Federal Register Vol. 82, No.91,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 91 (May 12, 2017)

Page Range22065-22277
FR Document

82_FR_91
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 22126 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
82 FR 22156 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 22250 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Site Characterization Surveys Off the Coast of New YorkPDF
82 FR 22173 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22118 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection Number 3038-0075, Protection of Collateral of Counterparties to Uncleared Swaps; Treatment of Securities in a Portfolio Margining Account in a Commodity Broker BankruptcyPDF
82 FR 22097 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22143 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22088 - Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials; TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping RequirementsPDF
82 FR 22132 - Zeeland Farm Services, Inc.; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
82 FR 22139 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 22142 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 22133 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 22140 - Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group MeetingPDF
82 FR 22137 - Advanced Hydropower, Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
82 FR 22135 - Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Ready for Environmental Analysis, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Fishway PrescriptionsPDF
82 FR 22134 - East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Notice of FilingPDF
82 FR 22133 - Notice of Effectiveness of Exempt Wholesale Generator StatusPDF
82 FR 22141 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 22158 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; National Firearms Act (NFA)-Special Occupational Taxes (SOT), (ATF Form 5630.5R, ATF Form 5630.5RC, and ATF Form 5630.7)PDF
82 FR 22142 - Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program Information Collection RequestPDF
82 FR 22157 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application for National Firearms Examiner Academy, ATF F 6330.1PDF
82 FR 22156 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application for Restoration of Firearms Privileges, ATF F 3210.1PDF
82 FR 22097 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Nebraska Advisory Committee To Discuss Civil Rights Topics in the StatePDF
82 FR 22091 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; for Brainerd, MNPDF
82 FR 22093 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Vivian, LAPDF
82 FR 22065 - Special Conditions: Bombardier Aerospace, Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Airplanes; Limit Engine Torque LoadsPDF
82 FR 22069 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for Haskell, TXPDF
82 FR 22066 - Special Conditions: Bombardier Aerospace Inc., Model BD-100-1A10 Airplane; Non-Rechargeable Lithium Battery InstallationsPDF
82 FR 22090 - Proposed Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace Mosinee, WIPDF
82 FR 22071 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Hailey, IDPDF
82 FR 22119 - Supervisory Highlights: Spring 2017PDF
82 FR 22181 - Grupo México, S.A.B. de C.V. and GMéxico Transportes, S.A. de C.V.-Control Exemption-Florida East Coast Holdings Corp.PDF
82 FR 22143 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 22131 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Consolidation Loan Rebate Fee ReportPDF
82 FR 22162 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection: Prison Population Reports: Summary of Sentenced Population Movement-National Prisoner StatisticsPDF
82 FR 22183 - Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
82 FR 22128 - Board on Coastal Engineering ResearchPDF
82 FR 22126 - Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, Honor Subcommittee and the Remember and Explore Subcommittee Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 22161 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; FBI National Academy Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Graduates; FBI National Academy Graduate Questionnaire for Supervisors of GraduatesPDF
82 FR 22160 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; FBI National Academy: End-of Session Student Course Questionnaire; FBI National Academy: General Remarks QuestionnairePDF
82 FR 22165 - New Mountain Finance Corporation, et al.PDF
82 FR 22099 - Hydrographic Services Review Panel MeetingPDF
82 FR 22147 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22148 - Agency Information Collection Request. 60-Day Public Comment Request, Grants.govPDF
82 FR 22074 - Safety Zone; Main Branch of the Chicago River, Chicago, ILPDF
82 FR 22148 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22156 - Ferrovanadium From Korea; DeterminationPDF
82 FR 22155 - Biodiesel From Argentina and Indonesia; DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 22129 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22135 - Watterra Energy, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
82 FR 22140 - Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Ready for Environmental Analysis, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Fishway PrescriptionsPDF
82 FR 22131 - KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 22137 - Flambeau Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 22134 - Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Line A Abandonment ProjectPDF
82 FR 22136 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 22145 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, OMB No. 0915-0184-RevisionPDF
82 FR 22127 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22160 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Spectrum ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 22159 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on Mechanical Stratigraphy and Natural Deformation in the Permian Strata of Texas and New Mexico: Implications for Exploitation of the Permian BasinPDF
82 FR 22159 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Armaments ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 22159 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Medical Technology Enterprise ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 22165 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 22152 - Utah; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 22151 - Washington; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 22152 - Idaho; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 22151 - Nevada; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 22149 - California; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 22129 - National Assessment Governing Board Quarterly Board MeetingPDF
82 FR 22170 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Harmonize the Requirements of the NYSE MKT Company Guide With Respect to Periodic Reporting With Those of the NYSEPDF
82 FR 22186 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Certificate of Foreign Contracting Party Receiving Federal Procurement PaymentsPDF
82 FR 22072 - Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, St. Louis, MOPDF
82 FR 22179 - Privacy Act of 1974; Matching Program (SSA/Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)-Match Number 1074PDF
82 FR 22163 - Proposed Collection, Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 22150 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) GrantsPDF
82 FR 22164 - Meetings of Humanities PanelPDF
82 FR 22099 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental To Conducting Subsea Cable Operations and Maintenance Activities in the Arctic OceanPDF
82 FR 22096 - Air Plan Approval; ID, Updates to Incorporations by ReferencePDF
82 FR 22083 - Air Plan Approval; ID, Updates to Incorporations by ReferencePDF
82 FR 22095 - Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Repeal of Transportation Facilities RulesPDF
82 FR 22086 - Air Plan Approval; North Carolina Repeal of Transportation Facilities RulesPDF
82 FR 22081 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alaska: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide StandardsPDF
82 FR 22076 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; West Virginia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate StandardPDF
82 FR 22095 - Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Heavy Duty Diesel RequirementsPDF
82 FR 22079 - Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Heavy Duty Diesel RequirementsPDF
82 FR 22182 - Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Sonoran Corridor Between Interstate 10 (I-10) and Interstate 19 (I-19) South of Tucson International Airport in Pima County, ArizonaPDF
82 FR 22153 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application; Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for the R-Project Transmission Line and Draft Environmental Impact StatementPDF
82 FR 22190 - Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table SawsPDF

Issue

82 91 Friday, May 12, 2017 Contents Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for National Firearms Examiner Academy, 22157-22158 2017-09668 Application for Restoration of Firearms Privileges, 22156-22157 2017-09667 National Firearms Act; Special Occupational Taxes, 22158 2017-09670 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, 22159 2017-09616 National Armaments Consortium, 22159-22160 2017-09617 National Spectrum Consortium, 22160 2017-09619 Southwest Research Institute—Cooperative Research Group on Mechanical Stratigraphy and Natural Deformation in Permian Strata of Texas and New Mexico; Implications for Exploitation of Permian Basin, 22159 2017-09618 Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, Honor Subcommittee and Remember and Explore Subcommittee, 22126-22127 2017-09647 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Supervisory Highlights: Spring 2017, 22119-22126 2017-09658 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22097-22099 2017-09685 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22143-22145 2017-09684 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Nebraska Advisory Committee, 22097 2017-09666 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Main Branch of Chicago River, Chicago, IL, 22074-22076 2017-09633 Upper Mississippi River, St. Louis, MO, 22072-22074 2017-09604 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Protection of Collateral of Counterparties to Uncleared Swaps; Treatment of Securities in Portfolio Margining Account in Commodity Broker Bankruptcy, 22118-22119 2017-09686 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission PROPOSED RULES Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws, 22190-22247 2017-09098 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 22126 2017-09770 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Engineers Corps

See

Navy Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22127-22128 2017-09620
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Consolidation Loan Rebate Fee Report, 22131 2017-09652 Meetings: National Assessment Governing Board, 22129-22131 2017-09609 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Meetings: Board on Coastal Engineering Research, 22128-22129 2017-09648 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alaska; Infrastructure Requirements for 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Standards, 22081-22083 2017-09533 Georgia; Heavy Duty Diesel Requirements, 22079-22081 2017-09493 Idaho; Updates to Incorporations by Reference, 22083-22086 2017-09542 North Carolina; Repeal of Transportation Facilities Rules, 22086-22088 2017-09539 West Virginia; Infrastructure Requirements for 2012 Fine Particulate Standard, 22076-22079 2017-09504 Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials: TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, 22088-22089 2017-09683 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Georgia; Heavy Duty Diesel Requirements, 22095-22096 2017-09494 Idaho; Updates to Incorporations by Reference, 22096 2017-09543 North Carolina; Repeal of Transportation Facilities Rules, 22095 2017-09540 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 22142 2017-09680 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace: Haskell, TX, 22069-22070 2017-09662 Class D and E Airspace, Amendments: Hailey, ID, 22071-22072 2017-09659 Special Conditions: Bombardier Aerospace Inc., Model BD-100-1A10 Airplane; Non-Rechargeable Lithium Battery Installations, 22066-22069 2017-09661 Bombardier Aerospace, Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Airplanes; Limit Engine Torque Loads, 22065-22066 2017-09663 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace: Brainerd, MN, 22091-22093 2017-09665 Vivian, LA, 22093-22094 2017-09664 Class D and E Airspace, Amendments: Mosinee, WI, 22090-22091 2017-09660 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants, 22150-22151 2017-09601 Major Disaster Declarations: California; Amendment No. 1, 22149-22150 2017-09610 Nevada; Amendment No. 1, 22151 2017-09608 2017-09611 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: Idaho, 22152 2017-09612 Utah, 22152-22153 2017-09614 Washington, 22151-22152 2017-09613 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, 22140-22141 2017-09626 Combined Filings, 22133, 22136-22137, 22139, 22141-22142 2017-09622 2017-09672 2017-09679 2017-09681 Declaratory Orders; Petitions: Zeeland Farm Services, Inc., 22132-22133 2017-09682 Effectiveness of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status: Flat Top Wind I, LLC, Solar Star Oregon II, LLC, Whitney Point Solar, LLC, et al., 22133 2017-09674 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC; Line A Abandonment Project, 22134 2017-09623 Filings: East Texas Electric Coop., Inc., 22134 2017-09675 Hydroelectric Applications: Flambeau Hydro, LLC, 22137-22139 2017-09624 Southern Southeast Regional; Aquaculture Association, 22135 2017-09676 License Applications: KEI (Maine) Power Management (III), LLC, 22131-22132 2017-09625 Meetings: Electric Quarterly Report Users Group, 22140 2017-09678 Permit Applications: Advanced Hydropower, Inc., 22137 2017-09677 Watterra Energy, LLC, 22135-22136 2017-09627 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Sonoran Corridor between Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 South of Tucson International Airport in Pima County, AZ, 22182-22183 2017-09452 Federal Mediation Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program, 22142-22143 2017-09669 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 22143 2017-09655 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Incidental Take Permit Application; Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for R-Project Transmission Line and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, 22153-22155 2017-09366 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Children and Families Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22147-22148 2017-09638 2017-09639
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, 22145-22147 2017-09621 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22186-22187 2017-09606 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, 22155 2017-09629 Ferrovanadium from Korea, 22156 2017-09630 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 22156 2017-09718 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Antitrust Division

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: FBI National Academy Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Graduates; FBI National Academy Graduate Questionnaire for Supervisors of Graduates, 22161-22162 2017-09645 FBI National Academy; End-of-Session Student Course Questionnaire, General Remarks Questionnaire, 22160-22161 2017-09644 Prison Population Reports: Summary of Sentenced Population Movement—National Prisoner Statistics, 22162-22163 2017-09651
Labor Department Labor Department See

Labor Statistics Bureau

Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22163-22164 2017-09602 National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Humanities NOTICES Meetings: Humanities Panel, 22164-22165 2017-09600 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Decisions of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, 22183-22186 2017-09650 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Meetings: Hydrographic Services Review Panel; Webinar, 22099 2017-09642 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Site Characterization Surveys off Coast of New York, 22250-22277 2017-09706 Subsea Cable Operations and Maintenance Activities in Arctic Ocean, 22099-22117 2017-09599 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22129 2017-09628 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 22165 2017-09615 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: New Mountain Finance Corp., et al., 22165-22170 2017-09643 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: NYSE MKT, LLC, 22170-22173 2017-09607 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22173-22179 2017-09687 Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 22179-22181 2017-09603 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 22148-22149 2017-09631 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Control Exemptions: Grupo Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V. and GMexico Transportes, S.A. de C.V.; Florida East Coast Holdings Corp., 22181-22182 2017-09657 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Consumer Product Safety Commission, 22190-22247 2017-09098 Part III Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 22250-22277 2017-09706 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 91 Friday, May 12, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0033; Special Conditions No. 25-670-SC] Special Conditions: Bombardier Aerospace, Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 Airplanes; Limit Engine Torque Loads AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Bombardier (Bombardier) Inc. Models BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design feature is the engine torque-load limit imposed by sudden engine stoppage due to malfunction or structural failure. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

This action is effective on Bombardier on May 12, 2017. Send your comments on or before June 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0033 using any of the following methods:

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

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

Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478).

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mark Freisthler, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1119; facsimile 425-227-1232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public notice and comment period in several prior instances, and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above. It is further unnecessary to delay the effective date for the reasons previously stated.

Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On May 30, 2012, Bombardier applied for an amendment to Type Certificate No. T00003NY to include the new Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes. These airplanes are derivatives of the Model BD-700 series of airplanes and are marketed as the Bombardier Global 7000 (Model BD-700-2A12) and Global 8000 (Model BD-700-2A13). These airplanes are twin-engine, transport-category, executive-interior business jets. The maximum passenger capacity is 19 and the maximum takeoff weights are 106,250 lbs. (Model BD-700-2A12) and 104,800 lbs. (Model BD-700-2A13).

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Bombardier must show that the Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate No. T00003NY, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Feature

The Bombardier Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes will incorporate a novel or unusual design feature associated with engine-seizure requirements due, in part, to large bypass fans capable of producing much larger and more complex dynamic loads than would other bypass fans.

Discussion

The limit engine torque load imposed by sudden engine stoppage due to malfunction or structural failure (such as compressor jamming) has been a specific requirement for transport-category airplanes since 1957. In the past, the design torque loads associated with typical failure scenarios have been estimated by the engine manufacturer and provided to the airframe manufacturer as limit loads. These limit loads were considered simple, pure, torque static loads.

It is evident from service history that the engine-failure events that tend to cause the most severe loads are fan-blade failures. These events occur much less frequently than the typical “limit” load condition.

Regulatory authorities and industry have developed a standardized requirement in the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) forum (Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee; Loads and Dynamics Harmonization Working Group [58 FR 13819]). The technical aspects of this requirement have been agreed upon, and the ARAC Loads and Dynamics Harmonization Working Group has accepted them. These special conditions reflect the ARAC recommendation. The ARAC recommendation includes corresponding advisory material, which is considered an acceptable means of compliance to these special conditions.

These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes. Should Bombardier apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to the other model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only one novel or unusual design feature on Bombardier Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to FAA for approval of this feature on the airplane.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority:

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

The Proposed Special Conditions Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Bombardier Model BD-700-2A12 and BD-700-2A13 airplanes.

In lieu of § 25.361(b) the following special conditions apply:

1. For turbine engine installations, the engine mounts, pylons, and adjacent supporting airframe structure must be designed to withstand 1g level flight loads acting simultaneously with the maximum limit torque loads imposed by each of the following:

a. Sudden engine deceleration due to a malfunction that could result in a temporary loss of power or thrust, and

b. The maximum acceleration of the engine.

2. For auxiliary power unit (APU) installations, the power unit mounts and adjacent supporting airframe structure must be designed to withstand 1g level flight loads acting simultaneously with the maximum limit torque loads imposed by each of the following:

a. Sudden APU deceleration due to malfunction or structural failure; and

b. The maximum acceleration of the APU.

3. For engine supporting structure, an ultimate loading condition must be considered that combines 1g flight loads with the transient dynamic loads resulting from:

a. The loss of any fan, compressor, or turbine blade; and separately

b. Where applicable to a specific engine design, any other engine structural failure that results in higher loads.

4. The ultimate loads developed from the conditions specified in paragraphs 3(a) and 3(b) of these special conditions are to be multiplied by a factor of 1.0 when applied to engine mounts and pylons, and multiplied by a factor of 1.25 when applied to adjacent supporting airframe structure.

5. Any permanent deformation that results from the conditions specified in paragraph 3 must not prevent continued safe flight and landing.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 27, 2017. Paul Bernado, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-09663 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0358; Special Conditions No. 25-659-SC] Special Conditions: Bombardier Aerospace Inc., Model BD-100-1A10 Airplane; Non-Rechargeable Lithium Battery Installations AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comment.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for non-rechargeable lithium battery installations on the Bombardier Aerospace Inc. (Bombardier) Model BD-100-1A10 airplane. Non-rechargeable lithium batteries are a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

This action is effective on Bombardier on May 12, 2017. We must receive your comments by June 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0358 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov/.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nazih Khaouly, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2432; facsimile 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Future Requests for Installation of Non-Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

The FAA anticipates that non-rechargeable lithium batteries will be installed in most makes and models of transport category airplanes. We intend to require special conditions for certification projects involving non-rechargeable lithium battery installations to address certain safety issues until we can revise the airworthiness requirements. Applying special conditions to these installations across the range of transport category airplanes will ensure regulatory consistency.

Typically, the FAA issues special conditions after receiving an application for type certificate approval of a novel or unusual design feature. However, the FAA has found that the presence of non-rechargeable lithium batteries in certification projects is not always immediately identifiable, since the battery itself may not be the focus of the project. Meanwhile, the inclusion of these batteries has become virtually ubiquitous on in-production transport category airplanes, which shows that there will be a need for these special conditions. Also, delaying the issuance of special conditions until after each design application is received could lead to costly certification delays. Therefore the FAA finds it necessary to issue special conditions applicable to these battery installations on particular makes and models of aircraft.

On April 22, 2016, the FAA published special conditions no. 25-612-SC in the Federal Register (81 FR 23573) applicable to Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation for the GVI airplane. Those were the first special conditions the FAA issued for non-rechargeable lithium battery installations. We explained in that document our decision to make those special conditions effective one year after publication in the Federal Register, which is April 22, 2017. In those special conditions, the FAA stated its intention to apply non-rechargeable lithium battery special conditions to design changes on other makes and models applied for after this same date.

Section 1205 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 1996 requires the FAA to consider the extent to which Alaska is not served by transportation modes other than aviation and to establish appropriate regulatory distinctions when modifying airworthiness regulations that affect intrastate aviation in Alaska. In consideration of this requirement and the overall impact on safety, the FAA does not intend to require non-rechargeable lithium battery special conditions for design changes that only replace a 121.5 megahertz (MHz) emergency locator transmitter (ELT) with a 406 MHz ELT that meets Technical Standard Order C126b, or later revision, on transport airplanes operating only in Alaska. This will support our efforts of encouraging operators in Alaska to upgrade to a 406 MHz ELT. These ELTs provide significantly improved accuracy for lifesaving services to locate an accident site in Alaskan terrain. The FAA considers that the safety benefits from upgrading to a 406 MHz ELT for Alaskan operations will outweigh the battery fire risk.

Comments Invited

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

Bombardier holds type certificate no. T00005NY, which provides the certification basis for the BD-100-1A10 airplane. The BD-100-1A10 is a twin engine, transport category airplane with a passenger seating capacity of 16 and a maximum takeoff weight of 38,500 to 40,600 pounds, depending on the specific design.

The FAA is issuing these special conditions for non-rechargeable lithium battery installations on the BD-100-1A10 airplane. The current battery requirements in title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 25 are inadequate for addressing an airplane with non-rechargeable lithium batteries.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.101, Bombardier must show that the BD-100-1A10 airplane meets the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in type certificate no. T00005NY or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA. In addition, the certification basis includes certain special conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections that are not relevant to these special conditions.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the BD-100-1A10 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the airplane model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the BD-100-1A10 must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Feature

The novel or unusual design feature is the installation of non-rechargeable lithium batteries.

For the purpose of these special conditions, we refer to a battery and battery system as a battery. A battery system consists of the battery and any protective, monitoring, and alerting circuitry or hardware inside or outside of the battery. It also includes vents (where necessary) and packaging.

Discussion

The FAA derived the current regulations governing installation of batteries in transport category airplanes from Civil Air Regulations (CAR) 4b.625(d) as part of the recodification of CAR 4b that established 14 CFR part 25 in February 1965. This recodification basically reworded the CAR 4b battery requirements, which are currently in § 25.1353(b)(1) through (4). Non-rechargeable lithium batteries are novel and unusual with respect to the state of technology considered when these requirements were codified. These batteries introduce higher energy levels into airplane systems through new chemical compositions in various battery cell sizes and construction. Interconnection of these cells in battery packs introduces failure modes that require unique design considerations, such as provisions for thermal management.

Recent events involving rechargeable and non-rechargeable lithium batteries prompted the FAA to initiate a broad evaluation of these energy storage technologies. In January 2013, two independent events involving rechargeable lithium-ion batteries revealed unanticipated failure modes. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) letter to the FAA, dated May 22, 2014, which is available at http://www.ntsb.gov, filename A-14-032-036.pdf, describes these events.

On July 12, 2013, an event involving a non-rechargeable lithium battery in an emergency locator transmitter installation demonstrated unanticipated failure modes. The United Kingdom's Air Accidents Investigation Branch Bulletin S5/2013 describes this event.

Some known uses of rechargeable and non-rechargeable lithium batteries on airplanes include:

• Flight deck and avionics systems such as displays, global positioning systems, cockpit voice recorders, flight data recorders, underwater locator beacons, navigation computers, integrated avionics computers, satellite network and communication systems, communication management units, and remote-monitor electronic line-replaceable units;

• Cabin safety, entertainment, and communications equipment, including emergency locator transmitters, life rafts, escape slides, seatbelt air bags, cabin management systems, Ethernet switches, routers and media servers, wireless systems, Internet and in-flight entertainment systems, satellite televisions, remotes, and handsets;

• Systems in cargo areas including door controls, sensors, video surveillance equipment, and security systems.

Some known potential hazards and failure modes associated with non-rechargeable lithium batteries are:

Internal failures: In general, these batteries are significantly more susceptible to internal failures that can result in self-sustaining increases in temperature and pressure (i.e., thermal runaway) than their nickel-cadmium or lead-acid counterparts. The metallic lithium can ignite, resulting in a self-sustaining fire or explosion.

Fast or imbalanced discharging: Fast discharging or an imbalanced discharge of one cell of a multi-cell battery may create an overheating condition that results in an uncontrollable venting condition, which in turn leads to a thermal event or an explosion.

Flammability: Unlike nickel-cadmium and lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries use higher energy and current in an electrochemical system that can be configured to maximize energy storage of lithium. They also use liquid electrolytes that can be extremely flammable. The electrolyte, as well as the electrodes, can serve as a source of fuel for an external fire if the battery casing is breached.

Special condition no. 1 of these special conditions requires that each individual cell within a non-rechargeable lithium battery be designed to maintain safe temperatures and pressures. Special condition no. 2 addresses these same issues but for the entire battery. Special condition no. 2 requires the battery be designed to prevent propagation of a thermal event, such as self-sustained, uncontrollable increases in temperature or pressure from one cell to adjacent cells.

Special conditions nos. 1 and 2 are intended to ensure that the non-rechargeable lithium battery and its cells are designed to eliminate the potential for uncontrollable failures. However, a certain number of failures will occur due to various factors beyond the control of the battery designer. Therefore, other special conditions are intended to protect the airplane and its occupants if failure occurs.

Special conditions 3, 7, and 8 are self-explanatory.

Special condition no. 4 makes it clear that the flammable fluid fire protection requirements of § 25.863 apply to non-rechargeable lithium battery installations. Section 25.863 is applicable to areas of the airplane that could be exposed to flammable fluid leakage from airplane systems. Non-rechargeable lithium batteries contain an electrolyte that is a flammable fluid.

Special condition no. 5 requires that each non-rechargeable lithium battery installation not damage surrounding structure or adjacent systems, equipment, or electrical wiring from corrosive fluids or gases that may escape in such a way as to cause a major or more severe failure condition.

While special condition no. 5 addresses corrosive fluids and gases, special condition no. 6 addresses heat. Special condition no. 6 requires that each non-rechargeable lithium battery installation have provisions to prevent any hazardous effect on airplane structure or systems caused by the maximum amount of heat the battery installation can generate due to any failure of it or its individual cells. The means of meeting special conditions nos. 5 and 6 may be the same, but the requirements are independent and address different hazards.

These special conditions apply to all non-rechargeable lithium battery installations in lieu of § 25.1353(b)(1) through (4) at Amendment 25-123 or § 25.1353(c)(1) through (4) at earlier amendments. Those regulations remain in effect for other battery installations.

These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

Applicability

These special conditions are applicable to the BD-100-1A10 airplane. Should Bombardier apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

These special conditions are only applicable to design changes applied for after the effective date.

These special conditions are not applicable to changes to previously certified non-rechargeable lithium battery installations where the only change is either cosmetic or to relocate the installation to improve the safety of the airplane and occupants. Previously certified non-rechargeable lithium battery installations, as used in this paragraph, are those installations approved for certification projects applied for on or before the effective date of these special conditions. A cosmetic change is a change in appearance only, and does not change any function or safety characteristic of the battery installation. These special conditions are also not applicable to unchanged, previously certified non-rechargeable lithium battery installations that are affected by a change in a manner that improves the safety of its installation. The FAA determined that these exclusions are in the public interest because the need to meet all of the special conditions might otherwise deter these design changes that improve safety.

Conclusion

This action affects only a certain novel or unusual design feature on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and record keeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority:

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

The Special Conditions Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for the Bombardier Model BD-100-1A10 airplane. Non-Rechargeable Lithium Battery Installations

In lieu of § 25.1353(b)(1) through (4) at Amendment 25-123 or § 25.1353(c)(1) through (4) at earlier amendments, each non-rechargeable lithium battery installation must:

1. Be designed to maintain safe cell temperatures and pressures under all foreseeable operating conditions to prevent fire and explosion.

2. Be designed to prevent the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrollable increases in temperature or pressure.

3. Not emit explosive or toxic gases, either in normal operation or as a result of its failure, that may accumulate in hazardous quantities within the airplane.

4. Meet the requirements of § 25.863.

5. Not damage surrounding structure or adjacent systems, equipment, or electrical wiring from corrosive fluids or gases that may escape in such a way as to cause a major or more severe failure condition.

6. Have provisions to prevent any hazardous effect on airplane structure or systems caused by the maximum amount of heat it can generate due to any failure of it or its individual cells.

7. Have a failure sensing and warning system to alert the flightcrew if its failure affects safe operation of the airplane.

8. Have a means for the flightcrew or maintenance personnel to determine the battery charge state if the battery's function is required for safe operation of the airplane.

Note:

A battery system consists of the battery and any protective, monitoring, and alerting circuitry or hardware inside or outside of the battery. It also includes vents (where necessary) and packaging. For the purpose of these special conditions, a “battery” and “battery system” are referred to as a battery.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 27, 2017. Paul Bernado, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-09661 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9494; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-19] Amendment of Class E Airspace for Haskell, TX AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Haskell Municipal Airport, Haskell, TX. The decommissioning of the Haskell radio beacon (RBN) and cancellation of RBN approach makes it necessary to implement new area navigation (RNAV) procedures for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, September 14, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ron Laster, Federal Aviation Administration, Contract Support, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5879.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

The FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 11856, February 27, 2017) Docket No. FAA-2016-9494 a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Haskell Municipal Airport, Haskell, TX. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Haskell Municipal Airport, Haskell, TX, by removing the area 8 miles east and 4 miles west of the 015° bearing from the Haskell RBN extending from the airport to 16 miles northeast of the RBN. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of the airport to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database.

Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the RBN and cancellation of the RBN approach and implementation of RNAV procedures for the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW TX E5 Haskell, TX [Amended] Haskell Municipal Airport, TX (Lat. 33°11′29″ N., long. 99°43′04″ W.)

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

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 4, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2017-09662 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9355; Airspace Docket No. 16-ANM-8] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Hailey, ID AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Friedman Memorial Airport, Hailey, ID, to support the implementation of new Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) at the airport. Additionally, this action updates the airport's geographic coordinates in the Class D description, and amends the legal description of Class E surface area airspace adding the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status information.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, August 17, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends associated Class D and E airspace to support new RNAV procedures for IFR operations at Friedman Memorial Airport, Hailey, ID.

History

On January 23, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 7735) Docket FAA-2016-9355 a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Friedman Memorial Airport, Hailey, ID. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. The four comments received supported the proposal.

The Class E surface area is a part-time airspace area, effective when the Class D airspace is not in effect, therefore requires NOTAM part-time status information. After publication, the FAA realized the proposal's legal description did not include the Notice to Airmen part-time status information.

Also, an editorial change is made to the Class D and Class E surface area legal descriptions replacing Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

The FAA is amending Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Friedman Memorial Airport, Hailey, ID. The amendments are made to support implementation of new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures at the airport. More specifically, the new RNAV (GPS) procedures require additional Class D airspace in the vicinity of the airport for circling maneuvers, but require less airspace upward from 700 feet above the surface to support arrival and departure of IFR aircraft. Class D airspace is expanded from the surface to and including 7,800 feet MSL to within a 4.9-mile radius (increased from a 4.1-mile radius) of the airport, with an extension from the 4.9-mile radius increased from 6 miles to 6.3 miles southeast.

Class E surface area airspace is reduced to within a 4.9-mile radius of the airport, with a segment increased from 6 miles to 6.3 miles southeast of the airport to provide controlled airspace when Class D airspace is not in effect. Also, the NOTAM part-time status information is added in the Class D airspace legal description.

Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is reduced to within a 4.9-mile radius of the airport (from the 5.5-mile radius), with the southeast segment reduced from 15.5 miles to 11.3 miles from the radius of the airport. Additionally, the geographic coordinates for the airport listed in the Class D description are updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. ANM ID D Hailey, ID [Modified] Friedman Memorial Airport, ID (Lat. 43°30′14″ N., long. 114°17′44″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to, and including, 7,800 feet MSL within a 4.9-mile radius of Friedman Memorial Airport, and that airspace within 2.1 miles west and 1.4 miles east of the 155° bearing from the airport extending from the airport 4.9-mile radius to 6.3 miles southeast of the airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specified dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ANM ID E2 Hailey, ID [Modified] Friedman Memorial Airport, ID (Lat. 43°30′14″ N., long. 114°17′44″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4.9-mile radius of Friedman Memorial Airport, and within 2.1 miles west and 1.4 miles east of the 155° bearing from the airport, extending from the airport 4.9-mile radius to 6.3 miles southeast of the airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specified dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM ID E5 Hailey, ID [Modified] Friedman Memorial Airport, ID (Lat. 43°30′14″ N., long. 114°17′44″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 4.9-mile radius of Friedman Memorial Airport, and within 2.5 miles each side of the 155° bearing from the airport extending from the airport 4.9-mile radius to 11.3 miles southeast of the airport; and that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface bounded by a line beginning at lat. 44°00′00″ N., long. 114°55′00″ W., to lat. 44°00′00″ N., long. 113°53′00″ W., to lat. 43°00′00″ N., long. 113°49′00″ W., to lat. 43°00′00″ N., long. 114°55′00″ W., thence to point of beginning.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on May 5, 2017. Sam S.L. Shrimpton, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2017-09659 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0319] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, St. Louis, MO AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters on the Upper Mississippi River from mile 179.2 to mile 180. This safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created during a fireworks display on and over the navigable waterway. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 3, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0319 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email LCDR Sean Peterson, Chief of Prevention, Sector Upper Mississippi River, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 314-269-2332, email [email protected]

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard was not notified of the fireworks display until March 22, 2017. After full review of the details for the planned display, the Coast Guard determined action is needed to protect people and property from the safety hazards associated with the fireworks display on the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) near St. Louis, MO. It is impracticable to publish an NPRM because we lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule; we must establish this safety zone by June 3, 2017.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Upper Mississippi River (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks display will be a safety concern before, during, and after the display. The purpose of this rule is to ensure safety of persons and vessels in the navigable waters in the safety zone before, during, and after the scheduled event.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 3, 2017. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters between miles 179.2 and 180 on the UMR in St. Louis, MO. Exact times of the closures during this two hour period will be communicated to mariners using broadcast and local notice to mariners. The safety zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during and after the fireworks display. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

This temporary final rule establishes a safety zone impacting a less than one mile area on the UMR for a limited time period of two hours. During the enforcement period, vessels are prohibited from entering into or remaining within the safety zone unless specifically authorized by the COTP or other designated representative. Based on the location, limited safety zone area, and short duration of the enforcement period, this rule has a minimum adverse impact to mariners from the safety zone's activation. Additionally, notice of the safety zone will be made via broadcast and local notice to mariners.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting two hours that will prohibit entry from mile 179.2 to mile 180 on the UMR. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Record of Environmental Consideration are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T08-0319 to read as follows:
§ 165.T08-0319 Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, St. Louis, MO.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all navigable waters of the Upper Mississippi River between miles 179.2 to 180, St. Louis, MO.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section, “designated representative” means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Upper Mississippi River (COTP) in the enforcement of the safety zone.

(c) Regulations. (1) Under the general safety zone regulations in subpart C of this part, you may not enter the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

(2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or the COTP's representative via VHF-FM channel 16, or through Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River at 314-269-2332. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

(d) Enforcement periods. This section will be enforced from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 3, 2017.

(e) Informational broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zone.

Dated: May 8, 2017. M.L. Malloy, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Upper Mississippi River.
[FR Doc. 2017-09604 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0196] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Main Branch of the Chicago River, Chicago, IL AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the Main Branch of the Chicago River, Chicago, IL. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters of the United States immediately prior to, during, and after a bridge based pyrotechnics display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on May 20, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0196 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this rule, call or email LT Lindsay Cook, Marine Safety Unit Chicago, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (630) 986-2155, email D09-DG-MSUChicago-Wat[email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable. The Coast Guard did not receive the final details for this event until there was insufficient time remaining before the event to publish a NPRM. Thus, delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be impracticable because it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect the public and vessels from the hazards associated with a bridge based fireworks display on May 20, 2017.

We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For the same reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph, waiting for a 30 day notice period to run would be impracticable.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish safety zones: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

On May 20, 2017, a bridge based pyrotechnics display will take place on the Main Branch of the Chicago River between the Wells Street Bridge and the Dearborn Street Bridge in Chicago, IL. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that the pyrotechnics display will pose a significant risk to public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, falling and burning debris, and collisions among spectator vessels.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

With the aforementioned hazards in mind, the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that this temporary safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of the public during the bridge based pyrotechnics display on the Main Branch of the Chicago River. This safety zone will be enforced from 7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on May 20, 2017. This zone will encompass all waters of the Main Branch of the Chicago River between the Wells Street Bridge and the Dearborn Street Bridge in Chicago, IL.

Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or a designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or a designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

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 conclude that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because we anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced May 20, 2017 from 7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this temporary rule on small entities. This rule will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit on a portion of the Main Branch of the Chicago River on May 20, 2017 from 7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons cited in the Regulatory Planning and Review section. Additionally, before the enforcement of the zone, we will issue local Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Local Notice to Mariners so vessel owners and operators can plan accordingly.

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

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

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the establishment of a safety zone for a bridge based pyrotechnics display on the Main Branch of the Chicago River in Chicago, IL. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T09-0196 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0196 Safety Zone; Main Branch of the Chicago River, Chicago, IL.

(a) Location. All U.S. navigable waters of the Main Branch of the Chicago River, between the Wells Street Bridge and Dearborn Street Bridge in Chicago, IL.

(b) Enforcement period. This rule will be enforced on May 20, 2017 from 7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative.

(2) This safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative.

(3) The “on-scene representative” of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan to act on his or her behalf.

(4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or an on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or an on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan, or an on-scene representative.

Dated: May 5, 2017. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan.
[FR Doc. 2017-09633 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0373; FRL-9961-87-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; West Virginia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate Standard AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving portions of a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of West Virginia. Whenever new or revised national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are promulgated, the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states to submit a plan to address basic program elements, including, but not limited to, regulatory structure, monitoring, modeling, legal authority, and adequate resources necessary to assure implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the NAAQS. These elements are referred to as infrastructure requirements. The State of West Virginia made a submittal addressing the infrastructure requirements for the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS, and EPA is approving portions of this SIP revision in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on June 12, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0373. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. 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 through http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section for additional availability information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ellen Schmitt, (215) 814-5787, or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On July 16, 1997, the EPA promulgated a new 24-hour and a new annual NAAQS for PM2.5. See 62 FR 38652 (July 18, 1997). Subsequently, on December 14, 2012, the EPA revised the level of the health based (primary) annual PM2.5 standard to 12 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). See 78 FR 3086 (January 15, 2013).1

1 In EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS revision, EPA left unchanged the existing welfare (secondary) standards for PM2.5 to address PM related effects such as visibility impairment, ecological effects, damage to materials and climate impacts. This includes a secondary annual standard of 15 μg/m3 and a 24-hour standard of 35 μg/m3.

Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements, and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affect the content of the submission. The content of such SIP submission may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

On November 17, 2015, the State of West Virginia, through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), submitted a revision to its SIP to satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. On December 23, 2016 (81 FR 94281), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) proposing approval of portions of the West Virginia November 17, 2015 SIP submittal. In the NPR, EPA proposed approval of the following infrastructure elements: Section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) (relating to prevention of significant deterioration), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) of the CAA.

At this time, EPA is not taking action on the portions of West Virginia's November 17, 2015 SIP submission which addressed section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA relating to interstate transport of emissions, nor is the Agency taking action on the portion of the November 17, 2015 SIP submission which addressed section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) relating to visibility protection. EPA intends to take later separate action on these portions of West Virginia's submittal as explained in the NPR and the Technical Support Document (TSD), which accompanied the NPR. The TSD is available in the docket for this rulemaking which is also available online at www.regulations.gov. Finally, West Virginia did not address in its submittal section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertains to the nonattainment requirements of part D, title I of the CAA, because this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) and will be addressed in a separate process if necessary.

The rationale supporting EPA's proposed rulemaking action, including the scope of infrastructure SIPs in general, is explained in the published NPR and the TSD and will not be restated here. The NPR and TSD are available in the docket for this rulemaking at www.regulations.gov, Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0373.

III. Public Comments and EPA's Responses

EPA received two anonymous comments on the December 23, 2016 proposed approval of portions of the West Virginia's 2012 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP.

Comment 1: One commenter asked why West Virginia is any different than other states and stated that how particulate matter is measured and “the standard” for particulate matter should be the same for all states. The commenter stated that “[w]hat is safe in one State, should not be different than another.”

Response 1: EPA thanks the commenter for the submitted statements. To clarify, West Virginia is not treated any differently than any other state in the United States under the CAA's NAAQS. Indeed, the “standard” for particulate matter and how particulate matter is “measured” (i.e., monitored) is the same for all states.

Sections 108 and 109 of the CAA require EPA to promulgate primary NAAQS to protect public health and secondary NAAQS to protect public welfare. The NAAQS apply equally throughout all states. Once EPA sets a new or revised NAAQS, EPA must designate areas in every state as either attainment, unclassifiable, or nonattainment pursuant to section 107(d)(1)(B) and states must develop, adopt, and submit to EPA for approval a SIP that contains emissions limitations and other control measures to attain and maintain the relevant NAAQS in accordance with section 110(a).

Pursuant to sections 108 and 109 of the CAA, EPA has promulgated NAAQS for two sizes of particulate matter: PM10 and PM2.5.2 Because this action concerns the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA's response addresses the relevant NAAQS. On December 14, 2012, EPA revised the health based (primary) annual PM2.5 NAAQS to 12 μg/m3, and this standard applies equally throughout all states. See 78 FR 3086 (January 15, 2013). Two years later, on December 14, 2014, EPA designated all areas in West Virginia as “unclassifiable/attainment” for the primary 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. See 80 FR 2206, 2278-2279 (January 15, 2015).3 Finally, on November 17, 2015, West Virginia submitted a SIP revision to EPA to address the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS and identified West Virginia's measures to attain and maintain that NAAQS.

2 Coarse particulate matter (PM10) are generally 10 micrometers and smaller, while fine particulate matter (or PM2.5) consist of fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.

3 The rule explains that “EPA is designating areas as nonattainment, unclassifiable, or unclassifiable/attainment.”

Regarding measurement of particulate matter, state and, where applicable, local and/or tribal, agencies (referred to herein as “monitoring agencies”) are responsible for providing an air quality surveillance system in order to, among other goals, assess the extent of pollution, provide information on air quality trends, and support the implementation of air quality goals or standards (i.e., the NAAQS). Monitoring agencies are required to submit to EPA an annual monitoring network plan which provides for the documentation of the establishment and maintenance of their air quality surveillance system.4 These annual monitoring network plans require that ambient particulate matter data are collected through an approved network of specified ambient monitoring stations. Data from the approved monitoring stations are used to compare an area's air pollution levels against the NAAQS to make sure air quality is protective of public health and the environment. Monitoring agencies provide all ambient air quality data, including those related to PM2.5, to EPA through the Agency's Air Quality Management System (AQS).

4 Each monitoring agency must submit to EPA for approval an annual monitoring network plan that is in accordance with the monitoring requirements contained in 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58.

As discussed in the TSD for this action, WVDEP has the authority under state law “to develop ways and means for the regulation and control of pollution of the air of the state” and “conduct such studies and research relating to air pollution and its control and abatement.” EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0373-0006, p. 10. WVDEP currently operates and maintains an established network of ambient air monitors in West Virginia for the purpose of assessing compliance with the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and submits to EPA for approval, on an annual basis, a monitoring network plan, which describes how West Virginia is complying with monitoring requirements and explains any changes to the monitoring network. Id.; see also EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0373-0007 (Approval letter regarding WVDEP's 2015 annual monitoring network plan).

In summary, the NAAQS apply to all states in the country, all states monitor (or measure) particulate matter in accordance with CAA statutory and regulatory requirements, and West Virginia is not treated any differently for such purposes.

Comment 2: The commenter stated that “[A]ir quality is important for our environment and our health. Infrastructure improvements can provide jobs as well.”

Response 2: EPA thanks the commenter for the support for air quality and health. The commenter's statement regarding “infrastructure improvements” likely reflects the commenter's concern for improvements to bridges and roads which are more traditionally understood as “infrastructure” in the United States. Thus, EPA believes the comment related to “infrastructure improvements” is likely unrelated to EPA's approval of West Virginia's “infrastructure” SIP submittal which addresses requirements in CAA section 110(a)(2) to provide the necessary structural requirements such as emission limitations and monitoring requirements for attaining and maintaining the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in West Virginia. EPA described in detail in the NPR and in the TSD, which accompanied the NPR, how West Virginia's SIP provides the basic structural requirements. As the comment is not germane to EPA's rulemaking, no further response is provided.

IV. Final Action

EPA is approving portions of the West Virginia's SIP revision regarding the infrastructure program elements specified in section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) (relating to prevention of significant deterioration), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) of the CAA, or portions thereof, necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA will conduct separate rulemaking action on the portions of West Virginia's November 17, 2015 SIP submission addressing section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA relating to interstate transport of emissions and addressing section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) relating to visibility protection. This rulemaking action does not include any action addressing section 110(a)(2)(I) of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS which pertains to the nonattainment requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA, because this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1), and will be addressed in a separate process, if necessary.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

• Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

• Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

• Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

• Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

• Does not have federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

• Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

• Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

• Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and

• Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

C. Petitions for Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 11, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action which approves portions of the West Virginia SIP submittal to address the CAA section 110(a)(2) infrastructure requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See CAA section 307(b)(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: April 12, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart XX—West Virginia 2. In § 52.2520, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS” at the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.2520 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

Name of non-regulatory SIP revision Applicable
  • geographic area
  • State
  • submittal date
  • EPA approval date Additional explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 11/17/15 5/12/17, [insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) (prevention of significant deterioration), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09504 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0116; FRL-9961-44-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Heavy Duty Diesel Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving changes to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Georgia on January 25, 2016, for the purpose of removing the requirements for heavy duty diesel engines (HDDE), which bar the sale/lease or import in the State of Georgia of any new HDDE that were not certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to meet the emission standards of the California HDDE rules. The removal of this rule will prevent regulatory confusion and make it clear that the more stringent EPA emission standards for HDDE are applicable. EPA is approving this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective July 11, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by June 12, 2017. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0116 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9222, Ms. Sheckler can also be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) establishes the framework for controlling mobile-source emissions in the United States. During the development of the CAA in 1967, Congress recognized that the imposition of many different state standards could result in inefficiencies in vehicle markets. Therefore, state-established emissions standards were preempted by federal emissions standards in what is now section 209 of the CAA. A special exemption to this federal preemption was made in section 209 for California because of the state's special air quality problems and pioneering efforts in the control of air pollutants. This exemption, still in existence, gives the State of California the authority to set on-road vehicle standards that differ from the federal standards as long as they are as protective in the aggregate as federal standards. Later amendments to section 209 granted California the authority to set emissions standards and regulations for some nonroad engines, and section 177 was added to allow other states to adopt California standards. See CAA section 209(b), 42 U.S.C. 7543(b). Section 177 of the CAA allows other states to adopt standards and test procedures identical to California's. However, regardless of whether a manufacturer receives CARB approval, all new motor vehicles and engines must still receive certification from EPA before the vehicle is introduced into commerce. If a state adopts CARB standards in lieu of the federal standards and then later removes the requirement for the CARB standards, the Federal CAA vehicle standards will apply in that state.

    In 1994, the CARB approved a plan that called for emission standards for highway heavy-duty diesel vehicles beginning in 2004. In June of 1995, CARB, EPA, and the manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicle engines signed a statement of principles (SOP) calling for the harmonization of CARB and EPA heavy-duty vehicle regulations.

    In 1998, the federal government and seven HDDE manufacturers entered into consent decrees as a result of enforcement actions that were brought against the manufacturers because a majority of the diesel engine manufacturers had programmed their engines to defeat federal test procedures (FTP) through the use of a “defeat device.” As a part of the consent decree, the majority of the settling manufacturers agreed to produce by October 1, 2002, engines that would meet supplemental test procedures including the Not-To-Exceed (NTE) test and the EURO III European Stationary Cycle (ESC) test. These requirements were to be met for a period of two years.

    Recognizing the effectiveness of the supplemental tests, EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking on October 29, 1999, see 64 FR 58472, proposing to adopt the supplemental standards and test procedures for 2004 and subsequent model-year HDDEs. However, because of statutory and legal timing constraints, the NTE and ESC standards and test procedures were not to be required until the 2007 model year. Therefore, once the consent decree requirements would expire in 2004, diesel engine manufacturers would no longer be obligated to comply with the supplemental test procedures in 2005 and would be able to forgo the supplemental testing until the 2007 model year, when the federal rules came into effect. In anticipation of this regulatory gap, on December 8, 2000, California finalized a rule under section 1956.8 of the California Code of Regulations requiring HDDE manufacturers to perform the NTE and the ESC supplemental test procedures in addition to the existing FTP.

    On October 6, 2000, EPA's final rule on the Control of Emissions of Air Pollution from 2004 and Later Model Year Heavy-Duty Highway Engines and Vehicles; Revision of Light-Duty On-Board Diagnostics Requirements was issued. See 65 FR 59896. However, as explained above, it did not include the NTE standards for model years 2005 and 2006.

    On December 28, 2001, Georgia submitted a SIP revision which contained Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(ooo) “Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Requirements.” The Georgia Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Requirements Rule adopted and incorporated by reference the exhaust emission standards (and associated performance test procedures) for model year 2005 and subsequent model year heavy-duty diesel engines. The Rule required that any new on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicle or engine sold, leased, rented, imported or delivered in the state must have a CARB Executive Order (a vehicle certification issued by CARB to vehicle manufacturers). This requirement was also imposed on any new on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicle or engine leased, purchased, acquired, or received or offered for sale, lease or rent. The Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Requirements Rule required any “person” who imports, sells, delivers, leases, or rents an engine or motor vehicle that is subject to the rule to retain records concerning the transaction for at least 3 years following the transaction and to submit annually a report documenting the total sales and/or leases of engines and motor vehicles for each engine family over the calendar year in Georgia. The requirement that new on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles or engines must have a CARB Executive Order began with the 2005 model year. This rule incorporated the December 8, 2000, requirements of CARB for heavy duty diesel engines into the Georgia SIP for the purpose of avoiding possible “backsliding” in a former severe nonattainment area and potential significant increases in diesel exhaust emissions because of the lack of these procedures in federal regulations for the model years 2005 and 2006. EPA approved Georgia SIP revision on July 11, 2002. See 67 FR 45909.

    Subsequently, EPA addressed the NTE standards for model years 2005 and 2006 by proposing a new rule on June 21, 2004, that included a two-phase NTE testing scheme for all pollutants. See 69 FR 34326. The final rule adopting these requirements for 2005 and newer model-year HDDE and heavy-duty on-highway vehicles was published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2005. See 70 FR 34594. When EPA finalized its rule adopting test requirements for 2005 and newer models, the regulatory gap that prompted Georgia's adoption of the CARB standards was eliminated.

    II. Analysis of State's Submittal

    On January 25, 2016, Georgia submitted to EPA a SIP revision to remove from the SIP the version of Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(ooo)—Heavy Duty Diesel Requirements, that was approved into the Georgia SIP on July 11, 2002. Georgia requested removal of the California standards approved into its SIP because the new federal standard requires the manufacturers to meet emission limits that are equivalent to the California standards. The Federal CAA standards for vehicles and fuel will replace the CARB standards and will, in the absence of the incorporated CARB standards, apply in Georgia. The removal of this rule will prevent regulatory confusion and will clarify that the more stringent EPA emission standards for HDDE are applicable. The removal of Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(ooo) will not interfere with attainment or reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the Act because the federal standards are applicable.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is taking final action to approve the SIP revision submitted by Georgia on January 25, 2016, to remove Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(ooo) Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Requirements from the Georgia SIP. EPA has determined that Georgia's January 25, 2016, SIP revision is consistent with the CAA.

    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective July 11, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by June 12, 2017.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on July 11, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

    • does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

    • is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

    • does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

    • does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

    • is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

    • is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and

    • does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 11, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: March 15, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

    PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart L—Georgia
    § 52.570 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 52.570(c) by removing the entry for “391-3-1-.02(2)(ooo).”
    [FR Doc. 2017-09493 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0133; FRL-9961-93-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alaska: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Whenever a new or revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) is promulgated, each state must submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of such standard—commonly referred to as infrastructure requirements. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the May 12, 2015 Alaska State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission as meeting the infrastructure requirements for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0133. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and is publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available at https://www.regulations.gov or at EPA Region 10, Office of Air and Waste, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101. The EPA requests that you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below, to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristin Hall, Air Planning Unit, Office of Air and Waste (OAW-150), Environmental Protection Agency—Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101; telephone number: (206) 553-6357; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Response to Comment III. Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background

    On May 12, 2015, Alaska submitted a SIP to meet the infrastructure requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2010 NO2 and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. On July 20, 2016, the EPA proposed to approve the submission as meeting certain infrastructure requirements (81 FR 47103). Please see our proposed rulemaking for further explanation and the basis for our finding. The public comment period for this proposal ended on August 19, 2016. We received one comment, from Robert Ukeiley.

    II. Response to Comment

    Comment: The “EPA must disapprove 110(a)(2)(C) because the Alaska SIP does not require that minor sources cannot obtain a minor source permit if they will cause or contribute to a violation of any of the current NAAQS. Furthermore, for some pollutants, the Alaska SIP has thresholds below which sources do not have to demonstrate that they will not cause or contribute to a violation of that NAAQS. However, there is no evidence that sources below these thresholds cannot cause or contribute to a NAAQS violation. Rather, these thresholds are arbitrary numbers.”

    Response: The EPA agrees that CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) and the minor new source review regulations at 40 CFR 51.160 through 51.164 require SIPs to include procedures by which the state or local agency responsible for final decision-making on an application or approval to construct or modify will prevent such construction or modification if it will interfere with the attainment or maintenance of a national standard or if it will result in a violation of applicable portions of the control strategy. See 40 CFR 51.160(b). The EPA explained its approach to reviewing the minor source element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) in its proposed rulemaking for this action: “Thus, the EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor new source review program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, the EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and the EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.” See 81 FR 47103 at 47106 (July 20, 2016).

    In its 2010 NO2 and 2010 SO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission, Alaska certified that its SIP contains provisions to address the CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) requirements regarding new minor sources and modifications in Article 5 (minor permits) of Alaska's air quality control regulations set forth at 18 AAC 50. Alaska's SIP-approved minor new source review program addresses NAAQS pollutants, including NO2 and SO2. The commenter objects to these SIP-approved rules for two reasons. First, the commenter asserts that the rules do not address the non-interference component for the minor new source/minor modification permitting element. However, we disagree with the commenter. Alaska's SIP-approved rules include provisions to deny a minor new source construction/modification permit if the source at issue will result in a violation of an ambient air quality standard. See 18 AAC 542(f) Approval Criteria.

    The commenter also objects to these SIP-approved rules because they include emissions thresholds below which a minor new source review permit may not be required. See 18 AAC 50.502. We agree with the commenter that Alaska's rules do include emissions thresholds for both new sources and modifications with respect to certain pollutants, including NO2 and SO2, below which minor new source review permits may not be required. The EPA's requirements for SIP-approved minor new source review programs do not require a state to permit each and every stationary source no matter how small, but rather require that a state specifically identify the types and sizes of facilities that will be subject to review. See 40 CFR 51.160(e). We have previously found that Alaska's current program meets all minor new source review permitting requirements set forth at 40 CFR 51.160 through 40 CFR 51.164, including this requirement (September 19, 2014; 79 FR 56268). Therefore, we are finalizing our action.

    III. Final Action

    The EPA is approving the May 12, 2015 Alaska SIP submission as meeting the following CAA section 110(a)(2) infrastructure elements for the 2010 NO2 and 2010 SO2 NAAQS: (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). We note that the May 12, 2015 submission also included revisions to Alaska's transportation conformity regulations, approved on September 8, 2015 (80 FR 53735), and updates to general air quality and permitting regulations, approved on May 19, 2016 (81 FR 31511).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

    • does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

    • is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

    • does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

    • does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

    • is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

    • is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

    • does not provide the EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian Tribe has demonstrated that a Tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Under CAA section 307(b)(1), petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 11, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See CAA section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: April 11, 2017. Michelle L. Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

    PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart C—Alaska 2. In § 52.70, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by: a. Revising the entry for “CAA Section 110 Infrastructure Certification Documentation and Supporting Documents”; and b. Adding two entries at the end of the table for “110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements—2010 NO2 NAAQS” and “110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements—2010 SO2 NAAQS”.

    The revision and additions read as follows:

    § 52.70 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    Epa-Approved Alaska Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures Name of SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • non-attainment
  • area
  • State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * State of Alaska Air Quality Control Plan: Volume III. Appendices Section II State Air Quality Control Program *         *         *         *         *         *         * CAA Section 110 Infrastructure Certification Documentation and Supporting Documents Statewide 5/12/15 5/12/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure and Interstate Transport *         *         *         *         *         *         * 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements—2010 NO2 NAAQS Statewide 5/12/15 5/12/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] Approves SIP for purposes of CAA sections 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements—2010 SO2 NAAQS Statewide 5/12/15 5/12/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] Approves SIP for purposes of CAA sections 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09533 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0584; FRL-9960-43-Region 10] Air Plan Approval; ID, Updates to Incorporations by Reference AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve, and incorporate by reference, portions of Idaho's April 28, 2016, State Implementation Plan submittal (SIP submittal) that update the incorporation by reference of federal air quality regulations. We note that this action does not address the changes Idaho withdrew related to transportation conformity requirements.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 11, 2017, without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comment by June 12, 2017. If the EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0584 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Randall Ruddick at (206) 553-1999, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Analysis of Rule Updates III. Final Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background

    Section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) governs the process by which a state submits air quality protection requirements to the EPA for approval into the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP is the state's plan to implement, maintain, and enforce National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by the EPA. Idaho regularly updates the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (IDAPA 58.01.01) to reflect changes to the NAAQS and to improve implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of those standards. We note that Idaho incorporates by reference portions of certain federal regulations directly into the SIP. The state generally submits an annual update to the EPA to keep rules consistent with federal requirements.

    II. Analysis of Rule Updates A. Incorporations by Reference

    On April 28, 2016, Idaho submitted revisions to state air quality rules at IDAPA 58.01.01 to the EPA for approval into the SIP. Idaho revised section .03 of IDAPA 58.01.01.107 Incorporations by Reference by updating the citation dates that incorporate federal provisions and the effective dates of the incorporated federal provisions from July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015. IDAPA 58.01.01.107.03.a incorporates by reference 40 CFR part 51, Requirements for Preparation, Adoption, and Submittal of Implementation Plans, with the exception of certain visibility-related provisions, effective as of July 1, 2015. We note that Idaho did not submit updates to the incorporation of federal provisions relied on as part of the State's nonattainment area major stationary source preconstruction permitting program.

    IDAPA 58.01.01.03.b, .d, and .e incorporate the following provisions effective as of July 1, 2015: National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards, 40 CFR part 50; Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods, 40 CFR part 53; and Ambient Air Quality Surveillance, 40 CFR part 58. We find that paragraphs .b, .d, and .e are consistent with CAA requirements.

    IDAPA 58.01.01.03.c incorporates the Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans, 40 CFR part 52, subparts A and N, and appendices D and E. This includes the federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting rules at 40 CFR 52.21 and 52.22, as effective July 1, 2015. The EPA promulgated revisions to 40 CFR 52.21 and repealed 52.22 since July 1, 2015 in response to a court remand and vacatur. Specifically, on June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA, 1 issued a decision addressing the application of PSD permitting to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Supreme Court said the EPA may not treat GHGs as air pollutants for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source (or modification thereof) required to obtain a PSD permit. The Court also said the EPA could continue to require that PSD permits, otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs, contain limits on GHG emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT). In response to the UARG decision, and the subsequent Amended Judgment issued by the D.C. Circuit (Amended Judgment),2 the EPA revised the federal PSD rules to allow for the rescission of PSD permits that are no longer required under these decisions, 80 FR 26183 (May 7, 2015), and to remove the regulatory provisions that were specifically vacated by the Amended Judgment, 80 FR 50199 (August 19, 2015) (removing 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v), 52.21(b)(49)(v), 52.22, 70.12, and 71.13). In addition, the EPA has proposed to revise provisions in the PSD permitting regulations applicable to GHGs to fully conform with UARG and the Amended Judgment, but those revisions have not been finalized. 81 FR 68110 (Oct. 3, 2016).

    1 134 S.Ct. 2427 (2014).

    2Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, Nos. 09-1322, 10-073, 10-1092, and 10-1167 (April 15, 2015).

    Idaho's adoption by reference of 40 CFR 52.21 and 52.22 as of July 1, 2015 included the May 7, 2015 revisions to 40 CFR 52.21(w),3 providing a mechanism for Idaho to rescind PSD permits that are no longer required in light of UARG and the Amended Judgment, but did not include the August 19, 2015 revisions to the federal PSD program removing the PSD provisions vacated by the Amended Judgment. The Idaho SIP currently contains the vacated GHG provisions (through the incorporation by reference of a previous version of 40 CFR 52.21), so the EPA's approval of the CFR incorporation by reference update to July 1, 2015 does not change the Idaho SIP with respect to the vacated provisions. However, the now-vacated portions of 40 CFR 52.21 incorporated into the Idaho SIP-approved PSD program are no longer enforceable. The EPA believes this portion of the Idaho SIP should be revised in light of the D.C. Circuit's Amended Judgment, but the EPA also notes that these provisions may not be implemented even prior to their removal from the Idaho SIP because the court decisions described above have determined these parts of the EPA's regulations are unlawful. Further, Idaho has advised the EPA that it is not currently enforcing these provisions in light of the Supreme Court decision and that the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has adopted an update to its incorporation by reference of the CFR, including the August 19, 2015 revisions to 40 CFR 52.21 and 52.22, which update awaits final approval by the Idaho Legislature, likely to occur in March of 2017. We are therefore approving paragraph .c with the understanding that the GHG provisions vacated by the court decisions cannot be implemented and are not being enforced by Idaho. We are also approving Idaho's revisions to IDAPA 58.01.01.03.a, .b, .d, and .e as described in this section.

    3 Idaho's 2015 adoption by reference did not include the additional revisions to the permit rescission provisions in 40 CFR 52.21(w) published on November 7, 2016. 81 FR 78043. These revisions did not specifically relate to GHGs.

    B. Procedures and Requirements for Permits To Construct

    Idaho revised IDAPA 58.01.01.200 Procedures and Requirements for Permits to Construct to clarify that the state incorporates the federal definitions of “major stationary source” and “major modification” applicable in attainment and unclassifiable areas, in addition to the federal definitions of those terms applicable in nonattainment areas, effective as of the citation date in IDAPA 58.01.01.107, which is July 1, 2015. We are approving the clarification.

    III. Final Action

    The EPA is approving and incorporating by reference the following revisions to the Idaho SIP submitted on April 28, 2016:

    • IDAPA 58.01.01.107 Incorporations by Reference, except .03.f through .p, and with respect to .a, the incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 51.165 (State effective March 25, 2016); and

    • IDAPA 58.01.01.200 Procedures and Requirements for Permits to Construct (State effective March 25, 2016).

    We note that this action does not address the changes to IDAPA 58.01.01.107.q, .563, and .564 related to transportation conformity requirements. Idaho withdrew these three revisions.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference as described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. These materials have been approved by the EPA for inclusion in the State Implementation Plan, have been incorporated by reference by the EPA into that plan, are fully federally-enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of the EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.4 The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through http://www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 10 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble).

    4 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    V. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

    • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

    • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

    • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

    • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

    • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

    • Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

    • Does not provide the EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian Tribe has demonstrated that a Tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 11, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 7, 2017. Michelle L. Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

    PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart N—Idaho 2. In § 52.670, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising entries “107” and “200” to read as follows:
    § 52.670 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Idaho Regulations and Statutes State citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA
  • approval
  • date
  • Explanations
    Idaho Administrative Procedures Act (IDAPA) 58.01.01—Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho *         *         *         *         *         *         * 107 Incorporation by Reference 3/25/2016, 3/20/2014, 3/30/2007, 7/1/1997, 5/1/1994 5/12/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Except Section 107.03.f through 107.03.p, and with respect to 107.03.a the incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 51.165. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 200 Procedures and Requirements for Permits to Construct 3/25/2016 5/12/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-09542 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0614; FRL-9961-74-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; North Carolina Repeal of Transportation Facilities Rules AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision, submitted by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality through the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on September 16, 2016, for the purpose of removing the statewide transportation facilities rules. The State provided a Clean Air Act section 110(l) noninterference demonstration establishing that removal of the North Carolina transportation facilities rules will not interfere with the maintenance of the 8-hour carbon monoxide standard or any other national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). EPA is approving this SIP revision because the DAQ has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective July 11, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by June 12, 2017. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0614 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9222. Ms. Sheckler can also be reached via electronic mail at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In 1978, EPA designated Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (hereinafter the “Charlotte Area”) as nonattainment for the NAAQS for carbon monoxide (CO). Then, under the CAA amendments of 1990, the Charlotte Area was designated as “not-classifiable” and had five years to attain the CO NAAQS (i.e., November 15, 1995). On November 15, 1990, Durham and Wake Counties (hereinafter the “Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill Area”) and Forsyth County (hereinafter the “Winston-Salem Area”) in North Carolina were designated as “moderate” nonattainment and had until December 31, 1995, to attain the standard.

    In April 1994, DAQ submitted a request to EPA to redesignate the Winston-Salem Area to attainment status, and in November 1994, EPA approved the maintenance plan for CO (59 FR 48402), and redesignated the area to attainment/maintenance for CO. Next, in 1995, EPA approved the Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill Areas' maintenance plans for CO and redesignated the area to attainment/maintenance for CO (60 FR 39262). In 2015, these areas completed the 20-year maintenance periods, and EPA redesignated them to attainment.

    North Carolina adopted the transportation facility rules on November 15, 1973, pursuant to the federal requirement (40 CFR part 51.18) to control emissions from indirect (complex) sources. North Carolina identifies transportation facilities as complex sources in its rules (N.C.G.S. 143-213(22)) and includes any facilities that cause increased emissions from motor vehicles. In 1974, EPA suspended the indirect source review programs, including 40 CFR part 51.18. The 1977 CAA amendments codified this suspension in section 110(a)(5)(A)(i); this suspension allowed states to include indirect source review regulations in their State Implementation Plans (61 FR 3584; 62 FR 41277; 63 FR 72193; 64 FR 61213), but EPA could not require them as a condition of its approval of the SIP.

    In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted Session Law 2013-2014 that sought to streamline the regulatory process and eliminate unnecessary regulation. The State Environmental Management Commission recommended repealing the transportation facility rules in 15A NCAC 02D .0800—Complex Sources and 02Q .0600—Transportation Facilities Procedures. The transportation facility rules are aimed at addressing CO emissions, and North Carolina does not have any CO nonattainment areas. As a result, DAQ proposes to repeal the transportation facilities rule.

    II. Analysis of State's Submittal

    Section 110(l) of the CAA requires that a revision to the SIP not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (RFP) (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the Act. EPA evaluates each section 110(l) noninterference demonstration on a case-by-case basis considering the circumstances of each SIP revision. DAQ provided a demonstration that shows that the repeal of the statewide North Carolina transportation facilities rules will not interfere with the maintenance of the CO standards or any other NAAQS or other CAA requirement. The rules, which are focused on addressing CO emissions, offer no environmental benefit to the State now that it no longer has any CO nonattainment areas. The Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill and Winston-Salem Areas have been redesignated to maintenance (60 FR 39262 and 59 FR 48402), and the monitoring data for CO in 2016 shows that all three areas are well below the 8-hour CO standard. The complex sources (transportation facilities) rules do not set requirements for any other NAAQS, including ozone, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and lead, and therefore, removing the transportation facilities rules in 15A NCAC 02D .0800—Complex Sources and 02Q .0600—Transportation Facilities Procedures would not result in violations of the NAAQS.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving the aforementioned changes to remove 15A NCAC 02D .0800—Complex Sources and 02Q .0600—Transportation Facilities Procedures, from the SIP for North Carolina. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective July 11, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by June 12, 2017.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on July 11, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

    • does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

    • is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

    • does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

    • does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

    • is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

    • is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

    • is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and

    • does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 11, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4. 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows: PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart II—North Carolina
    § 52.1770 [Amended]
    2. Section 52.1770(c), Table 1 is amended: a. Under “Subchapter 2D Air Pollution Control Requirements” by removing the heading “Section .0800 Complex Sources” and the entries “Sect .0801” through “Sect .0806”; and b. Under “Subchapter 2Q Air Quality Permits” by removing the heading “Section .0600 Transportation Facility Procedures” and the entries “Sect .0601” through “Sect .0607”.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09539 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 704 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0572; FRL-9962-58] RIN 2070-AK39 Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials; TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; delay of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is hereby extending the effective date of the final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of January 12, 2017, and established final reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale as described in that rule.

    DATES:

    The effective date of the final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of January 12, 2017 (82 FR 3641), is delayed from May 12, 2017, to August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0572, is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Jim Alwood, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8974; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is extending the effective date for a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of January 12, 2017 (82 FR 3641; FRL-9957-81) from May 12, 2017 to August 14, 2017. That rule established final reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale as described in that rule. Specifically, the rule requires persons that manufacture (defined by statute to include import) or process, or intend to manufacture or process these chemical substances to electronically report to EPA certain information, which includes insofar as known to or reasonably ascertainable by the person making the report, the specific chemical identity, production volume, methods of manufacture and processing, exposure and release information, and existing information concerning environmental and health effects. The rule involves one-time reporting for existing discrete forms of certain nanoscale materials, and a standing one-time reporting requirement for new discrete forms of certain nanoscale materials before those new forms are manufactured or processed.

    Section 553(b)(1)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(1)(B), allows an action to be taken without opportunity for notice or comment when the agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. In addition, Section 553(d)(3), 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), allows the effective date of an action to be less than 30 days when a good cause finding is made. Because of the complex issues regarding reporting requirements of the rule and the immediate pendency of the effective date of the reporting requirements, it would be impractical to make the effective date of this extension 30 days after its publication, and it would be impractical to get public comments on an extension of the effective date of the rule. In addition, the public interest is served by complete and accurate reporting under the rule, which would be greatly facilitated by publication of the guidance. Therefore, EPA finds good cause to extend the effective date of the rule without notice and comment.

    II. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not significant regulatory action as this term is defined in Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). As such, this action is not subject to the requirements that apply to significant regulatory actions in Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action simply extends the effective date and does not otherwise involve any information collection activities subject to the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. The information collection activities in 40 CFR part 704 related to TSCA section 8(a) reporting rules are approved by OMB under the PRA and assigned OMB control No. 2070-0067 (EPA ICR No. 1198).

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify under section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). It will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have Tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) because it is not an economically significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards that would require Agency consideration under NTTAA section 12(d), 15 U.S.C. 272 note.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    EPA believes that this action would not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income, or indigenous populations, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., and EPA will submit a rule report to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 704

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Louise P. Wise, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09683 Filed 5-9-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    82 91 Friday, May 12, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0355; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-12] Proposed Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace Mosinee, WI AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending up to 700 feet above the surface at Central Wisconsin Airport, Mosinee, WI, to accommodate new standard instrument approach procedures for instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Mosinee outer marker (OM) and DANCI locator outer marker (LOM) and cancellation of the associated approaches, and would enhance the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. This action would also update the geographic coordinates of the airport and the Wausau VHF Omni-Directional Radio Range and Collocated Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC). This proposal would also update the geographic coordinates in Class D and Class E surface area airspace, and would make an editorial change in the legal description by replacing Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or 1-800-647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0355/Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-12, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Laster, Federal Aviation Administration, Contract Support, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5879.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace to support IFR operations in standard instrument approach procedures at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017- 0355/Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-12.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Central Wisconsin Airport, with a segment 3.3 miles each side of the 350° bearing from the airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 12.3 miles north of the airport. The segment within 4 miles each side of the Wausau VORTAC 039° radial extending from the 7-mile radius to 10.9 miles northeast of the airport would be removed due to the decommissioning of the Mosinee OM and DANCI LOM and cancellation of the associated approaches. This action would enhance the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport. This action would also update the geographic coordinates of the airport and the Wausau VORTAC.

    Additionally, this action would replace the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement in Class D and Class E surface area airspace, as well as update the airport coordinates for Central Wisconsin Airport.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. AGL WI D Mosinee, WI [Amended] Central Wisconsin Airport, WI (Lat. 44°46′40″ N., long. 89°40′00″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,800 feet MSL within a 4.5-mile radius of the Central Wisconsin Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AGL WI E2 Mosinee, WI [Amended] Central Wisconsin Airport, WI (Lat. 44°46′40″ N., long. 89°40′00″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4.5-mile radius of Central Wisconsin Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL WI E5 Mosinee, WI Central Wisconsin Airport, WI (Lat. 44°46′40″ N., long. 89°40′00″ W.) Wausau VORTAC (Lat. 44°50′48″ N., long. 89°35′12″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of the Central Wisconsin Airport, and within 3.3 miles each side of the 350° bearing from the airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 12.3 miles north of the airport, excluding the airspace within the Wausau, WI, Class E airspace area.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 5, 2017. Christopher L. Southerland, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09660 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0188; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-8] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; for Brainerd, MN AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending up to 700 feet above the surface at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (formerly Brainerd-Crow County Regional Airport), Brainerd, MN. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Brainerd (BRD) VHF Omnidirectional Radio Range Tactical Air Navigation Aid (VORTAC), and cancellation of the VOR approach. This action would also update the geographic coordinates of the airport and the airport name in the Class E airspace above and in Class E surface area airspace. Additionally, an editorial change would be made to the Class E surface area airspace legal description replacing Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or 1-800-647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0188; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-8, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Laster, Federal Aviation Administration, Contract Support, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5879.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would modify Class E airspace extending up to and including 700 feet above the surface at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, Brainerd, MN to ensure the safety of IFR operations under standard instrument approach procedures.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (Docket No. FAA-2017-0188/Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-8 and be submitted in triplicate to DOT Docket Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017- 0188/Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-8.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communication received on or before the specified comment closing date will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov//air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.1 mile (from a 7.9-mile) radius of Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (formerly Brainerd-Crow County Regional Airport), MN, with a segment extending 2 miles each side of the 233° bearing extending from the 7.1-mile radius to 9.1 miles southwest of the airport.

    Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Brainerd VORTAC, and cancellation of the VOR approaches, which would enhance the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport. This action would also update the geographic coordinates of the airport.

    Additionally, this action would replace the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement in Class E surface area airspace, as well as update the airport name from Brainerd-Crow Wing County Regional Airport to Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as a Surface Area for an Airport. AGL MN E2 Brainerd, MN [Amended] Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, MN (Lat. 46°24′15″ N., long. 94°08′02″ W.)

    Within a 4.3-mile radius of Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective dates and times will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL MN E5 Brainerd, MN [Amended] Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, MN (Lat. 46°24′15″ N., long. 94°08′02″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.1-mile radius of Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, MN and within 2 miles each side of the 233° bearing extending from the 7.1-mile radius to 9.1 miles southwest of the airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May XX, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09665 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0298; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-7] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Vivian, LA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending up to 700 feet above the surface at Vivian Airport, Vivian, LA. This action is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Vivian non-directional radio beacon (NDB), cancellation of the NDB approach and removal of the reference to the Shreveport VHF Omni-Directional Radio Range Collocated Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC). This proposed change would enhance the safety and management of standard instrument approach procedures for instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or 1-800-647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0298; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-7, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Laster, Federal Aviation Administration, Contract Support, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5879.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace extending up to and including 700 feet above the surface at Vivian Airport, Vivian, LA, to support IFR operations in standard instrument procedures at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0298/Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-7.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Vivian Airport. The segment within 1.4 miles each side of the 298° radial of the Shreveport VORTAC extending from the 6.3-mile radius to 7.5 miles northwest of the airport would be removed due to the decommissioning of the Vivian NDB, and cancellation of the NDB approach. The VOR approach was previously redesigned to use the Vivian NDB when the Shreveport VORTAC was changed to the Belcher VORTAC, but was never noted in the airspace description. This action would enhance the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW LA E5 Vivian, LA [Amended] Vivian Airport, LA (Lat. 32°51′41″ N., long. 94°00′37″ W.)

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

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 4, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09664 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0614; FRL-9961-73-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Repeal of Transportation Facilities Rules AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality through the Division of Air Quality on September 16, 2016, for the purpose of removing the statewide transportation facilities rules. The state provided a Clean Air Act section 110(l) noninterference demonstration for the removal of these rules. EPA is proposing to approve this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0614 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sheckler can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9222 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: March 31, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09540 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0116; FRL-9961-43-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Heavy Duty Diesel Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Georgia on January 25, 2016, for the purpose of removing the requirements for heavy duty diesel engines (HDDE), which bar the sale/lease or import in the State of Georgia of any new HDDE that were not certified by the California Air Resources Board to meet the emission standards of the California HDDE rules. The removal of this rule will prevent regulatory confusion and make it clear that the more stringent EPA emission standards for HDDE are applicable. EPA is proposing to approve this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0116 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sheckler can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9222 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's implementation plan revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: March 15, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09494 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0584; FRL-9960-42-Region 10] Air Plan Approval; ID, Updates to Incorporations by Reference AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the portions of Idaho's April 28, 2016 State Implementation Plan submittal (SIP submittal) that update the incorporation by reference of federal air quality regulations. We note that this action does not address the changes Idaho withdrew related to transportation conformity requirements.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0584, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not electronically submit any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Randall Ruddick, Air Planning Unit, Office of Air and Waste (OAW-150), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101; telephone number: (206) 553-1999; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the direct final action, of the same title, which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register. The EPA is approving the State's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the EPA views this as a noncontroversial SIP revision and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the preamble to the direct final rule. If the EPA receives no adverse comments, the EPA will not take further action on this proposed rule.

    If the EPA receives adverse comments, the EPA will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. The EPA will address all adverse comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule, but will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: February 7, 2017. Michelle L. Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09543 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    82 91 Friday, May 12, 2017 Notices COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Nebraska Advisory Committee To Discuss Civil Rights Topics in the State AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Nebraska Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Thursday, June 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. CDT for the purpose of Committee orientation and a discussion on civil rights topics affecting the state.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. CDT.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 888-452-4023, Conference ID: 5195407.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Barreras, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-452-4023, conference ID: 5195407. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Midwestern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Midwestern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Nebraska Advisory Committee link (https://database.faca.gov/committee/committee.aspx?cid=260&aid=17). Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Roll Call Orientation Civil Rights Topics in Nebraska Next Steps Public Comment Adjournment Dated: May 9, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09666 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Monthly Retail Surveys (Formerly Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS) and Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MARTS)).

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0717.

    Form Number(s): MRTS: SM-44(17) S, SM-44(17) SE, SM-44(17) SS, SM-44(17) B, SM-44(17) BE, SM-44(17) BS, SM-45(12) S, SM-45(12) SE, SM-45(12) SS, SM-45(12) B, SM-45(12) BE, SM-45(12) BS, SM-72(17) S, and SM-20(17) I. MARTS: SM-44(17) A, SM-44(17) AE, SM-44(17) AS, and SM-72(17) A.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Number of Respondents: 12,000.

    Average Hours per Response: 7 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 16,799.

    Needs and Uses: The Census Bureau plans to request a revision of the current Office of Management and Budget clearance for the surveys known as the Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS) and the Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MARTS). The MRTS and MARTS are related collections sharing the same initial sampling frame and jointly collect data that are published in conjunction with each other. These two surveys, currently cleared separately under control numbers 0607-0717 and 0607-0104, respectively, will therefore be combined under one control number and will be collectively called the Monthly Retail Surveys (MRS).

    The MRS are administered monthly to a sample of employer firms (i.e., businesses with paid employees) with establishments located in the United States and classified in retail trade and/or food services sectors as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

    The MRTS provides estimates of monthly retail sales, end-of-month merchandise inventories, and quarterly e-commerce sales of retailers in the United States. In addition, the survey also provides an estimate of monthly sales at food service establishments and drinking places.

    Sales, inventories, and e-commerce data provide a current statistical picture of the retail portion of consumer activity. The sales and inventories estimates in the MRTS measure current trends of economic activity that occur in the United States. The survey estimates provide valuable information for economic policy decisions and actions by the government and are widely used by private businesses, trade organizations, professional associations, and others for market research and analysis. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) uses these data in determining the consumption portion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    The MARTS, a subsample of MRTS, began in 1953 as a monthly survey for activity taking place during the previous month. MARTS was developed in response to requests by government, business, and other users to provide an early indication of current retail trade activity in the United States. Retail sales are one of the primary measures of consumer demand for both durable and non-durable goods. MARTS also provides an estimate of monthly sales at food service establishments and drinking places.

    Retail and Food Services Sales during 2016 were estimated at $5.5 trillion. The estimates produced in the MRS are critical to the accurate measurement of total economic activity. The estimates of retail sales represent all operating receipts, including receipts from wholesale sales made at retail locations and services rendered as part of the sale of the goods, by businesses that primarily sell at retail. The sales estimates include sales made on credit as well as on a cash basis, but exclude receipts from sales taxes and interest charges from credit sales. Also excluded is non-operating income from such services as investments and real estate.

    The estimates of merchandise inventories owned by retailers represent all merchandise located in retail stores, warehouses, offices, or in transit for distribution to retail establishments. The estimates of merchandise inventories exclude fixtures and supplies not held for sale, as well as merchandise held on consignment owned by others. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) use inventories data to determine the investment portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We publish retail sales and inventories estimates based on the NAICS.

    Retail e-commerce sales are estimated from the same sample used to estimate preliminary and final U.S. retail sales. For coverage of the universe of e-commerce retailers, research was conducted to ensure that retail firms selected in the MRTS sample engaged in e-commerce. Total e-commerce sales for 2016 were estimated at $395 billion.

    Sales data for select industries are released in the press release “Advance Monthly Sales for Retail Trade and Food Services,” approximately 10 business days after the close of the reference month, which also includes more detailed estimates for the prior month. Advance inventory estimates for 3 aggregate levels are released in the “Advance Economic Indicator Report” approximately 19 business days after the close of the reference month and the preliminary estimates for inventories data are released in the “Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales” approximately 43 days after the reference month. E-commerce sales estimates are released quarterly as part of the “Quarterly Retail Ecommerce Sales” report, approximately 45 days following the reference period.

    Each MRS form has two versions; one with an “E” suffix and one with an “A” Suffix. The forms are identical, except that those with the “E” suffix are sent to smaller firms (which we refer to internally as “EINs”), while those with the “A” suffix are sent to larger firms, which we refer to internally as “alphas”. Thus, there are a total of 36 variants of forms along with their fax counterparts. Forms can be found at https://www.census.gov/retail/get_forms.html.

    Please note that with the start of mailing for our next business sample revision for the December 2017 statistical period, we will be removing the leased department forms: SM-45(17) S, SM-45(17) SE, SM-45(17) SS, SM-45(17) B, SM-45(17) BE, and SM-45(17) BS.

    The U.S. Census Bureau tabulates the collected data to provide, with measured reliability, statistics on United States retail sales. These estimates are especially valued by data users because of their timeliness.

    The sales estimates are used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and other government agencies, as well as business users in formulating economic decisions.

    BEA is the primary Federal user of data collected in the Monthly Retail Surveys. BEA uses the information in its preparation of the National Income and Products Accounts (NIPA), and its benchmark and annual input-output tables. Data on retail sales are used to prepare monthly estimates of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) component of gross domestic product for all PCE goods categories, except tobacco, prescription drugs, motor vehicles, and gasoline and other motor fuel. These estimates are also published each month in the Personal Income and Outlays press release. If the survey were not conducted, BEA would lack comprehensive data from the retail sector. This would adversely affect the reliability of the NIPA and GDP. Production of the NIPA figures also require inventory figures in order to publish the monthly inventory to sales ratios. Additionally, they use MRS inventory figures to measure changes in inventories for estimates of gross output in the annual Input-Output Accounts tables, as well as for computing annual and quarterly GDP-by-industry statistics.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses the data as input to their Producer Price Indexes and in developing productivity measurements. The data are also used for gauging current economic trends of the economy. BLS uses the estimates to develop consumer price indexes used in inflation and cost of living calculations.

    CEA, other government agencies, and businesses use the survey results to formulate and make decisions. CEA reports the retail data, one of the principal federal economic indicators, to the President each month for awareness on the current picture on the “state of the economy”. In addition, CEA's Macroeconomic Forecaster uses the retail sales data, one of the key monthly data releases each month, to keep track of real economic growth in the current quarter.

    Policymakers such as the FRB need to have the timeliest estimates in order to anticipate economic trends and act accordingly.

    Private businesses use the retail sales and inventories data to compute business activity indexes. The private sector also uses retail sales as a reliable indicator of consumer activity. In addition, businesses use the estimates to measure how they are performing and predict future demand for their products.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: Monthly.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C., Sections 131 and 182.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Sheleen Dumas, PRA Departmental Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09685 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting AGENCY:

    National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open public meeting via webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) will hold a public meeting to discuss the draft National Charting Plan and other related topics on navigation services such as: The draft External Source of Data for Nautical Charting; the draft OCS Autonomous Systems Strategy; and the draft Coast Survey Hydrographic Plan. Public comments are requested. The HSRP meeting agenda, webinar and background documents can be found online at: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/hsrp.htm.

    DATES:

    The meeting webinar is scheduled for June 9, 2017, 1-4 p.m. Eastern Time. The agenda and times are subject to change. For updates, please check online at: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/hsrp.htm.

    Webinar Information: This can be found online at: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/hsrp.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynne Mersfelder-Lewis, HSRP program manager, National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, NOAA (N/NSD), 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3 #6862, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910; telephone: 301-713-2750 ext. 166; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The HSRP public meeting will be conducted via webinar and public comment is encouraged. A public comment period is scheduled during the webinar and will be noted in the agenda. Each individual or group making verbal comments will be limited to a total time of five (5) minutes and will be recorded. Individuals who would like to submit written statements in advance, during or after the meeting should email their comments to [email protected] Pre-registration is required to access the webinar and to make public comments. Additional information on the webinar is available from [email protected] or online at: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/hsrp.htm.

    The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) is a Federal Advisory Committee established to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, the NOAA Administrator, on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998, as amended, and such other appropriate matters that the Under Secretary refers to the Panel for review and advice. The charter and other information are located online at: http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/CharterBylawsHSIAStatute.htm. Past HSRP public meeting summary reports, presentations, transcripts, and other information is available online at: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/ocs/hsrp/meetings.htm.

    Matters To Be Considered: The panel is convening to discuss four draft documents relevant to NOAA's navigation services. Navigation services include the data, products, and services provided by the NOAA programs and activities that undertake geodetic observations, gravity modeling, coastal mapping, bathymetric mapping, hydrographic surveying, nautical charting, tide and water level observations, current observations, and marine modeling. This suite of NOAA products and services support safe and efficient navigation, resilient coasts and communities, and the nationwide positioning information infrastructure to support America's commerce. Other matters may be considered. The agenda is subject to change.

    Special Accommodations: This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Please direct requests to [email protected] by June 2, 2017.

    Dated: May 3, 2017. Shepard Smith, Director, Office of Coast Survey, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09642 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF341 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental To Conducting Subsea Cable Operations and Maintenance Activities in the Arctic Ocean AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from Quintillion Subsea Operations, LLC (Quintillion) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting subsea cable-laying and maintenance activities in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shane Guan, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the applications and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth.

    NMFS has defined negligible impact in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    NMFS has defined unmitigable adverse impact in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity:

    (1) That is likely to reduce the availability of the species to a level insufficient for a harvest to meet subsistence needs by: (i) Causing the marine mammals to abandon or avoid hunting areas; (ii) directly displacing subsistence users; or (iii) placing physical barriers between the marine mammals and the subsistence hunters; and

    (2) That cannot be sufficiently mitigated by other measures to increase the availability of marine mammals to allow subsistence needs to be met.

    The MMPA states that the term “take” means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    National Environmental Policy Act

    To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, NMFS must review our proposed action with respect to environmental consequences on the human environment.

    NMFS prepared the Final Environmental Assessment for the Issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization for the Take of Marine Mammals by Harassment Incidental to the Alaska Phase of the Quintillion Subsea Project in the U.S. Arctic Ocean (2016 EA) and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the issuance of an IHA to Quintillion in 2016. After reviewing and considering (1) the Quintillion's 2017 IHA application, (2) the 2016 EA and FONSI, and (3) 2016 Quintillion monitoring report, NMFS preliminarily determined the issuance of an IHA to Quintillion for its 2017 activities falls within the scope of the analysis in the 2016 EA. NMFS preliminarily determined issuance another IHA to Quintillion would not result in significant adverse effects, individually or cumulatively, on the human environment. As such, NMFS preliminarily determined the issuance of an IHA to Quintillion does not require the preparation of a Supplemental Environmental Assessment.

    NMFS' 2016 EA is available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.

    We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to concluding our NEPA processor making a final decision on the IHA request.

    Summary of Request

    On November 18, 2016, Quintillion submitted an IHA application and marine mammal mitigation and monitoring plan (4MP) for the taking of marine mammal species incidental to conducting subsea cable-laying and operation and maintenance (O&M) activities in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas. After receiving NMFS comments on the initial application, Quintillion made revisions to its IHA application on December 20, 2016, and January 23, 2017. NMFS determined that the application and the 4MP were adequate and complete on February 13, 2017.

    The request continues work conducted in the 2016 open-water season, which was covered under a previous IHA (81 FR 40274; June 21, 2016).

    Noise generated from cable-laying and associated maintenance and repair activities could impact marine mammals in the vicinity of the activities. Take, by Level B harassment, of individuals of 13 species of marine mammals is proposed to be authorized from the specified activity. No mortality or Level A harassment is expected or proposed.

    Description of Proposed Activity Overview

    In 2016, Quintillion installed substantial portions of a subsea fiber-optic cable network along the northern and western coasts of Alaska to provide high speed Internet connectivity to six rural Alaska communities. In 2017, Quintillion plans to complete the cable installation work that includes a 76-kilometer (km) (47-mile (mi)) Oliktok branch, system testing, branching unit (BU) burial, and operations and maintenance of any areas that do not meet testing requirements.

    Dates and Duration

    The proposed subsea cable installation, maintenance, and repair activities for the 2017 open water season are planned between July 1 and November 15. All associated activities, including mobilization, cable lay, and demobilization of survey and support crews, will occur between the above dates. Pre-trenching operations at the Oliktok branch will begin as soon as the cable vessels can access open water.

    Specified Geographic Region

    The proposed cable-laying activities in the 2017 open-water season would be conducted between the Horizontal Directionally Drilled (HDD) pile and the Oliktok BU in coastal Beaufort Sea, as shown in Figure 1-2 of the IHA application.

    Operations, maintenance, and repair activities could occur anywhere along the subsea cable lines within the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. All areas along the subsea cable lines were considered in the 2016 EA. The existence and location of any potential faults in the system is unknown at this time. If a fault is found, a section of the cable would be retrieved, repaired, and laid back down. Several BUs, located at the junction of the mainline and a branching route, were not buried in 2016. They will be buried in 2017, with protective concrete mattresses placed over them.

    Detailed Description of Specific Activities

    Quintillion intends to complete the 76-km (47-mi) Oliktok segment in summer 2017 using a variety of cable-lay equipment, depending on water depth. The branch line will be addressed in three sections:

    Section 1: An approximately 6.0-km (3.7-mi) very shallow nearshore segment (from the HDD exit to approximately Kilometer Point (KP) 6.5) where trenching will occur using a construction barge equipped with a vibro plow. The barge will winch itself along the route using moored anchors. The moored anchors will be first placed by a pontoon barge that will be positioned in place with a small river tug. The moorings will be placed with a derrick operating from the deck of the barge. The pontoon barge will also be used to retrieve the mooring after the cable is laid. Dominant noise will emanate from the river tug maneuvering the barges. The tug will not pull anchors along this section.

    Section 2: An approximately 12.5-km (7.8-mi) transition section (KP 6.5 to KP 16) where the work will be conducted from the construction barge again using a vibro plow. Here the barge will winch along anchor lines as within Section 1, but the anchors will be placed and pulled by a midsize anchor-handling tug, which will produce the dominant noise along this section.

    Section 3: An approximately 60-km (37-mi) offshore section (KP 16 to KP 76) where the cable will be laid by the cable-ship Ile de Batz using a sea plow that both cuts a trench and lays the cable.

    Prior to cable-laying, seafloor sediment along the 60-km route segment will be loosened by making multiple passes of the route with the sea plow (sans the cable), set to varied depths. The dominant noise will be from the ship's drive propeller and thrusters while pulling the plow.

    In addition to the activities described above, Quintillion plans to conduct an O&M program in 2017, whereby the cable system is tested for faults and repaired as needed (using the Ile de Batz). Repair operations would involve retrieving, reinstalling, and then potentially reburying cable. The amount of cable that would need to be retrieved is dependent on water depth and could involve several kilometers for each fault repair. If required, the cable would then be reburied using a remove operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with a jetting tool. BUs will be buried after the Oliktok branch cable is laid, or before if ice delays the Ile de Batz access to the branch. O&M activities may also include testing of equipment, including the sea plow, prior to pre-trenching to ensure performance standards will be met.

    Vessels

    The 2016 offshore (waters >12 meters (m); >39 ft feet (ft) deep) cable-lay operations were conducted by the Ile de Brehat and its sister ship the Ile de Sein. The third sister of the Alcatel cable ships, the Ile de Batz, will be used in the 2017 operations. As with the sister ships, the Ile de Batz is 140 m (460 ft) in length, 23 m (77 ft) in breadth, and is propelled by two 4,000 kilowatt (kW) fixed-pitch propellers.

    The ship will be used to pull the sea plow during cable-lay operations along Section 3 of the Oliktok route, and it will also be used during any cable retrieval and reburial operations during O&M activities (including pre-burial testing of the plow), and during post-lay inspection (PLI), post-lay burial (PLB), and mattressing operations.

    Prior to laying cable along Section 3 of the Oliktok route, the Ile de Batz will also prepare the seafloor for cable lay by making several passes along the route with the sea plow. This would include a 60-km pass with the plow set to 2 m deep, a 23-km pass with the plow set to 3-m depth, and two 17-km passes set to 4-m depth, followed by actual laying of 60 km of cable. Thus, the Ile de Batz will make five passes of varied length, totaling 187 km (116 mi), along Section 3.

    During pre-trenching and cable-lay operations the Ile de Batz will be tendered by the 200-ft MV Discovery. The purpose of this ship is to retrieve parts and supplies as needed, and monitor for approaching ice. Most of the time it will lay idle near Ile de Batz and will not be producing loud cavitation noises except in emergency situations.

    Section 1 of the Oliktok branch will be trenched using a vibro plow attached to a construction barge (the 250-ft Miller Bay). Because Section 1 is too shallow for an ocean-class anchor-handling tug to operate, a series of moored anchors will be first placed along this 6 km route, which the barge will use to winch long the route pulling the vibro plow. The moorings will be placed using a shallow-draft river tug (88-ft Dana Cruz) and the moorings set, and later retrieved, using a derrick operating from the barge deck (the river tug would be too small to handle the moorings involved).

    The construction barge will continue to lay cable along Section 2 using the vibro plow, with the only difference being that in this section the water is deep enough for the larger anchor-handling tug (95-ft Daniel Foss), which will place and retrieve anchors that the barge will use to winch along the cable route.

    Cable-Lay Tools

    The 2017 operations will use various cable-lay tools depending on location and water depth. Cable along Sections 1 and 2 will be laid using a vibro plow pulled by the winching barge. As the name suggests, the tool has a narrow plowshare that vibrates into the seafloor sediment. Maximum trenching/winching speed is less than 0.1 kilometer per hour (kph) (<0.06 miles per hour [mph]).

    Pre-trenching and cable lay along Section three will involve the Ile de Batz pulling a heavy-duty sea plow. The plow has a submerged weight of 25 tonnes (27.6 tons) and is pulled by the tow wire and the cable fed through a cable depressor that pushes it into the trench. Burial depth (generally set at 4 m) is controlled by adjusting the front skids. The nominal tow speed is approximately 0.6 kph (0.4 mph).

    Once cable-laying of the Oliktok segment is completed, exposed BUs will be buried, and the entire system (main trunk and 6 branch lines) will be tested. If any system faults are detected, fault repair (O&M) would include retrieving a cable section, repairing it aboard the Ile de Batz, and, if required, reburying the cable using a jetted ROV. The planned ROV (ROVJET 400 series) is 5.8 m (19.0 ft) long and 3.4 m (11.2 ft) wide, and weighs 9.1 tonnes (10 tons), and has both a main and forward jet tool capable of trenching to 2 m (6.6 ft) depth. The ROV will also be used to bury any BUs not buried in 2016, and to place the protective concrete mattresses over them.

    Quintillion does not intend to conduct operations in the vicinity of sea ice greater than 1/10 concentration.

    Proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures are described in detail later in this document (please see “Proposed Mitigation” and “Proposed Monitoring and Reporting”).

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

    We have reviewed the Quintillion's species information, which summarizes available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, behavior and life history, and auditory capabilities of the potentially affected species, for accuracy and completeness and refer the reader to Sections 3 and 4 of the applications, as well as to NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/), instead of reprinting all of the information here. Additional general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's Web site (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/), in the National Marine Mammal Laboratory's (NMML) Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals (ASAMM) Web site (https://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/cetacean/bwasp/). Table 1 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in the U.S. Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2016). PBR, defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population, is considered in concert with known sources of ongoing anthropogenic mortality to assess the population-level effects of the anticipated mortality from a specific project (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats. Species that could potentially occur in the proposed survey areas but are not expected to have reasonable potential to be harassed by the proposed subsea cable-laying and maintenance activities are described briefly but omitted from further analysis. These include extralimital species, which are species that do not normally occur in a given area but for which there are one or more occurrence records that are considered beyond the normal range of the species. For status of species, we provide information regarding U.S. regulatory status under the MMPA and ESA.

    Marine mammal abundance estimates presented in this document represent the total number of individuals that make up a given stock or the total number estimated within a particular study area. NMFS's stock abundance estimates for most species represent the total estimate of individuals within the geographic area, if known, that comprises that stock.

    Fifteen marine mammal species (with 18 managed stocks) are considered to have the potential to co-occur with the proposed survey activities. However, polar bear and walrus are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are not considered further in this document. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in NMFS's U.S. Alaska SAR (Muto et al., 2016). All values presented in Table 1 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2015 SAR (Muto et al., 2016) and draft 2016 SARs (available online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/draft.htm).

    Table 1—Marine Mammal Species Potentially Present in the Survey Area Common name Scientific name Stock ESA/MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock
  • abundance
  • (CV, Nmin,
  • most recent
  • abundance
  • survey) 2
  • PBR Annual M/SI 3
    Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Eschrichtiidae Gray whale Eschrichtius robustus Eastern North Pacific N 20,900 624 132 Family Balaenidae Bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus Western Arctic Y 16,892 161 44 Family Balaenopteridae (rorquals) Fin whale Balaenoptera physalus Northeast Pacific Y NA NA 0.6 Minke whale B. acutorostrata Alaska N NA NA 0 Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae Central North Pacific Y 10,103 83 24 Western North Pacific Y 1,107 3.0 2.6 Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae Beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas Beaufort Sea N 39,258 649 166 Eastern Chukchi Sea N 3,710 NA 57.4 Eastern Bering Sea N 19,186 NA 181 Killer whale Orcinus orca Eastern North Pacific Alaska Resident N 2,347 24 1 Family Phocoenidae (porpoises) Harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena Bering Sea N 48,215 NA 0.4 Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions) Steller sea lion Eumetopias jubatus Western U.S. Y 50,983 306 201 Family Phocidae (earless seals) Ringed seal Phoca hispida Alaska Y NA NA 1,062 Spotted seal Phoca largha Alaska N 460,268 11,730 5,267 Bearded seal Erigathus barbatus Alaska Y NA NA 443 Ribbon seal Histriophoca fasciata Alaska N 184,000 9,785 3.8 1 Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (−) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 NMFS marine mammal stock assessment reports online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable [explain if this is the case]. 3 These values, found in NMFS's SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value or range. A CV associated with estimated mortality due to commercial fisheries is presented in some cases.
    Potential Effects of Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity may impact marine mammals and their habitat. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination” section will consider the content of this section, the “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section, and the “Proposed Mitigation” section, to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of these activities on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and how those impacts on individuals are likely to impact marine mammal species or stocks.

    Acoustic Effects

    Here, we first provide background information on marine mammal hearing before discussing the potential effects of the use of active acoustic sources on marine mammals.

    Marine Mammal Hearing—Hearing is the most important sensory modality for marine mammals underwater, and exposure to anthropogenic sound can have deleterious effects. To appropriately assess the potential effects of exposure to sound, it is necessary to understand the frequency ranges marine mammals are able to hear. Current data indicate that not all marine mammal species have equal hearing capabilities (e.g., Richardson et al., 1995; Wartzok and Ketten, 1999; Au and Hastings, 2008). To reflect this, Southall et al. (2007) recommended that marine mammals be divided into functional hearing groups based on directly measured or estimated hearing ranges on the basis of available behavioral response data, audiograms derived using auditory evoked potential techniques, anatomical modeling, and other data. Note that no direct measurements of hearing ability have been successfully completed for mysticetes (i.e., low-frequency cetaceans). Subsequently, NMFS (2016) described generalized hearing ranges for these marine mammal hearing groups. Generalized hearing ranges were chosen based on the approximately 65 dB threshold from the normalized composite audiograms, with the exception for lower limits for low-frequency cetaceans where the lower bound was deemed to be biologically implausible and the lower bound from Southall et al. (2007) retained. The functional groups and the associated frequencies are indicated below (note that these frequency ranges correspond to the range for the composite group, with the entire range not necessarily reflecting the capabilities of every species within that group):

    • Low-frequency cetaceans (mysticetes): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 7 Hertz (Hz) and 35 kiloHertz (kHz), with best hearing estimated to be from 100 Hz to 8 kHz;

    • Mid-frequency cetaceans (larger toothed whales, beaked whales, and most delphinids): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 150 Hz and 160 kHz, with best hearing from 10 to less than 100 kHz;

    • High-frequency cetaceans (porpoises, river dolphins, and members of the genera Kogia and Cephalorhynchus; including two members of the genus Lagenorhynchus, on the basis of recent echolocation data and genetic data): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 275 Hz and 160 kHz.

    • Pinnipeds in water; Phocidae (true seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 50 Hz to 86 kHz, with best hearing between 1-50 kHz;

    • Pinnipeds in water; Otariidae (eared seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between 60 Hz and 39 kHz, with best hearing between 2-48 kHz.

    The pinniped functional hearing group was modified from Southall et al. (2007) on the basis of data indicating that phocid species have consistently demonstrated an extended frequency range of hearing compared to otariids, especially in the higher frequency range.

    For more detail concerning these groups and associated frequency ranges, please see NMFS (2016) for a review of available information.

    Thirteen marine mammal species (eight cetacean and five pinniped (one otariid and four phocid) species) have the reasonable potential to co-occur with the proposed survey activities. Please refer to Table 1. Of the cetacean species that may be present, five are classified as low-frequency cetaceans (i.e., all mysticete species), two are classified as mid-frequency cetaceans (i.e., all delphinid), and one is classified as high-frequency cetaceans (i.e., harbor porpoise).

    The proposed Quintillion subsea cable-laying and maintenance activities could adversely affect marine mammal species and stocks by exposing them to elevated noise levels in the vicinity of the activity area.

    Exposure to high intensity sound for a sufficient duration may result in auditory effects such as a noise-induced threshold shift—an increase in the auditory threshold after exposure to noise (Finneran, 2015). Factors that influence the amount of threshold shift include the amplitude, duration, frequency content, temporal pattern, and energy distribution of noise exposure. The magnitude of hearing threshold shift normally decreases over time following cessation of the noise exposure. The amount of threshold shift just after exposure is the initial threshold shift. If the threshold shift eventually returns to zero (i.e., the threshold returns to the pre-exposure value), it is a temporary threshold shift (Southall et al., 2007).

    Threshold Shift (noise-induced loss of hearing)—When animals exhibit reduced hearing sensitivity (i.e., sounds must be louder for an animal to detect them) following exposure to an intense sound or sound for long duration, it is referred to as a noise-induced threshold shift (TS). An animal can experience temporary threshold shift (TTS) or permanent threshold shift (PTS). TTS can last from minutes or hours to days (i.e., there is complete recovery), can occur in specific frequency ranges (i.e., an animal might only have a temporary loss of hearing sensitivity between the frequencies of 1 and 10 kHz), and can be of varying amounts (for example, an animal's hearing sensitivity might be reduced initially by only 6 decibels (dB) or reduced by 30 dB). PTS is permanent, but some recovery is possible. PTS can also occur in a specific frequency range and amount as mentioned above for TTS.

    The following physiological mechanisms are thought to play a role in inducing auditory TS: Effects to sensory hair cells in the inner ear that reduce their sensitivity, modification of the chemical environment within the sensory cells, residual muscular activity in the middle ear, displacement of certain inner ear membranes, increased blood flow, and post-stimulatory reduction in both efferent and sensory neural output (Southall et al., 2007). The amplitude, duration, frequency, temporal pattern, and energy distribution of sound exposure all can affect the amount of associated TS and the frequency range in which it occurs. As amplitude and duration of sound exposure increase, so, generally, does the amount of TS, along with the recovery time. For intermittent sounds, less TS could occur than compared to a continuous exposure with the same energy (some recovery could occur between intermittent exposures depending on the duty cycle between sounds) (Kryter et al., 1966; Ward, 1997). For example, one short but loud (higher sound pressure level (SPL) sound exposure may induce the same impairment as one longer but softer sound, which in turn may cause more impairment than a series of several intermittent softer sounds with the same total energy (Ward, 1997). Additionally, though TTS is temporary, prolonged exposure to sounds strong enough to elicit TTS, or shorter-term exposure to sound levels well above the TTS threshold, can cause PTS, at least in terrestrial mammals (Kryter, 1985). Although in the case of Quintillion's subsea cable-laying operation, NMFS does not expect that animals would experience levels high enough or durations long enough to result in TS given that the noise levels from the operation are very low.

    For marine mammals, published data are limited to the captive bottlenose dolphin, beluga, harbor porpoise, and Yangtze finless porpoise (Finneran, 2015). For pinnipeds in water, data are limited to measurements of TTS in harbor seals, an elephant seal, and California sea lions (Kastak, et al., 1999; Finneran, 2015).

    Lucke et al. (2009) found a TS of a harbor porpoise after exposing it to airgun noise with a received SPL at 200.2 dB (peak-to-peak) re: 1 micropascal (μPa), which corresponds to a sound exposure level of 164.5 dB re: 1 μPa2 s after integrating exposure. NMFS currently uses the root-mean-square (rms) of received SPL at 180 dB and 190 dB re: 1 μPa as the threshold above which PTS could occur for cetaceans and pinnipeds, respectively. Because the airgun noise is a broadband impulse, one cannot directly determine the equivalent of rms SPL from the reported peak-to-peak SPLs. However, applying a conservative conversion factor of 16 dB for broadband signals from seismic surveys (McCauley, et al., 2000) to correct for the difference between peak-to-peak levels reported in Lucke et al. (2009) and rms SPLs, the rms SPL for TTS would be approximately 184 dB re: 1 μPa, and the received levels associated with PTS (Level A harassment) would be higher. This is still above NMFS' current 180 dB rms re: 1 μPa threshold for injury. However, NMFS recognizes that TTS of harbor porpoises is lower than other cetacean species empirically tested (Finneran, 2015).

    Marine mammal hearing plays a critical role in communication with conspecifics, and interpretation of environmental cues for purposes such as predator avoidance and prey capture. Depending on the degree (elevation of threshold in dB), duration (i.e., recovery time), and frequency range of TTS, and the context in which it is experienced, TTS can have effects on marine mammals ranging from discountable to serious (similar to those discussed in auditory masking, below). For example, a marine mammal may be able to readily compensate for a brief, relatively small amount of TTS in a non-critical frequency range that occurs during a time where ambient noise is lower and there are not as many competing sounds present. Alternatively, a larger amount and longer duration of TTS sustained during time when communication is critical for successful mother/calf interactions could have more serious impacts. Also, depending on the degree and frequency range, the effects of PTS on an animal could range in severity, although it is considered generally more serious because it is a permanent condition. Of note, reduced hearing sensitivity as a simple function of aging has been observed in marine mammals, as well as humans and other taxa (Southall et al., 2007), so one can infer that strategies exist for coping with this condition to some degree, though likely not without cost.

    Masking. In addition, chronic exposure to excessive, though not high-intensity, noise could cause masking at particular frequencies for marine mammals that utilize sound for vital biological functions (Clark et al,. 2009). Acoustic masking is when other noises such as from human sources interfere with animal detection of acoustic signals such as communication calls, echolocation sounds, and environmental sounds important to marine mammals. Therefore, under certain circumstances, marine mammals whose acoustical sensors or environment are being severely masked could also be impaired from maximizing their performance fitness in survival and reproduction.

    Masking occurs at the frequency band which the animals utilize. Therefore, since noises generated from anchor handling, pre-trenching, and DP thrusters are mostly concentrated at low frequency ranges, it may have less effect on high frequency echolocation sounds by odontocetes (toothed whales). However, lower frequency man-made noises are more likely to affect detection of communication calls and other potentially important natural sounds such as surf and prey noise. It may also affect communication signals when they occur near the noise band and thus reduce the communication space of animals (e.g., Clark et al., 2009) and cause increased stress levels (e.g., Holt et al., 2009).

    Unlike TS, masking, which can occur over large temporal and spatial scales, can potentially affect the species at population, community, or even ecosystem levels, as well as individual levels. Masking affects both senders and receivers of the signals and could have long-term chronic effects on marine mammal species and populations. Recent science suggests that low frequency ambient sound levels have increased by as much as 20 dB (more than 3 times in terms of sound pressure level) in the world's ocean from pre-industrial periods, and most of these increases are from distant shipping. All anthropogenic noise sources, such as those from vessel traffic and cable-laying while operating anchor handling, contribute to the elevated ambient noise levels, thus increasing potential for or severity of masking.

    Behavioral Disturbance. Finally, exposure of marine mammals to certain sounds could lead to behavioral disturbance (Richardson et al. 1995), such as: Changing durations of surfacing and dives, number of blows per surfacing, or moving direction and/or speed; reduced/increased vocal activities; changing/cessation of certain behavioral activities (such as socializing or feeding); visible startle response or aggressive behavior (such as tail/fluke slapping or jaw clapping); avoidance of areas where noise sources are located; and/or flight responses (e.g., pinnipeds flushing into water from haulouts or rookeries).

    The onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise depends on both external factors (characteristics of noise sources and their paths) and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography) and is also difficult to predict (Southall et al. 2007). Currently NMFS uses a received level of 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) to predict the onset of behavioral harassment from impulse noises (such as impact pile driving), and 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous noises (such as operating DP thrusters). No impulse noise within the hearing range of marine mammals is expected from the Quintillion subsea cable-laying operation. For the Quintillion subsea cable-laying operation, only the 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) threshold is considered because only continuous noise sources would be generated.

    The biological significance of many of these behavioral disturbances is difficult to predict, especially if the detected disturbances appear minor. However, the consequences of behavioral modification could be biologically significant if the change affects growth, survival, and/or reproduction, which depends on the severity, duration, and context of the effects.

    Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    Project activities that could potentially impact marine mammal habitats include physical and acoustical impacts to prey resources associated with cable-laying, maintenance, and repair activities. Regarding the former, however, acoustical injury from thruster noise is unlikely. Previous noise studies (e.g., Davis et al., 1998, Christian et al., 2004) with cod, crab, and schooling fish found little or no injury to adults, larvae, or eggs when exposed to impulsive noises exceeding 220 dB. Continuous noise levels from ship thrusters are generally below 180 dB, and do not create great enough pressures to cause tissue or organ injury. Nedwell et al. (2003) measured noise associated with cable trenching operations offshore of Wales, and found that levels (178 dB at source) did not exceed those where significant avoidance reactions of fish would occur.

    Cable burial operations involve the use of plows or jets to cut trenches in the seafloor sediment. Cable plows are generally used where the substrate is cohesive enough to be “cut” and laid alongside the trench long enough for the cable to be laid at depth. In less cohesive substrates, where the sediment would immediately settle back into the trench before the cable could be laid, jetting is used to scour a more lasting furrow. The objective of both is to excavate a temporary trench of sufficient depth to fully bury the cable (usually 1.5 to 2 m (4.9 to 6.6 ft)). The plow blade is 0.2 m (0.7 ft) wide producing a trench of approximately the same width. Jetted trenches are somewhat wider depending on the sediment type.

    Potential impacts to marine mammal habitat and prey include: (1) Crushing of benthic and epibenthic invertebrates with the plow blade, plow skid, or ROV track; (2) dislodgement of benthic invertebrates onto the surface where they may die; and (3) and the settlement of suspended sediments away from the trench where they may clog gills or feeding structures of sessile invertebrates or smother sensitive species (BERR 2008). However, the footprint of cable trenching is generally restricted to a 2- to 3-m (7- to 10-ft) width (BERR, 2008), and the displaced wedge or berm is expected to naturally backfill into the trench. Jetting results in more suspension of sediments, which may take days to settle during which currents may transport it well away (up to several kilometers) from source. Suspended sand particles generally settle within about 20 m (66 ft).

    BERR (2008) critically reviewed the effect of offshore wind farm construction, including laying of power and communication cables, on the environment. Based on a rating of 1 to 10, they concluded that sediment disturbance from plow operations rated the lowest at 1, with jetting rating from 2 to 4, depending on substrate. As a comparison, dredging rated the highest relative sediment disturbance.

    However, with the exception of the 76-km (47-mi) Oliktok branch, all cable planned for burial was buried in 2016, and any BU burial or O&M activities conducted in 2017 will just be re-disturbing areas previously disturbed.

    Estimated Take

    This section provides an estimate of the number of incidental takes proposed for authorization through this IHA, which will inform both NMFS' consideration of whether the number of takes is “small” and the negligible impact determination.

    Harassment is the only type of take expected to result from these activities. Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    Authorized takes would be by Level B harassment only, in the form of disruption of behavioral patterns for individual marine mammals resulting from exposure to noise sources generated during the proposed subsea cable-laying and maintenance activities. Based on the nature of the activity, Level A harassment is neither anticipated nor proposed to be authorized. An evaluation was performed using NMFS noise exposure guidance which confirms that no Level A takes would occur (see below).

    The death of a marine mammal is also a type of incidental take. However, as described previously, no mortality is anticipated or proposed to be authorized for this activity. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    Basis for Takes

    Take estimates are based on average marine mammal density in the project area multiplied by size of the area ensonified by received noise levels exceed certain thresholds (i.e., Level A and/or Level B harassment) from specific activities. This is the preferred method for estimating instances of take for a project where the noise source is constantly moving (not remaining at specific location for long periods). For marine mammals whose density information is not available, take calculation is based on qualitative information of these species occurrence and presence and on prior observations within the survey area.

    Acoustic Thresholds

    Under the NMFS' Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Guidance), dual criteria are used to assess marine mammal auditory injury (Level A harassment) as a result of noise exposure (NMFS 2016). The dual criteria under the Guidance provide onset thresholds in instantaneous peak SPLs (L pk) as well as 24-hr cumulative sound exposure levels (SELcum or L E) that could cause PTS) to marine mammals of different hearing groups. The peak SPL is the highest positive value of the noise field, log transformed to dB in reference to 1 micropascal (μPa).

    EN12MY17.004 where p(t) is acoustic pressure in pascal or micropascal, and P ref is reference acoustic pressure equal to 1 μPa.

    The cumulative SEL is the total sound exposure over the entire duration of a given day's project underwater noise production.

    EN12MY17.005 where p(t) is acoustic pressure in pascal or micropascal, P ref is reference acoustic pressure equals to 1 μPa, t 1 marks the beginning of the time, and t 2 the end of time.

    For onset of Level B harassment, NMFS continues to use the root-mean-square (rms) sound pressure level (SPLrms) 120 dB re 1 μPa as the received level from non-impulse sources (such as those produced by machineries during anchor handling, pre-trenching, and cable-laying with DP thruster and sea plow associated with the proposed subsea cable-laying and maintenance) underwater. The SPLrms for non-impulse sounds is the same as the sound exposure level normalized in 1 sec, and is calculated by

    EN12MY17.006 where p(t) is acoustic pressure in pascal or micropascal, P ref is reference acoustic pressure equals to 1 μPa, t 1 marks the beginning of the time, and t 2 the end of time. In the case of a non-impulse noise, T is duration of noise exposure between t 1 and t 2.

    Table 2 summarizes the current NMFS marine mammal take criteria.

    Table 2—Current Acoustic Exposure Criteria for Non-explosive Sound Underwater Hearing group PTS onset thresholds Impulsive Non-impulsive Behavioral thresholds Impulsive Non-impulsive Low-Frequency (LF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 219 dB
  • L E,LF,24h: 183 dB
  • L E,LF,24h: 199 dB
    Mid-Frequency (MF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 230 dB
  • L E,MF,24h: 185 dB
  • L E,MF,24h: 198 dB
    High-Frequency (HF) Cetaceans L pk,flat: 202 dB
  • L E,HF,24h: 155 dB
  • L E,HF,24h: 173 dB L rms,flat: 160 dB L rms,flat: 120 dB.
    Phocid Pinnipeds (PW) (Underwater) L pk,flat: 218 dB
  • L E,PW,24h: 185 dB
  • L E,PW,24h: 201 dB
    Otariid Pinnipeds (OW) (Underwater) L pk,flat: 232 dB
  • L E,OW,24h: 203 dB
  • L E,OW,24h: 219 dB
    * Dual metric acoustic thresholds for impulsive sounds: Use whichever results in the largest isopleth for calculating PTS onset. If a non-impulsive sound has the potential of exceeding the peak sound pressure level thresholds associated with impulsive sounds, these thresholds should also be considered. Note: Peak sound pressure (L pk) has a reference value of 1 μPa, and cumulative sound exposure level (L E) has a reference value of 1μPa2s. In this Table, thresholds are abbreviated to reflect American National Standards Institute standards (ANSI 2013). However, peak sound pressure is defined by ANSI as incorporating frequency weighting, which is not the intent for this Technical Guidance. Hence, the subscript “flat” is being included to indicate peak sound pressure should be flat weighted or unweighted within the generalized hearing range. The subscript associated with cumulative sound exposure level thresholds indicates the designated marine mammal auditory weighting function (LF, MF, and HF cetaceans, and PW and OW pinnipeds) and that the recommended accumulation period is 24 hours. The cumulative sound exposure level thresholds could be exceeded in a multitude of ways (i.e., varying exposure levels and durations, duty cycle). When possible, it is valuable for action proponents to indicate the conditions under which these acoustic thresholds will be exceeded.
    Noise Sources and Ensonified Areas

    The predominant noise source during previous cable-lay operations at other locations has been the cavitation noise produced by thrusters during dynamic positioning of the vessel (Tetra Tech 2013). Cavitation is the random collapsing of bubbles produced by the blades. However, Illingworth & Rodkin (I&R 2016) conducted sound source verification (SSV) measurements of the Ile de Brehat while operating near Nome at the beginning of the 2016 field season and found that the primary noise source emanated from the drive propellers while towing the sea plow. Resistant seafloor sediments resulted in a need to increase power (resulting in increased cavitation) as compared to cable-lay operations at other locations.

    I&R (2016) determined that the distance to the NMFS Level B harassment threshold 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous noise was 5.35 km (3.32 mi) when the Ile de Brehat was pulling the sea plow. It is assumed that the same measurements apply for the sister ship Ile de Batz that will pull the sea plow during cable-lay operations in the offshore segment of the Oliktok branch.

    In addition to sea plow operations (which includes pre-trenching), cavitation noise potentially exceeding the NMFS Level B harassment threshold of 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous noise is expected during anchor-handling operations.

    Results from past measurements of cavitation noise associated with anchor handling have varied greatly with distances to the 120-dB isopleth ranging from a few kilometers to over 25 km (16 mi), depending on the size of both the tug and the anchor, and the amount of power needed to retrieve the anchor. Source levels for large (45 to 83 m (148 to 272 ft) in length) anchor-handling tugs during anchor-pulling operations have been measured at been 181 and 207 dB re 1 μPa (rms) (Laurinolli et al. 2005, Austin et al. 2013, LGL/JASCO/Greeneridge 2014). However, smaller (<35 m [<115 ft]) tugs produce underwater noise levels <180 dB re 1 μPa (rms) when pulling (Richardson et al. 1995, Blackwell and Greene 2003). Blackwell and Greene (2003) measured the underwater noise levels from a tug maneuvering a large barge near the Port of Anchorage and recorded maximum sound pressure levels equating to 163.8 dB re 1 μPa (rms) at 1-m source when the tug was pushing the barge, which increased to 178.9 dB re 1 μPa (rms) when thrusters were additionally operated during docking maneuvers. Quintillion intends to use the 27-m (88-ft) Dana Cruz and the 29-m (95-ft) Daniel Foss tugs to handle anchors. In the absence of sound source data for these smaller tugs it is assumed that each would have a source level of 178.9 dB re 1 μPa (rms) based on Blackwell and Greene (2003), which would imply a radius to threshold of about 8.45 km (5.25 mi) based on a 15 Log (R) spreading model.

    During O&M activities (including burying BUs) the primary noise source will be the vessel (Ile de Batz) thrusters when using dynamic positioning to remain on station. There will be noise associated with the ROV propulsion and jetting, but these are expected to be subordinate to thruster noises. Various acoustical investigations of thruster noise in the Atlantic Ocean have modeled distances to the 120-dB isopleth with results ranging between 1.4 and 4.5 km (0.8 and 2.7 mi) (Samsung 2009, Deepwater Wind 2013, Tetra Tech 2013) for water depths similar to those where Quintillion will be operating in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. However, Hartin et al. (2011) physically measured dynamic positioning noise from the 104-m (341-ft) Fugro Synergy operating in the Chukchi Sea while it was using thrusters (2,500 kW) more powerful than those used on the Ile de Brehat (1,500 kW). Measured dominant frequencies were 110 Hz to 140 Hz, and the measured (90th percentile) radius to the 120-dB isopleth was 2.3 km (1.4 mi). Because this radius is a measured value from Alaska Arctic waters, it likely is a better approximation of expected sound levels associated with thruster operation during O&M activities.

    Other acoustical sources include the echo sounders, transceivers, sonar, and transponders that will be used to continually reference the water depth and the position of the plow and ROV that operate behind the vessel. Based on actual field measurements or manufacturer-provided values, some of this equipment produces noise levels exceeding the vessel thrusters. However, this equipment is impulsive, producing pulses every 1 to 3 seconds (sec), and the sound energy is focused downward in very narrow conical beams. There is very little horizontal propagation of the noise levels. Measured distances to the 160-dB isopleth for echo sounders and acoustical beacons ranged between 26 and 44 m (85 and 144 ft) (Ireland et al., 2007, Reider et al., 2013). I&R (2016) attempted to measure echo sounder and transponder sound levels associated with the Ile de Brehat, but could not detect them, even at a very close range to the ship. They assumed that this was due to the downward focus and lack of horizontal spread of the sound beam.

    As mentioned earlier, Quintillion's 2017 activities will include installing cable on the remaining approximately 76 km (47 mi) of the Oliktok branch cable. Quintillion will then test the system to identify any faults. Until testing is complete, it is not possible to know how much retrieval and reburial of cable will be necessary during O&M activity in 2017. To account for this uncertainty, the acoustical footprint (total ensonified area) for purposes of this application was determined by conservatively assuming that cavitation noise would occur along all remaining 76 km (47 mi) of carry-over cable-lay operations (Oliktok branch), and 100 km (62 mi) of potential O&M work in either the Bering or Chukchi seas. Table 3 lists the area ensonified by underwater sound exceeding 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) associated with each activity.

    Table 3—Estimated Distance of the Level B Harrassment Threshold (120 dB) for Each of Quintillion's Proposed 2017 Cable-Lay Activities and the Length of Route Over Which These Activities Would Occur Operation Season Water body Distance to 120-dB
  • (km)
  • Route length
  • (km)
  • Ensonified area
  • (km2)
  • Sea plow (pre-trenching & cable-laying by Ile de Batz) Summer Beaufort 5.35 187 2,001 Anchor handling (in association of cable-laying by barges) Summer Beaufort 8.45 16 270 ROV (O&M) Fall Bering & Chukchi 2.30 100 460

    It is assumed that the pre-trenching and cable-laying work in the Beaufort Sea will occur only in the summer (July and August) with a collective zone of influence (ZOI) of 2,271 km2. It is assumed that the remaining O&M activities in the Bering and Chukchi seas (ZOI of 460 km2) would occur in the fall, although some burying of BUs and equipment testing might occur in the summer if the Oliktok area is not yet free of ice when the Ile de Batz arrives.

    For Level A harassment zones, calculations were performed using NMFS optional spreadsheet (NMFS 2016) for mobile source: Non-impulse source with input from various sources listed above. The results show that distances to the PTS isopleths for the five hearing groups from various sources ranged from 0 to 4 m. Consequently, there are no Level A concerns for this project.

    Marine Mammal Densities

    Density estimates for bowhead, gray, and beluga whales were derived from aerial survey data collected in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas during the 2011 to 2016 Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals (ASAMM) program (Clarke et al., 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, NMFS Unpubl. Data). The proposed cable routes cross ASAMM survey blocks 3, 11, and 12 in the Beaufort Sea, and blocks 13, 14, 18, 21, and 22 in the Chukchi Sea. Only data collected in these blocks were used to estimate densities for bowhead and gray whales. Beluga densities were derived from ASAMM data collected for depth zones between 36 and 50 m (118 and 164 ft) within the Chukchi Sea between longitudes 157 ° and 169 °W, and the depth zones between 21 and 200 m (68.9 and 656.2 ft) in the Beaufort Sea between longitudes 154 ° and 157 °W. These depth zones reflect the depths where most of the cable-lay will occur. Harbor porpoise densities (Chukchi Sea only) are from Hartin et al. (2013), and ringed seal densities from Aerts et al. (2014; Chukchi Sea) and Moulton and Lawson (2002; Beaufort Sea). Spotted and bearded seal densities in the Chukchi Sea are also from Aerts et al. (2014). Spotted seal density in Beaufort Sea is based on Green and Negri (2005) and Green et al. (2006, 2007) surveys during barging activity between West Dock and Cape Simpson, and corrected using observations by Hauser et al. (2008) and Lomac-McNair et al. (2014) in areas closer to Oliktok (see below). Bearded seal density is estimated as 5 percent of ringed seals, based on studies by Stirling et al. (1982) and Clarke et al. (2013, 2014).

    Too few sightings have been made in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas for all other marine mammal species to develop credible density estimates.

    The density estimates for the seven species are presented in Table 4 (Chukchi and Bering seas) and Table 5 (Beaufort Sea) below. The specific parameters used in deriving these estimates are provided in the discussions that follow.

    Table 4—Marine Mammal Densities (#/km 2) in the Chukchi and Bering Seas Species Summer Fall Bowhead whale 0.0035 0.0481 Gray whale 0.0760 0.0241 Beluga whale 0.0015 0.0090 Harbor porpoise 0.0022 0.0021 Ringed seal 0.0645 0.0380 Spotted seal 0.0645 0.0380 Bearded seal 0.0630 0.0440 Table 5—Marine Mammal Densities (#/km 2) in the Beaufort Sea Species Summer Fall Bowhead whale 0.1239 0.1285 Gray whale 0.0097 0.0034 Beluga whale 0.0778 0.0316 Ringed seal 0.3547 0.2510 Spotted seal 0.1171 0.0837 Bearded seal 0.0177 0.0125

    Bowhead Whale: The summer density estimate for bowhead whales was derived from June, July, and August aerial survey data collected in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas during the 2011 to 2016 ASAMM program (Clarke et al., 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, NMFS Unpubl. Data). Fall data were collected during September and October. Data only from the survey blocks that will be crossed by the proposed cable route were used in the calculations, and included blocks 3, 11, and 12 in the Beaufort Sea and 13, 14, 18, 21, and 22 in the Chukchi Sea. ASAMM surveys did not extend more than about 25 km (15.5 mi) south of Point Hope, and there are no other systematic survey data for bowhead whales south of the point. During these three years, 478 bowhead whales were recorded in the three Beaufort Sea blocks during 23,955 km (14,885 mi) of summer survey effort (0.0200/km), and 684 whales during 33,056 km (20,054 mi) of fall effort (0.0207/km). In the five Chukchi Sea survey blocks, 23 bowheads were recorded during 41,373 km (25,708 mi) of summer effort (0.0006/km), and 302 during 39,015 km (24,243 mi) of fall survey (0.0077/km). Applying an effective strip half-width (ESW) of 1.15 (Ferguson and Clarke 2013), and a 0.07 correction factor for whales missed during the surveys, results in corrected densities of 0.1239 (Beaufort summer), 0.1285 (Beaufort fall), 0.0035 (Chukchi summer), and 0.0481 (Chukchi fall) whales per km2 (Table 4 and Table 5).

    Gray Whale: Gray whale density estimates were derived from the same ASAMM transect data used to determine bowhead whale densities. During the four years of aerial survey, 39 gray whales were recorded in the three Beaufort Sea blocks during 23,955 km (14,885 mi) of summer survey effort (0.0016/km), and 19 gray whales during 33,056 km (20,054 mi) of fall effort (0.0006/km). In the five Chukchi Sea survey blocks, 529 gray whales were recorded during 41,373 km (25,708 mi) of summer effort (0.0128/km), and 158 during 39,015 km (24,243 mi) of fall survey (0.0040/km). Applying an effective strip half-width (ESW) of 1.201 (Ferguson and Clarke 2013), and a correction factor of 0.07, results in corrected densities of 0.0097 (Beaufort summer), 0.0034 (Beaufort fall), 0.0760 (Chukchi summer), and 0.0241 (Chukchi fall) whales per km2 (Table 4 and Table 5).

    Beluga Whale: Beluga whale density estimates were derived from the ASAMM transect data collected from 2011 to 2016 (Clarke et al., 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, NMFS Unpubl. Data). During summer aerial surveys (June-August), there were 376 beluga whale observed along 6,786 km (4,217 mi) of transect in waters between 21 to 200 m (13 to 124 ft) deep and between longitudes 154 °W and 157 °W. This equates to 0.0554 whales/km of trackline and a corrected density of 0.0778 whales per km2, assuming an ESW of 0.614 km and a 0.58 correction factor. Fall density estimates (September-October) for this region were based on 239 beluga whales seen along 10,632 km (6,606 mi) of transect. This equates to 0.0225 whales/km of trackline and a corrected density of 0.0316 whales per km2, assuming an ESW of 0.614 km and a 0.58 correction factor.

    During summer aerial surveys (June-August), there were 40 beluga whale observed along 38,347 km (23,828 mi) of transect in waters less than 36 to 50 m (22 to 31 ft) deep and between longitudes 157 °W and 169 °W. This equates to 0.0010 whales/km of trackline and a corrected density of 0.0015 whales per km2, assuming an ESW of 0.614 km and a 0.58 correction factor. Calculated fall beluga densities for the same region was based on 237 beluga whales seen during 36,816 km (22,876 mi) of transect. This equates to 0.0064 whales/km and a corrected density of 0.0090 whales per km2, again assuming an ESW of 0.614 km and a 0.58 correction factor.

    Harbor Porpoise: Although harbor porpoise are known to occur in low numbers in the Chukchi Sea (Aerts et al., 2014), no harbor porpoise were positively identified during Chukchi Offshore Monitoring in Drilling Area (COMIDA) and ASAMM aerial surveys conducted in the Chukchi Sea from 2006 to 2013 (Clarke et al., 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). A few small unidentified cetaceans that were observed may have been harbor porpoise. Hartin et al. (2013) conducted vessel-based surveys in the Chukchi Sea while monitoring oil and gas activities between 2006 and 2010 and recorded several harbor porpoises throughout the summer and early fall. Vessel-based surveys may be more conducive to sighting these small, cryptic porpoise than the aerial-based COMIDA/ASAMM surveys. The Hartin et al. (2013) three-year average summer densities (0.0022/km2) and fall densities (0.0021/km2) were very similar, and are included in Table 4.

    Ringed and Spotted Seals: Aerts et al. (2014) conducted a marine mammal monitoring program in the northeastern Chukchi Sea in association with oil and gas exploration activities between 2008 and 2013. For sightings of either ringed or spotted seals, the highest summer density was 0.127 seals/km2 (2008) and the highest fall density was 0.076 seals/km2 (2013). Where seals could be identified to species, they found the ratio of ringed to spotted seals to be 2:1. However, monitoring the cable-lay activity in 2016 showed a nearly 1:1 ratio for ringed and spotted seals in all Bering and Chukchi seas, with the exception of Kotzebue where high numbers of spotted seals were observed. Kotzebue is a fall concentration for feeding spotted seals. Because the cable-lay work at Kotzebue is complete, and any 2017 work there is either unlikely or would be brief, Kotzebue nearshore densities are not taken into special account in the overall estimated spotted seal density for the Bering and Chukchi seas. The 1:1 ratio observed in 2016 is taken into consideration by splitting the above Aerts et al. (2014) densities equally for each species: 0.064 seals/km2 for summer and 0.038 seals/km2 for fall. These are the densities used in the exposure calculations (Table 4) to represent ringed and spotted seal densities for both the northern Bering and Chukchi seas.

    Moulton and Lawson (2002) conducted summer shipboard-based surveys for pinnipeds along the nearshore Alaska Beaufort Sea coast, while the Kingsley (1986) conducted surveys here along the ice margin representing fall conditions. The ringed seal results from these surveys were used in the exposure estimates (Table 4). Neither survey provided a good estimate of spotted seal densities. Green and Negri (2005) and Green et al. (2006, 2007) recorded pinnipeds during barging activity between West Dock and Cape Simpson, and found high numbers of ringed seal in Harrison Bay, and peaks in spotted seal numbers off the Colville River delta where a haulout site is located. Approximately 5 percent of all phocid sightings recorded by Green and Negri (2005) and Green et al. (2006, 2007) were spotted seals, which provide an estimate of the proportion of ringed seals versus spotted seals in the Colville River delta and Harrison Bay, both areas relatively close to the proposed Oliktok branch line. However, monitoring conducted nearer to Oliktok Point by Hauser et al. (2008) and Lomac-McNair et al. (2014) indicated that spotted seals are more commonly observed in waters nearest shore than ringed seals. While only a small portion of the Oliktok branch that remains to be installed occurs in waters within 5 km (3 mi) of shore, much of the work within 5 km (3 mi) will take more days of activity to complete than offshore work and, hence, could result in a disproportionately higher number of spotted seal sightings than existing survey data might predict. Therefore, as a conservative measure, the ringed seal density data from Moulton and Lawson (2002) and Kingsley (1986) is applied to both species, especially given the 2016 results indicate that outside Kotzebue, observers were reporting a nearly 3:1 ratio of both species.

    Bearded Seal: The most representative estimates of summer and fall density of bearded seals in the northern Bering and Chukchi seas come from Aerts et al. (2014) monitoring program that ran from 2008 to 2013 in the northeastern Chukchi Sea. During this period the highest summer estimate was 0.063 seals/km2 (2013) and the highest fall estimate was 0.044 seals/km2 (2010). These are the values that were used in developing exposure estimates for this species for the northern Bering and Chukchi seas cable-lay areas (Table 4).

    There are no accurate density estimates for bearded seals in the Beaufort Sea based on survey data. However, Stirling et al. (1982) noted that the proportion of eastern Beaufort Sea bearded seals is 5 percent that of ringed seals. Further, Clarke et al. (2013, 2014) recorded 82 bearded seals in both the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas during the 2012 and 2013 ASAMM surveys, which represented 5.1 percent of all their ringed seal and small unidentified pinniped sightings (1,586). Bengtson et al. (2005) noted a similar ratio (6 percent) during spring surveys of ice seals in the Chukchi Sea. Therefore, the density values in Table 3 were determined by multiplying ringed seal density from Moulton and Lawson (2002) and Kingsley (1986) by 5 percent.

    Marine Mammal Take Calculations

    As stated earlier in the document, ensonified distances to Level A harassment from various sources ranged from 0 to 4 m for all marine mammal hearing groups. It's highly unlikely that an animal will reach to this close distance to the vessel. Therefore, we consider there is no concern for level A take.

    The estimated potential harassment take of local marine mammals by the project was determined by multiplying the seasonal animal densities in Table 4 and Table 5 with the maximum seasonal area that would be ensonified by the estimated operational underwater noise greater than 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) during each activity by each season (shown in Table 3). The resulting exposure calculations are provided in Table 6.

    For marine mammals for which reliable density estimates do not exist in the project area (i.e., humpback whale, fin whale, minke whale, killer whale, harbor porpoise, Steller sea lion, and ribbon seal) due to low abundance, potential exposures are based on recorded observations of these species in the recent past as discussed earlier in this document (Hashagen et al., 2009; Green and Negri, 2005; Green et al., 2007) and from Quintillion's Marine Mammal Monitoring Report during its 2016 subsea cable-laying operations (Quintillion 2017). The take numbers for harbor porpoise are adjusted upwards to account for group size.

    Table 6—Estimated and Requested Takes of Marine Mammal by Level B Harassment Species Beaufort
  • summer
  • exposures
  • Chukchi &
  • Bering fall
  • exposure
  • Total
  • requested
  • take
  • Abundance Percentage
  • of stock
  • %
  • Bowhead whale 292 22 314 16,892 1.87 Gray whale 23 11 34 20,990 0.16 Beluga whale (Beaufort Sea) 184 4 188 39,258 0.48 Beluga whale (E. Chukchi Sea) 184 4 188 3,710 5.07 Beluga whale (E. Bering Sea) 184 4 188 19,186 0.98 Harbor porpoise 0 15 15 48,215 0.03 Ringed seal 838 17 855 170,000 0.50 Spotted seal 279 17 296 460,268 0.06 Bearded seal 42 20 62 299,174 0.02 Humpback whale 0 60 60 10,103 0.59 Fin whale 0 15 15 5,700 0.26 Minke whale 0 15 15 2,020 0.74 Killer whale 0 5 5 2,347 1.07 Ribbon seal 0 5 5 18,400 0.21 Steller sea lion 0 8 8 50,983 0.02
    Effects of Specified Activities on Subsistence Uses of Marine Mammals

    The availability of the affected marine mammal stocks or species for subsistence uses may be impacted by this activity. The subsistence uses that may be affected and the potential impacts of the activity on those uses are described below. Measures included in this IHA to reduce the impacts of the activity on subsistence uses are described in the Proposed Mitigation section. Last, the information from this section and the Proposed Mitigation section is analyzed to determine whether the necessary findings may be made in the Unmitigable Adverse Impact Analysis and Determination section.

    Underwater noise generated from the Quintillion's proposed cable-laying and O&M activities could affect subsistence uses of marine mammals by causing the animals to avoid the hunting areas and making the animals more difficult to approach by the hunters.

    The cable-lay activities that might occur in 2017 as a result of repair work could occur within the marine subsistence areas used by the villages of Nome, Wales, Kotzebue, Little Diomede, Kivalina, Point Hope, Wainwright, Barrow, and Nuiqsut. Subsistence use various considerably by season and location. Seven of the villages hunt bowhead whales (Suydam and George 2004). The small villages of Wales, Little Diomedes, and Kivalina take a bowhead whale about once every five years. Point Hope and Nuiqsut each harvest three to four whales annually, and Wainwright five to six. Harvest from Barrow is far the highest with about 25 whales taken each year generally split between spring and fall hunts. Point Hope and Wainwright harvest occurs largely during the spring hunt, and Nuiqsut's during the fall. Nuiqsut whalers base from Cross Island, 70 km (44 mi) east of Oliktok.

    Beluga are also annually harvested by the villages noted above. Beluga harvest is most important to Point Hope. For example, the village harvested 84 beluga whales during the spring of 2012, and averaged 31 whales a year from 1987 to 2006 (Frost and Suydam, 2010). Beluga are also important to Wainwright villages. They harvested 34 beluga whales in 2012, and averaged 11 annually from 1987 to 2006 (Frost and Suydam, 2010). All the other villages (Nome, Kotzebue, Wales, Kivalina, Little Diomede, and Barrow) averaged less than 10 whales per year (Frost and Suydam, 2010).

    All villages use seals to one degree or another as well. Ringed seal harvest mostly occurs in the winter and spring when they are hauled out on ice near leads or at breathing holes. Bearded seals are taken from boats during the early summer as they migrate northward in the Chukchi Sea and eastward in the Beaufort Sea.

    Bearded seals are a staple for villages like Kotzebue and Kivalina that have limited access to bowhead and beluga whales (Georgette and Loon, 1993). Thetis Island, located just off the Colville River delta, is an important base from which villagers from Nuiqsut hunt bearded seals each summer after ice breakup.

    Spotted seals are an important summer resource for Wainwright and Nuiqsut, but other villages will avoid them because the meat is less appealing than other available marine mammals.

    The proposed cable-lay activity will occur in the summer after the spring bowhead and beluga whale hunts have ended, and will avoid the ice period when ringed seals are harvested. The Oliktok branch will pass within 4 km (2 mi) of Thetis Island, but the actual laying of cable along that branch near the island should occur after the bearded seal hunt is over.

    Quintillion states that it will work closely with the AEWC, the Alaska Beluga Whale Committee (ABWC), the Ice Seal Committee (ISC), and the NSB to minimize any effects cable-lay activities might have on subsistence harvest (see below).

    Proposed Mitigation

    In order to issue an IHA under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses. NMFS regulations require applicants for incidental take authorizations to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks and their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    In evaluating how mitigation may or may not be appropriate to ensure the least practicable adverse impact on species or stocks and their habitat, as well as subsistence uses where applicable, we carefully balance two primary factors. These are: (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure(s) is expected to reduce impacts to marine mammals, marine mammal species or stocks, and their habitat, as well as subsistence uses—which considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range), as well as the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented; and the likelihood of effective implementation, and; (2) the practicability of the measures for applicant implementation, which may consider such things as cost, impact on operations, and, in the case of a military readiness activity, personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    Mitigation for Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    The primary purpose of these mitigation measures is to detect marine mammals and avoid vessel interactions during the pre- and post-cable-laying and O&M activities. Due to the nature of the activities, the vessel will not be able to engage in direction alteration during cable-laying operations. However, since the cable-laying vessel will be moving at a slow speed of 600 meter/hour (0.37 mile per hour or 0.32 knot) during cable-laying operations, it is highly unlikely that the cable vessel would have physical interaction with marine mammals. For Quintillion's proposed subsea cable-laying project, NMFS is requiring Quintillion to implement the following mitigation measures to minimize the potential impacts to marine mammals in the project vicinity as a result of its planned activities.

    (a) Vessel Movement Mitigation during Pre- and Post-cable-laying Activities:

    When the cable-lay fleet is traveling in Alaskan waters to and from the project area (before and after completion of cable-laying or O&M operations), the fleet vessels would:

    • Not approach concentrations or groups of whales (an aggregation of 6 or more whales) within 1.6 km (1 mi) by all vessels under the direction of Quintillion;

    • Take reasonable precautions to avoid potential interaction with any bowhead whales observed within 1.6 km (1 mi) of a vessel; and

    • Reduce speed to less than 5 knots when visibility drops, to avoid the likelihood of collision with whales. The normal vessel travel speeds when laying cable is well less than 5 knots.

    Mitigation for Subsistence Uses of Marine Mammals or Plan of Cooperation

    Regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(12) further require IHA applicants for activities that take place in Arctic waters to provide a Plan of Cooperation or information that identifies what measures have been taken and/or will be taken to minimize adverse effects on the availability of marine mammals for subsistence purposes. A plan must include the following:

    • A statement that the applicant has notified and provided the affected subsistence community with a draft plan of cooperation;

    • A schedule for meeting with the affected subsistence communities to discuss proposed activities and to resolve potential conflicts regarding any aspects of either the operation or the plan of cooperation;

    • A description of what measures the applicant has taken and/or will take to ensure that proposed activities will not interfere with subsistence whaling or sealing; and

    • What plans the applicant has to continue to meet with the affected communities, both prior to and while conducting the activity, to resolve conflicts and to notify the communities of any changes in the operation.

    Quintillion has prepared a Plan of Cooperation (POC), which was developed by identifying and evaluating any potential effects the proposed cable-laying operation might have on seasonal abundance that is relied upon for subsistence use.

    Specifically, the vessels that Quintillion will use will participate in the Automatic Identification System (AIS) vessel-tracking system allowing the vessel to be tracked and located in real time via the Marine Exchange of Alaska (MEA). Quintillion will sponsor memberships in the MEA such that local subsistence groups can monitor Quintillion vessel movements.

    In addition, Quintillion will distribute a daily activity report by email to all interested parties. Daily reports will include vessel activity, location, subsistence information, and any potential hazards.

    Quintillion project vessels will monitor local marine VHF channels as requested for local traffic and will use log books to assist in the standardization of record keeping.

    A copy of the POC can be viewed on the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm.

    In addition, Quintillion shall monitor the positions of all of its vessels and will schedule timing and location of cable-laying segments to avoid any areas where subsistence activity is normally planned.

    For vessels transiting to and from Quintillion's project area, Quintillion shall implement the following measures:

    (A) Vessels transiting in the Beaufort Sea east of Bullen Point to the Canadian border shall remain at least 5 miles offshore during transit along the coast, provided ice and sea conditions allow. During transit in the Chukchi Sea, vessels shall remain as far offshore as weather and ice conditions allow, and at all times at least 5 miles offshore.

    (B) From August 31 to October 31, transiting vessels in the Chukchi Sea or Beaufort Sea shall remain at least 20 miles offshore of the coast of Alaska from Icy Cape in the Chukchi Sea to Pitt Point on the east side of Smith Bay in the Beaufort Sea, unless ice conditions or an emergency that threatens the safety of the vessel or crew prevents compliance with this requirement. This condition shall not apply to vessels actively engaged in transit to or from a coastal community to conduct crew changes or logistical support operations.

    (C) Vessels shall be operated at speeds necessary to ensure no physical contact with whales occurs, and to make any other potential conflicts with bowheads or whalers unlikely. Vessel speeds shall be less than 10 knots when within 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of feeding whales or whale aggregations (6 or more whales in a group).

    (D) If any vessel inadvertently approaches within 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of observed bowhead whales, except when providing emergency assistance to whalers or in other emergency situations, the vessel operator will take reasonable precautions to avoid potential interaction with the bowhead whales by taking one or more of the following actions, as appropriate:

    • Reducing vessel speed to less than 5 knots within 900 feet of the whale(s);

    • Steering around the whale(s) if possible;

    • Operating the vessel(s) in such a way as to avoid separating members of a group of whales from other members of the group;

    • Operating the vessel(s) to avoid causing a whale to make multiple changes in direction; and

    • Checking the waters immediately adjacent to the vessel(s) to ensure that no whales will be injured when the propellers are engaged.

    (E) Quintillion shall complete operations in time to ensure that vessels associated with the project complete transit through the Bering Strait to a point south of 59 degrees North latitude no later than November 15, 2017. Any vessel that encounters weather or ice that will prevent compliance with this date shall coordinate its transit through the Bering Strait to a point south of 59 degrees North latitude with local subsistence communities.

    (F) Quintillion vessels shall, weather and ice permitting, transit east of St. Lawrence Island and no closer than 10 miles from the shore of St. Lawrence Island.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's proposed measures, as well as other measures considered by NMFS, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the proposed mitigation measures provide the means effecting the least practicable impact on the affected species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for subsistence uses.

    Proposed Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth, “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104 (a)(13) indicate that requests for authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area. Effective reporting is critical both to compliance as well as ensuring that the most value is obtained from the required monitoring.

    Monitoring and reporting requirements prescribed by NMFS should contribute to improved understanding of one or more of the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species or stocks in the area in which take is anticipated (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density).

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas);

    • Individual marine mammal responses (behavioral or physiological) to acoustic stressors (acute, chronic, or cumulative), other stressors, or cumulative impacts from multiple stressors;

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) long-term fitness and survival of individual marine mammals; or (2) populations, species, or stocks;

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat (e.g., marine mammal prey species, acoustic habitat, or other important physical components of marine mammal habitat); and

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    Monitoring Measures

    Monitoring will provide information on the numbers of marine mammals affected by the subsea cable-laying and O&M operation and facilitate real-time mitigation to prevent injury of marine mammals by vessel traffic. These goals will be accomplished in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas during 2017 by conducting vessel-based monitoring to document marine mammal presence and distribution in the vicinity of the operation area.

    Visual monitoring by protected species observers (PSO) during subsea cable-laying and O&M operations, and periods when the operation is not occurring, will provide information on the numbers of marine mammals potentially affected by the activity. Vessel-based PSOs onboard the vessels will record the numbers and species of marine mammals observed in the area and any observable reaction of marine mammals to the cable-laying operation in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas.

    Vessel-Based Protected Species Observers

    Vessel-based visual monitoring for marine mammals shall be conducted by NMFS-approved PSOs throughout the period of subsea cable-laying and O&M activities. PSOs shall be stationed aboard the cable-laying vessel throughout the duration of the subsea cable-laying and O&M operations.

    A sufficient number of PSOs would be required onboard each survey vessel to meet the following criteria:

    • 100 percent monitoring coverage during all periods of cable-laying and O&M operations in daylight;

    • Maximum of 4 consecutive hours on watch per PSO; and

    • Maximum of 12 hours of watch time per day per PSO.

    PSO teams will consist of Inupiat observers and experienced field biologists. Each vessel will have an experienced field crew leader to supervise the PSO team. The total number of PSOs may decrease later in the season as the duration of daylight decreases.

    (1) PSOs Qualification and Training

    Lead PSOs and most PSOs will be individuals with experience as observers during marine mammal monitoring projects in Alaska or other offshore areas in recent years. New or inexperienced PSOs would be paired with an experienced PSO or experienced field biologist so that the quality of marine mammal observations and data recording is kept consistent.

    Resumes for candidate PSOs will be provided to NMFS for review and acceptance of their qualifications. Inupiat observers would be experienced in the region and familiar with the marine mammals of the area. All observers will complete an observer training course designed to familiarize individuals with monitoring and data collection procedures.

    (2) Establishing Zone of Influence

    A PSO would establish a ZOI where the received level is 120 dB during Qunitillion's subsea cable-laying and O&M operations and conduct marine mammal monitoring during the operation. The measured 120 dB ZOI is 5.35 km from the cable-laying vessel.

    (3) Marine Mammal Observation Protocol

    PSOs shall watch for marine mammals from the best available vantage point on the survey vessels, typically the bridge. PSOs shall scan systematically with the unaided eye and 7 x 50 reticle binoculars, and night-vision and infra-red equipment when needed. Personnel on the bridge shall assist the marine mammal observer(s) in watching for marine mammals; however, bridge crew observations will not be used in lieu of PSO observation efforts.

    Monitoring shall consist of recording of the following information:

    1. The species, group size, age/size/sex categories (if determinable), the general behavioral activity, heading (if consistent), bearing and distance from vessel, sighting cue, behavioral pace, and apparent reaction of all marine mammals seen near the vessel (e.g., none, avoidance, approach, paralleling, etc.);

    2. The time, location, heading, speed, and activity of the vessel, along with sea state, visibility, cloud cover and sun glare at (I) any time a marine mammal is sighted, (II) at the start and end of each watch, and (III) during a watch (whenever there is a change in one or more variable);

    3. The identification of all vessels that are visible within 5 km of the vessel from which observation is conducted whenever a marine mammal is sighted and the time observed;

    4. Any identifiable marine mammal behavioral response (sighting data should be collected in a manner that will not detract from the PSO's ability to detect marine mammals);

    5. Any adjustments made to operating procedures; and

    6. Visibility during observation periods so that total estimates of take can be corrected accordingly.

    Distances to nearby marine mammals will be estimated with binoculars (7 x 50 binoculars) containing a reticle to measure the vertical angle of the line of sight to the animal relative to the horizon. Observers may use a laser rangefinder to test and improve their abilities for visually estimating distances to objects in the water. Quintillion shall use the best available technology to improve detection capability during periods of fog and other types of inclement weather. Such technology might include night-vision goggles or binoculars as well as other instruments that incorporate infrared technology.

    PSOs shall understand the importance of classifying marine mammals as “unknown” or “unidentified” if they cannot identify the animals to species with confidence. In those cases, they shall note any information that might aid in the identification of the marine mammal sighted. For example, for an unidentified mysticete whale, the observers should record whether the animal had a dorsal fin. Additional details about unidentified marine mammal sightings, such as “blow only,” “mysticete with (or without) a dorsal fin,” “seal splash,” etc., shall be recorded.

    Reporting Measures

    A draft marine mammal monitoring report will be submitted to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, within 90 days after the end of Quintillion's subsea cable-laying and O&M operations in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. The report will describe in detail:

    1. Summaries of monitoring effort (e.g., total hours, total distances, and marine mammal distribution through the project period, accounting for sea state and other factors affecting visibility and detectability of marine mammals);

    2. Summaries that represent an initial level of interpretation of the efficacy, measurements, and observations;

    3. Analyses of the effects of various factors influencing detectability of marine mammals (e.g., sea state, number of observers, and fog/glare);

    4. Species composition, occurrence, and distribution of marine mammal sightings, including date, water depth, numbers, age/size/gender categories (if determinable), group sizes, and ice cover;

    5. Estimates of uncertainty in all take estimates, with uncertainty expressed by the presentation of confidence limits, a minimum-maximum, posterior probability distribution, or another applicable method, with the exact approach to be selected based on the sampling method and data available; and

    6. A clear comparison of authorized takes and the level of actual estimated takes.

    Quintillion shall provide NMFS with a draft monitoring report within 90 days of the conclusion of the subsea cable-laying and O&M activities or within 90 days of the expiration of the IHA, whichever comes first. The draft report shall be subject to review and comment by NMFS. Any recommendations made by NMFS must be addressed in the report prior to acceptance by NMFS. The draft report will be considered the final report for this activity under this Authorization if NMFS has not provided comments and recommendations within 90 days of receipt of the draft report.

    Notification of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the IHA, such as a serious injury, or mortality (e.g., ship-strike, gear interaction, and/or entanglement), Quintillion will immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinators. The report would include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Name and type of vessel involved;

    • Vessel's speed during and leading up to the incident;

    • Description of the incident;

    • Status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Water depth;

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Activities would not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS would work with Quintillion to determine the necessary measures to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. Quintillion would not be able to resume its activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that Quintillion discovers a dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as described in the next paragraph), Quintillion would immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the NMFS Alaska Stranding Hotline. The report would include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Activities would be able to continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with Quintillion to determine whether modifications in the activities would be appropriate.

    In the event that Quintillion discovers a dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), Quintillion would report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the NMFS Alaska Stranding Hotline, within 24 hours of the discovery. Quintillion would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Quintillion can continue its operations under such a case.

    Monitoring Plan Peer Review

    The MMPA requires that monitoring plans be independently peer reviewed where the proposed activity may affect the availability of a species or stock for taking for subsistence uses (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(D)(ii)(III)). Regarding this requirement, NMFS' implementing regulations state that upon receipt of a complete monitoring plan, and at its discretion, NMFS will either submit the plan to members of a peer review panel for review or within 60 days of receipt of the proposed monitoring plan, schedule a workshop to review the plan (50 CFR 216.108(d)).

    NMFS convened an independent peer review panel to review Quintillion's 4MP for the proposed subsea cable-laying and O&M operations in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. The panel met via web conference in late March 2017, and will provide comments to NMFS in April 2016.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination

    NMFS has defined negligible impact as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (50 CFR 216.103). A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through harassment, NMFS considers other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as effects on habitat, and the likely effectiveness of the mitigation. We also assess the number, intensity, and context of estimated takes by evaluating this information relative to population status. Consistent with the 1989 preamble for NMFS' implementing regulations (54 FR 40338; September 29, 1989), the impacts from other past and ongoing anthropogenic activities are incorporated into this analysis via their impacts on the environmental baseline (e.g., as reflected in the regulatory status of the species, population size and growth rate where known, ongoing sources of human-caused mortality, or ambient noise levels).

    To avoid repetition, this introductory discussion of our analyses applies to all the species listed in Table 6, given that the anticipated effects of Quintillion's subsea cable-laying and O&M operations on marine mammals (taking into account the proposed mitigation) are expected to be relatively similar in nature. Where there are meaningful differences between species or stocks, or groups of species, in anticipated individual responses to activities, impact of expected take on the population due to differences in population status, or impacts on habitat, they are described separately in the analysis below.

    No injuries or mortalities are anticipated to occur as a result of Quintillion's subsea cable-laying and O&M operations, and none are authorized. Additionally, animals in the area are not expected to incur hearing impairment (i.e., TTS or PTS) or non-auditory physiological effects. The takes that are anticipated and authorized are expected to be limited to short-term Level B behavioral harassment in the form of brief startling reaction and/or temporary vacating the area.

    Any effects on marine mammals are generally expected to be restricted to avoidance of a limited area around Quintillion's proposed activities and short-term changes in behavior, falling within the MMPA definition of “Level B harassment.” Mitigation measures, such as controlled vessel speed and dedicated marine mammal observers, will ensure that takes are within the level being analyzed. In all cases, the effects are expected to be short-term, with no lasting biological consequence.

    Of the 13 marine mammal species likely to occur in the proposed cable-laying area, bowhead, humpback, fin whales, ringed and bearded seals, and Steller sea lion are listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. These species are also designated as “depleted” under the MMPA. None of the other species that may occur in the project area are listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA.

    The project area of the Quintillion's proposed activities is within areas that have been identified as biologically important areas (BIAs) for feeding for the gray and bowhead whales and for reproduction for gray whale during the summer and fall months (Clarke et al., 2015). In addition, the coastal Beaufort Sea also serves as a migratory corridor during bowhead whale spring migration, as well as for their feeding and breeding activities. Additionally, the coastal area of Chukchi and Beaufort seas also serve as BIAs for beluga whales for their feeding and migration. However, the Quintillion's proposed cable-laying and O&M operations would briefly transit through the area in a slow speed (600 meters per hour). As discussed earlier, the Level B behavioral harassment on marine mammals from the proposed activity is expected to be brief startling reaction and temporary vacating of the area. There are no long-term or biologically significant impacts to marine mammals expected from the proposed subsea cable-laying activity.

    In summary and as described above, the following factors primarily support our preliminary determination that the impacts resulting from this activity are not expected to adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival:

    • No mortality is anticipated or authorized;

    • No injury or hearing impairment is anticipated or authorized;

    • Only Level B behavioral disturbances by exposed marine mammals are likely;

    • The levels and duration of marine mammals exposure to noises are low and brief; and

    • Only a small fraction of marine mammal populations is expected to be affected.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS preliminarily finds that the total marine mammal take from the proposed activity will have a negligible impact on all affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers

    As noted above, only small numbers of incidental take may be authorized under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for specified activities other than military readiness activities. The MMPA does not define small numbers and so, in practice, NMFS compares the number of individuals taken to the most appropriate estimation of abundance of the relevant species or stock in our determination of whether an authorization is limited to small numbers of marine mammals.

    The requested takes represent less than 5.07 percent of all populations or stocks potentially impacted (see Table 6 in this document). These take estimates represent the percentage of each species or stock that could be taken by Level B behavioral harassment. The numbers of marine mammals estimated to be taken are small proportions of the total populations of the affected species or stocks.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the proposed activity (including the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS preliminarily finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population size of the affected species or stocks.

    Unmitigable Adverse Impact Analysis and Determination

    In order to issue an IHA, NMFS must find that the specified activity will not have an “unmitigable adverse impact” on the subsistence uses of the affected marine mammal species or stocks by Alaskan Natives. NMFS has defined unmitigable adverse impact in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity: (1) That is likely to reduce the availability of the species to a level insufficient for a harvest to meet subsistence needs by: (i) Causing the marine mammals to abandon or avoid hunting areas; (ii) Directly displacing subsistence users; or (iii) Placing physical barriers between the marine mammals and the subsistence hunters; and (2) That cannot be sufficiently mitigated by other measures to increase the availability of marine mammals to allow subsistence needs to be met.

    As discussed earlier in this document, Quintillion worked with the cable-landing communities, tribal/subsistence organizations, and co-management groups to develop mutually agreed monitoring and mitigation measures. These measures rely strongly on effective communication between operations and communities to ensure that Quintillion's proposed subsea cable-laying and O&M operations would not have unmitigable adverse impact to subsistence use of marine mammals in the affected areas. In addition, the proposed IHA would require Quintillion to implement time and area limitations and vessel speed restrictions when passing through certain subsistence areas and/or encountering bowhead whales.

    Based on the description of the specified activity, the measures described to minimize adverse effects on the availability of marine mammals for subsistence purposes, and the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures, NMFS has preliminarily determined that there will not be an unmitigable adverse impact on subsistence uses from Quintillion's proposed activities.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that each Federal agency insure that any action it authorizes, funds, or carries out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. To ensure ESA compliance for the issuance of IHAs, NMFS consults internally with our ESA Interagency Cooperation Division whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened species.

    Within the project area, the bowhead, humpback, and fin whales are listed as endangered and the ringed and bearded seals and Steller sea lion are listed as threatened under the ESA. NMFS' Permits and Conservation Division has initiated consultation with staff in NMFS' Alaska Region Protected Resources Division under section 7 of the ESA on the issuance of an IHA to Quintillion under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for this activity. Consultation will be concluded prior to a determination on the issuance of an IHA.

    Proposed Authorization

    As a result of these preliminary determinations, NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to Quintillion for conducting subsea cable-laying and operation and maintenance activities, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. This section contains a draft of the IHA itself. The wording contained in this section is proposed for inclusion in the IHA (if issued).

    1. This Authorization is valid from June 15, 2017, through November 15, 2017.

    2. This Authorization is valid only for activities associated with subsea cable-laying and subsea cables operation and maintenance (O&M) related activities in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. The specific areas where Quintillion's operations will be conducted are within the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, Alaska, as shown in Figure 1-1 of Quintillion's IHA application.

    3. (a) The species authorized taking by Level B harassment and in the numbers shown in Table 6 are: Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas); bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus); gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), killer whale, (Orcinus orca), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), ringed seal (Phoca hispida), bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus), spotted seals (Phoca largha), ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata), and Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus).

    (b) The authorization for taking by harassment is limited to the following acoustic sources and from the following activities:

    • Subsea cable-laying and subsea cable O&M activities; and

    • Vessel activities related to the above activities.

    4. Prohibitions

    (a) The taking, by incidental harassment only, is limited to the species listed under condition 3(a) above and by the numbers listed in Table 6 of this notice. The taking by death, injury of these species or the taking by harassment, injury or death of any other species of marine mammal is prohibited unless separately authorized or exempted under the MMPA and may result in the modification, suspension, or revocation of this Authorization.

    (b) The taking of any marine mammal is prohibited whenever the required protected species observers (PSOs), required by condition 7(a), are not present in conformance with condition 7(a) of this Authorization.

    5. Mitigation (a) Vessel Movement Mitigation

    (i) When the cable-lay fleet is traveling in Alaskan waters to and from the project area (before and after completion of cable-laying), the fleet vessels would:

    (A) Not approach within 1.6 km (1 m) distance from concentrations or groups of whales (aggregation of six or more whales) by all vessels under the direction of Quintillion

    (B) Take reasonable precautions to avoid potential interaction with the bowhead whales observed within 1.6 km (1 mi) of a vessel.

    (C) Reduce speed to less than 5 knots when weather conditions require, such as when visibility drops, to avoid the likelihood of collision with whales. The normal vessel travel speeds when laying cable is well less than 5 knots; however vessels laying cable cannot change course and cable-laying operations will not cease until the end of cable is reached.

    (b) Mitigation Measures for Subsistence Activities

    (i) Quintillion shall participate in the Automatic Identification System (AIS) vessel-tracking system to allow the vessel to be tracked and located in real time via the Marine Exchange of Alaska (MEA).

    (ii) Quintillion will sponsor memberships in the MEA such that local subsistence groups can monitor Quintillion vessel movements.

    (iii) Quintillion will distribute a daily activity report by email to all interested parties. Daily reports will include vessel activity, location, subsistence information, and any potential hazards.

    (iv) Quintillion project vessels will monitor local marine VHF channels as requested for local traffic and will use log books to assist in the standardization of record keeping.

    (v) Quintillion shall monitor the positions of all of its vessels and will schedule timing and location of cable-laying segments to avoid any areas where subsistence activity is normally planned.

    (vi) Barge and ship transiting to and from the project area:

    (A) Vessels transiting in the Beaufort Sea east of Bullen Point to the Canadian border shall remain at least 5 miles offshore during transit along the coast, provided ice and sea conditions allow. During transit in the Chukchi Sea, vessels shall remain as far offshore as weather and ice conditions allow, and at all times at least 5 miles offshore.

    (B) From August 31 to October 31, transiting vessels in the Chukchi Sea or Beaufort Sea shall remain at least 20 miles offshore of the coast of Alaska from Icy Cape in the Chukchi Sea to Pitt Point on the east side of Smith Bay in the Beaufort Sea, unless ice conditions or an emergency that threatens the safety of the vessel or crew prevents compliance with this requirement. This condition shall not apply to vessels actively engaged in transit to or from a coastal community to conduct crew changes or logistical support operations.

    (C) Vessels shall be operated at speeds necessary to ensure no physical contact with whales occurs, and to make any other potential conflicts with bowheads or whalers unlikely. Vessel speeds shall be less than 10 knots when within 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of feeding whales or whale aggregations (6 or more whales in a group).

    (D) If any vessel inadvertently approaches within 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of observed bowhead whales, except when providing emergency assistance to whalers or in other emergency situations, the vessel operator will take reasonable precautions to avoid potential interaction with the bowhead whales by taking one or more of the following actions, as appropriate:

    • Reducing vessel speed to less than 5 knots within 900 feet of the whale(s);

    • Steering around the whale(s) if possible;

    • Operating the vessel(s) in such a way as to avoid separating members of a group of whales from other members of the group;

    • Operating the vessel(s) to avoid causing a whale to make multiple changes in direction; and

    • Checking the waters immediately adjacent to the vessel(s) to ensure that no whales will be injured when the propellers are engaged.

    (vii) Quintillion shall complete operations in time to ensure that vessels associated with the project complete transit through the Bering Strait to a point south of 59 degrees North latitude no later than November 15, 2017. Any vessel that encounters weather or ice that will prevent compliance with this date shall coordinate its transit through the Bering Strait to a point south of 59 degrees North latitude with local subsistence communities. Quintillion vessels shall, weather and ice permitting, transit east of St. Lawrence Island and no closer than 10 miles from the shore of St. Lawrence Island.

    6. Monitoring (a) Vessel-Based Visual Monitoring

    (i) Vessel-based visual monitoring for marine mammals shall be conducted by NMFS-approved protected species observers (PSOs) throughout the period of cable-laying and O&M activities.

    (ii) PSOs shall be stationed aboard the cable-laying vessel throughout the duration of the subsea cable-laying and O&M operations.

    (iii) A sufficient number of PSOs shall be onboard the survey vessel to meet the following criteria:

    (A) 100 percent monitoring coverage during all periods of cable-laying operations in daylight;

    (B) Maximum of 4 consecutive hours on watch per PSO, with a minimum 1-hour break between shifts; and

    (C) Maximum of 12 hours of watch time in any 24-hour period per PSO.

    (iv) The vessel-based marine mammal monitoring shall provide the basis for real-time mitigation measures as described in 5(b) above.

    (b) PSOs Qualification and Training

    (i) Lead PSOs and most PSOs will be individuals with experience as observers during marine mammal monitoring projects in Alaska or other offshore areas in recent years.

    (ii) New or inexperienced PSOs will be paired with an experienced PSO or experienced field biologist so that the quality of marine mammal observations and data recording is kept consistent.

    (iii) Resumes for candidate PSOs will be provided to NMFS for review and acceptance of their qualifications.

    (iv) Inupiat observers shall be experienced in the region and familiar with the marine mammals of the area.

    (v) All observers will complete an observer training course designed to familiarize individuals with monitoring and data collection procedures.

    (c) Establishing Disturbance Zones

    (i) Establish zones of influence (ZOIs) surrounding the cable-laying vessel where the received level would be 120 dB (rms) re 1 µPa. The size of the measured distance to the 120 dB (rms) re 1 µPa is 5.35 km.

    (d) Marine Mammal Observation Protocol

    (i) PSOs shall watch for marine mammals from the best available vantage point on the survey vessels, typically the bridge.

    (ii) PSOs shall scan systematically with the unaided eye and 7 x 50 reticle binoculars, and night-vision and infra-red equipment when needed.

    (iii) Personnel on the bridge shall assist the marine mammal observer(s) in watching for marine mammals; however, bridge crew observations will not be used in lieu of PSO observation efforts.

    (e) Monitoring Data Recording

    (i) PSOs shall record the following information during monitoring:

    (A) The species, group size, age/size/sex categories (if determinable), the general behavioral activity, heading (if consistent), bearing and distance from vessel, sighting cue, behavioral pace, and apparent reaction of all marine mammals seen near the vessel (e.g., none, avoidance, approach, paralleling, etc.);

    (B) The time, location, heading, speed, and activity of the vessel, along with sea state, visibility, cloud cover and sun glare at (I) any time a marine mammal is sighted, (II) at the start and end of each watch, and (III) during a watch (whenever there is a change in one or more variable);

    (C) The identification of all vessels that are visible within 5 km of the vessel from which observation is conducted whenever a marine mammal is sighted and the time observed;

    (D) Any identifiable marine mammal behavioral response (sighting data should be collected in a manner that will not detract from the PSO's ability to detect marine mammals);

    (E) Any adjustments made to operating procedures; and

    (F) Visibility during observation periods so that total estimates of take can be corrected accordingly.

    (ii) Distances to nearby marine mammals will be estimated with binoculars (7 x 50 binoculars) containing a reticle to measure the vertical angle of the line of sight to the animal relative to the horizon. Observers may use a laser rangefinder to test and improve their abilities for visually estimating distances to objects in the water.

    (iii) Quintillion shall use the best available technology to improve detection capability during periods of fog and other types of inclement weather. Such technology might include night-vision goggles or binoculars as well as other instruments that incorporate infrared technology.

    (iv) PSOs shall understand the importance of classifying marine mammals as “unknown” or “unidentified” if they cannot identify the animals to species with confidence. In those cases, they shall note any information that might aid in the identification of the marine mammal sighted.

    7. Reporting (a) Marine Mammal Monitoring Report

    (i) Quintillion shall provide NMFS with a draft monitoring report within 90 days of the conclusion of the subsea cable-laying and O&M activities or within 90 days of the expiration of the IHA, whichever comes first.

    (ii) The draft report shall be subject to review and comment by NMFS. Any recommendations made by NMFS must be addressed in the report prior to acceptance by NMFS.

    (iii) The draft report will be considered the final report for this activity under this Authorization if NMFS has not provided comments and recommendations within 90 days of receipt of the draft report.

    (b) Notification of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals

    (i) In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the IHA, such as a serious injury, or mortality (e.g., ship-strike, gear interaction, and/or entanglement), Quintillion will immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinators. The report would include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Name and type of vessel involved;

    • Vessel's speed during and leading up to the incident;

    • Description of the incident;

    • Status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Water depth;

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Activities would not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS would work with Quintillion to determine the necessary measures to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. Quintillion would not be able to resume its activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    (ii) In the event that Quintillion discovers a dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as described in the next paragraph), Quintillion would immediately report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the NMFS Alaska Stranding Hotline. The report would include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Activities would be able to continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with Quintillion to determine whether modifications in the activities would be appropriate.

    (iii) In the event that Quintillion discovers a dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), Quintillion would report the incident to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the NMFS Alaska Stranding Hotline, within 24 hours of the discovery. Quintillion would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Quintillion can continue its operations under such a case.

    8. This Authorization may be modified, suspended or withdrawn if the holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein or if NMFS determines the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals.

    9. A copy of this Authorization must be in the possession of each contractor who performs the subsea cable-laying and O&M activities in the U.S. Arctic Ocean.

    Request for Public Comments

    We request comment on our analyses, the draft authorization, and any other aspect of this Notice of Proposed IHA for the Quintillion's subsea cable-laying and O&M activities in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the request for MMPA authorization.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09599 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection Number 3038-0075, Protection of Collateral of Counterparties to Uncleared Swaps; Treatment of Securities in a Portfolio Margining Account in a Commodity Broker Bankruptcy AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed renewal of a collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment. This notice solicits comments on the collections of information mandated by requirements that swap dealers (“SDs”) and major swap participants (“MSPs”) with respect to the treatment of collateral by their counterparties to margin, guarantee, or secure uncleared swaps.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before July 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “Protection of Collateral of Counterparties to Uncleared Swaps; Treatment of Securities in a Portfolio Margining Account in a Commodity Broker Bankruptcy,” and OMB Control No. 3038-0075 by any of the following methods:

    • The Agency's Web site, at http://comments.cftc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Scopino, Special Counsel, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5175, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA,1 Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of Information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3 and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, the CFTC is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information listed below. 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.

    1 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Title: Protection of Collateral of Counterparties to Uncleared Swaps; Treatment of Securities in a Portfolio Margining Account in a Commodity Broker Bankruptcy (OMB Control No. 3038-0075). This is a request for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: On November 6, 2013, the Commission issued final rules implementing statutory provisions pursuant to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) and imposing requirements on SDs and MSPs with respect to the treatment of collateral posted by their counterparties to margin, guarantee, or secure uncleared swaps.2 Additionally, the final rule includes revisions to ensure that, for purposes of subchapter IV of chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, securities held in a portfolio margining account that is a futures account or a Cleared Swaps Customer Account constitute “customer property”; and owners of such accounts constitute “customers.” 3 Section 4s(l) of the CEA sets forth certain requirements concerning the rights of counterparties of SDs and MSPs with respect to the segregation of money, securities, or other property used to margin, guarantee, or otherwise secure uncleared swaps. Regulation 23.701 implements part of the new statutory requirements by specifying that certain information must be provided to counterparties about the terms and conditions of segregation, including price information, to the extent that the SD or MSP has such information, and the identity of one or more independent depositories for segregated collateral. Regulation 23.704 implements the requirements of CEA Section 4s(l)(4), which dictates that, in certain circumstances, an SD or MSP must report to the counterparty, on a quarterly basis, “that the back office procedures of the swap dealer or major swap participant relating to margin and collateral requirements are in compliance with the agreement of the counterparties.”

    2 78 FR 66621.

    3Id.

    As discussed above, the rules establish reporting andrecordkeeping requirements that are mandated by Section 4s(l) of the CEA, which states that SDs and MSPs must notify their counterparties of the right to have their initial margin segregated and to maintain the confirmations and elections related to such notices as business records. The reporting and recordkeeping requirements are necessary to implement the objectives of Section 4s(1). For example, the information received by uncleared swap counterparties pursuant to Regulation 23.701 would alert counterparties to their statutory right, if they so choose, to have funds or property used as margin in uncleared swaps transactions with SDs and MSPs kept segregated from the property of the SD or MSP. Likewise, the information provided would further alert counterparties of the need to request such segregation if they wish to exercise this right. Simlarly, the information received by uncleared swap counterparties pursuant to Regulation 23.704 would be used to confirm that the back office procedures followed by a SD or MSP with whom they are dealing comply with the agreement of the parties.

    With respect to the collection of information, the CFTC invites comments on:

    • Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have a practical use;

    • The accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of 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.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.4

    4 17 CFR 145.9.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the information collection request will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Burden Statement: The Commission is revising its estimate of the burden for this collection to reflect the current number of registered SDs and MSPs. Accordingly, the respondent burden for this collection is estimated to be as follows:

    Number of Registrants: 102.

    Estimated Average Burden Hours per Registrant: 3,406.

    Estimated Aggregate Burden Hours: 347,412.

    Frequency of Reporting: As applicable.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09686 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION Supervisory Highlights: Spring 2017 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Supervisory Highlights; notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau or CFPB) is issuing its fifteenth edition of its Supervisory Highlights. In this issue of Supervisory Highlights, we report examination findings in the areas of mortgage servicing, student loan servicing, mortgage origination, and fair lending. As in past editions, this report includes information about a recent public enforcement action that was a result, at least in part, of our supervisory work. The report also includes information on recently released examination procedures and Bureau guidance.

    DATES:

    The Bureau released this edition of the Supervisory Highlights on its Web site on April 26, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adetola Adenuga, Consumer Financial Protection Analyst, Office of Supervision Policy, 1700 G Street NW., 20552, (202) 435-9373.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. Introduction

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is committed to a consumer financial marketplace that is fair, transparent, and competitive, and that works for all consumers. The Bureau supervises both bank and nonbank institutions to help meet this goal. In this fifteenth edition of Supervisory Highlights, the CFPB shares recent supervisory observations in the areas of mortgage servicing, student loan servicing, mortgage origination, and fair lending. In particular, we describe key new developments around spike and trend monitoring, service provider examinations, and production incentives. The findings reported here reflect information obtained from supervisory activities that were generally completed between September 2016 and December 2016 (unless otherwise stated). Corrective actions regarding certain matters may remain in process at the time of this report's publication.

    CFPB supervisory reviews and examinations typically involve assessing a supervised entity's compliance management system and compliance with Federal consumer financial laws. When Supervision examinations determine that a supervised entity has violated a statute or regulation, Supervision directs the entity to implement appropriate corrective measures, such as implementing new policies, changing written communications, improving training or monitoring, or otherwise changing conduct to ensure the illegal practices cease. Supervision also directs the entity to send consumers refunds, pay restitution, credit borrower accounts, or take other remedial actions. Recent supervisory resolutions have resulted in total restitution payments of approximately $6.1 million to more than 16,000 consumers during the review period. Additionally, CFPB's recent supervisory activities have either led to or supported five recent public enforcement actions, resulting in over $39 million in consumer remediation and an additional $19 million in civil money penalties.

    Please submit any questions or comments to [email protected]

    2. Supervisory Observations

    Recent supervisory observations are reported in the areas of mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, student loan servicing, and fair lending.

    2.1 Mortgage Origination 2.1.1 Observations and Approach to Compliance With the Ability To Repay (ATR) Rule Requirements

    Prior to the mortgage crisis, some creditors offered consumers mortgages without considering the consumer's ability to repay the loan, at times engaging in the loose underwriting practice of failing to verify the consumer's debts or income. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to provide that no creditor may make a residential mortgage loan unless the creditor makes a reasonable and good faith determination based on verified and documented information that, at the time the loan is consummated, the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms, as well as all applicable taxes, insurance (including mortgage guarantee insurance), and assessments.1 The Dodd-Frank Act also amended TILA by creating a presumption of compliance with these ability-to-repay (ATR) requirements for creditors originating a specific category of loans called “qualified mortgage” (QM) loans.2

    1 Section 1411 of the Dodd-Frank Act, Public Law 111-203, adding section 129C(a) to TILA, codified at 15 U.S.C. 1639c(a)).

    2 Section 1412 of the Dodd-Frank Act, adding section 129C(b) to TILA, codified at 15 U.S.C. 1639c(b).

    To implement these statutory provisions, the Bureau amended Regulation Z to require that a creditor shall not make a loan that is a covered transaction (i.e., in general, a closed-end, dwelling-secured consumer credit transaction) unless the creditor makes a reasonable and good faith determination at or before consummation that the consumer will have a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms (ATR rule).3 For a QM loan, the rule provides a safe harbor for compliance with the ATR requirement for loans that are not higher-priced covered transactions and a presumption of such ATR compliance for higher-priced covered transactions.4 The Bureau's ATR rule has been in effect since January 10, 2014. Since the effective date of the ATR rule, Supervision has observed that most entities examined by the Bureau are generally complying with the ATR rule.

    3 12 CFR 1026.43(c).

    4 12 CFR 1026.43(e).

    This section focuses on recent supervisory examination observations and Supervision's approach to determining compliance with the ATR rule, including general requirements associated with the ATR rule for non-QM loans and verification requirements for information relied upon in making determinations of ability to repay. Specifically, this section discusses how Supervision assesses a creditor's ATR determination that includes reliance on verified assets and not income. It also explains whether a creditor can make a reasonable and good faith determination of ability to repay based on down payment size for a consumer with no verified income or assets.

    2.1.2 Reasonable and Good Faith Determination Requirement and Basis for Determination

    The ATR rule outlines minimum requirements for making determinations of ability to repay. Specifically, the rule enumerates factors a creditor must consider when making an ATR determination,5 but beyond the requirements set forth in the rule, the ATR rule does not establish underwriting standards to which creditors must adhere. Creditors have flexibility in creating their own underwriting standards when making ATR determinations, as long as those standards incorporate the minimum requirements set forth in the rule. Therefore, Supervision evaluates whether a creditor's ATR determination is reasonable and in good faith by reviewing relevant lending policies and procedures and a sample of loan files and assessing the facts and circumstances of each extension of credit in the sample.

    5 12 CFR 1026.43(c)(2). A creditor must consider: (i) The consumer's current or reasonably expected income or assets, other than the value of the dwelling, including any real property attached to the dwelling, that secures the loan; (ii) if the creditor relies on income from the consumer's employment in determining repayment ability, the consumer's current employment status; (iii) the consumer's monthly payment on the covered transaction, calculated in accordance with paragraph (c)(5) of the ATR rule; (iv) the consumer's monthly payment on any simultaneous loan that the creditor knows or has reason to know will be made, calculated in accordance with paragraph (c)(6); (v) the consumer's monthly payment for mortgage-related obligations; (vi) the consumer's current debt obligations, alimony, and child support; (vii) the consumer's monthly debt-to-income (DTI) ratio or residual income, calculated in accordance with paragraph (c)(7); and (viii) the consumer's credit history.

    2.1.3 Verification Using Third-Party Records and Verification of Income or Assets

    The ATR rule generally requires that creditors verify the information that they will rely upon to determine the consumer's repayment ability, using reasonably reliable third-party records.6 A creditor must verify the amounts of income or assets the creditor relies on to determine a consumer's ability to repay the loan using third-party records that provide reasonably reliable evidence of the consumer's income or assets.7 The ATR rule does not require that creditors adhere to a prescribed method of verifying income or assets. Creditors may refer to the non-exhaustive list of records set forth in the ATR rule in verifying the consumer's income or assets.8

    6 12 CFR 1026.43(c)(3).

    7 12 CFR 1026.43(c)(4).

    8 12 CFR 1026.43(c)(4). Creditors may verify the consumer's income by using a tax-return transcript issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Examples of other records the creditor may use to verify the consumer's income or assets include: (i) Copies of tax returns the consumer filed with the IRS or a State taxing authority; (ii) IRS Form W-2s or similar IRS forms used for reporting wages or tax withholding; (iii) payroll statements, including military leave and earnings statements; (iv) financial institution records; (v) records from the consumer's employer or a third party that obtained information from the employer; (vi) records from a Federal, State, or local government agency stating the consumer's income from benefits or entitlements; (vii) receipts from the consumer's use of check cashing services; and (viii) receipts from the consumer's use of a funds transfer service.

    When assessing a creditor's compliance with ATR rule requirements, Supervision determines whether the creditor considered the required underwriting factors in determining the ability to repay. Then examiners determine whether the creditor properly verified the information it relied upon in making that determination. Records a creditor uses for verification, including to verify income or assets, must be specific to the individual consumer.9 For example, as discussed in the October 2016 issue of Supervisory Highlights, a creditor violated the ATR requirements by failing to properly verify income relied upon when considering the consumer's monthly debt-to-income ratio and determining the consumer's ability to repay.10

    9 Comment 43(c)(3)-1.

    10 12 CFR 1026.43(c)(2)(vii), (c)(4), and (c)(7).

    2.1.4 Reliance on the Consumer's Verified Assets and Not Income When Making an ATR Determination

    The ATR rule provides that a creditor may base its determination of ability to repay on current or reasonably expected income from employment or other sources, assets other than the dwelling (and any attached real property) that secures the covered transaction, or both.11 The income and/or assets relied upon must be verified. In situations where a creditor makes an ATR determination that relies on assets and not income, CFPB examiners would evaluate whether the creditor reasonably and in good faith determined that the consumer's verified assets suffice to establish the consumer's ability to repay the loan according to its terms, in light of the creditor's consideration of other required ATR factors, including: the consumer's mortgage payment(s) on the covered transaction, monthly payments on any simultaneous loan that the creditor knows or has reason to know will be made, monthly mortgage-related obligations, other monthly debt obligations, alimony and child support, monthly DTI ratio or residual income, and credit history. In considering these factors, a creditor relying on assets and not income could, for example, assume income is zero and properly determine that no income is necessary to make a reasonable determination of the consumer's ability to repay the loan in light of the consumer's verified assets.12

    11 Comment 43(c)(2)(i)-1.

    12 For example, if a creditor considers monthly residual income to determine repayment ability for a consumer with no verified income, it might allocate the consumer's verified assets to offset what would be a negative monthly residual income (given that the ATR rule requires a creditor considering residual monthly income to do so by considering remaining income after subtracting total monthly debt obligations from total monthly income).

    2.1.5 Reliance on Down Payment Size To Support Repayment Ability for a Consumer With No Verified Income or Assets

    As an initial matter, a down payment cannot be treated as an asset for purposes of considering the consumer's income or assets under the ATR rule. As described above, the ATR rule requires creditors to consider a consumer's reasonably expected income or assets, “other than the value of the dwelling, including any real property attached to the dwelling that secures the loan.”  13 Additionally, while the size of a down payment generally affects the loan amount, the ATR rule already accounts for this by focusing the relevant inquiry on a consumer's ability to repay the loan according to its terms. All else being equal, a larger down payment will lower the loan size and monthly payment and will in this way improve a consumer's repayment ability. However, the size of a down payment does not directly indicate a consumer's ability to repay the loan according to its terms on a going-forward basis because a down payment is not an asset available for this purpose. Therefore, standing alone, down payments will not support a reasonable and good faith determination of the ability to repay. Supervision cannot anticipate circumstances where a creditor could demonstrate that it reasonably and in good faith determined ATR for a consumer with no verified income or assets based solely on the down payment size. This would be the case even where the loan program as a whole has a history of strong performance.

    13 12 CFR 1026.43(c)(2)(i) (emphasis added).

    For every mortgage origination examination of Bureau supervised entities where Bureau examiners are assessing compliance with the ATR rule, Supervision will evaluate whether the creditor made a reasonable and good faith determination of the consumer's ability to repay in light of the facts and circumstances specific to each individual extension of credit. For further information on Supervision's approach to the ATR rule, Supervision encourages supervised entities to review the Bureau's Mortgage Origination Examination Procedures 14 and TILA Examination Procedures.15 For summaries of the ATR rule, creditors can review the Bureau's Readiness Guide 16 and Small Entity Compliance Guide.17 However, only the regulation and its accompanying commentary can provide complete and definitive information about the requirements.

    14 Mortgage Origination Examination Procedures, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/supervision-examinations/mortgage-origination-examination-procedures/.

    15 TILA Examination procedures, available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201509_cfpb_truth-in-lending-act-exam-procedures.pdf.

    16 Readiness guide, available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201509_cfpb_readiness-guide_mortgage-implementation.pdf.

    17 See Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule—Small Entity Compliance Guide, available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201603_cfpb_atr-qm_small-entity-compliance-guide.pdf.

    2.2 Mortgage Servicing

    The June 2016 edition of Supervisory Highlights discussed how outdated mortgage servicing technology and lapses in auditing and staff training have led to persistent compliance deficiencies with loss mitigation acknowledgement notices, loan modification denial notices, servicing transfers, and in other areas.18 Supervision continues to observe serious problems with the loss mitigation process at certain servicers, including at one or more servicers that failed to request from borrowers the additional documents and information they needed to obtain complete loss mitigation applications, only to deny the applications for missing those documents.19 Supervision directed these servicers to enhance policies, procedures, and monitoring to ensure that they promptly address the specific deficiencies found in each exam. Other issues reviewed during Supervision's most recent mortgage servicing examinations include dual tracking, problems with the maintenance of escrow accounts, and deficient periodic statements.

    18See Supervisory Highlights Mortgage Servicing Special Edition, available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/research-reports/supervisory-highlights-mortgage-servicing-special-edition-issue-11/.

    19 12 CFR 1024.41(c)(2)(iv).

    2.2.1 Dual Tracking

    Regulation X generally 20 prohibits a servicer from making the first notice or filing required by applicable law for any judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure process (“first notice or filing”) if a consumer timely submits a complete loss mitigation application, unless certain circumstances are met.21 This prohibition on foreclosure filing also extends to certain situations where a consumer timely submits all the missing documents and information as stated in a servicer's loss mitigation acknowledgment notice—that is, it applies to “facially complete” applications.22

    20 Pursuant to 12 CFR 1024.41(f)(1), the prohibition does not apply in three scenarios: (1) The borrower's mortgage loan obligation is more than 120 days delinquent, (2) the foreclosure is based on a borrower's violation of a due-on-sale clause, or (3) the servicer is joining the foreclosure action of a subordinate lienholder.

    21 Pursuant to 12 CFR 1024.41(f)(2), the servicer may make the first notice or filing, stated generally, if the borrower's application is properly denied and the borrower has no further right to appeal, the borrower rejects all the options offered, or the borrower fails to perform under an agreement on a loss mitigation option.

    22 12 CFR 1024.41(c)(2)(iv); 12 CFR 1024.41(f)(2) and comments 41(c)(2)(iv)-1 and -2.

    Examiners found that one or more servicers did not properly classify loss mitigation applications as facially complete after receiving the documents and information requested in the loss mitigation acknowledgment notice and failed to afford these eligible consumers with foreclosure protections for facially complete applications as required by Regulation X. The servicer(s) made the first notice or filing even though the consumers had timely submitted facially complete applications and were entitled to Regulation X's foreclosure protections. Supervision also determined that the servicer(s) violated Regulation X by failing to maintain policies and procedures reasonably designed to properly evaluate a borrower who submits a loss mitigation application for all loss mitigation options for which the borrower may be eligible.23 Supervision directed the servicer(s) to improve policies, procedures, and practices related to facially complete loss mitigation applications to ensure that the servicer(s) will not make a first notice or filing after receiving documents and information from a borrower until the servicer reviews the documents and information and determines that they do not comprise a facially complete application.24 The servicer(s) remediated consumers affected by the improper first notice or filing for fees charged to the consumer in these circumstances, for other economic harms, and non-economic harms such as emotional distress.

    23See 112 CFR 1024.38(b)(2)(v) (setting forth the requirement that servicers shall maintain policies and procedures reasonably designed to properly evaluate a borrower who submits an application for a loss mitigation option for all loss mitigation options for which the borrower may be eligible pursuant to any requirements established by the owner or assignee of the borrower's mortgage loan and, where applicable, in accordance with the requirements of section 1024.41).

    24 This excludes circumstances where Regulation X permits a servicer(s) to make a first notice or filing.

    2.2.2 Paying the Wrong Consumer's Insurance Premiums With Escrow Funds

    One or more servicers disbursed funds from some borrowers' escrow accounts to pay insurance premiums owed by other borrowers. The practice created escrow shortages and increased monthly payments that consumers with affected escrow accounts could not avoid. Supervision cited this practice as unfair and directed that in addition to remediating affected consumers, the servicer(s) adopt policies and procedures to ensure that insurance payments are made properly from escrow accounts.25

    25 12 U.S.C. 5536(a)(1)(B).

    2.2.3 Vague Periodic Statements

    In connection with periodic statements required under Regulation Z, examiners found one or more servicers used the phrases “Misc. Expenses” and “Charge for Service” when describing transaction activity that caused a credit or debit to the amount currently due as displayed on periodic statements. Supervision cited the servicer(s) for violating Regulation Z requirements that the transaction activity listed on periodic statements include a brief description of the transactions because the phrases “Misc. Expenses” and “Charge for Service” were not adequate or specific enough to comply with the rule's requirement.26 Supervision directed the servicer(s) to provide more specific descriptions in order to facilitate consumer understanding of the fees and charges imposed.

    26 12 CFR 1026.41(d)(4).

    2.3 Student Loan Servicing

    The Bureau continues to examine Federal and private student loan servicing activities, primarily assessing whether entities have engaged in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices prohibited by the Dodd-Frank Act. Examiners identified an unfair act or practice and a deceptive act or practice relating to payment deferments in the Bureau's recent student loan servicing examinations.

    2.3.1 Failing To Reverse Adverse Consequences of Erroneous Deferment Terminations

    Many student loan lenders offer deferments during periods in which a borrower is attending school. To manage that benefit, student loan servicers rely on enrollment data supplied by schools via a third-party enrollment reporting company, National Student Clearinghouse. In general, schools regularly provide updated data files on their students' enrollment status to an enrollment reporting company, which in turn, facilitates the updating of enrollment data files that are sent to student loan servicers.27 Each year, data about tens of millions of current and former students pass through this data exchange service. The servicers' automated systems will then trigger changes in a borrower's loan status. For Federal loans, a third-party enrollment reporting company often reports information through the Department of Education.

    27 For more information on this process, see the Bureau's recent report on the topic. CFPB, Student Data & Student Debt: How student enrollment status problems can make student loans more expensive, Feb. 2017, available at https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201702_cfpb_Enrollment-Status-Student-Loan-Report.pdf.

    During one or more exams of student loan servicers, examiners found that incorrect information received from a third-party enrollment reporting service provider caused the servicer to automatically terminate deferments prematurely, while borrowers were still enrolled at least half-time in school. Based on subsequent reporting, the servicers corrected the premature termination and retroactively placed the borrowers back in deferment. However, examiners found that the servicers engaged in an unfair practice because they did not reverse the adverse financial consequences of the erroneous deferment termination, including late fees charged for non-payment during periods when the borrower should have been in deferment, and interest capitalization that occurred because the borrower's deferment was erroneously terminated. This practice was especially harmful to borrowers where the enrollment reporting data resulted in multiple premature deferment terminations, because interest capitalized multiple times, increasing principal balances by thousands of dollars in some instances.

    Supervision determined these servicers engaged in the unfair practice of failing to reverse late fees and interest capitalization events after determining that they had erroneously terminated borrowers' in-school deferment based on enrollment reporting data. Supervision directed one or more servicers to engage an independent audit to find accounts that were adversely affected and remediate the resulting harm.

    2.3.2 Deceptive Statements About Interest Capitalization During Successive Deferments

    Student loan lenders usually offer a variety of deferment and forbearance options that allow borrowers to cease payments for a brief period of time. Often, when a forbearance or deferment ends, the interest that has accrued during the forbearance or deferment period is capitalized, meaning that the interest is added to the principal amount that accrues interest.

    At one or more servicers, examiners found that servicers were placing borrowers into successive periods of forbearance or deferment where a new period immediately followed the previous period. When that happened, the servicers would capitalize interest after each period of deferment or forbearance, instead of capitalizing once when the borrower eventually reentered repayment. Since capitalized interest is added to the borrower's loan balance, capitalizing interest multiple times rather than once increases the amount the borrower ultimately must repay.

    Supervision determined that one or more servicers had engaged in deceptive practices by stating that interest would capitalize at the end of the deferment period. Reasonable consumers likely understood this to mean interest would capitalize once, when the borrower ultimately exited deferment and entered repayment. These misleading statements were material because, given the significant financial consequences of interest capitalization, the borrower may have decided to take a different action. Supervision directed one or more servicers to engage an independent audit to find accounts that were adversely affected and remediate the resulting harm. One or more servicers started capitalizing interest only after the final forbearance or deferment in a series, and reversed past capitalization events based on successive deferments or forbearances.

    2.4 Fair Lending 2.4.1 Update to Proxy Methodology

    In the Summer 2014 edition of Supervisory Highlights, 28 the Bureau reported that examination teams use a Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding (BISG) proxy methodology for race and ethnicity in their fair lending analysis of non-mortgage credit products. The BISG methodology relies on the distribution of race and ethnicity based on place-of-residence and surname, which are publicly available information from Census. The method involves constructing a probability of assignment to race and ethnicity based on demographic information associated with surname and then updating this probability using the demographic characteristics of the census block group associated with place of residence. The updating is performed through the application of a Bayesian algorithm, which yields an integrated probability that can be used to proxy for an individual's race and ethnicity.29

    28 See Supervisory Highlights (Summer 2014), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201409_cfpb_supervisory-highlights_auto-lending_summer-2014.pdf.

    29 For more information on the methodology, see Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Using publicly available information to proxy for unidentified race and ethnicity (Sept. 2014), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201409_cfpb_report_proxy-methodology.pdf.

    In December, the U.S. Census Bureau released a list of the most frequently occurring surnames based on the most recent census, which includes values for total counts and race and ethnicity shares associated with each surname. In total, the list provides information on the 162,253 surnames that appear at least 100 times in the most recent census, covering approximately 90% of the population.30 As of April 2017, examination teams are relying on an updated proxy methodology that reflects the newly available surname data from the Census Bureau. The new surname list; statistical software code, written in Stata; and other publicly available data used to build the BISG proxy are available at: https://github.com/cfpb/proxy-methodology.

    30 The surname data are available on the Census Bureau's Web site, see Frequently Occurring Surnames from the 2010 Census (last revised Dec. 27, 2016), https://www.census.gov/topics/population/genealogy/data/2010_surnames.html.

    3. Remedial Actions 3.1.1 Public Enforcement Actions

    The Bureau's supervisory activities resulted in or supported the following public enforcement actions.

    3.1.1 Experian

    On March 23, 2017, the Bureau announced an enforcement action against Experian and its subsidiaries for deceiving consumers about the use of credit scores it sold to consumers.31 In its advertising, Experian falsely represented that the credit scores it marketed and provided to consumers were the same scores lenders use to make credit decisions. In fact, lenders did not use the scores Experian sold to consumers. In some instances, there were significant differences between the scores that Experian provided to consumers and the various credit scores lenders actually use. As a result, Experian's credit scores in these instances presented an inaccurate picture of how lenders assessed consumer creditworthiness.

    31See CFPB Fines Experian $3 Million for Deceiving Consumers in Marketing Credit Scores, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-fines-experian-3-million-deceiving-consumers-marketing-credit-scores/.

    Experian also violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires a credit reporting company to provide a free credit report once every twelve months and to operate a central source—AnnualCreditReport.com—where consumers can obtain their report. Until March 2014, consumers getting their report through Experian had to view Experian advertisements before they got to the report. This violates the FCRA prohibition of such advertising tactics.

    The CFPB ordered Experian to truthfully represent how its credit scores are used and pay a $3 million civil money penalty.

    3.1.2 Prospect Mortgage, Planet Home Lending, Re/Max Gold Coast, and Keller Williams Mid-Willamette

    The Bureau entered consent orders against Prospect Mortgage, Keller Williams Mid Willamette (KW Mid-Willamette), Re/Max Gold Coast (RGC), and Planet Home Lending (Planet) on January 31, 2017.32 The Bureau found that Prospect gave, and KW Mid-Willamette, RGC, and Planet received, a thing of value in exchange for mortgage loan referrals. This arrangement violated Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which prohibits kickbacks for the referral of settlement service business.

    32See CFPB Orders Prospect Mortgage to Pay $3.5 Million Fine for Illegal Kickback Scheme, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-orders-prospect-mortgage-pay-35-million-fine-illegal-kickback-scheme/.

    Among other things, the Bureau found that KW Mid-Willamette paid a cash equivalent to its agents in return for referrals to Prospect. In addition, as part of its agreement to refer settlement service business to Prospect, RGC required hundreds of consumers to prequalify with Prospect before accepting an offer to buy a property where RGC represented the seller. The Bureau also found that Planet, a mortgage servicer, called consumers in an attempt to steer them to Prospect. Planet provided a ‘warm transfer’ to a Prospect loan agent to facilitate Prospect receiving the consumers' refinance business. Planet and Prospect split the net proceeds from these refinances.

    The Bureau also found that Planet violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by obtaining consumer reports without a permissible purpose. Finally, as described in the consent order, the Bureau found that Prospect paid hundreds of counterparties for referrals using desk license agreements, marketing services agreements, and lead agreements. These actions illustrate the legal risks associated with these types of agreements—as described in the Bureau's Compliance Bulletin 2015-05—for both the parties making and the parties receiving payments for referrals of real estate settlement services. Prospect was ordered to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty, and the real estate brokers and servicer were ordered to pay a combined $495,000 in consumer relief.

    3.1.3 CitiFinancial Servicing and CitiMortgage

    On January 23, 2017, the Bureau took separate actions against CitiFinancial Servicing and CitiMortgage, Inc. for giving the runaround to struggling homeowners seeking options to save their homes.33 Among other things, the Bureau found that CitiFinancial kept consumers in the dark about foreclosure relief options. When borrowers applied to have their payments deferred, CitiFinancial failed to consider it as a request for foreclosure relief options. Such requests for foreclosure relief trigger protections required by CFPB mortgage servicing rules, which include helping borrowers complete their applications and considering them for all available foreclosure relief alternatives. As a result, CitiFinancial violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and borrowers may have missed out on foreclosure relief options that may have been more appropriate for them.

    33See CFPB Orders Citi Subsidiaries to Pay $28.8 Million for Giving the Runaround to Borrowers Trying to Save Their Homes, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-orders-citi-subsidiaries-pay-288-million-giving-runaround-borrowers-trying-save-their-homes/.

    The Bureau also found that some borrowers who asked CitiMortgage for assistance were sent a letter demanding dozens of documents and forms that had no bearing on the application or that the consumer had already provided. Many of these documents had nothing to do with a borrower's financial circumstances and were actually not needed to complete the application. Letters sent to borrowers in 2014 requested documents with descriptions such as “teacher contract,” and “Social Security award letter.” CitiMortgage sent such letters to about 41,000 consumers. In doing so, CitiMortgage violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and the Dodd-Frank Act's prohibition against deceptive acts or practices.

    The CFPB order requires CitiMortgage to pay an estimated $17 million in remediation to consumers, and pay a civil penalty of $3 million; and requires CitiFinancial Services to refund approximately $4.4 million to consumers, and pay a civil penalty of $4.4 million.

    3.1.4 Equifax and TransUnion

    On January 3, 2017, the Bureau took action against Equifax, and against TransUnion, and their subsidiaries for deceiving consumers about the usefulness and actual cost of credit scores they sold to consumers.34 In their advertising, TransUnion and Equifax falsely represented that the credit scores they marketed and provided to consumers were the same scores lenders typically use to make credit decisions. The companies also claimed that their credit scores and credit-related products were free, or in the case of TransUnion, cost only “$1.” In fact, the scores sold by TransUnion and Equifax were not typically used by lenders to make those decisions. Moreover, consumers who signed up for credit scores or credit-related products received a free trial of seven or 30 days, after which they were automatically enrolled in a subscription program. Unless they cancelled during the trial period, consumers were charged a recurring fee—usually $16 or more per month.

    34See CFPB Orders TransUnion and Equifax to Pay for Deceiving Consumers in Marketing Credit Scores and Credit Products, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-orders-transunion-and-equifax-pay-deceiving-consumers-marketing-credit-scores-and-credit-products/.

    Equifax also violated the FCRA, which requires a credit reporting agency to provide a free credit report once every 12 months and to operate a central source—AnnualCreditReport.com—where consumers can get their report. Until January 2014, consumers getting their report through Equifax first had to view Equifax advertisements. This violates the FCRA, which prohibits such advertising until after consumers receive their report.

    The CFPB ordered TransUnion and Equifax to truthfully represent the value of the credit scores they provide and the cost of obtaining those credit scores and other services. Between them, TransUnion and Equifax must pay a total of more than $17.6 million in restitution to consumers, and a $5.5 million civil money penalty.

    3.1.5 Moneytree, Inc.

    On December 16, 2016, the Bureau took action against Moneytree for misleading consumers with deceptive online advertisements and collections letters, and for making unauthorized electronic transfers from consumers' bank accounts.35 Specifically, the CFPB found that Moneytree deceived consumers about the price of check-cashing services, made false threats of vehicle repossession when collecting overdue unsecured loans, and withdrew funds from consumers' accounts without proper written authorization. The CFPB ordered the company to cease its illegal conduct, provide $255,000 in refunds to consumers, and pay a civil penalty of $250,000.

    35See CFPB Takes Action Against Moneytree for Deceptive Advertising and Collection Practices, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-takes-action-against-moneytree-deceptive-advertising-and-collection-practices/.

    Prior to taking enforcement action, the Bureau identified significant weaknesses in Moneytree's compliance management system through multiple supervisory examinations of Moneytree's lending, marketing, and collections activities. At the time of the violations described in the order, Moneytree had not adequately addressed these issues. Moneytree's failure to adequately address CFPB's supervisory concerns was a factor in the Bureau's determination to pursue this matter through a public enforcement action.

    3.2 Non-Public Supervisory Actions

    In addition to the public enforcement actions above, recent supervisory activities have resulted in approximately $6.1 million in restitution to more than 16,000 consumers. These non-public supervisory actions generally have been the product of CFPB supervision and examinations, often involving either examiner findings or self-reported violations of Federal consumer financial law during the course of an examination. Recent non-public resolutions were reached in auto finance origination matters.

    4. Supervision Program Developments 4.1 Examination Procedures 4.1.1 Overview and Examination Chapters

    The CFPB has updated sections of its Supervision and Examination Manual. These updates include revisions to certain sections of Part I—Compliance Supervision and Examination (Overview and Examination Process).36 The corresponding Scope Summary template has also been updated.37 These revisions were necessitated by the updated Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Uniform Interagency Consumer Compliance Rating System, which became effective on March 31, 2017. The revisions also reflect changes in our supervisory program, such as the refinement to our examination prioritization process.

    36See the Overview and Examination Process updates, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/supervision-examinations/updated-portions-overview-and-examination-process/.

    37See Scope Summary template, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/supervision-examinations/scope-summary-template/.

    4.1.2 Changes to Reporting Templates

    New reporting templates for Supervisory Letters and Examination Reports (collectively referred to as Reports) are now available on the CFPB Web site.38 These changes aim to simplify Reports and facilitate follow-up reporting by supervised entities about actions they are taking to address compliance management weaknesses or legal violations found during Bureau examinations.

    38 Report templates are available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/supervision-examinations/supervisory-report-and-letter-templates/.

    4.2 Service Provider Examination Program

    In bulletins and past issues of Supervisory Highlights, the CFPB has emphasized that effective service provider oversight is a crucial component of any compliance management system (CMS).39 The CFPB expects its supervised entities to have an effective process for identifying and managing the risks to consumers created by the choices made to outsource certain activities to service providers.40 The CFPB has and will continue to evaluate the oversight of service providers in its compliance management reviews according to these expectations.

    39 See e.g., Supervisory Highlights (Fall 2016), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/Supervisory_Highlights_Issue_13_Final_10.31.16.pdf; Supervisory Highlights (Summer 2016), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/Supervisory_Highlights_Issue_12.pdf; and Supervisory Highlights (Spring 2014), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201405_cfpb_supervisory-highlights-spring-2014.pdf. For Bulletins, see Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance; 2016-03, Detecting and Preventing Consumer Harm from Production Incentives available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/implementation-guidance/cfpb-compliance-bulletin-2016-03-detecting-and-preventing-consumer-harm-from-production-incentives/; and Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance; 2016-02, Service Providers (amends and reissues CFPB Bulletin 2012-03), available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/documents/1385/102016_cfpb_OfficialGuidanceServiceProviderBulletin.pdf.

    40 Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance; 2016-02, Service Providers (amends and reissues CFPB Bulletin 2012-03), available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/documents/1385/102016_cfpb_OfficialGuidanceServiceProviderBulletin.pdf.

    At the same time, the CFPB recognizes the potential risks to consumers posed by large service providers,41 which provide technological support to facilitate compliance with Federal consumer financial law, including software packages, electronic system platforms, and other types of technological tools. These compliance tools are often provided to thousands of participants in a particular market. As such, compliance risks in an entire market may be heightened when regulatory compliance is not considered and integrated throughout the development lifecycle, change, and configuration of these compliance systems.

    41 Compliance information systems are information systems and processes used by financial institutions to produce consumer financial products and services.

    Because a single service provider might affect consumer risk at many institutions, the CFPB has begun to develop and implement a program to supervise these service providers directly.42 Direct examination of key service providers will provide the CFPB the opportunity to monitor and potentially reduce risks to consumers at their source.

    42 The Dodd-Frank Act grants the Bureau the authority to examine “service providers” to certain entities. More specifically, under Dodd-Frank Act subsections 1024(e) and 1025(d), the Bureau has the authority to examine, in coordination with the appropriate prudential regulator(s), service providers to entities described in Dodd-Frank Act subsections 1024(a)(1) or 1025(a), to the same extent as if the Bureau were an appropriate Federal banking agency under section 7(c) of the Bank Service Company Act. And, under Dodd-Frank Act section 1026(e), the Bureau has the authority to examine, in coordination with the appropriate prudential regulator(s), service providers to a substantial number of entities described in Dodd-Frank Act subsection 1026(a), to the same extent as if the Bureau were an appropriate Federal banking agency under section 7(c) of the Bank Service Company Act. See Dodd-Frank Act Sections 1024-1026, codified at 12 U.S.C. 5514-5516.

    In its initial work, the CFPB is conducting baseline reviews of some service providers to learn about the structure of these companies, their operations, their compliance systems, and their CMS. In more targeted work, the CFPB is focusing on service providers that directly affect the mortgage origination and servicing markets. The CFPB will shape its future service provider supervisory activities based on what it learns through its initial work. As with all new examination programs, service provider supervision is folded into the Bureau's overall risk-based prioritization process.43

    43 See Section 3.2.3, Risk-Based Approach to Examinations, Supervisory Highlights: Summer 2013, available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201308_cfpb_supervisory-highlights_august.pdf.

    4.3 Spike and Trend Monitoring

    As a data-driven agency, the Bureau has prioritized detecting issues in the market that could result in risk to consumers. The Bureau has historically incorporated this information about market trends into the risk-based prioritization of examinations.44 To this end, the Bureau now continuously monitors spikes and trends in complaints. Our automated capability monitors the volume of consumer complaints for all companies named by consumers in complaint submissions. Our active monitoring algorithms identify short, medium, and long-term changes in complaint volumes in daily, weekly, and quarterly windows. Importantly, the tool works regardless of company size, random variation, general complaint growth, and seasonality.

    44 See Section 3.2.3, Supervisory Highlights (Summer 2013), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201308_cfpb_supervisory-highlights_august.pdf.

    The tool is intended to be an effective early warning system, helping the Bureau to identify consumer issues quickly and engage with companies earlier. For example, in one instance, the regional exam team, after reviewing complaints associated with a spike in complaint volume, immediately reached out to the company to inform senior management and discuss consumers' concerns. The Bureau was able to engage senior management before they were aware of the matter through their own internal processes. The company quickly developed and implemented a plan to correct the issues, provided accurate information to customer service representatives, and developed a refund policy and process for affected consumers, minimizing potential harm to consumers and further risk of exposure for the company.

    4.4 Recent CFPB Guidance

    The CFPB is committed to providing guidance on its supervisory priorities to industry and members of the public.

    4.4.1 Compliance and Regulatory Implementation Resources

    The Bureau is continuously working to facilitate compliance and empower stakeholders to understand and apply Federal consumer financial laws. In addition to official guidance provided by the Bureau, there are a variety of tools and resources for industry and other stakeholders. These resources include plain-language guides, rules summaries, reference charts, sample forms, interactive Web pages, and webinars. The Bureau refers to this ongoing work as “regulatory implementation.” The implementation and guidance Web page 45 includes links to dedicated Web pages for HMDA, the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, Prepaid Rule, Title XIV (which includes both mortgage origination and mortgage servicing), remittance transfers, and the rural and underserved counties list. There are also instructions on how to provide feedback on the material and sign up to receive notices on new regulatory implementation efforts and materials.

    45 These resources are available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/implementation-guidance/.

    Another tool provided by the Bureau to support compliance and implementation is eRegulations,46 a web-based, open source platform that makes regulations easier to find, read, and use. It brings official interpretations, regulatory history, and other information to the forefront to clarify regulations. The eRegulations tool has been updated to include Regulations B, C, D, E, J, K, L, M, X, Z and DD. User feedback consistently indicates that many users have found this platform to be very useful for navigating Bureau regulations.

    46 The eRegulations tool is available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/eregulations/.

    4.5 Production Incentives

    On November 28, 2016, CFPB published Compliance Bulletin 2016-03, “Detecting and Preventing Consumer Harm from Production Incentives.” The Bureau recognizes that many supervised entities may choose to implement incentive programs to achieve business objectives. These production incentives can lead to significant consumer harm if not properly managed. However, when properly implemented and monitored, reasonable incentives can benefit consumers and the financial marketplace as a whole.

    This bulletin compiles guidance that has previously been given by the CFPB in other contexts and highlights examples from the CFPB's supervisory and enforcement experience where incentives contributed to substantial consumer harm. It also describes compliance management steps that supervised entities should take to mitigate risks posed by incentives.

    The CFPB anticipates that careful and thoughtful implementation of the guidance contained in this bulletin will yield substantial benefits for both bank and nonbank financial institutions, as well as for consumers. In particular, it should help institutions prevent, identify, and mitigate issues that could pose significant legal, regulatory, and reputational risks that could also cause harm for consumers.

    5. Conclusion

    The Bureau recognizes the value of communicating our program findings to CFPB supervised entities to help them in their efforts to comply with Federal consumer financial law, and to other stakeholders to foster a better understanding of the CFPB's work.

    To this end, the Bureau remains committed to publishing its Supervisory Highlights report periodically to share information about general supervisory and examination findings (without identifying specific institutions, except in the case of public enforcement actions), to communicate operational changes to the program, and to provide a convenient and easily accessible resource for information on the Bureau's guidance documents.

    Dated: April 22, 2017. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09658 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Sunshine Act Notice

    The Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service gives notice of the following meeting:

    Date and Time:

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 3:00-4:00 p.m. (ET).

    Place:

    Corporation for National and Community Service, 250 E Street SW., Suite 4026, Washington, DC 20525 (Please go to the first floor lobby reception area for escort).

    Call-in Information:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 800-779-9469 conference call access code number 6366753. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and CNCS will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Replays are generally available one hour after a call ends. The toll-free phone number for the replay is 800-944-3743. TTY: 402-998-1748. The end replay date is June 7, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

    Status:

    Open.

    Matters to be Considered:

    I. Chair's Opening Comments II. Acting CEO Report III. Public Comments IV. Final Comments and Adjournment

    Members of the public who would like to comment on the business of the Board may do so in writing or in person. Individuals may submit written comments to [email protected] with subject line: MAY 2017 CNCS BOARD MEETING by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on May 22, 2017. Individuals attending the meeting in person who would like to comment will be asked to sign-in upon arrival. Comments are requested to be limited to 2 minutes.

    Reasonable Accommodations:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service provides reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. Anyone who needs an interpreter or other accommodation should notify Eric Harsch at [email protected] or 202-606-6928 by 5 p.m. (ET) on May 19, 2017.

    Contact Person for More Information:

    Eric Harsch, Program Support Assistant, Corporation for National and Community Service, 250 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20525. Phone: 202-606-6928. Fax: 202-606-3460. TTY: 800-833-3722. Email: [email protected]

    Dated: May 10, 2017. Angela Williams, Acting General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09770 Filed 5-10-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, Honor Subcommittee and the Remember and Explore Subcommittee Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open subcommittee meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory subcommittee meetings of the Honor Subcommittee and the Remember and Explore Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery (ACANC). These meetings are open to the public. For more information about the Committee and the Subcommittees, please visit http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/AboutUs/FocusAreas.aspx.

    DATES:

    The Honor Subcommittee will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and the Remember and Explore Subcommittee will meet from 2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Honor Subcommittee and the Remember & Explore Subcommittee will meet in the Welcome Center Conference Room, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA 22211.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Timothy Keating; Designated Federal Officer (Alternate) for the Committee and the Subcommittees, in writing at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA 22211, or by email at [email protected], or by phone at 1-877-907-8585.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This subcommittee meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Sunshine in the Government Act of 1976 (U.S.C. 552b, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meetings: The Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery is an independent Federal advisory committee chartered to provide the Secretary of the Army independent advice and recommendations on Arlington National Cemetery, including, but not limited to, cemetery administration, the erection of memorials at the cemetery, and master planning for the cemetery. The Secretary of the Army may act on the committee's advice and recommendations. The primary purpose of the Honor Subcommittee is to accomplish an independent assessment of methods to address the long-term future of the Army national cemeteries, including how best to extend the active burials and what ANC should focus on once all available space is used. At this meeting the subcommittee will receive a presentation of the report to Congress concerning ANC capacity as required by Public Law 114-158 and subsequently conduct a roundtable discussion with visiting members of the public. The subcommittee may then report its deliberations and findings to the full committee.

    The primary purpose of the Remember & Explore Subcommittee is to recommend methods to maintain the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Monument, including the cracks in the large marble sarcophagus, the adjacent marble slabs, and the potential replacement marble stone for the sarcophagus already gifted to the Army; accomplish an independent assessment of requests to place commemorative monuments; and identify means to capture and convey ANC's history, including Section 60 gravesite mementos, and improve the quality of visitors' experiences now and for generations to come. At this meeting the subcommittee will hear a proposal to place a commemorative monument within ANC, receive a briefing of the ANC Monuments Working Group study of the proposal, and may vote to make a recommendation to the full committee to approve or disapprove the proposal. Additionally, the subcommittee is expected to select a subcommittee member to nominate to the full committee as a successor to the sitting Chairperson.

    Proposed Agenda: The Honor Subcommittee will conduct a roundtable discussion with visiting members of the public of the ANC Capacity Report to Congress required by Public Law 114-158. The subcommittee may then report its deliberations and findings to the full committee. The Remember and Explore subcommittee will receive a presentation from a private association proposing to erect a commemorative monument within ANC in accordance with Title 38 U.S.C. 2409 and a presentation from the ANC Monuments Working Group regarding their study of the proposal. The subcommittee may deliberate and subsequently make a recommendation to the full Committee which may then make a recommendation to the Secretary of the Army whether to approve or disapprove the proposal.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is on a first-come basis. The Women in Military Service for America Memorial Auditorium and the ANC Welcome Center Conference room are both readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mr. Timothy Keating, the subcommittee's Alternate Designated Federal Officer, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Written Comments and Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the subcommittee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the subcommittee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Timothy Keating, the subcommittee's Alternate Designated Federal Officer, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the Designated Federal Officer at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the subcommittee. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the subcommittee Chairperson, and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the subcommittee before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the subcommittee until its next meeting. Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140d, the subcommittee is not obligated to allow the public to speak or otherwise address the subcommittee during the meeting. However, interested persons may submit a written statement or a request to speak for consideration by the subcommittee. After reviewing any written statements or requests submitted, the subcommittee Chairperson and the Designated Federal Officer may choose to invite certain submitters to present their comments verbally during the open portion of this meeting or at a future meeting. The Designated Federal Officer in consultation with the subcommittee Chairperson, may allot a specific amount of time for submitters to present their comments verbally.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09647 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2015-HA-0008] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by June 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Health Insurance Claims Form; UB-04 CMS 1450; OMB Control Number 0720-0013.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement.

    Number of Respondents: 10,318.

    Responses per Respondent: 83.241.

    Annual Responses: 858,881.

    Average Burden per Response: 16 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 41,884.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection requirement is necessary for a medical institution to claim benefit under the Defense Health Agency, TRICARE, which includes the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). The information collected will be used by CHAMPUS/TRICARE contractors to determine beneficiary eligibility, other health insurance liability, certification that the beneficiary received the care and that the provider is authorized to receive CHAMPUS/TRICARE payments.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Stephanie Tatham.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Stephanie Tatham, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09620 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Board on Coastal Engineering Research AGENCY:

    Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Board on Coastal Engineering Research. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The Board on Coastal Engineering Research will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on June 27, 2017 and reconvene from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on June 28, 2017. The Executive Session of the Board will convene from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on June 29, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    All sessions will be held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel Coral Ballroom #4, 2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI 96815. All sessions, including the Executive Session are open to the public. For more information about the Board, please visit https://chl.erdc.dren.mil/usace-cerb/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    COL Bryan S. Green Designated Federal Officer (DFO), U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Waterways Experiment Station, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199, phone 601-634-2513, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150. The Board on Coastal Engineering Research provides broad policy guidance and reviews plans for the conduct of research and the development of research projects in consonance with the needs of the coastal engineering field and the objectives of the U.S. Army Chief of Engineers.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The theme of the meeting is “Coastal Structures in a Sea of Change.” The purpose of the meeting is to identify priority research to address opportunities and challenges of designing, constructing and maintaining coastal infrastructure.

    Agenda: On Tuesday morning, June 27, 2017, panel presentations will deal with Changing Conditions and Coastal Structures across the Pacific Ocean. Presentations will include: Coastal infrastructure across the Pacific; Alaska Coastal Erosion Program; Pacific Ocean Hazards; Tinian Harbor General Investigations Study; Practical Resilience Metrics for Coastal Infrastructure Features; and Waikiki Beach, HI Shore Protection Project. There will be an optional field trip Tuesday afternoon, which is open to the public. It includes a bus tour to Iroquois Point, Hawaii and a Pearl Harbor Tour by the National Park Service.

    On Wednesday morning, June 28, 2017, the Board will reconvene to discuss Coastal Structures State of Practice. Presentations will include: Coastal Structures Design, Construction and Maintenance State of Practice; When to Repair a Coastal Structures; Projecting Rapid Response Across the Pacific; Floating Double Deck Pier; Enabling Ship to Shore Movement; Port Improvement via Exigent Repair (PIER) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration Results; and Vulnerability and Adaptation of Coastal Infrastructure. Wednesday afternoon session continues with the Hazards, Technology and Tools panel. Presentations include: Surge & Wave Modeling System (SWMS); Hawaii's National Shoreline Management Study (NSMS); Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS); Predicting Channel Dredging Requirements; and Coastal Structures Research Priorities.

    The Board will meet in Executive Session to discuss ongoing initiatives and future actions on Thursday morning, June 29, 2017.

    Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, the meeting is open to the public. Because seating capacity is limited, advance registration is required. For registration requirements please see below.

    Oral participation by the public is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel is fully handicap accessible. For additional information about public access procedures, please contact COL Bryan S. Green, the Board's DFO, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Registration: It is encouraged for individuals who wish to attend the meeting of the Board to register with the DFO by email, the preferred method of contact, no later than June 5, 2017, using the electronic mail contact information found in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The communication should include the registrant's full name, title, affiliation or employer, email address, and daytime phone number. If applicable, include written comments or statements with the registration email.

    Written Comments and Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.015(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the FACA, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the Board, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the Board's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to COL Bryan S. Green, DFO, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. The DFO will review all submitted written comments or statements and provide them to members of the Board for their consideration. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the DFO at least five business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the Board. The DFO will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the Board Chairperson and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the Board before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the Board until its next meeting.

    Verbal Comments: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140d, the Board is not obligated to allow a member of the public to speak or otherwise address the Board during the meeting. Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the Board meeting only at the time and in the manner described below. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least five business days in advance to the Board's DFO, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The DFO will log each request, in the order received, and in consultation with the Board Chair, determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the Board's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A 30-minute period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment, and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described above, will be allotted no more than five minutes during this period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the DFO.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09648 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID: USN-2015-0005] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by June 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Facilities Available for the Construction or Repair of Ships; Standard Form 17; OMB Control Number 0703-0006.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement.

    Number of Respondents: 200.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 200.

    Average Burden per Response: 4 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 800.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection is part of a joint effort between the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), to maintain a working data set on active U.S. Shipyards. The information collected is required by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 as amended and is critical in providing both organizations with a comprehensive list of U.S. commercial shipyards and their capabilities and capacities. These shipyards play a crucial role in national defense, the economy and the U.S. transportation infrastructure and as such, are of considerable interest to the U.S. Government. The data collected is used to assess the capabilities and capacities of U.S. commercial shipyards in the areas of ship repair and ship construction. The data is also used to monitor employment numbers for labor forecasting for future build projects as well as providing information on the ability to raise labor to meet national industrial mobilization requirements during times of national emergency. The data collected is the main source of information on these shipyards and is used to these ends.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: Annual.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09628 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Assessment Governing Board Quarterly Board Meeting AGENCY:

    National Assessment Governing Board, U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of open and closed meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the agenda for the May 18-20, 2017 Quarterly Board Meeting of the National Assessment Governing Board (hereafter referred to as Governing Board). This notice provides information to members of the public who may be interested in attending the meeting or providing written comments on the meeting. Due to unavoidable delays during the Administration transition, this notice is being posted less than 15 days prior to the Board meeting date.

    DATES:

    The Quarterly Board Meeting will be held on the following dates:

    • May 18, 2017 from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    • May 19, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

    • May 20, 2017 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Commons Hotel, 615 Washington Avenue SE., Minneapolis, MN 55414

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Munira Mwalimu, Executive Officer/Designated Federal Official of the Governing Board, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002, telephone: (202) 357-6938, fax: (202) 357-6945.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Statutory Authority and Function: The Governing Board is established under the National Assessment of Educational Progress Authorization Act, Title III of Pub. L. 107-279. Information on the Governing Board (hereafter Governing Board) and its work can be found at www.nagb.gov.

    The Governing Board is established to formulate policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Governing Board's responsibilities include the following: Selecting subject areas to be assessed, developing assessment frameworks and specifications, developing appropriate student achievement levels for each grade and subject tested, developing standards and procedures for interstate and national comparisons, improving the form and use of NAEP, developing guidelines for reporting and disseminating results, and releasing initial NAEP results to the public.

    May 18-20, 2017 Committee Meetings

    The Governing Board's standing committees will meet to conduct regularly scheduled work based on agenda items planned for this Quarterly Board Meeting and follow-up items as reported in the Governing Board's committee meeting minutes available at http://nagb.gov/what-we-do/board-committee-reports-and-agendas.html.

    Detailed Meeting Agenda: May 18-20, 2017 May 18: Committee Meetings

    Assessment Development Committee (ADC): Closed Session: 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.;

    Executive Committee: Open Session: 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Closed Session: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    May 19: Full Governing Board and Committee Meetings

    Full Governing Board: Open Session: 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.; Closed Session: 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.; Open Session 2:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

    Committee Meetings:

    Assessment Development Committee (ADC): Open Session: 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.; Closed Session: 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

    Committee on Standards, Design and Methodology (COSDAM): Open Session: 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

    Reporting and Dissemination (R&D): Open Session 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; Closed Session 12:05 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

    May 20: Full Governing Board and Committee Meetings

    Nominations Committee: Closed Session: 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

    Full Governing Board: Open Session: 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

    On Thursday, May 18, 2017, ADC will meet in closed session from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to review secure cognitive items and digital-based tasks for the grade 12 NAEP Mathematics assessment, the grade 12 NAEP Reading assessment, and the NAEP Science at grades 4, 8, and 12. The ADC will also review items and secure data for survey questionnaire items to be administered with NAEP assessments for Science, U.S. History, Civics, and Geography. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because the test items and data are secure and have not been released to the public. Public disclosure of the secure test items would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    On Thursday, May 18, 2017, the Executive Committee will convene in open session from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and in closed session from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. During the closed session, the Executive Committee will receive and discuss information related to the federal budget process, independent cost estimates and implications for implementing NAEP's Assessment Schedule through 2024, and the Governing Board's planned procurements to implement its Strategic Vision. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because public disclosure of this information would likely have an adverse financial effect on the NAEP program by providing confidential cost details and proprietary contract costs of current contractors to the public. Discussion of this information would be likely to significantly impede implementation of a proposed agency action if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

    On Friday, May 19, 2017, the Governing Board will meet in open session from 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The Governing Board will review and approve the May 18-20, 2017 Board meeting agenda and meeting minutes from the March 2017 Quarterly Board Meeting. Thereafter, a panel of Minneapolis District Leaders will lead a session on Social Emotional Learning and the Relationship to Traditional Academic Variables. The Governing Board will recess for standing committee meetings which will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

    On May 19, 2017, COSDAM will meet in open session from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. ADC will meet in open session from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and thereafter, in closed session from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. During the closed session, the committee will continue reviewing items from the Thursday, May 19 session, which includes secure items, tasks, and data addressing NAEP assessments in Mathematics, Reading, Science, U.S. History, Civics, and Geography. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because the test items and data are secure and have not been released to the public. Public disclosure of the secure test items would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    On May 19, 2017, R&D will meet in open session from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and thereafter in closed session from 12:05 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. During the closed session, the Committee will review data collected from core contextual variables included on NAEP. This session will feature unreleased results from pilot studies that are used to decide which variables to include in future administrations of NAEP. This meeting must be conducted in closed session because the pilot study results are secure and have not been released to the public. Public disclosure of the secure test items would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code. Following the closed session, R&D will meet in open session from 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

    On May 19, 2017, the Governing Board will meet in closed session from 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to receive a briefing on the embargoed Mapping State Proficiency Standards onto the 2015 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Scales Report. This meeting is being conducted in closed session because the report has not been released to the public. Public disclosure of the secure data would significantly impede implementation of the NAEP assessment program if conducted in open session. Such matters are protected by exemption 9(B) of § 552b of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    Thereafter, the Governing Board will take a fifteen-minute break and reconvene in open session from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Executive Director of the Governing Board, William Bushaw, will provide his report, followed by an update on National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) work by Peggy Carr, Acting Commissioner of NCES. From 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. the Governing Board will meet in breakout sessions to discuss the Strategic Vision Goal # 9 on Policy Approaches to Revise NAEP Assessment Subjects and the NAEP Schedule.

    The May 19, 2017 meeting will adjourn at 4:45 p.m.

    On May 20, 2017, the Nominations Committee will meet in closed session from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. The committee will discuss the 2017 and 2018 nominations. The Nominations Committee's discussions pertain solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency and information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As such, the discussions are protected by exemptions 2 and 6 of § 552b(c) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

    The Governing Board will meet in open session on May 20, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. to receive summaries of the prior day's discussion on Strategic Vision Goal # 9 followed by a discussion on Strategic Vision Goal #10 on New Approaches to Measuring Complex Skills Required for Postsecondary Education and Career.

    The Governing Board will then take a fifteen minute break and reconvene in open session from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to receive an update on committee reports. From 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. the Governing Board will discuss Strategic Vision #7, Long-Term Options; this session will be led by Board member Joe Wilhoft, COSDAM Vice- Chair.

    The May 20, 2017 meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 11:45 a.m.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: Pursuant to FACA requirements, the public may also inspect the meeting materials at www.nagb.gov beginning on Monday, May 1, 2017 by 10:00 a.m. ET. The official verbatim transcripts of the public meeting sessions will be available for public inspection no later than 30 calendar days following the meeting.

    Reasonable Accommodations: The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this notice. Although we will attempt to meet a request, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the Adobe Web site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Authority:

    Pub. L. 107-279, Title III—National Assessment of Educational Progress § 301.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. William J. Bushaw, Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), U.S. Department of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09609 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0008] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Consolidation Loan Rebate Fee Report AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 12, 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-0008. 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 Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    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: Consolidation Loan Rebate Fee Report.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0046.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 9,348.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 10,127.

    Abstract: The information collected on the Consolidation Loan Rebate Fee Report will be used to document Federal Consolidation loans held by lenders who are responsible for sending interest payment rebate fees to the Secretary of Education using ED Form 4-619.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09652 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2809-034] KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 2809-034.

    c. Date filed: April 28, 2017.

    d. Applicant: KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC (KEI Power).

    e. Name of Project: American Tissue Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On Cobbosseecontee Stream, in the Town of Gardiner, Kennebec County, Maine. There are no federal or tribal lands within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791 (a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Lewis Loon, Operations and Maintenance Manager, USA, KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC, 423 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, ME 04345; (207) 203-3026.

    i. FERC Contact: John Baummer, 202-502-6837, or [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item l below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See, 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. Pursuant to section 4.32(b)(7) of 18 CFR of the Commission's regulations, if any resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person believes that an additional scientific study should be conducted in order to form an adequate factual basis for a complete analysis of the application on its merit, the resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person must file a request for a study with the Commission not later than 60 days from the date of filing of the application, and serve a copy of the request on the applicant.

    l. Deadline for filing additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status: June 27, 2017.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2809-034.

    m. The application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    n. The existing American Tissue Hydroelectric Project consists of: (1) a 256-foot-long, 23-foot-high stone masonry and concrete dam that includes a 61-foot-long west abutment section, a 100-foot-long spillway section with 1.0-foot-high flashboards and a crest elevation of 123.3 feet mean sea level (msl), and a 95-foot-long east abutment section with an intake structure, inclined trashrack with 2-inch clear spacing, and three low level outlet gates; (2) a 5.5-acre, 1,000-foot-long impoundment with a normal maximum water surface elevation of 123.3 feet msl; (3) a 280-foot-long, 7-foot-diameter buried steel penstock; (4) a 37-foot-long, 34-foot-wide concrete and wooden powerhouse containing a single 1,000-kilowatt turbine-generator unit; (5) a 250-foot-long, 12-kilovolt transmission line; (6) a 300-foot-long tailrace; and (7) appurtenant facilities.

    KEI Power operates the project in a run-of-river mode with an average annual generation of 5,430 megawatt-hours. KEI Power proposes to release year-round minimum flows of 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the bypassed reach and 52 cfs into the tailrace. KEI Power Management also proposes to improve the existing downstream fish passage facility and construct and operate a new upstream passage facility for American eel.

    o. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    p. Procedural schedule and final amendments: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Issue Deficiency Letter (if necessary), July 2017 Request Additional Information, July 2017 Issue Acceptance Letter, October 2017 Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments, November 2017 Request Additional Information (if necessary), January 2018 Issue Scoping Document 2, February 2018 Issue notice of ready for environmental analysis, February 2018 Commission issues EA or draft EA, August 2018 Comments on EA or draft EA, September 2018 Commission issues final EA, November 2018

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: May 5, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09625 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. EL17-70-000; QF17-935-001; QF17-936-001] Zeeland Farm Services, Inc.; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on May 3, 2017, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) and section 292.203(d)(2)(2016) of the Commission's regulations, Zeeland Farm Services, Inc. (Zeeland) filed a petition for declaratory order requesting that the Commission grant Zeeland a limited waiver from the FERC Form 556 filing requirement for two qualifying small power production facilities, as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest in this proceeding must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on June 2, 2017.

    Dated: May 4, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09682 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC17-112-000.

    Applicants: Playa Solar 1, LLC, Playa Solar 2, LLC, EDF Renewable Energy, Inc.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action, Confidential Treatment, and Waivers of Playa Solar 1, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5227.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4453-001.

    Applicants: Santanna Natural Gas Corporation.

    Description: Supplement to January 23, 2017 Notice of Material Change in Status of Santanna Natural Gas Corporation.

    Filed Date: 5/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170503-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/24/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1905-005.

    Applicants: Amazon Energy LLC.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Amazon Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 5/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170503-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/24/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1923-003.

    Applicants: LWP Lessee, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: LWP Lessee Filing of Reactive Power Rate Schedule Approved in Settlement to be effective 8/14/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5193.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1555-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment No. 1 to Service Agreement Nos. 338 and 339 to be effective 5/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1556-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-05-05_Data Sharing with Natural Gas Pipelines to be effective 7/5/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5177.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1557-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEP-NCEMPA RS No. 200 Revised PPA to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1559-000.

    Applicants: FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.

    Description: Request for Authorization to Make Wholesale Power Sales to Affiliated Utility of FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.

    Filed Date: 5/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170503-5175.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/24/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09679 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Effectiveness of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status Docket Nos. Flat Top Wind I, LLC EG17-56-000 Solar Star Oregon II, LLC EG17-57-000 Whitney Point Solar, LLC EG17-58-000 Westside Solar, LLC EG17-59-000 RE Tranquillity 8 Amarillo LLC EG17-60-000 RE Tranquillity 8 Azul LLC EG17-61-000 RE Tranquillity 8 Rojo LLC EG17-62-000 RE Tranquillity 8 Verde LLC EG17-63-000 Chambersburg Energy, LLC EG17-64-000 Gans Energy, LLC EG17-65-000 Hunlock Energy, LLC EG17-66-000 Springdale Energy, LLC EG17-67-000 Bath County Energy, LLC EG17-68-000 Paulding Wind Farm IV LLC EG17-69-000 Blue Summit Storage, LLC EG17-70-000

    Take notice that during the month of April 2017, the status of the above-captioned entities as Exempt Wholesale Generators became effective by operation of the Commission's regulations. 18 CFR 366.7(a) (2016).

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09674 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-3-000] Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Line A Abandonment Project

    On October 13, 2016, Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC (Dominion Carolina) filed an application in Docket No. CP17-003-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations to discontinue natural gas service and abandon natural gas pipelines and aboveground facilities in York, Chester, Lancaster, and Kershaw Counties, South Carolina. Dominion Carolina's proposed abandonment is referred to as the Line A Abandonment Project (Project).

    On October 25, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA June 30, 2017. 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline September 28, 2017.

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Dominion Carolina's Line A was originally installed in 1958 and now has integrity issues. The underground pipeline would be capped, filled with nitrogen, and abandoned in place. The pipeline to be abandoned includes 55 miles of 10-inch-diameter pipeline in York, Chester, Lancaster, and Kershaw Counties and 5 miles of 12-inch-diameter pipeline in York County. In addition three farm taps would be removed and aboveground facilities (including valves, regulators, or meters) would be removed at seven existing meter stations.

    Dominion Carolina would also install new taps, piping, meters, and regulators at 12 existing meter stations in order to transfer the current feeds off of Line A into the its Line A-1-A pipeline.

    Background

    On February 7, 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Line A Abandonment Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission received comments from the Muscogee Nation, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Tribal Historic Preservation Office, and a landowner. The comments primarily concerned cultural resources.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Using the “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP17-3), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: May 5, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09623 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL17-14-000] East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on May 4, 2017, East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. filed a supplement to its October 31, 2016 filed application for cost-based revenue requirements schedule for reactive power production capability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 11, 2017.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09675 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [P-10773-030] Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Ready for Environmental Analysis, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Fishway Prescriptions

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Amendment of License.

    b. Project No.: 10773-030.

    c. Date Filed: October 27, 2016.

    d. Applicant: Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

    e. Name of Project: Burnett River Hatchery Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the Burnett River in the Wrangell Borough of Alaska.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Bill Gass, Production Manager, Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, 14 Borch Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901, (907) 228-4390, [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Anumzziatta Purchiaroni, (202) 502-6191, [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 60 days from the issuance of this notice by the Commission; reply comments are due 105 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file any comments, motions to intervene, protests, recommendations, terms and conditions, and/or fishway prescriptions using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/doc-sfiling/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-10773-030.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee is proposing to install at the powerhouse an additional 140-kilowatt (kW) generating unit coupled to the existing 80-kW unit, for a combined project installed capacity of 220 kW. The new unit will result in an increase of the project's hydraulic capacity from 6 to 15 cubic feet per second. The installation of the new unit will not require any physical changes to the project features since the powerhouse was designed to accommodate an additional generating unit. All work will occur within the existing powerhouse. The licensee is requesting the amendment to increase hatchery production at the project.

    l. Locations of the Applications: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document (i.e., P-10773). You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Motions to Intervene or Protests: Anyone may submit comments, a motion to intervene, or a protest in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, motions to intervene, or protests must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “MOTION TO INTERVENE”, “PROTEST”, “TERMS AND CONDITIONS” or “FISHWAY PRESCRIPTIONS”, as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, protests, recommendations, terms and conditions, or prescriptions should relate to project works which are the subject of the amendment request. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09676 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14818-000] Watterra Energy, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On January 17, 2017, Watterra Energy, LLC filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Green River Lake Dam Hydroelectric Project (project), to be located at the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Green River Lake Dam on the Green River near the City of Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) A 706-foot-long, 8-foot-diameter steel penstock lining the existing concrete conduit; (2) an 8-foot-long, 8-foot-wide bifurcation structure attached to the proposed penstock, with one branch extending to the proposed powerhouse, and the other branch providing an outlet point for the release of floodwaters; (3) a 70-foot-long, 55-foot-wide powerhouse containing two Francis generating units with a total capacity of 10.6 megawatts; (4) a 55-foot-long, 70-foot-wide switchyard; and (5) a 21,900-foot-long, 12.7 kilovolt transmission line. The estimated annual generation of the project would be 48.6 gigawatt-hours, and would operate as directed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Craig Dalton, Watterra Energy, LLC, 220 West Main Street, Hamilton, MT 59840; phone: (406) 384-0080.

    FERC Contact: Navreet Deo; phone: (202) 502-6304.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14818-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14818) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: May 5, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09627 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3279-001; ER10-3274 001; ER10-3275 001; ER10-3277 001; ER10-3278-001.

    Applicants: Basin Creek Equity Partners L.L.C., Capitol District Energy Center Cogeneration Associates, Pawtucket Power Associates Limited Partnership, Forked River Power LLC, Pittsfield Generating Company, L.P.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Basin Creek Equity Partners L.L.C., et al.

    Filed Date: 5/1/17.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5519.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/22/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1536-014; ER10-2178-030; ER10-2181-034; ER10-2182-033; ER10-2192-030; ER15-1537-007; ER15-1539-007.

    Applicants: Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Constellation Energy Commodities Group Maine, LLC, Constellation Energy Services of New York, Inc., Constellation Energy Services, Inc., Constellation NewEnergy, Inc., Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, LLC, R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of the Exelon MBR Entities.

    Filed Date: 5/1/17.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5500.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/22/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1543-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Tri-State Construct Agmt ? Monolith Tap IC to be effective 7/5/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1545-000.

    Applicants: Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Cost Reimbursement Agreement (SA 2335)—NMPC and New Athens Generating Company to be effective 4/5/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5039.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1547-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Queue Position AB2-061, Original Service Agreement No. 4695 to be effective 4/25/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1548-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Two True-Up SGIA's Golden Springs Development Company, LLC SA Nos. 541 & 545 to be effective 7/5/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1549-000.

    Applicants: Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Mississippi, Inc., Entergy New Orleans, Inc., Entergy Texas, Inc.

    Description: Application of Entergy Services, Inc., on behalf of the Entergy Operating Companies for 2016 Transmission Formula Rate for Post-Retirement Benefits Other than Pensions.

    Filed Date: 5/1/17.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5526.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/22/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1550-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to SA Nos. 3071 and 3072; Queue No. U1-059 and W1-056 re: Assignment to be effective 8/30/2011.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1551-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Rate Schedule No. 286—4CA Participant Services Agreement to be effective 7/6/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1552-000.

    Applicants: West Penn Power Company, Monongahela Power Company, Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: West Penn et al submits revised Interconnection Agreement 1395 to be effective 6/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1553-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEP-Fayetteville RS No. 184 Revised PPA to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1554-000.

    Applicants: Puget Sound Energy, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Open Access Transmission Tariff Housekeeping Revisions to be effective 5/8/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF16-823-000.

    Applicants: Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater.

    Description: Refund Report of Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility.

    Filed Date: 5/1/17.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5492.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/22/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: May 5, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09622 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14837-000] Advanced Hydropower, Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On January 24, 2017, Advanced Hydropower, Inc. filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the McNary Dam Advanced Hydropower Project (project) to be located at U.S. Corps of Engineer's (Corps) McNary Dam near Plymouth in Benton County, Washington and Umatilla in Umatilla County, Oregon. The purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would use the Corps' existing spillway bays 1 and 2 at the McNary Dam, and would consist of the following new facilities: (1) A 110-foot-wide, 440-foot-high intake channel with gates and trash racks from the existing spillway bays 1 and 2 of the McNary Dam spillway; (2) a 38-foot-wide, 40-foot-high, 50-foot-long concrete penstock; (3) a 49-megawatt Alden turbine; (4) a draft tube discharging flows to the existing tailrace; (5) a 1.5-mile-long, 13.8- or 23-kilovolt transmission line interconnecting with the existing McNary Dam switchyard; and (6) appurtenant facilities.1 The estimated annual generation of the project would be 190 gigawatt-hours.

    1 In a letter filed on April 11, 2017, the Corps states it believes the Commission lacks jurisdiction over hydropower development at the McNary Dam. However, the Corps also states it does not oppose the issuance of a preliminary permit on operational grounds despite noting several potential concerns with the proposal. Compare Advanced Hydropower, Inc., 155 FERC ¶ 61,007 (2016) (denying preliminary permit application following Corps' February 8, 2016 comments opposing the project) and Loxbridge Partners, LLC, 156 FERC ¶ 62,163 (2016) (denying preliminary permit application following Corps' August 2, 2016 comments opposing the project and requesting that staff reject the permit application), with Rivertec Partners, LLC, 156 FERC ¶ 62,060 (2016) (issuing preliminary permit following Corps' April 13, 2016 comments that it has no objections to the permit application).

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Kurt Ross, Advanced Hydropower, Inc., 925 Fairgrounds Road, Goldendale, Washington 98620; phone: (509) 773-5650.

    FERC Contact: Kim Nguyen; phone: (202) 502-6105.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14837-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14837) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09677 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2684-010] Flambeau Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 2684-010.

    c. Date Filed: April 26, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Flambeau Hydro, LLC (Flambeau Hydro).

    e. Name of Project: Arpin Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Chippewa River in Sawyer County, Wisconsin. There are no federal or tribal lands within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Jason Kreuscher, Renewable World Energies, LLC, 100 State Street, P.O. Box 264, Neshkoro, WI 54960; (855) 994-9376, ext. 102.

    i. FERC Contact: Amy Chang, (202) 502-8250 or [email protected].

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item l below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See, 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. Pursuant to section 4.32(b)(7) of the Commission's regulations, if any resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person believes that an additional scientific study should be conducted in order to form an adequate factual basis for a complete analysis of the application on its merit, the resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person must file a request for a study with the Commission not later than 60 days from the date of filing of the application, and serve a copy of the request on the applicant.

    l. Deadline for filing additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status: June 25, 2017.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2684-010.

    m. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    n. The existing Arpin Hydroelectric Project consists of: (1) A 742.5-foot-long masonry dam (West dam) that includes: (a) A 120.5-foot-long ungated, non-overflow section; (b) a 318.9-foot-long overflow spillway with a crest elevation of 1,227.55 feet North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88); and (c) a 303.1-foot long gated section that includes a 16.9-foot-wide timber stoplog spillway and a 15.9-foot-wide timber stoplog spillway; (2) a 452.2-foot-long masonry dam (Middle dam) that includes: (a) A 63.5-foot-long ungated, non-overflow section; (b) a 237.9-foot-long overflow spillway with a crest elevation of 1,227.65 feet NAVD 88; and (c) a 150.8-foot-long gated section that includes two 19.5-foot-wide steel vertical lift gates; (3) a 319.8-foot-long masonry dam (East dam) that includes: (a) A 25.5-foot long ungated, non-overflow section; (b) a 108-foot-long overflow spillway with a crest elevation of 1,227.8 feet NAVD 88; and (c) a 186.3-foot-long gated section that includes a 15.9-foot-wide, 6.25-foot-tall tainter gate and a 16.3-foot-wide, 6.25-foot-tall tainter gate; (4) a 294-acre impoundment with a normal maximum elevation of 1,227.32 feet NAVD 88; (5) a 3,200-foot-long, 60-foot-wide, 9- to 14-foot-deep earthen embankment power canal that includes 37-foot-long, 11.5-foot-wide, 14-foot-deep headworks; (6) a 48-foot-long, 13.5-foot-wide, 14.5-foot-tall concrete forebay and intake area that includes inclined trash racks with 2-inch spacing and three metal slide gates; (7) a 79-foot-long, 7-foot-diameter steel penstock and two 79-foot-long, 8-foot-diameter steel penstocks, each dedicated to a single turbine-generator unit; (8) a 52-foot-wide, 24-foot-long, 25-foot-tall cement block powerhouse containing two 600-kilowatt (kW) and one 250-kW vertical Francis turbine-generator units for a total capacity of 1,450-kW; (9) a 15-foot-long, 2.4-kilovolt (kV) underground generator lead that connects the turbine-generator units to three step-up transformers; (10) a 3,645-foot-long, 22.9-kV overhead transmission line that connects the step-up transformers to the regional distribution line; and (11) appurtenant facilities.

    Flambeau Hydro operates the project in a run-of-river mode with an annual average generation of approximately 7,336 megawatt-hours. Flambeau Hydro is not proposing any new project facilities or changes in project operation.

    o. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    p. Procedural schedule and final amendments: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Issue Deficiency Letter (if necessary) July 2017. Request Additional Information July 2017. Issue Acceptance Letter October 2017. Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments October 2017. Request Additional Information (if necessary) December 2017. Issue Scoping Document 2 January 2018. Issue notice of ready for environmental analysis March 2018. Commission issues EA or draft EA September 2018. Comments on EA or draft EA October 2018. Commission issues final EA January 2019.

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: May 5, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09624 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC17-80-000.

    Applicants: Ebensburg Power Company, Babcock & Wilcox Ebensburg Power, LLC, Ebensburg Investors Limited Partnership.

    Description: Supplement to February 16, 2017 Application for Authorization of Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Ebensburg Power Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 5/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170503-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/15/17.

    Docket Numbers: EC17-110-000.

    Applicants: U.S. Gas & Electric, Inc., Energy Services Providers, Inc., Massachusetts Gas & Electric, Inc., Connecticut Gas & Electric, Inc., Equus Total Return, Inc.

    Description: Application for Authorization for Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities and Request for Waivers, Confidential Treatment and Expedited Action of U.S. Gas & Electric, Inc., et al.

    Filed Date: 4/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170428-5620.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: EC17-111-000.

    Applicants: CSOLAR IV West, LLC.

    Description: Application of CSOLAR IV West, LLC for Approval Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Action.

    Filed Date: 5/1/17.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5436.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/22/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-453-007.

    Applicants: Northeast Transmission Development, LLC, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: NTD submits compliance filing to Order issued April 6, 2017 re: NTD Formula Rate to be effective 2/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170503-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/24/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1160-001.

    Applicants: Entergy Arkansas, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: EAI MSS-4 Amended PPAs to be effective 5/9/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1324-001.

    Applicants: Playa Solar 2, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to MBR Tariff Application to be effective 3/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5068.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/15/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1536-000.

    Applicants: Southern Power Company.

    Description: Petition for Limited Waiver of Southern Power Company and Request for Shortened Comment Period and Expedited Action.

    Filed Date: 5/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170503-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/10/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1537-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SWEPCO-Tex-La SPP PSA 456 Change to be effective 5/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5062.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1538-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SWEPCO-Tex-La ERCOT PSA 456 Change to be effective 5/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1539-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SWEPCO-ETEC PSA 456 Change to be effective 5/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1540-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SWEPCO-NTEC PSA 456 Change to be effective 5/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5066.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1541-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SWEPCO-ETEC-NTEC PSA 456 Change to be effective 5/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5067.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1542-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc., New England Power Pool Participants Committee.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market Rule 1 Revisions to Cap Offers from Fast-Start Resources to be effective 7/3/2017.

    Filed Date: 5/4/17.

    Accession Number: 20170504-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES17-32-000.

    Applicants: Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    Description: Application under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act for Authorization to Issue Securities of Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    Filed Date: 5/1/17.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5435.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/22/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: May 4, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09681 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Electric Quarterly Report Users Group Meeting Docket Nos. Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements RM01-8-000 Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act RM10-12-000 Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process RM12-3-000 Electric Quarterly Reports ER02-2001-000

    On March 29, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued a notice that Commission staff will hold an Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) Users Group meeting on May 16, 2017. The meeting will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST), in the Commission Meeting Room at 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. All interested persons are invited to attend. For those unable to attend in person, access to the meeting will be available via webcast.

    Staff is hereby supplementing the March 29, 2017 notice with the agenda for discussion. During the meeting, Commission staff and EQR users will discuss potential improvements to the EQR program and the EQR filing process, including: (1) Improvements made since the December 2016 EQR Users Group meeting, such as updates to the EQR Web page and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs); (2) EQR extension requests; (3) data in five or fifteen-minute increments; (4) common error messages and solutions, and (5) open discussion about current topics and reporting practices. Please note that matters pending before the Commission and subject to ex parte limitations cannot be discussed at this meeting. An agenda of the meeting is attached.

    Those interested in actively participating in the discussion are encouraged to attend in person. All interested persons (whether attending in person or via webcast) are asked to register online at https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/05-16-17-form.asp. There is no registration fee. Anyone with Internet access who wants to listen to the meeting can do so by navigating to www.ferc.gov's Calendar of Events, locating the EQR Users Group Meeting on the Calendar, and clicking on the link to the webcast.

    The webcast will allow persons to view and listen to the meeting. Questions during the meeting can be sent to [email protected]

    Those who would like to participate in the discussion by telephone during the meeting should send a request for a telephone line to [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on May 9, 2017 with the subject line: EQR Users Group Meeting Teleconference Request.

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-866-208-3372 (voice) or 202-208-1659 (TTY), or send a FAX to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about the EQR Users Group meeting, please contact Don Callow of the Commission's Office of Enforcement at (202) 502-8838, or send an email to [email protected]

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. Agenda EQR Users Group Meeting Commission Meeting Room Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:00-1:30 p.m.  Welcome, Introductions and Logistics • Agenda Review • Ex Parte Limitations • Meeting Rules for Comments and Questions 1:30-2:15 p.m. Progress Since Last Users Group Meeting • Updates and progress areas • Updates to the EQR Web page 2:15-2:30 p.m. EQR Extension Requests 2:30-2:55 p.m. EQR Data in Five and Fifteen Minute Increments 2:55-3:10 p.m. Break 3:10-3:40 p.m. Data Validation and Error Identification Issues • Common Error Messages and Solutions • Potential Improvements and Feedback 3:40-4:45 p.m. Open Discussion • Products Reported as “Other” Products • Reporting Zero and Negative Quantities • Questions and Comments 4:45-5:00 p.m. Closing Remarks
    [FR Doc. 2017-09678 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [P-10773-030] Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Ready for Environmental Analysis, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Fishway Prescriptions

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Amendment of License.

    b. Project No.: 10773-030.

    c. Date Filed: October 27, 2016.

    d. Applicant: Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

    e. Name of Project: Burnett River Hatchery Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the Burnett River in the Wrangell Borough of Alaska.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Bill Gass, Production Manager, Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, 14 Borch Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901, (907) 228-4390, [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Anumzziatta Purchiaroni, (202) 502-6191, [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 60 days from the issuance of this notice by the Commission; reply comments are due 105 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file any comments, motions to intervene, protests, recommendations, terms and conditions, and/or fishway prescriptions using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/doc-sfiling/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-10773-030.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee is proposing to install at the powerhouse an additional 140-kilowatt (kW) generating unit coupled to the existing 80-kW unit, for a combined project installed capacity of 220 kW. The new unit will result in an increase of the project's hydraulic capacity from 6 to 15 cubic feet per second. The installation of the new unit will not require any physical changes to the project features since the powerhouse was designed to accommodate an additional generating unit. All work will occur within the existing powerhouse. The licensee is requesting the amendment to increase hatchery production at the project.

    l. Locations of the Applications: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document (i.e., P-10773). You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Motions To Intervene or Protests: Anyone may submit comments, a motion to intervene, or a protest in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, motions to intervene, or protests must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “MOTION TO INTERVENE”, “PROTEST”, “TERMS AND CONDITIONS” or “FISHWAY PRESCRIPTIONS”, as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, protests, recommendations, terms and conditions, or prescriptions should relate to project works which are the subject of the amendment request. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: May 5, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09626 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-730-000.

    Applicants: Great Lakes Gas Transmission Limited Par.

    Description: Operational Purchases and Sales Report of Great Lakes Gas Transmission LP.

    Filed Date: 05/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5456.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-731-000.

    Applicants: Blue Lake Gas Storage Company.

    Description: Operational Purchases and Sales Report of Blue Lake Gas Storage Company.

    Filed Date: 05/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5457.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-732-000.

    Applicants: Bison Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Operational Purchases and Sales Report of Bison Pipeline LLC.

    Filed Date: 05/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5458.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-733-000.

    Applicants: ANR Storage Company.

    Description: Operational Purchases and Sales Report of ANR Storage Company.

    Filed Date: 05/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5459.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-734-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: Operational Purchases and Sales Report of ANR Pipeline Company.

    Filed Date: 05/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5460.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-735-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: Annual Cashout Surcharge Report of ANR Storage Company.

    Filed Date: 05/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5461.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-736-000.

    Applicants: Northern Border Pipeline Company.

    Description: Operational Purchases and Sales Report of Northern Border Pipeline Company.

    Filed Date: 05/01/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170501-5471.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-975-001.

    Applicants: Venice Gathering System, L.L.C.

    Description: Venice Gathering System, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 385.602: Motion to Place Interim Settlement Rates Into Effect to be effective 6/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 05/05/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5084.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-724-000.

    Applicants: Venice Gathering System, L.L.C.

    Description: Venice Gathering System, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 154.205(a): Motion to Withdraw Filing.

    Filed Date: 05/05/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5170.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-737-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: Equitrans, L.P. submits tariff filing per 154.204: Equitrans' Clean-Up Filing—May 2017 to be effective 6/5/2017.

    Filed Date: 05/05/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5026.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-738-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.203: Refund Report—Texas Eastern OFO Penalty Disbursment (Rate Schedule S-2).

    Filed Date: 05/05/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170505-5041.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09672 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9033-1] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www.epa.gov/nepa.

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) Filed 05/01/2017 Through 05/05/2017 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9

    Notice:

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/nepa/eisdata.html.

    EIS No. 20170073, Draft, USACE, NC, Bogue Banks Master Beach Nourishment Project, Comment Period Ends: 06/26/2017, Contact: Mickey Sugg 910-251-4811 EIS No. 20170074, Final Supplement, USACE, WV, Bluestone Dam Safety Modification, Review Period Ends: 06/12/2017, Contact: Rebecca Rutherford 304-399-5924 EIS No. 20170075, Draft, BPA, ID, Crystal Springs Hatchery Program, Comment Period Ends: 06/26/2017, Contact: Jenna Peterson 503-230-3018 EIS No. 20170076, Final Supplement, USACE, MO, Mississippi River Between the Ohio and Missouri Rivers (Regulating Works), Review Period Ends: 06/12/2017, Contact: Kip Runyon 314-331-8396 EIS No. 20170077, Final, USFS, CO, Upper Monument Creek Landscape Restoration, Review Period Ends: 06/26/2017, Contact: John Dow 719-553-1476 EIS No. 20170078, Draft, USFWS, NE., Issuance of an Incidental Take Permit and Implementation of a Habitat Conservation Plan for the R-Project Transmission Line, Comment Period Ends: 07/11/2017, Contact: Eliza Hines 308-382-6468 ext. 204 EIS No. 20170079, Draft Supplement, USFS, WY, Shoshone National Forest Land Management Plan, Comment Period Ends: 08/10/2017, Contact: Casey McQuiston 307-578-5134 Dated: May 9, 2017. Dawn Roberts, Management Analyst, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09680 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program Information Collection Request AGENCY:

    Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), as part of its continuing effort to reduce the paperwork burden of grant applicants and awardees in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. The information collection requests are FMCS forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), Accounting System and Financial Capability Questionnaire (LM-3), Request for Advance or Reimbursement SF-270 (LM-6), Financial Status Report SF-269a (LM-7), Project Performance (LM-8), and Grants Program Grantee Evaluation Questionnaire (LM-9). This information collection activity was previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is requesting a reinstatement without change to the collection. This collection was assigned the control number 3076-0006.

    DATES:

    Comments on this information collection must be received within 60 days of the Federal Register publication date to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments by mail to the Labor-Management Cooperation Grants Program, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, 250 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20427 or by contacting the person whose name appears under the section headed, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Comments may be submitted by fax at (202) 606-3434 or via email to Linda Gray-Broughton, Grants Specialist at [email protected]. All comments must be identified by the appropriate agency form number. No confidential business information (CBI) should be submitted through email. Information submitted as a comment concerning this document may be claimed confidential by marking any part or all of the information as “CBI”. A copy of the comment that contains CBI will be submitted for inclusion in the public record. Information not marked confidential may be disclosed publicly by FMCS without prior notice. All written comments will be available for inspection on the 7th floor at the Washington, DC address above from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda Gray-Broughton, Grants Specialist, FMCS, 250 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20427. Telephone number (202) 606-8181, email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Copies of the complete agency forms are available from the Labor-Management Cooperation Grants Program by calling, faxing, or writing Linda Gray-Broughton at the address above. Please ask for forms by agency number.

    I. Information Collection Requests

    FMCS is seeking comments on the following information collection requests contained in FMCS agency forms.

    Agency: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

    Form Number: OMB No. 3076-0006.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement of a collection without change in the substance or method of collection.

    Affected Entities: Potential applicants and/or grantees who received our grant application kit. Also applicants who have received a grant from FMCS.

    Frequency:

    a. Three of the forms, the SF-424, LM-6, and LM-9 are submitted at the applicant/grantee's discretion.

    b. To conduct the quarterly submissions, LM-7 and LM-8 forms are used. Less than quarterly reports would deprive FMCS of the opportunity to provide prompt technical assistance to deal with those problems identified in the report.

    c. Once per application. The LM-3 is the only form to which a “similar information” requirement could apply. Acceptance of a recent audit report without deficiencies is acceptable.

    Abstract: Except for the FMCS Forms LM-3 and LM-9, the forms under consideration herein are either required or recommended in OMB Circulars. The two exceptions are non-recurring forms, the former a questionnaire sent only to non-public sector potential grantees and the latter a questionnaire sent only to former grantees for voluntary completion and submission.

    The collected information is used by FMCS to determine annual applicant suitability, to monitor quarterly grant project status, and for on-going program evaluation. If the information were not collected, there could be no accounting for the activities of the program. Actual use has been the same as intended use.

    Burden: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) is an OMB form with no agency additions. The estimated average time burden per respondent: 30 minutes. Estimated average number of responses: 35. The Request for Advance or Reimbursement SF-270 (LM-6) and the Financial Status Report SF-269a (LM-7) are also OMB forms with no agency additions. The estimated average time burden per respondent per form: 30 minutes and approximate number of responses: 20. Project Performance (LM-8) had approximately 20 respondents and the estimated time per response is 20 minutes. FMCS Grants Program Evaluation Questionnaire (LM-9) number of respondents is approximately 10 and the estimated time per response is 60 minutes. The Accounting System and Financial Capability Questionnaire (LM-3) has approximately 20 respondents and the estimated time per response is 60 minutes.

    II. Request for Comments

    The FMCS is particularly interested in comments which:

    (i) 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;

    (ii) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (iii) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (iv) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated electronic collection technologies or other forms of information technology, e.g. permitting electronic and fax submission of responses.

    List of Subjects

    Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program and Information Collection Requests.

    Dated: May 4, 2017. Michael J. Bartlett, Deputy General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09669 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6732-01-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 June 12, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. Capitol of Texas Bancshares, Inc., Austin, Texas; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of The Bank of Austin, Austin, Texas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 9, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09655 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects

    Title: National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.

    OMB No.: 0970-0424.

    Description: The Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) to respond to the 1988 and 1992 amendments (Pub. L. 100-294 and Pub. L. 102-295) to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.), which called for the creation of a coordinated national data collection and analysis program, both universal and case specific in scope, to examine standardized data on false, unfounded, or unsubstantiated reports.

    In 1996, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was amended by Public Law 104-235 to require that any state receiving the Basic State Grant work with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide specific data on child maltreatment, to the extent practicable. These provisions were retained and expanded upon in the 2010 reauthorization of CAPTA (Pub. L. 111-320). Item (17) below was enacted with the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-22). The law goes into effect in 2017 and it is anticipated that states will begin reporting with FFY 2018 data. Item (18) below was enacted with the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) (Pub. L. 114-198). The law goes into effect in 2017 and it is anticipated that states will begin reporting with FFY 2018 data. Each state to which a grant is made under this section shall annually work with the Secretary to provide, to the maximum extent practicable, a report that includes the following:

    1. The number of children who were reported to the state during the year as victims of child abuse or neglect.

    2. Of the number of children described in paragraph (1), the number with respect to whom such reports were—

    A. substantiated;

    B. unsubstantiated; or

    C. determined to be false.

    3. Of the number of children described in paragraph (2)—

    A. the number that did not receive services during the year under the state program funded under this section or an equivalent state program;

    B. the number that received services during the year under the state program funded under this section or an equivalent state program; and

    C. the number that were removed from their families during the year by disposition of the case.

    4. The number of families that received preventive services, including use of differential response, from the state during the year.

    5. The number of deaths in the state during the year resulting from child abuse or neglect.

    6. Of the number of children described in paragraph (5), the number of such children who were in foster care.

    7.

    A. The number of child protective service personnel responsible for the—

    i. intake of reports filed in the previous year;

    ii. screening of such reports;

    iii. assessment of such reports; and

    iv. investigation of such reports.

    B. The average caseload for the workers described in subparagraph (A).

    8. The agency response time with respect to each such report with respect to initial investigation of reports of child abuse or neglect.

    9. The response time with respect to the provision of services to families and children where an allegation of child abuse or neglect has been made.

    10. For child protective service personnel responsible for intake, screening, assessment, and investigation of child abuse and neglect reports in the state—

    A. information on the education, qualifications, and training requirements established by the state for child protective service professionals, including for entry and advancement in the profession, including advancement to supervisory positions;

    B. data of the education, qualifications, and training of such personnel;

    C. demographic information of the child protective service personnel; and

    D. information on caseload or workload requirements for such personnel, including requirements for average number and maximum number of cases per child protective service worker and supervisor.

    11. The number of children reunited with their families or receiving family preservation services that, within five years, result in subsequent substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect, including the death of the child.

    12. The number of children for whom individuals were appointed by the court to represent the best interests of such children and the average number of out of court contacts between such individuals and children.

    13. The annual report containing the summary of activities of the citizen review panels of the state required by subsection (c)(6).

    14. The number of children under the care of the state child protection system who are transferred into the custody of the state juvenile justice system.

    15. The number of children referred to a child protective services system under subsection (b)(2)(B)(ii).

    16. The number of children determined to be eligible for referral, and the number of children referred, under subsection (b)(2)(B)(xxi), to agencies providing early intervention services under part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.).

    17. The number of children determined to be victims described in subsection (b)(2)(B)(xxiv).

    18. The number of infants identified under subsection (b)(2)(B)(ii), the number of infants identified for whom a plan of safe care was developed under subsection (b)(2)(B)(iii), and the number of infants identified for whom a referral was made for appropriate services, including services for the affected family or caregiver, under subsection (b)(2)(B)(iii)

    The Children's Bureau proposes to continue collecting the NCANDS data through the two files of the Detailed Case Data Component, the Child File (the case-level component of NCANDS) and the Agency File (additional aggregate data, which cannot be collected at the case level). Technical assistance will be provided so that all states may provide the Child File and Agency File data to NCANDS.

    The reauthorization of CAPTA, subsection (b)(2)(B)(xxiv), specifies for “requiring identification and assessment of all reports involving children known or suspected to be victims of sex trafficking (as defined in section 103(10) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102 (10)); and S. 178—38.” To comply with the new reporting requirements for item 17, NCANDS will use a new field in the Child File.

    The Children's Bureau proposes to modify the Child File by modifying the maltreatment fields.

    • Add a new maltreatment type code, 7 = sex trafficked, to the existing Fields 26, 28, 30, 32 (Maltreatment-1 Type, Maltreatment-2 Type, Maltreatment-3 Type, Maltreatment-4 Type).

    The reauthorization of CAPTA, subsection (b)(2)(B)(ii), specifies collecting the number of (A) screened-in and screened-out referrals from healthcare providers involved in the delivery or care of infants and who referred such infants born with and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; (B) of those screened-in, for whom a plan of safe care was developed, under subsection (b)(2)(B)(iii); and (C) of those screened-in, for whom a referral was made for appropriate services, including services for the affected family or caregiver, under subsection (b)(2)(B)(iii). To comply with the new reporting requirements for item 18, NCANDS will use a combination of existing fields in the Child File and a new field in the Agency File.

    The Children's Bureau proposes to modify the Agency File by adding 1 new field, under Section 2, Referrals and Reports.

    • 2.5. Number of screened-out referrals from healthcare providers involved in the delivery or care of infants and who referred such infants born with and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

    The Children's Bureau proposes to modify the Child File by adding two new fields.

    Field 151, Has A Safe Care Plan: The Safe Care Plan field will establish a flag as to whether a child has a safe care plan.

    Field 152, Referral to CARA-Related Services: The Referral to CARA-related Services field will establish a flag as to whether a referral was made for appropriate services, including services for the affected family or caregiver.

    Respondents: State governments, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Detailed Case Data Component (Child File and Agency File) 52 1 149 7,717

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 7,717.

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chap 35), the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information may be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW., Washington DC 20201. Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09684 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, OMB No. 0915-0184—Revision AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA has submitted an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. Comments submitted during the first public review of this ICR will be provided to OMB. OMB will accept further comments from the public during the review and approval period.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR should be received no later than June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, including the ICR Title, to the desk officer for HRSA, either by email to [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request a copy of the clearance requests submitted to OMB for review, email the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at [email protected] or call (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference, in compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Information Collection Request Title: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network OMB No. 0915-0184—Revision.

    Abstract: HRSA is proposing additions and revisions to the following documents used to collect information from existing or potential members of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The documents under revision include: (1) Application forms for individuals or organizations interested in membership in the OPTN; (2) application forms for OPTN members applying to have organ-specific transplant programs designated within their institutions; and (3) forms submitted by OPTN members to report certain personnel changes.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: Membership in the OPTN is determined by submission of application materials to the OPTN (not to HRSA) demonstrating that the applicant meets all required criteria for membership and will agree to comply with all applicable provisions of the National Organ Transplant Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 273, et seq. (NOTA), OPTN Final Rule, 42 CFR part 121, OPTN bylaws, and OPTN policies. Section 1138 of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1320b-8 (section 1138) requires that hospitals in which transplants are performed be members of, and abide by, the rules and requirements (as approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) of the OPTN, including those related to data collection, as a condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid for the hospital. Section 1138 contains a similar provision for the organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and makes membership in the OPTN and compliance with its operating rules and requirements (as approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services), including those relating to data collection, mandatory for all OPOs. The membership application forms listed below enable prospective OPTN members to submit the information necessary for the OPTN to make membership decisions. Likewise, the designated transplant program application forms listed below enable OPTN members to submit the information necessary for the OPTN to make designation decisions.

    New membership forms have been created for transplant centers seeking to perform Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) transplants, a new and emerging field. VCAs were added to the definition of organs covered by the rules governing the operation of the OPTN, effective July 3, 2014. The OPTN Board approved OPTN membership requirements for VCA programs during late 2015. Because a transplant hospital applying to be an OPTN-approved VCA transplant program must already have current OPTN approval as a designated transplant program for at least one other organ, the VCA membership forms were developed based on existing membership forms.

    New forms and revisions to the current OPTN forms include the following:

    • Organ-specific program and histocompatibility laboratory applications reflecting key personnel requirement revisions made to the OPTN bylaws (the bylaws revisions will be implemented upon approval of these forms);

    • Program applications based on existing organ-specific program application forms, for programs seeking VCA transplantation approval. The OPTN Board of Directors has approved language modifying OPTN Policy 1.2 (definitions) to provide that VCAs, defined generally in OPTN Policy 1.2 include the following:

    • Upper limb (including, but not limited to, any group of body parts from the upper limb or radial forearm flap);

    • Head and neck (including, but not limited to, face including underlying skeleton and muscle, larynx, parathyroid gland, scalp, trachea, or thyroid);

    • Abdominal wall (including, but not limited to, symphysis pubis or other vascularized skeletal elements of the pelvis);

    • Genitourinary organs (including, but not limited to, uterus, internal/external male and female genitalia, or urinary bladder);

    • Glands (including, but not limited to adrenal or thymus);

    • Lower limb (including, but not limited to, pelvic structures that are attached to the lower limb and transplanted intact, gluteal region, vascularized bone transfers from the lower extremity, anterior lateral thigh flaps, or toe transfers);

    • Musculoskeletal composite graft segment (including, but not limited to, latissimus dorsi, spine axis, or any other vascularized muscle, bone, nerve, or skin flap); and

    • Spleen.

    Some of the program application forms for programs seeking VCA transplantation approval are specific to these body parts (e.g., VCA Upper Limb Transplant Program Application), and others are classified as VCA Other Program Applications with a checklist to indicate which of the listed body parts the program seeks designation to transplant.

    • Program applications based on an existing organ-specific application form for programs seeking designation as an intestine transplant program.

    • Cover pages, based on existing cover pages for other organ types, for VCA new transplant program, VCA key personnel change, VCA other new transplant program, and VCA other key personnel change forms.

    • Questions and tables reflecting new ordering and numbering for improved flow on various forms.

    These forms are based on OPTN membership applications that organizations have completed in the past; the burden of completing the new and revised forms is minimized.

    Likely Respondents: Likely respondents to this notice include the following: hospitals performing or seeking to perform organ transplants, organ procurement organizations, and medical laboratories seeking to become OPTN-approved histocompatibility laboratories.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information requested, including the time needed to: (1) Review instructions; (2) develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; (3) train personnel to respond to a collection of information; (4) search data sources; (5) complete and review the information collected; and (6) to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • A New Transplant Member/Program Application—General 2 1 2 8 16 B Kidney (KI) Designated Program Application 118 2 236 4 944 B Liver (LI) Designated Program Application 59 2 118 4 472 B Pancreas (PA) Designated Program Application 60 2 120 4 480 B Heart (HR) Designated Program Application 92 2 184 4 736 B Lung (LU) Designated Program Application 30 2 60 4 240 B Islet (PI) Designated Program Application 2 2 4 3 12 B Living Donor (LD) Recovery Program Application 42 2 84 3 252 B VCA Head and Neck Designated Program Application 14 2 28 3 84 B VCA Upper Limb Designated Program Application 17 2 34 3 102 B VCA Abdominal Wall * Designated Program Application 13 2 26 3 78 VCA Abdominal Wall—Kidney VCA Abdominal Wall—Liver VCA Abdominal Wall—Pancreas VCA Abdominal Wall—Intestine B VCA Other ** Designated Program Application 9 2 18 2 36 B Intestine Designated Program Application 40 2 80 3 240 C OPO New Application 0 1 0 4 0 D Histocompatibility Lab Application 3 2 6 4 24 E Change in Transplant Program Key Personnel 395 2 790 4 3,160 F Change in Histocompatibility Lab Director 25 2 50 2 100 G Change in OPO Key Personnel 10 1 10 1 10 H Medical Scientific Org Application 7 1 7 2 14 I Public Org Application 4 1 4 2 8 J Business Member Application 2 1 2 2 4 K Individual Member Application 4 1 4 1 4 Total = 25 forms 948 1,867 7,016 * There are 4 types of forms that can be used to apply for designation as a VCA Abdominal Wall Program. ** VCA Other Designated Program Application data based on four categories of “others” including genitourinary and lower limb as defined by the OPTN bylaws.
    Jason E. Bennett, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09621 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary [Document Identifier: OS-0990-New-30D] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, has submitted an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The ICR is for a new collection. Comments submitted during the first public review of this ICR will be provided to OMB. OMB will accept further comments from the public on this ICR during the review and approval period.

    DATES:

    Comments on the ICR must be received on or before June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or via facsimile to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherrette Funn, [email protected] or (202) 795-7714.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the Information Collection Request Title and document identifier 0990-New-30D for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) Performance Measures Collection, FY2017-FY2019 cohort.

    Abstract: The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is requesting approval by OMB of a new information collection request. In FY2017, OAH expects to award a new, 3-year cohort of Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) grants. Performance measure data collection is a requirement of PAF grants and is included in the funding announcement.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The data collection will provide OAH with performance data to inform planning and resource allocation decisions; identify technical assistance needs for grantees; facilitate grantees' continuous quality improvement in program implementation; and provide HHS, Congress, OMB, and the general public with information about the individuals who participate in PAF-funded activities and the services they receive.

    Likely Respondents: 20 PAF grantees (States and Tribes).

    The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Training 20 1 15/60 5 Partnerships and Sustainability 20 1 3 60 Dissemination 20 1 30/60 10 Reach and Demographics 20 1 645/60 215 Core Services 20 1 750/60 250 Education 20 1 7 140 Birth Outcomes 20 1 270/60 90 Self-Sufficiency Outcomes 20 1 90/60 30 Total 20 1 40 800
    Terry S. Clark, Asst Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09639 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4168-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES [Document Identifier: 4040-0001] Agency Information Collection Request. 60-Day Public Comment Request, Grants.gov AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Grants.gov (EGOV), Department of Health and Human Services, is publishing the following summary of a revision to an information collection for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed revision to the information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, to [email protected], or call the Reports Clearance Office on (202) 690-7569. Send written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collections within 60 days of this notice directly to the Grants.gov.

    Proposed Project Research and Related Other Project Information Form

    Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

    Office: Grants.gov.

    Abstract: Grant applicants are required to provide additional information as a supplement to their application for Federal assistance to awarding agencies using the Research and Related Other Project Information form. If applicants use human subjects in their research, the applicant must adhere to 45 CFR 46 Subpart A, The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (Common Rule). The Common Rule defined six exemptions from research guidelines. Two additional exemptions were added to revisions of the Common Rule on January 17, 2017 for a total of eight exemptions. The Research and Related Other Project Information form must be updated in order to accommodate the additional two exemptions.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Research and Related Other Project Information 137,669 1 1 137,669 Total 137,669 137,669
    Terry S. Clark, Asst Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09638 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4151-AE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Periodically, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish a summary of information collection requests under OMB review, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these documents, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (240) 276-1243.

    Project: Evaluation of the Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) Program (OMB No. 0930-0320)—Revision

    SAMHSA is conducting a cross-site evaluation of the FY2016 cohort of the CABHI grant program. The CABHI Evaluation builds on a previous evaluation of SAMHSA's 2009-2012 homeless services grant programs (i.e., Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals, Services in Supportive Housing, and CABHI), under which the approved data collection tools were developed and implemented. SAMHSA is requesting approval from OMB to revise the burden inventory, which has been calculated based on the number of FY2016 CABHI grantees and potential future cohorts of grantees to be awarded in FY2017, and to revise some of the measures used on current tools.

    In 2016, SAMHSA awarded 30 CABHI grants across three levels: States (up to $1.5 million per year), local governments (up to $800,000 per year), and communities (up to $400,000 per year). The grantees are united by the goal of enhancing and expanding infrastructure and capacity for mental health and substance abuse treatment and related support services for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness or veterans, families, or youth experiencing homelessness as a result of these conditions. This is accomplished through the provision of permanent supportive housing, behavioral health treatment, and recovery support services, and enrollment in health insurance, Medicaid, or other mainstream benefit programs. Potential grantees awarded in FY2017 will have the same funding options and grant requirements.

    The primary task of the CABHI evaluation is to conduct a comprehensive process and outcome evaluation, addressing questions related to the implementation of the CABHI grant projects and the extent to which they were able to meet the program's goals. Process evaluation primarily represents what is done to and for the client (e.g., services provided); this aspect of the evaluation will also include a focus on structure, or the resources available in the service delivery system, which represent the capacity to deliver quality care, but not the care itself. The outcome evaluation will focus on outputs, which are the most immediate or proximal results of project activities (e.g., changes in partner collaboration, the number of clients enrolled in mainstream benefits), and client outcomes, particularly those related to behavioral health and homelessness and housing instability. Data collection efforts that will support the evaluation are described below.

    The Client Interview—Baseline and the Client Interview—6-Month Follow-up have been developed to provide descriptive information about clients, and assess changes in client outcomes and their association with project characteristics. The tools were developed based on review of the literature and consultation with a panel of national experts, grantees, and SAMHSA. The tools were successfully used with over 7,000 clients during the previous evaluation of SAMHSA's Homeless programs.

    The Client Interview is comprised of questions (unique from SAMHSA's Government Performance and Results Act [GPRA] client-level tool) that measure the outcomes of interest and subpopulations of focus: homelessness, housing, treatment history, trauma symptoms, housing and treatment choice, burden and satisfaction, and criminal justice involvement. For the CABHI Evaluation, the Client Interview Baseline and 6-Month Follow-up have been updated to (1) reflect changes to the GPRA client-level tool which allowed the questions on military service to be removed, (2) align with the newest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), (3) remove the Readiness to Change measure, and (4) add detailed housing and homelessness questions. For the 6-Month Follow-up only, questions documenting services and evidence based practices received were added to improve data on client service receipt. Immediately following the SAMHSA-required administration of the GPRA client-level tools, which are completed by enrolled clients for each grantee project at baseline and 6-month follow-up, the paper and pencil Client Interview will be administered face-to-face by the GPRA interviewer. Questions regarding perception of care and treatment coercion will be self-administered by participating clients and returned to the interviewer in a sealed envelope to be included in the full package mailed to the evaluation coordinating center. Client participation is voluntary; gift card incentives will be given at baseline worth a $15 value and at 6-month follow-up worth a $30 value. Clients will be assigned unique identifiers by local projects; responses will be recorded on a paper and pencil answer sheet, mailed by the grantee project to the evaluation coordinating center, and scanned into a secure dataset. This process will eliminate the need for data entry, thereby reducing cost and potential for data entry error, and ensuring privacy for evaluation data.

    The Stakeholder Survey will be conducted with CABHI project stakeholders and partners via a web survey to assess the types of stakeholder partnerships involved in the CABHI projects, the services provided, and the effectiveness of implementation and collaboration in the CABHI projects. For the CABHI Evaluation, the survey has been divided into three waves so that questions are relevant to the current phase of grant implementation (e.g. wave 1 will be administered in year 1 of the project). Also, a section on healthcare services was added and the current section on collaboration was expanded to include new measures on collaboration. One wave of the survey will be administered each year of the three year grants. Each survey respondent will be issued a username and password to login to and complete the secure web-based survey. The web-based survey format will reduce burden on the respondent and minimize potential for measurement error.

    Annual burden has increased from 4,006 to 5,098 hours per year as the response burden times have been revised to reflect real-world experience during the Homeless Programs evaluation and the number of respondents has been increased for the Stakeholder Survey.

    Annualized Burden Hours Instrument/activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • number of
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Baseline data collection (Clients) 5,827 1 5,827 0.42 2,447 6-month follow-up data collection (Clients) 4,662 1 4,662 0.5 2,331 Client Subtotal b 5,827 10,489 4,778 Stakeholder Survey 780 1 780 0.41 320 Total b 6,607 11,269 5,098 a Total respondent cost is calculated as hourly wage × time spent on survey × total number of responses. b Estimated number of total unique respondents.

    Written comments and recommendations concerning the proposed information collection should be sent by June 12, 2017 to the SAMHSA Desk Officer at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). To ensure timely receipt of comments, and to avoid potential delays in OMB's receipt and processing of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] Although commenters are encouraged to send their comments via email, commenters may also fax their comments to: 202-395-7285. Commenters may also mail them to: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, Washington, DC 20503.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09631 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4305-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2017-0001] California; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of California (FEMA-4305-DR), dated March 16, 2017, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective May 3, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of California is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of March 16, 2017.

    Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Inyo, Modoc, and Mono Counties for Public Assistance.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Robert J. Fenton, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09610 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA-2017-0017; OMB No. 1660-0135] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on a revision of a currently approved information collection. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice seeks comments concerning the application for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program. The SAFER program provides funding for the hiring of new firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before July 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To avoid duplicate submissions to the docket, please use only one of the following means to submit comments:

    (1) Online. Submit comments at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID FEMA-2017-0017. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to Docket Manager, Office of Chief Counsel, DHS/FEMA, 500 C Street SW., 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.

    All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket ID. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Dunham, Fire Program Specialist, FEMA, Grant Program Directorate, 202-786-9813. You may contact the Records Management Division for copies of the proposed collection of information at email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.), as amended authorizes FEMA to comprise the submission of applications for the SAFER grants. The information collected is grant application information that is necessary to assess the needs of the applicants as well as the benefits to be obtained from the use of funds. The information collected through the program's application is the minimum necessary to evaluate grant applications and is necessary for FEMA to comply with mandates delineated in the law.

    Collection of Information

    Title: Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants.

    Type of Information Collection: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    OMB Number: 1660-0135.

    FEMA Forms: FEMA Form 080-0-4, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) (General Questions All Applicants); FEMA Form 080-0-4a, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Hiring of Firefighters Application (Questions and Narrative); FEMA Form 080-0-4b, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Application (Questions and Narrative); FEMA Form 087-0-0-2, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Quarterly Report and Payment Request Form.

    Abstract: FEMA uses this information to ensure that FEMA's responsibilities under the legislation can be fulfilled accurately and efficiently. The information will be used to objectively evaluate each of the anticipated applicants to determine which of the applicants' proposals in each of the activities are the closest to the established program priorities.

    Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Government; Not-for-Profit Institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 2,330.

    Number of Responses: 2,990.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 18,064 hours.

    Estimated Cost: The estimated annual cost to respondents for the hour burden is $984,437.20. There are no annual costs to respondents operations and maintenance costs for technical services. There is no annual start-up or capital costs. The cost to the Federal Government is $1,666,213.80.

    Comments

    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) 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; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Tammi Hines, Records Management Program Chief (Acting), Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09601 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-46-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4303-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2017-0001] Nevada; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Nevada (FEMA-4303-DR), dated February 17, 2017, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective April 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, David Haas, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    This action terminates the appointment of Rosalyn L. Cole as Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Robert J. Fenton, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09611 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4307-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2017-0001] Nevada; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Nevada (FEMA-4307-DR), dated March 27, 2017, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective April 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, David Haas, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    This action terminates the appointment of Rosalyn L. Cole as Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Robert J. Fenton, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09608 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4309-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2017-0001] Washington; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Washington (FEMA-4309-DR), dated April 21, 2017, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective April 21, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated April 21, 2017, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Washington resulting from severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of January 30 to February 22, 2017, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Washington.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Thomas J. Dargan, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Washington have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Adams, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Grant, Lewis, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whatcom Counties for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Washington are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Robert J. Fenton, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09613 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4310-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2017-0001] Idaho; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Idaho (FEMA-4310-DR), dated April 21, 2017, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective April 21, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated April 21, 2017, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Idaho resulting from severe winter storms and flooding during the period of February 5-27, 2017, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Idaho.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Timothy B. Manner, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Idaho have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Bingham, Cassia, Elmore, Franklin, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls, and Washington Counties for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Idaho are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Robert J. Fenton, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09612 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4311-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2017-0001 Utah; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Utah (FEMA-4311-DR), dated April 21, 2017, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective April 21, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated April 21, 2017, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Utah resulting from severe winter storms and flooding during the period of February 7-27, 2017, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Utah.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Nancy M. Casper, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Utah have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Box Elder and Cache Counties for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Utah are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    Robert J. Fenton, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09614 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2014-0048; FF06E220000-178-FXES11140600000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application; Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for the R-Project Transmission Line and Draft Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has applied for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the R-Project transmission line in north-central Nebraska. If issued, the permit would authorize the take of the federally endangered American burying beetle incidental to the construction, operation, and maintenance of the transmission line. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the following documents related to the NPPD incidental take permit application for review and comment by the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments: Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for the R-Project Transmission Line in Nebraska (HCP); Draft Environment Impact Statement of the R-Project HCP (DEIS); Draft Migratory Bird Conservation Plan (MBCP); and Draft Restoration Management Plan.

    DATES:

    Comment submission: Written comments must be submitted by July 11, 2017.

    Public meetings: We are holding three public meetings to share information and allow the public to provide oral and written comments on the DEIS and draft HCP. The meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on:

    • Monday, June 12, 2017—Sutherland, NE.

    • Tuesday, June 13, 2017—Thedford, NE.

    • Wednesday, June 14, 2017—Burwell, NE.

    Persons needing reasonable accommodations to attend and participate in the public meetings should contact Eliza Hines (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). To allow sufficient time to process requests, please call no later than one week before the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    Document availability: The draft HCP, DEIS, draft MBCP and draft Restoration Management Plan are available via the Internet at the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov) in Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2014-0048. Information regarding the DEIS and accompanying documents is available in alternative formats upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Documents will also be available for public inspection by appointment (call 308-382-6468 extension 204) during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Field Office, 9325 South Alda Road, Wood River, NE 68883.

    Submitting comments: To send written comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information requests or comments are in reference to the draft HCP. Please specify which documents your comment addresses: the DEIS, draft HCP, draft MBCP, or draft Restoration Management Plan.

    Internet: Submit comments at http://www.regulations.gov to Docket Number FWS-R6-ES-2014-0048.

    U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2014-0048; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    Public meetings: The public meetings discussed above in DATES will be held at the following locations in Nebraska:

    Burwell: American Legion Hall, 657 G Street, Burwell, NE 68823.

    Sutherland: Village Municipal Offices, 1200 First Street, Sutherland, NE 69165.

    Thedford: Thomas County Fairgrounds, 8386 Hwy 83, Thedford, NE 69166.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eliza Hines, 308-382-6468 extension 204 (phone) or [email protected] (email). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech disabled, please call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We received an application from NPPD for an incidental take permit to authorize the incidental take of the federally endangered American burying beetle resulting from the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed R-Project transmission line and substations. The 345-kilovolt R-Project transmission line would be approximately 225 miles long in north-central Nebraska. As part of its application, NPPD prepared a draft HCP that describes actions to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts of incidental take of the American burying beetle. NPPD also prepared a Draft Restoration Management Plan to outline restoration plans for beetle habitat as well as other habitats impacted by the R-Project. Additionally, NPPD developed a MBCP to address impacts to migratory birds and bald and golden eagles in a good faith effort to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

    In the DEIS, we analyze the potential impacts to the natural and human environment from implementing the proposed HCP and issuing the permit and from implementing the two alternatives to the proposed action. The DEIS also identifies alternatives that we considered but eliminated from further analysis.

    Background

    Section 9 of the ESA prohibits take of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered (16 U.S.C. 1538). Under section 3 of the ESA, the term “take” means to “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct” (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)). The term “harm” is defined in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations as “an act which actually kills or injures wildlife. Such acts may include significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering” (50 CFR 17.3). The term “harass” is defined in the regulations as “an intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering” (50 CFR 17.3).

    Under section 10(a) of the ESA, the Service may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed fish and wildlife species. “Incidental take” is defined by the ESA as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions for issuing incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the incidental take of endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are met:

    • The taking will be incidental.

    • The applicant will minimize and mitigate, to the maximum extent practicable, the impact of such taking.

    • The applicant will develop an HCP and ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be provided.

    • The taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild.

    • The applicant will carry out any other measures that the Secretary of the Interior may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the HCP.

    Regulations governing permits for endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) requires that Federal agencies conduct an environmental analysis of their proposed actions to determine whether the actions may significantly affect the human environment. Under NEPA and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1500 et seq.), Federal agencies must also compare effects of a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed action. In these analyses, the Federal agency will identify potentially significant direct, indirect, and cumulative effects, as well as possible mitigation for any significant effects, on biological resources, land use, air quality, water resources, socioeconomics, environmental justice, cultural resources, and other environmental resources that could occur with the implementation of the proposed action and alternatives. In accordance with NEPA, we prepared a DEIS to analyze the impacts to the natural and human environment that may occur if the Service were to issue the permit and NPPD were to implement the proposed R-Project HCP. We announced scoping for the DEIS in the Federal Register of October 30, 2014 (79 FR 64619).

    Proposed Action

    We propose to issue a 50-year permit for incidental take of the American burying beetle if NPPD's HCP meets all the section 10(a)(1)(B) permit issuance criteria. The permit would authorize take of the American burying beetle incidental to the proposed construction, operation, and maintenance, including emergency repairs, of the R-Project. NPPD would avoid the incidental take of other federally listed species by implementing avoidance measures presented in the draft HCP.

    The permit area for the HCP is determined by the geographical area within which incidental take is expected to occur. The proposed permit area includes 1 mile on each side of the R-Project centerline from Stapleton, Nebraska, north to the Thedford Substation. The permit area also includes 4 miles on each side of the centerline from the Thedford Substation east to a new Holt County Substation. The varying permit area width incorporates all potential incidental take that may occur outside the transmission line right-of-way resulting from construction access, temporary work areas, staging sites, fly yards, or other ground disturbance from construction and maintenance.

    The proposed R-Project transmission line would be constructed with tubular steel monopoles and steel lattice towers. Tubular steel monopoles require large equipment for installation and would be used where adequate access and established roads exist. Steel lattice towers would be used in the Sandhills where access routes are limited or do not exist. Lattice towers can be constructed with less overall effect on the surrounding area because smaller equipment and helicopter construction can be used.

    The draft HCP describes a number of measures that NPPD would implement to avoid and minimize the incidental take of the beetle during construction, operations, and maintenance of the R-Project. Measures associated with restoration of beetle habitat, as well as other habitats, are outlined in the Restoration Management Plan. The HCP also commits NPPD to provide mitigation lands to conserve beetle habitat to fully offset temporary and permanent impacts of the remaining take. With these measures, construction of the R-Project would permanently destroy 33 acres of American burying beetle habitat and temporarily disturb an additional 1,250 acres of American burying beetle habitat over the term of the permit. NPPD would work with the Service to secure at least 500 acres of occupied American burying beetle habitat in perpetuity.

    Alternatives Analyzed in the DEIS

    In the DEIS, we also evaluate the effects on the natural and human environment from two alternatives to the proposed action: (1) No action (i.e., no permit issuance), and (2) construction of the R-Project using only steel tubular monopole structures. Construction of tubular steel monopoles would require access roads to support heavy equipment. NPPD would construct temporary access routes where adequate ones do not exist. Associated levels of ground disturbance would require the permit to authorize higher levels of incidental take of the American burying beetle, and an associated HCP would need to expand conservation measures to minimize and fully offset the impacts of the incidental take.

    The DEIS considers the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of the two action alternatives, including measures intended to avoid, minimize, and mitigate such impacts. The DEIS also identifies alternative routing options that the Service considered but eliminated from detailed analysis.

    The Service invites comments and suggestions from interested parties on the content of the DEIS. In particular, information and comments regarding the following topics are requested:

    1. The direct, indirect, or cumulative effects that implementation of either action alternative could have on the natural and human environment.

    2. Whether or not the impact on various aspects of the natural and human environment have been adequately analyzed.

    3. Any other information pertinent to evaluating the effects of the proposed action on the natural and human environment.

    Role of the Environmental Protection Agency in the EIS Process

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged under section 309 of the Clean Air Act to review all Federal agencies' environmental impact statements (EISs) and to comment on the adequacy and acceptability of the environmental impacts of proposed actions in the EISs.

    EPA also administers the database for EISs prepared by Federal agencies and provides notice of their availability in the Federal Register. The EIS database provides information about EISs prepared by Federal agencies, as well as EPA's comments concerning the EISs. All EISs are filed with EPA, which publishes a notice of availability each Friday in the Federal Register.

    For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/compliance/nepa/eisdata.html. You may search for EPA comments on EISs, along with EISs themselves, at https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    Public Comments

    Written comments received become part of the public record associated with this action. 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 may request in your comment that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will not consider anonymous comments. All submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations for incidental take permits (50 CFR 17.22) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46).

    Michael G. Thabault, Assistant Regional Director-Ecological Services, Mountain-Prairie Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lakewood, Colorado.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09366 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-571-572 and 731-TA-1347-1348 (Preliminary)] Biodiesel From Argentina and Indonesia; Determinations

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject investigations, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, provided for in subheadings 3826.00.10 and 3826.00.30 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”) and to be subsidized by the governments of Argentina and Indonesia.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Commencement of Final Phase Investigations

    Pursuant to section 207.18 of the Commission's rules, the Commission also gives notice of the commencement of the final phase of its investigations. The Commission will issue a final phase notice of scheduling, which will be published in the Federal Register as provided in section 207.21 of the Commission's rules, upon notice from the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) of affirmative preliminary determinations in the investigations under sections 703(b) or 733(b) of the Act, or, if the preliminary determinations are negative, upon notice of affirmative final determinations in those investigations under sections 705(a) or 735(a) of the Act. Parties that filed entries of appearance in the preliminary phase of the investigations need not enter a separate appearance for the final phase of the investigations. Industrial users, and, if the merchandise under investigation is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations have the right to appear as parties in Commission antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. The Secretary will prepare a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the investigations.

    Background

    On March 23, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, Washington, DC filed a petition with the Commission and Commerce, alleging that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of LTFV and subsidized imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. Accordingly, effective March 23, 2017, the Commission, pursuant to sections 703(a) and 733(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671b(a) and 1673b(a)), instituted countervailing duty investigation Nos. 701-TA-571-572 and antidumping duty investigation Nos. 731-TA-1347-1348 (Preliminary).

    Notice of the institution of the Commission's investigations and of a public conference to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register of March 29, 2017 (82 FR 15541). The conference was held in Washington, DC, on April 13, 2017, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel.

    The Commission made these determinations pursuant to sections 703(a) and 733(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1671b(a) and 1673b(a)). It completed and filed its determinations in these investigations on May 8, 2017. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4690 (May 2017), entitled Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia: Investigation Nos. 701-TA-571-572 and 731-TA-1347-1348 (Preliminary).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: May 8, 2017. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09629 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-1315 (Final)] Ferrovanadium From Korea; Determination

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject investigation, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of ferrovanadium from Korea, provided for in subheading 7202.92.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that have been found by the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) to be sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”).

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to section 735(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1673d(b)), instituted this investigation effective March 28, 2016, following receipt of a petition filed with the Commission and Commerce by AMG Vanadium LLC of Cambridge, Ohio; Evergreen Metallurgical Company DBA Bear Metallurgical Company of Butler, Pennsylvania; Gulf Chemical and Metallurgical Corporation of Freeport, Texas; and Evraz Stratcor, Inc. of Hot Springs, Arkansas (collectively the Vanadium Producers and Reclaimers Association). The Commission scheduled the final phase of the investigation following notification of a preliminary determination by Commerce that imports of ferrovanadium from Korea were being sold at LTFV within the meaning of section 733(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1673b(b)). Notice of the scheduling of the final phase of the Commission's investigation and of a public hearing to be held in connection therewith was given by posting copies of the notice in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, DC, and by publishing the notice in the Federal Register on December 5, 2016 (81 FR 87590). The hearing was held in Washington, DC, on March 21, 2017, and all persons who requested the opportunity were permitted to appear in person or by counsel.

    The Commission made this determination pursuant to section 735(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1673d(b)). It completed and filed its determination in this investigation on May 8, 2017. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4683 (May 2017), entitled Ferrovanadium from Korea: Investigation No. 731-TA-1315 (Final).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: May 8, 2017. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09630 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [USITC SE-17-021] Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice Agency Holding the Meeting:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    Time and Date:

    May 18, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

    Place:

    Room 101, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, Telephone: (202) 205-2000.

    Status:

    Open to the public.

    Matters to be Considered:

    1. Agendas for future meetings: None 2. Minutes 3. Ratification List 4. Vote in Inv. No. 731-TA-638 (Fourth Review) (Stainless Steel Wire Rod from India). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determination and views of the Commission by June 6, 2017. 5. Outstanding action jackets: None

    In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting.

    By order of the Commission:

    Issued: May 9, 2017. William R. Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09718 Filed 5-10-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [OMB Number 1140-0002] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application for Restoration of Firearms Privileges, ATF F 3210.1 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will submit 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 proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register, on March 14, 2017 allowing for a 60-day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until June 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments, particularly with respect to the estimated public burden or associated response time, have suggestions, need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or desire any other additional information, please contact the Explosives Relief of Disabilities Program, National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR) either by mail at 3750 Corporal Road, Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 256-261-7640. Written comments and/or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20503 or sent to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 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; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    (2) The Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Restoration of Firearms Privileges

    (3) The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form number (If applicable): ATF F 3210.1

    Component: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: Individuals or households.

    Other: Business or other for-profit.

    Abstract: The information requested is collected to fulfill the requirements of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44. Under Federal law, individuals prohibited from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting firearms are permitted to apply for restoration of their firearms privileges. The information to be supplied must identify the specifics of the applicant's appeal for restoration of privileges. The information is investigated, processed, examined, and stored initially at ATF Headquarters.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 250 respondents will take the survey, and it will take each respondent approximately 30 minutes to complete the survey.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated annual public burden associated with this collection is 125 hours, which is equal to (250 hours * .5 (30 mins).

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09667 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [OMB Number 1140-0049] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application for National Firearms Examiner Academy, ATF F 6330.1 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will submit 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 proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register, on March 14, 2017, allowing for a 60-day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until June 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments, particularly with respect to the estimated public burden or associated response time, have suggestions, need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or desire any other additional information, please contact Sheila Hopkins, Program Manager, ATF National Laboratory Center, either by mail at 6000 Ammendale Road, Beltsville, MD 20705-1250, by email at Sheila.H[email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20503 or sent to [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 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; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    (2) The Title of the Form/Collection: Application for National Firearms Examiner Academy

    (3) The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form number: ATF F 6330.1.

    Component: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Other: Federal Government.

    Abstract: The Information requested on this form is necessary to process requests from prospective students to attend the ATF National Firearms Examiner Academy, and to acquire firearms and toolmark examiner training. The information collection is used to determine the eligibility of the applicant.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 75 respondents will utilize the form, and it will take each respondent approximately 12 minutes to complete the form.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated annual public burden associated with this collection is 15 hours, which is equal to (75 respondents * .20 (12 minutes).

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09668 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [OMB Number 1140-0090] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; National Firearms Act (NFA)—Special Occupational Taxes (SOT), (ATF Form 5630.5R, ATF Form 5630.5RC, and ATF Form 5630.7) AGENCY:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will submit 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 proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register, on February 24, 2017, allowing for a 60-day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until June 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments, particularly with respect to the estimated public burden or associated response time, have suggestions, need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or desire any other additional information, please contact Gary Schaible, Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, National Firearms Act Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) either by mail at 99 New York Ave. NE., Washington, DC 20226, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 202 648-7165. Written comments and/or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20503 or sent to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 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; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    (2) The Title of the Form/Collection: National Firearms Act (NFA)—Special Occupational Taxes (SOT).

    (3) The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form number: ATF Form 5630.5R, ATF Form 5630.5RC, and ATF Form 5630.7.

    Component: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: Business or other for-profit.

    Other: None.

    Abstract: ATF F 5630.7, NFA Special Tax Registration and Return National Firearms Act is completed and returned by businesses that are subject to Special Occupational Taxes under the National Firearms Act for either initial tax payment or business information changes. This form serves as both a return and a business registration. ATF F 5630.5R, NFA Special Tax Renewal Registration and Return and ATF F 5630.5RC, NFA Special Tax Location Registration Listing are preprinted forms sent to taxpayers for Special Occupation Taxes under the National Firearms Act. Taxpayers validate/correct the information and send the forms back with payment for the applicable tax year.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: It is estimated that 6,000 taxpayers will complete forms ATF F 5630.5R and ATF F 5630.5RC in approximately 20 minutes (10 minutes for each form). It is also estimated that 350 new taxpayers will complete ATF F 5630.7 in its entirety in approximately 15 minutes. The combined total number of respondents for this information collection is 6,350, while the combined total response time is 35 minutes.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated annual public burden associated with ATF F 5630.5R and ATF F 5630.5RC is 2,000 hours. The total burden for ATF F 5630.7 is 88 hours. Therefore the estimated total public burden associated with this information collection is 2,088 hours which is equal to (6000 (# of respondents for ATF F 5630.5R and ATF F 5630.5RC) * .3333 (20 mins) + 350 (# of respondents for ATF F 5630.7) * .25 (15 mins).

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09670 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—Cooperative Research Group on Mechanical Stratigraphy and Natural Deformation in the Permian Strata of Texas and New Mexico: Implications for Exploitation of the Permian Basin

    Notice is hereby given that, on April 18, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), Southwest Research Institute—Cooperative Research Group on Mechanical Stratigraphy and Natural Deformation in the Permian Strata of Texas and New Mexico: Implications for Exploitation of the Permian Basin (“Permian Basin”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing (1) the identities of the parties to the venture and (2) the nature and objectives of the venture. The notifications were filed for the purpose of invoking the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances.

    Pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act, the identities of the parties to the venture are: Anadarko, The Woodlands, TX; EP Energy E&P Company, L.P., Houston, TX; and Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX. The general area of Permian Basin's planned activity will involve outcrop investigation of deformation and mechanical stratigraphy in Permian strata exposed in and around the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. The analysis will include characterizing the distribution, mechanisms, and orientations of small-scale deformation related to the Ancestral Rockies, Ouachita, Laramide, and Basin and Range tectonic events and the associated paleostress conditions. The investigation will continue into the subsurface, relating deformation to tectonic setting, structural position, and mechanical stratigraphy within productive and potentially productive portions of the Permian Basin.

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09618 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium

    Notice is hereby given that, on April 19, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (“MTEC”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing changes in its membership. The notifications were filed for the purpose of extending the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances. Specifically, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; Humacyte, Morrisville, NC; Upside Biotechnologies, Ltd., Auckland, NEW ZEALAND; Institute for Applied Neurosciences, Charleston, SC; The North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Research Triangle Park, NC; Brainpaths LLC, Las Vegas, NV; Applied Research Associates, Inc., Albuquerque, NM; Magle Chemoswed AB, Lund, SWEDEN; Nano Terra, Inc., Cambridge, MA; Information Visualization and Innovative Research Inc., Sarasota, FL; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; Applied Research Center, Aiken, SC; CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, AL; Military Health Research, Laurel, MD; Ripple LLC, Salt Lake City, UT; SimQuest, Annapolis, MD; and Full Spectrum Omega, Inc., Huntington Beach, CA, have been added as parties to this venture.

    Also, Actuated Medical, Inc., Bellafonte, PA; North American Rescue, LLC, Greer, SC; Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., Sylmar, CA; Articulate Biomedical, LLC, Ithaca, NY; Agile Immersive, Arlington, VA; Techline, Willow Grove, PA; Axonova Medical, LLC, Philadelphia, PA; Gateway Biotechnology, Inc., Kent, OH; IDIQ Inc., Fallbrook, CA; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and Eagle Applied Sciences, LLC, San Antonio, TX, have withdrawn as parties to this venture.

    No other changes have been made in either the membership or planned activity of the group research project. Membership in this group research project remains open, and MTEC intends to file additional written notifications disclosing all changes in membership.

    On May 9, 2014, MTEC filed its original notification pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Act. The Department of Justice published a notice in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on June 9, 2014 (79 FR 32999).

    The last notification was filed with the Department on August 19, 2016. A notice was published in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on September 20, 2016 (81 FR 64508).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09616 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—National Armaments Consortium

    Notice is hereby given that, on April 13, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), National Armaments Consortium (“NAC”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing changes in its membership. The notifications were filed for the purpose of extending the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances. Specifically, Stark Aerospace, Inc., Columbus, MS; American Defense International, Inc., Washington, DC; Advance Concepts Engineering, LLC, Howell, NJ; Marotta Controls, Inc., Montville, NJ; Ideal Innovations Incorporated, Arlington, VA; Streamline Circuits Corp., Santa Clara, CA; Kongsberg Protech Systems USA Corporation, Johnstown, PA; Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corp., Rochester, NY; Satelles, Inc., Herndon, VA; Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO; Modern Technology Solutions, Inc., Alexandria, VA; Columbia Gorge Research, LLC, Fairview, OR; Alakai Defense Systems, Inc., Largo, FL; Opto Knowledge Systems, Inc. (OKSI), Torrance, CA; EWI, Columbus, OH; Acquisition Systems Associates, Inc., Great Falls, VA; Navatek, Ltd., South Kingstown, RI; El Dorado Engineering, Inc., West Jordan, UT; Oceaneering International, Inc., Hanover, MD; Adaptive Methods Inc., Centreville, VA; ADA Technologies, Inc., Littleton, CO; American Technical Coatings, Inc. (DBA ATC Materials, Inc.), Westlake, OH; McLaughlin Research Corporation, New London, CT; Spatial Integrated Systems, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA; Advanced Acoustic Concepts, LLC, Hauppauge, NY; ENSCO, Inc., Falls Church, VA; Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; American Lightweight Materials and Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), Detroit, MI; HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, CA; Kearfott Corporation, Little Falls, NJ; SkyBridge Tactical, Tampa, FL; MIKEL, Inc., Fall River, MA; Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, LLC, Thousand Oaks, CA; Honeybee Robotics, Ltd., Brooklyn, NY; Metadyne Inc. (dba Towanda Metadyne Inc), Towanda, PA; Barber-Nichols Inc., Arvada, CO; Fraser Optics LLC, Feasterville-Trevose, PA; Advanced Technology and Research Corporation, Columbia, MD; Sonalysts, Inc., Waterford, CT; The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MI; nanoMetallix LLC, Saint Louis, MO; Houston Mechatronics, Inc., Webster, TX; Davis Defense Group, Inc., Stafford, VA; Sheltered Wings, Inc. dba Vortex Optics, Middleton, WI; Curtiss-Wright Electro-Mechanical Corporation, Cheswick, PA; Hodges Transportation Inc., dba Nevada Automotive Test Center, Silver Spring, NV; CRM Solutions Inc., Huntsville, AL; Thompson Gray Inc., Huntsville, AL; Oshkosh Defense LLC, Oshkosh, WI; Riverside Research Institute, New York, NY; EOS Defense Systems, Inc., Tucson, AZ; Invariant Corporation, Huntsville, AL; Choctaw Defense Manufacturing LLC, McAlester, OK; and TS2, LLC, Whiteford, MD, have been added as parties to this venture.

    Also, CIRTEMO, LLC, Cayce, SC; Hydrosoft International, Livermore, CA; and Doolittle Institute, Inc., Fort Walton Beach, FL, have withdrawn as parties to this venture.

    No other changes have been made in either the membership or planned activity of the group research project. Membership in this group research project remains open, and NAC intends to file additional written notifications disclosing all changes in membership.

    On May 2, 2000, NAC filed its original notification pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Act. The Department of Justice published a notice in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on June 30, 2000 (65 FR 40693).

    The last notification was filed with the Department on February 3, 2017. A notice was published in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on March 6, 2017 (82 FR 12638).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09617 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—National Spectrum Consortium

    Notice is hereby given that, on April 10, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), National Spectrum Consortium (“NSC”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing changes in its membership. The notifications were filed for the purpose of extending the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances. Specifically, AuresTech, Inc., Tewksbury, MA; Motorola Solutions, Inc., Chicago, IL; Radiance Technologies, Inc., Huntsville, AL; OpenJAUS, LLC, Lake Mary, FL; JRC Integrated Systems, Inc., Washington, DC; Samsung Research America, Inc., Mountain View, CA; DynamicSignals LLC, Lockport, IL; AASKI Technology, Inc., Tinton Falls, NJ; and Warrior Support Solutions, LLC, Hollis, NH, have been added as parties to this venture.

    No other changes have been made in either the membership or planned activity of the group research project. Membership in this group research project remains open, and NSC intends to file additional written notifications disclosing all changes in membership.

    On September 24, 2014, NSC filed its original notification pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Act. The Department of Justice published a notice in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on November 4, 2014 (72 FR 65424).

    The last notification was filed with the Department on February 3, 2017. A notice was published in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on March 6, 2017 (82 FR 12637).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09619 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1110-0050] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; FBI National Academy: End-of Session Student Course Questionnaire; FBI National Academy: General Remarks Questionnaire AGENCY:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Training Division's Curriculum Management Section (CMS) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until July 11, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Keith Shirley, Unit Chief, Evaluation and Assessment Unit, Training Division, FBI Academy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico, Virginia 22135.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    2. The Title of the Form/Collection: FBI National Academy: End-of-Session Student Course Questionnaire and the FBI National Academy: General Remarks Questionnaire.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection: The form is unnumbered. The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Training Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:End-of-Session Student Course Questionnaire: This information collection is FBI National Academy students that represent state and local police and sheriffs' departments, military police organizations, and federal law enforcement agencies from the United States and over 150 foreign nations.

    General Remarks Questionnaire: This information collection is FBI National Academy, these questionnaires have been designed to collect feedback from National Academy students regarding their courses and instructors. The results are used to help determine if the National Academy program is functioning as intended and meeting its goals and objectives. We will utilize the students' comments to improve the current curriculum.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: Approximately 1,000 FBI National Academy students per year will respond to two types of questionnaires. (1) FBI National Academy: End-of-Session Student Course Questionnaire and (2) FBI National Academy: General Remarks Questionnaire. It is predicted we will receive a 75% response rate for both questionnaires. Each student will respond to seven Student Course questionnaires—one for each course they completed. The average time for reading the questionnaire directions is estimated to be two (2) minutes; the time to complete each questionnaire is estimated to be approximately 13 minutes. Thus the total time to complete one Student Course Questionnaire is 15 minutes and 105 minutes for all seven questionnaires. For the FBI National Academy: General Remarks Questionnaire, students will respond to one questionnaire. The average time for reading the questionnaire directions is estimated to be two (2) minutes; the time to complete the questionnaire is estimated to be approximately 10 minutes. Thus the total time to complete the General Remarks Questionnaire is 12 minutes. The total estimated time for both questionnaires per respondent is approximately 117 minutes or about 2 hours.

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated public burden associated with this collection given that approximately 75% of those surveyed or (750) will respond, the total public burden for completing all questionnaires is 1462.5 hours.

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09644 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1110-0021] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; FBI National Academy Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Graduates; FBI National Academy Graduate Questionnaire for Supervisors of Graduates AGENCY:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Training Division's Curriculum Management Section (CMS) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until July 11, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Keith Shirley, Unit Chief, Evaluation and Assessment Unit, Training Division, FBI Academy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico, Virginia 22135.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    2. The Title of the Form/Collection: FBI National Academy Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Graduates and FBI National Academy Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Supervisors of Graduates.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection: The form is unnumbered. The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Training Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: This information collection is FBI National Academy students that represent state and local police and sheriffs' departments, military police organizations, and federal law enforcement agencies from the United States and over 150 foreign nations.

    This information collection is FBI National Academy. These questionnaires have been designed to collect feedback from National Academy graduates and their supervisors to determine the type of impact the National Academy program had on their organization. The results are used to help determine if the National Academy program is functioning as intended and meeting its goals and objectives. We will utilize the students' comments to improve the current curriculum.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: Approximately 1,000 FBI National Academy Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Graduates. It is predicted we will receive a 50% response rate. The average response time for reading the questionnaire directions for the FBI National Academy Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Graduates is estimated to be two (2) minutes; the time to complete each questionnaire is estimated to be 30 minutes. Thus the total time to complete the Post-Graduate Questionnaire for Graduates is 32 minutes.

    The total estimated time to complete each questionnaire per respondent for each group is 32 minutes.

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated public burden associated with this collection given that approximately 50% of those surveyed or (500 from each group) will respond, the total public burden for completing all questionnaires is 533 hours.

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09645 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Justice Statistics [OMB Number 1121-0102] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection: Prison Population Reports: Summary of Sentenced Population Movement—National Prisoner Statistics AGENCY:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 30 days until June 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact E. Ann Carson, Statistician, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 810 Seventh Street NW., Washington, DC 20531 (email: [email protected]; telephone: 202-616-3496). Written comments and/or suggestions can also be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20503 or sent to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    2. The Title of the Form/Collection: Summary of Sentenced Population Movement-National Prisoner Statistics.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection: Form numbers for the questionnaire are NPS-1b (Summary of Sentenced Population Movement) and NPS—1B(T) Prisoner Population Report—U.S. Territories. The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the Office of Justice Programs.

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: For the NPS-1B form, 51 central reporters (one from each state and the Federal Bureau of Prisons) responsible for keeping records on inmates will be asked to provide information for the following categories, each disaggregated by sex:

    (a) As of December 31, the number of prisoners within their custody and under their jurisdiction with maximum sentences of more than one year, one year or less; and unsentenced inmates;

    (b) The number of inmates housed in privately operated facilities, county or other local authority correctional facilities, or in other state or Federal facilities on December 31;

    (c) Prison admission information in the calendar year for the following categories: New court commitments, parole violators, other conditional release violators returned, transfers from other jurisdictions, AWOLs and escapees returned, and returns from appeal and bond;

    (d) Prison release information in the calendar year for the following categories: Expirations of sentence, commutations, other conditional releases, probations, supervised mandatory releases, paroles, other conditional releases, deaths by cause, AWOLs, escapes, transfers to other jurisdictions, and releases to appeal or bond;

    (e) Number of inmates under jurisdiction on December 31 by race and Hispanic origin;

    (f) Number of inmates under physical custody on December 31 classified as non-citizens of the U.S. with maximum sentences of more than one year, one year or less; and unsentenced inmates;

    (g) Number of inmates under physical custody who are under 18 years of age;

    (h) Testing of incoming inmates for HIV; and HIV infection and AIDS cases on December 31; and

    (i) The aggregated rated, operational, and/or design capacities, by sex, of the state/BOP's correctional facilities at year-end.

    For the NPS-1B(T) form, five central reporters from the U.S. Territories and Commonwealths of Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa will be asked to provide information for the following categories for the calendar year just ended, and, if available, for the previous calendar year:

    (a) As of December 31, the number of male and female inmates within their custody and under their jurisdiction with maximum sentences of more than one year, one year or less; and unsentenced inmates; and an assessment of the completeness of these counts (complete, partial, or estimated)

    (b) The number of inmates under jurisdiction on December 31 but in the custody of facilities operated by other jurisdictions' authorities solely to reduce prison overcrowding;

    (c) Number of inmates under jurisdiction on December 31 by race and Hispanic origin;

    (d) The aggregated rated, operational, and/or design capacities, by sex, of the territory's/Commonwealth's correctional facilities at year-end.

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics uses this information in published reports and for the U.S. Congress, Executive Office of the President, practitioners, researchers, students, the media, and others interested in criminal justice statistics.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: During data collection in 2018, 51 respondents will each take an average of 7 hours to complete the NPS-1B and 5 respondents will each taking an average of 2 hours to respond to the NPS-1B(T) form. Data collection conducted in 2019 and 2020 will require each respondent to spend an average of 6.5 total hours to respond to the NPS-1B form. 5 respondents, each taking an average of 2 hours to respond to the NPS-1B(T) form. The burden estimates are based on feedback from respondents, and the burden for data collected in 2019 and 2020 remains the same as the previous clearance. The burden for data collected in 2018 increased due to the addition of questions disaggregating the number of non-citizen in custody by sentence length and the source of these data.

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: There is an estimated 1,050 total burden hours associated with this collection for the three years of data collection, or approximately 350 hours for each year.

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: May 9, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09651 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Bureau of Labor Statistics Proposed Collection, Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance 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. 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. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension without change of a currently approved collection for the “Producer Price Index” survey. A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice on or before July 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments to Nora Kincaid, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4080, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20212. Written comments also may be transmitted by fax to 202-691-5111 (this is not a toll free number).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nora Kincaid, BLS Clearance Officer, at 202-691-7628 (this is not a toll free number). (See ADDRESSES section.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Producer Price Index (PPI), one of the Nation's leading economic indicators, is used as a measure of price movements, as an indicator of inflationary trends, for inventory valuation, and as a measure of purchasing power of the dollar at the primary-market level. It also is used for market and economic research and as a basis for escalation in long-term contracts and purchase agreements.

    PPI data provide a description of the magnitude and composition of price change within the economy, and serve a wide range of governmental needs. This family of indexes are closely followed, monthly statistics which are viewed as sensitive indicators of the economic environment. Price data are vital in helping both the President and Congress set fiscal-spending targets. Producer prices are monitored by the Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee to help decide monetary policy. Federal policy-makers at the Department of Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisors utilize these statistics to help form and evaluate monetary and fiscal measures and to help interpret the general business environment. In addition, it is common to find one or more PPIs, alone or in combination with other measures, used to escalate the delivered price of goods for government purchases.

    In addition to governmental uses, PPI data are regularly put to use by the private sector. Private industry uses PPI data for contract price adjustment. For one particular method of tax-related Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) inventory accounting, the Internal Revenue Service suggests that firms use PPI data for making calculations. Private businesses make extensive use of industrial-price data for planning and operations. Price trends are used to assess the condition of markets. Firms commonly compare the prices they pay for material inputs as well as prices they receive for products that they make and sell with changes in similar PPIs.

    Economic researchers and forecasters also put the PPI to regular use. PPIs are widely used to probe and measure the interaction of market forces. Some examples of research topics that require extensive price data include: The identification of varying price elasticities and the degree of cost pass-through in the economy, the identification of potential lead and lag structures among price changes, and the identification of prices which exert major impacts throughout market structures.

    II. Current Action

    Office of Management and Budget clearance is being sought for the PPI survey.

    The PPI collection is not a one-time project with an end date. The purpose of the PPI collection is to accumulate data for the ongoing, monthly publication of the PPI family of indexes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics must continue collecting data for the PPI since both policy and business planning are affected by the completeness of the description of price trends. Dollar-denominated measures of economic performance, such as Gross Domestic Product, require accurate price data in order to convert nominal to constant-dollar values. Inflation-free national income accounting figures are vital to fiscal and monetary policy-makers when setting objectives and targets. It is conservatively estimated that hundreds-of-billions of dollars' worth of contracts and purchase agreements employ PPIs as part of price-adjustment clauses. Failure to calculate data would tend to extend the time frame required for accurate recognition of and appropriate adaptation to economic events.

    III. Desired Focus of Comments

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics is particularly interested in comments that:

    • 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.

    • 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.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Title: Producer Price Index Survey.

    OMB Number: 1220-0008.

    Affected Public: Private Sector.

    Form Total
  • respondents
  • Frequency Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • time per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • total
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • BLS 1810A, A1, B, C, C1, and E 5,836 once 5,836 120 11,672 BLS 473P 20,600 monthly * 1,122,000 5 93,500 Totals 26,436 1,127,836 105,172 * For monthly repricing, PPI requests repricing of 93,500 items each month.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

    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 also will become a matter of public record.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 19th day of April 2017. Kimberley D. Hill, Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09602 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-24-P
    NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES National Endowment for the Humanities Meetings of Humanities Panel AGENCY:

    National Endowment for the Humanities, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Endowment for the Humanities will hold six meetings of the Humanities Panel, a federal advisory committee, during June, 2017. The purpose of the meetings is for panel review, discussion, evaluation, and recommendation of applications for financial assistance under the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965.

    DATES:

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates. The meetings will open at 8:30 a.m. and will adjourn by 5:00 p.m. on the dates specified below.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held at Constitution Center at 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20506, unless otherwise indicated.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Voyatzis, Committee Management Officer, 400 7th Street SW., Room 4060, Washington, DC 20506; (202) 606-8322; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings:

    1. Date: June 26, 2017.

    This meeting will discuss applications on the subjects of the Classics, Philosophy, Religion, and European History, for NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication, submitted to the Division of Research Programs.

    2. Date: June 26, 2017.

    This meeting will discuss applications on the subjects of the Arts, Media & Communication, Philosophy & Religion, for the Awards for Faculty grant program, submitted to the Division of Research Programs.

    3. Date: June 27, 2017.

    This meeting will discuss applications on the subjects of World History, Linguistics, and the Social Sciences, for NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication, submitted to the Division of Research Programs.

    4. Date: June 27, 2017.

    This meeting will discuss applications on the subject of Literature Studies, for the Awards for Faculty grant program, submitted to the Division of Research Programs.

    5. Date: June 28, 2017.

    This meeting will discuss applications on the subjects of History & Politics, for the Awards for Faculty grant program, submitted to the Division of Research Programs.

    6. Date: June 29, 2017.

    This meeting will discuss applications on the subjects of American History, American Studies & Social Sciences, for the Awards for Faculty grant program, submitted to the Division of Research Programs.

    Because these meetings will include review of personal and/or proprietary financial and commercial information given in confidence to the agency by grant applicants, the meetings will be closed to the public pursuant to sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6) of Title 5, U.S.C., as amended. I have made this determination pursuant to the authority granted me by the Chairman's Delegation of Authority to Close Advisory Committee Meetings dated April 15, 2016.

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Elizabeth Voyatzis, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09600 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7536-01-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2017-129 and CP2017-182] New Postal Products AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission's consideration concerning negotiated service agreements. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due May 15, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) I. Introduction

    The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list.

    Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request's acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request.

    The public portions of the Postal Service's request(s) can be accessed via the Commission's Web site (http://www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service's request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3007.40.

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3010, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II.

    II. Docketed Proceeding(s)

    1. Docket No(s).: MC2017-129 and CP2017-182; Filing Title: Request of the United States Postal Service to Add Priority Mail Contract 317 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing (Under Seal) of Unredacted Governors' Decision, Contract, and Supporting Data; Filing Acceptance Date: May 5, 2017; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq.; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: May 15, 2017.

    This notice will be published in the Federal Register.

    Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09615 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 32630; 812-14699] New Mountain Finance Corporation, et al. May 8, 2017. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice of application for an order under sections 17(d) and 57(i) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) and rule 17d-1 under the Act permitting certain joint transactions otherwise prohibited by sections 17(d) and 57(a)(4) of the Act and under rule 17d-1 under the Act.

    Summary of Application:

    Applicants request an order to permit one or more business development companies (each, a “BDC”) and certain other closed-end management investment companies to co-invest in portfolio companies with each other and with affiliated investment funds.

    Applicants:

    New Mountain Finance Corporation (“NMFC”); NMF Ancora Holdings, Inc., NMF QID NGL Holdings, Inc., and NMF YP Holdings, Inc. (collectively, the “NMFC Subsidiaries”); New Mountain Finance SBIC, L.P. (“SBIC LP”); New Mountain Guardian Partners II, L.P. (“Guardian II”); New Mountain Guardian II Master Fund-A, L.P. (“Guardian II Master A”); New Mountain Guardian II Master Fund-B, L.P. (“Guardian II Master B,” and together with Guardian II and Guardian II Master-A, the “Guardian II Funds”); and New Mountain Finance Advisers BDC, L.L.C. (the “BDC Adviser”) on behalf of itself and its successors.1

    1 The term “successor,” as applied to an Adviser, means an entity that results from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or change in the type of business organization.

    Filing Dates:

    The application was filed on September 12, 2016, and amended on February 1, 2017 and April 7, 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 June 2, 2017, and should be accompanied by proof of service on 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 St. NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090. Applicants: Robert A. Hamwee, Chief Executive Officer, 787 Seventh Avenue, 48th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rochelle Kauffman Plesset, Senior Counsel, or David Marcinkus, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's Web site by searching for the file number, or for an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Applicants' Representations

    1. NMFC, a Delaware corporation, is organized as a closed-end management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a BDC under section 54(a) of the Act.2 Applicants state that NMFC seeks to generate both current income and capital appreciation through the sourcing and origination of debt securities at all levels of the capital structure. The board of directors (“Board”) of NMFC is comprised of seven directors, four of whom are not “interested directors” as defined in section 2(a)(19) of the Act (“Non-Interested Directors”).

    2 Section 2(a)(48) defines a BDC to be any closed-end investment company that operates for the purpose of making investments in securities described in sections 55(a)(1) through 55(a)(3) of the Act and makes available significant managerial assistance with respect to the issuers of such securities.

    2. The NMFC Subsidiaries are wholly-owned subsidiaries of NMFC, each structured as a Delaware corporation to hold equity or equity-like investments in portfolio companies organized as limited liability companies or other forms of pass-through entities. The NMFC Subsidiaries are not registered under the Act in reliance on the exclusion from the definition of “investment company” in section 3(c)(7) of the Act.

    3. SBIC LP, a Delaware limited partnership, received a license from the Small Business Administration to operate as a small business investment company. SBIC LP is a consolidated wholly-owned subsidiary of NMFC.

    4. Guardian II is a private fund organized in Delaware on August 25, 2016. Both Guardian II Master A and Guardian II Master B are private funds organized as Cayman Islands exempted limited partnerships on January 3, 2017. The Guardian II Funds have not yet formally commenced principal operations. Applicants state that the investment objective of each of these funds is to generate both current income and capital appreciation by investing primarily in first lien and second lien secured loans as well as subordinated debt. None of the Guardian II Funds is registered under the Act in reliance on the exclusion from the definition of “investment company” in section 3(c)(7) of the Act.

    5. BDC Adviser, a Delaware limited liability company, is registered with the Commission as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”). BDC Adviser serves as investment adviser to NMFC and will serve as investment adviser to the Guardian II Funds.

    6. Applicants seek an order (“Order”) to permit one or more Regulated Funds 3 and/or one or more Affiliated Funds 4 to participate in the same investment opportunities through a proposed co-investment program (the “Co-Investment Program”) where such participation would otherwise be prohibited under section 57(a)(4) and rule 17d-1 by (a) co-investing with each other in securities issued by issuers in private placement transactions in which an Adviser negotiates terms in addition to price; 5 and (b) making additional investments in securities of such issuers, including through the exercise of warrants, conversion privileges, and other rights to purchase securities of the issuers (“Follow-On Investments”). “Co-Investment Transaction” means any transaction in which a Regulated Fund (or its Wholly-Owned Investment Sub, as defined below) participated together with one or more other Regulated Funds and/or one or more Affiliated Funds in reliance on the requested Order. “Potential Co-Investment Transaction” means any investment opportunity in which a Regulated Fund (or its Wholly-Owned Investment Sub) could not participate together with one or more Affiliated Funds and/or one or more other Regulated Funds without obtaining and relying on the Order.6

    3 “Regulated Fund” means NMFC and any Future Regulated Fund. “Future Regulated Fund” means any closed-end management investment company (a) that is registered under the Act or has elected to be regulated as a BDC, (b) whose investment adviser is an Adviser, and (c) that intends to participate in the Co-Investment Program. The term “Adviser” means (a) the BDC Adviser and (b) any future investment adviser that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the BDC Adviser and is registered as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act.

    4 “Affiliated Fund” means the Guardian II Funds and any Future Affiliated Funds. “Future Affiliated Fund” means any entity (a) whose investment adviser is an Adviser, (b) that would be an investment company but for section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Act, and (c) that intends to participate in the Co-Investment Program.

    5 The term “private placement transactions” means transactions in which the offer and sale of securities by the issuer are exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”).

    6 All existing entities that currently intend to rely upon the requested Order have been named as applicants. Any other existing or future entity that subsequently relies on the Order will comply with the terms and conditions of the application.

    7. Applicants state any of the Regulated Funds may, from time to time, form one or more Wholly-Owned Investment Subs.7 A Wholly-Owned Investment Sub would be prohibited from investing in a Co-Investment Transaction with any Affiliated Fund or Regulated Fund because it would be a company controlled by its parent Regulated Fund for purposes of section 57(a)(4) and rule 17d-1. Applicants request that each Wholly-Owned Investment Sub be permitted to participate in Co-Investment Transactions in lieu of its parent Regulated Fund and that the Wholly-Owned Investment Sub's participation in any such transaction be treated, for purposes of the requested order, as though the parent Regulated Fund were participating directly. Applicants represent that this treatment is justified because a Wholly-Owned Investment Sub would have no purpose other than serving as a holding vehicle for the Regulated Fund's investments and, therefore, no conflicts of interest could arise between the Regulated Fund and the Wholly-Owned Investment Sub. The Regulated Fund's Board would make all relevant determinations under the conditions with regard to a Wholly-Owned Investment Sub's participation in a Co-Investment Transaction, and the Regulated Fund's Board would be informed of, and take into consideration, any proposed use of a Wholly-Owned Investment Sub in the Regulated Fund's place. If the Regulated Fund proposes to participate in the same Co-Investment Transaction with any of its Wholly-Owned Investment Subs, the Board will also be informed of, and take into consideration, the relative participation of the Regulated Fund and the Wholly-Owned Investment Sub.

    7 The term “Wholly-Owned Investment Sub” means an entity (i) that is wholly-owned by a Regulated Fund (with the Regulated Fund at all times holding, beneficially and of record, 100% of the voting and economic interests); (ii) whose sole business purpose is to hold one or more investments on behalf of the Regulated Fund (and, in the case of an SBIC Subsidiary, maintain a license under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 and issue debentures guaranteed by the SBA; (iii) with respect to which the Regulated Fund's Board has the sole authority to make all determinations with respect to the entity's participation under the conditions of the application; and (iv) that would be an investment company but for section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Act. Each of the NMFC Subsidiaries and SBIC LP is a Wholly-Owned Investment Sub of NMFC and any future subsidiaries of the Regulated Funds that participate in Co-Investment Transactions will be Wholly-Owned Investment Subs.

    8. When considering Potential Co-Investment Transactions for any Regulated Fund, the applicable Adviser will consider only the Objectives and Strategies, investment policies, investment positions, capital available for investment as described in the application (“Available Capital”), and other pertinent factors applicable to that Regulated Fund.8 The Board of each Regulated Fund, including the Non-Interested Directors, has (or will have prior to relying on the requested Order) determined that it is in the best interests of the Regulated Fund to participate in Co-Investment Transactions.9

    8 “Objectives and Strategies” means a Regulated Fund's investment objectives and strategies, as described in the Regulated Fund's registration statement on Form N-2 or Form 10, as applicable, other filings the Regulated Fund has made with the Commission under the Securities Act, or under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Regulated Fund's reports to shareholders.

    9 The Regulated Funds, however, will not be obligated to invest, or co-invest, when investment opportunities are referred to them.

    9. Other than pro rata dispositions and Follow-On Investments as provided in conditions 7 and 8, and after making the determinations required in conditions 1 and 2(a), the Adviser will present each Potential Co-Investment Transaction and the proposed allocation to the directors of the Board eligible to vote under section 57(o) of the Act (“Eligible Directors”), and the “required majority,” as defined in section 57(o) of the Act (“Required Majority”) 10 will approve each Co-Investment Transaction prior to any investment by the participating Regulated Fund.

    10 In the case of a Regulated Fund that is a registered closed-end fund, the Board members that make up the Required Majority will be determined as if the Regulated Fund were a BDC subject to section 57(o).

    10. With respect to the pro rata dispositions and Follow-On Investments provided in conditions 7 and 8, a Regulated Fund may participate in a pro rata disposition or Follow-On Investment without obtaining prior approval of the Required Majority if, among other things: (i) the proposed participation of each Regulated Fund and Affiliated Fund in such disposition is proportionate to its outstanding investments in the issuer immediately preceding the disposition or Follow-On Investment, as the case may be; and (ii) the Board of the Regulated Fund has approved that Regulated Fund's participation in pro rata dispositions and Follow-On Investments as being in the best interests of the Regulated Fund. If the Board does not so approve, any such disposition or Follow-On Investment will be submitted to the Regulated Fund's Eligible Directors. The Board of any Regulated Fund may at any time rescind, suspend or qualify its approval of pro rata dispositions and Follow-On Investments with the result that all dispositions and/or Follow-On Investments must be submitted to the Eligible Directors.

    11. No Non-Interested Director of a Regulated Fund will have a financial interest in any Co-Investment Transaction, other than through share ownership in one of the Regulated Funds.

    12. If an Adviser or its principal owners (the “Principals”), or any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with an Adviser or the Principals, and any Affiliated Fund (collectively, the “Holders”) own in the aggregate more than 25 per cent of the outstanding voting shares of a Regulated Fund (the “Shares”), then the Holders will vote such Shares as required under condition 14. Applicants believe that this condition will ensure that the Non-Interested Directors will act independently in evaluating the Co-Investment Program, because the ability of an Adviser or the Principals to influence the Non-Interested Directors by a suggestion, explicit or implied, that the Non-Interested Directors can be removed will be limited significantly. The Non-Interested Directors shall evaluate and approve any such independent third party, taking into account its qualifications, reputation for independence, cost to the shareholders, and other factors that they deem relevant.

    Applicants' Legal Analysis

    1. Section 57(a)(4) of the Act prohibits certain affiliated persons of a BDC from participating in joint transactions with the BDC or a company controlled by a BDC in contravention of rules as prescribed by the Commission. Under section 57(b)(2) of the Act, any person who is directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with a BDC is subject to section 57(a)(4). Applicants submit that each of the Regulated Funds and Affiliated Funds could be deemed to be a person related to each Regulated Fund in a manner described by section 57(b) by virtue of being under common control. Section 57(i) of the Act provides that, until the Commission prescribes rules under section 57(a)(4), the Commission's rules under section 17(d) of the Act applicable to registered closed-end investment companies will be deemed to apply to transactions subject to section 57(a)(4). Because the Commission has not adopted any rules under section 57(a)(4), rule 17d-1 also applies to joint transactions with Regulated Funds that are BDCs. Section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act are applicable to Regulated Funds that are registered closed-end investment companies.

    2. Section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act prohibit affiliated persons of a registered investment company from participating in joint transactions with the company unless the Commission has granted an order permitting such transactions. In passing upon applications under rule 17d-1, the Commission considers whether the company's participation in the joint transaction 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 other participants.

    3. Applicants state that in the absence of the requested relief, the Regulated Funds would be, in some circumstances, limited in their ability to participate in attractive and appropriate investment opportunities. Applicants believe that the proposed terms and conditions will ensure that the Co-Investment Transactions are consistent with the protection of each Regulated Fund's shareholders and with the purposes intended by the policies and provisions of the Act. Applicants state that the Regulated Funds' participation in the Co-Investment Transactions will be consistent with the provisions, policies, and purposes of the Act and on a basis that is not different from or less advantageous than that of other participants.

    Applicants' Conditions

    Applicants agree that the Order will be subject to the following conditions:

    1. Each time an Adviser considers a Potential Co-Investment Transaction for an Affiliated Fund or another Regulated Fund that falls within a Regulated Fund's then-current Objectives and Strategies, the Regulated Fund's Adviser will make an independent determination of the appropriateness of the investment for such Regulated Fund in light of the Regulated Fund's then-current circumstances.

    2. (a) If the Adviser deems a Regulated Fund's participation in any Potential Co-Investment Transaction to be appropriate for the Regulated Fund, it will then determine an appropriate level of investment for the Regulated Fund.

    (b) If the aggregate amount recommended by the applicable Adviser to be invested by the applicable Regulated Fund in the Potential Co-Investment Transaction, together with the amount proposed to be invested by the other participating Regulated Funds and Affiliated Funds, collectively, in the same transaction, exceeds the amount of the investment opportunity, the investment opportunity will be allocated among them pro rata based on each participant's Available Capital, up to the amount proposed to be invested by each. The applicable Adviser will provide the Eligible Directors of each participating Regulated Fund with information concerning each participating party's Available Capital to assist the Eligible Directors with their review of the Regulated Fund's investments for compliance with these allocation procedures.

    (c) After making the determinations required in conditions 1 and 2(a), the applicable Adviser will distribute written information concerning the Potential Co-Investment Transaction (including the amount proposed to be invested by each participating Regulated Fund and Affiliated Fund) to the Eligible Directors of each participating Regulated Fund for their consideration. A Regulated Fund will co-invest with one or more other Regulated Funds and/or one or more Affiliated Funds only if, prior to the Regulated Fund's participation in the Potential Co-Investment Transaction, a Required Majority concludes that:

    (i) The terms of the Potential Co-Investment Transaction, including the consideration to be paid, are reasonable and fair to the Regulated Fund and its shareholders and do not involve overreaching in respect of the Regulated Fund or its shareholders on the part of any person concerned;

    (ii) the Potential Co-Investment Transaction is consistent with:

    (A) The interests of the shareholders of the Regulated Fund; and

    (B) the Regulated Fund's then-current Objectives and Strategies;

    (iii) the investment by any other Regulated Funds or Affiliated Funds would not disadvantage the Regulated Fund, and participation by the Regulated Fund would not be on a basis different from or less advantageous than that of other Regulated Funds or Affiliated Funds; provided that, if any other Regulated Fund or Affiliated Fund, but not the Regulated Fund itself, gains the right to nominate a director for election to a portfolio company's board of directors or the right to have a board observer or any similar right to participate in the governance or management of the portfolio company, such event shall not be interpreted to prohibit the Required Majority from reaching the conclusions required by this condition (2)(c)(iii), if:

    (A) The Eligible Directors will have the right to ratify the selection of such director or board observer, if any;

    (B) the applicable Adviser agrees to, and does, provide periodic reports to the Regulated Fund's Board with respect to the actions of such director or the information received by such board observer or obtained through the exercise of any similar right to participate in the governance or management of the portfolio company; and

    (C) any fees or other compensation that any Affiliated Fund or any Regulated Fund or any affiliated person of any Affiliated Fund or any Regulated Fund receives in connection with the right of the Affiliated Fund or a Regulated Fund to nominate a director or appoint a board observer or otherwise to participate in the governance or management of the portfolio company will be shared proportionately among the participating Affiliated Funds (who each may, in turn, share its portion with its affiliated persons) and the participating Regulated Funds in accordance with the amount of each party's investment; and

    (iv) the proposed investment by the Regulated Fund will not benefit the Advisers, the Affiliated Funds or the other Regulated Funds or any affiliated person of any of them (other than the parties to the Co-Investment Transaction), except (A) to the extent permitted by condition 13, (B) to the extent permitted by section 17(e) or 57(k) of the Act, as applicable, (C) indirectly, as a result of an interest in the securities issued by one of the parties to the Co-Investment Transaction, or (D) in the case of fees or other compensation described in condition 2(c)(iii)(C).

    3. Each Regulated Fund has the right to decline to participate in any Potential Co-Investment Transaction or to invest less than the amount proposed.

    4. The applicable Adviser will present to the Board of each Regulated Fund, on a quarterly basis, a record of all investments in Potential Co-Investment Transactions made by any of the other Regulated Funds or Affiliated Funds during the preceding quarter that fell within the Regulated Fund's then-current Objectives and Strategies that were not made available to the Regulated Fund, and an explanation of why the investment opportunities were not offered to the Regulated Fund. All information presented to the Board pursuant to this condition will be kept for the life of the Regulated Fund and at least two years thereafter, and will be subject to examination by the Commission and its staff.

    5. Except for Follow-On Investments made in accordance with condition 8,11 a Regulated Fund will not invest in reliance on the Order in any issuer in which another Regulated Fund, Affiliated Fund, or any affiliated person of another Regulated Fund or Affiliated Fund is an existing investor.

    11 This exception applies only to Follow-On Investments by a Regulated Fund in issuers in which that Regulated Fund already holds investments.

    6. A Regulated Fund will not participate in any Potential Co-Investment Transaction unless the terms, conditions, price, class of securities to be purchased, settlement date, and registration rights will be the same for each participating Regulated Fund and Affiliated Fund. The grant to an Affiliated Fund or another Regulated Fund, but not the Regulated Fund, of the right to nominate a director for election to a portfolio company's board of directors, the right to have an observer on the board of directors or similar rights to participate in the governance or management of the portfolio company will not be interpreted so as to violate this condition 6, if conditions 2(c)(iii)(A), (B) and (C) are met.

    7. (a) If any Affiliated Fund or any Regulated Fund elects to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of an interest in a security that was acquired in a Co-Investment Transaction, the applicable Advisers will:

    (i) Notify each Regulated Fund that participated in the Co-Investment Transaction of the proposed disposition at the earliest practical time; and

    (ii) formulate a recommendation as to participation by each Regulated Fund in the disposition.

    (b) Each Regulated Fund will have the right to participate in such disposition on a proportionate basis, at the same price and on the same terms and conditions as those applicable to the participating Affiliated Funds and Regulated Funds.

    (c) A Regulated Fund may participate in such disposition without obtaining prior approval of the Required Majority if: (i) The proposed participation of each Regulated Fund and each Affiliated Fund in such disposition is proportionate to its outstanding investments in the issuer immediately preceding the disposition; (ii) the Board of the Regulated Fund has approved as being in the best interests of the Regulated Fund the ability to participate in such dispositions on a pro rata basis (as described in greater detail in the application); and (iii) the Board of the Regulated Fund is provided on a quarterly basis with a list of all dispositions made in accordance with this condition. In all other cases, the Adviser will provide its written recommendation as to the Regulated Fund's participation to the Eligible Directors, and the Regulated Fund will participate in such disposition solely to the extent that a Required Majority determines that it is in the Regulated Fund's best interests.

    (d) Each Affiliated Fund and each Regulated Fund will bear its own expenses in connection with any such disposition.

    8. (a) If any Affiliated Fund or any Regulated Fund desires to make a Follow-On Investment in a portfolio company whose securities were acquired in a Co-Investment Transaction, the applicable Advisers will:

    (i) Notify each Regulated Fund that participated in the Co-Investment Transaction of the proposed transaction at the earliest practical time; and

    (ii) formulate a recommendation as to the proposed participation, including the amount of the proposed Follow-On Investment, by each Regulated Fund.

    (b) A Regulated Fund may participate in such Follow-On Investment without obtaining prior approval of the Required Majority if: (i) The proposed participation of each Regulated Fund and each Affiliated Fund in such investment is proportionate to its outstanding investments in the issuer immediately preceding the Follow-On Investment; and (ii) the Board of the Regulated Fund has approved as being in the best interests of the Regulated Fund the ability to participate in Follow-On Investments on a pro rata basis (as described in greater detail in the application). In all other cases, the Adviser will provide its written recommendation as to the Regulated Fund's participation to the Eligible Directors, and the Regulated Fund will participate in such Follow-On Investment solely to the extent that a Required Majority determines that it is in the Regulated Fund's best interests.

    (c) If, with respect to any Follow-On Investment:

    (i) The amount of the opportunity is not based on the Regulated Funds' and the Affiliated Funds' outstanding investments immediately preceding the Follow-On Investment; and

    (ii) the aggregate amount recommended by the applicable Adviser to be invested by the applicable Regulated Fund in the Follow-On Investment, together with the amount proposed to be invested by the other participating Regulated Funds and Affiliated Funds, collectively, in the same transaction, exceeds the amount of the investment opportunity; then the investment opportunity will be allocated among them pro rata based on each participant's Available Capital, up to the maximum amount proposed to be invested by each.

    (d) The acquisition of Follow-On Investments as permitted by this condition will be considered a Co-Investment Transaction for all purposes and subject to the other conditions set forth in this application.

    9. The Non-Interested Directors of each Regulated Fund will be provided quarterly for review all information concerning Potential Co-Investment Transactions and Co-Investment Transactions, including investments made by other Regulated Funds or Affiliated Funds that the Regulated Fund considered but declined to participate in, so that the Non-Interested Directors may determine whether all investments made during the preceding quarter, including those investments that the Regulated Fund considered but declined to participate in, comply with the conditions of the Order. In addition, the Non-Interested Directors will consider at least annually the continued appropriateness for the Regulated Fund of participating in new and existing Co-Investment Transactions.

    10. Each Regulated Fund will maintain the records required by section 57(f)(3) of the Act as if each of the Regulated Funds were a BDC and each of the investments permitted under these conditions were approved by the Required Majority under section 57(f) of the Act.

    11. No Non-Interested Director of a Regulated Fund will also be a director, general partner, managing member or principal, or otherwise an “affiliated person” (as defined in the Act) of an Affiliated Fund.

    12. The expenses, if any, associated with acquiring, holding or disposing of any securities acquired in a Co-Investment Transaction (including, without limitation, the expenses of the distribution of any such securities registered for sale under the Securities Act) will, to the extent not payable by the Advisers under their respective investment advisory agreements with Affiliated Funds and the Regulated Funds, be shared by the Regulated Funds and the Affiliated Funds in proportion to the relative amounts of the securities held or to be acquired or disposed of, as the case may be.

    13. Any transaction fee 12 (including break-up or commitment fees but excluding broker's fees contemplated by section 17(e) or 57(k) of the Act, as applicable), received in connection with a Co-Investment Transaction will be distributed to the participating Regulated Funds and Affiliated Funds on a pro rata basis based on the amounts they invested or committed, as the case may be, in such Co-Investment Transaction. If any transaction fee is to be held by an Adviser pending consummation of the transaction, the fee will be deposited into an account maintained by such Adviser at a bank or banks having the qualifications prescribed in section 26(a)(1) of the Act, and the account will earn a competitive rate of interest that will also be divided pro rata among the participating Regulated Funds and Affiliated Funds based on the amounts they invest in such Co-Investment Transaction. None of the Affiliated Funds, the Advisers, the other Regulated Funds or any affiliated person of the Regulated Funds or Affiliated Funds will receive additional compensation or remuneration of any kind as a result of or in connection with a Co-Investment Transaction (other than (a) in the case of the Regulated Funds and the Affiliated Funds, the pro rata transaction fees described above and fees or other compensation described in condition 2(c)(iii)(C); and (b) in the case of an Adviser, investment advisory fees paid in accordance with the agreement between the Adviser and the Regulated Fund or Affiliated Fund.

    12 Applicants are not requesting and the staff is not providing any relief for transaction fees received in connection with any Co-Investment Transaction.

    14. If the Holders own in the aggregate more than 25 percent of the Shares of a Regulated Fund, then the Holders will vote such Shares as directed by an independent third party when voting on (1) the election of directors; (2) the removal of one or more directors; or (3) any other matter under either the 1940 Act or applicable state law affecting the Board's composition, size or manner of election.

    15. Each Regulated Fund's chief compliance officer, as defined in rule 38a-1(a)(4), will prepare an annual report for its Board each year that evaluates (and documents the basis of that evaluation) the Regulated Fund's compliance with the terms and conditions of the application and the procedures established to achieve such compliance.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09643 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-80619; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2017-23] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Harmonize the Requirements of the NYSE MKT Company Guide With Respect to Periodic Reporting With Those of the NYSE May 8, 2017.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on April 25, 2017, NYSE MKT LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE MKT”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C.78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to harmonize the requirements of the NYSE MKT Company Guide (the “Company Guide”) with respect to periodic reporting with those of the NYSE. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to harmonize the requirements of the Company Guide with respect to periodic reporting with those of the NYSE. A consistent approach among the two NYSE sister exchanges will avoid confusion among investors and companies and their service providers about the applicable rules. Currently, the Exchange provides companies that are late in making required filings with a compliance plan under its general provisions for companies that are non-compliant with Exchange rules, as set forth in Section 1009 of the Company Guide. Section 1009 gives the Exchange the discretion to grant companies up to 18 months to cure events of noncompliance and does not provide specific guidance with respect to how compliance periods should be administered for companies late in submitting their filings. By contrast, Section 802.01E of the NYSE Listed Company Manual limits companies to a maximum cure period of 12 months to submit all delayed filings and includes specific provisions for determining how much time companies should be given to cure within the context of that maximum 12 months and what is required to be eligible for that additional time. As such, the Exchange believes that the NYSE's process for dealing with delayed filings is more stringent and more transparent than its own and believes that it is appropriate to harmonize its own process with that of the NYSE. The Exchange also proposes to harmonize its requirements with respect to semi-annual reporting by foreign private issuers with that of the NYSE, as the NYSE requirement is more precise. This greater precision will enable the Exchange to subject this semi-annual reporting obligation to the same compliance regime as it is proposing for other delayed filings.

    Semi-Annual Reporting by Foreign Private Issuers

    Section 110(d) of the Company Guide currently requires all foreign-incorporated listed companies to publish, at least semi-annually, an English language version of their interim financial statements. As part of its harmonization with the rules of the NYSE and adoption of a more explicit compliance approach,4 the Exchange proposes to adopt new Section 110(e) as a more specific interim reporting requirement for listed foreign private issuers.5 Under proposed Section 110(e), each listed foreign private issuer will be required, at a minimum, to submit to the SEC a Form 6-K that includes (i) an interim balance sheet as of the end of its second fiscal quarter and (ii) a semi-annual income statement that covers its first two fiscal quarters. This Form 6-K must be submitted no later than six months following the end of the company's second fiscal quarter. The financial information included in the Form 6-K must be presented in English, but does not have to be reconciled to U.S. GAAP.

    4See Section 203.03 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual.

    5 Foreign-incorporated listed companies that are not foreign private issuers are required to file quarterly reports on Form 10-Q as domestic filers, so proposed Section 110(e) is not relevant to them. Existing Section 110(e) will be renumbered as Section 110(f).

    Amendments to Chapter Six of the Company Guide

    Section 610(a) currently requires listed companies to provide specific enumerated disclosures with regard to outstanding options.6 The Exchange proposes to eliminate these requirements. The Exchange notes that companies are required to include disclosure in their Form 10-K in relation to options available under equity compensation plans pursuant to Item 201(d) of Regulation S-K and options issued as executive compensation pursuant to Item 402 of Regulation S-K. Consequently, the Exchange believes it is appropriate to defer to the SEC in determining what disclosures should be required with respect to options and to delete its own disclosure requirements from Section 610(a).

    6 Section 610(a) provides that the company must disclose in its annual report to security holders, for the year covered by the report: (a) The number of unoptioned shares available at the beginning and at the close of the year for the granting of options under an option plan; and (b) any changes in the exercise price of outstanding options, through cancellation and reissuance or otherwise, except price changes resulting from the normal operation of anti-dilution provisions of the options.

    Section 610(a) currently specifies that a company that fails to file its annual report on Forms 10-K, 20-F, 40-F or N-CSR with the SEC in a timely manner is subject to delisting pursuant to Section 1002(d). The Exchange proposes to amend this provision to provide that companies delayed in making these filings will be subject to proposed Section 1007 as discussed below.

    Prior to an amendment to Section 610 in 2009,7 Section 610 required a listed company to physically deliver its annual report filed with the SEC to shareholders each year. In its amended form, Section 610 no longer requires companies to physically deliver their annual reports but relies instead on the fact that listed company annual reports are available on the SEC Web site and are required to be made available on or through the Web site of the applicable listed company. Proposed Section 1007 as described below establishes compliance procedures for companies that are delayed in filing their annual reports with the SEC. In light of the foregoing, the Exchange proposes to delete Sections 611 (Time of Publication), 612 (Request for Extension) and 613 (Good Cause for Delay) of the Company Guide in their entirety. Section 611 specifies timeframes within which a company's hard copy annual report must be submitted to the Exchange and distributed to shareholders. The Exchange proposes to delete this provision as Section 610 no longer requires the delivery of hard copy annual reports and proposed Section 1007 will include detailed compliance requirements with respect to delayed annual report filings. Similarly, Section 612 sets forth a process for companies to request an extension of time from the Exchange to distribute hard copy annual reports to their shareholders. The Exchange proposes to delete this requirement, as companies are not required to deliver hard copy annual reports under the current rules and proposed Section 1007 will establish a process for granting companies additional time when they are delayed in submitting their annual reports to the SEC. Section 613 specifies circumstances under which good cause may exist for a company being delayed in publishing its annual report. The Exchange proposes to delete this provision, as in the future all determinations as to the continued listing of companies that are delayed in their annual report filings will be made pursuant to the provisions of proposed Section 1007.

    7See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59685 (April 1, 2009); 74 FR 16031 (April 8, 2009) (SR-NYSEMKT-2009-04).

    Section 610(b) makes reference to providing notice of material news to the Exchange's StockWatch and Listing Qualifications Departments. The Exchange proposes to delete these references as those departments now have different names. In their place, the Exchange proposes to include a statement that companies should comply with the Exchange's material news policies set forth in Sections 401 and 402 of the Company Guide by providing notice to the Exchange's Market Watch Group pursuant to the material news notification requirements of Sections 401 and 402.

    Section 610(b) currently provides that a listed company that receives an audit opinion that contains a going concern “qualification” must make a public announcement through the news media disclosing the receipt of such qualified opinion. The Exchange proposes to replace the reference to a going concern “qualification” with a reference to a going concern “emphasis” as this is a more correct characterization under the accounting literature. In addition, the Exchange proposes to provide that the public announcement of the existence of a going concern emphasis in an audit opinion must be made contemporaneously with the filing of the SEC report including the going concern emphasis, rather than within seven calendar days of such filing as is currently the case. The Exchange believes a going concern emphasis is material to investors and should be immediately disclosed.

    Proposed Section 1007 SEC Annual and Quarterly Report Timely Filing Criteria

    Under proposed Section 1007, a company will incur a late filing delinquency and be subject to the procedures set forth in Section 1007 on the date on which any of the following occurs:

    • The company fails to file its annual report (Forms 10-K, 20-F, 40-F or N-CSR) or its quarterly report on Form 10-Q or semi-annual report on Form N-CSR (“Semi-Annual Form N-CSR”) with the SEC by the date such report was required to be filed by the applicable form, or if a Form 12b-25 was timely filed with the SEC, the extended filing due date for the annual report, Form 10-Q, or Semi-Annual Form N-CSR (for purposes of this Section 1007, the later of these two dates, along with any Semi-Annual Report Filing Due Date as defined below, will be referred to as the “Filing Due Date” and the failure to file a report by the applicable Filing Due Date, a “Late Filing Delinquency”);

    • a listed foreign private issuer fails to file the Form 6-K containing semi-annual financial information required by proposed Section 110(e) (the “Semi-Annual Report”) by the date specified in that rule (the “Semi-Annual Report Filing Due Date”);

    • the company files its annual report without a financial statement audit report from its independent auditor for any or all of the periods included in such annual report (a “Required Audit Report” and the absence of a Required Audit Report, a “Required Audit Report Delinquency”);

    • the company's independent auditor withdraws a Required Audit Report or the company files a Form 8-K with the SEC pursuant to Item 4.02(b) thereof disclosing that it has been notified by its independent auditor that a Required Audit Report or completed interim review should no longer be relied upon (a “Required Audit Report Withdrawal Delinquency”); or

    • the company files a Form 8-K with the SEC pursuant to Item 4.02(a) thereof to disclose that previously issued financial statements should no longer be relied upon because of an error in such financial statements or, in the case of a foreign private issuer, makes a similar disclosure in a Form 6-K filed with the SEC or by other means (a “Non-Reliance Disclosure”) and, in either case, the company does not refile all required corrected financial statements within 60 days of the issuance of the Non-Reliance Disclosure (an “Extended Non-Reliance Disclosure Event” and, together with a Late Filing Delinquency, a Required Audit Report Delinquency and a Required Audit Report Withdrawal Delinquency, a “Filing Delinquency”) (for purposes of the cure periods described below, an Extended Non-Reliance Disclosure Event will be deemed to have occurred on the date of original issuance of the Non-Reliance Disclosure); if the Exchange believes that a company is unlikely to refile all required corrected financial statements within 60 days after a Non-Reliance Disclosure or that the errors giving rise to such Non-Reliance Disclosure are particularly severe in nature, the Exchange may, in its sole discretion, determine earlier than 60 days that the applicable company has incurred a Filing Delinquency as a result of such Non-Reliance Disclosure.

    The Exchange will also deem a company to have incurred a Filing Delinquency if the company submits an annual report, Form 10-Q, or Semi-Annual Form N-CSR to the SEC by the applicable Filing Due Date, but such filing fails to include an element required by the applicable SEC form and the Exchange determines in the Exchange's sole discretion that such deficiency is material in nature.8

    8 The following is a non-exclusive list of scenarios involving material filing elements that would cause the Exchange to deem the company to have incurred a Late Filing Delinquency: The filing does not include required financial statements or a required audit opinion; a required financial statement audit opinion includes qualifying or disclaiming language or the auditor provides an adverse financial statement audit opinion; a required financial statement audit opinion is unsigned or undated; there is a discrepancy between the period end date for required financial statements and the date cited in the related audit report; the company's auditor has not conducted a SAS 100 review with respect to the company's Form 10-Q; required chief executive officer or chief financial officer certifications are missing; a Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404 required internal control report or auditor certification is missing; the filing does not comply with the applicable SEC XBRL requirements; or the filing does not include signatures of officers or directors required by the applicable form.

    The annual report, Form 10-Q, Semi-Annual Form N-CSR or Semi-Annual Report that gives rise to a Filing Delinquency shall be referred to herein and in proposed Section 1007 as the “Delinquent Report.”

    Subsequent Late Reports. A company that has an uncured Filing Delinquency will not incur an additional Filing Delinquency if it fails to file a subsequent annual report, Form 10-Q, Semi-Annual Form N-CSR or Semi-Annual Report (a “Subsequent Report”) by the applicable Filing Due Date for such Subsequent Report. However, in order for the company to cure its initial Filing Delinquency, no Subsequent Report may be delinquent or deficient on the date by which the initial Filing Delinquency is required to be cured.

    Notification and Cure Periods. Upon the occurrence of a Filing Delinquency, the Exchange will promptly (typically within five business days) send written notification (the “Filing Delinquency Notification”) to a company of the procedures set forth below. Within five days of the date of the Filing Delinquency Notification, the company will be required to (a) contact the Exchange to discuss the status of the Delinquent Report and (b) issue a press release disclosing the occurrence of the Filing Delinquency, the reason for the Filing Delinquency and, if known, the anticipated date such Filing Delinquency will be cured via the filing or refiling of the applicable report, as the case may be. If the company has not issued the required press release within five days of the date of the Filing Delinquency Notification, the Exchange will issue a press release stating that the company has incurred a Filing Delinquency and providing a description thereof.

    During the six-month period from the date of the Filing Delinquency (the “Initial Cure Period”), the Exchange will monitor the company and the status of the Delinquent Report and any Subsequent Reports, including through contact with the company, until the Filing Delinquency is cured.9 If the company fails to cure the Filing Delinquency within the Initial Cure Period, the Exchange may, in its sole discretion, allow the company's securities to be traded for up to an additional six-month period (the “Additional Cure Period”) depending on the company's specific circumstances. If the Exchange determines that an Additional Cure Period is not appropriate, suspension and delisting procedures will commence in accordance with the procedures set out in Section 1010 of the Company Guide. A company is not eligible to follow the procedures outlined in Section 1009 with respect to these criteria. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, the Exchange may in its sole discretion decide (i) not to afford a company any Initial Cure Period or Additional Cure Period, as the case may be, at all or (ii) at any time during the Initial Cure Period or Additional Cure Period, to truncate the Initial Cure Period or Additional Cure Period, as the case may be, and immediately commence suspension and delisting procedures if the company is subject to delisting pursuant to any other provision of the company Guide, including if the Exchange believes, in the Exchange's sole discretion, that continued listing and trading of a company's securities on the Exchange is inadvisable or unwarranted in accordance with Sections 1001-1006 of the Company Guide.

    9 Under the proposed rule, a company that has an uncured Filing Delinquency would not incur an additional Filing Delinquency if it fails to file a Subsequent Report by the applicable Filing Due Date. However, in order for the company to cure its initial Filing Delinquency, no Subsequent Report may be delinquent or deficient on the date by which the initial Filing Delinquency is required to be cured.

    The Exchange may also commence suspension and delisting procedures without affording any cure period at all or at any time during the Initial Cure Period or Additional Cure Period if the Exchange believes, in the Exchange's sole discretion, that it is advisable to do so on the basis of an analysis of all relevant factors, including but not limited to:

    • Whether there are allegations of financial fraud or other illegality in relation to the company's financial reporting;

    • the resignation or termination by the company of the company's independent auditor due to a disagreement;

    • any extended delay in appointing a new independent auditor after a prior auditor's resignation or termination;

    • the resignation of members of the company's audit committee or other directors;

    • the resignation or termination of the company's chief executive officer, chief financial officer or other key senior executives;

    • any evidence that it may be impossible for the company to cure its Filing Delinquency within the cure periods otherwise available under this rule; and any past history of late filings.

    In determining whether an Additional Cure Period after the expiration of the Initial Cure Period is appropriate, the Exchange will consider the likelihood that the Delinquent Report and all Subsequent Reports can be filed or refiled, as applicable, during the Additional Cure Period, as well as the company's general financial status, based on information provided by a variety of sources, including the company, its audit committee, its outside auditors, the staff of the SEC and any other regulatory body. The Exchange strongly encourages companies to provide ongoing disclosure on the status of the Delinquent Report and any Subsequent Reports to the market through press releases, and will also take the frequency and detail of such information into account in determining whether an Additional Cure Period is appropriate. If the Exchange determines that an Additional Cure Period is appropriate and the company fails to file the Delinquent Report and all Subsequent Reports by the end of such Additional Cure Period, suspension and delisting procedures will commence immediately in accordance with the procedures set out in Section 1010. In no event will the Exchange continue to trade a company's securities if that company (i) has failed to cure its Filing Delinquency or (ii) is not current with all Subsequent Reports, on the date that is twelve months after the company's initial Filing Delinquency.

    The Exchange proposes that the proposed amendments will become operative immediately upon approval by the SEC. Any company that is delayed in making a filing that would be subject to proposed Section 1007 will continue to be subject to the compliance plan provisions of Section l009 in relation to that delayed filing but will be subject to proposed Section 1007 in relation to any subsequent delayed filings.

    The Exchange proposes to include a cross-reference to proposed Section 1007 in Section 1101 of the Company Guide, which discusses SEC filing obligations of listed companies. The Exchange also proposes to remove a reference to a company's Listing Qualifications analyst in Section 1101 and replace it with a reference to Exchange staff, as the Exchange no longer has a department under the Listings Qualification title.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) 10 of the Act, in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,11 in particular in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers. The Exchange believes that the proposed amendment is consistent with the investor protection objectives of Section 6(b)(5) because: (i) It strengthens the Exchange's continued listing requirements with respect to delinquent SEC filings by deeming companies delinquent if they fail to file their annual report or Form 10-Q on a timely basis and by subjecting companies to the late filer process if there are material inadequacies in their required annual or quarterly filings; and (ii) the more stringent requirements will encourage listed companies to submit timely and compliant periodic reports to the SEC.12

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    12 The amended procedures in relation to delayed periodic reports are more stringent than those currently in effect primarily because proposed Section 1007 would allow a company to remain listed for a maximum of 12 months from the filing due date of a delayed periodic report, while current rules give the Exchange the discretion to continue the listing for a period of up to 18 months.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange believes that the proposed amendments to the Company Guide do not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed rule change does not affect competition in any way, but rather simply seeks to protect investors by insuring that companies cannot remain listed for any extended period of time without appropriately filing their required periodic financial reports with the SEC.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

    (A) By order approve or disapprove the proposed rule change, or

    (B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2017-23 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2017-23. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2017-23, and should be submitted on or before June 2, 2017.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.13

    13 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09607 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No: SSA-2017-0024] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment Request

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a list of information collection packages requiring clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in compliance with Public Law 104-13, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, effective October 1, 1995. This notice includes a new information request and revisions of OMB-approved information collections.

    SSA is soliciting comments on the accuracy of the agency's burden estimate; the need for the information; its practical utility; ways to enhance its quality, utility, and clarity; and ways to minimize burden on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Mail, email, or fax your comments and recommendations on the information collection(s) to the OMB Desk Officer and SSA Reports Clearance Officer at the following addresses or fax numbers.

    (OMB) Office of Management and Budget Attn: Desk Officer for SSA Fax: 202-395-6974 Email address: [email protected] (SSA) Social Security Administration, OLCA, Attn: Reports Clearance Director, 3100 West High Rise, 6401 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21235. Fax: 410-966-2830. Email address: [email protected]

    Or you may submit your comments online through www.regulations.gov, referencing Docket ID Number [SSA-2017-0024].

    I. The information collections below are pending at SSA. SSA will submit them to OMB within 60 days from the date of this notice. To be sure we consider your comments, we must receive them no later than July 11, 2017. Individuals can obtain copies of the collection instruments by writing to the above email address.

    1. BBA 826 PRA 60-day Federal Register Notice (first notice) myWageReport—0960-NEW. Overview

    SSA is creating a new electronic wage reporting application, myWageReport.

    Background

    Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries receive payments based on their ability to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition. SSA requires SSDI beneficiaries or their representative payees to report when beneficiaries return to work, when their amount of work increases, or when their earnings increase. Currently, SSDI beneficiaries can call our 800 number; visit a local field office (FO); or mail paystubs and earnings to their local field offices to report this information.

    Section 826 of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015, Public Law 114-74, requires SSA to offer SSDI beneficiaries the same electronic/automated receipt wage reporting methods available to Supplemental Security Income recipients, including the Internet. Accordingly, we are creating a new Internet reporting system for this purpose, myWageReport.

    myWageReport

    The myWageReport application will enable SSDI beneficiaries and representative payees to report earnings electronically. It will also generate a receipt for the beneficiary and/or representative payee, thus providing confirmation that SSA has received the earnings report.

    SSA will screen the information submitted through the myWageReport application and will determine if we need additional employment information. If so, agency personnel will reach out to beneficiaries or their representative payees and will use Form SSA-821, Work Activity Report (0960-0059), to collect the additional required information.

    The respondents for this collection are SSDI recipients or their representative payees.

    Type of Request: New Information Collection Request.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of response
  • (per annum)
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated total annual burden
  • (hours)
  • myWageReporting 54,000 1 7 6,300

    2. Marital Relationship Questionnaire—20 CFR 416.1826—0960-0460. SSA uses Form SSA-4178, Marital Relationship Questionnaire, to determine if unrelated individuals of the opposite sex who live together are misrepresenting themselves as husband and wife. SSA needs this information to determine whether we are making correct payments to couples and individuals applying for or currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The respondents are applicants for and recipients of SSI payments.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of response Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated total annual burden
  • (hours)
  • MSSICS 1,275 1 5 106 SSA-4178 3,825 1 5 319 Totals 5,100 425

    3. Social Security Benefits Application—20 CFR 404.310-404.311, 404.315-404.322, 404.330-404.333, 404.601-404.603, and 404.1501-404.1512—0960-0618. Title II of the Social Security Act (Act) provides retirement, survivors, and disability benefits to members of the public who meet the required eligibility criteria and file the appropriate application. This collection comprises the various application methods for each type of benefits. SSA uses the information we gather through the multiple information collection tools in this information collection request to determine applicants' eligibility for specific Social Security benefits, as well as the amount of the benefits. Individuals filing for disability benefits can, and in some instances SSA may require them to, file applications under both Title II, Social Security disability benefits, and Title XVI, SSI payments. We refer to disability applications filed under both titles as “concurrent applications.” This collection comprises the various application methods for each type of benefits. These methods include the following modalities: Paper forms (Forms SSA-1, SSA-2, and SSA-16); Modernized Claims System (MCS) screens for in-person interview applications; and Internet-based iClaim and iAppointment applications. SSA uses the information we collect through these modalities to determine: (1) The applicants' eligibility for the above-mentioned Social Security benefits and (2) the amount of the benefits. The respondents are applicants for retirement, survivors, and disability benefits under Title II of the Act.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of response Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated total annual burden
  • (hours)
  • SSA Paper version/SSA-1 1811 1 11 332 Interview/MCS 1,438,058 1 10 239,676 Medicare Only SSA-1 Paper form (abbreviate) 173 1 7 20 Medicare Only—Interview/MCS 204,380 1 7 23,844 Totals 1,644,422 263,872 SSA-2 Paper version/SSA-2 972 1 15 243 Interview/MCS 447,610 1 14 104,442 Totals 448,582 104,685 SSA-16 Paper version/SSA-16 40,346 1 20 13,449 Interview/MCS 1,159,121 1 19 367,055 Totals 1,199,467 380,504 iClaim iClaim 3rd Party 350,519 1 15 87,630 iClaim Applicant after 3rd Party Completion 350,519 1 5 29,210 First Party iClaim—Domestic Applicant 2,283,301 1 15 570,825 First Party iClaim—Foreign Applicant 11,373 1 18 3,412 Medicare-only iClaim 797,709 1 10 132,952 Totals 3,793,421 824,029 iAppointment Burden Information iAppointment 17,621 1 10 2,937 Grand Total 7,103,513 1,576,027

    4. Medical Source Statement of Ability To Do Work Related Activities (Physical and Mental)—20 CFR 404.1512-404.1513, 416.912-416.913, 404.1517, and 416.917—0960-0662. In some instances when a claimant appeals a denied disability claim, SSA may ask the claimant to have a consultative examination, at the agency's expense, if the claimant's medical sources cannot or will not give the agency sufficient evidence to determine whether the claimant is disabled. The medical providers who perform these consultative examinations provide a statement about the claimant's state of disability. Specifically, these medical source statements determine the work-related capabilities of these claimants. SSA collects the medical data on the HA-1151 and HA-1152 to assess the work-related physical and mental capabilities of claimants who appeal SSA's previous determination on their issue of disability. The respondents are medical sources who provide reports based either on existing medical evidence or on consultative examinations.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of response Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated total annual burden
  • (hours)
  • HA-1151 5,000 30 15 37,500 HA-1152 5,000 30 15 37,500 Totals 10,000 75,000

    5. Social Security's Public Credentialing and Authentication Process—20 CFR 401.45 and 402—0960-0789.

    Background

    Authentication is the foundation for secure, online transactions. Identity authentication is the process of determining, with confidence, that someone is who he or she claims to be during a remote, automated session. It comprises three distinct factors: something you know; something you have; and something you are. Single-factor authentication uses one of the factors, and multi-factor authentication uses two or more of the factors.

    SSA's Public Credentialing and Authentication Process

    SSA offers consistent authentication across SSA's secured online services. We allow our users to request and maintain only one User ID, consisting of a self-selected username and password, to access multiple Social Security electronic services. Designed in accordance with the OMB Memorandum M-04-04 and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-63, this process provides the means of authenticating users of our secured electronic services and streamlines access to those services.

    SSA's public credentialing and authentication process:

    • Issues a single User ID to anyone who wants to do business with the agency and meets the eligibility criteria;

    • Partners with an external Identity Services Provider (ISP) to help us verify the identity of our online customers;

    • Complies with relevant standards;

    • Offers access to some of SSA's heaviest, but more sensitive, workloads online while providing a high level of confidence in the identity of the person requesting access to these services;

    • Offers an in-person process for those who are uncomfortable with or unable to use the Internet process;

    • Balances security with ease of use; and

    • Provides a user-friendly way for the public to conduct extended business with us online instead of visiting local servicing offices or requesting information over the phone. Individuals have real-time access to their Social Security information in a safe and secure web environment.

    Public Credentialing and Authentication Process Features

    We collect and maintain the users' personally identifiable information (PII) in our Central Repository of Electronic Authentication Data Master File Privacy Act system of records, which we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 79065). The PII may include the users' name; address; date of birth; Social Security number (SSN); phone number; and other types of identity information [e.g., address information of persons from the W-2 and Schedule Self Employed forms we receive electronically for our programmatic purposes as permitted by 26 U.S.C. 6103(l)(1)(A)]. We may also collect knowledge-based authentication data, which is information users establish with us or that we already maintain in our existing Privacy Act systems of records.

    We retain the data necessary to administer and maintain our e-Authentication infrastructure. This includes management and profile information, such as blocked accounts; failed access data; effective date of passwords; and other data allowing us to evaluate the system's effectiveness. The data we maintain also may include archived transaction data and historical data.

    We use the information from this collection to identity proof and authenticate our users online, and to allow them access to their personal information from our records. We also use this information to provide second factor authentication. We are committed to expanding and improving this process so we can grant access to additional online services in the future.

    Offering online services is not only an important part of meeting SSA's goals, but is vital to good public service. In increasing numbers, the public expects to conduct complex business over the Internet. Ensuring SSA's online services are both secure and user friendly is our priority.

    With the limited data we have, it is difficult for SSA to meet the OMB and NIST authentication guidelines for identity proofing the public. Therefore, we awarded a competitively bid contract to an ISP, Equifax, to help us verify the identity of our online customers. We use this ISP, in addition to our other authentication methods, to help us prove, or verify, the identity of our customers when they are completing online or electronic transactions with us.

    Social Security's Authentication Strategy

    We remain committed to enhancing our online services using authentication processes that balance usability and security. We will continue to research and develop new authentication tools while monitoring the emerging threats. The following are key components of our authentication strategy:

    • Enrollment and Identity Verification—Individuals who meet the following eligibility requirements may enroll:

    ○ Must have a valid email address;

    ○ Must have a valid SSN;

    ○ Must have a domestic address of record (includes military addresses); and

    ○ Must be at least 18 years of age.

    We collect identifying data and use SSA and ISP records to verify an individual's identity. Individuals have the option of obtaining an enhanced, stronger, User ID by providing certain financial information (e.g., Medicare wages, self-employed earnings, or the last eight digits of a credit card number) for verification. We also ask individuals to answer out-of-wallet questions so we can further verify their identities. Individuals who are unable to complete the process online can present identification at a field office to obtain a User ID.

    • Establishing the User Profile—The individual self-selects a username and password, both of which can be of variable length and alphanumeric. We provide a password strength indicator to help the individual select a strong password. We also ask the individual to choose challenge questions for use in restoring a lost or forgotten username or password.

    • Provide a Second Factor—We ask the individual to provide a text message enabled cell phone number or an email address. We consider the cell phone number or email address the second factor of authentication. We send a security code to the individual's selected second factor. We require the individual to confirm its receipt by entering the security code online. Subsequently, each time the individual attempts to sign in to his or her online account, we will also send a message with a one-time security code to the individual's selected second factor. The individual must enter the security code along with his or her username and password. The code is valid for only 10 minutes. If the individual does not enter the code within 10 minutes, the code expires, and the individual must request another code.

    • Enhancing the User ID—If individuals opt to enhance or upgrade their User IDs, they must provide certain financial information for verification. We mail a one time-use upgrade code to the individual's verified residential address. When the individual receives the upgrade code in the mail, he or she can enter this code online to enhance the security of the account. With extra security, we continue to require the individuals to sing in using their username, password, and a one time security code we send to their second factor email address or cell phone number (whichever the users listed in their account).

    • Sign in and Use—Our authentication process provides an individual with a User ID for access to our sensitive online Social Security services. Second factor authentication requires the individual to sign in with a username, password, and a one-time security code sent to the individual's selected second factor. SSA expanded its existing capabilities to require second factor authentication for every online sign in. We also allow for maintenance of the second factor options. An individual who forgets the password can reset it automatically without contacting SSA.

    Social Security's Enrollment Process

    The enrollment process is a one-time only activity. SSA requires the individuals to agree to the “Terms of Service” detailed on our Web site before we allow them to begin the enrollment process. The “Terms of Service” inform the individuals what we will and will not do with their personal information, and the privacy and security protections we provide on all data we collect. These terms also detail the consequences of misusing this service.

    To verify the individual's identity, we ask the individual to give us minimal personal information, which may include:

    • Name;

    • SSN;

    • Date of birth;

    • Address—mailing and residential;

    • Telephone number;

    • Email address;

    • Financial information;

    • Cell phone number; and

    • Selecting and answering password reset questions.

    We send a subset of this information to the ISP, who then generates a series of out-of-wallet questions back to the individual. The individual must answer all or most of the questions correctly before continuing in the process. The exact questions generated are unique to each individual.

    This collection of information, or a subset of it, is mandatory for respondents who want to do business with SSA via the Internet. We collect this information via the Internet, on SSA's public-facing Web site. We also offer an in-person identification verification process for individuals who cannot, or are not willing, to register online. For this process, the individual must go to a local SSA field office and provide identifying information. We do not ask for financial information with the in-person process.

    We only collect the identity verification information one time, when the individual registers for a credential. We ask for the User ID (username and password) every time an individual signs in to our automated services. If individuals opt for the enhanced or upgraded account, they also receive a text message on their cell phones (this serves as the second factor for authentication) each time they sign in. The respondents are individuals who choose to use the Internet or Automated Telephone Response System to conduct business with SSA.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • total annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Internet Requestors 52,698,441 1 8 7,026,459 In-Person (Intranet) Requestors 3,407,319 1 8 454,309 Totals 56,105,760 7,480,768

    II. SSA submitted the information collections below to OMB for clearance. Your comments regarding these information collections would be most useful if OMB and SSA receive them 30 days from the date of this publication. To be sure we consider your comments, we must receive them no later than June 12, 2017. Individuals can obtain copies of the OMB clearance packages by writing to [email protected]

    1. Marriage Certification—20 CFR 404.725—0960-0009. Sections 202(b) and 202(c) of the Act stipulate that every spouse of an individual entitled to Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits is entitled to a spouse benefit if the wife or husband, in addition to meeting the entitlement requirements, meets the relationship criteria in Section 216(h)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act. SSA uses Form SSA-3 to determine if a spouse claimant has the necessary relationship to the Social Security number holder (i.e., the worker) to qualify for the worker's OASDI benefits. The respondents are applicants for spouse's OASDI benefits.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • total annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • SSA-3 180,000 1 5 15,000

    2. Representative Payee Report-Adult, Representative Payee Report-Child, Representative Payee Report-Organizational Representative Payees—20 CFR 404.635, 404.2035, 404.2065, and 416.665—0960-0068. When SSA determines it is not in an OASDI or SSI recipient's best interest to receive Social Security payments directly, the agency will designate a representative payee for the recipient. The representative payee can be: (1) A family member; (2) a non-family member who is a private citizen and is acquainted with the beneficiary; (3) an organization; (4) a state or local government agency; or (5) a business. In the capacity of representative payee, the person or organization receives the SSA recipient's payments directly and manages these payments. As part of its stewardship mandate, SSA must ensure the representative payees are properly using the payments they receive for the recipients they represent. The agency annually collects the information necessary to make this assessment using the SSA-623, Representative Payee Report-Adult; SSA-6230, Representative Payee Report-Child; SSA-6234, Representative Payee Report-Organizational Representative Payees; and through the electronic internet application Internet Representative Payee Accounting (iRPA). The respondents are representative payees of OASDI and SSI recipients.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • total annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • SSA-623 2,812,662 1 15 703,166 SSA-6230 2,968,986 1 15 742,247 SSA-6234 719,684 1 15 179,921 iRPA* 650,195 1 15 162,549 Totals 7,151,527 1,787,883 * One Internet platform encompasses all three paper forms.

    3. Annual Earnings Test Direct Mail Follow-Up Program Notices—20 CFR 404.452-404.455—0960-0369. SSA developed the Annual Earnings Test Direct Mail Follow-up Program to improve beneficiary reporting on work and earnings during the year and earnings information at the end of the year. SSA may reduce benefits payable under the Act when an individual has wages or self-employment income exceeding the annual exempt amount. SSA identifies beneficiaries likely to receive more than the annual exempt amount, and requests more frequent estimates of earnings from them. When applicable, SSA also requests a future year estimate to reduce overpayments due to earnings. SSA sends letters (SSA-L9778, SSA-L9779, SSA-L9781, SSA-L9784, SSA-L9785, and SSA-L9790) to beneficiaries requesting earnings information the month prior to their attainment of full retirement age. We send each beneficiary a tailored letter that includes relevant earnings data from SSA records. The Annual Earnings Test Direct Mail Follow-up Program helps to ensure Social Security payments are correct, and enables us to prevent earnings-related overpayments, and avoid erroneous withholding. The respondents are working Social Security beneficiaries with earnings over the exempt amount.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • total annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • SSA-L9778 42,630 1 10 7,105 SSA-L9779 158,865 1 10 26,478 SSA-L9781 472,437 1 10 78,740 SSA-L9784 1,270 1 10 212 SSA-L9785 15,870 1 10 2,645 SSA-L9790 45,000 1 10 7,500 Totals 736,072 122,680

    4. Letter to Landlord Requesting Rental Information—20 CFR 416.1130(b)—0960-0454. SSA uses Form SSA-L5061 to obtain rental subsidy information, which enables SSA to determine and verify an income value for such subsidies. SSA uses this income value as part of determining eligibility for SSI and the correct amount of SSI payable to the claimant. SSA bases an individual's eligibility for SSI payments, in part, on the amount of countable income the individual receives. Income includes in-kind support and maintenance in the form of room or rent, such as a subsidized rental arrangement. SSA requires claimants to assist in obtaining this information to prevent a delay or overpayment with their SSI payments. We collect this information only if the SSI applicant or recipient is the parent or child of the landlord (respondent). For most respondents, we collect this information once per year or less, via telephone or face-to-face personal interview. The claims representative records the information in our Modernized SSI Claims System (MSSICS), and we require verbal attestation in lieu of a wet signature. However, if the claims representative is unable to contact the respondent via the telephone or face-to-face, we print and mail a paper form to the respondent for completion. The respondent completes, signs, and returns the form to the claims representative. Upon receipt, the claims representative documents the information in MSSICS or, for non-MSSICS cases, faxes the form into the appropriate electronic folder and shreds the paper form. The respondents are landlords related to the SSI beneficiaries as a parent or child.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • total annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • SSA-L5061 72,000 1 10 12,000

    5. Request for Social Security Earnings Information—20 CFR 401.100 and 404.810—0960-0525. The Act permits wage earners, or their authorized representatives, to request Social Security earnings information from SSA using Form SSA-7050-F4. SSA uses the information the respondent provides on Form SSA-7050-F4 to verify the wage earner has: (1) Earnings; (2) the right to access the correct Social Security Record; and (3) the right to request the earnings statement. If we verify all three items, SSA produces an Itemized Statement of Earnings (Form SSA-1826) and sends it to the requestor. Respondents are wage earners and their authorized representatives who are requesting Itemized Statement of Earnings records.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • total annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • SSA-7050-F4 66,800 1 11 12,247

    Cost Burden:

    Type of respondent Annual cost Non-Certified Respondent $2,211,105 Certified Respondent 1,601,656 Total $3,812,761

    6. Request for Evidence from Doctor and Request for Evidence from Hospital—20 CFR 404 Subpart P and 20 CFR 416 Subpart I—0960-0722. Sections 223(d)(5) and 1614(a)(3)(H)(i) of the Act require claimants to furnish medical evidence of their disability when filing a disability claim. SSA uses Forms HA-66 and HA-67 to request evidence from medical sources, which claimants identify as having information relative to their impairments, or ability to do work-related activities. In addition to accepting manual paper responses, SSA sends a barcode with the HA-66 and HA-67, allowing respondents to fax the information directly into the electronic claims folder rather than submitting it manually. SSA uses the information to determine eligibility for benefits, and to pay medical sources for furnishing the information. The respondents are medical sources, doctors, and hospitals that evaluate the claimants.

    This is a correction notice: When we published the first Federal Register Notice on February 28, 2017 at 82 FR 12159, it did not include the accurate number of responses. We are correcting this by publishing the number of responses in a separate column in the chart below.

    Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

    Modality of completion Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of response Number of
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated total annual burden
  • (hours)
  • HA-66—Paper Version 3,060 22 67,320 15 16,830 HA-66—Electronic Version 8,940 22 196,680 15 49,170 HA-67—Paper Version 3,060 22 67,320 15 16,830 HA-67—Electronic Version 8,940 22 196,680 15 49,170 Totals 24,000 528,000 132,000
    Dated: May 9, 2017. Naomi R. Sipple, Reports Clearance Officer, Social Security Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09687 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA 2016-0052] Privacy Act of 1974; Matching Program (SSA/Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)—Match Number 1074 AGENCY:

    Social Security Administration (SSA)

    ACTION:

    Notice of a new matching program.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, as amended, this notice announces a new/modified of an existing computer matching program that we are currently conducting with OCSE.

    DATES:

    The deadline to submit comments on the proposed matching program is 30 days from the date of publication of this notice. The matching program will be effective on June 12, 2017 and will expire on June 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may comment on this notice by either telefaxing to (410) 966-0869, writing to Mary Ann Zimmerman, Acting Executive Director, Office of Privacy and Disclosure, Office of the General Counsel, Social Security Administration, 617 Altmeyer Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, or email at [email protected] All comments received will be available for public inspection at this address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Interested parties may submit general questions about the matching program to Mary Ann Zimmerman, Acting Executive Director, Office of Privacy and Disclosure, Office of the General Counsel, by any of the means shown above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 100-503), amended the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) by describing the conditions under which computer matching involving the Federal government could be performed and adding certain protections for persons applying for, and receiving, Federal benefits. Section 7201 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-508) further amended the Privacy Act regarding protections for such persons.

    The Privacy Act, as amended, regulates the use of computer matching by Federal agencies when records in a system of records are matched with other Federal, State, or local government records. It requires Federal agencies involved in computer matching programs to:

    (1) Negotiate written agreements with the other agency or agencies participating in the matching programs;

    (2) Obtain approval of the matching agreement by the Data Integrity Boards of the participating Federal agencies;

    (3) Publish notice of the computer matching program in the Federal Register;

    (4) Furnish detailed reports about matching programs to Congress and OMB;

    (5) Notify applicants and beneficiaries that their records are subject to matching; and

    (6) Verify match findings before reducing, suspending, terminating, or denying a person's benefits or payments.

    We have taken action to ensure that all of our computer matching programs comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act, as amended.

    Mary Ann Zimmerman, Acting Executive Director, Office of Privacy and Disclosure, Office of the General Counsel. PARTICIPATING AGENCIES:

    SSA and OCSE

    AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING THE MATCHING PROGRAM:

    The legal authority for disclosures under this agreement are the Social Security Act (Act) and the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Section 453(j)(4) of the Act provides that OCSE shall provide the Commissioner of Social Security with all the information in the NDNH. 42 U.S.C. 653(j)(4). SSA has authority to use data to determine entitlement and eligibility for programs it administers pursuant to 453(J)(4), 1631(e)(1)(B) and (f), and 1148(d)(1) of the Act. 42 U.S.C. 653(j)(4), 1320b-19(d)(1), and 1383(e)(1)(B) and (F). Disclosures under this agreement shall be made in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3), and in compliance with the matching procedures in 5 U.S.C. 552a(o), (p), and (r).

    The Commissioner of Social Security is required to verify eligibility of a recipient or applicant for SSI using independent or collateral sources. SSI benefits may not be determined solely based on declarations by the applicant concerning eligibility factors or other relevant facts. Information is also obtained, as necessary, in order to assure that SSI benefits are only provided to eligible individuals (or eligible spouses) and that the amounts of such benefits are correct. Section 1631(e)(1)(B) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1383(e)(1)(B)).

    Subsection 1631(f) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1383(f)) provides that “the head of any federal agency shall provide such information as the Commissioner of Social Security needs for purposes of determining eligibility for or amount of benefits, or verifying information with respect thereto.”

    Section 1148(d)(1) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1320b-19(d)(1)) requires SSA to verify earnings of beneficiaries/recipients to ensure accurate payments to employer network providers under the Ticket-to-Work program.

    PURPOSE(S):

    The purpose of this matching program is to govern the following information exchange operations between OCSE and us from the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH): online query access for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Disability Insurance (DI), and Ticket-to-Work and Self-Sufficiency (Ticket) programs, and SSI Quarterly Wage batch match. This agreement also governs the use, treatment, and safeguarding of the information exchanged. The agreement assists us (1) in establishing or verifying eligibility or payment amounts, or both under the SSI program; (2) in establishing or verifying eligibility or continuing entitlement under the DI program; (3) in administering the Ticket programs. These activities include overpayment avoidance and recovery for all three programs.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS:

    The individuals whose information is involved in this matching program are those individuals that are receiving benefits under the SSI, DI, and Ticket programs and individuals who are new hires, earning quarterly wages, or receiving unemployment insurance.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS:

    Our Systems of Records (SOR) are the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits (SSR/SVB), SSA/OASSIS, 60-0103 published January 11, 2006 at 71 FR 1830, and amended at 72 FR 69723 (December 10, 2007); and the Completed Determination Record-Continuing Disability Determination file (CDR-CDD), SSA/OD, 60-0050, published January 11, 2006 at 71 FR 1813, and amended at 72 FR 69723 (December 10, 2007).

    OCSE will match our information in the SSR and CDR-CDD against the new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information furnished by state and federal agencies maintained in its SOR “OCSE National Directory of New Hires” (NDNH), No. 09-80-0381, established by publication in the FR on April 2, 2015 at 80 FR 17906. Routine use (9) of the SOR authorizes disclosure of NDNH information to SSA, 80 FR 17906, 17907 (April 2, 2015).

    We will access the OCSE web service when making online queries for new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information in the NDNH. To comply with limitations on disclosure and to prohibit browsing, our access is restricted by anti-browsing technology (permission modules) to only those Social Security numbers (SSN) that have a direct business relationship with SSI, DI, or Ticket programs (that is, the record must have a valid SSI, DI, or Ticket payment or application issue). If no business relationship exists with us, OCSE denies access to NDNH and the user is unable to proceed. If a business relationship exists with us, we can access the NDNH via the OCSE web service to display SSN-specific new hire, quarterly wage, or unemployment insurance information in the NDNH. The Master File Query Menu (MFQM) or eView extracts information from our SSR (for SSI recipients) or CDR-CDD (for ticket holders and disability beneficiaries) to facilitate query access.

    Under the Quarterly Batch Match (SSI). Our finder file is matched against the quarterly wage and unemployment insurance information in OCSE's NDNH.

    We will provide electronically to OCSE the following data elements in the finder file: Individual's SSN and Name.

    OCSE will provide electronically to us the following data elements from the NDNH in the quarterly wage file: Quarterly wage record identifier; transmitter agency code; transmitter state code; and state or agency name; employee information: Name (first, middle, last), SSN, verification request code, processed date, non-verifiable indicator, wage amount, and reporting period; and information about employers of individuals in the quarterly wage file: Name, employer identification number, and address(es).

    OCSE will provide electronically to us the following data elements from the NDNH in the unemployment insurance file: Unemployment insurance record identifier; processed date; SSN; verification request code; name (first, middle, last); address; unemployment insurance benefit amount; reporting period; transmitter agency code; transmitter state code; and state or agency name.

    Under the Online Query Access (SSI, DI, and Ticket programs), we will access OCSE's web service when making online requests for NDNH records. We will provide OCSE the individual's SSN to initiate a query in SSA's Permission Module. Individual's SSN. OCSE will provide us online query access to the following data elements on quarterly wage screen: Quarterly wage record identifier; date report processed; name/SSN verified; employee information: SSN, name (first, middle, last), wage amount, and reporting period; employer information: Name, employer identification number, employer FIPS code (if present), and address(es).

    OCSE will provide us online query access to the following data elements on the new hire screen: New hire record identifier; name/SSN verified; date report processed; employee information: SSN, name (first, middle, last), and date of hire; employer information: Name, employer identification number, employer FIPS code (if present), and address(es).

    OCSE will provide us online query access to the following data elements on the unemployment insurance screen: Unemployment insurance record identifier; name/SSN verified; SSN; name (first, middle, last); address; unemployment insurance benefit amount; reporting period; payer state; and date report processed.

    SYSTEM(S) OF RECORDS:

    OCSE and SSA published notice of the relevant SORs in the FR SSA's SORs are the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits (SSR/SVB), SSA/OASSIS, 60-0103 published January 11, 2006 at 71 FR 1830, and amended at 72 FR 69723 (December 10, 2007); and the Completed Determination Record-Continuing Disability Determination file (CDR-CDD), SSA/OD, 60-0050, published January 11, 2006 at 71 FR 1813, and amended at 72 FR 69723 (December 10, 2007).

    OCSE will match SSA information in the SSR and CDR-CDD against the new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information furnished by state and federal agencies maintained in its SOR “OCSE National Directory of New Hires” (NDNH), No. 09-80-0381, established by publication in the FR on April 2, 2015 at 80 FR 17906. The disclosure of NDNH information by OCSE to SSA constitutes a “routine use,” as defined by the Privacy Act. 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3). Routine use (9) of the SOR authorizes disclosure of NDNH information to SSA, 80 FR 17906, 17907 (April 2, 2015).

    SSA will access the OCSE web service when making online queries for new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information in the NDNH. To comply with limitations on disclosure and to prohibit browsing, SSA access is restricted by anti-browsing technology (permission modules) to only those Social Security numbers (SSN) that have a direct business relationship with SSI, DI, or Ticket programs (that is, the record must have a valid SSI, DI, or Ticket payment or application issue). If no business relationship exists with SSA, OCSE denies access to NDNH and the user is unable to proceed. If a business relationship exists with SSA, SSA can access the NDNH via the OCSE web service to display SSN-specific new hire, quarterly wage, or unemployment insurance information in the NDNH. The MFQM or eView extracts information from SSA's SSR (for SSI recipients) or CDR-CDD (for ticket holders and disability beneficiaries) to facilitate query access.

    [FR Doc. 2017-09603 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
    SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. FD 36109] Grupo México, S.A.B. de C.V. and GMéxico Transportes, S.A. de C.V.—Control Exemption—Florida East Coast Holdings Corp.

    GMéxico Transportes, S.A. de C.V. (GMéxico Transportes), a non-carrier holding company, has filed a verified notice of exemption pursuant to 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(2) to control Florida East Coast Railway, L.L.C. (FECR), a Class II rail carrier operating in the state of Florida, and Texas Pacifico Transportation, Ltd. (Pacifico), a Class III rail carrier operating in the state of Texas. In addition, GMéxico Transportes filed an amendment to its verified notice of exemption to identify and encompass its parent company, Grupo México, S.A.B. de C.V. (Grupo México), also a non-carrier holding company,1 and to identify Copper Basin Railway, Inc. (Copper Basin), a Class III rail carrier operating in the state of Arizona, as an additional carrier which Grupo México controls.2 Control of these three rail carriers by Grupo México and GMéxico Transportes will be effected upon the merger of GMXT Florida Merger Sub, Inc. (GMXT Merger Sub), a non-carrier subsidiary of GMéxico Transportes, with and into Florida East Coast Holdings Corp. (FEC Holdings), a non-carrier currently controlling FECR.3

    1 GMéxico Transportes filed the verified notice of exemption and the amendment to that notice identifying itself as the entity obtaining Board authority in this proceeding. However, because Grupo México is the ultimate parent company of GMéxico Transportes, and because Grupo México is the entity in ultimate control of both Pacifico and Copper Basin, this proceeding has been recaptioned to include Grupo México.

    2 It appears that Grupo México did not obtain Board authority to have common control of more than one rail carrier when it acquired Copper Basin. If that is the case, and if such authority was required, the Board expects Grupo México to promptly submit an appropriate filing for authorization of that common control.

    3 On April 10, 2017, GMéxico Transportes and FEC Holdings jointly filed a motion for protective order under 49 CFR 1104.14(b), which will be addressed in a separate decision.

    The transaction may be consummated on or after May 28, 2017, the effective date of the exemption.4

    4 Because GMéxico Transportes amended its verified notice of exemption on April 28, 2017, that date is the official filing date and the basis for all subsequent dates.

    Grupo México and GMéxico Transportes represent that: (1) The carriers that are the subject of this notice do not connect with each other; (2) the control transaction is not a part of a series of anticipated transactions that would result in such a connection; and (3) the transaction does not involve a Class I carrier. Therefore, the transaction is exempt from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323. See 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(2).

    Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(g), the Board may not use its exemption authority to relieve a rail carrier of its statutory obligation to protect the interests of its employees. Because the transaction involves one Class II rail carrier and two Class III rail carriers, the transaction is subject to the labor protection requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11326(b) and Wisconsin Central Ltd.—Acquisition Exemption—Lines of Union Pacific Railroad, 2 S.T.B. 218 (1997).

    If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed by May 19, 2017 (at least seven days before the exemption becomes effective).

    An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 36109, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on Charles A. Spitulnik, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036.

    Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.”

    Decided: May 9, 2017.

    By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.

    Marline Simeon, Clearance Clerk.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09657 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Sonoran Corridor Between Interstate 10 (I-10) and Interstate 19 (I-19) South of Tucson International Airport in Pima County, Arizona AGENCY:

    Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

    SUMMARY:

    The FHWA, as the Federal Lead Agency, and the ADOT, as the Local Project Sponsor, are issuing this notice to advise the public of our intention to prepare a Tier 1 EIS for the Sonoran Corridor between I-19 and I-10 south of the Tucson International Airport in Pima County, Arizona. The Tier 1 EIS will assess the potential social, economic, and natural environmental impacts of a transportation facility in the designated Sonoran Corridor across a reasonable range of corridor alternatives, including a “No Build” alternative. The Tier 1 EIS will be prepared in accordance with regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and provisions of Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For FHWA, contact Mr. Ammon Heier, Area Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, 4000 North Central Avenue, Suite 1500, Phoenix, AZ 85012, telephone at 602-382-8983, or via email at [email protected] Regular office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For ADOT, contact Mr. Carlos Lopez, Sonoran Corridor Project Manager, Arizona Department of Transportation, 205 South 17th Avenue, Mail Drop 605E, Phoenix, AZ 85007, telephone at 602-712-4786, or via email at [email protected] Regular office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Project information can be obtained from the project Web site at: https://www.azdot.gov/SonoranCorridor.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of this notice is to: (1) Alert interested parties to FHWA's plan to prepare the Tier 1 EIS; (2) provide information on the nature of the proposed action; (3) solicit public and agency input regarding the scope of the Tier 1 EIS, including the purpose and need, alternatives to be considered, and impacts to be evaluated; and (4) announce that public and agency scoping meetings will be conducted. The FHWA intends to issue a single Final Tier 1 EIS and Record of Decision (ROD) document pursuant to the FAST Act Section 1311 requirements, unless FHWA determines statutory criteria or practicability considerations preclude issuance of a combined document.

    The Tier 1 EIS will ensure, to the fullest extent possible, all environmental investigations, reviews, and consultations are coordinated as a single process, and compliance with all applicable environmental requirements be reflected in the environmental document. The Sonoran Corridor is a critical transportation facility that could help diversify, support, and connect the economy of Southern Arizona, and the entire State of Arizona. The intent of the Sonoran Corridor is to help alleviate traffic and improve the movement of people, goods, and services by reducing travel distances, and eliminate the need for vehicles to travel through the existing I-10 and I-19 traffic interchange near downtown Tucson. On December 4, 2015, the President signed into law the FAST Act, which is a 5-year legislation that provides long term funding certainty for planning efforts and investments that will help improve the Nation's surface transportation infrastructure. The FAST Act formally designates the Sonoran Corridor as a high-priority corridor, thus reinforcing the need to conduct a study for a future transportation facility between I-10 and I-19 south of Tucson International Airport.

    The FHWA and ADOT will undertake a scoping process for the Sonoran Corridor that will allow the public and interested agencies to comment on the scope of the environmental review process. The FHWA and ADOT will invite all interested individuals, organizations, public agencies, and Native American Tribes to comment on the scope of the Tier 1, including the purpose and need, alternatives to be studied, impacts to be evaluated, and evaluation methods to be used. The formal scoping period is anticipated to extend from May 12, 2017 to July 15, 2017. Two public scoping meetings and one agency scoping meeting for Federal, State, regional and local resource and regulatory agencies will be held during the formal scoping period. In addition, cooperating and participating agency invitation letters will be sent to agencies that have jurisdiction or may have an interest in the Sonoran Corridor.

    The buildings used for the meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Any person who requires special assistance, such as a language interpreter, should contact the Sonoran Corridor Tier 1 EIS Study Team at telephone 855-712-8530 or via email at [email protected] at least 48 hours before the meeting.

    Written comments on the scope of the Tier 1 EIS should be mailed to: Sonoran Corridor Tier 1 EIS Study Team, c/o ADOT Communications, 1655 West Jackson Street, Mail Drop 126F, Phoenix, AZ 85007; sent via email to [email protected]; or submitted on the study's Web site at https://www.azdot.gov/SonoranCorridor.

    The Paperwork Reduction Act seeks, in part, to minimize the cost to the taxpayer of the creation, collection, maintenance, use dissemination, and disposition of information. Accordingly, unless a specific request for a complete hardcopy of the NEPA document is received before it is printed, the FHWA and ADOT will distribute only electronic versions of the NEPA document. A complete copy of the environmental document will be available for review at locations throughout the study area. An electronic copy of the complete environmental document will be available on the study's Web site at https://www.azdot.gov/SonoranCorridor.

    Authority:

    23 U.S.C. 315; 23 CFR 771.123.

    Issued on: May 4, 2017. Karla S. Petty, Arizona Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09452 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0138; Notice 1] Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Receipt of petition.

    SUMMARY:

    Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (JLR)on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover Limited, has determined that certain model year (MY) 2016-2017 Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection, and FMVSS No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. JLR filed a noncompliance report dated December 2, 2016. JLR also petitioned NHTSA on December 23, 2016, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

    DATES:

    The closing date for comments on the petition is June 12, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and submitted by any of the following methods:

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver comments by hand to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays.

    Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at https://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    • Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493-2251.

    Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish to receive confirmation that comments you have submitted by mail were received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    All comments and supporting materials received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the fullest extent possible.

    When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated at the end of this notice.

    All comments, background documentation, and supporting materials submitted to the docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the Internet at https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this petition is shown in the heading of this notice.

    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Overview: Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (JLR), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2016-2017 Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection, and FMVSS No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. JLR filed a noncompliance report dated December 2, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. JLR also petitioned NHTSA on December 23, 2016, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

    This notice of receipt of JLR's petition is published under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition.

    II. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 16,502 MY 2016-2017 Land Rover Range Rover and MY 2016-2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport motor vehicles, manufactured between May 3, 2016, and October 14, 2016, are potentially involved.

    III. Noncompliance: JLR explains that the noncompliance involves the Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) in the safety belt assembly of the vehicle's front left seat. These ELR's are equipped with a vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism and a webbing-sensitive locking mechanism. The noncompliance specifically involves the vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism, which does not lock as designed when subjected to the requirements of paragraph

    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 209 states in pertinent part:

    S4.3 Requirements for hardware . . .

    (j) Emergency-locking retractor . . .

    (2) For seat belt assemblies manufactured on or after February 22, 2007 and for manufacturers opting for early compliance. An emergency-locking retractor of a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly, when tested in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph S5.2(j)(2) . . .

    (ii) Shall lock before the webbing payout exceeds the maximum limit of 25 mm when the retractor is subjected to an acceleration of 0.7 g under the applicable test conditions of S5.2(j)(2)(iii)(A) or (B). The retractor is determined to be locked when the webbing belt load tension is at least 35 N.

    Paragraph S7.1.1.3 of FMVSS No. 208 states in pertinent part:

    S7.1.1.3 A Type 1 lap belt or the lap belt portion of any Type 2 seat belt assembly installed at any forward-facing outboard designated seating position of a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less to comply with a requirement of this standard, except walk-in van-type vehicles and school buses, and except in rear seating positions in law enforcement vehicles, shall meet the requirements of S7.1 by means of an emergency locking retractor that conforms to stand No. 209 (49 CFR 571.209) . . .

    V. Summary of JLR's Petition: JLR described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

    In support of its petition, JLR submitted the following reasoning:

    (a) ELR Is Voluntarily Equipped with a Webbing Sensitive Locking Mechanism: The driver's ELR safety belt assembly also contains a voluntary webbing-sensitive locking mechanism which provides crash restraint performance comparable to the performance provided by an FMVSS No. 209 compliant vehicle sensitive mechanism. A description of the tests that were performed and the results that were obtained which support this petition are contained in the petition.

    The webbing sensitive locking mechanism is designed to lock at approximately 1.4-2.0g. The webbing-sensitive locking mechanism was designed to meet the requirements of other non-U.S. markets.

    (b) Testing and Analyses: Tests and analyses were conducted to determine the effect of a non-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism ELR on safety belt restraint (retractor locking) performance and any commensurate increase in injury risk in a crash.

    Even though the ELRs in affected vehicles contain a vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism which slightly exceeds the FMVSS No. 209 Section 4.3(j)(2)(ii) requirement, for purposes of evaluation, and to demonstrate a “worst-case scenario”, testing was conducted without reliance on vehicle-sensitive ELR operation.

    1. Sled (Crash) Tests To Assess Safety Belt Restraint (Retractor Locking) Performance: Sled (crash) tests were conducted with an ELR containing an FMVSS No. 209 compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism and an ELR in which the vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism was disabled to simulate a “worst-case scenario”, but contained a webbing-sensitive locking mechanism.

    The belt geometry is representative of the Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Installation.

    The testing focused upon low severity crashes, because as NHTSA had discussed in their ruling on the GM petition,1 “. . . a webbing-sensitive ELR mechanism will lock up more quickly in a severe frontal crash than in a low-to-moderate severity frontal crash.” A low-severity crash represents a “worst-case scenario” for an ELR equipped with a non-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism. In addition, the testing was conducted using a Hybrid III 5th% dummy in order to provide a slow increase in belt loads.

    1 See 69 FR [email protected]

    Three acceleration pulses with a low increase in deceleration and a low deceleration level were selected from all pulses pertaining to the affected vehicles. The selected pulses have an impact velocity of 15 km/h, and 40 km/h respectively. The 15 km/h and 32 km/h pulses represent a full frontal crash, while the 40 km/h pulse represents an Offset Deformable Barrier (ODB) crash. The 15 km/h pulse is a “no fire” pulse to simulate a crash without safety belt pre-tensioning.

    A total of six tests were conducted, with two tests being conducted at each pulse level. Webbing payout and dummy chest forward displacement were measured.

    The results indicate that there is no significant difference in restraint performance (webbing payout, dummy chest forward displacement) between an ELR equipped with an FMVSS No. 209 compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism and one that is not equipped with such a mechanism. The webbing-sensitive locking mechanism within the ELR provides comparable performance to that of an FMVSS No. 209 compliant ELR containing a vehicle sensitive locking mechanism.

    Therefore, in a crash, the webbing-sensitive locking mechanism provides equivalent protection for the driver to that which would be provided by an FMVSS No. 209-compliant vehicle sensitive locking mechanism. It should be emphasized that the vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism contained in the ELR of the affected vehicles slightly exceeds the FMVSS No. 209 Section 4.3(j)(2)(ii) requirement, whereas testing was conducted with a disabled vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism to simulate a “worst-case scenario”.

    It should also be noted that any performance differences, such as a slight decrease in dummy chest forward displacement from an ELR without a vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism, are within the normal test to test variation and are attributed to test tolerances.

    2. Body-In White (BIW) Sled (Crash) Tests To Assess Injury Risk: Body-In-White (BIW) sled (crash) tests were conducted with an ELR containing an FMVSS No. 209 Section 4.3(i)2(ii)-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism. Further testing was conducted without reliance on vehicle-sensitive ELR operation for comparative performance purposes (to simulate a “worst-case scenario”), but contained a webbing-sensitive locking mechanism.

    Tests were conducted with a Hybrid III 50th% dummy and a 56 km/h pulse representing a full-frontal FMVSS No. 208 requirement. The pulse was selected from an actual pulse of one of the affected vehicles.

    3. Sled (BIW Crash) Test Pulse (L405—Range Rover): The dummy was positioned to simulate pre-crash braking for both test conditions, i.e., the test using the compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism ELR, and the test using the non-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism ELR. Pre-crash braking positioning was included to simulate critical real-world crash conditions, as pre-crash braking occurs in a significant percentage of crashes. Pre-crash braking would position the dummy (in both tests) closer to the steering wheel prior to impact. Additionally, pre-crash braking would assess any effect of additional forward movement resulting from an ELR in which the vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism was disabled (to simulate a “worst-case scenario”).

    For the test with the FMVSS No. 209-compliant vehicle-sensitive ELR, the dummy's H-point was 40mm more forward, and the dummy's Chest CG was 70mm more forward, than it otherwise would be in a test which did not simulate pre-crash braking. For the test with the FMVSS No. 209 non-compliant vehicle-sensitive ELR, the dummy's H-point was 60mm more forward, and the dummy's Chest CG was 90mm more forward than it otherwise would be in a test which did not simulate pre-crash braking. Therefore, for the dummy in which the non-compliant vehicle-sensitive ELR was utilized, it was positioned approximately 20mm more forward as compared to the dummy in the test in which the compliant vehicle-sensitive ELR was utilized.

    The value of 20mm was obtained from conducting simulations representing pre-crash braking involving a deceleration over 1.5s peaking at approximately 1.0g for 1.0sec duration. Simulations were conducted because the Hybrid III dummy does not have adequate biofidelity in low-severity acceleration conditions such as pre-crash braking. The simulations utilized the Active THUMS model which has been well-correlated to actual driving/braking tests involving human volunteers. The additional forward movement of 20mm for the dummy in which the non-functioning vehicle-sensitive ELR was utilized was consistent across all dummy body regions (i.e., head, chest, and pelvis).

    The restraint system was equipped with a dual-stage driver airbag and safety belt pre-tensioners.

    The results indicated that while there were only minor differences in recorded values between the two tests, the calculated injury values were well within the Injury Assessment Reference Values IARVs for each test outcome for both an ELR equipped with an FMVSS No. 209-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism and an ELR equipped with a non-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism.

    (c) Rollover Tests To Assess Safety Belt Restraint (Retractor Locking) Performance:

    1. Quasi-static Rollover Tests—FMVSS No. 209 Paragraph 4.3(j)(2)(i)(D) requires that the retractor lock at an angular rotation greater than 45-degrees. When tested, JLR has evidence of a part which did not perform to this standard.

    Rollover tests were conducted with an ELR containing an FMVSS No. 209-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism and an ELR in which the vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism was disabled (to simulate a “worst-case scenario”).

    To simulate a rollover condition, quasi-static testing was conducted with an FMVSS No. 301 test device with a World-SID dummy being placed in the driver's seat of the vehicle mounted on the test device. Testing was conducted with an angular rotation range of ±50 degrees around the vehicle's longitudinal axis according to SAE 760. An angular range of ±50 degrees was used based on analysis of the affected vehicles during different vehicle level roll-over events and two key observations: (1) The time at which the seat belt retractors were subject to >1g lateral acceleration (an acceleration at which the affected ELRs had typically locked via the CS sensor, particularly with additional tilt angle applied) and, (2) the timing of the triggering of belt pretensioners in such a roll-over event, leading to locking of the seat belt ELR via the WS sensor (assuming the CS sensor had not locked earlier in the event). Test video of the D-loop (upper attachment point) and any dummy head movement was recorded.

    For the tests in which the vehicle was rotated to the right, approximately 5mm additional webbing pay-out at the upper seat belt anchorage was observed between the vehicle-sensitive compliant and non-compliant ELRs up to a roll angle of 50 degrees. A difference in dummy head movement of approximately 10mm (in the lateral (y-direction)) was observed for the tests conducted with the vehicle-sensitive non-compliant ELR.

    For the tests in which the vehicle was rotated to the left, the video did not depict any difference in dummy head movement between the vehicle-sensitive compliant and non-compliant ELRs. Also, no belt payout was visible at the D-loop.

    2. Dynamic Rollover Tests: In addition to the quasi-static rollover tests, available data from actual dynamic rollover tests of the affected vehicles was analyzed to understand the dynamics in such scenarios and the effect of the vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism in the ELR.

    The dynamic rollover tests were based upon real-world rollover conditions. An initial acceleration must occur to induce a rollover and tests were selected based on the minimum dynamic scenarios that would result in rollover. The lateral deceleration of the seat belt retractors in the rollover events was analyzed to determine the expected ELR vehicle-sensitive sensor locking time based on the evidence that a non-compliant ELR would lock by a lateral acceleration of approximately 1.0g and that the tilt lock function would lock at <0.7g with an additional tilt lock angle of 18 degrees. As the rollover sensing system fitted to the affected vehicles is configured to trigger the seat belt retractor pretensioners, the rollover sensor trigger times were also established for the rollover scenarios analyzed to determine the point at which the seat belt retractor pretensioner would activate and thereby achieve ELR belt locking.

    From tests conducted with vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism non-compliant ELRs, the locking mechanism locks at approximately 1.0g of lateral acceleration. Additional testing on the same non-compliant ELRs has confirmed that the vehicle-sensitive locking of such an ELR would lock below an applied acceleration of 0.7g in all directions when tilted to an angle of up to 18° around the vehicle's longitudinal axis. Therefore, the results of the dynamic rollover tests indicate that the impact-inducing rollovers result in lateral decelerations in which the ELR will lock before a rotation of 18 degrees is reached. Further analysis of rollover sensor trigger times has demonstrated that the pretensioners would trigger before a rollover angle of 45 degrees.

    This analysis confirms that locking will occur before a rotation angle of 45 degrees is reached, as required by FMVSS 209.

    3. Cork-Screw Rollover Simulation Analysis: For the “cork-screw” rollover event additional analysis of the occupant kinematics was made to establish whether a non-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism of the ELR would have affected any forward motion of an occupant prior to ELR lock as previously determined.

    An LS-Dyna computer simulation was made to replicate the “cork-screw” rollover event previously analyzed such that the occupant positioning could be determined without the influence of a locking seat belt ELR. To simulate a “worst case scenario” locking of the seat belt ELR was completely removed from the CAE model. The analysis was made on the “far side” occupant (i.e. the occupant sat on the opposite side of the vehicle from that which impacts the test ramp) as any lateral motion of this occupant is assumed to be inboard, away from the seat belt upper anchorage. The model was set up with a normally extracting/retracting seat belt to measure any webbing pay-out due to dummy kinematics prior to seat belt ELR lock.

    Like the physical test, the simulation showed a small level of initial occupant forward head motion on initial vehicle-to-ramp contact and the occupant returned to a normal seating position prior to the vehicle leaving the ramp or the seat belt ELR locking during this dynamic event as previously determined. No webbing payout of the seat belt was observed in the simulation, leading to the conclusion that a seat belt with non-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism would not affect the occupant kinematics in such a rollover scenario.

    (d) Summary of Test Results: The FMVSS 209 Section 4.3(j)(2)(i) & (ii) non-compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism within the ELRs of affected vehicles shows no significant performance difference when compared to a compliant vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism. This finding is obtained from conducting a number of laboratory tests representing FMVSS 209 and 208 requirements, as well as other real-world crash conditions. The tests represent a variety of conditions such as crashes with, and without, pre-crash braking, and also other conditions, such as rollovers.

    Notably, although all tests were conducted without reliance on a functioning ELR vehicle sensitive locking mechanism, affected vehicles do contain a functionally operable vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism which may slightly exceed the FMVSS 209 Paragraph 4.3(j)(2)(i) & (ii) requirements. Therefore, as installed in vehicles, the seat belt would likely perform better than the non-functioning units utilized for testing and analysis that form the basis for this petition.

    (e) Owner Contacts to Jaguar Land Rover Customer Relations: Jaguar Land Rover Customer Relations has not received any contacts from vehicle owners regarding this issue.

    (f) Accidents/Injuries: Jaguar Land Rover is not aware of any accidents or injuries that have occurred as a result of this issue.

    (g) Prior NHTSA Rulings re Manufacturer Petitions: NHTSA has previously granted a petition from General Motors (GM) on a very similar issue. [69 FR 19897, Docket No. NHTSA-2002-12366, Apr 14, 2004]. GM provided test results and analyses indicating that while there existed a non-functional vehicle sensitive locking mechanism within the safety belt assembly ELR, the webbing sensitive locking mechanism provided comparable restraint performance to that of a fully functional vehicle sensitive locking mechanism.

    In Jaguar Land Rover's case, the vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism is functional, but may slightly exceed the FMVSS 209 Sections 4.3(j)(2)(i) & (ii) requirements, and, also contains a webbing sensitive locking mechanism which provides comparable performance to that of a vehicle sensitive mechanism.

    (h) Vehicle Production: Vehicle production has been corrected to fully conform to FMVSS 209 Sections 4.3(j)(2)(i) & (ii).

    JLR concluded by expressing the belief that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition to be exempted from providing notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted.

    To view JLR's petition, test data and analyses in its entirety you can visit https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets and by using the docket ID number for this petition shown in the heading of this notice.

    NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, any decision on this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that JLR no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve vehicle distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after JLR notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.

    Authority:

    (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8).

    Jeffrey M. Giuseppe, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09650 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Certificate of Foreign Contracting Party Receiving Federal Procurement Payments AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Treasury, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Currently, the IRS is soliciting comments concerning Certificate of Foreign Contracting Party Receiving Federal Procurement Payments.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before July 11, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Laurie E. Brimmer, Internal Revenue Service, Room 6526, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224. Requests for additional information or copies of the form and instructions should be directed to Martha R. Brinson, Internal Revenue Service, Room 6526, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224, or through the Internet at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Certificate of Foreign Contracting Party Receiving Federal Procurement Payments.

    OMB Number: 1545-2263.

    Form Number: Form W-14.

    Abstract: Tax on Certain Foreign Procurement, Notice of Purposed Rulemaking, contains proposed regulations under section 5000C of the Internal Revenue Code. The proposed regulations affect U.S. government acquiring agencies and foreign persons providing certain goods or services to the U.S. government pursuant to a contract. This document also contains proposed regulations under section 6114, with respect to foreign persons claiming an exemption from the tax under an income tax treaty. Section 5000C imposes a 2% tax on foreign persons (as defined in section 7701(a)(30)), that are parties to specified Federal procurement contracts with the U.S. government entered into on and after January 2, 2011. This tax is imposed on the gross amount of specified Federal procurement payments and is generally collected by increasing the amount withheld under chapter 3. A Form W-14 must be provided to the acquiring agency (U.S. government department, agency, independent establishment, or corporation) to: Establish that they are a foreign contracting party; and If applicable, claim an exemption from withholding based on an international agreement (such as a tax treaty); or Claim an exemption from withholding, in whole or in part, based on an international procurement agreement or because goods are produced, or services are performed in the United States. A Form W-14 must be provided to the acquiring agency if a foreign contracting party has been paid a specified Federal procurement payment and the foreign contracting party is seeking to claim an exemption (in whole or in part) from the tax imposed by section 5000C. Form W-14 must be submitted when requested by the acquiring agency, whether or not an exemption (in whole or in part) is claimed from withholding under section 5000C.

    Current Actions: There are no changes being made to the form at this time.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Affected Public: Federal government.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 2,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 5 hrs., 55 mins.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 11,840.

    The following paragraph applies to all of the collections of information covered by this notice:

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid OMB control number. Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by 26 U.S.C. 6103.

    Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Comments are invited on: (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    Approved: May 8, 2017. Laurie E. Brimmer, Senior Tax Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2017-09606 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    82 91 Friday, May 12, 2017 Proposed Rules Part II Consumer Product Safety Commission 16 CFR Part 1245 Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws; Proposed Rule CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 1245 RIN 3041-AC31 [Docket No. CPSC-2011-0074] Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined preliminarily that there may be an unreasonable risk of blade-contact injuries associated with table saws. In 2015, there were an estimated 33,400 table saw, emergency department-treated injuries. Of these, CPSC staff estimates that 30,800 (92 percent) are likely related to the victim making contact with the saw blade. CPSC staff's review of the existing data indicates that currently available safety devices, such as the modular blade guard and riving knife, do not adequately address the unreasonable risk of blade-contact injuries on table saws. To address this risk, the Commission proposes a rule that is based, in part, on work conducted by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. The proposed rule would establish a performance standard that requires table saws, when powered on, to limit the depth of cut to 3.5 millimeters when a test probe, acting as surrogate for a human body/finger, contacts the spinning blade at a radial approach rate of 1 meter per second (m/s). The proposed rule would address an estimated 54,800 medically treated blade-contact injuries annually. The Commission estimates that the proposed rule's aggregate net benefits on an annual basis could range from about $625 million to about $2,300 million.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by July 26, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2011-0074, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket number CPSC-2011-0074, into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caroleene Paul, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; telephone (301) 987-2225; fax (978) 367-9122; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On April 15, 2003, Stephen Gass, David Fanning, and James Fulmer, et al. (petitioners) requested that the CPSC require performance standards for a system to reduce or prevent injuries from contact with the blade of a table saw. The petitioners are members of SawStop, LLC, and its parent company, SD3, LLC (collectively, SawStop). On October 11, 2011, the Commission published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to consider whether there may be an unreasonable risk of blade-contact injuries associated with table saws. 76 FR 62678. The ANPR began a rulemaking proceeding under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). The Commission received approximately 1,600 public comments. The Commission is now issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to address an unreasonable risk of blade-contact injuries associated with table saws that would limit the depth of cut to 3.5 mm or less when a test probe, acting as surrogate for a human body/finger, contacts the spinning blade at a radial approach rate of 1 meter per second (m/s).1 The information discussed in this preamble is derived from CPSC staff's briefing package for the NPR, which is available on CPSC's Web site at: https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Proposed%20Rule%20-%20Safety%20Standard%20for%20Blade-Contact%20Injuries%20on%20Table%20Saws%20-%20January%2017%202017.pdf.

    1 The Commission voted 3-2 to publish this notice in the Federal Register. Commissioner Robert S. Adler, Commissioner Elliot F. Kaye, and Commissioner Marietta S. Robinson voted to approve publication of the proposed rule. Acting Chair Ann Marie Buerkle and Commissioner Joseph P. Mohorovic voted against publication of the proposed rule. The Commissioners' individual statements are available at https://www.cpsc.gov/About-CPSC.

    II. Statutory Authority

    Table saws are “consumer products” that can be regulated by the Commission under the authority of the CPSA. See 15 U.S.C. 2052(a). Section 7 of the CPSA authorizes the Commission to promulgate a mandatory consumer product safety standard that sets forth performance requirements for a consumer product or that sets forth requirements that a product be marked or accompanied by clear and adequate warnings or instructions. A performance, warning, or instruction standard must be reasonably necessary to prevent or reduce an unreasonable risk or injury. Id.

    Section 9 of the CPSA specifies the procedure that the Commission must follow to issue a consumer product safety standard under section 7. In accordance with section 9, the Commission may commence rulemaking by issuing an ANPR; as noted, the Commission issued an ANPR on table saws in October 2011. (76 FR 62678 (October 11, 2011)). Section 9 authorizes the Commission to issue an NPR, including the proposed rule and a preliminary regulatory analysis, in accordance with section 9(c) of the CPSA and request comments regarding the risk of injury identified by the Commission, the regulatory alternatives being considered, and other possible alternatives for addressing the risk. Id. 2058(c). Next, the Commission will consider the comments received in response to the proposed rule and decide whether to issue a final rule, along with a final regulatory analysis. Id. 2058(c)-(f). The Commission also must provide an opportunity for interested persons to make oral presentations of their data, views, or arguments, in accordance with section 9(d)(2) of the CPSA. Id. 2058(d)(2).

    According to section 9(f)(1) of the CPSA, before promulgating a consumer product safety rule, the Commission must consider, and make appropriate findings to be included in the rule, on the following issues:

    • The degree and nature of the risk of injury that the rule is designed to eliminate or reduce;

    • the approximate number of consumer products subject to the rule;

    • the need of the public for the products subject to the rule and the probable effect the rule will have on utility, cost, or availability of such products; and

    • the means to achieve the objective of the rule while minimizing adverse effects on competition, manufacturing, and commercial practices. Id. 2058(f)(1). Under section 9(f)(3) of the CPSA, to issue a final rule, the Commission must find that the rule is “reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce an unreasonable risk of injury associated with such product” and that issuing the rule is in the public interest. Id. 2058(f)(3)(A)&(B). Additionally, if a voluntary standard addressing the risk of injury has been adopted and implemented, the Commission must find that:

    • The voluntary standard is not likely to eliminate or adequately reduce the risk of injury, or that

    • substantial compliance with the voluntary standard is unlikely. Id. 2058(f)(3(D).

    The Commission also must find that expected benefits of the rule bear a reasonable relationship to its costs and that the rule imposes the least burdensome requirements which prevent or adequately reduce the risk of injury for which the rule is being promulgated. Id. 2058(f)(3)(E)&(F).

    III. The Product A. Types of Table Saws

    Table saws are stationary power tools used for the straight sawing of wood and other materials. The basic design of a table saw consists of a motor-driven saw blade that protrudes through a flat table surface. To make a cut, the operator places the workpiece on the table and, using a rip fence or miter gauge as a guide, pushes the workpiece into the blade (see Figure 1.)

    EP12MY17.000

    Table saws generally fall into three product types: Bench saws, contractor saws, and cabinet saws.2 Although there is no exact dividing line, the distinction among these types of saws is generally based on size, weight, portability, power transmission, and price.3

    2 Cabinet saws also are referred to as stationary saws because they are not portable.

    3 In addition to these three primary product types, there are also several hybrid saws in the market. This product type blends components of both contractor and cabinet saws. Specifically, hybrid saws have the energy requirements, weight, and mobility of contractor saws with the structure, accuracy, and dust control features of cabinet saws. This product type typically operates in single phase with a voltage range of 110-240 volts, generating 1.75 to two horsepower, depending on the model. There are also sliding saws that are similar to cabinet saws in that they are belt driven, but they are typically equipped with an extension and greater rip- and cross-cutting capacity that allows for cutting large panels. This type of saw can be wired for either single-phase or three-phase operation; however, three-phase wiring is a more common feature for sliding table saws. Sliding saws operate in the 220-440 volt range.

    Bench saws are intended to be transportable, so they tend to be small, lightweight, and relatively inexpensive. In recent years, bench saw designs have evolved to include saws with larger and heavier-duty table surfaces, with some attached to a folding stand with wheels to maintain mobility. These larger portable saws on wheeled stands are called “jobsite” saws because they are capable of heavier-duty work, but they are still portable enough to move to work sites.

    Bench saws generally run on standard house voltage (110-120 volts), use universal motors,4 drive the saw blade through gears, and range in weight from 34 pounds to 133 pounds. The universal motor and gear drive produce the high decibel noise and vibration that are distinctive characteristics of bench saws. Prices for bench saws range from $129 per model, to as much as $1,499 for a high-end model.

    4 A universal motor runs on AC or DC power, has high starting torque, can run at high speed, and is lightweight and compact. For these reasons, universal motors are commonly used in portable power tools and equipment.

    Contractor saws used to be considered portable table saws, but designs have progressed with larger motors and heavier table tops to the point that most contractor saws are considered non-portable. Although a mobile base can be added to the frame to make contractor saws mobile, they are often found in home workshops as non-portable saws that are a less expensive alternative to cabinet saws. Contractor saws generally run on standard house voltage, use induction motors, are belt driven, and range in weight from around 200 pounds to 400 pounds. The induction motor and belt drive result in a table saw that produces less vibration, is quieter, is more accurate, is able to cut thicker pieces of wood, and is more durable than a bench saw. Prices for contractor saws range from around $500 to $2,000.

    Cabinet saws are larger, heavier, and more powerful than contractor saws, and their motors are enclosed in a solid base. These saws are typically the highest grade saw found in the home woodworking shop. Cabinet saws generally run on 220-240 volts, use a 1.75-5 hp or stronger motor, are belt driven, and weigh from around 300 pounds to 1,000 pounds. Components in cabinet saws are designed for heavy use and durability, and the greater weight further reduces vibration so that cuts are smoother and more accurate. Cabinet saws are expected to last a lifetime (with an average product life of 24 years), and prices range from around $1,200 to $5,000.

    B. Standard Safety Devices

    Common safety devices on table saws are designed to reduce contact between the saw blade and the operator and to reduce kickback, a phenomenon in which the saw blade imparts its kinetic energy to the workpiece and ejects the workpiece back towards the operator. The configuration and specific design of these safety devices vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the safety devices generally fall into two basic categories: (1) Blade guards, and (2) kickback-prevention devices.

    Blade guards surround the exposed blade and function as a physical barrier between the blade and the operator. Blade guards generally are designed either as a single-piece unit that covers the saw blade, as shown in Figure 1, or as a modular system with a fixed-top barrier and independent side barriers.

    Kickback-prevention devices include splitters, riving knives, and anti-kickback pawls. A splitter, also commonly called a “spreader,” is typically a flat piece of metal, aligned directly behind the saw blade that rides within the cut, or kerf, of a workpiece already fed through the blade. This prevents the workpiece from closing up on itself after it passes the blade and pinching the blade, which can cause the workpiece to be thrown upwards and back toward the operator. Before 2009, most table saws were designed with a splitter located behind the blade that was attached to the blade guard. If a cut required removal of the splitter or guard, they were removed together.

    Riving knives are curved metal plates that are similar to, and perform the same function as, splitters, but are often located closer to the blade, rise no higher than the top of the blade, and attach to the arbor assembly so that they are raised and lowered with the blade.5 Like splitters, riving knives physically prevent the two halves of the cut workpiece from moving back towards each other and pinching the spinning blade. However, unlike splitters, the riving knife can be left on for non-through cuts.

    5 The arbor assembly includes the arbor, which is the metal shaft that holds the saw blade.

    Anti-kickback pawls are another device designed to help reduce kickback. The pawls are mounted on both sides of the splitter and consist of a pair of spring-loaded pieces of metal with barbed teeth on the bottom edge that allow passage of the workpiece but will dig into it if it begins to move back toward the operator.

    The riving knife and modular blade guard represent the latest progression in table saw safety design that have been incorporated into the voluntary standards for table saws. As discussed in section VI of the preamble, under UL 987 Stationary and Fixed Electric Tools, the voluntary standard effective dates for riving knives and modular blade guards were January 31, 2014, and January 31, 2010, respectively. However, the industry accelerated compliance with the voluntary standard, and the new guarding system with modular blade guards and riving knives became widely available on table saws in 2008. By 2012, table saw manufacturers introduced more than 900,000 table saws with riving knives and modular blade guards.

    C. AIM Technology

    An active injury mitigation (AIM) system uses technology to actively mitigate or prevent injury of a human body part resulting from contact with a rotating saw blade (e.g. by braking, removing, and/or retracting the blade). Thus, any device that detects imminent or actual human contact with the table saw blade and then performs an action that mitigates the severity of the injury is considered to be an AIM system. An AIM system is active because it reacts to a blade contact in a way that minimizes the injury. A blade guard is a passive system because the guard does not react to a blade contact, but rather, provides a passive barrier between the blade and the user.

    CPSC staff considers AIM to be a viable approach to address blade-contact injury in conjunction with existing passive safety strategies (blade guard and riving knife) to prevent blade contact on table saws. AIM systems can provide a layer of safety that can mitigate a blade-contact injury if the blade guard or riving knife are removed or fail to function properly. AIM systems can also protect against blade-contact injuries that can occur when a blade guard and riving knife are in place and functioning properly, but blade contact occurs nonetheless.

    An AIM system performs two functions: (1) Detects contact between the rotating table saw blade and a human body part, and (2) reacts to mitigate injury. In a research report issued in March 2015, UL researched developing performance requirements for table saw safety standards to help address finger injuries due to contact with the blade.6 The report examined performance requirements that consisted of a defined relationship between approach velocity (speed of finger at a specified angle relative to saw blade) and depth of cut to the finger/hand. In addition, the report focused on the use of a surrogate finger. The report determined that, in addition to the proper trigger attributes, the surrogate finger must possess physical properties that allow it to be cut such that representative, repeatable and reliable measurements of the depth of cut can be recorded.

    6 Jiang, H., Tabaddor, M., and He, F. (2015). General Characteristics of a Surrogate Finger for Table Saw Safety Testing. UL Research Report. Available at: http://library.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/12/UL-Research-Report-on-Finger-Surrogate-Characteristics-for-Table-Saw-Testing-2015.pdf.

    CPSC staff's review of UL's literature research indicates that detection can be achieved by: (1) Sensing electrical properties of the human body/finger; (2) sensing thermal properties of the human body/finger; (3) visual sensing and tracking of the human body/finger; or (4) other methods. Current AIM technologies on the market rely on the first type of detection: Electrical sensing of the human body. CPSC staff based its testing of the AIM system on existing technology.

    Reaction systems must perform some type of action to limit the severity of injury upon human body/finger contact with the table saw blade. Removing either the spinning blade or the human body/finger from the point of contact is the most logical method to achieve this goal. Current AIM technologies on the market remove the spinning blade from the point of contact quickly enough, within milliseconds, to reduce significantly the severity of injury.

    1. Electrical Detection of Human Body

    Current AIM technologies available on table saws in the U.S. market rely on electrical detection of contact between a table saw operator and the rotating saw blade to activate the AIM system. One means of detecting body contact is with circuitry that generates a detection signal with defined electrical characteristics (see Figure 2). The signal can then be coupled onto the saw blade through various means, such as conductive, magnetic, or capacitive coupling devices. Additional circuitry continuously monitors the characteristics of the detection signal. The detection signal changes when a human body part comes into contact with the saw blade and the monitoring circuit senses the change in the signal. If the change is beyond a certain limit, the monitoring circuit then activates a reaction mechanism.

    EP12MY17.001 2. Current Products in the Market With AIM Technology

    In 2004, SawStop released an industrial table saw featuring AIM technology based on electrical detection of the human body, and a mechanical brake reaction that stops the blade from spinning and moves the saw blade assembly beneath the table top surface. Typically, the reaction occurs in less than 5 milliseconds after contact is detected. Subsequently, SawStop introduced to the market a professional cabinet saw, a contractor saw, and a bench (jobsite) saw with the same AIM technology. The SawStop AIM technology works in three steps:

    1. Monitor and Detect

    • The blade carries a small electrical signal.

    • When a person contacts the blade, the signal changes because the human body is conductive.

    • The change to the signal activates the safety system.

    2. Brake Activation

    • An aluminum brake block is forced into the spinning blade by a spring released by an electric signal.

    • The blade's angular momentum drives the blade assembly beneath the table top, removing the risk of further contact.

    • Power to the motor is shut off.

    3. The AIM system must then be reset by:

    • Shutting off the saw.

    • Removing the brake cartridge and embedded blade.

    • Installing a new blade (if necessary) and brake cartridge.

    In 2016, Robert Bosch, LLC (Bosch) released a jobsite table saw featuring AIM technology based on electrical detection of the human body and a combustion-based mechanical reaction that forces the saw blade assembly beneath the table top surface. The Bosch REAXXTM with Active Response TechnologyTM system (Bosch REAXXTM) also works in three steps:

    1. Monitor and Detect

    • The blade carries a small low-voltage signal.

    • When a person contacts the blade, the signal changes because the human body is conductive.

    • The change to the signal activates the safety system.

    2. Blade Retraction

    • A combustion reaction is triggered in a cylindrical cartridge, which fires a piston at a high rate of speed (this action is similar to the deployment of an air bag in an automobile).

    • The piston pushes against a linkage to rapidly rotate the saw blade assembly below the table surface away from the operator.

    • The blade assembly remains locked under the table after activation, while the blade coasts to a stop after power to the motor is cut off automatically.

    3. The AIM system must then be reset by:

    • Shutting off the saw.

    • Inserting a fresh/new activation cartridge (two cartridges are paired together, so the unactivated side of the same dual-action cartridge may be used).

    • Unlocking the blade assembly and raising it back into place.

    Neither the SawStop, nor Bosch AIM technologies, can be used when cutting conductive materials (that allow the flow of an electrical current) because both systems rely on electrical detection of the human body. A person touching the conductive material being cut would allow the detection signal to pass through the conductive material and into the person, activating the system as soon as the material touches the saw blade. For this reason, each product has a bypass mode to allow the user to cut conductive materials. In addition, cutting wet wood that is moist enough to conduct enough electricity to activate the AIM system can cause tripping of the safety system. Accordingly, the AIM system generally must be deactivated while cutting wet wood. The table saw automatically exits the bypass mode and resets to normal mode after the saw is turned off and the blade comes to a complete stop.

    The Bosch REAXXTM has been the only non-SawStop model with AIM technology available in the United States. Both the SawStop bench model and the Bosch model with the AIM technology are at the upper end of the bench saw price range. The SawStop bench saw model (which was first marketed in 2015) retails for about $1,300 to $1,400 per unit. The Bosch REAXXTM model has a retail price of $1,300 to 1,500. However, the future of the Bosch model is unclear. On July 16, 2015, SawStop filed a complaint against Bosch for patent infringement and requested that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) order U.S. Customs to exclude the Bosch REAXXTM saws from entering the U.S. market.7 On September 9, 2016, an administrative law judge (ALJ) made an initial determination that the Bosch model does infringe on several SawStop patents.8 Subsequently, on November 10, 2016, the ITC decided not to review the ALJ's initial determination and requested that the interested parties provide written submissions on the issues related to remedies, the public interest, and bonding. On January 27, 2017, the ITC issued remedial orders including a limited exclusion order and cease and desist order against Bosch effective March 29, 2017. On April 6, 2017, Bosch filed an appeal of the ITC determination in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.9

    7 In the Matter of Certain Table Saws Incorporating Active Injury Mitigation Technology and Components Thereof, Investigation No. 337-TA-965.

    8 Specially, infringement was found in U.S. Patent No. 7,895,927 ('927 Patent), titled, “Power Equipment with Detection and Reaction Systems”; and U.S. Patent No. 8,011,279 ('279 Patent) titled, “Power Equipment with Systems to Mitigate or Prevent Injury.”

    9 On July 16, 2015, SawStop also filed a complaint against Robert Bosch Tool Corporation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (Sawstop, LLC v. Bosch, CV No. 3:15-cv-1320) (D. Or. filed on July 16, 2015). On September 28, 2015, the Oregon District Court stayed the proceeding in federal court pending final resolution of the ITC's investigation.

    IV. Incident Data

    CPSC staff's incident data are based on data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). NEISS is a national stratified probability sample of approximately 100 U.S. hospitals having 24-hour emergency departments (EDs) and more than six beds. Coders in each hospital code data from the ED record for consumer product-related records, and then the data are transmitted electronically to the CPSC. Because NEISS is a probability sample, each case collected represents a number of injuries (the case's weight) in the total estimate of injuries in the United States. Different hospitals carry different weights.

    There are five strata in the NEISS: Children's hospitals, small hospitals, medium hospitals, large hospitals, and very large hospitals. Within each stratum is a sample of hospitals that make up the primary sampling units of the NEISS. For each hospital in the sample, every first-time emergency department visit for an injury associated with a consumer product is recorded.10 To facilitate injury estimates associated with a product or product group, each injury has a product code that identifies the type of product involved. Other product-specific information, such as the product manufacturer or events leading to the incident, is not recorded in the NEISS. However, information that is recorded for each injury includes sex, age, diagnosis, disposition, and body part. Additional information about the NEISS can be found online at: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Research--Statistics/NEISS-Injury-Data.

    10 NEISS does not record return visits to the emergency department or other follow-up medical visits for the same injury.

    For the injury estimates in the proposed rule, CPSC staff reviewed all the incident data abstracted from NEISS hospital records for injuries related to product code 0841 (table or bench saws) for 2015. CPSC staff compared the distributions of table saw injury characteristics against all other workshop product-related injuries and consumer product-related injuries for 2015. Staff performed an injury trend analysis, as well as a risk trend analysis for blade-contact injuries from 2004 to 2015. In addition, CPSC staff reviewed all of the incidents in the CPSC's Consumer Product Safety Risk Management System (CPSRMS) database between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2015. Finally, in addition to reviewing incident data, to obtain additional information regarding consumer modular blade guard use, in 2015, CPSC conducted a survey of consumers who own table saws with a modular blade guard system (modular blade guard survey).11

    11 Sherehiy, B. and Nooraddini, I. (2016). Table Saw Blade Guard Survey. Available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/Global/Regulations-Laws-and-Standards/Voluntary-Standards/Voluntary-Standards-Reports/EurekaFactsTableSawBladeGuardSurveyReport(Final6bcleared)updatedcoverpage.pdf.

    A. NEISS Data Methodology

    The NEISS provides product information associated with each case, by recording up to two product codes associated with a case. CPSC staff's methodology and NEISS estimates are detailed in TAB B of the staff briefing package. Starting with all the NEISS cases associated with product code 0841 (this is, all injuries recorded in the NEISS as associated with a table or bench saw), CPSC staff reviewed and categorized the data, removing any cases that were not related to an operational table saw, and also classified whether the injury could have been due to blade contact. This analysis was completed on every case associated with the product code 0841, with date of treatments recorded as January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2015, resulting in a review of 9,300 NEISS cases.

    For each of the 9,300 cases associated with the table saw product code (0841), with treatment years 2004 through 2015, the first level of review involved removing any cases where the injuries were not related to an operational table saw. Thus, cases not saying “table saw” were excluded (e.g., cases that only use the word “saw” not “table saw,” cases where the injury was related to a park bench, or cases where the saw was a homemade table saw). Cases indicating a “circular table saw” were removed. Cases where it was unclear that the injury was from a table saw were removed (e.g., cases using wording like “table saw vs. chain saw,” where it is not absolutely certain that the saw was a table saw). Cases were removed when a victim tripped over, fell into, or ran into a table saw and the table saw was not operational. Cases were removed when the injury was related to the table saw being transported, such as the table saw being carried or lifted. Finally, cases were omitted that were related to using the product for an extended period of time (overuse injuries), such as sore knees, elbows, backs, and shoulders. There are cases where it is possible that although “table saw” was used to describe the type of saw, narratives also included descriptions such as “table saw which slipped,” which might indicate a circular saw, instead of a table saw; however, because “table saw” is used to identify the saw type, these are included in the table saw category.

    Different types of injuries can occur when using a table saw, some of which do not include blade contact, such as injuries related to only kickback of the stock. Thus, the next level of review for each case was to determine whether the case involved blade contact or not. First, diagnoses of lacerations, fractures, amputations, and avulsions 12 that were for body parts below the elbow (not including the elbow), were all classified as blade contact, then staff reviewed the NEISS narratives to determine if any were described as not blade contact. Unless otherwise stated in the NEISS narrative, staff considered these combinations of diagnosis and body part to involve blade contact. CPSC staff reviewed the cases for the remaining combinations of diagnosis and body part for any that could be blade contact. Cases were included from this group only if the NEISS narrative indicated a hazard pattern of blade contact while using a table saw.

    12 Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “avulsion” as “a tearing away of a body part accidentally or surgically.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avulsion.

    Given the limited amount of descriptive information related to the incidents available within the NEISS, staff believes that some cases could have been included that did not involve blade contact within the 0841 product code, leading to overestimates in blade-contact injuries. On the other hand, staff also believes that table saw blade contact cases may have been excluded within product codes 0845 (saws, not specified) and 0895 (power saws, other or not specified), leading to an underestimate of table saw blade-contact injuries. CPSC staff does not know to what extent either of these caveats affects the results. However, these caveats have been applied to CPSC staff's analysis for both the 2015 injury data and trend analysis results from 2004 through 2015.

    B. Emergency Department-Treated, Table Saw Blade-Contact Injury Analysis Results for 2015

    In 2015, there were an estimated 33,400 table saw, emergency department-treated injuries. Of these, CPSC staff estimates that 30,800 (92 percent) are likely related to the victim making contact with the saw blade. Of the 30,800 emergency department-treated, blade-contact injuries, an estimated 28,900 injuries (93.8 percent) involved the finger. The most common diagnoses in blade-contact injuries in 2015, are as follows:

    • An estimated 18,100 laceration injuries (58.8 percent),

    • an estimated 5,900 fractures (19.0 percent),

    • an estimated 4,700 amputations (15.2 percent), and

    • an estimated 2,000 avulsions (6.5 percent).

    An estimated 3,800 (12.3 percent) of the blade-contact injury victims were hospitalized. Table 1 provides the emergency department-treated, blade-contact injury estimates for the NEISS variables for age (provided in age groups in the table), sex, body part injured, diagnosis, disposition, and locale. Males represent the majority of victims with blade-contact injuries (96.4 percent); and an estimated 45 percent of injuries occurred to victims over age 61.

    Table 1—Victim and Injury Characteristics of Table Saw Blade-Contact Injuries, 2015 n Injury estimate Estimate CV † 95%
  • confidence
  • interval
  • Percent
  • of total
  • Estimate
    Total 642 30,800 0.09 25,400-36,200 100% Age Group: ≤20 16 * * * * 21-30 51 2,200 0.16 1,500-2,800 7.0 31-40 76 3,800 0.18 2,500-5,200 12.5 41-50 96 4,100 0.15 2,900-5,300 13.2 51-60 133 6,400 0.14 4,600-8,100 20.7 61-70 153 8,200 0.14 5,900-10,400 26.6 71-80 88 4,300 0.16 3,000-5,600 14.0 81+ 29 1,300 0.20 800-1,800 4.1 Sex: Male 622 29,700 0.09 24,400-34,900 96.4 Female 20 * * * * Body Part: Finger 592 28,900 0.10 23,200-34,500 93.8 Hand 46 1,600 0.18 1,100-2,200 5.3 Other 4 * * * * Diagnosis: Laceration 372 18,100 0.11 14,200-22,000 58.8 Fracture 112 5,900 0.17 3,900-7,800 19.0 Amputation 119 4,700 0.18 3,000-6,300 15.2 Avulsion 37 2,000 0.24 1,100-2,900 6.5 Other 2 * * * * Disposition: Treated and Released 537 26,800 0.10 21,600-32,100 87.1 Hospitalized ** 98 3,800 0.20 2,300-5,300 12.3 Other 7 * * * * Locale Where Injury Occurred: Home 416 20,600 0.11 16,200-25,100 67.0 Unknown 223 10,100 0.19 6,400-13,900 32.9 Other 3 * * * * Cells marked by “*” indicate an estimate that does not meet CPSC reporting limits. ** Hospitalization refers to the combination of two dispositions: Treated and transferred, treated and admitted. † Coefficient of variation (CV) is a measure of the dispersion of the data as a ratio of the standard deviation to the estimate. The higher the CV, the larger the dispersion; for estimates derived from the NEISS, a CV over 0.33 is high.
    C. Table Saw Blade-Contact Injuries Versus Other Product-Related Injuries for 2015

    CPSC staff compared emergency department-treated injuries from table saw blade- contact against all other consumer product-related emergency department-treated injuries, to identify demographic groups and hazard patterns that are specific to table saw blade-contact, emergency department-treated injuries.

    CPSC staff's review showed that table saw blade-contact injuries have a much larger proportion of injuries to fingers (compared to all other types of consumer products) and have significantly larger proportions of diagnoses for lacerations and amputations. An estimated 18.6 percent of all amputations in the NEISS are related to table saws. Table 2 compares emergency department-treated injuries from table saw blade contact identified in the 2015 NEISS to all other consumer product-related, emergency department-treated injuries in the same timeframe (January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015).

    Table 2—Comparison of Victim Characteristics for Table Saw Blade-Contact Injuries Versus All Other Consumer Product-Related Injuries, 2015 Domain Table saws n Estimate * % of
  • 30,800
  • All consumer products
  • (excluding table saws)
  • n † Estimate * % of 14,098,700 ‡ Rao-Scott
  • x 2 p-value
  • Total 642 30,800 100% 358,425 14,098,700 100% N/A Age Group ***: ≤20 16 * * 168,496 5,513,200 39.1 <0.0001 21-30 51 2,200 7.0 40,098 1,709,000 12.1 31-40 76 3,800 12.5 30,973 1,384,500 9.8 41-50 96 4,100 13.2 27,878 1,257,700 8.9 51-60 133 6,400 20.7 29,082 1,290,600 9.2 61-70 153 8,200 26.6 22,123 1,039,900 7.4 71-80 88 4,300 14.0 17,817 860,200 6.1 81+ 29 1,300 4.1 21,923 1,042,900 7.4 Sex **: Male 622 29,700 96.4 195,134 7,438,000 52.8 <0.0001 Female 20 * * 163,291 6,660,800 47.2 Locale: Home 416 20,600 67.0 161,190 6,564,100 46.6 <0.0001 Unknown 223 10,100 32.9 98,418 3,820,100 27.1 Other 3 * * 98,817 3,714,600 26.3 Body Part: Finger 592 28,900 93.8 29,987 1,209,800 8.6 <0.0001 Hand 46 1,600 5.3 17,089 732,000 5.2 Other 4 * * 311,349 12,157,000 86.2 Diagnosis: Laceration 372 18,100 58.8 63,727 2,510,600 17.8 <0.0001 Fracture 112 5,900 19.0 54,210 2,037,500 14.5 Amputation 119 4,700 15.2 584 20,400 0.1 Other 39 2,200 7.0 239,904 9,530,200 67.6 Disposition: Treated and Released 537 26,800 87.1 323,369 12,768,300 90.6 0.0095 Hospitalized# 98 3,800 12.3 29,203 1,120,300 7.9 Other 7 * * 5,853 210,100 1.5 * CVs for the table saws for reported estimates range from 0.09 to 0.24. CVs for estimates for the other products range from 0.07 to 0.25. ** Two observations are classified as “unknown sex” in the NEISS in the timeframe. These two observations were omitted to facilitate comparisons. This does not affect any conclusions or comparisons. *** To facilitate comparisons, 35 observations with unknown ages are not used in the age group analysis; thus, the statistics provided for age group do not necessarily sum exactly to totals. This does not affect any conclusions. † This “n” is smaller than all of the NEISS, due to cases omitted from the product code 0841 (see Methodology section) as not related to a table saw or blade contact. ‡ Percentages are calculated prior to rounding. # Hospitalization refers to the combination of two dispositions: Treated and transferred, treated and admitted.

    CPSC staff's review showed differences in the injury distributions of age groups when comparing table saw blade-contact injuries to all other consumer product-related injuries. Older age groups represent larger proportions in table saw injuries than with all other products. Approximately 75 percent of the estimated table saw blade-contact injuries occur to people within the age range of 41 through 80. The proportion of all other consumer product-related injuries for the 41 through 80 age groups is approximately 30 percent. Almost all injuries involving table saw blade contact involve males; whereas, with all consumer products, there is only a slightly larger male proportion.

    CPSC staff also compared table saw blade-contact injuries and all other woodworking workshop, product-related injury estimates to identify any demographic groups and hazard patterns that are specific to table saw blade-contact injuries within groups that are more likely to have been exposed to table saws. Table saws, in particular, table saw blade-contact injuries, represented a larger proportion of injuries to fingers than all other workshop products (which include tools such as radial arm saws, miter saws, circular saws, band saws, and routers, along with other power and manual woodworking tools). In addition, table saw blade-contact injuries have significantly larger proportions of diagnoses for lacerations, fractures, and amputations, than injuries associated with all other workshop products. CPSC staff's review showed that table saws account for an estimated 52.4 percent of all amputations related to workshop products.

    Table 3 compares table saw blade-contact, emergency department-treated injuries from the 2015 NEISS to all other workshop product-related, emergency department-treated injuries in the same timeframe (January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015).

    Table 3—Comparison of Victim Characteristics for Table Saw Blade-Contact Injuries Versus All Other Workshop Product-Related Injuries, 2015 Domain Table saws n Estimate * % of 30,800 † All workshop products
  • (excluding table saws)
  • n Estimate * % of 270,500 † Rao-Scott
  • x 2 p-value
  • Total 642 30,800 100% 5,313 270,500 100% Age Group: ≤20 16 * * 702 29,500 10.9 <0.0001 21-30 51 2,200 7.0 943 46,300 17.1 31-40 76 3,800 12.5 952 50,400 18.6 41-50 96 4,100 13.2 979 50,400 18.6 51-60 133 6,400 20.7 887 46,000 17.0 61-70 153 8,200 26.6 536 30,000 11.1 71-80 88 4,300 14.0 243 13,800 5.1 81+ 29 1,300 4.1 71 4,100 1.5 Sex: Male 622 29,700 96.4 4,582 234,600 86.7 <0.0001 Female 20 * * 731 35,900 13.3 Locale: Home 416 20,600 67.0 2,976 158,900 58.8 0.0049 Unknown 223 10,100 32.9 2,152 103,300 38.2 Other 3 * * 185 8,300 3.1 Body Part: Finger 592 28,900 93.8 2,022 101,800 37.6 <0.0001 Hand 46 1,600 5.3 838 44,400 16.4 Other 4 * * 2,453 124,300 46.0 Diagnosis: Laceration 372 18,100 58.8 2,562 132,100 48.8 <0.0001 Fracture 112 5,900 19.0 378 18,600 6.9 Amputation 119 4,700 15.2 108 4,200 1.6 Other 39 2,200 7.0 2,265 115,600 42.8 Disposition: Treated and Released 537 26,800 87.1 5,027 258,400 95.5 <0.0001 Hospitalized ‡ 98 3,800 12.3 219 8,700 3.2 Other 7 * * 67 3,300 1.2 * CVs for the table saws for reported estimates range from 0.09 to 0.24. CV's for estimates for the all other workshop products range from 0.08 to 0.20. † Percentages are calculated prior to rounding. ‡ Hospitalization refers to the combination of two dispositions: Treated and transferred, treated and admitted.

    When table saw blade-contact injuries were compared to all other workshop product-related injuries, CPSC staff identified differences in the distributions of age groups. Older age groups represented larger proportions of table saw blade-contact injuries than for other workshop products. Approximately 45 percent of the estimated table saw blade-contact injuries occurred to people within the age range of 61 through 80. In comparison, the proportion of all other workshop product-related injuries for the 61 through 80 age groups was approximately 18 percent. Accordingly, the mean age for table saw blade-contact injuries was 55.6 years, in comparison to 42.7 years for all other workshop product-related injuries. This approximate 13-year difference in the mean age of people sustaining injuries is a statistically significant difference (p-value < 0.0001), indicating that table saw blade-contact injuries involve older victims compared to injuries related to all other workshop products.

    D. Trend Analysis for Table Saw Injuries

    CPSC staff estimated the yearly injuries associated with table saw blade-contact injuries from 2004 to 2015, using estimates from NEISS. As mentioned in section III.B. of the preamble, UL 987 Stationary and Fixed Electric Tools includes provisions requiring a riving knife and modular blade guard. The voluntary standard effective dates for riving knives and modular blade guards was January 31, 2014, and January 31, 2010, respectively. The date range for the trend analysis includes a timespan before the voluntary standard required table saws to be equipped with a riving knife and modular blade guard (2004 to 2009) and a timespan after the voluntary standard requirements became effective on most table saws (2010 to 2015). Table saws manufactured before the current voluntary standard remain in use throughout this entire period. However, in more recent years, after the current voluntary standard became effective, an increasing proportion of table saws in use conform to the current voluntary standard. Thus, if the voluntary standard was having an impact on the number or severity of injuries, there would be a steady decrease in the number of injuries or severity of injuries as the proportion of table saws compliant with the new standard increased. However, CPSC staff's analysis shows that the addition of the riving knife and modular blade guard in the voluntary standard has not reduced the number or severity of blade-contact injuries.

    CPSC staff performed trend analyses for blade-contact injuries, as well as blade contact amputations, hospitalizations, and finger/hand injuries. CPSC staff concludes that there is no discernible change in the number of blade-contact injuries or types of injuries related to table saw blade contact from 2004 to 2015. Furthermore, CPSC staff concludes that there is no discernible change in the number of blade-contact injuries or types of injuries related to table saw blade contact from the timespan before the voluntary standard was implemented (2004-2009) to the time span after the implementation of the voluntary standard requiring the riving knife and modular blade guard on all table saws (2010-2015). The estimated number of table saw blade-contact, emergency department-treated injuries from 2004 through 2015 is in Table 4.

    Table 4—NEISS Estimates for Table Saw Blade-Contact Injuries, 2004-2015 Year Table saw blade-contact injury estimates N Estimate CV 95% confidence interval 2015 642 30,800 0.09 25,100-36,500 2014 631 30,300 0.08 25,300-35,300 2013 662 29,500 0.09 24,500-34,500 2012 648 29,500 0.09 24,100-34,900 2011 632 29,600 0.09 24,300-35,000 2010 657 30,100 0.10 24,000-36,200 2009 714 33,000 0.10 26,500-39,500 2008 723 34,600 0.09 28,700-40,500 2007 694 31,100 0.09 25,400-36,700 2006 766 34,200 0.09 27,900-40,400 2005 812 34,500 0.09 28,300-40,700 2004 773 36,300 0.09 29,600-43,100

    To assess any changes across time in the severity of table saw blade-contact injuries, CPSC staff performed trend analyses for blade-contact amputations, hospitalizations (includes two dispositions: Treated with admission and treated with transfer), and finger/hand injuries. No trend was detected in any of these analyses (p-values = 0.44, 0.53, and 0.17 for amputations, hospitalizations, and finger/hand injuries, respectively). Table 5 provides the estimated number of blade-contact injuries from 2004 through 2015, for amputations, hospitalizations, and finger/hand injuries from blade contact, with the percentage of each to the total number of estimated blade-contact injuries (Table 4).

    Table 5—NEISS Injury Estimates for Table Saw Blade-Contact Amputations, Hospitalizations, and Finger/Hand Injuries, 2004-2015 Year Amputations Estimate
  • (95% CI)
  • % of
  • blade-
  • contact
  • injuries
  • Hospitalizations Estimate
  • (95% CI)
  • % of
  • blade-
  • contact
  • injuries
  • Finger/hand injuries Estimate
  • (95% CI)
  • % of
  • blade-
  • contact
  • injuries
  • 2015 4,700
  • (3,100-6,300)
  • 15.2 3,800
  • (2,300-5,300)
  • 12.3 30,500
  • (24,900-36,100)
  • 99.1
    2014 4,000
  • (2,400-5,500)
  • 13.1 3,100
  • (1,700-4,400)
  • 10.1 29,400
  • (24,600-34,300)
  • 97.2
    2013 3,400
  • (2,300-4,600)
  • 11.7 3,000
  • (1,800-4,200)
  • 10.2 29,200
  • (24,300-34,200)
  • 99.2
    2012 4,100
  • (2,700-5,600)
  • 13.9 2,900
  • (1,300-4,400)
  • 9.8 29,100
  • (23,700-34,400)
  • 98.7
    2011 3,900
  • (2,700-5,100)
  • 13.2 2,900
  • (1,900-3,900)
  • 9.9 29,400
  • (24,200-34,700)
  • 99.3
    2010 3,500
  • (2,500-4,500)
  • 11.6 2,800
  • (2,000-3,600)
  • 9.2 29,800
  • (23,700-36,000)
  • 99.2
    2009 4,100
  • (3,000-5,200)
  • 12.5 3,000
  • (2,000-3,900)
  • 9.0 32,500
  • (26,100-38,900)
  • 98.5
    2008 3,700
  • (2,700-4,600)
  • 10.6 2,600
  • (1,700-3,400)
  • 7.4 34,200
  • (28,300-40,100)
  • 98.7
    2007 3,900
  • (2,600-5,200)
  • 12.6 3,000
  • (1,800-4,100)
  • 9.5 30,700
  • (25,100-36,200)
  • 98.7
    2006 4,300
  • (3,100-5,500)
  • 12.5 2,700
  • (1,600-3,800)
  • 7.9 33,700
  • (27,500-39,900)
  • 98.7
    2005 4,600
  • (3,100-6,200)
  • 13.5 2,800
  • (2,000-3,600)
  • 8.2 34,100
  • (28,000-40,200)
  • 98.9
    2004 5,100
  • (3,600-6,700)
  • 14.1 2,900
  • (1,900-3,900)
  • 8.0 36,000
  • (29,300-42,800)
  • 99.2

    CPSC staff also conducted a trend analysis to include the rate of injury (that is, the rate of injury, measured by the numerator as the estimated number of injuries and the denominator as the exposure estimate). Based on the information available, CPSC staff analyzed the risk of blade-contact injury using the estimated number of table saws in use for each year from 2004 to 2015. Table 6 provides the risk of blade-contact injury per 10,000 table saws in use for each year in the analysis. The estimated numbers of table saws in use yearly is provided in TAB C of the staff briefing package.

    13 No estimates of variance or covariance associated with the number of table saws in use were calculated. CPSC staff determined that the ability to detect trend is increased by omission of the variance-covariance associated with the denominator variable (thus, creating a more conservative approach). Variance for will increase if using both numerator and denominator variance and covariance structures; this makes it harder to detect trend mathematically. However, CPSC staff determined that there is minimal impact on the analyses performed, and conclusions are unlikely to change if another method was chosen.

    14 CVs for estimates are equivalent to the CVs for injury estimates, due to no variance estimates being used for the denominator estimates.

    Table 6-Estimated Table Saw Blade-Contact Injuries per 10,000 Table Saws in Use, 2004-2015 Year Table saw blade-contact injury estimates Blade-contact injury estimate 95% Confidence interval Estimated number of table saws in use
  • (in 10,000s) *
  • Table saws in use
  • estimate 13
  • Estimates ** of table saw blade-contact injury per 10,000 table saws in use Estimate 14 95%
  • Confidence
  • interval
  • 2015 30,800 25,100-36,500 813.8 37.8 30.9-44.8 2014 30,300 25,300-35,300 818.6 37.0 30.8-43.2 2013 29,500 24,500-34,500 824.0 35.8 29.8-41.8 2012 29,500 24,100-34,900 832.5 35.4 28.9-41.9 2011 29,600 24,300-35,000 838.9 35.3 29.0-41.7 2010 30,100 24,000-36,200 847.7 35.5 28.3-42.7 2009 33,000 26,500-39,500 873.1 37.8 30.3-45.3 2008 34,600 28,700-40,500 881.5 39.3 32.6-45.9 2007 31,100 25,400-36,700 882.5 35.2 28.8-41.5 2006 34,200 27,900-40,400 865.0 39.5 32.2-46.7 2005 34,500 28,300-40,700 846.3 40.8 33.5-48.0 2004 36,300 29,600-43,100 829.4 43.8 35.7-51.9 * CPSC's Directorate for Economics provided the estimated numbers of table saws in use for this analysis. ** Estimates are calculated from the exact number of injuries point estimate, not the rounded estimate.

    CPSC staff's analysis shows that there was no discernible change in the risk of injury associated with blade contact related to table saws from 2004 to 2015. Furthermore, staff concludes that there is no discernible change in the risk of injury associated with blade contact related to table saws from the timespan before the voluntary standard was implemented (2004-2009) to the time span after the voluntary standard's implementation (2010-2015), which required the riving knife and modular blade guard on all table saws.

    E. Other Table Saw-Related Injuries

    Table saw-related incidents are not commonly reported to CPSC through means other than the NEISS. However, the CPSC received a small number of reports of table saw-related injuries throug