    Congress directed the Coast Guard to establish “rates and charges for pilotage services.” 46 U.S.C. 9303(f). This regulation is issued pursuant to that statute and is preemptive of state law as specified in 46 U.S.C. 9306. Under 46 U.S.C. 9306, a “State or political subdivision of a State may not regulate or impose any requirement on pilotage on the Great Lakes.” As a result, States or local governments are expressly prohibited from regulating within this category. Therefore, the rule is consistent with the principles of federalism and preemption requirements in Executive Order 13132.

    While it is well settled that States may not regulate in categories in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel's obligations, the Coast Guard recognizes the key role that State and local governments may have in making regulatory determinations. Additionally, for rules with implications and preemptive effect, Executive Order 13132 specifically directs agencies to consult with State and local governments during the rulemaking process. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

    F. 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 discuss the effects of this proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    G. Taking of Private Property

    This proposed rule would not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

    H. Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    I. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This proposed rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

    J. Indian Tribal Governments

    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.

    K. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that Executive Order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

    L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272, note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    M. 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. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” section of this preamble. This proposed rule is categorically excluded under section 2.B.2, and figure 2-1, paragraph 34(a) of the Instruction. Paragraph 34(a) pertains to minor regulatory changes that are editorial or procedural in nature. This proposed rule adjusts rates in accordance with applicable statutory and regulatory mandates. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects 46 CFR Part 401

    Administrative practice and procedure, Great Lakes, Navigation (water), Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seamen.

    46 CFR Part 403

    Great Lakes, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seamen, Uniform System of Accounts.

    46 CFR Part 404

    Great Lakes, Navigation (water), Seamen.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 46 CFR parts 401, 403, and 404 as follows:

    Title 46—Shipping PART 401—GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 401 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 2103, 2104(a), 6101, 7701, 8105, 9303, 9304; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(II)(92.a), (92.d), (92.e), (92.f).

    2. Revise § 401.401 to read as follows:
    § 401.401 Surcharges.

    To facilitate safe, efficient, and reliable pilotage, and for good cause, the Director may authorize surcharges on any rate or charge authorized by this subpart. Surcharges must be proposed for prior public comment and may not be authorized for more than 1 year. Once the approved amount has been received, the pilot association is not authorized to collect any additional funds under the surcharge authority and must cease such collections for the remainder of that shipping season.

    3. Revise § 401.405(a) to read as follows:
    § 401.405 Pilotage rates and charges.

    (a) The hourly rate for pilotage service on—

    (1) The St. Lawrence River is $592;

    (2) Lake Ontario is $402;

    (3) Lake Erie is $408;

    (4) The navigable waters from Southeast Shoal to Port Huron, MI is $546;

    (5) Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior is $215; and

    (6) The St. Mary's River is $508.

    4. Revise § 401.420(b) to read as follows:
    § 401.420 Cancellation, delay, or interruption in rendition of services.

    (b) When an order for a U.S. pilot's service is cancelled, the vessel can be charged for the pilot's reasonable travel expenses for travel that occurred to and from the pilot's base, and the greater of—

    (1) Four hours; or

    (2) The time of cancellation and the time of the pilot's scheduled arrival, or the pilot's reporting for duty as ordered, whichever is later.

    5. Revise § 401.450 as follows: a. Redesignate paragraphs (b) through (j) as paragraphs (c) through (k), respectively; and b. Add new paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 401.450 Pilotage change points.

    (b) The Saint Lawrence River between Iroquois Lock and the area of Ogdensburg, NY beginning January 31, 2017;

    PART 403—GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE UNIFORM ACCOUNTING SYSTEM 6. The authority citation for part 403 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 2103, 2104(a), 9303, 9304; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(II)(92.a), (92.f).

    7. Revise § 403.300(c) to read as follows:
    § 403.300 Financial reporting requirements.

    (c) By January 24 of each year, each association must obtain an unqualified audit report for the preceding year that is audited and prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles by an independent certified public accountant. Each association must electronically submit that report with any associated settlement statements and all accompanying notes to the Director by January 31.

    PART 404—GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE RATEMAKING 8. The authority citation for part 404 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 2103, 2104(a), 9303, 9304; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(II)(92.a), (92.f).

    9. Revise § 404.103 as follows: a. In paragraph (a), following the words “dividing each area's” remove the word “peak” and add, in its place, the word “seasonal”; and b. Revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 404.103 Ratemaking step 3: Determine number of pilots needed.

    (b) Pilotage demand and the base seasonal work standard are based on available and reliable data, as so deemed by the Director, for a multi-year base period. The multi-year period is the 10 most recent full shipping seasons, and the data source is a system approved under 46 CFR 403.300. Where such data are not available or reliable, the Director also may use data, from additional past full shipping seasons or other sources, that the Director determines to be available and reliable.

    10. Revise § 404.104 to read as follows:
    § 404.104 Ratemaking step 4: Determine target pilot compensation benchmark.

    At least once every 10 years, the Director will set a base target pilot compensation benchmark using the most relevant available non-proprietary information. In years in which a base compensation benchmark is not set, target pilot compensation will be adjusted for inflation using the CPI for the Midwest region or a published predetermined amount. The Director determines each pilotage association's total target pilot compensation by multiplying individual target pilot compensation by the number of pilots projected under § 404.103(d) of this part.

    § 404.105 [Amended]
    11. In § 404.105, remove the words “return on investment” and add, in their place, the words “working capital fund.” 12. Revise § 404.107 to read as follows:
    § 404.107 Ratemaking step 7: Initially calculate base rates.

    The Director initially calculates base hourly rates by dividing the projected needed revenue from § 404.106 of this part by averages of past hours worked in each district's designated and undesignated waters, using available and reliable data for a multi-year period set in accordance with § 404.103(b) of this part.

    13. Revise § 404.108 to read as follows:
    § 404.108 Ratemaking step 8: Calculate average weighting factors by Area.

    The Director calculates the average weighting factor for each area by computing the 10-year rolling average of weighting factors applied in that area, beginning with the year 2014. If less than 10 years of data are available, the Director calculates the average weighting factor using data from each year beginning with 2014.

    14. Add § 404.109 as follows:
    § 404.109 Ratemaking step 9: Calculate revised base rates.

    The Director calculates revised base rates for each area by dividing the initial base rate (from Step 7) by the average weighting factor (from Step 8) to produce a revised base rate for each area.

    15. Add § 404.110 as follows:
    § 404.110 Ratemaking step 10: Review and finalize rates.

    The Director reviews the base pilotage rates calculated in § 404.109 of this part to ensure they meet the goal set in § 404.1(a) of this part, and either finalizes them or first makes necessary and reasonable adjustments to them based on requirements of Great Lakes pilotage agreements between the United States and Canada, or other supportable circumstances.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Michael D. Emerson, Director, Marine Transportation Systems, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06662 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD 49 CFR Parts 1104, 1109, 1111, 1114, and 1130 [Docket No. EP 733] Expediting Rate Cases AGENCY:

    Surface Transportation Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Section 11 of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 (STB Reauthorization Act), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) is proposing changes to its rules pertaining to its rate case procedures to help improve and expedite the rate review process.

    DATES:

    Comments are due by May 15, 2017. Reply comments are due June 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and replies may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing should attach a document and otherwise comply with the instructions at the “E-FILING” link on the Board's Web site, at “http://www.stb.gov.” Any person submitting a filing in the traditional paper format should send an original and 10 copies to: Surface Transportation Board, Attn: Docket No. EP 733, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. Copies of written comments and replies will be available for viewing and self-copying at the Board's Public Docket Room, Room 131, and will be posted to the Board's Web site.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Fancher, (202) 245-0355. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 11 of the STB Reauthorization Act, Public Law 114-110, 129 Stat. 2228 (2015) directs the Board to “initiate a proceeding to assess procedures that are available to parties in litigation before courts to expedite such litigation and the potential application of any such procedures to rate cases.” In addition, Section 11 requires the Board to comply with a new timeline in Stand-Alone Cost (SAC) cases.

    In advance of initiating this proceeding, Board staff held informal meetings with stakeholders1 to explore and discuss ideas on: (1) How procedures to expedite court litigation could be applied to rate cases, and (2) additional ways to move SAC cases forward more expeditiously. The Board issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on June 15, 2016, seeking formal comment on specific ideas raised in the informal meetings as well as comments on any other relevant matters.

    1 Board staff met with individuals either associated with and/or speaking on behalf of the following organizations: American Chemistry Council; Archer Daniels Midland Company; CSX Transportation, Inc.; Economists Incorporated; Dr. Gerald Faulhaber; FTI Consulting, Inc.; GKG Law, P.C.; Growth Energy; Highroad Consulting; L.E. Peabody; LaRoe, Winn, Moerman & Donovan; consultant Michael A. Nelson; Norfolk Southern Railway Company; Olin Corporation; POET Ethanol Products; Sidley Austin LLP; Slover & Loftus LLP; Steptoe & Johnson LLP; The Chlorine Institute; The Fertilizer Institute; The National Industrial Transportation League; and Thompson Hine LLP. We note that some participants expressed individual views, not on behalf of the organization(s) with which they are associated.

    The Board received comments on the ANPRM from the following organizations: The Rail Customer Coalition; Samuel J. Nasca on behalf of SMART/Transportation Division, New York State Legislative Board (SMART/TD-NY); the Association of American Railroads (AAR); the Western Coal Traffic League, American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and Freight Rail Customer Alliance (collectively, Coal Shippers/NARUC); CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT); the American Chemistry Council, the Dow Chemical Company, and M&G Polymers USA, LLC (Joint Carload Shippers); Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR); Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP); and Oliver Wyman.

    Based on the comments, the Board is now proposing specific changes intended to help improve the rate review process and expedite rate cases.2 In Section I, the Board addresses the comments and how they have formed the basis of the rules proposed here. In Section II, the Board explains the newly proposed rules. Note, these proposed rules are not intended to be a comprehensive response to the comments received in this docket, nor are they the final action the Board plans to take to improve the Board's rate review processes for all shippers. The Board will continue to evaluate the comments received and review its regulations generally, and may propose additional revisions at a later date.

    2 Although many of the proposals pertain specifically to SAC cases—the Board's methodology for large rate cases—some of the proposals would also benefit cases filed under the Board's other methodologies. In those instances we specify that a particular proposal would also apply in, for example, Simplified-SAC or Three-Benchmark cases (collectively, simplified standards). See Simplified Standards for Rail Rate Cases, EP 646 (Sub-No. 1) (STB served Sept. 5, 2007).

    I. Comments in Response to the ANPRM

    Pre-Complaint Period. In the ANPRM, the Board noted that several stakeholders suggested that the Board could require a complainant, before filing its SAC complaint, to file a notice similar to that required in the context of major and significant mergers before the Board. See 49 CFR 1180.4(b). One of the purposes of the pre-complaint filing would be to provide the railroad with time to start preparing for litigation, including gathering documents and data necessary for the discovery stage, which in turn could benefit both parties by accelerating the discovery process. ANPRM, slip op. at 3. Accordingly, the Board sought comments on the merits of adopting a pre-filing requirement in SAC cases, and, if a pre-filing notice were adopted, the information that should be contained in that notice and the appropriate time period for filing the notice (e.g., 30 or 60 days prior to filing a complaint). The Board also sought comments on the idea of offering or requiring mediation during a pre-complaint period.

    Several railroad and shipper interests generally support the requirement of a pre-filing notice. (CSXT Comments 7, AAR Comments 6, Joint Carload Shippers Comments 4-5.) CSXT and Joint Carload Shippers comment that the filing would provide early notice of impending discovery obligations. (CSXT Comments 7-10, Joint Carload Shippers Comments 4-5.) CSXT also comments that a pre-filing notice could allow the parties to agree on a protective order that could be in place at the outset of the case. (CSXT Comments 8.)

    Conversely, NSR and Coal Shippers/NARUC comment that a pre-filing notice in and of itself likely would not do much to expedite rate cases. (NSR Comments 35, Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 33.) NSR argues that, even with such a notice, the railroad can only begin to gather the necessary documents and data once the shipper has filed its case, indicating whether it is a SAC, Simplified-SAC, or Three-Benchmark case, and the shipper has served its discovery requests, informing the railroad of the time frame for discovery materials and identified the segments of the railroad for which discovery is sought. (NSR Comments 35.) Coal Shippers/NARUC comment that once a shipper has decided to file a SAC case, it is ready to do so immediately, and because of the negotiations between the shipper and rail carriers where a potential SAC case is in play, many rail carriers start gathering the necessary SAC information without any pre-filing requirement. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 33-34.) Coal Shippers/NARUC comment that the only potential benefit of a pre-filing requirement is one that includes a response deadline—e.g., requiring a rail carrier to produce specified SAC information no later than 30 days after the complaint is filed. Coal Shippers/NARUC suggest that the Board consider a procedure where the pre-filing requirement is at the complainant shipper's option, and, if the shipper so elects, the respondent rail carrier is required to provide information at a specified date after the complaint is filed. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 34.)

    Regarding whether mediation should be conducted during a pre-complaint period, CSXT and Joint Carload Shippers comment that doing so would be beneficial in that it would allow parties to focus exclusively on litigation after the complaint has been filed. (CSXT Comments 9-10, Joint Carload Shippers Comments 4-5.) AAR comments that mediation at the outset of the process could allow the parties to avoid litigation altogether, though it would not actually expedite the rate case itself once it is filed. (AAR Comments 6.) Coal Shippers/NARUC comment that no coal rate cases have settled because of the Board's mediation process, and that mandatory mediation has driven up the costs associated with pursing relief from the Board. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 40.) Coal Shippers/NARUC suggest eliminating mandatory mediation of SAC disputes entirely, though leaving the option open for the parties if they jointly agree to engage in mediation at any time during the SAC case process. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 40.)

    With respect to the timing of the pre-filing notice, both CSXT and Joint Carload Shippers argue that 60 days prior to the filing of a SAC complaint probably would be optimal, and Joint Carload Shippers assert that this would afford sufficient time for scheduling and conducting mediation. (CSXT Comments 10, Joint Carload Shippers Comments 5.) Although Coal Shippers/NARUC oppose the requirement of a pre-filing notice, they argue that, if one is mandated by the Board, it should be filed no later than 30 days prior to the date the complaint is filed. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 38-39.)

    Concerning the content of the pre-filing notice, parties suggest that the pre-filing notice could include: (1) The rate that will be challenged; (2) the origin-destination pair(s) being challenged; (3) the commodities at issue; (4) the states the shipper expects its SARR may traverse; and (5) other pertinent information. (See CSXT Comments 11, Joint Carload Shippers Comments 5, AAR Comments 6; Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 38-39 3 .)

    3 Again, Coal Shippers/NARUC oppose the requirement of a pre-filing notice, but offer suggestions in the event that the Board were to require a pre-filing notice.

    The Board is persuaded that establishing a pre-complaint period, during which parties engage in mediation without the burden of simultaneous litigation and discovery, outweighs any burden the pre-complaint period may add. The Board believes that such a requirement would help the case proceed more efficiently and quickly once the complaint is filed because the pre-filing notice would put the parties on notice as to what they likely will need to produce in discovery. When the Board first codified mandatory mediation in SAC cases in Procedures to Expedite Resolution of Rail Rate Challenges to be Considered Under the Stand-Alone Cost Methodology, EP 638, slip op. at 2-3, 13-14 (STB served Apr. 3, 2003), the Board believed that the most appropriate time to mediate was after the complaint was filed. Now, with the benefit of more than a decade of experience with mediation, the Board is convinced that pre-complaint mediation would be more beneficial to SAC litigants.4

    4 The existence of the pre-filing requirement would not affect the statutory requirement that a complaint must be filed within two years after the claim accrues.

    With respect to the timing of the pre-filing notice, the Board believes that a longer period of 70 days is appropriate to accommodate the full schedule of mediation so that parties will have the time to focus on resolutions before litigation begins. The Board welcomes comment on this proposed longer period. With respect to the contents of the notice, the Board believes that the most useful elements are: (1) The rate to be challenged; (2) the origin/destination pair(s) to be challenged; and (3) the commodities at issue. The Board also sees the benefit of having a protective order in place as early as possible, and thus requiring the shipper to include with its pre-filing notice a motion for protective order. Accordingly, as discussed in Section II, the Board proposes to require a complainant to submit a pre-filing notice and motion for protective order 70 days before filing a SAC complaint.

    The Board recognizes Coal Shippers/NARUC's concerns that, once shippers have considered filing a SAC case, they may wish to litigate immediately, but the Board believes that the benefits of engaging in early mediation, establishing a protective order, and providing early notice of impending discovery obligations outweigh that delay. The Board does not agree with the Coal Shippers/NARUC's suggestion that the Board eliminate mandatory mediation of SAC disputes altogether, given the potential benefit of mediation in SAC cases. Contrary to Coal Shippers/NARUC's claim, mandatory mediation did result in a settlement in a rate case involving coal. See NRG Power Marketing LLC v. CSX Transp., Inc., NOR 42122, slip op. at 1 (STB served July 8, 2010.)

    Discovery. The Board also sought comment on several ways in which the Board could change its discovery procedures to help improve and expedite rate cases.

    a. Service of initial discovery requests. The Board sought comment on requiring parties to either serve standard discovery requests or disclosures of information with the filing of their complaints and answers, as is done in some federal courts. ANPRM, slip op. at 3-4. NSR strongly supports the concept of standardizing initial discovery requests for both the complainant and the defendant and further supports the concept of requiring these initial discovery requests to be served concurrently with the complaint or answer, as applicable. (NSR Comments 36.) Joint Carload Shippers also support standardized disclosures, although they state that there is not much merit to standardized discovery requests, as the time savings is not in the standardization of discovery requests, but in requiring automatic and earlier production of responsive information. (Joint Carload Shippers Comments 6-7.) Joint Carload Shippers focus on the potential time savings from the standardization of traffic and revenue data. (Joint Carload Shippers Comments 7-9.)

    CSXT does not take a position on standardizing discovery requests, but cautions that discovery requests, while relatively consistent from case to case, evolve over time. (CSXT Comments 23-24.) Coal Shippers/NARUC do not support standardized discovery requests, and comment that SAC discovery questions have evolved over time, and should continue to do so to meet shippers' discovery needs and to address the technological changes in how rail carriers collect, store, and maintain data. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 43.) Coal Shippers/NARUC also do not support the use of standardized disclosures. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 43.) They note that while the specific categories of information that shippers need—what they term “Core SAC Data”—generally remains the same from case to case, the exact set of responsive information coal shippers need can change over time based on case-specific needs and changes in how rail carriers maintain and update their internal databases. (Coal Shippers/NARUC 43.) Thus, instead of standardized disclosures, Coal Shippers/NARUC suggest the following process: (1) Require the complainant shipper to file its initial discovery requests along with its complaint; (2) require Board staff to hold a technical discovery conference with the parties no later than 15 days after the initial discovery requests are filed, at which the complainant shipper will identify those questions seeking Core SAC Data, and discuss logistical issues about producing this data; and (3) require that, following the conference, the Board issue an order directing the defendant rail carrier to respond to the complainant shipper's specific requests seeking Core SAC Data no later than 60 days after the initial discovery requests were filed. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 45.) Coal Shippers/NARUC further suggest that the Board should require submission of discovery by rail carriers no later than 20 days after the shipper's complaint is filed. Coal Shippers/NARUC also propose that the Board allow rail carrier requests for staff conferences regarding discovery requests at any time after 40 days have elapsed since filing of a complaint. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 47.)

    The Board is persuaded that the value of allowing discovery requests and information disclosed in SAC cases to evolve outweighs the potential time saved by standardizing discovery requests or standardized disclosures. Accordingly, the Board will not propose to change the SAC case regulations in this manner. However, the Board agrees with the general consensus among commenters that beginning discovery as soon as possible will help expedite SAC cases. Therefore, the Board proposes requiring a complainant to certify that it has served its initial discovery requests with its complaint and requiring a defendant to certify that it has served its initial discovery requests with its answer.

    We do not see the need to adopt Coal Shippers/NARUC's proposed process involving a technical conference at which the shipper would identify the discovery requests seeking Core SAC Data in discovery served with the complaint at this time. The Board believes this should be evident from the discovery itself. However, as discussed further below, the Board encourages additional use of conferences between the parties and Board staff to promptly resolve any disputes that arise and parties could request a conference early in the discovery process if necessary in a particular case.

    b. Meet and confer requirement. The Board sought comment on the merits of a requirement, similar to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, that any party filing a motion to compel certify that it has attempted to confer with the opposing party first. ANPRM, slip op. at 5.

    Railroad and shipper interests generally support such a meet and confer requirement. (CSXT Comments 28-29, Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 51, NSR Comments 41-42, Joint Carload Shippers Comments 16.) Coal Shippers/NARUC suggest that any such rule also address what they claim is continuing confusion over the Board's procedural rule that requires the filing of motions to compel in certain instances no later than 10 days after an insufficient response is received. See 49 CFR 1114.31(a). Specifically, Coal Shippers/NARUC also suggest that the Board confirm that the 10-day rule does not apply to requests for document production. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 51-52.) In addition, Coal Shippers/NARUC suggest that the 10-day rule be changed to 14 days for other covered discovery to allow a moving party sufficient time to adhere to any new “confer first” rule. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 51-52.) Joint Carload Shippers comment that there must be an exception for situations where consultation is not practical due to time constraints. (Joint Carload Shippers Comments 16.) NSR suggests that, rather than imposing a meet-and-confer requirement, the Board should require Board staff to “convene a conference with the parties to discuss” a motion to compel, rather than making it optional, as is currently done in the existing regulations. (NSR Comments 41-42.) 5

    5 NSR also suggests that the Board codify that “a party seeking to compel discovery must show (1) that it needs the information to make its case, (2) that the information cannot be readily obtained through other means, and (3) that the request is not unduly burdensome.” (NSR Comments 30 (citing Procedures to Expedite, EP 638, slip op. at 4 (STB served Apr. 3, 2003).) The Board does not believe that its current standard for ruling on motions to compel is flawed or that NSR's proposal would expedite the decision-making process.

    The Board agrees with the majority of comments that adding a meet-and-confer requirement would help to reduce the number of disputes that reach the Board and thus expedite rate cases. The Board acknowledges Joint Carload Shippers' concern that there are situations where consultation may be difficult due to time constraints, but does not believe that the best way of handling those instances is to create an exception to the rule. Instead, the Board proposes a requirement modeled on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, which requires that the movant certify that it has in good faith met and conferred or attempted to meet and confer with the person or party failing to answer discovery to resolve the issue without Board intervention.

    The Board is not convinced that it needs to extend its 10-day rule if it adopts a meet-and-confer requirement. The Board believes that 10 days is sufficient time to confer or attempt to confer with an unresponsive party, and extending that period any further would unnecessarily delay discovery.6 Additionally, the Board does not agree with NSR that there is a need to modify 49 CFR 1114.31(a)(3) to make a staff conference mandatory. Certain disputes may be resolved more efficiently by a decision issued by the Director of the Office of Proceedings under 49 CFR 1114.31(a)(4) without the need for a staff conference. However, the Board will continue to convene staff conferences when appropriate, and encourages any party that believes such a conference would aid in resolving a dispute to request the Board convene a staff conference at any point in the proceeding.

    6 In addition, Coal Shippers/NARUC suggest that the Board confirm that the 10-day rule in 49 CFR 1114.31(a) does not apply to requests for document production. However, because this is a change to the regulations that would impact more than just rate reasonableness cases, the Board does not believe that it is appropriate to address Coal Shippers/NARUC's concern in this proceeding, which is limited specifically to procedures in rate cases. In any event, although Coal Shippers/NARUC claim that this regulation has created confusion in rate cases, it does not cite any examples.

    Evidentiary Submissions. The Board also sought comment on whether it should consider staggering the filing of public and highly confidential versions of the parties' pleadings to give parties more time to ensure that public versions of filings are appropriately redacted without delaying the case. ANPRM, slip op. at 7. Additionally, the Board suggested that it could limit final briefs to certain subjects on which the Board would like further argument rather than allowing generalized argument. ANPRM, slip op. at 6.

    a. Staggered filings and confidential designations. Several comments from railroad and shipper interests support the idea of staggering public and highly confidential versions of the parties' pleadings. (CSXT Comments 39, Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 61, NSR Comments 48, Joint Carload Shippers Comments 26.) Coal Shippers/NARUC propose three business days for the staggering of the filings. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 61.) CSXT cautions, however, that the delay in filing the public versions would delay the ability of in-house personnel to begin analyzing the filings and suggests that parties identify the information in filings that can be shared with in-house personnel simultaneously with highly confidential submissions. (CSXT Comments 39.) CSXT argues that any delay in providing evidence to parties' in-house experts and personnel may require extending a case's procedural schedule. (CSXT Comments 40.) NSR notes that this proposal likely would do more to ensure proper redactions than to expedite rate cases. (NSR Comments 48.)

    CSXT also recommends that the Board create a standard rule for identifying highly confidential and confidential materials in parties' pleadings. (CSXT Comments 40.) CSXT asserts that it and other parties have used the convention of double braces for highly confidential material (e.g., {{highly confidential}}) and single braces for confidential material (e.g., {confidential}), but others have designated material in a more haphazard way, which makes it difficult to identify materials that can be shared with in-house personnel. (CSXT Comments 40.)

    The Board acknowledges CSXT's concern that delaying the submission of public filings delays the ability of in-house personnel to review and respond to the filings. However, the Board believes the appropriate remedy is to set a delay of three business days, as suggested by Coal Shippers/NARUC, rather than have parties identify the information in filings that can be shared with in-house personnel simultaneously with the highly confidential submission. The Board believes that the evolution of rate case practice makes this change appropriate now, even though the Board rejected such a proposal in Procedures to Expedite, EP 638 (STB served June 6, 2003), reconsideration denied (STB served July 31, 2003). When the Board held in Procedures to Expedite that parties must file a public version of their submissions simultaneously with any highly confidential or confidential version they might also choose to file, the Board suggested that parties “should propose procedural schedules that allow the time they will need to comply with the redaction requirements by the due dates for their filings with the Board.” Procedures to Expedite, EP 638, slip op. at 5. Over a decade of rate case experience has demonstrated that this is not a practicable solution, and the Board is persuaded that staggered filings are appropriate. Therefore, as discussed below, the Board proposes allowing parties to submit public versions of their filings three business days after the submission of the highly confidential versions in all rate case proceedings.

    The Board also agrees with CSXT's comment that standardizing the identification of public, confidential, and highly confidential material will reduce confusion. Therefore, in Section II, the Board proposes creating standard identifying markers that would be applied in all rate case proceedings. The Board also proposes standard markers for sensitive security information.7

    7 Protective orders in SAC cases generally distinguish between “confidential,” “highly confidential,” and “sensitive security information.”

    b. Limits on final briefs. Coal Shippers/NARUC comment that, generally, limiting final briefs to specific issues of concern to the Board is a good way to make the briefs more useful to the Board and perhaps reduce the costs that the parties otherwise would incur in presenting a brief that addresses a much wider swath of case issues. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 60-61.) Joint Carload Shippers support limiting the final briefs to specific subjects identified by the Board based upon its review of the evidence, or, as an alternative, staggering the briefing schedule, to allow the complainant, which has the burden of proof, the opportunity to respond to the defendant's surrebuttal arguments. (Joint Carload Shippers Comments 25.) NSR comments that while final briefs could be limited to subjects on which the Board would like further information, the Board would benefit from building in some flexibility for the parties to highlight issues they believe are important. (NSR Comments 47.)

    The Board believes that selection of the topics for final briefs could be beneficial, however, it would require a Board decision following the close of evidence. The Board is concerned that this additional step would curtail the already shortened period available to the Board for issuing a decision on the merits in SAC cases. More importantly, the Board believes that the better approach for encouraging parties to focus on the most important issues in SAC and Simplified-SAC cases is to limit the length of final briefs. The Board has on occasion, in individual cases, imposed page limits on final briefs. See, e.g., Consumers Energy Co. v. CSX Transp., Inc., NOR 42142, slip op. at 1 (STB served June 3, 2016); Total Petrochems. & Ref. USA, Inc. v. CSX Transp., Inc., NOR 42121, slip op. at 4 (STB served Sept. 26, 2013). Based on the Board's prior experience, the Board proposes to limit final briefs to 30 pages, inclusive of exhibits, in all SAC and Simplified-SAC cases. The Board believes that this is sufficient space for the parties to articulate their final concerns, but limited enough to prevent further argument on all issues and surrebuttal.

    Interaction with Board Staff. The Board sought comment on the increased use of written questions and technical conferences in SAC cases, starting with an early technical conference to establish ground rules and issue-specific Board expectations. ANPRM, slip op. at 7. The Board also suggested that it could provide advance notice of the topics to be discussed in a technical conference to promote an efficient and productive conference. ANPRM, slip op. at 7. Finally, the Board suggested that it could appoint a liaison to the parties to answer questions about the process and to intervene informally (e.g., hold status conferences) if it would help discovery or other matters move more smoothly. ANPRM, slip op. at 7.

    Several railroads and shipper interests supported the idea of increased staff involvement. (AAR Comments 8; CSXT Comments 40-41; NSR Comments 12; Joint Carload Shippers Comments 26-28.) Coal Shippers/NARUC agree that increased staff involvement, as outlined by the Board in the ANPRM, would be very useful to the parties and should help advance the submission, and decision, of rate cases in an expeditious manner. (Coal Shippers/NARUC Comments 62.) Joint Carload Shippers argue that greater interaction through technical conferences and written interrogatories could have several benefits associated with many of the other subjects in the ANPRM. 8 CSXT supports the idea of a liaison to the parties as a way to resolve disputes short of formal motions to compel. (CSXT Comments 40-41.)

    8 For example, Joint Carload Shippers note that a pre-trial conference with Board staff would serve many of the same functions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16, and it supports greater use of technical conferences during Board review of the parties' evidence. (Joint Carload Shippers Comments 26-28.)

    The Board is convinced that increased staff involvement at all stages of a rate case, both through technical conferences/written questions and a Board-appointed liaison to the parties, would reduce the number of disputes between the parties and thus expedite the rate case process.9 Thus, the Board proposes to appoint a liaison to the parties within 10 business days of the submission of the pre-filing notice in SAC cases, and within 10 business days of the filing of the complaint in Simplified-SAC and Three-Benchmark cases. The liaison would not be recused from handling substantive elements of the case. In addition, the Board intends to make greater use of written questions from staff and technical conferences with the parties at every stage of the case. When a technical conference is requested by a party or parties or convened by the Board, the Board intends to provide advance notice of the topics to be discussed to promote an efficient and productive conference. The Board believes that increased communication between the parties and the Board would expedite rate cases by reducing the number of disputes between the parties and thus the number of issues that must be decided by the Board.

    9 In the ANPRM, the Board sought comment on the increased use of written questions and technical conferences in SAC cases in particular; however, the Board believes that increased staff involvement would help to improve and expedite rate cases under other methodologies as well.

    II. The Proposed Rules

    The proposed rules contain changes to the Board's regulations at 49 CFR parts 1104, 1109, 1111, 1114, and 1130, which are set out below. In proposing these changes, the Board has considered the suggestions from commenters on the ANPRM, incorporated those suggestions where appropriate, and modified them where necessary to propose changes to the regulations that the Board believes would best help to improve and expedite the rate case process.

    Pre-Complaint Period. The proposed rules include changes creating and detailing a pre-complaint period in SAC cases intended to provide parties with an opportunity to mediate the dispute and prepare for litigation.

    1. Pre-filing Notice. First, the Board proposes to create a pre-complaint period at newly redesignated 49 CFR 1111.1 by requiring a SAC complainant to submit a pre-filing notice at least 70 days prior to filing its complaint. The Board proposes that the pre-filing notice contain the rate and origin/destination pair(s) to be challenged, the commodities at issue, and a motion for protective order pursuant to 49 CFR 1104.14(c). This requirement would accomplish several goals. It would put the defendant on notice of the impending complaint such that it can begin to prepare for discovery and litigation. In addition, the early submission of a motion for protective order would allow a protective order to be in place at the outset of a case, thus expediting discovery production and disclosures. Finally, it would allow the parties to engage in mediation pre-complaint, as described below.

    2. Mandatory Mediation. Second, the Board proposes to revise 49 CFR 1109.4 to move mandatory mediation in SAC cases to the pre-complaint period. This change to the regulations would not impose new requirements, but would require mediation to take place earlier to allow parties to focus on the mediation process without the distractions of litigation. The Board intends for mediation to be complete prior to the filing of the complaint; however, consistent with current procedures, the rules will allow for an extension of time via Board order.

    3. Appointment of a Board Liaison to the Parties. Third, under 49 CFR 1111.1, the Board proposes in SAC cases to appoint a liaison to the parties within 10 business days of the complainant's submission of the pre-filing notice. The Board proposes to amend the newly redesignated 49 CFR 1111.10(a) to appoint a liaison within 10 business days of the filing of the complaint in cases using simplified standards. With this addition to the regulations, the Board intends to improve communication between the parties and the Board by providing the parties with a point of contact to whom they can address questions or disputes.

    Discovery. The proposed rules include changes to the Board's discovery regulations intended to streamline discovery in rate cases.

    1. Initial Discovery Requests. First, the Board proposes to add 49 CFR 1111.2(f) and amend 49 CFR 1114.21(d) & (f) to require a complainant in a SAC proceeding to certify that it has served its initial discovery requests simultaneously with its complaint. The Board also proposes to add 49 CFR 1111.5(f) and amend 49 CFR 1114.21(d) & (f) to require a defendant in a SAC proceeding to certify that it has served its initial discovery requests simultaneously with its answer. To address the filing of an amended or supplemental complaint, the Board proposes to amend the newly redesignated 49 CFR 1111.3(b) to require the complainant to certify that it has served on the defendant any initial discovery requests affected by the amended or supplemental complaint, if any. The Board proposes a corresponding requirement at 49 CFR 1111.5(f), in which a defendant responding to an amended or supplemental complaint must certify that it has served on the complainant any discovery requests affected by the amended or supplemental complaint, if any. With these changes, the Board intends to expedite discovery, and thus the rate case, by beginning discovery with the complaint. These changes would eliminate the current potential gap between the filing of the complaint and the beginning of discovery.

    2. Meet and Confer Requirement. Second, the Board proposes to amend 49 CFR 1114.31(a) to include a certification that the party filing a motion to compel has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the party serving discovery to settle the dispute over those terms without Board intervention. The requirement would apply in SAC cases and cases filed under simplified standards. The Board believes that this requirement will encourage parties to resolve disputes without involving the Board, thereby expediting litigation of a rate case by reducing the number of necessary Board decisions.

    Evidentiary Submissions. The proposed rules include changes to the Board's evidentiary regulations intended to improve and expedite the presentation of evidence in rate cases.

    1. Stagger the Submission of Public and Highly Confidential Versions of Filings. First, in both SAC and simplified standards cases, the Board proposes to allow parties to submit highly confidential versions of the filings according to the procedural schedule in a particular case, and submit public versions of those filings within three business days after the filing of the highly confidential versions. With this change the Board intends to allow parties a reasonable amount of time to ensure confidentiality after submitting the highly confidential version of each filing.10

    10 In the Board's experience, parties to rate cases typically do not submit confidential versions of their filings in addition to the highly confidential and public versions. It is the Board's understanding that parties would continue to do so, and properly identify all confidential, highly confidential, and sensitive security information in the first filing according to the convention described below.

    2. Standard Convention for Identifying Confidential, Highly Confidential, and Sensitive Security Information. Second, the Board proposes to revise 49 CFR 1104.14 to create standard identifying markers set forth in protective orders for the submission of confidential, highly confidential, and sensitive security information in rate cases. The Board proposes that all confidential information be contained in single braces, i.e., {X}, all highly confidential information be contained in double braces, i.e., {{Y}}, and all sensitive security information to be contained in triple braces, i.e., {{{Z}}}. This change would eliminate any confusion caused by parties using different methods of identification and would apply in both SAC and simplified standards cases.

    3. Limits on Final Briefs. Third, the Board proposes to limit the length of final briefs to 30 pages, inclusive of exhibits. With this change the Board intends to have the parties focus on the most important issues, and eliminate additional time otherwise used by the Board selecting certain issues or issuing decisions to limit the length of final briefs.

    Technical Modifications. In addition, the Board proposes two modifications in the existing regulations. Specifically, the Board proposes to amend the newly redesignated 49 CFR 1111.11(b) to apply the requirement that the parties confer to SAC complaints in addition to simplified standards complaints. The Board also proposes to amend 49 CFR 1130.1 to include the correct reference to the newly redesignated 49 CFR 1111.2(a).

    The Board seeks comments from all interested persons on these proposed rules. Importantly, the Board encourages interested persons to propose and discuss potential modifications or alternatives to the proposed rule. The Board will consider all recommended proposals in an effort to establish the most useful changes to improve and expedite the rate review process.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, generally requires a description and analysis of new rules that would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In drafting a rule, an agency is required to: (1) Assess the effect that its regulation will have on small entities; (2) analyze effective alternatives that may minimize a regulation's impact; and (3) make the analysis available for public comment. Sections 601-604. In its notice of proposed rulemaking, the agency must either include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, section 603(a), or certify that the proposed rule would not have a “significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.” Section 605(b). The impact must be a direct impact on small entities “whose conduct is circumscribed or mandated” by the proposed rule. White Eagle Coop. v. Conner, 553 F.3d 467, 480 (7th Cir. 2009).

    The Board's proposed changes to its regulations here are intended to improve and expedite its rate case procedures and do not mandate or circumscribe the conduct of small entities. Effective June 30, 2016, for the purpose of RFA analysis for rail carriers subject to our jurisdiction, the Board defines a “small business” as only including those rail carriers classified as Class III rail carriers under 49 CFR 1201.1-1. See Small Entity Size Standards Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, EP 719 (STB served June 30, 2016) (with Board Member Begeman dissenting).11 The changes proposed here are largely procedural or codify existing practice, and would not have a significant economic impact on small entities. Furthermore, since the inception of the Board in 1996, only three of the 51 cases filed challenging the reasonableness of freight rail rates have involved a Class III rail carrier as a defendant. Those three cases involved a total of 13 Class III rail carriers. The Board estimates that there are approximately 656 Class III rail carriers. Therefore, the Board certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that these proposed rules, if promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the RFA. The proposed rules, if promulgated, would amend the existing procedures for filing and litigating a rate case, as directed by Section 11 of the STB Reauthorization Act.

    11 Class III carriers have annual operating revenues of $20 million or less in 1991 dollars, or $36,633,120 or less when adjusted for inflation using 2015 data. Class II rail carriers have annual operating revenues of less than $250 million but in excess of $20 million in 1991 dollars, or $457,913,998 and $36,633,120 respectively, when adjusted for inflation using 2015 data. The Board calculates the revenue deflator factor annually and publishes the railroad revenue thresholds on its Web site. 49 CFR 1201.1-1.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501-3549, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(3), the Board seeks comments about each of the proposed collections regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information, as modified in the proposed rule and further described below, is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate. The Board estimates these new requirements would add a total annual hour burden of eight hours and no total annual “non-hour burden” cost under the PRA. Information pertinent to these issues is included in the Appendix. This proposed rule will be submitted to OMB for review as required under 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) and 5 CFR 1320.11. Comments received by the Board regarding the information collection will also be forwarded to OMB for its review when the final rule is published.

    It is ordered:

    1. Comments are due by May 15, 2017. Reply comments are due by June 14, 2017.

    2. A copy of this decision will be served upon the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration.

    3. Notice of this decision will be published in the Federal Register.

    4. This decision is effective on its service date.

    List of Subjects 49 CFR Part 1104

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    49 CFR Part 1109

    Administrative practice and procedure, Maritime carriers, Motor carriers, Railroads.

    49 CFR Part 1111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Investigations.

    49 CFR Part 1114

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    49 CFR Part 1130

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    Decided: March 30, 2017.

    By the Board, Board Members Begeman, Elliott, and Miller.

    Raina S. Contee, Clearance Clerk.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Surface Transportation Board proposes to amend title 49, chapter X, parts 1104, 1109, 1111, 1114, and 1130 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 1104—FILING WITH THE BOARD-COPIES-VERIFICATION-SERVICE-PLEADINGS, GENERALLY 1. The authority citation for part 1104 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    5.U.S.C. 553 and 559; 18 U.S.C. 1621; and 49 U.S.C. 1321.

    2. In § 1104.14, add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 1104.14 Protective orders to maintain confidentiality.

    (c) Requests for protective orders in stand-alone cost and simplified standards cases. A motion for protective order in stand-alone cost and simplified standards cases shall specify that evidentiary submissions will designate confidential material within single braces (i.e., {X}), highly confidential material within double braces (i.e., {{Y}}), and sensitive security information within triple braces (i.e., {{{Z}}}). In stand-alone cost cases, the motion for protective order shall be filed together with the notice pursuant to 49 CFR 1111.1.

    PART 1109—USE OF MEDIATION IN BOARD PROCEEDINGS 3. The authority citation for part 1109 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 1321(a) and 5 U.S.C. 571 et seq.

    4. In § 1109.4, revise paragraphs (a), (b), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 1109.4 Mandatory mediation in rate cases to be considered under the stand-alone cost methodology.

    (a) Mandatory use of mediation. A shipper seeking rate relief from a railroad or railroads in a case involving the stand-alone cost methodology must engage in non-binding mediation of its dispute with the railroad upon submitting a pre-filing notice under 49 CFR part 1111.

    (b) Assignment of mediators. Within 10 business days after the shipper submits its pre-filing notice, the Board will assign one or more mediators to the case. Within 5 business days of the assignment to mediate, the mediator(s) shall contact the parties to discuss ground rules and the time and location of any meeting.

    (g) Procedural schedule. Absent a specific order from the Board granting an extension, the mediation will not affect the procedural schedule in stand-alone cost rate cases set forth at 49 CFR 1111.9(a).

    PART 1111—COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES 5. The authority citation for part 1111 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 10704, 11701, and 1321.

    §§ 1111.1 through 1111.10 [Redesignated as §§ 1111.2 through 1111.11]
    6. Redesignate §§ 1111.1 through 1111.10 as §§ 1111.2 through 1111.11, respectively.: 7. Add new § 1111.1 to read as follows:
    § 1111.1 Pre-filing procedures in stand-alone cost cases.

    (a) General. At least 70 days prior to the proposed filing of a complaint challenging the reasonableness of a rail rate to be examined under constrained market pricing, complainant shall file a notice with the Board. The notice shall:

    (i) Identify the rate to be challenged;

    (ii) Identify the origin/destination pair(s) to be challenged;

    (iii) Identify the affected commodities; and

    (iv) Include a motion for protective order as set forth at 49 CFR 1104.14(c).

    (b) Liaison. Within 10 days of the filing of the pre-filing notice, the Board shall appoint a liaison to the parties.

    8. Add paragraph (f) to newly redesignated 1111.2 to read as follows:
    § 1111.2 Content of formal complaints; joinder.

    (f) Discovery in stand-alone cost cases. Upon filing its complaint, the complainant shall certify that it has served its initial discovery requests on the defendant.

    9. Revise newly redesignated § 1111.3 to read as follows:
    § 1111.3 Amended and supplemental complaints.

    (a) Generally. An amended or supplemental complaint may be tendered for filing by a complainant against a defendant or defendants named in the original complaint, stating a cause of action alleged to have accrued within the statutory period immediately preceding the date of such tender, in favor of complainant and against the defendant or defendants. The time limits for responding to an amended or supplemental complaint are computed pursuant to §§ 1111.5 and 1111.6 of this part, as if the amended or supplemental complaint was an original complaint.

    (b) Stand-alone cost. If a complainant tenders an amended or supplemental complaint in a stand-alone cost case, the complainant shall certify that it has served on the defendant those initial discovery requests affected by the amended or supplemental complaint, if any.

    (c) Simplified standards. A complaint filed under the simplified standards may be amended once before the filing of opening evidence to opt for a different rate reasonableness methodology, among Three-Benchmark, Simplified-SAC, or Full-SAC. If so amended, the procedural schedule begins again under the new methodology as set forth at §§ 1111.9 and 1111.10. However, only one mediation period per complaint shall be required.

    10. Add paragraph (f) to newly redesignated 1111.5 to read as follows:
    § 1111.5 Answers and cross complaints.

    (f) Discovery in stand-alone cost cases. Upon filing its answer, the defendant shall certify that it has served its initial discovery requests on the complainant. If the complainant tenders an amended or supplemental complaint to which the defendant must reply, upon filing the answer to the amended or supplemental complaint, the defendant shall certify that it has served on the complainant those initial discovery requests affected by the amended or supplemental complaint, if any.

    11. Revise newly redesignated § 1111.10(a) to read as follows:
    § 1111.10 Procedural schedule in cases using simplified standards.

    (a) * * *

    (1) In cases relying upon the Simplified-SAC methodology:

    In addition, the Board will appoint a liaison within 10 business days of the filing of the complaint.

    (2) In cases relying upon the Three-Benchmark methodology:

    In addition, the Board will appoint a liaison within 10 business days of the filing of the complaint.

    (b) Staggered filings; final briefs. (1) The parties may submit highly confidential versions of filings on the dates identified in the procedural schedule, and submit public versions of those filings within three business days thereafter.

    (2) In cases relying upon the Simplified-SAC methodology, final briefs are limited to 30 pages, inclusive of exhibits.

    12. Amend § 1111.9 as follows: a. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (a). b. Further redesignate the newly redesignated paragraph (b) as paragraph (c), and revise newly redesignated paragraph (c). c. Add new paragraph (b).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 1111.9 Procedural schedule in stand-alone cost cases.

    (a) Procedural schedule. Absent a specific order by the Board, the following general procedural schedule will apply in stand-alone cost cases after the pre-complaint period initiated by the pre-filing notice:

    Day 0—Complaint filed, discovery period begins.

    Day 7 or before—Conference of the parties convened pursuant to § 1111.11(b).

    Day 20—Defendant's answer to complaint due.

    (b) Staggered filings; final briefs. (1) The parties may submit highly confidential versions of filings on the dates identified in the procedural schedule, and submit public versions of those filings within three business days thereafter.

    (2) Final briefs are limited to 30 pages, inclusive of exhibits.

    13. Amend § 1111.10 as follows: a. Further redesignate the newly redesignated paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) as (c), (d) and (e) respectively. b. Add new paragraph (b) to read as follows:

    (b) Staggered filings; final briefs. (1) The parties may submit highly confidential versions of filings on the dates identified in the procedural schedule, and submit public versions of those filings within three business days thereafter.

    (2) In cases relying upon the Simplified-SAC methodology, final briefs are limited to 30 pages, inclusive of exhibits.

    14. Revise newly redesignated § 1111.11(b) to read as follows:
    § 1111.11 Meeting to discuss procedural matters.

    (b) Stand-alone cost or simplified standards complaints. In complaints challenging the reasonableness of a rail rate based on stand-alone cost or the simplified standards, the parties shall meet, or discuss by telephone or through email, discovery and procedural matters within 7 days after the complaint is filed in stand-alone cost cases, and 7 days after the mediation period ends in simplified standards cases. The parties should inform the Board as soon as possible thereafter whether there are unresolved disputes that require Board intervention and, if so, the nature of such disputes.

    PART 1114—EVIDENCE; DISCOVERY 15. The authority citation for part 1114 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 559; 49 U.S.C. 1321.

    16. Amend § 1114.21 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (d). b. Revise the first sentence of paragraph (f).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 1114.21 Applicability; general provisions.

    (d) Sequence and timing of discovery. Unless the Board upon motion, and subject to the requirements at 49 CFR 1111.2(f) and 1111.5(f) in stand-alone cost cases, for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice, orders otherwise, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, should not operate to delay any party's discovery.

    (f) Service of discovery materials. Unless otherwise ordered by the Board, and subject to the requirements at 49 CFR 1111.2(f) and 1111.5(f) in stand-alone cost cases, depositions, interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admissions, and answers and responses thereto, shall be served on other counsel and parties, but shall not be filed with the Board. * * *

    17. In § 1114.31(a) revise paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 1114.31 Failure to respond to discovery.

    (a) Failure to answer. If a deponent fails to answer or gives an evasive answer or incomplete answer to a question propounded under § 1114.24(a), or a party fails to answer or gives evasive or incomplete answers to written interrogatories served pursuant to § 1114.26(a), the party seeking discovery may apply for an order compelling an answer by motion filed with the Board and served on all parties and deponents. Such motion to compel an answer must be filed with the Board and served on all parties and deponents. In stand-alone cost and simplified standards cases, such motion to compel an answer must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to answer discovery to obtain it without Board intervention. Such motion to compel an answer must be filed with the Board within 10 days after the failure to obtain a responsive answer upon deposition, or within 10 days after expiration of the period allowed for submission of answers to interrogatories. On matters relating to a deposition on oral examination, the proponent of the question may complete or adjourn the examination before he applies for an order.

    PART 1130—INFORMAL COMPLAINTS 18. The authority citation for Part 1130 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 1321, 13301(f), 14709.

    19. In § 1130.1, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1130.1 When no damages sought.

    (a) Form and content; copies. Informal complaint may be by letter or other writing and will be serially numbered and filed. The complaint must contain the essential elements of a formal complaint as specified at 49 CFR 1111.2 and may embrace supporting papers. The original and one copy must be filed with the Board.

    Note:

    The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Appendix Information Collection

    Title: Complaints under 49 CFR 1111.

    OMB Control Number: 2140-0029.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.12

    12 The Surface Transportation Board filed a 60-day notice of intent to seek extension of approval on November 29, 2016. See 81 FR 86,061.

    Summary: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the revision of the currently approved information collection, Complaints under 49 CFR part 1111, OMB Control No. 2140-0029, as further described below. The requested revision to the currently approved collection is necessitated by this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which amends certain information collected by the Board in stand-alone cost (SAC) rate cases. All other information collected by the Board in the currently approved collection is without change from its approval.

    Respondents: Affected shippers, railroads, and communities that seek redress for alleged violations related to unreasonable rates, unreasonable practices, service issues, and other statutory claims.

    Number of Respondents: Four.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion. In recent years, respondents have filed approximately four complaints of this type per year with the Board.

    Total Burden Hours (annually including all respondents): 1,876 (estimated hours per complaint (469) × total number of complaints (4)).

    Total Annual “Non-Hour Burden” Cost: $5,848 (estimated non-hour burden cost per complaint ($1,462) × total number of complaints (4)).

    Needs and Uses: Under the Board's regulations, persons may file complaints before the Board pursuant to 49 CFR part 1111 seeking redress for alleged violations of provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act, Public Law 104-88, 109 Stat. 803 (1995). In the last few years, the most significant complaints filed at the Board allege that railroads are charging unreasonable rates or that they are engaging in unreasonable practices. See, e.g., 49 U.S.C. 10701, 10704, and 11701. The collection by the Board of these complaints, and the agency's action in conducting proceedings and ruling on the complaints, enables the Board to meet its statutory duty to regulate the rail industry.

    [FR Doc. 2017-06718 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0017; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB45 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Yellow Lance AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list a mussel species, the yellow lance (Elliptio lanceolata), as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the yellow lance is warranted, and accordingly we propose to list the yellow lance as a threatened species under the Act. The yellow lance is a freshwater mussel native to Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. If we finalize this rule as proposed, the final rule would add the yellow lance to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to this species.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before June 5, 2017. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by May 22, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal:

    http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R4-ES-2017-0017, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check the Proposed Rules box to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2017-0017, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pete Benjamin, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office, 551F Pylon Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; telephone 919-856-4520; or facsimile 919-856-4556. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting Documents

    A species status assessment (SSA) team prepared an SSA report for the yellow lance. The SSA team was composed of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, in consultation with other species experts. The SSA report represents a compilation of the best scientific and commercial data available concerning the status of the species, including the impacts of past, present, and future factors (both negative and beneficial) affecting the yellow lance. The SSA report underwent independent peer review by scientists with expertise in mussel biology, habitat management, and stressors (factors negatively affecting the species) to the species. The SSA report and other materials relating to this proposal can be found on the Southeast Region Web site at https://www.fws.gov/southeast/ and at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0017.

    Information Requested Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) The species' biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of this species, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns;

    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends; and

    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for this species, its habitat, or both.

    (2) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, which may include habitat modification or destruction, overutilization, disease, predation, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, or other natural or manmade factors.

    (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and existing regulations that may be addressing those threats.

    (4) Additional information concerning the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of this species, including the locations of any additional populations of the species.

    (5) Information on activities which might warrant being exempted under section 4(d) of the ESA. The Service is considering proposing such measures before the final listing determination is published, and will evaluate ideas provided by the public in considering whether such exemptions are necessary and advisable for the conservation of the species.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for, or opposition to, the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or a threatened species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received by the dates specified above in DATES. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing.

    Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994, (59 FR 34270) and our August 22, 2016, memorandum updating and clarifying the role of peer review of listing actions under the Act, we sought the expert opinions of 13 appropriate specialists regarding the SSA report for the yellow lance, which informed this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our listing determination is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. The peer reviewers have expertise in mussel biology, habitat, and stressors (factors negatively affecting the species) to the species. We invite any additional comment from the peer reviewers during this public comment period.

    Previous Federal Actions

    We identified the yellow lance as a Category 2 candidate species in our November 21, 1991, Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species (56 FR 58804). Category 2 candidates were defined as taxa for which we had information that listing was possibly appropriate, but conclusive data on biological vulnerability and threats were not available to support a proposed rule at that time. The species remained a Category 2 candidate in a subsequent Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR) (59 FR 58982; November 15, 1994). In the February 28, 1996, CNOR (61 FR 7596), we discontinued the designation of species as Category 2 candidates; therefore, the yellow lance was no longer a candidate species.

    On April 20, 2010, we were petitioned to list 404 aquatic species, including yellow lance, in the southeastern United States. In response to the petition, we completed a partial 90-day finding on September 27, 2011 (76 FR 59836), in which we announced our finding that the petition contained substantial information that listing may be warranted for the yellow lance. On April 15, 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a complaint against the Service (1:15-CV-00229-EGS) for failure to complete a 12-month finding for the yellow lance in accordance with statutory deadlines. On September 9, 2015 the Service and the CBD filed stipulated settlements in the District of Columbia, agreeing that the Service would submit to the Federal Register a 12-month finding for the yellow lance no later than March 31, 2017 (Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, case 1:14-CV-01021-EGS/JMF). We conducted a status review for the species, and this proposed listing rule constitutes our 12-month petition finding for the yellow lance. We intend to publish a proposal to designate critical habitat for the yellow lance under the Act in the near future.

    Background

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the yellow lance is presented in the Species Status Assessment Report for the yellow lance (Elliptio lanceolata) Version 1.2 (Service, 2017). The yellow lance is a freshwater mussel found in eight drainages from the upper Chesapeake River Basin in Maryland to the Neuse River Basin in North Carolina. The yellow lance was described in Bogan et al. (2009, p. 9) from seven river basins, from the Patuxent River Basin, the lower Chesapeake Bay basins (Rappahannock, York, James), the Chowan River Basin, and the Tar and Neuse River basins in North Carolina. There are also historical occurrences of the species recorded in the Potomac River Basin, although the accuracy of one of these records is unclear (Villela 2006, p. 11).

    The yellow lance is a bright yellow, elongate mussel with a shell over twice as long as tall, usually no more than 86 millimeters (mm) (3.4 inches (in)) in length. They are omnivores that primarily filter feed on a wide variety of microscopic particulate matter suspended in the water column, including phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacteria, detritus, and dissolved organic matter (Haag 2012, p. 26). Juveniles likely pedal feed in the sediment, whereas adults filter feed from the water column. Like most freshwater mussels, they have a unique life cycle that relies on fish hosts for successful reproduction. Following release from the female mussel, floating glochidia (larvae) attach to the gills and scales of host minnows.

    The yellow lance is a sand-loving species (Alderman 2003, p. 6) often found buried deep in clean, coarse to medium sand and sometimes migrating with shifting sands (NatureServe 2015, p. 6), although it has also been found in gravel substrates. The species is dependent on clean (i.e., not polluted), moderate flowing water with high dissolved oxygen content in riverine or larger creek environments. Most freshwater mussels, including the yellow lance, are found in aggregations (mussel beds) that vary in size and are often separated by stream reaches in which mussels are absent or rare (Vaughn 2012, p. 983). Genetic exchange occurs between and among mussel beds via sperm drift, host fish movement, and movement of mussels during high flow events.

    Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    The Act directs us to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any factors affecting its continued existence. The SSA report documents the results of our comprehensive biological status review for the yellow lance, including an assessment of the potential stressors to the species. The SSA report does not represent a decision by the Service on whether the yellow lance should be proposed for listing as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. The SSA report, however, provides the scientific basis that informs our regulatory decision, which involves the further application of standards within the Act and its implementing regulations and policies. The following is a summary of the key results and conclusions from the SSA report; the full SSA report can be found on the Southeast Region Web site at https://www.fws.gov/southeast/ and at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0017.

    Summary of Analysis

    To assess yellow lance viability, we used the three conservation biology principles of resiliency, representation, and redundancy (Shaffer and Stein 2000, pp. 306-310). Briefly, resiliency supports the ability of the species to withstand environmental and demographic stochasticity (for example, wet or dry, warm or cold years); representation supports the ability of the species to adapt over time to long-term changes in the environment (for example, climate changes); and redundancy supports the ability of the species to withstand catastrophic events (for example, droughts, hurricanes). In general, the more redundant and resilient a species is and the more representation it has, the more likely it is to sustain populations over time, even under changing environmental conditions. Using these principles, we identified the species' ecological requirements for survival and reproduction at the individual, population, and species levels, and described the beneficial and risk factors influencing the species' viability.

    The SSA process can be categorized into three sequential stages. During the first stage, we used the conservation biology principles of resiliency, redundancy, and representation (together, the 3Rs) to evaluate the yellow lance's life-history needs. The next stage involved an assessment of the historical and current condition of the species' demographics and habitat characteristics, including an explanation of how the yellow lance arrived at its current condition. The final stage of the SSA involved making predictions about the species' response to positive and negative environmental and anthropogenic influences. This process used the best available information to characterize viability as the ability of the yellow lance to sustain populations in the wild over time. We utilize this information to inform our regulatory decision in this 12-month finding and proposed rule.

    To evaluate the current and future viability of the yellow lance, we assessed a range of conditions to allow us to consider the species' resiliency, representation, and redundancy. For the purposes of this assessment, populations were delineated using the eight river basins that yellow lance mussels have historically occupied (i.e., Patuxent, Potomac, Rappahannock, York, James, Chowan, Tar, and Neuse River basins). Because the river basin level is at a very coarse scale, populations were further delineated using management units (MUs). MUs were defined as one or more HUC10 (hydrologic unit code) watersheds that species experts identified as most appropriate for assessing population-level resiliency.

    To assess resiliency, we analyzed occurrence, recruitment, and abundance data (“population factors”) as well as four habitat elements that influence the species: Water quality, water quantity, substrate, and habitat connectivity (“habitat elements”). We then assessed the overall condition of each population. Overall population condition rankings were determined by combining the three population factors and four habitat elements. For a more detailed explanation of the condition categories, see Table 1, below.

    Representation for the yellow lance can be described in terms of river basin variability (known from eight historical river basins), physiographic variability (Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain), and latitudinal variability (Maryland south to North Carolina). High redundancy for yellow lance is defined as multiple resilient populations (inclusive of multiple, resilient MUs) distributed throughout the species' historical range. That is, highly resilient populations, coupled with a relatively broad distribution, have a positive relationship to species-level redundancy.

    BILLING CODE 4333-15-P EP05AP17.001 BILLING CODE 4333-15-C Current Condition of Yellow Lance

    The historical range of the yellow lance included streams and rivers in the Atlantic Slope drainages from the Patuxent River Basin south to the Neuse River Basin, with the documented historical distribution in 12 MUs within eight former populations. The yellow lance is presumed extirpated from 25 percent (3/12) of the historically occupied MUs. Of the remaining nine occupied MUs, 17 percent are estimated to have high resiliency, 8 percent moderate resiliency, and 67 percent low resiliency. At the population level, the overall condition of one of the eight populations (the Tar population) is estimated to have moderate resiliency, while the remaining six extant populations (Patuxent, Rappahannock, York, James, Chowan, and Neuse populations) are characterized by low resiliency. The Potomac population is presumed to be extirpated. An assessment of the habitat elements finds that 86 percent of streams that remain part of the current species' range are estimated to be in low or very low condition.

    Once known to occupy streams in three physiographic regions (Mountain, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain), the species has lost occurrences in each physiographic region compared with historical occurrences, although it is still represented by at least one population in each region. We estimated that the yellow lance currently has reduced adaptive potential relative to historical potential due to decreased representation in seven river basins and three physiographic regions. The species retains most of its known river basin variability, but its distribution has been greatly reduced in the Rappahannock, York, Chowan, and Neuse River populations. In addition, compared to historical distribution, the species has declined by 70 percent in the Coastal Plain region and by approximately 50 percent in both the Piedmont and the Mountain regions. Latitudinal variability is also reduced, as much of the species' current distribution has contracted and is largely limited to the southern portions of its historical range, primarily in the Tar River Basin.

    While the overall range of the yellow lance has not changed significantly, the remaining occupied portions of the range have become constricted within each basin and the species is largely limited to the southern portions of its historical range. One population (the Tar population, the southernmost population) was estimated to be moderately resilient, but all other extant populations exhibit low resiliency. Redundancy was estimated as the number of historically occupied MUs that remain currently occupied. The species retains redundancy (albeit in low condition) within the Rappahannock, Chowan, and Neuse River populations, and one population (Tar) has multiple moderate or highly resilient management units. Overall, the species has decreased redundancy across its range due to an estimated 57 percent reduction in occupancy compared to historical levels.

    Risk Factors for the Yellow Lance

    Aquatic systems face a multitude of natural and anthropogenic factors that may impact the status of species within those systems (Neves et al., 1997, p. 44). Generally, these factors can be categorized as either environmental stressors (e.g., development, agriculture practices, or forest management) or systematic changes (e.g., climate change, invasive species, dams or other barriers). The largest threats to the future viability of the yellow lance relate to habitat degradation from stressors influencing water quality, water quantity, instream habitat, and habitat connectivity. All of these factors are exacerbated by the effects of climate change. A brief summary of these primary stressors is presented below; for a full description of these stressors, refer to chapter 4 of the SSA report for the yellow lance.

    Environmental Stressors

    Development: Development refers to urbanization of the landscape, including (but not limited to) land conversion for urban and commercial use, infrastructure (roads, bridges, utilities), and urban water uses (water supply reservoirs, wastewater treatment, etc.). The effects of urbanization may include alterations to water quality, water quantity, and habitat (both in-stream and stream-side) (Ren et al., 2003, p. 649; Wilson 2015, p. 424). Yellow lance adults require clear, flowing water with a temperature less than 35 degrees Celsius (°C) (95 degrees Fahrenheit (°F)) and a dissolved oxygen greater than 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L). Juveniles require very specific interstitial chemistry to complete that life stage: Low salinity (similar to 0.9 parts per thousand (ppt)), low ammonia (similar to 0.7 mg/L), low levels of copper and other contaminants, and dissolved oxygen greater than 1.3 mg/L.

    Impervious surfaces associated with development negatively affect water quality when pollutants that accumulate on impervious surfaces are washed directly into the streams during storm events. Storm water runoff affects water quality parameters such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and salinity, which in turn alters the water chemistry and could it make it unsuitable for the yellow lance. Concentrations of contaminants, including nitrogen, phosphorus, chloride, insecticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and personal care products, increase with urban development (Giddings et al., 2009, p. 2; Bringolf et al. 2010, p. 1311).

    Urban development can lead to increased variability in streamflow, typically increasing the amount of water entering a stream after a storm and decreasing the time it takes for the water to travel over the land before entering the stream (Giddings et al. 2009, p. 1). Stream habitat is altered either directly via channelization or clearing of riparian areas, or indirectly via high streamflows that reshape the channel and cause sediment erosion (Giddings et al. 2009, p. 2). Impervious surfaces associated with increased development cause rain water to accumulate and flow rapidly into storm drains, thereby becoming superheated, which can stress or kill these mussel species when the superheated water enters streams. Pollutants like gasoline, oil, and fertilizers are also washed directly into streams and can kill mussels and other aquatic organisms. The large volumes and velocity of water combined with the extra debris and sediment entering streams following a storm can stress, displace, or kill the yellow lance, and the host fish species that it depends on.

    A further risk of urbanization is the accompanying road development that often results in improperly constructed culverts at stream crossings. These culverts act as barriers, either as flow through the culvert varies significantly from the rest of the stream, or if the culvert ends up being perched above the stream bed, and host fish (and, therefore, the yellow lance) cannot pass through them. This leads to loss of access to quality habitat, as well as fragmented habitat and a loss of connectivity between populations of the yellow lance. This can limit both genetic exchange and recolonization opportunities.

    All of the river basins within the range of the yellow lance are affected by development, from 7 percent in the Tar River basin to 25 percent in the Patuxent River basin (based on the 2011 National Land Cover Data). The Neuse River basin in North Carolina contains one-sixth of the entire State's population, indicating heavy development pressure on the watershed. The Nottoway MU (in the Chowan population) contains 155 impaired stream miles, 4 major discharges, 32 minor discharges, and over 3,000 road crossings, affecting the quality of the habitat for the yellow lance. The Potomac River basin is currently made up of 12.7 percent impervious surfaces, changing natural streamflow, reducing appropriate stream habitat, and decreasing water quality throughout the population. For complete data on all of the populations, refer to appendix D of the SSA report.

    Agricultural Practices: The main impacts to the yellow lance from agricultural practices are from nutrient pollution and water pumping for irrigation. Fertilizers and animal manure, which are both rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, are the primary sources of nutrient pollution from agricultural sources. Excess nutrients impact water quality when it rains or when water and soil containing nitrogen and phosphorus wash into nearby waters or leach into the water table/ground waters causing algal blooms. These algal blooms can harm freshwater mussels by suffocating host fish and decreasing available oxygen in the water column.

    It is common practice to pump water for irrigation from adjacent streams or rivers into a reservoir pond, or to spray the stream or river water directly onto crops. If the water withdrawal is excessive or done illegally, this may cause impacts to the amount of water available to downstream sensitive areas during low flow months, resulting in dewatering of channels and stranding of mussels, leading to desiccation and death. In the Rappahannock River basin, for example, the upper watershed supports largely agricultural land uses. Sedimentation is a problem in the upper watershed, as stormwater runoff from the major tributaries (Rapidan and Hazel rivers) leaves the Rappahannock River muddy even after minor storm events. According to the 2011 National Land Cover Data, all of the watersheds within the range of the yellow lance are affected by agricultural land uses, most with 20 percent or more of the watershed having been converted for agricultural use.

    Forest Management: Silviculture activities when performed according to strict forest practices guidelines (FPGs) or best management practices (BMPs) can retain adequate conditions for aquatic ecosystems; however, when FPGs/BMPs are not followed, these practices can also contribute to the myriad of stressors facing aquatic systems in the Southeast. Both small- and large-scale forestry activities have been shown to have a significant impact upon the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of adjacent small streams (Allan 1995, p. 107). The clearing of large areas of forested wetlands and riparian systems can eliminate shade provided by these canopies, exposing streams to more sunlight and increasing the in-stream water temperature. The increase in stream temperature and light after deforestation has been found to alter the macroinvertebrate and other aquatic species richness and abundance composition in streams (Couceiro et al. 2007, p. 272; Kishi et al. 2004, p. 283; Caldwell et al. 2014, p. 3). As stated above, the yellow lance is sensitive to changes in temperature, and sustained temperature increases will stress and possibly lead to mortality for the species.

    Further, many forestry activities do not require a permit for wetland or stream fill, as many silviculture activities are exempted from permit requirements (USACE 2016, entire; USEPA 2017, p. 1). Forestry activities often include the construction of logging roads through the riparian zone, and this can directly degrade nearby stream environments (Aust et al. 2011, p. 123). Roads can cause point source pollution and sedimentation, as well as sedimentation traveling downstream into more sensitive habitats. These effects lead to stress and mortality for the yellow lance, as discussed in “Development,” above. While BMPs are widely adhered to, they were not always common practice. The most recent surveys of Southeastern U.S. States show that the average implementation rate is at 92 percent; so while improper implementation is rare, it can have drastic negative effects on sensitive aquatic species like freshwater mussels.

    Systematic Changes

    Climate Change: Aquatic systems are encountering changes and shifts in seasonal patterns of precipitation and runoff as a result of climate change. While mussels have evolved in habitats that experience seasonal fluctuations in discharge, global weather patterns can have an impact on the normal regimes (e.g., El Niño or La Niña). Even during naturally occurring low flow events, mussels become stressed either because they exert significant energy to move to deeper waters or they may succumb to desiccation. Because low flows in late summer and early fall are stress-inducing, droughts during this time of year result in stress and, potentially, an increased rate of mortality. Droughts have impacted all river basins within the range of the yellow lance, from an “abnormally dry” ranking for North Carolina and Virginia in 2001 on the Southeast Drought Monitor scale to the highest ranking of “exceptionally dry” for the entire range of the yellow lance in 2002 and 2007. The 2015 drought data indicated the entire Southeast ranging from “abnormally dry” to “moderate drought” or “severe drought.” These data are from the first week in September, indicating a very sensitive time for drought to be affecting the yellow lance. The Middle Neuse tributaries of the Neuse River basin had consecutive drought years from 2005-2012, indicating sustained stress on the species over a long period of time. Sedentary freshwater mussels have limited refugia from disturbances such as droughts and floods, and they are completely dependent on specific water temperatures to complete their physiological requirements. Changes in water temperature lead to stress, increased mortality, and also increase the likelihood of extinction for the species (Poff et al. 2002, pp. ii-v). Increases in the frequency and strength of storms events alter stream habitat. Stream habitat is altered either directly via channelization or clearing of riparian areas, or indirectly via high streamflows that reshape the channel and cause sediment erosion (Giddings et al. 2009, p. 2). The large volumes and velocity of water, combined with the extra debris and sediment entering streams following a storm, stress, displace, or kill yellow lance and the host fish species on which it depends.

    Invasive Species: There are many areas across the States of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina where aquatic invasive species are invading aquatic communities and altering biodiversity by competing with native species for food, light, or breeding and nesting areas. For example, the Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) alters benthic substrates, competes with native species for limited resources, and causes ammonia spikes in surrounding water when they die off en masse (Scheller 1997, p. 2). Juvenile mussels need low levels of ammonia to survive that life stage, and a multitude of bioassays conducted on 16 mussel species (summarized by Augspurger et al. 2007, pp. 2025-2028) show that freshwater mollusks are more sensitive than previously known to some chemical pollutants, including ammonia. The Asian clam is ubiquitous across the southeastern United States and is present in watersheds across the range of the yellow lance (Foster et al. 2017). The flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) is an apex predator known to feed on almost anything, including other fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, and to impact host fish communities, reducing the amount of fish available as hosts for the mussels to complete their glochidia life stage. Introductions of flathead catfish into rivers in North Carolina have led to steep declines in numbers of native fish. The flathead catfish has been documented in the Potomac, James, Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse river systems.

    Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), an aquatic plant, alters stream habitat, decreases flows, and contributes to sediment buildup in streams (NCANSMPC 2015, p. 57). High sedimentation can cause suffocation, reduce stream flow, and make it difficult for mussels' interactions with host fish necessary for development. Hydrilla occurs in several watersheds where the yellow lance occurs, including recent documentation from the Tar River. The dense growth is altering the flow in this system and causing sediment buildup, which can cause suffocation in filter-feeding mussels. While data are lacking on hydrilla currently having population-level effects on the yellow lance, the spread of this invasive plant is expected to increase in the future.

    Barriers: Extinction/extirpation of North American freshwater mussels can be traced to impoundment and inundation of riffle habitats (shallow water with rapid currents running over gravel or rocks) in all major river basins of the central and eastern United States (NCWRC 2015a, p. 109). Upstream of dams, the change from flowing to impounded waters, increased depths, increased buildup of sediments, decreased dissolved oxygen, and the drastic alteration in resident fish populations can threaten the survival of mussels and their overall reproductive success. Downstream of dams, fluctuations in flow regimes, minimal releases and scouring flows, seasonal dissolved oxygen depletion, reduced or increased water temperatures, and changes in fish assemblages can also threaten the survival and reproduction of many mussel species. Because the yellow lance uses smaller host fish (e.g., darters and minnows), it is even more susceptible to impacts from habitat fragmentation due to increasing distance between suitable habitat patches and a low likelihood of host fish swimming over that distance (C. Eads (NCSU) 2016, pers. comm.). Even improperly constructed culverts at stream crossings can act as significant barriers, and have some similar effects as dams on stream systems. Fluctuating flows through the culvert can vary significantly from the rest of the stream, preventing fish passage and scouring downstream habitats. If a culvert ends up being perched above the stream bed, aquatic organisms cannot pass through it. These barriers not only fragment habitats along a stream course, they also contribute to genetic isolation of the yellow lance. All 12 of the MUs containing yellow lance populations have been impacted by dams, with as few as 3 dams in the Fishing Creek subbasin to over 100 dams in the York basin (Service 2016, appendix D). The Middle Neuse contains 237 dams and over 5,000 stream crossings, so connectivity there has been severely affected by barriers.

    Synergistic Effects

    In addition to the impacts on the yellow lance individually, it is likely that several of the above summarized risk factors are acting synergistically or additively on the species. The combined impact of multiple stressors is likely more harmful than a single stressor acting alone. For example, in the Meherrin River MU, there are four stream reaches with 34 miles of impaired streams. The stream reaches have low benthic-macroinvertebrate scores, low dissolved oxygen, low pH, and contain Escherichia coli (also known as E. coli). There are 16 non-major and 2 major discharges within this MU, along with 7 dams, 676 road crossings, and droughts recorded for 4 consecutive years in 2007-2010. The combination of all of these stressors on the sensitive aquatic species in this habitat has impacted yellow lance such that no individuals have been recorded here since 1994.

    Conservation Actions

    The Service and State wildlife agencies are working with numerous partners to make ecosystem management a reality, primarily by providing technical guidance and offering development of conservation tools to meet both species and habitat needs in aquatic systems from Maryland to North Carolina. There are ongoing efforts to work with agriculture producers through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service to install riparian buffers along streams. Land trusts are targeting key parcels for acquisition, Federal and State biologists are surveying and monitoring species occurrences, and recently there has been a concerted effort to ramp up captive propagation and species population restoration via augmentation, expansion, and reintroduction efforts.

    In 2014, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission staff and partners began a concerted effort to propagate the yellow lance in hopes of augmenting existing populations in the Tar and Neuse River basins. In July 2015, 270 yellow lances were stocked into Sandy Creek, a tributary of the Tar River. Annual monitoring to evaluate growth and survival is planned, and additional propagation and stocking efforts will continue in upcoming years.

    For a more-detailed discussion of our evaluation of the biological status of the yellow lance and the factors that may affect its continued existence, please see the SSA report for the yellow lance (Elliptio lanceolata) (Service, 2017 entire). Our conclusions are based upon the best available scientific and commercial data and the expert opinion of the SSA team members.

    Future Scenarios

    For the purpose of this assessment, we define viability as the ability of the species to sustain populations in the wild over time (in this case, 50 years). To help address uncertainty associated with the degree and extent of potential future stressors and their impacts on species' requirements, the 3Rs were assessed using four plausible future scenarios. These scenarios were based, in part, on the results of urbanization (Terando et al. 2014) and climate models (International Panel on Climate Change 2013) that predict changes in habitat used by the yellow lance. To forecast the biological conditions of the yellow lance into the future, we devised plausible future scenarios by eliciting expert information on the primary stressors anticipated to affect the species into the future: Habitat loss and degradation due to urbanization and the effects of climate change. The models that were used to forecast urbanization into the future projected out 50 years, and climate change models included that timeframe as well. For more detailed information on these models and their projections, please see the SSA report for the yellow lance (Service, 2017).

    In scenario one, the “Status Quo” scenario, factors that influence current populations of the yellow lance were assumed to remain constant over the 50-year time horizon. Climate models predict that, if emissions continue at current rates, the Southeast will experience an increase in low flow (drought) events (IPCC 2013, p. 7). Likewise, this scenario assumed the `business as usual' pattern of urban growth, which predicts that urbanization will continue to increase rapidly (Terando et al. 2014, p. 1). This continued growth in development means increases in impervious surfaces, increased variability in streamflow, channelization of streams or clearing of riparian areas, and other negative effects explained above under “Development.” The “Status Quo” scenario also assumed that current conservation efforts would remain in place but that no new actions would be taken.

    In scenario two, the “Pessimistic” scenario, factors that negatively influence yellow lance populations get worse; reflecting Climate Model RCP8.5 (Wayne 2013, p. 11), effects of climate change are expected to be magnified beyond what is experienced in the “Status Quo” scenario. Effects are predicted to result in extreme heat, more storms and flooding, and exacerbated drought conditions (IPCC 2013, p. 7). Based on the results of the SLEUTH BAU model (Terando et al. 2014, entire), urbanization in yellow lance watersheds could expand to triple the amount of developed area, resulting in large increases of impervious surface cover and, potentially, consumptive water use. Increased urbanization and climate change effects are likely to result in increased impacts to water quality, water flow, and habitat connectivity, and we predict that there is limited capacity for species restoration under this scenario.

    Scenario three is labeled the “Optimistic” scenario, under which factors that influence population and habitat conditions of the yellow lance are expected to be somewhat improved. Reflecting Climate Model RCP2.6 (Wayne 2013, p.11), climate change effects are predicted to be minimal under this scenario, so effects of increased temperatures, storms, and droughts are not reflected in “Optimistic” scenario predictions, as they were in “Status Quo” and “Pessimistic” scenario predictions. Urbanization is also predicted to have less impact in this scenario as reflected by effects that are slightly lower than BAU model predictions (Terando et al. 2014; Table 5-1). Because water quality, water flow, and habitat impacts are predicted to be less severe in this scenario as compared to others, it is expected that the yellow lance will maintain or have a slightly positive response. While the capacity for species restoration was kept at current levels for this scenario, predicted responses to targeted conservation activities were more positive based on the predicted habitat conditions under this scenario.

    In scenario four, the “Opportunistic” scenario, those landscape-level factors (e.g., development and climate change) that are influencing populations of the yellow lance get moderately worse, reflecting Climate Change Model RCP4.5 or RCP6 (Wayne 2013, p. 11) and SLEUTH BAU (Terando et al. 2014; Table 5-1). Effects of climate change are expected to be moderate, resulting in some increased impacts from heat, storms, and droughts (IPCC 2013, p. 7). Urbanization in this scenario reflects the moderate BAU SLEUTH levels, indicating approximately double the amount of developed area compared to current levels. This continued growth in development means increases in impervious surfaces, increased variability in streamflow, channelization of streams or clearing of riparian areas, and other negative effects explained above under “Development.

    Determination

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we may list a species based on: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Listing actions may be warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in combination.

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats to the yellow lance. The historical range of the yellow lance included streams and rivers in the Atlantic Slope drainages from the Patuxent River Basin south to the Neuse River Basin, with the documented historical distribution in 12 MUs within eight former populations. The yellow lance is presumed extirpated from 25 percent (3) of the historically occupied MUs. Of the remaining nine occupied MUs, 17 percent are estimated to have high resiliency, 8 percent moderate resiliency, and 67 percent low resiliency. Scaling up from the MU to the population level, one of eight former populations (the Tar population) was estimated to have moderate resiliency, while the remaining six extant populations (Patuxent, Rappahannock, York, James, Chowan, and Neuse populations) were characterized by low resiliency. The Potomac population is presumed to be extirpated, thus eliminating 13 percent of the species' historical range. Eighty-six percent of streams that remain part of the current species' range are estimated to be in low or very low condition. Known to historically occupy streams in three physiographic regions, the species continues to maintain physiographic representation in all three regions, although occupancy has decreased in each region. An estimated 50 percent loss has occurred in the Mountain region's watersheds, an estimated 56 percent loss has occurred in the Piedmont region's watersheds, and an estimated 70 percent loss has occurred in the Coastal Plain region's watersheds.

    The yellow lance faces threats from declines in water quality, loss of stream flow, riparian and instream fragmentation, and deterioration of instream habitats (Factor A). These threats, which are expected to be exacerbated by continued urbanization (Factor A) and effects of climate change (Factor E), were important factors in our assessment of the future viability of the yellow lance. Given current and future decreases in resiliency, populations become more vulnerable to extirpation from stochastic events, in turn, resulting in concurrent losses in representation and redundancy. The range of plausible future scenarios of yellow lance habitat conditions and population factors suggest possible extirpation in as many as five of seven currently extant populations. The most optimistic model predicted that only two populations will remain extant in 50 years and those populations are expected to be characterized by low occupancy and abundance.

    Proposal To List the Yellow Lance

    The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” and a threatened species as any species “that is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future.” We considered whether the yellow lance meets either of these definitions, and we find that the yellow lance meets the definition of a threatened species. Our analysis of the species' current and future conditions, as well as the conservation efforts discussed above, show that the population and habitat factors used to determine the resiliency, representation, and redundancy for the yellow lance will continue to decline so that it is likely to become in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we propose to list the yellow lance as a threatened species in accordance with sections 3(20) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.

    We considered whether the yellow lance is currently in danger of extinction and determined that proposing endangered status is not appropriate. The current conditions as assessed in the yellow lance SSA report show that 12 MUs over seven (of eight) different populations (river systems) occur over a majority (87 percent) of the species' historical range. The yellow lance still exhibits representation across all three physiographic regions and extant populations remain from the Patuxent River south to the Neuse River. While threats are currently acting on the species and many of those threats are expected to continue into the future, we did not find that the species is currently in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. According to our assessment of plausible future scenarios, the species is likely to become an endangered species in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range.

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species warrants listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Because we have determined that the yellow lance is threatened throughout all of its range, no portion of its range can be “significant” for purposes of the definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.” See the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37578; July 1, 2014).

    Critical Habitat

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing regulations in 50 CFR 424.12, require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, we designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species. Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:

    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, on which are found those physical or biological features

    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species, and

    (b) Which may require special management considerations or protection; and

    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, upon a determination by the Secretary of the Interior that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.

    Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when any of the following situations exist: (1) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to the species, or (2) such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species. The regulations also provide that, in determining whether a designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species, the factors that the Services may consider include but are not limited to: Whether the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of a species' habitat or range is not a threat to the species, or whether any areas meet the definition of “critical habitat” (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)(ii)).

    We do not know of any imminent threat of take attributed to collection or vandalism for the yellow lance. The available information does not indicate that identification and mapping of critical habitat is likely to initiate any threat of collection or vandalism for the yellow lance. Therefore, in the absence of finding that the designation of critical habitat would increase threats to the species, if there are benefits to the species from a critical habitat designation, a finding that designation is prudent is appropriate.

    The potential benefits of designation may include: (1) Triggering consultation under section 7 of the Act, in new areas for actions in which there may be a Federal nexus where it would not otherwise occur because, for example, it is unoccupied; (2) focusing conservation activities on the most essential features and areas; (3) providing educational benefits to State or county governments or private entities; and (4) preventing people from causing inadvertent harm to the protected species. Because designation of critical habitat would not likely increase the degree of threat to the yellow lance and may provide some measure of benefit, designation of critical habitat may be prudent for the yellow lance.

    Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(2)) further state that critical habitat is not determinable when one or both of the following situations exists: (1) Information sufficient to perform required analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking; or (2) the biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to permit identification of an area as critical habitat. A careful assessment of the economic impacts that may occur due to a critical habitat designation is still ongoing, and we are in the process of working with the States and other partners in acquiring the complex information needed to perform that assessment. The information sufficient to perform a required analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking, and, therefore, we find designation of critical habitat for the yellow lance to be not determinable at this time.

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened species under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness and conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies; private organizations; and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and other countries, and calls for recovery actions to be carried out for listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below.

    The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of the Act. Subsection 4(f) of the Act calls for the Service to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the species' decline by addressing the threats to its survival and recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a point where they are secure, self-sustaining, and functioning components of their ecosystems.

    Recovery planning includes the development of a recovery outline shortly after a species is listed and preparation of a draft and final recovery plan. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation of urgent recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop a recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes available. The recovery plan also identifies recovery criteria for review of when a species may be ready for reclassification from endangered to threatened (“downlisting”) or removal from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife or Plants (“delisting”), and methods for monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also establish a framework for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. Recovery teams (composed of species experts, Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) are often established to develop recovery plans. When completed, the recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan for the yellow lance will be available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-Federal lands. To achieve recovery of the yellow lance requires cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands. If the yellow lance is listed, funding for recovery actions will be available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, State programs, and cost share grants for non-Federal landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the States of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of the yellow lance. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.

    Although the yellow lance is only proposed for listing under the Act at this time, please let us know if you are interested in participating in recovery efforts for this species. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on the yellow lance whenever it becomes available and any information you may have for recovery planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the Service.

    Federal agency actions within the species' habitat that may require conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding paragraph include, but are not limited to, management and any other landscape-altering activities on Federal lands administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service; issuance of section 404 Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and construction and maintenance of roads or highways by the Federal Highway Administration.

    Under section 4(d) of the Act, the Service has discretion to issue regulations that we find necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species. The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to threatened wildlife. The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, as applied to threatened wildlife and codified at 50 CFR 17.31, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) threatened wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply to employees of the Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, other Federal land management agencies, and State conservation agencies.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.32. With regard to threatened wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: For scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, for economic hardship, for zoological exhibition, for educational purposes, or for other special purposes consistent with the purposes of the Act. There are also certain statutory exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act.

    It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of the species proposed for listing.

    Activities that the Service believes could potentially harm the yellow lance and result in “take” include, but are not limited to:

    (1) Unauthorized handling or collecting of the species;

    (2) Destruction or alteration of the species' habitat by discharge of fill material, dredging, snagging, impounding, channelization, or modification of stream channels or banks;

    (3) Destruction of riparian habitat directly adjacent to stream channels that causes significant increases in sedimentation and destruction of natural stream banks or channels;

    (4) Discharge of pollutants into a stream or into areas hydrologically connected to a stream occupied by the species;

    (5) Diversion or alteration of surface or ground water flow; and

    (6) Pesticide/herbicide applications in violation of label restrictions.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

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

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this proposed rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Unified Listing Team and the Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 17.11(h), the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, by adding an entry for “Lance, yellow” in alphabetical order under CLAMS to read as set forth below:
    § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    (h) * * *

    Common name Scientific name Where listed Status Listing citations and
  • applicable rules
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Clams *         *         *         *         *         *         * Lance, yellow Elliptio lanceolata Wherever found T [Federal Register citation when published as a final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: March 31, 2017. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06783 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    82 64 Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Understanding the Anti-Fraud Measures of Large SNAP Retailers AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the purpose of learning about the types of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) related fraud activity observed by large retailers and the methods they use to prevent fraud and minimize their losses. The goal of the information collection is to learn more about the types of SNAP fraud that occur in large retailer settings; document retailer practices to detect, deter, and deal with fraud (collectively known as loss prevention or loss prevention practices); and determine which practices could provide information that would help FNS in detecting and preventing SNAP fraud.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by June 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the reporting burden on those who are asked 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 Eric Sean Williams, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22312. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Eric Sean Williams at (703) 305-2576 or via email to [email protected]

    Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of FNS during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) located at 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, Virginia 22312.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collected should be directed to Eric Williams, Office of Policy Support, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302. Requests for additional information or copies of the information collected may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Eric Williams at (703) 305-2576 or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Understanding the Anti-Fraud Measures of Large SNAP Retailers.

    OMB Number: 0584-NEW.

    Expiration Date: Not Yet Determined.

    Abstract: FNS is responsible for authorizing retailers for participation in SNAP as well as monitoring their compliance with applicable regulations. Fraud in the context of SNAP can come from client-level program violations or retailer-level fraud. The latter, which is the focus of this study, can involve different actions such as the buying and selling of benefits or selling ineligible items like alcohol and tobacco. FNS believes that any type of fraud in SNAP weakens the program by diverting benefits from the intended purpose of helping low-income Americans purchase food and undermining the public confidence in the program. Thus, the Agency continually seeks new ways to detect and prevent fraud.

    Research has consistently demonstrated that fraud rates are lowest among large retailers. There are several theories for why this may be true, one of which is that large regional or national retail chains of stores have sophisticated loss prevention systems that prevent or detect numerous types of fraud. Thus, a loss prevention system built to discover an employee engaging in credit card fraud could easily be modified to detect an employee engaging in SNAP benefit fraud. Similarly, a system built to prevent internal theft may be able to detect the sale of ineligible items.

    Despite theories as to why large stores have low SNAP fraud rates, there is limited understanding of how they prevent SNAP fraud. If internal loss prevention systems prevent SNAP fraud, then it is possible that a better understanding of large store procedures could help FNS refine its procedures for detecting and reducing retailer-level fraud. Thus, FNS desires to understand more about the steps large retailers take to protect themselves from fraud in general and SNAP fraud specifically.

    The information collection activities to be undertaken subject to this notice include: Survey of Companies that own/franchise large SNAP authorized retail chains: Surveys will be administered to company SNAP representatives in companies that own, franchise and/or have cooperative agreements with the largest chains of SNAP-authorized stores. These include super store chains, large supermarket chains, convenience store chains, and other chain stores that sell a combination of food and other products, such as household products, pharmaceuticals, or gasoline. The surveys will address the loss prevention systems used by these companies.

    Survey of SNAP Authorized Stores owned/franchised/affiliated with large retail chains: Surveys will be administered to managers of super stores, large supermarkets, convenience stores and other chain stores that sell a combination of food and other products. The surveys will address fraud detection and prevention policies and practices. This study does not seek to represent all SNAP retailers. It targets the practices of one segment of the SNAP authorized retailer population—the largest retail chains. These chains are likely to have the most sophisticated loss prevention systems. Therefore, the study includes the large national and regional chain retailers responsible for transacting about half of all SNAP redemptions. A total of the 35 largest retail corporations and a sample of 2,000 of their store outlets are expected to respond to surveys.

    Company SNAP representatives and store managers will be asked questions regarding organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, and tactics used to limit or eliminate fraud in general and SNAP fraud in particular. At a minimum the following fraud abatement methods will be studied at the corporate and store levels: Point of sale systems, analytics, training, surveillance, investigation, and liaison with law enforcement. The surveys will be administered using a web-based survey tool.

    Companies and SNAP authorized stores that do not respond to the web-based surveys will receive internet reminders. Those that still do not respond will receive a telephone call through a Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system where trained interviewers will prompt the participant to respond to the survey online or to complete the survey by telephone via CATI.

    There is no recordkeeping burden involved in this data collect. The reporting burden identified below reflects the total number of respondents who will participate fully and total number of non-respondents who take in part or chose not to participate fully in this study.

    Affected Public: Businesses-for-and-not-for-profit (4,049):

    A total of 45 large companies with stores participating in SNAP, and 4,000 SNAP authorized company owned and operate stores, franchised stores or affiliated stores and 5 pretest companies.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,049.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.1588.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 8,741.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.2258 hours.

    Pretesting the company surveys will take a total of 4 hours (two 2-hour interviews), and pretesting the store surveys will take 4 hours (two 2-hour interviews).

    FNS plans to contact 45 companies. We anticipate the SNAP representative at 35 companies will respond and spend 0.75 hours identifying key informants and compiling information from various organizational units involved in SNAP. They are likely to include human resources (for training), loss prevention (for loss prevention management and loss prevention procedures used), point of sale management and analytics. The company SNAP representative will spend between 0.75 (web-based response or CATI survey response) hours completing the survey, including time to report on SNAP-specific activities and policies carried out by the SNAP representative and information compiled from other units involved in SNAP. Managers of 2,000 stores will spend an average of 0.75 hours each to respond to the Store Manager Survey.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1,974.43 hours.

    See the burden table (Table 1) below for estimated total burden for each type of business respondent and non-respondents.

    Dated: March 13, 2017. Jessica Shahin, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service. BILLING CODE 3410-30-P EN05AP17.000
    [FR Doc. 2017-06669 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-C
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-853, A-570-010, C-570-011] Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the People's Republic of China and From Taiwan: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order, in Part AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 16, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the “Department”) published its preliminary results of changed circumstances reviews (“CCRs”) and intent to revoke, in part, the antidumping duty (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) orders on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) and the AD order on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from Taiwan (collectively the “Orders”) with respect to certain solar panels. Specifically, the Department preliminarily determined that the producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product to which the Orders pertain lacked interest in the relief provided by the Orders with respect to certain solar panels that are incorporated in the battery charging and maintaining units described below. We invited interested parties to comment on the preliminary results. No party submitted comments. For the final results of these CCRs, the Department is revoking, in part, the Orders as to imports of certain solar panels that are incorporated in the battery charging and maintaining units described below.

    DATES:

    Effective April 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Magd Zalok or Howard Smith, 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) 482-4162 or (202) 482-5193, respectively.

    Background

    On February 18, 2015, the Department published the Orders in the Federal Register.1 On April 20, 2016, the Department received a request on behalf of PulseTech Products Corporation (“PulseTech”) for CCRs to revoke, in part, the Orders with respect to certain stand-alone solar panels and certain solar panels incorporated in a specific type of battery charging and maintaining unit.2 In subsequent submissions filed between May 12, 2016, and September 2, 2016, PulseTech modified the description of the exclusion request for solar panels incorporated in certain battery charging and maintaining units. On September 6, 2016, SolarWorld Americas, Inc. (“Petitioner”) stated that it agrees with the scope exclusion language proposed by PulseTech.3 Ultimately PulseTech withdrew its request for changed circumstances reviews with respect to the stand-alone solar panels not incorporated in battery charging and maintaining units.4

    1See Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order; and Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 8592 (Feb. 18, 2015); see also Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Order, 80 FR 8596 (Feb. 18, 2015) (“Orders”).

    2See April 20, 2016 letter from PulseTech Products Corporation Re: Resubmission of Requests for Changed Circumstances Review—Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the People's Republic of China and from Taiwan (“PulseTech's Request”).

    3See September 6, 2016 letter from Petitioner Re: Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the People's Republic of China and Taiwan: Changed Circumstances Review Request—Letter of No Opposition.

    4See PulseTech's October 28, 2016 submission to the Department.

    On November 10, 2016, the Department published the Initiation Notice for the requested CCRs in the Federal Register.5 On February 16, 2017, the Department published the Preliminary Results of these CCRs in which it found that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product to which the Orders pertain lack interest in the relief afforded by the Orders with respect to certain solar panels incorporated in a specific type of battery charging and maintaining unit as described in PulseTech's request.6 The Department invited interested parties to submit comments on the Preliminary Results. We received no comments.

    5See Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the People's Republic of China and from Taiwan: Notice of Initiation of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Consideration of Revocation of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders in Part, 81 FR 78967 (Nov. 10, 2016) (“Initiation Notice”).

    6See Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the People's Republic of China and from Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Intent to Revoke Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order in Part, 82 FR 10878 (February 16, 2017) (“Preliminary Results”).

    Final Results of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Revocation of the Orders, in Part

    Because no party submitted comments opposing the Department's Preliminary Results, and the record contains no other information or evidence that calls into question the Preliminary Results, the Department determines, pursuant to section 751(d)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”), section 782(h) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.222(g), that there are changed circumstances that warrant revocation of the Orders, in part. Specifically, because the producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product to which the Orders pertain lack interest in the relief provided by the Orders with respect to the following type of solar panels, we are revoking the Orders, in part for solar panels that are:

    (1) Less than 300,000 mm2 in surface area; (2) less than 27.1 watts in power; (3) coated across their entire surface with a polyurethane doming resin; and (4) joined to a battery charging and maintaining unit (which is an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (“ABS”) box that incorporates a light emitting diode (“LED”)) by coated wires that include a connector to permit the incorporation of an extension cable. The battery charging and maintaining unit utilizes high-frequency triangular pulse waveforms designed to maintain and extend the life of batteries through the reduction of lead sulfate crystals. The above-described battery charging and maintaining unit is currently available under the registered trademark “SolarPulse.” The scope description below includes this exclusion language.

    Scope of the AD and CVD Orders on Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the PRC

    The merchandise covered by these orders are modules, laminates and/or panels consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including building integrated materials. For purposes of these orders, subject merchandise includes modules, laminates and/or panels assembled in the PRC consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells produced in a customs territory other than the PRC.

    Subject merchandise includes modules, laminates and/or panels assembled in the PRC consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells of thickness equal to or greater than 20 micrometers, having a p/n junction formed by any means, whether or not the cell has undergone other processing, including, but not limited to, cleaning, etching, coating, and/or addition of materials (including, but not limited to, metallization and conductor patterns) to collect and forward the electricity that is generated by the cell.

    Excluded from the scope of these orders are thin film photovoltaic products produced from amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS). Also excluded from the scope of these orders are modules, laminates and/or panels assembled in the PRC, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, not exceeding 10,000 mm2 in surface area, that are permanently integrated into a consumer good whose function is other than power generation and that consumes the electricity generated by the integrated crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells. Where more than one module, laminate and/or panel is permanently integrated into a consumer good, the surface area for purposes of this exclusion shall be the total combined surface area of all modules, laminates and/or panels that are integrated into the consumer good. Further, also excluded from the scope of these orders are any products covered by the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, laminates and/or panels, from the PRC.7 Additionally, excluded from the scope of these orders are solar panels that are: (1) Less than 300,000 mm2 in surface area; (2) less than 27.1 watts in power; (3) coated across their entire surface with a polyurethane doming resin; and (4) joined to a battery charging and maintaining unit (which is an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (“ABS”) box that incorporates a light emitting diode (“LED”)) by coated wires that include a connector to permit the incorporation of an extension cable. The battery charging and maintaining unit utilizes high-frequency triangular pulse waveforms designed to maintain and extend the life of batteries through the reduction of lead sulfate crystals. The above-described battery charging and maintaining unit is currently available under the registered trademark “SolarPulse.”

    7See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 73018 (Dec. 7, 2012); Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 77 FR 73017 (Dec. 7, 2012).

    Merchandise covered by these orders is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.8030, 8507.20.8040, 8507.20.8060, 8507.20.8090, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope of these orders is dispositive.

    Scope of the AD Order on Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From Taiwan

    The merchandise covered by this order is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates and/or panels consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including building integrated materials.

    Subject merchandise includes crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells of thickness equal to or greater than 20 micrometers, having a p/n junction formed by any means, whether or not the cell has undergone other processing, including but not limited to, cleaning, etching, coating, and/or addition of materials (including, but not limited to, metallization and conductor patterns) to collect and forward the electricity that is generated by the cell.

    Modules, laminates, and panels produced in a third-country from cells produced in Taiwan are covered by this order. However, modules, laminates, and panels produced in Taiwan from cells produced in third-country are not covered by this order.

    Excluded from the scope of this order are thin film photovoltaic products produced from amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS). Also excluded from the scope of this order are crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, not exceeding 10,000 mm2 in surface area, that are permanently integrated into a consumer good whose function is other than power generation and that consumes the electricity generated by the integrated crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells. Where more than one cell is permanently integrated into a consumer good, the surface area for purposes of this exclusion shall be the total combined surface area of all cells that are integrated into the consumer good. Further, also excluded from the scope of this order are any products covered by the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the PRC.8 Also excluded from the scope of this order are modules, laminates, and panels produced in the PRC from crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells produced in Taiwan that are covered by an existing proceeding on such modules, laminates, and panels from the PRC. Additionally, excluded from the scope of this order are solar panels that are: (1) Less than 300,000 mm2 in surface area; (2) less than 27.1 watts in power; (3) coated across their entire surface with a polyurethane doming resin; and (4) joined to a battery charging and maintaining unit (which is an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (“ABS”) box that incorporates a light emitting diode (“LED”)) by coated wires that include a connector to permit the incorporation of an extension cable. The battery charging and maintaining unit utilizes high-frequency triangular pulse waveforms designed to maintain and extend the life of batteries through the reduction of lead sulfate crystals. The above-described battery charging and maintaining unit is currently available under the registered trademark “SolarPulse.”

    8See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 73018 (Dec. 7, 2012); Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 77 FR 73017 (Dec. 7, 2012).

    Merchandise covered by this order is currently classified in the HTSUS under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.8030, 8507.20.8040, 8507.20.8060, 8507.20.8090, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    Instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Because we determine that there are changed circumstances that warrant the revocation of the Orders, in part, and there have been no completed administrative reviews of the Orders, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to liquidate without regard to antidumping and countervailing duties, and to refund any estimated antidumping and countervailing duties on, all unliquidated entries of the merchandise covered by this partial revocation that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after the date that corresponds to the date that suspension of liquidation first began in the relevant proceeding.9

    9 Suspension of liquidation first began for merchandise subject to the CVD order on June 10, 2014; suspension of liquidation first began for merchandise subject to the AD orders on July 31, 2014.

    Notification

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    We are issuing and publishing these final results and revocation, in part, and notice in accordance with sections 751(b) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216, 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3), and 19 CFR 351.222.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06727 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF317 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Meeting of the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and webinar/conference call.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS will hold a 3-day Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP) meeting in May 2017. The intent of the meeting is to consider options for the conservation and management of Atlantic HMS. The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The AP meeting and webinar will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, and from 9 a.m. to Noon on Thursday, May 11.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel, 8777 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The meeting presentations will also be available via WebEx webinar/conference call.

    The meeting on Tuesday, May 9, Wednesday, May 10, and Thursday, May 11, 2017, will also be accessible via conference call and webinar. Conference call and webinar access information are available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/advisory_panels/hms_ap/meetings/may-2017/ap-meeting.html.

    Participants are strongly encouraged to log/dial in 15 minutes prior to the meeting. NMFS will show the presentations via webinar and allow public comment during identified times on the agenda.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Cooper or Margo Schulze-Haugen at (301) 427-8503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, Public Law 104-297, provided for the establishment of an AP to assist in the collection and evaluation of information relevant to the development of any FMP or FMP amendment for Atlantic HMS. NMFS consults with and considers the comments and views of AP members when preparing and implementing FMPs or FMP amendments for Atlantic tunas, swordfish, billfish, and sharks.

    The AP has previously consulted with NMFS on: Amendment 1 to the Billfish FMP (April 1999); the HMS FMP (April 1999); Amendment 1 to the HMS FMP (December 2003); the Consolidated HMS FMP (October 2006); and Amendments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5a, 5b, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (April and October 2008, February and September 2009, May and September 2010, April and September 2011, March and September 2012, January and September 2013, April and September 2014, March and September 2015, and March, September, and December 2016), among other things.

    The intent of this meeting is to consider alternatives for the conservation and management of all Atlantic tunas, swordfish, billfish, and shark fisheries. We anticipate discussing:

    • Amendment 5b on dusky sharks;

    • Draft Amendment 10 on Essential Fish Habitat;

    • Implementation of Final Amendment 7 on bluefin tuna management, including the upcoming three-year review;

    • Progress updates on various other rulemakings, including individual bluefin quota transfer criteria effective dates, and requests for regulatory changes received to date;

    • Domestic implementation of recommendations from the 2016 meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and issues for 2017;

    • Progress updates regarding the exempted fishing permit request to conduct research in pelagic longline closed areas and white shark research; and

    • Updates on shark stock assessments.

    We also anticipate discussing recreational and commercial fishing topics in specific breakout group sessions, including a detailed discussion of permitting, reporting, and compliance with recreational and commercial vessel requirements in response to several requests. Finally, we intend to invite other NMFS offices and the United States Coast Guard to provide updates on their activities relevant to HMS fisheries.

    Additional information on the meeting and a copy of the draft agenda will be posted prior to the meeting at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/advisory_panels/hms_ap/meetings/ap_meetings.html.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Peter Cooper at (301) 427-8503 at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. Karen H. Abrams, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06717 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a public meeting of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee provides advice to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on spectrum management policy matters.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on May 4, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N Street NW., Washington, DC 20036. Public comments may be mailed to the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4600, Washington, DC 20230 or emailed to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David J. Reed, Designated Federal Officer, at (202) 482-5955 or [email protected]; and/or visit NTIA's Web site at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Committee provides advice to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information on needed reforms to domestic spectrum policies and management in order to: License radio frequencies in a way that maximizes public benefits; keep wireless networks as open to innovation as possible; and make wireless services available to all Americans. See Charter at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_charter-2017.pdf.

    This Committee is subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and is consistent with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Act, 47 U.S.C. § 904(b). The Committee functions solely as an advisory body in compliance with the FACA. For more information about the Committee visit: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    Matters To Be Considered: The Committee provides advice to the Assistant Secretary to assist in developing and maintaining spectrum management policies that enable the United States to maintain or strengthen its global leadership role in the introduction of communications technology, services, and innovation; thus expanding the economy, adding jobs, and increasing international trade, while at the same time providing for the expansion of existing technologies and supporting the country's homeland security, national defense, and other critical needs of government missions. The Committee will discuss early observations and analyses of the topics and questions to be addressed for this session. NTIA will post a detailed agenda on its Web site, https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac, prior to the meeting. To the extent that time and the meeting agenda permit, any member of the public may speak to or otherwise address the Committee regarding the agenda items. See Open Meeting and Public Participation Policy, available at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    Time and Date: The meeting will be held on May 4, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT. The meeting time and the agenda topics are subject to change. The meeting will be available via two-way audio link and may be webcast. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac, for the most up-to-date meeting agenda and access information.

    Place: The meeting will be held at the National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N Street NW., Washington, DC 20036. The meeting will be open to the public and members of the press on a first-come, first-served basis as space is limited. The public meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as sign language interpretation or other ancillary aids, are asked to notify Mr. Reed at (202) 482-5955 or [email protected] at least ten (10) business days before the meeting.

    Status: Interested members of the public are invited to attend and to submit written comments to the Committee at any time before or after the meeting. Parties wishing to submit written comments for consideration by the Committee in advance of a meeting may send them via postal mail to Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4600, Washington, DC 20230. It would be helpful if paper submissions also include a compact disc (CD) that contains the comments in Microsoft Word and/or PDF file formats. CDs should be labeled with the name and organizational affiliation of the filer. Alternatively, comments may be submitted via electronic mail to [email protected] and should also be in one or both of the file formats specified above. Comments must be received five (5) business days before the scheduled meeting date in order to provide sufficient time for review. Comments received after this date will be distributed to the Committee, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting.

    Records: NTIA maintains records of all Committee proceedings. Committee records are available for public inspection at NTIA's Washington, DC office at the address above. Documents including the Committee's charter, member list, agendas, minutes, and reports are available on NTIA's Web site at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac.

    Kathy D. Smith, Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06736 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Withdrawal of Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews AGENCY:

    Council on Environmental Quality.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is withdrawing its “Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews,” for which a Notice of Availability was published on August 5, 2016. 81 FR 51866.

    DATES:

    This withdrawal is effective April 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    This Notice also will be made available on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Web site (www.nepa.gov), specifically at https://ceq.doe.gov/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Council on Environmental Quality (ATTN: Ted Boling, Associate Director for the National Environmental Policy Act), 730 Jackson Place NW., Washington, DC 20503. Telephone: (202) 395-5750.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Enacted by Congress in 1969, NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., is this Nation's basic charter for harmonizing our environmental, economic, and social goals, and is a cornerstone of the Nation's efforts to protect the environment. As CEQ explained in its August 5, 2016, Notice of Availability, the withdrawn guidance was not a regulation. Pursuant to Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” signed on March 28, 2017, the guidance is being withdrawn for further consideration. The withdrawal of the guidance does not change any law, regulation, or other legally binding requirement. For more information on NEPA and Federal agency compliance with NEPA, please see https://ceq.doe.gov/index.html.

    (Authority: 42 U.S.C. 4332, 4342, 4344 and 40 CFR Parts 1500, 1501, 1502, 1503, 1505, 1506, 1507, and 1508) Issued in Washington, DC, on March 31, 2017. Mary B. Neumayr, Chief of Staff, Council on Environmental Quality.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06770 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3225-F7-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Industry Information Day AGENCY:

    DoD Chief Information Officer, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD is hosting an “Industry Information Day” to present a briefing, and receive and address industry feedback on the implementation of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Case 2013-D018, “Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on Friday, June 23, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., EDT. Registration to attend this meeting must be received by Monday, June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at the Mark Center Auditorium, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22350-3603. The auditorium is located on level B-1 of the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Vicki Michetti, at (703) 604-3167.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DoD is hosting an “Industry Information Day” to present a briefing on the implementation of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Case 2013-D018, “Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services,” and to receive feedback and address questions from industry regarding its implementation. Organizations are encouraged to submit questions in writing prior to the meeting. Questions should be sent by email to [email protected] with the subject line of the email stating, “Industry Information Day.” Questions should be submitted by Monday, May 1, 2017 for consideration.

    Background: On October 21, 2016, DoD published a final rule under DFARS Case 2013-D018 entitled “Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services” (81 FR 72986-73001) that amended DFARS 204.73, “Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting,” and included implementation of statutory cyber incident reporting requirements imposed by sections 391 and 393 of Title 10, United State Code (U.S.C.), and DFARS 239.76, “Cloud Computing,” to implement updated DoD policy and procedures for the acquisition of cloud computing services.

    Registration: Individuals wishing to attend the public meeting should register by Monday, June 12, 2017, to ensure adequate room accommodations and to facilitate entry in the Mark Center building. Interested parties may register via email at, [email protected] Due to space constraints, organizations are limited to a maximum of two representatives and should provide the following information:

    (1) Company or organization name; and

    (2) Names and email addresses of persons planning to attend.

    One valid government-issued photo identification card will be required in order to enter the building. Non-U.S. citizens must bring their Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Card and original Social Security card as identification. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at least one hour early to accommodate security procedures. Accommodations for parking at the Mark Center will not be available, but may be found in the surrounding areas. Transportation information for the Mark Center may be obtained at http://www.whs.mil/our-services/transportation/getting-mark-center.

    Special accommodations: The public meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for reasonable accommodations, sign language interpretation, or other auxiliary aids should be sent via email to [email protected] no later than Monday, June 12, 2017.

    Correspondence: Please cite “Industry Information Day” in all correspondence related to this public meeting.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06739 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0006] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B: 08/18) Field Test AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2017-ICCD-0006. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 224-84, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact NCES Information Collections at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B: 08/18) Field Test.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0729.

    Type of Review: A reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 4,242.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 905.

    Abstract: The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the U.S. Department of Education, examines students' education and work experiences after they complete a bachelor's degree, with a special emphasis on the experiences of school teachers. The B&B-eligible cohort is initially identified in the National Postsecondary Study Aid Study (NPSAS). The first cohort (B&B:93) was identified in NPSAS:93, and consisted of students who received their bachelor's degree in the 1992-93 academic year. The second cohort (B&B:2000) was selected from the NPSAS:2000, and the third cohort (B&B:08) was selected from NPSAS:2008, which became the base year for follow-up interviews in 2009 and 2012. The B&B:08/18 data collection will be the third and final follow-up for the third cohort of the B&B series (OMB# 1850-0729). The fourth cohort of baccalaureate recipients (B&B:16/17), identified in NPSAS:2016, is entering full-scale data collection in 2017 (OMB# 1850-0926). This request is to conduct the B&B:08/18 field test in 2017, which will collect data from B&B:08 sample members after they were first surveyed 10 years earlier. The B&B:08/18 field test includes several data collection experiments and will inform the materials and procedures for the full-scale B&B:08/18 to be conducted in 2018.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06664 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0148] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Migrant Education Program Regulations and Certificate of Eligibility AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0148. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 224-82, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Sarah Martinez, 202-260-1334.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Migrant Education Program Regulations and Certificate of Eligibility.

    OMB Control Number: 1810-0662.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individual or Households; State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 132,846.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 564,400.

    Abstract: This collection of information is necessary to collect information under the Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program (MEP). The MEP is authorized under sections 1301-1309 of Part C of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended. Regulations for the MEP are found at 34 CFR 200.81-200.89. This information collection covers regulations with information collection requirements which pertain to information that State educational agencies (SEAs) must collect in order to properly administer the MEP: 34 CFR 200.83, 200.84, 200.88, and 200.89(b)-(d). Most provisions do not require SEAs to submit the information collected to the Department, with the exception of the provisions under 34 CFR 200.89(b).

    The Department is requesting a revision to this currently approved information collection in order to address changes to MEP eligibility made by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes and amends the authorizing statute, ESEA. The changes to MEP eligibility criteria must be reflected on the national Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which is an information collection required by 34 CFR 200.89(c).

    There was an overall reduction in SEA burden and responses. The reduction in burden and responses was achieved not as a result of deliberate Federal government action, but rather due to decreases in the number of eligible migratory children, the number of SEAs participating in the MEP, and the number of SEAs that the Department expects will be required to implement retrospective re-interviewing. The burden per respondent for the COE as described in 34 CFR 200.89(c) remains the same because although some additional burden is incurred as a result of the added questions (needed to demonstrate compliance with the new statutory language in ESSA), there was an equivalent reduction in burden achieved by the removal of previously included questions (which were needed to demonstrate compliance with the statute, prior to its amendment by ESSA). The annualized burden of 34 CFR 200.83, 200.84, and 200.88 was changed due to those costs occurring at least once per ESEA authorization period of four years (previously six years).

    Dated: March 31, 2017. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06694 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the State Energy Program AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Submission for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review; public comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) invites public comment on a revision of a currently approved collection of information that DOE is developing for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection requests a revision and three-year extension of its State Energy Program.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this revision to an approved information collection must be received on or before May 5, 2017. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be sent to: Sallie Glaize, EE-5W, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585; Email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to: Gregory Davoren, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585; Phone: (202) 287-1706; Fax: (412) 386-5835; Email: [email protected].

    Additional information and reporting guidance concerning the State Energy Program (SEP) is available for review at the following Web site: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/sep.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The proposed action will continue the collection of information on the status of grantee activities, expenditures, and results, to ensure that program funds are being used appropriately, effectively and expeditiously.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the revision of the currently approved collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden pertaining to the approved collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to further enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (d) ways to further minimize the burden regarding the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. 1910-5126; (2) Information Collection Request Title: State Energy Program; (3) Type of Review: Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection; (4) Purpose: To collect information on the status of grantee activities, expenditures, and results, to ensure that program funds are being used appropriately, effectively and expeditiously; (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 56; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 224; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 7,600; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $304,000.

    Statutory Authority: Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), Pub. L. 110-140, as amended (42 U.S.C. 17151 et seq.).

    Issued in Washington, DC, February 28, 2017. Gregory Davoren, Lead Energy Project Specialist, Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06478 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-211-D] Application To Export Electric Energy; DTE Energy Trading, Inc. AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    DTE Energy Trading, Inc. (Applicant or DTE Energy Trading) has applied to renew its authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before May 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f)) and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).

    On July 13, 2012, DOE issued Order No. EA-211-C to DTE Energy Trading, which authorized the Applicant to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities. That authority expires on July 13, 2017. On March 13, 2017, DTE Energy Trading filed an application with DOE for renewal of the export authority contained in Order No. EA-211 for an additional five-year term.

    In its application, DTE Energy Trading states that it does not own or operate any electric generation or transmission facilities, and it does not have a franchised service area. The electric energy that DTE Energy Trading proposes to export to Canada would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by TPS have previously been authorized by Presidential Permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

    Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above.

    Comments and other filings concerning DTE Energy Trading's application to export electric energy to Canada should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-211-D. An additional copy is to be provided directly to both Cynthia Klots, DTE Energy Trading, Inc., 414 S. Main Street, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 and Jane E. Rueger, White & Case LLP, 701 13th St. NW., Washington, DC 20005.

    A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE's National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program Web site at http://energy.gov/node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 21, 2017. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06731 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [Case No. BC-001] Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Decision and Order Granting a Waiver to Dyson, Inc. From the Department of Energy Battery Charger Test Procedure AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Decision and order.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of a decision and order (Case No. BC-001) that grants to Dyson, Inc. (Dyson) a waiver from the DOE test procedure for determining the energy consumption of battery chargers. Under this decision and order, Dyson is required to test and rate the battery charger used in its robotic vacuum cleaner model RB01, marketed as the Dyson 360-Eye (Robot) using an alternate test procedure to turn off functions not associated with the battery charging process during the charge and maintenance mode test by isolating a terminal of the battery pack using isolating tape when measuring energy consumption.

    DATES:

    This Decision and Order is effective April 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-5B, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. Email: [email protected]

    Mr. Peter Cochran, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-33, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-9496. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 430.27(f)(2)), DOE gives notice of the issuance of its decision and order as set forth below. The decision and order grants Dyson a waiver from the applicable battery charger test procedure in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix Y for the battery charger used in their robotic vacuum cleaner model RB01, marketed as the Dyson 360-Eye (“Robot”), provided that Dyson tests and rates such products using the alternate test procedure described in this notice. Dyson's representations concerning the energy efficiency of this product must be based on testing consistent with the provisions and restrictions in the alternate test procedure set forth in the decision and order below, and the representations must fairly disclose the test results. Distributors, retailers, and private labelers are held to the same standard when making representations regarding the energy efficiency of these products. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c))

    Not later than June 5, 2017, any manufacturer currently distributing in commerce in the United States a product employing a technology or characteristic that results in the same need for a waiver from the battery charger test procedure must submit a petition for waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(j). Manufacturers not currently distributing such products in commerce in the United States must petition for and be granted a waiver prior to distribution in commerce in the United States. Manufacturers may also submit a request for interim waiver pursuant to the requirements of 10 CFR 430.27.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 27, 2017. Steven G. Chalk, Acting Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Decision and Order In the Matter of: Dyson, Inc. (Case No. BC-001) I. Background and Authority

    Title III, Part B 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified) established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program that includes battery chargers.2 Part B includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part B authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results that measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs during a representative average-use cycle, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure for battery chargers is contained in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 430, subpart B, appendix Y, Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Battery Chargers.

    1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was redesignated as Part A.

    2 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 (EEIA), Public Law 114-11 (April 30, 2015).

    The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that allow a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for a particular basic model of a type of covered product when the petitioner's basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that: (1) Prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedure, or (2) cause the prescribed test procedures to evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1).DOE may grant the waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(f)(2).

    II. Dyson's Petition for Waiver: Assertions and Determinations

    On April 7, 2016, Dyson filed a petition for waiver from the DOE test procedure for battery chargers under 10 CFR 430.27 for the battery charger used in their robotic vacuum cleaner model RB01, marketed as the Dyson 360-Eye (Robot), which is required to be tested using the DOE battery charger test procedure at 10 CFR 430.23(aa) and detailed at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix Y. In its petition, Dyson asks that the requirement contained in the DOE test procedure for battery chargers provided in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix Y, section 4.4, Limiting Other Non-Battery-Charger Functions, be waived with regard to testing of the Robot battery charger. According to subsection 4.4.b (and a related provision at section 5.6.c.1), any function controlled by the user and not associated with the battery charging process must be switched off or be set to the lowest power-consuming mode.

    Dyson asserts that in order to provide the user with the advanced setting and management features of the Robot, the relevant functionalities and circuitry have to be powered at all times. Accordingly, Dyson does not believe it appropriate to make these functions, which are not associated with the battery charging process, user controllable because they are an integral part of the Robot itself. Therefore, in order to ascertain the true energy consumption characteristics of the battery charger during the test, Dyson seeks permission to switch off these functions by a means that is not controlled by the user.

    Dyson also requested an interim waiver from the existing DOE test procedure, which DOE granted. See 81 FR at 62489. After reviewing the alternate procedure suggested by Dyson, DOE granted the interim waiver because DOE determined that Dyson's petition for waiver will likely be granted and decided that it was desirable for public policy reasons to grant Dyson immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. Dyson's petition was published in the Federal Register on September 9, 2016. 81 FR 62489. DOE received no comments regarding Dyson's petition.

    On May 20, 2016, DOE published a test procedure final rule that adopted amendments to the battery charger test procedure found in Appendix Y. 81 FR 31827. Subsequently, on December 12, 2016, DOE issued a separate final rule to add a discrete test method for uninterruptible power supplies to the battery charger test procedure. 81 FR 89806. Neither of these final rules amended the provisions of the battery charger test procedure from which Dyson sought a waiver. Since the amendments in these final rules did not address the issues presented in the waiver petition, Dyson's interim waiver has remained in effect while DOE has evaluated the waiver petition. 10 CFR 430.27(h).

    III. Consultations With Other Agencies

    DOE consulted with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff concerning the Dyson petition for waiver. The FTC staff did not have any objections to granting a waiver to Dyson.

    IV. Order

    After careful consideration of all the material that was submitted by Dyson and consultation with the FTC staff, in accordance with 10 CFR 430.27, it is ordered that:

    (1) The petition for waiver submitted by the Dyson Inc. (Case No. BC-001) is hereby granted as set forth in the paragraphs below.

    (2) Dyson must test and rate the Dyson basic models specified in paragraph (3) on the basis of the current test procedure contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix Y, except that Dyson, notwithstanding the instructions in Appendix Y sections 3.2.4 and 3.3.6, may disable power to functions not associated with the battery charging process by isolating a terminal of the battery pack using isolating tape, as shown in the Appendices to the petition for waiver.

    (3) This order applies only to the following basic model: RB01, marketed as the Dyson 360-Eye (“Robot”), battery charger.

    (4) This waiver shall remain in effect consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 27, 2017. Steven G. Chalk, Acting Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    [FR Doc. 2017-06732 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE -P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1005; FRL-9960-77] Chlorpyrifos; Order Denying PANNA and NRDC's Petition To Revoke Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Order.

    SUMMARY:

    In this Order, EPA denies a petition requesting that EPA revoke all tolerances for the pesticide chlorpyrifos under section 408(d) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and cancel all chlorpyrifos registrations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. The petition was filed in September 2007 by the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

    DATES:

    This Order is effective April 5, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before June 5, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.)

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1005, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0206; email address: [email protected]

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

    In this document EPA denies a petition by PANNA and the NRDC to revoke pesticide tolerances and cancel pesticide registrations. This action may also be of interest to agricultural producers, food manufacturers, or pesticide manufacturers. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to those engaged in the following activities:

    • Crop production (North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code 111), e.g., agricultural workers; greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture workers; farmers.

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112), e.g., cattle ranchers and farmers, dairy cattle farmers, livestock farmers.

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311), e.g., agricultural workers; farmers; greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture workers; ranchers; pesticide applicators.

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532), e.g., agricultural workers; commercial applicators; farmers, greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture workers; residential users.

    This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to provide a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected. The NAICS codes have been provided to assists you and others in determining whether this action might apply to certain entities. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1005. Additional information relevant to this action is located in the chlorpyrifos registration review docket under Docket ID No, EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850 and the chlorpyrifos tolerance rulemaking docket under Docket ID No, EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653. To access the electronic docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, select “Advanced Search,” then “Docket Search.” Insert the docket ID number where indicated and select the “Submit” button. Follow the instructions on the regulations.gov Web site to view the docket index or access available documents. All documents in the docket are listed in the docket index available in regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available in the electronic docket or, if only available in hard copy, at the OPP Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. The Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

    C. Can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under section 408(g) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) (21 U.S.C. 346a(g)), any person may file an objection to any aspect of this order and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this order in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1005 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before June 5, 2017, and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Mail: U.S. EPA Office of Administrative Law Judges, Mailcode 1900R, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Administrative Law Judges, Ronald Reagan Building, Rm. M1200, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004. Deliveries are only accepted during the Office's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Office's telephone number is (202) 564-6255.

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing that does not contain CBI for inclusion in the public docket that is described in I.B.1 above. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit this copy, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1005, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Public Regulatory Docket (7502P), 1200 Pennsylvania, Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. Deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

    D. What should be included in objections?

    The objection stage is the second stage in the petition process under FFDCA section 408. This multi-stage process is initiated by a petition requesting establishment, modification, or revocation of a tolerance. Once EPA makes a decision on a petition, and publishes its decision in the Federal Register, the second stage of the petition process is triggered. At this point, parties who disagree with EPA's decision, whether it is a decision to grant or deny the petition, may file objections with EPA to the decision made. The objection stage gives parties a chance to seek review of EPA's decision before the Agency. This is an opportunity for parties to contest the conclusions EPA reached and the determinations underlying those conclusions. As an administrative review stage, it is not an opportunity to raise new issues or arguments or present facts or information that were available earlier. On the other hand, parties must do more than repeat the claims in the petition. The objection stage is the opportunity to challenge EPA's decision on the petition. An objection fails on its face if it does not identify aspects of EPA's decision believed to be in error and explain the reason why EPA's decision is incorrect. This two-stage process insures that issues are fully aired before the Agency and a comprehensive record is compiled, prior to judicial review.

    II. Introduction A. What action is the Agency taking?

    In this document, EPA denies a petition by PANNA and the NRDC. In a petition dated September 12, 2007, PANNA and NRDC (the petitioners) requested that EPA revoke all tolerances for the pesticide chlorpyrifos established under section 408 of the FFDCA. (Ref. 1) The petition also sought the cancellation of all chlorpyrifos pesticide product registrations under section 6 the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 136d. The PANNA and NRDC petition (the Petition) raised the following claims regarding EPA's reregistration and active registrations of chlorpyrifos in support of the request for tolerance revocation and product cancellation:

    1. EPA has ignored genetic evidence of vulnerable populations.

    2. EPA has needlessly delayed a decision regarding endocrine disrupting effects.

    3. EPA has ignored data regarding cancer risks.

    4. EPA's 2006 cumulative risk assessment (CRA) for the organophosphates misrepresented risks and failed to apply FQPA 10X safety factor. [For convenience's sake, the legal requirements regarding the additional safety margin for infants and children in section 408(b)(2)(C) of the FFDCA are referred to throughout this response as the “FQPA 10X safety factor” or simply the “FQPA safety factor.” Due to Congress' focus on both pre- and post-natal toxicity, EPA has interpreted this additional safety factor as pertaining to risks to infants and children that arise due to pre-natal exposure as well as to exposure during childhood years.]

    5. EPA has over-relied on registrant data.

    6. EPA has failed to properly address the exporting hazard in foreign countries from chlorpyrifos.

    7. EPA has failed to quantitatively incorporate data demonstrating long-lasting effects from early life exposure to chlorpyrifos in children.

    8. EPA has disregarded data demonstrating that there is no evidence of a safe level of exposure during pre-birth and early life stages.

    9. EPA has failed to cite or quantitatively incorporate studies and clinical reports suggesting potential adverse effects below 10% cholinesterase inhibition.

    10. EPA has failed to incorporate inhalation routes of exposure.

    In this order EPA is denying the Petition in full. EPA provided the petitioners with two interim responses on July 16, 2012, and July 15, 2014, respectively. The July 16, 2012, response denied claim 6 (export hazard) completely and that portion of the response was a final agency action. The remainder of the July 16, 2012, response and the July 15, 2014, response expressed EPA's intention to deny six other petition claims (1-5 and 10). [In the 2012 response, EPA did, however, inform petitioners of its approval of label mitigation (in the form of rate reductions and spray drift buffers) to reduce bystander risks, including risks from inhalation exposure, which in effect partially granted petition claim 10.] EPA made clear in both the 2012 and 2014 responses that, absent a request from petitioners, EPA's denial of those six claims would not be made final until EPA finalized its response to the entire Petition. Petitioners made no such request. EPA is finalizing its denial of those six claims in this order.

    The remaining claims (7-9) all related to same issue: Whether the potential exists for chlorpyrifos to cause neurodevelopmental effects in children at exposure levels below EPA's existing regulatory standard (10% cholinesterase inhibition). While these claims raised novel, highly complex and unresolved scientific issues, EPA decided it would nonetheless expedite the registration review of chlorpyrifos under FIFRA section 3(g), and attempt to address these issues several years in advance of the October 1, 2022 deadline for completing that review. Accordingly, EPA also decided as a policy matter that it would address the Petition claims raising these matters on a similar timeframe. Although EPA had expedited its registration review to address these issues, the petitioners were not satisfied with EPA's progress in responding to the Petition and they brought legal action in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to compel EPA to either issue an order denying the Petition or to grant the Petition by initiating the tolerance revocation process. In August 2015, the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in favor of the petitioners and ordered EPA to respond to the Petition by either denying the Petition or issuing a proposed or final rule revoking chlorpyrifos tolerances. In re Pesticide Action Network of North America v. EPA, 798 F.3d (9th Cir. 2015).

    On November 6, 2015, pursuant to the 9th Circuit's order, EPA proposed to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances based in part on uncertainty surrounding the potential for chlorpyrifos to cause neurodevelopmental effects—the issue raised in petition claims 7-9. Following publication of the proposal, the 9th Circuit announced that it would retain jurisdiction over this matter and on August 12, 2016, the court further ordered EPA to complete a final petition response by March 31, 2017 and made clear that no further extensions would be granted. On November 17, 2016, EPA published a notice of data availability that released for public comment EPA's revised risk assessment that proposed a new regulatory point of departure based on the potential for chlorpyrifos to result in adverse neurodevelopmental effects.

    Following a review of comments on both the November 2015 proposal and the November 2016 notice of data availability, EPA has concluded that, despite several years of study, the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects remains unresolved and that further evaluation of the science during the remaining time for completion of registration review is warranted to achieve greater certainty as to whether the potential exists for adverse neurodevelopmental effects to occur from current human exposures to chlorpyrifos. EPA has therefore concluded that it will not complete the human health portion of the registration review or any associated tolerance revocation of chlorpyrifos without first attempting to come to a clearer scientific resolution on those issues. As noted, Congress has provided that EPA must complete registration review by October 1, 2022. Because the 9th Circuit's August 12, 2016 order has made clear, however, that further extensions to the March 31, 2017 deadline for responding to the Petition would not be granted, EPA is today also denying all remaining petition claims.

    B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    Under section 408(d)(4) of the FFDCA, EPA is authorized to respond to a section 408(d) petition to revoke tolerance either by issuing a final rule revoking the tolerances, issuing a proposed rule, or issuing an order denying the Petition.

    III. Statutory and Regulatory Background A. FFDCA/FIFRA and Applicable Regulations

    1. In general. EPA establishes maximum residue limits, or “tolerances,” for pesticide residues in food and feed commodities under section 408 of the FFDCA. Without such a tolerance or an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance, a food containing a pesticide residue is “adulterated” under section 402 of the FFDCA and may not be legally moved in interstate commerce. Section 408 was substantially rewritten by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) (Pub. L. 104-170, 110 Stat. 1489 (1996)), which established a detailed safety standard for pesticides and integrated EPA's regulation of pesticide food residues under the FFDCA with EPA's registration and re-evaluation of pesticides under FIFRA. The standard for issuing or maintaining a tolerance under section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of the FFDCA is whether it is “safe.” “Safe” is defined by section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.”

    While the FFDCA authorizes the establishment of legal limits for pesticide residues in food, section 3(a) of FIFRA requires the approval of pesticides prior to their sale and distribution, and establishes a registration regime for regulating the use of pesticides. FIFRA regulates pesticide use in conjunction with its registration scheme by requiring EPA review and approval of pesticide labels and specifying that use of a pesticide inconsistent with its label is a violation of federal law. In the FQPA, Congress integrated action under the two statutes by requiring that the safety standard under the FFDCA be used as a criterion in FIFRA registration actions as to pesticide uses which result in dietary risk from residues in or on food, (see FIFRA section 2(bb)), and directing that EPA coordinate, to the extent practicable, revocations of tolerances with pesticide cancellations under FIFRA. (See FFDCA section 408(l)(1).) Under section 3(g) of FIFRA, EPA is required to re-evaluate pesticides under the FIFRA standard—which includes a determination regarding the safety of existing FFDCA tolerances—every 15 years under a program known as “registration review.” The deadline for completing the registration review for chlorpyrifos is October 1, 2022.

    2. Procedures for establishing, amending, or revoking tolerances. Tolerances are established, amended, or revoked by rulemaking under the unique procedural framework set forth in the FFDCA. Generally, a tolerance rulemaking is initiated by the party seeking to establish, amend, or revoke a tolerance by means of filing a petition with EPA. (See FFDCA section 408(d)(1).) EPA publishes in the Federal Register a notice of the petition filing and requests public comment. After reviewing the petition, and any comments received on it, section 408(d)(4) provides that EPA may issue a final rule establishing, amending, or revoking the tolerance, issue a proposed rule to do the same, or deny the petition.

    Once EPA takes final action on the petition by establishing, amending, or revoking the tolerance or denying the petition, section 408(g)(2) allows any party to file objections with EPA and seek an evidentiary hearing on those objections. Objections and hearing requests must be filed within 60 days. Section 408(g)(2)(B) provides that EPA shall “hold a public evidentiary hearing if and to the extent the Administrator determines that such a public hearing is necessary to receive factual evidence relevant to material issues of fact raised by the objections.” EPA regulations make clear that hearings will only be granted where it is shown that there is “a genuine and substantial issue of fact,” the requestor has identified evidence `which “would, if established, resolve one or more of such issues in favor of the requestor,” and the issue is “determinative” with regard to the relief requested. (40 CFR 178.32(b).) Further, a party may not raise issues in objections unless they were part of the petition and an objecting party must state objections to the EPA decision and not just repeat the allegations in its petition. Corn Growers v. EPA, 613 F.2d 266 (D.C. Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 2931 (2011). EPA's final order on the objections is subject to judicial review. (21 U.S.C. 346a(h)(1).)

    IV. Chlorpyrifos Regulatory Background

    Chlorpyrifos (0,0-diethyl-0-3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyl phosphorothioate) is a broad-spectrum, chlorinated organophosphate (OP) insecticide that has been registered for use in the United States since 1965. By pounds of active ingredient, it is the most widely used conventional insecticide in the country. Currently registered use sites include a large variety of food crops (including tree fruits and nuts, many types of small fruits and vegetables, including vegetable seed treatments, grain/oilseed crops, and cotton, for example), and non-food use settings (e.g., ornamental and agricultural seed production, non-residential turf, industrial sites/rights of way, greenhouse and nursery production, sod farms, pulpwood production, public health and wood protection). For some of these crops, chlorpyrifos is currently the only cost-effective choice for control of certain insect pests. In 2000, the chlorpyrifos registrants reached an agreement with EPA to voluntarily cancel all residential use products except those registered for ant and roach baits in child-resistant packaging and fire ant mound treatments.

    In 2006, EPA completed FIFRA section 4 reregistration and FFDCA tolerance reassessment for chlorpyrifos and the OP class of pesticides. Having completed reregistration and tolerance reassessment, EPA is required to complete the next re-evaluation of chlorpyrifos under the FIFRA section 3(g) registration review program by October 1, 2022. Given ongoing scientific developments in the study of the OPs generally, in March 2009 EPA announced its decision to prioritize the FIFRA section 3(g) registration review of chlorpyrifos by opening a public docket and releasing a preliminary work plan to complete the chlorpyrifos registration review by 2015—7 years in advance of the date required by law.

    The registration review of chlorpyrifos and the OPs has presented EPA with numerous novel scientific issues that the agency has taken to multiple FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) meetings since the completion of reregistration. [The SAP is a federal advisory committee created by section 25(d) of FIFRA, that serves as EPA's primary source of peer review for significant regulatory and policy matters involving pesticides.] Many of these complex scientific issues formed the basis of the 2007 petition filed by PANNA and NRDC and EPA therefore decided to address the Petition on a similar timeframe to EPA's expedited registration review schedule.

    Although EPA expedited the chlorpyrifos registration review in an attempt to address the novel scientific issues raised by the Petition in advance of the statutory deadline, the petitioners were dissatisfied with the pace of EPA's response efforts and have sued EPA in federal court on three separate occasions to compel a faster response to the Petition. As explained in Unit V., EPA had addressed 7 of the 10 claims asserted in the Petition by either denying the claim, issuing a preliminary denial or approving label mitigation to address the claims, but on June 10, 2015, in the PANNA decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit signaled its intent to order EPA to complete its response to the Petition and directed EPA to inform the court how—and by when—EPA intended to respond. On June 30, 2015, EPA informed the court that it intended to propose by April 15, 2016, the revocation of all chlorpyrifos tolerances in the absence of pesticide label mitigation that ensures that exposures will be safe. On August 10, 2015, the court rejected EPA's time line and issued a mandamus order directing EPA to “issue either a proposed or final revocation rule or a full and final response to the administrative Petition by October 31, 2015.”

    On October 30, 2015, EPA issued a proposed rule to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances which it published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2015 (80 FR 69080). On December 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit issued a further order requiring EPA to complete any final rule (or petition denial) and fully respond to the Petition by December 30, 2016. On June 30, 2016, EPA sought a 6-month extension to that deadline in order to allow EPA to fully consider the most recent views of the FIFRA SAP with respect to chlorpyrifos toxicology. The FIFRA SAP report was finalized and made available for EPA consideration on July 20, 2016. (Ref. 2) On August 12, 2016, the court rejected EPA's request for a 6-month extension and ordered EPA to complete its final action by March 31, 2017 (effectively granting EPA a three-month extension). On November 17, 2016, EPA published a notice of data availability (NODA) seeking public comment on both EPA's revised risk and water assessments and reopening the comment period on the proposal to revoke all chlorpyrifos (81 FR 81049). The comment period for the NODA closed on January 17, 2017.

    V. Ruling on Petition

    This order denies the Petition on the nine remaining grounds for which EPA has not issued a final denial that can be the subject of objections under section 408(g)(2) of the FFDCA. As noted in Unit II, on July 16, 2012, EPA denied as final agency action petitioners' claim 6 that the registration of chlorpyrifos created an export hazard for workers in foreign countries. That response and the response of July 15, 2014, also included EPA's preliminary denial of petition claims 1-5 and 10 (except to the extent EPA granted that claim) and EPA's responses to those claims are now incorporated into this order as set forth below. This unit also includes EPA's basis for denying petition claims 7-9. Each specific petition claim is summarized in this Unit V. immediately prior to EPA's response to the claim.

    1. Genetic Evidence of Vulnerable Populations

    a. Petitioners' claim. Petitioners claim that as part of EPA's reregistration decision (which was completed in 2006 with the completion of the organophosphate cumulative risk assessment) the Agency failed to calculate an appropriate intra-species uncertainty factor (i.e., within human variability) for chlorpyrifos in both its aggregate and cumulative risk assessments (CRA). They assert that certain relevant, robust data, specifically the Furlong et al. (2006) study (Ref. 3) that addresses intra-species variability in the behavior of the detoxifying enzyme paraoxonase (PON1), indicate that the Agency should have applied an intra-species safety factor “of at least 150X in the aggregate and cumulative assessments” rather than the 10X factor EPA applied. Petitioners conclude by noting that applying an intra-species factor of 100X or higher would require setting tolerances below the level of detection, which therefore should compel EPA to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances.

    b. Agency Response. Petitioners are correct that the Agency, as part of the 2006 OP CRA, evaluated, but did not rely on Furlong et al. in setting the intra-species uncertainty factor for that assessment. The Agency did not rely on the results of the PON1 data in the OP CRA because these data do not take into consideration the complexity of OP metabolism, which involves multiple metabolic enzymes, not just PON1. In addition, EPA believes the methodology utilized in the Furlong et al. study to measure intra-species variability—i.e., combining values from multiple species (transgenic mice and human) to determine the range of sensitivity within a single species—is not consistent with well-established international risk assessment practices. Further, EPA believes that petitioners' assertion that the Furlong et al. study supports an intra-species uncertainty factor of at least 150X is based on an analysis of the data that is inconsistent with EPA policy and widely-accepted international guidance on the development of intra-species uncertainty factors. In addition, the 2008 FIFRA SAP did not support the use of the Furlong et al (2006) study alone in deriving an intra-species factor. For these reasons, and as further explained below, EPA believes it is not appropriate to solely rely on the results of the Furlong et al. study, or petitioners' interpretation of those results, for purposes of determining the intra-species uncertainty factor. To determine that factor, EPA first uses science tools to quantitatively characterize human variability in both exposure and dosimetry, and then determines the appropriate intra-species uncertainty factor to protect sensitive populations. Specifically, for chlorpyrifos, EPA uses a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to account for human variability in the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of chemicals based on key physiological, biochemicals, and physicochemical determinants of these ADME processes, including the influence of PON1 variability.

    Addressing human variability and sensitive populations is an important aspect of the Agency's risk assessment process. The Agency is well aware of the issue of PON1 and has examined the scientific evidence on this source of genetic variability. PON1 is one of the key detoxification enzymes of chlorpyrifos and is included as part of the PBPK model used by EPA in the 2014 human health risk assessment (HHRA) and 2016 revised risk assessment. Specifically, PON1 is an A-esterase which can metabolize chlorpyrifos-oxon without inactivating the enzyme. (Ref. 4) Indeed, as part of the 2008 SAP, EPA performed a literature review of PON1 and its possible use in informing the intra-species (i.e., within human variability) uncertainty factor. This literature review can be found in the draft Appendix E: Data Derived Extrapolation Factor Analysis to the draft Science Issue Paper: Chlorpyrifos Hazard and Dose Response Characterization. (Ref. 5) In sum, the Agency considered available PON1 data from more than 25 studies from diverse human populations worldwide.

    The Agency focused on the PON1-192 polymorphism since it has been linked to chlorpyrifos-oxon sensitivity in experimental toxicology studies and, has been evaluated in epidemiology studies attempting to associate PON1 status with health outcomes following OP pesticide exposure in adults and children (Holland et al., 2006; Chen et al., 2003. (Ref. 6). [Note, Holland et al. (2006) and Furlong et al. (2006) report findings from the same cohort. The Holland reference provides enzymes activities for specific polymorphisms in Table 4; the Furlong paper does not report such values and provides information primarily in graphical form.] However, EPA believes that focusing on PON1 variability in isolation from other metabolic action is not an appropriate approach for developing a data-driven uncertainty factor. The Agency solicited feedback from the SAP on the utility of the PON1 data, by itself, for use in risk assessment; the SAP was similarly not supportive of using such data in isolation. Specifically, the SAP report states:

    . . . the information on PON1 polymorphisms should not be used as the sole factor in a data-derived uncertainty factor for two main reasons: (1) it is only one enzyme in a complex pathway, and is subsequent to the bioactivation reaction; therefore it can only function on the amount of bioactivation product (i.e., chlorpyrifos-oxon) that is delivered to it by CYP450); and (2) the genotype of PON1 alone is insufficient to predict vulnerability because the overall level of enzyme activity is ultimately what determines detoxification potential from that pathway; thus, it is better to use PON1 status because it provides information regarding PON1 genotype and activity. Some of the data from laboratory animal studies in PON knockout animals are using an unrealistic animal model and frequently very high dose levels, and do not reflect what might happen in humans. (Ref. 7)

    Based on a detailed review of the literature and the comments from the SAP, the Agency has determined that such data are not appropriate for use alone in deriving an intra-species uncertainty factor for use in human health risk assessment. As indicated by the SAP report, multiple factors (e.g., other enzymes such as P450s, carboxylesterases, butyrylcholinesterase) are likely to impact potential population sensitivity, rendering the results of the PON1 data, by themselves, insufficiently reliable to support a regulatory conclusion about the potential variation of human sensitivity to chlorpyrifos.

    Since the 2008 SAP, several epidemiological studies have been published that considered the association between PON status/genotype and health outcome. Hofmann et al. (2009) recently reported associations between PON1 status and inhibition of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) in a group of pesticide handlers in Washington. The authors note that this study requires replication with larger sample size(s) and more blood samples. (Ref. 8) Given the limitations of Hofmann et al., the Agency has not drawn any conclusions from this study. The Q/R-192 and/or C/T-108 polymorphism at the promoter site have been evaluated recently as a factor affecting birth or neurobehavioral outcomes following gestational exposure to OPs. (Refs. 9, 10, 11) These studies (Eskanazi., et al., 2010 (Ref. 9); Harley et al., 2011 (Ref. 10); Engel et al., 2011 (Ref. 11)) were evaluated by EPA in preparation for the April 2012 SAP review.

    Petitioners further emphasize that the Furlong et al. study supports an intra-species uncertainty factor of over 164X given the range of variability seen in that study. The 164X value is derived from sensitivity observed in transgenic mice expressing human PON1Q-192 compared with mice expressing human PON1R-192 combined with the range of plasma arylesterase (AREase) from the newborn with the lowest PON1 level compared with the mother with the highest PON1 level from a group of 130 maternal-newborn pairs from the CHAMACOS (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas) cohort.

    EPA believes it is fundamentally at odds with international risk assessment practices to combine values from both mouse and human data to determine the potential range of variability within a single species—regardless of whether the test animals express a human PON1 enzyme. As the 2008 FIFRA SAP explained, PON1 is but a single enzyme that should not be considered in isolation to predict the overall level of enzyme activity that may affect human sensitivity to a substance. Using a 164X intra-species uncertainty factor derived from the Furlong et al. study would take this practice one step further by relying upon combined PON1 values from different species with differing overall metabolic activity to derive the intra-species factor. EPA does not believe this approach is an appropriate means of determining the potential range of intra-species variability.

    Finally, petitioners' assertion that the Furlong study supports an intra-species uncertainty factor of at least 150X is based on an analysis of that study that is inconsistent with EPA policy and widely-accepted international guidance on the development of intra-species uncertainty factors. In deriving the intra-species uncertainty factor in its risk assessments, EPA is guided by the principles of the 2005 IPCS (Ref. 12) guidance on chemical specific adjustment factors (CSAFs) and the EPA's 2014 Guidance for Applying Quantitative Data to Develop Data-Derived Extrapolation Factors for Interspecies and Intraspecies Extrapolation. (Ref. 13) These guidances recommend that intra-species factors should be extrapolated from a measure of central tendency in the population to a measure in the sensitive population (i.e., to extrapolate from a typical human to a sensitive human). To base the factor on the difference between the single lowest and highest measurements in a given study, as petitioners suggest in this instance, would likely greatly exaggerate potential intra-species variability. That approach effectively assumes that the point of departure in an EPA risk assessment will be derived from the least sensitive test subject, thereby necessitating the application of an intra-species factor that accounts for the full range of sensitivity across a species. Since EPA does not develop its PoDs in this fashion; the approach suggested by petitioners is not appropriate.

    In summary, the Agency has carefully considered the issue of PON1 variability and determined that data addressing PON1 in isolation are not appropriate for use alone in deriving an intra-species uncertainty factor and that the issue is more appropriately handled using a PBPK model. Further, the derivation of the 164X value advocated by the petitioners is based on combining values from humanized mice with human measured values with a range from highest to lowest; the Furlong et al. derivation is inappropriate and inconsistent with international risk assessment practice. (Ref. 2) The 2008 FIFRA SAP did not support the PON1 data used in isolation. Finally, petitioners' statement that the Furlong et al. study supports an intra-species uncertainty factor of at least 150X likely overstates potential variability. EPA therefore denies this aspect of the Petition.

    2. Endocrine Disrupting Effects

    a. Petitioners' claim. Petitioners summarize a number of studies evaluating the effects of chlorpyrifos on the endocrine system, asserting that, taken together, the studies “suggest that chlorpyrifos may be an endocrine disrupting chemical, capable of interfering with multiple hormones controlling reproduction and neurodevelopment.” The petitioners then assert that EPA should not have delayed consideration of endocrine effects absent finalization of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) (Ref. 14) and should have quantitatively incorporated the studies into the chlorpyrifos IRED.

    b. Agency Response. This portion of the Petition appears largely to be a complaint about the completeness of EPA's reregistration decision and a request that EPA undertake quantitative incorporation of endocrine endpoints into its assessment of chlorpyrifos. The Petition does not explain whether and how endocrine effects should form the basis of a decision to revoke tolerances. The basis for seeking revocation of a tolerance is a showing that the pesticide is not “safe.” Petitioners have neither asserted that EPA should revoke tolerances because effects on the endocrine system render the tolerances unsafe, nor have petitioners submitted a factual analysis demonstrating that aggregate exposure to chlorpyrifos presents an unsafe risk to humans based on effects on the endocrine system. Rather, the Petition appears to collect a number of studies suggesting that chlorpyrifos may have effects on the endocrine system and that EPA should have considered those health impacts at reregistration in a quantitative assessment.

    To the extent that petitioners are seeking tolerance revocation on these grounds, the Petition fails to provide a sufficient basis for revocation because, in addition to the preceding defects, the cited data do not provide quantitative data (i.e., endpoints/points of departure) that indicate endocrine effects at doses that are more sensitive than the points of departure used in the chlorpyrifos risk assessment that are based on cholinesterase inhibition. While the cited studies provide qualitative information that exposure to chlorpyrifos may be associated with effects on the androgen and thyroid hormonal pathways, these data alone do not demonstrate that current human exposures from existing tolerances are unsafe. The Agency noted similar effects during its evaluation of information submitted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) during its review of existing information as part of EPA's EDSP, as discussed below. Based on the review of that data, EPA concluded that the effects seen in those studies do not call into question EPA's prior safety determinations supporting the existing tolerances; the data do not indicate a risk warranting regulatory action, and the petitioners have provided no specific information to alter this determination.

    Consequently, the Petition does not support a conclusion that existing tolerances are unsafe due to potential endocrine effects. This portion of the Petition is therefore denied.

    As petitioners may be aware, since the filing of the petition, EPA has completed the evaluation of chlorpyrifos under EPA's EDSP, as required under FFDCA section 408(p) that confirms EPA's conclusions. On April 15, 2009, a Federal Register notice was published in which chlorpyrifos was included in the initial list of chemicals (List 1) to receive EDSP Tier 1 test orders. The EDSP program is a two-tiered screening and testing program, Tier 1 and Tier 2 tests. Tier 1 includes 11 assays in the battery; these data are intended to allow EPA to determine whether certain substances (including pesticide active and other ingredients) have the potential to interact with the endocrine system and cause an effect in humans or wildlife similar to an effect produced by a “naturally occurring estrogen, or other such endocrine effects as the Administrator may designate.” The purpose of Tier 2 tests is to identify and establish a quantitative, dose-response relationship for any adverse effects that might result from the interactions with the endocrine system.

    On November 5, 2009, EPA issued Tier 1 test orders to the registrants of chlorpyrifos, requiring a battery of 11 screening assays to identify the potential to interact with the estrogen, androgen, or thyroid hormonal systems. (Ref. 15)

    The agency received and reviewed all 11 EDSP Tier 1 screening assays for chlorpyrifos. On June 29, 2015, the agency completed the EDSP weight of evidence (WoE) conclusions for the Tier 1 screening assays for List 1 chemicals, including chlorpyrifos. In addition to the Tier 1 data, the WoE evaluations considered other scientifically relevant information (OSRI), including general toxicity data and open literature studies of sufficient quality. In determining whether chlorpyrifos interacts with the estrogen, androgen or thyroid pathways, the agency considered the number and type of effects induced, the magnitude and pattern of responses observed across studies, taxa, and sexes. Additionally, the agency also considered the conditions under which effects occurred, in particular whether or not endocrine-related responses occurred at dose(s) that also resulted in general systemic or overt toxicity. The agency concluded that, based on weight of evidence considerations, EDSP Tier 2 testing is not recommended for chlorpyrifos since there was no evidence of potential interaction with the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways. The EDSP Tier 1 WoE assessment and associated data evaluation records for chlorpyrifos are available online. (Ref. 16) This assessment further supports EPA's denial of this portion of the Petition.

    3. Cancer Risks

    a. Petitioners' claim. Petitioners claim that the Agency “ignored” a December 2004 National Institutes of Health Agricultural Health Study (AHS) by Lee et al. (2004) (Ref. 17) that evaluated the association between chlorpyrifos and lung cancer incidence. (Ref. 17) The petition summarizes the results of the AHS study, stating that the incidence of lung cancer has a statistically significant association with chlorpyrifos exposure. The Petition then asserts that these data are highly relevant and therefore should have been referenced in the final aggregate assessment for chlorpyrifos or the OP CRA. Petitioners do not otherwise explain whether and how these data support the revocation of tolerances or the cancellation of pesticide registrations.

    b. Agency Response. As explained in the previous section, the basis for seeking revocation of a tolerance is a showing that the pesticide is not “safe.” Claiming that EPA failed to reference certain data in its risk assessment regarding carcinogenicity does not amount to illustrating that the tolerances are unsafe. To show a lack of safety, petitioners would have to present some fact-based argument demonstrating that aggregate exposure to chlorpyrifos poses an unsafe carcinogenic risk. Petitioners have not presented such an analysis. Accordingly, EPA is denying the Petition to revoke chlorpyrifos tolerances or cancel chlorpyrifos registrations to the extent the Petition relies on claims pertaining to carcinogenicity.

    Despite the inadequacy of petitioners' cancer claims, in the course of the Agency's review of chlorpyrifos, EPA has examined the Lee et al. study cited by petitioners (Ref. 17) among other lines of evidence. EPA has concluded that the Lee et al. investigation does not alter the Agency's weight of evidence determination concerning chlorpyrifos' carcinogenic potential, and therefore does not alter the Agency's current cancer classification for chlorpyrifos. Specifically, the Agency does not believe this evidence raises sufficient grounds for concern regarding chlorpyrifos that EPA should consider initiating action based upon this information that might lead to revocation of the chlorpyrifos tolerances or cancellation of the chlorpyrifos registrations.

    The Agency was aware of the December 2004 study cited by petitioners. While Lee et al. observed a possible association between chlorpyrifos use and the incidence of lung cancer, the authors also stressed that further evaluation was necessary before concluding the association was causal in nature. (Ref. 17) Additional evaluation is necessary because of possible alternative explanations for the Lee et al. study, which include unmeasured confounding factors or confounding factors not fully accounted for in the analysis, and possible false positive results due to the performance of multiple statistical tests.

    EPA has been a collaborating agency with the AHS since 1993, and continues to closely monitor the AHS literature. The Agency is working closely with the AHS researchers to clearly understand the results of their research efforts to ensure the Agency appropriately interprets these data as future studies are published. Between 2003 and 2009 there have been six nested case-control analyses within the AHS which evaluated the use of a number of agricultural pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, in association with specific anatomical cancer sites, in addition to the previously published cohort study (Ref. 17) cited by the petitioners. As noted below, both the Agency and Health Canada have comprehensively reviewed these data.

    In accordance with the Agency's 2005 Guideline for Cancer Risk Assessment (Ref. 18), chlorpyrifos is classified as “Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in male or female mice and male or female rats. In chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity studies, animals received chlorpyrifos in their feed every day of their lives (78 weeks for mice and 104 weeks for rats) at doses thousands of times greater than any anticipated exposure to humans from authorized uses. There was no evidence of cancer in the experimental animal studies. Additionally, available evidence from in vivo and in vitro assays did not support a mutagenic or genotoxic potential of chlorpyrifos.

    Recently, the Agency conducted its own review of the six nested case-control analyses and one cohort study within the AHS concerning the carcinogenic potential of chlorpyrifos. (Ref. 19) EPA concluded with respect to the AHS lung cancer results that the findings are useful for generating hypotheses, but require confirmation in future studies. This conclusion is consistent with that of researchers from Health Canada. Specifically, Weichenthal et al. (2010) (Ref. 20) published a review article in Environmental Health Perspectives on pesticide exposure and cancer incidence in the AHS cohort. Their review of these same studies concluded that the weight of experimental toxicological evidence does not suggest that chlorpyrifos is carcinogenic, and that epidemiologic results currently available from the AHS are inconsistent, lack replication, and lack a coherent biologically plausible carcinogenic mode of action. The authors did note positive exposure-response associations for chlorpyrifos and lung cancer in two separate evaluations.

    In summary, while there is initial suggestive epidemiological evidence of an association between chlorpyrifos and lung cancer to only form a hypothesis as to a carcinogenic mode of action, additional research (including follow-up AHS research) is needed to test the hypothesis. Consequently, at this time it is reasonable to conclude chlorpyrifos is not a carcinogen in view of the lack of carcinogenicity in the rodent bioassays and the lack of a genotoxic or mutagenic potential. The Agency concludes that existing epidemiological data (including Lee et al.) do not change the current weight of the evidence conclusions. The Agency continues to believe there is not a sufficient basis to alter its assessment of chlorpyrifos as not likely to be carcinogenic to humans when multiple lines of evidence are considered (e.g., epidemiology findings, rodent bioassay, genotoxicity); therefore, chlorpyrifos cancer risk would not be a factor in any potential Agency risk determination to revoke tolerances for chlorpyrifos.

    4. CRA Misrepresents Risks, Failed To Apply FQPA10X Safety Factor

    a. Petitioners' claim. Petitioners assert that EPA relied on limited data and inaccurate interpretations of data to support its decision to remove the FQPA safety factor in the 2006 OP CRA. Specifically, the petitioners challenge the Agency's use of data from a paper by Zheng et al. (2000) (Ref. 21) claiming that, in contrast to the Agency's analysis of the study data, the data does show an obvious difference between juvenile and adult responses to chlorpyrifos. Petitioners conclude by asserting that the Zheng et al. study supports using a 10X safety factor for chlorpyrifos in the CRA.

    b. Agency Response. Petitioners' assertions do not provide a sufficient basis for revoking chlorpyrifos tolerances. As explained previously, the ground for seeking revocation of a tolerance is a showing that the pesticide is not “safe.” The petitioners' claim that the data EPA relied upon support a different FQPA safety factor for chlorpyrifos in the CRA does not amount to a showing that chlorpyrifos tolerances are unsafe. To show a lack of safety, petitioners would have to present a factual analysis demonstrating that the lack of a 10X safety factor in the CRA for chlorpyrifos poses unsafe cumulative exposures to the OPs. Petitioners have not made such a showing. For this reason, EPA is denying the petitioners' request to revoke chlorpyrifos tolerances or cancel chlorpyrifos registrations to the extent that request relies on claims pertaining to EPA's failure to provide a 10X safety factor in the 2006 CRA based on the results of the Zheng et al. study.

    Despite the inadequacy of petitioners' FQPA safety factor claims, EPA examined the evidence cited by petitioners for the purpose of evaluating whether the evidence raises sufficient grounds for concern regarding chlorpyrifos that EPA should consider initiating the actions sought by the petitioners.

    In general, when the Agency conducts a cumulative assessment, the scope of cumulative risk is limited to the common mechanism endpoint—which in this case of the 2006 OP CRA, was cholinesterase inhibition, the primary toxicity mode of action for the OPs. As such, for the OP CRA, experimental toxicology data on AChE inhibition were used for developing relative potency estimates, points of departure, and informing the FQPA safety factor used in the OP CRA. EPA relied on brain AChE data from adult female rats dosed for 21 days or longer for estimating relative potency and points of departure. At approximately three weeks of oral exposure to OPs, AChE inhibition reaches steady state in the adult rat such that continued dosing does not result in increased inhibition. This timeframe of toxicity (21-days and longer) was selected as there was high confidence in the potency estimates derived from the steady state toxicology studies due to the stability of the AChE inhibition.

    The Agency's 2006 OP CRA contained EPA's complete FQPA safety factor analysis, (Ref. 22) which involved consideration of pre-natal and post-natal experimental toxicology studies, in addition to exposure information. In the OP CRA, pre-natal exposure AChE studies in rats show that the fetus is no more sensitive than the dam to AChE inhibition and the fetus is often less sensitive than the dam. Thus, evaluating the potential for increased toxicity of juveniles from post-natal exposure was a key component in determining the magnitude of the FQPA safety factors in the OP CRA. Furthermore, because characteristics of children are directly accounted for in the cumulative exposure assessment, the Agency's methods did not underestimate exposure to OPs.

    In the 2006 OP CRA, each OP was assigned a 10X FQPA safety factor unless chemical-specific AChE data on young animals were available to generate a data derived safety factor. To best match the relative potency factor (RPF)s and PODs based on repeated dosing, the Agency used repeated dosing data in juveniles for developing the FQPA safety factors. For chlorpyrifos, at the time of the 2006 OP CRA, the only such data available were from the Zheng et al. literature study.

    The petitioners are correct that Dr. Carey Pope of Oklahoma State University provided the Agency with the raw data from the Zheng et al. study. These raw data were used to develop the plot in the 2006 OP CRA which was reproduced in the Petition. Petitioners accurately note that for other OPs a benchmark dose modeling approach was used and that no BMD values were reported for chlorpyrifos. In determining the FQPA safety factor, petitioners claim that the Agency misinterpreted the brain AChE data from Zheng et al.

    As shown in the plot reproduced on page 15 of the Petition, the dose-response data in the Zheng et al. study are variable and lack a monotonic shape at the low dose end of the dose response curve. The Agency acknowledges that at the high dose, the pups appear to be more sensitive. However, at the low dose end of the response curve, relevant for human exposures and, thus, the cumulative risk assessment (i.e., at or near the 10% inhibition level), little to no difference is observed. Therefore, despite the lack of BMD estimates for the Zheng et al. study, the Agency is confident in the value used to address the common mechanism endpoint (AChE inhibition) addressed in the 2006 CRA. Since that time, the Agency attempted BMD modeling of the Zheng et al. data as part of the 2011 preliminary chlorpyrifos HHRA (Ref. 23) which yielded low confidence results due to the variability in the data.

    Dow AgroSciences submitted a comparative cholinesterase study (CCA) for chlorpyrifos. CCA studies are specially designed studies to compare the dose-response relationship in juvenile and adult rats. This CCA study includes two components: (1) Acute, single dosing in post-natal day 11 and young adult rats and (2) 11-days of repeating dosing in rat pups from PND11-21 and 11-days of repeated dosing in adult rats. The CCA study for chlorpyrifos is considered by EPA to be high quality and well-designed. The preliminary risk assessment for chlorpyrifos' reports BMD estimates from this CCA study. Specifically, for the repeated dosing portion of the study, the BMD10s of 0.80 (0.69 BMDL10) and 1.0 (0.95 BMDL10) mg/kg/day respectively for female pups and adults support the FQPA safety factor of 1X for the AChE inhibition endpoint used in the 2006 OP CRA. As such, petitioners' claims regarding the CRA and FQPA safety factor is denied.

    5. Over-Reliance on Registrant Data

    a. Petitioners' claims. Petitioners assert that in reregistering chlorpyrifos EPA “cherry picked” data, “ignoring robust, peer-reviewed data in favor of weak, industry-sponsored data to determine that chlorpyrifos could be re-registered and food tolerances be retained.” As such, the Agency's reassessment decision is not scientifically defensible.

    b. Agency response. This portion of the Petition does not purport to be an independent basis for revoking chlorpyrifos tolerances or cancelling chlorpyrifos registrations. Rather, this claim appears to underlie petitioners' arguments in other sections of the Petition. While petitioners claim that EPA ignored robust, peer-reviewed data in favor of weak, industry-sponsored data for the reregistration of chlorpyrifos, petitioners do not cite to any studies other than those used to support their other claims. In general, petitioners did not provide any studies in the Petition that EPA failed to evaluate. Since the specific studies cited by petitioners are not associated with this claim, but rather their other claims, EPA's response to the specific studies are, therefore, addressed in its responses to petitioners' other claims. However, EPA explains below why, as a general matter, the Agency does not believe it “over-relied” on registrant data in evaluating the risks of chlorpyrifos in its 2006 reregistration decision.

    In spite of petitioners' claim, the Agency does not ignore robust, peer-reviewed data in favor of industry-sponsored data. Further, EPA has a very public and well-documented set of procedures that it applies to the use and significance accorded all data utilized to inform risk management decisions. Registrant generated data, in response to FIFRA and FFDCA requirements, are conducted and evaluated in accordance with a series of internationally harmonized and scientifically peer-reviewed study protocols designed to maintain a high standard of scientific quality and reproducibility. (Refs. 23 and 24.)

    Additionally, to further inform the Agency's risk assessment, EPA is committed to the consideration of other sources of information such as data identified in the open, peer-reviewed literature and information submitted by the public as part of the regulatory evaluation of a pesticide. An important issue, when evaluating any study, is its scientific soundness and quality, and thus, the level of confidence in the study findings to contribute to the risk assessment.

    The literature was searched, fully considered, and provided additional information on, chlorpyrifos mode of action, pharmacokinetics, epidemiology, neurobehavioral effects in laboratory animals, and age dependent sensitivity to cholinesterase inhibition.

    Therefore, by evaluating registrant data in accordance with internationally harmonized and scientifically peer-reviewed study protocols, undertaking thorough open literature searches, and considering information provided by the public, the Agency is confident that its assessment for chlorpyrifos in 2006 was reasonably based upon the best available science at the time of the assessment. Previous sections of this response to petitioners' claims regarding the Agency's inadequate use of various data only further highlights and supports the scientifically defensible results of the Agency's assessment. Petitioners' claim that the Agency overly relies on registrant data is therefore denied.

    6. EPA Has Failed To Properly Address the Exporting Hazard in Foreign Countries From Chlorpyrifos

    As noted in Unit II., in EPA's July 16, 2012 interim petition response EPA issued a final denial of this claim. That denial constituted final agency action and EPA is not reopening consideration of that claim.

    7.-9. EPA Failed To Quantitatively Incorporate Data Demonstrating Long-Lasting Effects From Early Life Exposure to Chlorpyrifos in Children; EPA Disregarded Data Demonstrating That There Is No Evidence of a Safe Level of Exposure During Pre-Birth and Early Life Stages; EPA Failed To Cite or Quantitatively Incorporate Studies and Clinical Reports Suggesting Potential Adverse Effects Below 10% Cholinesterase Inhibition

    a. Petitioners' claims. The petitioners assert that human epidemiology and rodent developmental neurotoxicity data suggest that pre-natal and early life exposure to chlorpyrifos can result in long-lasting, possibly permanent damage to the nervous system and that these effects are likely occurring at exposure levels below 10% cholinesterase inhibition, EPA's existing regulatory standard for chlorpyrifos and other OPs. They assert that EPA has therefore used the wrong endpoint as a basis for regulation and that, taking into account the full spectrum of toxicity, chlorpyrifos does not meet the FFDCA safety standard or the FIFRA standard for registration.

    b. Agency response. EPA has grouped claims 7-9 together because they fundamentally all raise the same issue: Whether the potential exists for chlorpyrifos to cause neurodevelopmental effects in infants and children from exposures (either to mothers during pregnancy or directly to infants and children) that are lower than those resulting in 10% cholinesterase inhibition—the basis for EPA's long-standing point of departure in regulating chlorpyrifos and other OPs. While petitioners may perhaps disagree, unlike the claims addressed above, these claims were not truly challenges to EPA's 2006 reregistration decision for chlorpyrifos, but rather, challenges to EPA's ongoing approval of chlorpyrifos under FIFRA and the FFDCA that rely in large measure on data published after EPA completed both its 2001 chlorpyrifos Interim Reregistration Decision and the 2006 OP CRA that concluded the reregistration process for chlorpyrifos and all other OPs. As matters that largely came to light after the completion of reregistration, these petition issues are issues to be addressed as part of the registration review of chlorpyrifos—the next round of re-evaluation under section 3(g) of FIFRA. As petitioners are aware, past EPA administrations prioritized the registration review of the OPs in no small measure to begin to focus on the question of OP neurodevelopmental toxicity, which was, and remains, an issue at the cutting edge of science, involving significant uncertainties. EPA has three times presented approaches and proposals to the FIFRA SAP for evaluating recent epidemiologic data (some of which is cited in the Petition) exploring the possible connection between in utero and early childhood exposure to chlorpyrifos and adverse neurodevelopmental effects. The SAP's reports have rendered numerous recommendations for additional study and sometimes conflicting advice for how EPA should consider (or not consider) the epidemiology data in conducting EPA's registration review human health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos. While industry and public interest groups on both sides of this issue can debate what the recommendations mean and which recommendations should be followed, one thing should be clear to all persons following this issue: the science on this question is not resolved and would likely benefit from additional inquiry.

    EPA has, however, been unable to persuade the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that further inquiry into this area of unsettled science should delay EPA's response to the Petition. Faced with an order requiring EPA to respond to the Petition, in October 2015, EPA chose to issue a proposed rule to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances based in part on the uncertain science surrounding neurodevelopmental toxicity suggested by certain epidemiology studies. The comments EPA has received on that proposal and on EPA's November 17, 2016 NODA suggest that there continue to be considerable areas of uncertainty with regard to what the epidemiology data show and deep disagreement over how those data should be considered in EPA's risk assessment.

    Although not a legal consideration, it is important to recognize that for many decades chlorpyrifos has been and remains one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States, making any decision to retain or remove this pesticide from the market an extremely significant policy choice. In light of the significance of this decision and in light of the significant uncertainty that exists regarding the potential for chlorpyrifos to cause adverse neurodevelopmental effects, EPA's preference is to fully explore approaches raised by the SAP and commenters on the proposed rule, and possibly seek additional authoritative peer review of EPA's risk assessment prior to finalizing any regulatory action in the course of registration review. As the 9th Circuit has made clear in its August 12, 2016 order in PANNA v. EPA, EPA must provide a final response to the Petition by March 31, 2017, regardless of whether the science remains unsettled and irrespective of whatever options may exist for more a complete resolution of these issues during the registration review process.

    While EPA acknowledges its obligation to respond to the Petition as required by the court, the court's order does not and cannot compel EPA to complete the registration review of chlorpyrifos in advance of the October 1, 2022 deadline provided in section 3(g) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. 136a(g). Although past EPA administrations had chosen to attempt to complete that review several years in advance of the statutory deadline (and respond to the Petition on the same time frame), it has turned out that it is not possible to fully address these issues early in the registration review period. As a result, EPA has concluded that it should alter its priorities and adjust the schedule for chlorpyrifos so that it can complete its review of the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects prior to making a final registration review decision whether to retain, limit or remove chlorpyrifos from the market. Accordingly, EPA is denying these Petition claims and intends to complete a full and appropriate review of the neurodevelopmental data before either finalizing the proposed rule of October 30, 2015, or taking an alternative regulatory path.

    EPA's denial of the Petition on the grounds provided above is wholly consistent with governing law. The petition provision in FFDCA section 408(d) does not address the timing for responding to this petition nor does it limit the extent to which EPA may coordinate its petition responses with the registration review provisions of FIFRA section 3(g). Further, provided EPA completes registration review by October 1, 2022, Congress otherwise gave the EPA Administrator the discretion to determine the schedule and timing for completing the review of the approximately over 1000 pesticide active ingredients currently subject to evaluation under section 3(g). EPA may lawfully re-prioritize the registration review schedule developed by earlier administrations provided that decision is consistent with law and an appropriate exercise of discretion. See Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, 129 S.Ct. 1800 (2009) (Administrative Procedure Act does not require that a policy change be justified by reasons more substantial than those required to adopt a policy in the first instance). Nothing in FIFRA section 3(g) precludes EPA from altering a previously established registration review schedule. Given the absence of a clear statutory directive, FIFRA and the FFDCA provide EPA with discretion to take into account EPA's registration review of a pesticide in determining how and when the Agency responds to FFDCA petitions to revoke tolerances. As outlined above, given the importance of this matter and the fact that critical questions remain regarding the significance of the data addressing neurodevelopmental effects, EPA believes there is good reason to extend the registration review of chlorpyrifos and therefore to deny the Petition. To find otherwise would effectively give petitioners under the FFDCA the authority to re-order scheduling decisions regarding the FIFRA registration review process that Congress has vested in the Administrator.

    10. Inhalation Exposure From Volatilization

    a. Petitioners' claim. Petitioners assert that when EPA completed its 2006 OP CRA, EPA failed to consider and incorporate significant exposures to chlorpyrifos-contaminated air that exist for some populations in communities where chlorpyrifos is applied. Petitioners assert that these exposures exceeded safe levels when considering cholinesterase inhibition as a point of departure and that developmental neurotoxicity may occur at even lower exposure levels than those resulting in cholinesterase inhibition.

    b. Agency response. To the extent petitioners are asserting that human exposure to chlorpyrifos spray drift and volatilized chlorpyrifos present neurodevelopmental risks for infants and children, EPA is denying this claim for the reasons stated above in our response to claims 7-9. As noted, EPA believes that, given the uncertainties associated with this identified risk concern, the appropriate course of action is for EPA to deny the Petition and work to further resolve this area of unsettled science in the time remaining for the completion of registration review under section 3(g) of FIFRA.

    With respect to petitioners' claim that exposures to spray drift and volatilized chlorpyrifos present a risk from cholinesterase inhibition, EPA is denying the Petition for the reasons previously identified in EPA's Spray Drift Mitigation Decision of July 16, 2012 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850] and EPA's interim response of July 15, 2014 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1005] addressing chlorpyrifos volatilization. In the Spray Drift Mitigation Decision, EPA determined that the chlorpyrifos registrants' adoption of label mitigation (in the form of label use rate reductions and no spray buffer zones) eliminated risk from cholinesterase inhibition as a result of spray drift. As for risks presented by volatilized chlorpyrifos that may occur following application, EPA's July 15, 2014 interim response to the Petition explained that recent vapor phase inhalation studies for both chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon made clear that neither vapor phase chlorpyrifos nor chlorpyrifos-oxon presents a risk of cholinesterase inhibition. Specifically, those studies, as indicated in EPA's memorandum, Chlorpyrifos: Reevaluation of the Potential Risks from Volatilization in Consideration of Chlorpyrifos Parent and Oxon Vapor Inhalation Toxicity Studies (Ref. 25), revealed that levels of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon in vapor form are much lower than the levels seen in earlier aerosol studies that are better suited for evaluating spray drift. Indeed, no cholinesterase inhibition was observed in either volatility study. What is clear from these data is that the air cannot hold levels of volatilized chlorpyrifos or its oxon that are capable of causing adverse effects from cholinesterase inhibition.

    VI. Regulatory Assessment Requirements

    As indicated previously, this action announces the Agency's order denying a petition filed, in part, under section 408(d) of FFDCA. As such, this action is an adjudication and not a rule. The regulatory assessment requirements applicable to rulemaking do not, therefore, apply to this action.

    VII. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., does not apply because this action is not a rule for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 804(3).

    IX. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that are specifically referenced in this document. The docket includes these documents and other information considered by EPA, including documents that are referenced within the documents that are included in the docket, even if the referenced document is not physically located in the docket. For assistance in locating these other documents, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    1. The Petition from NRDC and PANNA and EPA's various responses to it are available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1005 available at http://www.regulations.gov. 2. FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (2016). “Chlorpyrifos: Analysis of Biomonitoring Data”. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/sap/meeting-materials-april-19-21-2016-scientific-advisory-panel. 3. Furlong CE, Holland N, Richter RJ, Bradman A, Ho A, Eskenazi B (2006). PON1status of farmworker mothers and children as a predictor of organophosphate sensitivity. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2006 Mar; 16(3):183-90. 4. Sultatos LG; Murphy SD, (1983). Kinetic Analysis Of The Microsomal Biotransformation Of The Phosphorothioate Insecticides Chlorpyrifos And Parathion. Fundemental and Applied Toxicology. 3:16-21. 5. U.S. EPA (2008). Draft Appendix E available at http://www.epa.gov/scipoly/sap/meetings/2008/september/appendixe.pdf. Draft Science Issue Paper: Chlorpyrifos Hazard and Dose Response Characterization. August 21, 2008. Available at http://www.epa.gov/scipoly/sap/meetings/2008/september/chlorpyrifoscharacter.pdf. 6. Holland, N., Furlong, C., Bastaki, M., Richter, R., Bradman, A., Huen, K., Beckman, K., and Eskenazi, B. (2006). Paraoxonase polymorphisms, haplotypes, and enzyme activity in Latino mothers and newborns. Environ. Health Perspect. 114(7), 985-991; Chen, J., Kumar, M., Chan, W., Berkowitz, G., and Wetmur, J. (2003). Increased Influence of Genetic Variation on PON1 Activity in Neonates. Environmental Health Perspective 111, 11:1403-9. 7. U.S. EPA (2008). Transmittal of Meeting Minutes of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting Held September 16-18, 2008 on the Agency's Evaluation of the Toxicity Profile of Chlorpyrifos. Available at http://www.epa.gov/scipoly/sap/meetings/2008/september/sap0908report.pdf at 61. 8. Engel, S.M., Wetmur, J., Chen, J., Zhu, C., Boyd Barr, D., Canfield, R.L., Wolff, M.S., (2011) Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphates, Paraoxonase 1, and Cognitive Development in Childhood Environ Health Perspect 119:1182-1188 (2011). doi:10.1289/ehp.1003183 [Online 21 April 2011]. 9. Hofmann, J.N., Keifer, M.C., Furlong, C.E., De Roos, A.J., Farin., F.M., Fenske, R.A., van Belle, G., Checkoway, H. (2009) Serum Cholinesterase Inhibition in Relation to Paraoxonase-1 (PON1) Status among Organophosphate-Exposed Agricultural Pesticide Handlers./Environ Health Perspect 117:1402-1408 (2009). doi:10.1289/ehp.0900682. Available at http://dx.doi.org/ [Online 9 June 2009]. 10. Eskenazi, B; Huen, K., Marks, A., Harley, K.G., Bradman, A., Boyd Barr, D., Holland, N. (2010) PON1 and Neurodevelopment in Children from the CHAMACOS Study Exposed to Organophosphate Pesticides in Utero. Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol. 118 (12): 1775-1781). 11. Harley KG, Huen K, Schall RA, Holland NT, Bradman A, et al.,(2011) Association of Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Paraoxonase with Birth Outcome in Mexican-American Women. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23923. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023923. 12. IPCS (International Programme on Chemical Safety) 2005. Chemical-Specific Adjustment Factors for Interspecies Differences and Human Variability: Guidance Document for Use of Data in Dose/Concentration-Response Assessment. Harmonization Project Document No. 2. World Health Organization, International Programme on Chemical Safety, Geneva, Switzerland. 13. U.S. EPA (2014). Guidance for Applying Quantitative Data to Develop Data-Derived Extrapolation Factors for Interspecies and Intraspecies Extrapolation. Available at https://www.epa.gov/risk/guidance-applying-quantitative-data-develop-data-derived-extrapolation-factors-interspecies-and. 14. For additional information on the Endocrine Disruptor Screening program see http://www.epa.gov/endo/. 15. For information related to the status of EDSP test orders/DCIs, status of EDSP OSRI: order recipient submissions and EPA responses, and other EDSP assay information see http://www.epa.gov/endo/pubs/toresources/index.htm. 16. For available Data Evaluation Records (DERs) for EDSP Tier 1, see https://www.epa.gov/endocrine-disruption/endocrine-disruptor-screening-program-tier-1-screening-determinations-and. 17. Hoppin JA, Lubin JH, Rusiecki JA, Sandler DP, Dosemeci M, Alavanja MC. (2004) Cancer incidence among pesticide applicators exposed to chlorpyrifos in the Agricultural Health Study. J Natl Cancer Inst, 96(23), 1781-1789. (hereinafter Lee et al., 2004). 18. U.S. EPA (2005). Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment. Available at http://www.epa.gov/raf/publications/pdfs/CANCER_GUIDELINES_FINAL_3-25-05.PDF. 19. Christenson, C. (2011). D388167, Chlorpyrifos Carcinogenicity: Review of Evidence from the U.S. Agricultural Health Study (AHS) Epidemiologic Evaluations 2003-2009. 20. Weichenthal S, Moase C, Chan P (2010). A review of pesticide exposure and cancer incidence in the agricultural health study cohort. Cien Saude Colet. 2012 Jan;17(1):255-70. PubMed PMID: 22218559. 21. Zheng Q, Olivier K, Won YK, Pope CN. (2000). Comparative cholinergic neurotoxicity of oral chlorpyrifos exposures in pre-weaning and adult rats. Toxicological Sciences, 55(1): 124-132. 22. For additional information on the organophosphate cumulative risk assessment, see http://epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative/2006-op/op_cra_main.pdf. 23. U.S. EPA (2011). Chlorpyrifos: Preliminary Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration. Available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850, http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850-0025. (23) For additional information on EPA's Harmonized Test Guidelines and international efforts at harmonization, see http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/science/guidelines.htm. (24) Available at http://www.regulations.gov in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850. Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq. and 21 U.S.C. 346a.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06777 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 010071-045.

    Title: Cruise Lines International Association Agreement.

    Parties: A-Rosa Flussschiff GmbH; Acromas Shipping, Ltd./Saga Shipping; Aida Cruises; AMA Waterways; American Cruise Lines, Inc.; Aqua Expeditions Pte. Ltd.; Australian Pacific Touring Pty Ltd.; Avalon Waterways; Azamara Cruises; Carnival Cruise Lines; Celebrity Cruises, Inc.; Celestyal Cruises; Costa Cruise Lines; Compagnie Du Ponant; Croisieurope; Crystal Cruises; Cunard Line; Disney Cruise Line; Dream Cruises Management Ltd.; Emerald Waterways; French America Line; Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten Gmbh; Heritage River Journeys Pvt Ltd.; Holland America Line; Luftner Cruises; MSC Cruises; NCL Corporation; Oceania Cruises; P & O Cruises; P & O Cruises Australia; PandaW River Expeditions; Paul Gauguin Cruises; Pearl Seas Cruises; Princess Cruises; Pullmantur Cruises Ship Management Ltd.; Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Riviera Tours Ltd.; Royal Caribbean International; Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours Ltd.; Seabourn Cruise Line; SeaDream Yacht Club; Shearings Holidays Ltd.; Silversea Cruises, Ltd.; Star Cruises (HK) Limited; St. Helena Line/Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd.; Tauck River Cruising; Thomson Cruises; Travelmarvel; Tui Cruises Gmbh; Uniworld River Cruises, Inc.; Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Ltd./Belmond; and Windstar Cruises.

    Filing Party: Andre Picciurro, Esq. Kaye, Rose & Partners, LLP; Emerald Plaza, 402 West Broadway, Suite 1300; San Diego, CA 92101-3542.

    Synopsis: The Amendment would update the Agreement membership and revise language in the Agreement regarding the election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012476.

    Title: HSDG/HLAG/CMA CGM Slot Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Hamburg Sud; Hapag-Lloyd AG; and CMA CGM S.A.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes HSDG and HLAG to charter space to CMA CGM in the trade between the U.S. East Coast on the one hand, and Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile on the other hand. The Parties have requested expedited review.

    Agreement No.: 012477.

    Title: CMA CGM/HLAG U.S.-West Med Slot Charter Agreement.

    Parties: CMA CGM, S.A.; and Hapag Lloyd AG.

    Filing Party: Draughn B. Arbona, Esq; CMA CGM (America) LLC; 5701 Lake Wright Drive; Norfolk, VA 23502.

    Synopsis: This Agreement authorizes CMA CGM to charter space to HLAG in the trade between Italy and Spain on the one hand, and the U.S. East Coast on the other hand.

    Agreement No.: 012478.

    Title: NYK/OOCL Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited.

    Filing Party: Joshua P. Stein; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 Nineteenth Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes NYK to charter space to OOCL on the service referred to as the PS1 and operated under THE Alliance Agreement (FMC Agreement No. 012439) and to enter into arrangements related to the chartering of such space.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06734 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than April 21, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Jacquelyn K. Brunmeier, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Cassie Harrington, individually and as co-trustee of Foresight Bank Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), both of Plainview, Minnesota; to retain shares of Plainview Bankshares, Inc., Plainview, Minnesota (PBI), and thereby indirectly retain shares of Foresight Bank, Plainview, Minnesota. In addition, the following persons are filing to retain shares of PBI and thus remain members of the Harrington Family Shareholder Group, a group acting in concert, which owns shares of PBI: Sally Harrington, Plainview, Minnesota; Amanda Raines; Issaquah, Washington; Daniel Broome-Raines, Issaquah, Washington; Anton Harrington, Plainview, Minnesota; Julia Harrington, Elgin, Minnesota; Mitchell Harrington, Plainview, Minnesota; Abigail Harrington, Plainview, Minnesota; Nathan Harrington, Plainview, Minnesota; David Harrington, Plainview, Minnesota; Beatrice Harrington, Plainview, Minnesota; Molly Harrington, St. Paul, Minnesota; Ryan Harrington, Lommatzsch, Saxony, Germany; the Harrington Living Trust and Van Harrington, trustee, both of Maiden Rock, Wisconsin; William Harrington, individually and as co-trustee of ESOP, Elgin, Minnesota; Community Presbyterian Church and Kent Harrington as session member, both of Plainview, Minnesota.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 31, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06729 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than April 21, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (David L. Hubbard, Senior Manager) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Robert M. Alexander, Calhan, Colorado; to acquire shares of First Bancshares, Inc., Mountain Grove, Missouri, and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of First Home Bank, Mountain Grove, Missouri, and Stockmens Bank, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 30, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06660 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than May 1, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Edgewater Bancorp, Inc., Saint Joseph, Michigan; to become a bank holding company following the conversion of its subsidiary, Edgewater Bank, Saint Joseph, Michigan, from a federal savings bank to a Michigan state chartered bank.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 31, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06730 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than May 1, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (David L. Hubbard, Senior Manager) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. First Bancshares, Inc., Mountain Grove, Missouri; to acquire 100 percent of Stockmens Bank, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 30, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06661 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-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 Special Interest Project (SIP) 17-002, Evaluation of the Effectiveness of School-based Health Services Interventions on Student Outcomes.

    Time and Date: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., EDT, May 4, 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 “Evaluation of the Effectiveness of School-based Health Services Interventions on Student Outcomes”, SIP 17-002.

    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.

    Claudette Grant, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06675 Filed 4-4-17; 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 Special Interest Project (SIP) 17-001, Community-based Short and Longer Term Evaluation of the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP).

    Time and Date: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., EDT, May 2, 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-based Short and Longer Term Evaluation of the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP)”, SIP 17-001.

    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.

    Claudette Grant, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06674 Filed 4-4-17; 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 Announcements (FOAs): IP17-001, Household Transmission of Influenza Viruses in the Community; IP17-004, Research on the Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses in India; and CK17-003, Using Influenza-like Illness-specific School Absenteeism as an Early Warning System for Detecting Community Influenza.

    Time and Date: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT, May 2, 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 “Household Transmission of Influenza Viruses in the Community”, IP17-001; “Research on the Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses in India”, IP17-004; and “Using Influenza-like Illness-specific School Absenteeism as an Early Warning System for Detecting Community Influenza”, CK17-003.

    Contact Person for More Information: Gregory Anderson, M.S., M.P.H., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop E60, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, Telephone: (404) 718-8833. 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.

    Claudette Grant, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06673 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Announcement of Requirements and Registration for Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the launch of the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge.

    Million Hearts® is a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2022. Achieving this goal means 10 million more Americans must have their blood pressure under control. Million Hearts® is working to control high blood pressure through clinical approaches, such as using health information technology to its fullest potential and integrating team-based approaches to health care, and community approaches, such as strengthening tobacco control and promoting physical activity. For more information about the initiative, visit https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/.

    To support improved blood pressure control, HHS/CDC is announcing the 2017 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge. The challenge will improve understanding of successful implementation strategies at the health system level by motivating clinical practices and health systems to strengthen their hypertension control efforts. It will identify clinicians, clinical practices, and health systems that have exceptional rates of hypertension control and recognize them as Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champions. To support improved quality of care delivered to patients with hypertension, Million Hearts® will document the systems, strategies, processes, and staffing that contribute to the exceptional blood pressure control rates achieved by Champions.

    DATES:

    The Challenge will run from April 7, 2017 through June 2, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy NE., Mailstop F-73, Chamblee, GA 30341, Telephone: 770-488-2424, Email: m illion h [email protected]; subject line of email: Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge; Attention: Mary George.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Award Approving Official: Anne Schuchat, MD, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

    Subject of Challenge Competition: The challenge is authorized by Public Law 111-358, the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Reauthorization Act of 2010 (COMPETES Act).

    Entrants to the Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge will be asked to provide two hypertension control rates for the practice's or health system's hypertensive population: A current rate for your most recent 12-month reporting period and a previous rate for a 12 month period 1 to 2 years before the current rate. Entrants will also be asked to provide the prevalence of hypertension in their population, describe some population characteristics that might present significant challenges and barriers in controlling hypertension. Entrants with patients presenting with these challenges, as well entrants with systems and processes in place that support hypertension control and are likely to endure, such as electronic reminder systems or team based care, will be taken into consideration in selection.

    Nominations will be scored and judged separately by size and type of nominee in the categories listed below. CDC does not guarantee that a specific proportion of Champions will be selected from each category.

    • Small individual providers or practices (500-49,999 covered lives)

    • Large providers or practices (50,000 or more covered lives)

    • Health Systems

    Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition:

    To be eligible to be recognized as a Hypertension Champion under this challenge, an individual or entity—

    (1) Shall have completed the nomination form in its entirety to participate in the competition under the rules developed by HHS/CDC;

    (2) Shall have complied with all the requirements in this section and;

    a. Be a U.S. licensed clinician, practicing in any U.S. setting, who provides continuing care for adult patients with hypertension. The individual must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

    b. Or be a U.S. incorporated clinical practice, defined as any practice with two or more U.S. licensed clinicians who by formal arrangement share responsibility for a common panel of patients, practice at the same physical location or street address, and provide continuing medical care for adult patients with hypertension;

    c. Or be a health system, incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the U.S. that provides continuing medical care for adult patients with hypertension. We encourage large health systems (those that are comprised of a large number of geographically dispersed clinics and/or have multiple hospital locations) to consider having one or a few of the highest performing clinics or regional affiliates apply individually instead of the health system applying as a whole;

    (3) Must treat all adult patients with hypertension in the practice seeking care, not a selected subgroup of patients;

    (4) Must have a data management system (electronic or paper) that allows HHS/CDC or their contractor to check data submitted;

    (5) Must treat a minimum of 500 adult patients annually and have a hypertension control rate of at least 70%;

    (6) May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;

    (7) Shall not be an HHS employee working on their applications or submissions during assigned duty hours;

    (8) Shall not be an employee or contractor at CDC;

    (9) Must agree to participate in a data validation process to be conducted by a reputable independent contractor. Data will be kept confidential by the contractor to the extent applicable law allows and will be shared with the CDC, in aggregate form only (i.e., the hypertension control rate for the practice not individual hypertension values);

    (10) Must agree to sign a Business Associate Agreement with the contractor conducting the data validation.

    (11) Must have a written policy in place regarding conducting periodic background checks on all providers and taking appropriate action based on the results of the check. CDC's contractor may also request the policy and any supporting information deemed necessary. In addition, a health system background check will be conducted by CDC or a CDC contractor that includes a search for The Joint Commission sanctions and current investigations for serious institutional misconduct (e.g., investigations for professional medical misconduct). Eligibility status, based upon the above-referenced written policy, appropriate action, and background check, will be determined at the discretion of the CDC consistent with CDC's public health mission.

    (12) Must agree to be recognized if selected and agree to participate in an interview to develop a success story that describes the systems and processes that support hypertension control among patients. Champions will be recognized on the Million Hearts® Web site. Strategies used by Champions that support hypertension control may be written into a success story, placed on the Million Hearts® Web site, and attributed to Champions.

    Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award and specifically requested to do so due to competition design.

    Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge.

    Individual nominees and individuals in a group practice must be free from convictions or pending investigations of criminal and health care fraud offenses such as felony health care fraud, patient abuse or neglect; felony convictions for other health care-related fraud, theft, or other financial misconduct; and felony convictions relating to unlawful manufacture, distribution, prescribing, or dispensing of controlled substances as verified through the Office of the Inspector General List of Excluded Individuals and Entities. http://oig.hhs.gov/exclusions/background.asp.

    Individual nominees must be free from serious sanctions, such as those for misuse or mis-prescribing of prescription medications. Eligibility status of individual nominees with serious sanctions will be determined at the discretion of CDC. CDC's contractor may perform background checks on individual clinicians or medical practices.

    Champions previously recognized through the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge retain their designation as a “Champion” and are not eligible to be named a Champion in the 2017 challenge.

    An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equal basis.

    By participating in this challenge, an individual or organization agrees to assume any and all risks related to participating in the challenge. Individuals or organizations also agree to waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, when participating in the challenge, including claims for injury; death; damage; or loss of property, money, or profits, and including those risks caused by negligence or other causes.

    By participating in this challenge, individuals or organizations agree to protect the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to challenge activities.

    Individuals or organizations are not required to hold liability insurance related to participation in this challenge.

    No cash prize will be awarded. Champions will receive local and national recognition.

    Registration Process for Participants:

    To participate, interested parties should go to https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/. On this site, nominees will find the entry form and the rules and guidelines for participating. Information required of the nominees on the nomination form includes:

    • The size of the nominee's adult patient population, a summary of known patient demographics (e.g., age distribution), and any noteworthy patient population characteristics.

    • The number of the nominee's adult patients who were seen during the past year and had a hypertension diagnosis (i.e., hypertension prevalence).

    • The nominee's current hypertension control rate for their hypertensive population. In addition, the hypertension control rate during the previous year is required. In determining the hypertension control rate, CDC defines “hypertension control” as a blood pressure reading <140 mmHg systolic and <90 mmHg diastolic among patients with a diagnosis of hypertension.

    The hypertension control rate should be for the provider's or health system's entire adult hypertensive patient population, not limited to a sample. Examples of ineligible data submissions include hypertension control rates that are limited to treatment cohorts from research studies or pilot studies, patients limited to a specific age range (such as 18-35), or patients enrolled in limited scale quality improvement projects.

    • Completion of a checklist of sustainable clinic systems or processes that support hypertension control. These may include provider or patient incentives, dashboards, staffing characteristics, electronic record keeping systems, reminder or alert systems, clinician reporting, service modifications, etc.

    The estimated burden for completing the nomination form is 30 minutes.

    Amount of the Prize:

    Up to a total of 40 of the highest scoring clinical practices or health systems will be recognized as Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champions.

    Basis upon Which Winner Will Be Selected:

    The nomination will be scored based on hypertension control rate (at least 90% of score); and sustainable systems in the practice that support hypertension control (up to 5% of score); and patient population that is high risk (up to 5% of score).

    Nominees with the highest score will be required to participate in a two-phase process to verify their data. Nominees who are non-compliant or non-responsive with the data requests or timelines will be removed from further consideration. Phase 1 includes verification of the hypertension prevalence and blood pressure control rate data submitted and a background check. For nominees whose Phase 1 data is verified as accurate, phase 2 consists of a medical chart review.

    A CDC-sponsored panel of three to five experts consisting of HHS/CDC staff will review the nominations that pass phase 2 to select Champions. Final selection of Champions will take into account all the information from the nomination form, the background check, and data verification. In the event of tie scores at any point in the selection process, geographic location may be taken into account to ensure a broad distribution of champions across rural or more populated areas, representing potentially underserved populations.

    Some Champions will participate in a post-challenge telephone interview. The interview will include questions about the strategies employed by the individual or organization to achieve high rates of hypertension control, including barriers and facilitators for those strategies. The interview will focus on systems and processes and should not require preparation time by the Champion. The estimated time for the interview is two hours, which includes time to review the interview protocol with the interviewer, respond to the interview questions, and review a summary data about the Champion's practices. The summary will be written as a success story and will be posted on the Million Hearts® Web site.

    Additional Information:

    Information received from nominees will be stored in a password protected file on a secure server. The challenge Web site may post the number of nominations received but will not include confidential or proprietary information about individual nominees, as described further below. The database of information submitted by nominees will not be posted on the Web site. Information collected from nominees will include general details, such as the business name, address, and contact information of the nominee. This type of information is generally publicly available. The nomination will collect and store only aggregate clinical data through the nomination process; no individual identifiable patient data will be collected or stored. Confidential or propriety data, clearly marked as such, will be secured to the full extent allowable by law.

    Information for selected Champions, such as the provider, practice, or health system's name, location, hypertension control rate, and clinic practices that support hypertension control will be shared through press releases, the challenge Web site, and Million Hearts® and HHS/CDC resources.

    Summary data on the types of systems and processes that all nominees use to control hypertension may be shared in documents or other communication products that describe generally used practices for successful hypertension control. HHS/CDC will use the summary data only as described.

    Compliance with Rules and Contacting Contest Winners:

    Finalists and the Champions must comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements herein. The initial finalists will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of the judging.

    Privacy:

    If Contestants choose to provide HHS/CDC with personal information by registering or filling out the submission form through the Challenge.gov Web site, that information is used to respond to Contestants in matters regarding their submission, announcements of entrants, finalists, and winners of the Contest. Information is not collected for commercial marketing. Champions are permitted to cite that they were selected as Champions for the 2017 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge.

    General Conditions:

    HHS/CDC reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Challenge, or any part of it, for any reason, at HHS/CDC's sole discretion. If the Challenge is cancelled, suspended, and/or modified, HHS/CDC will inform the public through the publication of a notice in the Federal Register.

    Participation in this Contest constitutes a contestants' full and unconditional agreement to abide by the Contest's Official Rules found at www.Challenge.gov.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3719.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Sandra Cashman, Executive Secretary, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06670 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-0726] Antibody Mediated Rejection in Kidney Transplantation; Public Workshop; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public workshop; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) is announcing a public workshop regarding new developments and scientific issues related to antibody mediated rejection (AMR) in kidney transplantation. This public workshop is intended to provide information for and gain perspective from individuals, industry, health care professionals, researchers, public health organizations, patients, patient care providers, and other interested persons on various aspects of clinical development of medical products for prophylaxis and/or treatment of AMR in kidney transplant recipients, including clinical trial design and endpoints. The input from this public workshop will also help in developing topics for future discussion.

    DATES:

    The public workshop will be held on April 12, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 13, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Submit either electronic or written comments on this public workshop by April 27, 2017. Late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before April 27, 2017. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of April 27, 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. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for registration date and information. Workshop updates and the workshop agenda will be made available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm532070 prior to the workshop.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public workshop will be held at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center, 10000 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20903. The conference center's phone number is 240-645-4000.

    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 comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

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

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): 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-N-0726 for “Antibody Mediated Rejection in Kidney Transplantation.” 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 comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the 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:

    Lori Benner and/or Jessica Barnes, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 6221, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-1300.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing a public workshop regarding AMR in kidney transplantation. This public workshop will focus on scientific considerations in the clinical development of medical products for prophylaxis and/or treatment of AMR in kidney transplant recipients.

    Among the primary goals of this workshop are the discussion of the role of immunosuppressive medication nonadherence in the development of de novo donor specific antibody (DSA) formation and subsequent AMR, new developments in transplantation and their impact on patient management (such as pretransplant sensitization not manifested by DSA, donor/recipient human leukocyte antigen (HLA) epitope matching, routine posttransplant DSA monitoring), the natural course of the acute-chronic AMR continuum and its temporal association with cellular rejection and changes in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), unmet medical needs and the potential implications of these factors on the design of clinical trials for the prevention and management of AMR.

    The Agency encourages individuals, industry, health care professionals, researchers, public health organizations, patients, patient care providers, and other interested persons to attend this public workshop.

    II. Participating in the Public Workshop

    Registration: Persons interested in attending this public workshop must register by April 6, 2017, midnight Eastern Time. Please provide complete contact information for each attendee, including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and telephone to [email protected]

    Registration is free and based on space availability, with priority given to early registrants. Early registration is recommended because seating is limited; therefore, FDA may limit the number of participants from each organization. Registrants will receive confirmation when they have been accepted. If time and space permit, onsite registration on the day of the public workshop will be provided beginning at 7:30 a.m. on April 12, 2017, and 8 a.m. on April 13, 2017. We will let registrants know if registration closes before the day of the public workshop.

    If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Jessica Barnes or Lori Benner (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than April 5, 2017.

    Requests for Oral Presentations: During online registration you may indicate if you wish to present during a public comment session or participate in a specific session, and which topic(s) you wish to address. We will do our best to accommodate requests to make public comments and requests to participate in the focused sessions. Individuals and organizations with common interests are urged to consolidate or coordinate their presentations, and request time for a joint presentation, or submit requests for designated representatives to participate in the focused sessions. All requests to make oral presentations must be received by the close of registration on April 6, 2017. Following the close of registration, we will determine the amount of time allotted to each presenter and the approximate time each oral presentation is to begin, and will select and notify participants by April 7, 2017. If selected for presentation, any presentation materials must be emailed to [email protected] no later than April 10, 2017. No commercial or promotional material will be permitted to be presented or distributed at the public workshop.

    Transcripts: Please be advised that as soon as a transcript of the public workshop is available, it will be accessible at https://www.regulations.gov. It may be viewed at the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). A link to the transcript will also be available on the Internet at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm532070.htm approximately 45 days after the workshop.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06700 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-0001] Food and Drug Administration/Xavier University Medical Device Conference (MedCon) AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public conference.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cincinnati District, in co-sponsorship with Xavier University, is announcing a public conference entitled “FDA/Xavier University Medical Device Conference (MedCon).” This 3-day public conference includes presentations from key FDA officials and industry experts with small group break-out sessions. The conference is intended for companies of all sizes and employees at all levels.

    DATES:

    The public conference will be held on May 3, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May 4, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and May 5, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public conference will be held on the campus of Xavier University, 3800 Victory Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45207, 513-745-3016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information regarding this notice: Gina Brackett, Food and Drug Administration, 6751 Steger Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45237, 513-679-2700, FAX: 513-679-2771, email: [email protected]

    For information regarding the conference and registration: Marla Phillips, Xavier Health, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45207-5471, 513-745-3073, email: [email protected] or visit http://www.XavierMedCon.com.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The public conference helps fulfill the Department of Health and Human Services' and FDA's important mission to protect the public health. The conference will provide those engaged in FDA-regulated medical devices (for humans) with information on the following topics:

    • Center Director Corner: Strategic Priorities for 2017 and Beyond.

    • European Union (EU) Regulations—Exploring the Unknown.

    • Impact of the New EU Regulations on Your Global Regulatory Strategy.

    • Digital Health—Key Focus Areas for FDA and Industry.

    • Office of Compliance Strategic Priorities.

    • Update from the Office of Device Evaluation.

    • FDA Insight on the 510(k) Modifications Guidance.

    • 510(k) Modifications: To submit or not to submit?

    • Your Contract Manufacturer Received a Warning Letter. What Now?

    • Defending Claims for Your Device.

    • The Impact of Cultural Misalignment . . . . and the Path Forward.

    • The Importance of Quality and Regulatory throughout the Merger and Acquisition Lifecycle—Landmines or Opportunities.

    • What to Expect with FDA's Program Alignment?

    • Investigator Insights and Breaking News.

    FDA has made education of the drug and device manufacturing community a high priority to help ensure the quality of FDA-regulated drugs and devices. The conference helps to achieve objectives set forth in section 406 of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (21 U.S.C. 393), which includes working closely with stakeholders and maximizing the availability and clarity of information to stakeholders and the public. The conference also is consistent with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121) by providing outreach activities by Government Agencies to small businesses.

    Registration: There is a registration fee. The conference registration fees cover the cost of the presentations, training materials, receptions, breakfasts, and lunches for the 3 days of the conference. There will be onsite registration. The cost of registration is as follows:

    Table 1—Registration Fees1 Attendee type Standard rate Industry 1,695 Small Business (<100 employees) 1,200 Start-up Manufacturer $300 Academic $300 FDA/Government Employee Free 1 The following forms of payment will be accepted: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and company checks.

    To register online for the public conference, please visit the “Registration” link on the conference Web site at http://www.XavierMedCon.com. FDA has verified the Web site address, but is not responsible for subsequent changes to the Web site after this document publishes in the Federal Register.

    To register by mail, please send your name, title, firm name, address, telephone, email, and payment information for the fee to Xavier University, Attention: Marla Phillips, 3800 Victory Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45207-5471. An email will be sent confirming your registration.

    Attendees are responsible for their own accommodations. The conference headquarter hotel is the Downtown Cincinnati Hilton Netherlands Plaza, 35 West 5th St., Cincinnati, OH, 45202, 513-421-9100. Special Conference Block rates are available through April 11, 2017. To make reservations online, please visit the “Venue/Logistics” link at http://www.XavierMedCon.com. If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Marla Phillips (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) at least 7 days in advance of the conference.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06699 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-P-3560] Determination That CEDAX (Ceftibuten Dihydrate) for Oral Suspension, 90 Milligrams/5 Milliliters and 180 Milligrams/5 Milliliters, Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) has determined that CEDAX (ceftibuten dihydrate) for oral suspension, 90 milligrams (mg)/5 milliliters (mL) and 180 mg/5 mL, were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination will allow FDA to approve abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for ceftibuten dihydrate for oral suspension, 90 mg/5 mL and 180 mg/5 mL, if all other legal and regulatory requirements are met.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anuj Shah, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6228, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-2246.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 1984, Congress enacted the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) (the 1984 amendments), which authorized the approval of duplicate versions of drug products under an ANDA procedure. ANDA applicants must, with certain exceptions, show that the drug for which they are seeking approval contains the same active ingredient in the same strength and dosage form as the “listed drug,” which is a version of the drug that was previously approved. ANDA applicants do not have to repeat the extensive clinical testing otherwise necessary to gain approval of a new drug application (NDA).

    The 1984 amendments include what is now section 505(j)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(7)), which requires FDA to publish a list of all approved drugs. FDA publishes this list as part of the “Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” which is known generally as the “Orange Book.” Under FDA regulations, drugs are removed from the list if the Agency withdraws or suspends approval of the drug's NDA or ANDA for reasons of safety or effectiveness or if FDA determines that the listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness (21 CFR 314.162).

    A person may petition the Agency to determine, or the Agency may determine on its own initiative, whether a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination may be made at any time after the drug has been withdrawn from sale, but must be made prior to approving an ANDA that refers to the listed drug (§ 314.161 (21 CFR 314.161)). FDA may not approve an ANDA that does not refer to a listed drug.

    CEDAX (ceftibuten dihydrate) for oral suspension, 90 mg/5 mL and 180 mg/5 mL, are the subject of NDA 050686, held by Pernix Therapeutics LLC, and initially approved on December 20, 1995. CEDAX is indicated for the treatment of individuals with mild-to-moderate infections caused by susceptible strains of Haemophilus influenzae (including β-lactamase-producing strains), Moraxella catarrhalis (including β-lactamase-producing strains), or Streptococcus pneumoniae (penicillin-susceptible strains only) in acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis; H. influenzae (including β-lactamase-producing strains), M. catarrhalis (including β-lactamase-producing strains), or S. pneumoniae (penicillin-susceptible strains only) in acute bacterial otitis media; and S. pyogenes in pharyngitis and tonsillitis.

    CEDAX (ceftibuten dihydrate) for oral suspension, 90 mg/5 mL and 180 mg/5 mL, are currently listed in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book.

    Orchid Healthcare (a division of Orchid Pharma, Ltd.) submitted a citizen petition dated October 26, 2016 (Docket No. FDA-2016-P-3560), under 21 CFR 10.30, requesting that the Agency determine whether CEDAX (ceftibuten dihydrate) for oral suspension, 90 mg/5 mL and 180 mg/5 mL, were withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness.

    After considering the citizen petition and reviewing Agency records and based on the information we have at this time, FDA has determined under § 314.161 that CEDAX (ceftibuten dihydrate) for oral suspension, 90 mg/5 mL and 180 mg/5 mL, were not withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. The petitioner has identified no data or other information suggesting that these drug products were withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. We have carefully reviewed our files for records concerning the withdrawal of CEDAX (ceftibuten dihydrate) for oral suspension, 90 mg/5 mL and 180 mg/5 mL, from sale. We have also independently evaluated relevant literature and data for possible postmarketing adverse events. We have reviewed the available evidence and determined that these drug products were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness.

    Accordingly, the Agency will continue to list CEDAX (ceftibuten dihydrate) for oral suspension, 90 mg/5 mL and 180 mg/5 mL, in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book. The “Discontinued Drug Product List” delineates, among other items, drug products that have been discontinued from marketing for reasons other than safety or effectiveness. ANDAs that refer to these drug products may be approved by the Agency as long as they meet all other legal and regulatory requirements for the approval of ANDAs. If FDA determines that labeling for these drug products should be revised to meet current standards, the Agency will advise ANDA applicants to submit such labeling.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06701 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The 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/or contract proposals 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 and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

    Date: May 18, 2017.

    Open: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Report from the Institute Director, other Institute Staff and scientific presentation.

    Place: The William F. Bolger Center, Franklin Building, Classroom 1, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD 20854.

    Closed: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: The William F. Bolger Center, Franklin Building, Classroom 1, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD 20854.

    Contact Person: David T. George, Ph.D., Acting Associate Director, Office of Research Administration, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 920, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    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.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://www.nibib1.nih.gov/about/NACBIB/NACBIB.htm, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06666 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; 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 materials, 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 Minority Health and Health Disparities Special Emphasis Panel; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Small Business Review.

    Date: May 18-May 19, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Washington/Rockville, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Richard C. Palmer, DRPH, Health Scientist Administrator, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, Bethesda, MD 20906, (301) 451-2432, [email protected]

    Dated: March 30, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06668 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 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 a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIDDK.

    The meeting will be closed to the public as indicated below in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended for the review, discussion, and evaluation of individual intramural programs and projects conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, including consideration of personnel qualifications and performance, and the competence of individual investigators, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Board of Scientific Counselors, NIDDK.

    Date: April 27-28, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 10, 9th Floor South, Room 233, Solarium Conference Room, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Michael W. Krause, Ph.D., Scientific Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Health, Building 5, Room B104, Bethesda, MD 20892-1818, (301) 402-4633, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.847, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Research; 93.848, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Research; 93.849, Kidney Diseases, Urology and Hematology Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 30, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06667 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

    In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (240) 276-1243.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are 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; (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, through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Proposed Project: Protection and Advocacy for Individuals With Mental Illness (PAIMI) Annual Program Performance Report (OMB No. 0930-0169)—Extension

    The Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act at 42 U.S.C. 10801 et seq., authorized funds to the same protection and advocacy (P&A) systems created under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1975, known as the DD Act (as amended in 2000, 42 U.S.C. 15001 et seq.]. The DD Act supports the Protection and Advocacy for Developmental Disabilities (PADD) Program administered by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) within the Administration on Community Living. AIDD is the lead federal P&A agency. The PAIMI Program supports the same governor-designated P&A systems established under the DD Act by providing legal-based individual and systemic advocacy services to individuals with significant (severe) mental illness (adults) and significant (severe) emotional impairment (children/youth) who are at risk for abuse, neglect and other rights violations while residing in a care or treatment facility.

    In 2000, the PAIMI Act amendments created a 57th P&A system—the American Indian Consortium (the Navajo and Hopi Tribes in the Four Corners region of the Southwest). The Act, at 42 U.S.C. 10804(d), states that a P&A system may use its allotment to provide representation to individuals with mental illness, as defined by section 42 U.S.C. 10802(4)(B)(iii) residing in the community, including their own home, only, if the total allotment under this title for any fiscal year is $30 million or more, and in such cases an eligible P&A system must give priority to representing PAIMI-eligible individuals, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 10802(4)(A) and (B)(i).

    The Children's Health Act of 2000 (CHA) also referenced the state P&A system authority to obtain information on incidents of seclusion, restraint and related deaths [see, CHA, Part H at 42 U.S.C. 290ii-1]. PAIMI Program formula grants awarded by SAMHSA go directly to each of the 57 governor-designated P&A systems. These systems are located in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the American Indian Consortium, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    The PAIMI Act at 42 U.S.C. 10805(7) requires that each P&A system prepare and transmit to the Secretary HHS and to the head of its State mental health agency a report on January 1. This report describes the activities, accomplishments, and expenditures of the system during the most recently completed fiscal year, including a section prepared by the advisory council (the PAIMI Advisory Council or PAC) that describes the activities of the council and its independent assessment of the operations of the system.

    The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) proposes no revisions to its annual PAIMI Program Performance Report (PPR), including the advisory council section, at this time for the following reasons: (1) The revisions revise the SAMHSA PPR, as appropriate, for consistency with the annual reporting requirements under the PAIMI Act and Rules [42 CFR part 51]; (2) The revisions simplify the electronic data entry by state PAIMI programs; (3) GPRA requirements for the PAIMI Program will be revised as appropriate to ensure that SAMHSA obtains information that closely measures actual outcomes of programs that it funds and (4) SAMHSA will reduce wherever feasible the current reporting burden by removing any information that does not facilitate evaluation of the programmatic and fiscal effectiveness of a state P&A system (5) The new electronic version will expedite SAMHSA's ability to prepare the biennial report; (6) The new electronic version will improve SAMHSA's ability to generate reports, analyze trends and more expeditiously provide feedback to PAIMI programs. The current report formats will be effective for the FY 2017 PPR reports due on January 1, 2018

    The annual burden estimate is as follows:

    Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total hour
  • burden
  • Program Performance Report 57 1 20 1,140 Advisory Council Report 57 1 10 570 Total 57 1,710

    Send comments to Summer King, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15E57-B, Rockville, Maryland 20857, or email a copy to [email protected] Written comments should be received by June 5, 2017.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06724 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0028] Agency Information Collection Activities: Cost Submission AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted (no later than June 5, 2017) to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice must include the OMB Control Number 1651-0028 in the subject line and the agency name. To avoid duplicate submissions, please use only one of the following methods to submit comments:

    (1) Email. Submit comments to: [email protected]

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (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 the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: Cost Submission.

    OMB Number: 1651-0028.

    Form Number: CBP Form 247.

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection. There is no change to the burden hours or to the information collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Abstract: The information collected on CBP Form 247, Cost Submission, is used by CBP to assist in correctly calculating the duty on imported merchandise. This form includes details on actual costs and helps CBP determine which costs are dutiable and which are not. This collection of information is provided for by subheadings 9801.00.10, 9802.00.40, 9802.00.50, 9802.00.60 and 9802.00.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), and by 19 U.S.C. 1508 through 1509, 19 CFR 10.11-10.24, 19 CFR 141.88 and 19 CFR 152.106. CBP Form 247 may be found on the Forms page on CBP.gov at: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated time per Response: 50 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 50,000.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. Seth Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06758 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Customs and Border Protection [1651-0034] Agency Information Collection Activities: CBP Regulations Pertaining to Customs Brokers AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted (no later than June 5, 2017) to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice must include the OMB Control Number 1651-0034 in the subject line and the agency name. To avoid duplicate submissions, please use only one of the following methods to submit comments:

    (1) Email. Submit comments to: [email protected]

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional PRA information should be directed to CBP Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, or via email [email protected] Please note that the contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs should contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (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 the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) suggestions 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    Title: CBP Regulations Pertaining to Customs Brokers (19 CFR part 111).

    OMB Number: 1651-0034.

    Form Numbers: CBP Forms 3124 and 3124E.

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection. There is no change to the burden hours or the information collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses, Individuals.

    Abstract: Section 641 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1641), and Part 111 of the CBP regulations govern the licensing and conduct of customs brokers. Specifically, an individual who wishes to take the broker exam must complete CBP Form 3124E, “Application for Customs Broker License Exam,” or to apply for a broker license, CBP Form 3124, “Application for Customs Broker License.” The procedures to request a local or national broker permit can be found in 19 CFR 111.19, and a triennial report is required under 19 CFR 111.30. CBP Forms 3124 and 3124E may be found on the Forms page on CBP.gov at: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms. Further information about the customs broker exam and how to apply for it may be found at http://www.cbp.gov/trade/broker.

    CBP Form 3124E, “Application for Customs Broker License Exam”

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,300.

    Total Number of Estimated Annual Responses: 2,300.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,300.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Public: $460,000.

    CBP Form 3124, “Application for Customs Broker License”

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 750.

    Total Number of Estimated Annual Responses: 750.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 750.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Public: $150,000.

    National Broker Permit Application (19 CFR 111.19)

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 200.

    Total Number of Estimated Annual Responses: 200.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 200.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Public: $20,000.

    Triennial Report (19 CFR 111.30)

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,550.

    Total Number of Estimated Annual Responses: 4,550.

    Estimated Time per Response: .5 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,275.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Public: $455,000.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. Seth Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06757 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2017-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1704] Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Comments are requested on proposed flood hazard determinations, which may include additions or modifications of any Base Flood Elevation (BFE), base flood depth, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundary or zone designation, or regulatory floodway on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports for the communities listed in the table below. The purpose of this notice is to seek general information and comment regarding the preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, the FIS report that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided to the affected communities. The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In addition, the FIRM and FIS report, once effective, will be used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and the contents of those buildings.

    DATES:

    Comments are to be submitted on or before July 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, the FIS report for each community are available for inspection at both the online location and the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. FEMA-B-1704 to Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FEMA proposes to make flood hazard determinations for each community listed below, in accordance with section 110 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4104, and 44 CFR 67.4(a).

    These proposed flood hazard determinations, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities. These flood hazard determinations are used to meet the floodplain management requirements of the NFIP and also are used to calculate the appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings built after the FIRM and FIS report become effective.

    The communities affected by the flood hazard determinations are provided in the tables below. Any request for reconsideration of the revised flood hazard information shown on the Preliminary FIRM and FIS report that satisfies the data requirements outlined in 44 CFR 67.6(b) is considered an appeal. Comments unrelated to the flood hazard determinations also will be considered before the FIRM and FIS report become effective.

    Use of a Scientific Resolution Panel (SRP) is available to communities in support of the appeal resolution process. SRPs are independent panels of experts in hydrology, hydraulics, and other pertinent sciences established to review conflicting scientific and technical data and provide recommendations for resolution. Use of the SRP only may be exercised after FEMA and local communities have been engaged in a collaborative consultation process for at least 60 days without a mutually acceptable resolution of an appeal. Additional information regarding the SRP process can be found online at http://floodsrp.org/pdfs/srp_fact_sheet.pdf.

    The watersheds and/or communities affected are listed in the tables below. The Preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, FIS report for each community are available for inspection at both the online location and the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables. For communities with multiple ongoing Preliminary studies, the studies can be identified by the unique project number and Preliminary FIRM date listed in the tables. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Dated: March 21, 2017. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    I. Non-watershed-based studies:

    Community Community map repository address Carroll County, Ohio and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 14-05-9520S Preliminary Date: March 18, 2016 Unincorporated Areas of Carroll County Carroll County Courthouse, 119 South Lisbon Street, Carrollton, OH 44615. Village of Magnolia Village Hall, 328 North Main Street, Magnolia, OH 44643. Putnam County, Ohio and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 15-05-4007S Preliminary Date: July 31, 2015 Unincorporated Areas of Putnam County Putnam County Courthouse, 245 East Main Street, Ottawa, OH 45875. Village of Cloverdale Village Hall and Community Center, 210 Mahoning Street, Cloverdale, OH 45827. Village of Dupont Community Center and Village Hall, 105 Liberty Street, Dupont, OH 45837. Village of Fort Jennings Village Office, 440 4th Street Fort Jennings, OH 45844. Stark County, Ohio and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 14-05-9520S Preliminary Dates: March 18, 2016, July 12, 2016 City of Massillon Municipal Government Annex, 151 Lincoln Way East, Massillon, OH 44646. Unincorporated Areas of Stark County Stark County Office Building, 110 Central Plaza South, Canton, OH 44702. Village of East Sparta Municipal Building, 9353 Main Avenue, East Sparta, OH 44626. Tuscarawas County, Ohio and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 14-05-9520S Preliminary Date: March 18, 2016 Unincorporated Areas of Tuscarawas County Tuscarawas County Administrative Offices, 125 East High Avenue, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06672 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2017-0002] Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final notice.

    SUMMARY:

    New or modified Base (1-percent annual chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, and/or regulatory floodways (hereinafter referred to as flood hazard determinations) as shown on the indicated Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) for each of the communities listed in the table below are finalized. Each LOMR revises the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and in some cases the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, currently in effect for the listed communities. The flood hazard determinations modified by each LOMR will be used to calculate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and their contents.

    DATES:

    The effective date for each LOMR is indicated in the table below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Each LOMR is available for inspection at both the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the table below and online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes the final flood hazard determinations as shown in the LOMRs for each community listed in the table below. Notice of these modified flood hazard determinations has been published in newspapers of local circulation and 90 days have elapsed since that publication. The Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation has resolved any appeals resulting from this notification.

    The modified flood hazard determinations are made pursuant to section 206 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4105, and are in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq., and with 44 CFR part 65.

    For rating purposes, the currently effective community number is shown and must be used for all new policies and renewals.

    The new or modified flood hazard information is the basis for the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of being already in effect in order to remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    This new or modified flood hazard information, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities.

    This new or modified flood hazard determinations are used to meet the floodplain management requirements of the NFIP and also are used to calculate the appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings, and for the contents in those buildings. The changes in flood hazard determinations are in accordance with 44 CFR 65.4.

    Interested lessees and owners of real property are encouraged to review the final flood hazard information available at the address cited below for each community or online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Dated: March 21, 2017. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. State and county Location and
  • case No.
  • Chief executive officer of community Community map repository Effective
  • date of
  • modification
  • Community
  • No.
  • Arizona: Maricopa (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Peoria (16-09-0861P) The Honorable Cathy Carlat, Mayor, City of Peoria, 8401 West Monroe Street, Peoria, AZ 85345 Engineering Department, 9875 North 85th Avenue, Peoria, AZ 85345 Feb. 17, 2017 040050 Maricopa (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Peoria (16-09-0867P) The Honorable Cathy Carlat, Mayor, City of Peoria, 8401 West Monroe Street, Peoria, AZ 85345 Engineering Department, 9875 North 85th Avenue, Peoria, AZ 85345 Feb. 17, 2017 040050 Maricopa (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Phoenix (15-09-2235P) The Honorable Greg Stanton, Mayor, City of Phoenix, 200 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 Street Transportation Department 200 West Washington Street, 5th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003 Feb. 10, 2017 040051 Maricopa (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Town of Gilbert (16-09-1926P) The Honorable John Lewis, Mayor, Town of Gilbert, 50 East Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85296 Town Hall, 90 East Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85296 Feb. 17, 2017 040044 Maricopa (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Maricopa County (15-09-2235P) The Honorable Clint L. Hickman, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Maricopa County, 301 West Jefferson Street 10th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003 Flood Control District of Maricopa County, 2801 West Durango Street, Phoenix, AZ 85009 Feb. 10, 2017 040037 Maricopa (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Maricopa County (16-09-1926P) The Honorable Clint L. Hickman, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Maricopa County, 301 West Jefferson Street 10th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003 Flood Control District of Maricopa County, 2801 West Durango Street, Phoenix, AZ 85009 Feb. 17, 2017 040037 Pima (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Pima County (16-09-1661P) The Honorable Sharon Bronson, Chair, Board of Supervisors, Pima County, 130 West Congress Street, 11th Floor, Tucson, AZ 85701 Pima County Regional Flood Control District, 201 North Stone Avenue, 9th Floor, Tucson, AZ 85701 Feb. 3, 2017 040073 Yavapai (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Town of Chino Valley (16-09-0142P) The Honorable Chris Marley, Mayor, Town of Chino Valley, Town Hall, 202 North State, Route 89, Chino Valley, AZ 86323 Public Works Department, 1982 Voss Drive, Chino Valley, AZ 86323 Jan. 27, 2017 040094 California: Santa Clara (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of San Jose (16-09-1141P) The Honorable Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San Jose, 200 East Santa Clara Street, 18th Floor, San Jose, CA 95113 Department of Public Works, 200 East Santa Clara Street, 3rd Floor, San Jose, CA 95113 Jan. 19, 2017 060349 Yolo (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Yolo County (16-09-2472P) The Honorable Jim Provenza, Chairman, Board of Supervisors,Yolo County, 625 Court Street, Room 204, Woodland, CA 95695 Department of Planning and Public Works, 292 West Beamer Street, Woodland, CA 95695 Feb. 13, 2017 060423 Illinois: Cass (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Cass County (15-05-2462P) The Honorable Dave Parish, Chairman, Cass County Board, 100 East Springfield Street, Virginia, IL 62691 County Courthouse, 100 East Springfield Street, Virginia, IL 62691 Jan. 27, 2017 170810 Cass (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Village of Ashland (15-05-2462P) The Honorable Terry S. Blakeman, Village President, Village of Ashland, 101 North Yates Street, Ashland, IL 62612 Village Hall, 101 North Yates Street, Ashland, IL 62612 Jan. 27, 2017 171025 Kane (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Village of Campton Hills (16-05-6021P) The Honorable Harry Blecker, Village President, Village of Campton Hills, 40W270 LaFox Road, Suite B, Campton Hills, IL 60175 Village Hall, 40W270 LaFox Road, Suite B, Campton Hills, IL 60175 Feb. 10, 2017 171396 Lake (FEMA Docket No.: B-1654) Unincorporated Areas of Lake County (16-05-2755P) The Honorable Aaron Lawlor, Chairman, Lake County Board, 18 North County Street, 10th Floor, Waukegan, IL 60085 Central Permit Facility, 500 West Winchester Road, Unit 101, Libertyville, IL 60048 Dec. 23, 2016 170357 Lake (FEMA Docket No.: B-1654) Village of Lincolnshire (16-05-2755P) The Honorable Elizabeth, Brandt, Mayor, Village of Lincolnshire, 1 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire, IL 60069 Village Hall, 1 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire, IL 60069 Dec. 23, 2016 170378 Lake (FEMA Docket No.: B-1654) Village of Riverwoods (16-05-2755P) The Honorable John Norris, Mayor, Village of Riverwoods, 300 Portwine Road, Riverwoods, IL 60015 Village Hall, 300 Portwine Road, Riverwoods, IL 60015 Dec. 23, 2016 170387 Kansas: Johnson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Overland Park (16-07-1180P) The Honorable Carl Gerlach, Mayor, City of Overland Park, 8500 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS 66212 City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS 66212 Jan. 4, 2017 200174 Kentucky: Jefferson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government (16-04-6581P) The Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor, Louisville-Jefferson County Metro, Metro Hall, 527 West Jefferson Street, 4th Floor, Louisville, KY 40202 Louisville-Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District, 700 West Liberty Street, Louisville, KY 40203 Jan. 9, 2017 210120 Missouri: Greene (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Springfield (16-07-1495P) The Honorable Bob Stephens, Mayor, City of Springfield, City Hall, 840 Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802 City Hall, 840 Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802 Feb. 15, 2017 290149 Greene (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Greene County (16-07-1495P) Mr. Robert Cirtin, Greene County Presiding Commissioner, Greene County Commission Offices, 933 North Robberson Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802 Greene County Courthouse, 840 Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802 Feb. 15, 2017 290782 Nevada: Clark (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Clark County (16-09-1844P) The Honorable Steve Sisolak, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Clark County, 500 South Grand Central Parkway, 6th Floor, Las Vegas, NV 89106 Office of the Director of Public Works, 500 South Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89155 Jan. 5, 2017 320003 New York: Suffolk (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Town of Southold (16-02-1018P) The Honorable Scott A. Russell, Town Supervisor, Town of Southold, 53095 Main Road, Southold, NY 11971 Town Hall, 53095 Route 25, Southold, NY 11971 Feb. 17, 2017 360813 Oregon: Benton (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Corvallis (16-10-0653P) The Honorable Biff Traber, Mayor, City of Corvallis, 501 Southwest Madison Avenue, Corvallis, OR 97339 Planning Department, 501 Southwest Madison Avenue, Corvallis, OR 97333 Jan. 17, 2017 410009 Jackson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Jackson County (16-10-0825P) The Honorable Rick Dyer, Commissioner, Jackson County, 10 South Oakdale Avenue, Room 214, Medford, OR 97501 Jackson County Roads, Parks and Planning Services, 10 South Oakdale Avenue, Medford, OR 97501 Dec. 27, 2016 415589 Texas: Dallas (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Mesquite (16-06-2265P) The Honorable Stan Pickett, Mayor, City of Mesquite, 757 North Galloway Avenue, Mesquite, TX 75185 City Engineering Services, 1515 North Galloway Avenue, Mesquite, TX 75185 Jan. 5, 2017 485490 Travis (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Manor (16-06-1785P) The Honorable Rita G. Jonse, Mayor, City of Manor, 105 East Eggleston Street, Manor, TX 78653 City Hall, 201 East Parson Street, Manor, TX 78653 Jan. 9, 2017 481027 Travis (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Travis County (16-06-1785P) The Honorable Sarah Eckhardt, Travis County Judge, 700 Lavaca, Suite 2.300, Austin, TX 78767 Transportation and Natural Resources, 700 Lavaca Street, 5th Floor, Austin, TX 78767 Jan. 9, 2017 481026 Washington DC (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) District of Columbia (16-03-2068P) The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor, District of Columbia, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Suite 316, Washington, DC 20004 Department of Environment, 51 North Street, Northeast, Suite 5020, Washington, DC 20002 Feb. 9, 2017 110001 Wisconsin: Dane (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Monona (16-05-3951P) The Honorable Bob Miller, Mayor, City of Monona, 5211 Schluter Road, Monona, WI 53716 City Hall, 5211 Schluter Road, Monona, WI 53716 Dec. 30, 2016 550088 Eau Claire (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) City of Eau Claire (16-05-5442P) The Honorable Kerry Kincaid, President, City Council, 4441 South Lowes Creek Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 City Hall, 203 South Farwell Street, 3rd Floor, Eau Claire, WI 54701 Feb. 14, 2017 550128 Jackson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1662) Unincorporated Areas of Jackson County (16-05-4012P) The Honorable Ray Ransom, Chairperson, Jackson County Board, Jackson County Courthouse, 307 Main Street, Black River Falls, WI 54615 Jackson County Courthouse, 307 Main Street, Black River Falls, WI 54615 Feb. 9, 2017 550583
    [FR Doc. 2017-06676 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2017-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1706] Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice lists communities where the addition or modification of Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, or the regulatory floodway (hereinafter referred to as flood hazard determinations), as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for each community, is appropriate because of new scientific or technical data. The FIRM, and where applicable, portions of the FIS report, have been revised to reflect these flood hazard determinations through issuance of a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). The LOMR will be used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and the contents of those buildings. For rating purposes, the currently effective community number is shown in the table below and must be used for all new policies and renewals.

    DATES:

    These flood hazard determinations will become effective on the dates listed in the table below and revise the FIRM panels and FIS report in effect prior to this determination for the listed communities.

    From the date of the second publication of notification of these changes in a newspaper of local circulation, any person has 90 days in which to request through the community that the Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation reconsider the changes. The flood hazard determination information may be changed during the 90-day period.

    ADDRESSES:

    The affected communities are listed in the table below. Revised flood hazard information for each community is available for inspection at both the online location and the respective community map repository address listed in the table below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    Submit comments and/or appeals to the Chief Executive Officer of the community as listed in the table below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The specific flood hazard determinations are not described for each community in this notice. However, the online location and local community map repository address where the flood hazard determination information is available for inspection is provided.

    Any request for reconsideration of flood hazard determinations must be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer of the community as listed in the table below.

    The modifications are made pursuant to section 201 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4105, and are in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq., and with 44 CFR part 65.

    The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    These flood hazard determinations, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities. The flood hazard determinations are in accordance with 44 CFR 65.4.

    The affected communities are listed in the following table. Flood hazard determination information for each community is available for inspection at both the online location and the respective community map repository address listed in the table below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Dated: March 21, 2017. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. State and county Location and case no. Chief executive officer of community Community map repository Online location of
  • letter of map revision
  • Effective date of
  • modification
  • Community
  • No.
  • Arizona: Maricopa City of Goodyear (16-09-0749P) The Honorable Georgia Lord, Mayor, City of Goodyear 190 North Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85338 Engineering Department, 14455 West Van Buren Street, Goodyear, AZ 85338 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 040046 Maricopa Unincorporated Areas of Maricopa County (16-09-2698P) The Honorable Clint L. Hickman, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Maricopa County, 301 West Jefferson Street, 10th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003 Flood Control District of Maricopa County, 2801 West Durango Street, Phoenix, AZ 85009 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 26, 2017 040037 Pinal Town of Florence (16-09-1788P) The Honorable Tom Rankin, Mayor, Town of Florence, 775 North Main Street, Florence, AZ 85132 Department of Public Works, 425 East Ruggles, Florence, AZ 85132 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 040084 California: Calaveras City of Angels (16-09-3078P) The Honorable Wes Kulm, Mayor, City of Angels, 584 South Main Street, Angels Camp, CA 95222 Public Works Department, 2990 Centennial Road, Angels Camp, CA 95222 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 060021 Calaveras Unincorporated Areas of Calaveras County (16-09-3078P) The Honorable Michael C. Oliveria, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Calaveras County, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249 Calaveras County, Planning Department, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 060633 Monterey Unincorporated Areas of Monterey County (17-09-0070P) The Honorable Jane Parker, Chair, Board of Supervisors, Monterey County, P.O. Box 1728, Salinas, CA 93902 Monterey County, Water Resources Agency, 893 Blanco Circle, Salinas, CA 93901 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 18, 2017 060195 San Diego City of Poway (17-09-0196P) The Honorable Steve Vaus, Mayor, City of Poway, 13325 Civic Center Drive, Poway, CA 92064 City Hall, 13325 Civic Center Drive, Poway, CA 92064 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 26, 2017 060702 Idaho: Ada Unincorporated Areas of Ada County (16-10-1405P) Mr. Jim Tibbs, Commissioner, Ada County, 200 West Front Street, 3rd Floor, Boise, ID 83702 Ada County, County Courthouse, 200 West Front Street, Boise, ID 83702 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 160001 Illinois: Will Village of Romeoville (16-05-5619P) The Honorable John D. Noak, Mayor, Village of Romeoville, 1050 West Romeo Road, Romeoville, IL 60446 Village Hall, 1050 West Romeo Road, Romeoville, IL 60446 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 19, 2017 170711 Indiana: Miami City of Peru (16-05-4366P) The Honorable Gabriel Greer, Mayor, City of Peru, City Hall, 35 South Broadway, Peru, IN 46970 Miami County Courthouse, 25 North Broadway Street, Peru, IN 46970 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 180168 Miami Unincorporated Areas of Miami County (16-05-4366P) The Honorable Josh Francis, Chairman, Miami County Commissioners, Miami County Courthouse, 25 North Broadway, Peru, IN 46970 Miami County Courthouse, 25 North Broadway Street, Room 105, Peru, IN 46970 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 180409 Iowa: Scott City of Davenport, (16-07-1205P). The Honorable Frank Klipsch, Mayor, City of Davenport, City Hall, 226 West 4th Street, Davenport, IA 52801. City Hall, 226 West 4th Street, Davenport, IA 52801. http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc. May 18, 2017 190242 Minnesota: Clay Unincorporated Areas of Clay County (17-05-0558P) The Honorable Wayne Ingersoll, Vice Chair, Clay County Board of Commissioners, 807 11th Street North, Moorhead, MN 56560 Clay County Courthouse, 807 11th Street North, Moorhead, MN 56560 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 9, 2017 275235 Missouri: St. Charles City of O'Fallon (16-07-1736P) The Honorable Bill Hennessy, Mayor, City of O'Fallon, 100 North Main Street, O'Fallon, MO 63366 City Hall, 100 North Main Street, O'Fallon, MO 63366 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 290316 St. Charles Unincorporated Areas of St. Charles County (16-07-1736P) Mr. Steve Ehlmann, County Executive, St. Charles County, 100 North 3rd Street Suite 318, St. Charles, MO 63301 County Administration Building, 202 North 2nd Street Suite 420, St. Charles, MO 63301 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 290315 Ohio: Huron City of Bellevue (16-05-5908P) The Honorable Kevin G. Strecker, Mayor, City of Bellevue, 3000 Seneca Industrial Parkway, Bellevue, OH 44811 Bellevue City Centre, 3000 Seneca Industrial Parkway, Bellevue, OH 44811 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 390487 Sandusky Unincorporated Areas of Sandusky County (16-05-5908P) Mr. Charles Schwochow, Sandusky County Commissioner, 622 Croghan Street, Fremont, OH 43420 Sandusky Regional Planning Office, 606 West State Street, Fremont, OH 43420 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 390486 Texas: Tarrant City of Colleyville (17-06-0726P) The Honorable David Kelly, Mayor, City of Colleyville, City Hall, 100 Main Street, Colleyville, TX 76034 City Hall, 401 Oak Valley Road, Colleyville, TX 76034 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc April 26, 2017 480590 Tarrant City of Euless (17-06-0726P) The Honorable Linda Martin, Mayor, City of Euless, City Hall, 201 North Ector Drive, Euless, TX 76039 City Hall, 201 North Ector Drive, Euless, TX 76039 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc April 26, 2017 480593 Wisconsin: Rock City of Evansville (16-05-6630P) The Honorable Bill Hurtley, Mayor, City of Evansville City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI 53536 City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI 53536 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 4, 2017 550366 Rock Unincorporated Areas of Rock County (16-05-6630P) Mr. Joshua M. Smith, County Administrator Rock County, Rock County Courthouse, 51 South Main Street, Janesville, WI 53545 Rock County Courthouse, 51 South Main Street, Janesville, WI 53545 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 4, 2017 550363
    [FR Doc. 2017-06678 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2017-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1701] Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Comments are requested on proposed flood hazard determinations, which may include additions or modifications of any Base Flood Elevation (BFE), base flood depth, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundary or zone designation, or regulatory floodway on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports for the communities listed in the table below. The purpose of this notice is to seek general information and comment regarding the preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, the FIS report that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided to the affected communities. The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In addition, the FIRM and FIS report, once effective, will be used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and the contents of those buildings.

    DATES:

    Comments are to be submitted on or before July 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, the FIS report for each community are available for inspection at both the online location and the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. FEMA-B-1701, to Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]hs.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FEMA proposes to make flood hazard determinations for each community listed below, in accordance with section 110 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4104, and 44 CFR 67.4(a).

    These proposed flood hazard determinations, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities. These flood hazard determinations are used to meet the floodplain management requirements of the NFIP and also are used to calculate the appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings built after the FIRM and FIS report become effective.

    The communities affected by the flood hazard determinations are provided in the tables below. Any request for reconsideration of the revised flood hazard information shown on the Preliminary FIRM and FIS report that satisfies the data requirements outlined in 44 CFR 67.6(b) is considered an appeal. Comments unrelated to the flood hazard determinations also will be considered before the FIRM and FIS report become effective.

    Use of a Scientific Resolution Panel (SRP) is available to communities in support of the appeal resolution process. SRPs are independent panels of experts in hydrology, hydraulics, and other pertinent sciences established to review conflicting scientific and technical data and provide recommendations for resolution. Use of the SRP only may be exercised after FEMA and local communities have been engaged in a collaborative consultation process for at least 60 days without a mutually acceptable resolution of an appeal. Additional information regarding the SRP process can be found online at http://floodsrp.org/pdfs/srp_fact_sheet.pdf.

    The watersheds and/or communities affected are listed in the tables below. The Preliminary FIRM, and where applicable, FIS report for each community are available for inspection at both the online location and the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables. For communities with multiple ongoing Preliminary studies, the studies can be identified by the unique project number and Preliminary FIRM date listed in the tables. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Dated: March 13, 2017. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    I. Watershed-based studies:

    Community Community map respository address Brandywine-Christina Watershed Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddate New Castle County, Delaware and Incorporated Areas City of Newark Planning and Development Department, 220 South Main Street, Newark, DE 19711. City of New Castle Public Works Building, 900 Wilmington Road, New Castle, DE 19720. City of Wilmington Department of Licensing and Inspection, 800 North French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Town of Elsmere Town Hall, 11 Poplar Avenue, Elsmere, DE 19805. Town of Middletown Town Hall, 19 West Green Street, Middletown, DE 19709. Town of Newport Town Administrative Office, 226 North James Street, Newport, DE 19804. Unincorporated Areas of New Castle County New Castle County Land Use Department, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720. Village of Arden Buzz Ware Village Center, 2119 The Highway, Arden, DE 19810. Village of Ardentown New Castle County Land Use Department, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720. Lower West Fork Trinity Watershed Maps Available for Inspection Online at: www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Dallas County, Texas and Incorporated Areas City of Dallas Trinity Watershed Management Department, Flood Plain and Drainage Management, 320 East Jefferson Boulevard, Room 307, Dallas, TX 75203. City of Grand Prairie City Development Center, 206 West Church Street, Grand Prairie, TX 75050. City of Irving Capital Improvement Program Department, 825 West Irving Boulevard, Irving, TX 75060. Unincorporated Areas of Dallas County Dallas County Public Works Department, 411 Elm Street, 4th Floor, Dallas, TX 75202.

    II. Non-watershed-based studies:

    Community Community map repository address Kent County, Delaware and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 13-03-1974S Preliminary Date: February 15, 2016 Unincorporated Areas of Kent County Kent County Administrative Complex, Department of Planning Services, 555 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901. Sussex County, Delaware and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 13-03-1974S Preliminary Date: February 15, 2016 and November 4, 2016 City of Seaford City Hall, 414 High Street, Seaford, DE 19973. Town of Bridgeville Town Hall, 101 North Main Street, Bridgeville, DE 19933. Town of Georgetown Town Hall, 39 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947. Town of Laurel Code Enforcement Office, 201 Mechanic Street, Laurel, DE 19956. Town of Millsboro Town Hall, 322 Wilson Highway, Millsboro, DE 19966. Unincorporated Areas of Sussex County Sussex County Planning and Zoning Department, 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947. Orange County, Florida and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 14-04-A056S Preliminary Date: October 30, 2015 City of Orlando City Hall, Permitting Services, 400 South Orange Avenue, 1st Floor, Orlando, FL 32801. Unincorporated Areas of Orange County Orange County Stormwater Management Division, 4200 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32839. Bryan County, Georgia and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 12-04-0912S Preliminary Date: January 15, 2016 City of Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Department, 85 Richard R. Davis Drive, Richmond Hill, GA 31324. Unincorporated Areas of Bryan County Bryan County Engineering and Inspections Department, 66 Captain Matthew Freeman Drive, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, GA 31324. Chatham County, Georgia and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 12-04-0914S Preliminary Date: May 23, 2016 City of Bloomingdale City Hall, 8 West Highway 80, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. City of Garden City City Hall, 100 Central Avenue, Garden City, GA 31405. City of Pooler City Hall, 100 Southwest Highway 80, Pooler, GA 31322. City of Port Wentworth City Hall, 305 South Coastal Highway, Port Wentworth, GA 31407. City of Savannah Department of Development Services, 5515 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31405. City of Tybee Island City Hall, 403 Butler Avenue, Tybee Island, GA 31328. Town of Thunderbolt Town Hall, 2821 River Drive, Thunderbolt, GA 31404. Town of Vernonburg Office of the Town of Vernonburg Mayor, 110 East President Street, 2nd Floor, Savannah, GA 31401. Unincorporated Areas of Chatham County Old Chatham County Courthouse, 124 Bull Street, Room 430, Savannah, GA 31401. Liberty County, Georgia and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 12-04-0918S Preliminary Date: May 31, 2016 City of Flemington City Hall, 156 Old Sunbury Road, Flemington, GA 31313. City of Hinesville City Hall, 115 East M.L. King, Jr. Drive, Hinesville, GA 31313. City of Midway City Hall, 150 Butler Street, Unit D, Midway, GA 31320. City of Riceboro City Hall, 4614 South Coastal Highway, Riceboro, GA 31323. City of Walthourville City Hall, 222 Busbee Road, Walthourville, GA 31333. Town of Allenhurst Liberty County Courthouse Annex, Building and Licensing Department, 112 North Main Street, Room 1200, Hinesville, GA 31313. Unincorporated Areas of Liberty County Liberty County Courthouse Annex, Building and Licensing Department, 112 North Main Street, Room 1200, Hinesville, GA 31313. McIntosh County, Georgia and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 12-04-0920S Preliminary Date: February 15, 2016 City of Darien City Hall, 106 Washington Street, Darien, GA 31305. Unincorporated Areas of McIntosh County McIntosh County Building and Zoning Department, 100 Madison Street, Darien, GA 31305. Essex County, Massachusetts (All Jurisdictions) Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 12-01-1063S Preliminary Date: September 13, 2016 City of Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer Street, Haverhill, MA 01830. Tarrant County, Texas and Incorporated Areas Maps Available for Inspection Online at: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata Project: 12-06-3577S Preliminary Date: August 21, 2015 and October 30, 2015 City of Arlington City Hall, 101 West Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76010. City of Fort Worth Department of Transportation and Public Works, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102. City of Grand Prairie City Development Center, 206 West Church Street, Grand Prairie, TX 75050. City of Haltom City City Hall, 5024 Broadway Avenue, Haltom City, TX 76117. City of Hurst City Hall, 1505 Precinct Line Road, Hurst, TX 76054. City of North Richland Hills City Hall, 4301 City Point Drive, North Richland Hills, TX 76180. City of Richland Hills City Hall, 3200 Diana Drive, Richland Hills, TX 76118. City of Saginaw City Hall, 333 West McLeroy Boulevard, Saginaw, TX 76179. Town of Edgecliff Village Municipal Complex, 1605 Edgecliff Road, Edgecliff Village, TX 76134. Unincorporated Areas of Tarrant County Tarrant County Transportation Department, 100 East Weatherford Street, Suite 401, Fort Worth, TX 76196.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06679 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2017-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-B-1705] Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice lists communities where the addition or modification of Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, or the regulatory floodway (hereinafter referred to as flood hazard determinations), as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for each community, is appropriate because of new scientific or technical data. The FIRM, and where applicable, portions of the FIS report, have been revised to reflect these flood hazard determinations through issuance of a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). The LOMR will be used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and the contents of those buildings. For rating purposes, the currently effective community number is shown in the table below and must be used for all new policies and renewals.

    DATES:

    These flood hazard determinations will become effective on the dates listed in the table below and revise the FIRM panels and FIS report in effect prior to this determination for the listed communities.

    From the date of the second publication of notification of these changes in a newspaper of local circulation, any person has 90 days in which to request through the community that the Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation reconsider the changes. The flood hazard determination information may be changed during the 90-day period.

    ADDRESSES:

    The affected communities are listed in the table below. Revised flood hazard information for each community is available for inspection at both the online location and the respective community map repository address listed in the table below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    Submit comments and/or appeals to the Chief Executive Officer of the community as listed in the table below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The specific flood hazard determinations are not described for each community in this notice. However, the online location and local community map repository address where the flood hazard determination information is available for inspection is provided.

    Any request for reconsideration of flood hazard determinations must be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer of the community as listed in the table below.

    The modifications are made pursuant to section 201 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4105, and are in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq., and with 44 CFR part 65.

    The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    These flood hazard determinations, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities. The flood hazard determinations are in accordance with 44 CFR 65.4.

    The affected communities are listed in the following table. Flood hazard determination information for each community is available for inspection at both the online location and the respective community map repository address listed in the table below. Additionally, the current effective FIRM and FIS report for each community are accessible online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov for comparison.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Dated: March 13, 2017. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. State and county Location and case No. Chief executive
  • officer of community
  • Community map repository Online location of letter of map revision Effective date of modification Community No.
    Colorado: Arapahoe City of Centennia (16-08-1082P) The Honorable Cathy Noon, Mayor, City of Centennial, 13133 East Arapahoe Road, Centennial, CO 80112 Southeast Metro, Stormwater Authority, 7437 South Fairplay Street, Centennial, CO 80112 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 19, 2017 080315 Boulder City of Boulder (16-08-0675P) The Honorable Suzanne Jones, Mayor, City of Boulder, P.O. Box 791, Boulder, CO 80306 Planning and Development Services Department, 1739 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 80302 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 080024 Teller City of Woodland Park (16-08-1217P) The Honorable Neil Levy, Mayor, City of Woodland Park, P.O. Box 9007, Woodland Park, CO 80866 Public Works Department, 220 W South Avenue, Woodland Park, CO 80866 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 18, 2017 080175 Teller Unincorporated areas of Teller County (16-08-1217P) The Honorable Norm Steen, Chairman, Teller County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 959, Cripple Creek, CO 80813 Teller County, Administrative Department, 112 North A Street, Cripple Creek, CO 80813 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 18, 2017 080173 Florida: Bay City of Callaway (16-04-6043P) The Honorable Bob Pelletier, Mayor, City of Callaway, 6601 East Highway 22, Callaway, FL 32404 Public Works Department, 324 South Berthe Avenue, Callaway, FL 32404 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc Jun 1, 2017 120005 Bay Unincorporated areas of Bay County (16-04-6043P) The Honorable William T. Dozier, Chairman, Bay County Board of Commissioners, 840 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401 Bay County Planning and Zoning Division, 840 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc Jun 1, 2017 120004 Broward City of Plantation (16-04-7674P) The Honorable Diane Veltri Bendekovic, Mayor, City of Plantation, 400 Northwest 73rd Avenue, Plantation, FL 33317 Engineering Department, 401 Northwest 70th Terrace, Plantation, FL 33317 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 25, 2017 120054 Collier City of Marco Island (17-04-0130P) The Honorable Larry Honig, Chairman, City of Marco Island Council, 50 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island, FL 34145 City Hall, 50 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island, FL 34145 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 120426 Lee City of Sanibel (16-04-7280P) The Honorable Kevin Ruane, Mayor, City of Sanibel, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Planning and Code Enforcement Department, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 12, 2017 120402 Lee Town of Fort Myers Beach (16-04-7620P) The Honorable Dennis C. Boback, Mayor, Town of Fort Myers Beach, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 Community Development Department, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 25, 2017 120673 Lee Town of Fort Myers Beach (17-04-0306P) The Honorable Dennis C. Boback, Mayor, Town of Fort Myers Beach, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 Community Development Department, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 25, 2017 120673 Monroe Unincorporated areas of Monroe County (16-04-7184P) The Honorable George Neugent, Mayor, Monroe County Board of Commissioners, 25 Ships Way, Big Pine Key, FL 33043 Monroe County Building Department, 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 2, 2017 125129 Monroe Unincorporated areas of Monroe County (17-04-0522P) The Honorable George Neugent, Mayor, Monroe County Board of Commissioners, 25 Ships Way, Big Pine Key, FL 33043 Monroe County Building Department, 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 30, 2017 125129 Pinellas City of Clearwater (17-04-0745P) The Honorable George N. Cretekos, Mayor, City of Clearwater, P.O. Box 4748, Clearwater, FL 33758 Engineering Department, 100 South Myrtle Avenue, Suite 220, Clearwater, FL 33756 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 25, 2017 125096 St. Johns Unincorporated areas of St. Johns County (16-04-7407P) The Honorable Jeb Smith, Chairman, St. Johns County Board of Commissioners, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, FL 32084 St. Johns County Building Services Department, 4040 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine, FL 32084 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 30, 2017 125147 Seminole City of Casselberry (16-04-3548P) The Honorable Charlene Glancy, Mayor, City of Casselberry, 95 Triplet Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707 Public Works Department, 95 Triplet Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 22, 2017 120291 Georgia: Bryan Unincorporated areas of Bryan County (16-04-6054P) The Honorable Jimmy Burnsed, Chairman, Bryan County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 430, Pembroke, GA 31321 Bryan County Planning and Zoning Department, 66 Captain Matthew Freeman Drive, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, GA 31324 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 5, 2017 130016 Fayette City of Peachtree City, (16-04-5178P) The Honorable Vanessa Fleisch, Mayor, City of Peachtree City, 151 Willowbend Road, Peachtree City, GA 30269 Engineering Department, 151 Willowbend Road, Peachtree City, GA 30269 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc Apr. 13, 2017 130078 Fayette Unincorporated areas of Fayette County (16-04-5178P) The Honorable Charles Oddo, Chairman, Fayette County Board of Commissioners, 140 Stonewall Avenue West, Suite 100, Fayetteville, GA 30214 Fayette County Environmental Management Department, 140 Stonewall Avenue West, Suite 203, Fayetteville, GA 30214 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc Apr. 13, 2017 130432 Massachusetts: Essex City of Beverly (16-01-2010P) The Honorable Michael P. Cahill, Mayor, City of Beverly, 191 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915 Public Services Department, 191 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 5, 2017 250077 Essex City of Beverly (17-01-0046P) The Honorable Michael P. Cahill, Mayor, City of Beverly, 191 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915 Public Services Department, 191 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 5, 2017 250077 Plymouth Town of Marion (17-01-0065P) The Honorable Jonathan E. Dickerson, Chairman, Town of Marion Board of Selectmen, 2 Spring Street, Marion, MA 02738 Town Hall, 2 Spring Street, Marion, MA 02738 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 5, 2017 255213 North Carolina: Onslow Town of North Topsail Beach (17-04-0504P) The Honorable Fred J. Burns, Mayor, Town of North Topsail Beach, 2008 Loggerhead Court, North Topsail Beach, NC 28460 Planning Department, 2008 Loggerhead Court, North Topsail Beach, NC 28460 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 4, 2017 370466 Union Unincorporated areas of Union County (16-04-5693P) The Honorable Frank Aikmus, Chairman, Union County Board of Commissioners, 500 North Main Street, Suite 921, Monroe, NC 28112 Union County Planning Department, 500 North Main Street, Suite 70, Monroe, NC 28112 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 1, 2017 370234 Wake Town of Holly Springs (16-04-7667P) The Honorable Richard G. Sears, Mayor, Town of Holly Springs, P.O. Box 8, Holly Springs, NC 27540 Engineering Department, 128 South Main Street, Holly Springs, NC 27540 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 25, 2017 370403 Ohio: Greene City of Fairborn (16-05-6238P) Mr. Pete Bales, CPRP, Interim Manager, City of Fairborn, 44 West Hebble Avenue, Fairborn, OH 45324 Government Center, 44 West Hebble Avenue, Fairborn, OH 45324 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 19, 2017 390195 Rhode Island: Providence City of Cranston (16-01-1503P) The Honorable Allan W. Fung, Mayor, City of Cranston, 869 Park Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910 City Hall, 869 Park Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc Apr. 21, 2017 445396 Texas: Bexar City of San Antonio (16-06-1449P) The Honorable Ivy R. Taylor, Mayor, City of San Antonio, P.O. Box 839966, San Antonio, TX 78283 Transportation and Capital Improvements Department, Storm Water Division, 1901 South Alamo Street, 2nd Floor, San Antonio, TX 78204 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 18, 2017 480045 Collin City of Frisco (16-06-3251P) The Honorable Maher Maso, Mayor, City of Frisco, 6101 Frisco Square Boulevard, 3rd Floor, Frisco, TX 75034 City Hall, 6101 Frisco Square Boulevard, 3rd Floor, Frisco, TX 75034 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 22, 2017 480134 Collin City of McKinney (16-06-3366P) The Honorable Brian Loughmiller, Mayor, City of McKinney, P.O. Box 517, McKinney, TX 75070 Engineering Department, 221 North Tennessee Street, McKinney, TX 75069 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 8, 2017 480135 Collin Unincorporated areas of Collin County (16-06-3366P) The Honorable Keith Self, Collin County Judge, 2300 Bloomdale Road, Suite 4192, McKinney, TX 75071 Collin County Engineering Department, 4690 Community Avenue, Suite 200, McKinney, TX 75071 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 8, 2017 480130 Denton Town of Argyle (16-06-3285P) The Honorable Peggy Krueger, Mayor, Town of Argyle, P.O. Box 609, Argyle, TX 76226 Planning and Zoning Division, 308 Denton Street, Argyle, TX 76226 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 26, 2017 480775 Fort Bend City of Missouri City (17-06-0015P) The Honorable Allen Owen, Mayor, City of Missouri City, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489 Engineering Department, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 480304 Fort Bend Unincorporated areas of Fort Bend County (17-06-0015P) The Honorable Robert Hebert, Fort Bend County Judge, 401 Jackson Street, Richmond, TX 77469 Fort Bend County Engineering Department, 301 Jackson Street, 4th Floor, Richmond, TX 77469 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 480228 Harris City of Missouri City (16-06-2490P) The Honorable Allen Owen, Mayor, City of Missouri City, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489 Engineering Department, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc Jun. 2, 2017 480304 Johnson and Tarrant City of Burleson (17-06-0126P) The Honorable Ken Shetter, Mayor, City of Burleson, 141 West Renfro Street, Burleson, TX 76028 Engineering Services Department, 141 West Renfro Street, Burleson, TX 76028 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 8, 2017 485459 Montgomery City of Conroe (16-06-1009P) The Honorable Toby Powell, Mayor, City of Conroe, P.O. Box 3066, Conroe, TX 77305 Public Works Department, 300 West Davis Street, Conroe, TX 77301 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 4, 2017 480484 Montgomery City of Shenandoah (16-06-1009P) The Honorable Ritch Wheeler, Mayor, City of Shenandoah, 29955 I-45 North Shenandoah, TX 77381 City Hall, 29955 I-45 North Shenandoah, TX 77381 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 4, 2017 481256 Montgomery Unincorporated areas of Montgomery County (16-06-1009P) The Honorable Craig Doyal, Montgomery County Judge, 501 North Thompson Street, Suite 401, Conroe, TX 77301 Montgomery County Engineering Department, 501 North Thompson Street, Suite 103, Conroe, TX 77301 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 4, 2017 480483 Tarrant City of Fort Worth (17-06-0126P) The Honorable Betsy Price, Mayor, City of Fort Worth, 1000 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Transportation and Public Works Department, 1000 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 8, 2017 480596 Tom Green City of San Angelo (17-06-0008P) Mr. Daniel Valenzuela, Manager, City of San Angelo, 72 West College Avenue, San Angelo, TX 76903 City Hall, 72 West College Avenue, San Angelo, TX 76903 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 3, 2017 480623 Tom Green Unincorporated areas of Tom Green County (17-06-0008P) The Honorable Stephen C. Floyd, Tom Green County Judge, 122 West Beauregard Avenue, San Angelo, TX 76903 Tom Green County Courthouse, 122 West Beauregard Avenue, San Angelo, TX 76903 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 3, 2017 480622 Utah: Salt Lake Town of Herriman (16-08-1375P) The Honorable Carmen Freeman, Mayor, Town of Herriman, 13011 South Pioneer Street, Herriman, UT 84096 City Hall, 13011 South Pioneer Street, Herriman, UT 84096 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 4, 2017 490252 Wyoming: Albany City of Laramie (16-08-0896P) Ms. Janine Jordan, Manager, City of Laramie, P.O. Box C, Laramie, WY 82073 City Hall, 406 Ivinson Avenue, Laramie, WY 82073 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 560002 Albany Unincorporated areas of Albany County (16-08-0896P) The Honorable Tim Chesnut, Chairman, Albany County Board of Commissioners, 525 East Grand Avenue, Suite 202, Laramie, WY 82070 Albany County Planning Department, 1002 South 3rd Street, Laramie, WY 82070 http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc May 17, 2017 560001
    [FR Doc. 2017-06680 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2017-0002] Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    New or modified Base (1-percent annual chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, and/or regulatory floodways (hereinafter referred to as flood hazard determinations) as shown on the indicated Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) for each of the communities listed in the table below are finalized. Each LOMR revises the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and in some cases the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, currently in effect for the listed communities. The flood hazard determinations modified by each LOMR will be used to calculate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and their contents.

    DATES:

    The effective date for each LOMR is indicated in the table below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Each LOMR is available for inspection at both the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the table below and online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Sacbibit, Chief, Engineering Services Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-7659, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes the final flood hazard determinations as shown in the LOMRs for each community listed in the table below. Notice of these modified flood hazard determinations has been published in newspapers of local circulation and 90 days have elapsed since that publication. The Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation has resolved any appeals resulting from this notification.

    The modified flood hazard determinations are made pursuant to section 206 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4105, and are in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq., and with 44 CFR part 65.

    For rating purposes, the currently effective community number is shown and must be used for all new policies and renewals.

    The new or modified flood hazard information is the basis for the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of being already in effect in order to remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    This new or modified flood hazard information, together with the floodplain management criteria required by 44 CFR 60.3, are the minimum that are required. They should not be construed to mean that the community must change any existing ordinances that are more stringent in their floodplain management requirements. The community may at any time enact stricter requirements of its own or pursuant to policies established by other Federal, State, or regional entities.

    This new or modified flood hazard determinations are used to meet the floodplain management requirements of the NFIP and also are used to calculate the appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings, and for the contents in those buildings. The changes in flood hazard determinations are in accordance with 44 CFR 65.4.

    Interested lessees and owners of real property are encouraged to review the final flood hazard information available at the address cited below for each community or online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Dated: March 21, 2017. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency. State and county Location and case No. Chief executive officer of community Community map repository Effective
  • date of
  • modification
  • Community No.
    Arkansas: Crawford (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Van Buren (16-06-1669P The Honorable Bob Freeman, Mayor, City of Van Buren, 1003 Broadway Street, Van Buren, AR 72956 Public Works Department, 1003 Broadway Street, Van Buren, AR 72956 Jan. 26, 201 05005 Crawford (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Crawford County (16-06-1669P The Honorable John Hall, Crawford County Judge, 300 Main Street, Room 4, Van Buren, AR 72956 Crawford County Department of Emergency Management, 1820 Chestnut Street, Van Buren, AR 72956 Jan. 26, 201 05042 Colorado: Adams (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Thornton (16-08-0136P The Honorable Heidi Williams, Mayor, City of Thornton, 9500 Civic Center Drive, Thornton, CO 80229 Engineering Services Division, 12450 Washington Street, Thornton, CO 80241 Feb. 10, 201 08000 Adams FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Adams County 16-08-0136P The Honorable Steve O'Dorisio, Chairman, Adams County Board of Commissioners, 4430 South Adams County Parkway, Brighton, CO 80601 Adams County Development and Engineering Services Department, 4430 South Adams County Parkway, Brighton, CO 80601 Feb. 10, 201 08000 Broomfield FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 City and County of Broomfield (16-08-1117P The Honorable Randy Ahrens, Mayor, City and County of Broomfield, 1 Des Combes Drive, Broomfield, CO 80020 Engineering Department, 1 Des Combes Drive, Broomfield, CO 80020 Jan. 27, 201 08507 Jefferson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 City of Arvada (15-08-1159P The Honorable Marc Williams, Mayor, City of Arvada, P.O. Box 8101, Arvada, CO 80001 Engineering Division, 8101 Ralston Road, Arvada, CO 80001 Jan. 27, 201 08507 Jefferson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Westminster (16-08-0792P The Honorable Herb Atchison, Mayor, City of Westminster, 4800 West 92nd Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031 Engineering Division, 4800 West 92nd Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031 Feb. 17, 201 08000 Jefferson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 Unincorporated areas of Jefferson County (15-08-1159P The Honorable Libby Szabo, Chair, Jefferson County, Board of Commissioners, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80419 Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Division, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80419 Jan. 27, 201 08008 Delaware New Castle (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of New Castle County (16-03-2184P The Honorable Thomas Gordon, New Castle County Executive, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720 New Castle County Department of Land Use, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720 Jan. 30, 201 10508 Florida: Charlotte (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 Unincorporated areas of Charlotte County (16-04-6938P The Honorable Bill Truex, Chairman, Charlotte County Board of Commissioners, 18500 Murdock Circle Port Charlotte, FL 33948 Charlotte County Community Development Department, 18400 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948 Jan. 26, 201 12006 Lake (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Groveland (16-04-3023P The Honorable Tim Loucks, Mayor, City of Groveland, 156 South Lake Avenue, Groveland, FL 34736 City Hall, 156 South Lake Avenue, Groveland, FL 34736 Feb. 3, 201 12013 Lake (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Lake County (16-04-3023P The Honorable Sean Parks, Chairman, Lake County Board of Commissioners, 315 West Main Street, Tavares, FL 32778 Lake County Public Works Department, 323 North Sinclair Avenue, Tavares, FL 32778 Feb. 3, 201 12042 Lee (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 City of Sanibel (16-04-5162P The Honorable Kevin Ruane, Mayor, City of Sanibel, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Building Department, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Jan. 31, 201 12040 Lee (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 City of Sanibel (16-04-6547P The Honorable Kevin Ruane, Mayor, City of Sanibel, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Building Department, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957 Jan. 26, 201 12040 Monroe (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 City of Key West (16-04-4726P The Honorable Craig Cates, Mayor, City of Key West, P.O. Box 1409, Key West, FL 33041 Building Department, 3140 Flagler Avenue, Key West, FL 33040 Jan. 24, 201 12016 Osceola (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Osceola County (16-04-5214P The Honorable Viviana Janer, Chair, Osceola County Board of Commissioners, 1 Courthouse Square, Suite 4700, Kissimmee, FL 34741 Osceola County Development Review Department, 1 Courthouse Square, Suite 1400, Kissimmee, FL 34741 Feb. 10, 201 12018 St. Johns (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of St. Johns County (16-04-4101P The Honorable Jeb Smith, Chairman, St. Johns County Board of Commissioners, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, FL 32084 St. Johns County Building Services Division, 4040 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine, FL 32084 Jan. 31, 201 12514 Seminole (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Oviedo (16-04-3084P The Honorable Dominic Persampiere, Mayor, City of Oviedo, 400 Alexandria Boulevard, Oviedo, FL 32765 Engineering Department, 400 Alexandria Boulevard, Oviedo, FL 32765 Feb. 8, 201 12029 Seminole (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Seminole, County (16-04-3084P The Honorable John Huran, Chairman, Seminole County Board of Commissioners, 1101 East 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771 Seminole County Development Review Division, 1101 East 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771 Feb. 8, 201 12028 Massachusetts: Plymouth (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Town of Mattapoisett (16-01-2222P The Honorable R. Tyler Macallister, Chairman, Town of Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen, P.O. Box 435, Mattapoisett, MA 02739 Building Department, 16 Main Street, Mattapoisett, MA 02739 Feb. 17, 201 25521 Mississippi: Madison (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Ridgeland (16-04-1990P The Honorable Gene McGee, Mayor, City of Ridgeland, 304 Highway 51, Ridgeland, MS 39157 City Hall, 304 Highway 51, Ridgeland, MS 39157 Feb. 10, 201 28011 New Mexico: Bernalillo (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Albuquerque (16-06-0422P The Honorable Richard J. Berry, Mayor, City of Albuquerque, P.O. Box 1293, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Development and Building Services Department, 600 2nd Street Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Feb. 16, 201 35000 Bernalillo (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County (16-06-0422P The Honorable Debbie O'Malley, Chair, Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners, 1 Civic Plaza Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Bernalillo County Public Works Division, 2400 Broadway Boulevard Southeast, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Feb. 16, 201 35000 North Dakota: Burleigh (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Bismarck (16-08-0336P The Honorable Mike Seminary, Mayor, City of Bismarck, 221 North 5th Street, Bismarck, ND 58506 City Hall, 221 North 5th Street, Bismarck, ND 58506 Feb. 10, 201 38014 Oklahoma Payne (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Perkins (16-06-2777P The Honorable Jason Shilling, Mayor, City of Perkins, P.O. Box 9, Perkins, OK 74059 Floodplain Department, 110 North Main Street, Perkins, OK 74059 Jan. 27, 201 40043 Payne (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Payne County (16-06-2777P The Honorable Kent Bradley, Chairman, Payne County Board of Commissioners, 506 Expo Circle South, Stillwater, OK 74074 Payne County Administrative Building, 315 West 6th Street, Suite 203, Stillwater, OK 74074 Jan. 27, 201 40049 Pottawatomie (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Shawnee (16-06-2100P Mr. Justin Erickson, Manager, City of Shawnee, P.O. Box 1448, Shawnee, OK 74801 City Hall, 16 West 9th Street, Shawnee, OK 74801 Feb. 15, 201 40017 Pennsylvania: Franklin (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Borough of Chambersburg (16-03-0980P The Honorable Allen B. Coffman, President, Borough of Chambersburg Council, 100 South 2nd Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201 Borough Hall, 100 South 2nd Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201 Feb. 3, 201 42046 Montgomery (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 Borough of Conshohocken (16-03-0726P Mr. Richard J. Manfredi, Manager, Borough of Conshohocken, 400 Fayette Street, Conshohocken, PA, 19428 Borough Administration Building, 400 Fayette Street, Conshohocken, PA 19428 Jan. 30, 201 42094 Montgomery (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 Borough of West Conshohocken (16-03-0726P The Honorable Joseph Pignoli, President, Borough of West Conshohocken Council, 112 Ford Street, Conshohocken, PA 19428 Borough Hall, 112 Ford Street, Conshohocken, PA 19428 Jan. 30, 201 42071 Montgomery (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 Township of Plymouth (16-03-0726P Ms. Karen B. Weiss, Manager, Township of Plymouth, 700 Belvoir Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 Township Hall, 700 Belvoir Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 Jan. 30, 201 42095 South Carolina: Charleston (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 City of Folly Beach (16-04-6421P The Honorable Tim Goodwin, Mayor, City of Folly Beach, P.O. Box 48, Folly Beach, SC 29439 Public Works Department, 21 Center Street, Folly Beach, SC 29439 Jan. 24, 201 45541 South Dakota: Aurora (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Plankinton (16-08-0366P The Honorable Joe Staller, Mayor, City of Plankinton, P.O. Box 517, Plankinton, SD 57368 City Hall, 102 South Main Street, Plankinton, SD 57368 Feb. 3, 201 46000 Aurora (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Aurora County (16-08-0366P The Honorable Jeff Sauvage, Chairman, Aurora County Commission, 401 North Main Street, Plankinton, SD 57368 Aurora County Courthouse, 401 North Main Street, Plankinton, SD 57368 Feb. 3, 201 46029 Texas: Burnet (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Burnet County (16-06-1135P The Honorable James Oakley, Burnet County Judge, 220 South Pierce Street, Burnet, TX 78611 Burnet County Environmental Services Department, 133 East Jackson Street, Burnet, TX 78611 Feb. 13, 201 48120 Collin (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Wylie (16-06-0594P The Honorable Eric Hogue, Mayor, City of Wylie, 300 Country Club Road, Building 100, Wylie, TX 75098 City Hall, 300 Country Club Road, Building 100, Wylie, TX 75098 Feb. 9, 201 48075 Collin (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Town of Prosper (16-06-3608P The Honorable Ray Smith, Mayor, Town of Prosper, P.O. Box 307, Prosper, TX 75078 Engineering Services Department, 407 East 1st Street, Prosper, TX 75078 Feb. 16, 201 48014 Fort Bend (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Katy (16-06-1376P The Honorable Fabol R. Hughes, Mayor, City of Katy, P.O. Box 617, Katy, TX 77493 Public Works Department, 901 Avenue C, Katy, TX 77493 Feb. 14, 201 48030 Fort Bend (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Fort Bend County (16-06-1376P The Honorable Robert Hebert, Fort Bend County Judge, 401 Jackson Street, Richmond, TX 77469 Fort Bend County Engineering Department, 301 Jackson Street, Richmond, TX 77469 Feb. 14, 201 48022 Fort Bend (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Willow Fork Drainage District (16-06-1376P The Honorable Richard Ward, President, Willow Fork Drainage District, Board of Directors, 3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2600, Houston, TX 7702 AECOM, 5444 Westheimer Road, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77027 Feb. 14, 201 48160 Tarrant (FEMA Docket No.: B-1660 City of Fort Worth (16-06-1735P The Honorable Betsy Price, Mayor, City of Fort Worth, 1000 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Transportation and Public Works Department, 1000 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Jan. 26, 201 4 48059 Williamson (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Williamson County (16-06-1135P The Honorable Dan A. Gattis, Williamson County Judge, 710 South Main Street, Suite 101, Georgetown, TX 78626 Williamson County Department of Infrastructure, 3151 Southeast Inner Loop, Suite B, Georgetown, TX 78626 Feb. 13, 201 48107 Virginia: Albemarle (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 Unincorporated areas of Albemarle County (16-03-1207P Mr. Thomas C. Foley, Albemarle County Executive, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, VA, 22902 Albemarle County Community Development/Engineering Department, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, VA, 22902 Feb. 6, 201 51000 Independent City (FEMA Docket No.: B-1665 City of Charlottesville (16-03-1207P Mr. Maurice Jones, Manager, City of Charlottesville, P.O. Box 911, Charlottesville, VA 22902 Neighborhood Development Services, 610 East Market Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902 Feb. 6, 201 51003
    [FR Doc. 2017-06677 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension, Without Changes, of an Existing Information Collection; Comment Request; OMB Control No. 1653-0020 AGENCY:

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice of information collection for review; Form No. G-146; Non-Immigrants Checkout Letter; OMB Control No. 1653-0020.

    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) is submitting the following information collection request for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies. This information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2017, Vol. 82, No. 228 allowing for a 60 day comment period. No comments were received on this information collection. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments.

    Written comments and suggestions regarding items contained in this notice and especially with regard to the estimated public burden and associated response time should be directed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-5806.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information should address one or more of the following four points:

    (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 agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, without change, of a currently approved information collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Non-Immigrant Checkout Letter.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department of Homeland Security sponsoring the collection: ICE Form G-146; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. When an alien (other than one who is required to depart under safeguards) is granted the privilege of voluntary departure without the issuance of a Notice to Appear, a control card is prepared. If, after a certain period of time, a verification of departure is not received, actions are taken to locate the alien or ascertain his or her whereabouts. Form G-146 is used to inquire of persons in the United States or abroad regarding the whereabouts of the alien.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 20,000 responses at 10 minutes (.16 hours) per response.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: 3,220 annual burden hours.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. Scott Elmore, PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06698 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX066A0067F 178S180110; S2D2D SS08011000 SX066A00 33F 17XS501520] Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments for 1029-0091 AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is announcing its intention to request continued approval for the collection of information associated with surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian lands.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed information collection must be received by June 5, 2017, to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be mailed to John Trelease, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1951 Constitution Ave. NW., Room 203—SIB, Washington, DC 20240. Comments may also be submitted electronically at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To receive a copy of the information collection request contact John Trelease at (202) 208-2783 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities [see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)]. This notice identifies an information collection that OSMRE will be submitting to OMB for renewed approval. The collection is contained in 30 CFR part 750, Requirements for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian lands. OSMRE will request a 3-year term of approval for each information collection activity.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for Part 750 is 1029-0091. Responses are required to obtain a benefit.

    Comments are invited on: (1) The need for the collection of information for the performance of the functions of the agency; (2) the accuracy of the agency's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, such as use of automated means of collection of the information. A summary of the public comments will accompany OSMRE's submission of the information collection request to OMB.

    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.

    This notice provides the public with 60 days in which to comment on the following information collection activity:

    Title: 30 CFR part 750—Requirements for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian lands.

    OMB Control Number: 1029-0091.

    Summary: Operators who conduct or propose to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian lands must comply with the requirements of 30 CFR 750 pursuant to Section 710 of SMCRA.

    Bureau Form Number: None.

    Frequency of Collection: Once.

    Description of Respondents: Applicants for coal mining permits on Indian lands.

    Total Annual Responses: One new permit, one significant permit revision, 25 minor revisions.

    Total Annual Burden Hours: 5,006.

    Total Annual Non-Wage Burden: $1,095,400.

    Dated: March 13, 2017. John A. Trelease, Acting Chief, Division of Regulatory Support.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06697 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 731-TA-847 and 849 (Third Review)] Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from Japan and Romania; Scheduling of Full Five-Year Reviews AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the scheduling of full reviews pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty orders on carbon and alloy seamless standard, line, and pressure pipe from Japan and Romania would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. The Commission has determined to exercise its authority to extend the review period by up to 90 days.

    DATES:

    Effective March 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lawrence Jones (202-205-3358), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (https://www.usitc.gov). The public record for these reviews may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On December 5, 2016, the Commission determined that responses to its notice of institution of the subject five-year reviews were such that full reviews should proceed (81 FR 91199, December 16, 2016); accordingly, full reviews are being scheduled pursuant to section 751(c)(5) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)(5)). A record of the Commissioners' votes, the Commission's statement on adequacy, and any individual Commissioner's statements are available from the Office of the Secretary and at the Commission's Web site.

    Participation in the reviews and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the subject merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in these reviews as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11 of the Commission's rules, by 45 days after publication of this notice. A party that filed a notice of appearance following publication of the Commission's notice of institution of these reviews need not file an additional notice of appearance. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the review.

    For further information concerning the conduct of these reviews and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A, D, E, and F (19 CFR part 207).

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and BPI service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI gathered in this review available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the reviews, provided that the application is made by 45 days after publication of this notice. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined by 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to these reviews. A party granted access to BPI following publication of the Commission's notice of institution of these reviews need not reapply for such access. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Staff report.—The prehearing staff report in these reviews will be placed in the nonpublic record on July 19, 2017, and a public version will be issued thereafter, pursuant to section 207.64 of the Commission's rules.

    Hearing.—The Commission will hold a hearing in connection with these reviews beginning at 9:30 a.m. on August 8, 2017, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed in writing with the Secretary to the Commission on or before August 1, 2017. A nonparty who has testimony that may aid the Commission's deliberations may request permission to present a short statement at the hearing. All parties and nonparties desiring to appear at the hearing and make oral presentations should participate in a prehearing conference to be held on August 3, 2017, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, if deemed necessary. Oral testimony and written materials to be submitted at the public hearing are governed by sections 201.6(b)(2), 201.13(f), 207.24, and 207.66 of the Commission's rules. Parties must submit any request to present a portion of their hearing testimony in camera no later than 7 business days prior to the date of the hearing.

    Written submissions.—Each party to these reviews may submit a prehearing brief to the Commission. Prehearing briefs must conform with the provisions of section 207.65 of the Commission's rules; the deadline for filing is July 28, 2017. Parties may also file written testimony in connection with their presentation at the hearing, as provided in section 207.24 of the Commission's rules, and posthearing briefs, which must conform with the provisions of section 207.67 of the Commission's rules. The deadline for filing posthearing briefs is August 17, 2017. In addition, any person who has not entered an appearance as a party to these reviews may submit a written statement of information pertinent to the subject of these reviews on or before August 17, 2017. On September 12, 2017, the Commission will make available to parties all information on which they have not had an opportunity to comment. Parties may submit final comments on this information on or before September 14, 2017, but such final comments must not contain new factual information and must otherwise comply with section 207.68 of the Commission's rules. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's Web site at https://www.usitc.gov/secretary/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing.

    Additional written submissions to the Commission, including requests pursuant to section 201.12 of the Commission's rules, shall not be accepted unless good cause is shown for accepting such submissions, or unless the submission is pursuant to a specific request by a Commissioner or Commission staff.

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to these reviews must be served on all other parties to these reviews (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    The Commission has determined that these reviews are extraordinarily complicated and therefore has determined to exercise its authority to extend the review period by up to 90 days pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1675(c)(5)(B).

    Authority: These reviews are being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.62 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 31, 2017. William R. Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06713 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain Height-Adjustable Desk Platforms and Components Thereof, DN 3212; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing pursuant to the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov, and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to § 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Varidesk LLC on March 30, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain height-adjustable desk platforms and components thereof. The complaint names as respondents Lumi Legend Corporation of China; Innovative Office Products LLC of Easton, PA; Ergotech Group LLC of Easton, PA; Transform Partners LLC (d/b/a Mount-It!) of San Diego, CA; Monoprice, Inc. of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Ningbo Loctek Visual Technology Corporation of China; Zhejiang Loctek Smart Drive Technology Co., Ltd. of China; Loctek Inc. of Fremont, CA; Zoxou, Inc. of Fremont, CA; and Flexispot of Livermore CA. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders upon respondents' alleged infringing articles during the 60-day Presidential review period pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337(j).

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or § 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to § 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3212”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures 1 ). Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    1 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: https://www.usitc.gov/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All information, including confidential business information and documents for which confidential treatment is properly sought, submitted to the Commission for purposes of this Investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel,2 solely for cybersecurity purposes. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.3

    2 All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): https://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of §§ 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 31, 2017. William R. Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06709 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; Native American Employment and Training Council AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration, U. S. Department of Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), notice is hereby given of the next meeting of the Native American Employment and Training Council (Council), as constituted under WIOA.

    DATES:

    The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m., (Pacific Daylight Time) on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, and continue until 5:00 p.m. that day. The meeting will reconvene at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 and adjourn at 12:00 p.m. that day. The period from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on May 23, 2017 is reserved for participation and comment by members of the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Gateway, 6101 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90045.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Athena R. Brown, DFO, Division of Indian and Native American Programs, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-4209, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone number (202) 693-3737 (VOICE) (this is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public. Members of the public not present may submit a written statement on or before May 19, 2017, to be included in the record of the meeting. Statements are to be submitted to Athena R. Brown, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room S-4209, Washington, DC 20210. Persons who need special accommodations should contact Craig Lewis at (202) 693-3384, at least two business days before the meeting. The formal agenda will focus on the following topics: (1) Transition paper; (2) Performance Indicators; (3) U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration Update and follow-up on the Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 and Final Rule; (4) Training and Technical Assistance; (5) Council and Workgroup Updates and Recommendations; (6) New Business and Next Steps; and (7) Public Comment.

    Signed at Washington, DC, March 17, 2017. Byron Zuidema, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06778 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4501-FR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Notice on Reallotment of Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I Formula Allotted Funds for Dislocated Worker Activities for Program Year (PY) 2016 AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), requires the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to conduct reallotment of certain WIOA formula allotted funds based on ETA 9130 financial reports submitted by states as of the end of the prior program year (PY). This notice publishes the dislocated worker PY 2016 funds for recapture by state and the amount to be reallotted to eligible states.

    DATES:

    This notice is effective April 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Amanda Ahlstrand, Administrator, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workforce Investment, Employment and Training Administration, Room C-4526, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. Telephone (202) 693-3052 (this is not a toll-free number) or fax (202) 693-3981.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Appropriations Act, Congress appropriated WIOA PY 2016 funds in two portions: (1) Funds available for obligation July 1, 2016 (i.e., PY 2016 “base” funds), and (2) funds available for obligation October 1, 2016 (i.e., Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 “advance” funds). Together, these two portions make up the complete PY 2016 WIOA funding. Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 17-15 announced WIOA allotments based on this appropriation and alerted states to the recapture and reallotment of funds' provisions, as required under WIOA Section 132(c). This section of WIOA requires the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to conduct reallotment of excess unobligated WIOA Adult, Youth, and Dislocated Worker formula funds based on ETA 9130 financial reports submitted by states at the end of the prior program year (i.e., PY 2015).

    WIOA regulations at 20 CFR 693.135 describe the procedures the Secretary uses for recapture and reallotment of funds. ETA will not recapture any PY 2016 funds for the Adult and Youth programs because there are no states where PY 2015 unobligated funds exceed the statutory requirements of 20 percent of state allotted funds. However, for the Dislocated Worker program, Kentucky had unobligated PY 2015 funds in excess of 20 percent of its allotment. Therefore, ETA will recapture a total of $805,082 of PY 2016 funding from Kentucky and reallot those funds to the remaining eligible states, as required by WIOA Section 132(c).

    ETA will issue a Notice of Award to the states to reflect the recapture and reallotment of these funds. The adjustment of funds will be made to the FY 2017 advance portion of the PY 2016 allotments, which ETA issued in October 2016. The attached tables display the net changes to PY 2016 formula allotments and a description of the reallotment methodology.

    WIOA and its implementing regulations do not provide specific requirements by which states must distribute realloted funds, so states have flexibility to determine the methodology used.

    For any state subject to recapture of funds, WIOA Section 132(c)(5) requires the Governor to prescribe equitable procedures for reacquiring funds from the state and local areas.

    As mentioned, the recapture/reallotment adjustments will be made to the FY 2017 advance portion of the PY 2016 allotment. Therefore, for reporting purposes, states must reflect the recapture/reallotment amount (decrease or increase) in the “Total Federal Funds Authorized” line of any affected FY 2017 ETA 9130 financial reports (State Dislocated Worker Activities, Statewide Rapid Response, Local Dislocated Worker Activities) in a manner consistent with the method of distribution of these amounts to state and local areas used by the state. The state must include an explanation of the adjustment in the remarks section of the adjusted reports.

    I. Attachment A U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration WIOA Dislocated Worker Activities PY 2016 Reallotment to States [02/08/2017] Calculating reallotment amount Excess
  • unobligated
  • PY 2015
  • funds to be
  • recaptured from PY 2016 funds
  • Eligible states'
  • PY 2015 1
  • dislocated worker
  • allotments
  • Reallotment
  • amount for
  • eligible states
  • (based on
  • eligible states' share of PY 2015 allotments)
  • Impact on PY 2016 allotments Total original
  • PY 2016
  • allotments before
  • reallotment
  • Recapture/
  • reallotment
  • adjustment
  • to PY 2016
  • allotments
  • Revised
  • total
  • PY 2016
  • allotments
  • Alabama $0 $15,012,219 $12,128 $16,427,975 $12,128 $16,440,103 Alaska 0 2,184,119 1,765 2,854,009 1,765 2,855,774 Arizona ** 0 22,511,715 18,187 25,029,051 18,187 25,047,238 Arkansas 0 8,052,059 6,505 7,757,044 6,505 7,763,549 California 0 164,063,131 132,548 169,644,376 132,548 169,776,924 Colorado 0 13,622,336 11,006 12,323,381 11,006 12,334,387 Connecticut 0 13,612,474 10,998 14,353,697 10,998 14,364,695 Delaware 0 2,596,904 2,098 2,349,277 2,098 2,351,375 District of Columbia 0 3,443,627 2,782 4,499,821 2,782 4,502,603 Florida 0 61,786,732 49,918 65,053,785 49,918 65,103,703 Georgia 0 39,981,701 32,301 40,521,426 32,301 40,553,727 Hawaii 0 1,931,277 1,560 1,894,161 1,560 1,895,721 Idaho 0 2,636,879 2,130 2,385,440 2,130 2,387,570 Illinois 0 58,325,151 47,121 52,763,567 47,121 52,810,688 Indiana 0 17,611,408 14,228 17,062,801 14,228 17,077,029 Iowa 0 4,426,239 3,576 4,004,176 3,576 4,007,752 Kansas 0 4,682,959 3,783 4,609,831 3,783 4,613,614 Kentucky 805,082 0 0 14,673,688 (805,082) 13,868,606 Louisiana 0 9,215,660 7,445 12,042,192 7,445 12,049,637 Maine 0 3,592,396 2,902 3,249,844 2,902 3,252,746 Maryland 0 17,549,612 14,178 18,580,386 14,178 18,594,564 Massachusetts 0 21,265,196 17,180 19,237,457 17,180 19,254,637 Michigan 0 40,080,962 32,382 36,259,049 32,382 36,291,431 Minnesota 0 8,332,420 6,732 7,537,884 6,732 7,544,616 Mississippi 0 11,047,184 8,925 11,826,808 8,925 11,835,733 Missouri 0 18,476,297 14,927 17,142,075 14,927 17,157,002 Montana 0 1,699,458 1,373 1,537,406 1,373 1,538,779 Nebraska 0 2,016,308 1,629 1,824,043 1,629 1,825,672 Nevada 0 13,272,377 10,723 14,417,704 10,723 14,428,427 New Hampshire 0 2,355,019 1,903 2,130,457 1,903 2,132,360 New Jersey 0 33,968,534 27,443 38,809,709 27,443 38,837,152 New Mexico ** 0 6,691,816 5,406 7,937,300 5,406 7,942,706 New York 0 69,009,253 55,753 62,428,888 55,753 62,484,641 North Carolina 0 31,698,026 25,609 31,022,721 25,609 31,048,330 North Dakota 0 566,170 457 728,444 457 728,901 Ohio 0 33,758,857 27,274 30,539,787 27,274 30,567,061 Oklahoma 0 5,943,501 4,802 5,376,760 4,802 5,381,562 Oregon 0 13,672,401 11,046 14,140,167 11,046 14,151,213 Pennsylvania 0 37,184,902 30,042 36,591,154 30,042 36,621,196 Puerto Rico 0 20,357,210 16,447 25,824,090 16,447 25,840,537 Rhode Island 0 5,533,256 4,470 5,005,633 4,470 5,010,103 South Carolina 0 12,481,973 10,084 16,310,315 10,084 16,320,399 South Dakota 0 856,158 692 1,070,734 692 1,071,426 Tennessee 0 21,507,643 17,376 23,146,617 17,376 23,163,993 Texas 0 55,598,809 44,919 50,297,194 44,919 50,342,113 Utah ** 0 2,963,244 2,394 3,143,067 2,394 3,145,461 Vermont 0 806,732 652 890,075 652 890,727 Virginia 0 17,685,631 14,288 16,945,520 14,288 16,959,808 Washington 0 19,533,856 15,782 22,462,284 15,782 22,478,066 West Virginia 0 4,814,588 3,890 6,291,269 3,890 6,295,159 Wisconsin 0 15,763,228 12,735 14,260,128 12,735 14,272,863 Wyoming 0 728,014 588 740,333 588 740,921 State total 805,082 996,507,621 805,082 1,017,955,000 0 1,017,955,000 ** Includes Navajo Nation. 1 PY 2015 allotment amounts are used to determine the reallotment amount eligible states receive of the recaptured amount.
    II. Attachment B U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, WIOA Dislocated Worker Activities, PY 2016 Revised Allotments With Reallotment—PY/FY Split [01/27/2017] Total allotment Original Recapture/
  • reallotment
  • Revised Available 7/1/16 Original Recapture/
  • reallotment
  • Revised Available 10/1/16 Original Recapture/
  • reallotment
  • Revised
    Alabama 16,427,975 12,128 16,440,103 2,595,993 2,595,993 13,831,982 12,128 13,844,110 Alaska 2,854,009 1,765 2,855,774 450,998 450,998 2,403,011 1,765 2,404,776 Arizona * 25,029,051 18,187 25,047,238 3,955,158 3,955,158 21,073,893 18,187 21,092,080 Arkansas 7,757,044 6,505 7,763,549 1,225,789 1,225,789 6,531,255 6,505 6,537,760 California 169,644,376 132,548 169,776,924 26,807,663 26,807,663 142,836,713 132,548 142,969,261 Colorado 12,323,381 11,006 12,334,387 1,947,374 1,947,374 10,376,007 11,006 10,387,013 Connecticut 14,353,697 10,998 14,364,695 2,268,210 2,268,210 12,085,487 10,998 12,096,485 Delaware 2,349,277 2,098 2,351,375 371,239 371,239 1,978,038 2,098 1,980,136 District of Columbia 4,499,821 2,782 4,502,603 711,074 711,074 3,788,747 2,782 3,791,529 Florida 65,053,785 49,918 65,103,703 10,279,975 10,279,975 54,773,810 49,918 54,823,728 Georgia 40,521,426 32,301 40,553,727 6,403,305 6,403,305 34,118,121 32,301 34,150,422 Hawaii 1,894,161 1,560 1,895,721 299,320 299,320 1,594,841 1,560 1,596,401 Idaho 2,385,440 2,130 2,387,570 376,954 376,954 2,008,486 2,130 2,010,616 Illinois 52,763,567 47,121 52,810,688 8,337,841 8,337,841 44,425,726 47,121 44,472,847 Indiana 17,062,801 14,228 17,077,029 2,696,310 2,696,310 14,366,491 14,228 14,380,719 Iowa 4,004,176 3,576 4,007,752 632,751 632,751 3,371,425 3,576 3,375,001 Kansas 4,609,831 3,783 4,613,614 728,458 728,458 3,881,373 3,783 3,885,156 Kentucky 14,673,688 (805,082) 13,868,606 2,318,776 2,318,776 12,354,912 (805,082) 11,549,830 Louisiana 12,042,192 7,445 12,049,637 1,902,940 1,902,940 10,139,252 7,445 10,146,697 Maine 3,249,844 2,902 3,252,746 513,549 513,549 2,736,295 2,902 2,739,197 Maryland 18,580,386 14,178 18,594,564 2,936,123 2,936,123 15,644,263 14,178 15,658,441 Massachusetts 19,237,457 17,180 19,254,637 3,039,955 3,039,955 16,197,502 17,180 16,214,682 Michigan 36,259,049 32,382 36,291,431 5,729,753 5,729,753 30,529,296 32,382 30,561,678 Minnesota 7,537,884 6,732 7,544,616 1,191,157 1,191,157 6,346,727 6,732 6,353,459 Mississippi 11,826,808 8,925 11,835,733 1,868,904 1,868,904 9,957,904 8,925 9,966,829 Missouri 17,142,075 14,927 17,157,002 2,708,837 2,708,837 14,433,238 14,927 14,448,165 Montana 1,537,406 1,373 1,538,779 242,945 242,945 1,294,461 1,373 1,295,834 Nebraska 1,824,043 1,629 1,825,672 288,240 288,240 1,535,803 1,629 1,537,432 Nevada 14,417,704 10,723 14,428,427 2,278,325 2,278,325 12,139,379 10,723 12,150,102 New Hampshire 2,130,457 1,903 2,132,360 336,661 336,661 1,793,796 1,903 1,795,699 New Jersey 38,809,709 27,443 38,837,152 6,132,815 6,132,815 32,676,894 27,443 32,704,337 New Mexico * 7,937,300 5,406 7,942,706 1,254,274 1,254,274 6,683,026 5,406 6,688,432 New York 62,428,888 55,753 62,484,641 9,865,182 9,865,182 52,563,706 55,753 52,619,459 North Carolina 31,022,721 25,609 31,048,330 4,902,294 4,902,294 26,120,427 25,609 26,146,036 North Dakota 728,444 457 728,901 115,111 115,111 613,333 457 613,790 Ohio 30,539,787 27,274 30,567,061 4,825,980 4,825,980 25,713,807 27,274 25,741,081 Oklahoma 5,376,760 4,802 5,381,562 849,650 849,650 4,527,110 4,802 4,531,912 Oregon 14,140,167 11,046 14,151,213 2,234,467 2,234,467 11,905,700 11,046 11,916,746 Pennsylvania 36,591,154 30,042 36,621,196 5,782,233 5,782,233 30,808,921 30,042 30,838,963 Puerto Rico 25,824,090 16,447 25,840,537 4,080,792 4,080,792 21,743,298 16,447 21,759,745 Rhode Island 5,005,633 4,470 5,010,103 791,004 791,004 4,214,629 4,470 4,219,099 South Carolina 16,310,315 10,084 16,320,399 2,577,400 2,577,400 13,732,915 10,084 13,742,999 South Dakota 1,070,734 692 1,071,426 169,200 169,200 901,534 692 902,226 Tennessee 23,146,617 17,376 23,163,993 3,657,691 3,657,691 19,488,926 17,376 19,506,302 Texas 50,297,194 44,919 50,342,113 7,948,098 7,948,098 42,349,096 44,919 42,394,015 Utah * 3,143,067 2,394 3,145,461 496,676 496,676 2,646,391 2,394 2,648,785 Vermont 890,075 652 890,727 140,652 140,652 749,423 652 750,075 Virginia 16,945,520 14,288 16,959,808 2,677,777 2,677,777 14,267,743 14,288 14,282,031 Washington 22,462,284 15,782 22,478,066 3,549,551 3,549,551 18,912,733 15,782 18,928,515 West Virginia 6,291,269 3,890 6,295,159 994,163 994,163 5,297,106 3,890 5,300,996 Wisconsin 14,260,128 12,735 14,272,863 2,253,424 2,253,424 12,006,704 12,735 12,019,439 Wyoming 740,333 588 740,921 116,989 116,989 623,344 588 623,932 State Total 1,017,955,000 1,017,955,000 160,860,000 160,860,000 857,095,000 857,095,000 * Includes funds allocated to the Navajo Nation.
    III. Attachment C Dislocated Worker (DW) State Formula PY 2016 Reallotment Methodology

    Reallotment Summary: This year the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) analyzed Dislocated Worker ETA 9130 financial reports from the June 30, 2016 reporting period for funds provided to states in PY 2015, to determine if any state had unobligated funds in excess of 20 percent of their PY 2015 allotment amount. If so, ETA will recapture that amount from PY 2016 funds and reallot the recaptured funds among eligible states.

    Source Data: ETA 9130 financial reports.

    Programs: State Dislocated Worker, Statewide Rapid Response, Local Dislocated Worker.

    Period: June 30, 2016.

    Years covered: PY 2015 and FY 2016.

    Reallotment Calculation Process

    1. Determine each state's unobligated balance: ETA computes the state's total amount of PY 2015 state obligations (including FY 2016 funds) for the DW program. State obligations are the sum of DW statewide activities obligations, Statewide Rapid Response obligations, and 100 percent of what the state authorizes for DW local activities (which includes program and administrative funds). To determine the unobligated balance for the DW program, ETA subtracts the total DW obligations amount from the state's total PY 2015 DW allotment (Note: for this process, ETA adds DW allotted funds transferred to the Navajo Nation back to Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah local DW authorized amounts).

    2. Excluding state administrative costs: Section 683.135 of the regulations provides that the recapture calculations exclude the reserve for state administration which is part of the DW statewide activities. States do not report data on state administrative amounts authorized and obligated on the ETA 9130 financial reports. In the preliminary calculation, to determine states potentially liable for recapture, ETA estimates the DW portion of the state administrative amount authorized by calculating the five percent maximum amount for state DW administrative costs using the DW state allotment amounts (excluding any recapture/reallotment that occurred). ETA treats 100 percent of the state's estimated amount authorized for administration as obligated, although the estimate of state administration obligations is limited by reported statewide activities obligations overall.

    3. Follow-up with states potentially liable for recapture: ETA requests that those states potentially liable for recapture provide additional data on state administrative amounts which are not regularly reported on the PY 2015 and FY 2016 statewide activities reports. The additional information requested includes the amount of statewide activities funds the state authorized and obligated for state administration as of June 30, 2016. If a state provides actual state DW administrative costs, authorized and obligated, in the comments section of revised ETA 9130 reports, this data replaces the estimates. Based on the requested actual data submitted by potentially liable states on revised reports, ETA reduces the DW total allotment for these states by the amount states indicate they authorized for state administrative costs. Likewise, ETA reduces the DW total obligations for these states by the portion actually obligated for state administration.

    4. Recapture calculation: States (including those adjusted by actual state administrative data) with unobligated balances exceeding 20 percent of the total PY 2015 DW allotment amount (including PY 2015 “base” funds and FY 2016 “advance” funds) will have their PY 2016 DW funding (from the FY 2017 “advance” portion) reduced (recaptured) by the amount of the excess.

    5. Reallotment calculation: Finally, states with unobligated balances which do not exceed 20 percent (eligible states) will receive a share of the total recaptured amount (based on their share of the total PY 2015 (including their PY 2015 “base” and FY 2016 “advance” amount DW allotments) in their PY 2016 DW funding (in the FY 2017 “advance” portion).

    Signed at Washington, DC, this March 15, 2017. Byron Zuidema, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06779 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2017-0005] Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standards for Construction and General Industry and Electrical Protective Equipment Standards for Construction and General Industry; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Collections of Information AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA solicits public comments concerning its request for an extension of the collections of information specified in its standards on the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution for Construction and General Industry and Electrical Protective Equipment Standards for Construction and General Industry.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by June 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit a copy of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2017-0005, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3653, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., e.t.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and OSHA docket number (OSHA-2017-0005) for the Information Collection Request (ICR). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657). The OSH Act also requires that OSHA obtain such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657).

    The Electrical Protective Equipment Standard (29 CFR 1926.97 and 29 CFR 1910.137) and the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standard (29 CFR 1926 and 29 CFR 1910.269) specify several collections of information. The following describes the collections of information contained in the standards and addresses who will use the information.

    Electrical Protective Equipment Standard (§§ 1926.97 and 1910.137) Testing Certification (§§ 1926.97(c)(2)(xii) and 1910.137(c)(2)(xii))

    Employers must certify that the electrical protective equipment used by their workers have passed the tests specified in paragraphs (c)(2)(vii)(D), (c)(2)(viii), (c)(2)(ix), and (c)(2)(xi) of the standards. The certification must identify the equipment that passed the tests and the dates of the tests. The two standards require testing: Periodically (generally, every 6 months for rubber insulating gloves and every 12 months for most other types of rubber insulating equipment); after any repairs; and before the equipment is returned to service after any inspection finds certain defects. In addition, the employer must test rubber insulating gloves before reuse after employees use them without protector gloves and must certify that testing. These performance-based standards ensure that employers maintain the most recent test records for equipment that passes the required tests without specifying precisely how the employer must maintain those records.

    Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standard (§§ 1926.950 and 1910.269) Host Employer Responsibilities (§§ 1926.950(c)(1) and 1910.269(a)(3)(i))

    Before work begins, the host employer must inform the contract employers of: The characteristics of the host employer's installation listed; conditions listed in paragraphs of this section that are known to the host employer; information about the design and operation of the host employer's installation that the contract employer needs to make the assessments required by this section; and any other information about the design and operation of the host employer's installation that is known by the host employer, that the contract employer requests, and that is related to the protection of the contract employer's employees.

    Contract Employer Responsibilities (§§ 1926.950(c)(2) and 1910.269(a)(3)(ii))

    Contract employers must ensure that each of its employees is instructed in the hazardous conditions relevant to the employee's work that the contract employer is aware of as a result of information communicated to the contract employer by the host employer; before work begins, the contract employer must advise the host employer of any unique hazardous conditions presented by the contract employer's work; and the contract employer must advise the host employer of any unanticipated hazardous conditions found during the contract employer's work that the host employer did not mention. The contract employer shall provide this information to the host employer within two working days after discovering the hazardous condition.

    Job Briefing (§§ 1926.952(a)(1) and 1910.269(c)(1)(i))

    In assigning an employee or a group of employees to perform a job, the employer must provide the employee in charge of the job with all available information that relates to the determination of existing characteristics and conditions required by (§§ 1926.950(d) and1910.269(a)(4)).

    Engineering Analyses To Determine Maximum Anticipated Per-Unit Transient Overvoltage (§§ 1926.960(c)(1)(ii) and 1910.269(l)(3)(ii))

    The employer must determine the maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage, phase-to-ground, through an engineering analysis or assume a maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage, phase-to-ground, in accordance with the tables listed. When the employer uses portable protective gaps to control the maximum transient overvoltage, the value of the maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage, phase-to-ground, must provide for five standard deviations between the statistical sparkover voltage of the gap and the statistical withstand voltage corresponding to the electrical component of the minimum approach distance. The employer must make available upon request to employees and to the Assistant Secretary or designee for examination and copying; any engineering analysis conducted to determine maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage.

    II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

    • Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

    • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

    III. Proposed Actions

    OSHA is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the collections of information contained in the Standards on Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution for Construction and General Industry (29 CFR part 1926, subpart V and 29 CFR 1910.269) and the Electrical Protective Equipment Standards for Construction and General Industry (29 CFR 1926.97 and 29 CFR 1910.137). The Agency is proposing to decrease the burden hours in the currently approved information collection request from 452,091 hours to 365,094 hours (a total decrease of 86,997 hours). The decrease is a result of a determination that the estimated number of establishments affected has declined. Also, the decrease is due to the removal of burden hours associated with OSHA requests to access records from employers. Usually, OSHA requests access to records during an inspection. Information collected by the Agency during the investigation is not subject to the PRA under 5 CFR 1320.4(a)(2). Therefore, OSHA takes no burden or cost for OSHA requests to access records in this Supporting Statement. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice, and will include this summary in its request to OMB.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Title: Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standards for Construction and General Industry and Electrical Protective Equipment for Construction and General.

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0253.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.

    Number of Respondents: 19,746.

    Total Responses: 952,348.

    Frequency of Responses: On occasion; semi-annually; annually.

    Average Time per Response: Various.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 365,094.

    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

    IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2017-0005). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so that the Agency can attach them to your comments.

    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627).

    Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and dates of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's “User Tips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available through the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

    V. Authority and Signature

    Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 28, 2017. Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06767 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2009-0035] The Ethylene Oxide (EtO) Standard (Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Collections of Information (Paperwork) Requirements) AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements specified in the Ethylene Oxide Standard (EtO).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by June 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, (Docket No. OSHA-2009-0035), Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3653, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., e.t.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2009-0035) for the Information Collection Request (ICR). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments, see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You also may contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information collection requirements in accord with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657). The OSH Act also requires OSHA to obtain such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657).

    The EtO Standard (29 CFR 1910.1047) specifies a number of paperwork requirements. The following is a brief description of the collection of information requirements contained in the standard.

    The information collection requirements specified in the Ethylene Oxide Standard protect workers from the adverse health effects that may result from occupational exposure to ethylene oxide. The principal information collection requirements in the EtO Standard include conducting worker exposure monitoring, notifying workers of the exposure, implementing a written compliance program, and implementing medical surveillance of workers. Also, the examining physician must provide specific information to ensure that workers receive a copy of their medical examination results. The employer must maintain exposure-monitoring and medical records for specific periods, and provide access to these records by OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the affected workers, and their authorized representatives and other designated parties.

    II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

    • Whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

    • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply (for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques).

    III. Proposed Actions

    OSHA is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the information collection requirements specified in the Ethylene Oxide Standard. The Agency is requesting an overall adjustment decrease of burden hours, from 35,051 to 27,880 burden hours. The decrease in burden hours is primarily due to a decrease in the number of establishments covered by the Standard. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice, and will include this summary in its request to OMB.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Ethylene Oxide (29 CFR 1910.1047).

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0108.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.

    Number of Respondents: 1,869.

    Frequency of Response: Initially, annually; on occasion.

    Total Responses: 148,443.

    Average Time per Response: Various.

    Burden Hours: 27,880.

    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $4,250,569.

    IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile; or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for this ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2009-0035). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so that the Agency can attach them to your comments.

    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627).

    Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and dates of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's “User tips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available from the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submission.

    V. Authority and Signature

    Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 29, 2017. Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06763 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2006-0028] MET Laboratories, Inc.: Grant of Expansion of Recognition and Modification to the NRTL Program's List of Appropriate Test Standards AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, OSHA announces its final decision to expand the scope of recognition for MET Laboratories, Inc., as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).

    DATES:

    The expansion of the scope of recognition becomes effective on April 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information regarding this notice is available from the following sources:

    Press inquiries: Contact Mr. Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3647, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999; email: [email protected]

    General and technical information: Contact Mr. Kevin Robinson, Director, Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2110; email: [email protected] OSHA's Web page includes information about the NRTL Program (see http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Notice of Final Decision

    OSHA hereby gives notice of the expansion of the scope of recognition of MET Laboratories, Inc. (MET), as a NRTL. MET's expansion covers the addition of five test standards to its scope of recognition, including one test standard that will be added to the NRTL List of Appropriate Test Standards.

    OSHA recognition of an NRTL signifies that the organization meets the requirements specified by 29 CFR 1910.7. Recognition is an acknowledgment that the organization can perform independent safety testing and certification of the specific products covered within its scope of recognition and is not a delegation or grant of government authority. As a result of recognition, employers may use products properly approved by the NRTL to meet OSHA standards that require testing and certification of the products.

    The Agency processes applications by a NRTL for initial recognition, or for expansion or renewal of this recognition, following requirements in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. This appendix requires that the Agency publish two notices in the Federal Register in processing an application. In the first notice, OSHA announces the application and provides its preliminary finding and, in the second notice, the Agency provides its final decision on the application. These notices set forth the NRTL's scope of recognition or modifications of that scope. OSHA maintains an informational Web page for each NRTL that details its scope of recognition. These pages are available from the Agency's Web site at http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html.

    MET submitted five applications, four dated July 7, 2015 (OSHA-2006-0028-0026), (OSHA-2006-0028-0027), (OSHA-2006-0028-0028), (OSHA-2006-0028-0029) and one dated August 4, 2015 (OSHA-2006-0028-0025), to expand its recognition to include five additional test standards. OSHA staff performed a comparability analysis and reviewed other pertinent information. OSHA did not perform any on-site reviews in relation to this application.

    OSHA published the preliminary notice announcing MET's expansion application in the Federal Register on November 15, 2016 (81 FR 80089). The Agency requested comments by November 30, 2016, but it received no comments in response to this notice. OSHA now is proceeding with this final notice to grant expansion of MET's scope of recognition.

    To obtain or review copies of all public documents pertaining to the MET's application, go to www.regulations.gov or contact the Docket Office, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210. Docket No. OSHA-2006-0028 contains all materials in the record concerning MET's recognition.

    II. Final Decision and Order

    OSHA staff examined MET's expansion applications, its capability to meet the requirements of the test standards, and other pertinent information. Based on its review of this evidence, OSHA finds that MET meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for expansion of its recognition, subject to the limitation and conditions listed below. OSHA, therefore, is proceeding with this final notice to grant MET's scope of recognition. OSHA limits the expansion of MET's recognition to testing and certification of products for demonstration of conformance to the test standards listed in Table 1 below.

    Table 1—List of Appropriate Test Standards for Inclusion in MET's NRTL Scope of Recognition Test standard Test standard title UL 62368-1 Audio/Video, Information and Communication Technology Equipment—Part 1: Safety Requirements. UL 60079-0 Explosive Atmospheres—Part 0: Equipment—General Requirements. UL 60079-2 Explosive Atmospheres—Part 2: Equipment Protection by Pressurized Enclosure “p”. UL 60079-11 Explosive Atmospheres—Part 11: Equipment Protection by Intrinsic Safety “i”. UL 60079-15 Explosive Atmospheres—Part 15: Equipment Protection by Type of Protection “n”.

    In this notice, OSHA also announces the addition of a new test standard to the NRTL Program's List of Appropriate Test Standards. Table 2, below, lists the test standard that is new to the NRTL Program. OSHA has determined that this test standard is an appropriate test standard and will include it in the NRTL Program's List of Appropriate Test Standards.

    Table 2—Test Standard OSHA Is Adding to the NRTL Program's List of Appropriate Test Standards Test standard Test standard title UL 60079-2 Explosive Atmospheres—Part 2: Equipment Protection by Pressurized Enclosure “p”.

    OSHA's recognition of any NRTL for a particular test standard is limited to equipment or materials for which OSHA standards require third-party testing and certification before using them in the workplace. Consequently, if a test standard also covers any products for which OSHA does not require such testing and certification, an NRTL's scope of recognition does not include these products.

    The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) may approve the test standards listed above as American National Standards. However, for convenience, we may use the designation of the standards-developing organization for the standard as opposed to the ANSI designation. Under the NRTL Program's policy (see OSHA Instruction CPL 1-0.3, Appendix C, paragraph XIV), any NRTL recognized for a particular test standard may use either the proprietary version of the test standard or the ANSI version of that standard. Contact ANSI to determine whether a test standard is currently ANSI-approved.

    A. Conditions

    In addition to those conditions already required by 29 CFR 1910.7, MET must abide by the following conditions of the recognition:

    1. MET must inform OSHA as soon as possible, in writing, of any change of ownership, facilities, or key personnel, and of any major change in its operations as a NRTL, and provide details of the change(s);

    2. MET must meet all the terms of its recognition and comply with all OSHA policies pertaining to this recognition; and

    3. MET must continue to meet the requirements for recognition, including all previously published conditions on MET's scope of recognition, in all areas for which it has recognition.

    Pursuant to the authority in 29 CFR 1910.7, OSHA hereby expands the scope of recognition of MET, subject to the limitation and conditions specified above.

    III. Authority and Signature

    Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this notice. Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 657(g)(2), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912, Jan. 25, 2012), and 29 CFR 1910.7.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 22, 2017. Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06765 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers' Compensation Programs Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health AGENCY:

    Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Department of Labor.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting of the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health (Advisory Board) for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

    SUMMARY:

    The Advisory Board will meet April 19-20, 2017, in Richland, Washington. Comments, requests to speak, submissions of materials for the record, and requests for special accommodations: You must submit (postmark, send, transmit) comments, requests to address the Advisory Board, speaker presentations, and requests for special accommodations for the meetings by April 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Advisory Board will meet at the Red Lion Richland Hanford House, 802 George Washington Way, Richland, Washington 99352, phone 509-946-7611.

    Submission of comments, requests to speak and submissions of materials for the record: You may submit comments, materials, and requests to speak at the Advisory Board meeting, identified by the Advisory Board name and the meeting date of April 19-20, 2017, by any of the following methods:

    Electronically: Send to: [email protected] (specify in the email subject line, for example “Request to Speak: Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health”).

    Mail, express delivery, hand delivery, messenger, or courier service: Submit one copy to the following address: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, Room S-3522, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    Requests for special accommodations: Please submit requests for special accommodations to attend the Advisory Board meeting by email, telephone, or hard copy to Ms. Carrie Rhoads, OWCP, Room S-3524, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 343-5580; email [email protected]

    Your submissions must include the Agency name (OWCP), the committee name (the Advisory Board), and the meeting date (April 19-20, 2017). Due to security-related procedures, receipt of submissions by regular mail may experience significant delays. For additional information about submissions, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    OWCP will make available publically, without change, any comments, requests to speak, and speaker presentations, including any personal information that you provide. Therefore, OWCP cautions interested parties against submitting personal information such as Social Security numbers and birthdates.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For press inquiries: Ms. Amy Louviere, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-1028, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-4672; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Advisory Board will meet: Tuesday, April 18, 2017, all day for a fact-finding site visit of the Hanford Site, accompanied by the Designated Federal Officer; Wednesday, April 19, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific time; and Thursday, April 20, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific time in Richland, Washington. Some Advisory Board members may attend the meeting by teleconference. The teleconference number and other details for participating remotely will be posted on the Advisory Board's Web site, http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/AdvisoryBoard.htm, 72 hours prior to the commencement of the first meeting date. Advisory Board meetings are open to the public.

    Public comment session: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific time. Please note that the public comment session ends at the time indicated or following the last call for comments, whichever is earlier. Members of the public who wish to provide public comments should plan to attend the public comment session (in person or remotely) at the start time listed.

    The Advisory Board is mandated by Section 3687 of EEOICPA. The Secretary of Labor established the Board under this authority and Executive Order 13699 (June 26, 2015). The purpose of the Advisory Board is to advise the Secretary with respect to: (1) The Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) of the Department of Labor; (2) medical guidance for claims examiners for claims with the EEOICPA program, with respect to the weighing of the medical evidence of claimants; (3) evidentiary requirements for claims under Part B of EEOICPA related to lung disease; and (4) the work of industrial hygienists and staff physicians and consulting physicians of the Department of Labor and reports of such hygienists and physicians to ensure quality, objectivity, and consistency. The Advisory Board sunsets on December 19, 2019.

    The Advisory Board operates in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. 2) and its implementing regulations (41 CFR part 102-3).

    Agenda: The tentative agenda for the Advisory Board meeting includes:

    • Discussion by the subcommittee on the Site Exposure Matrices (SEM);

    • Discussion by the subcommittee on Medical Advice re: Weighing Medical Evidence;

    • Discussion by the subcommittee on Evidentiary Requirements for Part B Lung Disease;

    • Discussion by the subcommittee on IH & CMC and Their Reports;

    • Discussion by the Working Group on Presumptions;

    • Update on Recommendations submitted after the October 2016 Advisory Board meeting;

    • Consideration of any new issues;

    • Administrative issues raised by Advisory Board functions and future Advisory Board activities; and

    • Public comments.

    OWCP transcribes and prepares detailed minutes of Advisory Board meetings. OWCP posts the transcripts and minutes on the Advisory Board Web page, http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/AdvisoryBoard.htm, along with written comments, speaker presentations, and other materials submitted to the Advisory Board or presented at Advisory Board meetings.

    Public Participation, Submissions and Access to Public Record

    Advisory Board meetings: All Advisory Board meetings are open to the public. Information on how to participate in the meeting remotely will be posted on the Advisory Board's Web site.

    Individuals requesting special accommodations to attend the Advisory Board meeting should contact Ms. Rhoads.

    Submission of comments: You may submit comments using one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. Your submission must include the Agency name (OWCP) and date for this Advisory Board meeting (April 19-20, 2017). OWCP will post your comments on the Advisory Board Web site and provide your submissions to Advisory Board members.

    Because of security-related procedures, receipt of submissions by regular mail may experience significant delays.

    Requests to speak and speaker presentations: If you want to address the Advisory Board at the meeting you must submit a request to speak, as well as any written or electronic presentation, by April 12, 2017, using one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. Your request may include:

    • The amount of time requested to speak;

    • The interest you represent (e.g., business, organization, affiliation), if any; and

    • A brief outline of the presentation.

    PowerPoint presentations and other electronic materials must be compatible with PowerPoint 2010 and other Microsoft Office 2010 formats. The Advisory Board Chair may grant requests to address the Board as time and circumstances permit.

    Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice are available at http://www.regulations.gov. This notice, as well as news releases and other relevant information, are also available on the Advisory Board's Web page at http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/AdvisoryBoard.htm.

    For further information, you may contact Douglas Fitzgerald, Designated Federal Officer, at [email protected], or Carrie Rhoads, Alternate Designated Federal Officer, at [email protected], U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Suite S-3524, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 343-5580. This is not a toll-free number.

    Dated: March 29, 2017. Gary Steinberg, Deputy Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06714 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-24-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers' Compensation Programs Division of Federal Employees' Compensation Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: Claim for Continuance of Compensation (CA-12). A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this Notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before June 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Ms. Yoon Ferguson, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Room S-3323, Washington, DC 20210, telephone/fax (202) 354-9647, Email [email protected] Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail, fax, or Email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, 5 U.S.C. 8133. Under the Act, eligible dependents of deceased employees receive compensation benefits on account of the employee's death. OWCP has to monitor death benefits for current marital status, potential for dual benefits, and other criteria for qualifying as a survivor under the law. The CA-12 is sent annually to beneficiaries in death cases to verify that their status has not changed and that they remain entitled to benefits. The information collected is used by OWCP claims examiners to help ensure that death benefits being paid are correct, and that payments are not made to ineligible survivors. This information collection is currently approved for use through July 31, 2017.

    II. Review Focus

    The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

    * 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;

    * evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    * enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    * minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    III. Current Actions

    The Department of Labor seeks extension of approval to collect this information collection in order to ensure that death benefits being paid are correct.

    Type of Review: Extension.

    Agency: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.

    Title: Claim for Continuance of Compensation.

    OMB Number: 1240-0015.

    Agency Number: CA-12.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Total Respondents: 3,552.

    Total Annual Responses: 3,552.

    Average Time per Response: 5 minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 295.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $1,847.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: March 28, 2017. Yoon Ferguson, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, US Department of Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06782 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-CH-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION Legal Services Corporation Performance Criteria; Request for Comments on Performance Area 4 AGENCY:

    Legal Services Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is in the process of revising the Performance Criteria that LSC uses to evaluate the quality of legal assistance provided by its grantees. LSC is seeking comments on the proposed changes to Performance Area 4, “Effectiveness of governance, leadership, and administration.”

    DATES:

    All comments must be received on or before the close of business on May 29, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/matters-comment Email: [email protected] Fax: (202) 337-6813 Mail: Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007.

    Instructions: All comments should be addressed to Zoe Osterman, Project Coordinator for the Executive Office, Legal Services Corporation. Include “Revisions to Performance Area 4” as the heading or subject line for all comments submitted.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zoe Osterman, [email protected], (202) 295-1617.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As an entity created and funded by Congress, LSC has the statutory responsibility to ensure that recipients of LSC funds provide economical and effective legal assistance to eligible individuals in all parts of the country, including U.S. territories. With this goal in mind, LSC adopted the Performance Criteria in 1995. LSC last revised the Performance Criteria in 2007.

    Beginning in 2016, LSC initiated a process to revise the Performance Criteria. LSC started with Performance Area 4, “Effectiveness of governance, leadership, and administration.” LSC established an internal working group and an external advisory committee comprised of board governance experts, judges, executive directors and former board members of LSC recipients, and representatives from the American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. These groups worked to identify criteria within Performance Area 4 in need of revisions, best practices in nonprofit governance, and the strengths and weaknesses of proposed revisions. LSC also consulted with the advisory committee to identify the best ways to ensure recipient compliance with the Performance Criteria and the best tools for monitoring recipient board governance and leadership performance. This process culminated in the creation of charts, broken down by criteria, that show the existing indicators and the areas of inquiry LSC uses to evaluate recipients' performance on each indicator the proposed new indicators and areas of inquiry, and sources of support for each proposed change.

    LSC now seeks public comment on the proposed changes to Performance Area 4 described in the chart. Black font indicates language in the current performance criteria and red font indicates proposed language. The charts will be available at http://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/matters-comment beginning March 31, 2017.

    LSC is following a similar process to revise Performance Criteria 1-3. Additional information and opportunity to comment on the revisions to Performance Criteria 1-3 will be provided in future Federal Register notices.

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06681 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION Sunshine Act Meetings DATE AND TIME:

    The Legal Services Corporation's Institutional Advancement Committee and Communications Sub-Committee of the Institutional Advancement Committee will meet telephonically on April 10, 2017. The meeting will commence at 3:00 p.m., EDT, and will continue until the conclusion of the Committee's agenda.

    LOCATION:

    John N. Erlenborn Conference Room, Legal Services Corporation Headquarters, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007.

    PUBLIC OBSERVATION:

    Members of the public who are unable to attend in person but wish to listen to the public proceedings may do so by following the telephone call-in directions provided below.

    CALL-IN DIRECTIONS FOR OPEN SESSIONS:

    Call toll-free number: 1-866-451-4981;

    • When prompted, enter the following numeric pass code: 5907707348.

    • Once connected to the call, your telephone line will be automatically “MUTED”.

    • To participate in the meeting during public comment press #6 to “UNMUTE” your telephone line, once you have concluded your comments please press *6 to “MUTE” your line.

    Members of the public are asked to keep their telephones muted to eliminate background noises. To avoid disrupting the meeting, please refrain from placing the call on hold if doing so will trigger recorded music or other sound. From time to time, the Chair may solicit comments from the public.

    STATUS OF MEETINGS:

    Open, except as noted below.

    Institutional Advancement Committee—Open, except that, upon a vote of the Committee members, the meeting may be closed to the public to consider and act on recommendation of new Leaders Council invitees.*

    * Any portion of the closed session consisting solely of briefings does not fall within the Sunshine Act's definition of the term “meeting” and, therefore, the requirements of the Sunshine Act do not apply to such portion of the closed session. 5 U.S.C. 552b (a) (2) and (b). See also 45 CFR 1622.2 & 1622.3.

    A verbatim written transcript will be made of the closed session of the Institutional Advancement Committee meeting. The transcript of any portions of the closed session falling within the relevant provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6) and (10), will not be available for public inspection. A copy of the General Counsel's Certification that, in his opinion, the closing is authorized by law will be available upon request.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Combined Institutional Advancement Committee and Communications Sub-Committee of the Institutional Advancement Committee Open Session

    1. Approval of agenda

    2. Leaders Council Update

    3. Communications update

    4. Public comment

    5. Consider and act on other business

    6. Consider and act on motion to adjourn the open session meeting and proceed to closed session.

    Closed Session

    7. Consider and act on motion to approve Leaders Council invitees

    8. Consider and act on other business

    9. Consider and act on motion to adjourn the meeting

    CONTACT PERSON FOR INFORMATION:

    Katherine Ward, Executive Assistant to the Vice President & General Counsel, at (202) 295-1500. Questions may be sent by electronic mail to [email protected]

    ACCESSIBILITY:

    LSC complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. Upon request, meeting notices and materials will be made available in alternative formats to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Individuals needing other accommodations due to disability in order to attend the meeting in person or telephonically should contact Katherine Ward, at (202) 295-1500 or [email protected], at least 2 business days in advance of the meeting. If a request is made without advance notice, LSC will make every effort to accommodate the request but cannot guarantee that all requests can be fulfilled.

    Dated: April 3, 2017. Katherine Ward, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06876 Filed 4-3-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2014-0006] Consolidated Guidance About Materials Licenses: Program-Specific Guidance About Licenses of Broad Scope AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    NUREG; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued Revision 1 to NUREG-1556, Volume 11, “Consolidated Guidance about Materials Licenses: Program-Specific Guidance about Licenses of Broad Scope,” which updates licensing guidance for broad scope licenses. This document has been revised to include information on updated regulatory requirements, safety culture, security of radioactive materials, protection of sensitive information, and changes in regulatory policies and practices. The document is intended for use by applicants, licensees, and the NRC staff.

    DATES:

    NUREG-1556, Volume 11, Revision 1 is available April 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID number NRC-2014-0006 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID number NRC-2014-0006. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. NUREG-1556, Volume 11, Revision 1 is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17059D332.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony McMurtray, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2746; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Discussion

    The NRC issued a revision to NUREG-1556, Volume 11, to provide guidance to existing broad scope materials licensees and to applicants preparing an application for a broad scope materials license. This NUREG volume also provides the NRC staff with criteria for evaluating these license applications. The purpose of this notice is to notify the public that the NUREG-1556 volume listed in this document was issued as a Final Report.

    II. Additional Information

    The NRC published a notice of the availability of the Draft Report for Comment version of NUREG-1556, Volume 11, Revision 1 in the Federal Register on January 27, 2014 (79 FR 4360) for a 30-day public comment period. The public comment period closed on February 26, 2014. Public comments on NUREG-1556, Volume 11, Revision 1 and the NRC staff's responses to the public comments are available under ADAMS Accession No. ML15357A092.

    III. Congressional Review Act

    This NUREG volume is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801-808). However, the Office of Management and Budget has not found this NUREG revision to be a major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of March, 2017.

    For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Daniel S. Collins, Director, Division of Material Safety, State, Tribal and Rulemaking Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06735 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2017-0016] Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water Reactors AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Draft regulatory guide; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is providing additional information for a notice published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2017, issuing draft regulatory guide (DG), DG-1330, “Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water Reactors,” for a 60-day public comment period. This action is necessary to inform the public that a paragraph was inadvertently omitted from the “NRC Rationale for Adaptions to GDC” section of General Design Criterion (GDC) 26, “Reactivity Control Systems,” in Appendices A, B, and C of DG-1330, and provides the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) accession numbers for the DG and the regulatory analysis for the DG. The NRC is also extending the public comment period for an additional 15 days to allow stakeholders time to review the change and provide comments.

    DATES:

    The due date for comments requested in the FR notice published on February 3, 2017 (82 FR 9246), is extended. Comments should be submitted by April 20, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Although a time limit is given, comments and suggestions in connection with items for inclusion in guides currently being developed or improvements in all published guides are encouraged at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may obtain information and comment submissions related to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publicly available, by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2017-0016 or draft regulatory guide DG-1330. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0016 or draft regulatory guide DG-1330. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The DG is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16301A307. The regulatory analysis for this DG is available in ADAMS under Accession No ML16330A179.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jan Mazza, Office of New Reactors, telephone: 301-415-0498, email: [email protected]; or Mark Orr, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, telephone: 301-415-6003, email: [email protected] Both are staff members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a notice published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2017 (82 FR 9246), the NRC issued DG-1330, “Guidance for Developing Principal Design Criteria for Non-Light Water Reactors,” for a 60-day public comment period. The ADAMS accession numbers for the DG and the regulatory analysis for the DG were inadvertently omitted from the notice. In addition, a paragraph in the NRC Rationale section for GDC 26 in Appendices A, B, and C for the DG was also omitted. The DG has been corrected and is available at ADAMS accession number ML16301A307. The regulatory analysis for DG-1330 is available at ADAMS accession number 16330A179. The comment period has been extended until April 20, 2017, to give stakeholders time to review the change and provide comments.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 31st day of March 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Thomas Boyce, Chief, Regulatory Guidance and Generic Issues Branch, Division of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06726 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2017-0055; NRC-2017-0054] Request for a License To Export Radioactive Waste; UniTech Service Group, Inc. AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Return of import license application and reopening of comment period for export license.

    SUMMARY:

    The NRC is reopening the opportunity for public comment and reopening the opportunity to request a hearing or a petition to intervene for an application to export radioactive waste filed by UniTech Service Group, Inc. (UniTech).

    DATES:

    The comment period for the “Request for a License to Export Radioactive Waste” (82 FR 10919; February 16, 2017 (as corrected in March 06, 2017; 82 FR 12641)), has been reopened. Comments should be filed no later than May 5, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered, if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for NRC-2017-0054. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrea Jones, Office of International Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-287-9072, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0054, when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for NRC-2017-0054.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced.

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2017-0054, in your comment submission.

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

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

    II. Discussion

    On October 27, 2016, the NRC received an application for a specific import license (IW034) from UniTech to import 10,000 metric tons of byproduct material in the form of radioactive-contaminated tools, metals, and other solid materials, along with incremental amounts of special nuclear material (less than fifteen grams per shipment). On October 27, 2016, the NRC also received an associated application for a specific export license (XW023) from UniTech to export 10,000 metric tons of byproduct material, along with incremental amounts of special nuclear material (less than fifteen grams per shipment). As further explained in the March 30, 2017, letter from David Skeen (ADAMS Accession No. ML17086A272), Deputy Director, Office of International Programs, NRC, to Glenn Roberts, Corporate Health Physicist, UniTech, the NRC has returned UniTech's application for a specific import license without action because the requested import activities are authorized under an NRC general import license.

    Therefore, the only regulatory action pending before the NRC is UniTech's application for a specific export license (XW023) to export low-level radioactive waste to Canada. The NRC is reopening both the public comment period and the opportunity to file a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene on XW023 for an additional 30 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register (FR). Any request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene shall be served by the requestor or petitioner upon the applicant, the office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555; the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555; and the Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520.

    A request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene may be filed with the NRC electronically in accordance with NRC's E-Filing rule promulgated in August 2007 (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). Information about filing electronically is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. To ensure timely electronic filing, at least 5 days prior to the filing deadline, the petitioner/requestor should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by calling 301-415-1677, to request a digital ID certificate and allow for the creation of an electronic docket.

    In addition to a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene, written comments, in accordance with 10 CFR 110.81, should be submitted within thirty days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register to Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of March 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    David L. Skeen, Deputy Director, Office of International Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06725 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Proposed Collection; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission; Office of FOIA Services; 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-2736. Extension: Rule 17a-5; SEC File No. 270-155, OMB Control No. 3235-0123.

    Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (“PRA”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the existing collection of information provided for in Rule 17a-5 (17 CFR 240.17a-5), under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.). The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.

    Rule 17a-5 is the basic financial reporting rule for brokers and dealers.1 The rule requires the filing of Form X-17A-5, the Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single Report (“FOCUS Report”), which was the result of years of study and comments by representatives of the securities industry through advisory committees and through the normal rule proposal methods. The FOCUS Report was designed to eliminate the overlapping regulatory reports required by various self-regulatory organizations and the Commission and to reduce reporting burdens as much as possible. The rule also requires the filing of an annual audited report of financial statements.

    1 Rule 17a-5(c) requires a broker or dealer to furnish certain of its financial information to customers and is subject to a separate PRA filing (OMB Control Number 3235-0199).

    The FOCUS Report consists of: (1) Part I, which is a monthly report that must be filed by brokers or dealers that clear transactions or carry customer securities; (2) one of three alternative quarterly reports: Part II, which must be filed by brokers or dealers that clear transactions or carry customer securities; Part IIA, which must be filed by brokers or dealers that do not clear transactions or carry customer securities; and Part IIB, which must be filed by specialized broker-dealers registered with the Commission as OTC derivatives dealers; 2 (3) supplemental schedules, which must be filed annually; and (4) a facing page, which must be filed with the annual audited report of financial statements. Under the rule, a broker or dealer that computes certain of its capital charges in accordance with Appendix E to Exchange Act Rule 15c3-1 must file additional monthly, quarterly, and annual reports with the Commission.

    2 Part IIB of Form X-17A-5 must be filed by OTC derivatives dealers under Exchange Act Rule 17a-12 and is subject to a separate PRA filing (OMB control number 3235-0498).

    The Commission estimates that the total hours burden under Rule 17a-5 is approximately 356,020 hours per year when annualized, and the total cost burden under Rule 17a-5 is approximately $45,133,148 per year.

    Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information under the PRA unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Please direct your written comments to: Pamela Dyson, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, or send an email to [email protected]

    Dated: March 30, 2017. Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06695 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-80349; File No. SR-FICC-2017-001] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To (1) Implement the Margin Proxy, (2) Modify the Calculation of the Coverage Charge in Circumstances Where the Margin Proxy Applies, and (3) Make Certain Technical Corrections March 30, 2017. I. Introduction

    Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (“FICC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) on February 2, 2017 the proposed rule change SR-FICC-2017-001 (“Proposed Rule Change”) pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder.2 The Proposed Rule Change was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 9, 2017.3 The Commission received three comment letters 4 to the Proposed Rule Change, including a response letter from FICC.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4. FICC also filed this proposal as an advance notice pursuant to Section 802(e)(1) of the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 and Rule 19b-4(n)(1) under the Act. 15 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1). The advance notice was published for comment in the Federal Register on March 2, 2017. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80139 (March 2, 2017), 82 FR 80139 (March 8, 2017) (SR-FICC-2017-801) (“Advance Notice”). The Commission did not receive any comments on the Advance Notice.

    3 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79958 (February 3, 2017), 82 FR 10117 (February 9, 2017) (SR-FICC-2017-001)(“Notice”).

    4See letter from Robert E. Pooler, Chief Financial Officer, Ronin Capital LLC (“Ronin”), dated February 24, 2017, to Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary, Commission (“Ronin Letter”); letter from Alan Levy, Managing Director, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services LLC (“ICBCFS”), dated February 24, 2017, to Commission (“ICBCFS Letter”); and Timothy J. Cuddihy, Managing Director, FICC, dated March 8, 2017, to Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary, Commission (“FICC Letter”) available at https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-ficc-2017-001/ficc2017001.htm.

    II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Proposed Rule Change proposes several amendments to the FICC Government Securities Division (“GSD”) Rulebook (“GSD Rules”) 5 designed to provide FICC with a supplemental means to calculate the VaR Charge component of its GSD Netting Members' (“Netting Members”) daily margin requirement, known as the “Required Fund Deposit.” Specifically, under the proposal, FICC would include a minimum volatility calculation for a Netting Member's VaR Charge called the “Margin Proxy.” FICC represents that the Margin Proxy would enhance the risk-based model and parameters that FICC uses to establish Netting Members' Required Fund Deposits by enabling FICC to better identify the risk posed by a Netting Member's unsettled portfolio.

    5Available at http://www.dtcc.com/en/legal/rules-and-procedures.

    A. Overview of the Required Fund Deposit

    According to FICC, a key tool it uses to manage market risk is the daily calculation and collection of Required Fund Deposits from its Netting Members. The Required Fund Deposit is intended to mitigate potential losses to FICC associated with liquidation of such Netting Member's accounts at GSD that are used for margining purposes (“Margin Portfolio”) in the event that FICC ceases to act for such Netting Member (referred to as a Netting Member “Default”).

    A Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit consists of several components, including the VaR Charge and the Coverage Charge. The VaR Charge comprises the largest portion of a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit amount and is calculated using a risk-based margin methodology model that is intended to cover the market price risk associated with the securities in a Netting Member's Margin Portfolio. That risk-based margin methodology model, which FICC refers to as the “Current Volatility Calculation,” uses historical market moves to project the potential gains or losses that could occur in connection with the liquidation of a defaulting Netting Member's Margin Portfolio.

    The Coverage Charge is calculated based on the Netting Member's daily backtesting results conducted by FICC. Backtesting is used to determine the adequacy of each Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit and involves comparing the Required Fund Deposit for each Netting Member with actual price changes in the Netting Member's Margin Portfolio. The Coverage Charge is incorporated in the Required Fund Deposit for each Netting Member, and is equal to the amount necessary to increase that Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit so that the Netting Member's backtesting coverage may achieve the 99 percent confidence level required by FICC (i.e., two or fewer backtesting deficiency days in a rolling twelve-month period).

    B. Proposed Change to the Existing VaR Charge Calculation

    Under the proposal, FICC would create the Margin Proxy, a new, benchmarked volatility calculation of the VaR Charge. The Margin Proxy would act as an alternative to the Current Volatility Calculation of the VaR Charge to provide a minimum volatility calculation for each Netting Member's VaR Charge. FICC proposes to use the Margin Proxy as the VaR Charge if doing so would result in a higher Required Fund Deposit for a Netting Member than using the Current Volatility Calculation as the VaR Charge. In addition, as described in more detail below, because FICC's testing shows that the Margin Proxy would, by itself, achieve a 99 percent confidence level for Netting Members' backtesting coverage when used in lieu of the Current Volatility Charge, in the event that FICC uses the Margin Proxy as the VaR Charge for a Netting Member, it would reduce the Coverage Charge for that Netting Member by a commensurate amount, as long as the Coverage Charge does not go below zero.

    According to FICC, during the fourth quarter of 2016, its Current Volatility Calculation did not respond effectively to the level of market volatility at that time, and its VaR Charge amounts (calculated using the profit and loss scenarios generated by the Current Volatility Calculation) did not achieve backtesting coverage at a 99 percent confidence level,6 which resulted in backtesting deficiencies for the Required Fund Deposit beyond FICC's risk tolerance.7 FICC's calculation of the Margin Proxy is designed to avoid such deficiencies. The Margin Proxy provides FICC with an alternative calculation of the VaR Charge to the Current Volatility Calculation of the VaR Charge. In particular, the Margin Proxy is likely to be used when the Current Volatility Calculation is lower than volatility from certain benchmarks (i.e., market price volatility from corresponding U.S. Treasury and to-be-announced (“TBA”) 8 securities benchmarks.9 The Margin Proxy separately calculates U.S. Treasury securities and agency pass-through mortgage backed securities (“MBS”). According to FICC, the historical price changes of these two asset classes are different due to market factors such as credit spreads and prepayment risk.10 This would allow FICC to monitor the performance of each of those asset classes individually.11 By using separate calculations for the two asset classes, the Margin Proxy would cover the historical market prices of each of those asset classes, on a standalone basis, to a 99 percent confidence level.

    6 Notice, 82 FR at 10118.

    7Id.

    8 FICC states that specified pool trades are mapped to the corresponding positions in TBA securities for determining the VaR Charge.

    9 Notice, 82 FR at 10118.

    10Id.

    11Id.

    The Margin Proxy would be calculated per Netting Member, and each security in a Netting Member's Margin Portfolio would be mapped to a respective benchmark based on the security's asset class and maturity.12 All securities within each benchmark would be aggregated into a net exposure.13 Once the net exposure is determined, FICC would apply an applicable haircut 14 to each benchmark's net exposure to determine the net price risk for each benchmark (“Net Price Risk”). Finally, FICC would separately determine the asset class price risk (“Asset Class Price Risk”) for U.S. Treasury and MBS benchmarks by aggregating the respective Net Price Risk for each benchmark. To provide risk diversification across tenor buckets for the U.S. Treasury benchmarks, the Asset Class Price Risk calculation includes a correlation adjustment that has been historically observed across the U.S. Treasury benchmarks. According to FICC, the Margin Proxy would thereby represent the sum of the U.S. Treasury and MBS Asset Class Price Risk.15 FICC would compare the Margin Proxy to the Current Volatility Calculation for each asset class and then apply whichever is greater as the VaR Charge for each Netting Member's Margin Portfolio.

    12 According to FICC, U.S. Treasury and agency securities would be mapped to a U.S. Treasury benchmark security/index, while MBS would be mapped to a TBA security/index.

    13 Net exposure is the aggregate market value of securities to be purchased by the Netting Member minus the aggregate market value of securities to be sold by the Netting Member.

    14 The haircut is calculated using historical market price changes of the respective benchmark to cover the expected market price volatility at 99 percent confidence level.

    15 Notice, 82 FR at 10119.

    FICC expresses confidence that this proposal would provide the adequate VaR Charge for each Netting Member because its calculations show that including the Margin Proxy results in backtesting coverage above the 99 percent confidence level for the past four years.16 Additionally, FICC asserts that, by using industry-standard benchmarks that can be observed by Netting Members, the Margin Proxy would be transparent to Netting Members.17

    16Id.

    17Id.

    FICC further asserts that the Margin Proxy methodology would be subject to performance reviews by FICC. Specifically, FICC would monitor each Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit and the aggregate FICC GSD clearing fund (“Clearing Fund”) requirements and compare them to the requirements calculated by the Margin Proxy. Consistent with the current GSD Rules,18 FICC would review the robustness of the Margin Proxy by comparing the results versus the three-day profit and loss of each Netting Member's Margin Portfolio based on actual market price moves. If the Margin Proxy's backtesting results do not meet FICC's 99 percent confidence level, FICC states that it would consider adjustments to the Margin Proxy, including increasing the look-back period and/or applying a historical stressed period to the Margin Proxy calibration, as appropriate.19

    18See definition of VaR Charge in GSD Rule 1, Definitions, supra note 5.

    19 Notice, 82 FR at 10119.

    C. Proposed Modification to the Coverage Charge When the Margin Proxy Is Applied

    FICC also proposes to modify the calculation of the Coverage Charge when the Margin Proxy is applied as the VaR Charge. Specifically, FICC would reduce the Coverage Charge by the amount that the Margin Proxy exceeds the sum of the Current Volatility Calculation and Coverage Charge, but not by an amount greater than the total Coverage Charge. FICC states that its backtesting analysis demonstrates that the Margin Proxy, on its own, achieves the 99 percent confidence level without the inclusion of the Coverage Charge.20 FICC would not modify the Coverage Charge if the Margin Proxy is not applied as the VaR Charge.

    20Id. at 10119. Future adjustments to the Margin Proxy could require the filing of a new proposed rule change.

    D. Technical Corrections

    FICC also proposes technical corrections to the GSD Rules. Specifically, FICC proposes to: (1) Capitalize certain words in the definition of VaR Charge in Rule 1 in order to reflect existing defined terms; (2) add “Netting” before “Member” in the definition of VaR Charge to reflect the application of the VaR Charge on Netting Members; and (3) correct typographical errors in Section 1b(a) of Rule 4.

    III. Summary of Comments Received

    The Commission received three comment letters in response to the proposal. Two comment letters—the Ronin Letter and the ICBCFS Letter—raise concerns with respect to the proposal's design and transparency,21 while the Ronin Letter also criticizes the proposal for a potential anti-competitive impact.22 Additionally, both the Ronin Letter and ICBCFS Letter raise a concern that falls outside the scope of the Commission's review of the Proposed Rule Change.23 The third comment letter is FICC's response to those concerns. The Commission has reviewed and taken into consideration each of the comments received and addresses the comments below insofar as they relate to the standard of review for a proposed rule change.

    21See Ronin Letter at 1-10; ICBCFS Letter at 1-3.

    22See Ronin Letter at 2, 9.

    23See Ronin Letter at 3; ICBCFS Letter at 1-2. Specifically, Ronin and ICBCFS disapprove of FICC's request for an accelerated regulatory review process. FICC responds that it sought accelerated review to rectify deficiencies with its margin calculations as quickly as possible to avoid exposing its Netting Members to the risk that a defaulting Netting Member will not be sufficiently covered by margin. The Commission notes that neither Ronin nor ICBCFS suggest how this concern relates to the Proposed Rule Change's consistency with the Act—the standard by which the Commission must evaluate a proposed rule change. See 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C). The Commission also notes, as a matter of fact, that neither the Proposed Rule Change nor the related Advance Notice were approved on an accelerated basis.

    A. Comments Regarding the Proposal's Design

    Ronin questions the justification for imposing the Margin Proxy, particularly: (i) The need for the VaR Charge to address idiosyncratic risk (referencing the 2016 U.S. presidential election), and (ii) if the volatility around the 2016 U.S. presidential election was sufficiently extreme to warrant the creation of the Margin Proxy.24 In response, FICC reiterates that the Margin Proxy's primary goal is to achieve a 99 percent backtesting confidence level for all members.25 FICC observes that, while recent dates from the fourth quarter of 2016 (including the 2016 U.S. Presidential election) indicate that the VaR Charge, on its own, is not always sufficient to ensure that the 99 percent coverage threshold is met,26 inclusion of the Margin Proxy results in a backtesting confidence level above 99 percent for the past four years, demonstrating that the Margin Proxy accomplishes its primary goal.27

    24 Ronin Letter at 1, 6.

    25See FICC Letter at 4.

    26See id. at 2.

    27Id. at 4.

    ICBCFS disagrees with certain technical aspects of the proposal. In particular, it: (i) Questions the inclusion of ten years of pricing data in the proposed Margin Proxy calculation, including the 2007-2009 period; (ii) disagrees with the Margin Proxy's netting of both sides of a repurchase transaction; and (iii) raises concerns on how the proposed Margin Proxy groups securities in a Netting Member's Margin Portfolio in a way that could increase its margin.28

    28 ICBCFS Letter at 2.

    In response to the questions regarding the inclusion of ten years of pricing data, FICC states that using the proposed look-back period would help to ensure that the Margin Proxy, and as a result, the VaR Charge, does not either (i) decrease as quickly during intervals of low volatility, or (ii) increase as sharply in crisis periods, resulting in more stable VaR estimates that adequately reflect extreme market moves.29 With respect to ICBCFS's concerns with offsetting positions in transaction, FICC notes that the Margin Proxy uses a similar approach for offsetting positions as in the Current Volatility Calculation.30 In response to ICBCFS' concerns about increased margin due to the Margin Proxy's benchmarking, FICC responds that the circumstance that ICBCFS cited would not result in a higher margin, as the Margin Proxy would benchmark securities within the same asset class and maturity (and long and short positions within such benchmarks would be offset).31

    29 FICC Letter at 4.

    30Id.

    31Id.

    B. Comments Regarding the Proposal's Transparency

    Ronin and ICBCFS argue that the proposal is not sufficiently transparent because it does not include sufficient information for them to determine the proposal's impact on their margin calculations.32 In response, FICC states that it (i) provided all GSD Netting Members with a two-month impact study reflecting the impact of the Margin Proxy on the VaR Charge and Coverage Charge (before and after the U.S. presidential election), and (ii) responded to individual Netting Member requests for additional data and information.33 FICC also notes that it will continue to engage in ongoing dialogue with Netting Members in order to help Netting Members gauge the individual impact of the proposed margin methodology changes.34

    32See Ronin Letter at 3; ICBCFS Letter at 1-3.

    33 FICC Letter at 2-3.

    34Id. at 3-4.

    C. Comments Regarding the Proposal's Burden on Competition

    Finally, Ronin argues that the proposal imposes a burden on competition because it may cause Ronin to pay more margin. Ronin notes that the Margin Proxy creates an “unfair competitive burden” among Netting Members with different access to capital.35 In response, FICC posits that, given the Netting Members' different costs of capital, the Margin Proxy's potential increase of additional margin could be anti-competitive.36 However, FICC does not believe that the Margin Proxy would impose a significant burden on competition. Specifically, FICC notes that any increase in a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit would (i) be in direct relation to that Netting Member's portfolio market risk, and (ii) be calculated with the same parameters and confidence level for all Netting Members.37 Further, FICC states that any increase in a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit because of the Margin Proxy would be “necessary to assure the safeguarding of the securities and funds that are in FICC's possession and cover FICC's risk exposure to its [Netting] Members.” 38

    35 Ronin Letter at 2.

    36Id. at 9.

    37 FICC Letter at 5.

    38Id. at 5.

    IV. Discussion and Commission Findings

    Section 19(b)(2)(C) of the Act 39 directs the Commission to approve a proposed rule change of a self-regulatory organization if it finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to such organization.

    39 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C).

    The Commission finds that the Proposed Rule Change described above is consistent with the Act, in particular Sections 17A(b)(3)(F) and (b)(3)(I) of the Act,40 and Rules 17Ad-22(b)(1),41 (b)(2),42 and (d)(1) 43 under the Act.

    40 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    41 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(b)(1).

    42 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(b)(2).

    43 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(d)(1).

    Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act requires that the rules of the clearing agency must be designed to, among other things, assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.44 As described above, the proposal would enhance the risk-based model and parameters that establish daily margin requirements for Netting Members by enabling FICC to better identify the risk posed by a Netting Member's unsettled portfolio and to increase FICC's collection of margin when the Margin Proxy calculation exceeds the Current Volatility Calculation. As such, the proposal would help ensure that the Required Fund Deposit that FICC collects from Netting Members is sufficient to mitigate FICC's credit exposure to potential losses arising from the default of a Netting Member. Therefore, the Commission believes that the proposed rule changes associated with the Margin Proxy and Coverage Charge would help safeguard securities and funds that are in the custody or control of FICC, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act.

    44 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act also requires that the rules of a registered clearing agency promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions.45 As described above, the proposal includes technical corrections to address typographical errors and capitalize terms so that existing defined terms are accurately referenced and used in the applicable rule provisions. As such, the proposal would help ensure that the GSD Rules remain accurate and clear, which would help to avoid potential interpretation differences and possible disputes between FICC and its Netting Members. Thus, Commission believes that the proposed rule changes associated with the technical corrections would promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act.

    45 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    Section 17A(b)(3)(I) of the Act requires that the rules of a registered clearing agency do not impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the Act.46 As stated above, the Proposed Rule Change could increase the amount of margin that FICC collects in certain circumstances, which would help ensure that the Required Fund Deposit that FICC collects from Netting Members is sufficient to mitigate the credit risk presented by the Netting Members. While Ronin argues that such an increase in its margin may be anticompetitive (because Netting Members have different costs of capital),47 the Commission believes that the potential increase in a Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit as a result of this proposal would be necessary and appropriate in furtherance of the Act because it would be (i) commensurate with that Netting Member's risk profile, (ii) calculated using the same parameters for all Netting Members, and (iii) designed to ensure that FICC has sufficient margin to limit its exposure to potential losses resulting from the default of a Netting Member. Thus, Commission believes that the proposed rule change would not impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(I) of the Act.

    46 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(I).

    47 Ronin Letter at 9.

    Rule 17Ad-22(b)(1) under the Act requires a registered clearing agency that performs central counterparty services to establish, implement, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to measure its credit exposures to its participants at least once a day and limit its exposures to potential losses from defaults by its participants under normal market conditions so that the operations of the clearing agency would not be disrupted and non-defaulting participants would not be exposed to losses that they cannot anticipate or control.48 The proposed Margin Proxy would be used daily to help measure FICC's credit exposure to Netting Members. While ICBCFS raises concerns about including the 2007-2009 period, as noted above, the Commission agrees that this look back period should help FICC better monitor the credit exposures presented by its Netting Members by including volatile periods. It should also enhance FICC's overall risk-based margining framework by helping to ensure that the calculation of each GSD Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit would be sufficient to allow FICC to use the defaulting member's own Required Fund Deposit to limit its exposures to potential losses associated with the liquidation of such member's portfolio in the event of a GSD Netting Member default under normal market conditions. Therefore, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(b)(1).49

    48 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(b)(1).

    49Id.

    Rule 17Ad-22(b)(2) under the Act requires a registered clearing agency that performs central counterparty services to establish, implement, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to use margin requirements to limit its credit exposures to participants under normal market conditions and use risk-based models and parameters to set margin requirements and review such margin requirements and the related risk-based models and parameters at least monthly.50 The proposed changes would enhance the risk-based model and parameters that establish daily margin requirements for Netting Members by enabling FICC to better identify the risk posed by a Netting Member's unsettled portfolio and to quickly adjust and collect additional deposits as needed to cover those risks. Because the proposed changes are designed to calculate each Netting Member's Required Fund Deposit at a 99 percent confidence level, the proposal also should help mitigate losses to FICC and its members, in the event that such Netting Member defaults under normal market conditions. Therefore, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(b)(2).51

    50 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(b)(2).

    51Id.

    Rule 17Ad-22(d)(1) under the Act requires a registered clearing agency to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to, among other things, provide for a well-founded, transparent, and enforceable legal framework for each aspect of its activities in all relevant jurisdictions.52 While Ronin and ICBCFS argue that the proposal is not sufficiently transparent because it does not include sufficient information for them to determine the proposal's impact on their margin calculations,53 the Commission understands that FICC has provided Netting Members with information to allow them to understand the impact of the Margin Proxy on their VaR Charge and Coverage Charge, and that FICC responded to individual Netting Member requests for additional data and information.54 Moreover, the Commission understands that FICC will continue to engage in ongoing dialogue with Netting Members in order to help Netting Members gauge the individual impact of the proposed margin methodology changes.55 Therefore, the Commission believes that the proposal is reasonably designed to provide for a well-founded, transparent, and enforceable legal framework, consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(d)(1).56

    52 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(d)(1).

    53See Ronin Letter at 3; ICBCFS Letter at 1-3.

    54See FICC Letter at 2-3.

    55See id. at 3-4.

    56 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(d)(1).

    V. Conclusion

    On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Act and in particular with the requirements of Section 17A of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder.

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,57 that proposed rule change SR-FICC-2017-001 be, and it hereby is, approved as of the date of this order or the date of a notice by the Commission authorizing FICC to implement FICC's advance notice proposal SR-FICC-2017-801 that is consistent with this proposed rule change, whichever is later.58

    57 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    58 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.59

    59 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06685 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 32584; File No. 812-14636] Angel Oak Funds Trust and Angel Oak Capital Advisors, LLC March 30, 2017. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice of an application for an order pursuant to: (a) Section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Act”) granting an exemption from sections 18(f) and 21(b) of the Act; (b) section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act granting an exemption from section 12(d)(1) of the Act; (c) sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act granting an exemption from sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Act; and (d) section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act to permit certain joint arrangements and transactions. Applicants request an order that would permit certain registered open-end management investment companies to participate in a joint lending and borrowing facility.

    Applicants:

    Angel Oak Funds Trust, a Delaware statutory trust registered under the Act as an open-end management series investment company, and Angel Oak Capital Advisors, LLC (the “Adviser”), a Delaware limited liability company registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

    Filing Dates:

    The application was filed on April 1, 2016, and amended on September 30, 2016 and February 6, 2017.

    Hearing or Notification of Hearing:

    An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on April 24, 2017 and should be accompanied by proof of service on the applicants, in the form of an affidavit, or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to Rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090; Applicants: Dory S. Black, Esq., President, c/o Angel Oak Capital Advisors, LLC, One Buckhead Plaza, 3060 Peachtree Rd. NW., Suite 500, Atlanta, Georgia 30305.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven I. Amchan, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6826 or David J. Marcinkus, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's Web site by searching for the file number, or an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Summary of the Application:

    1. Applicants request an order that would permit the applicants to participate in an interfund lending facility where each Fund could lend money directly to and borrow money directly from other Funds to cover unanticipated cash shortfalls, such as unanticipated redemptions or trade fails.1 The Funds will not borrow under the facility for leverage purposes and the loans' duration will be no more than 7 days.2

    1 Applicants request that the order apply to the applicants and to any existing or future registered open-end management investment company or series thereof for which the Adviser or any successor thereto or an investment adviser controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser or any successor thereto serves as investment adviser (each a “Fund” and collectively the “Funds” and each such investment adviser an “Adviser”). For purposes of the requested order, “successor” is limited to any entity that results from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or a change in the type of a business organization.

    2 Any Fund, however, will be able to call a loan on one business day's notice.

    2. Applicants anticipate that the proposed facility would provide a borrowing Fund with a source of liquidity at a rate lower than the bank borrowing rate at times when the cash position of the Fund is insufficient to meet temporary cash requirements. In addition, Funds making short-term cash loans directly to other Funds would earn interest at a rate higher than they otherwise could obtain from investing their cash in repurchase agreements or certain other short term money market instruments. Thus, applicants assert that the facility would benefit both borrowing and lending Funds.

    3. Applicants agree that any order granting the requested relief will be subject to the terms and conditions stated in the Application. Among others, the Adviser, through a designated committee, would administer the facility as a disinterested fiduciary as part of its duties under the investment management agreement with each Fund and would receive no additional fee as compensation for its services in connection with the administration of the facility. The facility would be subject to oversight and certain approvals by the Funds' Board, including, among others, approval of the interest rate formula and of the method for allocating loans across Funds, as well as review of the process in place to evaluate the liquidity implications for the Funds. A Fund's aggregate outstanding interfund loans will not exceed 15% of its net assets, and the Fund's loans to any one Fund will not exceed 5% of the lending Fund's net assets.3

    3 Under certain circumstances, a borrowing Fund will be required to pledge collateral to secure the loan.

    4. Applicants assert that the facility does not raise the concerns underlying section 12(d)(1) of the Act given that the Funds are part of the same group of investment companies and there will be no duplicative costs or fees to the Funds.4 Applicants also assert that the proposed transactions do not raise the concerns underlying sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(3), 17(d) and 21(b) of the Act as the Funds would not engage in lending transactions that unfairly benefit insiders or are detrimental to the Funds. Applicants state that the facility will offer both reduced borrowing costs and enhanced returns on loaned funds to all participating Funds and each Fund would have an equal opportunity to borrow and lend on equal terms based on an interest rate formula that is objective and verifiable. With respect to the relief from section 17(a)(2) of the Act, applicants note that any collateral pledged to secure an interfund loan would be subject to the same conditions imposed by any other lender to a Fund that imposes conditions on the quality of or access to collateral for a borrowing (if the lender is another Fund) or the same or better conditions (in any other circumstance).5

    4 Applicants state that the obligation to repay an interfund loan could be deemed to constitute a security for the purposes of sections 17(a)(1) and 12(d)(1) of the Act.

    5 Applicants state that any pledge of securities to secure an interfund loan could constitute a purchase of securities for purposes of section 17(a)(2) of the Act.

    5. Applicants also believe that the limited relief from section 18(f)(1) of the Act that is necessary to implement the facility (because the lending Funds are not banks) is appropriate in light of the conditions and safeguards described in the application and because the Funds would remain subject to the requirement of section 18(f)(1) that all borrowings of a Fund, including combined interfund loans and bank borrowings, have at least 300% asset coverage.

    6. Section 6(c) of the Act permits the Commission to exempt any persons or transactions from any provision of the Act if such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security, or transaction, or any class or classes of persons, securities, or transactions, from any provision of section 12(d)(1) if the exemption is consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors. Section 17(b) of the Act authorizes the Commission to grant an order permitting a transaction otherwise prohibited by section 17(a) if it finds that (a) the terms of the proposed transaction are fair and reasonable and do not involve overreaching on the part of any person concerned; (b) the proposed transaction is consistent with the policies of each registered investment company involved; and (c) the proposed transaction is consistent with the general purposes of the Act. Rule 17d-1(b) under the Act provides that in passing upon an application filed under the rule, the Commission will consider whether the participation of the registered investment company in a joint enterprise, joint arrangement or profit sharing plan on the basis proposed is consistent with the provisions, policies and purposes of the Act and the extent to which such participation is on a basis different from or less advantageous than that of the other participants.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-06692 Filed 4-4-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-80346; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2017-09] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Regarding Investments of the Janus Short Duration Income ETF Listed Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 March 30, 2017.

    On January 30, 2017, NYSE Arca, Inc. (“Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change regarding investments of the Janus Short Duration Income ETF listed under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 17, 2017.3 On March 13, 2017, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.4 The Commission received no comment letters on the proposed rule change.</